A Magical Roleplaying Experience 

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 #25990  by Arnaud Lacroix
Location: Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts • Date: Spring 2003
Time of Day: Afternoon • Weather: Cloudy

Due to considerable cuts in their funding, the Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts would have to suffer years of meager programs instead of offering the superior quality education they had been providing for the past decade. Quickly, students, professors and community members had rallied around the academy hoping that their protest might bring light to the importance of the arts.

Arnaud had chosen to attend the protest as a citizen rather than to do so in a professional capacity. While he knew the event deserved media coverage, he was confident that a colleague of his had already been assigned to the protest.

The crowd was modest but determined. Most of the attendees had signs expressing their outrage and chants that emphasized their already bold punctuation marks. Holding his own sign Arnaud walked with them and chanted when he was not chatting with other participants.
 #26086  by Helena Sun
Covering rallies and social protests was one of Helena's specialties. She had a firm grasp on deconstructing this kind of scene. From the crowds level of vindictiveness to the poker-faced presence of law enforcement, she was adept with capturing the mood accordingly. Most likely it had something to do with her own empathy towards political progression. On a personal level she did not actively engage in affairs of state, but she did vouch for positive change.

Helena stood at the edge of the humble crowd with her camera. She pressed down on the shutter as she loomed over unforgiving faces and vengeful fists. At one point her lens skimmed over a familiar face and she focused in on the figure. It was Arnaud among the protesters with a sign of his own. For the briefest moment Helena was about to take a photograph of her colleague but at the last minute her mind decided against it. The gentlest touch of guilt caressed her conscience at the very thought of gathering possibly incriminating evidence against someone she respected. Not that attending a protest was in bad favour, but all journalists knew how reputation and image evidence usually found itself in an arm wrestle.

"You're blending in well with that," she said as she approached the man. Helena nodded towards the sign he held and acknowledged it with a single raised eyebrow. "So you're a patron of the arts then?"
 #26177  by Arnaud Lacroix
"I knew a beret would have been too much," Arnaud quipped as he was being complimented for blending in.

Realizing that Helena was covering the protest came to no surprise; it was her specialty. He did, however, wonder if the task had been assigned or if she had chosen to cover it of her own initiative.

"I am," he confirmed though it felt a little bit like letting a stranger gaze at the titles on the shelves of his bookshelf. He was not ashamed of his appreciation of the arts, but he felt as though he was revealing a segment of himself he rarely shared with others. "Are you here because the dragon said so or did you choose to cover the protest because you know you're amazing at it?" He asked attempting to shift the attention.
 #26386  by Helena Sun
"I would daresay a bit of both," Helena responded idly when Arnaud inquired about her attendance to the rally. She wore a modest white blouse and plain navy robes with the Daily Prophet embellished in copper on her right breast. It was obvious what kind of person she was and who she worked for. Still, the people paid her the slightest bit of attention. The crowd was now steadily chanting a sonorous rally cry. The edges of the mob had grown fatter with encouragement as stragglers joined the cause.

Helena attentively observed the slowly growing horse. "I'm not amazing at covering protests, they're just amazing at being newsworthy events" she then pointed out while offering Arnaud a sly grin.
 #26594  by Arnaud Lacroix
"Yes, because there is no such thing as a newsworthy event being covered inadequately," he ironized to emphasize his compliment.

The crowd was getting thicker and its intentions were starting to get muddled. The peaceful protesters had been joined by interpretative artists who were expressing their dismay in various creative ways. While they were a tad more disruptive they were doing nothing wrong. It was the crowd witnessing their art who had a hard time sifting their response.

Always a journalist, Arnaud noticed the animated crowd.
 #26636  by Helena Sun
"Especially not by the Prophet," came Helena's own sardonic response.

The witch surveyed the crowd with a mild expression. The crowd was augmenting steadily and the atmosphere was growing tempestuous with fervour as flashy and elaborate spells were cast in the sky by the performers to draw more attention. Someone's elbow jostled Helena closer to Arnaud. She bore him an apologetic grimace.

"Looks like we're right in the middle of this now," she wearily joked. "Do you think this will end up in a street march?"
 #26915  by Arnaud Lacroix
Lips garnished with a cheeky grin, Arnaud relished in their brief proximity. They had agreed that their tryst on the roof had been their last rendezvous, but tempting their resolve was all too thrilling.

Looking at the edges of the expanding crowd Arnaud could not quite make sense of the chaos. "It might, though I fear the initial cause might get lost in the bluster."
 #26929  by Helena Sun
Helena did her best to ignore the expression on Arnaud's face but at the same time she could feel her own curiosity nagging at her conscience. Had he said anything to Evelyn? What would happen from here on? Were they going to go back to co-existing on a professional level until the next glass of wine was poured?

"Did you... did you mention anything to Evelyn?" Helena found herself inquiring, her anxiety getting the better of her. She refused to meet his gaze. "Does she know?"
 #27142  by Arnaud Lacroix
"I did not mention anything," Arnaud assured though he knew his reassurance would be short-lived. "But she knows, she always knows," he said without an ounce of doubt. "She is making me cover the latest Iver wedding," he offered as proof of her knowledge. Covering a lifestyle event for a journalist like him was nothing short of a punishment.

He put his hand on Helena's shoulder, "it's fine," he told her, as he felt at peace with the consequences he had been given. "It was more than worth it," he added trying to catch her eyes though he wasn't sure why. They had been prompt to make things clear, it was sex and nothing more. Nothing worth fighting for, nothing worth risking their careers over and yet...
 #27329  by Helena Sun
"I'm so sorry, that would have been horrible!" Helena responded dejectedly, whatever hope she had now dissipating into nothingness. "I'm sure there was enough expensive alcohol and mindless gossip to keep you interested though." Like Arnaud, she hardly covered soft news. It was a little bit of a conundrum for journalists who covered hard stories such as political unrest, dispute and tragedy.

Her gaze wandered purposely away from Arnaud and she resisted the urge to flinch from his consolatory touch. She bit her lip nervously, refusing to allow Arnaud's words to reassure her. She had to be vigilant otherwise room for mistakes would prosper once more. Reluctantly the witch shrugged his hand off her shoulder. "Was it really worth it? I mean, the Iver wedding!" Helena scorned with a dryness that didn't quite mimic her apprehensive expression.
 #27391  by Arnaud Lacroix
The Ivers and their palace intrigue had been a nightmarish mind boggle for the proud journalist, but with a little attention and flattery, Arnaud had found a few leads with potential. Not that Arnaud truly needed to weigh the worth of his actions against the weight of their consequences. "Would you like to test whether or not I learned my lesson?" He prompted as his last resounding argument.
 #27413  by Helena Sun
An esteemed professor of the dramatic arts was now issuing a heartwarming speech to the agitated crowd. Echoes of cheers and cries surrounded the pair. They were in their own bubble, Helena thought. A condensed space with only enough room for two.

The smart thing to do was leave Arnaud to his protesting, but another part of Helena welcomed the company of someone just as contemplative and dubious as she were. "Sure, try your best to humour me" she commanded with a wry smile.
 #27561  by Arnaud Lacroix
Quick to give into their familiar heady trance, her command was soon granted. He put his hand around her and pulled her close to him. "I do wonder what the consequences would be this time," he mused as though indifferent to their proximity.
 #27730  by Helena Sun
Suddenly Helena felt her own spindly frame being suddenly embraced by Arnaud. She could feel her muscles stiffening from their forbidden contact. At the same time she wasn't going to complain or anything.

The shorter witch peered up through wispy eyelashes at the man. She offered him a quizzical look. A tentative finger traced the apex of his jaw and trailed down towards Arnaud's chin in a cautious caress. "I'm starting to notice a pattern."
 #27898  by Arnaud Lacroix
The lesson their boss had tried to convey by sending him to the Iver wedding, long ignored, he titled his head slightly. "Do share," he requested.

The crowd thick around them made no qualm of their immobility, they walked around them barely making the effort to avoid them.