A Magical Roleplaying Experience 

 #32994  by Viola York
 
Location: Madame Puddifoot's Tea Shop • Date: Late November



Viola always enjoyed indulging into new advancements and endeavours regarding the healing arts. She hadn't seen much development as of late, but after hearing word about a fellow potion connoisseur, she had to jump at the chance to find out as much as she could about this witch - and any discoveries she had made. Of course, Viola wasn't particularly a people person; in fact, she much rather keep her distance with many, but simply having an interest in such arts did tend to make it easier in catching Viola's attention.

Now that she was trying to build an upstanding reputation, Viola made a promise to herself not to be mean or grating. Well, not too mean or grating. A little bit of goading tended to get more answers. That's what she learnt from Kit Harper, at least. He was perhaps too far with his irritating methods.

Regardless, Viola seated herself down in Madame Puddifoot's Tea Shop; she quite enjoyed this place, and it felt nostalgic after so many years having not visited. She found a quiet corner to sit in, waiting for the woman to arrive, a cup of Dragon's Breathe Chai already being lifted to her lips and sipped. Upon entry of Winter, Viola stood politely, letting the other know where she was seated. She gave a cordial smile, reaching out to shake her hand as she introduced herself.

"Viola York, Practical Potioneer. Tea?" She asked. So far, so good.
 #33007  by Winter O'Donnell
 
An interview? Winter was still stunned at the realization that she was in her way to Madame Puddifoot's Tea Shop. But was it the interview itself or the fact that she agrees? There was a bit of convincing to do so by her co-workers, and eventually, it actually sounded like a nice idea. After all, it wasn't everyday that one got interviewed about their work. Still... Winter was starting to think maybe it would have been better to just graciously turn down the offer. Regardless, it was a wee bit late now, as the tea shop loomed into view.

"Alright, Winter. You got this," she said to herself as she opened the door and entered.

The familiar welcoming scene met her, bringing her usual comforting, happy smile to her face. Winter frequented this particular shop often, so often so that many of the workers knew her and her favorite teas without needing to ask for her order. Glancing about the room, her eyes fell on a woman who stood when she entered. That must be her. Unbuttoning her pea coat, slipping it off, and draping it over her arm, Winter headed over to the table. Today, she picked a light purple 3/4 sleeve cotton shirt and black slacks with black slipper flats, figuring it would be casual enough for comfort and nice enough for an interview. Around her neck, she wore a silver chain with a single silver star holding a round star sapphire, and her hair was fixed to be slightly pulled back at the sides, her ears still concealed from view.

Extending her hand and giving Viola a gentle handshake, Winter smiled and replied, "Pleasure. Winter O'Donnell, Apothecary at St. Mungo's Hospital." Before she could answer Viola's offer for tea, one of the waitresses appeared with a blue and white tea cup steaming with one of Winter's teas of choice. From the aroma coming off the dark liquid, she guessed it was Mystic Mountain Twilight. Thanking the waitress, Winter took the cup and saucer and placed it on the table in front of the open chair. Putting her coat over the back of the chair, Winter sat and gestures for Viola to join her. "I hope I didn't keep you waiting long," she said before wrapping her hands around the warm cup out of habit.
 #33029  by Viola York
 
Viola quickly scanned over the other woman as she approached. As a former seamstress, Viola was always the type to admire fashion, or disgruntle it. This woman didn't seem to be wearing the most upper class brands she was used to, but it certainly wasn't drab like a lot of people she'd interviewed before. She remembered one man who turned up in ripped cloaks. Ripped! the nerve of him to think she would spend her time with that. Not to mention that she then had to ignore the prevalent smell of garlic on his breath.

"No, not at all." Viola replied, seating herself down again, smoothing out her dress. Once again, she was dressed impeccably; clean and prim, hugging her curves in all the right places. To say she was a married woman, she certainly didn't care for being overly prudent.

"So, let's start easy. Your work as an apothecary ; how do you enjoy it? How long have you been doing it and what drove you into the profession?"
 #33157  by Winter O'Donnell
 
Winter smiled as Viola sat opposite her. Admiring her dress, she was happy that Viola dressed nicely for their little meeting. It put her at ease a bit to see that this interview was something more than just a Q and A session. Viola presented herself as someone who was truly interested in what Winter had to say. Taking a sip of her tea, winter welcomed the warmth it brought her body as she swallowed.

With the opening questions to mark the official start of their interview, Winter set her cup down gently and answered, "Let's see... I've been doing this since I graduated from Hogwarts. I had several internships, but really, it was just the stepping Stones to getting to where I am. So... the better part of ten years?" The end question was, of course, rhetorical as Winter really didn't keep track of how long she really was in her chosen occupation. Pausing to take a drink, she smiled to herself before saying, "To answer, I enjoy it. Everything about it and everything that comes with it, even if everything isn't bright and sunny. I find it to be extremely rewarding, which helps me enjoy it all the more."

Viola's last question of the set made Winter pause. The answer wasn't as black and white as many might think. But, it was simple enough. "I was first influenced by my mother. She was a fine herbalist and used her skills to do in-home apothecary type things for others," Winter began, remembering what little she could about her mother and the things her brother and father told her about. Losing her so young, Winter's actual memories of her were few and not nearly as clear as she wished they were. "But the real inspiration for my taking up this mantle was thanks to a wizard healer that wouldn't take no for an answer," she said, raising her hand to her left ear and removing the sky-blue device and setting it on her napkin on the table between Viola and herself. "When all other healers and doctors were willing to settle, this healer went above and beyond to help a little girl hear again. I want to help others like he helped me. And I am by doing what I do," Winter said proudly, keeping her finger on the napkin in a silent point for Viola to see what allows her to hear.
 #33163  by Viola York
 
Viola set up her Quick-Quotes Quill, making her own hands free to bring her tea to her lips and take a sip as the other woman spoke. They were fairly standard answers for the most part; she had a steady career route designed from the moment she left Hogwarts, and she would have had to stick to it to now be working within the industry for ten years. And of course she enjoyed the work, otherwise she would not have accepted the interview. Nobody wanted to created an awkward conversation, and Viola was sure she would hear nothing but positive feedback about St Mungos and the work there. She highly expected the odd phrase of 'it's hard work', because, well, it was hard work. Potions were hard in general.

Viola hummed and nodded, polite as she was supposed to be. She was sure Nathan would be highly confused at her professionalism despite her loud mouth and purposely-caused-drama that surrounded her on the daily basis. But she took her job seriously. It was perhaps the only thing she did take seriously.

But it was then that Winter revealed the sky-blue devices, and Viola's expression changed immediately. She sat up, shuffled in her chair so she could lean forward, eyes intense of the object placed on the napkin. She was listening intently on what Winter was saying, but all the while, Viola was scanning each nook and cranny of the device, thoroughly investigating it. Steadily, she placed her finger on the napkin, and slid it around so she could see the opposite side of the earpiece.

"Outstanding." She whispered as Winter finished. "What an incredible little creation. I'm something of an inventor myself, but I have never seen anyone else make something so refined, and to be functioning for hearing? Very delicate process. There must have been all kinds of risks involved with the implementation." She praised.

Glancing to the quill briefly, she spoke lowly. "Take sketches."

Then, she looked back to Winter. "How long did it take them to make? Have you had any problems with them?"
 #33176  by Winter O'Donnell
 
Winter hoped she wasn't giving answers that Viola found dull. She was simply being honest with what she said. However, Viola's demeanor of simply listening hanged abruptly when she took note of the device that Winter placed on the table for her to see. Sitting back in her seat and taking a sip of her tea, Winter tucked her red hair behind her right ear, exposing the other device that made up the set. It was interesting to her to watch Viola investigate her device.

Smiling softly at her awe, Winter nodded in reply before saying, "I'm not sure if there were risks, but I know that there were lots of trials and errors. Really, if there was a problem, they simply didn't work." She did t remember a lot of the details surrounding her devices, but she remembered there were times, when they were getting close, that she would hear for only a moment before hearing nothing again. "I wouldn't doubt that there were all sorts of little touches in the final creation that I'm not overly privy to, " she added.

Raising her cup for a sip, Winter paused when asked how long it took and if she had any issues with them. Lowering her cup, her brow furrowed as she thought back to when the whole journey to gain her hearing again began. "I think from the start of working with the healer to the time he finally got the prototype made was nearly two years. It might have been less or more, but I was so young, I don't really recall for certain. As for troubles.... Being without my hearing for a few years I was, everything was very loud for a while. It took some fine tuning to get the volume right a d the adjust it every so often until I was hearing normally," she said with a small chuckle, "I remember when I first got them, everything was so loud, I ripped them from my ears and said I didn't want to hear again! That the world was too loud!"

The memory made Winter smile and laugh. All that hard work to help her and she was so ready to just be done and live in silence. But, she was only a young child then, so what was really happening was a bit lost to her. "There was also the matter of fittings every so often as I grew. What was nice was the healer knew that a young child would need a little help to ensure they worked properly. He enfused them with a magic that made them work when they are in my ears, and stop working when removed," Winter explained, dropping her eyes to the device. "It's quite extraordinary, really. He wasn't going to stop working on these until he succeeded. He's my inspiration..." she added softly.
 #33380  by Viola York
 
Viola nodded as Winter spoke; the entire concept of these little pieces of magical equipment being developed over the year was interesting to her. And two years to be working on such a thing sounded right to her. She knew with her own experiments and inventions, there could be long spans of time where she simply couldn't focus on anything else but her core goal of completing her new little device. Of course, Viola seemed to have more of a talent with crystals and stones than actual sprogs and sprockets, but those areas did seem to entice Viola; seeing cogs turn by magic was a new concept in itself. Most investors would be silly to ignore developments around them in lieu of using magic for everything; it was better to see how the two worlds could be combined!

"Yes, yes...I can see why." She spoke softly, picking up her teaspoon and using the end to point out some of the more intricate areas. "Such attention to detail; might have just been trial and error, but there were clearly a lot of different stages to process, and if one this worked and another didn't, sometimes there is some methodical thinking behind the various trials. Very meticulous. Of course, it could of all been a fluke and he really was just twisting and turning things randomly in the hope of success, and was perhaps shocked himself when it actually worked - but I'd actually like to think he did everything with purpose."

She pursed her lips and sat back again.

"Do you remember his name? Or where to find him? It would be great to have his take on this entire ordeal, if it would be okay with you. After all, it is about your ears and all that."
 #33626  by Winter O'Donnell
 
Winter smiled as Viola investigated her hearing device. The way she poured over every little bit and detail of it made the red-head wonder if she was a tinker, too. If she did experiments of her own in her own craft of choice. "I don't recall much of the process. But I know that once we made a little bit of headway, he did his best to not alter it at all," she said with a chuckle. "Don't want to backpedal when something starts to work," Winter added, picking up the device when Viola was finished examining it.

The next questions caused Winter's brow to furrow in thought as she put the device back in her ear, welcoming the sounds of the world around her back to the ear that had been silenced for a few moments. "His name is Atticus Wolfe. The last I knew, he was heading for America to further his studies and share his work with other healers there," Winter said, pausing to make sure she was remembering correctly. "But, that was two, maybe three years ago," she added, running a finger around the rim of her tea cup.

Taking a moment to sip her drink, Winter recalled what he had told her the last time she saw him when he was passing through and wanted to check on her and the fit if her devices. "He did tell me the last time I saw him that he was only an owl away. I imagine he'd be happy to talk with you for your story," she said with a smile. "Do you invent, too?" Winter asked, curious about the woman's reaction when she saw the device. But then, wondered if that was too forward since this was Viola's interview.
 #33646  by Viola York
 
Atticus Wolfe. She heard the quill scribe the name. She'd never personally heard of it before, but then again, she had never openly tried to indulge in potions or experimentation until her recent few years. It could possibly be a good name to have. She nodded at Winter's explanation on a possible location; so he was on his way to America but...not recently so. A trip to America could have been fun in Viola's opinion; anything to get away from the captivity of motherhood. Maternal instincts had definitely not passed over to her.

At her question, Viola lifted a brow, and then sat back a little, wondering whether to speak on her endeavours or not. Maybe just a bit.

"Yes, I do. More so now as I'm paid on the side for it. I work primarily for the magazine, but I've been tinkering with binding magic into metals and crystals for a few years. It's only been recently that I've found someone willing to allow me access to an expansive amount of equipment and ingredient to continue the experiments - and getting paid for it? - even better. I suppose Mr Wolfe and I have alternative methods of focus. He has seemed to take a more mechanical approach; a lot of my experiments are derived from dark magic, forced into cavities and containers, and used in various ways."

"One I was particularly proud of was an infused crystal that could feed from emotions to enhance the quality of magic produced by the user. Of course, dark emotions create dark magic, and vice versa. Another form of this was a similar invention that did the opposite and fed off one person's magic to give to another; basically using someone as a host or a vessel to develop complicated spells. Not that you heard that from me." She shrugged.
 #34372  by Winter O'Donnell
 
Winter smiled as Viola gave a little bit of insight into her tinkering endeavors. She had heard, on multiple occasions, of wizards and witches that worked on inventions like Master Wolfe and Viola. In a way, it was no different from what she did, only her's dealt with more medicinal things than devices or crystals and metals like Viola worked with. Still, it was interesting!

"Your work sounds fascinating, Viola! I can see the possibilities for such an item," she said raising her cup to her lips and taking a small sip. "Grated, as long as it didn't fall into the wrong hands," Winter added, raising her eyes above the cup rim and letting them lock on the woman across from her. Then, with a wink, Winter let out a laugh, showing her joke.

"Something like that would have been helpful for me when I was working on a particular tricky potion to add to a salve to use for severe burns from dragons for a group of dragon keepers. I needed just a little more push from the magical department and the final product would have come about faster, " the blonde mused. With a shrug she added, "But, by taking is slower, I found that adding a little bit more of a few ingredients actually made the healing properties much more powerful. I don't know that I would have noticed it if I had a power boost to speed the process along." Pausing to think about the work that Viola did, Winter was impressed. "Regardless, what a work to have accomplished," she said with a smile.
 #34393  by Viola York
 
Viola smiled lightly, signalling for the quill to continue taking notes as Winter indulged into another anecdote. It would likely be helpful to the story to have something like that laced into the column as it was certainly an interesting detail. Taking a sip of tea, Viola composed herself, thinking about were they got to with her questions, although now that she was looking at them, she could easily go a little of course to try and target the more direct questioning. They would likely be more appropriate for Winter's actual answers and experiences if she just went off what had already been said.

After a few seconds of thinking, Viola decided to go with her gut and scrap the basic pre-planned questions.

"So if there was one invention you wish would magically appear, what would it be? Or better yet, what would make your life as an apothecary easier as a whole?" She asked.
 #35907  by Winter O'Donnell
 
Pausing to really put thought into Viola's question about what, if anything, magical invention would be helpful to her, personally or for her work, Winter was stumped for several moments. If the possibility was really there for anything, anything at all, what would she pick? Setting her cup on the table and sitting back in her chair, Winter let her eyes focus on a unseen spot on the wall behind her interviewer.

"I guess I never really thought about it, really..." she said softly, still very deep in thought. Her work actually blended some Muggle techniques with magical ones to help her work be more productive, but what if she had something that eliminated that? Thinking about her own disability, something did come to mind. "A magical invention helped me to hear again... One to help others who can't walk, walk again would be perfect," Winter finally answered, a somber time to her words.

Her memories went to a Slytherin a year or two ahead of her in school who lost his ability to walk after a horrific Quidditch accident. She wished there had been something to help him, but there just wasn't, and he was confined to a wheelchair from then on.

"As for me and my work...." Winter continued, pausing again to think of what could help her with her work, "Something that could document and store prototypes or experiments for later without taking up a ton of shelf or book space. It would be nice to have a ready reference without needing to hunt through everything. Or use Accio all the time." The last comment made Winter chuckle. She couldn't think of all the times she used Accio with a general idea of what she was looking for and got everything but what she was meaning to summon.
 #35920  by Viola York
 
Viola hummed, nodding as Winter spoke, the scratching of the quills behind her as everything was noted. She finished off her cup of tea, switching over her crossed legs under the table before sitting back, considering what she just heard. Winter was answering the questions well, even if they were somewhat tricky or demanding; after all, it was a lot to ask someone to think on the spot of grand gestures and incredible feats of magic and technology. This was exactly why she needed the utmost silence when she worked. Distractions could have a paramount impact on an inventor.

"Those are quite the objectives to have. Quite idealistic, but not impossible." She commented, looking away for a moment in thought, her lips pursing slightly. But then, she leaned forward again, looking back at Winter carefully, as though studying her.

"How much would you say St. Mungos relies on donations for its academic research? It's government funded, I know that, but as a on-profit organisation, it's surely difficult to expect researchers to work under time constraints and and money constraints. Have you ever thought of using your personal experiences as a way to bid for sponsorship for research programmes? It could lead to a lot of additional funding but...it may also have some negative connotations added to your character..."