A Magical Roleplaying Experience 

 #25452  by Albie Rees
All too keen on identifying Zi Shang's inconvenient companion Albie was quick to notice a man looking in their direction. Familiar with the broom racing world, not to mention a piqued interest when his research on his new business partner had led him to learn about a failed engagement to a famous racer, Albie was quick to identify the man he was about to meet.

"You do seem familiar," Albie taunted while he extended his free hand towards the man. His intent with feigning ignorance was primarily to blemish the man's pride, but he also had to keep in mind that Zi Shang had yet to mention Francis as an ex-fiancé. Seemingly motivated to stand before him as Zi Shang's 'good friend' Albie put his hand on her lower back.
 #25472  by Francis Friis
Francis fired back, putting on his own act of brief thoughtfulness, "Hmm. I don't recognize you." But the grip on his tankard tightened, and the tactful positioning of the man opposite's hand may as well have been a lighter to fuel-soaked coals in the pit of Francis's stomach.

"Francis," he offered, shaking the other's hand, though he did not take any pleasure in it.

He was trying not to explode. He had to keep his image clean, after all. But something about Zi Shang was like unstable dynamite when it came to Francis's heart. The drinks wouldn't help his self control, should he be tempted any further. Despite all this, he was decent actor when he had to be, but the awkward energy of the encounter had to be growing more evident with each moment.
 #25631  by Zi Shang An
Blind people could tell that this was turning out poorly.

Her gaze fell upon Francis before moving towards Albie. The woman momentarily gave pause, then attempted in a more light-hearted tone.

"Well, fortunately we are all here for the Harpies, so there is that to begin with."
 #25640  by Albie Rees
Excluding the ex as dismissively as he would flick a speck of dust from his robes, Albie turned his body towards Zi Shang. "Well, it had been a true pleasure, but now that you are reunited with" he pointed at Francis, but did not bother mentioning his name, "I suppose we should part ways." He put his hand on her waist and kissed her cheek. His lips lingered for a second, just like they had when she had still been sitting on their broom.
Last edited by Albie Rees on 13 May 2019, 06:11, edited 1 time in total.
 #25762  by Francis Friis
How his blood boiled.

Francis had departed, it seemed. As far as being self aware, the last he saw a was a flying fist, as good as possessed, headed towards the snake that was lapping its forked tongue at the sweet Zi Shang's cheek. But Francis himself was quickly swallowed by a flame, only to reappear moments later, disoriented as he peered through the clouded smoke of his actions. One foot slid back as he processed what he'd done and gazed upon the results.
 #25776  by Helena Sun
In the hazy corner of the room stood a certain young journalist on the hunt for a story of epic proportions. Around Helena's neck hung her trusty camera and her media pass for the evenings event. She had been scoping around the room in a lackadaisical spirit, more or less unimpressed by the throng of tipsy athletes and business associates. That was until she witnessed someone clock a punch at one of the International Quidditch Association's financial administrators.

The reporter was onto the case like wildfire. Hastily placing a variety of muffling charms over herself so that the clicking sound of her camera wouldn't give away her cover, Helena scuffled as close as she dared. She fired a shot, and then another. Her camera captured the moment with excellent precision. The woman smirked to herself. Finally! Perhaps sporting events had more to them than what met the eye.
 #25792  by Albie Rees
Stumbling into a crowd of inebriated quidditch devotees, Ablie felt the content of their various drinks trickle down his face, neck, and robes. Dizzy from the fist that had stuck his cheekbone and blinded by the subsequent flashes of the camera it took him a second to pull himself from the hands of whoever had amortized his recoil. When finally he moved, Albie did so rather vigorously.

Acutely aware that his colleagues and superiors might be watching, Ablie lunged towards Francis but did not return jab. "What is wrong with you?" He challenged as his palms collided with the man's chest. Though Albie had instigated the racer's outburst, he had not expected to harvest his crop so prematurely.
 #35783  by Zi Shang An
The way Albie turned to exclude Francis by physical design and the way of his deliberate omission of Francis' name did not go amiss to the latest woman he fraternised with. Neither did Francis' darkened demeanour slip unnoticed past the woman he was once prepared to spend the rest of his life with. In some other perspective, she could read significance into it as a twisted form of flattery, but Zi Shang could not appreciate any of it.

She was not a tool of leverage.

It was an unwanted albeit perhaps necessary clearing of the fog that had momentarily settled in her vision.

Still, it was not the time and place, nor perhaps even the exact relationship. Zi Shang nonetheless allowed the financier to brush a kiss against her cheek, ready to let him go for the best until a sudden commotion split through the air. In its disoriented chaos, she did not even hear her own sharp inhalation over the collective gasps rippling through their surrounding crowd.

When she regained her bearings, it was the flashing of cameras that jolted her into motion.

No, the thought stirred. Not again. She knew already what would follow, could picture the headlines in the sports sections of tomorrow's newspaper morning editions. Yet, there was little choice left for her. Zi Shang moved forward in more haste than typically marked her mannerisms and inserted herself between the two men. "Enough," both of you. The latter part went unsaid, but her stony expression as she looked plainly from one man to the other was as familiar to Francis and it would be evident to Albie.

Once both men's attentions were refocused on her, she took a small step back out of their immediate way. "Francis," his former translator started simply, but there was firm steel in her tone that he might recognise.

"Please apologise to Albie. There is no need to engage in such unnecessary force over a simple misunderstanding." Zi Shang kept her gaze deliberately turned away from the slight female who wielded her camera, but neither did she look at the racer whose professional image she still habitually sought to protect.

Instead, she held Albie's gaze, with a shuttered expression which could well drain any satisfaction he might salvage from the other male's apology.
 #35804  by Francis Friis
Francis was still seeing red, but it had faded enough for him to have some self-awareness. He'd gotten himself into trouble again -- camera sparks and 'ooh and ahhs' reminded him of that. He knew there was nothing left for this. His time here was done -- though if it hadn't been for Zi Shang's intervention, he didn't know how he might have responded to the other man's reciprocating shove.

"I'm outta here," he directed towards Zi Shang, with one last spit of a look at Albie Rees.
 #35875  by Albie Rees
"It was a simple misunderstanding," he echoed feigning innocence.

When it became obvious that the man would not apologize, Albie shrugged. "Let him go," he waved the man off with little concern. Why mend an inexistent relationship?
 #35877  by Zi Shang An
Zi Shang's gaze that briefly followed the retreating back of her formerly betrothed was mixed, wrought between anger at the circumstance he had put her and was leaving her in, and confusion of how it had happened at all. He was rash. She, of all people, knew that. Yet still, this was something else from Francis, with so little regard for the judging gazes around him.

As the spectators regained themselves to slowly return their attentions to whatever else they were doing before the commotion, the woman turned back. Zi Shang looked toward the other man who remained, her own face mostly unreadable. For one moment that held, her gaze met Albie's frankly, with little fuss, and almost as if relearning the man with whom she had genuinely enjoyed an evening with.

It made sense, if she had looked more carefully: the suaveness—that came from something that easily blinded so many people like himself that danced on the knife-edge of confidence and arrogance; the wager—all at once daring and deliberate, born of calculated ambition, which translated into this will for winning with little regard for what collateral one's scythe reaped in the harvest.

Still something did hurt, somehow.

Whatever they were, she had not asked nor wanted to be an instrument of his intent.

Stepping forward just a little closer, Zi Shang pulled out her wand and gestured it simply at Albie. Droplets of foreign drinks lifted off from the financier and, within seconds, evaporated into the void alongside the stains on his robes. She lowered her hand, gaze hovering momentarily over him before that too lowered so she could pocket her wand. "I am sorry," it had happened in some small part over her, and she felt the standing to extend that much.
 #35889  by Albie Rees
He had expected her to storm off behind him, but again she surprised him.

He watched her intently as she used her wand on his robes. Why was she apologizing? Did she expect him to apologize?

Interested in anything that might spice up their night, the crowd was still very much watching them. "You should go," he told her. Go where? Why? He did not know, but he needed her to leave.
 #35934  by Zi Shang An
She should go. She wished she had never came; this was never meant to be her kind of scene. The partygoers were back to their conversations, laughing and the dancing, but she could feel their gazes, cast from the corners of their eyes and over the rims of their glasses, surreptitious but very much still lingering. The girl with the camera, too.

Zi Shang was a fish in an aquarium. "You are right," she agreed, eyes cast downward as she smoothed the skirt of her dress, not unlike she had moments before they ascended back into the tower.

"It was a simple misunderstanding."

She looked back at Albie. "Have a good rest of your evening." Zi Shang hesitated, but only for a half-heartbeat, then turned away from him. A server passed by her with a fresh tray of drinks for those whose drinks had spilled in the tussle, but she walked on past him. No amount of drinks could muddy her sobriety now.