A Magical Roleplaying Experience 

 #17610  by Morgan Malone
Jet lag was a terrible thing. Morgan had been horribly dismayed to realize that she'd slept for a solid eighteen hours after arriving in England, but considering she'd never even left the States before, she supposed it could've been worse. At least London was only five hours ahead of where she'd lived, rather than twelve or something. It had been an indescribable relief to arrive at the little pre-furnished flat she was renting the night before -- it was nothing special, but the bed was comfortable and there was a coffee machine, so that was enough for her.

After a quick shower, a small breakfast, and two cups of sugar-laden coffee, she decided it was time to venture out into the city and see what she could find. Because of course, Morgan Malone, photographer, blogger, and magic-obsessed weirdo, was not in London to sight-see. No, she was there for serious business.

England was one of the places in this world that was supposedly most deeply connected to magic, which was not at all surprising, considering the number of mystical sites that filled the country. There was Stonehenge, of course, but there were also the Stones of Stenness, the Ring of Brodgar, the Avebury Stone Circle, Glastonbury Tor... So many that her head spun just thinking of them. She wouldn't be starting on her photography and blogging expedition for a few weeks yet, but she'd also gotten a lot of tips from individuals on her blog that there was a connection to the previously hidden magical community somewhere in London.

While she had no idea if the tips she'd gotten were actually true, she saw no reason not to at least check it out. With her camera around her neck, an umbrella in her bag, and a pair of comfortable shoes on, she struck out into the streets of London. Her eyes were wide and currently a vivid shade of gold, an expression of wonder painted across her fair-skinned face. She'd always dreamed of coming to Europe, but never actually dared to believe she'd make it happen. Just being here was almost too wonderful to comprehend.

But of course, you can take the girl out of the States, and that doesn't necessarily mean that she'll change along with her surroundings. Rounding a corner, she was distracted by the sight of a store sign across the way, and came to an abrupt stop, not thinking that she might be creating a bit of an obstacle for the people walking around her. Many of them gave the blue-haired girl looks that ranged from puzzled to irritated, but continued on their way. Which was probably for the best, because Morgan was too absorbed to pay attention to what was going on around her. Her brow crinkled, and she tilted her head, eyeing the sign and the establishment that was beneath it.

"There's no way it's really going to be that easy. I mean they wouldn't just advertise themselves that way, right? The Leaky Cauldron? This has to be a joke."

Speaking aloud to herself was a long-time habit of hers, as it made it easier for her to process her thoughts. Which was necessary right now, because she was trying to decide whether or not she wanted to risk making herself look like an idiot by going into such a place and assuming there was something magical about it. Maybe it was just an old housewares repair shop or something? Secondhand goods? She rocked back onto her heels, then forward onto her toes, and bounced a few times, trying to decide what to do, and still oblivious to the people moving around her.
 #17614  by Tom Farley
After a long week, it was finally a day off for Tom. Yes, a day off. This week was a part of his rota where he worked six out of seven days rather than five. Perhaps it was due to short staff, or the fact that his job title was so specific that they needed him for extended periods time - but despite the arrangements, he was entitled to far more holidays and flexible hours than other members at Azkaban prison. For the majority of officers, they were required to work the set rota, and if something went wrong during the shift, they would have to stay until it was settled. Working with criminals was not a job to slack off in, and any officer that did was not worthy of being protected by the law. That was Tom's opinion anyway.

Being so straight-laced and stiff about work did tend to isolate Thomas at various points, but in reality, he would rather that than jeopardize the safety of the public in any way. It was his duty to take care in thoroughly diagnosing criminals and their minds. So important, in fact, that even on days off his mind would be continuing to consider the various possibilities of a criminal's actions; perhaps a rough childhood, a psychiatric disorder, social issues, pressure, internal anger or emotions with no other release. The list went on. Even more so when he had to also consider if there were several reasons for one action. And then after the diagnosis was completed, he was to suggest the best methods for reform.

As many people believe there is a distinct line between good and evil, Tom thought otherwise. But despite that, there was always one prisoner with a mind so twisted and jaded that it was difficult to pin-point the direct cause - sometimes, people would simply bottle up everything until they snap, which were simply open-close cases. But then there were the ones that would do seemingly unusual things as children, only progressing to worse crimes as they grew, and even with a loving and supporting family, they received pure joy from causing chaos. These were the people Tom was most interested in. They were the most difficult to diagnose. For many criminology experts, they would simply assume some sort of social disorder, or psychiatric impairment, but Tom wanted to search deeper than that. His research papers proved that.

Right now, however, he was considering getting a coffee somewhere, perhaps something to eat. As usual, his beard was trimmed and professional, hair swooped back and off his face, and features dark. Even on a day off, he was dressed to impress with dark grey suit trousers and a crisp white shirt, tucked in, and a long grey pea-coat with the lapels flattened neatly against his chest. Over his shoulder was the leather strap of his bag, evidently heavy with text books, a note book, laptop and a broadsheet. Tom much preferred a broadsheet to a general newspaper; he enjoyed talks of current affairs, politics, laws, criminal activity, and business reports; he cared very little for celebrity gossip and articles about six dogs rescued from a fire. They were light reads, but that simply didn't interest Tom.

The world was dark, and he would embrace the darkness until he found a way to input his own light. Or perhaps, more accurately, sink further into the grey abyss until he was the shell of the man he once was. But at lease he wasn't in denial for the world around him; there would always be little joys in every situation, but he fully intended to work with dismal settings rather than against it. How else would he stay sane when working in a high security prison?

He pursed his lips, thinking in depth, before finally glancing forward. Mere inches from hitting the young woman, he had halted, his arms widening in surprise before they dropped to his sides again. He stared down at her for a moment, blinking, his mind going wild with thoughts. Why did she have such bright hair? Why had she just stopped? Why did she looked surprised? Tom followed her eye line, looking over at the pub, and then tried to re-register her words. Perhaps she didn't like pubs, or she had expected it to close down and was surprised to see it up and running, or maybe it was simply just the name.

"Advertising tends to be the best way for a business to receive custom and attention by the public. Using attractive names, sometimes whimsical, can make them stand out more and be easily recognisable by passer-bys." He looked back at her, tilting his head at her. "Is it...supposed to be a joke?"
 #17692  by Morgan Malone
Holy crap, someone was talking to her!

The sudden sound of a masculine voice speaking beside her made the girl nearly jump out of her skin, whirling to face the source of the unexpected noise with wide eyes. Her hands had risen to clutch her camera almost convulsively, tucking it protectively against her chest, as though she expected the interloper to take it. Or harm it, which would be even worse!

It took a few long moments of blinking owlishly up at the unfamiliar man for Morgan to process what it was he was actually saying, and when she did, a puzzled expression came across her features. Her brow furrowed, lips pursing ever so slightly to one side while she muddled through the supposed logic of his words. She supposed it did, in fact, make sense for a business to advertise themselves in order to draw patronage, and a sign over the door was a rather logical way to do it. Hadn't she just been thinking something similar herself?

The real question was whether her assumption was correct. Maybe they just did things differently here in the UK? Maybe it was perfectly natural for a restaurant.. pub.. thing to be named after an obsolete piece of cookware that had gone out of service in the majority of the civilized world, what, a couple hundred years ago? But some of the anonymous tips she'd gotten on her blog said that cauldrons were, in fact, still in use in the magical community, and that they used them for a whole lot more than cooking. Surely it was just a coincidence.


About the time she asked herself that question, albeit silently, Morgan was struck with an abrupt thought: She was standing there staring up at the strange man, no doubt with that ponderous, faraway expression she often got when she was lost in thought. And he probably thought she was utterly insane. While most might have been embarrassed by this observation, Morgan didn't much care what others thought of her. So she decided to, belatedly, respond to his question. Even though it was probably rhetorical.

"I don't know, I can't decide whether or not it's completely serious or a joke meant to poke fun at people who aren't from Europe. Does London have a lot of places named like this? Maybe there's a Faulty Kettle around the corner or a Cracked Boiler on the other side of town? You seem like a native, what do you think? Am I jumping at shadows, or is this place not quite normal?"

The clouds above shifted, starting to let bits of sunlight through, and she came to the decision that this man had rather striking features. Acting on impulse, as she so often did, she flipped the lens cap off of her camera, which turned on quickly with the press of a button, and raised it to her eye. Peering through the viewer at him, she adjusted the zoom only slightly, and snapped a few quick stills, switching rapidly between color and grayscale. When she lowered the camera, it was to reveal a beaming grin on her face.

"Has anyone ever told you that you have excellent bone structure? You photograph extremely well. I hope you don't mind I took your picture, I can't resist the urge to shoot people who are striking like you. It makes me feel like I've done my part to help preserve something unique, so future generations can look back and admire the wonderful things that existed in our time. You know what I mean?"

He probably didn't, she mused. He looked like a very serious fellow. Her head tilted as she looked at him, as though trying to imagine something, before she nodded once, like she'd decided something else. Which she had, and she had every intention of sharing that decision with him.

"You should really smile more. I bet you look great when you smile."
 #17740  by Tom Farley
Tom blinked back at her. Her expression seemed to freeze in a continuously pondering look. What was she even thinking about? Apparently, whatever it was, it required all of the concentration in her body to figure it out. For a moment, he felt awkward, but as she seemed lost in herself, Tom begin to take the opportunity to examine her in return; it may have been strange to most, but there was something about this woman that caught him off guard. Perhaps it was the vibrant hair colour or the camera slung around her neck. She was clearly some kind of eccentric, but that wasn't enough to pinpoint her intentions or motives.

He glanced down, seeing her clutch the camera in her fingers, and then flicked his eyes back up. So, in moments of fear, she grabs what she finds most precious, this being her camera. Just by her accent alone, he knew she wasn't local; very likely American - so a tourist staring at a pub. But a tourist wouldn't usually grasp a camera that tight, so perhaps there was something far more important on the reels, or maybe it was simply too valuable to risk a theft. Rich people didn't do that - they didn't clutch their belongings like that unless they knew they could not replace it easily.

So she wasn't rich, but travelled all the way from America with an expensive camera. It likely meant she had saved up for years just to buy the camera and buy the ticket, and with that, he could presume she would not waste such money on a week's trip - no, she would be here long term. But why? Mere tourists didn't do that just for the sights, but what was this blue-haired girl doing here?

But then she spoke, and Tom had to raise a brow. Yes, definitely America. "Is any place normal?" He asked intentionally. He couldn't quite place his finger on what she was getting at - did she like the name of the pub or not? Was it really so strange? He glanced over at it again. Well, he supposed so to many, especially to the non-magical folk that had suddenly been made aware of its presence. It was a tentative move on the company's part, but it had certainly brought in more clientele...that, and the British Muggle Government had applied the modern health standards to the pub. No longer would the would be allowed to remain dingy and damp like the pubs of the Victorian era.

Just as he looked back at her, he had a camera in his face, and she had snapped a photo. The flash went off briefly, and Tom recoiled slightly in surprise. He blinked a few times, trying to get rid of the light spots he was now seeing, and then furrowed his brows in confusion at her actions. He stared at her as she grinned, talking about his bone structure and 'preserving something unique'. An arty type, perhaps? Maybe that was why she was clutching her camera so hard; it was her passion and in some ways, her livelihood. It made sense.

Despite his mind constructing thoughts articulately, his speech was another story. "I...well...no? I have been told I'm handsome before, but not specifically why. But, that's not important. Why do you think I am something unique to preserve? If you want something like that, why not go to Egypt and look at the pyramids rather than London?" He asked, tilting his head slightly at her. "Do you not find this setting rather dull? It is likely the reason why I feel so at home here; at the moment, I have nothing currently to smile about. What use is there to putting up a joyful facade when I will likely read the paper and see six reports on crime and a fraud from the Bank of England?"

He studied her face a little more.

"I bet you would look rather nice with glasses, a fitted suit, and a very serious look on your face."
 #18226  by Morgan Malone
His response seemed to baffle Morgan, if the furrowing of her brow and the slight wrinkling of her nose were any indication. She tilted her head, giving him a look that seemed to ask if he was serious. Then she shook her head, rather vehemently, as if the energy of her movement would do away with the very notion.

"The pyramids are great and all, but people are so much more fascinating. You can take apart a building piece by piece and understand how it was put together, but a person... You can spend your whole life knowing someone and still learn something new about them every day. That's something nothing else in the world possesses. It's what makes people amazing."

The suggestion that London was dull made her eyebrows arch up, and she looked around them. Then she shrugged and looked back at him, a carefree smile claiming her lips. That was an interesting way to look at things. Then again, she supposed once you got used to something, it was hard to see the beauty in it anymore. She felt that way about her home sometimes, but that was why she tried to find something new to appreciate every day, whether it was new street art or a flower growing in the cracks of the sidewalk.

"I dunno, maybe it's just because I'm not from here, but I find it charming. It's got a sort of old world ambiance that not many places seem to possess anymore. Or, well, not places where I'm from, anyway. And besides, I think there's more magic in this one street than there is in my entire hometown. Sometimes you just have to look at the world differently, give yourself a reason to see something new, something that'll make you smile."

Said somewhat wryly, although she didn't actually look at the amusingly named establishment across the street, she thought the reference was obvious. Especially since she found it unlikely anyone who actually lived here would be unaware of the magical revelation that had been made. After all, multiple people had left tips on her blog, the news was probably rampant in London, right?

Then came an expression of horror. Her? In glasses? And a suit? Her lips twisted up in dismay, and then she actually pictured herself that way. And, unable to help herself, Morgan laughed. An uninhibited, ladylike giggle that seemed almost as fae as the vibrant hue of her hair.

"Oh, man, that's hilarious. Nice comeback, though. I'm pretty sure I'm not even legally allowed to look at a suit, let alone wear one."

Brushing a tear of mirth from her cheek, she let her camera rest against her sternum once again, then looked up at the unknown man with a wide smile. Her eyes sparkled with vitality, amusement lending them a vague golden cast. She loved meeting new people and having off-the-wall conversations with them like this. It made life so much more interesting. On impulse, she offered a hand to him, clearly intending to try the proper, grown-up approach of the timeless handshake, even if she'd never been much of a grownup at all.

"I'm Morgan Malone. Nice to meet you."
 #18269  by Tom Farley
"Tom Farley, Criminal Psychologist." He spoke in response, placing his hand in hers, though it was clearly bigger and rougher, somewhat calloused from long periods of time writing. Thankfully, he no longer had to write with a quill if he didn't want to; he much preferred the more modern pens, but to give himself some kind of childhood memory, he chose expensive fountain pens. Even so, they still left their marks on his skin after long days of reports and brainstorming.

He was silent a moment as he thought about her earlier words regarding pyramids and the interest in humans. He related. Of course he did; humans were far more interesting - though perhaps not for the same reasons. He didn't tend to see a deep beauty in people, it was more of a deeply-rooted evil or underlying Mens Rea to a person's Actus Reus. It was fascinating. Perhaps only slightly more so than the fact that this complete stranger found humans interested in the way they presented themselves.

"More magic in this one street?" He asked, lifting a brow. It took a few seconds, but eventually, a knowing look came across his face and he smiled slightly in response. "I see. And what if there was magic here? What would that mean to you to have traveled all this way to find out your apparent theory to be correct? After all, it's obvious by now that that's why you're here. Why else question a pub with the word 'Cauldron' in it - it couldn't possibly mere coincidence since you have a direct narrative to fit with this trip, don't you?"
 #18306  by Morgan Malone
Her eyes widened a bit when Mister No-Longer-Mysterious told her what he did for a living. Then she snickered. Oh, that was just perfect. His job had him analyzing the brains of criminals. Did he do it to every day normal people, she wondered? If so, he was probably having a real fun time with her. Morgan knew she was abnormal, for a normal, and couldn't resist asking.

"Psychologist, huh? So have you been trying to psychoanalyze me this whole time? More importantly, have you decided I'm hopelessly insane in a non-criminal sort of way?"

She was having too much fun with this. And that fun was only heightened when Tom seemed to finally latch on to her not-so-subtle meaning. Excitement filled her, causing the already energetic girl to bounce eagerly on her toes, clutching her camera in both hands and holding it to her chest lest she accidentally damage it with her eager motion.

"So I'm not gonna lie, I didn't understand that last part, but coming here and realizing that it's just that easy, that I could walk into that building and find people who can do magic - that would be a dream come true for me. I've always believed it's real, and everyone thought I was crazy, and then it turns out I was right!"

All of that came pouring out of her in one very long breath, and she was winded and a bit red in the face by the time she finally finished, meaning Morgan had to take a second to gulp down a few deep breaths before she could speak again. She couldn't seem to stand still, and was fidgeting absently even though she was no longer bouncing.

"I've wanted this so badly for so long that I'm almost afraid to go in there. I just want to know what that world is like."
 #18562  by Tom Farley
Tom lifted his brow significantly, and even as she asked about him and his analysis, he seemed to be continuing to do so. It was almost like a drug at this point; a habit that he just couldn't break whether speaking to new strangers or old friends. He liked to get in people's heads, if not for the sheer fascination of it all.

At her question, he had simply said "We'll see", tapping the side of his nose to indicate how he was keeping any further details a secret. He did want to indulge her, but not at this moment in time; it was too good an opportunity to silently process all of her actions, words, and expressions.

As she spoke further about magic and her apparent excitement making itself evident, Tom had to smirk. Who was this girl? He brought his wrist up, looking at the expensive watch, pursing his lips before glancing to the inn, then back to Morgan.

"I know you're not crazy. A little too energetic for my tastes, but not crazy. Nevertheless, I don't believe you travelled all this way to stand in the street talking to me about your thoughts, and then deciding not to test out your theory." He cleared her throat and then nodded his head to her, signalling for her to follow in the direction of the pub.

"Come on, let's make this trip worth-while, shall we?"
 #18695  by Morgan Malone
Ooh, the mysterious type. His response to her question, which really wasn't much of an answer at all, made the playful American girl wrinkle her nose, and stick her tongue out at him in an impish gesture. But soon the almost constant smile returned to her lips. It seemed she was nearly irrepressible, her persistent optimism and good spirits returning to the fore at all times. It was a wonder she didn't sparkle, really.

She seemed somewhat surprised when he said she wasn't crazy, though it might be hard to decipher, given the fact that she giggled at being called energetic. It was true, and Morgan had no real response to that, other than to shrug her shoulders and gesture with her hands, as though to say, 'Guilty as charged.' She was rather sprightly, she supposed, but at least he hadn't gone so far as other people she'd met and called her something along the lines of.. nauseatingly perky or infuriatingly upbeat.

All relief on that front was immediately cast aside in favor of a wide-eyed disbelief as the way-too-serious, suit-wearing Englishman in front of her suggested they enter the pub. Together. Her jaw dropped slightly, and Morgan looked back and forth between Tom and the Leaky Cauldron a few times, as though trying to decide if this was a trick. Then, she took a hesitant step in the direction of the establishment in question.

"I.. well.. that's.. would it really be okay? I know the magical community decided to abandon their Statute of Secrecy, but.. I can't imagine they'd be okay with someone like me just.. going into a place of theirs. Would they? I got the impression they're not really wild about.. what is it they call us again? Muggles? I'd heard they still don't like us very much."

As she spoke, she took the occasional shuffling, uncertain step closer to the pub, her fingers fiddling anxiously with her camera as she did so. She wanted so desperately to go in there, but she didn't want to alienate anyone. She wanted to immerse herself in magical culture, and pissing off a bunch of witches and wizards wasn't the best way to go about it. Then something occurred to her, and she froze, looking at her newest acquaintance with an undeniably puzzled expression.

"..Wait, are you offering to come with me? Why? Are you..?"

She now felt like an absolute idiot. Had she been talking to an actual wizard this whole time and not even realized it?
 #18702  by Tom Farley
Tom remained silent for a moment, looking over her face as it went through the various expressions - she was certainly animated, that was for sure. But it was also surprisingly entertaining; he would often spend all hours of his days working around sullen men with sunken features, or criminals with a mood stuck on resentment. The women at the prison tended to be a little harder, more reserved than the women he met outside of work, but never this charismatic.

"People will learn to accept each other, but by intentionally segregating ourselves, we aren't helping matters. It's better to make an attempt at being civil rather than assuming the worst will happen." He gave a small shrug, adjusting his cuffs, absent-minded. At her next question, he had to smirk. She wasn't even hiding her thoughts now; she had clearly done all of her research, but never seen anything first hand for a real opinion. At least she was willing to do further work into the investigation.

Looking down at her, he allowed an amused smile to show on his lips. "Yes. I am. This doesn't mean I will become a research project, does it? You already have a photo of me, after all."
 #18773  by Morgan Malone
He was a wizard.

Holy crap! Morgan couldn't remember the last time she felt such an intense mixture of excited and nervous. She'd been talking with a wizard and hadn't even realized it! They were a lot more adept at blending into non-magical life than she'd initially believed, but she supposed it was inevitable, really. But that didn't make her feel any less awkward, and she realized her pale cheeks were turning a rather vivid shade of pink as she shuffled her feet and stammered for a few moments.

"I.. you.. what..."

There were so many words whirling around in her mind, she didn't even know where to start! But her new friend (as she so dubbed him in her mind) unwittingly gave her a reprieve, something to latch onto, which Morgan did with alacrity.

"No! I don't do that sort of thing. I mean I might add your picture to my portfolio or my blog but I'm not going to like.. grill you or anything. I'm not a reporter. I just want to learn more about the world of magic. Which doesn't mean I'm going to go around interrogating people, I just want to explore what I can and see what it's like, and if someone is willing to tell me things unprompted I'll gladly listen."

Sometime during her rambling explanation, she'd managed to shuffle her way across the street, and when she took another step, she was halted by the sudden presence of something against her back. Sending a startled glance upward, she saw the sign of the Leaky Cauldron above her head, which made her whirl around to stare at the door, as if she halfway expected it to come to life and bite her. Then she squared her shoulders, mustering what bravado she possessed, and opened the door to peek inside curiously.
 #18810  by Tom Farley
Tom watched her stuttering and stammering, how her cheeks reddened and how the confidence seemed to dissipate into a nervous excitement. What was with this girl? Why was he wasting his time with her when he had news to read? Although, she was quite an interesting prospect - despite wondering if he would become some sort of project, he also wondered the same about himself researching her. Her personality was so jarring and different to those he usually dealt with, and it only prompted him to follow along across the street, listening to her rabble on. There was something quite alluring about her, in a lees than traditional sense.

"I'm not much of a talker, I'm more of a listener." He smirked, soon opening the door from where she was peaking, revealing the traditional style pub. On the ground floor, it appeared somewhat normal - there were some more unusual items on the menu, but it wasn't exactly swarming with magic. Knowing this, Tom lifted his brow at Morgan. "Even after they tried to integrate magic into society, we still seem to be a little careful. The majority of magic folk reside upstairs, but I'm sure non-magical are welcome there too - we just want to ease people into it, I suppose." He shrugged.

He opened the door fully, nudging her in and shutting it behind them, adjusting his suit lapels before leading the way to the wooden staircase up to the next floor. When they got there, it was very evident this was exactly as Tom said. A broom swept on its own accord in the corner, a tray of glasses followed a waitress as she served patrons, and a wizard had his wand out and was heating up a pumpkin pasty he had left to go cold whilst reading his book.

Tom glanced over at Morgan, a smirk rising to his lips. "Is this what you expected?"
 #18924  by Morgan Malone
"I mean you'd need to be if you're a criminal psychologist. ..That means you guys have prisoners. And prisons. What are those like? How do you keep the inmates inside if they're magical? You guys have, like, magic-suppressing stuff, I assume? How does that work?"

This was said in an excited, inquisitive manner as she followed Tom into the.. disappointingly normal-looking pub. Well that was quite a blow. She was expecting.. well she wasn't sure what she was expecting, exactly, but not this. And perhaps her disappointment was palpable, because the secret was soon revealed, so to speak. Hearing that all the interesting stuff was upstairs, Morgan didn't hesitate to follow him to said steps, peering around his shoulder the whole way.

When they arrived, Morgan exhaled sharply, her eyes going wide. A broom, sweeping on its own. A tray hovering through the air. And--

"Holy cow is that one of those wand things you guys use for your magic? How does it work? Can you use any wand or do you have to pick a special one and use just that one? What kind of magic is he doing?"

Were it possible for a human to vibrate with sheer giddiness, she no doubt would've been doing just that. As it was, she was gripping her camera and resisting the urge to start taking pictures of everything in sight. It was only after all those words came tumbling out of her mouth that Morgan realized Tom had said something, and she turned to blink owlishly up at him for a few moments until she realized what it was he'd said. Or, the gist of it, anyway. Then a beaming grin appeared on her face, and she laughed softly, bouncing on her toes as her elation came to the fore once again.

"I mean, considering I came here with the expectation that I'd have to go nosing around renowned mystical sites until I somehow got lucky enough to stumble on something magical, this is better than anything I could've imagined! But there's so much more I want to know, and see. Like, magical creatures. Fairy tales and stuff. Which ones are real? How do broomsticks fly? Does magic have rules, or can you just do whatever you want to? I could probably spend a lifetime asking every question that popped in my head and still not find out half of what there is to know."
 #18959  by Tom Farley
Tom almost slipped a laugh. Almost. He had to hold back from answering, as he could tell she was going to continue reeling off questions. He was right; she had a lot of enquiries, a lot to ask, a lot to know, a lot to wonder. He had to hand it to her, she wanted to learn as much as she could whilst she was here. She didn't want to just discover magic and then write a bunch of nonsense - and now that she knew he was a wizard himself, why ask anyone else? Perhaps she trusted him so soon?

He led the way to a table in the corner, pulling out a chair for her and seating himself down. He placed the table's leaflet of available food and drinks in front of her to pick from, and then sat back, taking a breath. He would need to take a moment to address the questions; they came in quick succession out of excitement. One step at a time, he supposed. He cleared his throat.

"I believe he's doing minor heating charm. Perhaps the hot-steam charm...or water boiling. They're both similar and do the same job." He shrugged. "But yes. Every wizard and witch receives their first wand at the age of eleven before they go to school. We have a specific school that teaches magic, and under the age of eighteen, it's the only place children can practice. Well, that is arguable - I know a few that used to practice a simple Lumos charm...er...a spell that emits light, under their covers in their bedrooms to read books after bed time. But I suppose it depends on the severity of the offense."

He cleared his throat again, crossing his leg over the other at the knee, pulling out the wand tucked in his sleeve. It was dark, almost black with a neat sheen, sleek in design with little engravings at the hilt.

"One step at a time. This is my wand. I have had the same one since I was a child; I was extremely careful with it, and despite how long I've had it, I was meticulous enough with the upkeep not to have too much damage over time. Each wand is crafted with a personality in mind. This applies to the wood used, the flexibility, length, and the core. Mine is an Ebony, 13 1/4", rigid, with a Dragon Heartstring. When you go to get a wand, the have to try a few, and then the wand will choose you. In a way it is sentient, but in other ways, not at all - wands will fit the user depending on their personality, magical capability, sometimes height, and morals. But the magic knows - there's some kind of science behind it but it's a bit complicated."

He held it out to her, insisting she hold it.

"It should be okay as long as you don't swing it around. Wands, depending on the user's ability, can cast a range of spells. They are used to defend against other spells and beasts, used to brew potions, grow plants, charm inanimate objects, and sometimes tell the future. There are 3 forbidden curses; the Imperious - which controls the victim, the Cruciatus - which causes intense pain, and the killing curse...which is evident by the title. My job is sometimes to figure out why people use these curses.
 #18972  by Morgan Malone
Following Tom to the table he chose, Morgan offered him a distracted 'Thank you' paired with a quick smile, before sinking down onto the item. Sliding her bag off her shoulder, she quickly put the lens cap on her camera and nestled it away inside the bag's confines, before tucking it securely between her feet.

Then her elbows propped on the table, and her chin descended to rest in her upturned palms, those hazel eyes watching him intently while he answered her questions. He was a very good sport to do so, she could admit, and she'd have to find out a way to thank him later. Her expressive features made it clear that she was absorbing everything he said with uninhibited fascination, amusement and wonder and curiosity and so many other emotions flashing across her face with every new thing she learned.

The last thing she expected was to be allowed to hold his wand. Her eyes widened to the point where they seemed fit to fall out of her head, and she reached out to take the item almost reverently, feeling so very honored to be allowed to touch something that had such obvious importance. For the first time, her eyes left his face, instead moving to join her eyes in exploring every inch of the wand, admiring the craftsmanship and the etchings in the handle. She was very careful in handing it back, not wanting to risk accidentally setting it off somehow, and looked up at him once more.

"You said.. dragon heartstring. So.. dragons are real? Do they really eat people and hoard treasure and stuff? How have they been kept secret from the rest of the world for so long? What other creatures are real? Do you--"

Abruptly, she cut herself off. God, he must think she was just the most irritating person ever, asking question after question. She was just so... She couldn't even think of the word for it. This had been her life's biggest wish, and it was just.. coming true. So easily. She was waiting for the other shoe to drop. Maybe she wasn't allowed to know all this and he was telling her just to edit her memory later? Like they'd done with her mom? She fidgeted, fingers twisting together in her lap, and eyed him somewhat anxiously.

"I'm sorry. I'm asking too many questions, aren't I? It's just so.. amazing. I want to know everything."