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SUMMER 2021

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» 01 MAY 2021 || WEEP, LITTLE LION MAN, TAG: Ravensby
Rowan Drake
 Posted: Nov 25 2017, 11:28 AM
QUOTE     
Drakky is Offline
375
posts
51 years old

Senior Auror

London
Ministry


Rowan clutched his coffee nervously, staring into the billowing steam that rose into the cold mid-morning air and wishing he was anywhere but here. It had to be done, of course - he was going frankly mad cooped up inside the flat with nothing to do and nowhere to go. When Castor was there, it was different; he was lost then, absorbed in discovering what made him smile and what he found funny and how to coax him to that elusive low chuckle Rowan had taken such a shine to on their first morning. But Castor came to him only infrequently - at least, it felt like years between each visit - and he so rarely stayed long. Two or three times, he’d stayed the night, and then Rowan would hate the morning more than ever for the sweet kisses and measured murmurs it stole from him. He was trying so very hard not to think about how impermanent they must be - Castor was married, running for Minister, a pureblood...it was weeks, perhaps only days before he would realise his folly and turn to go back to his wife and his pristine life. Each time he left, Rowan wondered whether it would be the last; whether the next he heard would be a letter, calm and elegantly phrased, outlining in flawless logic why they could not possibly be.

He had to return to work, to rebuild his defences in preparation for the inevitable - and to do that, he needed Vanya Ravensby. This would not be the first time they’d spoken since that fateful day in mid-May; since then, she’d told him what she expected of him and what he would be required to do before she would return him to his responsibilities. It wasn’t really very much - a plan of action, she’d said, with specific reference to how he expected to improve in future. There was mention of a trace, of supervision on missions...all things which were reasonable and would take minimal effort on his part. But effort had never been the problem; Rowan would have walked halfway across the world if it meant he could have his badge back, and if only Ravensby would stop looking at him like he’d suddenly turned into a particularly distasteful invertebrate - what she asked of him, in the end, was to give up his dignity.

Not that he’d had much of that to begin with. He’d been a Senior Auror for longer than he could count, an advancement bestowed upon him purely on the basis of years of experience. Head Auror had gone to Harry, who was younger than him, and Ravensby was practically immortal and would probably be Head of the DMLE until the world turned to ash. So he’d never received a promotion on merit, not really, and how could he blame them? After all…what merit? It seemed like every other week, someone was busy trying to get him out of trouble. He supposed he was lucky they had such a shortage of Aurors, or Ravensby would have been gnawing at the bit to get rid of him for good.

Instead, here he was, action plan at the ready like a trainee of twenty-odd years (and written on a crumpled up piece of parchment stuffed into his inside pocket, just like when he’d been a trainee of twenty-odd years). There wasn’t much he could do about the wolf - she was dead, he’d killed her, and that was all there was to it - but he’d taken the opportunity to think about a few improvements he should probably implement on a wider scale. Keeping Ravensby informed of everything, for example, sounded like a wise move, as did not trying to take on malevolent creatures of darkness all on his own like a particularly idiotic white knight.

There was one other thing in his inside pocket, just behind the parchment - the card she’d left him at the beginning of his madness, so many months ago. He’d recognised it immediately, of course, but the significance of it had so far eluded him - and he had thought about it, at length and frequently. There was a message there, somewhere, because Ravensby did nothing without purpose, but for the life of him he couldn’t figure it out. Asking her was a bit of a tall order - she was just as likely to dismember him and chew on his bones as she was to answer - but there really was nothing else for it. Besides, how much angrier at him could she get? There would probably never be a better time.

He’d arrived at the teashop an hour or so early, to show her he was committed to improvement and also to mentally prepare himself for the ordeal of an early-morning Ravensby (even mid-afternoon Ravensby tended to be a bit much for him most of the time). In what seemed like no time at all, however, he spotted her advancing towards him: small and intense in that way she had, so tightly focused that he half-expected the air around her to waver like a mirage. He stood as she approached and pulled out the chair opposite him, then waited for her to sit before reclaiming his own seat. “Um…” he paused to clear his throat, unsure of how to begin. “I uh...shall I get you a coffee? Or something.

@Cassandra

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Vanya Ravensby
 Posted: Dec 2 2017, 02:12 AM
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68 years old

Minister for Magic

Ministry of Magic
Ministry


She could not decide if she wanted to make Rowan Drake fear for his life at the sight of her, or weep at the sight of him. Vanya pulled her jacket around herself, carrying herself taller than she was as she moved down the street toward the tea shop she had agreed to meet her errant Auror in. She was a good ten minutes early, which was her habit. Mornings had always been much easier for Vanya than the sleepy evening, especially when they were cold and blustery from the remnants of winter trying to hold on a little longer through spring. This morning would not be easy. She hated that she had to suspend Rowan, but more than that she hated that suspension was the gentlest of any of the options she might have pursued to discipline him. In reality, she should be terminating him for his behavior over the past couple of months, but there were a number of things she told herself prevented her from doing so: his skill, his experience, her simple lack of breathing humans in the DMLE…and her affection for him. Sometimes, she still tried to lie to herself about that affection, knowing that each one of his failures was on her shoulders. It was a hard thing to accept about herself, but she had taught him, she had trained him, she had guided him through the years. His missteps were, ultimately, her shame.

Pushing through the door of the tea shop, she glanced around the place before she spotted him. Fixing him with a tight-jawed stare of quiet intensity, she strode toward him. With surprising politeness considering their last few conversations, Rowan had stepped up to pull out her chair for her, and Vanya's expression softened the barest fraction. She had not expected him to be anything but surly and defiant over the discipline he had received, as he had been in her office in the past. They'd had shouting matches to mark every year of his employment, and she hadn't always had an office to close them away in while they'd occurred. "Pulling my chair out for me, Drake?" she asked, the slight raise of her eyebrow marking something that might have been amusement, might have been affection. "You're getting soft in your old age." she teased.

She took the offered seat, then settled in straight backed and returned to look him in the eyes once again. "I do need a coffee, but I'll get it myself, and yours as well...in a moment. You have an action plan to propose to me, I believe?" She glanced down toward the table, where there was exactly no evidence of parchment detailing a plan for him to return to productivity. Vanya frowned. "I should hope so, anyway. Do you need a moment to gather yourself, Drake? Do so. Here."

Reaching into her jacket, she retrieved some sickles to pass toward him across the table. "Get us some coffees, think about what you want to say to me to gloss over these past few months of fuckery, and then come back here. Don't argue about the coin, I'm still on active payroll."

Vanya paused, instinct and the sharp feeling between her shoulders telling her there was something else in Rowan's eyes as well, some uncertainty that he was struggling with that seemed entirely foreign to the man she knew. She leaned forward slightly, resting on her elbows and crossing her arms before her. "And whatever it is that's making you jittery behind the eyes there, consider saying so before you start in with the plan, will you?"

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Rowan Drake
 Posted: Dec 6 2017, 10:10 PM
QUOTE     
Drakky is Offline
375
posts
51 years old

Senior Auror

London
Ministry


It was a singular experience to feel like a misbehaving toddler in one’s old age; one which Rowan still had with alarming regularity, normally whenever he came into contact with Vanya Ravensby. She really was not that much older than him – just enough to have been his mother, perhaps, albeit a young one. Mother. Immediately, the thought conjured images of warmer times at St Mungo’s (although he hadn’t considered them particularly warm back then); days when he’d been younger and somehow stupider, and she’d been kind and as yet not quite so exasperated with him. If he hadn’t become an Auror, perhaps it could have lasted; after all, it was his conduct as her subordinate which had so exhausted her – if he’d remained just the boy she visited at the hospital, things might have been different.

But he hadn’t, and they weren’t, and all he could do was keep moving. She hadn’t yet decided to fire him outright, which was something; whether this was a result of the Department’s lack of personnel or some long-buried hint of maternal sympathy was of no interest to him – he was still here, and that was all that mattered. Besides, what was the point of hoping at the age of fifty-one? I should be over this by now. And yet...the card. Unconsciously he reached up to pat his jacket just over the inside pocket, reassuring himself that it was still precisely where he’d left it. There had to be some mundane explanation for it – she meant to indicate how he was acting like a child, perhaps. Even as the thought crossed his mind, however, Rowan knew it was ridiculous. In the end, he was too curious for his own good; there was nothing else for it - sooner or later, he would have to ask her.

His eyebrows lifted in surprise at the appearance of coins with which to buy coffee, as if he were a boy of ten being sent to the shops to restock his mother’s larder. “Dear Merlin, Vanya, I should hope it’s not going to be that long a suspension. What are you thinking, early retirement?” Nevertheless, he scooped the sickles up and pushed his chair back to stand. “Your wish is my command...and it should be illegal to refuse free coffee. Next one’s on me, right?” With that, he made good his escape towards the bar, rolling the money around contemplatively between his fingers. This was shaping up to be a little different to what he’d expected, but if Ravensby had woken up on the right side of the bed that morning he wasn’t about to complain.

He returned in due time bearing two coffees and change, which he set on the table in front of her before sitting back down. “I haven’t forgotten how you take it, I hope? It’s been so long since I’ve been into the Department...” he shot her a quick grin just in case she thought he was being serious, then dug into his inside pocket to retrieve the crumpled parchment. “As it happens, I do have an action plan. Here...” he smoothed it out between them (as best he could, given how long it had been scrunched up in there) and pushed it towards her. “Uhh...keeping you updated on things, not running off into very clear and obvious danger, that sort of thing. It’s in...sections...” his finger danced across the parchment, pointing out the various subtitles. “...according to...well, it’s in sections anyway. Section one: behaviour in office, section two: behaviour in the field, section three: personal qualities, that sort of thing. Drawing on my interview days...never thought I’d have to be doing this again.” His brow furrowed for a fleeting moment, the briefest sign of his dissatisfaction with the entire situation. The card hung heavy in his pocket still, but the time was not quite right even if she had picked up on something. “Yes, there was something else, but...this first, I think. To make sure we get it settled.

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Vanya Ravensby
 Posted: Dec 16 2017, 12:08 AM
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90
posts
68 years old

Minister for Magic

Ministry of Magic
Ministry


Only with incredible rarity did the name Vanya leave Rowan Drake's mouth when he addressed her, and it was at once a relief and an irritation to hear. That he still believed she had some heart to her was comforting, but it was entirely possible he had meant to call her back to her days as a young Auror. If he had meant to remind her of her many mistakes, he had succeeded. Vanya could hardly consider her time at the DMLE at all without a list of her wrongs she had done him and the rest of hers, as long as he was tall. Still, some vain part of her almost heard it with the reverence that Rowan had spoken her name when he was a child. Then, it had sounded an awful lot like mother.

She glanced upward at the younger man, expression flat. "I should hope it isn't so long, but that's at least in part up to you. As far as my retirement is concerned, we'll have to see if I'm chosen for Minister, won't we?" Safe as they were in Diagon Alley, Vanya had no qualms stating her intentions aloud in front of Rowan. Anyone who sat within earshot in this little cafe and still thought they should cause trouble with two old Aurors would be sorry for it. "The next one's on you, certainly." she agreed, distracted somewhat by the ease with which she still considered him Auror. Auror came naturally to Rowan, and how could she fire a man like that? How could she keep him, after his misdeeds? The situation was impossible enough to promise her another mistake for her list no matter which way she went.

When he returned, Vanya pocketed her coins and raised an eyebrow in faint amusement as he teased her about her coffee. "Darker and sweeter than even I manage to be. You've got the coffee right, Rowan. What the hell happened to your--"

A wave of affection came over her at the rumpled parchment and his inability to write a proper document ever and Vanya placed a hand over her eyes to hide it and the small smile that threatened at her lips and eyes. "I'd rather you didn't have to do it again, to be honest. Let me have a look at that," she reached a hand out for the paper, once again steadying her eyes on Rowan's face. He seemed perhaps a little nervous, but she had never known him to experience nerves before--not even when he should have. Vanya shook her head, and lowered her voice. She was not innocent of the Unforgivables herself. During Crouch's DMLE, they had been encouraged to use them against the Death Eaters, and she had cast one on Edward herself, the day that she caught him the second time. What leg did she have to stand on?

"This is all important, of course, and you will have supervision on your missions until such time as I feel you can be allowed decisions on behalf of the department unsupervised again, but what we truly need to speak about is the line." Vanya leaned back in her chair, collecting her cup of coffee and taking a cautious sip to test its heat. He knew her better than he gave himself credit for, and better than he allowed himself to trust was truth. "It's indistinct, wavering, but it's there. There's a point when we become no better than those we hunt, and each one of us has to choose to what extent we will define that line before we consider it crossed. This…" she reached for her wand, casting a quick charm to ensure them conversational privacy. "...is exactly the sort of conversation we need to have before I can put lives in your hands again, Rowan. Where is your line, and what defines it?"

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Rowan Drake
 Posted: Dec 20 2017, 12:56 PM
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375
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51 years old

Senior Auror

London
Ministry


Ah yes, Minister. That fiasco.” His voice was dry, tinged with the slightest hint of exasperation. Of course, he’d known that the Wizengamot situation would have to change; he’d known it could not be permanent, that Britain deserved better. But did they have to be the ones to change it, Castor and Vanya? THe danger they’d put themselves in...it was unthinkable. No matter who won, Rowan would lose; he found himself hoping the Wizengamot would call the entire thing off and implement a proper dictatorship. At least that way, when the people finally rose up it would be him on the front line, not his boyfriend and not his…boss. He pursed his lips, dissatisfied. What an inadequate word. But it was the only word, wasn’t it? And therefore it would have to do. “You realise, I hope, that the survival rate for Ministers is frankly shocking? I wonder if you recall that our last one was assassinated? This is unwise.” It was also necessary, but he refused to admit to that; instead, he scowled down at his coffee, feeling once more the petulant child being told his mother was going to have to spend some time away.

She was having some sort of reaction to his parchment. Rowan shifted uncomfortably, glancing off to the side. “I, er...I wrote it a while ago, I mean...it may have gotten a little...bent?” Things were not off to a very good start, but it was the content that counted, wasn’t it? Assuming, of course, that she could read his handwriting, which was by no means a given thing; he’d always had a sort of lopsided scrawl, as though someone had dipped an entire colony of drunken ants into ink and set them loose on parchment. Merlin knew how many reports she’d sent right back to his intray on the grounds that they were ‘illegible, Drake’. He had to admit, embarrassing though it was, that sometimes even he couldn’t read what he’d written...especially when he’d put something together in a hurry or had had a dragon lady breathing down his neck about it.

Supervision,” he repeated, toneless, trying to react as little as humanly possible. So that hadn’t been just an empty threat - it was difficult to tell with her, sometimes. “And how long might that be, approximately?” Asking questions was stupid and he knew it, especially when he was on such tenuous ground, but being followed around on missions at the age of fifty-one was only just about at the limit of what he could bear. “And...hang on a minute. Is anyone even senior enough for that? Are you sending Harry with me?” Dear Merlin, if he was to be supervised by one of the upstarts he’d actually trained he might just as well take a trip down to the Veil and get it over and done with. Take me out back and shoot me, I’d rather that.

Ravensby was getting philosophical, which necessitated a rather large gulp of coffee - Rowan had never been very good with those sorts of conversations. “I don’t...how am I supposed to answer that? You know where my line is. You know what happened.” Was she just asking him to rehash that entire chain of events? There was nothing Rowan wouldn’t do to protect what he’d established to be right. Defending Ash had been right and the wolf had been evil, so he’d gone where it was necessary to go. As long as he could examine a given situation in those terms, the line was clear. And yet...the boy. That had been a little less so. He was part of the mess by his own hand, but had played no part in Rowan’s quarrel. That...perhaps that was the line. That, at least, was the only thing he truly regretted. That was also one of the only things she did not know.

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Vanya Ravensby
 Posted: Dec 27 2017, 10:47 PM
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68 years old

Minister for Magic

Ministry of Magic
Ministry


"The fiasco is that the Wizengamot has prevented a proper election for such an extended period of time. We should have had a Minister quite a while ago, Rowan, and you know it. Merlin's beard, who else really is there?" She shook her head, a dissatisfied snort following his insistence that the decision she had made was unwise. "I've a better chance at surviving the perils of being Minister than most others, or I wouldn't have aged myself out of Auror the way I have. Watch it, or you'll be responsible for a small handful of your very own horklump-brained adult toddlers someday." Vanya raised her coffee to her lips, taking a deep drink of it while watching this errant almost-son of hers in his most obvious disapproval. She sighed. "There's nothing to be done about it but my very best." Why Rowan might have cared beyond any inconvenience he would experience at losing someone who had compromised her own principles to keep him employed, lately, was beyond her. Once, she thought, he might have cared for her like a mother--or at least an elder sister. That time was gone, or else surely he would have considered the position he had put her in more carefully than he had. Of course Rowan had never been prone to careful consideration, but this werewolf hunt had been unparalleled recklessness.

Despite all that, she could not help but feel endeared to the stupid boy before her with his rumpled parchment. "Almost illegible, Drake." she murmured, finger curling like a talon to guide her eyes as she scanned the lines of the parchment. As expected, he had outlined at least the bare necessities of what he would need to return to work, plus a few other things she had not brought to the front of her mind but would happily include on his suggestion. He was not pleased with her requirement of supervision, and she had not expected him to be. A hint of a smile twitched at the corner of her lips, and she glanced up from the parchment to regard him with level eyes.

"Oh certainly not Potter, no. His injuries from Bulgaria would make that an even poorer choice than the one I'm forced to make now. I will be supervising you. No balking; I trained you, it's my responsibility to do better. You can do your best imitation of a fish gasping for water if you like, it will not change my mind." She folded her hands in front of her to watch him then; that much coffee at once was not likely to do anything to soothe the nerves she might have stirred up with her most recent declaration. In order to assure that she was field ready once again, Vanya had even re-written her will, sorting through everything she held dear to make sure that there was something for Rowan, for Malcolm and his (perhaps, someday, their) family.

Vanya shot him a flat look over her coffee. "I know what happened. If you draw the line at Unforgivable Curses without authorization at an already dying target you had been known to obsessively stalk past all points of reason, then you will need to reevaluate that line and shape it into something more befitting of an Auror. This is not a comfortable conversation for you, Rowan, I know that." She took another deep sip of her coffee. Where had she failed him? How had he ended up more like her than she ever wanted? If she could save him from the responsibility of innocent lives on his hands while he was still painting them with the guilty, she would. There was no reason for him to have to experience something like Elizabeth. "Tough shit. We're having it."

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Rowan Drake
 Posted: Dec 30 2017, 06:42 PM
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51 years old

Senior Auror

London
Ministry


Who else is there? I don’t care! It didn’t have to be you, or h-” he stopped abruptly, suddenly all too aware that concern for Castor’s wellbeing would look strange at best, suspicious at worst. When he spoke again, it was in a significantly calmer tone of voice. “Now is the worst time, and you know it. We cannot replace you in the DMLE. Who’s going to step up, Harry? He’s been fucked since Bulgaria, and I’m…Go on, Rowan, what are you?...unreliable.” There was an understatement if ever he’d heard one. “Unreliable and on leave.” He scowled down at his coffee, hands drawing tight around the mug’s warmth.Not once over the past year had he felt in control of anything, but this...this was terrifying. He’d lingered for too long in the shadows; the world was moving on and he was helpless to stop it, and helpless to protect them.

Better than usual, I suppose,” he muttered to his coffee in response to her assessment of the parchment. And then she continued, and Rowan very nearly choked; after some aggrieved coughing, he managed to clear his airways enough to glare at her and sputter in protest. “You? In the field? You don’t-...I can’t-...Vanya...” it was hopeless: words failed him. He threw his arms up in disgust, coffee utterly abandoned for the moment - there were so many things wrong with that decision, where was he supposed to start? “I hope you’ll be putting me on kiddie missions, because with all due respect you’re approximately six hundred years old and...and running for Ministe-...Vanya have you developed a death wish? Why are you so determined to have me die of a nervous breakdown? And if you are going to give me kiddie missions, fuck you very much. Although that’s probably a wise decision. Still, I don’t like it. I don’t like anything about this.” It had all gone quite pear-shaped - he hadn’t exploded at her like this in a good few months now, and while it was sort of therapeutic he was also fairly certain she’d make him pay. For the bad language, if for nothing else.

Okay, okay.” If it might distract her from his failings - even temporarily - he would have her bloody conversation. “I don’t-...forgive me, but I see nothing wrong with that line. Let me explain.” Brow creased in a frown and fingers interlaced - it was time to be logical. “In killing her, authorisation or no, I see no moral weakness. She was a threat and she had to be eliminated for the good of the nation. In the...um…obsessive stalking, as you put it...that is-...that was a mistake. I lost...I don’t know. I got lost. I know I can’t get lost. An Auror can’t...get lost.” Aurors did not terrorise. Aurors did not tongue tie. “I will try-...I won’t-...that was the last time. That that’s going...to happen.

He stared into the depths of his coffee for a moment longer, thinking. Was now really the time to bring this up? And yet...if not now, when? While she was yelling at him on a mission to rescue some kid’s cat? Slowly, his fingers wandered up to his lapel and slipped beneath it, searching for his inside pocket. “There is...one more thing. Why did you-...uh. This.” He placed the card flat on the table between them, eyes fixed on the cartoonish lines and garish colours his thirteen-year-old self had evidently thought to be the height of artistic taste. “I remember this. Did you-...Ash said you left it...for me? In St Mungo’s. Um.Yes, Rowan, remind her that you ended up in hospital due to having the intelligence of a Blast-Ended Skrewt.I don’t-...I didn’t understand...why?

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Vanya Ravensby
 Posted: Jan 7 2018, 12:21 AM
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68 years old

Minister for Magic

Ministry of Magic
Ministry


A slight raise of Vanya's brow was the only indicator that she might have caught onto Rowan's slip. It didn't have to be her or who? Him or Hingely? Considering Hingely had all the moral fibre of a troll, the second seemed unlikely, but she had no time or interest in delving into whatever personal or professional relationship might have been between Rowan and Castor Black. She shook her head. "Of course not. I'm a difficult act to follow, but someone is going to have to attempt it. There's you and there's Harry, Rowan. I expect you both to be ready, capable, and reliable should I find myself elected Queen of Shit Mountain. We're here to rectify conditions one through three for you, aren't we? So let's have at it."

She nearly threatened a smile at Rowan's choking over her declaration of fieldwork to watch over him, but shot him a warning look over the top of her coffee when he started suggesting she'd be better suited to a dusty crypt. "Six hundred, excuse you, Drake. Would you like a duel after your coffee so you can eat your words for breakfast? If I did have a death wish, I'd apparently be showing up for it several centuries late. You can rest assured I'm simply that capable. Additionally, watch your fucking mouth before I Scourgify it." Vanya arched a brow, a sharp punctuation to her threat. She had half a mind to levitate the salt into his coffee, except that she had a great respect for halfway decent coffee and would not dare defile it.

At the very least, he relented to the conversation she insisted upon having--and she would have it, before she allowed him to work for her again. "The stalking was a mistake and I need you to analyze why you got lost as you put it and take steps to prevent it from happening again. As for her death…" She sighed, running her thumb along the rim of her coffee cup. "We are sometimes executioners. Occasionally, our work calls for deadly force. That was not what you did. Unforgivable Curses require a great amount of hatred and wicked intention to cast--I know this because I worked through an era that authorized them briefly for Aurors, and I cast them. There are other curses that will kill, and other curses that will harm. Use them. Unforgivables are not authorized in my Department now, nor will they ever be. At bloody six hundred I'm far too old to be a radical in my methods, Rowan. No one named them the Occasionally Acceptable curses, so strike them immediately from your repertoire. If you can't do your job without them, you can't do your job."

She leaned back in her chair, steady-eyed as she watched him promise, however haltingly, that it would not happen again. There was no way she could express how dearly she hoped not, and so she nodded her acceptance. This, at least, was a beginning.

It was only when he placed the card she had left him during the time he was injured that she blinked, a moment of genuine surprise capturing her attention before she once again reined her gaze in sharp and steady. Her mouth tightened, and she struggled with her words, staring at him for a long moment of silence that felt weighty enough to crush her old bones. The words stuck in her chest, and every fibre of her being protested against them. Do not tell him. You will condemn him with your care. Malcolm would have told her it was an absurd notion, and that no one would perish any sooner simply for earning Vanya's love.

Still, she could not face him. Turning her head to the side, Vanya directed her vision barely focused toward the folk on the street. They moved as if slowed, waiting for her to speak words that were almost forty years too late. "I left it because you are like a son to me. I nearly asked to adopt you from Mungo's, but my life was very dangerous, and I didn't want you to glamorize being an Auror because I thought it would get you murdered and I wouldn't be able to bear-- Shit." The last was uttered almost a hiss, a frustrated admission of fault. "I shouldn't have said anything. Pack up and get ready for the Obliviators, you great gormless ginger. No one can know there's a crack in the ice." She pressed her lips into a thin line; even the joke was painful.

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Rowan Drake
 Posted: Jan 9 2018, 05:41 PM
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Drakky is Offline
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51 years old

Senior Auror

London
Ministry


How on earth had they gotten to this place? To him arguing with the Head of the DMLE over her batshit crazy decision to run for the most dangerous job in the country? To coffees and action plans and forty-year-old Mother’s Day cards? I turn my back for one month and the world is unrecognizable. It struck Rowan - not for the first time - that maybe it was not the world that was moving faster, but him that couldn’t keep up. He was fifty-one, after all, it was only to be expected; perhaps he should start to consider slowing down, asking for fewer missions, really getting his teeth into all that fun paperwork. Eurgh. No chance in hell. For as long as his legs would carry him he would insist they take him into the field on missions, and when they failed he’d drag himself about a bit by the arms. Nothing would stop him, not when the alternative was an empty flat and piles of reports.

Nothing, it seemed, would stop Ravensby either, not when she was so intent upon shadowing his every move. Not that he could really complain - by rights he should have been out of the Auror Office the second she heard about the Killing Curse. The leniency she had shown in doling out what amounted to a slap on the wrist was extraordinary and extravagant, and if the Wizengamot got wind of the whole sorry situation it would be both of their heads on the block. See what you’ve done to her. She’d brought it all upon herself as he’d feared she would; he hadn’t told her so as not to make her complicit, and now she was complicit either way. Slowly, he swirled the coffee around in his mug, eyeing her with jaw set in defiance. “I wouldn’t mind a duel...and St Mungo’s is close by for when your old bones inevitably give out.” In for a penny, in for a pound - and she probably wasn’t going to dismember him after all the trouble she’d taken just to keep him on the force.

Everything she said made sense, of course, and he knew it. She was right. She was always right, and the more right she was the more uncomfortable it made him. Even now, he fidgeted, flicking the handle of his mug and shifting just barely in his seat, just enough to keep from sitting still. All of this, and she didn’t even know about the Cruciatus. Could he bear telling her? A Killing Curse was worse, supposedly, but everything was so tense right now and they were both balanced on a knife edge - it could be the last straw, and the last thing he wanted here at the end was to finally piss her off beyond any hope of redemption. Secrets, secrets, so many secrets. It would be just one secret, just one more, just for a while. No-one had seen the Cruciatus other than the shadows of the deep places beneath the earth; no-one would report him, not on this. If he could keep his mouth shut, he could keep her safe from this one little thing. “I can do my job.” Really, did he have any other choice?

Even scattered and distracted as he was, Rowan could not have missed the flicker in her gaze when the card came into question; this, then, was something of importance. He leaned forward almost imperceptibly, attention suddenly razor-sharp and clear and focused entirely on her. In that silence they stared at each other, gazes locked over a bright, happy piece of paper from bright, happy times which were long since past, but Rowan could not fathom why - what had her intentions been? What was it about this card that was so momentous? Why had she left it for him and what message had she hoped to convey? Whatever it was, he thought it a little strange - if flattering - that she’d momentarily forgotten how exceedingly thick he could be when it came to these hidden messages and read-between-the-lines things. Rowan was a lion, not a snake, and he dealt in absolutes and statements of fact.

When she turned away, he almost started to panic. What on earth was so terrible that Vanya Ravensby couldn’t look him in the eye for it? Rowan was just about to enquire after her state of health (at the age of six hundred, one or two medical scares were only to be expected) when she finally started talking, and he shut up right quick to listen. ‘Like a son to me,’ she said, when he’d given up on hearing anything like that close to two decades ago; ‘I nearly asked to adopt you’ she said, and Rowan could have kissed someone or broken their nose just the same because he’d so very badly wanted her to and it seemed so futile now that she hadn’t, when he’d ended up an Auror just to follow where she went.

All things considered, Rowan thought he handled what was frankly an earth-shattering revelation with remarkable serenity. There was a moment’s silence as he processed every word, fitting them together to form the most extraordinary sentences and parsing their meaning, just to make sure he’d heard what he thought he’d heard. “Hmm. This is yours, then.” Moving only deliberately, he slid the card towards her. “You deserved it then and now. However much a person can deserve that sort of artistic ghastliness.” He made a face at the bright colours - thirteen-year-olds weren’t wonderful at aesthetic coordination, for the most part, but he’d had strange tastes even then. After just a few more seconds of quiet thought, he stood and leaned over the small table, palms planted firmly against the wood, to press a quick, almost shy kiss to her (papery, six-hundred-year-old) forehead. It was a little bit like kissing a dragon in that he half-expected her to snap his neck clean in two, but he did manage to regain his seat without fatal incident, which was a small mercy. Once there, he returned to sipping serenely at his coffee, eyebrow raised at her in enquiry. “What crack?

@Cassandra

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Vanya Ravensby
 Posted: Jan 16 2018, 12:35 AM
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Cassandra is Offline
90
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68 years old

Minister for Magic

Ministry of Magic
Ministry


Vanya barely stifled a laugh at the set of his jaw and his insistence that she would land in Mungo's as a consequence of dueling with him. It would have been fairly humorless, as angry with him as she had every right to be, but at least he would think her less some old stone gargoyle. Sometimes she wondered if he viewed her this way, solid and emotionless and set to watch grimly over him for any mistake he could make. She would rather not have had to watch him at all, except that he had made it necessary. "Ask them how many times they've seen me in a bed at Mungo's, and then count your own, Drake. I think you had better walk back some of that confidence." She ought to smack him for--any number of things, really, but he had called her bluff, and she would soon explain exactly why she had gone to such great lengths to protect him. It hardly mattered if he appreciated it or not; that was not why a mother acted to defend her children. He wasn't hers, not truly, but that didn't matter either. As long as he lived, she would mother him in the deepest recesses of her heart, where even she was often afraid to explore.

She was stone still while he fidgeted, her eyes taking note of the flick at his mug and the shift in his posture. Even after so many years, her instincts as an Auror had not left her. Her confidence in her security as a potential Minister was not unshakable, but she would be undoubtedly better equipped to survive it than Hingely or Black. Which one was important to him? An insidious thought worked its way through her mind, and Vanya wondered if she was responsible for teaching him how to hold so very many secrets. "I'm glad to hear it." It was stated simply; she was glad, but she had no other choice than to commit to his recovery. She had made too many allowances to back out now, and regrettably, her heart would not allow it even to save her job. There had been times over the last few months where she had wondered if it might not be better to withdraw from candidacy; this was corruption, was it not? If not, where was her line?

Her words hung between them for a moment, until she was once again surprised almost to tears by how graciously they were accepted. Malcolm accepted her love gracefully, and so too did Rowan, and what was left in the wake of such an acceptance was such relief that Vanya felt immediately lighter. Her shoulders had been pressed downward for decades, and while there would be time for her regret over not offering her heart to them sooner, it was not now. Her burn-scarred hand accepted the card, and for a second, her free hand flitted up to her eyelash to hurry away a flicker of emotion before it had time to land. "It's beautiful now as it was then, or I wouldn't have kept it next to Jasper. Self-deprecation is hardly your style, Rowan."

He leaned over the table then, and Vanya glanced up, then quickly away again. A small, genuine smile turned up at her mouth for the kiss he planted on her forehead. "Exactly." she agreed. What crack indeed? Her forehead almost burned with the impression he had left behind, and at once she thought of Jasper and of Mungo's, where she had first encountered this precocious little boy. Her eyes closed.

"Do better, Rowan. I am sorry for my failures where you were concerned, and you're right. I am old. I need you to do better, so that there's someone to pick this all up when I have to set it down. If you break my heart again, I'll be forced to clog you in the Whitehall toilets that lead to the Atrium, as is proper for shit behavior. I am hard on you especially because I believe in you, and because I love you. I'm asking you then to please not disappoint me." She picked up her coffee, with one last, soft question before she took a sip. "Do you understand?"

@Drakky
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Rowan Drake
 Posted: Jan 17 2018, 04:26 PM
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Drakky is Offline
375
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51 years old

Senior Auror

London
Ministry


I have as high an opinion of myself as any man, Vanya - some may argue even higher than most - but I find I cannot argue in favour of that abomination.” He gestured towards the card, now in her possession, the hint of a grin dancing about his lips. “There’s a reason I never pursued fine art.” In truth, Rowan might have possessed a shred of artistic talent had he had any patience for it; after all, all the diagrams he drew for his trainee classes were alright, and he’d not done badly reproducing the barrier map during those Task Force sessions back in February. He just could not sit still long enough to draw anything for the sake of having drawn it - it was a wonder he’d produced that card at all at the energetic age of thirteen.

Talk of the card itself seemed a distraction from the larger issue, and in fact Rowan barely knew what he was saying; filler words, awkward sentences designed to occupy a silence that was all too obvious for the decades over which it had stretched. There were any number of things he should have said to make her see how much this moment meant to him, but none of them were easy; nothing was ever easy with her. She had ice in her eyes on the warmest of days, so that Rowan stepped careful in her vicinity for fear of being frozen solid. In time, perhaps - now that he knew precisely where they stood - he would grow more comfortable around her again, as he’d been all those years ago. Perhaps they would talk, and fill in the void they’d created by turning away from each other for so long. Perhaps he would tell her secrets that a mother should know but that a superior should not - of Castor, of the wolf, of Unspeakables. Perhaps, eventually...but not just now.

There were battles yet to be fought, a race for Minister to be won or lost, and Rowan was still on leave. He gazed down into his coffee, hands wrapped securely around its warmth once again as he mulled over what to say. ‘I’m asking you then to please not disappoint me’ - how could she still ask, when he’d made a career out of disappointing her? He would try, of course, as he always did, and as always he would fear failing because he knew it was near-inevitable. “I understand. I will try.” Slowly, he raised the cup to his lips for a sip. “Being stuffed in the toilets would rather ruin my hair, I think.” It was a humourless joke, but he hoped it might distract from his own lack of conviction. If the Head of the DMLE was depending on the likes of him, they were all doomed.

But she was no longer merely the Head of the DMLE, and there were near on forty years’ worth of memories to reorganise and re-interpret. After a moment’s consideration, Rowan glanced up at her and spoke all in a rush, before he could lose the nerve for it. “Do you want to maybe do dinner sometime? I can cook, and…” he trailed off, uncertain of what it was he’d been aiming for. “I just...to thank you, I guess? For everything. Is that…reverse nepotism?” That really could not be the term for it; he squinted, dissatisfied. “Well it doesn’t count, anyway, not when you’re my mother.” And there it was, as simple as it had ever been. How could she be otherwise? All along she’d been there, an ever-present force down through the decades of his life. Surely that was the definition of a mother?

@Cassandra

(Can prob wrap this up on your next post if you think it works)

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Vanya Ravensby
 Posted: Jan 24 2018, 12:12 AM
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Cassandra is Offline
90
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68 years old

Minister for Magic

Ministry of Magic
Ministry


Glancing down at the card, a rare warmth appeared in Vanya's eyes. She had often been told they were too snakelike, draconic and cold, but how could they be when she was finally allowing herself to appreciate openly the card before her. He had called her Vanya, and still his surname was the first thing on her lips. She could never have given him hers, even if she had properly adopted him so many years ago. Her surname was a punishment, a brand she carried to remind her of what she had done and who she had lost for not acting as quickly as she could have. "Of course you can't. It's a special talent, Drake. Only mothers have the ability to look upon the abominable and consider it beautiful." Vanya raised a brow, the corner of her mouth quirking in amusement as she teased him. She did not consider the expression of familial love like this to be abominable in the least, but she did so enjoy giving Rowan as much shit as he deserved, and what he deserved was a considerable amount.

Still, the lightness of her heart settled quickly. Rowan had done wrong, and she had done wrong in concealing his misdeeds, protecting him from further punishment at her discretion. She could argue that his experience and skill made him invaluable to an already hurting department, that he had not done anything that Aurors were not at one point authorized to do...but she wouldn't truly believe it. All she could do was ask him to stay inside the lines, for himself, for her, for now. For the good of the Ministry, she wanted to win this race. Whether he knew it or not, Rowan was her biggest exploitable weakness. "I hope so." She agreed, and then bit back a grimace over the rim of her coffee cup. Could she not afford to soften her approach to him somewhat? "Thank you, Rowan." Thanks were not owed here, but Vanya knew she could spare the energy to appreciate consideration, especially for someone she cared so much about.

"That hair isn't going to hang onto your scalp much longer, you know." she teased, her tone flat enough to forgive him the wan attempt at his own joke. She had to force herself to keep from sighing; if Rowan didn't believe in himself, how would he convince anyone else to do so? He was her best chance at turning the department around into something strong and capable again. Some of her newer Aurors had potential, but none of them had the experience. Rowan could not doubt himself, but there were better places to say such things: perhaps during the privacy of dinner, the invitation for which practically chased itself out of Rowan's mouth.

She did smile this time, subtle and hidden, but still present. "Dinner isn't going to provoke any concerns of corruption, I'm sure. If it does, well, frankly I've held onto all of this far too long to give much of a fuck what anyone else thinks. Give me a time, and I will be there. Until then, get to work. I've got to as well."

She reached out then, clasping her scarred hand over his. There were so many things she needed to say to him, but the most essential had always escaped him. She had always erred on the side of being too hard on him, and error it had proven to be. This one time, she could offer him something different, and see if it wasn't too late to have a positive effect on this man's life. "And Rowan? You can do this. Check in with me on Thursday."

@Drakky
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