Fall of the Facades

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Fall of the Facades

Post by Jackles on Sat Oct 31, 2015 8:58 pm

http://www.pottersarmy.net/t20199-fall-of-the-facades

A world without Mathias Bishop was very similar to a world with him. The Bishops had not exactly been a loving, doting family, constantly in contact and turning their lives into a family style meal, where everyone had their hands in each other's business. Until that night, Mathias had not even met his granddaughter or son-in-law. And he died without ever hearing Claire's side of the story on Avery's new husband. Before that night, Mathias had been largely absent in the lives of the two blonde women. And after that night, the trend continued. It was only that night, that strange night that existed in some terrible limbo, that reminded Claire that she had suffered a loss.

She had left the tears to Avery, taking up the funeral preparations with Mathias'... Agnes - Claire was sort of uncomfortable calling the woman anything else. Else had tried to help, but her place naturally fell with Avery, and the two women had consoled each other. It was a godsend, really, that the four women had been involved that night. It left half of them to grieve and half of them to prepare. Claire would have been horrid helping them grieve. She would have forced them right past Denial and into Anger and Depression.

Going home had been strange. After all those hours in the hospital, after being introduced into a life where he helped someone exit their own, she had been expected to go home and sleep. That was it. She was expected to go to her apartment, change into pajamas, sleep and... then what? There was no one explaining how life was supposed to continue with this strange vacuum, this emptiness pounding in every joint, threatening to unhinge every part of her until she was nothing but a pile of Claire Bishop, unable to move forward in typical Claire fashion. But if going home and "sleeping it off" was what people normally did, then she would do it.

She sort of suspected that Elsie had curled around her that night to give her permission to cry, or sob, or whatever. But she didn't cry. She let her friend hold her until Elsie's breathing slowed, and then Claire Bishop let herself sleep.

She had tried to return to work. But two days of people asking her how she was, questioning her presence, and looking at her like she was a fragile little flower in need of care-taking had been enough for her to decide maybe time off was okay, sometimes. Max Morrison, one of the few people at work who did not make her feel like a heartless robot, had gently advised she take some time - if not for herself, then for her coworkers. Grief was hard for everyone. Even those who weren't sharing it.

She hadn't liked it. The home had been cleaned meticulously over and over. She had redecorated the living room. She had caught up on all of her paperwork. She had learned how to bake banana bread. And then she had returned to work. Same as always.

Same as always.

And... things were... going. She was standing, she was breathing, she was talking to her mother again. The funeral was behind her, and work was ahead of her. Oddly, she found herself easily throwing herself back into the mission set forth by her original employer, taking more and more meetings with people above her station, inquiring after the strange magic crisis, learning of the rumors of a spy among their ranks, hearing of some sort of rogue band of people going about, taking vigilante justice. They were all leads for her and she found that her previous hesitation to find out information that may harm those around her was gone. Not because she didn't care about the people. But she had finally remembered that this was her job. And people were supposed to do their jobs, or all of society fell apart.

Regardless of what happened and who left, the world kept turning if people kept working.

It was on a particularly boring day that this cog in the great machine found her flow interrupted by a terribly nervous serf of the Department of Mysteries crew. She had suspected it was Jack again - the woman had been throwing her a lot of cases recently. Claire didn't think the upward trend was because Jack had not heard, but because she had. If there was one thing that Claire could recognize in herself in the unruly and typically objectionable woman, it was the shared need to be contributing in some way. Consulting on strange information and screening bad guys had been very helpful to Claire Bishop - and helpful on more levels than one.

The serf, however, belonged to Castle Weasley. Claire had half a mind to just brush him off with her excuses, but the day had been dreadfully slow, and her slow days had not been particularly good days. Regardless of what Fred Weasley wanted her for, she knew there was something to be done, something to distract her mind with. So, with a sigh, she donned her coat and put her hair up, before allowing herself to be apparated off.

CRACK!

Her eyes first fell on Fred Weasley, once the world had righted itself and she had released her hold on her mule. But she had to quickly scan the area, of course, as she would not put it passed Fred Weasley to risk some sort of prank on her - even though some part of her knew that he wouldn't do that. Not now. Not on their first meeting since... He wouldn't do that. As much as she wanted to believe otherwise.

But what was she supposed to say to him? The last few encounters with him had each been horrific and confusing in their own rights. Screaming over takeout, laughing over a teenaged mishap, pausing over written words. She didn't need that again. She needed business. "Mr Weasley." She quirked an eyebrow. That seemed professional enough. She continued her scan. And then her eyes fell on something spectacular.

She turned, taking in the doorway with her full gaze. She needn't ask if this was what she was here for. The presence of strange and wonderful magic was so apparent. "Wow," she did say, unable to keep the reverent expression from her her lips. She stepped forward, letting her eyes inspect the doorway from top to bottom, taking in the strange markings and the magnificent, otherworldly glow. She reached out a hand and began, "Can I..." No warnings were given, so she pressed her palm against the door, and felt that wonderful sensation of magic. There was not much explanation to it. Somehow a hum, somehow an energy. To Claire, it had always felt like a pulse. Like the magic was alive, waiting to be known and craving to be understood, even when it was impossible.

Her fingers went to the markings and she lightly touched them. She did not recognize them, and she fancied her head had a bit of a database when it came to interesting magical literature, having devoured books on anything magical since a young age. There was something grand on the other side, and nothing would convince her otherwise. She could open the door and see a button and be convinced that the button was of great magical importance. She raised her wand and waved it slowly. There was that pulsing. It didn't tell her what it was, or what to expect, but something was becoming incredibly apparent.

There was something magnificent, and potentially terrible, on the other side of this door.

But behind her was something most definitely terrible (and perhaps magnificent in its own right) behind her. She turned around to face Fred Weasley, trying to tear her attention away from the great mystery behind her. She supposed she had to say something.

"Have you tried Alohamora?"

Jackles
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