{SWP 9} The Unsubtle Knife - Printable Version

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{SWP 9} The Unsubtle Knife - The Suggestionizer - January 3, 2020

January 5th, 1890 — Fox & Son, Knockturn Alley

It had been such a simple knife, solid-looking, but not particularly ornate. You had wanted a nice pocketknife for months.With so many other, more exciting items in the lot, you thought, surely no one would notice the knife missing.

It lived for weeks under the thin mattress you call a bed. Each night, you would find yourself drawn to it, examining each scuff in the wood, each chink in the metal, until you knew it better than your own hand. The idea of parting with it began to grow unconscionable, but you knew it was for the knife's own good that it stay under your mattress until the right moment arose.

Is tonight that night, you wonder, as you hold it in your hands. You can hear Jay in the front of the shop—he wouldn't know, you reason, if you did just a little carving in the wood of the closet you call home.

a. Carve your initials into the wall
b. Carve the fun symbol that pops into your head

— @Eli Fox

RE: {SWP 9} The Unsubtle Knife - Eli Fox - January 4, 2020

The pocket knife felt just right in his grubby, little hands. It wasn't particularly heavy, nor did it feel too large and bulky for his fingers. He'd been itching to try it out for quite some time. In his opinion, the right knife would help him out a great deal to appear more grown than he actually was. After all, most older boys had such a tool to call their own. There were so many uses!

Eli hoped, after some time, nobody would recognize the knife as being any different than most others and assume he'd nicked it from somewhere. He didn't want to get into any sort of trouble for stealing from his own family.

After some consideration, the dusty boy found himself scooting his way to the edge of the bed, the tip of the knife hovering barely an inch from the wall. Nobody would notice a little spiral design right near where his mattress met with the wall, would they?

With his eyes half squinted shut, he set to work, carving away at the wood, a little swirl with short lines decorating around it, almost like some sort of strange sun. He wasn't sure why he chose it.

RE: {SWP 9} The Unsubtle Knife - The Suggestionizer - January 12, 2020

You're surprised by how easily the knife carves into the wood, how simple the finer details are to engrave. You brush the wood dust from the finished project and take a moment to admire it before noticing it seems rather...glow-y.

Merlin help you, it's caught fire.

a. Call for help
b. Attempt to smother the flames with your bedding
c. Stare at it, startled

— @Eli Fox

RE: {SWP 9} The Unsubtle Knife - Eli Fox - January 16, 2020

How in Merlin's name did a fire start from a knife carving?! What was he supposed to do?

Eli glanced around for some sort of liquid to help extinguish it, but he saw none. The reasonable thing would have been to fetch Jay, but, in a sheer panic move, the kid found himself using his blanket almost as a whip in an attempt to smother the flames.

The only indication of his panic was a slightly startled hum and gritted teeth.

Even if he extinguished the fire, how was he supposed to hide his thievery now?

RE: {SWP 9} The Unsubtle Knife - The Suggestionizer - January 17, 2020

Your efforts to smother the flames are clearly unpracticed; your experience, after all, is with unlit fires. Alas, the flames grow more vigorous, and begin to consume the very sheet you had tried to use to put them out.

a. Call for help
b. Stab the fire with the knife
c. Try to smother the flames harder

— @Eli Fox

RE: {SWP 9} The Unsubtle Knife - Eli Fox - January 22, 2020

The youngster's face took on an even more pale shade as it seemed his precious blanket was also destined to go up in flames.

What was he supposed to do now?

With the bedding still clutched in his fist, he squeaked out a rather pathetic, "Help." His voice was a bit scratchy from the effort of trying to project it above a murmur. Even so, he didn't quite reach yell status.

RE: {SWP 9} The Unsubtle Knife - Jay Fox - January 22, 2020

The smell of smoke and soot may have been the sort of thing Jay expected to find in the young chimney sweep's small alcove room - but fire, fire was a new one.

It had been the crackling noise, and the beating of the sheet he'd heard more than Eli's muffled call for help; fortunately Jay had a good listening ear. Fortunately or unfortunately, it was just the two of them about, so there was no one else who could possibly be responsible for the scene that met him as he creaked open the door and found the wood and blankets on fire.

"How've you managed this?" Jay said with a startled cough, reaching in hurriedly to pull Eli backwards by the shoulder (best he let go of the blanket sooner rather than later, by the looks of it!), and, with his other hand, drawing his wand to try and do something about the fire.

RE: {SWP 9} The Unsubtle Knife - Eli Fox - February 1, 2020

Eli turned and gave Jay a look that was a jumbled blend of apology, confusion, and more than a touch of anxiety. One of his biggest fears was that some witless person would light a fire in a chimney he was mid-cleaning. He had never expected the flames would find him in his own bedroom. Or that he'd be the cause of them.

As he was tugged backwards, he let go of the sheet before it started to singe off his fingertips. Jay's question was met with a tight lipped expression, trying to muster up the words to explain. He could barely hold a conversation when all was calm.

Instead, he allowed his hands to do the talking, a soot stained finger jabbed in the direction of the wall and then down on the bed. If Jay looked close enough, he might see the knife peeking out from the folds of a blanket not yet engulfed in flames.

RE: {SWP 9} The Unsubtle Knife - Jay Fox - February 11, 2020

“Stay back,” Jay warned. Simeon Fox will bloody murder us if the shop goes up in flames for this, he thought but didn’t say. Eli didn’t speak, but he pointed towards the wall, and Jay furrowed his brow trying to understand what the boy had done, when there wasn’t a match in sight.

But the fire was spreading, the blanket half-eaten already, so there wasn’t a great deal of time to discuss it - Jay, presuming the fire would be ordinary fire, shot a jet of water from his wand to douse it with a muttered aqua eructo.” He didn’t catch sight of what it was, but the force of the water’s stream sent some object slipping from the blanket off Eli’s cot bed and clinking to the floor.

RE: {SWP 9} The Unsubtle Knife - The Suggestionizer - February 13, 2020

Mercifully, the flames are extinguished, though the small room now reeks of smoke and dampness.
— @Eli Fox

RE: {SWP 9} The Unsubtle Knife - Eli Fox - February 18, 2020

The boy let out a breath that had been filling him up to near-bursting.  Jay had put the fire out before it had eaten away at the rest of the shop and all of Knockturn Alley.  He couldn't even imagine what Simeon and the aurors would have done to him if that had occurred.  Had the fire been a punishment for him having stolen it from the shop?  But he hadn't been the one to snatch it in the first place, nor had he been cursed with fire for nicking other items. 

"Thanks," he whispered out in relief. 

Once it seemed fully extinguished, Eli started rooting about the wet mess for the culprit.  The toe of his boot found the handle of the knife.  The blade was still exposed as he'd dropped it in his panic.  Instead of picking it up, he took a giant step backward and pointed meaningfully at it.  The expression he shot Jay was one of anxiety.  Would the fire re-start if he touched it again?  He didn't want to take that chance.

RE: {SWP 9} The Unsubtle Knife - Jay Fox - March 5, 2020

Eli looked extraordinarily relieved, and no wonder. He pressed the boy’s shoulder for the briefest second in a pat of reassurance, presuming it an accident until the sweep started rummaging in his things, and pointed silently at one particular object, looking unnaturally grave.

“What’s that, then?” He asked, an eyebrow lifting. Jay wasn’t always around to examine every piece of every haul, particularly not those that never made it to the vaults or the shop, so couldn’t immediately place the knife that he saw glinting in the damp. Seeing no particular connection in this with the fire, and Eli’s reticence as mere contrition, Jay leant forwards and made to pick the knife up off the floor to examine it for himself.

RE: {SWP 9} The Unsubtle Knife - The Suggestionizer - March 22, 2020

The knife itself is temperate, but makes you feel warm. You know instinctively that something is off about it, but cannot bring yourself to put it down.
— @Jay Fox

RE: {SWP 9} The Unsubtle Knife - Jay Fox - March 28, 2020

It wasn’t just any old knife, this. Not something Eli could have just happened to have, surely. The fire was out, so he could hardly blame that for the warmth he was feeling, a pleasant rush that increased the tighter he clutched at it.

“This isn’t yours, is it?” Jay said slowly, unable to take his eyes off the knife even to look at Eli (though he would have to, to see a nod or a shake of his head). But the knife was truly something, Jay decided, as he tested its weight experimentally in his hands, lifting the blade a little higher to catch some light. It felt as though it were meant for him. So what had Eli been doing with it?

RE: {SWP 9} The Unsubtle Knife - Eli Fox - April 4, 2020

Eli wasn't about to admit he'd stolen the knife from the shop. Not that it wouldn't have been that odd for him to have done so. He lifted his shoulders at Jay, a cringe on his lips. " was supposed to be." He explained, his voice soft, somewhere between apologetic and almost bitter. It had felt so right. He'd kept it safe only for it to try to nearly burn down his living quarters.

The boy shot Jay a warning look, worried that the poor man would suddenly become engulfed in flames, but he didn't tell him to be careful. Adults rarely listened to children's warnings.

RE: {SWP 9} The Unsubtle Knife - Jay Fox - April 28, 2020

Eli spoke so infrequently that every word he said counted for something extra, Jay knew that. So he ought to be paying better attention to the sweep and his reasons. But how could he, when this ordinary, rusted old knife felt so infinitely special?

“And what do you need a knife for?” He said, more sceptical than he would have been normally (who wouldn’t want a handy pocketknife, in their line of work, no matter where he’d gotten it), because he had a similar temptation to confiscate it and pocket it for himself. Which made no sense at all.

He managed to glance at Eli for a moment, but met his warning look blankly. How would this knife have caused a fire, anyway, if it had been meant for Eli?