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Going Postal
#1
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May 18th, 1889 — High Street, Hogsmeade Post Office

Her first order of business once she was hired, Imogen thought as she reluctantly parted from her coin, would be to purchase an owl of her very own.

While it was true that Imogen Fox, would-be housemaid, had very little correspondence that needed sending, that which she did send was important enough to her that, she thought, such an expense would be justified. The young witch felt her chest tighten as the worker carried the envelope to an owl and got it situation, a tightness that slacked only as the bird's powerful wings bore it through a hatch in the roof and out of sight. It would be two, perhaps three, days before she was likely to receive a reply, and that would be delivered to her own address—No need to return here for some time, she thought.

Her purse securely tucked away, Imogen said her polite good-byes and turned away from the counter, moving to open the door.

A door which swung outwards, and into the face of the next patron.

Imogen froze.


[Image: imset.png]
Schemes are afoot! Graphics by MJ

#2
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Adam could have afforded his own owl. At one point in his life he certainly would have gotten his money's worth of it, sending frequent letters off to his mother and sister. Karina was close enough for him to drop in on four days a week since she'd left Hogwarts, however, so that saved the letters to her. He still wrote his mother every few days, but to save money he waited until he had two or three to send and bundled them together to go with only one owl. Any sickle he didn't spend on postage was another he'd be able to give to his mother outright, so it was a small price to pay.

He had two letters today — both containing rather menial goings-on, really. There wasn't a lot of excitement in his life the past year, since he'd only been repeating the more basic classes that he'd already completed, but that was fine. Last spring had been plenty of excitement for the entire family, and Adam was quite content to continue on this way quietly until he earned his auror commission. If he tried to leave again, he thought, no matter what the reason, they almost certainly wouldn't let him back in. They didn't pay trainees to just stay in the training program indefinitely.

Adam was trying to imagine how that conversation would play out (just because his mind had wandered that direction, not because he had any intention of ever having the conversation), when the door hit him in the face. It shouldn't have. He should have been paying attention. He should have had better reflexes. Maybe sitting through the classwork for another year was making him dull — he ought to find someone to practice dueling more regularly.

"Yikes," he said, reaching up to rub his sore nose. At least there wasn't any serious damage, but it had hurt. "In a hurry, huh? The way you opened that door I'd certainly think so."
#3
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He seemed surprised—who wouldn't?—but not angry, Imogen noticed with surprise of her own (and no shortage of relief). Though she seemed to have hit him quite squarely in the nose, the young maid noted swiftly that there was no blood, no immediate swelling—no trouble for her.

"I suppose I just don't know my own strength," Imogen returned before she could think better of it, before she could apologize as a good, timid, contrite housemaid should. If one could not act well when surprised, one could not act well full stop, she thought as she mentally kicked herself. "I am dreadfully sorry—you don't think it's broken, do you?"

As she spoke, the witch held out a hand and moved to guide him out of the way of the door (no need to incur further damages), though stopped short of physically touching him.


[Image: imset.png]
Schemes are afoot! Graphics by MJ

#4
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"Oh, no," Adam returned easily. He had broken bones before, and he knew what it felt like to have something broken. Everyone had some sort of brush with serious injury during one stage of auror training or another. Broken bones were quick to heal, however (at least as long as one had magical remedies available), and he would have preferred ten broken bones in training to one fatal mistake in the field. A part of him thought that injuries were sort of part of the program — that if they didn't occur naturally during the course of training, the instructors might find a way to make them happen. Which would be a little unethical, but understandable — there was a lot to be learned from making mistakes that hurt, after all.

"Probably a bruise, but nothing else," he said with a slight shrug as he moved away from the doorway. With any luck, it wouldn't bruise badly enough to even be noticeable with his darker skin color. He didn't want to unnecessarily alarm anyone — and he particularly didn't want to have to explain to any concerned friends or relatives that he'd been defeated by a door, of all things. "I should have been paying more attention. I'm training to be an auror, you know — I shouldn't be getting my nose knocked out of line by a little girl with a door," he joked. Not that she was so little — but she was around his sister's age, and so Adam was bound to think of her as a girl regardless.
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   Imogen Fox
#5
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At his proclaimed career, Imogen looked at the man more closely. His good-natured demeanor did not line up with her impression of aurors—serious, rigid individuals who drained all the fun from life. While the young witch herself had never had any run-ins with them (only local law enforcement, and that was before her time at Blishwick's), she had heard enough from her colleagues to be mildly surprised by the man before her.

"You ought to say you stopped a mugging," Imogen remarked before clarifying, "if anyone questions you about it."

Would anyone even notice bruising on darker flesh*, she wondered? [Florence] always seemed to have immaculate, unblemished skin—but then, she was hardly a rough and tumble sort.

"I suspect it would be more impressive to your fellow trainees than the truth," she finished wryly.


* Yes, yes they do. My experience is clearly wider than Imogen's xD


[Image: imset.png]
Schemes are afoot! Graphics by MJ

#6
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Adam waved the suggestion off as though the girl had just offered him something to eat that smelled a bit off, though his tone was pleasant enough when he answered. "Nah. Honesty is the best policy, even if it means you lose a little face." That was a church policy, of course, though worded slightly differently, but it was also something that Adam felt to be true from his own life experience. His pre-Hogwarts hooligan days may have been far behind him, but he could still recall the sorts of trouble he'd gotten into for vandalism and petty theft — and, of course, he had always tried to lie his way out of any situation his own bad deeds had gotten him into. More recently and more seriously, there had been his sister's smattering of trouble the previous year, where being cagey with details or telling lies had only gotten her in way over her head. The truth was always better.

"Once you start with a lie, even if it's a little one, you just have to keep lying about things to keep up — and before you know it, you don't even know what the truth is anymore. Trust me," he said with a modest but knowledgeable shake of his head. "I'd rather have to live down losing a fight with a door."


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