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"Angelica" Warrington for Myles Warrington.
I hold my peace, sir? no; No, I will speak as liberal as the north; Let heaven and men and devils, let them all, All, all, cry shame against me, yet I’ll speak.
He has touched my ankle and seen me with my hair down (not intentionally, of course!), so I'm pretty sure I already know what it feels like to be married.Helga Scamander in Helga's Boy Book
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Post 3+ times in three or more class threads during the course of a school year. Must all be done with the same character, be they a professor, student, or school portrait or ghost!

New Year, New Beginnings
December 31st, 1889 - Arizona Territory, USA
@Conall MacKay

The four months she'd been here had been both the longest and shortest months of her life, for vastly different reasons. It was her dream job that she was here pursuing and therefore it felt like it was going by incredibly fast.  Her six month update and check in with the first set of her research was due in just a couple of short months and that would determine if she extended the trip or not. Eavan had never wanted anything more than to study Thunderbirds, her Ilvermorny house mascot, every since she'd started at school. Life had led her in a wildly different direction and just when she thought she'd had everything figured out, everything fell apart, simply crumbled around here again and so Eva did what MacKays best; she ran.

It wasn't exactly running, more like avoiding, but here she was yet again. After her mother's death, she and her father had attempted to run from the sorrow to the Amazon. That had only worked for him, the climate making her disgustingly ill and she'd landed in Scotland with extended family in a completely foreign place. However, she'd fallen in love with the region, its people, the creatures, the zoo and with Fletcher. Unfortunately the last one was what had driven her to where she currently was. The argument had shattered her to the point where she hadn't known what else to do but take the offered position and get away.

Having her father come to visit left her feeling both delighted and a little hesitant. While she was certainly happy to have him, he brought a little of Scotland with him and that hit her harder than she would like to admit. In any matter, she needed to just suck it up and be happy that her father would be here for part of the holiday. Hopefully he'd be proud of the work she was doing. They hadn't been on the best of terms back in Scotland, but now that Fletcher was really no longer in the picture, she highly doubted Conall had much to hold against her anymore.

With the sleeves of her light linen shirt rolled up to her elbows, Eva was missing the winter temperatures of Scotland, but still enjoyed the sunshine, even if she burned instantly under its belligerent rays. Thankfully the nursery where they were housing the eggs of the latest batch of Thunderbirds was under cover and as she checked the room's temperature and recorded it, she heard the familiar grumble that could only belong to her father outside the tent. Dusting off her hands, she wiped them off on her trousers and put her hat back on her head as she left the room. "Hello Da," She smiled warmly as she laid eyes on him.

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   Conall MacKay

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The Arizona landscape almost reminded him more of his days in Australia than the half his life he’d spent in North America, but being this side of the Atlantic again after the surprising move to Scotland was more disorienting than he had expected.

Disorienting but refreshing. He was thrilled to be here, to put it plainly; he would be thrilled to see Eavan again. He had been happier than he supposed most parents might be to have been left behind in Scotland while she set off halfway across the world again to study thunderbirds - happier than he had liked to show, considering the hard circumstances in which she’d come to accept it. Conall hadn’t asked over the details, but what he could see well enough was that she’d chosen her life’s work above the expectations of her fancy man, bloody Mr. Langley. She might not have, but he had resented the thought on her behalf that she would give up everything simply to stay at his side - but this turn of events had proven that she was his daughter after all, and would not desert her own dreams so easily.

If there was a seed of guilt somewhere in him at the fact he had been so disagreeable about her fellow and was so triumphant now, Conall certainly didn’t know what to do with it. He did feel bad that she’d had to make a sacrifice of any kind to come, that it felt like an uprooting. He would feel bad if he came and found her rueful about it, or not enjoying herself here as he had to believe she would.

But he wouldn’t find out until he saw her, and he was more impatient than he could say about it - only once he’d gotten to the camp he’d been from one team to another, one of her expedition colleagues clearly giving him false information about where she was today... so that by the time he arrived at the nursery camp he’d been tramping about in the sun for far too long already. The freckles must be sprouting like damned mushrooms.

But there she was and all his grumbling subsided as he swept her into a hug, trying not to knock off her hat with the force of it. “Eavan! There’s my girl,” he exclaimed, with a rare wave of ebullience. “How are you? Is it everything you’d hoped?”

It was almost impossible to describe the feelings bubbling up in her chest at the sight of him, but Eva sighed contentedly and squeezed tight when her father swept her into a close hug. Seeing him was delightful of course, but his presence also brought up some unpleasant memories surrounding her departure from Scotland. These were thoughts and emotions she thought she'd buried deep, but apparently refused to stay down.

None of that was betrayed by her expression however, as she pressed a quick kiss to his cheek and beamed up at him as she moved back. "It's so good to see you! How was the trip, not terrible I hope?" The MacKays were of sturdy stock, Eva's aversion to humidity aside, and were not often easily thrown by things like ships and portkeys but, one never knew. International travel could be long and grueling, even with magical comforts.

"How about this place hm? Isn't it spectacular?" She gestured widely at the expanse of tents and enclosures all around them, quite the camp set up. It had been a long while since she had been involved in such a massive endeavor but it felt good to be getting her hands dirty and do some meaningful work again.

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“Breath of fresh air, as always,” Conall replied, with no bluster whatsoever. He was a simple man of simple pleasures, and being on the move again was a perennial cure to all grievances. Odd to say, maybe, but he felt rejuvenated from it, just as he had from Africa, and every expedition before that. He was sure there was some comfort to be found in rootedness, but the roots he’d set down were still somewhere on the farm in New Hampshire, truncated prematurely, and he didn’t think they were the sort to regrow.

But there was no harm in rootlessness, not when it led one to places like this. The vast openness made Irvingly seem unimaginably minute, and he grinned at Eavan when she gestured at it all. “I’ll wait to answer that when you’ve shown me a Thunderbird, I think,” he put in amiably, under no illusion that seeing even one of the creatures would put the magnificent scenery to shame. His smile broadened. “Not that I’m not glad to see you too,” he teased. Conall was relieved to see that she looked happy enough here, at least on the surface. Even in this weather; even because of... whatever. Well, he would see.

Matching his wide grin, Eavan easily looped arms with her father and started pulling him in the direction of the enclosures. She knew how he felt about traveling, going to new places, seeing new things and meeting both new animals and people; it was very much the same way she felt about it and boy had she missed it. There was nothing quite like it and she hadn't realized just how badly she'd needed it until she'd just done it this time.

"We have a few aviaries with nesting mothers," She motioned to a set of tents off to the left large enough to house a full-sized thunderbird. Most of the creatures roamed freely, though they did have a few in the infirmary section getting medical attention, but for the most part they were simply observing the wild adults. "They struggle with breeding for some reason and we're trying to figure it out." It was baffling, but their numbers had dwindled and it had come down to trying to help support the nests and hatchlings to a certain point.

Adjusting her had further down to shade her eyes, Eva tugged her father down the little lane formed by the tents and to the end where there were a few thunderbirds visible from the ground. "Stunning aren't they?" She breathed out, still amazed by the creatures every time she saw them. Everything about them was absolutely sublime and it took her breath away when she stopped to think about it too closely. "This is Thor," She pointed to the closest one, the largest male she'd worked with and also the biggest baby. "We just treated him for an injury to his leg, but he's on the mend now." She reached out to run her hands down his neck when he trotted over to greet them.

@Elias Grimstone

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He wasn’t sure she’d admit it if he said it out loud (he wouldn’t say it out loud, probably) but Eavan was in her element here. Surely she knew that. She was like a child at Christmas, tugging him along to show the place off. (Except in their family, Conall supposed ‘young Eva at Christmas’ had usually been outside all day with the animals, just the same.)

He did his best to shrug off this bloody sentimentality, and for a moment his magizoologist’s mind took the reins as she explained the breeding troubles. Thunderbirds were sensitive creatures, he knew that much. Sensitive to danger, certainly. Probably especially sensitive to their surroundings, too. He didn’t doubt if the smallest thing could upset a whole habitat of them.

Though the ones that were here were not to be shrugged at. He felt the awe wash over him in turn as they watched the nearest few, their wings and their spectrum of colours alone enough to strike wonder into anyone witnessing them. (And it wasn’t even stormy yet.)

Thor was a particular specimen, too. “Isn’t he magnificent?!” Conall crowed, tone gruff but expression soft, wondering what this fellow had managed to do to his leg in the first place. He stuck out a hand for the Thunderbird - not to shake, obviously, but at least to catch his scent before he tried to touch him - but he shot a sidelong look at Eva for a moment, too. “And how’re the people here?” He added seriously. He was sure Thor here wouldn’t snitch on Eva if she talked. “You like any of ‘em, or just the Thunderbirds?” (He’d not judge either way, was merely curious. Frankly, the latter would be perfectly understandable.)

Thor bucked at her hand, egging her on for more attention while she grinned at her father. Large and wild though they may be, the personalities were far more calm and varied that Eva would have guessed. Thor was ab bit of a baby, but he thrived on attention and would take it from just about anybody who would give it. She watched as he sniffed at her father, snorting in his direction before swinging his head toward Conall.

"It's a good group," Eva shrugged as she continued to run her hand down the side of Thor's head. The feathers glinted in the sunlight, soft to the touch beneath her fingertips. "It's a small group, only about six of us. I'm the only woman," Her grin caught a devilish hint to it. It wasn't unusual for Eva to be the only female on an expedition, but the gents had been quite respectful of her space and generally considered her to be one of the boys. Plus, she got her own tent, no sharing.

"Mr. Spencer- Jared, is running the show, he's ancient and it's hilarious to watch him like up a child when we learn something new or useful." Watching his weathered features positively glow when he spoke about the birds was an endearing quality. "Brooks and Bennett are a pair of hooligans from Canada, cousins. What a comedy show." Dinner time with the pair of them trying to cook was absolutely hysterical. "And there's Emmett, like Una he's been trained in creature healing, but he's so quiet you'd hardly know he's here, draws beautifully. I've asked for a sketch to bring home with me." He was so genial and sweet it was hard to even tease him about anything without feeling bad. "And then there's Beau, he's my partner in the nesting tents. Good chap, bit of a flirt though." Whether he knew it or not, the guy was charming. It was probably far more information than her Da wanted to know, but hey, he asked.

"Would you like to see the most recent hatch? We've had three hatch this week!" It was her usual post, keeping tabs on the mamas during the breeding season.

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He sometimes worried whether a good father should be worried about letting his daughter traipse about halfway across the world with a selection of strange creatures and stranger men, but... All things considered, he wasn’t, really. She’d done enough travelling in her youth that he didn’t worry about that, and on a team like this she’d never be alone, and if she couldn’t handle any creature she came across then that was on him, after all. And Eavan could certainly handle herself well enough with other people, too: she was grown-up enough to take care of herself.

Still, that didn’t mean he wasn’t glad to hear that none of the lads out here sounded like anything to worry about - except maybe Beau. Conall raised an eyebrow accordingly at that last description, but did not think he wanted to ask.

(Besides, he was still less worried about the sorts of men Eavan was hanging around out here than he had been about some of her... acquaintances in Scotland.)

“Well, I look forward to meeting them,” Conall admitted, quite sincerely at that - the Canadians particularly, and Mr. Spencer. He stretched his pause a little longer just to tease her, because there was no way in hell he was going to duck out of seeing the hatchlings - especially not when they were in Eva’s care. After the hatch, that is.” He smiled broadly and patted Thor lightly in a temporary goodbye, turning to follow her. “And how’s the project looking?” He asked next, curious about the progress here but not entirely willing to broach the subject, even if the end being in sight meant he might have her back in Irvingly again soon. “Any closer to wrapping up?”

It was easy to see that Eva was enjoying herself here in the desert. It was everything she wanted it to be from the birds to her boys, and the break. She missed Scotland and would be happy to go when the time came, but for now she was so thoroughly content, she didn't have a single thing to complain about. "I told them you were coming, they're excited to meet you." At least Mr. Spencer was, Eva had probably said a wee bit too much about her father's sunny disposition to the rest of the boys for them to be a little wary.

"Delightful!" She chirped, steering him toward the last tent in the row. Large and circular, the dome-shaped tent was high and wide, giving lots of room for a fully grown thunderbird to fit comfortably under the canopy. Inside there was a wee nest with the two newest additions to the brood. There was another tent across the way with the other female and her solitary chick. This one, Ciara, was a wee bit more easygoing about having people in with her. "Oh it's going alright, don't have quite the numbers we were hoping for, but it's a nice slow increase. They feel like we'll be wrapping up around mid-spring." She explained as they approached the final tent.

Eva pushed back the flap to the tent, seeing the thunderbird curled up around the makeshift nest where the two chicks, no bigger than a small dog at this point, were squawking and climbing all about. "Aren't they gorgeous" She beamed, catching the little one's attention as the spoke.

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This time, when Conall raised an eyebrow, it was in the now why don’t I believe you sense. Excited to meet him, indeed.

“Well, any increase is a good one,” he commented, on her explanation of the breeding numbers. And if the young were being looked after - under the protective eye of the group here - that was encouraging, too. He only hoped the increase was suggestive of a wider trend. It would be a shame to lose the likes of this species.

He would have been lying to say his breath hadn’t caught, just a little, at seeing the chicks. The pair of them were much less wary than the mother, lost for a moment in their own little world - though the one who had seen Eavan arrive seemed not to mind in the least. Conall stood back a ways, keener to watch them interact with each other than he was to interfere.

Still, he nodded in echo of Eva’s sentiments, the corner of his mouth quirking upwards at the chicks’ antics. Mid-spring, she said. Not all that long, in the scheme of things. “You’re going to miss ‘em, aren’t you?”

Kneeling down as the little babes came running her way, Eva was nearly knocked over. It was incredible how fast they grew. One moment she could cradle them easily in one arm, the next they weighed half as much as she did and didn't even fit in her lap anymore! Of course they were still wild animals, they weren't truly supposed to be snuggled, but it was so very hard to resist. Fortunately the adults had grown to trust them and operated on a generous status quo.

"Yeah," Eva replied quietly, without looking at her father. Every trip eventually came to an end. Sometimes it was a few months, sometimes it was years, but they were rarely permanent. "But it's been incredible and I'll never forget it." If it weren't for the zoo and all of the hard work she'd put into it, not to mention the friends and family she'd become so close with in Scotland, Eva would make Thunderbirds her full-time work if she could. It wasn't the reality though so there was no reason to dwell on it too much.

"Come on, let's go meet the boys." She stood and the chicks flounced back off to the nest. Turning to smile at her father, she hooked one arm around his and again pulled him from the tent.

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