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A Diner on Main Street
March 10th, 1890
August did not particularly enjoy visiting the Ministry of Magic, for two reasons: 1) he used to work here and too many people still knew him, 2) usually if he was here he was doing some sort of unpleasant casework. Today had just been wrap-up with the Galina case, and so it had been relatively painless, but August was still ready to leave. He stepped into the elevator, all the paperwork completed, and heaved a sigh of relief. He tapped his cane against the toe of his shoe.

The elevator stopped at the floor for the Department of Magical Transportation. August anticipated no trouble here, thank you, and barely glanced at his elevator-mate. But of course - it was Mr. Julius Scrimgeour, Argus Scrimgeour's son. August could have quite happily run into no one from that family again - he had made a lot of money off the Scrimgeour case, and negotiated a good deal, but nothing about that man had ever sat well with him.

The children were, more or less, normal. Supposedly. And minus Annabelle, although in the scheme of things that all seemed fair to August.

He would have happily said nothing, but then the elevator lurched to a stop - between floors.


@Julius Scrimgeour
@Aldous Crouch
The doors to the lift slid open, revealing one of the last people—no, that was perhaps an exaggeration, but nonetheless, Julius had not expected to encounter August Echelon-Arnost today.

His father's former solicitor stood tall in the lift, a beacon flashing memories of the events that had so tarnished the Scrimgeour family name. The wizard knew better than to bear the other man any ill-will personally, but that did not stop the growing discomfort as he stepped into the lift with a simple, small nod of greeting and turned his attention resolutely to the panel of buttons selecting the levels to which they would travel. It would be a few minutes, if even that, of awkward silence and then they would go separately about their days, Julius told himself. He could manage that.

Almost the instant the thought passed through his mind, the lift lurched roughly to a stop in a position it plainly was not meant to, and Julius' discomfort began to twist into a Gordian knot in his stomach.

He looked at Echelon-Arnost but could not fathom what to say or do in this situation.
— @August Echelon-Arnost

[Image: 70mCNgn.jpg]
graphics by lady ♥ —
So he was stuck in an elevator with Argus Scrimgeour's son, and he had nothing to say. August spent a moment staring, dumbfounded, at the elevator buttons, as if the machinery was going to lurch back to life and spare them this.

It didn't.

August turned back to Scrimgeour. He felt a need to apologize, although he didn't know what he would be apologizing for. "This has never happened to me before," August said, with a vague gesture at the elevator buttons with his free hand.

Nor had it happened to Julius—wait, the wizard realized. He probably meant the lift lurching to an unscheduled halt, rather than being trapped in a confined space with one another.

"For an establishment as prominent as the Ministry of Magic," Julius answered, continuing to stare directly ahead and not at Echelon-Arnost, "it happens startlingly often."
— @August Echelon-Arnost

[Image: 70mCNgn.jpg]
graphics by lady ♥ —
"I don't recall this from when I worked here," he admitted, "Although it's certainly been a while."

"How long does it usually take?" August asked. Things would be easier if he did not have any questions to ask Mr. Scrimgeour; then they could suffer in silence, instead.

It felt like a decade so far, though that was probably too much an exaggeration for Julius to offer in response.

"Seventeen hours and three minutes is the record to date," he sighed glumly.
— @August Echelon-Arnost
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[Image: 70mCNgn.jpg]
graphics by lady ♥ —
"Great," August said dryly. Maybe they would get lucky and just die here, and then he could stop getting himself in these situations. He leaned against the wall to take some of the weight off his cane.

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