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A Welcome Intruder
September, 1877 — Fisk Family Home, Ottery St. Catchpole

Cursing was not something he made a habit of, but he'd cursed all the way home that evening.

He'd returned home from the Indies that morning, and instead of going straight home he'd been forced to fill out all sorts of ungodly paperwork at Gringotts, so he'd done the most sensible thing he could think of—he'd sent his mother a letter. There were plenty of things he'd expected her to say, but none of them included, Do try and look your best, dear; we're having a formal dinner tonight.

He didn't know for what, and he certainly had no fancy suits to wear, and it wasn't even until someone let him in the front door of the Fisk family home did he realize that his mother had not been kidding about the formality of it all. The home was weirdly decorated in a way that didn't suit the Fisk family home. Ten children weren't born and raised in a home without looking a little run-down, and there were - wait, were those vines wrapped around the stair railings?

Suddenly, his eyes snapped to his right as a figure moved into view. There, in the foyer, was an unfamiliar gentleman, who seemingly had just come from down the hallway that led to the dining room. They both came to a pause, and Julian stared at him funny. He didn't look like anyone he was supposed to...

... and then it hit him. "Well shit," he said, dumbfounded, before his eyes widened and he tried to recover from the inappropriate slip. "I mean - hello." Well that wasn't really a recovery, but it would have to do.

@Justin Ross
Ross was going to marry Roslyn Fisk, they were officially (and newly!) engaged and planning a wedding for December, and he knew well that once they were wed things would be quieter. For now, though - big dinners with the Fisk family, and every time Ross thought he was used to it they found a new way to surprise him. The two youngest boys were back at Hogwarts now, as were the twins. But there was still the cranky little girl, Konstantin, Ari, Katia and her husband and their very small children, and of course Roslyn's parents. And, allegedly, the cursebreaker. Delia had announced that the cursebreaker was coming. Ross was getting more used to the Fisk family as a whole, but they could still be slightly overwhelming to contend with, and the engagement celebration wasn't necessarily easier. He thought he was handling it well, good-natured and cheerful as ever, but a part of him was looking forward to when he was officially in the family and could just laugh at anyone trying to find their way to join the Fisks.

It was in that weird part of the evening between the starter course and the main course, where no one actually knew what to do with themselves. Delia asked him to get different flowers from outside the front door because she was considering them for the reception for the wedding. Ross was on his way to the front of the Fisk home in Ottery - something he was now comfortable with: simply existing in their Ottery home - when he spotted a brown-haired man he'd never met and came to a stop.

It took Ross a second to place him; he looked very much like Ari, if Ari spent time breaking curses instead of in the hospital.

"Oh, you must be Julian," Ross said, brightly. He extended a hand for Roslyn's brother to shake. "I'm Justin Ross. The fiance."

Having a way with words on paper did not always translate to having a way with words in person, and in that moment Julian struggled to find even a proper introduction. Surely he could've managed that much, but there was a stranger in his home that was greeting him as if he was the visitor—which he supposed he was, having been gone for years, but the fact that the man seemed so comfortable made it feel like he'd been gone longer than he had. He was clearly the fiancé, having said as much, but how did one introduce themselves to their sister's future husband?

Foolishly, apparently.

"Oh, you're Scottish," he murmured, his head tilting to the side in curiosity. It was not that important to Julian, but Brannon Fisk always had something to say about Scots, and none of them good.

"I mean - it's good to meet you. I am," he said, a sheepish smile on his face as he reached out to shake Ross' hand. Julian took the moment to—to put it lightly—evaluate the gentleman that would eventually make his sister a Mrs. Mr. Ross was tall, but not more than himself; he also looked a good few years older, which seemed odd. He'd never really thought about the fact that any of his little sisters would go on to marry men who were much older than himself, but it made sense once he thought about it.

Ross' first impression of Julian Fisk was that Julian was awkward, which was fine, but was not what he'd expected. He'd had a vague sort of thought that cursebreakers were suave because they traveled but that was evidently not the case. Maybe it was a silly thought to have, regardless - Ross knew plenty of aurors and it was not as if they were at all suave, so.

"Good to meet you too," he said, releasing Julian's hand after they shook. "And you're right, I'm from Edinburgh." Reportedly Brannon Fisk did not actually like Scottish people, but either Delia had tempered his impression or Ross' other qualities outbalanced the Scottish question, he didn't know.

Julian thought himself a good judge of character. Mr. Ross was tall, attractive enough with a wide smile that made him seem inherently trustworthy, and yet Julian was sure he could still kick his arse if he needed to. He seemed like the perfect husband for Roslyn at first glance... except he couldn't let him know that. But also he couldn't be unfriendly—not because he thought it was unwise to size up his sister's future husband, but because he was incapable of doing so. He was self-aware enough to know that.

"I never imagined Roslyn living in Edinburg," he said, followed by an audible hmm. Then again, had he ever imagined his sisters living anywhere other than the family homestead? Well, maybe London, but that was familiar. "—Unless you live somewhere else now. I don't think anyone told me anything about you other than your name," he sheepishly admitting, shrugging.
"I have a residence in Hogsmeade now where we'll settle after the wedding," Ross said, with an easy shrug. Julian Fisk was still awkward, but at least he seemed to be good-natured - even if he found them a tad overwhelming, Ross was fond of Roslyn's siblings, and he was glad to be meeting another. Or perhaps not glad, but pleased - the more he knew about her siblings, particularly those closest in age to her, the more he could see their lives fitting together easily, and he was confident that the feeling he'd had at the Coming Out Ball was right. Roslyn Fisk was the one for him, and it was easy to imagine spending decades more with her, and with her family.

He couldn't say things like that out loud, though.

"Although I recognize that's still far north from here."

"Hogsmeade?" He was all too aware that he'd traveled more around the world than he had within Britain's bounds, and although the name sounded vaguely familiar he was certain he'd never been there. Maybe he ought to spend more time exploring Scotland than the Indies (if only Gringotts stationed him there). "Well - if you've convinced her to go so far away I'm sure she cares for you very much." A smile slipped onto his face then, because he did want Roslyn to be happy even if he was sad he'd missed out on her graduation and subsequent engagement.

"So what do you do? For work, I mean," he asked, trying to be conversational, or as conversational as he could while knowing his mother would recognize his voice and come running any moment now.
Ross slipped his hands into the pockets of his trousers and smiled, obviously pleased by the thought of Roslyn liking him as much as he liked her. It was unbelievably lucky to have run into her at the Coming Out Ball; even more lucky that they had gotten along past that first night. "I work in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement," Ross replied easily, "How were the West Indies?"

The Department of Magical Law Enforcement. His father would have much preferred him to go into the Ministry than curse-breaking, and he supposed Brannon had been able to forgive the man's Scottishness when he was employed in such a secure, esteemed department.

"The West Indies are... terrible," he admitted sheepishly, "I'd almost rather be stuck behind an office desk. What kind of work do you do in your department?" Hopefully not stuffy paperwork; it would make it much harder to relate to him.
"Management now," Ross answered easily, "Previously I worked on investigations, though." His new role was less hands-on, but it was also less dangerous - and Ross sort of enjoyed having the ability to manage the new employees and coach them into effectiveness. "I'm sorry to hear that, about the West Indies. Is it the curses or the climate?"

He only had a few minutes, probably, to get to know his soon-to-be brother-in-law before Delia came to snag them both back - Ross was sure she was getting impatient by now, and he wanted to get as many questions out in the interim as possible.

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