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Stop Horsin' Around
#1
Open 
January 23rd, 1890 — Outside Ministry of Magic Offices

Oh, Merlin please no.

All he wanted was to have a nice peaceful lunch, but the hot breath of huffed out air against his neck was just the ticket to admit him to a fearful break. The hand that was scanning the page of his book froze as he did his best to maintain absolute stillness as the large horse snuffled about his collar. Faustus could feel the heat of its breath on the back of his neck, and he resisted shutting his eyes and praying to Merlin it would be over.

Whose horse was this and why had it taken such a fascination with him? Was that its teeth at his collar? This was a new coat his mother had given him for Christmas. If it were between facing the horse or his mother, Faustus would much rather take the horse. He daren't attempt to perform magic to make it go away - they might be a fear of his, but he knew they had brains.

They could probably smell fear. With that in mind, the Head Auror of the Ministry of Magic closed his eyes, praying for the horse's owner to hurry along soon.
[-] The following 2 users Like Faustus Prewett's post:
   Aldous Crouch, Melody Crouch


[Image: 3ojKV8.jpg]
#2
Benevolence had been making a delivery to the ministry offices, some bouquets, the sort of posh but spiritless posies of flowers that looked good on corporate desks. It was at the request of the receptionists, who enjoyed the little bright pops of colour on their desks. They were not particularly ornate, special or expensive, usually not more than a few knuts each but Ben enjoyed adding a few more expensive blossoms to the mix, usually based on what she knew of the secretary in question.

Having distributed her wated she was leaving her basket empty but for a few stray strands of greenery that had come loose, or looked worse for wear now that they had been transported into the ministry. Normally her shop girls did deliveries but given her interest in breeding rare plants, she figured that showing her face around the ministry, having them, or their secretaries know her wouldn't hurt given her particular area of personal interest as a woman she didn't have access to the talk at the mens club, but she could have access to their secretaries, who might be amenable to giving her an appointment with someone she needed because they knew Ben's face.

As she came down the steps, a man stood looking...well...u comfortable. 'eh...are you okay sir?' she asked, unsure if she should intervene, people were not ordinarily afraid of horses, especially a horse that seemed to be just snuffling the back of his neck fairly harmlessly.


[Image: wl0I79B.jpg]
Lady is a wonder
#3
After a few breaths, he'd managed to coax his heartrate down to an acceptable pace. He sighed, knowing what Jane would say if she knew he was still harboring a phobia of these "gentle giants". The thought of her gleeful ridicule of his fear brought a slight smile to his face.

But there was still the matter of the overly curious horse.

Through the haze of thought coursing through his mind came the slightly sweet scent of flowers and the fresh smell of newly cut greenery. Faustus opened his eyes just as the young woman posed him her question. He smiled easily, his eyes gliding down to his book as he mentally marked the page before setting his book aside. "I'm erm - doing alright, thank you." He responded, his voice level, but his eyes flickering to the horse.

He did his best to tamp down his panic, though it was rather hard with the animal not budging one bit. "This wouldn't happen to be yours now, would it?" he asked; a question he did not expect to come out of his mouth today.
[-] The following 1 user Likes Faustus Prewett's post:
   Benevolence Montague


[Image: 3ojKV8.jpg]
#4
She fought to suppress her laugh at the gentleman’s good natured discomfort. He was clearly disquieted by the animals proximity. She couldn’t blame him, having an animal chew on ones collar would be uncomfortable even if you dearly loved the animal in question. It spoke to his good nature that he wasn’t raging, causing a fuss, or treating the animal with a hex to get it to move away.

’He isn’t mine, but I might have something that might interest him more than your shirt.’ she said with a light smile, and scooped up the broken and bruised leaves that remained in her basket and, holding them in a clump, offered them to the animal. It snorted wetly into the gentleman’s neck one last time, before shuffling off to chew noisily on the cast off foliage. ’There you go, isn’t that much nicer.’ she soothed the animal, and looked back to the gentleman. ’Is there lasting damage?’ she asked, motioning with the arm that held the basket to his neck, ’I’m good with a mending charm if you like?’, it was a simple enough spell, but not the sort of thing young men tended to learn as a matter of course, young ladies on the other hand were all expected to know how to repair a collar, and attach a button with spellwork.


[Image: wl0I79B.jpg]
Lady is a wonder
#5
Faustus chuckled to himself as the horse was withdrawn. There was nothing to be mended unless it was for wounded pride - something that would most definitely not require fixing on the young lady's behalf. "No, I don't believe there is any lasting damage, miss." he said amiably as he stood up. A quick flick of his wand remedied any slobber stains that might have otherwise been removed by a potion from his housekeeper. "I thank you though."

His eyes drew down to the basket in her arms. While it was mostly empty, it was the fragrance that tipped him off first; every morning when he walked into the Ministry he saw flowers that had the very same fragrance as the basket. "Do you deliver those flowers to the Ministry of Magic?" he inquired with a slight nod of his head towards her possessions.
[-] The following 1 user Likes Faustus Prewett's post:
   Benevolence Montague


[Image: 3ojKV8.jpg]
#6
'Some of them' Benevolence admitted, blushing, it would be odd for a woman of her station to work as a delivery girl - unheard of even, but the real reason for her deliveries was too mercenary. The idea that she was doing it so that the receptionists knew her, and keep her abreast of any new pending regulations coming in the world of plant breeding was a little embarrassing for a lady, but as an aficionado of plant breeding – it paid to have ones ear to the ground. A man might be able to simply owl and ask, or be part of the one various committees but she wasn’t so lucky, and having a friendly secretary tell her when public consultations were to be held, or when some change was due was a useful perk.

'As a favour mostly' she admitted, ’The secretaries appreciate some flowers for their desks, and I’m in a position to provide them. Not all of their managers think to include such trifles in the general order' she acknowledged. While her shop did provide many departments with flowers and plants to ‘spruce the place up’ her delivery girl brought those by in the evenings and seldom when there were employees around.

'Are you a regular at the ministry sir?' she enquired politely, but could all but guess the response, the gentleman had the bearing of a career ministry man.


[Image: wl0I79B.jpg]
Lady is a wonder
#7
Faustus smiled, knowing the secretaries around the ministry would like the regularity of flowers delivered to the departments. Despite the fact that each floor had windows bewitched to show the state of the weather outside on any given day, sometimes those spells went awry and it took weeks for magical maintenence to come by to fix them. Plants and foliage made it all the more bearable.

"How lovely, I know many people around the departments that enjoy the presence of live foliage." he responded before nodding. "Faustus Prewett, I'm the Head Auror in the Auror Department." He bowed courteously. "And your name, miss?" He inquired politely, knowing it would be poor form to have just given his position at the Ministry only to come across as rude.


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#8
The man had a bright and engaging face and Ben couldn’t help but smile softly to herself as a consummate ministry professional being so recently harangued by a horse. They were oddly incongruous facts to sit side by side in one person. When he introduced himself as the head of the Aurors office, her smile faltered a little. This was no bookish clark, not a gentleman who spent his days bowed over papers and books, he was well used to action and was assuredly kow towed by very little in life. It also meant that he was a gentleman of small importance. It only took a second for Ben to master her facial expressions and readjust the polite poker face that most young woman of her age and station were well used to adopting when faced with a gentleman they didn’t know well.

’My my sir’ she said with a suitably impressed smile, ’I shall have to watch what I say lest I land myself in all sorts of trouble.’ She echoed his greeting with a demure curtsey of her own, ’Miss Benevolence Montague’ she greeted. The business which bore her family name would not be the only reason he potentially recognised the name if not the woman who bore it. Like herself, he would recognise the surname of another pureblood family – there were few enough and every pureblood child knew by wrote the names of the others, if only to make sure no alliance or romance forged bonds that were too close for comfort. That behaviour was left to the likes of the Gaunts.

Benevolence did not care to spend much time in the Debutante circles were the upper middle classes and the wealthy rubbed shoulders, she did only what duty and social expectation required, but she had been in the company of the elder Mrs Prewett on a few occasions, the sort of polite teas where mercenary mothers assessed the prospects of young ladies – on the behaviour of the mothers of England the writings of the late Miss Austen were well and truly accurate. ’I believe sir that I have had the pleasure of your mothers acquaintance at the ball at Mrs Averforths some weeks ago.’ she added.


[Image: wl0I79B.jpg]
Lady is a wonder
#9
"Er - yes," Faustus responded, positioning his hand to his waistcoat pocket, unsure of how to reply to such a statement. It was one of the most common replies he got when telling people he was Head Auror. Giggles of 'oh I'll have to watch myself around you then, sir!' were the likes of comments he usually fielded to the female in his family to take care of, seeing as the banter did not suit him well. "A pleasure to meet you, Miss Montague," he responded, her last name ringing a bell. Did that have to do with one of his older cases he'd helped investigate?

He inclined his head and offered her a kind smile. "Ah yes, I do believe she attended that ball," he said with a chuckle. "She always loves socializing in such circles."


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#10
Benevolence blushed when she realised how flatly her joke had fallen, that the gentleman had clearly heard it before.  It would serve her right for trying to banter – she wasn’t usually that sort of person but she didn’t want to spend any longer dodging questions about why she was buttering up the secretaries.  Now she was just embarrassed and feeling very foolish.  ’And you too sir’ she greeted. 

’I regret that I do not spend much time in society, but would know your mother by her reputation of course.’ she added.  The horse who had not moved off snorted into her hand, having munched it’s way through the vegetation she had offered.  She glanced at the animal and then to the auror, ’I hate snails’ she admitted hoping to put him at some kind of ease – it was clearly still disquieted, ’I work with plants all day and the sight of a snail is enough to send me running’ she gave a wry laugh at the irony of her own phobia, ’Can I assume you prefer apparition to 4 legged travel?’ And animal tugged roughly at the bridle in her hand. Jolting her arm and shoulder with it’s strength, snorting loudly through it’s nose and pawing at the ground with its front hoof.

@Faustus Prewett


[Image: wl0I79B.jpg]
Lady is a wonder
#11
As soon as she blushed, Faustus felt a stab of guilt, and he smiled kindly at her, hoping that was enough to let her know she caused no offense. Her next comment, however... given her embarrassment at his reaction to her first statement, he presumed that she meant no disrespect to his mother. Fact of the matter was, his mother's husband (his father) had been convicted of being a Dark Wizard and that event wasn't something that faded away with time, despite the fact that Faustus had redeemed his family name. And thankfully, she kept talking, so he saw no reason other than to keep smiling.

Until the subject matter included his least favorite animal. It was rather sweet of her to offer her weakness, but it did not do the auror much good to have others know he could be felled by such a beast. As such, he chuckled and said, "I have no preference for transportation, in truth." Though was reluctant to offer more seeing as his mode of transportation could be a matter of security. Obviously there was little threat in the younger woman, but Faustus still had a day of work to go and was careful about speaking about the details of his career to people he did not know.


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#12
It wasn’t often she had the opportunity to talk with working men, and certainly not about their careers – after all most conversation at a ball was banal – how was the weather, how was so-and-so mutual acquaintance. None of which interested Benevolence in the least, so she tried to engage in it as little as possible. And those that did were usually frightfully boring, or full of a sense of self importance. This gentleman seemed rather the opposite and the elusiveness alone was enough to pique her interest further – damn her Ravenclaw curiosity.

Benevolence opened her mouth to respond but the horse, bored of the conversation that was about him and not too him, or perhaps hoping to punish the brunette for not having more greenery in her basket, neighed loudly and took off at a pace, with Ben’s hand still tucked in the throat latch.

One moment she had been looking at the gentleman, the next thing her arm was jerked from it’s socket and all she saw was sky as her whole body was jerked backwards by the horses dash. Her fingers didn’t respond to her command to open and she was pulled along by the horses bridle.


@Faustus Prewett


[Image: wl0I79B.jpg]
Lady is a wonder
#13
It was unfortunate for this woman that her hand was still in the horse's bridle. Faustus started as the horse bolted fowards and poor Miss Montague was left with nothing to do but be dragged along. There was absolutely no way he was faster than a horse, unless he'd had a broom, but there wasn't time to summon a broom unless he wanted Miss Montague to be dragged halfway to Hogsmeade in this state.

If he immediately immobilized the horse immediately, the woman would be launched forwards because of the sudden halt and it might do worse for her person than good. Faustus darted after the horse, taking his wand out and pointing it at the animal. Immediately, the horse slowed down; a good sign. As he caught up with the animal, he cast a freezing charm on it which halted it in mid-air immediately.

Now in full auror mode, he went straight to the source of the problem and to the horse's side. It was just as well that his break was almost up, seeing as he counted this as something he'd most certainly have to draw up some papers for. "Miss Montague," he said, first focusing on getting the horse's bridle undone so she could remove her hand. "Are you alright?" Despite horses not being his favorite animal, he knew how to ride them as well as de-tack them; once the bridle was removed, he moved over to the young woman's side, brows furrowed in concern as he took in her state.


[Image: 3ojKV8.jpg]
#14
Shock, kept hysteria, and her tears, at bay as the pain of her recent ordeal sank into her limbs. She was seeing stars and only vaguely aware of what someone was saying to her. Dimly she realised it was the gentleman, Mister Prewett from before.

Her arm, the one that was trapped in the bridal ached at the shoulder and hung limp and uselessly at the shoulder, curved only up to where the bridal held her hand - clearly dislocated. Her face had scrapes, and a nasty gash had been ripped above her right eye, on the side closest to the horse. She was vaguely aware of pain in her lower half but it had been taking it’s time to develop and she couldn’t put her finger on exactly what was causing it

’My arm,’ she whimpered, and tried to use her other harm to sit up a little straighter. Her skirts were in disarray, and largely hitched up around her knees. In a panic she tried to right them, jerking her arm reflexively and crying out in pain as her arm protested. Her legs were scraped and battered, covered in cuts and grazes but didn’t seemed to be ‘working’ as far as she could tell.

Her eyes were filling with tears as embarrassment, rather than pain clouded her still fuzzy brain.

@Faustus Prewett


[Image: wl0I79B.jpg]
Lady is a wonder
#15
An eventful afternoon this had turned out to be. Faustus managed to release the horse's bridle and thus Miss Montague's arm as he threw the piece of leather to the ground. He muttered something under his breath before turning his attention to her, not bothering to witness the large silver creature that shot from his wand in the direction of St. Mungo's. "Mediwizards and witches will be here soon, Miss Montague," He said, keeping his voice steady as the crowd grew further around them. The commotion was no doubt not something that Miss Montague would be comfortable with.

Mercifully, an onlooker saw the same thing and a cloak to cover Miss Montague was offered to him. With a grateful look and note to later get the bypasser's name, Faustus took it and draped it over Miss Montague. Conjuring a kerchief, he put it to her forehead. He took his wand and drew it over the smaller scrapes. "I apologize, Miss Montague," he said as he did so. "This is as much as I can do until they get here." A few more seconds and they would be.


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#16
Her arm was very obviously dislocated, it hung useless by her side, the side of her face ached, and a bruise was already forming, before morning the side of her face that had rubbed the ground would be painfully swollen. For now, angry tears were rolling down the unmarked side of her face . 'Thank you' she mumbled humiliation and pain, thankful at least that her scratched and battered legs were at least covered, for she couldn't make her arm move to cover herself. although the cloak would almost certainly be spotted with blood. She wasn't bleeding badly from her cut legs, but pinpricks of bright red had been starting to dot her skin.

'thank you Mister Prewett' she managed through her tears. She let out a half laugh, half sob, 'I think', she manged, as they waited for healers, 'that you might be right about horses.'



(We can probably end this thread here, and I'll open a thread for her in hospital, he can come, or go back to work whatever his style is.)


[Image: wl0I79B.jpg]
Lady is a wonder


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