Professor Llwyd

SAFE ZONE: Sixth Floor, Ancient Runes Classroom

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After a few seconds, Phillip decided that this tactic wasn’t working so he chose to actually obey the instructions he’d been given properly instead and Lucia had said something about putting his head down on the desk…okay then?

So Phillip did sit quietly and did put his head down on the desk like the older girl (Lucia) had instructed him to do. But there was a problem here…that just seemed to make it worse so Phillip snapped his head up quickly and when he next saw Lucia, he shot the older girl a glare as if it was all her fault that it was worse.

In reality, it was not at all Lucia’s fault but…Phillip didn’t understand about minor negative associations and nocebo effects and the complexities therein (because…eleven) so he just glared at Lucia Isaacs instead because to his mind, that was all her fault.

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A few hours later...

 

 

Events might have been wrapping up at the castle but the day was nowhere near close to being over. There would be hours more to go once Rayy returned to the Ministry and there was nothing to say that those hours wouldnt stretch out to be closer to days. The mere thought of it was enough to make her want to weep in frustration; she was injured and already utterly spent. There were no reserves of energy or magic left - everything had been used up...everything, that is, except anger - that she had in spades!

 

Rayya was about to leave the castle when she finally remembered the kid she had unceremoniously dumped on Stefan and that memory made her stop dead in her tracks as she looked longingly towards the main entrance and then back inwards and upwards towards the sixth floor and the location of the Ancient Runes classroom. The desire to just ignore that particular unresolved situation was so great that she literally couldn't move; stuck between gazing first in one direction and then the other, torn between the two desires. Did she really have to deal with the child from hell again? Couldn't she just leave it and let the matter drop? But Rayy knew it would just create more paperwork that would easily eat up an hour or so that she could ill-afford to spend, not when it would only take another quarter of an hour...half an hour tops...to settle.

 

The two separate duties warred within her; one side wanting to get the official paperwork and preliminary interviews at the office done with, the other side wanting to get rid of one particular headache before dealing with the worse ones ahead of her; neither option was appealing. Rayy moved forward a few steps closer to being able to leave only to stop dead in her tracks. A sudden, white-hot rage burned through her entire body using all of her tiredness, guilt and frustration as fuel as she realised she couldn't just leave no matter how much she might wish to! She turned on her heel with an ugly snarl on her lips, vaulting across the staircases in order to facilitate the swiftest ascension possible.

 

*****

 

Rayya's wand moved easily towards the rune that was her way in and activated it, draining what little was left of her magic entirely - if anything more were to happen she would be, for all intents and purposes, helpless and that knowledge added some more fuel to her rage, stoking the fires hotter. She holstered her wand, knocked on the door once, shoved it open and strode inside the room, her gaze landing on Hemorrhoid Kid instantly, eyes narrowing to a glare, before bypassing him to assess everyone else and finding the results disturbing.

 

She did try to look reassuring to the others in the room but Rayy found that her face got darker with every passing moment as she realised that no Healer had been in to see to their injuries. Her grim scowl finally landed on Stefan, noting his leg. The way he had it raised telling her plainly that she hadn't done a good enough job at healing it; the brandy also clueing her in. Pain and guilt pushed rage aside briefly and Rayya's scowl softened as her eyes, unguarded and moist with tears that would remain unshed, briefly met those of her friend before she dropped her head down in mute acknowledgement of just how much she had failed him...had failed them all...her throat constricting, locking away anything she might have said in that fleeting moment before her anger returned.

 

Pain and guilt couldnt hold against the rage that was consuming her and they were gone before she even had time to raise her head once more. The cold, murderous glare came back and she levelled it at the boy who had wasted her time. There was no room for any soft-hearted maternal feelings - she wasnt his mother! - and she didn't owe this kid a single thing: not pity or remorse or kindness. She'd give him every single ounce of cold professionalism she could muster and let him choke on it!

 

She stalked towards the boy, her pace even and deliberate; the burnt corpse of the Inferi child flashing through her mind, reminding her of what tenderness wrought in terms of consequences. Rayya's knuckles were white from clenching her fingers tightly into her palms, and her gaze didnt leave him once it had found her target. It was if everyone else in the room had all but vanished. Silently she dared him to rebel, to mouth off and be obnoxious once more; all she needed was a tiniest hint of it to justify extreme means.

 

With slow deliberation Rayy crouched down in front of him and pointed her retrieved wand firmly at his chest. "Well? What do you have to say for yourself?" she snapped.

 

 

=================

Welcome to your doom, kid. This is your chance to plead, beg, sniffle, sob, faint, wish you'd never been born...and possibly also where you get let off the hook. In short, the direction this goes is now in your hands entirely...choose carefully, there will be no second chances. Bring it on!

=================

 

@ Lucia/Flynn/Sophia/Vladimir

Guys you are wonderful. You are free to leave or stay as you see fit. React how you will but if you get in the way...well you're all smart peeps and won't will you? *smiles sweetly*

 

@ Stefan

Angry lioness stalking your students, hear me roar! Feel free to call Rayy to task about it later, it could prove interesting *toothy grin*

 

@ Phillip

As mentioned in the brief, this is now your show. I'll run with whatever lead you give me. Be a smart kid and wise up or pray to whatever deity you hold dear and hope that you get rescued before Rayy chews you up and spits you out. Up to you... *sharpens claws*

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While events were unfolding with regards to the others in the room, Phillip kept glaring at Lucia Isaacs because he still thought that the slightly-dizzy feeling being made worse was the older girl’s fault. It wasn’t, of course, but the reality was that Phillip didn’t understand complexities of nocebo and certain minor negative associations because he was only eleven so instead, he kept throwing dirty looks Lucia’s way as if it was all her fault.

 

And Phillip kept staring at Lucia while Rayya entered the room and stared at people and kept up the stare while Rayya crossed over to him. And then Rayya crossed over to him and Phillip may not have been the smartest kid in the world but he was bright enough to work out that he was not about to be praised.

As for going ghostly white, well, both Anthony (Phillip’s older brother) and Phillip himself were far too dark for that to begin with. Anthony was too light to go ashen and thus ended up going green in certain situations by default. Phillip, however, was the right colour (i.e. dark enough) to go ashen and this is what happened now.

Rather than answer her when she demanded what he had to say for himself, Phillip simply ducked his head and avoided her gaze and instead, he chose to stare at the floor and remain silent. What? When mum and/or Nani told him off, actually looking them in the eye was guaranteed to get him into even further trouble on the grounds of ‘disrespecting his elders’ and Phillip didn’t want to deal with that right now. And the rest of the authority figures in Phillip’s life, pre-Hogwarts really hadn’t minded one way or the other.

Besides, what would be the point in answering Rayya? She already knew exactly what he had to say for himself and he didn’t have anything further to say. Or at least, nothing that he should a)say in front of professor Llwyd or b)would be at all respectful. What he had to say to her, he had already said to her. She knew that he thought that she wasn’t an auror (or at least not a competent one) and there was no point in repeating that.


For a few seconds, only two things happened.

The first was Phillip glancing at Professor Llwyd (but without quite meeting the older man’s eyes) for permission to answer since the professor had instructed him to remain silent and stationary until further acknowledged and had never specified who counted as far as acknowledging the ickle Hufflepuff went.

 

The second was Phillip getting even more ashen because the older witch had scared him…rather a lot. Maybe it wasn’t a good idea to scare him again in a short space of time because maybe he’d already been scared half-to-death.

The reality was that his bravado earlier had been false bravado borne out of not wanting to leave someone alone with a pretend-auror (he didn’t care how legitimate that badge was, she wasn’t an auror if two not-even-third-years could actually obstruct her.) That was not a concern now though so he was free to avoid mouthing off, in a way he hadn’t felt able to do before because of the other boy.

 

And then Phillip’s face drained of most of the last warm undertones it had naturally had despite its depth of colour and Phillip trembled for a little while before the little boy’s eyes rolled back before he slipped off the chair and fainted. An old habit that he’d had when little of holding his breath when startled resurfaced now because of how frightened the ickle Hufflepuff was.

 

This, of course, left Phillip a) temporarily unconscious and b)temporarily not breathing. Both were borne of nothing more than the bad fright Rayya had caused because the fact of the matter was that Phillip was only eleven and his late August birthday put him as one of the very youngest in his year and since he was a first-year, this made him one of Hogwarts’s very youngest kids.

 

Still, Phillip did have a rather interesting/bizarre anatomical quirk in that everything was flipped inside the second Aldermaston son which meant that Phillip was left with a silent sinister side. This meant that looking for a heartbeat in the usual place would not work because that wasn’t how Phillip’s internal organs were arranged.

 

Still, at least there was no way that Phillip could be mouthy right now because he was too unconscious for that but Phillip’s last useful conscious thought (before the ‘gonna faint’ one) had been him briefly wondering about who knew about the whole ‘flipped organs’ thing. Phillip was supposed to wear something about that but he never actually did.


Edited by Phillip Aldermaston
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There were very few times in his life when he had ever witnessed incensed Rayya. Thankfully, he had never been on the receiving end, simply a spectator, but even then, he could understand what terror someone might feel upon direct reception. Grown men cowered in fear before her. It was no surprise, then, that the quivering first year feinted.

 

Locking eyes with Lucia, he made a slight head movement to her to indicate that she was to keep everyone else back. It wouldn't do to have casualties here, and Rayya was trained and holding a wand. He'd like to think that she had self control enough not to unleash her frustrations on innocent children, but after the events of that day, there was no telling exactly what she would do. The guilt she had expressed as she had seen him upon entrance, the exhaustion he could see was dragging on her shoulders, the pain she must be feeling from her injury: it was enough to make the most patient and even tempered of blokes lash out, and while he didn't have any particular fondness for or attachment to the Hufflepuff, he did care about Rayya's sanity and keeping her out of Azkaban. Child murder, he was fairly certain, would land her there for life.

 

Grunting, he gingerly moved his foot off the pillow on which it was propped, grabbing a last swig of brandy as he did so to make what he was about to do more bearable, and slowly stood up. Wincing with each step, he hobbled over to her. When he reached her side, he put a soft hand on her shoulder and quietly said so prying ears might not hear, "Rayy - think. You've been through a lot today. Don't do anything you or Seb might regret later. He's only eleven, not a Death Eater, not a hardened criminal." He held out his other hand for her wand. If she was going to deal with this child, it was probably in everyone's best interest that she wasn't armed.

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As a mother, Rayy was aghast as the kid toppled over into a dead faint and appeared not to breathe but he did otherwise he'd be dying and the blame would land squarely on her! And that just ramped up her mood to barely controlled, incandescent, furious rage! If the kid had been hers there was no doubt he'd be wishing he hadn't been born!

 

Rayy's lizard brain flared up as soon as it registered movement coming towards her, sending out numerous warnings that all urged extreme action. The more rational part, strongly aided by her complete exhaustion, won out which was why Stefan was still alive to put his hand on her shoulder. Even so, Rayy flinched as his hand landed, her body tensing for action she knew was unrequired even as the warning bells screamed louder in her brain. Her friend's words didn't make much of a dent to the shield of anger that was protecting her from all the horrors of the last week...at least not until her beloved husband's name was uttered. That pulled all of her attention back and got it focused, her anger was still there but it was effectively leashed...for now.

 

The murderous glare she had levelled at the kid was still there when she turned to listen more carefully, slowly morphing into concern crossed with disbelief because if Stefan thought she'd be handing over her wand, he'd have another think coming! "Not going to happen!" she managed as she manoevered herself upright. The set to her jaw came back as did her anger. Dropping her voice even lower than Stefan's had been so there was utterly no chance of anyone else hearing even if they strained to do so, "We lost Sheffield!"

 

The tears that had threatened and been blinked back before now slipped out, unbidden, unwanted and ignored as she ground out in a pained breath, "And I was stuck dealing with the likes of him! So tell me again why I have to play nice with him!"

 

Rayy wrenched herself free of her friend's restraining hand and once more levelled her wand at the kid's body, hitting him squarely with a reviving spell - which went against her better judgement and her desire to murder the kid for all the trouble he had caused. Still glaring she offered Stefan a show of good faith, reversing her hold on the wand and offering him the handle, her hand shaking badly - though whether that was from casting a spell when magically drained or from the very thought of not having her wand to hand was anyone's guess.

 

 

=================

Reviving Spell (Rennervate) @Phillip

Against my better judgement you are awake.

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It was only an old habit upon being startled that had been reawakened because of Rayaa’s actions being more than merely startling so it only took a few seconds before the air from the held breath was gone meaning that the little boy naturally started breathing on his own.

Well, to be honest, it would be more accurate to say that doing it accidentally was a habit from fear since there’d been a few times when Phillip was little when he’d done the breath-holding on purpose – usually because he wanted a toy or a sweet but this time, it was a simple fear-based habit.

It was probably just as well that between volume and the fact that he had passed out, he couldn’t have heard Rayya since he would have likely called her a liar had he known what she was saying because after all, he had made room for her….the worst he’d done was mouth off.

 

In addition, it was probably just as well that there wasn’t the prospect of leaving another kid alone with the maybe-auror because in that case…if he’d heard, he’d likely have asked some snarky question like ‘Did you try looking for Sheffield? ‘ or ‘Where did you last see Sheffield’ or ‘Did you have Sheffield this morning?’

As things stood, however, there was no way that Phillip could have been aware of the words exchanged between Raya and Stefan.

Rather, the next thing that Phillip knew about was the scary lady aiming her wand directly at his chest and he was far too frightened to notice that it had been to wake him up or her turning the handle around and offering it to Professor Llwyd immediately after. And his own wand had been confiscated so it wasn’t like he could do anything back … if he even could do anything against a full-grown adult anyway which he highly doubted.

Instead, Phillip glanced at the desks and decided he could fit under a desk…sure, he was a little tall for his age but he was slight and besides, he wasn’t absurdly tall like someone his older brother had told him about.

There was no point in bothering to stand up, in Phillip’s estimation, since he’d only have to duck down again once he reached the desk so he opted to crawl for the desk instead and once he reached there, he crawled under and shifted himself up into a sitting position with his own back against the solid part of the desk.

Once in that sitting position, Phillip shifted once more so that his legs were tucked up against his body and then he wrapped his arms around his legs so that he was hugging his knees and then he proceeded to make sniffling noises that weren’t exactly sobs but more the …promise… or the ..threat… of sobs.

And no, Phillip was not intending on coming out for the scary wand-pointing-at-people’s-chest lady any time soon. The other adult seemed …well, not okay as in health (he was observant enough to notice the cushion from earlier) but okay enough to trust if it became necessary though.

For now though, Phillip was intent on hiding under that desk and remaining stationary as instructed until he was further acknowledged…he didn’t think he could manage silent right this moment so he endeavoured to sit statue-still until given further instructions.

 

Once he was given further instructions…well, he’d decide whether or not to obey them then. There was one instruction he already knew he’d disobey though…anything involving coming closer to Rayya.

 

Though he did have a plan for what he’d do if he really had to come out from under the desk and go to an adult though…mainly he’d head for the man. What? Not that he had much to go on but so far, Phillip trusted him way more than he trusted the woman.

But that was for later and he’d get to that when he was forced to get to it. For now though, Phillip was intent on staying put right where he was until he was actually told to do something but at least he was still now (apart from his steady breathing) even if he was very much failing to be silent.

 

Like Llwyd had said, Phillip was only eleven. And like the professor hadn’t said, he wasn’t even a very old eleven because of his August birthday. So…the little boy was quite determined to remain under the desk for the time being.

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Her words hit him like a brick. He didn't know the woman personally, but he had heard enough about Lucretia Sheffield from Rayya over the years to feel the loss when it was conveyed. He felt his stomach drop painfully, but he pushed away the feeling as best he could to deal with the situation at hand. There would be time later to let the news truly sink in. For now, he needed to keep a cool head and stop Rayya from doing something she would regret.

 

The problem was he didn't have any answer for her. Why did she have to play nicely with an eleven year old who may, or may not, have been the indirect cause of an auror death? He was quiet long enough for her to wrench her arm free of him, his thoughts still devoid of a sufficient answer. He lowered his hand as he watched her revive the Hufflepuff, and then, to his surprise, she actually handed her wand over to him. Taking it before she could change her mind, he slid it into his robe pocket and leveled his gaze on her as Phillip scurried under the desk. He was still struggling for a proper response to her question, but then something she had said years ago resurfaced in his memory.

 

"Because personal vengeance to satisfy your feelings of failure won't bring her back," he finally supplied. He gave her a meaningful look, and then turned his attention to the boy. In a much louder voice, now, that everyone could hear, he commanded, "Aldermaston, stand by the black board. You may now speak, but you must act with respect towards Mrs Borage-Brown, or I will escalate from what I previously said and talk to Headmistress Flamel about your expulsion. Your actions had serious consequences today, keep that in mind." He pointed to the blackboard behind his desk and waited for the Hufflepuff to do his bidding.


Edited by Professor Llwyd

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Phillip nodded slightly in acknowledgement of the professor’s words before crawling out from under the desk and crossing over to stand by the blackboard though he was careful to avoid jogging either adult. 

As to being able to now speak….well, not really since the professor had also said that he must act with respect towards Mrs Borage-Brown and…well…he highly doubted that anything he wanted to say would be classed as ‘acting with respect’ so he thought it was better if he chose to say very little.

So instead, the ickle had just stood up and walked over to the blackboard.  As for serious consequences and expulsion….why should he care anymore?  (Or at least he wanted to pretend he didn’t care) It’s not like they were going to keep anyone safe, was it?  

Seriously, they needed to pick a claim and stick with it.  Either they could deal with Death Eaters or his actions had serious consequences – not both.  There was no way that the same person trained to deal with Death Eaters couldn’t handle a physically co-operative eleven=year-old – he had moved, hadn’t he?   All he’d done was…well….mouth off.

Then again, Professor Llwyd wasn’t supposedly trained to deal with Death Eaters, was he?   So maybe Phillip was actually sorry as far as that went.     No, scratch that, he was actually genuinely sorry for stuff as far as Professor Llwyd went.

And so Phillip opted to say something (finally) but it was addressed to Professor Llwyd.  “I’m sorry, sir.”  Due to some left-over conditioning from prior to Hogwarts, Phillip was rather reluctant to offer the Professor direct eye contact because he was smart enough to realise he was in trouble.

Instead, Phillip simply hung his head and stared at the floor while he waited for Mrs Borage-Brown to say something.  Phillip had decided that since he had nothing respectful to say to Mrs Borage Brown, it was best that he was silent until spoken to, as far as the woman went.

But of course, Phillip was still a frightened first-year despite his trying to convince himself otherwise and so he was still trembling.  And the comment that was addressed to Professor Llwyd was all that Phillip had to say for himself until he was asked a direct question.

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The annoying kid dived under the nearest desk and started making sounds that normally came directly before tears. It hadn't even been a week since she'd last heard those noises and 'rescued' a kid from under a table and that event hadn't ended well for the kid. Memories of the girl in Turkey flashed through her brain but other images supplanted them and flooded every brain cell at the same time adrenaline flooded her veins.  Stefan's gaze was effective as an anchor that stopped Rayy from staggering backwards but it could do little to stop her from blanching white. Rayy didn't see the boy under the table for what seemed an age. Instead she saw herself as a teenager and knew, without the slightest doubt, that this kid would see her dead before too long.

 

Just as Rayy was sure she was going to lose it, her own words - so long ago said - came right back to her and she latched onto them as if she were drowning and they were the sole life preserver around. She opened her mouth to speak but nothing came out. Stefan's look conveyed so much more than the words had. That looked combined with her own words was enough to bring her back from scenes of the past though the reality of the kid under the desk was not pleasant.  

 

Rayya, still unable to speak, nodded and trusted herself enough to take a couple of steps away from the desk and not bolt for the door. Her thoughts were so jumbled between three time periods that she didn't trust herself to have any coherent words available for use.  Grimly she watched in dead silence as the kid was ordered out. Tension radiated from every pore as he moved to stand at the front of the room, her eyes following his movements much like she would follow every movement of a snake. She held herself stiffly to avoid any contact with the child and was relieved when he made every effort to likewise avoid contact. 

 

Stefan was right though, this was not the time or place for any assuaging of guilt and like it or not, she still had a job to do. Rayy gave her friend another curt nod but failed on easing the tension from her face so no smile or hint of one was forthcoming. Plucking up every ounce of tradional Gryff bravery and nerve, Rayy moved silently forward towards the boy she wanted nothing to do with.  She had no plan of what she was going to say but she was mightily grateful that her wand was stowed in Stefan's pocket. At least she wouldn't be able to kill him where he stood quite as easily.  In order to make that even harder she shoved her hands behind her back, uncaring of the pain as she pulled on her bad shoulder, and clenched them tightly together.

 

Rayy stopped when she was within arm's reach of the boy and glared at him, pausing there as she tried to summon words from her still-reeling mind. "You..." It came out weak, barely more than a whisper of a word. Rayy swallowed hard and cleared her throat, starting over and trying to ignore the way her hands betrayed her anguish behind her back as they twisted and pulled on each other. "You proved yourself to be a serious hindrance today but, as your professor has reminded me, you cannot be held to blame."  The pain of it all came back and Rayy was forced to stop for a moment. "Your actions and inability to cooperate with authority has had several consequences which 'sorry' won't undo... however the charges have been dropped against you..."

 

It was there that Rayy could hold herself back no longer and she yanked her good hand free and jabbed a trembling finger to the child's chest hard and repeatedly, "But if you ever get in my way again, you have my word that I'll make you wish you had never been born!"

 

The words out, she staggered back a few steps before managing to anchor herself against another desk, her hand griping the edge of it hard, knuckles turning white. Rayy turned her gaze away from the boy and found that her eyes landed on Stefan. This time the nod came somewhat easier.

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Phillip had just been careful to avoid jogging either adult…because well, he thought he needed to be careful to avoid jogging Professor Llwyd for obvious reasons and he highly doubted it would be deemed respectful to jog the auror either deliberately or through carelessness after taking care to avoid jogging the professor.

Phillip had naturally understood very little of what was going on between the auror and the professor because he was still rather reluctant to meet either of the adult’s eyes though there wasn’t one single reason that covered both of the adults.

The reason he was reluctant to quite meet Professor Llwyd’s eyes had a lot to do with some cultural things left over from before Hogwarts.  Blame his mother and maternal grandmother there.  In other words, he was actually trying to be respectful towards the professor.

  But the reason he was reluctant to make direct eye contact with Rayya had a lot more  to do with the fact that  he rather suspected he’d burst into something if he caught their eyes but he wasn’t quite sure if that would be laughter or tears.   Actually, it would definitely be tears but Phillip hardly wanted to admit that, even to himself.

 

Though he still didn’t understand why she was watching his every move.   Really, if he’d wanted to strike, he’d had every opportunity to do so earlier because…well…she had been rather patient on that front even if he didn’t really want to admit that to anyone, least of all himself.

 

Still, Phillip watched her closely as she approached and was watching her carefully as if she was a mother animal with a baby that he’d lost sight of because  to Phillip, it was just a given that you learn quickly that a)you never turn your back on a male animal (bull, ram, stallion, whatever)  and  b)you never ever get between a mother animal and her baby because neither of those were liable to end at all well.

 

Phillip did manage to resist the urge to put his hand out in an attempt to block her approach and so he just continued looking down at the floor with his eyes though he had lifted his head up and when Rayya mentioned other stuff…he looked over at her for the first time though he was still avoiding direct eye contact.

 

And then he was  lectured about being a serious hindrance and there was nothing to say to that that he hadn’t already covered with sorry.  Still, Phillip did open his mouth to apologise once more but then he was informed about serious consequences that couldn’t be undone so Phillip shut his mouth again.

And then he opened his mouth again.  “Ma’am?   Is there something besides saying sorry…?”   And that did come out in a genuinely respectful tone because he was actually looking for things to undo the consequences even if Phillip couldn’t quite find the words to finish his sentence.  Phillip didn’t know that a certain irreversible consequence had happened, after all.

 

When Rayya spoke quietly to him, it must be admitted that Phillip did not answer that single word. But when she mentioned the charges being dropped against him, Phillip did find his voice if only to say “Thank you, Ma’am.”





When the auror started jabbing at his chest, Phillip  had somehow got the impression that she was going to jab rather higher and thus the little boy instinctively jerked his head abruptly backwards and given that he was standing right in front of a blackboard, that was probably a bad idea in retrospect.


The comment about being sorry about being born just drew another apology from the boy and then he followed her gaze away from him and noticed it landing on the professor and at this point, Phillip wondered about another apology and this one would be directed to Professor Llwyd and Professor Llwyd alone and he would have made  sure that it was only intelligible to Professor Llwyd but he decided against that course of action and instead, Phillip just looked at the Professor for further instructions.


((Sorry for the delay and slightly rubbishy post))


Edited by Phillip Aldermaston

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Sorry for the delay, folks.

 

Pleased that Anthony followed his instructions without resistance, Stefan hobbled back over to his chair and propped his leg up again, letting Rayya do her thing. When both of their attention was back on him, though, it took a few seconds for him to register that they expected something.

 

"Rayy, I'm assuming that your presence here means that the castle is cleared?" He waited for, and received her acknowledgement and then nodded. "Alright then, Mr Aldermaston, you may leave. Miss Isaacs, please make sure that he and Miss Hunter get back to their common rooms safely." He looked between the two youngsters, "Please check in with your Heads of Houses so they know you are safe, and Lucia, if you could let Ripley know that Vladimir is in the Hospital Wing, I'd be most grateful." He took a moment to rearrange his leg on its cushion, took a swig of brandy, and then continued. "Miss Daniels, if I could beg a little more of your time, could you please help Mr Valentin down to the Hospital Wing to have his neck righted and then check in with Professor Fjord. Rayy -" He held out her wand. "I'm sure Edward is heading to the Slytherin common room if he's not already there. He, and Leslie were both on the roster of safe students," he assured her. All he wanted now was to crawl back into his office and shut the door, but he waited in his seat while movement started around him. He didn't care for them to see him in pain any more than they already had.

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