April 16th, 2098

06:37:59 Porthman heard all about the disruption in the force via Botts’ big mouth and found himself suddenly very glad that the photographer with the rainbow-vomit hair had relinquished her film to his care. Hippolytus Botts could continue right along winning the “Most Disruptive Auror” award until his inevitable demise or resignation (because, really, let’s be honest) so Meredith could continue to look good by comparison – or so he hoped. Of the latter, he was invariable found back on the ancient cobblestones of Diagon Alley once he secured some free time to peruse the layout and glance over vendors as an exclusive fop with all the money to spend in the world and nothing met his standards.

06:48:44 [Katysha] Katysha Dalca still wasn't entirely comfortable with the idea of revealing herself to an adoring public. She'd set up shop, as had been requested of her. For Romania, they said. It's about national pride, they said. And oh, she'd set up shop, but they hadn't ever told her she had to have the shop open. Calico Katya's Awesome Brooms, Ltd. had a charming little booth, absolutely quaint, with a couple half-finished broomsticks on display and a plain white placard that read, in plain black letters, Back in 15 minutes! Katysha had, as of her last count, had that placard manning the shop for her for fifteen hours and counting. Indeed, rather than manning her quaint little shop, she was on the wrong side of it, inspecting her work like a prospective buyer, making many hmmm-ing and hummm-ing sounds in a way that suggested very deep thought. She was a thinker, this nameless androgynous redhead. Clearly a sophisticated customer, the sort of customer that only purchases the very best.

07:05:41 [Porthman] A moth to the flame, Mop knew where he’d stop as soon as he saw the naked skeletons of brooms. He knew he shouldn’t – he had no reason to… but then, when was there a real reasonto do anything that wasn’t part of the most basic human functions? Why did he wear clothes? Why did he have a dog? It was easy to let the veneer slip and drift oh-so-gently over to the stand through the littering of people and a polite distance from the stand’s other patron. Mop’s eyes first glanced over the woman’s red hair (how could they not) and then, scanning over the corpses displayed on the stand, to the placard. Back in 15 minutes. Some barely-audible nonsense loosed itself from his tongue, but remained to check the corner of his eye and the details catching Red Head’s attention.

07:09:04 [Kaust] The first night of Magic-Con had come and gone. It would have been a disappointment if Kaust had even wanted to be there but for the werewolf German it was just a mild inconvenience. Teammates had hooped and hollered and asked her where she’d been the previous evening when they’d been going about getting wasted. Her answer had been simple enough, she’d gotten drunk somewhere quiet… but ultimately she hadn’t done any of that at all. She’d spent her night in oblivion (sorta), held up in the care of the Ministry and had woken up for once without the horrific sense of displacement and shame. In fact she even felt a bit of relief today walking among the slight crowd, her lips wrapped around her church warden pipe instead of the bottle. With a huff of smoke she explored the surrounding area, wearing German team colors and navy hat only to pause before a particular booth. Though she felt somewhat more stable that didn’t mean she reflected it and with wrinkled clothes and half done tie she approached the booth. So entranced by the name of the owner she barely noticed the two already there, staring with open mouthed joy as she hastily put out her pipe to focus her attention on the half finished broomsticks. If she’d of had a tail it would have been wagging, as it was she was making girlish fan-crush sounds instead. Weird.

07:17:47 [Katysha] "You are out early, no?" The androgynous redhead had a little bit of an accent - a bit of roll to her R's mostly - but not much of one. "She will not be back in fifteen minutes, I do not think. There has been nobody here since the booth went up." She was dressed sharply, in fine bespoke clothing. A red silk dress shirt, black slacks, a black and white pinstriped vest, two-toned shoes. Elegantly, she slicked her hair back with a hand. Just like she was born to model that hair. "I am beginning to wonder if she is even here at all. But, there is a request sheet." Vaguely motioning with her hand, the woman pointed out a quill and inkwell at one end of the booth, wherein half a dozen people had already scrawled in their requests. Her piece said, the woman went back to examining the left of the two unfinished brooms, talking to herself at a just-audible tone. "Banding, good… fascinating choice of material. No more Goblin-Iron, then? I wonder."

07:33:21 [Porthman] When the woman to his side started speaking at him, Mop got the distinct impression she wasn’t really looking for conversation. The way she made excuses and flippantly tried to distract him with the ledger (which worked, by the way—he spent a small amount of time scanning through the names on the sheet) made him feel out-of-place. Maybe she was trying to get rid of him in hopes she might snare the spotlight when the person manning the booth returned. Meredith hitched on a detail, but tried to sweep it under a rug. He was about to make conversation anyway (despite what he thought she was trying to do), but a noise to his back and a newcomer to the booth almost made him jump out of his own skin. Almost—but he managed simply to slide out of the way to use the woman with the red hair and the strange vernacular as a buffer between he and Her. For a moment, he thought to escape before Kaust could recognize him, but he remained on the peripheral, as if he could eavesdrop without her taking notice.

07:41:02 [Kaust] Admiration and awe coated her expression. This here was the booth manned by the woman that had made her dreams come true (for a time), what was there not to love? It felt almost surreal to be staring at the sign and her heart hoped that the genius behind the station would eventually return but she can hear the voice of the other woman at the booth and while she isn’t sure if she’s talking to her she does feel somewhat downtrodden and crushed. B-but she’d show up eventually right? Kaust was only there on principle not because she wanted to explore, she could stay there as long as it took—not like she had friends to meet or anything. With renewed excitement she took a glance at the sheet of names and it’s while she’s looking through them that nostrils will flare and she’ll give a simple, “Hallo, Herr Porthman.” But nothing more nothing less. He can’t escape her, not with these sharp senses. He smelt like lies and apprehension (always). Still she is in a good mood, control for once and she won’t let Mop break her today. “I hope she comes.” Wistful sigh.

07:50:35 [Katysha] Tsk, tsk. Were people always like this? Demanding, staring, pushing their faces against her art, just waiting to put their grubby little hands all over her masterwork, smearing their fingerprints on her perfect lacquers, scuffing her perfect banding…. Katysha's eye twitched involuntarily. "The literature says she has to come, in four days. Romania has all but promised it. You did not hear it from me, but there is a nasty rumor meandering through the curator circles - that she means to either retire, or offer a new model. But that is rumor, no, and rumors are filthy, filthy things." Katysha didn't necessarily believe that. Rumors were a great friend of hers, and she started them with great frequency and glee. It was oh-so-very-helpful to her, when she made a statement, either under her own name or not, and her followers turned it into a thousand reasons to be excited. Of which she only ever had to choose one to profit handsomely.

08:07:53 Kaust missed the eye twitch from the red head, her attention on the list as she thought carefully about what she should do. A chance to meet her hero was looming over her head suffocating her with the possibilities and yet she knew her luck was the absolute worse. Her shoulders slouched a bit as she took a pen to write on the list –muggle style. Still, to the woman she held the list suddenly to her chest as she turned to face her. “R-retire?” She gnawed on her bottom lip before smiling, “Vhatever is best for her.” There’s a soft look to her normally hard face for once, “S-she saved meine life, sorta. Vell, vhen I ran away from home I didn’t know vhat to do vif myself und all. Und… I had a small savings from meine inheritance so-so I spent it on one of her brooms and found my calling. Vifout her, Vifout dat broom I’d be nothing. Even now.” She took a deep breath before putting the list back down and turning back to the booth, “I vill vait for her, I don’t mind it.” However long it took.

08:18:12 [Katysha] Without that broom, I'd be nothing. Even now. That was… rather high praise. Especially because the German(?) woman didn't look that much younger than her. Four years? Five, perhaps? How long ago had she..? Was it one of her early prototypes? Katysha shelved all those many questions and gave a knowing nod in response to Kaust. "You look very familiar, should I know you from somewhere?" That was a nice, innocent question for the nice, distinctive broom fangirl. "Are you a collector, perhaps? Please do accept my apology, I have trouble recognizing faces - I do not mean any offense by it." Misnomer, actually. Katysha was completely incapable of recognizing someone by their face. Whatever neurons fired to trigger facial recognition, hers didn't. Little-known bit of trivia about the reclusive artisan.

08:30:05 [Kaust] Somehow she’d gained the attention of the red head and with a quirked brow she gave a nod, preparing her answer. “I’m a professional Quiddich player. I’ve been using the same broom she made for me since I vas a child. Ah, I started riding vhen I vas about sixteen, seventeen during meine schooling. I got picked up then. T-that broom made me, I felt alive, no other one was ever so grand and I haven’t updated either.” She was a bit embarrassed about that but quickly slung her broom from around her back to display to the red head, her precious awesome cat. “ I stopped playing for a bit.” To become a horrible headmistress, “But I still use this now. I don’t think I’d play nearly as vell if I didn’t have it.” Then a pause before she gave off a soft laugh, “But I don’t collect, I love her jah? Vut she ist expensive und I love the one she made for me enough! Meine name is Hayden, Hayden Kaust. I use it when I play professionally now for das German team.” She didn’t brag or anything, the woman might not have even cared about her current career but she was a mighty beast on a broom. “Are du also a fan? The care she puts into her vork is amazing. I felt like she had actually listened when I commissioned und… that means a lot to me. Vhat ist yer name?”

08:40:08 [Katysha] The woman - Hayden Kaust, a Quidditch professional apparently - slung the broom off her back, and Katysha took in a breath. She leaned in very close, inspecting the grain of the wood, and the inscription, and the banding. Taking in a deep breath, as though to pick up on the smell of the materials, she gradually realized what she was doing might be construed as odd. "That… that is a very rare thing you have, Hayden Kaust. A prototype, a pre-market model. Mahogany is a beautiful wood." The 'market-model' she'd only released in early 2092. But she'd certainly sold before then, sparingly, to people who knew how to get a request in… if she'd gone into Quidditch, that would explain a lot. "Oh, a fan? You could say that. My name is Katya." She didn't affix a 'Calico' to it, or give a last name. It was a whim at all that she called herself 'Katya', perhaps her guard was lowered by the earnestness of this… strange German woman. Pangs of familiarity, even. Kaust might've been her sister, except Katysha had none.

08:56:12 [Kaust] With tilted head she watched her sniff the wood, curious but silent as she took to an action that might have been out outside of context. Was she… no, not a werewolf like herself, not sniffing for the reasons Kaust might have but still what an odd trait. “Did du just… vere j00 able to tell just from that?” She’s a bit excited, she’s never met a broom expert and it was like this woman was almost—nah, that seemed silly. Still, Hayden is happy to be talking to someone, anyone, that was taking her seriously and not cursing her name. There’s a slight shiver when its explained about her rare treat and she can’t keep the grin off her face. “Dat ist nice to know vut it ist still meine best friend, even if it vasn’t.” Which is true, she’d still put the same amount of obsessive care into it whether it was rare or not because it was a special gift from a woman who didn’t give many. “Katya… Vell! Hallo, Frau Katya! It is lovely to meet du. I’ve had a bit of a rough time vut this is just great!” Even though this woman wasn’t her hero she was still pretty smart, Hayden was impressed.

09:11:50 [Katysha] "A rough time? I am very sorry to hear that." Katysha smiled a thin, awkward smile. She didn't have the sort of social grace that allowed her to commiserate easily. She always sounded like she didn't really know what to say. "I have, you could say, a great interest in antique brooms. Calico's pre-market prototypes. Early Suisei racing brooms. I have one of the original 1993 Spudmore Firebolts at home, it is a particularly fascinating piece. Decades beyond its time, a simply magnificent work." Katysha bowed her head ever so slightly, curled her lips. It was hard not to be a little moved by just how excited this thirty-something professional was. It was, dare she say, cute. "Do you have anywhere to be, or could I trouble you for a story about that specimen of yours? I always look to learn more about these… early works." She couldn't bring herself to call it a master's work. No, it was imperfect. All of her brooms were: they were made for individuals, who by nature requested things.

09:26:55 Kaust ‘s smile was genuine and wide, she just couldn’t stop! “W-wow! Du seem like du have a lot of knowledge.” She motioned to the booth, “Du should definitely stay too! She’d love to meet du. She seems like that type of person.” Kaust had romanticized Katysha’s image in her head. She was probably a kind and gentle broom maker who was wise beyond her years. “She has so much to share, I just know it.” To be honest Kaust could probably listen to Kat talk all day and she didn’t have anywhere to go. “Ah, jah. Meine most fondest memory ist vhen I vas a bit younger. I vas trying out for das Quidditch team und had just gotten das broom. Vell, this douche-bag.” And she paused… it was wrong to speak about the dead, especially since she’d killed him by accident—“V-vell, he didn’t like me very much und had challenged me to a bit of fun around das field. I didn’t know it was rigged. As soon as I took to das air he’d released da quiddich balls. Uh, specifically the black mean ones. I had a little knowledge of the game but vas a noob at best. Dis baby kept me safe enough. ” She hugged it for a moment, as if remember, “Ve zoomed around das field and brought da balls straight back to him. He uh, he got pretty beat up.” She chuckled, “I’ve done a bit of stuff on dis broom vut dat vas das most important. The couch thought I vas a natural.”

09:33:55 [Katysha] Katysha nodded along in fascination as she relayed the story of her tryouts. Had one little broom been so important to this strange, strange German woman? Curious, curious. "That, it is high praise indeed. Thank you for this, Hayden Kaust." Katysha checked in the pocket of her vest and found - yes! - a business card, which she offered surreptitiously to the other woman. "I have, I am afraid, a meeting I cannot skip. But should you have a request for me, I will see that it is done with the greatest care and alacrity I can bring to bear upon it." Here, she excused herself quickly, with only a thoroughly sly smile by way of farewell. The business card read, on three lines: 'Calico Katya. Calico Katya's Awesome Brooms, Ltd. Artisan of the world's finest hand-made broomsticks.' What? Sometimes, you have to be sweet to a fan.

09:45:28 Kaust was never very good at expressing herself, the therapist had said as much during all the poking and prodding but here was a surreal encounter with some magical woman she’d never seen before. She felt a little fulfilled when she was off and moving away but something she had said was so strange and odd to her that she couldn’t shake the feeling that she’d been speaking with some famous person. Of course, that’s confirmed when she finally glances down at the card in her grip. “Oh……….” It had been her. How neat. Of course then after she’d cover her mouth with a hand and scream into it. That had been her?!

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