April 19th, 2098

08:51:15 Noriko || Welcome true believers! Where last we left our hero [the intrepid Princess Sparklefists], she had taken the kindness of a stranger; by that kindness, she knew something important and knew further that she had to bring it to someone else. Noriko was a stranger in a strange land, the workings of England hadn’t been part of her curriculum: English doctrine on proper reporting of prophecies, sadly, lost upon her. The night wasn’t kind, our hero didn’t sleep a wink, spending the time instead holed away in her rented room pouring once and again over the words she didn’t remember saying. The mothers sins demand payment in blood. If that wasn’t ominous, nothing at all was. Come morning Noriko came to the decision she seemed to come to every day in this place: find Mop. It wasn’t find Mop because smitten though; it was find Mop because auror. Mop surely understand England better than her, he would have an answer. Our hero wasn’t so gifted as to sport a corporeal patronus to message people at whim but she did have a sparrow [the splendiferous Mai] with a knack for message-bearing. Before dressing for the April chill in her usual bright red coat and taking to the street below Nori sent Mai on her way with a message: I need your help. Its important. Im at the Leaky Cauldron. <3 Nori. Then away did her sparrow fly, as our hero started her short walk to the most famous of wizard pubs. ||

09:03:59 Porthman ’s ‘nap’ ended up to be more like a coma. When he woke, it was in a worse state of disarray than when he’d gone, but he did – at least – fell well-rested. Mop went about his daily business from thereon out: put clothes on, put the kettle on (which still needed to be charmed), feed the dog, feed the bird, wash your face. It was shaping up to be a refreshingly easy day, even if his thoughts often went to a far-away place. Meredith was on his way out the door with Bobby when the sparrow-delivered message was dropped upon him. The terrier stopped but kept his excited tail a-wagging when his handler stalled to examine its contents. Poor Bobby was up for a let-down when the auror was finished and shooed him back into the house. Meredith was gone in the next second by way of a sickening crackle (as the house with other resources was currently commandeered by an addled German Quidditch-player). His arrival at the Leaky Cauldron was heralded by the same. Meredith started his scan the place immediately.

09:15:02 Noriko || The Leaky Cauldron wasn’t a favorite hangout for our hero; it was dingy and dirty and always a little noisy even in the early morning hours, which normally didn’t make a happy Nori. This morning wasn’t about happy Nori though: she was visibly distraught, at a small table with a glass of something letting off a lot of steam, in her hands a carefully folded sheet of paper torn out of a small notepad. The crack that heralded her Mop arriving brought her eyes up; she looked troubled which all on its own could say something was wrong. Nori didn’t ever look troubled. She was the irrepressible Princess Sparklefists! “Mop!” Nori waved; subdued but not out. Her smile wasn’t the normal blinding rays of pure joy but still it was genuine. She was glad he came; she needed someone to tell this to, needed to consult about law, needed also just to commiserate though that was the lowest priority. ||

09:22:12 [Porthman] When Meredith’s eyes stopped on Noriko – with her help – he was initially relieved. That initial sense of ‘well’ was swept away as soon as he took in all the details the scene fed him. In that moment, with consideration to the events of recent past, Mop could see how ignorance really could be bliss. All the same, he put on a wide, encouraging smile and made his way to her table for an unceremonious plop. “Sakada,” he greeted – and she looked like she needed a good greeting to perk up her day. Mop felt obligated to ask next: “what’s happened? Are you alright?”

09:33:46 Noriko || “It happened again Mop.” Our hero didn’t immediately connect that she hadn’t told Mop about her little secret; she slipped the folded sheet across her table to him. “The other eye, it saw something last night; it hasn’t happened since the war. I don’t know what to do.” Why did she assume he would help her though? Our hero [the demoralized Princess Sparklefists] hadn’t told him about her problem; this wasn’t really a good way for it to come out either. She was supposed to tell him about it after lots of bonding, maybe with sex on a magical rainbow [that’s a thing, don’t tell her it isn’t] and unwise drinking games. Instead she had weird British tea and a dingy bar; smooooth. “I don’t know what it means either, it doesn’t sound good to me. I don’t know if there’s someone here I should report it to, I don’t know how that works here. I didn’t know who else to ask.” Nori drank some of that weird British tea speaking of; why did they burn it so much? ||

09:45:51 Porthman wasn’t as visibly confused as he felt when Nori started to spew her troubles. Maybe he didn’t speak up right away when she finished, but if he didn’t, it was because he was analyzing—giving more than just a cursory glance over her person and reading between the lines. When Mop had formulated an educated guess and two back-up ideas, he didn’t come out and say any of them. He, instead, pushed an arm across the table to reach tentatively for her note-bearing hand. “What happened, Noriko?” Ideally, he placed his hand over hers in an attempt not only to give her some physical support, but to draw her attention to the paper. It was alien to see the animated Noriko so obviously distressed. “Do you want to talk about it here?” Meredith asked cautiously and offered an alternative: “we can go somewhere else.”

10:02:56 Noriko || Noriko wasn’t as put together as she wanted to be; this wasn’t at all how she wanted people to see her. Quick breath, Mop laid his hand over hers: our hero started over again from the top. “It’s a prophecy Mop. Last night. I lost two minutes; I haven’t had a prophecy in more than five years now. I don’t want them to come back.” Memories she didn’t like were harder to crush into a little ball in the bottom of her stomach right now: the offer of somewhere else, Nori liked that. “Somewhere else. Not here, yes. Yes. I don’t know who I told it to Mop; he wrote it down for me, I didn’t get his name. I need to find him too; prophecy can be dangerous, if we don’t know who knows it or who they tell.” Little unimportant details like that came back now: our hero learned so many of them the hard way so long ago. Didn’t wanna learn them again. She felt pathetic. “I’m sorry. I’m not usually, I don’t know how to, I don’t know what to do about this. I’m sorry.” ||

10:12:06 [Porthman] “Sorry? It’s not your fault.” Mop tried to encourage her. It was difficult not to pluck the paper from her hand after her full explanation, but he passed his will save and slowly allowed his hand to retreat just far enough to be there for comfort, but keep from being invasive. “Okay, so… listen. First things first: let’s get somewhere safer.” Being an auror, Mop naturally thought of the Ministry, but he wouldn’t force the decision upon her. He gave her the option of picking her poison. “Where do you want to go? We can go straight to the Ministry if you want to get this over with.” Mop paused and reconsidered, “or we can go wherever you’d like.”

10:29:06 Noriko || “Ministry. Right. We should go there; what will they do?” This was good, our hero needed this mostly: something to ground her. Nori didn’t always see reason in a crisis. If she wasn’t so very good at getting into crises that wouldn’t have mattered at all; a hero doesn’t shy away from crises though! “I trust you; let’s go to the Ministry. I need to find someone who knows what to do with this. I don’t want it to end up like in the war.” It couldn’t do that; our hero [the splendiferous Princess Sparklefists] even knew that. Can’t account for her own neuroses though. “Thank you Mop. Thank you for coming; I panicked, I don’t like to be seen like this. It’s been such a long time. I don’t like Seeing; it makes me feel so helpless. I just lose time: have to hope I tell someone helpful. I was lucky this time. I don’t know who it was but he wrote it down for me, made sure I got somewhere safe and out of the way. That doesn’t always happen.” ||

10:55:39 [Porthman] “Don’t mention it!” Mop offered a smile while he patted himself down. “I can’t… imagine how jarring it is.” The only other experience he had of prophecy was the Nigh-Apocalyptic Event in the Great Hall while he right before all the horror. “We’ll find this guy; get his description once we’re at the Ministry. Was there anyone else there or was it just the pair of you? Probably need locations—why don’t we worry about that when you’re up for it.” When he realized he might be going too fast or he was being too pushy, he slowed and paused. “The Ministry will want to make sure they have a record. I don’t know the whole process—but that’s… what should be done. We may have to find your witness – or witnesses – before they can do that.” Mop stood from his seat. He hadn’t brought floo powder along in his rush out the door. He wasn’t expecting to be called out. Such was life. “I need to grab some floo powder for the trip.”

11:10:05 Noriko || Noriko didn’t actually know how a prophecy was recorded; she hadn’t had one in peace-time when there were normal channels for visions and portents of the future. “It was at the patisserie - Liliput’s, I ran into an old acquaintance there. Freddie O’Keefe. I kept trying to break off the conversation but he was insistent; then Huang Zolnerowich showed. I don’t know him very well either, he gave me cover though,” Cover like only Huang could: Nori didn’t remember the prophecy but how she recalled the deluge of racism and vitriol that cascaded through his mouth-holes. “I meant to leave then, and that’s when I lost myself. Just for a minute there. The man I told: he was older, thirties or maybe forties if he aged very well. English. Short hair, dark; dark eyes too. He was pretty,” Our hero struggled to describe him in any better than that, she hadn’t gotten a deep impression from the brief contact. “Floo powder. Yes, ok.” She was ready to be gone. ||

11:22:33 Porthman did his very best not to show any negative response to the name ‘Huang’ when it left Noriko’s lips. He did well enough, if only because he had to listen with critical indifference to the information Noriko was giving him in case any shred of it became paramount later. “Alright, here—finish up your drink. We’ll head down Diagon, grab some powder, and head out.” Mop tapped the table a bit to bring the attention back to her cuppa while he glanced around the morning crowd to assure himself that no one had been bothering to eavesdrop on two young people chatting over tea. He’d move them out when he was satisfied that Noriko was finished with her drink and there were no unsavory characters loitering.

11:33:52 Noriko || Our hero [the very classy Princess Sparklefists] made a face, “It isn’t getting any more finished than it is; I don’t understand why anyone would ruin perfectly good tea with milk and sugar,” she didn’t mean to rag on their culture or anything but Englishes and Irishes and Indians must’ve had some sort of tea-ruining cartel. The axis of tea-ruiners. “Let’s just go. I don’t want to put it off,” untrue, our hero wanted badly to put it off; that wasn’t heroic though. So she nodded resolutely: “Fetch some floo powder and make a report. I want to go back to normal soon as I can, practice flying, destroy wrapping paper, show up in the tabloids. I’m always so much more prepared for that.” ||

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