April 22nd, 2098

12:31:23 Huian ◙ There was the scribble of a pen on paper. Not a quill on parchment, but a normal notebook and a ballpoint pen. It wasn’t too busy for Diagon Alley….with a steaming hot flan latte next to her, Huian wrote. ‘Methodologies vary wildly, but in the United Kingdom usually students are first taught to design a basic ward using mathematics…’ Her pen tapped slightly on the paper, before she doodled a spiral in the corner, thinking. It was true, despite the lack of official schooling they got in the matter. Which was a shame. Anyway. ‘A basic ward has three components: the array or design, the anchor, and something to power it. A basic ward is mathematical: a combination of astronomy and arithmancy that you use to determine the array. The array is a design which covers the warded area, formed of precise repeated patterns representing the things to be included or excluded by the wards. Depending on what the wards are intended to do, this could be more or less complicated.’ Even when she put it like that, it seemed too complicated for the student who had asked her about it. They were only twelve, after all. Who was teaching defense to those children, that wards came up? ◙

12:59:18 Porthman was really excited to get Huian’s gifted curse book and though he’d thumbed through it in her presence, he didn’t really understand the gravity of its text until he’d been home to mull over it. It was then Mop realized: shit, this book is in Chinese. He wasn’t intending to run into his scholastic friend on his trip to the Alley after work, so he was woefully without the text in large need of translation when his occasional scans came across her. Likewise, Mop hopes that Huian is woefully unprepared for his drop-in when he zooms in from behind to jump into the seat across from her. “SOHI.”

13:05:27 Huian ◙ He popped in front of her. He did, and she squeaked and flung back on her chair, before tumbling out of it in surprise. Yes, she was woefully unprepared, and that was for her ungraceful spill on the ground. At least she was wearing jeans and not the dress she wanted. That would have made her embarrassed, before she crawled back to her seat, flushing. “Mopsie. Hi? Is something wrong?” Or did he really just want to startle her, despite how mean that might have seemed. Maybe he was having a good day? ◙

13:13:55 [Porthman] “No, nothing—“ he started while Huian found her legs, but amended soon thereafter: “well, yes, a couple things, but that’s—only one you need to worry about.” Mop leaned forward on the table on both arms and reached across it to grip the other side like he might run away with the whole thing. His big reveal wasn’t so grand – but he drew in a dramatic breath and exhaled it when he gave away his problem. “I don’t read Chinese.”

13:18:50 Huian ◙ She thought it might have been dramatic…what could se possibly have to worry about? Was somebody dead? Did she know them? Oh no, did Mop snap and kill Huang? That would be bad and probably end their friendship. She was preparing herself for bad news…another kidnapping, owls attacking people…but…oh. There was surprise on her face. “You don’t? Why didn’t you say that when I handed you the book? You looked through it…I thought you might…” And suddenly, she looked ashamed. “I’m sorry…if I had known…” ◙

13:26:06 [Porthman] “Yeah… yeah, I did do… that thing you said I did.” The auror admitted, releasing his hold on the other side of the table to snake back over to his. “I don’t bloody know, I just—-I had other things on my mind.” Mop made another dramatic exhale and found Huian’s face again. “It’s a great book! I’d love to read it… but I wasn’t very successful with my shoddy hand at translation… so I was wondering iffff… you’d be available… to do it?” He drummed his fingers on his side of the table and waited, hopeful and optimistic, for a positive answer.

13:34:16 Huian ◙ “I could…try to translate. There are words in there that wouldn’t…make much sense in English, or with the schooling you get.” Her head tilted, and she tugged a lock of hair with her hand, contemplating. “It depends. There are things that also shouldn’t be translated, simply because having that book, with the spells put in it, would probably get me, and my entire family in trouble if it was known I took it out of China.” And that horrified her, if the look on her face was any indication. ◙

13:40:16 Porthman considered Huian’s reply with a somber sort of calm. It wasn’t a negative answer… but it wasn’t exactly a positive one, either. He mulled over it for another second or so, letting the silence fall between them, as he tried to summon a response adequate to the gravity of the situation she presented him with. When he finally found what he wanted to say and how, Meredith opened his mouth up to speak, as if resigned to only one fate. Ultimately, it came out practically a joke – with an extreme American accent to accompany it. “So when are you going to teach me that-there Chinese?”

13:47:08 Huian ◙ She almost looked offended by his accent, but smiled a bit, before moving to fold the paper into an envelope, as an owl dropped down to swoop it out of her grip and take off. “I suppose whenever you’d like to learn. Teaching is my job.” She gave her friend a playful grin, before faking a professional tone. “My rate is high, but I suppose as a person with the highest recommendations, you can get a discount. I require a payment of a latte a day.” ◙

13:53:36 [Porthman] “Shite, you’re gonna break the bank with costs that high!” Mop scoffed in faux-disbelief. “But if there’s no other way—“ He brought a finger up to wag it at her seriously. “I’ve heard you’re the very best… it better be worth it! A latte it is.” The auror smacked his hand back down on the table and stood in the same swoop. “I’ll see you later then, Mum.” Mop promised before he made his way off just as quickly as he’d arrived.

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