April 22nd, 2098

16:01:09 Noriko || Strange how such a little thing could cause such agony; that the mere utterance of syllables and thought of malice could inflict horrors on another. Welcome once again, true believers! Today our hero was lost: the recesses of any mind are a labyrinth, Nori hadnt spent so much time in the darkest parts of hers for many years. There was a name that haunted her every night; the most important name in her life, the name that she couldnt remember. “Sasuke?” That name had come back to her at the most inconvenient of times; in the midst of practice. Missing it the day before wasnt bad enough, she also had to be bad today: took a bludger to the side of the head, crumpled like used tinfoil. It wasnt anything the staff mediwitch couldnt take care of but it had left her in a daze; hence her calling a vendor of useless trinkets a name from far in her past. Nori realized her mistake: “Sorry,” then hurried along on her way through the maze of the Conclave. It didnt take her mind off the most important questions. It all started with prophecy and then our hero [the delirious Princess Sparklefists] fell into flashbacks; recollections; the brink of obsession. The mothers sins demand payment in blood. Important. It meant something, important to everyone; Nori had to find out what. ||

16:34:03 [Porthman] Meredith hadn’t gone home after his drop-in meeting with Huian earlier. He’d stuck around and marveled at a split terrarium showcasing various dragon hatchlings. The little beasts were on display at a stand with a vendor who sounded like he hailed from somewhere in the east of Europe. It would have been a trivial detail if not for the fact that Mop was having a terrible time understanding him. From what he understood out of the game of charades they played to communicate, the vendor was encouraging people stick their hands in and touch the critters. You, too, could have your hand bitten, roasted, or broiled by a baby dragon for just a nominal fee! Meredith was intrigued, but not yet bought, when he scanned the crowd for a way to escape the man’s nonsensical pitch and found just what he was looking for! He excused himself from the vendor’s presence and shoved off into the sea. “Noriko!”

16:49:30 Noriko || Sasuke, that was the name she couldnt [had chosen not to] remember. Noriko quashed the images that threatened to storm her consciousness [conscience] forcefully; nothing she wanted to remember. Fortunately for our hero a distraction made itself conveniently available: “Mop?” It wasnt easy to reconcile the Mops she had seen; the cheerful boy who introduced himself as ‘cute’ at the Leaky Cauldron, the steely enforcer that had taken in noted evildoer Cyrus Valen, the awkward superfan that knew all the Quidditch players. Nori didnt try to reconcile them either. “Hi Mop.” Our hero wished she had something more deep and clever to say; that seemed just so ordinary, she didnt want to sound ordinary around Mop. The corner of her eye caught where he had just been and: “Are those, dragons?” A dragon petting zoo?! ||

16:55:10 [Poppy] “I wouldn’t,“ she pushed in, completely and rudely interrupting the pair checking out the shady dragon dealer. She glanced from the man to the woman and shook her head with a pair of large, warning blue eyes. “Guy’s mental, really. I mean, you could if you didn’t mind getting your finger bit off,“ she shrugged, turning her gaze to the caged baby dragons. She nodded to the little critters, “I’ve seen more than a few of his customers come away with singed hair or burned and bleeding fingers.“ Her mouth turned in a quirky smile, “I’m jussayinisawl.“

17:03:46 Porthman whirled his attention back to the stand he’d abandoned. “Y…aye.” He bumbled, still a bit preoccupied with Noriko’s eerily sedate greeting. Since he’d been to the stand and done his business there, Meredith offered up solid information to Noriko’s interest. “Dragons. I can’t make heads or tails of the bloke, but it seems like he’s trying t’get people t’touchem.” A distinct tone of ‘not impressed’ slipped over his voice and expression before he would have added: “fucking mental if you ask me.” A party-crasher comes to their gates before he can say a word of his opinion. The stranger seems to have some good sense and details all of the reasons Meredith could have followed up with. So, instead of speaking a word more on the dangers, he simply put his hands up to insist upon the newcomer’s analysis. “Aye. This. Always.”

17:06:08 [Saedis] Let’s split up, he said. It will be good for you, he said. None of this was aloud of course, but her internal grumblings were growing more common as Saedis made her way down the alley way. She weaved ungracefully through the hordes of people, passing out flyers to people who seemed unthreatening and happened to cross her path. Hearing the words about Dragons she stopped, interested peeked. She moved up behind the three and eyed the cages with a misty eye’d awe. They shouldn’t be caged like that, she thought, but gosh they were beautiful. Seeing the tree she decided to take a leaf from her wondrous brothers book. “H..hi there. We are playing a show Thursday 24 at The Firebelly.” She offered them a flyer if the showed enough interest. If not addressed she would just move closer to look at the Dragons.

17:19:50 Noriko || “Trying to get people to touch dragons,” Nori repeated after Mop; it sounded crazy. Crazy enough for our hero [the indomitable Princess Sparklefists] to be intrigued! She stared only a moment; hoped she looked less longing than she felt. Dragons come on. Everyone was against her though; even a complete stranger. “I would pet a dragon,” Nori protested only to be interrupted again. Well she had wanted distractions. “Playing a show?” Our hero took the flyer; read it curiously: it was for some act she didnt recognize. Maybe? Nori felt suddenly overwhelmed so she did the only thing she could think of; she grabbed Mop’s hand suddenly and pulled him back towards the dragon zoo: “I want to pet a dragon.” ||

17:27:11 [Poppy] She almost beamed at the man’s mirrored belief in her warning. The girl didn’t seem nearly as thwarted, however, and Poppy didn’t much seem to mind that (after all, it didn’t affect her if the girl got her finger chomped off). Just as she was about to greet the pair, another newcomer came calling. “A show? Ooohhh, I love a show,“ she cried before even knowing just what kind of show this girl and her troupe were putting on. She took a flyer before it was handed to her (rude), and looked it over in awe, “Oh a circus! I love the circus! Yes, yes! I’ll tell everyone! Could I have a few more flyers for my shop?“ Her face was so enthusiastic, it was hard to tell if she was a lunatic or so sarcastic it was downright insulting.

17:30:18 [Porthman] Mop never had trouble with keeping up multiple conversations on a good day, so when another woman (girl?) tried to snag their attention. He obliged for the short time it took for Noriko to take the flyer and give it a once-over. He did the same once she seemed finished. “Brilliant. Thank you.” He offered a tip of his chin and made sure to showcase how he folded up the flyer and put it in his jacket. Noriko took over from there and Meredith was all but forced to ride her wake back to the dragons and the unintelligible man. “Pet a dragon??” He spat out and chose to disbelieve until he realized how excited she seemed about the whole thing. “Don’t cry to me when your fingers go missing!” The auror rolled his eyes to the man operating the stand to negotiate fees and change currency into a ticket to get Nori’s fingers roasted.

17:31:54 Hippolytus had had very little time to actual enjoy MagiCon before things went haywire and now when he technically HAD the time, he was too distracted. That morning, he’d gone with his parents, but they’d long since wandered off or given up on him again or… maybe he just left them back at the muggle wares booth, trying to decide what the little blinking bits of ear jewelry did. In any event, he’d been aimlessly trudging for at least a few hours, making it to the end of the street, dawdling, then turning right around and trudging back down again, stopping here and there and trying to get his bearings. He liked Diagon Alley well enough how it usually was – now he could barely even find his usual favorite places for a bite along the overcrowded street. Eventually he found himself with a stick of something very Scottishly fried in one hand and the other wrist-deep in a vat of humming beads that were supposed to relieve stress and… do something or other with your chi. He didn’t know. He still felt stressed and his chi felt the same as it ever did, he suspected.

17:41:11 Saedis could tell that the other girl felt smothered. They could relate and before attempting to pull away the male she looked to her with an equal amount of unease. The doe eyed girl snatched a flyer with a shrill show of excitement. Saedis pulled her eyes shut tight and reopened them, relieving the tension. Circus? How in heavens did she get that from this flyer? Saedis shook her head. “No. Band.” Sure, they were from America , but Dementor's Last Dance was still a pretty big band. They were touring after all. “My brother and I, we are playing at The Firebelly. “The man took the flyer and nodded, very polite. “You..you’re welcome…it’s a special stop on our tour so there is no door charge..” Saedis stood there for a moment before moving on. There I talked to them Sig. Happy? Where was her brother anyways? Making her way down the street she continued to pass out the flyers. She stumbled upon the man with his hands in the humming beads. She tilted her head a little and watched. She had never experienced them before.

17:47:56 Noriko || At the dragon petting zoo Nori stepped right up onto the tips of her toes so she could place a kiss on the side of Mop’s mouth and [more importantly] whisper to him: “I’m very sorry about this; I have to.” The thing that followed was a series of unlikely events; our hero [the intrepid Princess Sparklefists] had a plan. Skipping to the terrarium to pet a dragon she just happened to trip and fall: it was of course only pure bad luck that her wand accidentally came out of her sleeve and that while she flailed on her way to the ground it just by chance misfired a particular spell before spinning away from her hand across the ground; really just the sort of freak coincidence that could happen to anybody. Compounded when she hit the ground, rolled a couple times for effect, exactly as the misfire [it was a misfire, honest] connected with the terrarium. “Kya! Oh no! I’m sorry!” Nori cried out very sincerely; now there were suddenly several dragon hatchlings no longer constrained by the broken cage. It couldnt have been deliberate obviously; look at how remorseful and terrified Nori was. ||

17:58:09 [Poppy] “Right, a band. That’s what I said. Can I have more flyers?“ Her cheeks were a little flush with embarrassment, but she seemed to transition well, as if she really had said ‘band’ and not ‘circus’ like an idiot. As the girl turned to leave, Poppy called out to her, “Love your outfit, by the way. That color looks wonderful on you!“ It was all she could do to make up for calling her band a circus - she did feel a little guilty, after all. She turned to the couple again, showing interest in making their acquaintance when one half of the pair made her way to the terrarium. Poppy shook her head. “I did warn her,“ she said, still watching the girl but tilting her head in the direction of her friend. Of course, it was sure that none of them expected what happened next. Poppy stepped forward to help the girl up, and caught her gingerly by the arm when the man responsible for the “dragon petting zoo” began shouting obscenities in his native language at the girl. The dragons were missing. Poppy stifled a laugh and put on her best attempt at a serious face as she could manage. The Shady Dealer was pointing his finger violently at the girl, approaching the pair in a heated fervor. “She didn’t mean to,“ she cried back, protectively holding the girl by her shoulders, “Look! She’s distraught. It was obviously an accident.“ Well, she didn’t know how true that was, but this guy was getting angry quick. Poppy put her hands up, “Easy, easy. What if I paid you for them?“ She couldn’t be sure she had the kind of funds for that, but there had to be a solution, yeah?

18:05:10 [Porthman] If Mop had known how desperately Noriko wanted to set the little beasts free upon the earth, he could have suggested a better-thought plan. The only hint he gets for the chaos to come is a kiss and a whisper that causes enough confusion to addle him just the right amount of time and there’s a crash, a spell, and a suspiciously apologetic Noriko left to marvel at. “Nnnnope. A lot of no going on here.” Mop swoops in to scoop his bumbling companion away from the familiar face before the dragon-keeper can piece together what to DO about his tragedy other than scream and shout. “Thank you.” He adds to the wise woman against the petting of dragons in the first place. “Aaaand now we’re leaving.” He explains before he attempts to unweave and tug Nori away and back out into the crowd to escape the scene of the crime.

18:07:46 Hippolytus nibbled at a corner of the mystery fried object – it turned out to be a kipper. Once that was ascertained, his gaze drifted up from the vat of beads to the expectant vendor. “So how do I know if my chi is doing anything?” The vendor enthusiastically launched into an explanation that might as well just be in a different language. Hip cleared his throat, but tried to nod along until he saw his chance to get a word in edgewise. “I… don’t think my chi is having it today. Sorry. But thank you.” He withdrew his now VERY tingly hand and turned away before he noticed the young woman standing there watching. He lifted his brows and indicated the vat of beads with his free hand. “By all means.” He’d had no idea there was a cue to stand there with your hand in a tub of beads like a moron. He proceeded on to the next booth – one that was suffering in its business of enchanted musical socks because it happened to be close to the ill-conceived baby dragon petting zoo. Hip had just picked up a pair of socks he had NO intention of buying when a ruckus arose from the vicinity of the unfortunate, but very much more interesting display nearby. So Hip turned, a pair of singing socks in one hand and a fried kipper hanging out of his mouth, to see a developing… event. “Oh f-!” Upon trying to make that oath happen, he dropped the fried kipper. Not one to cry over the loss of a snack, Hip kicked into gear, wand coming out as he raced to the scene!

18:11:50 Saedis blinked and shook her head as he moved aside to lt her have the beads. “N..”But he was already gone before she could correct him. Dropping the flyers to her side she sighed. A large commotion caught her attention over at the Dragon pens. She watched as an argument erupted. The man with the fried kipper took off in that direction, but Saedis turned for the opposite direction. She wanted nothing to do with that commotion..even if there were Dragons.No, she needed to find Sig. —Im posting out, at least for now.

18:18:21 Noriko || Our hero knew right away how fortunate she was, to have such friends and strangers immediately ready to jump up in her defence; colourful stranger was especially quick to leap in and defend her innocence. Mop untangled her, Nori didnt resist his efforts at all; leaving was probably the right idea. She looked up at him with wide innocent eyes but also a smile that screamed mischief. “I’m sorry Mop; it couldnt be avoided.” Hero gotta hero, heroes dont get a choice in the matter. Hadnt he just the other day said she didnt need to be a great fighter to stop noted evildoers? Yes, yes he had. Then Nori remembered [it had slipped her mind presently] something very important: “I dropped my wand.” ||

18:20:23 [Poppy] She was still being shouted at by the man who owned the dragons when the couple disappeared altogether. Poppy turned to gesture to them, and they were gone, leaving her with a pouting face and the owner of the stall to contend with. “Sir, really. I’m sure there is something that can be done. Perhaps we can take it up with some kind of Conclave representative. They might reimburse you, or… find them,“ her suggestions were terribly weak, and not all-too-appealing to the man who was now missing a slew of baby dragons. He was very much intruding on her personal space, but he hadn’t raised his wand. She figured venting was more his intent, as she wasn’t the one responsible. Poppy blithely assumed there was some sort of transference happening, and she didn’t seem upset by it in the least. She glanced back again with the vane hope of catching a glimpse of the couple, but only found a pale and stylishly dressed stand-in. He had his wand raised and a solemn countenance. What was he going to do? Concern suddenly began to color her features.

18:36:33 Porthman can’t help but look sufficiently horrified with Noriko’s behavior. His anxiety didn’t end by her confession: dropped my wand. Meredith clenched his teeth and looked to the scene they’d escaped from for signs of the wand on the ground… but there were too many people to get a clear idea. He drew up images of the wand as he’d seen it the night with Valen’s capture… but he hadn’t had a clear look at it. Likewise, there was no time for him to really draw in great detail from this last incident. “Balls.” Mop seethed out. Would it be rude to ask if she could summon the blasted thing? The jury’s verdict was ‘yes’. “Just… stay back here. I’ll get it. Don’t cause any trouble.” That was all Meredith could ask of Noriko as he scooted back into the veritable fray of shouting and failed diplomacy (as long as she agreed to the conditions). Of course, he was met with Botts’ presence – wand drawn like there was a fire. Mop didn’t linger on his coworker—his job was to find Noriko’s wand! Find it he did not more than three seconds later, kicked by a voyeur. There, with his quarry in sight, Meredith made to summon it from the ground.

18:50:59 [Hippolytus] Approaching the keeper of the petting zoo mid-tirade, Hip flashed his credentials in a quick, efficient turn-around. He kept the following discussion quiet, but clearly held out a hand with the snapping gesture of four fingers to request the man’s license. Dragons were a particularly well monitored species and Hip had his suspicions that a petting zoo of baby dragons might not be as legal as the man’s cavalier advertisements would have people believe. Additionally, it would be trouble if just ANYone picked up one of the escaped dragons. Quite possibly forged license in hand, Hip pointed the other to his vocal chords for a boost sufficient to carry his voice to the crowd. “Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve a handful of escaped dragons loose on the street. The Ministry has been notified and specialists will come to handle the matter shortly, but until then, please do not try to capture the creatures yourself – stay clear and record any and all damages to present to the Ministry so that reimbursement might be settled. I’d like to kindly remind everyone that to keep a dragon without a license, or to harm one is a crime. Thank you. Quietus.” His cleared his throat as his voice rearranged itself to a proper volume. The man was still complaining. Hip sighed. “SIR. I am not saying one thing or another about your paper, I am simply having them reviewed by someone who knows magical creature law. We are going to resolve this, so I’d appreciate your patience.”

18:57:09 Noriko || The plan maybe wasnt one our hero thought all the way through to the end; now she was starting to see the little flaws in it. Mostly the flaws were what other people thought of her: she didnt, couldnt, have any regrets about releasing the dragons. Maybe she could pretend it was, no. Mop wouldnt fall for that [he was smart] and she didnt want to lie to him. Even now despite the trouble she made he leaped back into the line of fire to find her wand; Mop was exactly the kind of hero our hero wanted to be. Also hoped she hadnt just ruined everything by being impulsive. Much as she wanted to Nori didnt disobey Mop’s directive to stay put; she held her ground and waited for him. Deciding what to say after was the hard part. ||

19:02:18 [Poppy] Poppy very nearly caught the arm of the stranger to coax him from whatever he thought he needed his wand for with the Dragon Keeper. Those thoughts were, of course, put to rest when he flashed his Auror’s badge at the man. And suddenly, all of her fears were quelled. She wasn’t sure she could have talked the man out of his rage on her own, and she certainly didn’t have any authority. The man didn’t look to be enjoying the sudden appearance of the Auror, but he didn’t seem to be intimidated by him either. She was just about to leave the Auror to his duty, when the man was fired up once more. He was pointing violently in the opposite direction and Poppy turned again to find the man was back, and without his companion. “Really, sir. It was an accident! Please,“ she pleaded, despite the Auror’s surest attempts at calming the man. The Dragon Keeper started forward, nearly bowling over the Auror, shouting in the direction of the stranger. Poppy wasn’t sure what to do. Should she check on the couple? Should she stay with the Auror in case he needed her testimony? Or should she just excuse herself altogether? Wasn’t there a store she needed to run or something? Choices, choices.

19:10:57 Porthman slipped back out of the scene with little struggle once Botts took the stage. He returned to Noriko without delay to dutifully return her wand. When the weapon of mass destruction was solidly in its owner’s hands, Meredith cracked a grin and added. “So I suppose you tripped and fell and accidentally: baby dragons?” The tease was light, but his attention was scattered. The auror looked back to his friend, self-elected to perform damage control. “I might… have to go help…” he began, drifting away from the scene and back onto Noriko. “Well… actually… Botts is doing alright for himself.”

19:20:31 [Hippolytus] “If you don’t mind, miss,” Hip had half turned to address the stander-by who was trying to vouch for the one who had loosed the dragons in the first place. Granted, she was making the same argument he was making, but he didn’t particularly believe it himself. But for the sake of smoothing everything over – it was an accident. Nevermind that most instances of dragons where dragons ought not be was in some way related to DLF (the Dragon Liberation Front) who took it upon themselves to enforce magical creature cruelty laws. It was often more chaotic than it needed to be when they stepped in, but at least it sped up the process of getting certain species sorted and safe again. So like they said: an accident. When the man checked into him, Hip put up his arm to countercheck the man, forearm to chest. “I. Said. Be Patient!” Fortunately for Hip, reinforcements from the Department of Magical Creatures were already on the scene and soon enough someone would take the obstinate man off his hands.

19:24:49 Noriko || Noriko accepted her wand back graciously with both hands; she kept her eyes turned down until Mop spoke first. “Baby dragons. They dont belong here; they were afraid and being fondled and prodded by strangers. It wasnt right. I couldnt, I mean,” Nori hugged her chest to compose her thoughts, why was this so hard. Stupid feels. “I remembered all the times I couldve helped something that was locked away and suffering and I didnt; I couldnt let there be another. Pleasedonthateme.” It was getting crazier over by the scene of her crime; Nori felt really bad for Botts now. Our hero [the remorseful Princess Sparklefists] struggled with the moral dilemma: would it be best for everybody if she went and took responsibility for the chaos she caused? No, no; the shady man would probably hex her with hexes. Turn herself in later. ||

19:26:33 [Poppy] He turned to her, and she felt like a child being scolded. The choice had been made for her. Her bottom lip cruised underneath her teeth and she backed up. Something cried horribly beneath her and Poppy shrieked at her newly-burnt tights and the dragon she’d managed to step on. “Sorry! Sorry! Ah!“ She bent to rid herself of the last remaining embers that left a hole in her hosiery. A member of the DoMC handled the situation, glaring at Poppy, who was still aimed at walking backwards… right into the Auror. “Oop! Damn, sorry!“ Clumsy much? It was, all of it, very much a disorienting scenario. She turned, cheeks bright pink with chagrin, and carefully picked her way back out of the crowd (if she wasn’t followed). Well, that had been a failed outing, hadn’t it?

19:38:06 [Porthman] Meredith’s expression scrunched up when Noriko spouted the reasons for her actions. He didn’t hate her – but at the same time, it’s not like her actions should really be encouraged. Mop decided a compromise… with himself… was in order. With one arm open to sweep her into a quick embrace for support, he tried to relay his feelings. “I don’t.” Who could hate Noriko? The very idea was cruel! Meredith had resolved to help Botts keep the peace until the proper division stepped in only to realize that he didn’t have to by the time he’d released Noriko. “Well,” he started, glancing back to Nori “you certainly give people a day to remember.”

19:47:16 [Hippolytus] Beyond a few more minor hiccups, including another half-hearted onslaught by the leaned-upon dragon keeper and getting backed into by a passer-by while the Magical Creature specialists swarmed through, Hip was finally liberated from the mess… but not without sneaking a curious pat to the spiny neck of a subdued baby dragon … you know… because he’d never gotten to touch one! He exchanged a nod with one of the wranglers and quit the scene.

19:57:09 Noriko || Nori was ashamed, invariably; she couldnt regret releasing the dragons but she couldve definitely been more tactful about it. Rather than creating trouble for Mop and Botts and everyone else like she had. Fine mess she’d made her; nice job ruining everything. Luckily Mop made a good show of hugging her problems away; she did say something but it was initially said with her mouth obscured and came out: “Mmmphfmwefnwam,” Rethinking her physical position, our hero tried again, “I’m really sorry; I didnt mean to cause trouble. I didnt think about that. I, I’ll go to the Ministry and take responsibility for it; it wouldnt be right not to.” Wouldnt be at all heroic to hide from what she did; even moreso since she wasnt at all ashamed by it. Nori wondered what kind of punishment loosing dragons in public had. ||

20:08:06 [Porthman] “Oh please. I doubt very much that you’ll have anyone pounding in your door for this.” Meredith reassured his fretting companion. He’d hear no more of Noriko’s self-effacing blather, so he turned his attention back on the crowd. It was neatly being handled now and some semblance of order was returning to the streets. When Botts was clearly freed of the chaos, Meredith made a point of raising his arm and some noise to flag the man over. “Oi! Botts! Over here!”

20:29:17 Noriko || “No? Thats relieving.” Nori quieted herself quickly; this whole afternoon had spun right out of her control and she needed to retreat and reorganize. Mop waving down Botts gave her all the time she needed: stress and worry gave way to manic energy restoring the natural order to the world. She inspected her wand for damage; found none severe. Scuff marks. New ones, it had lots of old ones too; dropping her wand wasnt an unusual state of affairs for our hero. Still pretty though. Silver lime was so byootiful. “Hey, Mop? Thank you for helping me. Again. Promise I wont do anything crazy next time. I think what I need is a hot bath and some rest.” Our hero [the mighty Princess Sparklefists] wisely chose to remove herself from public; it wasnt ending well at all today.“I really like you. Youre the hero I want to be.” Squeezed his hand then away. ||

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