April 23rd, 2098

12:36:09 [Darby] “This can’t be right…“ she looked over the information carefully again. “Miss Penbridge!“ The woman looked more frazzled than ever, and Darby idly wondered about her health. Unfortunately, she didn’t have time to elaborate on her concern. “I wonder if you could have someone send me the specifics on Cyrus Valen’s death. I would appreciate it very much, dear,“ she requested, with that sugary-sweet tone. “Yes, mum.“ Penbridge nodded and turned to leave. “Oh, and Penny… please, get yourself a cup of tea and rest a moment, dear.“ Darby nodded a kind smile at the woman and left with another letter in-hand. She had important business to attend to. With a dousing of floo powder, she left the ministry and appeared in the fireplace of one Warwick Brisbane without need for notice. With as many Ministry owls as Warwick had ignored, he’d missed the last that told him a ministry representative would come to collect him, should he continue to ignore their attempts to reach him. Tada!

12:56:31 Warwick had read all of the letters that came to him and was prepared for a Ministry official to come knocking on his door. Preparation wasn’t much outside of acquiring a small, corked vial with all the contents the Ministry needed. The Ministry could collect what they wanted and Warwick would never even have to leave the comfort of his own home (in theory). It’s not as though the little Diagon Alley apartment was much – the floorboards creaked and the lacquer on the planks was worn down. The stair and hall up to the apartment was claustrophobically narrow and threateningly dim with only one dirt-caked window and a dim light to illuminate it. His door, at the end of the hall, was decorated with a stack of newspapers outside it to the left and a cranberry picker to the right – curiously filled with ties, umbrellas, and shoes. All in all, it didn’t paint a very happy picture for his visitors to come knocking. Warwick was leaning over the par separating the kitchen from the living room, absently stirring his tea with one hand while he scrutinized the vial in the other. The knock disturbed him—but he couldn’t say he didn’t hear them coming; the house wasn’t exactly quiet. Darby was granted a glimpse of Warwick’s face through a crack in the door as it opened, bound by a chain. The window was slammed shut in her face, but not for long. The sounds rattling and tinkering heralded an open door. The homeowner stood behind it, gripping the doorknob with his free hand and offering her entry with the other (still responsible for the tiny vial).

13:12:48 [Darby] She waited patiently in the hallway for Warwick to answer, surveying the narrow little hallway. Warwick; the disturbed would-be Auror, turned Unspeakable, turned shut-in. It was hard for Darby to keep her concerns to herself, but she managed well-enough the first time. She was sure to be capable of it a second. The door opened and Darby turned to meet Warwick’s gaze with a smile. It shut not a moment later. Her eyebrow lifted curiously, and the sound of turning locks and clattering chains soon followed. Like a butler in an old muggle horror story, Warwick pulled the door open and held it for her. “Warwick, ah thank you dear,“ she stepped into the house and began removing her red beret and the color-block scarf that hung loosely around her neck. Her eyes wandered over his eerie home, but still she wore a smile. “What a lovely home you have, Warwick. I say, there’s nothing quite like a place that feels lived-in, don’t you think?“ It was meant with the kindest of connotations, of course. Her coat came off last and hung loosely over one arm as she turned to face him.

13:28:06 [Warwick] There was no sound of the door creaking and clacking shut behind her. Warwick, instead, pinned the door to the corner and left it wide open. He watched her cautiously as she stalked around his home, investigating, prying, and paying attention to every detail she could soak in. There wasn’t much – some dust on the fireplace, a stack of logs outside the hearth, a loose-knit blanket and small pillow on the old couch (but absolutely nothing in the chair next to it), and the books. The amount of books, papers, and magazines piled up was extraordinary—but certainly not in disarray. There were tabletops held up by neatly organized stacks and bookshelves built into the walls full of all manner of texts in various stages of age or decay. A single, framed picture decorated the mantle, devoid of content. Warwick spoke up when he felt Darby had pried enough into his life. “You are not here to compliment my hovel.” His voice was sharp, quick, and forcibly stern. Once he had her attention, he offered the corked vial of intangible substance, pinched between his thumb and index finger.

13:42:58 [Darby] “I suppose you are quite right,“ she approached him and held out her hand for the vial. She examined the thing in passing. “Memories are such strange things, aren’t they? We store them so readily in our brains, and yet the only way we recall them, is by recalling the last time we remembered them. Can you imagine how much we lose that way? It’s like playing telephone with your brain,“ she commented, glancing up from the opaque liquid back to Warwick’s face, “Muggles must lose so much without penceives.“ Darby didn’t seem to hear the not-too-subtle request for her to leave in his voice. No, it was as if she had disregarded it altogether!

13:53:54 Warwick ’s tea was getting cold and his nerves were fraying, so he did what he could do: he returned to his cuppa. He did his very best to enjoy it while Darby blathered on and he was forced to soak in every word. “My memory is quite sharp, thank you, and you have what the Ministry needs, do-you-not?” Warwick broke, took another sip from his mug, and began again, more pensive than he had been previously. “I find it odd that they’ve sent you; one would think an individual of your lofty throne would escape such menial tasks.” He pushed his mug to the side for a moment, unusually chatty. “Evading summons cannot be such a criminally dangerous act as to warrant a visit from an Auror.” Warwick paused, lifted his mug, and went to take another sip before he paused: “apologies—the Auror.” Then, with a lift of his cup in cheers, he happily quenched his thirst.
14:05:32 [Darby] She set her things on the back of the nearest chair, “I do, indeed. And the ministry thanks you.“ He continued on to nothing but a gentle smirk. He was either baiting her to anger or doing his best to get her to leave — she was sure it was a bit of both. But Evelyn was not so easily swayed. “I think Ms. Black has the copyright on that name,“ she smiled, “But yes, I’d imagine it does seem odd to send an Auror to retrieve something so trivial as a memory.“ She hadn’t been told what it might contain, and didn’t bother trying to suss it out. “What do you think the reason for sending me was,“ she asked, brimming with curiosity as she leaned against his furniture.

14:18:08 [Warwick] “I haven’t the foggiest.” Warwick admitted, but continued on to take a guess anyway. “Perhaps they did it to absolutely and irreparably absolutely ruin my day.” He didn’t want Darby to think she was all that important in his life, so he tacked on an addendum. “To be perfectly honest, it would have been the same no matter who they sent.” His mug had found the counter at some point, but he lifted it again to siphon a little more of his tea. “The only difference in sending someone from my past is which way their messenger grates on my nerves. So please, if you will,” the retiree moves back around the countertop to take the door handle and insist upon the way out. “You have all you need.”

14:49:08 [Darby] “Oh no, I don’t think they’re that cruel,“ she replied. But she was already looking over his collection of books by the time he’d asked her to leave. “Oh look, you’ve a first edition of Plagues and Pathosis of the 20th Century. However did you find such a rarity. I believe Picarus Penterghast’s works have been out of print for nearly half a century. Tragic that he came down with such a nasty case of Quigley’s. I read somewhere that he was still spouting rhymes when he died.“ She didn’t dare touch the books, but she did have a healthy interest in them. An interest that was sure to throw Warwick into a tailspin — not that that was her aim, by any means. Really, Warwick was so stingy about being friendly anymore.

14:18:08 [Warwick] “I haven’t the foggiest.” Warwick admitted, but continued on to take a guess anyway. “Perhaps they did it to absolutely and irreparably absolutely ruin my day.” He didn’t want Darby to think she was all that important in his life, so he tacked on an addendum. “To be perfectly honest, it would have been the same no matter who they sent.” His mug had found the counter at some point, but he lifted it again to siphon a little more of his tea. “The only difference in sending someone from my past is which way their messenger grates on my nerves. So please, if you will,” the retiree moves back around the countertop to take the door handle and insist upon the way out. “You have all you need.”

14:49:08 [Darby] “Oh no, I don’t think they’re that cruel,“ she replied. But she was already looking over his collection of books by the time he’d asked her to leave. “Oh look, you’ve a first edition of Plagues and Pathosis of the 20th Century. However did you find such a rarity. I believe Picarus Penterghast’s works have been out of print for nearly half a century. Tragic that he came down with such a nasty case of Quigley’s. I read somewhere that he was still spouting rhymes when he died.“ She didn’t dare touch the books, but she did have a healthy interest in them. An interest that was sure to throw Warwick into a tailspin — not that that was her aim, by any means. Really, Warwick was so stingy about being friendly anymore.

15:01:55 [Warwick] “There is a second hand shop down the road.” Warwick pointed out with a literal point toward down the hall to insist upon a destination unseen. “You should take a look.” He added, in hopes she might take her leave one of these clue-drops. “Take the book with you. My treat. Really. No need to thank me.”

15:07:13 [Darby] She glanced over the book again and shook her head, “No need. I think it’s more useful here with you. I believe it would simply collect dust at my home.“ The watch on her wrist chimed pleasantly and drew her attention downward. With a sigh, Eevelyn returned to her things hanging off the chair. “But as much as I would love to stay and discuss literature with you, I’m afraid I must go,“ she admitted, a little disappointed in having to leave so soon, “Duty calls, you know.“ Evelyn put on her coat, scarf, and beret, and began toward the door. She paused to adjust her scarf, “We’ll have to catch up again soon, Warwick, dear. I do so miss your company.“ Evelyn smiled, warmly, and gave him a wave as she strolled out, “Cheerio!“ And she was off with a Pop! No doubt, Warwick would be glad he was out of her company… for now.

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