April 25th, 2098

12:50:55 Noriko || Practice. It was the relentlessly reliable constant in our hero’s life; wake up, scrub the sleep from her eyes [our hero preferred sandalwood-scented soaps], report to training. Some mornings the training was intensely physical, others cerebral: when coach and captain didnt have her in the air or in exercise, they unfailingly had her in study. Nori only just finished for the day, already lunch was over and past. It hadnt been the worst practice this week: no fresh bruises, no concussions. Her focus was back if not her passion for the game. So many distractions: the prophecy, noted evildoer Cyrus Valen, her racing smitten heart, the Conclave. With her first bit of breathing room in many hours our hero [the intrepid Princess Sparklefists] drifted lazily astride her lucky broom [ambiguously christened The Mighty Princess Sparklefists] far above Diagon Alley; it was just the sort of drearily English afternoon in London that begged for watching from the air. She hadnt even taken time to change out of her blue and white; the Japanese national team uniform looked good on her anyway. The noted evildoer with the dragon petting zoo hadnt made an appearance since our hero’s accidental act of heroic liberation. Clearly there still is good in the world. ||

13:20:46 [Xia] Izzy had been installed at her apartment, at her insistence (and to get him away from his supervisor), and she hoped he was a little more comfortable there. She'd had to go to work this morning, and at the moment she was on-top of Kindlebird's roof, testing out a new set of charms to make sure that they didn't backfire when activated. There were some colorful sparks and a sudden explosion, and Xia got up from the roof and coughed, dusting colorful wooden powder off of her sunset orange robes. "Well that didn't work." She grumbled, frowning at her work station. Of course, she was required to test this on the roof, because the charm was supposed to enshroud the wearer in a cloud of smoke for hasty get-aways. Sure, it was mostly a party trick and just for fun, but Xia figured anyone who could use it appropriately would actually have a good time with it. The pile of rings she was charming were all intricately carved wood, pretty and simple until you twisted them and muttered the activation spell. And then fwoosh. Colored smoke everywhere around you while you made a getaway. The smoke could fill an entire room, leaving those watching disoriented. If she could get the charm right. So far the rings had either exploded when she'd activated them (on a small stone pedestal, not on her finger), or they had simply fizzled, shrieked, and sparked. Or they'd done both. She pushed her fingers through her hair, suprisingly mild in colors today with her hair its natural shade of brown with a few sharp streaks of bright yellow.

13:48:37 Noriko || Noriko drifted lazily closer to ground level; she hadnt any concern for the people below right now. Peace to be had in her solitude. Also a degree of reassurance that she wouldnt release more dragons or start a riot. Our hero lacked a high level of trust in herself, especially in light of how erratic her behavior had been these days. It mustve just been the pressure getting to her. That was her explanation; a perfectly cromulent explanation. “Still raining,” she observed to herself: as insightful thoughts went it wasnt one to write home about. Nori’s far too tired for insight, her strategic energy reserves kept facing depletion from far-flung and far-afield threats like trying to explain her own actions after the fact. She wanted something: with a fwump she lit on the ground and laid her broomstick across her shoulders. Chocolate? Flowers? Flowers for her hair, that might help with her mood; wasnt there a certain flower shop that got blasted into splinters recently? ||

13:58:59 [Xia] There was another explosion atop Kindlebird's, and Xia hit the edge of the roof and flailed for a minute before catching herself. A string of colorful curses left her lips, a little too audible for the crowd below, and she threw the most recent ring she'd been working on to the ground. With a huff, she turned and sat on the edge of the roof, peering down at the crowd below. At least from here no one could actually see her annoyance very clearly. If they could, she'd have adjusted her face to smiles and sunshine. No one except for maybe Izzy was really allowed to see her down and out. Or as close to it as she got. Her gaze drifted over the crowd below, following the people as they wandered, at least until someone drifting down on a broom caught her eye. Her eyebrows rose, and with the strategic use of a spell, she hopped from the roof to the ground two-stories below, a cushion of air slowing her fall and allowing her to land without injury. She popped into Kindlebird's to tell Robert where she was going, and then she began to wind her way toward Noriko, still covered in wooden chips from the exploded rings, colorful powder that was supposed to have been smoke, and wearing the sunset orange robes. She sidled up alongside the woman, hands clasped behind her back. "You look like you have been taking lessons from Fraulein Grumpypants, Ms. Noriko."

14:12:21 Noriko || Our hero didnt argue: “I’m not good at keeping secrets,” and she really really wasnt. The idea that sometimes she would learn something secret in a manner she couldnt predict or control that might be dangerous to talk about was loathsome; she couldnt get rid of it. The silence of her inner eye between the end of the war and the start of the Conclave, such a welcome quiet. Not meant to last though. “I havent seen Frau Grumpypants, not for days. Her team probably leashed her; Quidditch teams do that. Most of all before the show, and its the biggest stage that’s coming up.” Still walking, our hero looked for the shop: it had been called Thoughts and Remembrances right? She couldnt remember where exactly it was. Diagon Alley, not her native hunting grounds.“You look like you got in a fight with something. Noted evildoers, dragons, woodchipping charm?” ||

14:25:08 [Xia] A slight nod followed the explanation Noriko offered, and Xia took a deep breath. "Well. I know the feeling. I am good at keeping secrets, but sometimes the secrets are just so big and so much that you don't know if you can keep them." Her nose scrunched. "It's never fun when that's the case." She gave a small, sage nod at that and then glanced at Noriko from the corner of her eyes. "I think so. She's also been staying out of sight after she got attacked, from what I've heard. Ministry officials have placed her in a secure location until they're sure she won't be attacked again." She shrugged, sighed. She knew Kaust's whereabouts, but that was one location she didn't plan to divulge to anyone as of yet. "I got into a fight with wooden rings that are supposed to be charmed so they release a smoke field with the right activation. The charm is fickle, though, and right now it wants to blow up the ring instead of release a cloud of smoke. I think I have to change the wood the rings are made of." She brushed at her robes for a minute, sighed, and shook her head. "Are you looking for something particular? I know Diagon Alley reeeeeaaally well."

14:43:23 Noriko || “You could try English oak, or weeping willow; theyre very loyal woods, and consistent,” Nori offered, she did have a keen knowledge of wood; mostly this was a product of her fascination with brooms and how materials changed them. She had letters saved of her correspondence with Calico Katya about her personal broom: the very one now resting across her shoulders, imprinted in rose gold with the title, The Mighty Princess Sparklefists. Our hero had learned so much from those letters. “Flowers, I was looking for flowers; something for my hair. To add colour but, without looking ostentatious,” looking ostentatious was a concern clearly. Our hero wanted to be more subtle, maybe; perhaps unsubtle in a different way. “You can keep secrets, Blossompop? I have a secret I dont want to keep; its, I dont want to know it, I dont know what to do with it. You wont tell anyone?” ||

14:50:31 [Xia] "I am thinking oak will be the first one I test out. Kindlebird was insistent on using cherry wood, but I told him we shouldn't." She sighed dramatically, closed her eyes briefly, then looked over at Noriko once more as she began to talk about flowers. "Oooh. Ophelia's shop i up here!" She said cheerfully, pointing in the direction of Thoughts & Remembrances…and then she hesitated. "Oh. But I think she's closed shop for a few days. She should be reopened tomorrow…" She frowned, thinking, and then she glanced around before pulling her own wand out. "I think I can manage something, however." She held open her palm as they walked, murmuring softly under her breath until flowers began to sprout from the tip. The charm was similar to the one that summoned birds, but simpler. Flowers were simpler than birds. She hummed softly, then glanced up at Noriko and showed her the simple flowers she'd crafted. "I can change the color to whatever you like!" She smiled brightly at that. But when Noriko became a little more serious and reverted to the secrets conversation, Xia frowned, but nodded. "I haven't survived this long without keeping a lot of secrets." She said solemnly. And truer words likely hadn't been uttered. Xia had learned to keep secrets young, otherwise bad things would (and often did) happen.

15:09:53 Noriko || Noriko was usually rubbish at most of her magic; she didnt use it for cosmetic purposes by rule. Our hero hadnt any self-preservation instinct but her self-beautification instinct, that one was very strong. The risk of misfire simply wasnt worth it. “All I wanted was white,” to Xia’s colour-shifting offers, “A corsage and maybe a lace veil to match; it wouldnt match these robes but, for when I change into not uniform.” Fashion! Nori liked it lots. Just like flying, or dragon-taming: the things she liked, did well, they worked off of bone-feel and not academic theories. “Its an important secret. It cant get out to anyone Blossompop, not anyone. I had an, my inner eye opened. It happened almost a week ago; its the first time in years. A prophecy, but I dont know what it means. I dont even know who its about. If I’m right, I think I am, what I predicted happens in December; it isnt far away.” ||

15:22:03 [Xia] At Noriko's requests, Xia fiddled with the flowers, transforming them into what had been described. A corsage with a lace veil…simple enough for the woman who had little trouble with charms and other spells. "There. Simple and pretty!" She offered the item to Noriko, her eyebrows rising before she nodded at Nori's intensity. No one can know, extreme secret. "I promise on all that is good and just and right that I will not tell another soul." And she wouldn't, even if the knowledge started to eat her up inside. She even went so far as to salute and place her hand over her heart. Yep. Xia took secrets very seriously. And if it helped out a woman who, though not a close friend, Xia felt she got along with well enough, she'd be happy to lift some weight from her shoulders.

15:33:40 Noriko || “How long will they last?” Nori inquired curiously; that was the other thing about magical attire, anything conjured from nothing was certain not to last long. The laws of transmutation sounded harsh, not that Nori studied them very hard or cared about them very much; lacked the interest. Still: she pinned the flowers into her hair and carefully folded the veil for later. “It wasnt much. I was lucky; there was a witness. He pulled me somewhere safe and wrote what I said. The mothers sins demand payment in blood. In tatters of ancient cloth they will come as crows to pick the bones of the dead. Under cover of dark when the night is longest they will come as specters for her daughters and sons. She approaches even now but she is deaf to the world. The mothers sins demand payment in blood.” Shaking her head our hero [the secretive Princess Sparklefists] looked away. “Metaphors and symbolism; most of it doesnt mean anything to me.” ||

17:48:30 [Xia] "My conjurations usually last five to seven days, depending on how well you care for them. After that they fade pretty fast, though." She gave a slight shrug and tilted her head to the side. The explanation about the vision, prophecy, whatever you wanted to call it, made Xia frown. She bit her bottom lip as immediately a particular mother's sins came to mind. Haruhi Kojima had been very singleminded an driven, at the expense of many. Xia didn't bring that up. She focused on Noriko instead. "That's a very unpleasant vision to have had. I can see why it weighs on you so much." She said with a small frown. "I always hated visions and prophecies. So convoluted. Give me something that is straight forward." She huffed, shook her head.

18:18:30 Noriko || “It is straightforward; at least I think it is. I need to know who the mother is. Thats the piece, thats the anchor. The prophecy is for her daughters and sons: I dont know if its literal, or figurative. Children, students, confidantes,” Our hero wistfully sighed, she didnt have any lead to work on. Even just telling Xia this much was a risk she shouldnt have taken: worse, Nori was increasingly certain she was going to tell others too. She was lost, it was a puzzle she didnt have the knowledge to solve herself. “Just wanna fly this whole mess into the sea. Its making me crazy. I released dragons into a crowd two days ago.” Nori neglected to say she wouldve released the dragons even if she hadnt been agitated by prophecy; our hero was burdened with glorious purpose, which meant freeing tortured baby dragons clearly. ||

18:26:23 [Xia] "I have…some thoughts on it…And I could be entirely off base…but it seems like if your visions have been silent since the end of the Auror war, and they perk back up at the outset of the Conclave…" She trailed off and exhaled. "I don't know. It could be any mother. But there are some people globally known that stand out. Haruhi Kojima, but she only had a son. Or maybe Kali." Her lips pursed as she thought it over. "So broad." She mumbled, tugging at one of the strands of yellow in her hair. She glanced at Noriko and smiled. "I'm sure the dragons needed to be released, though!" She lightly touched Noriko's shoulder in reassurance and gave a small bob of her head. "Kindlebird said someone freed the baby dragon petting zoo. I think that's for the best. No way was that legal and acceptable. And whoever let it slide was wroooong."

18:45:08 Noriko || That didnt make much sense to Noriko; she didnt have any detailed knowledge of Haruhi Kojima [waspy headmistress war hero] but it sounded like an odd jump to make. Kali she knew more intimately, in prophetic terms: “No, not Kali; Ive spoken prophecies about her before. Twice, with the same word, master. She was no mother, not even to her followers,” Our hero didnt like to remember those times: war wasnt kind to any caught in its path, she wasnt at all proud of the role she had played. “What the other eye saw was not a mother, the mother. Motherhood as her singular trait, as what defines her; I didnt know the Lady Kojima, or Kali. I dont think that fits either of them, though,” her focus waned; this wasnt enjoyable. “I dont think Mop was happy with me, after I did that; I havent been thinking straight since the night I, well.” ||

18:50:13 [Xia] She supposed that was true. The mother. Well. Kojima was not a mother first or foremost. Not really a mother at all. A sigh escaped her, but she nodded. "I suppose we'll see in time. Hopefully. Maybe before things come to pass." Her nose scrunched just a smidge, and she exhaled slowly as she glanced around Diagon Alley. She and Noriko had simply taken to wandering, which Xia didn't mind. Wandering was better than fidgeting in one place. "Mop? Why would he be unhappy with you?" Her eyebrows rose as she turned to Noriko. Mop and Noriko? Were they a thing? Gasp! She would have to find Mop and make him tell her everything. Or maybe it would be simpler to just ask Noriko. Yes. Much simpler. "I don't think Mop is really the kind to get angry over uncontrollable visions, Ms. Noriko."

19:02:56 Noriko || Hand covered her mouth [much delicate, very class] while she tittered, Noriko still thought the scheme was a little bit brilliant. Just not happy with her exit strategy is all. “Oh, no; not the prophecy. The dragons. I used him as a distraction to cover what I was doing; didnt warn him I was going to either. Then he was tense and cross and I had to go because reasons.” Our hero [the sensational Princess Sparklefists] lifted her hands and pulled back her hair: carefully rearranged it into a loose twist, arranging the flowers nice and neat above her left ear. “I feel pretty. Except for the robes; havent had a chance to change yet. Actually, no: had a chance, decided I wanted to fly more instead. Its important to be honest. Would you like a drink Blossompop? My sobriety is having a negative impact on my natural cheery light.” ||

19:10:09 [Xia] Laughter escaped her and she closed her eyes, shook her head. "Ooooh. I understand now. Heehee. Poor Mop! But I imagine he still isn't that angry. Pretty girl using him as cover for her scheme to free the poor dragons. He should be honored." Another laugh escaped her. When Noriko mentioned feeling pretty, Xia grinned and gave a nod at her. "I understand that need. I love flying. Nothing clears my head like it." She nodded once, and then grinned a bit more when Noriko asked if she would like a drink. "I would love one. Let's just make sure not to tell Izzy about it. He says I get jittery off of water." Xia's nose scrunched and she scoffed. Lies and slander! (Not really. She did get jittery from water.) "Leaky Cauldron or somewhere else? There are some smaller pubs down the alley, but I think everywhere is packed right now."

19:27:20 Noriko || Gentle smile: “Worried about nothing probably; I dont normally let everything worry me like this,” she didnt, either. Our hero at her best was unflappable, not bothered by any little thing at all. It was the prophecy that threw her all through loops. Also Mop made her head do the thing where it felt like it was spinning or maybe underwater; it wasnt okay at all actually. Feels were dumb.“Lets go somewhere smaller; I dont mind the crowds. I dont like the Leaky Cauldron.” Most specifically she didnt like what she saw at the Leaky Cauldron the night noted evildoer Cyrus Valen first was taken into custody. “The drinks taste like turpentine and foul moods; even the pink ones with girly umbrellas.” ||

19:55:02 [Xia] Fortunately for Noriko, today was not that day! Though initially surprised by the kiss, Xia pulled away a moment later with a laugh and a mumble of, "friend who might be jealous." before she settled a little and nodded at her statement. "Yes! Adventure is afoot! I always tell Izzy that, but I don't know if he actually believes me until it's too late." Nah, Izzy likely knew her well enough after all these years to know that when Xia said "adventure" she meant it. Xia did a bit of a skipstep before she began marching along, until they wound up inside the pub. It was lit just dimly enough to feel cozy, just brightly enough you didn't have to squint, and it was just loud enough to give the buzz of life without being overpowering. Xia pointed out a free table, winding her way through the occupied seats to get to it. "What do you drink?"

19:47:29 Noriko || Our hero stopped when Xia hooked arms with her: “Sorry, but,” With only that much warning Nori leaned close and kissed Xia right on the lips; unless Xia pulled away she even lingered. It wasnt especially forward [by standards of Noriko], quite chaste really, though still probably a little bit out of the blue. “Wanted to know what you taste like. Its the best way to know a person.”Stated as though there could be no doubt at all. After all could there? Xia, Nori decided, undoubtedly tasted trustworthy; as though she hadnt done anything at all out of the ordinary, our hero continued along. “Whistling Snidget it is! Lets be off on our way. Adventure is afoot, I can smell it all around!” Our hero possibly did have some boundary issues to work through. Someday that sort of behavior was just going to get her in a lot of trouble. ||

19:55:02 [Xia] Fortunately for Noriko, today was not that day! Though initially surprised by the kiss, Xia pulled away a moment later with a laugh and a mumble of, "friend who might be jealous." before she settled a little and nodded at her statement. "Yes! Adventure is afoot! I always tell Izzy that, but I don't know if he actually believes me until it's too late." Nah, Izzy likely knew her well enough after all these years to know that when Xia said "adventure" she meant it. Xia did a bit of a skipstep before she began marching along, until they wound up inside the pub. It was lit just dimly enough to feel cozy, just brightly enough you didn't have to squint, and it was just loud enough to give the buzz of life without being overpowering. Xia pointed out a free table, winding her way through the occupied seats to get to it. "What do you drink?"

20:10:03 Noriko || “Jealous lover?” Noriko winked; she didnt see any reason for someone to be jealous of her! Jealous of her light obv. but not of her kissing, “You can tell him, that you taste of festivity and longing; like singing songs you learned on the road to a lover who forgot you for someone else. Its very bittersweet,” This too she stated as though it was fact beyond dispute; her analysis of flavours was a talent she was especially very proud of. It didnt have to make any sense. Our hero [the splendiferous Princess Sparklefists] always credited it to her skillful Divinations when she was asked about how something could taste like what she said people tasted like, “I like this place better,” she declared of the Whistling Snidget. Her approval secured she followed Xia to the free table: “I drink whatever you think is good, Blossompop; I trust you completely with this. Its quite an honour: choosing a girl her drinks takes skill and nerves of steel.” ||

20:54:12 [Xia] She sipped at the drink and settled down while Noriko tried it, her eyes closing for a moment at the burst of sweet followed by the tartness that came afterward, shocking her tastebuds just enough to keep her refreshed. She looked over at Nori, and her face fell just a bit as the woman talked about the drink. She gave a slight nod and considered it, then bit her bottom lip. "I can get you something else. I've tried mooost of the drinks here. I think. Bernie keeps creating new ones." She grinned, and then pushed her fingers through her hair to get it out of her face. "I always felt grown-up drinking butterbeer, until I realized all the kids were drinking it in Hogsmeade. I was always disappointed I couldn't convince the professors to sneak us something stronger." She sighed dramatically and shrugged, took another sip of her drink, and then relaxed a little. "Why did emulating the British feel more grown-up?" She asked, genuinely curious.

21:07:48 Noriko || “Because England is the center of the magical world Blossompop, then, now, and forever,” Our hero finished her odd sweet singing drink; for her lukewarm review of it she didnt in any way seem to mind the golden syrup. It contained alcohol which meant it filled in exactly all of Noriko’s current requirements for a drink; another time she might care entirely what it was her drinks tasted like. “It mightnt seem that way to you here, but the history here captures imaginations all over the the world. Do you know how many places have changed how they teach, how they present, how they speak to emulate it? I dont either; I do know I grew up in one of them.” She leaned her seat back precariously on two legs: it was enough alcohol and she was lightweight enough that already she felt the pleasant numbness tingling in her head and her breast. Noriko wasnt drunk exactly, just with enough buzz to make her forget her troubles.

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