May 6th, 2098

21:38:42 [Hippolytus] Thanks to this rather disappointing sidequest that had had him trapped in a blur of jacked up sleeping schedules and upended routines, Hip often found himself jolting awake in what he initially thought to be the middle of the night, only to realize moments later that it was, in fact only mid afternoon on his supposed day off or mid morning when he’d been up all night. Today it was one of the former rude awakenings and he’d bolted up off the lumpy couch, soaked in sweat and the last fleeting nerve memories just fading to a dull burn on his back and arm. All he dreamed about was red curses and ominous green flashes lately… Unable to bring himself to even make his own tea, he’d thrown on his robes and took the floo network to Diagon Alley. Shouldering towards the nearest place that could give him a good cup of tea, he felt so monumentally awful all around that he thought he almost might be able to talk himself out of his current crusade over his civilized drink. That remained to be seen. He shouldered the door and, finding there was a small crowd exiting, stood there half asleep and holding it open until they’d all passed through. Hip stifled a yawn and dragged to the counter to order his personal pot of tea – black, of course, he wasn’t insane. While it was expertly brewed, he took a seat by the window, huddled on the stool and wishing someone had come up with a way to get a cuppa and a nap at the same time. Godsake, we’re wizards, you’d think someone would get on that.

21:56:01 [Xia] Noriko had gone to take a quick bio break, the tea she'd had finally catching up to her. While she did that, Xia peered around the room, her eyes widening a little as she caught sight of Hippolytus. She got up and walked over to him, looking painfully bright in her pink dress and yellow jacket. At least her hair was normal. "Hippolytus! Hi! Are you all right? Did you manage to get away from the Firebelly people after Huian and Izzy caused problems? I meant to go back to help you, but Izzy has a very strong grip, and Huian was very drunk." She tilted her head to one side and frowned. "Not good." She murmured. "I was really concerned since those guys were so big…and they were pretty freakin' mad. Do they owe you anything? Izzy and Huian, I mean? I can help out and just pay you back for them. Within reason, of course. I'd need to see receipts." Xia was smiling, and talking way too fast.

22:09:17 [Hippolytus] While Hippolytus was weighing the possible consequences should he just try to lay his head down there in the café and try for a five minute nap while they made his tea, he was too preoccupied and sleep deprived to even notice Xia had approached until, suddenly, she was talking to him. He blinked his eyes wide and finally pivoted on his stool to stare at her a moment. It took a second or two for him to even realize what it was she was talking about and when he did, he finally gave something other than a vacant stare and began nodding as if to catch up to her. “Oh… oh right… the Firebelly… oh ah…” His eyes slipped off to the left for an instant, then fixed back on the woman as he mustered up a very subdued smile. “Of course everything was fine we ah… we talked it out and they agreed it had been a bit of an overreaction… and we… left it at that.” That was his story and he was sticking to it. Besides, he hardly remembered EVERY single detail of the truth and he was sure his rosy synopsis was close enough. “I trust everyone else survived the evening? I was ah… a bit surprised to see Iwamura…cutting….loose… in that way.” Wasn’t sure what way he’d have imagined the man WOULD cut loose… but he knew it wasn’t like that.

22:25:59 [Xia] "Oh good. I'm glad there wasn't any huge issue. I was worried about it." She gave a slight shrug, then grinned as Hip mentioned that he didn't imagine Izzy cutting loose the way he had. "Mmm. He doesn't do that very often. I think it had more to do with cheering up Huin than anything. He is usually very reserved, though he's more of a troublemaker than he'd like people to think. He blames me for stuff we got into in school, but I just knew all the secret paths to facilitate what we wanted to do." She grinned impishly, then lifted her shoulders in a small shrug. "He really cut loose one time when we were in Milan…but I promised I wouldn't tell that story." She pressed a hand to her lips, then laughed and let it drop. "Most people who know Izzy don't see that side of him a lot. Huian and I are special cases. We've known him for a long time."

22:45:01 Hippolytus kept his smile fixed until they were beyond the topic of what had come of that night at the Firebelly. “Oh, you shouldn’t have worried… I’m pretty good with people!” When his tea arrived – a little Brown Betty in a cozy and a cup and saucer with a teabag caddy on the side, he leaned back to allow the server to arrange his sustenance, offering a polite smile. “Have a cup?” he offered as he poured his own and set it by to cool. After that, he leaned on the counter, considering what Xia said – about her past and her classmates. He smiled faintly. “You all seem like a tight group. I suppose that’s to be expected…and it’s good.” He laughed a little then, but it sounded distracted. “I could hardly say where any of my own classmates are right now.” Only a few he knew for sure, and most of those were dead.

23:00:07 [Xia] When he offered a cup, she nodded and took a seat beside him, figuring that when (or if) Noriko returned, she'd either join as well or drag Xia back to their conversation. But for now, she settled down and relaxed a little bit. "Mm. Tight is a good way to describe us. I think participating in a war will do that. Same as our parents, though." She paused, frowned, then glanced at Hip. "All because of Haruhi Kojima. Izzy's mum. She got my parents pulled into the…uh…the second auror war. The one where Hogwarts blew up. And then Izzy and I were pulled in with Anhuala because Kojima was a real piece of work…" Xia silently fumed for a moment, her eyes narrowed, lips pursed, as though she were about to go on a full blown rant. The anger diffused a second later, however, and Xia exhaled. "I guess it knits people a bit more tightly together. Or drives them apart, sometimes. I'm glad it was the former, in my class's case." She trailed off, feeling suddenly awkward.

23:09:40 Hippolytus poured Xia a cup of tea and passed it over on the saucer. By then, he deemed his own cool enough to drink - which was relative, of course. He didn’t mind when it burned all the way down. He caged the cup with his finger tips and lifted his gaze to the window so that he could see the witches and wizards all blustering about their business outside. Beside him, he could feel Xia’s rollercoaster of emotions as she rode out some potent memories – you could say he had a feel for that sort of thing. At first he only nodded, still looking distracted, but when he spoke, it would seem he was more invested than it appeared and was simply giving Xia a degree of privacy in not digging at what mention of the war stirred up. “I remember that one very well,” he said, simplifying his experience of that Anhuala war into one vague sentence, which he punctuated with another expertly timed sip of tea. “Well, it’d good you all keep up – though it seems that one classmate’s problems has claws in the lot of you - I’ve definitely seen it with Port.” His brows twitched and he looked worried for a moment.

23:23:08 [Xia] A soft laugh escaped her at his simple statement, and she glanced at him with a small tilt of her head. "I think most of us do, really. It impacted a lot of people. Especially aurors." She grinned at him and let her tea rest before her, allowing it to cool to something decidedly milder than Hip's own. She did add cream and sugar to it, though. Not a lot, but enough that everyone would likely be dealing with Xia's caffeine and sugar buzz in a little bit. "Mmm. Which classmate? Because it seems like all of the problems are bundled up into problems of multiple people, all converging around the same central figure. And he was a professor." Xia shrugged. Cyrus Valen seemed to have had a touch on everyone in the recent month. Gloriana, Mop, Huian (although Xia didn't know to what extent). Izzy had been touched vicariously. And so had she. She rested her elbows on the counter, and settled her chin into the palms of her hands.

23:29:49 [Hippolytus] A small crease formed at one corner of Hip’s lips – an expression that couldn’t possibly be a smile, but what it was was too understated to say for certain. “It certainly killed a lot of them,” he replied. Proper wizards like his family would be aghast that he didn’t take a cue from the woman’s grin and laugh the matter off, but honestly, he was far too tired to listen to the nagging voices of decency his parents had imprinted on the back of his mind. He blinked a bit as if just waking up and drew in a bracing breath as he turned to face Xia, finally with a wan little smile. “Sorry, hm? Oh. I’m honestly, having trouble deciding, but yes – you’re right. The man seems to be content to be a problem for any number of people – er..was… that is to say-…” He stopped himself and blew out a sigh. “Hell. Just how many people know he’s alive?” He’d made a point to keep his own lips sealed on the matter, but he didn’t want to accuse Port of being the leak - the former potions master probably flaunted his resurrection a little more than they even knew.

23:42:08 [Xia] Xia didn't worry about Hip's lack of laughter. She was being insenstive about the subject, but she also felt a little jaded about the war. One of few things she ever seemed to let allow her to be serious in public. She shifted slightly, and glanced at Hip when he asked how many people knew he was alive. "I don't know that many do. I would say that those in the inner circle know, though. Information spreads like wildfire in the little community we've knit, and beyond that it doesn't tend to spread any further." She shrugged and finally lifted her tea to her lips and took a sip. A pleased sigh escaped her, and her eyes closed for a moment as she relaxed where she sat. "If it's any consolation, Izzy has a terrible time keeping secrets from me unless they are of utmost importance. I'm not surprised about Valen, though."

00:01:41 Hippolytus pursed his lips off to the side. That little community was big enough to make him worry. The point had been to fill that empty grave before anyone knew something was amiss. And he wasn’t sure now that he wanted to risk Meredith like this if just about everyone the guy knew was in on it. But right now? He was too tired to think about it at any depth. After simply looking worried for a moment, he just nodded, his expression one of resignation. “No, no, its alright. I’m sure the Ministry and Azkaban would deny it up and down anyway – it was really their cock up. But honestly, how much could you expect of people who had to spend that much time in and out of the most dismal place on earth? It was enough to make you reconsider their staffing practices. “Well… anyway,” he said with a shrug, “Yes, that was rather the problem I had in mind. I’m not at all sure it still IS a problem or a very big one in the scheme of things, but it had Port up at all hours. So here’s hoping it… blows over.” He smiled a little and lifted his tea for a sip.

00:08:52 [Xia] A small smile followed at his reassurance that it was all right, and she tilted her head slightly. "To be fair. I think only Izzy, Huian, and I know outside of your lot." She murmured, looking out the window with a distracted sigh. "If Cyrus wants to keep being a problem, he'll turn back up. Otherwise he'll go away again like he did after everything leading up to Anhuala." Her eyes drifted shut a moment after she lifted her cup in silent salute and took another drink. "If it does blow over, then hurray for us. I don't know if that will happen, though." She seemed almost resigned. "Things never seem to blow over properly around here." Oddly dark and moody for Xia, though Hip wouldn't likely know that about her.

00:26:26 Hippolytus had to agree. It was going to be pointless trying to anticipate a problem that might just peter out if the man’s goal was what he thought. It was just troubling not to see something all the way through… loose ends had had a long history of coming back to haunt him. He glanced to the side to see Xia growing a little darker – he could almost see it as a visual effect. He gulped a bit more tea and set his empty cup down by the pot. “Well! Then I suppose it can’t hurt us to all be on the same page… and being as my… employer… managed to break up our last tea party, maybe we ought to arrange another. I don’t know about you, but I hate feeling disorganized.” Maybe it was jolt of tea speaking right now – there was a lot he could envision going wrong with that plan, all things considered, but it wasn’t as if he was setting anything in stone before he could run the idea past Meredith. Then… maybe he’d let his partner be the one to broach the matter to Iwamura.

00:37:45 [Xia] "I seem to remember that I was also half asleep during that last gathering. I think reconvening is a good idea." She grinned and gave a small shrug. "Maybe this time we should meet at someone else's home or something. It limits the possibility of the head of the auror department waltzing through the floo network to see us." A frown formed on her lips as she thought about that, and she took a sip of tea. She wasn't hooked up to the floo network, and she preferred it that way, even though it did pose a bit of an inconvenience. "My flat is big enough to host. Izzy's staying with me to escape his evil boss lady. So you and Mop can convene and get back to me if that works for you." She glanced at him, her eyebrows rising, and then she got to her feet with a small grin. "I should be off, though. As Noriko left without finishing our discussion, I'm going to get back to what I was doing before she invited me out." It wasn't actually pressing business, but Xia was feeling a little out of sorts. She didn't want to present an unusual mood to Hip.

00:45:26 Hippolytus had laugh a little at the irksome memory. “Sounds like a good idea. I might just muck up some paper work and send it her way to keep her busy… just in case.” When Xia got to her feet, Hip rose as well, picking his usual hat up off the counter and giving a little bob before he put it back on his head. “Of course. I’ll have Meredith sends out an o-er… puffin, I suppose. And we’ll see if we can’t put things a bit more to sorts.” He was inclined to let her go quickly – she seemed a little knocked off kilter and he feared he might have been the catalyst, dwelling a bit more on the war than was entirely polite. But most people in HIS (so called) circle would even hear of it at all… which left him with a lot of green in his memory that went almost entirely unaddressed. “Good day, Miss Lavine. We’ll catch up soon then, I hope!” And he’d see her off before turning his steps back towards the nearest floo grate… he’d talk to Port, of course… but not before a nap.

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