06.19 @ 9:36am Signups for July's Posting Wizard of the Month contest are now open.
06.15 @ 5:26pm
The June activity check has been completed; for reactivations, please post in Maintenence. If your international quidditch player was deactivated, you must post here with a profile link to re-reserve the position. You do not need to repost your stats.
06.13 @ 10:25am
A couple of reminders: If you haven't taken the survey yet, you should and the activity check is in two days. That is all. ;3
06.09 @ 6:16
Happy third birthday to Charming! Birthday stamps are now up for grabs, and the FAQ has had a bit of a makeover.
Member No.: 569
Joined: 13-October 11
Grip was a career thief now, and he was relatively happy with that decision. At least, that was what he kept telling himself. In reality, it wasn't by any means a choice (and never actually had been for a boy who needed to steal to survive), and he was far from happy, but if he kept repeating the lie to himself it felt more real, more plausible. His time with the Flamels had cast some doubt on his path... people like that, who were willing to offer him so much, made him sort of ashamed to steal from people that he didn't know. They made him want to go more in the way of his brother and get a respectable job and work hard and be a gentleman, more than any etiquette class at Hogwarts ever had.
Then he looked at the people he was supposedly emulating. He looked at his brother, Cole, and how he'd been striving since twelve and hadn't really managed to make it anywhere. They were still living in the Slums, in their crummy shack with a broken roof. Or he could look at their mother—she wasn't exactly a worthy role model, but she had been working fairly consistently her whole life, and she had never amounted to anything, either. She had certainly come to a worthwhile end. No, that wasn't what he wanted. To be nothing his whole life. Devon, on the other hand, seemed to have things under control. She had everything. That was the path he wanted.
He looked, also, at the people he was stealing from. He watched them in the Park and on Highstreet, observed their movements and their interactions with each other. He saw how they treated him. And he hated them. Stuck-up, prideful, arrogant bastards with more wealth than they knew what to do with. They had warm houses, clean sheets, full cupboards, and they would pout over not being able to afford a new broomstick or have a chocolate after lunch. The “problems” they perceived themselves as having sickened him. And that was how he justified—to himself, and to anyone who cared to ask—his thievery career. They had too much, anyway, and Grip didn't have enough. He was redistributing the wealth.
And that was what he was planning on doing this afternoon. He'd scoped out the place that morning and had been planning on slipping in a few minutes ago, but the maid had arrived to do some cleaning—this happened occasionally in the otherwise empty house, but the place was small enough that she didn't stay very long, so there was no need to postpone the heist until another day. He just needed to kill some time. After a little walk around the block, Grip had found a nice, comfortable doorway that looked under-used; it was set back from the main road, and was mostly free from snow because of the overhang above it. It was the perfect place to catch a few winks, so that was exactly what he did, positioning himself so that he could still see the target house—the maid always opened the blinds when she was cleaning and closed them again when she left, so it would be easy to check and see if she was still there. In the mean time, he could use some sleep and the cold and discomfort here was no more extreme than that of his home.
What seemed like only a few minutes after curling up inside his threadbare, worn coat, however, Grip was abruptly jostled awake. “Oi!” he exclaimed, before he'd even had a chance to see who or what had bumped him. “What's the idea, yea?”
Member No.: 817
Joined: 9-January 12
Meriweather recited a passage from the book of the prophet Isaiah every morning when he rose and got out of bed. "'There is no peace', saith the Lord, 'unto the wicked.'" Meriweather continued the passage with his commentary, "And the good certainly do not need it."
"Your Reverence," Meriweather's housekeeper, a dour and pious woman named Elisabeth, had refused to call her employer anything besides the sanctimonious title of 'Your Reverence.' "You Reverence, there is something on the doorstep that I think you ought to see."
Deciding that his study could wait until the evening, Meriweather moved to prepare for his various errands out and about, including making a few calls and distributing the alms gathered during the previous week's assembly. "Elisabeth, I shall be gone for the afternoon. Please see to dinner promptly at seven o'clock this evening. We will have three visitors, if you please."
Wrapping his wool cloak tightly around himself and fastening his boots, Meriweather opened the door to his parsonage and made ready to go out on his rounds. Though the vicar was used to packages and other oddly-shaped lumps sitting on his doorstep, the kind gifts of parishioners most of the time, the lump he found on the doorstep was something the vicar had not encountered beforehand. A young man, nestled into himself, sat sleeping up against the door frame, no doubt catching shelter from the wind and the snow that blew around Hogsmeade.
"Hello, young man." Meriweather called out and paused. "Lad! Hello, lad!" A pause. "Young man, do wake up!" The young man was out cold, betraying just how long he had been napping.
With a gentle nudge of his boot, Meriweather woke the young man with a start. Seeing that the lad was basically alright, the vicar laughed at his upstart awakening and grinned down to the lad. "The idea, young man, is that you have chosen my doorstep for your present resting place." Meriweather extended his hand down to the young man.
"I am Father Pomfrey. Good to make your acquaintance, son. Will you come in for a cup of hot tea and a bite to eat, mayhap?"
Member No.: 569
Joined: 13-October 11
Grip was not a morning person, or a mid-afternoon person, really, or a "whenever you wake up" person, even. Generally, the minutes just after he woke up, he wasn't in a very genial mood. Luckily, he had a lot of practice having to think on his feet immediately after being roused from a nap--from situations like this, yes, but more frequently from dozing off in the middle of class and being called upon by a teacher trying to make a point to give an answer, which he would promptly borrow from whoever was unfortunate enough to sit next to him that particular period. Luckily, he had enough friends who didn't mind feeding him answers that he rarely ran into problems.
It didn't help, though, that he was immediately thrown into a confusing set of circumstances. An old man who had apparently kicked him awake, but was now laughing quite cheerfully. You could tell the difference between happy laughter and cruel laughter, and this bore none of the marks of the latter. Still, it didn't quite make sense, why someone who didn't have any cruel intentions whatsoever would be laughing at the fact that he'd just been jolted awake by falling into some very cold snow.
While the man explained "what the idea" was, Grip cast a glance around, locating the house he was supposed to be burglaring and wondering how long he'd been asleep. Where were the curtains? Was he waiting for them to be open or closed? Damn it, why could he never think straight right after waking up?
Father Pomfrey. What sort of a name was that? Grip had never been the religious sort, and didn't have many friends that were, either, growing up as he had where you had to be tough as nails just to make it from day to day. They had no illusions that anyone up above had any desire to help them. As such, he was unfamiliar with the way the church worked; the man may as well have introduce himself as 'Your Great-Uncle Perry' for all the recognition and respect Grip would give him.
Grip looked at the hand being extended to him, with an air of distrust. He wasn't used to kind gestures in general, and especially not after he'd been labelled a criminal by the Prophet and the school. Most of the time, he was lucky if the worst he got was indifference, maybe mixed with a bit of disdain. Honestly, as a budding thief, he really couldn't ask for more than indifference. Whatever this man was doing, it couldn't possibly be genuine.
A thought occurred to him. If he was in the man's house--as it seemed he'd been invited--then he'd be trapped. He certainly wouldn't be able to make his scheduled burglary, and if the man didn't already know who he was, he was sure to discover it, and then Grip would have nowhere to run and no place to hide as he called the Aurors. Or whoever it was that they called for people like him; Grip had such a distrust of authority built in after his recent ordeal that regardless of what he had and hadn't done, of course the Aurors must be after him. The Minister of Magic was probably after him, too, if he could be bothered to care a whit about a slum rat like Grip.
"Uhm, nyeh, s'okay," Grip muttered, after having pulled himself up from the ground without the help of the offered hand. "Sorry I was on yer stoop--won't happen 'gain, no ways. Dun ye worry none 'bout that," Grip said, ducking his head apologetically (and hoping that by doing so he would prevent the man from getting a good look at him, if he hadn't already). "I'll jes be goin', dun che worry 'bout me hangin' 'round here," he said, trying to assure the man that he had no ulterior motive on picking this particular doorway. No doubt, this "Father" fellow would connect the dots when and if he heard that his neighbors had been robbed blind, so Grip's best shot was to get away from the situation before the man recognized him.
Member No.: 817
Joined: 9-January 12
Meriweather was not a charitable or just person because it was salutary for his health or his pocketbook. He did so because he was moved with pity by the plight of the poor and the marginalized in society; he did so because it was a Gospel mandate to do so. While society on whole was moving in a charitable direction, Meriweather lamented the lack of justice to any of it. The wealthy elite were more than pleased to toss a few coins into the alms basket on a Sunday morning. Asking them to pay their servants fair wages, however, would be more heinous than charging them with blaspheming the most holy trinity.
When the lad on the doorstep awoke and responded as he did, a pang of heartbreak struck Meriweather at his deepest. The light in this lad's eyes was struggling to stay lit, his face betraying the obvious harsh life he lived. When the young man spurned the vicar's help in standing up, Meriweather knew in his heart of hearts that the lad needed help.
"Oh, heavens, my boy. It's not a problem at all. I only regret that you did not knock and ask to use my sofa for your nap. It is quite comfortable. I tend to use it myself!"
Meriweather laughed--almost a giggle--and gently placed his hand on the young man's shoulder. Was it only his imagination or did the young man tense up at the touch.
"Please do come in for a spot of tea, son. You do look so very cold and I would venture to say that you have not eaten a proper meal in days. Am I right?"
As the vicar was talking, the brown owl owned by the Daily Prophet swooped in and delivered the newspaper. Meriweather shrugged and picked a coin out of his pocket to place in the owl's pouch.
"I cannot figure out why I continue to pay for the paper. I have not read the blasted thing since before Christmas of last year. I find the columnists too gossipy for my tastes." Meriweather picked up the newspaper and placed it in the pocket of his cloak. He would deliver it to one of his parishioners when he went out later in the day. At the moment, however, his concern was on this lad in front of him.
"Let's go inside, shall we? Mrs. Price will be glad to fix us both a plate of warm lunch and something hot? Perhaps a nip of hot buttered rum would do you well?"
Member No.: 569
Joined: 13-October 11
Grip hated tea, but he wouldn't tell this guy that. He seemed nice--nice enough that Grip didn't really want to hurt his feelings by refusing. At the same time, the man had a hand on Grip's shoulder, which was already starting to make him a little claustrophobic, and he'd developed enough trust issues recently that there was no way the old man was getting him inside.
It was different with the Flamels. They were inexplicably kind people, but even with them Grip had only relied on their kindness because he had literally had no other choice, unless it was to let Devon and himself freeze to death outside in the piling snow. Keeping that in mind, Grip didn't bother to answer the man's question about when the last time he'd eaten was. He'd been fed pretty well at the Flamel's over Christmastime, and he didn't need this man's charity with ulterior motives. And he was sure it had ulterior motives.
The man's reaction to the paper gave him pause. Was he telling the truth? No way to be sure. That might explain why he was being so nice, though. People were sometimes nice to random strangers; not usually to Grip. He hesitated, still not completely sure whether to accept the offer or not, then tentatively took a step forward.
"I've only got jes a minute, Mister," he warned, his way of setting up an easy escape should one be required. Though he could't deny, the hot buttered rum sounded good. A little more sure of himself, he added, "I'll skip the tea and take the rum, if it's all the same, sir."