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 what's too clear, too simple, too near, walburga
Mildred Carpenter
Posted: Oct 24 2011, 11:09 AM


played by cora -------------------- faculty
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Group: Faculty
Posts: 59
Member No.: 448
Joined: 17-October 11



The Hogwarts Hospital Wing had a sense of calm to it - all white-washed and natural-lit. St. Mungo's was somewhat the same, though it was filled with the bustle of actual emergency, and at least fairly regular real-threat, rushing between the wards. The Hospital Wing house emergency now and then, from what she had seen, in the form of an occasional broken arm or exploded cauldron. Often it was quite quiet, as its residents were rarely in dire situations, and if they were, were likely to be sent out to the hospital in London, she assumed.

Mildred had been at Hogwarts only a week, and was still finding it disconcerting to find herself not only back at her old school, but surrounded by such a pristine, tranquil environment. It had been Strange at St. Mungo's, but the strangeness had been mostly over-whelmed by her condtion and her frustration at being a patient. Here, she had gaps in her schedule where she was left to take inventory at her leisure, or bring water to recovering students. It was peaceful, and though this did suit Mildred's nerves - newly heightened since her return from the war - it didn't suit her character.

A young boy who had smashed a teacup to splinters instead of transfiguring it was healing in a bed not far from Mildred's observation, his splinters carefully removed but his skin still raw. He had fallen asleep some time ago, with the help of a potion Mildred had brought him, and that meant that the focus she had had temporarily was lost. Mildred was her best when working. She connected to people most strongly when she was tending to them, and learned best in action. Waiting made her listless and too prone to turning on a bitter sort of self-reflection.

Mildred would never say that the war had been good. The war had been uniformly horrific. It had deprived her of many companions, friends and patients. It was brutal, touched with dark magic, and often painful even to be surrounded by. It had, however, been a cause - and her cause in particular. The war had become Mildred's purpose and dedication, shaping her character from listless and young in her girlish years to focused and efficient, skilled in her field. The war had changed Mildred's life and though she was haunted by it, she longed for it. Being inactive when it was playing out even as she sat in the school's small hospital drove Mildred mad. She couldn't quite get past it, just as she seemed unable to dismiss so many of her thoughts of late.

Late in the afternoon, in a quiet Hospital Wing, she was bent over a counter, sorting small glass vials into groups, slowly number them on a parchment in front of her - a process that was slow with one hand, let alone her un-dominant one. She had to keep herself busy, even if it was only with trivial tasks. Sitting still, though it might sooth her, made her restless even more so than she was already.


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Walburga Black
Posted: Nov 14 2011, 06:09 AM


played by pip -------------------- 6th year
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Group: Slytherin
Posts: 197
Member No.: 335
Joined: 2-August 11



Walburga's father had, in fact, heard much about her confrontation with Spleen but had not actually been able to smooth over her problem. She wasn't sure what had been written to Dippet, but clearly it had not been worded strongly enough to keep her from actually having to serve the detention. As a result, she had spent the past week in a sulk, despite Cygnus's best efforts and Alphard's endless ribbing, dreading the day when Professor Binns escorted her, transparently, to the Hospital Wing to roll bandages for the Resistance.

It was an outrage, really: not only was a Black going to be doing work with her hands, but it was something that worked specifically against the Greater Good that her family and entire circle of peers supported.

There was no satisfaction in complaining to Binns, however, since he tended to respond to her clear and blatant refusal to work with mudbloods with a retelling of the hazy origins of mixing pure blood with filth, and so she had simmered in silence with suppressed rage, arms folded tight across her chest in a hint of the temper tantrum brewing. It wasn't fair, she told herself, turning a corner behind Binns towards the Hospital Wing, that a blood traitor had this kind of authority over her, Walburga Black, who was surely more important and useful to the world at large than anyone whose speciality was in patching up wounded schoolchildren and sending them on their way.

So when she entered the Hospital Wing (with Binns' ghostly hands shooing her in, much to her chagrin and slowly increasing fury) to find it empty of everyone except that one-armed woman about whom so many rumours were being told and started and repeated and spread, Walburga's anger reached its peak. Trust that filthy blood traitor Spleen to assign her detention and then leave her without even the comfort of pureblooded supervision! She knew little to nothing about the woman labelling something she supposed immediately to be uninteresting, not her blood status (which was, of course, important as to whether or not Walburga could faint dead away and avoid her detention that way) or her name or even why she had left the war (fighting for the wrong side, she suspected, if Spleen had hired her) to come to Hogwarts.

Surprisingly enough, she didn't find it difficult to look at the empty, pinned sleeve where the missing arm should be; Walburga had spent much of her childhood reading in the Black family library, and it was one of the largest collections of information on Dark magic in the wizarding world. The illustrations in many of the books she'd read for something akin to pleasure had been far worse, and seeing the result of what those spells could do in the real world fuelled in her only a clinical curiosity to try them out for herself.

Often Walburga cursed the fact that she had been born a girl and therefore banned from practising the Dark Arts with the sort of casualness and familiarity that her brothers and their peers did. It hadn't taken long for her to find a particular talent in them, and to see it going to waste bothered her immensely.

She waited only a moment for her presence to be noticed, too proud and impatient to give the woman a chance to realise that there was somebody else in the Hospital Wing, for all that her steps had been loud and echoed through the mostly empty hall. The woman had missed her chance to notice Walburga without being surprised; arms still crossed, she stamped her foot to catch the woman's detention and said without bothering to make her tone sound less like a command and more like a request, "I am here to see Healer Spleen. Tell him that I am waiting."


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Mildred Carpenter
Posted: Dec 20 2011, 10:10 AM


played by cora -------------------- faculty
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Group: Faculty
Posts: 59
Member No.: 448
Joined: 17-October 11



Mildred had been left with a sheet of instructions from Helbert, which she had only got to the beginning of, as her work was - if always good - not quick. The list had mentioned a detention, but it had been added as a side-note in a quick scribble as the rest should have occupied her until the student arrived, and Helbert should have been back to deal with her. So the time was not on Mildred's mind as she worked, and neither was the arrival of Walburga Black.

The hospital was quiet, strangely so, but not small enough that the arrival - and departure - of a silent ghost necessarily was required to catch her attention. Mildred was generally attentive, but she wasn't used to working in silence; in a backwards sort of way it sometimes disconcerted her, as it was so unusual. Her mind was occupied with her work quite attentively. She had a high degree of focus and determination. At the moment this was focused on the re-learning of simple tasks, now far less accessible to her. She wrote steadily, and even neatly - though very slowly - with her right hand, charming small vials up into their appropriate places with some difficulty but intense concentration. Spellwork was still incredibly difficult for her - as she had lost her wand arm - but her dedication to re-learning what she could, and even accomplishing tasks by wandless magic - was very real, and not entirely unsuccessful, if a slow process.

It was the sudden loud stamp that interrupted her steady work. Mildred started at once, her hand shaking and the glass vial smashing on the counter. This only startled her further, so that she was quite suddenly shaking, and frozen on the spot, the reaction coming without her bidding and far from her control. She was capable of understanding, rationally, that it was not an attack - that she was at Hogwarts, not at war - but this came secondly to her physical response, and couldn't over-power it, so that embarrassingly, her wand still clutched tightly in her right hand, she was rendered useless, quite suddenly.


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Walburga Black
Posted: Dec 23 2011, 03:51 PM


played by pip -------------------- 6th year
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Group: Slytherin
Posts: 197
Member No.: 335
Joined: 2-August 11



Merlin, but this was pathetic. Was the nurse absolutely useless?

The smash of the vial when it slipped from the woman's hands had startled Walburga, as well, but she recovered quickly, recrossing her arms from where they'd flung wide as she reached for her wand. (Living in the Slytherin dorms gave you quick reflexes, even if you were Walburga Black.) But it seemed that the nurse remained unable to remove; she wondered if the woman was more afraid of the crash of the glass or the small stamping of Walburga's foot, light as it was.

"Well?" she said scornfully. When there was no answer she stepped forward toward the nurse's work table, steps echoing throughout the empty quiet Hospital Wing. Closer, she could see that the one-armed woman was trembling. Rather than pity (as might be the response in someone else), her expression changed from curiosity to contempt. No wonder she'd been sent home from the front of the Resistance against Grindelwald, as rumour had it she had been. Well, good riddance; it made no sense to Walburga to work against the Greater Good.

Really, she could hardly believe that the woman had managed to find employment at Hogwarts - just, Walburga supposed, another example of the incompetence of Spleen. Why, she'd been incensed when she'd seen that Spleen intended to use school time and property and finances to support the Resistance.

"Where is Spleen?" she asked sneeringly, assuming that not even he would have left the running of the Hospital Wing to this woman who couldn't even bring herself to move. A just reward, perhaps, for working against the Greater Good. She drew even with the woman, resting her hands lightly on the cleanness of the worktable. "If he's not here, I refuse to serve the detention that he assigned me."


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Helbert Spleen
Posted: Dec 26 2011, 10:33 AM


played by jules -------------------- faculty
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Group: Faculty
Posts: 196
Member No.: 293
Joined: 4-July 11



With Mildred working out well, Helbert found he could more often occupy a calm frame of mind that allowed him to get some of his more tedious responsibilities done. He had been a more reliable supervisor of the student paper, he'd been keeping up with communications with concerned parents and had been updating records steadily. He was busy with such housekeeping paperwork when he glanced at his watch and realized with a sinking horror he was several minutes late for an important and well-dreaded appointment.

The idea of having left Mildred alone to deal with Walburga Black was sending him into tailspins of guilt as he threw on his jacket and stuffed odds and ends in his pockets that he didn't really need before hurrying off in something of a panic. He arrived at the threshold of the Hospital Wing winded and wide-eyed. He took a deep breath and stepped in, assessing the scene with a clinical eye and realizing immediately something was wrong.

He swept to Mildred's side with only a quick nod of acknowledgment in Walburga's direction. He placed a hand gingerly at her remaining elbow and searched her face for signs of proper life or awareness. "Miss Carpenter?"

Sliding his hand down her arm in a way that might've been intimate were its goal not to make sure he wasn't hexed half way to Tuesday, he ended at her wrist and tried to gently ease her grip on her wand. "You're at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, you're fine, and safe."


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Mildred Carpenter
Posted: Jan 1 2012, 10:09 PM


played by cora -------------------- faculty
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Group: Faculty
Posts: 59
Member No.: 448
Joined: 17-October 11



It was all too easy to see the war. The actual spells were far from the hospital tents, but not far enough that they hadn't known them too well: distant sparks were not frightening on their own, but paired with the gruesome injuries that made their way onto the shabby cots, with the screams of wizards through the night, they became every terror that could be imagined. She herself consciousness, so that, while the girl addressed her and huffed and stomped and leaned closer Mildred saw nothing but bodies on the ground, and heard only the steps of approaching soldiers, and burst of light around her--

It was then that a new presence arrived, confusing her at first by his proximity at her side. Her confusion at first manifested in alarm, and indeed her instinct did go to her wand at first - her alarm increasing when it occurred to her that he was attempting to take her wand from her. She automatically tried to pull her arm closer to her body, though his hold on her wrist was secure, and it was then that his words came through to her.

Hogwarts.

She breathed in very deeply, and as she did, she realised that the grip on her arm was not threatening, and that the man to her side was indeed Helbert Spleen, speaking of safety, bringing her back to the Hospital Wing.

She breathed in again and the trembling ceased; the school hospital slowly becoming more steady in front of her. She turned her head to look directly at Spleen and her shoulders relaxed as she did so. "Healer Spleen," she blinked slowly, "I'm sorry. I lost myself." She found it difficult to hold his gaze, however. Her reaction was far disproportionate to what had occurred, which was essentially the presence of a school girl. She was supposed to be the healer, not the patient. Her gaze dropped to the vague area of his shoulder, and she withdrew from his hold carefully.


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Walburga Black
Posted: Jan 14 2012, 04:23 AM


played by pip -------------------- 6th year
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Group: Slytherin
Posts: 197
Member No.: 335
Joined: 2-August 11



Walburga watched the little tableau play out with raised eyebrows and a twist to her lips, her expression one of such scorn that anyone looking on would have instantly known the depth of her contempt for the adults before her. And imagine! These people were pureblooded (if, she allowed, the worst sort of blood traitors). What in Merlin's name had happened to good wizarding stock, that it had degraded to this? More the reason that wizarding blood needed to be protected, preserved, prevented from becoming... this.

It didn't even perturb her so much that Spleen neglected to properly acknowledge that she'd arrived - on time! - for this ridiculous farce of a detention. She wrinkled her nose, though, at the way Spleen touched the other woman; the thought crossed her mind of making a comment, but even Walburga Black had enough instinct for self-preservation to avoid doing that.

"I'm here for my detention, Healer Spleen," she instead said imperiously, "not to watch you take care of someone who ought to be in the mental ward at St Mungo's, not working with children." Clearly if the woman needed to be reminded that she was safe and at Hogwarts, she ought to be somewhere else where things couldn't startle her. There was little compassion or pity in Walburga's character, especially when it came to those she saw as threatening the proper order of things. "If you are otherwise occupied, I shall go back to my common room."

In her opinion it was the best option for everyone involved: Spleen could make sure his nurse actually worked - Merlin, why else was Hogwarts presumably giving her a salary? - and Walburga could not have to roll bandages for a political movement she detested.


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Helbert Spleen
Posted: Jan 14 2012, 11:13 PM


played by jules -------------------- faculty
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Group: Faculty
Posts: 196
Member No.: 293
Joined: 4-July 11



Mildred coming out of it and putting space between them had him dropping his hand to the side slightly disappointed for all that it was the socially appropriate and less awkward thing to do. He smiled at her and shook his head. "Don't apologize." He was about to say something else friendly when Walburga's voice cut into the moment.

His expression soured as he shot her such a look that could curdle milk. "If you'd like to extend your detention into a third week, Miss Black, I suggest you keep talking." With a final glance at Mildred to make sure she was alright, he stalked off and went into his back room for a moment before returning with a large sack of unrolled bandaging, which he dropped unceremoniously at Walburga's feet.

"There. Get it all done by tonight or for every roll undone, I'll add a night to your punishment."

It was unusually harsh for him, but the girl infuriated him so much at times he was proud he controlled himself from hexing her. Part of him recognized she was simply a product of her upbringing and it wasn't entirely her fault. This part, however, was often fully occupied in convincing him that it would be a very bad idea to punch a student.


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Mildred Carpenter
Posted: Jan 21 2012, 11:06 PM


played by cora -------------------- faculty
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Group: Faculty
Posts: 59
Member No.: 448
Joined: 17-October 11



Mildred slowly relaxed further, dropping her shoulders slightly and tucking her wand away, though her cheeks were a little flushed, in embarrassment at the display. There was nothing about this job that should have been challenging to her - she was very aware of that - but she still managed to be tripped up, and in such an extreme manner. She pushed this frustration aside with some difficulty, or was engaged in doing so when the younger girl spoke, harshly, her insult all too obvious. Mildred's expression of frustration and embarrassment deepened, touched with a slight indignation for a moment. She wasn't mad - admittedly, she sometimes felt near to it - but she also knew that was not quite it, and hated the thought of being held to it.

Helbert answered with more authority than she could at the moment, however, and though she didn't relish the situation of being insulted or spoken for, she realised that in her current situation, it was likely most wise. Besides, she had no desire to argue with the girl, directly, so much as for her to be silent on the subject.

She didn't speak, as Helbert disappeared briefly, her gaze sliding past Walburga rather dismissively, and not without purpose. When Helbert returned and gave a final instruction, she watched quietly, still concentrating on her breathing and on the details of their surroundings, to keep herself grounded, and strictly with reality. It was a process that she was unwillingly getting used to. However, when he dismissed the student, she glanced at him quickly, "You don't need to put off your work," she told him, "If you need to supervise."


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Walburga Black
Posted: Jan 22 2012, 03:16 PM


played by pip -------------------- 6th year
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Group: Slytherin
Posts: 197
Member No.: 335
Joined: 2-August 11



She met Spleen's look glare for glare, although she did fall silent at the threat of a three-week detention. Rolling bandages for two weeks was a horrible enough thought; the idea of having to do it for almost an entire month was enough to make her tempted to swoon away into a dead faint in the middle of the Hospital Wing and force these two to take care of her instead of demand that she roll bandages for a political group that she had no interest in supporting.

All of her letters home, though, had been written with unfortunate news: her father could do nothing, and Walburga would have to roll bandages for the resistance. Of course, that did not mean she necessarily had to roll them well, or with good intentions; if she had not harboured such a deep fear of uncleanliness, she would have left her hands unwashed and rolled the bandages that way.

The sack at her feet, though, was met with a look of utmost horror, and she drew her hands up to her chest as if it would bite. Beyond needlework, Walburga had never done anything that required working with her hands, at the thought was admittedly intimidating.

"I'm afraid you'll have to show me how, Healer Spleen," she said sneeringly. Menial labour was not for a daughter of the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black, much less menial labour in the serve of people working against the Greater Good. "I have never rolled bandages before."


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Helbert Spleen
Posted: Jan 22 2012, 08:57 PM


played by jules -------------------- faculty
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Group: Faculty
Posts: 196
Member No.: 293
Joined: 4-July 11



He took up a bandage and rolled it quickly with deft hands. It was an action he was very used to and he did it well. "Try to make them as tight as possible, I am not above making you redo the ones I do not find up to snuff." Dragging the bundle of bandages over to a desk he'd set up for this purpose exactly, he held his arm out to it. "Sit here, work silently."

That taken care of, or so he hoped, he turned to Mildred. "Would you like a cup of tea?" He didn't want to keep her here if she didn't want to be, but he figured she might appreciate company compared to being alone to wallow. "Anything else? You don't have to stay,' he added as an afterthought, hoping she did not feel obliged.

As much as he didn't like Walburga, he could guess that she'd serve out her detention without too much trouble. She might grumble, but her father had failed to come through for her and unless she wanted to face more consequences, she'd do the work and be done with it.


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Mildred Carpenter
Posted: Feb 12 2012, 05:11 PM


played by cora -------------------- faculty
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Group: Faculty
Posts: 59
Member No.: 448
Joined: 17-October 11



She watched him handle the girl, a touch impressed. She admired that Spleen incorporated REsistance work into his duties, though she couldn't help thinking, whenever it crossed her mind to admire it, that it would have been more useful to simply roll bandages, and not be tied to the hospital wing. It was strange to have an after-thought be so much more important. She would have said as much, in the right conversation: Mildred was prone to frankness, and had some difficulty restraining herself from speaking bluntly, even when it was not the most considerate. As it was, though, she was not even implicated in the exchange, until Spleen turned to her.

"I'd like tea," she admitted, "It might just clear my head." Of course, this was unlikely: she knew as well as he that her problem was nothing that a cup of tea could solve (or else she would have been cured many times over), but it would still be superficially calming, and give her something to hold onto. She shook her head when he offered she could leave, "She's only a student," she said, a little condescendingly, glancing at Walburga, "I can stay."


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Walburga Black
Posted: Mar 7 2012, 11:16 PM


played by pip -------------------- 6th year
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Group: Slytherin
Posts: 197
Member No.: 335
Joined: 2-August 11



Walburga did seat herself, and she did work silently, but she could only hold in her indignation for so long. That she would be surrounded by blood traitors and forced to work for some political aim they thought appropriate when it ought to be them joining those who had formerly been their equals (but were now, of course, their distinct and definite superiors) in working for the Greater Good was both horrifying and appalling. But as she rolled, she listened in on their conversation, her attention more on her ears than her fingers. Of course, most of it was dull and boring: the banality of tea was far from interesting.

But then the nurse dared to make a comment that was dismissive of her, Walburga Black, the most important person in the room.

"Only a student!" she cried from her desk, rolling come to a complete halt. "I am a member of the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black!" This, of course, clearly put her above just a student; Hogwarts ought to be honoured to have her in attendance. Resistance soldiers who received the bandages she rolled with her own hands, as much as she detested the task and wished she could roll curses neatly inside without getting into further trouble, should thank Merlin that their wounds weren't further sullied by something rolled by filth and mudbloods. "And I am offended." Walburga drew herself up as much as she could in her seat, lifting her chin and looking down her nose. "How dare you treat me like any other student? My father will hear of this."


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