Paul Graves

An Impromptu Interrogation - mid-May 1999 (Paul, Piotr/Sergei)

Trepidation and curiosity warred in Paul as the portkey deposited him in the DMLE's maximum-security isolation suite. He found himself amid a small set of offices ranged about a glassed-in room that could be entered only by a secured and warded door.

The place smelled antiseptic and dry, sort of a grey scent, Paul thought. In addition to that and the offices, he found himself surrounded by the DMLE's elite security staff. These wizards had seen it all, dealt with it all, and lived to talk about it. A couple of them, Paul remembered from their days at Hogwarts, and he greeted them quietly. Gathered in this small collection of rooms was the cream of the country's crop of defenders against the Dark Arts.

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(By Chantal and Sarah)
Paul Graves

A Request for a Friend - mid-May 1999 (Seth and Paul)

Seth Graves banged the heavy brass knocker against the front door of Arbour Grove and tried to quell the nervous ache in his innards. His last visit with his father had not gone well, and he wasn't here to apologise for it.

Maybe I should be, Seth thought. But the idea of that book...Cripes, if he were anyone but my Dad, I'd have reported him to Lanistan straightaway. If Lanistan ever finds out I didn't report it, it'll mean my job. I wish I could just tear the damned book up and toss it in the fire!

He sighed. But I really need to talk to him about Piotr. We're getting nowhere-- His train of thought derailed as his father opened the door.

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(By Chantal)

New Acquaintainces [Anders, Nathan]

Anders went from his meeting to Bill to Gringotts, where he spent a boring hour shifting money around his two or three accounts. He then proceeded to talk a walk down Diagon Alley, drawing more than one or two stares as he did so, but still managing to hold his head up high.

He slid into the apothecary to get his potion supply renewed and was served by an old man who was so wizened and bent that it was near impossible to make out his face. He left that place with the faint impression that he knew the man, but that was impossible.

He was hungry by this time, so he slid into the Leaky Cauldron to grab a bite to eat, ensconsing himself quietly at a corner table with a copy of the Daily Prophet and a plate of sandwiches.

"Good God," a well cultured male voice said from not too far away. "Oh, I'm terribly sorry, I'm intruding."

Anders wasn't sure if the voice was directed at him, but he looked up briefly from his newspaper to see what was happening anyway.

The owner of the voice was young, a tall man younger than Anders, with black messy hair shaken back from his face; in purple robes so dark they were almost shimmer-black. He was indeed poised halfway between Anders and the empty table to which he had been clearly heading, a butterbeer in his hand.

"It is you. Sir, I'm terribly sorry for interrupting but I just have to ask... can I buy you a butterbeer?"

"Er...I could go for a pumpkin juice, I'm off the butterbeer just now, but...whatever for?" Anders didn't recognise the man at all.

"I'm going to sound like a terrible fanboy." A wry smile. "Let's just say I don't approve all that much of the slander that's been in the press lately."

Anders was caught for a moment between the need to distance himself from recognition and the urge to find out what the young man meant. Curiosity won out.

"I'd love a pumpkin juice," he said, eventually, smiling hesitantly. "Pull up a chair and introduce yourself. I'm guessing you know who I am."

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The Air Will Do Us Good [Sylvie, Anders]

After an hour or so, he curled himself into a tight ball which she gently extracted him from. This woke him up and he gazed around himself blearily.

"Did I fall asleep? God, I'm sorry."

"Don't be. I was happy to just watch you. I dozed a little myself."

"Fancy a walk outside? I could kill for some fresh air, and Wilf's garden is lovely."

"I've been lazy enough for one day, a walk would be lovely." She kissed his nose lightly and rolled over to stretch. "Let me get dressed."

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Forward Planning [Sylvie, Anders]

Pickle followed him up the stairs, slipping into the room between his ankles and only narrowly avoiding tripping him, scrambling up onto the bed by means of clambering with great determination onto the low chest at the end and then launching herself over the footboard.

Sylvie was half curled up, half spread out under the sheets on his side of the bed, dark curls in utter disarray over his pillow.

Anders set the tray down on the dressing table and sat down on the bed, placing himself between Pickle and Sylvie and then leaning down to kiss her curls affectionately.

Pickle squirmed past and planted a big wet lick on the end of the young woman's nose.

"Morning," he said, in as cheerful a voice as he could muster. "Sleep well?"

"Urk," Sylvie said eloquently as Pickle pushed her wet nose into her ear and sneezed. A moment later her brown eyes met those of the puppy in some startlement, a hand coming up to gently fuss the pup, and then she smiled at Anders. "Morning, you."

"I made you breakfast," said Anders, bursting with the same sort of pride as a seven year old. "Look." He pointed at the tray.

"Gosh." She lifted her head from the pillow, looked at the tray, looked back at Anders, at the puppy, and then back to him. "Anders Grimalkin, you romantic devil. Puppies and roses and breakfast in bed."

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New Day, New Hope [Wilf, Anders]

He slept the almost dead sleep of the truly weary. By the time he woke, he'd missed dawn and it was morning.

With wakefulness came awareness, one thing after the other.

It had been a very long time since Anders Grimalkin had woken up and not ached from being scrunched up in a defensive curl all night. It had been even longer since the second thing he was aware of was the fact that there was another presence in his bed. The third thing was the fact that the other presence was soft and warm, smelled undeniably and deliciously female and was sleeping with her head on his chest, his arm around her.

Sylvie.

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Interlude: Love (Anders, Sylvie)

"Anders." Sylvie said his name softly. "Oh, Anders."

He remained where he was for a few moments, before he rolled carefully off her. "Hey, baby," he said, softly.

She kept an arm around him, touching his face with one hand, looking deep into his eyes. "Hey, lover."

He pulled her into the circle of his arms and kissed the top of her head with great tenderness.

Sylvie pressed her head in against his shoulder and said something incomprehensible on a half-sob.

"Oh, baby, I'm so sorry," he said, clearly near tears himself, and he just held her close to him. "I'm so sorry."
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Talk and tonic (Anders, Sylvie)

Less than five minutes later, they were stepping out of the fireplace in Wilf's parlour.

Anders glanced over at the clock. It was only six thirty. They'd only been gone an hour and a half, less than that. "I feel...empty," he said, hollowly. "But she had a smile on her face, Sylvie."

"She's free of a lot of sadness now. Come upstairs and lie down."

He nodded, too tired and emotionally exhausted to argue.

His room was indeed a mess.

He sat down on the (unmade) bed and put his head in his hands.
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Goodbyes [Anders, Sylvie, Wilf, Assortment of NPCs]

Sylvie waited in the kitchen, finishing her coffee and idly playing with the six yellow labrador puppies who came in to investigate the new person.

The young Curse Breaker appeared about ten minutes later, as cleanly shaven as he could manage with his still-unsteady hands. He'd changed into a pair of dark grey combats and a black t-shirt that were cleaner than the jeans and t-shirt he'd had on before, and he had his boots on but not yet laced. "Will I do?" he said as he reached the kitchen door.

"You'll do just fine."

"Let me just get something," he said, and headed out towards the lounge and the bookcase where Wilf kept the photograph album. He selected the one of Sirius and Astrid pictured against the mountains and tucked it into his pocket.

Sylvie stood up and put the mugs in the sink. "We'll go by floo."

He nodded. He'd gone quiet, but she'd anticipated that.

She held his hand in the fireplace, dropping the powder and speaking the address clearly.

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Pizza. (Anders, Sylvie, June 1999)

Anders was not having one of his better days.

He'd woken up with a headache, which had refused to go away and his mood had grown blacker and blacker as the day had passed until he was quite literally throwing things around his room in fury.

At some point, Wilf had come up to offer him breakfast.

Breakfast had followed Wilf out the door.

Much later in the afternoon, there was another gentle knock at his door.

His mood was less violent now, but he was still bad-tempered as he shouted words to the effect of 'I'm not hungry, thanks for asking', only far less politely and with a lot more swearing.
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