October 24, 2019, 05:28:07 AM

Author Topic:  {poppy's office} trying to find some kind of normal [filius]  (Read 244 times)

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Poppy Pomfrey [ Board Mod ]
15 Posts  •   60  •  Straight  •  played by Maya
For the fifth time in about an hour, Poppy smoothed the tablecloth down, and straightened up the tiny table in her sitting room. Oh sure, it was just Filius, and it was just tea, but Poppy hadn’t hosted anyone in her own space for a while now, and she wanted to take pride in whatever bit of hosting she could do at Hogwarts. She had sent Zinky out to get fresh scones and the best clotted cream that money could buy at Hogsmeade. The jam was from her own personal collection; she had picked berries at the start of the term and with the kitchen elves’ help turned them into a delectable, tart jam.

So while Zinky was taking care of most everything else, including the tea, Poppy wanted to set the table herself. Poppy had met a woman in France during her travels one year that took the biggest pride from her table settings, and Poppy rather liked that idea. She laid down her best tablecloth; a beautiful piece of soft earthy colors, and beautiful prints of reindeer at the trim, a subtle homage to the Christmas season. She had gotten the beautiful linen in Normandy one summer, and the ornate lavender and blue napkins she had gotten from a quaint shop just outside the lavender fields of Provence. Although the linens were French, the table was definitely set for proper British cream tea; the china was passed down to her by her parents. She kept all such valuable objects at Hogwarts, for she didn’t really have any other home. Which is why she was hosting cream tea for just two on a rickety table in her sitting room that also doubled as an office.

By some miracle, Poppy’s last patient had just left the infirmary. Usually when Poppy made plans it seemed that all the students of Hogwarts chose that exact time to need medical attention, so Poppy wasn’t entirely optimistic that the infirmary would stay empty during their tea time. Nevertheless, Poppy closed the door to the infirmary; if a patient needed her she was there of course, but sometimes all it took was a closed door to convince someone that maybe they could tough out their headache without calling the school nurse. It was a relatively bright Sunday morning; snow had blanketed the grounds the night before but the sky had cleared, and most of the student body was outside, throwing snowballs and creating figures out of snow. No, Poppy figured that they were safe until about 5pm, when the minor injuries and “I don’t feel well” would be rolling in as an outcome of children not dressing warm enough in the snow, and the looming Monday.

Zinky popped into the sitting room, and immediately set down the scones, cream, and filled the teapot with freshly brewed tea. He poured milk into the little ceramic milk jars, and filled a small plate with light brown sugar cubes.

“Well, Zinky, what do you think?” They had been working together long enough that the elf knew to what she was referring; the table setting.

“Ah, very nice madam! The linens is being pretty!” Zinky bowed low, and pop! Disappeared again. Poppy narrowed her eyes; she could tell that Zinky did not really like the table setting, otherwise he would have commented on them immediately. On second glance, perhaps the napkins and tablecloth clashed a little in patterns? She was just thinking what would be a better pairing when she heard a light knock on her door. Well, the linens would just have to do! Poppy glanced at the clock on her wall. Filius, on time as always.

“Filius!” she called out warmly in greeting as she opened the door to let him in, “So lovely to see you! I hope you don’t mind me making a bit of a fuss about the table settings and all; I thought to have a bit of fun with it! Please, sit down” Poppy gestured to one of the chairs, “I’ll just get us some water” and she turned away from him to fill up a large jug with water, with her wand.

“So how was your week? I know I don’t see as many students as you every day, but it seems they’re getting more and more restless as the holidays approach, no?” Poppy sat in the other chair, and filled their cups with tea.

“Zinky got us a nice lady gray blend from the village. Milk, sugar?”

@Filius Flitwick

Filius Flitwick [ Professor ]
26 Posts  •  68  •  played by nan
Re: {poppy's office} trying to find some kind of normal [filius]
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2019, 05:09:51 AM »
He was moving faster than he needed to be; he slowed down to a crawling pace to check his watch, to make sure that his rough sense of timeliness was still sharp. (Filius Flitwick was a punctual man by choice— forty years, forty— had taught him approximately how long he took to walk places. He’d asked, when he’d started, about how long it took to walk from his quarters to the Great Hall to the Charms classroom, and had realised shortly after that he needed to multiply it by about a hundred and eighty percent, to account for his legs.)

By now he knew which stairs to skip over, and which hallways to avoid on a Sunday afternoon, but Filius was in no real hurry today; he only meandered through the corridor outside the Hospital Wing, checked his watch again, and loitered for the last fifteen seconds he had to wait outside the door to not be early. (It was rude, of course, to be late, but Filius rather thought it was rude to be early, too, which was why he’d settled so quickly onto this compromise of ridiculous punctuality.)

Then he knocked, thrice, once it’d been five ticks past; Poppy opened the door promptly and let him in, already prattling about the table settings— “Oh, no, no worries! They’re very lovely,” he said— and getting them water. He got into the chair— waited until her back was turned, so she wouldn’t think to fetch him a stool— and smoothed a napkin over his lap.

“Oh, yes,” he added— he was sure she’d seen her fair share of restless students these last few days— “I held midterms on Friday, there were two fires and a teapot kicked me in the teeth.”

She poured them tea: as Filius was adding milk he mused that this next week was the easiest of the year for him, where he just relaxed at his desk and let his students play cards. Presumably it was far from Poppy’s easiest week— his two fires could attest to that. This was an open secret, his lazy week before Christmas, but it was still unprofessional to mention, so he took a sip (“Mmm,” he said, to let her know he liked it) and added “Of course, I kept the teapot.”

He took a scone, then tried to wipe the jam off his finger back onto the scone (so as not to waste it). “Have you had a good year, then?” he said, “Nothing too awful?” He supposed she probably legally couldn’t tell him anything specifically, but he hadn’t yet heard of any really dire medical crises. (Of course, the last four years had raised his standards for dire medical crises.)
« Last Edit: July 20, 2019, 05:10:03 AM by Nan »

I could have got rid of the sparklers myself, of course, but I wasn’t sure whether or not I had the authority.

Poppy Pomfrey [ Board Mod ]
15 Posts  •   60  •  Straight  •  played by Maya
Re: {poppy's office} trying to find some kind of normal [filius]
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2019, 04:13:14 PM »
Poppy knew about the fires, of course. In one way or another Poppy found out about most injuries that occurred to students during class. Either they were sent directly to her to be patched up, or they would come back later, having tried to heal themselves, or tough it out, only to realize that they could not. Over the years she had gotten quite good at guessing not only the subject, but the exact class, according to the injury. With the staff, however, it was a different story.

“Kicked your teeth?” Poppy chuckled to keep the mood light, even though she didn’t quite find it amusing. She desperately wanted to ask him if the teapot had chipped his tooth and perhaps she could take a look at it? Poppy couldn’t help it; she had smoothly transitioned from Friend, Sipping Tea to Healer, Concerned. That was fine with the students, but sometimes her fellow professors balked at her concern, mistaking it for condescension. So she kept her thoughts to herself; after all, Filius was a grown adult, and if he needed medical care Poppy was mostly confident that he would seek it.

“Well, at least you got a teapot out of it!” Poppy wondered how many he had collected over the years. Perhaps he did a yearly purge of teapots, and only kept the hardiest of them to continue to use?

“The year has been…not too terrible…” She started. “All the same injuries and illnesses I see year after year, but…” Poppy hesitated. Truth be told she wasn’t overly optimistic with how this year was going, and she hadn’t spoken with anyone else about it because she didn’t want to spread panic and ill-ease. Filius was different, however. Filius had been there at Hogwarts with her throughout the years. Together they had survived all the horrors and tragedies of the past ten years.

“I’m a bit concerned, to tell you the truth, Filius. First the Grey Lady disappears, and then the portraits. It seems so silly, but I can’t help but feel like I’m waiting for some big tragedy to occur. The last ten years at Hogwarts has just been crisis after crisis, and it scares me a bit. What if something like the dome could occur again? I don’t know…” Poppy trailed off. She knew she being a bit paranoid, but she couldn’t help it.

“Remember the years between the wars? They were so….quiet. Sure, there was the fair share of injuries and small dangers of Hogwarts, but nothing like when Potter and his friends were in school, and all that came after. I’m concerned that Hogwarts is becoming…unstable.”

Filius Flitwick [ Professor ]
26 Posts  •  68  •  played by nan
Re: {poppy's office} trying to find some kind of normal [filius]
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2019, 07:58:49 AM »
Poppy was less tickled with his midterm anecdotes than he’d expected, but Filius supposed she wasn’t a teacher— back when Pomona had taught they’d swapped stories of this sort every week. “Well, yes. Not much of a teapot, mind,” he said, “I’m keeping it for novelty value, mostly. I’ve got a lot of violent dishware in the cupboard.”

This would probably worry her— but he comforted himself with the knowledge that she’d been at Hogwarts with him long enough to know, by now, that he wasn’t uncautious with his students or his violent dishware. She wasn’t a teacher, he had to remind himself often— she was bound to be less blase about some of the things that had become his daily fare. That, unfortunately, ruled out the rest of his fun anecdotes.

Fortunately she didn’t seem interested either in detailing the hilarities of Hogwarts hoopla, brushing off the year’s medical emergencies as not too terrible. Filius tried carefully to pick up his scone without getting jam on his fingers— it was too big to use two fingers, particularly his fingers, so he had to use two hands, balance it carefully flat on his fingertips. “But?” he said, raising his eyebrows.

He understood, of course. He’d thought the same thing, regularly, for the last two years, that Hogwarts seemed to be falling apart at the seams, but he shook his head anyway. “I’m keeping up hope,” he said, grim tone belying his words somewhat; he pepped himself up a little bit. “Wherever the Grey Lady is, I don’t imagine she’ll be long gone. And the portraits, too. Most of ‘em have been here for a very long time, anyway— I imagine they’d like a break from the day-to-day.”

She had an excellent point, though; they’d had a frankly terrible decade. “The eighties?” he said, a little skeptically— “Hogwarts isn’t so much unstable, I think. The nineties weren’t the school’s fault, for the most part— the dementors, Dolores Umbridge, that was the Ministry.” They both knew who’d been responsible for the rest of the nineties’ problems; it didn’t bear saying. If anything, the dome had been a mad fluke. “If there’s a problem,” he decided, “it’s not with Hogwarts.”

This was bleak, but he couldn’t think of a way to soften it; he finished his scone and took another one. Even if there were problems with the greater state of the world— which there were, of course— he still couldn’t say he wanted to lose his faith in Hogwarts.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2019, 07:59:22 AM by Nan »

I could have got rid of the sparklers myself, of course, but I wasn’t sure whether or not I had the authority.

Poppy Pomfrey [ Board Mod ]
15 Posts  •   60  •  Straight  •  played by Maya
Re: {poppy's office} trying to find some kind of normal [filius]
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2019, 01:57:36 AM »
Poppy was somewhat disappointed at Filius’ level-headed optimism. Of course most of the Hogwarts teachers were so…casual about the dangers at Hogwarts, but she felt that at least he would understand her concerns. She wasn’t paranoid exactly, it’s just that every other time weird things started happening at Hogwarts she would be blindsided by horrors and tragedies she never could imagine would happen in the castle.

“Yes, I suppose you’re right…still…remember ten years ago, when the Chamber of Secrets opened? We thought the same thing; sure there was mild concern, but I think I was not alone in shrugging it off as some stupid student prank.” She took a deep breath, and put the scone she was holding back on the table, as if giving the conversation her full attention.

“I remember the moment I understood that something serious was going on. When Nearly-Headless-Nick was petrified. And now again strange things are happening among the ghosts…I might have shrugged it off ten years ago, but I suppose those ten years have given me a much larger measure of caution.” Poppy picked up the scone again, slathering on it a generous portion of cream.

As Filius summarized the years previous, Poppy felt her frustration rising. She was going to counter that perhaps it was Hogwarts that was the problem, but her mouth was full with a bit of scone and a lot of clotted cream. This gave her the opportunity to think on Filius’ statement a bit longer, and the grave implications sent a shiver down her spine, the scone settling heavy in her stomach.

“Good point; there are many outside forces that were in play, and still are, I think.” They were dancing around the subject. Poppy’s reflex was always to refrain from talking about politics. Even with a friend like Filius. After all, they had lived through times where nothing could be said among friends about politics, at Hogwarts. Not talking; that had been the only way they had been allowed to remain at Hogwarts, under the guise of staunch neutrality. “But I can’t help but think that Hogwarts is more…vulnerable to those forces than it once was. The first war hardly effected Hogwarts itself…”

Poppy trailed off, as Zinky appeared to pour more hot water in their tea pot. He lay on the table a heavy platter filled with traditional tea finger sandwiches. Typical Zinky; she had said cream tea only, yet he couldn’t resist. With a little pop he disappeared again, and Poppy chose her next words carefully.

“I sometimes wonder what we would be like if we didn’t work at Hogwarts….and what would Hogwarts look like without us?”

Filius Flitwick [ Professor ]
26 Posts  •  68  •  played by nan
Re: {poppy's office} trying to find some kind of normal [filius]
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2019, 12:27:32 AM »
Poppy had seemed a little discomfited that Filius wasn’t worrying (or, perhaps, not worrying enough) about the disappearing ghosts, but he couldn’t help feeling discomfited at her characterisation of the Chamber of Secrets. He supposed that looking back on that year could have given him a different view— hindsight was clearer than foresight, after all— but he remembered meeting with Dumbledore and the other Heads of House that first night. There hadn’t been much dismissal of it as a student prank; he rather thought the first thing said had been something like, There is very advanced Dark Magic at play at Hogwarts, keep a wary eye out.

He said, simply: “I guarantee you weren’t, Poppy— I think the only ones who took it lightly were the students.” He thought on it another second— “Possibly Gilderoy as well, but we weren’t updating him meticulously.”

It came as something of a surprise, that Poppy hadn’t fretted at the initial onset— if Mrs. Norris’s petrification hadn’t clued him into it being a disaster, for sure Colin Creevey’s had (may he rest in peace.) He nodded along anyway as she mentioned Sir Nicholas— it was true that the last time they’d had suspicious ghostly activity, it’d also been a sign of impending disaster— and said, “Those were real attacks, though— we knew, from the start, someone was targeting students. Enemies of the Heir beware…”

Outside forces was a good, if vague, way to put it; he supposed that, after the last few years, she might be loath to discuss politics here. (He’d never had such reserves— though, of course, he was always careful with whom he discussed, and who could overhear. The only free conversations he’d had, during the war, were with his colleagues— his real colleagues, not the Ministry’s impositions— and even those had been hushed and brief and fretful.

“The first war didn’t affect the school itself, so much,” he agreed, “But it affected us. And the students, obviously. You could feel it.”

He could, at least— though Filius knew, being part-goblin, he’d always been oversensitive to political tension. He’d also started at school the tail end of the Grindelwald business. He couldn’t remember being at Hogwarts without the pressing awareness that, outside her walls, things could get so much worse. With that cheerful thought, he took a sandwich from her elf— “Ah, thank you—” and munched.

“Oh Merlin,” he said to her question, “I can’t even imagine. Did I ever tell you, though, I didn’t want to come back here? I only did because I had no better options— I imagine, of course, if I hadn’t gotten in here, I’d do something dull for the Ministry.” He sighed a little wistfully— “I always wanted to research, too. I do, a little, these days. Just on my own.”

What would Hogwarts look like without them, was a different question: Filius couldn’t say with any honesty that he believed he’d been the best man for this job. Not for his role as Charms Master, he knew— he could say without boasting that his Charmwork was phenomenal, and his teaching fairly good too— but as a member of the staff. He could have been the best teacher in the world and still been wrong, here: it felt like Hogwarts needed its teachers to be decent, noble, responsible people, and in the forty years he’d been teaching he’d doubted, often, if he was good enough.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2019, 12:29:49 AM by Nan »

I could have got rid of the sparklers myself, of course, but I wasn’t sure whether or not I had the authority.

Poppy Pomfrey [ Board Mod ]
15 Posts  •   60  •  Straight  •  played by Maya
Re: {poppy's office} trying to find some kind of normal [filius]
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2019, 07:38:31 PM »
Poppy felt rather chastised as Filius drove home the point that most of the faculty were concerned about the events of the Chamber of Secrets from the beginning. That’s certainly not how she remembered it. It was clear that some advanced if not dark magic had caused the petrifactions, but she didn’t think anyone was ready to actually believe it was the chamber of secrets, or that You-Know-Who himself had been behind the attacks! Still though, she held her tongue. Poppy sometimes felt a tad simple when talking to Filius, and some of the other professors. She was good at one thing and one thing only: healing. She had never really possessed great intelligence as a student, rather she relied on hard work. Filius rather gave her the feeling sometimes like he understood more than her, and she didn’t want to give him cause to think that by continuing to argue the point. Besides, it was ten years ago.

At talk of the first war, Poppy put down her teacup for fear her hands might start shaking from emotion.

“Of course it affected us. Remember the black owl that would come with the morning post and bring tidings of death?” Poppy trailed off, wondering if Filius would remember the day she had come face to face with the black owl, bringing news that her parents had been murdered.

“I suppose I meant that magically, the war stayed outside of Hogwarts. The battles, the murder, the disappearing…it all happened outside the castle walls. And that was not the case with the second war.” Poppy hoped that she was finally communicating clearly, but she was also eager to drop the subject. It wasn’t her place to convince Filius that things were dire.

“Oh?” She said with surprise at Filius’ revelation that teaching hadn’t been his first option. In Poppy’s opinion Filius was an excellent teacher, and she couldn’t quite see him doing anything else.

“What kind of research are you conducting?” Poppy asked with interest. She had of course been conducting her own research during most of her years at Hogwarts, but then again she had more time because she didn’t teach. As Filius spoke, Poppy fought down the urge to take another scone and pile the cream on it. At her age she had to be vigilant about watching her figure.

“I shudder to think what my life would be like without Hogwarts.” Poppy said, answering her own question from before.

“I was fired from St. Mungo’s you know…I cared too much about the patients.” Poppy thought back to those days, alternating between crushing anxiety at work and blissful denial with the muggle she had been dating.

“I suppose I could have ended up in pediatrics…” She said thoughtfully, “But I feel like Hogwarts is the only place I fit in.”

Filius Flitwick [ Professor ]
26 Posts  •  68  •  played by nan
Re: {poppy's office} trying to find some kind of normal [filius]
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2019, 11:21:18 PM »
Poppy reminded him gently of the Ministry’s black owl; Filius nodded solemnly. He let his mind wander back through his time at Hogwarts— both as a student and a teacher— she was right that the war hadn’t ventured into the school’s staff and leadership until 1997. (He hated to think of that year, but he had always felt he had no right not to— he couldn’t push away the sense of guilt that came with remembering how Hogwarts had fallen to the Death Eaters, and how Filius had chosen to stay, to suffer with her instead of to fight. He imagined Poppy felt the same way— she must have seen rather worse than he had.)

The war, in his mind, could have ended no other way than at Hogwarts— somehow Filius had come to that conclusion, in the last few years. Rather like Albus Dumbledore, in an odd way— Filius had joked, years ago, that they’d have to bury Albus at Hogwarts someday. And the war— over fifty years, if one traced it back to the Chamber of Secrets in 1942— had made its way back to Hogwarts to be defeated. Hogwarts was, really, the center of magical Britain— he’d grown to understand that, since teaching there— and it’d been only right that, like Albus, like Tom Riddle, like Harry Potter, the war would die there.

(Hopefully, unlike Harry Potter and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, the war would stay dead.)

Filius would never tire of trying to understand Hogwarts, but the war was a riddle he rather wanted to lay to rest. He said, after a moment, “And I hope it won’t be the case again, at least,” and left it there— the world had so much time to dissect the second war, and for now he wanted to leave it to the historians.

He smiled at her surprise that teaching had been something of a last resort for him, eyes crinkled a little; it’d become second nature by now, and sometimes it surprised him as well that he’d worried so much that he’d be terrible. “Charms,” he said; he took a quick sip of tea before he went on— “Back in the eighties I focused a lot on old duelling standbys, tried to see if I could improve them— but I haven’t felt up to that in a while. Now I just modify household ones.”

Filius had always rather imagined that a magical researcher’s life would be pretty miserable, unless they invented the next self-slicing bread pan; there wasn’t much funding for independent research outside the Ministry or St. Mungo’s, and any institution sponsoring research had an agenda. He was happier at Hogwarts, he thought, than he would have been anywhere else.

He couldn’t hide a rueful chuckle at her comment about St. Mungo’s— there was a terrible sort of irony in her leaving the tragedies of a proper hospital to wind up at Hogwarts, especially given the last few tragic years. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I don’t imagine that worked out in your favour.” He couldn’t believe that Hogwarts in wartime had been any less difficult— but, he supposed, he’d never have expected himself to have stuck with the school for so long.

After the war he’d felt obligated, he supposed. How could he abandon Hogwarts after all this?

She echoed his own sentiments— that Hogwarts was the only place she fit in. Filius sighed a little more heavily than was casual, so he cleared his throat sheepishly and sighed again, less heavily. “Imagine that,” he said with some amusement— “When I was twelve, thirteen, I thought I’d never, ever find a place in Hogwarts.”
« Last Edit: September 09, 2019, 11:24:27 PM by Nan »

I could have got rid of the sparklers myself, of course, but I wasn’t sure whether or not I had the authority.


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