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 A Matter of Policy (open)

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Grayson Hughes

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PostSubject: A Matter of Policy (open)   Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:32 pm

Grayson was spending his lunch break in the staffroom, simply for a change of scenery. The staff party over the holidays had made him realize just how isolated he was from his colleagues, and he decided he should try to get out more. Perhaps if he didn't lock himself up in the library all the time, he might actually meet a few people every now and then.

Sitting down in one of the mismatched, wooden chairs, he spotted a copy of a magazine on the coffee table and picked it up. He liked keeping up with current affairs, but politics were rather frustrating, and tended to dominate most of the news, so he didn't subscribe to any of these things himself. Still, he decided it was probably worth his while to find out what was going on in the world today, so he opened up the magazine, drew his glasses from his shirt pocket, and sat back in his chair to read.

Warlock at War
Conspiracy at the Caymans

The headline jumped out at him, and he scanned the article. He'd heard about the approaching ICWW summit, but he hadn't been particularly invested in it. Perhaps he should be...it seemed much bigger than his original impression had led him to believe, having simply heard tell of it in passing.

The article itself seemed heavily exaggerated, and he took most of it with a grain of salt. However, he was able to gather some truth from it, and it seemed that Vietnamese Secretary Ng Yu Soh had created quite the stir...

They wouldn't really get rid of the Statute of Secrecy, would they? He knew most of the European families were quite conservative in their views...but this wasn't just a European issue. And since it was apparently controversial enough to put the option on the table, that meant at least somebody wanted it. The more he considered it, the more worried he felt he should probably be. Grayson knew well enough never to underestimate the stupidity of politicians.


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Jake Newbury
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PostSubject: Re: A Matter of Policy (open)   Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:52 am

Jake's reading on the impending ICWW Summit was growing. Victoria had sent him a copy of the Warlock at War magazine that day, with the blazing headline of Conspiracy in the Cayman islands. It was not the first piece of literature Victoria had sent him, either, which had been something of a regret on Jake's behalf, because unlike his little sister, he was not a fast, or big reader.

Still, the less factual article from the magazine was much easier on the eye, and Jake had gotten through it with relative speed. The Auror squad was looking forward to the visit to the Caymans, tasked with the security detail of the Minister of Magic, they wouldn't have the time to enjoy the sunshine, though, of course.

Heading to the staff room at lunch time with a plate piled with food -- Jake had never been a small eater, and the school made some quite exquisite lunches -- the man moved to the table and took up a seat. It was then he noted the librarian, Grayson, and he was quite out of place in this room. Simply for the matter Jake had never seen him there.

Seeing the magazine that Victoria had sent him -- or a copy of it, anyway -- in Grayson's hand, Jake decided to jump in to the conversation. "Going to be interesting, isn't it? The Summit. Which way do you think they'll go with it?" Jake asked, motioning to the magazine, though there wasn't any need to do so.

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Grayson Hughes

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PostSubject: Re: A Matter of Policy (open)   Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:47 pm

Grayson looked up as someone entered the room. Jake Newbury, one of the few professors he could recognize by name despite having never really spoken to him. The other man spoke up, and Grayson turned his attention towards him.

"Hm? Oh, yes. I'm afraid I haven't been keeping up with it as much as I probably should have. I'll have to do further research with more...credible sources, in order to make any sort of prediction."

Warlock at War had a reputation, and a poor one at that, at least in Grayson's mind. Its propensity for anti-muggle propaganda certainly did nothing to endear it to the halfblood wizard. As such, he approached its articles with scepticism, and decided he'd better find some other sources for a more accurate picture.

"I'd say certainly most of the old European families would not take too kindly to any sort of change regarding the Statute. Aldric Förstner, for instance, would never let such a thing slide. And our own Minister has also expressed some conservative views. As for the Clement family...I can't be sure. Their influence runs deep in France, not only in the magical world, but in the muggle world as well, and while they hold to the traditions of the old families, they're certainly not as fearful of the muggle world as some..."

Although he stayed away from politics for the most part, that didn't mean he did not pay attention. He had observed the workings of other countries, especially those in which he'd lived, like France. His father, being a pureblood (albeit a disgraced one), had taught him a thing or two about the workings of the upper tier, and he couldn't help but notice the influence of pureblood families wherever he travelled.

"What do you think?" he asked the other man. Perhaps Jake knew a bit more about the summit than he did, and would able to give further insight.
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PostSubject: Re: A Matter of Policy (open)   Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:09 pm

Hogwarts had grown on Andrei more than he thought it would have. Initially, he had intended for his professorship to be temporary—a way to make money until he could get another job as museum director. However, as of late, his thoughts drifted towards something more permanent. Of course, for the time being, such thoughts were just that, thoughts and nothing more. Not even Marie knew of his growing attachment to the school and its students.

That said, perhaps paradoxically, one of his guilty pleasures as of late had become hiding out in the staff room away from the hustle and bustle of Hogwarts proper. He often took a book with him and whiled away the hours lost between its yellow pages. Today, though, he didn’t bring a book with him, but rather a salami sandwich with a few slices of provolone and pickles on the side.

Pushing open the door with his free hand, the runes professor wove his way through the room to where two familiar figures sat. Not wanting to interrupt the librarian nor the other professor, he threw up his hand in a half wave, smiled, and took a seat. Andrei was never one to take over a conversation; he would add his input when asked but he wasn’t the biggest fan of standing in the spotlight especially when it came to politics as it seemed to in this case.

Politics, while a necessary evil, tended to divide people more than bringing them together, so the older man tried to stay away from it all. Now, that is not to say he did not keep up with politics. In fact, quite the opposite, he read anything and everything he could about current events, so he found himself well versed in the topic at hand. Where he stood on it though? Well, he couldn’t honestly say; as always there were pros and cons to both sides with little middle ground in between.
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Jake Newbury
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PostSubject: Re: A Matter of Policy (open)   Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:39 pm

The response from Grayson brought something of a nervous smile to Jake's lips. Whilst he'd read up on the subject of the Statute of Secrecy, he hadn't taken much of a good look at the families that would be voting. Europe, Jake had found, was quite traditional. So, he had presumed that they would stick to the old ways.

America... now, America was progressive. Jake, being an American, was quite sure his own country would vote the right way, and that would mean they would open themselves up from the Statute. After all, America was the land of the free, what good was freedom is it only applied to the Muggles?

"The Clements?" Jake echoed, before motioning in the air. "You mean like Elenore Clement, the Hufflepuff witch here?" He asked, before conceding to the fact he didn't know nearly enough about his students.

"I can't say I know much about European countries and their outlook on the Statute, but personally, I hope it is taken away. I think it will be a good thing. And, my children will be able to grow up without fear, or prejudice being held against them. Also, away from my own family, I think having more openness on the subject will stop a number of Muggleborns from being looked down on by their parents. Some kids..." Jake shook his head at the thought of some parents abandoning their children due to their magical abilities.

At that point, Andrei walked in with a sandwich and Jake gave the older man a warm smile as he gave the two of them a wave. "We're just discussing the ICWW Summit, Andrei. Any thoughts on which way the vote will go?" He asked, looking to the man hopefully. "We could always make a bet on the outcome?" He added, looking between the two men.

Whilst gambling wasn't something Jake partook in often, a small wager wouldn't hurt anyone, would it?

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PostSubject: Re: A Matter of Policy (open)   Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:41 am

"Yes," Grayson responded to Jake's question about the Clements, "And her brother, Jacques, who graduated last year." Did Jake really not know about the Clement family? Grayson supposed their influence didn't extend into America in any prominent way, so the American wizard would not be as familiar with them as European wizards were. Grayson didn't know how long Jake had been living in Europe, but he figured the younger wizard probably just had little reason to move in those social circles--the Old World pureblood elite operated essentially in their own little world, and anyone new to the system would have a very difficult time getting a foot in the door.

The Clements had featured prominently in Grayson's lessons from his father. As a young Slytherin, it was essential to know who was who in high society--many of his classmates had been from prominent pureblood houses, and even his own name carried some weight, depending on which branch was under examination (his cousins, for instance, were more powerful than he could ever hope to be). He'd simply grown up used to hearing such names thrown around by his father, he sometimes forgot that others would not have been exposed to it.

As Jake continued on about his own views, Grayson kept a carefully blank expression on his face. He tended to keep his own opinions close to his chest, and he had never been the type of person to attack others for their beliefs. Still, was the American wizard really so naive?

He cocked his head. "You think taking away the Statute will mean your children will grow up without fear or prejudice against them? What sort of fear or prejudice do they experience now, when nobody suspects that they are any different from the rest of the population? I would think the fear and prejudice would come after wizardkind is exposed to the muggle world, not before."

He said this softly and thoughtfully, not attacking, and not necessarily revealing his own beliefs on the matter either. He simply caught onto a point in Jake's argument that seemed a little off, and decided to play devil's advocate.

"I agree though, that muggleborn children seem to get the worst end of the deal when it comes to the Statute of Secrecy. The system has never been easy on them, and easier access to knowledge and support could help a great deal."

He left off the part where the cons far outweighed the pros, and the risk of disrupting a delicate balance for the sake of a small percentage of the population feeling better about themselves was really not worth it in the long run. The point was not worth arguing over, and he suspected that voicing his own opinion would do very little to change anyone else's, so he kept it to himself.

He greeted Andrei with a nod as the older man walked in, and finally removed his reading glasses, folding them up and tucking them back into his shirt pocket.

A small smile tugged at the corner of Grayson's lip at the mention of a wager. "I'm afraid I'm not much of a betting man, especially having done so little research beforehand." He paused to consider for a moment, then shrugged as if to say 'what the hell.'

"From what I know, however, I'd propose that the vote will be too close and too divided to settle on either extreme, and some sort of compromise will be in the works for an absurdly long time before settling on something as close to doing nothing as possible."

Inaction was, after all, much easier than action. Since action required effort, any proposal that involved active change would have to be supported by a vast majority in order to pass--otherwise, the lack of cooperation would doom the enterprise from the start. At least, he was counting on it.
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PostSubject: Re: A Matter of Policy (open)   Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:22 am

Taking a bite of his sandwich, Andrei half listened to the librarians’ rather conservative forecast. Given the nature of politics, a compromise was usually a safe bet no matter issue. That said, the runes professor had his doubts about it. From what he’d read and heard from Marie’s trip abroad the statue of secrecy was a divisive subject that had set neighbor against neighbor in the more politically charged climes. Of course, the older man found the idea of such squabbles quite comical as they’d never amount to much of anything in the end—politics was a game played titians, not the common man.

“Mmm,” he made an awkward noise as he finished chewing. “I’m with Grayson on the betting thing; I have a bad habit of losing. Though, I do think a stalemate is too optimistic in this case. Under normal circumstances, I’d agree with you that a compromise is the only logical conclusion. However, I can’t in good conscience call these normal circumstances.”

Andrei had become a reluctant acolyte of politics in his youth. When traveling from country to country—sometimes legally and other times illegally—he made certain to know what he was getting into as it was often a matter of life or death. After all, you didn’t want to step into a revolution and accidentally align yourself with the establishment in the middle of rebel territory or vice versa. Suffice to say it would end poorly and though the upcoming Convention was a bit different the same concept of gathering information applied.

“I keep in touch with colleagues in Hong Kong and they say that there’s been death threats made against the pro-disolvement delegate that China’s sending. Then in Egypt, the government’s been hush-hush about who exactly they are sending.” Andrei offered a shrug. “Honestly, I don’t know. I personally don’t have much of a preferred outcome, but I don’t see how this doesn’t end up factionalizing the wizarding community even more.”

He paused here and took another quick bite of his sandwich—shoulda used more mayo.

“I mean,” furrowing his brow he took a more serious tone. “All it will take is one country breaking from the statute and the whole façade will come tumbling down like a house of cards. I suppose the best we can hope for is that cooler heads will prevail regardless of the outcome.”

Yeah, cool heads in high stakes international politics; a snow ball’s chance in hell.

[Apparently, I didn’t read the rules all that well: sorry about barging into a filled open thread—itchy keyboard fingers got the better of me. Let’s call them guidelines this one time and chalk it up to my propensity for skimming over important things when it counts.]
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PostSubject: Re: A Matter of Policy (open)   Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:04 pm

Grayson's questioning of his beliefs brought a smile to Jake's lips. He understood why the questions were being raised, of course he did. Jake wasn't stupid, he didn't think for even a second that the removal of the Statute would be an overnight fix, but he'd meant long term.

"My children don't face any at the moment. Ivan has started to show signs of magic, Adrienne, not yet." Jake explained. "But, after the unrest that will come if the Statute is removed, once we get to a point of safety, I'm hoping my children will have the freedom to be exactly who they are, wherever they are, with whomever they chose.

"I'm not suggesting it will be easy, though. A lot has to change. A lot of people's minds will have to adapt. And... well, I think it will create a better world, eventually." Jake finalised, giving a small shrug. Whether or not Grayson understood his point, Jake didn't much care, he knew in himself what he wanted, and it wasn't for him to make the world understand him. That was the job of the politicians.

To say Jake was disappointed in both men when they said they were not going to partake in the bet -- or rather, they were on the fence with the whole thing -- would have been an understatement. What was a small bet between a small group of men?

"Well, I guess I'll have to find some others to put a bet on it, then, huh." Jake said with a soft laugh. Merlin, it wasn't easy getting to know the new members of staff. They were so... old before their time.

Turning back to his food for a few moments, Jake concentrated on that, instead. Before looking over to Andrei. "Did you see the Harpies game this weekend? They decimated the Chudley Cannons. It was a good watch!" He said. If not politics, then surely sport would be a topic that would make this a little bit more interesting, no?

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PostSubject: Re: A Matter of Policy (open)   Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:43 pm

"Perhaps," Grayson replied to Jake's reasoning, though he remained unconvinced. Perhaps eventually, muggles and wizards would live peacefully side by side--but he rather doubted that time would come in their own or their children's lifetimes. History didn't change in a day, or even a decade. It could take centuries of violence and unrest to get to a point of cooperation. If Jake was worried about his own children, lifting the Statute would not be the way to go--it would thrust his children into the middle of the worst possible period: the immediate aftermath.

He said none of this, opting instead to turn his attention to Andrei. He nodded along to the older man's points. His reasoning was sound, and Grayson reconsidered his own stance a little bit. This particular issue would need to be unanimous--some countries couldn't go ahead while other countries stayed back, it was all or nothing. And the balance...the balance was extremely fragile. All it took was one country to send the world tumbling into chaos. It was, in fact, easier to destroy the Statute than to maintain it.

And if the Statute was to be destroyed, the best thing to do was to contain it. If the inevitable outcome was chaos, then they would at least need to make sure it was facilitated by someone who could control it--which meant perhaps it would be best to convince the sane and the intelligent to embrace it, before someone less responsible took over. Then again, could anyone really be trusted to be sane or intelligent? Certainly, he'd prefer some to others, but he would not place his full confidence in any politician that he knew of.

But if the choice was to be a lesser of two evils, he would certainly prefer to have some control over the outcome. He would need to think on this. Then again, in the end, his own say in the matter was unimportant--he had very little power when it came to policy.

As Jake turned the conversation to sports, Grayson hung back from speaking. He didn't keep up with sports, so he had nothing more to contribute.
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PostSubject: Re: A Matter of Policy (open)   Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:49 am

"Decimated is an understatement," Andrei laughed lightly. "And with their backup seeker no less."

The older man had no love for Cannons after they beat his favorites early on in the season, Yorkshire. The match had been horrible: rain, wind, and a long string of injuries. The Cannons, in Andrei's rather biased opinion, played dirty and sent Yorkshire's best chaser to the bench for the season. The match that should've been a blowout then devolved into a grudge match with liberal use of bludgers and exceedingly physical Quidditch.

"I suspect the Cannons will be looking to replace their beaters at the end of the season," he continued as if it were a matter of fact and not opinion. "They've done a horrible job providing cover for the offensive line in the past couple games."

Of course, his minor hatred for the team aside, Andrei still kept up with any and all news in the realm of Quidditch. In his youth, his father would often take him to games and though he never played himself he loved the game. There was just something about the crowds and players that got his blood pumping in a vicarious thrill.

"Ya know," Andrei hesitated here before throwing his usual caution to the wind. "I was planning on going to an expedition game this summer, would you two be interested tagging along?"

Normally Andrei wouldn't have mentioned the whole thing, but after his recent discussion with the soon to be former headmistress he thought it best to integrate himself more with his fellow teachers than he had already. And what better way to get to know someone than by going to a sporting event with them? After all, everyone loved Quidditch, right?

Right?

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