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 A Scholar, a Solider, and a Shut-in board a plane... [Jian & Quinn]

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Andrei Kessler
Head of Ravenclaw
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Birthday : 1976-12-22
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PostSubject: A Scholar, a Solider, and a Shut-in board a plane... [Jian & Quinn]   Thu 11 Jan 2018 - 18:14

“Love you too, honey.”

Sighing to himself, Andrei returned the phone back to its graffitied cradle with an antiquated click. Stepping back from the pay phone and into the diverse stream of people only an airport could provide, he found himself nearly barreled over by a diminutive young woman glued to her smartphone. Despite his sincere attempts at an apology, she merely cast him a dark look before disappearing back into the colorful sea of humanity that was the Heathrow airport.

Ah yes, the joys of modern society.

While the runes professor’s new role as deputy headmaster came with more than its fair share of headaches it also provided considerable perks. His children attended Hogwarts for nearly nothing, the monetary compensation was more than generous, and he didn’t mind the modest prestige that his new title won him, but by far his favorite perk came in the form of additional professional development days. Such days benefited the staff of Hogwarts by allowing them a brief break from teaching—no more than three school days in a row Headmistress Goshawk had reminded him before his departure—to remain relevant in their field of expertise. This, in turn, benefitted Hogwarts at large as it allowed the school to maintain its reputation as a world-class teaching institution—a win-win situation if there ever was one.

“Attention travelers,” a deep male voice boomed from the ceiling. “The international flight A912 bound for Stockholm will be changing departure gates from B12 to B4.”

The voice repeated itself once more, but it was lost to Andrei as he scanned the large gate numbers on the wall to his right. And, for the first time in a while, lady luck smiled on him. Backtracking by only one gate he found himself at gate B4. Now came that ever enjoyable waiting game inherent to air travel.

This time, however, he was waiting for more than just his flight.

Taking a seat in one of the few chairs that still seemed to have some padding left in it, the aging man glanced at his watch before smoothing out his tweed jacket and cracking open the first chapter of his book. With any luck, his associates—a wand for hire and a journalist—would arrive sooner rather than later to save him from the monotony of waiting alone. In the meantime, though, he needed to brush up on his Swedish.

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Quinn King
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PostSubject: Re: A Scholar, a Solider, and a Shut-in board a plane... [Jian & Quinn]   Fri 12 Jan 2018 - 1:21

Two things one needed to know about airports. Get there early was the first, and the second was always get a bar stool. Otherwise, you never saw the waiter enough. With this in mind Quinn had arrived considerably early, bumbled through security, and through absolutely no skill or ability of his own had ended up sitting across from his gate at the small bar that was set up.

He’d been sitting for approximately an hour having arrived early for once in his life, and had already taken down about 3 beers, though there were 4 bottles in front of him. He was convinced one of them wasn’t his, but sitting alone proved to make his story shaky at best. At the announcement his head snapped around at the thought of navigating the airport again, but relief quickly washed over him as he saw that his new destination was even closer. Though not only that but he saw a familiar face.

“Aye, Andy over here!” He would shout a little louder than normal society would have liked but given the venue not so loud that it would cause more than a few confused looks. Andrei Kessler has been the first Professor he had, well befriended though it might have been less than that, at Hogwarts and the only one he maintained contact with after his “wrongful” termination. Mostly it has revolves around dates for what they were finally about to do, it seemed sometime since they had sat in his classroom.

His wave was certain to get the eye of the older wizard, and at that he ordered a second bottle for the man, An Irish red beer. Assuming the man would walk over and take up the seat next to him he would smile warmly, “how have you been? I hear you got a promotion, and here I am all demoted.”

This statement would’ve slightly at odds with Quinn’s current attire. As he sat he wore charcoal slacks, shining black dress shoes, a button up shirt in deep purple, and a black patterned tie with a silver clip. All made in a form fitting European style, a bonus he had managed from the Italian tournament form awhile back. Andrei has said they’d possibly be meeting contacts after landing and to dress above normal casual, so he had put on the only job-casual outfit he had left. His hair was shorter, and combed over in a spiked style, the sides shaved short. “Can’t wait to get this started aye?” He would say finishing his Mexican beer and setting it on the bar.
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Andrei Kessler
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PostSubject: Re: A Scholar, a Solider, and a Shut-in board a plane... [Jian & Quinn]   Fri 12 Jan 2018 - 19:23

Andy?

No, it was not the name that made Andrei clap his book shut in mild annoyance, but rather the voice attached to it. Taking a breath to steel himself, the professor pushed himself up from his seat and made his way over to the clearly inebriated duelist. It had been so much easier communicating through owls, younger people—in Andrei's experience—tended to have a nervous energy around them that he now felt coming off Quinn. Perhaps it was what some people called youth? Or maybe it was the alcohol?

Taking a seat across from his associate he noted the number of bottles—it was the alcohol, not youth. He sincerely hoped that this interaction did not set the tone for the rest of the trip. After all, he couldn't have a drunk stumbling through the tomb of Sigard.

"Demoted is an understatement," Andrei shot back in a wry tone. "You were fired last I checked. In fact, I distinctly remember signing off on your discharge papers myself."

A good-natured smile cracked across the older man's face.

"But, beyond that," his voice lighter and more jovial in hopes of showing he didn't think ill of his new companion. "I've been well, the promotion has been more of a headache than a blessing I'm afraid though."

The bartender cut in here and placed a pint glass in front of the runes professor.

"I'll have to pass," he placed more money on the bar than the beer was worth and slid it back across the bar. "Sorry."

The bartender shrugged, took the money, and wisked the beer away with a lazy swipe.

"What about you?" Andrei asked, turning back to Quinn having missed his question about getting started. "You seem to clean up nice for an unemployed bum."

Waiting for a response Andrei glanced absentmindedly out into the crowd. Jian Ma, the freelance journalist working for Wizard Weekly—not to be confused with the more popular Witch Weekly—was late and nowhere in sight, not that Andrei could have picked him out of the crowd if he tried. All he knew was that the magazine had partially subsidized the Swedish expedition on the condition that they get first publishing rights to the story behind unveiling Sigard's tomb. Of course, never one to turn down free money he'd agreed in a heartbeat, but that would be all for nothing if the journalist missed the flight.

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PostSubject: Re: A Scholar, a Solider, and a Shut-in board a plane... [Jian & Quinn]   Sat 13 Jan 2018 - 1:49

A wide grin spread across Quinn’s boyish face at his friends comments. They had maintained some contact, and the fact that it had in fact been Andrei to sign the form really hadn’t came up. He more blamed the Goshawk who could go F a hawk in his rightly fully entitled opinion. He mocked pain as if he’d been shot through the heart by an arrow.

“That hurts, cuts me deep. I make Do However, with a little of this and a little of that.” He would say in response to being called a bum. To be fair Quinn thought, he wasn’t really wrong he was technically unemployed. “Small tournament in Italy, paid well enough to keep me going for a bit, and a couple odd jobs here and there.....sorta like this one.” He would say with a wink looking down at the receipt the bartender had slid in-front of him after coming back. The announcement came overhead, as the first class individuals began to line to board.

Checking his shirt and pulling the sleeves down leaving it more form fitting he’d reach down and lug his bag over his shoulder. It was a small thing, certainly only capable of carrying a couple clothes and cosmetics. What made it more so was that it was distinctly muggle. “Aren’t we waiting on one more? Which by the way........what are we doing? Going through Sigfrieds old house or something?” He would say with a quizzical tone, he knew he had sent it to him, but for some odd reason he couldn’t remember he thought as he finished the last beer and prepped to walk to the plane.
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PostSubject: Re: A Scholar, a Solider, and a Shut-in board a plane... [Jian & Quinn]   Sat 13 Jan 2018 - 2:58

Yeah, small tournament, sure…

The quality of Quinn’s clothes screamed that this supposed tournament was anything but small. Fighting for money wasn’t Andrei’s cup of tea as they say. Sure, he could hold his own if it came down to it, but he was by no means a gifted duelist. He much preferred using his intellect to make a living, it was far safer. He liked all his fingers and toes where they were, thank you very much.

“Did you read any of my letters?” He asked incredulously before continuing. “First of all, it’s Sigard, not Sigfried. He was a Scandinavian king who, my research indicates, modeled himself after the mythical Sigurd the dragon slayer. About a week ago a group of Muggles managed to get themselves blown up trying to investigate what they thought to be a cave. The Swedish Ministry closed off the area and we’ll be the first to enter what I believe is Sigard’s tomb.”

He paused here and glanced down at his ticket: economy class, oh joy.

“With any luck, I’ll be able to defuse most of the runic traps and you won’t have to lift a finger. However…” Andrei’s tone shifted darkly here. “…These kings have been known to hide more insidious traps than are within my power to detect and that’s why you and your wand are tagging along. Unfortunately, we’ll also be joined by a man by the name of Jian Ma—a journalist as I understand it—at the behest of our benefactors for this dig.”

Shaking his head to indicate his distaste for the whole arrangement, Andrei made his way to the boarding queue hopefully with his young associate in tow. The last thing the older man wanted to have was a nosy journalist’s blood on his hands—Scandinavian tombs were not a safe place for the uninitiated and hyper-curious. Alas, some things could not be helped and one had to take the good with the bad.

Where was that journalist anyway?

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PostSubject: Re: A Scholar, a Solider, and a Shut-in board a plane... [Jian & Quinn]   Sat 13 Jan 2018 - 3:19

“I read a couple of them......”. Quinn would say a touch sheepishly as he kicked his foot mocking an infant getting in trouble. He would listen as Andrei explained about traps and such, something he had little experience with. His two biggest specialities in dueling involved moving from one place to another which was signified with a large Crack, and making explosions in various ways. So, subtlety not in the wheel house, but still maybe there was a wall that needed quickly departed.

“Why would they want a journalist? I guess it’s a money maker to get names out.........though I don’t know your the expert.” He would say as the two walked getting in line. Sneaking a look at the other wizards ticket they were conventionaly seated next to eachother. That worked out. “So dragon slayer huh.....guess no giant boulders are likely.” He would say referencing his only applicable knowledge to what they were about to do to an Indiana Jones film.

“How much is this dog actually worth?” He would ask after a brief pause in the que. someone had a child screaming, and had promptly had an episode of emesis right before entering the tunnel. Short delay for sure. Though his interest was in the finances. Andrei has hinted the dig was fully funded and there was going to be some compensation though exact numbers had not been discussed, which was fine but the younger unemployed wizard couldn’t help but be interested.

Though what was more interesting was the mention of a dragon slayer. That seemed ominous if he had any decent resources, and being a king he most likely did. “I’ve heard of Swedish short snouts.” He would say out of no where not connecting it with his internal monologue. He hadn’t paid to much attention in magical creatures, he had been more interested in muggle fishing than caring for beasts and bothers.
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PostSubject: Re: A Scholar, a Solider, and a Shut-in board a plane... [Jian & Quinn]   Sat 13 Jan 2018 - 19:03

Today was a interesting day to say the least, the youngish male had been told to cover a story following two others into a catacomb of sorts. By had been told Jian meant magic might have been used to change the name of the writer that had been picked to his own. He had long since hit a wall on furthering his research into the ability to raise the dead which was becoming infuriating. There were always whispers of hidden magical items here and there and hopefully this trip would prove fruitful and not another dead end. Jian sat back in his chair-laying his head against the seat trying to tune out the sound of his colleagues he was meant to rendezvous with. They had been at the bar for some time recollecting their lost time apart and various other things he couldn't be bothered to entertain.

Fiddling with the old ball point pen in his hand he twirled it rotating the butt of it towards his lips lightly gnawing on the tip once more. One of them, Andrei, he believed the name was seemed to be the more competent of the two. His background in Hogwarts was testament to him being a fine wizard, the other was a duelist if memory served, Jians memory rarely held onto information that wasn't used to further his goal and what these two did was just that. A slight sigh escaped his lips as his free hand moved to push some of the loose hair that had fallen into his eyes back. Once again he'd have to play the role that society wanted to believe was meant for normal functioning members of society to have. A quick crooked smile appeared on his face as he stood up from his seat allowing the black trench coat to flow back down to his legs. Tucking the pen behind his ear and moving towards the two he dusted himself off rolling out the wrinkles caused by sitting down.

Taking only a few steps towards them he heard the laughter of small children running around the airport as time seemed to slow around him. Looking to his left there were two children running around one of the waiters bringing two beers to a table. A tear swelled in his right eye as re recognized the two children.

"Not right now, I'm busy, I don't need this."

Those were the thoughts running through his head as his two children danced and laughed playing ring around the rosey. Avery was still very much visible to Jian all the features of his son still intact however his other son no longer held facial expression or even a face for that matter. Everything was blank and his memory of both of them were beginning to become tainted and eroded. Both of the kids stopped moving and the next second they dispersed in a flash of quick fire and smoke as their images were burned away. The writer mumbled some words to himself, all unintelligible to the human ear while wiping his eyes once more. The visions and night terrors were becoming more and more vivid with each passing day as if reminding him that it was his fault they were no longer here in the realm of the living.

Regaining himself Jian made his way over to the others that had more than likely been waiting on him. Once again activating his smile and somewhat friendly demeanor he reached the other two waving one hand in a slight wave.

"I'm here."
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Andrei Kessler
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PostSubject: Re: A Scholar, a Solider, and a Shut-in board a plane... [Jian & Quinn]   Sat 13 Jan 2018 - 20:20

“I wouldn’t rule out giant boulders entirely,” Andrei shrugged oblivious to Quinn’s allusion. “I had the pleasure of coming face-to-face with one such trap in South America, the Amazon if I recall correctly...”

He paused here only to idly comment further on South America.

“…gold idols are bad business…”

Further musings were cut off by a shrill screeching that Andrei knew all too well as that of a small child, a baby even. Then, as quickly as they started, the screeching tapered off and was followed by retching. Ah yes, all over the boarding ramp, wonderful. The ground crew announced a slight delay in boarding. Andrei wasn’t one to believe in such things as omens, but if he did this incident surely did not portend a smooth trip ahead.

“As to the value of the dig,” he emphasized the last word as the alcohol had clearly gotten to Quinn. “Well, if it is indeed the tomb of Sigard, then I’d hesitate to put a value on it at all. Though, my understanding is that our fees will amount to paid room and board, travel fees, and a lump sum of 1,500 Galleons for each of us, which reminds me do be on the lookout for anyone…suspicious.”

Andrei glanced over his shoulder at an unassuming family of five before returning he gaze to Quinn.

“Gringotts has a bad habit of sending curse-breakers to plunder these finds for anything of value. It’s illegal, of course, but when you control a large amount of the world’s money then the legality of an action doesn’t often come into play especially when it comes to making more money.”

The next comment Quinn made didn’t make Andrei laugh, but it did prompt him to expel more air from his nostrils than he normally would have. Dragons? He doubted there would be dragons, that would be too…too storybook perfect. And, in the professor’s experience, the world was far from a storybook.

“Don’t worry, I can personally guarantee you we won’t run into any dragons. There’s no way one could have survived sealed in a tomb for centuries on end.”

Admittedly Andrei did not know much about dragons, but the very idea of a dragon crypt keeper sounded dubious to him at best. Things like that never happen, right?

Right?

Thankfully, the professor found himself saved from any such further discussion of dragons by a slight, darkly dressed, Asian man. Funny how that works. That said, it did take Andrei a moment of looking at the younger man before he put two and two together, this was Jian Ma.

"Ah, you must be Mr. Ma," the runes professor offered his hand with a good-natured grin. "I'm Andrei Kessler, and this here—"

If Jian had indeed taken Andrei's handshake, the older man would break it here to gesture over at Quinn.

"—is Quinn King. I'm glad you could make it, we were beginning to worry about you."

Jian was...well...not what Andrei had expected. He figured Wizard Weekly would have sent a young bright-eyed intern, yet Jian seemed to be anything but bright-eyed and far from the age of an intern. If anything he appeared to be closer to Andrei in age than Quinn, which, though the older man would never admit it, comforted him ever so slightly as he doubted he could keep up with two Quinns. Then again, looks could be deceiving.

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PostSubject: Re: A Scholar, a Solider, and a Shut-in board a plane... [Jian & Quinn]   Sat 13 Jan 2018 - 20:40

Quinn get himself straighten up and his blood alcohol level decrease by .01 as Andrei took a more ominous tone. Mentions of the possibility of curse breakers and tangling with such individuals was a far stretch from the simplicity that the letters had alluded too. Sure there were inherent dangers, traps, and pitfalls, however those things were far cry’s from the possibility of living human attacks. While it didn’t ware on his nerves, it did make the whole thing seem like a little bit bigger of a deal than perhaps he had given it credit.

“Here’s someone suspicious now....” Quinn would say wryly as Jian Ma approached them. Andrei could say what he wanted, but he was looking forward to taking that dragon slayer title when they found a zombie dragon. The world was nothing but a fairy tale, a place of adventure. He was looking forward to his, and knocking out some curse breakers as well.

The man that approached looked more at home with books and a fire place than a cave. His pale skin spoke of indoors, his forced smile of a lack of social interaction, all in all he struck Quinn as quite the stiff. Andrei made the introductions, and assuming the hand shakes continued he’d offer his with a wink and click of the tongue as Andrei gave his full name. “Pleasure, I’m sure.” He would say, though he couldn’t hide the fact he doubted it from his voice.

As their hands released the line started to move. Reaching and pulling at his sleeves he would look as the line began to move quickly making their introductions cut short until the plane. All three had seats together just in front of the right side exit row. Waiting he allowed Jian the window seat as per his ticket, he took the middle, and Andrei had the end.

The cabin checks went on without much of a hitch, and before barely any time had passed the plane had taken off. Reaching into his bag he pulled out several pieces of parchment. A research on the very tomb they were traveling to that he had instructed him to read, and no doubt to Jian as well. Though if Andrei looked closely he would notice how nicely pressed the parchment was, not fortuitous of much reading. “I hear it’s cold in Sweden....hope ya’lls families are tucked at home next to a fire.” He would say with a smile elbowing Jian in that awkward way only youth and jocks could do to someone who clearly was neither. “So, we start the “dig” tomorrow?” He would ask Andrei emphasizing the word determined to not make a mistake again.
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