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 The Riddle of the Sphinx [Adelaide]

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Andrei Kessler
Head of Ravenclaw
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Posts : 115
Birthday : 1976-12-22
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PostSubject: The Riddle of the Sphinx [Adelaide]   Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:24 am

One, two, CLUNK.

One, two, CLUNK.

One, two, CLUNK.

The uneven staccato of Andrei Kessler's footsteps filled the empty hallway leading to headmistress' office. Each slow step he took found itself punctuated by the dull empty clunk of the cane gripped tightly in his left hand. He looked to be a shadow of his former self; his face appeared gaunter, his hair streaked with gray, and his wrinkles more defined. Not even the robes of Ravenclaw blue hanging from his emaciated body did much to liven his appearance. Yet, gazing out from behind frameless glasses, were eyes blazing with an emotion that seemed a contradiction to his woeful physical state, determination.

Tomb sickness took many things from the aging man, but his will to live was not among them. In fact, if anything, the experience made his grip on life all the stronger. After all, he still had things he wanted—no—had to do: see his children grow up, travel the world with Marie again, and write his book to name a few. Today, however, he had to see to his prior commitments, his commitment to Hogwarts in particular. This, of course, required speaking with the woman who waited behind the large oaken door he now stood before, Adelaide Goshawk.

Taking a breath, Andrei swelled up to his full height and knocked three times on the door with the top of his cane. Unlike before his previous meetings with Adelaide, the professor did not feel the familiar knot of apprehension tighten in his chest. No, for the first time since his discharge from St.Mungos he felt at ease as if he were meant to be standing where he was. He had never been a strong proponent of fate, but at that moment he caught a glimpse of what might be meant by such a deceptively simple word.

Fate?

Nah, couldn't be.

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Mimosa Harrington
Slytherin Second Year
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PostSubject: Re: The Riddle of the Sphinx [Adelaide]   Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:32 am


Adelaide had always known Harvey's new position would impact her own greatly. But where the redhead had expected busier schedules and more media coverage, she had gotten something a lot better. Adelaide Goshawk now had a legitimate excuse to leave Hogwarts with minimal notice for Ministry related "emergencies". Was it ethical to sometimes take the day off to retreat to her Dublin Manor for a day of quiet bubble baths? Maybe not. Dd it feel good to get way from students every now and then. Without a doubt.

The school board was happier than ever with their selection of Headmistress who had come into the position of being the wife of the current Minister for Magic. Privatizing the four Quidditch Teams had ensured the school never lacked for good equipment from generous alumni who still supported their House teams with the zeal of someone who really should be locked up in St. Mungo's and her personally crafted syllabus in Global Citizenship was actually succeeding in turning a tiny fraction of the children of Hogwarts into somewhat intelligent beings.

Ms. Clara Goldstein in particular kept impressing the Headmistress with her analytical skills, Adelaide realized as she put down the girl's paper. The stack of essays from the latest GC class were piled neatly to one side, Adelaide had simply picked the Ravenclaw's first to put herself in a good mood.

Just as she finished writing out the remarks on the Head Girl's work, a knock resonated through the room. By the time it had resounded twice more, there was a genuine smile on the Headmistress' features. And here as someone to take more of the workload off of her.

"Come in," she called out, rising gracefully to her feet to shake the hand of the returning Runes' Master. "Andrei, aren't you a sight for sore eyes?" Her sharp green eyes took in his haggard appearance but the smile did not slip a single notch. "And don't you look well. I must say you had us all quite worried for a bit." Worried that they had made a bad investment in offering such an extensive insurance package to a lost cause but the wizard opposite her didn't need to know that.

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PostSubject: Re: The Riddle of the Sphinx [Adelaide]   Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:15 am

Shoving open the door with his shoulder, Andrei entered the room with no small amount of effort. Not much had changed since he had last had the pleasure of meeting with the headmistress. She seemed to not have aged a day, the office looked to be too perfect, and, speaking of perfect, there was the woman's perfectly irksome smile. Nikolai would have called it a punchable face and, for a brief moment of weakness, Andrei felt he might have agreed with his son. Nonetheless, he met the woman's smile with a half one of his own telling of a man too tired—or perhaps unable to—make it full.

"Adelaide," he shook her hand weakly before nearly falling into the seat across from her. "Please don't bother with the empty flattery, I look like hell."

Ever since his recovery people had taken to telling him how well he looked. At first, the older man appreciated the sentiment, but, after the third or fourth time, their words began to ring hollow. Did they think he never looked in the mirror? He looked nowhere near well and he found it best to admit it outright. At the very least it made him feel less like someone who deserved the pity of others—owning weakness, in his opinion, was the best way to deal with and overcome it.

"I trust you have been well," he carefully leaned his cane against the side of his chair and returned his gaze to the headmistress. "Do pass my congratulations onto to your husband, we're all hoping he settles in nicely."

He took a labored breath, with pleasantries out of the way now came the meat of the conversation.

"As you already know, I am ready to pick up with where I left off," he let out another breath that bordered on a sigh. "What have I missed?"

Steepling his fingers on his lap, the professor waited for what he could only assume would be a long-winded brief given the many letters he'd received from the headmistress in his absence. More than a few times during his delirium the man had sworn to himself that he would never return, but as said delirium ebbed his sense returned. He couldn't very well leave the school that had so graciously paid out no small amount of money to see that he get the best treatment available at St.Mungos. For all intents and purposes, he found himself with a debt he wanted to pay back anyway he could and it all started with going back to work.

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Mimosa Harrington
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PostSubject: Re: The Riddle of the Sphinx [Adelaide]   Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:42 pm

"Oh, we all feel like hell inside, its part of being an educator," Adelaide laughed superficially, dismissing his complaint at being given a false compliment. Though the redhead had to admit, he did look terrible. If she hadn't thought him fair of face before his mysterious and expensive illness, he certainly wouldn't be winning any beauty contests now. 'And thank you, I'm sure Harvey will appreciate that."

Fortunately, Adelaide didn't need him to win beauty contests, she simply needed him to return to work so she could work less. So when Andrei cut to the chase, it gave her the perfect excuse to slip back into professional mode.

"On the business end, the school has been receiving more charitable donations than ever. We're now being ranked second highest in Europe by most notable sources and the privatization of House Quidditch Teams means we don't have to spend a knut on the Quidditch program, the loyal Alumni have taken care of that." This was probably her proudest achievement in her brief tenure as Headmistress.

"We've also taken on a number of new teachers, and promoted some old ones. Grayson Hughes now serves both as a part time librarian and the Transfiguration Professor. I've yet to see the library suffering so we probably won't need a replacement librarian. We've also had another... Newbury exception. Mr. Venizolas is from Greece and is teaching Care of Magical Creatures without a salary - or rather, donating his salary to the school's discretionary fund."

What she left out was that she was seriously considering letting the Grecian man head Slytherin House, but his performance report at the end of the year would determine if he deserved that promotion.

"Professor Sarah Plimpton has been volunteering her services to those taking Runes for OWLs and NEWTs in your absence but we will be able to dispatch her for greener pastures soon enough. Your office is... mostly clean I'm told and ready for your return."

The information was all delivered matter of fact-ly, except the last sentence at witch a curious eyebrow was raised.

"You can return immediately right? I daresay your students have sorely missed you." Thank heavens Adelaide never had such problems.

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PostSubject: Re: The Riddle of the Sphinx [Adelaide]   Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:02 am

Ok, so maybe Andrei held onto the 'punchable face' idea for a little more than a moment. Though the shadow of a smile on his face did not show it, the familiar knot reformed in his stomach. Perhaps it wasn't apprehension at all? Maybe, just maybe, it was a knot born of a genuine distaste for the woman he sat across from. No, that wasn't right either; she was nice enough—it was her attitude towards teaching, Andrei decided, that irked the aging man so. She took no joy in it, it was wrong.

"Second in all of Europe?" Andrei clicked his tongue disapprovingly, coating each word with liberal layer sarcasm. "Was that really the best we could do?"

Then there was the matter of Sarah Plimpton. She was, well, competent to say the most in the politest way possible. A few years previously, she published a paper on the finer details of runic transcription only to have misrepresented the importance of Hendrich Mensch's discovery of the Ra's tomb. Sure, it was a small mistake, but Andrei found himself unable to think all that highly of the woman after the incident. The study of runes depended on an unwavering attention to detail, so what good was a runes teacher who lacked such a trait?

"All joking aside," his voice returned to a low rasp devoid of sarcasm. "I can return at once. Marie is sending my belongings along and they should be here later this evening. Though..."

He paused a moment to swallow his pride and take a labored breath.

"If it isn't too much trouble could I get someone to bring my stuff up to me when it arrives? I'm afraid I'm not nearly as spry as I once was."

He gave his cane a shake to highlight the obvious. According to his doctor, he wouldn't need the damned thing for much longer, but Andrei had his doubts. Every morning he tried his hardest to make breakfast without it and every morning he made three or four steps before the muscles in his legs gave out. The whole thing was a bother.

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Mimosa Harrington
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PostSubject: Re: The Riddle of the Sphinx [Adelaide]   Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:41 am

"Second in all of Europe? Was that really the best we could do?"

"Until Beauxbatons remains standing, I'm afraid so." This was the reality and reality was best delivered quickly, like ripping off the band aid. It had nothing to do with quality of education either, the French school simply flourished for being in the Clement stronghold. It hd access to more money, better teachers, better students, a more streamlined syllabus and a reputation that had exceeded Hogwarts' some twenty years ago when the new Lord and Lady Clement had been instated.

It took all the professionalism Adelaide had cultivated about her persona over years to not let out an audible sigh of relief to hear the Runes Master say he could start immediately. Of course, the Headmistress did not ask if he simply meant classes or if he also intended to take on his additional duties as Deputy Headmaster. She simply assumed he meant both because it was in her best interest to do so.

If all went well, she would only have to suffer through this ordeal for a year longer before the could retire happily from the education game.

"The elves will see your belongings safely to your chambers," she resounded smoothly to his request. "And if you should be on any particular diet, they'll be duly informed of that too. The board intends to make your return as smooth and effortless as possible." Another polite smile to accompany the statement.

"Oh and I should warn you, the Ravenclaw's have just won another Quidditch match and are looking to be favorites for the cup again this year, so I would be on the lookout for rowdy children to put in detention." Detention, in Adelaide's opinion, was a crucial part of education. Some quiet time to reflect on what you'd done and then repeat that mistake more cleverly next time. The system kept both teachers and students on their toes, and as far as systems went, that was all she could ask of one.

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PostSubject: Re: The Riddle of the Sphinx [Adelaide]   Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:57 am

"No, no diet," he dismissed the idea with a wave of his hand. "I will, however, need access to our potions storeroom. I've been prescribed a draught of strength for rather obvious reasons and being able to brew it myself will save me no small amount of time."

And, along with saving time, it would save him from no small amount of stress. On more than one occasion he'd toured an industrial level brewery where witches and wizards toiled over cauldrons larger than any he had ever seen previously. And, while he had been assured such a process did not sacrifice quality for quantity, Andrei had his doubts. He had no intention of becoming one of the many individuals lining up to sue big brewing. Plus, it would give him a chance to indulge in the pleasure of potion making while also keeping an eye on his youngest in the dugeons—a win-win if ever there was one.

"You have nothing to worry about, I'll keep them in line," the first genuine smile of the meeting slipped across the aging man's face. He'd taken special care to follow the progress of his house's team and had no intention of dampening the camaraderie with arbitrary detentions. "After all, it simply wouldn't do to have Ravenclaw not set an example for the rest of the school."

"Now," his voice filled with a sense of finality. "If there is nothing else, I suspect I have quite a bit of work to do before any students can step foot in my classroom."

If memory served, the room would still be littered with Scandinavian weaponry and armor. He needed a new theme...perhaps something more minimalist? Hmmm...decorating had never quite been his strong suit, Marie was much better about that kind of thing.

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PostSubject: Re: The Riddle of the Sphinx [Adelaide]   Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:01 am

At his request for access to potion supplies, Adelaide nodded. There was no need to discuss that their former Potions Master was now an international felon hiding in Italy - the less anyone spoke about that the better.

"Professor Barbage has been seeing to Potions lately, on a par time basis but I do have a key to her stores that you're welcome to." Rising from her desk, the redhead moved towards her bookshelf, removing a chunky volume of Business Insider to reveal a small glass case full of various keys. The Headmistress removed the relevant one and returned to the desk, placing the small silver keyring on the polished surface.

"Indeed," she agreed when the man used the universally polite means of taking his leave. They had gone over all that needed to be discussed and she herself had a pile of less pleasant essays to mark. "And Andrei," she added as the Runes' Master stood. "A touch of hair dye brings good fortune."

Before he would leave, the wizard may have noticed the mere ghost of a smile on her lps as she reached for her next paper.

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