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Withering

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Qingying
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Re: Withering

Post by Qingying » Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:28 am

Qingying brought his gaze to Lane. “Are you sure you don’t know Mr. Bowes, Lane Foster?” His tone was light, not interrogative, but he’d said the name on purpose.

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Lane Foster
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Re: Withering

Post by Lane Foster » Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:49 am

Bowes didn't seem to recognize Lane at all, and Lane shook his head. "Never met him," he said honestly, even as he scrutinized the other man. "Hey, mate, can I ask you a crazy question?"

"Of course," Bowes laughed.

"Is this your kid?" he flipped the newspaper back to the article of Bowes's rescue, and pointed to a black child with long frizzy hair and a smudged dirty face like the majority of the other kids in the 'portrait' of rescued victims. "That's Zane, isn't it?" He looked back to Patience with a grim frown, like now he was starting to put the pieces together himself.

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Qingying
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Re: Withering

Post by Qingying » Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:06 pm

“So… might this be a similar group?” Qingying rested fingers near his lips. “Of criminals, I mean.” He indicated the article of Bowes and the kids.

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Patience Juneau
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Re: Withering

Post by Patience Juneau » Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:11 pm

"I don't think so," Lane sighed.

Patience tugged on Qingying's arm, and tried to pull him out of the room.

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Qingying
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Re: Withering

Post by Qingying » Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:13 pm

Qingying had considered taking Lane out of the room to speak to him, but that would be a bit inconsiderate of Bowes. Well, if Patience wanted it.
He allowed himself to be guided along. If Lane and Bowes were curious, they could always follow, anyway.

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Patience Juneau
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Re: Withering

Post by Patience Juneau » Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:17 pm

They stayed inside the kitchen for quite a while, in the meantime Patience poked around Bowes's various trinkets and knick-knacks, dancing his fingers across a crystal nowglobe with a small smile. Eventually, the door opened and only Bowes emerged. "It seems there's a discussion we need to have, Mr. Euphemeria," he said, appearing solemn and more professional than earlier. "Mr. Juneau, I think your friend's helping set the table." His bushy eyebrows rose pointedly and the third year scurried off to 'help.'

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Qingying
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Re: Withering

Post by Qingying » Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:34 pm

Qingying took in everything carefully while appearing perfectly relaxed. When Bowes emerged, he gave him a smile.
“Sure,” he invited lightly.

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Shayne
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Re: Withering

Post by Shayne » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:16 am

"I'm going to have to make a few calls, but it's possible this situation can be resolved with all parties walking away. If not with time served. I just need you to sit tight." He grasped a pile of floo powder from a silver bowl by his fireplace. "Ministry of Magic, Wizenmagot, Office of Marshall, Greg." The flames burned green and hot, and then he stepped inside, disappearing abruptly.

Qingying recognized the name, Marshall was one of Laurie's good friends back in the day, and knew him now to work as a legal adviser. Who Bowes was suddenly made a lot more sense, too, as Qingying recalled Marshall's husband was an auror. Zane Marshall was a Seventh Year Quidditch prodigy at Hogwarts. The pieces clicked into place, but nevertheless did not form a whole picture.

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Qingying
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Re: Withering

Post by Qingying » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:14 am

There was still the issue of who the muggles were. Was the only connection – the only reason they were here – because Greg was a legal advisor?

Qingying felt a bit stupid just sitting there, but it was also a good thing Freddie hadn’t asked him to come with because he couldn’t just leave two kids by themselves in a strange place. He had already been cautious when leaving Lane and Bowes in a room together.

Hey, just because this guy was the parent of a student didn’t make Qingying automatically trust him.

He wandered into the kitchen and, without pressing Lane, decided to help ‘set the table’. >_>

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Gregory Marshall
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Re: Withering

Post by Gregory Marshall » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:32 pm

Well, Patience was setting the table dutifully and Lane was just standing there, arms crossed, a peculiar expression on his face. Patience met Qingying's eyes when he entered, but didn't otherwise interact with either of them, standing close to Lane in a muted display of solidarity.

Bowes didn't take long to return, but with him accompanied Marshall, harried in arbiter's robes but smiling as they strode into the kitchen.

"Qin," Greg greeted warmly, offering his hand to shake. Even as a kid, Greg held a sense of weatheredness to him, seeming older than his peers, and at 30 that hadn't changed. He'd grown into himself, though, owning the space he occupied confidently and easily. He'd been the first to learn about Qingying and had kept his status in confidence for many years. "It's good to see you," he clapped him on the shoulder before releasing his hand.

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Qingying
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Re: Withering

Post by Qingying » Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:31 am

Look, all of Laurie’s friends were precious babies to Qingying. Not babies age-wise, but still precious. He’d kept a watchful eye on them through their school years, and they’d received gifts from seemingly nowhere before any of them had met him. Qingying agreed with ‘every day is Christmas’ and made or gave them things regardless of occasion. All of his presents were carefully personalised to suit what they liked or needed.

It warmed his heart to know Greg had a family of his own, and due to him and Zane bearing the marks of a rather happy child, Freddie’s trust points grew by quite a bit.
Qingying was cautious, but biased.

“Yes,” his smile grew. Greg may have seemed older than his peers, but he had still been a child to Qingying. In his experience, those that seemed more ‘mature’ in certain areas were more likely to be less so in other areas. After all, time was the ultimate limiter, and it was fair.
He turned to Freddie. “Well, it seems like-” His smile was much brighter than the ones he’d offered him before. “Pleased to meet you – again.” He chuckled.

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Gregory Marshall
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Re: Withering

Post by Gregory Marshall » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:56 pm

Freddie saluted him dryly with two fingers, as if plainly aware of his internal machinations. "Likewise," he entertained kindly, as though Qingying were the younger of them both and not vice-versa.

"I heard you and Keelan got into a rough spot," Greg murmured, plucking up a teacup of his own and leaning against the counter. He didn't seem all that rushed, but then again, he never had. Deliberation and thought were integral components of his character, even as a child. "Glad to see you made it out all right."

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Qingying
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Re: Withering

Post by Qingying » Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:55 pm

“Yeah,” Qingying answered with his smile still present, riding on the happy wave of greetings, and leaned back on a counter himself. To anyone else, it was a casual agreement, and because it wasn’t a disagreement which broke the flow and showed no hesitation, it wouldn’t be noted or considered important for further consideration. To Greg though – and it had been carefully crafted just for him – it was different; not simply an agreement, because he knew Qingying to be someone who usually would have said something more, or, if he didn’t, would have supplemented with additional expressions and gestures.

“So, Belfry,” Qingying said, dipping his head and bringing his gaze to the newspaper on the table. He knew he didn't need to remind Greg who he was; he had been the Quidditch captain during the first year Greg and some of his friends had joined the House team. Although he didn't write off the possible involvement of Lane or people he knew (after all, the teen had said he knew who was involved, and why would he say 'I don't think so' to Qingying's question that the criminals involved with kids may have been similar to the case involving Freddie, if he didn't have a basis?) he wasn't going to press or put him on the spot. If he was involved, he was glad they were here, with Greg, (thanks to Patience) because he knew Greg's principles, and honestly Lane was likely in the best spot he possibly could be.

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Gregory Marshall
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Re: Withering

Post by Gregory Marshall » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:13 pm

"I've been in touch with the Wizengamot, and they've agreed to a Stay of Execution while they explore the evidence we've presented to them," Greg said, easily following the conversational train without prompting, although his eyes lingered on Qingying for a speck. "Mr. Carrower was present during the event, and it seems he took responsibility for it, despite an initial lack of involvement. At least, according to new testimony." A brief glance at Lane. "Due to the extenuating circumstances of the matter, I think Mr. Foster has a good chance of avoiding incarceration. Lane, anything you say in my presence is privileged information. If you'll all agree to a Bond of Confidentiality, I'd like you to explain in your own words." He looked to Qingying for confirmation.

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Qingying
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Re: Withering

Post by Qingying » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:49 pm

Qingying met Greg's gaze and then looked at Lane with a soft smile, giving a nod, gentle and accepting.

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Lane Foster
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Re: Withering

Post by Lane Foster » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:45 am

Greg flourished his wand, a handsome tan zebrawood with dark lines twisting throughout, and gave it a light flick. A glowing, golden twine of light erupted neatly from its end and wrapped around Qingying's wrists, tightening slightly as a few tendrils wafted up his body and dissipated, before dancing onto Lane and then Freddie, finally tying itself to Greg. "It's done. Why don't we take a seat," he gestured to the chairs at the dining room table and Lane gave a mute nod, sitting beside the lawyer.

The reason Freddie had contacted him specifically was becoming more apparent to Lane, who originally just assumed it was because they knew one another. Greg was a defensive legal counselor, working on behalf of those convicted or detained. Before the dismantling of Azkaban and the Old Court, criminals were not always given advocates and those who trained to do so were rarely employed, viewed as only slightly above criminals themselves, but in this day and age everyone was entitled to proper representation, similar to the muggle legal system.

"Sooo, I guess I'm not goin' back to school," Lane crossed his legs, leaning back with faux confidence and crossing his arms, tipping his chair.

"Not at the moment," Greg confirmed. "But that's all right."

"It was me," he finally muttered. "Bell made me swear not to say. He thought I'd get a harsher sentence, 'count of my record. Which was bullshit, since there's nothing harsher than execution, which by the way, what the fuck with that? 'Snot like those guys were permanently injured. Seems to me someone's had it out for 'im. Anyway, he did a... with the thing and the... death if you break the vow. Lame."

"It would seem Mr. Foster is correct. Mr. Carrower was required to lift the Unbreakable Vow following his Stay," Greg confirmed. "Go on, please."

"I guess Bell was followin' me. The Ministry put him on me 'cuz I still had the Trace. He found me after. Look, it's not like I'm The New Dark Lord or somethin'. I'm muggleborn. Those guys were hurtin' people and it just happened. I had my wand, and I reacted. I didn't even cast a spell. I guess I, uh, hurt them back."

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Qingying
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Re: Withering

Post by Qingying » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:23 pm

“He made an Unbreakable Vow with you?” Qingying confirmed, emphasising the 'you'. “Also, who were the guys ‘hurting people’?” He’d kept an awareness of Belfry during the year he was present in school, like he did with most students, and no one stuck out as someone who'd ‘have it out for him’ from then. It wasn’t as easy to keep track in more recent times. “And what did you do?” His voice was enquiring, not accusative.

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Gregory Marshall
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Re: Withering

Post by Gregory Marshall » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:42 pm

"Yeah, crazy, right? Got the impression it wasn't really about me, but what can you do?" Lane shrugged. "I cursed 'em, I guess. Like I said, it's not like I meant to."

Greg nodded. "Well, I'd like to take you in, get a proper statement. Professor, can you take Mr. Juneau back to Hogwarts and let the staff there know what's going on? I can have an official in contact with Professor McGonagall in a few moments."

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Qingying
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Re: Withering

Post by Qingying » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:05 pm

He didn’t cast a spell… but he cursed them...

“Are you alright with that, Lane?” Qingying looked to him.

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Lane Foster
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Re: Withering

Post by Lane Foster » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:06 pm

Lane shrugged again. "'Snot like I have a choice, right?"

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Qingying
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Re: Withering

Post by Qingying » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:08 pm

“Who is your legal guardian?” He asked, then turned to Greg.
“Should someone come with him?” He also meant this as, ‘should they be told’.

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Gregory Marshall
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Re: Withering

Post by Gregory Marshall » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:24 pm

"They'll be notified as soon as Lane is processed," Greg nodded.

"Uhhh," Lane squinted. "I dunno. My social worker, I guess. She's a muggle."

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Qingying
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Re: Withering

Post by Qingying » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:27 pm

“Ah,” he nodded. “Well, if you’re okay going with Greg – I know him personally; you can trust him – I’d suggest the trip.” He gave a small smile.

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Gregory Marshall
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Re: Withering

Post by Gregory Marshall » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:28 pm

"Yepper, sounds great," Lane scowled and stood up.

Greg extended his arm. "Patience should be with Fred," he murmured to Qingying. "I'll update you as soon as I know anything. Thank you, Qin."

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Qingying
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Re: Withering

Post by Qingying » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:40 pm

“Thank you,” Qingying smiled. He was always proud of him.

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