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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2022 3:01 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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Despite how involved Draco had been in the case, he still felt relieved when Paul offered to brief him, finding that he felt woefully unprepared for what he was about to face. He was constantly desperate to prove himself as competent and trustworthy, wanting to do everything in his might to show that he was more than what everybody else thought.
“Alright,” Draco said with a warm smile in Harry’s direction, glad to know that he would still be around, even if he wasn’t going to be present during the briefing.
Once he returned his attention to Buchannan he suddenly felt woefully transparent, but he also desperately hoped that it was just his mind running wild. After all, it would probably be a given that the two of them were close with how much time they had spent together, and he hoped that Buchannan would just think of that.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2022 2:19 pm 

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Paul watched as Potter reached for Malfoy, a gesture into thin air that never made contact with Malfoy’s arm before Potter had already taken half a step away from them.
“We’ll catch up with you in a bit,” Potter promised, eyes flickering to Paul, too, though he couldn’t help but notice how Potter’s attention had still seemed on Malfoy before he left downhill.
Paul watched him go, only turning to Malfoy when he was certain Potter was out of earshot.
“I’m glad you could make it,” Paul encouraged with a quiet, professional distance, unable not to take notice of the fact that Malfoy seemed tense. It had been weeks since he had heard Malfoy speak on his work, and months since Paul had last seen it in person, and he had genuinely been looking forward to seeing Malfoy in the field.
In an unspoken invitation, Paul himself stepped towards the burgundy tent erected as a workspace, pulling the flap aside. “How have you been?”


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2022 3:41 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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Despite the very obvious invitation, Draco still couldn’t help but feel like he was intruding on something he wasn’t allowed to actually be a part of. It seemed far too official to be entering the tent, even with the pin still gleaming from his collar.
He still followed Paul inside, deeply thankful for the praise and the attempts of getting him to talk.
“Busy, mostly,” Draco admitted, knowing that Paul hadn’t actually seen a lot of work from him lately, but that didn’t mean that he hadn’t been doing said work.
“I am not gonna lie, I am a little anxious to see if any of my theories hold up out here,” he stated as the flap to the tent closed behind him, finding that he was in a better place to admit his insecurities with less prying eyes on him. He knew that what he was suggesting was ludicrous and anyone who knew just half of what Draco knew would likely be more tempted to just throw them all away.
“Glad that you even want me here,” he added, knowing that it likely had been mostly Harry’s decision, but he felt certain that Paul also was okay with him being here.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2022 5:12 pm 

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The tent was enchanted larger, opening up ahead of them to a workspace with a cluttered central table, a few desks scattered around them. One was Paul’s own, furnished with active material; another was intended to be Potter’s, though it had remained empty and unused for months.
With another gesture, Paul invited Malfoy to follow to the main table, multiple iterations of maps shimmering in glass orbs.
“There are quite a few people who do,” Paul corrected, his voice steady despite the weight his words carried, not wanting to put Malfoy under any more pressure than necessary, but Paul would be remiss not to make the stakes clear to him. Malfoy was, at least partially, there due to higher powers, even more so than Potter.
There were several parties following Malfoy’s work on the case, each with different degrees of optimism. Certainly, there were more people hoping for Malfoy’s failure than the opposite.
Paul himself was not one of them. When he continued, his voice was not a challenge but an encouragement, a shadow of a smile at his lips.
“We are all interested in finding that out, too.”


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2022 4:02 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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It was impossible not to feel the weight of Buchannan’s words settle over him, making it abundantly clear just how much was riding on him being right.
A couple of moths ago, this likely would have broken Draco, making him doubt everything about all of his theories so far, but by now he knew that if he didn’t believe in his theories, no one would. He had to be confident, because if he allowed himself to waver, then it was only going to get harder to get taken seriously.
“Of course,” Draco stated, hoping that he seemed more confident than he was, but honestly unsure just how calm he managed to come across. He was lucky that Buchannan knew him to be competent, at least in most regards of his study,
“Now, I was promised a briefing?”

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2022 11:36 am 

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Paul had really only intended on briefing Malfoy on the context needed for them to take the appropriate safety precautions, wary of sending Malfoy into such an unstable building blind. At some point, however, they had gotten into a tangent, not because Malfoy struggled to understand, but quite the opposite.
In front of them was the spherical map of the Thowthorpe house, enlarged ten times its size. Wand in hand, Paul kept it suspended at eye level, but the map kept bobbing up and down a few inches, his attention wavering, too engaged in the conversation to maintain the spell.
He had been midway explaining Malfoy the way the Ministry logged and mapped the detected curses and wards real time into these three dimensional maps, when a courteous, albeit awkward knock at the tentpole was heard.
It dragged Paul’s attention off of Malfoy, reluctantly, but his expression eased upon seeing Hannah Connor peer in through the flaps.
“Inspector Potter sent me up,” she stated, eyes flickering towards Malfoy with unmistakable interest.
“Please,” Paul invited cheerfully, eternally pleased by his newly-appointed sergeant.
He waved her inside, lowering the map back onto the table. “Malfoy, Connor’s trainee on the case.”


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2022 3:26 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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Draco didn’t doubt that Buchannan had just intended to quickly brief him and then let them be on their way, but Draco had found their ways of working and the entire process so fascinating that they had ended up lingering.
This was something that Draco had thought would be forever hidden from him, and the opportunity to finally see what went on backstage was too much of a temptation for him. It wasn’t helped by the fact that Buchannan was so willing to share it all with him, clearly just content with having a captive audience.
Draco was listening so intently to what Buchannan was telling him that when there was a soft knock on the tent pole he all but jumped, having almost forgotten that they were in the field and meant to be doing work.
He suddenly felt extremely aware of himself, feeling much more comfortable when he could trick himself into believing that it was just himself and Buchannan.
Still he smiled politely at the young woman entering the tent, doing his best to look like he had a purpose and wasn’t just there as Harry’s pet project, as he knew by now many viewed him as.
“Pleasure,” he said with a nod in the direction of Connor, unsure what the proper protocol was for a meeting like this.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2022 9:20 am 

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“Likewise,” Hannah answered, stepping inside and letting the tent close behind her.
It had easily been a decade since she had seen Draco Malfoy, though she doubted his face would ever be truly lost to memory. A couple of years her senior, she had grown accustomed to seeing Malfoy in the Slytherin common room far before it had been commonplace to plaster his picture in the Prophet, back when he was on trial.
“Malfoy is doing consultant work for Potter,” Buchannan elaborated, diverting her attention for as long as it took him to finish the sentence. “He’s going to have a look-over of our work, and see what he makes of the house.”
“Yeah, Laura’s told me,” she agreed, glancing back at Malfoy. Laura Szczepanski, one of the sergeants in Potter’s team, had already forewarned it, apparently having known for months that that’s where Potter had been during his absence from the force.
There was an unmistakable thrill about seeing Malfoy in the room, and Hannah offered him a small encouraging smile. “Excited to hear your take on it.”


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2022 2:48 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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There was an unmistakeable and genuine sense of excitement about Connor that Draco felt unsure how to entirely handle. He felt pretty certain that she was genuinely interested in what he had to say, but it twas difficult for him i to tell whether it was to be able to see him flounder in public, or if she just genuine believed that he was would have something interesting to contribute.
“I hope that my insights will prove helpful,” was what Draco settled on, not wanting to be too presumptuous about his role in this mission, but also wanting to make it clear that he was there to help.
It was still impossible for him to shake the feeling of being an intruder, something that had worn off slightly when he had been alone with Buchannan, but now was back in full pelt with another person present. After all, he had no formal requirements for the studies that he had been making, just an affinity for the dark arts and a lot of time to spend on whatever he wanted.
“I am well familiar with Potter’s case,” he added as an afterthought, as if they would have let him even remotely close had that not been the case.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2022 2:55 pm 

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When Buchannan had made an off-handed remark speaking to Malfoy’s abilities, Hannah had thought it to have been uncharacteristically generous. After an afternoon of practical work in the house, however, she had come to realize they were no such thing - the high praise Buchannan had spoken was nothing but accurate.
They had spent the hours after lunch going through the same briefing Buchannan had given in the tent, on scene. Back when the house had been discovered, the case hadn’t been classified as anything but a standard dismantling, and Hannah had been given the lead as part of her training. Going through Ministry protocol with Malfoy, carefully repeating each step, Malfoy had every now and then tried an alternate spell. So far, they had come up short for anything new.
Both Buchannan and Potter had been present observing throughout the afternoon, before retreating into the hallway a few minutes ago. Hannah could still hear their muffled conversation, and she had been able to make out that an owl had arrived.
It left the gutted kitchen uncomfortably quiet, the rotten floor boards creaking perilously beneath them. It was the first moment she had had alone with Malfoy, and Hannah felt compelled to fill it.
“It’s been nice having you on the team,” she said from her spot by the window, casting light on the Ministry scroll in her hand. While her eyes remained on the writing, her attention was, however, unmistakably on Malfoy, a nervous awkwardness about her.
She glanced over at him, not entirely able to commit looking at him, feeling uncomfortably honest.
Her eyes returned to the paper before continuing. “We don’t get a lot of Slytherins in the force.”


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2022 3:02 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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The day had passed mostly in a blur, Draco constantly moving between being absolutely fascinated about what was going on and having to show exactly why he was there. It was safe to say that he felt disappointed that nothing he had tried out seemed to yield different results, but it didn’t really seem to disappoint anyone on the team.
While Buchannan and Harry had left to handle some urgent business, Draco had made peace with the silence that fell upon himself and Connor. Thus, it surprised him when she suddenly spoke up, making his head turn to her to properly take in what she was saying.
It was only when she mentioned Slytherins that the faintest flicker of recollection passed over Draco’s features.
He had never taken much note of the people in the years beneath him, but he did recall having seen her around the common room.
“Yeah, I imagine,” he said with a soft smile, his right hand finding his opposite forearm in an attempt to stop it from fidgeting.
“You made it though,” he observed, feeling fairly certain that Connor had been a couple of years under him and indeed had been in Slytherin house. “Glad to see that things are changing.”

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2022 5:28 pm 

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Something shifted in Hannah’s expression, all but rolling her eyes at the sentiment; despite her amicable reply she looked exasperated, like it had served as little comfort after years of being the odd one out. “Seems so, yeah. Hope so.”
Not entirely capable of accepting the praise for something she knew to stem from pure spite, rather than determination, she abandoned the scroll on the window sill, crossing her arms across her chest before finally allowing her attention to settle on Malfoy.
“You’re the first my age I’ve met yet, though. The rest are either ancient or not there at all.”
She didn’t feel like she needed to elaborate, certain Malfoy of all people would know why an entire generation of kids had felt discouraged from applying to any public position.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2022 2:25 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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The slight shift in tone almost took Draco aback, realising just how much time he had been spending with Harry lately. It was nice though, being able to see the sheer determination and ambition that seemed to shine from Connor, making him ache for that kind of kinship; something he hadn’t realised that he had missed.
“We better show them what they’re missing out on then,” he stated, uncharacteristically confident, but feeling like he owed it to her. He wanted so desperately to be what she clearly thought him to be, but it was difficult for him to completely erase the insecurity that had crept into him after years of working alone.
“Pave the way for the others, yeah?” He added, unable to keep a smirk from his lips.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2022 3:03 pm 

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Before Hannah could help herself, a flash of a smile pulled at her lips, an old familiarity about the tone that she so rarely got to hear anymore. Outnumbered by Gryffindor comradery, there was something about Slytherin competitiveness that always felt like home. She felt certain Malfoy wasn’t offering his help, but Hannah far better liked the challenge, anyway.
“You’ve been given a shot,” she corrected, eyes darting off of Malfoy to nod at the doorway, Buchannan and Potter’s voice still audible. “I think they’ve all been expecting Potter to bring on a pet project to drive his point home.”
When her eyes returned on Malfoy, something within her caught, a little realization that she might have been rude. Logically, there wasn’t anything stopping people from calling her Buchannan’s Slytherin pet, but at least she had done her work and done her time in plain sight. “Pardon, but I hope you’re aware that’s the general perception.”


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2022 2:19 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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Draco already knew what people thought of him. Of course he knew, it wasn’t like there was any other reasonable explanation to his sudden resurgence, so he had a hard time really resenting it. He also couldn’t deny that the idea of being Harry’s anything caused a certain flutter in his stomach, but that was something that he was pointedly trying to push down.
“Yes, I am aware,” he stated, his tone fairly flat, but he harboured no ill feelings towards Connor. After all, she seemed to actually value his input and be able to see his abilities, even if he hadn’t been to much use just yet. He knew that it was a warning more than anything, and it was something for which he deeply grateful.
“But trust me when I say that I rarely ever drive his point home,” he stated, unsure why it felt so important for him that Connor knew that he wasn’t just there to smile and nod at what Harry was saying.
“More often than not, he has had to drive home my point,” he added. They had never discussed it in detail, having usually been otherwise engaged, but Draco knew that Harry had stuck his neck out for him with these things and had supported his wild conclusions, even if they seemed absolutely ludicrous.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2022 2:52 pm 

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It was interesting witnessing Malfoy’s tone shift throughout their conversation, finding that he rose to the challenge whenever Hannah pushed at him. The almost demure politeness he had exhibited going in spoke of time spent with Potter; it wasn’t unlike one Hannah caught herself utilizing after working closely with other Gryffindors. Seeing Malfoy’s true colours bleed through it was refreshing, making her lips quirk upwards in wicked entertainment.
“And you’re satisfied with that?” she challenged, her expression bright not with malice but with interest. After all, Malfoy had entered the force through what seemed like hole in the system, and she was curious to hear his end ambition.
“You wouldn’t rather drive your own points home?”


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2022 3:56 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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Draco honestly didn’t really know how to answer that one.
Of course he would love it if his points and research could stand on their own, without having to be put under extreme scrutiny, due to the terrible things that he had done in his youth. He understood why this was the case though, and he understood just how much work lay ahead of him if he was going to do any real work for the ministry, but by god how he wanted to prove himself worthy.
He was about to formulate a proper answer in his head, wanting to explain things that Connor was certain to already know, when Harry and Buchannan joined them once more, saving Draco from the awkwardness that his answer likely would have been.

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