(1937-10-26) It's Dead
Details for It's Dead!
Summary: So why is a body shambling into the MacDiarmarda Apothecary at 2 in the morning?
Date: 26 October, 1937 - Early morning
Location: MacDiarmarda Apothecary
Related: None

MacDiarmarda Apothecary (#1058R) Diagon Alley
Fri Oct 26, 1937 ((Mon Oct 22 00:14:28 2012)) (B,2 SE)

It is a fall night. The weather is cool and overcast.

Built in the late 1700s, MacDiarmarda Apothecary has been in business from the building's inception. Windows line the walls facing the street, a fireplace creates a cheery atmosphere within. Shelves line the walls from floor to high ceiling, dusty wooden boxes of who knows what are held there. There is a large library ladder on wheels that helps the proprietress gather ingredients that may be out of her grasp normally. A counter stretches across the back of the store, a door behind it. There are two work areas, one next to the other. One is purely a 'cutting up' and preparing area, the table showing marks from use over the centuries. The other is the actual creating of a potion area- cauldrons, distillery and various sources of heat.

The store's interior is packed full of goods, with barrels of Purple Toad Warts, Flobberworm Mucus, Leech Juice and other large quantities of potion ingredients on the floor. Shelves that line the wall are filled with jars and old wooden boxes that contain Knotgrass, Aconite, Newt Eyes.. and many, many other herbs, roots and powders. Bunches of feathers, fangs and claws hang from the ceiling, and in some cases the unwary customer may knock into them. The combination of smells coming from all these different ingredients PLUS the age of the shop itself, creates an overall.. stench of bad eggs and rotten cabbages that permeates every corner of the room.

The night is cold for October. Cold and drizzly. The lights are burning dimly in the apothecary, a sure sign that the proprietress is gone to sleep for the night. But, there is always the standing .. order(?) that she can, and should be disturbed should the problem warrant it. And in recent days, Niamh O'Shea, proprietress, has put her foot down, making sure that such an edict still stands.

Upstairs, above the apothecary, dim lights also burn; either an indication that Niamh is either.. awake and almost to bed, or to bed and leaves the lights burning for others that may want, or need her attention.

It's a little after midnight when the sounds start. A rattling from downstairs and the sounds of shuffling feet. They're small sounds, but out of place in the wee hours of the night.

Gideon is a light sleeper, and a little paranoid. So he's sitting up in bed like a shot, reaching for his wand. "Niamh," he hisses. "Wake up." Tugging on his trousers, he steps lightly, and creeps toward the door.

Niamh isn't awake like a shot. She usually requires someone yelling at her window or pounding on the Apothecary door before she truly begins to rouse, and now is no different. Rolling over, she tries to sink deeper into her pillow. She's been woken up, however, and she blinks after another heartbeat or two.. and exhales in a long breath. By this time, Gideon's half-dressed and near the door. It takes her a little longer to put.. things on that'll make her decent for company. Dressing gown and house coat work, and she goes to the window, looking out to see if there's anyone on the street first.

There appears to be no one in the street. Though there's a few more clinks and rattles from downstairs. Aside from that, all would appear to be well.

Gideon tries to avoid any creaking floorboards as he makes his way out of the bedroom, and out of the flat. Stalking down the stairs (shirtless), wand at the ready, he tries to peer into the darkness to get a bead on the location of the intruder.

Niamh turns from the window and has to locate her wand quickly, but isn't truly that far behind Gideon, really. Only she does something a little different than the shirtless hit-wizard. Making sure her housecoat is closed and she's got at least slippers on her feet, she announces her presence once she's down the stairs, "Hello?" Beat. "Keen?" Then, there's a pause, "Timothy Moody, I told ye that if ye needed aught, then ye need to wake me up and tell me.."

there's no reply to either name, though things do go deathly still at the bottom of the stairs. halfway down, the pair will notice above all else…the Stench. Something akin to a sewer under an offal plant would be the best description. Rotten meat, sewage and death fill the air in a cloying miasma that leaves one wanting to flare an incendio spell up their own nostrils.

Gideon sighs. He's going to have to talk to Niamh about home security protocols. Well, the cover is blown, so it's time to see what's really going on. "Lumos," he mutters, and the tip of his wand lights up in a soft glow, illuminating the room.

Niamh blinks at the smell, and putting a hand onto Gideon's arm, moves away from him, her own wand now giving the same brightness at her command, "Lumos.." She's headed towards her gaslight switches to turn them on- granted, she could do that in the dark, but! "Ugh…" the smell is digusting, and she puts an arm over her nose and mouth so as not to breath in too much of it.

There are times when it's best that the lights stay off. The sight that greets the pair is off-putting, to put it mildly. It looks like a man. dressed in a pair of Denim jeans, soft soled boots, and a black shirt. Mud, sewage, and congealed blood cloted and smeared across the front. His skin, what could be seen of it was grey and looked like the skin of a drowned man. The fingertips torn and bloodied. If they knew the man it was impossible to tell. His face was caked in mud and things worse. the left side swollen to the point it looked like an overfull waterballoon. The skin had split across the cheek and was weeping a yellowish fluid the same draining from under the eyelid and from his ear. There was something Metallic sticking out of that ear, though at the moment its hard to tell what it is. As the lights flare from their wands, the man throws his hands up and gives a loud, pained Groan. Lunging towards them blindly at the same time.

This is one of those situations where it's best to hex first and ask questions later. Gideon's eyes go wide, and he steps to fill the stairway, shielding Niamh behind him. He thrusts forward with his wand, incanting, "Petrificus Totalus!"

Okay, Niamh is not a trained.. anything. No, that's wrong.. an herbologist, and a potions mistress. An Apothecary. But.. that? She squeaks a noise in the back of her throat, eyes wide.. and her mouth drops open, but again.. just a squeak comes out. Finally.. something else does manage, and the words that are uttered aren't any shielding spell, but rather, "Oh, Jesus, Mary an' Joseph.." Big help in danger!

The Spell hits the man and he freezes in place, mid lunge, he stays where he's frozen. Not a sound from him as he stays in silent attack inches from Gideon's face. that close, it's not pretty, and to make matters worse. being that close the smell of gangrenen adds itself into the smell of everything else. which itself has become an almost physical forse on it;s own from this far away. Even flies won't gather around him.

Gideon coughs, gagging, and his hand goes to his face to try to fight off the smell. "What in Hades." But he is an Inspector, and inspect, he shall. First noting the metallic object in the thing's ear, he tries to identify it, while carefully patting the pockets of the jeans in the hope of finding a wallet or some form of identification. "Niamh, do you have anything…at least for the smell?"

Niamh's eyes are wider than they've ever been, but there's that.. fascination that lies within. She takes a step back and then sideways to turn on the gaslights to give some light to the room. "If I did, the place wouldn't smell like rotten eggs?" She doesn't mean to sound .. bitchy, but it really is hard to keep smells down in the apothecary shop. "I've got some distilled water, though.. it'd go far t'help clean him up a bit?" At the same time, she's moving 'round to the distillery and starts emptying one of the reservoirs to do just that. "I'll clean up the floor after."

The metallic object in the ear seems to be a handle of some sort. a simple rounded piece of metal fits in the palm comfortably that's keeping it in the ear is probably easy enough to guess, though it's not visible at the moment. A perfunctory search of the pockets finds a roll of pound notes, roughly 500 wrapped around another $2,500 of american money, a couple pieces of folded up water damaged paper, Half a broken wand, and the remains of a glass phial. the glass shatttered in his pocket, and a greenish fluid coating the inside of the pocket. Gideon will also notice, if he isn't wearing gloves that his hand burns for a moment, then goes numb and begins to swell.

Gideon hisses at the sudden pain. "Niamh. I've touched something," he says without panic, but holds up his hand to show her the swelling. He looks to the man-thing, muttering, "That body-bind won't hold forever." Gesturing with his wand again, he incants, "Incarcerous," sending ropes springing from the end of his wand, which wrap around the corpse-like creature, binding it firmly.

"Burning?" Niamh's eyes turn towards Gideon's hand and nods quickly, moving off to climb a ladder where she's got some salves. "Where are ye.." She's quick about it, and back down the ladder soon after, unscrewing a large container, the lid the width of her hand. Within, it's a red salve that both heals and soothes at the same time. "Here, Adamantus.. for yer hand.." This could very well help the.. man? Creature? Poor soul.. and she steps forward again to put some of the salve on one of the more.. gangrenous spots on the head. "Easy… won't sting.."

Try as she might, the savle won't work on the man. Though he does seem to get less scary as she cleans him up, though closer inspection does reveal a long think metal spike protruding from the swollen and gangrenous eyesocket. the wound there, while necrotic and gross wasn't exactly Gangrenous either. Slowly the man begins to take on the appearance less of a b-grade movie monster, and more of a man who has taken a severe beating, had a spike shoved in his head, and has recently died. this last part becoming evident as the Freezing spell wears off and the corpse slumps to the ground like a heap of so much meat. Gideon will also find is he uses the salve on his hand, that, while the burning goes away, the swelling doesn't go down and the feeling doesn't come back.

Gideon moves to interpose himself between Niamh and the body. "Don't touch it." He crouches down to get a closer look at the thing. "He's not breathing. Hades…this was Dark magic. Time to call in the Aurors," he sighs, and looks at his hand. "And I'd best have this looked at. You have something we can collect a sample of that green stuff in?" Even in the face of possibly being poisoned, or worse, Gideon is all business.

Niamh's.. okay, thoroughly grossed out. Each time she applies the salve, and cleans the thing up, the more it reveals itself to be.. a man. A beaten and stricken man that has now served a dark purpose, though at the moment, the apothecary has no idea what that purpose is.. or could be. She nods quickly, swallowing bile back.. and she turns away to get gloves.. thick leather gloves that she uses for the more difficult of potions. And, a container, then, to hold caustic materials. She takes a couple of dishes.. one for Mungos, one for her, one for the Ministry. She's trying not to panic, trying to keep things together, and in that singsong.. Irish lilt, "Please tell me tha' the burning's stopped.." The swelling hasn't.. and hazel eyes fix upon the Hit Wizard, her tones level in inquiry. "Swelling.. is it spreading?"

<OOC> Sloan says, "for the record. he's recently died. as in he's still feverishly hot."

Gideon shakes his head. "It does nae look like it, and the burning stopped. It's numb now." He scowls at his hand, as it more annoyed than worried by it. "Niamh. I should stay here in case this really is Dark magic, and this thing gets up again. I've never encountered an Inferus, but…I'm not sure what this is. Listen, you need to Floo to St. Mungo's and the Ministry. We'll need someone to collect this thing, and the Auror Office must be informed."

"Aye.. that I can look at again, but at least the burnin's done, which means it won't travel.. but don't touch any other thing wit' it. Put a rubber glove on it." She pulls her houserobe around her more.. and nods, "Floo to St. Mungos.. aye. Keen should be there, an' the Ministry. Auror's office or your office?" Nia has no clue, but.. the thought that she can get to her brother to help with this goes a very long way.

Gideon nods, shoulders relaxing a bit at the news that it won't spread further. "The Aurors. I suspect the Dark Arts at work. But Mungo's first. We need to get this thing contained."

Niamh nods and she looks at the poor soul on the floor. "I should get changed.." and she looks at Gideon, a half-smile on her face that is born more of stress than amusement, "I'm bringing Keen back.. if he'll come." And it's back up the stairs to get dressed.. and off to Floo to St. Mungos with her sample.

Gideon manages to locate the rubber gloves Niamh referred to, and slips them over both hands (though with some difficulty over his swollen left one). Crouching by the body again, he looks closely at the spike in the man's eye. "Hmm." He grips it, and slowly tugs to draw the thing out for a better examination.

Niamh's not taken the Apothecary off the floo, and it's becoming more useful that way, apparently. It's the middle of the night, and the gaslights in the shop are not turned up. Gideon is (still?) shirtless, having dressed rapidly. Niamh's returning from Mungo's, and she's a little less.. stressed, having made contact with her brother. Just the thought of being able to see him, to have him see the mess in the middle of the shop's floor went a long way to making her feel a great deal better. And so, landing once again, and stepping from the fireplace, there is a dead body.. beaten and has a spike coming out of his eye. There are both English pound sterling bills as well as American dollars.. and there is a wet puddle where Niamh and Gideon have cleaned up the body. And.. it smells.. a little less disgusting.

It takes a moment to get the spike to come free. but once the dried blood and…other things let go, it slides out easily. retracting from the eyesocket it comes free from the ear revealing a gleaming pal spike a little thicker than a large hypodermic barrel and just over 6" long. The thing wasn't a weapon for self defense. It was made for piercing.

Keenan apparated to his place first, then he tramped down the stairs, having discarded his Mungo Robes. He unlocks the door and pushes open, his wand in one hand and a small satchel over his shoulder. "What are ye getting into, lass?" he asks, actually wide awake since he'd been covering an odd shift.

Gideon looks up at Keenan's arrival, shirtless, wearing rubber gloves, and holding a gore-covered spike in his hand. Oh yes, and there is the pestilent, mutilated corpse on the floor in front of him, tied up handily in ropes. He jumps immediately into a matter-of-fact explanation. "This thing came into the shop. As soon as it saw us, it lunged toward us. I stopped it, and eventually it just collapsed. I'm not sure if it was alive or dead…but it's dead now. Be careful what you touch." He holds up his left hand. Even through the glove, the swelling of the flesh is noticeable.

"Me? Into?" Niamh points down the stairs towards the shop itself. "Adamantus is there.. an' a body that was animated. He's got somethin' on his hand, and it swelled up. I put some salve on t'stop the burn, but the swelling is still there, though it's not spread. I have a sample o'the poison, an' I'm bringin' the next to the Ministry. Auror's office." Well, and it seems that Gideon's pretty much covered everything! She presses her lips together in a line, but she's really.. a great deal more comforted with the pair now. "That's the long an' short of it."

Looking to the floor, and the money scattered there, Keenan gives a sigh. "Hold out yer hand, lad." He beckons Gideon over to the counter of the shop. Going behind he rummages until he finds the supplies he brought back from America. "Niamh, be a good lass, an' get yer boyo a strong whiskey shot." He sets out the different ingredients, pulls out a cauldron, and gives a few deft flicks of his wand to start the potion ingredients mixing and the cauldron begins to crackle with ice on the outside as he lowers the temperature of the metal.

Gideon does as he's told. He knows when to listen to the experts. Pulling the glove off, he presents his hand, not letting it touch anything. "You know what this is?"

Niamh peers at the setup Keenan's starting, but runs upstairs at the request for whiskey. Well, in Gid's case, she'll return with scotch for him and whiskey for Keenan. "I've only started lookin' at the stuff.." Not fair! But, she does as she's asked..

Keenan nods. "Aye, be happy ye're not tha first person I saw with it. Wouldn't wish ye ta suffer as he did." He glances at the hand, and waves his wand so that Gideon will feel a tingling just above his elbow. "Also be glad ye're still all swollen, means it's not gotten tae yer bloodstream… then we'd be in trouble." He nods to Niamh as she goes. "Won't kill ye, an' ye might've even been feelin' all right in a day or two. But the next that hits ye? That's when the fun starts." He's back to working with the ingredients, keeping them cold and the concoction grainy.

Gideon nods, taking in the gloomy possibilities with a calm demeanor. "But you know how to treat it?" His eyes go to the spike in his other hand. "I've seen something like this before. A case St. Mungo's reported." For the moment, he leaves it vague, letting Keenan fill in the details for himself and watching his reaction.

"Have ye, now?" Keenan asks. "An' what was in that St. Mungo's report?" He continues to work with the ingredients. "Pretty sure I know how tae treat it, as I do specialize in Plant and Potion Poisoning at Mungo's." One green eye gives him a lazy wink as he relaxes sideways against the counter to wait for the ingredients to do their thing.

Gideon arches an eyebrow at Keenan, his face otherwise stoic. "I'm sure you've got some idea. Your friend, MacDubsithe, was the victim. His wound would have been made by a weapon like this. It's been troublesome pinning him down for a interview. Busy laddie, that one."

Scotch is poured into one snifter, whiskey in the other, and Niamh begins to make her way back down the stairs, closing her door behind her this time. Coming down the steps, she catches the tail end of the conversation and hands out the drinks. "He'll be alright, Keen?" She looks concerned as she reaches for Gideon's hand to look at it, assuming her brother's not handling the stricken hand. She twists around and cranes her neck to see the contents of the potion, and the way he's got it set up.. cooling, crystalizing?

Looking over to the weapon, Keenan gives a shake of his head. "That I wouldnae be knowing about, nae," he replies honestly, giving a look to his sister as he takes the drink and knocks it back. "I didnae find Sloan with a …" he waves a hand towards the instrument, "stickin' outta him. I was findin' him passed out in an alleyway. Or, at least two street squibs were findin' him. Came an' asked me tae take a look… thought he was livin' dead an' the fella was wantin' Sloan's belongin's and his house since he figured a walkin' dead wouldnae be needin' any of that anymore." He chuckles a bit a the remembrance of the scene. He glances back into the cauldron, and then taps it, the crystals flaking into smaller pieces. He scoops them out with a small ladle, and pours them onto the wound where they shimmer in a pretty manner. With a wave of his wand, the tingling leaves Gideon's arm, and the crystals are sucked into the wound. Gideon will feel their first progress into his arm, like a prickling of sharp needles inside his veins.

Gideon winces just slightly at the needling pain, but he's certainly suffered worse. "But you did treat him, aye?" He glances between his hand and Keenan inquisitively. He can't help himself. It's a mystery, and he solves mysteries.

Well, Niamh sets the snifter with the scotch onto the counter if Gideon won't take it immediately, and she comes around to stand next to Keenan, going on tippy-toes to look at the concoction. Her brows crease and she looks to Gideon to watch how it's put on his hand in order to take care of the swelling. Once applied, she comes around to the other side to stand with Gideon, offering moral support at the least, completely avoiding looking at the body on the floor. She hasn't forgotten about the poor sod, however, and she exhales, "I should probably floo out to the Ministry and find an Auror."

Now that brings a laugh from Keenan as he pours more of the crystals in. "Nae lad. I'm treatin' ye. I wouldnae call what I did tae Sloan treatin' him. It's a good thing tha lad's made from sturdy Irish stuff. He'd nae've lasted what I put him through. Wonder tha man still looks at me as a friend." He leans back as the last little spoonful is put in. "The crystal's'll be binding tae tha venom an' bane, now, an' carry it out. Sadly, the quickest way out is up. Ye may be wantin' tae keep a bucket close by." The first part is given as explanation to Niamh, the last is a suggestion for Gideon.

Gideon sighs at the prospect. Great. Vomit. His favourite. "Help me out here. Perhaps I'm just tired, or it's the poison, but I'm a bit confused." He stands upright now. "You treated MacDubsithe — or however you wish to describe it — but it wasn't at St. Mungo's. Why wouldnae you take him there?"

Bucket.. bucket? Niamn exhales and her lips form a fine line. "Right.." But every word Keenan says is put into her mind, crystals bind to the venom and bane.. and she repeats it as she gets Gideon .. something into which to purge. It's not going to be pleasant, certainly not, but.. "Unless I can find something that'll bind with it an' have it pass through?" The other end?

Keenan shrugs. "What's there tae help out, lad?" he asks. "He was on Diagon Alley, here was closer, an' Niamh's as well stocked as Mungo's. I have a spare room an' bed and kept track of him there." He turns back to the counter, capping ingredients and cleaning out the cauldron. He's picking up his mess. "Ye could, wouldn't suggest it, though. Not sure it'd hold taegether long enough tae make it. Takes nigh on seven hours tae get it out that way. This way, half an hour, maybe an hour. Whole reason ye got get it out quick is because it's resistent tae everything ye try ta treat it with, surely ye read that in the Mungo's report, Gideon."

Gideon shakes his head. "Nae my field. We leave it to the Wizengamot to look over the medical records if needed. All I know is this spike struck a memory from that report, and it was your man Sloan that was stuck with the first one. I'm nae a believer in coincidence." He looks between Niamh and Keenan for a silent moment, gradually coming to a decision. "Look. I'm nae a fool. It's clear to me that there is something going on with one or both of you that is being kept from me. I can only think of a few reasons for that, and one of them worries me a little. But let me just be clear. If I dinnae know what it is, I cannae protect you when I become involved in investigations that draw attention to you. Are you understanding me?"

Niamh nods at the information; they're not so much creating an antidote, but rather, something that'll isolate it, move it and package it to be removed from the body. It's a method she honestly wouldn't have thought of- not immediately. Now, however, that it's presented, she whistles softly and nods, her attention moving to Gideon. "Sorry, Adamantus.. it won't be pleasant." And taking the scotch from the counter, she hands it to him.

Niamh looks to Gideon, and her shoulders slouch. "Adamantus," and her voice is low, her tones.. genuinely earnest. "Ye have t'believe me.. we don't know a thing about that.. thing on my floor." Right Keenan? "I have no clue why that thing came in here.." And she's concerned, just as much as Gideon is, if not a little more. "If ye weren't here?" she shudders and looks ready to go back upstairs. "I don't know who he was after.."

Keenan gives a shake to his head as he leans back against the counter, everything cleaned up. "Nary a thing tae tell ye, lad," he says lightly. "I have nae idea how Sloan got poisoned, as he an' Lindy thought I needed my sleep an' nae woke me up. An' I'm nae surprised that the folks at Mungo's that night couldnae figure it out. It's a poison made in tha Americas, an' not many at Mungo's have a reason tae keep up tae date on 'em. Don't see 'em this side a tha pond. Now that ye've been so kind as tae get us a sample for Mungo's, an' been my lab rat tae make sure tha antidote works, we can send them over tae Mungo's so they know what they are dealin' with if another pops up." And indeed, Gideon's hand is somewhat more normal size, so he may start feeling the need for that bucket fairly soon.

Gideon flexes his fingers a bit, testing them out now that the swelling is going down. "I'm nae talking about the thing on the floor, nor the poisoning." He levels an even gaze toward each of them, unrelenting in his pursuit of a truth that lingers just beyond his understanding. It taunts him. He can see the pieces of a puzzle, but has no idea how big it is, or how many pieces he's missing. But like a dog, once he has the scent of something, it takes an act of God to make him give it up.

Niamh has no clue why there's a body in her shop, and dear lord please.. let the Ministry take it away! She doesn't see a big picture, nor does she see a small picture. She sees.. the same poison, but was the body a message for her? For Keenan? Or.. did they know that Gideon has been staying here with Niamh? She exhales, and she should stay with Gideon in his time of need.. but she also has to take the sample to the MLE as well.. and she exhales. "I need t'get to the ministry." At least she's dressed properly. "I'll be back." Soon.. and she heads up the stairs, ready to take the house floo out.

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