(1939-08-19) The Cauldron Caper
Details for The Cauldron Caper
Summary: Madeline uses her Jr. Auror's badge to investigate the case of a missing cauldron - and the infamous dark wizard who may or may not be involved in its theft.
Date: August 19th, 1939
Location: The Leaky Cauldron
Related: Badinage and the Badge

It's afternoon in the Leaky Cauldron, and some of the patrons are being subjected to an interesting form of 'entertainment' - a 12 year old girl with what looks, for all the world, like a /real/ Auror's badge (if not for that pesky word 'Jr' also engraved in it). At the moment, she's speaking solemnly to a man at the bar counter. "And what happened next?" she asks, while taking notes with a quill and ink.

"That's when I realized my cauldron was missing."

"A missing cauldron!" Madeline gasps dramatically. "I better get on this right away!"

Adelphus removes his hat as he wanders into the Leaky Cauldron. He walks over to the bar and sits down to order himself a butterbeer, glancing at the young girl asking the questions. "Maybe the cauldron is just invisible?" he suggests.

"Invisible! That's a good idea!" Madeline agrees. She scribbles down this idea, then reaches into her pocket to retrieve her badge, and show it to Adelphus. "Madeline Evans - Junior Auror. And where were /you/ on the night in question?"

"Oh, where was I… On what night?" Adelphus says, as the bartender comes over and says, "Your lunch will be just another minute, Healer." Adelphus nods his thanks, and then turns back to the junior auror, "Actually, I remember where I was. I was with Magnus Troy, stealing that poor fellow's cauldron so I could use it to brew polyjuice potion to rob Gringott's."

"Ah ha! Evading the question! I'm onto you, buddy!" Madeline exclaims when Adelphus asks which night she means. She makes ready to scribble something, when Adelphus outs with his confession, and she lets out a gasp. "Stealing from Gringott's is impossible!" she insists. "Now. Who's Magnus Troy?"

She's a Muggle-born, and she's 12. You can't blame her for not knowing about the former Ambassador.

"He's in Azkaban." Adelphus says, as the bartender brings his lunch, "And nothing is impossible, but I'm a healer, not a master criminal. My point was that you might want to be a little more careful, Junior Auror." The healer smiles slightly, "On the other hand, maybe that's exactly what I'd say if I *were* a master criminal, isn't it?"

Rhyeline steps into the cramped taproom, but hesitates at once. It has been months since the little wisp of a witch has ventured to visit the Leaky Cauldron. A tall witch with a tight bun and angular features follows the young woman into the room and takes a seat near the door at the bar. Though her manner seems relaxed, she keeps an eye on her delicate charge as Rhyeline gazes across the room.

"In Azkaban?" Madeline gasps. "Why? What'd he do? Why do I need to be careful? I bet healers can be criminals too! Maybe even /master/ criminals," she insists with enthusiasm. She's having a great deal of fun with this.

Across the room, her uncle is sitting quietly at a table, watching her and sipping a cider. Thankfully no one looks /annoyed/ by the girl quite yet.

Bobbie enters from the London-side, dressed in rather Mugglish fashion of a sort. She removes her fedora and rakes fingers through her hair, the only delay before she bellies up to the bar and lifts a couple fingers toward the barkeep. After that, she takes a look around, but her curiosity is fleeting. The drink to come definitely has her attention right now.

"You're the investigator, Junior Auror Evans." Adelphus says, as he gathers up his brown bag lunch and slides a few knuts across the bar. Then he starts to finish up his butterbeer. "Might I suggest reading The Daily Prophet from a few months back. It was quite notorious."

Adelphus doesn't look upset either, by the way, but he's clearly playing along. In his own way.

Rhyeline notices the diminutive would-be auror, who once so unnerved her, questioning one of St. Mungo's excellent trauma healers. Keeping her head bowed, Rhyeline tries to draw as little attention to herself as possible as she makes her way towards an empty spot at the bar. Not paying quite enough attention to where she's going, she almost collides with Bobbie with a surprised squeak. "Oh! E-excuse me…" she murmurs, peeking up at the woman.

"How do you get old copies of the Daily Prophet?" Madeline muses curiously. "And how would I know which one to get? Though - ooo! I bet I could walk in and ask them about Magnus Troy and one of the reporters would know about it for sure! Since they wrote the articles, after all," she enthuses, while scribbling down the name to make sure she remembers it.

Bobbie quickly waves off Rhyeline's murmur, adding a quick smile that is polite but cheerful. She glances toward the "junior auror", twinkling eyes giving away her amusement, especially when Adelphus seems to be going right along with it all. She's momentarily distracted by the arrival of her drink. Or two drinks, really. She downs the first in one go, then wraps her hands around the second, taking the time to warm it this time.

"Go to the Prophet's office, of course." Adelphus says, with a nod, finally finishing his drink and then collecting his packed lunch and standing, picking up his hat with the other hand, "EVERYONE knows about Magnus Troy. Well, most people, at least. Those who don't live under rocks or with trolls or something like that. I'm sure you'll be able to chase it down." He shakes his finger for a moment, and says, "Though if he's in Azkaban, that means that I must have worked alone to steal the cauldron, and I'm not that clever. So you see, clearly, I couldn't have done it."

Rhyeline bites her lower lip, growing rather tense as the name Magnus Troy reaches her ears. A subtle furrow appears between her brow as she hears Adelphus jesting about the former ambassador and something about a stolen cauldron. Turning away, she takes a seat beside Bobbie. "A mulled wine, please…" she murmurs when the barkeep asks what she'll have.

"Well. But it could be that you and him stole the cauldron for your Gringott's heist before he got caught for whatever he was caught for!" Madeline asserts. "I mean, unless he was arrested /100/ years ago or something."

Wait. Just how old does she think Adelphus is?

Bobbie's ears perk at the mention of the wizard prison, and she turns to regard Adelphus briefly, suddenly a bit more interested in what he could possibly be discussing with the pre-teen. She takes a sip of her drink, which smells distinctly like some sort of whisky, and turns to regard Rhyeline beside her again. "Seems a bit hot for mulled wine," she says, butting in with her opinion. "Plenty time for that in the months to come, yeah?" It's been years since she last lived full-time in Liverpool, but the accent is still a dead giveaway. "Oy, i's you an' he, pipsqueak," she adds far more loudly, giving Madeline a crooked grin. "Didn't learn nothin' at Hogwarts, did ya?" What? She's young. It might fit.

Adelphus leans closer, conspiratorially, and whispers, "You'll never prove it." Then he gives a wink, and turns to take his lunch and head towards the door, tipping his hat and giving a little wave as he makes to leave.

Rhyeline blinks, glancing up at Bobbie, as the woman comments on her choice of drink. "It… it…" stammers the girl, but already the woman has shifted her attention to the pair across the room. Or rather, the one, now that Adelphus is departing.

Madeline is loving the cat-and-mouse game, and grins at Adelphus as he gets up to leave. "You keep watching over your shoulder, Mister, 'cuz sure as sure I'll be there in your shadow!" she calls. "Oh, shoot. I didn't get his name!" she adds, letting out a sigh.

Her attention turns to Bobbie next as she adds, "Oh, I'm learning plenty from Hogwarts, but I'm not done learning it all yet, not by a long shot!"

"Yeah, well, pick it up then, yeah?" Bobbie replies to Madeline, gesturing with a rolling hand before she downs her second finger of whisky. She watches Adelphus leave, then grins at Rhyeline, either having missed or ignoring the stammer a moment earlier. "Got 'im on the ropes, she did, ya think?" She then turns to try to get the attention of the bartender once more.

Rhyeline accepts her mulled wine, despite the warm weather, with a nod of gratitude. Bringing the glass to her lips, she hides behind it as she peeks up at the tower of a woman beside her with a touch of caution.

With Adelphus gone, Madeline turns her attention to Rhyeline and Bobbie. "Well, I'm learning all I can!" the girl asserts, before pulling out her badge to flash it at the two woman. "Madeline Evans, Jr Auror. I'm looking into the case of his missing cauldron," she thumbs towards the man behind her. "And its possible connection to an attempted Gringott's heist. And any connection to," she checks her sheet of notes, "Magnus Troy."

Bobbie is pretty used to getting all kinds of looks from other folks by now, so Rhyeline's more subtle peek is filed away as just one more, though she does give a small sniff to take in the aroma of the wine. The small sound she makes could be appreciative, or simply acknowledgement that, yep, it's mulled wine all right. Madeline, meanwhile, gets an amused snort when she introduces herself. "Junior. I'll say," she murmurs, turning away to quickly order another two drinks, then she turns her attention back to the girl. "W's a cauldron gorra do wi' some miss'n gold? Or Troy?"

"Child… Magnus Troy is not for your games. He is a dark wizard now imprisoned in Azkaban…" murmurs Rhyeline in a low, quiet tone from behind her glass of mulled wine.

"Well, the guy that just left - the one that said he's a healer? - he said that he and Magnus Troy stole the cauldron to brew some polyjuice to steal from Gringott's," Madeline explains cheerfully, before turning her attention to Rhyeline.

"You know about Magnus Troy?" she asks curiously. "What'd he do? Did he use," she lowers her voice dramatically, "the killing curse?" You can almost hear the 'duh-duh-duuuuuuuuuh!'

Bobbie quietly thanks the bartender for her second double-round and turns to again regard Rhyeline and Madeline. "So yous 'uv one witness, and you're juss go'n ter believe 'im?" she asks the girl. "It's a blind bit like a mouse follow'n a trail o' breadcrumbs, 'cept there's nah trail, juss crumbs." There's a beat while she swirls her whisky in its glass. "Wha'd you know about kill'n curses, anyway?"

This one's childish fascination with the morbid hasn't changed since Rhyeline last met her. The little mouse of a young woman watches her with a closed expression from behind her glass of mulled wine. "He is not for your games," she repeats.

"Well, someone tells you a story and then you gotta investigate and cora- coraber- umm. Confirm the story," Madeline answers firmly. "That's how investigations are done," she thinks. "And all I know about them is that no one's allowed to use them, never, not ever. If you even try to you get sent straight away to Azkaban forever and never come back.

She looks to Rhyeline next, and shifts a bit uncomfortably under the woman's rather closed gaze. "Why not?" she asks - a bit petulantly. "What'd he do? Was it really horrible? He wasn't part of what happened at Sweet Temptations and the other shops, or I would have heard for sure." And that, in her mind, is as horrible as it gets.

Bobbie gives Madeline one of those "suit yourself" kinds of gestures, though she can't entirely hide her amusement. She, at least, doesn't seem to mind the girl chasing stories of Ambassador Troy. Down goes the first half of her second round, then she starts the tedious task of warming the second half. Or fourth drink. However you want to count it. "Still. W's a miss'n cauldron have to do with Gringotts?"

Rhyeline doesn't answer the child. Silent, she sets aside her half-finished mulled wine and places a couple of knuts beside it. Placing a hand on the bar counter for support, she eases herself down from the tall stool. "Good afternoon…" she murmurs with a small nod before heading for the door. The guardwitch sitting at the far end of the bar by the door gets up to follow the girl out.

"Like the healer said - he took it to brew the polyjuice," Madeline answers. "I guess he didn't want to use his own cauldron. Or maybe he thought if he did it'd lead back to him! Or maybe he already has something else brewing in his cauldron that was taking a looooooong time - I heard some potions do that," she blathers cheerfully.

As Rhyeline gets up to leave, Madeline looks after him with a puzzled expression. "Well, umm… Goodbye! Have a great day! Hope I didn't make you mad or nothin'… didn't mean to."

Bobbie watches the mousy woman depart, complete with escort. Mulling over her drink, her gaze eventually drifts to the half-finished wine, and with a surreptitious glance around, she reaches over and finishes the wine. Can't let it go to waste, right? Grimacing, though, at the mix of mulled wine and whisky, she gives her head a shuddering shake before easing herself into a casual lean again. She takes her time considering Madeline's explanation, then asks, "Why did 'e 'uv ter get into Gringotts in de fairst place?"

"To steal!" Madeline responds, before gasping, "Maybe he even would've stole all my uncle's knuts and sickles and galleons! That wouldda been just /horrible/!" she exclaims.

"Say - do you know who Magnus Troy is and why he got sent to Azkaban?" Madeline asks. She's reeeeeally curious now.

"Ay kun more'n you do," Bobbie replies in a lazy drawl, her accent getting worse with every new drink. Or slightly used drink. She continues to swirl her whisky, watching it cling to the glass in rolls of liquid. "F'r instance, if 'e 'ad ter nick any gold, it wuz from 'is own account, not yer uncle's. Because 'ow is 'e supposed ter get 'is gold whun eez in Azkaban? Seems prison's 'is fairst worry, not Gringotts."

"Huh?" Maddie asks, momentarily puzzled. "Oh. No, see, all this happened /before/ he got sent to Azkaban! Ooo! Maybe the failed Gringott's heist is why he got /sent/ to Azkaban!" she proposes eagerly. "But his accomplice, the healer, got away with it!"

For a moment, it seems Bobbie might let all this pass as she works on finishing her last drink, slowly pushing the empty glass to the side until the tips of her outstretched hand can push it no farther. It seems she can't resist pursuing the information, however, because she finally turns back to Madeline, leaning sideways against the bar. "Oose cauldron went miss'n?"

"That guy the-" Madeline starts, turning to point at a guy who'd been sitting a few stools down only, "Oh. He's gone. Ummm. I think I wrote his name down. It's right…" she looks at her notes. "Huh."

Bobbie runs her fingers through her hair again while Madeline tries to recall the man's name, but when it seems she might have to pass on it, the older woman shrugs. "Wuz it a special cauldron? I mean, is 'e try'n ter get it back?"

"It was his /favorite/ cauldron. He said his mum gave it to him when he graduated Hogwarts," Madeline asserts. She made these facts up just now - since it's all just a game, anyways. And it had his initials on it! BW."

"So yous dun 'uv 'is name, only 'is initials?" Bobbie asks, frowning. "Say yous find de cauldron, wa' dun?" Her lean against the bar is turning into more of a slope, and her accent is turning more into a slur of words strung together. "Juss stay e'yer until yous see 'im again?"

"Well," Madeline muses. "It's a cauldron, and this is the Leaky Cauldron. I suppose I could leave it here so they can return it to him, when he comes back. I mean, everyone comes to the Leaky Cauldron sometimes! Don't they?"

Perhaps with less alcohol in her system, Bobbie might be able to follow Madeline's logic, but instead she ends up staring at the girl, eyes just slightly glazed. "Sure," she finally replies, frowning with mild confusion. Then, "Could juss go inspect'n all de cauldrons you see, 'n' maybe one o' dem wul 'uv 'is initials." She turns away and begins fumbling for coins, taking longer than normally necessary to sort her knuts and sickles from her Muggle coins.

"Maybe," Madeline says dubiously. "That'd be a /lot/ of cauldron's to check, though." Her gaze locks onto the Muggle money as one falls onto the bar counter, a curious look in her gaze. "Are you Muggle-born too?" she asks.

Bobbie finally sorts out the coins and leaves the correct ones on the bar top and stashes the rest before giving Madeline a sidelong frown. "Well'n… gorra come up'n yer own ideas," she mutters. It seems there might be only so much pre-teen fun the older witch can take, though the girl's question makes her pause after she's slipped off her barstool. "Yis," she answers simply before inspecting her fedora.

"Well - me too. 'cept for my uncle, who's a wizard. Say, that's a swell hat, isn't it?" Madeline declares cheerfully. "Well - thanks for helping with the case! I guess I'll have to find someone else to tell me all about Magnus Troy!"

The Diagon Alley entrance opens…only to close quickly behind a rather noticeable fellow. Kaleb Gamp holds up a hand in greeting to the barkeep. "Butterbeer, my goodly fellow! And add a titch of cinnamon to it for good measure, won't you?" He chuckles merrily, making his way to a table nearby to the bar. He lets out a deep sigh. "Ah, that's it. A good rest, that's what I need!"

As the girl comes back around to the stop of Troy, Bobbie frowns again. Hazily, her gaze flits toward the watching wizard, but it seems her cue has come and gone. She places the fedora on her head at a jaunty angle, then brushes her hair neatly behind her ears. "Well. Good luck," she murmurs to Madeline, tipping her hat slightly just as Gamp takes a seat. "It's uh… good someone's lewk'n fe de miss'n cauldron, ay guess." She pauses as if on the verge of saying more, but instead, the chaser turns on a heel and heads out the main door toward Charing Cross.

Madeline can't help but giggles as Bobbie leaves. /Gosh/ she had a lot to drink. She glances around for another willing vict- errr… interogatee (that's a word, right?) and her gaze fixes on the friendly face of Kaleb. … that'll do!

"Hello!" the girl exclaims, reaching into her pocket. She pulls out her Jr Auror's badge - the one that looks /just/ like a real auror's badge in every respect, except for the addition of the word 'Jr.' "I'm Junior Auror Madeline Evans, and I'm investigating the case of a missing cauldron what was used to brew some polyjuice potion so Magnus Troy and his healer buddy could break into Gringott's and rob the place!" she proclaims.

It doesn't take long for his drink to arrive. In fact, it arrives just as Maddie approaches his table as well! Almost immediately, Kaleb goes into serious mode. "Oh dear! Oh dear oh dear! Well, I'll certainly help you any way I can, Auror Evans." His tone suggests his taking her in all seriousness. "I hope I can assist you. And I'll do my best." He takes a sip of his drink. "Please, join me, and ask me any questions you may have!"

"Great!" Madeline declares brightly. "I'll just- oh! I forgot my notes!" The child hurries back to the bar to retrieve her ink, quill, and scrap of parchment, before taking a seat at Kaleb's table.

"Why don't you tell me everything you know about Magnus Troy," the girl declares solemnly. Because she's desperately curious to know!

Chuckling softly at the aspiring auror, Kaleb tilts his head in interest. Upon her return and questioning, he takes a moment before he speaks. "Magnus Troy. Now there is a serious topic. He has hurt people. He is spending time in the prison out here." The Canadian says. "Azkaban, isn't it?" He shakes his head solemnly. "Used an Unforgivable Curse, amongst other things."

"Yeah, Azkaban!" Madeline confirms - pronouncing the name of the prison with the sort of cheerful enthusiasm one usually doesn't use for that place. "He did use an unforgivable?" she asks with wide eyes. "Was it the killing curse?"

"A different one, as far as I'm aware." Kaleb says, shaking his head. "And he stole some items, I believe." He takes a deep breath in and sighs. "He is not a friendly man. Not one bit. I would certainly steer clear of him on a good day. Not that I need to worry about that at the moment." He raises an eyebrow. "And you say this has to do with the use of polyjuice potion and theft from Gringotts? And a missing cauldron?"

Madeline nods. "There was a healer here who said he stole the missing cauldron to brew some polyjuice to break into Gringott's with Magnus Troy. So it musta been before Mister Troy got arrested for the unforgivable curse - but I can't remember what other unforgivable curses there is, just the murdering one. Isn't there five?"

She's a /very/ Junior Auror.

"How inconsiderate and rude of them. Stealing. It's very un…kind to steal." Kaleb nods firmly. Taking a long sip of his drink, he listens to Madeline. "I knew this one man in southern United States who claimed to drink some polyjuice potion where he accidentally used the hair of a goat. Said he still got the taste for grass sometimes." He chuckles, despite the seriousness of their conversation.

"As far as the curses. There are three. The Killing Curse is the most infamous of them. But then there is the Imperius Curse and the Cruciatus Curse. Each does something quite different, but is still quite unfriendly."

"Oh! Right! One of them's the torture curse. Those horrible witches and wizards used it-" Madeline stops abruptly, then lowers her voice to add in a loud whisper, "used it at the Sykes Gala." Her voice returns to a normal volume as she adds, "But what's the other one?" She dips her quill in the ink, noting down something on her parchment. 3 killing curses - death, torture and…

"Terrible thing, that Sykes Gala." Kaleb notes. "Glad I wasn't there for that." He nods. "Maple would've nipped at me for coming back from a frolic like that!" He chuckles. "Oh, Maple's my goose. A Canadian Goose. Not that it matters to your investigation, I'm sure." He smiles. "Though did you meet him? Were you one of the students at the camp?" He shrugs. "The Imperius Curse? It makes the person due whatever you want them to do."

"Oh, yes, I saw Maple! She's pretty - I mean, for a goose. And only bit me once, which was nice," Madeline responds brightly before Kaleb explains the final curse.

"Ohhh… So if I used the Imperius Curse, I could make you stick out your tongue and sing the Teddy Bears' Picnic, while dancing on a table?" she asks. "…I mean, not that I would, of course. Because I'm a Junior Auror, and Auror's /catch/ people who do that, and they don't use unforgivables /ever/."

"Maple…yes. Maple has a tendency to do that sometimes. But if he only bit you once, that means he liked you! Enough to not nip at you any more!" Kaleb chuckles. "And yes, that is what that curse can do. Not that I know what the Teddy Bears' Picnic is. But yes, in theory." He chuckles. "I expect when you're a full auror, you'll be putting away plenty of people who use those curses!"

"It's a song - a really nice song," Madeline supplies.

"And sure I will - but that'll be after I tame a dragon and find Merlin's wand with the help of the merpeople," she says solemnly. She has big plans.

Looking at her parchment, she scribbles down something about the Imperius curse, before looking back up at Kaleb again. "So you don't know which of the three Magnus Troy got locked up for, though?"

"Oh! I can help you with the merpeople. I happen to know where some live. And I speak their language!" Kaleb says happily, drinking some more of his butterbeer. "As far as the curses go, you sure you wanna hear about it. I know you're a junior auror, but this is some pretty serious stuff. Very serious, some might say!"

"You know Mermish?!" Madeline squeals, bouncing in her seat. "Oh, I want to learn! I've been trying to - I found some words in a book, and I tried saying - I tried yelling 'Stop!' at some Grindylows in Mermish - and they didn't stop - so I'm not sure if I said it wrong or if they just didn't know Mermish? What do you think?" she asks before giving the word stop a try, as /she/ thinks it's pronounced. "Shonkpith!"

She grins across at Kaleb, but then she tries to school her features into a more serious expression. "Umm. Why don't you tell me what he did - you know, for my investigation - and then we can practice Mermish maybe? I mean - if you don't mind? And don't worry about it being too grown up - I'm a Junior Auror, and I was at the attack on Sweet Temptations, and I saved my uncle's life."

"Indeed I do know Mermish. It took a bit of study, it did. But I know it. It does sound rather harsh above water, though." Kaleb says, thinking on the language for a moment. "Grindylow are dangerous creatures. But merpeople have been known to take them as pets. Merpeople, as I understand it, are the only ones known to be able to truly tame a grindylow." He smiles. "I don't think a grindylow can speak languages, however. So I don't believe it would have understood you, unless it was one that was tamed and that recognized commands." He offers to her. He shakes his head. "That's not quite correct. But there's time to learn later." Kaleb offers to her.

"I'm only telling you about Mr. Troy to help the investigation, you understand, yes?" Kalen nods. "He used the curse that caused no bodily harm, as I understand it."

Madeline gets puzzled look on her features as she tries to puzzle out Kaleb's words - and then lets out an, "Oh! …so he made someone do something what they didn't want to do, then?" she asks, a thoughtful look on her features. "I wonder what he made them do?

"It'd be just /awful/, though, wouldn't it? Being stuck in your own head while you're made to do stuff you don't want to do. Real horrifying! But then - I guess that's why it's unforgivable."

She continues to consider this for a moment before suddenly saying brightly, "Well, sure, there's plenty of time. But the sooner you get started - the sooner you learn! How'd you learn Mermish?"

"Mon dieu, I can only imagine what it's like for someone to be in that position, Miss Junior Auror. I certainly wouldn't want to be in the position to know!" Kaleb shakes his head. "Oh dear, how rude of me. I've had you join me but I've not offered any refreshments. Would you care for anything to eat? Or drink?" He tilts his head in an asking manner.

"How did I learn Mermish? Oh, I started off learning bits and pieces from those who live in Ireland. I then learned some from groups in Scotland and elsewhere. My education in the language didn't really take off until I met the merpeople of Greece. They're the ones who really taught me the language. I spent months upon months, over a year with them. Became fluent. Kind folk, those merpeople I met in Greece."

"Oh, umm, something to drink?" Madeline glances towards her uncle Perry - still sipping his cider slowly - then back to Kaleb. "It's very kind of you to offer - but I've just had an exploding lemonade with my uncle, to celebrate me becoming a Junior Auror today and all, so I guess I'm alright. Thank you, though," she says politely. Because her mum would rap her knuckles, otherwise.

"Gosh - you learned Mermish from all those /real/ merpeople, in all those different places? You must travel a lot! That must be nice. You suppose I could learn Mermish from the merpeople inside the lake at Hogwarts? Only we're not supposed to go inside the lake like that."

"Oh, it's quite alright. I wouldn't be a proper…what am I? Well, I would be a proper table-companion if I hadn't offered." Kaleb says with a smile. "It's like my mother always said, 'Soyez gentil et offrir des rafraichissements. La generosite est sa propre recompense.' Which in English translates to 'Be kind and offer refreshments. Generosity is its own reward.' She was a lady who often enjoys giving." He chuckles at the thought. "I have indeed travelled. Learned lots about various creatures that way. It was all so fascinating. Like this one time, I got to meet a leprechaun! And I saw a yeti. Though the yeti was really just a sasquatch with white fur, and we've got sasquatch back in Canada."

Madeline gets a look of concentration on her features as Kaleb starts speaking in French - but she can't make heads or tails of it. "Well, I know that wasn't German, because I'm learning German, now, and that wasn't German," she remarks in a thoughtful tone. "It sounded prettier than German. I wish I knew so many languages! But I only know English, and just a little bit of German, on account of the three German Jewish kids that live with us on the farm, now. They're teach me, and I'm teaching them.

"I haven't seen all those creatures yet, either, though gee I'd like to. Have you seen a dragon, yet? How big was it? Did you see it breathe fire?"

"German. To be honest, I never learned it. But then, I always found people who could speak English or French, or one of the other magical being languages I know." Kaleb offers. "That's kind of your family to take in the German children, though." He clears his throat. "Dragons? Oh, boy, have I seen dragons! And yes, there was fire breathing. Dragons are huge. Except when they're born."

"How many languages do you know?" Madeline asks with eager curiosity, though all other thoughts are discarded in favor of DRAGONS! "Oh, wow, /baby/ dragons? Have you seen one? How big was it? How fast to they grow? Are baby dragons nice - or do they start out mean? Have you ever seen one that was trained at all?"

"I know five languages in total." Kaleb states quite quickly and easily. Holding up his fingers as he lists them off, "English, French, Mermish, Gobbledegook, and Troll." He chuckles at her enthusiasm about dragons. "I've seen baby dragons, yes. At a dragon sanctuary. It was tiny! Quite tiny. Could still breath fire, though. But not as well as a full grown dragon." He considers the question about it being nice. "I wouldn't say it was 'nice'. But I wouldn't say it was mean, either. It was…a baby. I haven't heard of them being trained, per say. You have to always be cautious around them."

"Gosh. That's a lot of languages. I still only know English, mostly, but I'm gonna learn German and Mermish properly. Then I'll know three!" Madeline beams at Kaleb cheerfully. "And I'm gonna be the first to tame a dragon one of these days - just you wait and see did you have to be underwater to learn Mermish?"

There was no pause between her exclamation about taming dragons, and learning Mermish. That's just the way she is.

"I'll wait to read the news about the British dragon tamer!" Kaleb chuckles. "You know, there is a magical family in Scotland, that I've read about, who keeps tabs on the Hebridean Blacks. The…MacFusty family. Clan. Whatever they're called up there. Perhaps you could right to them, with your parent's approval, and ask them about it." He says with a little nod. "And while it's not required to be underwater to learn Mermish, I certainly suggest it."

"Oh! My parents would let me write to them, no problem!" Madeline says eagerly. "Another penpal'd be great! Mrs. Black - Lucretia's mother," she says as if Kaleb would know who Lucretia is, "she owns an apothecary shop, she said I could write to her about potions. And I could write to the… umm… MacFusties about dragons, and maybe I could even write to you about Mermish and Merpeople!" she enthuses.

"You may most certainly write me about Mermish and merpeople. You can write me about most any magical creature you'd like, really." Kaleb offers. "I'm more than happy to help you however I can. And teach you whatever I can. I have a mind full of knowledge that is just wanting to be shared!"

"Great!" Madeline says excitedly. "I had such fun at Creature Camp, you know. I got to work with the flying horses a lot - and they really are a lot like regular horses. And one of the kids - he's gonna be a first year this year - he's a Muggle-born, and her grew up in the city, and he didn't know anything about horses, so I got to show him how to groom them and pick their hooves and /everything/." She felt so grown up - teaching someone else how to care for a creature!

"Oh, all the flying horses are great! I love working with them! Thestrals are a bit boney looking, but they're just as friendly as the rest, most of the time. And smart, to boot! That being said, I'm glad most of you kids can't see 'em. But the rest of the flying horses, a definite fun time was had! And the other animals as well, of course." Kaleb chuckles. "Those hippogiffs…now those are picky creatures. I hate getting on their bad side."

At the mention of the thestrals, Madeline bites her lip. She looks down at the table, then back up at Kaleb before asking in an unusually subdued voice, "You can see them, too? The thestrals."

Kaleb's eyebrow furrow in sympathy. "Oh, my dear girl. I'm sorry." He nods slowly. "Yes, I can see them too. As such, I help take care of them." He offers quietly. "What do you think of them?"

"Well. I think they're pretty neat, actually," Madeline says. "And they're nice enough - like most horses. I mean, they had their different attitudes, but horses always do. I wouldn't have thought nothing of it if I haven't been told why I was seeing them and others weren't."

"It's a tricky thing. I don't understand the magic behind it, personally, as much as I understand the creatures. I don't know if anyone understands quite exactly the reason why it is." Kaleb shakes his head. "But, that being said, thestrals are bright. And yes, they have their own moods. Why this one I knew, she kept flying me to a sweet shop just so I would feed her candy!"

Why did Kaleb have to mention a /sweet shop/? Madeline's gaze goes down to the table again as she mumbles, "They had to close Sweet Temptations. It still isn't open, even." But who can blame them for that? People /died/ in the shop - and right outside it. She shifts in her seat, then looks back up at Kaleb before asking quietly, "How come you can see 'em?"

Unfortunately, Kaleb is yet unaware of Madeline's reasoning behind why she can see the thestrals. "A terrible thing, that event. I can only imagine." He shakes his head. "Me?" He smiles, if sadly, at the memory of his father. "I saw my own father die." He says simply, not stating how he died. "You know…have you ever seen a unicorn foal?"

Madeline gapes for a moment - certainly it shocks her out of being worried about her /own/ trauma. "Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry!" she exclaims with wide eyes. "If anything happened to my da' I'd… I'd…" She shudders just at the thought.

"Umm… I saw a unicorn at creature camp, but no foals. I'd like to. You've seen one?"

"Thank you, Miss. It was many a moon ago. As sad as it was, I've long learned to live with it." Kaleb smiles. "But he did tell me once, 'Life, son, is like an open road. Walk it, and find where it takes you!' It took me to creatures. And thestrals included. And if it weren't for that road, I wouldn't be able to teach you mermish!"

"Well - that's true," Maddie agrees thoughtfully. "You know what my da' always tells me?" she asks. "He always tells me to muck out the stalls, and and make sure the water's fresh, and they horse's got feed, and give the slop to the pigs!" She lets out a quiet giggle. "He tells me other stuff, too, 'course. I love my da'. He's great, really."

"Mucking, that is never my favourite chore. Never has been. But it's required, of course. Gotta keep things clean!" Kaleb laughs heartily, finishing his drink. "I spent a lot of time growing up with animals, you know. My mother worked with them. Some good times were had, really."

"I'd never want DC or Spitfire to get /thrush/" Madeline responds firmly. "I'd just feel awwwwwwful if it were my fault! And I've always grown up with animals too on account of da' has a farm. It's just mundane stuff - chickens and and pig and a few sheep and the houses and sometimes a milk cow," Madeline confides. "Plus the cats and dogs, of course."

"You know, that reminds me of this man I met in a place called Florida, over in America. He raised garden gnomes." Kaleb appears to be completely serious, too. "Lots of people consider them pests, but he enjoyed them. Had a whole bunch of them. But he called himself a Gnome Farmer." He chuckles. "When you travel, you meet many interesting folk."

"You can raise garden gnomes?" Madeline asks, sounding mystified. "My mum has a ceramic one in front garden, of course, but that doesn't count. I mean - I've heard of garden gnomes - the real, /live/ garden gnomes - but I haven't seen any yet."

"Oh yeah, most creatures you can raise. Just most people wouldn't think of raising garden gnomes. But hey, who am I to judge?" Kaleb grins, waving to the bartender and indicating to bring another drink. "Well, maybe I can arrange for you to see a real garden gnome at some point. Shouldn't be too difficult."

"Gosh - that'd be nice," Madeline agrees. "I'd like to see just everything the magic world has to offer. Did you know that /dodo birds/ aren't really /extinct/? Only, umm, they call 'em… ummm…." She trails off into silence.

"Well, I'll see what I can arrange for you." Kaleb offers. "The dodo?" There's a short pause before he exclaims, "OH! Yes. That's what muggles call it, don't they? The diricawl. It can vanish from one location, only to reappear elsewhere. It's how it escapes danger. And partly why muggles think that it's extinct."

"I wanna see one of those sooooooooo bad!" Madeline exclaims. "And get my picture taken with one! A moving picture! To show my mum and da'! They'd be so excited," the girl announces cheerfully. "How do I say 'My name is Madeline Evans' in Mermish?" she asks abruptly.

"I can't remember where the diricawl lives at the moment, but if you'd like I could look in my books and find out." Kaleb offers. "It's been a while since I've had to think about them." He chuckles. "You really like creatures, don't ya?"

"Oh I really do!" Madeline says brightly. "Creatures and potions and-" But Madeline cuts off with a hand touches her shoulder.

"Don't you think we should be join, Junior Auror Evans?" a man asks her.

She looks up at the man, letting out a quiet, "Oh." Followed quickly by, "Yeah, I guess you're right, uncle Perry. This is, umm… Well, he worked at the Creature Camp, and I'm gonna send him letters, and he's gonna teach me about diricawls and merpeople and /everything/! Thanks so much for all the help!" Madeline exclaims brightly as she climbs to her feet, ready to move off with her uncle. "And this is my uncle Perry!"

Standing up, Kaleb reaches out a hand to offer to Perry. "Pleasure to meet you, sir. I'm Kaleb Gamp, magizoologist. I have also reside and assist at the Fawley Farm, which is how I came to assist at the Creature Camp and thus meet your niece." He explains. "Are you sure you must leave? You could join us!" Always inviting, Kaleb is. "If not, however, I hope we can have another opportunity soon to have a visit." He chuckles and nods.

"We have to finish her school shopping, I'm afraid," Perry responds as he accepts Kaleb's hand and shakes it. "And then I have to get her home to her parents, so she can show them why she was summoned to the MLE today. But it was a pleasure meeting you, Mister Gamp."

"Yeah, nice to see you again, Mister Gamp! If you think of anything else to do with /the case/, then let me know, okay?" she calls, before being led off by her uncle.

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