(1941-07-02) Recovery and Discoveries
Details for Recovery and Discoveries
Summary: Anson and Morrow are resting up in St. Mungo's, and receive a visit from a pair of Ministry officials.
Date: 07-02-1941
Location: Creature Induced Injuries
Plot: Zoanthropy Epidemic
Related: It's the Thrill of the Fight, Who's a Pretty Bird?

Anson Abbott has been kept to himself for much of his time as a peacock. Apparently, he had a tendency to fluff up his beautiful tail every time a woman walked in to see him. But an hour or so ago, while the wounded peacock slept, he metamorphosed back to a human. A bleeding human, as it happens. A five-inch gash ran down his left bicep at first, and one of the doctors spent quite a bit of time knitting it shut and repairing severed tendons and the like.

Also, a much-changed human. His perfect silver-blond hair has been transformed to iridescent blue, soft and feathery to the touch. And his eyes — when they open — are pupil-less, solid pools of liquid gold. And he's stirring now, rolling onto his side with a soft moan. His eyes flutter open. And then snap wider as fragmentary memories come swirling back.

"Ah.. Bugger." He rolls onto his back with the oath, staring up at the ceiling. Blinking several times, the young man licks his lips. He rolls to his other side, groping clumsily for a pitcher of water and, coincidentally, facing the bed where another involuntary shapeshifter is recovering from multiple Stunning Spells to the abdomen.

"Morning, Sunshine." Sitting up in bed, propped regally against her pillows, Morrow is flicking through an old copy of Witch Weekly, not yet bothering to look over at the rousing young man in the next bed. Her own is still flanked by the almost obscenely enormous twin bouquets delivered yesterday, and there's an additional long-stemmed rose kept in a fragile vial on the right-hand nightstand, too. Someone's been spoiled!

Thumbing another page with a hushed sigh, the young lady's newly acquired feline ears twitch lazily. She's been getting used to them, for the most part.. but there's still rather a pain. "How are you feeling..? Oh." Having at last flitted a sidelong glance in Anson's direction, the brunette does a double-take, lowering the magazine slowly to her lap. "Oh, my." Her lips curl into a grin, wicked amusement lighting up her features. "That's a good look for you, Abbott." Leaning to the nightstand, she picks up a dainty compact - hey, a girl has to make an effort, even when confined to a hospital bed! - and tosses it across to land on the Gryffindor's blanket.

A middle-aged man hurries past the ward, heading up the stairs. He reappears, this time poking his head inside. "Umm…does anyone know where is the Janus Thickney ward? The welcome witch is a bit out of it this afternoon." Then Galahad spots the Zoanthropy victims. "What in the name of Merlin…" Unsure how to react, Galahad simply stands still for a moment, shocked. Then he starts reaching for the nearest news rack, looking for the latest edition of The Daily Prophet.

The sharp clack of hard soled dress shoes can be heard against the tile flooring long before the suited form of Regulus Black can be seem entering into the Creature Induced Injuries wing. His eyes sweep the wing and the beds open for viewing as soon as he enters, a quick assessment of damage and conciousness before they settle on the two children that seem to be awake and speaking. The clack, clack resumes as Regulus sweeps across the room toward the two beds, that calculating gaze shifting from one student to the other and back again as he takes in the blue hair and feline ears. Finally, he comes to a stop between the two beds and gazes toward Galahad with a bit of an incredulous expression before saying in a friendly voice, "Good evening, children. I am Regulus Black. Senior reversal wizard with the office of Magical Accidents. I wonder if I can't trouble you for a little of your time? Do forgive Weasley here… Apparently discretion is not something that his department handles often."

Anson grabs up Morrow's compact and snaps it open, staring down at himself. He lifts the tiny mirror and shifts it to one side, then the other, taking in his new features. His golden eyes widen a bit further, if that's possible. "I.. Do look rather good, don't I?" It may be shock that allows him to keep his voice so level, or it may be some inner strength that is not readily apparent. He tosses the compact back into Morrow's bead. "I love your ears, by the way. Remarkably useful tools for reading one's mood."

And then Galahad comes in, and his reaction causes a rueful grin to cross the boy's face. "It's up two flights and to the left, sir. My.. er, well my cousin was kept there for a bit." His insane cousin. He seems amused rather than offended at Galahad's response to his transformation.

And then there's Regulus Black, and this time, Anson takes it seriously. He glances aside at Morrow, then back. "Well, sir. I'm not certain how much help we can be." His tone is a bit sardonic as he continues. "But I'm happy to try, I suppose."

Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink. As the two strangers, one after the other, enter the ward, Morrow gives up, closes her magazine and regards them with arching brows. Both rather handsome. If a bit… clean cut. Ahh, a Black and a Weasley. Goodness, it's like a Ministry Chessboard in here. Confident that her appearance is as goood as it's likely to get, given the situation, with her glossy hair brushed to silk and the slight pallor of her fair complexion actually emphasising the drama of her dark-lashed eyes quite nicely, rather than 'sickly invalid', the girl loosely clasps her hands, looking between the gentlemen coolly before settling on the one closest, who seems to designate himself as 'in control'.

"Good evening." The reply is smooth, unperturbed; though her blue eyes do narrow a fraction at being addressed as 'children'. Extending a hand toward each of the men in turn, in a polite gesture of greeting, she introduces herself with the calm of one confident in the weight of her name. "Morrow Selwyn." And only then does she return, pleasantly, to her conversation with the boy in the next bed. True to form, one ear flattens as she casts him a withering look. "Yes, yes.. very funny. But I like the blue hair. You don't look like quite such a choirboy." Her gaze flits, almost unthinkingly, to his mending shoulder.. but, ears or no ears, her expression is controlled and impassive.

As he had the location of the Janus Thickney ward nailed down, Galahad gave up his search for an related article almost immediately. Turning to leave, he casts a few uneasy glances back at the patients when… Regulus marched into the room. When the Black gave the look of incredulity, his first instinct was to find a hole and hide himself. But of course that wouldn't do. Only when Regulus mocked his ability at being discrete did his reserves of courage come upon him. "Well, Regulus, I'm not quite in the mood for an arguement today." he retorted. "So watch your tone and leave me be." And with that he began to stride out of the ward.

Regulus spares a gaze toward Galahad and a pitying shake of his head, but spares no words for the Weasley. Glancing back toward the two students, Regulus says, "Forgive that bit of unprofessionalism. Weasley is… well…" There is a slight shake of his head before he smiles once more. Morrow's offered hand is taken into Regulus' and there is a firm grip of his hand and shake before he offers his hand toward Anson. "Morrow Selwyn and… Anson Abbott, yes? The nurses gave me a slight briefing, but I am actually hoping to hear your own personal accounts of what happened?"

Withdrawing the hand from Regulus - and casting a momentary look askance toward his acquaintance who ignores her gesture entirely.. oh well.. - Morrow musters one of her most charismatic smiles, looking delighted to be the focus of the handsome Black's attention. Even if she does have to share the spotlight with Abbott. Let's see what we can do about that.

Nodding in assent as Reggie echoes the given names, she speaks up smoothly before the blue-haired boy can. "It happened to me, first. All rather dramatic, actually.." Once she's certain of the man's attention, the brunette reclines a little deeper in her pillows, taking on the tale with the expertise of a skilled narrator. Or actress, anyway. "I remember feeling a little.. odd, in the morning. I had plans to entertain guests, and was picking out what I'd intended to wear?" The questioning nuance implies he must understand precisely what sort of dilemma that task can be. "And then, out of nowhere, I had these.. claws." She hooks her fingers demonstratively. "Well, naturally I assumed that I was delirious. Coming down with something. I did get awfully hot.." She pauses, thoughtfully. "Though, looking back, that was probably to do with the fur.. anyway. I took myself back to bed for a nap."

Airily shaking an errant strand of dark hair out of her eyes, she continues, relishing every moment. "The next thing I know, someone's waking me up." Morrow nods subtly in Anson's direction, lips twisting in displeasure. "And.. well, my first instinct was to erm.. bat him around a bit. I wasn't really myself by then, you see. It's as though.. as though the animal had taken over? And I was simply watching. Oh, I was a tiger, incidentally." She gestures vaguely at the feline ears peeking through her gleaming tresses. "Rather a fine specimen, too, I'm told."

Despite almost being pushed to his wits' end, Galahad managed to contain his fury within his mind. "Come on." he said to himself. "This isn't worth a quarrel. Or a fight, for that matter." Realizing that his reasoning wasn't working, Galahad pulled a small bottle out of a pocket. "-Drought of Peace- MacDiarmada Apothecary". Taking a drink from it, the man instantly felt better. Suddenly, the account Morrow will certainly be giving starts sounding interesting…even if he had to endure a Black's presence. Galahad leaned against the wall of the stairwell, and decided to listen to what Morrow has to say.

"She was a magnificent tiger," Anson assures Regulus. His golden eyes make it hard to read his true intent, but there's a smile with a great deal of mischief in it. "She was quite hard to subdue." The corners of his eyes crinkle slightly. "I Stunned her first in the living room of her apartment, and then out in the Park. She'd snuck out the window while I went for help, do you see." Anson sweeps bright blue hair off his forehead with one hand.

"Constable Angle was very helpful in subduing her." He clears his throat, looking almost bashful. "I, well, offered myself as bait. The second time. Morrow was quite pleased to oblige." He glances sidelong at the kitten-eared girl. "She landed on me when she was Stunned, and — looking back — that must be where I got it." Whatever it turns out to be.

"I'd been sitting with Morrow here when I started to change," he continues. "It started at my fingertips. Worked up my arms. It was.. it was all very painful. I don't remember everything that happened, but I remember a lot of pain." As he speaks, his voice goes more quiet, reflective. None of the bluster of moments before. "My wing was cut. And my other wing was stuck in a shirt-sleeve. I remember that." He goes silent now, flexing his jaw, and rolls back onto his back.

Regulus listens to the account from Morrow with interest, even drawing forth his wand and directing it toward a sitting chair which lifts and floats across the open space toward him, where he sits between the two beds. His eyes shift toward Anson as the boy speaks up and he nods slowly. "A tiger and a… peacock?" he questions toward Anson with the latter, a gracefully arcing brow marking his curiosity. "And there was no bit of magic to bring on these transformations that you can recall? No Transfiguration attempts gone sour? No mislabeled potions?" He carefully masks his suspicion of it being youthful inexperience to bring on the changes. "You woke Miss Selwyn, then?" Regulus questions. "Did you not think it foolish to wake a sleeping tiger?"

The girl looks ever so slightly peeved when Anson snatches up the thread of the story - or so one can assume by the slow flattening of her ears and the folding of her slender arms across her midsection as she looks to him. Perhaps fortunately for the golden-eyed boy, there's a mild distraction in the background. A healer across the room looks up from his ambulatory screen as a nurse briskly approaches, having been taking notes on a still-slumbering labrador that's presumably actually a witch or wizard. Morrow's blue eyes trail the young woman, mostly out of idle petulance and not wishing to look interested in her companion's account of things. Contrary little creature. And, as such, she's eavesdropping on that quiet conversation, instead.

"..a Miss Prince.. another transformation.."

Selwyn's brows arch, striped ears pricking alert. "..Samira." she murmurs, entirely to herself. As the healer promptly starts heading for the doorway, with a swift aside to a passing orderly to fetch a calming draught, the brunette belatedly offers a distracted reply to Regulus' questioning. "..no. No magic. And I happen to be rather good at transfiguration, thank you." Throwing back the blankets, and her magazine along with them, she swings her legs out of bed on the other side, easing her bare toes to the floor with a wrinkle of her nose. It's cold! Attired, rather endearingly, in a long, sleeveless nightgown in an old-fashioned chemise style - borrowed, presumably, rather than her own choosing - the young lady without further ado follows daintily after the departing professionals, casting a conspiratorial glance toward Galahad and bringing her finger to her lips, before slipping out into the hallway. Follow Morrow here...

Galahad, is his magically induced calm, was a more than willing listener even to the most boring subjects in the world, like debates of Goblin rebellions, let alone such an intriguing matter. There was one nagging thought in his mind though. He had come to St. Mungo's to do something, and now he couldn't remember it…

Anson stares at Regulus, his features growing stiff. "It wasn't magic gone awry," he says flatly. And then, reluctantly, "At least not in our cases." His golden eyes blink once, twice. "I assure you, sir, waking a sleeping tiger was not my intention. She'd invited me over. The door was open. I heard something in the bedroom while I was looking for her. It happened to be a tiger." He shrugs, falling silent, a sullen look of teenage resentment on his face as he gazes between Regulus and Galahad. Morrow's exit — and her last word — excite a worried frown in that direction.

The potion's effects were starting to wear off. In his absent-minded peace, Galahad obscurely remembered checking his pocket watch. Then, a realization. He remembered. "What am I doing here? Listening to medical history?" He thought. "No, I came here to see Frank." And with that, Galahad made one last decisive step, and he was out of sight.

Regulus holds his hands up and says, "I was not intending to imply any ineptitude on your parts, but given my position, you must understand that such questions must be asked. I see many things in my Department within the Ministry. You would be surprised at the number of capable witches and wizards that manage to have magic get away from them. It is a curious occurance… A tiger, a peacock, a bird in Merlin Square. Not that the two of you are connected to that woman…"

Anson raises his brows slightly, head canting to one side. "Not so far as I know, no. Never caught a name. And there was also a wildcat. Dunno who she was, either." He shrugs his shoulders. "But I was here, in St. Mungo's, when it happened to me. Plenty of people can tell you I never touched a wand." Absently rubbing at his right arm, he continues. "Oberon Lestrange, for one." There is unmasked venom in his voice when he says the name. "And it is odd, this thing. Transforming. You can believe me, if I knew what caused it, I'd fess up in a heartbeat."

Regulus nods along with the boys words as if he had been told the same information before. "I suppose that about matches up with what I had suspected. And a Lestrange has met the transformation too… interesting. One of the high families…" No doubt thinking of his own family name.

"Three," corrects Anson mildly. "Abbott and Selwyn as well." He lies back on his pillow, some of the sullen anger leaking out of him. "Lestrange isn't infected, so far as I know," he continues. "He was just there when I transformed." A glance out toward the hallway. "There's going to be more like this." His frown deepens as he stares up at the ceiling. "Is it Dark Magic, sir? Some sort of curse?"

Regulus can only shake his head, his dark eyes on the boy laying atop the bed as he says, "Honestly, we do not yet know. If it passes from one person to another, then that lends itself more toward some form of sickness rather than a curse. Do you think there is someone cursing these people? Someone you and Miss Selwyn would both have to worry about?" This last is asked with an interested tone of voice.

Anson considers — and it seems that he does have a candidate, at first, the way his brow furrows. But then he shakes his head. "Nobody that's this talented," he says. "This'd be an adult, to create a magical disease like this. It's almost like lycanthropy, isn't it? Spread through contact, causes a transformation.." The boy blinks, perhaps remembering that he's meant to be nothing more than a pretty head, and shuts his mouth. "Sorry, sir. It just.. I've just been reading up on magical diseases and curses lately." There are, in fact, a stack of text books on the table next to his bed.

Regulus considers this for a moment as he says, "I suppose it could be somewhat similar to Lycanthropy, though differing obviously in the fact that the infected do not turn into the same beast and terrorize the night. Also, it does not seem to have any obvious linkings to the lunar cycle…" His eyes drift toward Anson's hair and he says, "Werewolves also don't seem to keep traits of their animal counterpart, like Miss Selwyn's ears."

"No, that's true, sir. These transformations have other differences as well. They all tend to last only twenty-four hours, for one thing." Anson can't help himself, now that he's started talking. He props himself up on his elbows. He turns his golden eyes on Regulus. "I don't know the origins of lycanthropy. It wasn't in my text-book. Or I.. well, I missed it, if it was. Did it start out as a curse?" He falls silent for a few moments before continuing. "We don't even know for sure that the bird-lady was the first. Wouldn't that be the place to start, sir? Finding the first?"

Regulus shrugs his shoulders lightly and says, "Lycanthropy is a curse, though I am not familiar enough with its origins to know how it first came about. Perhaps one of the Wolf Catchers with the R.C.M.C. would know more of that." The way that Regulus speaks of the werewolves reveals his distaste for those poor souls. "That would be a good place to start, yes. Though I am also curious if those who maintain the characteristics of the animals they transform into maintain the benefits of those transformations. Like Miss Selwyn's ears. Is her hearing enhanced beyond that of normal human capabilities? Can you see as a Peacock sees?"

There is a long silence from Anson. When he speaks, his voice is careful. It's as though he's thinking the words out as he says them. "It's.. it's hard to say, really. I've always seen like this. Or at least, it doesn't seem different. But at the same time, it does. That doesn't make sense, I know, but — there's a color that comes off of your tie that doesn't really have a name. It's.. cool. A soft color. But your face has a warmer shade, beneath your skin." He trails off, sighing, his golden eyes fixed on Regulus. "I don't really know. Maybe I always saw this way. Maybe I didn't. It's like trying to remember what pain feels like."

Regulus' brow furrows in concentration as he considers this bit of information. After a brief moment he questions, "Are you saying that you can see the heat coming from my cheeks? Is it the same when you look at a light bulb?"

"Brighter. Painful, really. From a lightbulb. But there's also the lightbulb. It's like the one and the other, one is over the other. Does that make sense, sir?" He's trying — that much is obvious. But it's equally obvious that the words don't make much sense to him, even as he says them. "Maybe it's the heat," he offers. "But it's more than that. Or at least, I see cool things too, and.." He shakes his head. "I'm sorry. I don't really understand it."

Regulus shakes his head slowly and says, "Do not apologize, Anson. You are one of the first cases that we know of for this particular set of circumstances. It is natural to be overwhelmed with the new sensations. Just take things slowly, and when possible, tell the Healers what you think will assist them the most." Obviously noticing the boy's unease at his inability to describe his circumstances he says, "So are you for Puddlemere or Appleby?"

"Appleby, of course." Anson seems instantly more comfortable — a smart move on the adult's part, moving the topic to Quidditch. "Palancher's a genius. The tactics he comes up with.." He shrugs slightly, smiling. "They're going to win this year for certain. Especially as they brought Bobbie Riggs over. She's one of the best Chasers I've ever seen play. And I'd know." There's that eager, egotistical, nature resurfacing.

Offering the boy a grin, Regulus shakes his head and tsks softly. "And here I thought that you and I were going to be tight friends. Puddlemere all the way." Regulus laughs lightly and says, "You seem to know a good deal about Quidditch. I take it you play?"

Does he play? "I'm going to be Gryffindor's Captain by the time I graduate," Anson states. There's no doubt in his voice. His gold eyes are unblinkingly intense. "I'll be starting for Gryffindor this year as a Chaser. And of course, there's summer camp." His smile is slow and predatory. "And I know there'll be scouts at the games. I hear one guy from Ravenclaw got a trial — for Puddlemere, you'll be pleased to hear, sir."

Regulus laughs and says, "Well Puddlemere does know talent." He smiles pleasantly enough and says, "Well I hope the Healers can get you all cured up in time for the Quidditch Camp."

"I could be bleeding from my eyes and I'd get to Quidditch Camp," says Anson with a laugh. "I've a great deal of education to soak up. And some to dish out." Arrogant blue-haired git. He lies back onto his side. "But I've kept you for too long, sir. I wish I could've been more helpful."

Regulus laughs aloud at this and says, "Well I hope to hear great things in your near future Anson. And my best wishes for a speedy recovery." With that, Regulus stands and waves his wand at the chair which slides back across the room where it came from. There is a final nod, and then Regulus turns on his heel, hard soled shoes clacking on the tile.

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