Truly and Sincerely {Gregory}

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Cana Havich
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Truly and Sincerely {Gregory}

Post by Cana Havich » Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:37 pm

It was a dark and stormy night. Well, perhaps stormy late afternoon was a better descriptor. The wind whipped high through the trees of the Forbidden Forest, sending a horrible howling sound across the grounds. Rain poured down in sheets, crashing against the castle walls with abandon. Lightning struck occasionally and more than once, Cana heard a sickening crack from a tree branch being struck.

Herbology had been canceled.

Fine by him.

Days like this brought out the worst in him. They reminded him of the day Signe died. The day he nearly died. People said that when a young child experiences trauma, their memory will block most of it out. And Cana's did--for the most part. But the sound of storms always put him on edge; always gave him an awful mixed of feelings. And even before the storm brewed up, he hadn't been having a good day.

His mail had arrived this morning, more than a little damp and horrifically scratched by an unrecognizable owl. The thing had only been saved from his wrath by the fact that all it truly destroyed was the cover of his wrestling magazine. Something about seeing Reigns' smug face torn up by a bird of prey made him smirk long enough to not thwack the owl with his destroyed mail. Kristian's letter explained. Apparently, his old owl Odin had finally passed. While Cana thought Odin was a grumpy old cuss at the best of times, his heart did break for his brother's loss. He should have been there.

He should have been anywhere but here, really.

As the day went on, and classes became modified or canceled, his mood soured even more. Free time meant free thought, and free thought in weather like this made him go to dark places in his mind. He'd tried to find solace in the library, but even here was causing issues. The long, tall windows allowed too much of the storm to come through. He cringed with each howl of the wind.

As he continued copying down notes from a Potions book that he wasn't allowed to remove from the library, he hoped some form of distraction would come by soon to keep his mind off of things. Maybe one of the girls he'd made friends with would magically appear if he thought about them hard enough? He'd take just about anyone at that point.

So when he noticed the shadow cast across his book, he looked up from his seated position to whoever it was that was gracing him with their presence.
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Gregory H. Masterson
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Re: Truly and Sincerely {Gregory}

Post by Gregory H. Masterson » Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:33 pm

There was so much to get done.

'Did all catastrophes have such ready excuses behind them?' Gregory wondered.
He had continued to write the letters that needed to get sent by the end of the week according to his schedule.

And all the while the clouds had continued to build, to grow dark, to show all the signs of becoming a a grand scale storm.

When the light dimmed and the candles and torches lit up, Gregory could no longer ignore it. He stood and began to look out the Ravenclaw windows, hoping for a sign, for that white spec that meant she was returning, that she'd changed her mind and was coming back.
But no, there was nothing.

Then the rain started lashing cruelly against the window, as though to physically drive him back. He was informed that Herbology was cancelled. He began to sweat.
Students began to come into the common room, celebrating the free time, playing or using the time to frantically study.
This was no good.
Gregory had swept his letters, parchment, quill and ink away, put his correspondence box back in his trunk in his room and gone to his place of solace, the library.

But even there, he found it impossible to relax, to concentrate. His eyes were inexorably drawn to the windows. Was she out there in the storm, carrying HIS letters?! Making sure he kept to his schedule? His all-important schedule, his miserable, consuming schedule? His wretched schedule!
Gregory found his fingers itching to clutch his hair and his stopped himself. This was ridiculous!
He needed to take himself in hand. Deep breaths. It was a storm. Ophelia had weathered countless of them before; he had to trust her.

Gregory shut his eyes, breathed in through his nose and out his mouth, slowly.
Settling his shoulders, he walked forwards at his normal pace, trying to regain control of his mind. There was one book he did need. A potion had been eluding him. As he passed by a table with a student, studying, he paused. There was his book. A feeling of frustration rose in him. Quickly, he damped it down. It was another bump in the rode, that was all. He came up to the desk and stood there, until the student noticed him. He smiled his most polite and meaningless smile.
"Good day. I wondered if I might borrow that book next. I trust you won't need it for an extended period of time." It occurred to Gregory that he did not recognize the student, which was only odd in that the boy looked like an older student and while Gregory didn't cherish warm and fuzzy thoughts about his fellow students, he did recognize the importance of at least noting potential future leaders. "You're new." He stated it as fact.
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Cana Havich
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Re: Truly and Sincerely {Gregory}

Post by Cana Havich » Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:15 pm

Cana noted the smile first. It was completely empty, all meaningless politeness and pomp. A great look really that never quite reached the blond's eyes. He could appreciate it really. It looked almost human, something he'd been completely incapable of grasping in the recent years. But his eyes were always dull recently, and slightly glassed from seeing too much horror. No one was capable of registering them as normal human eyes, he thought. Would it be too odd to ask for pointers, he wondered? Ah, probably. Cana then refocused on what was being said.

Looking down at his notes and back up, he shrugged a bit.

"Almost done. If you're willing to wait maybe another five minutes. Just have to record the last few steps for further study," he explained. "Trying to see if any modifications can make it more efficient." He would elaborate if asked, but he found that most people weren't as interested in the vagaries of potions like he was. He'd looked back down to continue writing, when the boy once again snapped him out of his thoughts.

"You're new."

"Yes," he stated with equal authority. "My aunt is Professor Delaney. I came here with her and my cousins from Gammla Uppsala School of Sei∂r in Sweden."

He set down his pen and stood up. This fellow seemed the polite sort, so Cana looked down at him (well, physically at least--he couldn't help how tall he was) and put out a hand for him to shake.

"Cana Havich. I'm afraid we might be in different years and Houses if we haven't met yet. Sixth year Slytherin."

He wondered if that would affect how he was treated. There was a lot of pointless rivalry here he'd noticed. Over sports, he could understand. Over house points, perhaps some friendly competition. But the level that some people took it to was ridiculous, he'd found. Those in his own House were just as guilty of it too.

There was also the matter of his name. He'd run into a few people who were familiar with his family here, but not too many. It was...oddly nice to not have rumors of blood magic and other unpleasantries following you around everywhere you went. Scaring people got tiring. He wondered what Bjørn and Kristian and Gabe would think of this newer, calmer Cana. He hoped they'd still all like him.
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Gregory H. Masterson
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Re: Truly and Sincerely {Gregory}

Post by Gregory H. Masterson » Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:32 am

Gregory wasn't used to being surprised.

The fact that he had now been surprised no less then 3 times in as many minutes was a surprise in itself. While a most interesting development, he couldn't say he was very comfortable with it. So many all at once was quite discomfiting.
First of all, the student had mentioned modifying the spell - which showed a sharp mind of a kind that could prove worth while - to some degree. Most Hogwarts students simply struggled to LEARN the spells. Gregory wanted the book to modify the spells, as well.
That bore looking into.
The question was whether this boy could live up to his claim.

Secondly, his aunt was a professor there. That meant he was definitely worth noting, for future reference if nothing else.

Third, this Cana was taller than Gregory. He hated how much that took him aback, but it did! Not many students who were YOUNGER than he was was taller than his 6'2"! He found himself having to keep himself from craning his neck back. He did not like being shorter.
Still, that was a petty thing and he would get over it.

Cana Havich. He would ask Aunt Mabel about the family. She would know something of them, surely.
Gregory shook his hand more sincerely than he would have a moment ago.
"Gregory Masterson. A pleasure. I'm in Ravenclaw, seventh year. Please, take your time." He sat down, shoving back the unsettled feeling that it gave him to become even SHORTER than the giant before him.

Suddenly, his schedule had changed. This was an un-looked for landfall. It would be fool-hardy of him to discount this new-comer.
He looked at him closely. Sweden wasn't known for producing sons with such dark coloring. But then, Professor Delaney wasn't fair either. interesting. "Forgive me for interrupting. Your former school must be advanced. Most students here wouldn't be trying to adjust the potion. Actually, I was going to attempt it, myself. May I ask what you were hoping to do? I was hoping to condense it into 5 steps."
His eyes had warmed with interest.
"Gamma Uppsala? Is there any connection between the Yngling dynasty and the establishment of the school? How does the Muggle traffic to their sacred places disrupt the secrecy of the magical community there?" He gave a little laugh. "My apologies. I know you're studying. There is just surprisingly little information on the Swedish community."
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Cana Havich
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Re: Truly and Sincerely {Gregory}

Post by Cana Havich » Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:23 am

Cana smiled politely at the handshake. It seemed the normal thing to do.

"Likewise, and thank you," he smiled placidly, and sat back down. Then it was his turn to be surprised. He shouldn't be, he supposed. After all, he'd been told that Ravenclaws were some of the school's best and brightest. Curiosity would be the order of the day after all. Even the old ratty hat upstairs had told him he would be a good fit, if not for his bucket loads of ambition. Cana secretly thought that all his smarts would be a waste without the ambition to back it up though. What in the world would he do with intelligence if not profit from it?

"It's not the school in particular," he waved off. "There's a different curriculum in a lot of ways, but I wouldn't say more advanced. I've been mostly taught by my family--well, father and grandfather at least. My mother is brilliant too, but she's not magical," he explained. "Our family business deals largely with potion and spell modification. It's a very profitable business, if you're good at it."

He sighed, not frustratedly, but tiredly and glared at the potion. "I think condensing it into 5 steps would be brilliant. But that isn't what I'm trying to do personally. I'm trying to find Muggle chemical equivalencies to Joberknoll feathers. I have a theory, you see. There are a good deal of Muggle diseases that effect the memory, and it would be great to find a stop-gap measure for them. Perhaps not a cure--not for profit reasons," he corrected quickly, so as not to seem too callous, even though he had thought of it, "But because I'm not entirely sure how to undo the damage already done to the brain. That's more of a grandfather problem. Since this potion uses them, I'm trying to see if it's perhaps the reaction of the other ingredients overlapping with the feathers that make it effective."

It was a mouthfull of information, that he wasn't entirely sure Gregory cared one whit about, but he wasn't going to let the question go unanswered. He wasn't particularly looking for attention with it either. Cana was one who was just fine without public recognition--he got enough of that for his looks alone.

"Gamma Uppsala? Is there any connection between the Yngling dynasty and the establishment of the school?"

Cana raised his eyebrows. This guy was definitely very smart. Probably smarter than anyone else he'd met so far at Hogwarts. Intriguing.

"Sort of," he finally settled upon saying. "There was a wizard from Iceland who was along with Ingjald's family when he slayed all the kings and jarls at his territory. The wizard was a Seer who had predicted Ingjald's victory. As a reward, he gave the wizard, named Hrrafna Floki, a great collection of halls near the sacred site. Floki was very dedicated to the gods, and built the school for boys and girls who could use sei∂r--magic."

"How does the Muggle traffic to their sacred places disrupt the secrecy of the magical community there?"

Cana shrugged. "It doesn't. Not really. There are enough wards on the place to keep people out. It's also labeled as a private religious site, as well, which gets plenty of people away."

"My apologies. I know you're studying. There is just surprisingly little information on the Swedish community."

"They like it that way, I think," Cana grinned. "Gives more of an air of mystery. I'm one of those heathen Norwegians though--well, half Norwegian--so I'm willing to spill all the secrets. I think that's one of the reasons my family is so scandalous really. Clearly not the working with Muggles," he shrugged. Better to get the Muggle mother and Muggle community out of the way first. Better to know whether or not you were dealing with someone unsavory. Not that Cana was of particular good quality of character. But even he had his limits.
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Gregory H. Masterson
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Re: Truly and Sincerely {Gregory}

Post by Gregory H. Masterson » Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:44 am

A potions and spell modifications business.
Gregory's opinion and view of this young man had changed so often in the last few minutes, he was practically dizzy!
Definitely this Cana was someone to cultivate.

That was a business he wanted to keep tabs on, make deals with and use. If they were based out of Sweden, there wouldn't be much competition on the London scene, either.
He listened intently to Cana's plans for the potion he'd been working on. It was all rather brilliant. True, Gregory had never thought about helping the elderly or those with memory problems, but those people simply weren't his focus.
The core skill and question involved in solving it were well worth working on and figuring out.

Gregory's own mind was whirring away at the possibilities. "Fascinating. If I could get my hands on some Joberknoll feathers, would you consider a partnership in research? You can have all the results regarding your potion, I would just be very interested in the process and what we might discover. If you'd rather not, I understand. I don't generally like to do my private research with anyone else, but you seem to have an intellect worth working with - at least once." He smiled, making it seem more like a joke.

Cana was informative about Gamma Uppsala as well, for which Gregory was grateful. It was a gift of time and information and he understood that.It was very interesting to him, in any case. Someday, after graduation, he might have to go up there and see what it had to offer a questing mind. If he had the time.
"Very good." He murmured.
Then Cana spoke of his family a bit. Of course, a willingness to spill secrets wasn't something Gregory liked, either, but he understood what Cana mean. He thought.
Gregory waved a hand. "I believe most families have their scandals. What shocks me is what counts as scandals and what doesn't. My father and I, for instance, have extremely different ideas on the subject. I'm sure that here you'll blend right in. There are so many people here from so many backgrounds, you'll have to fight through the scandals to be heard. Muggles shouldn't do it. Most of us have Muggles in our family somewhere. I have a Muggle Step-mother."

A crash of thunder shook the books on the shelves and Gregory whirled around. He had become so involved that he had forgotten about Ophelia!
For one second he took in the horrifying image of the storm outside, then he closed his eyes and turned back to Cana, hoping he didn't look like he felt.
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Cana Havich
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Re: Truly and Sincerely {Gregory}

Post by Cana Havich » Sat Sep 22, 2018 3:04 pm

Cana was slightly surprised that Gregory seemed interested in his family's business, as well as the potion he was working on. A lot of people either thought the concept too complex and challenging, or too boring, or they weren't interested in helping Muggles. But Gregory seemed to think that the modification was fascinating. Cana smiled a genuine smile and nodded.

"I'd love to have a second opinion, honestly. It's a lot more difficult to keep in contact with my father and grandfather here, especially since I don't have an owl. Back home I would just borrow a friend's or one of my cousins'. Not sure how much I trust the school owls just yet," he shrugged. "I'm sure they're okay, but it is a long journey to Oslo. They're trying to open up a branch in London, which would make things easier while I'm here, but we're running into some issues," he griped. "Not entirely sure why."

He genuinely wasn't sure why. For all the issues his family had, the company was more or less spotless in reputation. They had unions, they had health care, they had retirement and severance plans, and they had plenty of paid time off. It had to have been the name Havich on the building that was keeping them from succeeding in this instance, and that infuriated Cana to no end. Grandfather, Father, Aunt Thorunn, and formerly Aunt Jetta had worked themselves to the bone to build this industry up, and no one truly appreciated it the way Cana felt they should have. And he knew that when he, Bjørn, and Lyssa took the company over, they would face the same challenges.

As Gregory spoke of scandals, Cana grinned.

"I wouldn't say my family's scandals are particular out of the ordinary in the grand scheme of things," he shrugged. He knew there were plenty of people at Hogwarts with the darks arts in their family's history, and an illegitimate child here are there was incredibly common for families of all statuses. People treated his family differently though; or at least they did back home. It wasn't the least bit fair, in Cana's eyes. "We just have more recognition back home. People get jealous of success," he shrugged. It sounded arrogant, but it was true. There was no reason, in Cana's eyes, for them to be singled out as a group.

As the thunder cracked, he felt himself grip the table hard and his eyes went wide.

Blood, metal, glass breaking, crying, then no crying at all.

He could feel himself breathing hard, and he looked up at Gregory to see how badly he had just embarrassed himself. But Gregory seemed to be preoccupied with his own thoughts, which seemed to be quite unpleasant as well.

"Are you okay?" Cana asked with genuine concern. "I--I don't like storms either," he confessed. "Bad memories."
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Re: Truly and Sincerely {Gregory}

Post by Gregory H. Masterson » Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:25 am

The concern in Cana's voice broke through Gregory's miasma. It took him aback, actually.

"Oh - yes. I just . . . I sent my owl out there with a message, before it got so bad. I just hope she didn't try to fly through that." He had to stop talking about it. He didn't want to sound so . . . emotional.
In any case, Cana didn't look so good, either. Gregory had looked down and noticed the young man's knuckles had whitened as they gripped the edge of the table.

"Bad memories." He said.

Gregory nodded. He was curious, of course, but he didn't expect Cana wanted to talk about it. Gregory wouldn't have.

"I'm sorry." Was what he said. He concentrated on what had been said before the crash of thunder.

"People are jealous of success" Cana had said. That was so true. How often and viciously did his step-mothers fight each other, not because they cared about his father (mostly, anyway) but because of the business' success. The Galleons called to them.
"My own family battles with success, as you said." Gregory spoke. "Even within the family. There's very little love lost there. One has to be prepared for it at the start."
He thought of his father's third wife (or was it the fourth?) leaving spelled silverware that turned to jelly when one picked it up and stealing the rest when she had been forced to leave the house. That had been quite a surprise!

Gregory smiled, one of his rare, genuine smiles as Cana accepted his offer to work together. "Excellent! I have - a family member who has collected all sorts of odd things in her lifetime. I'll write her and see if she has any Joberknoll feathers. I am sure that your schedule is full, but my Saturdays have some leeway. We can work seperately and then meet and discuss our findings, brainstorm a little. What do you think?"
For a brief moment, he had hesitated, wondering if he should offer Cana the use of Ophelia - but he decided against it. She was so temperamental anyway. If she survived this flight, Gregory would want her rested up and would be very careful about sending her out again!
Besides . . he had never let anyone else borrow her before - not even his sister, Hazel. He simply couldn't do it.
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Re: Truly and Sincerely {Gregory}

Post by Cana Havich » Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:36 pm

Cana looked out the window, hoping that Gregory's owl had made it through the storm all right. He couldn't imagine knowing his dogs back home were outside in such weather, especially in more dangerous areas. While Cana personally had never seen an owl as a viable pet, he knew plenty of people who adored their birds, just as much as he loved the two big dumb mastiffs back home.

"I will hope she is safe as well," Cana replied to Gregory, happy that the other boy didn't question him about his own bad feelings. He'd made several acquaintances here, and a couple of friends, but he wasn't really willing to talk to any of them about Signe yet. Despite being nearly 11 years ago, he would never fully be over it. Even if Signe had lived, he had nearly died himself. And it was awkward to bring up at best.

He nodded at Gregory's comments about family.

"I've definitely seen some family's succumb to it unfortunately. Thankfully, most of my family is fairly stable. We have our spats with each other, of course, and there are a few people I'm not particularly fond of, but overall, I'd say we're all right. Well--" he added. "I actually haven't met my maternal grandfather's new wife yet to know much about her. Besides that she's younger than my mother," he said, deadpan. "I"m so certain she's a woman of high quality." His sarcasm could have cut through steel. He was close with both his maternal grandmother and his mom's first step-mother, though, so his opinions about his grandfather's revolving door of wives was quite well known to all of them.

"Saturdays sound good to me," he replied after a little bit of thought. Since I'm newer, I don't have a ton of plans around that day. Oh, and I'm perfectly willing to pay your relative for the feathers if she wants anything for them. I don't want to insult with the offer, but I don't want to seem ungrateful either," he explained. It was always awkward, even around other people from upper class backgrounds to know exactly what was appropriate and expected. He had listened carefully to his parents, his grandparents, and important people in his life, and still the manners expected of him often eluded him. He hoped the offer of money wasn't taken as an insult.
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Re: Truly and Sincerely {Gregory}

Post by Gregory H. Masterson » Thu Sep 27, 2018 6:40 pm

A creeping, strange feeling was coming over Gregory as the boy spoke.

It was all . . .oddly familiar sounding. Not the Grandparents part. Gregory's more distant family didn't interact with them anymore. He didn't want to inquire any further. When he left home each school term, that was exactly what he did - LEAVE it. Right where the manor pile sat.
It was none of his concern while he was at school. He preferred it that way.
He could focus better.

For one moment, he considered having nothing more to do with Cana - it would possibly remind him too much of his own family situation, but then he realized he was being ridiculous. They weren't the same. His 'situation' was nothing new to him and he was going to act like a little girl, running from a scary story.
He was strong enough to focus through it, now.

Settling his shoulders, he forced himself to listen to Cana.
Thankfully, Cana didn't continue on about his family, but instead shifted to the much more interesting subject of the feathers. Surprised for the umpteenth time, Gregory was pleased to note that Cana had an appropriate respect for people who went to trouble and expense for a project. Still, he waved away the offer of payment.
"My relative doesn't need the money and she wouldn't be interested in it, anyway. I think that what we may learn and be able to come up with in this study is all the payment I require."

Gregory looked at Cana thoughtfully. "I realize we are still in school here and feelings and aspirations change, but - do you think you'll be taking over your family's business someday?"
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