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The Hanging Tree

Posted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:38 am
by Gabriel Warner
The thing that wizards didn't understand, Gabe thought, was that blood was blood was blood was blood. Whether magical or not, whether ethically sourced or not, blood was a powerful thing. And due to circumstances back around Christmas, Gabe had found himself in some quantity of blood that was not his own for once.

Of course, it would come along that he wouldn't have an opportunity to use the blood while it was still fresh. There was also only so much anticoagulant could do. But Cana, sweet Cana, had had a brilliant idea. Apparently, Lyssa's boyfriend, who had been such a delightful help in dealing with the Joel problem, had some equally darker interests in the potions realm. So Gabe had decided to don his teacher hat and ready the backroom for some potions lessons. Of course, these were the kind that would never be sanctioned by any respected magical learning institution--including Durmstrang--but valuable lessons they were nonetheless.

Gabe had closed the shop as soon as Cana and Trinity arrived, and ushered them into the back room where he'd been conducting his other experiments. The blood vials, which were starting to show mild signs of separation and coagulation against the preservative mixture he'd mixed into them, were lined up on the side bench, out of sight mostly, though he supposed someone at the back door might be able to see them. In the months he'd worked here though, he'd never had someone peak through the back door, as it butted so closely up to the woods adjacent to Hogsmeade.

Also lined up on the bench were a variety of herbs, pre-mixed potions, tinctures, and oils. A few bone powers and unfortunately deceased animals (most of which had been more ethically sourced than the blood had been) were sitting alongside them.

"Are we ready to begin?" Gabe asked, mostly to Trinity. Ignoring a subtle noise at the back door, he clapped his hands together with a smile. "Thank you by the way for helping us getting the blood. I know that wasn't the primary reason for our little adventure there, but it's always good to have a supply on hand, and I was getting ever so tired of using my own. I also appreciate the creativity back then. Revenge is always best when creative, I say," he grinned.

As he bustled around the benches, he put on his best teacher voice, which was not at all reassuring or authoritative and began showing Trinity the different pieces of equipment that Gabe and Cana had created.

"You have all of your standard equipment, of course. Cauldrons, measurers, stirring sticks. I prefer good old fashioned glass graduated cylinders, but blood potions are very corrosive and tend to work better in cauldrons. I do use a Muggle hot plate though. More uniform heating than fire, you understand," he gestured. "Anyway. Blood magic. Bad rep for something that can be used to very good ends. And bad ends. Just like most magic really. I mean you could use levicorpus to transport a body to a hospital or drop someone off a cliff, but you don't see that regulated, do you?" he asked rhetorically. "Blood's not kosher, admittedly, but I mean, we all make our allowances there too."

"There are multiple ways to mix blood into a potion. The first is oils, and we'll get to that in a second, but first, the most important thing to know is power. Power is...well it's power. And too much power can be good in a lot of senses, but bad in some. If you use blood for a healing spell and all you have is a sore throat, you're gonna be SOL. However, Cana and I are using it in a variety of potential potions for some pretty rough diseases and having great results in animal tests," he nodded to his boyfriend, who had given him prior consent to tell Trinity about some of their new attempts.

"But you're probably not going to want to use this blood for healing. Harvesting method matters and since we didn't get this from one of us and the method was rather violent, it'd probably better to use this to lasting effect."

Gabe smirked wickedly up at Trinity.

"Wanna make sure this bastard never comes near Lyssa again, just in case he forgets his last little lesson?"

Gabe heard another noise by the door and glanced up. He could have sworn he saw something through the small glass panes, but nothing became readily apparent quickly. Ah well. Perhaps he was still having some...lingering after effects.

Re: The Hanging Tree

Posted: Fri May 03, 2019 4:53 pm
by Trinity Peters-Stenhouse 
To say that Trinity loved magic was to say that he loved breathing, or loved eating, or loved sleeping. These were all actions he needed to survive, but the action itself was not important to him. It was the result that counted. Breathing gave you oxygen, eating gave you nutrients, sleeping gave you energy… magic gave you a reason to live.

Without magic, Trinity would have given up on life long ago. Long before he met Lyssa. Long before Cana and Gabe became his friends. Magic had been his friend. In some ways, magic made up so much of what he was. Magic and trauma and a late on slot of family.

When the group of them had attacked Joel, Trinity had felt things he had never allowed himself to experience before. He could understand what the Mayor got out of the Village. He understood the grave of power and the feeling of being strong. It had made him sick now, thinking about how he could understand why a man like that did what he did.

That hadn’t stopped him, however, from accepting Cana and Gabe’s invitation. Trinity knew full and well that Lyssa could take care of herself, but he was beginning to realize that she was like breathing or eating or sleeping or magic. He needed her in order to survive. A desperate part of him wanted to be the one to protect her. And if learning this new type of magic would help accomplish that, then so be it.

"Are we ready to begin?" Gabe’s voice broke though Trinity’s thoughts. They were standing among a display of herbs, spices, dried bits of creatures, and several things he didn’t quite recognize. Gabe went on to thank him for the blood, even though Trinity really had noting to do with that bit. "You have all of your standard equipment,” he continued, speaking on things Trinity was familiar with until he mentioned a “hot” plate. The boy had a hard time coming up with the imagery. “Blood magic. Bad rep for something that can be used to very good ends. And bad ends. Just like most magic really.” The man went on talk and Trinity tucked his words away in his mind like he did with lectures until something wrenched Trinity out of “student mode.” “"Wanna make sure this bastard never comes near Lyssa again, just in case he forgets his last little lesson?"

Just the thought of Joel looking at Lyssa made Trinity want to punch the bloke into a bloody pulp. The image of a beat and broken Joel was still fresh enough in Trinity’s mind that he could feel the blood on his hands. “Yew could do that? Yew could make sure he stays away?” The Mayor taught an eye for an eye, his parents taught to love all beings. If he chose this, would he be turning his back on his family? Becoming more like the man he hated? He didn’t know that, but he knew he would do whatever he had to in order to keep Lyssa safe.

Re: The Hanging Tree

Posted: Sat May 04, 2019 3:50 pm
by Cana Havich
Cana loved Gabriel as surely as the sun rose in the East, as surely as the moon controlled the tide, and as surely as ice turned to water turned to steam. He'd loved him ever since he was old enough to understand that how he felt about Gabriel wasn't the same way he felt about his older brother, and he knew he loved him in that way when he was old enough to notice that other boys tended to notice girls and he just didn't.

Cana knew he loved Gabe because he was brilliant and dark and full of surprises just like this. He'd known the older boy had been gathering blood for later when he'd asked Cana to help clean up the mess they'd made of Joel. He'd suspected that somehow he'd see the blood used again. But here was Gabe now using the blood to help Lyssa and even Trinity. If nothing else a curse on Joel would make for some satisfying closure for the blond boy.

He piped up when Gabe was talking about the uses for blood in potential medical potions.

"It's fascinating. You know Muggles have found ways to utilize blood in cures--particularly the Rhesus disease which effects so many infants. We're operating upon the same principle, only with a bit broader spectrum. we've found promising results for certain blood diseases within mice!" he said, bouncing on his feet a bit and smiling.

Despite his general reputation, Cana did enjoy helping people, particularly kids afflicted by diseases. Sure, it was definitely profitable to do so, but there was also a thrill he got out of being the brightest mind in a room, the only potential hope for some people. He thought it was a good quality. Some might deem it narcissistic.

As Gabe tempted Trinity into blood magic, Cana gently encouraged from behind. He knew Lyssa wasn't as squeaky clean as her image. As much as she loved Trinity (and he could tell she loved him), it had to be exhausting keeping up a perfect angel appearance all of the time for him. He was really doing his cousin a favor by corrupting her boyfriend a bit.

"The potion bit isn't as important in this part unfortunately, but we have to make do with older blood," Cana explained. "Of course, if the potion is wrong it doesn't work, but it's Gabe so we know the potion isn't wrong."

Cana looked up as he thought he heard something at the door, but didn't see anything of note. Turning back towards his friend and boyfriend, he waited for things to begin.

Re: The Hanging Tree

Posted: Sun May 19, 2019 12:24 am
by Eric Brandski
Eric didn't typically make unscheduled trips to Hogsmeade. He liked the village all right, but not well enough to go there more than he planned. The annual monthly trips were enough for him. It was plenty of time to make sure he kept his candy stalked and not too often that he got tired of the place.

Unfortunately, he was doing some makeup homework in potions and had run out of a specific ingredient. When he had gone to the class room to ask for it, he had been given a list and a slightly pleading look. Which was how he found himself walking towards the Apothecary.

Eric had tried the handle before he realized the sign said closed. Closed and locked. In the middle of the day? It was too late for lunch and too early for any shop to close for the day. He was sure there had to be someone there. He didn't want to go back without gathering the list.

Making his way around the back, Eric peeked in the window at the side door. And then immediately ducked away. The first thing he had seen was Cana's huge form. Actually, it had been the only thing he had seen before he had hidden. He let himself peek again. Cana wasn't alone. He was standing with Gabriel and a kid Eric recognized from the holidays.

What were they doing? Eric leaned forward, accidentally putting his weight on the door. The moment it creaked, he shot back and pressed his body the the wall. The three of them were obviously up to no good if Cana was there, but he couldn't figure out what they were doing. And he wouldn't be able to if he was caught. He would just have to not get caught.

Re: The Hanging Tree

Posted: Sun May 19, 2019 2:11 am
by Gabriel Warner
Gabriel was in his element. To an outsider that element might look like utter chaos, but for Gabe it was as comforting and predictable as having tea on a rainy day. As he readied the hotplate and retrieved some Muggle chalk sticks from a box, he began chatting.

"So the principles of the curse are simple--well, the potion aspect is simple. Cana compliments me too much with the implied complexity," he winked over at his boyfriend. As he crushed the chalk up in a mortar with a pestle, he continued. "It's a mixture of a few things. Oil--a carrier oil, any one will do really, chalk, nettles, and a few other thing that are mostly for flavor--not that...we're not eating it. I want to promise you we're not eating it. That would be like. So gross. It's totally expired," he stated, most notably ignoring the most concerning aspect of it being human blood.

"It's what you do after it's all boiled down," he said setting the pot to a ridiculously high, potentially unsafe heat.

Gabe grabbed a nearby scroll--G-d he hated scrolls over books, they were so extra--and showed Trinity the markings on the paper.

"It's an old banishment spell for dibbuks, but a witch a long time ago modified it specifically for men. I'm sure someone has a version for women somewhere, but I imagine it's not as well used. Anyway, we draw this on the floor, saw the spell, and boom! Anytime Joel so much as thinks of Lyssa, he'll feel incredibly pain. It won't kill him! That would be too good. But it'll make sure that his whole trigger response is completely and totally modified against Lyssa. And if by any chance he manages to overcome it and hurt her again--highly unlikely," he said strongly. "We'll just kill him. A last resort obviously, and you don't have to lift a finger this time. We'll all take care of it. Maybe even feed him to Bjørn or Cana's dogs."

Re: The Hanging Tree

Posted: Mon May 27, 2019 10:34 pm
by Trinity Peters-Stenhouse 
Trinity followed Gabe in his mind, nodding as the man spoke. He was absorbing all the information the best he could. It was a completely knew kind of magic for him. One he had never even learned theory on. If he was being honest, the thought of working with blood-- especially blood that wasn't his -- gave him the creepy crawlies. At the same time, however, the idea of learning new things called to him.

He was sure he must have made a face when Gabe mentioned flavor, because the man quickly reassured him that they would not be eating it. He'd had plenty of dishes that used blood in them, but the thought of drinking a blood potion hit him on a different level.

Trinity watched as Gabe unroll a scroll. He had found them a bit inconvenient in his learning. Honestly, the only times he had used them was to transfer spells to his notebook. This one had a new sort of symbol on it that Trinity was unused to. And the writing, if he wasn't mistaken, was Hebrew.

"It won't effect me, will it?" Trinity asked after Gabe explained what was going to happen. The thought of feeding a person to dogs was not a pleasant one, but at the moment, it wasn'this concern.
"If it goes wrong...." He couldn't imagine not being able to think about Lyssa. He would endure the pain-- or die from it if he had to.

Something, some sort of movement caught his eye, but when the boy looked over to the window, nothing was there. A bird, perhaps? Maybe his raven Felix had come to watch them.

Re: The Hanging Tree

Posted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 4:17 am
by Cana Havich
"It shouldn't effect you," Cana reassured. "We don't intend to put any one person in the middle of the circle. With three of us, even if it goes wrong, the effects will be dispersed into all three of us and therefore be lesser. So no one will die. Maybe get sick for awhile, but definitely no dying," he nodded. "And it'll be worth it not to have to clean up after the mess we made again."

Cana helps Gabe bend down and make the circle. His hands weren't as steady or familiar with the motions as his boyfriend's were, but he'd seen Gabe do it enough times that he was decent at following along.

"It can be painful," he finally admitted. "Like having the body aches from the flu. Survivable though and temporary. Unlike what Joel will feel, until he finally gets over thinking about Lyssa. If I'd been smarter I would have had plenty of forgetfulness potion prepared and fried his brain while we had him, but he didn't give us much warning before he showed up."

He knew the effects of too much forgetfulness potion of course. If anything, it was crueler then what they were doing now. Cana didn't particularly care. Joel's actions against Lyssa condemned him to a life time of suffering in his opinion.

He glanced back at the door one last time, making sure the coast was clear before gesturing for Trinity to join them in their little circle.