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 Welcoming the Unexpected

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Russel Baudin
Main Character
Former Flamme
Russel Baudin

Total Posts : 54
Age : 34
Location : Vichy, France
Joined : 2008-08-22

Character
Job: Auror
Status: Single
Blood: Half blood

PostSubject: Welcoming the Unexpected   Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:17 am

It was dark out and the long lines that the shadows of the furniture in the living room cast across the floor reminded Russel of the great forest back at the Academy. For a minute as he sat in the solitude, Russ' mind wandered back to the times when he, Julian, Jacob, and Maria had all walked the halls of Beauxbatons as students. Quite some time had passed, and the former Flamme could only recall some bitter memories that swirled about in his mind from some of the crazy antics the young teens used to pull. A smug smile graced the man's face as some of his more finer days at school came flowing back to him. Naturally there were the Quidditch days with Julian and Jacob, the trio an unstoppable force to be reckoned with. However, not all the memories were of good times. One memory in particular that Russel had hoped to have wiped from his mind was of that night him and Veronique broke up...officially. It was also the very same night that he left Beauxbatons for the last time, and since then, he hadn't been back.

Russel stood up momentarily and made his way over to the window. His dark eyes swept over the nighttime outside, the wind blowing the trees below in a slow, lazy manner. For a brief moment, the auror had the want to venture outside, borrow a broom, and just fly about the cool night air to tone down his temper. For some odd reason, the thoughts of this afternoon, when him and Julian had visited the engaged couple, had struck Russel somewhat odd, and he wasn't sure why. Perhaps it was that bit of his mind that felt reluctant about the wedding. With his mind once again floating back to those old school days, Russel remembered how he had kissed Maria, and created a whirlwind of bad events afterward. Veronique had gone absolutely insane when she had witnessed it, and then there was that whole issue with Maria that the two never really sorted out.

Truthfully, Russel still wasn't one hundred percent sure that the girl was ready to marry his former best friend...he only said former because he had been absent from their lives for such a time period. It really was a waste if you thought about it. The sound of shuffling feet brought Russ' attention from his own drifting memories towards the entrance. The dark curls of the brunette made it unmistaken who his visitor was. It surprised him that she was still up and about, while the others had gone off doing their own thing before to bed. The only reason Russel was still around was that him and Jacob needed to get fitted for their tuxedos early the next morning, and it was easier this way if Russ just crashed on their sofa for the night. Giving her an eyebrow raise, Russ questioned her presence at once.

"I haven't disappeared on you again, mother."

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Maria Doloresta-Daniels
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Former Eau
Maria Doloresta-Daniels

Total Posts : 89
Age : 33
Joined : 2008-03-05

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Job: Tutor/Law Student
Status: Married
Blood: Pure blood

PostSubject: Re: Welcoming the Unexpected   Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:20 am

“I didn’t- I wasn’t checking to see if you’d run off,” she corrected in her barely accented English as Maria stepped out of the shadows that once cloaked her.

The brunette’s curls were tousled, and her slightly rumpled negligee paired with a hastily thrown dressing gown when she remembered that she had company, showed that she had indeed just came from bed.

“Not that I could stop you if you decided to leave.” Maria added as an after thought, “After fighting all those scary dark wizards, getting past little old me would be a breeze.”

She gave Russel a rather shy smile; he was so different now, it was hard to know how to behave around him. He was nothing at all like the good-humoured Flamme she knew back in her school days. Quieter, more reserved, almost broody- what had changed? And why?

Maria motioned toward the kitchen, “I actually came to get a glass of water. Would you like one?”

After a preganat pause, she decided to offer in case water was not something Russel particularly want, "Or perhaps something stronger, if that's more to your liking?"

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Russel Baudin
Main Character
Former Flamme
Russel Baudin

Total Posts : 54
Age : 34
Location : Vichy, France
Joined : 2008-08-22

Character
Job: Auror
Status: Single
Blood: Half blood

PostSubject: Re: Welcoming the Unexpected   Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:58 pm

"Ahh, has little Miss Role Model given up her headstrong career of behaving like a teacher's pet now that she is about to be married so soon?" With a dog-like barrier of teeth that could be passed off as a smile, Russ got up from his leaning stance against the sofa and followed the scantily cad woman into the kitchen. Giving her a tepid eyebrow raise, Russ eyed the wine bottle that seemed to have appeared out of thin air in a matter of seconds. With hardly a flinching of muscles, Russel summoned two tall wine glasses that sat themselves aside the vintage bottle. Sheathing his wand just as silently and unnoticable as he had it drawn, the auror strode over to the bottle, reaching for it with his fully capable hands. With one mighty POP! the cork shot out, and the pleasant scent of the fruity delight permeated through the air. Giving Maria a grin, Russel poured out two healthy helpings of the dark blood-red wine. Sliding a glass over to the former Eau, Russ gave her a wild look. "Just two old friends having a celebratory drink."

With a wink, the crazy man slammed the glass back, taking a full mouthful of wine before remembering something. Dropping the glass to the counter, Russ merely licked his lips in satisfaction. "Well now, you'll have to excuse this dear boy for forgetting his manners..." He raised his glass at once, as if to give a toast to those in company. "To the happy couple, may they forever be, happy." Not even waiting for a response from Maria, Russ clinked his glass against hers. Feeling devious enough, he swirled the dark wine in his glass with a slow movement of his hand, eyeing the brunette quietly. "Not so bad, if I do say so myself,"

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Maria Doloresta-Daniels
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Former Eau
Maria Doloresta-Daniels

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Age : 33
Joined : 2008-03-05

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Job: Tutor/Law Student
Status: Married
Blood: Pure blood

PostSubject: Re: Welcoming the Unexpected   Thu Sep 03, 2009 9:10 am

For a man of his size and height, Russel moved quite silently; like a jungle cat stalking his prey in the night, she thought with a slight shiver. Having placed the bottle of vintage wine upon the counter, Maria turned to gather glasses from the cabinet before realising that he had in fact, gotten everything summoned.

To the happy couple, may they forever be, happy.

The glass of ruby-red liquid seemed heavier than usual in her hand as she managed to murmur the expected thanks and take the obligatory sip. There was something about his words that made her doubtful of his sincerity. The congratulations, from anyone else, would be one graciously given and accepted. Yet coming from Russel…it was more of mockery.

But no, that couldn’t be right. Russel was one of Jacob’s closest friends, the brunette dismissed her thoughts. He couldn't want anything but his happiness.

Still, Maria couldn’t help turning her face towards the living room, “Why don’t we go back to the front? It's a bit chilly in here.” she offered over her shoulder.

Even as she moved away, she could feel his stare continued to bore into her back, watching. Ridiculous, , Maria thought. She was being absolutely ridiculous. The witch took another deep sip from her glass, barely paying attention to the shimmering river Seine down below.

"Are you having trouble sleeping?" Maria enquired without turning back.

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Russel Baudin
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Former Flamme
Russel Baudin

Total Posts : 54
Age : 34
Location : Vichy, France
Joined : 2008-08-22

Character
Job: Auror
Status: Single
Blood: Half blood

PostSubject: Re: Welcoming the Unexpected   Sat Sep 05, 2009 10:07 am

Are you having trouble sleeping? As the steel eyes engrossed the female's image slowly, the auror was quick to consciousness. His inner workings were alive and ticking, and the thoughts immediately began forming in his brain, tempting him to speak at once. Of course it was almost natural of him to respond to her question with a stoic not any longer, if she had been wandering if his job interrupted his normal sleeping habits. Obviously it did, and before he started concocting his own potions to calm his spirits at night, Russel would awake from slumber several times a night, his wand already lit and aloft, searching the surroundings for signs of any disturbance.

"Not at all, your sofa is quite comfortable." With a curt nod towards the massive lump in the middle of the room, Russ' almost sarcastic sneer cut through the dim lighting, carrying his message across to the former Eau. He wasn't trying to be so asinine, but that was just the way he was programmed to act nowadays. He was being brutal in one extent, and the whole issue of friendship reigning higher than attitude differences should have been applied, but in his own defense, Russel was merely trying to act like his old, sarcastic comedic self. Too bad he was failing...

Watching the escapades of changing emotion upon Maria's face was really comical to Russel, and yet, it was almost haunting, as it only served to bring him back to some form of character lapse, as if her facial expressions was bringing them back to their school years, back when they would bicker one day, be best friends another, and on one occasion, be caught snogging under the trees. Boy, did that spark a fire in Russ' brain. Immediately, all of the sorrows and disappointing factors came rushing into the auror's head, flushing out almost everything he had learned about self-control. He accepted the change of emotion within himself, and reveled in the light that he lived apart from the rest of civilization, and worst of all, his friends.

"Honestly Maria, tell me, life beyond the halls of Beauxbatons, was it at all magical as they advertised?" He was being serious now, not exactly knowing how to live a normal life after graduating, even if his tone was somewhat kaniving. Russ never got the chance to settle down with anyone, or hold a normal job, once he graduated, he was Castel's potions bitch assistant for a couple of terms before finally getting the credentials he needed to apply to the Ministry as an Auror trainee. Then from there, its one big nasty mess of rhetoric and brutal soul-crushing endeavors before he was thrust into the cold hands of the wizarding world. Work was not exactly your average nine-to-five deal any longer, it consumed him 24/7. His work had become like a stationary dementor on his heart, sucking any form of happiness and childish behavior from him, leaving behind an empty shell that was cold, brutal, and one hell of a soldier.

At least there was Rhonwen, his prized white gyrfalcon, and sole companion out on the hunt. Some of Russ' work companions joked that Rhonwen would forever be the sole woman in Russel's life, given the fact that the efforts of advancement given to him by his late boss' daughter and field partner, Gisčle Vaux, were only met with one night stands and carefree sexual encounters in the field on Russ' part. Whatever anyone said, it didn't matter to Russel, he blamed himself for his shitty life, and would give anything to be in the company of those he had once loved...

It was by then that the stone man realized that Maria had said something, and his wine had gone unsipped for some time. He brought the glass to his lips and tipped the contents into his mouth. Wine wasn't exactly the drink to chug so, but it made him sleepy and taking potions every night wasn't exactly healthy. "I'm sorry, you were saying?" Taking the moment to glance over in Maria's direction and catching her gaze, Russ refilled his glass with a wave of his wand, and did the same for is lovely provider, he owed her at least that. Not once did he let his sights wander from her face, almost creepily was he too drawn in by the familiar features of the brunette.

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Maria Doloresta-Daniels
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Former Eau
Maria Doloresta-Daniels

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Joined : 2008-03-05

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Job: Tutor/Law Student
Status: Married
Blood: Pure blood

PostSubject: Re: Welcoming the Unexpected   Sun Sep 06, 2009 2:25 am

Not at all, your sofa is quite comfortable.

His terse reply made her wince, yet the witch steadied herself enough to respond, “I’m sorry. We’re aware that you’re probably accustomed to more... spacious accommodations, but Jacob doesn’t see the need to move into a larger space when it’s just the two of us living here.”

Maria paused, and added as a quiet afterthought, “But that may change.” The corner of the brunette’s mouth lifted up in a half-smile, “Our humble abode here is hardly a place fit to raise children.”

A glance around the living room alone was enough to prove her point. The creamy-beige armchairs (one currently occupied by the snoozing, resident feline Jolie), and intricately wrought glass furniture belonged in the pages of a magazine like Magic Décor, not Wizarding Family.

She rested her back against the glass doors, sipping her wine as she listened to Russel. Something must have crossed his mind for the sudden change in topic.

Honestly Maria, tell me, life beyond the halls of Beauxbatons, was it at all magical as they advertised?

The witch’s first reaction was to laugh; “It certainly wasn’t as easy or glamorous as they first made it out to be.”

“But in the beginning…in terms of excitement or “magical” well, yes, England was all that for me,” Maria smiled, “I got my freedom, and the chance to explore myself and what I wanted in my life. Still, not nearly as exciting or exhilarating as the first years of an Auror, I’d wager.”

Maria lowered her gaze to her wine glass, “Dear Russel. Sometimes I wonder…was it the adventure that attracted you? Or the thought of doing something worthy with your life?”

But he didn’t seem to have heard her the first time, and beckoned her to speak once more while filling her nearly empty glass to the brim. She dismissed his question, "It's nothing, hardly important. Just..."

Her soft amethyst met Russel’s, “I was just wondering if you were content with the “magic” of being an Auror. If your life’s not lacking in any way.”

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Russel Baudin
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Former Flamme
Russel Baudin

Total Posts : 54
Age : 34
Location : Vichy, France
Joined : 2008-08-22

Character
Job: Auror
Status: Single
Blood: Half blood

PostSubject: Re: Welcoming the Unexpected   Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:43 am

I was just wondering if you were content with the “magic” of being an Auror. If your life’s not lacking in any way.

The smirk that spread across his face almost too easily momentarily shook Russel's sanity, feline in nature of the cheshire kind was the look projected in the direction of his female companion, and the feeling of gloating tempted and ensnared the man's senses like the apple to Eve. His dark eyes lingering for a moment upon the raven tendrils that hung long and low about her pretty face, Russel imagined a time where he had not gone about his life altering journey, one in which the life of an auror was merely a day dream in the midst of the doldrums of his regular day job, one that he despised thoroughly of course. Naturally he would be well inside the ranks of their circle of trust, their little happy perfect life of 'home sweet home' and the disgustingly sickening weekly get-togethers where they would all get sloshed on expensive wine that their parents would abhor them for wasting money on, spreading joy and laughter from tales of their glory days at Beauxbatons. It was quite disturbing if you asked Russel. But as Maria had certainly pointed out, he had indeed chosen his career path, and like her own life, it had been indeed, magical to say the least.

“Bloody hell Mara, what do you think?” He blurted out a blunt and cold answer as if she was some novice trainee placed under his wing in the department who had just spoken up and asked the most idiotic and blatantly obvious question of her life. “Open your sheltered and pampered eyes my dear friend, does it look like I’m enjoying myself?!” Although not angry with her in any shape or manner, jealous perhaps but he wouldn’t let her know that right away, the idea that some people still thought that aurors were a happy bunch of campers making s’mores and telling ghost stories was complete and utter bullshit in his mind. Good and gracious Merlin, if only he hadn’t been so empty-headed and so easily manipulated! All the lies and tricks they had used on him to merely draw his attention in to the service, ever more so, he hated himself for falling for it, yet knowingly return again and again! Finding himself at a loss of words and thoughts, Russel paced the floor nervously, his pulse beating away a steady rhythm on the cool glass in his hands. Ever so gracefully the man lifted the drink to his mouth and emptied the contents at once, it was just one of those nights when slamming down wine was the only cure for loneliness.

“I hate it, ever single damn moment, I hate it all!” Once again, with the ferocity of a prairie lion, Russel roared into conversation, his better judgment speaking into his mind to lower his voice lest he would wake the rest of the household in a matter of moments. Having finished the glass, Russel merely conjured the wine bottle itself in place of the glass, taking a full swig and wiping his moist lips with the back of his hand, he gave Maria the once over, still slightly amazed that she hadn’t hexed the shit out of him already. “This is great wine by the way, what kind did you say it was?” The momentary lapse of anger in the man was clearly a dead giveaway that everything wasn’t alright, but another chug of the fruity nectar set Russel up on the right track of mind once again. “I mean, seriously, look at you and Jacob—you two are getting married! Julian’s holding his own as some great musical composer or something to the effect, and Jacques and Armelle are doing quite well for themselves I hear.”

He took another sip of the wine before offering the bottle towards Maria, whose glass appeared to only lower ever so slightly, so the auror tipped the bottle and filled it to the rim, nodding at her to drink up. Taking another sip for himself, and feeling a tad restless from the alcoholic effect, Russ turned his attention back to the woman’s question. “Merlin! Did you know that Veronique and I could have damn well married by now?! But no, I had to be the big man and prove to everyone that I was well worth a damn Sickle. And what do I have to gain from that, you might ask?” Russ looked straight at Maria as he paused to take a deep breath before slamming the rest of the bottle down and chucking the empty out the open window where a faint crashing noise could be heard a few seconds later. “The extent of any personable relationship I have is with my fucking pet bird.” Serious and stone faced, Russel plopped himself back down in his original seat. Grabbing his wand once more, the man summoned a bottle of something a little stranger than wine and helped himself at it before tossing the bottle to Maria. “Drink up Mara, it’s the night before you start your perfect little life. Merlin, freaking bless you.”

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Maria Doloresta-Daniels
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Maria Doloresta-Daniels

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Status: Married
Blood: Pure blood

PostSubject: Re: Welcoming the Unexpected   Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:29 pm


The witch couldn’t help but flinch at the audible sound of shattering glass. She had been careful to remain silent as Russel ranted; she didn’t dare interrupt him when he was clearly in such a strange state. But his words and his actions had prompted a spark of indignation in her that wasn’t there before. “I don’t think the neighbours or the muggles in the street down below would appreciate your littering, Russel.” she remarked rather scathingly.

Maria had caught the bottle he had tossed her way and peered at the label that glowed back under the pale, dim light of a nearby street lamp. Bourbon whiskey. Figures. He was going to get himself right down pissed. With another sideways glance to him, Maria realised that he intended for her to join him as well.

With a little wrinkle of her nose, she raised the bottle to her lips and took a swallow, conscious of Russel’s constant gaze on her the whole time. The man didn’t seem to miss a detail and it was rather daunting. She could hardly recognise him anymore when he was like this. The burning liquid slid down her throat, leaving a trail of fire in its wake and making her want to cough. But at least it wasn’t as bad as Firewhiskey. She’d take this stuff any day.

Glaring at Russel, she set the bottle defiantly down and crossed her arms over her chest. “Why are you still with the Aurors then?” Maria demanded. “Why don’t you just leave?”

“Russel—” she stepped forward to touch his arm, the annoyance in her eyes fading to one of concern, “You don’t have to stay with them. You don’t have to prove anything to them or – or anyone. You can come home.”

“It’s not too late. It’s never too late.” Maria’s voice was soft as she tried to reason with him, tried to coax him into seeing another point of view of what his life could be life. She would probably never understand the horrors that his work as an Auror had seen and led him to commit, and nor did she want to. But she knew that darkness had seemed to seize Russel and changed him into the stranger that stood before her. "I... I worry about you." she admitted quietly.


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Russel Baudin
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Former Flamme
Russel Baudin

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Age : 34
Location : Vichy, France
Joined : 2008-08-22

Character
Job: Auror
Status: Single
Blood: Half blood

PostSubject: Re: Welcoming the Unexpected   Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:40 pm

Russel shrugged his shoulders and merely blinked in response to the reprimand he was subjected to by his lovely companion, the tactless act was obviously nothing more than his signature methodology of dealing with his own muddled emotions and thoughts. Staying silent was the weapon of his choosing, his eyes narrowed in defense, or rather in offense as his expression screamed for the young woman to dare raise her voice in admonition once more. There was no concern for the consequences of his actions - something the wizard grew cautious of outside his everyday work.

Carelessly eying the brunette as she studied the bottle of the whiskey he threw to her, Russel experienced a sense of reverie as the silver moonlight struck her pale skin. His lips pursed into a smirk as she struggled with the jarring aroma of the liquor, albeit a classier taste than that of firewhiskey - that drink alone was used solely to wake the dead. Regardless of the foulness of the drink, Maria appeared collective as the liquid passed through her lips and down her throat. The auror admired the lack of a fit in reaction to the switch to something a little stronger than the usual bottle of vino he was quite sure she passed back and forth between herself and her husband-to-be every so often.

"Puts hair on your chest, you know," Breaking the silence between them, Russel toyed with his acquaintance, giving nod to the ridiculous encouragement his elders would say to him when he was just a lad and had his first taste of adult beverages. "Well, if there's one thing that the domestic life hasn't changed, it's your drinking capabilities." He paused as the bottle was set down and he retrieved it slowly. "At least the old Mara I knew is still there somewhere."

She advanced towards him as suddenly as her outburst had appeared, and should he have been one to shy away from such encounters, the auror would have taken a step back, but he stood firmly rooted to his position. The hair at the back of his neck did rise with certain curiosity as she placed a hand delicately upon his arm. The word choice she had chosen struck him blindly, yet perverted his thoughts at once.

"Home? What home would I come back to, Maria?" His eyes flashed anger and hurt, steps from pure outrage as his unbridled thoughts and emotions poured freely from their constraints. "I long left my parents behind, and with leaving Beauxbatons, any sense of family I had. Look at me, Mar, look at who I was. I was nobody."

Pregnant pause sheltered the woman from the horror of his own thoughts for a few moments before the tumultuous storm brewed up once more. Taking a full swig from the bottle, Russel withdrew from her hand's placement upon his arm. "I'm not like you or the rest of the gang for all that matters. Out of all of us, I was the one who had to get out and do something with my life. I needed a purpose."

Unable to look her in the eyes any longer, Russel finally broke his concentrated eye contact. Moving to the open window, he peered out at the river below decorated by the night sky. "Now you see why I can't leave the force. If I leave, I'm denying myself the only sense of purpose I've ever had."


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Maria Doloresta-Daniels
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Maria Doloresta-Daniels

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Status: Married
Blood: Pure blood

PostSubject: Re: Welcoming the Unexpected   Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:09 am

She couldn’t help feeling a little hurt as Russel pulled away from her concerned touch and turned towards the open window. She could no longer see his eyes, which had been her only indicator to help her understand what he was thinking. He was so much harder to read. It was probably one of the best qualities that an Auror could posses, but it was frustrating when she was trying to understand him.

“Russel, if you want to leave the force, you can.” Maria said finally, stepping forward to meet him at the windowsill.

“You do have a purpose outside of them and you do have people that care and love you. Just because you’ve pushed us away all these years…” she hesitated. “I mean. That can change. It can all change. But only if you want it to.”

A part of Maria wished that Jacob were home. He and Russel had been best friends in their time at the academy. And even through all the years that had been lost, who better to persuade Russel to see the light of things than Jacob?

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Russel Baudin
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Russel Baudin

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Job: Auror
Status: Single
Blood: Half blood

PostSubject: Re: Welcoming the Unexpected   Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:37 am

Regardless if she had meant it or not, Russ envisioned a threatening sense of malevolence in Maria's response to his thundering remark. Holstering the sudden rush of words that threatened to leap from his mouth, the young man turned from her once more. her words echoed hauntingly in his mind, just because you pushed us away all these years. That hadn't been the case at all...or was it? There had been an honest reason behind his eagerness to tackle the assignments that were to be dismissed as the most daunting and taxing, but said justification failed to surface in the muted spring of thoughts swirling about his mind. Russel suddenly felt ignorant and belittled.

Venturing away from the window, the young man paced the floor slowly to close the expanse between himself and the chair not currently being occupied by a slumbering feline. Grabbing the bottle of whiskey mid-traverse, the wizard silently sunk into the cushioned furniture. The bottle felt cold and heavy in his hands, much alike the sad thoughts that trickled through his brain as he attempted his explanation to Maria's retort. Ironic how even after all this time she could still manage to make him feel scrutinized.

"It wasn't my choice to push you all away." He muttered at least, having paused to take a generous swig from the bottle before offering the drink to his comrade who had yet to join him in sitting. Staring blankly ahead at a fixed point on the wall away from Maria, Russel found himself unable to answer her. "Can you blame me? I mean, what would you have done in my position?"

He studied her quietly, watching her face for any signs of reaction. "I was the only one who didn't have my future laid out for me - I had to get away for that very reason." Hesitation played heavily on his voice. "What could I possibly do with my life other than being an auror? Julian has his career, you have Jacob, Armelle and Jacque have each other...Veronique, well there's no telling who she's with, but if I know her, she's married to healing others."

This time, more silence followed before the young man spoke up again. "It was dumb of me to try and relive a life I long ago outgrew. Trust me, I'm better off leaving." He rose as if to suddenly take flight from the apartment at that very moment, had it not been for the cat passing underneath his feet at that very moment, resulting in a well warranted swears and the man untangling himself from the floor.

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Maria Doloresta-Daniels
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Maria Doloresta-Daniels

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Status: Married
Blood: Pure blood

PostSubject: Re: Welcoming the Unexpected   Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:07 am

Maria wanted to tell Russel of all the things he could’ve done instead of becoming an Auror. She didn’t believe that each person had one set path. If she did, she certainly would never have gone on to England, would she? Russel could have finished school, maybe gone onto university… he could’ve travelled if that was his calling, seen the world, gone on adventures … he could have fallen in love. Life was his for the taking, that much Maria did believe in.

“Russel, wait– ” she cried as the man rose suddenly to his feet and strode for the door. She couldn’t let him leave. He was her friend, one of her oldest friends in fact. She couldn’t let him go when things were obviously not right with him. He had to stay.

But Russel had barely made it three steps to the door when there was a crash and loud yowl as Jolie darted away from the living room to nurse her bruised and trampled tail. Maria gasped and darted forward to help him up.

“Are you okay?” But despite the concern in her voice, the amusement over the scene was evident from the way the corner of her lips twitched upwards. So much for a grand exit. “Here, let me help you.”

“I’m sorry, Jolie is sneaky like that.” she apologised as she gently tugged Russel back up to his feet. There was silence save for the sound of the most creative curse words known to man. Maria’s hand reached out to fix the collar of his shirt and managed a small though, rather sad smile that didn't quite reach her eyes. “Does this mean you’re going to leave again?"

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Russel Baudin
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Russel Baudin

Total Posts : 54
Age : 34
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Joined : 2008-08-22

Character
Job: Auror
Status: Single
Blood: Half blood

PostSubject: Re: Welcoming the Unexpected   Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:27 am

Russel wasn't quite sure what he had hurt more, his pride or his chances of leaving the apartment in one piece. It was obvious that Maria had sensed that their conversation had soured, there was no need for a crystal ball to say otherwise. Nursing his wounded pride, Russel allowed for his old friend to tuck the misshapen collar back into its proper place, not normally one to subject himself to the worry of somebody else.

What had gotten over him that night to cause him to relapse into a blubbering idiot? Russel wagered the recent holiday from work and the emotional roller coaster he was currently fastened into was to blame for the anxiety he now faced. Years going by without communication between old friends could obviously be blamed in part, but at the same time, Russel didn't know where to pick up from there.

"Thanks, I'm fine," He muttered softly, the brooding demeanor dissipating in the wake of his clumsiness, or rather, his downfall at the paws of a naturally bred trickster. Silently hexing the creature within the confines of his own mind, Russel brought himself to face the quiet interrogation supplied by Maria.

"It's obvious I'm not cut out for this type of lifestyle, Maria." He said at last, picking off where he had last left the conversation. "You of all people should know how I am with these things. Better to rip the bandage off, then let it settle." He reached out to affectionately squeeze her arm as a small act of kindness. Although she tried to mask her nerves with a smile, Russel could practically smell the emotion that threatened to unfurl not long after his departure. He was at a crossroad with absolutely no direction at all. Besides, what would leaving accomplish, besides proving the woman's thoughts right? Perhaps he had been pushing them all away all along...

"Don't spend too much time worrying about me, you have a wedding to prepare for, remember?"

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Maria Doloresta-Daniels
Main Character
Former Eau
Maria Doloresta-Daniels

Total Posts : 89
Age : 33
Joined : 2008-03-05

Character
Job: Tutor/Law Student
Status: Married
Blood: Pure blood

PostSubject: Re: Welcoming the Unexpected   Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:46 am



Better to rip the bandage off, then let it settle. If Maria had been sad once, she certainly wasn’t anymore. His words brought a frown to the brunette’s face as she crossed her arms in front of her chest and eyed him with a mixture of exasperation and frustration.

“So that’s it then?” she demanded. “You’re just going to walk away? No goodbyes to Jacob or anyone else? You’re not even going to stay for the wedding?”

“Arręte de me raconter des conneries!” She exclaimed something in French that could only be roughly translated into English as: Stop it with the bullshit! Maria recognised a last chance when she saw it and she knew that if Russel walked out that door now, it would be twenty years before any of them would see his face again, if ever. She swatted his hand away from her arm and glared at him.

“You’re not going back to the force because you want to or because it’s the only redeeming reason for your life. You’re leaving because you’re scared to try anything else. You’re not living your life, you’re running away from it.”

Probably not the smartest thing she’d said, but it would certainly provoke him.

“What happened to the Russel I knew in school?” Maria’s gaze was challenging. “I know he’s in there somewhere. You couldn’t have gotten rid of him entirely.”

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Russel Baudin
Main Character
Former Flamme
Russel Baudin

Total Posts : 54
Age : 34
Location : Vichy, France
Joined : 2008-08-22

Character
Job: Auror
Status: Single
Blood: Half blood

PostSubject: Re: Welcoming the Unexpected   Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:06 am

Like a switch that once flipped brought with it light to awaken a room previously purged in darkness, Maria's sudden ferocity leapt from her tiny frame and came snapping at Russel's heels like crackling fireball. It had been quite some time since the former Flamme had been on the receiving end of one of the infamous Doloresta tantrums, yet the sound of such brought back fond memories of a time period long gone. Imperious and direct, Maria struck harshly with her words chosen so very carefully. Slapping back his outstretched hand in his attempt at comforting, Maria's demeanor suddenly demanded Russel's fullest of attentions, his eyes unwavering as he took the sight of her in with his semi-drunken vision.

"What life?" He spoke sourly, raising the tone of his voice to match hers, albeit with a tinge of sarcasm and mirth. He forced a cruel smile to appear upon his otherwise emotionless face, one grown weary from the expense the emotional talk seemed to conjure up. Shaking his head in disbelief, Russel set himself to prove Maria's intentional message otherwise wrong.

"You mean to tell me that the pathetically optimistic and woefully ignorant child with no direction but lived to provide entertainment everyday, was someone worthy of your admiration?" He sneered, smirking at the sore excuse of a person his younger self used to be. He was no longer that headless chicken that served no means.

"The aristocracy of your modern Shakespearean love story has turned your head soft, Mara." He reached out for an excuse to stop talking, aiming for the bottle of whiskey to buy him time in the upcoming debate that was bound to unravel before him. "Who's the one spewing bullshit now?" He laughed this time. "You really think you can stop me from leaving? I've done it before, you know."

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Maria Doloresta-Daniels
Main Character
Former Eau
Maria Doloresta-Daniels

Total Posts : 89
Age : 33
Joined : 2008-03-05

Character
Job: Tutor/Law Student
Status: Married
Blood: Pure blood

PostSubject: Re: Welcoming the Unexpected   Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:16 pm

“Well, now that you mention it, yes!” Maria snapped. “I actually loved that Russel. He wasn’t pathetic, he was one of the nicest guys I knew. That Russel was happy. He cared about people.”

“And you don’t leave. You run away.” She emphasized.

“You, sir, are a coward of the worst kind. And until you realise that, fighting with the Aurors will never bring you the kind of satisfaction that you want.” Maria hissed.

She reached out and grabbed the bottle of whiskey from his hands, holding it away from him with a glare. She didn’t know what had caused this sudden change in him, but in any case, drowning himself with alcohol would only serve to stir the monster in him.

Maria pointed to the door Russel had been heading towards and took a step forward. “You can leave right now if you want.” Her voice was low, “But if you walk out that door, I don’t ever want to see your face again.”

They stared at each other, neither one of them wanting to back down. Maria was fuelled with an indignant, hurt sort of anger that seemed to primarily stem from Russel’s constant attempts to push them all away. It infuriated her to no end how he seemed to so casually dismiss them from his life and then expect them to fall over themselves for him when he decided to waltz right back in again. He had abandoned everyone: his family, his friends… everyone that had depended on him. It wasn’t right. And nothing she seemed to say seemed to make him care.

"Well, what are you waiting for? Go!" Her lips trembled slightly as she waited to see what Russel's response would be. As angry as she was, she was beginning to regret her hasty declaration. And what would she do then if he really did walk out? How would she be able to live with herself knowing that she had all but chased him away? What would she tell the others? Tears filled her eyes and Maria hastily turned her head, not wanting Russel to see her blink them away.

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Russel Baudin
Main Character
Former Flamme
Russel Baudin

Total Posts : 54
Age : 34
Location : Vichy, France
Joined : 2008-08-22

Character
Job: Auror
Status: Single
Blood: Half blood

PostSubject: Re: Welcoming the Unexpected   Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:55 pm

Russel snorted in disbelief at the very thought that someone like the likes of Maria Doloresta would have fancied the idea that an acquaintance of hers should be rather so weak and inferior. Grinning, as he had done all that he had could to bare himself from sharing much more emotion than that very act for his body neither allowed nor conformed to do so, the man ran a hand through the long messy locks that lay tousled upon his head. The drinks had begun to affect him thoroughly by now, albeit they had not been drinking long, but the large and frequent quantities that the former Flamme had ingested were more than enough to allow his body sink into the fallen graces of alcoholic-endorsed action.

"You'll have to do much more than that to convince me you think otherwise," He muttered, amazed that the young woman would raise her voice at him and bitterly berate him in the very manner that her former school girl self would have done. Unsure of how to react, Russel watched as the emotional turbulence Maria was experiencing rocked her from one form to another. She was no longer angry, but the sudden turning of the head alerted Russel to her change of demeanor.

Gallantly, he backed down, lowering his defenses just so. Carefully and curiously watching her for reasons unbeknownst to him, Russel breathed heavily, the escalation of their conversation having charged his body like a jolt of electricity. It was then that Maria spoke up once again, but this time, she failed to completely mask her emotions. The feeble glance away from his direction told Russel what she most feared, and gloomingly was about to experience. He sensed her tart thoughts and sudden vengeance left him. Reasoning withheld, the man knew not what it was that had driven him to flee. Perhaps it was the alcohol. Perhaps it was something more.

He took two steps forward towards the door, towards the freedom he was blindly craving. A freedom from all ties to past lives, family, and friends. Any other time, he would have been willing to accept a fate so, but something held the man back. He turned abruptly on his heel, grabbed a hold of the still shielded Maria, and pulled her into him closely. Wrapping his arm around her waist, he lowered his head and pressed his lips upon hers in a slightly forceful manner.

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Maria Doloresta-Daniels
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Former Eau
Maria Doloresta-Daniels

Total Posts : 89
Age : 33
Joined : 2008-03-05

Character
Job: Tutor/Law Student
Status: Married
Blood: Pure blood

PostSubject: Re: Welcoming the Unexpected   Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:43 am

Being kissed had shocked Maria into silence. Whatever she had been expecting from Russel, it certainly hadn’t been this. His lips were hard against hers and she could feel the heat of his body radiating from thin material of his shirt as he pulled her none-too-gently against him.

But wait – what was she doing? What was he doing? This was insane. Maria struggled fiercely against his grasp, trying to break away from him. She was in love with Jacob, his best friend. Merlin, she was getting married that week! “Russel!” she gasped. But it was like talking to a brick wall. He ignored all her protests and seemed (if anything) to kiss her even harder.

Left with little choice else, Maria raised her hand up to slap him across the cheek. Her actions gave her just enough time to lean back from his grasp, even as his arm continued to wrap tightly around her waist.

Her chest rose and fell with every deep breath as she tried to gain some sense of composure. “Russel, have you gone mad?” she hissed, her eyes searching his own in the darkness as she frantically trying to read his expression. What was he thinking? Was he even thinking?

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