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Thread Contributor: Ophelia GlasscockOphelia Glasscock and the Tree of Booze
Harry Potter-Main series

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#1
Ophelia had decided to go out and explore this extremely interesting place that she had found herself in, and had seen any number of wonders as she wandered around, and after several hours she found herself feeling quite hungry. Fortunately, at about the time that this occurred she found herself near to what appeared to be a inn or tavern of some kind.

She stepped inside, and, seeing that the place looked clean and respectable enough, decided to have a seat at the bar, and have a nice mug of beer, and a bowl of stew, as the bar maid suggested.

Sipping her beer, Ophelia looked around the room, and noticed the man sitting on the stool next to her, who seemed to be building something out of a collection of wires and gears he had spread out on a cloth in front of him. It seemed rude to ignore him entirely, so she nodded slightly and said "Hello."
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DC-DCTVU-1

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#2
Since the beginning of August, Christian had begun taking a meal at the Wandering Moon every now and again. Everything had changed at the beginning of that month, and Christian was trying, very hard, to deal with it. Spending two months in the past, Steve’s past to be specific, had helped. It had given the young mage perspective, at least to a point. That did not mean, however, that returning to Hub had been painless or easy.

So tonight Christian sat at the Wandering Moon, bent over the bartop, pouring his magic, and thus himself, into the item that he was building. Not an automaton this time; he was building something small, yes, but it was larger than most of his little friends were, and circular. He wrapped wiring around the round frame, building what might appear to be a magnet system of sorts. He liked the Moon; it was quiet, the people here accepted and even welcomed magic, and people didn’t tend to harass you.

He was completely lost in his project, spurred on by meeting...a lookalike of sorts, a few months prior, before his life had all but fallen apart around him. Now, he finally had time to work on it, trying to build on what he’d seen in the comic books as well as in person in Tony’s lab. It was going to take time, and many failures, but Christian was determined. The greeting had him looking up from his work, and he gave the lady sitting next to him a warm smile, “Hello.” He paused a moment, carefully setting down his tools before offering her his hand, “I’m Chris.”
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Harry Potter-Main series

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#3
"Ophelia" she replied, smiling at the man. Curiously, she looked closer at what he was building. At first she'd thought it was some sort of mechanical, muggle device, but as she observed more closely, she noticed the unmistakable frission of magic surrounding the object. It wasn't the style of magic she was familiar with, but there were many worlds, and it stood to reason that there would be many different styles of magic.

"What are you working on?" she asked, leaning towards him a little, so that she could see what was on his workbench.
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DC-DCTVU-1

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#4
Ophelia. Now that was a unique name! There was a part of Christian’s mind that noted that people with odd names back home were too often villains, people that shouldn’t be trusted. But this wasn’t his world, where meeting a beautiful redhead could result in being poisoned, or a gorgeous blonde might pull out a mallet and destroy your day (and week, and maybe month or longer) with it. This was Hub, and Hub was a nice place. She eschewed the offered handshake, but Christian wasn’t bothered by that; not everyone shook hands even in his world, on hers it might be completely unheard of.

She looked at the tiny reactor he was building, laced with magic, but just as technologically sound as say the little roomba that was happily skating around, vacuuming the tavern as he went. He’d seen a reactor up close now, had looked around blue-eyed Tony’s lab, and he knew the ideas behind it, the science it was built on… He was determined to figure it out. Here in Hub, nearly anything was possible. If Chris could make one with magic, then he could make without, and then he could, maybe, figure out how to make it profitable, like the brown-eyed Tony had said.

Of course, that Tony hadn’t thought Christian was able to do it, either.

“It’s nice to meet you, Ophelia.” The device that had so much of Chris’ focus, and Ophelia’s attention was a small circular thing, chased with copper wiring, with a core that was yet unfinished. It was small, able to fit in the palm of his hand. “This is going to make Jonah fly. I hope.” He grinned, then flicked his eyes toward the floor, leaning over away from Ophelia, “Hey, come here you,” Chris scooped up the roomba immediately, Jonah beeping and making gentle but excited whirring sounds. “Yes, you. What do you think of that?” He grinned over to Ophelia, “Jonah, this is Ophelia, Ophelia, this is Jonah.”
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Harry Potter-Main series

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#5
"Its nice to meet you as well, Chris." she said, ignoring the proffered hand because she didn't recognize it as a gesture of greeting. Wizards didn't shake hands, and Ophelia's knowledge of Muggle society was sketchy at best.

Which meant that when Chris called the little...device....over, and introduced it, she wasn't quite sure what it was, or how she should react. Obviously it was some sort of enchanted Muggle thing, but she had no notion of what it might be. She'd heard of similar things, but never of an enchanted object having a personality. This mist be the kind of thing that Oryn had told her about, magic that was unknown, or even impossible in her world being quite possible in another. "Hello, Jonah." she said, doing her best to address the little device directly "What are you, precisely?' she asked. It seemed like it would be rude to talk about the device as though he couldn't hear what was being said, even though she had no idea if he would be able to answer or not.
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DC-DCTVU-1

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#6
Nope, not everyone everywhere shook hands. Christian wasn’t troubled by the aborted handshake, instead letting his hand settle back to his project, finishing wrapping up a copper wire around one of the thicker grey cords of metal.

Christian spoke to Jonah like the little machine was a person, mostly because to him, Jonah was a person. He had his own personality, he was independent most of the time, and could make his own decisions without Christian there to help him. Sure, when his holding tank was full or he got gummed up with stuff he needed help, but there were times people needed help, too. When Ophelia spoke directly to Jonah, she got a grin from Christian, and the little robot beeped and whirred at her merrily. Chris let the chatter of the vacuum die down a bit before he told Ophelia, “He understands you, but he can’t speak. I’ve considered trying to give him a way to do that, but… This first.” He motioned to the little circular project he was working on, “Jonah is what we call a roomba. On my world, those are little vacuum cleaners. Do you have vacuums on your world? Not everyone does, which makes explaining harder, but he’s a machine that can clean floors using motors to power suction in order to pick up the dirt and debris.” He had obviously had to explain this more than once, and had no qualms or issues doing so again. Jonah was great. “Jonah, however, is improved. And,” Christian grinned widely, “Because he works on a different set of rules than most machines, he is alive, his own person.”

It was always nice to meet people who could overlook the fact that Jonah was obviously a machine and treat him nicely, speak directly to him. It made Jonah feel good, and it made Christian like them all the more.
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Harry Potter-Main series

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#7
"I think that Muggles have them." Ophelia said. The description sounded vaguely familiar, anyway "I generally use magic, its much more hygienic. That includes you, Jonah" she added hastily, when the poor little thing started to droop after her careless remark "Since you are clearly a magical being, and I'm certain that you do an excellent job keeping the floor clean and free of dust and debris." at the compliment, Jonah seemed to perk up and Ophelia smiled at him. He really was the most charming little thing.
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DC-DCTVU-1

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#8
Muggles? Christian blinked, confusion crossing his features at the unfamiliar word. But then, unfamiliar words weren’t a very uncommon thing around here, and while Christian was polite, he wasn’t overly bashful, especially not when he knew it would only make himself look silly, not the person he was speaking with. “I’m afraid you’re going to need to explain to me what a muggle is… That’s a new word for me.”

Magic. To clean. Well, that was interesting. He supposed he could make models for things he wanted to clean and… But that was just as much work! “Jonah is amazing at cleaning floors. Sometimes a little bit too amazing - he likes to pick up screws and wires, and I need those, but also they get all tangled up in his tank and clog him all up, but that’s not a big deal to fix.” Jonah seemed to like the woman, and that was nice; Jonah deserved to have friends, too! Smiling happily, Chris looked over to Ophelia, “Pretty sure he likes you. Most people don’t sing his praises quite this much right away.”
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#9
"People who don't have magic." Ophelia explained "At least that is what we call them in England-I think that in America they're called Nomaj for some reason, but I prefer Muggle." apparently he was from a world unrelated to her own, since using the American term didn't seem to ring any bells for him either. "What are they called in your world?" she asked, seeking to expand her knowledge.

"A bit like having a niffler, then." Ophelia said musingly and then, realizing that he probably didn't know what a niffler was, added an explanation "They're a sort of burrowing animal, they are attracted to shiny objects, and that can be quite a problem if one gets loose in the house." she smiled as he remarked that Jonah liked her "I've never felt the need to stint on well deserved praise." she said, thinking, once again, how ironic it was that she'd learned that lesson from Snape, who'd been a fair and reasonable teacher, when he wasn't distracted by his dislike for Harry Potter.
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DC-DCTVU-1

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#10
“You have a word for them?” Christian blinked, magic was such a rare thing, it made more sense to have a word for those with it than those without. Magicians, and everyone else. “Is it uncommon for someone to not have magic in your world?” Muggle did seem like a nicer word for people than Nomaj. Nomaj sounded like something someone had just plucked out of the air in a hurry to make something different. “Humans? Normal people?” He shrugged, “It’s the oddity to have magic where I’m from. But we’re not totally uncommon, either. I was found by a magician, she said I was practically dripping magical energy. And I met another after that, who helped me out a couple of times. But I’ve met a whole lot more people with magic here in Hub than back home.”

A niffler.. She used a whole lot of unique words. When she explained, he chuckled, nodding, “Yes, the two do seem to have a little bit in common. Jonah is probably cleaner, and he doesn’t borrow, though. I think he likes screws and wires because he wants to prove he can pick them up. He can, but he really shouldn’t.” The last bit was a gentle chastisement of the little vacuum, who beeped back at Christian as though to say he knew, he knew, but Chris knew that knowing wasn’t going to stop Jonah. Stubborn little roomba.

When she spoke highly of Jonah again, Christian grinned then reached out to pat the little robot, “Don’t let it get to your head, Jonah. We all know you’re amazing, but that doesn’t mean you need to be all cocky about it. We live with Tony, there’s enough of that already.” The statement got a series of beeps in return, and Chris laughed, grinning to Ophelia, “The man my friend and I live with when we’re here in Hub is… He’s a good person, an honest to goodness genius and hero, but he’s just a little bit snarky. Still nice, though.”
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#11
"Fairly common." Ophelia replied "There are a lot more Muggles than there are Wizarding people, but we live-off to one side-you might say, and don't have very much to do with Muggles. Every so often there will be someone who is born to a Muggle family but who has magic, but we work hard to identify them and give them an education, and help them find a place in the Wizarding World. Because when we do miss someone well, it doesn't turn out well for anyone. Your world must be different, obviously." she added hastily, not wanting him to think that she thought he was likely to be a homicidal maniac "Still, its good you found a teacher. The magic I've seen in the Hub is terribly interesting." she added "The sort I learned was focused on spells and wand work and potions, but I've already seen some that is quite a bit different to that."

"Well, I hope that he'll learn from his mistakes." Ophelia said, smiling down at the little roomba (which, honestly, what the most charming word) "Eventually, at any rate." she chuckled at his description of this 'Tony' person "Nothing wrong with being a bit snarky." Ophelia replied "Some of the best people are." she, for example, had been accused of snarking more than once.
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DC-DCTVU-1

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#12
Christian tried to imagine a world where magic was ‘fairly common’ to the point where people without had their own special word, and where people who had it lived in their own communities, and… He just couldn't. He wouldn’t want to live apart, separated from Belle and Safi. Nope, that was definitely a deal breaker for him; he wouldn’t live in a place like that, being able to be open with his magic or not. He could be pretty open with his magic here in Hub, and that was good enough for him. Yes, he had to be careful with it in the mansion because he knew Tony hated magic, and he even understood why, even if it hurt to know it, to know that his hero hated what he was. Couldn’t be helped; Christian instead worked to keep it quiet, make Tony and Safi have to consider it as little as possible. “It’s different, yes, but still not really good to be unaware… I wasn’t hurting anything, but it could have caused me to be found by someone bad, and they could have hurt me, and I would have been helpless against them. Now, I can protect myself.” He smiled, relaxing; she knew about magic, she understood Jonah was magic, and she was nice to the little roomba, all of which put Christian more at ease. “I don’t use wants or anything like that. I just… I need a focus, if that makes sense? Something small can represent something bigger, and I can manipulate that to cause a larger effect.”

Jonah beeped and whirred at the witch, and Christian chuckled, “Eventually. He’s stubborn, but that is just part of his charm.” Tony was more than a ‘bit’ snarky, and he had other flaws, but Christian hadn’t stopped thinking of him as a hero, as his hero, either. “No, there’s nothing wrong with it at all. He’s a good man, but he doesn’t believe that. He takes too much onto his own shoulders, blames himself for things he shouldn’t.” And he was happy for Tony and Safi. He really was. He just wished his heart would believe that.
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#13
"Not so different, then." Ophelia remarked "I'm glad that you have been able to find a teacher, and are able to protect yourself." as he described how his magic worked, she listened, interested "That sounds interesting. I've never heard of anything like it. We do charms involving objects, but that is more like what you did when you enchanted Jonah, nothing like using a smaller item to affect a larger." the theory was quite interesting, though "Could you show me how you do it?" she asked, eager for a demonstration of what this new wizard could do.

"He sounds like a man who needs good friends around him." Ophelia said thoughtfully "He's lucky to have you." since there was no doubt from the way that Chris spoke of this Tony that he liked and admired the man a great deal.
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DC-DCTVU-1

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#14
"Not entirely, at least," Christian agreed with a small smile. Many of the worlds that people here in Heb came from seemed similar, at least in certain ways. Magic was not one of those ways, but there always seemed to be people wherever a portal formed. "Oh, I am too. I love using my magic." He really did, too; magic had changed his life.

Show her how he did it? Christian considered what options he had here to be able to give a firm example, frowning in thought. Settling on a trick he had already used in the past, he carefully pulled out two small magnets, lining them up so he could match up their poles, Picturing in his mind the image of one being the tabletop and the other being Jonah. He bent to pat the roomba, murmuring a reassurance to his little vacuum, and then Carefully moved the Jonah magnet so that it hovered over the bar top magnet repelled by magnetic force. Immediately, Jonah began to float over the bar, just as the magnet did. "My teacher called it sympathetic magic," He gently turned the magnet with a finger, and Jonah spun slowly the same way giving a chirp that sounded almost like a cheer. "What do you think?"

Chris definitely admired Tony, but like him? That was more difficult to say. Christian wanted to like the genius hero, but he had to fight against other darker, unwelcome feelings to get there. The snort, however, was one of disbelief, not dislike, "I wouldn't say we're close enough to be good friends. In fact, I'm fairly certain he doesn't really like me. "He shrugged, "Doesn't make him any less a hero, though."
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#15
"I think its wonderful." Ophelia said admiringly "I could do the same thing with a charm-but this is a really quite fascinating technique. How does it work, exactly? I can see that you made one magnet to correspond to Jonah, and the other to the bar, of course. But beyond that-is there a incantation you're saying in your head? Or is it just by focusing the will?" Ophelia was always glad to talk shop with a witch or wizard, and the fact that this sort of magic was so different made it twice as interesting.

"Sometimes people can be heroic and still be rather off putting on a personal level." Ophelia said, thinking of her late potions master. And some of the members of the DA, for that matter. For all that he'd been a hero, and been through so much, Harry Potter could also be a pompous twit. No, pompous was the wrong word. Self-satisfied, perhaps. Or self-centered.
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DC-DCTVU-1

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#16
Wonderful. Was it because he spent time with so many people who didn’t like magic that someone thinking it was wonderful was a surprise? Probably. Even so, it was really nice to meet someone like that. offering Ophelia a smile, Christian nodded eagerly, “Yeah, exactly. I imagined that one magnet represented Jonah, and the other one represented the bartop. There is no special words or incantation I focus my will and put magical energy into it.” For his part, Christian really didn't consider that they were talking shop, they were just talking. Sure, about magic but that really wasn't the point. it was nice to be able to just talk to her.

“I understand that. And it's not that he's not nice... My issues with him are primarily personal, and not really his fault. Still, it makes things difficult sometimes, and I wish it didn't. It bothers me sometimes, because there's no real good way to fix it.” And there wasn't. Some things were going to be messy, even if you didn't like it that way. Such was life. Tony might often be self-centered, but when it counted he was always there, always willing to make the sacrifice play if it came to that. and for that reason alone, even if for no other, Christian respected him.
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