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Thread Contributor: Ophelia GlasscockThe Shop Around the Corner
Harry Potter-Main series

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#1
Recently, Ophelia had been throwing herself into her work, researching and making new potions, learning to use ingredients she'd never dreamed of, and finding new uses for familiar ones.

Today, though, she was working in the shop, setting out new stock and helping the customers who came in. It was a good break from the lab, and also a chance to get an idea of what sorts of potions were needed by the inhabitants of the Hub.

The bell above the door chimed as someone walked in, and Ophelia looked up, noticing a tall, striking man enter the shop.

"Greetings." she said with a professional smile "Can I help you find something, sir?"

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#2
Hub was interesting, hub was fun, hub was now his home. And Henri Lebeau was looking for possibilities; the future was unknown, there were enough gods, or things that held power above anything in his universe...or at least anything in his universe one Henri Lebeau could walk up to and bargin with.

Case in point. Magic potions. Glasscock wasn’t unique in her business, but every different universe produced slight variations on the same themes, how they worked, what the side effects or price was.

“Bonsoir Mademoiselle.” he smiled charmingly, what passed for sunset in Hub backlighting his form. “At the moment I am simply curious, if you have the time, I would ask about your wares?”

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#3
"Of course." Ophelia replied, she was used to people coming in out of curiosity-not every world had magic, she'd been a little surprised to discover that, but it seemed to be true. And even the curious could be turned into customers. "We offer a variety of potions for a variety of needs. If I may ask, are you familiar with magic?" she'd learned it was advisable to ask, it let her tailor her explanations to the buyer's level of understanding. She didn't know where the man came from, save that it likely wasn't her own world, judging by his accent, which was unlike anything she'd heard coming out of a Frenchman's mouth in her world.
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#4
“‘M grateful for yo’ time.” Henri stepped into the store properly, “An’ a bit. But t’en all magic seems different between the worlds no?” long fingered hands waved eloquently at her wares on display - “Na all even allow for even a type o’potion t’drink.” Henri bowed slightly - “Henri Lebeau, an’ Yo’ are Mademoiselle Glasscock no?”

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#5
"Yes, I am Ophelia Glasscok." she replied, not bothering to hide her surprise that he knew her name. "And yes, you are quite correct that magic is different between worlds, although there are things that are similar as well. Lately, I've been quite interested by the differences in mandrake, and the way that it changes the properties of a sleep potion, for example, the mandrake from-" she stopped, chuckled and shook her head "Forgive me, I've been spending a great deal of time in the lab, and I tend to natter on. In any case, in my world potions are usually used to enhance or change or shape the body in some way, although of course that includes mental as well as physical changes."
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#6
Truthfully Henri wasn’t trying to be mysterious, she was after all a semi public figure with her shop so there fore wouldn’t be out of the realm for anyone to discover the name of the owner. He smiled genially as she babbled - he always enjoyed for both professional and personal reasons to hear a ‘geek’ talk about their personal passion. “Nothing to forgive, listening to a master speak on der passion es all aways intersetin’.”

“What sort of mental changes?” he wondered eyeballing the selection.

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#7
Ophelia still hadn't quite realized that she was a known person in the Hub, she'd spent most of her life in the background, first at school and then in her professional career, which involved a lot of time in the lab, away from public view. At home, she wouldn't have expected anyone who wasn't also a specialist potion maker to know her by either name or reputation. That Mr. Lebeau (and where had she heard that name before....surely it would come to her...) had recognized her was, therefore, something of a surprise.

But that could wait, at least she hadn't made a complete fool of herself, going on about mandrakes. "Thank you." she said, smiling at the compliment before continuing "The most common ones, in my world, and they seem to work just as well here, are Veritaserum, which compels the person who takes it to tell the truth. Until the potion wears off, that is. There are ways to counter it, of course but..." she waved a hand, there would be time for additional explanations, if those were required later. "Draught of Peace, which relieves anxiety and soothes agitation, and its counterpart, Confusing Concoction, which makes the person who takes it confused, anxious and agitated. There is also Amortentia, which produces intense feelings of infatuation and even obsession." she favored him with a professional smile "Those are the major ones, but there are others. Is there anything you're particularly interested in?"
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#8
Perhaps not even close to a household name even among the merchants of the bazaar but Henri made it his business to know who was new and what they did once they set up shop.

As she listed off the self described common types of potions from her world, Henri shook his head mentally, honestly how did any questionably honest man do business in her world? Or was it considered impolite to ask your partners to drink these truth potions?

“What sort of counters?” that clearly interseted him more, better to know how to counteract such potions, or identify them when they were being used.

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#9
"How to counter the Veritaserum potion?" Ophelia asked, and when he nodded in confirmation she said "Well, a skilled Occlumens-that is a wizard who specializes defensive mental magic-can counter it by creating a false memory. As long as the person who has taken the potion believes that they are speaking the truth, it doesn't matter if what they are saying is correct or not. There are also potions that can counter it, the most common one is Mendaciumpotio, but except for one, all of them have to be taken before the Veritaserum is ingested, so they are somewhat limited in their usefulness." Noticing the way his attention was piqued by the mention of a potion that could be taken afterward " And the one that doesn't, its called Circumventionem Erroris, turns your tongue bright green. So although it has its uses, its really only good for situations where you need to conceal information, not so much when you want to convince the other person you're telling the truth." she thought it rather interesting that he'd asked about the truth potions first, but she supposed that he wasn't the sort of man who ordinarily had need of love potions and....oh, yes, Henri Lebeau. She'd heard of him, a noted smuggler and thief. So it made sense that would interest him most.

"Were you interested in purchasing any Veratiserum?" she asked with her best professional smile. "Or perhaps some of the counters?"

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#10
Henri nodded thoughtfully at her explanation “-An so it no matters how de man believes it is true? An mus’ ‘e tell de whole truth?” honestly he was curious about all the ones she’d mentioned but starting with the truth one seemed apt. “Es der any side effects if a man takes this Mendaciumpotio-” he didnt seem to struggle with the word even considering his accent - “Every day as a precaution?”

“An’ es there any way t’tell da es been used?”

He half smiled at her question, “Perhaps, but ah hope ya don’t mind mah questions?”

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#11
"As long as the person believes that they are telling the truth, really, sincerely believes that, then it doesn't matter how they developed that certainty." Ophelia said, and then continued, answering the rest of his question "Its possible, if the person who has taken the potion has a very strong will, to answer the questions as unhelpfully as possible but...Do they have a game called "Twenty Questions" in your world?" when Henri nodded, she continued "So, as you'll understand, if the questioner is patient, and has some idea of what questions to ask, even 'yes' or 'no' can reveal quite a lot. It also depends on how the potion is prepared, the physical and mental state of the person taking the potion, and how many times its ingested."

Ophelia noticed that he had no problem with the word, and noted it, since it was an indication that the man had a good ear, and possibly a familiarity with Latin as well "There aren't any side effects to frequent ingestion of the Mediciumpotio, but it wears off after a few hours, no more than three or four, even with a large dose, so it isn't terribly useful as a daily preventative. Unfortunate, but there it is."

"That depends." she said, smiling a little "If you're normally an honest person, then its possible that you won't notice. If you're inclined to shade the truth, shall we say, then a sudden compulsion to tell nothing but the absolute truth would be noticeable. And no, i don't mind the questions. Its important to help the customer to find the right potion after all."

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#12
“An’ es Common in Your world to use dis?”
Henri nodded along with her explication;
A roguish smirk curling at his lips -“ah den I am very vulnerable as dis Henri is so naturally honest dat I would have no chance against such a deed.” The picture was completed with his hand splayed over his heart.

“Thank you for answering my questions-“ he smiled charmingly “I hope I am not taking up too much of your valuable time.” He left open the possibility for her to tell him to buy something or get out so she could get back to work.

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#13
"It isn't terribly common, but its far from unheard of, either." Ophelia replied "Its certainly not something that you'd do casually, and it might cause offense. But..." she shrugged "Some people don't especially care about being polite, or about letting the person know that they aren't trusted." At his theatrical declaration of his honesty, Ophelia couldn't help but giggle "Oh, of course. I meant 'you' in general, I would never think of questioning your honesty, Mr. Lebeau."

"Oh, I have plenty of time to answer your questions." Ophelia said. There was no hint of flirtation in his manner, but even so, there were worse things that spending the time in conversation with a handsome man. "What else would you like to know?"

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#14
“I wonder at the dependency rates?” He wondered how honest she would be, after all admitting that you could become addicted to her products was not good business- “For example the Peace drought?” Mentally Henri was wondering at the market for comparison of the various medications and Magic’s Available and which of his Theives could use a side project.

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#15
"Dependency rates?" Ophelia said, not quite certain what he meant, and then she recalled some of the things she'd heard about the Muggle equivalents of the potion "That can occur with some potions, but not the Draught of Peace. Its quite harmless, because of the unicorn horn, you see. Nothing made with unicorn horn can be harmful to the user, which is why its a common ingredient in potions of that kind." Ophelia's answer was truthful, she'd found it poor practice to lie to her customers, but Henri would have no way of knowing that, of course.

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#16
“So why not make that an additive in all potions?”
He asked curiously, already expecting the answer to basically be the magic version of ‘it counteracted other ingredients’.

Not wanting to waste her time Henri nodded charmingly -“If I could bother you, than I would like to commission a sampling if you will, one of each of your most common potions along with a explanation of the ingredients-“ he smiled winningly “if not the process of course, that went into them.” At that he seemingly had a thought “- What is your most precious one? Hardest to make I assume? Or most difficult to gather ingredients?”

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