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 Expecting the Unexpected

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Gabriel Hall
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PostSubject: Expecting the Unexpected   Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:49 pm

((Takes place approx. late 2049 or early 2050. Shelly and Violet would already be away at school.))


Nicole paced in Julian's living room, despite knowing that it would only make her nausea worse. She had taken the day off from work due to not feeling well. In fact Nicole was still hunched over the toilet for several minutes after Julian had left for work. Once a bit better the witch flooed Lori, asking her to come over and help her cook a nice dinner for Julian when he came home. She had finally gotten up the courage to admit some very important news. Good news, she decided. Or at least she hoped it would be good news to his ears. A home-cooked dinner (with some help) seemed like the best way to start things off.

True to form, Nicole had accidentally burned one of the dishes on the stove. If that wasn't enough, flames engulfed the pan shortly thereafter. Nicole had no idea how it happened. Frustrated beyond belief and still feeling nauseous, Nicole was gently nudged out of the kitchen with a glass of ginger ale and a tube of crackers to settle her stomach.

Feeling like she was going to be sick again, Nicole decided to sit down. She glared daggers at the half-empty glass and the half-full tube of crackers. What had she done wrong to make the food burn? What caused the pan to catch fire? The witch could prepare some things just fine... why was it that anything requiring stove usage often resulted in a glob of unsavory, charred mishmash without someone watching her every move?

At least Nicole had managed to do a good part of it on her own...

After several minutes Lori walked out of the small kitchen. She approached Nicole, sat down beside her, and wrapped a sisterly arm around the witch. "Oh, stop sulking! You did fine. I'm not sure what caused it, either. Maybe you're getting some of your magic back, hm?" the younger woman suggested.

Nicole shrugged. "Why now, though? That doesn't make any sense. Unless..."

"Don't worry about that. For right now, though, you've a lovely dinner all ready and waiting for Julian. With a dessert! And you did most of it yourself! That's quite a long way from when you first got here, Nikki. Everything's all magicked to keep warm until he gets home - just ask him to take the enchantments off... or you could use the wand he gave you."

Nicole nodded. She turned thoughtful, then appeared slightly unenthused about using the wand. "I would rather only use my wand when I absolutely have to. Julian is incredibly kind about my..." Words failed the witch, for the word "condition" could refer to a great many things. She sighed and smiled a little, "He's incredibly kind all the way around, actually."

Lori beamed. "So you've told me a great many times in these four years. And I am so happy you finally found someone like him, Nikki!" The woman gave her friend a hug, then slowly stood. "You deserve a man like that. And, speaking of your man, I'm sure Jules is due to be home soon. So... I think I'm going to go and let you finish up with anything you need to do before he gets here."

"... I need to get rid of feeling like I'm gonna hurl..." Despite the truth of Nicole's words there was a hint of laughter just beneath the surface.

A laugh echoed from Lori. "That's what this is for," she retorted just as playfully, nudging the glass of ginger ale toward Nicole. "Do let me know how he takes the news, alright?"

Nicole, fearing the glass would tip over and onto the floor regardless of their playful attitudes, promptly scooped up the drinking vessel. She smiled hopefully, once again plunging her thoughts into various scenarios. "Of course. And... thank you, for everything."

"You're welcome, as always. If you need anything else, you know how to reach me." Lori waved to Nicole before ducking into the floo, disappearing in a haze of green smoke.

Alone once again, Nicole glanced around the house. She took a sip from her ginger ale. A glance at the opened container of crackers made the witch wrinkle her nose. She had eaten enough crackers to choke a parrot in the past three days alone. With a sigh she stood, checked the kitchen to see the finished product of her and Lori's work, and finally went to her and Julian's bedroom to change into something a little more appropriate for the occasion. With any luck she would be dressed and the table mostly set by the time Julian arrived.

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Julian Kaiser

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PostSubject: Re: Expecting the Unexpected   Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:16 am

Julian had never really been very good at buying gifts -- or, to put it more accurately, buying gifts for his now ex-wife. She'd been very fussy, patronising, and difficult to please. Fortunately, his girlfriend of several years now was much easier to buy for, and so when he realised he was likely to spend all day distracted because she was home sick, he decided to nip over to Diagon Alley on his lunch break and buy her something to cheer her up.

It had become almost a ritual for them to buy each other pricey or hard-to-find alcohol just because, but considering that she wasn't feeling very well, Julian skipped the booze and looked elsewhere. Idle trinkets weren't really Nicole's thing either though, so he passed over that stall, as well. He'd spent three quarters of his allotted meal break rejecting various items while munching on a huge turkey leg (clearly it was going to be a lunch-to-go type of situation) when he finally set eyes on something so completely ridiculous that he knew it'd be perfect. If Nicole didn't cry from laughing so hard when she saw it, he didn't know her at all.

After purchasing the item in question from a rather incredulous vendor, Julian spent the rest of his day vacillating between concern for Nicole and eagerness to show her just what he'd spent his lunch hour acquiring. Needless to say, it was a rather unproductive day and the prospective Aurors that he was supposed to be training enjoyed a rather lax day being walked through the usually dreaded three "P's" -- procedure, paperwork, and protocol -- before being sent home a half hour early.

As soon as they were gone, Julian headed for Diagon Alley once more, where he'd been forced to leave Nicole's gift because of its size. Since the flat that Julian and Nicole shared was a short walk away, it'd made much more sense to just pick it up on the way home from work, although he hadn't given much thought to how he would look carrying the thing. Fortunately, the trip into the muggle world between The Leaky Cauldron and his flat was short enough that he didn't have to dodge any questions about the strange magical object he was forced to carry rather than levitate before him with his wand. He was breaking about a half-dozen laws in doing so but no one seemed to notice, except to point and laugh.

Finally he made it to the front door, slyly opened the door using his wand hidden in his pocket, and lugged Nicole's present inside. He left it leaning against the front door and headed for the stairs before the smell of something delicious assaulted his nostrils. He paused in his tracks, sniffing the air curiously. Maybe Lori came by, he thought, relieved that Nicole had been looked after in his absence. Nicole wasn't much one for cooking, and he couldn't think why on earth she'd try it now, when she was feeling so poorly.

"Nicole?" Julian called out hesitantly, unsure if maybe she was sleeping. "I'm home."
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PostSubject: Re: Expecting the Unexpected   Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:23 am

Nicole started when she heard the door open, nearly spilling the glass she’d been pouring ale into for Julian. The table was set: not perfect enough to appease a snooty pureblood, but enough to suit her and Julian, and be considered fancier than normal. So what if a spoon was out of place, or the knife facing the wrong way? At least it was on the table. Plates were already laid out with the dishes she, and mostly Lori, had made during the day. However, one was deliberately kept hidden.



Eclectic would be a very apt word for the meals on the plates. It appeared to be a sort of sauerbraten. Nicole knew Julian’s favorite was steak, so instead of pot roast she – or rather, she asked Lori to use steak instead. Glancing at the finished product, Nicole was slightly reminded of when her mother would prepare Salisbury steak. For a side, Nicole and Lori had attempted to make a variety of potato dumplings that Nicole had spotted on a website for German cuisine. These were the items Nicole had burned, and Lori subsequently rescued.

The smell of the food, although good, made Nicole nauseous. She took another sip of her ginger ale and fought off the sensations assaulting her. It would be a good and successful dinner that would not involve her dashing to the bathroom every five minutes. Nicole would be damned before she’d let that goal slip from her fingers.

“I’m in the dining room,” she called, scurrying to put the ale away and make sure everything was in its proper place. “Dinner’s on the table whenever you’re ready.” Damn that sounded strange coming out of her mouth, Nicole thought. She wasn’t exactly a housewife, after all. Nicole checked her appearance on a reflective surface: she straightened her hair, which still looked a little limp in reflection of how the rest of her body felt. She also had a slight surprise for Julian in that instead of pajamas or something of her usual caliber, Nicole was wearing the little black dress she’d worn the night they went for a ride on a magic carpet. If it weren’t for her unusual pallor and the occasional expression of dizziness flickering across her face, one would never guess she was feeling a few bullets off of a full clip.

After a steadying breath, Nicole headed toward the stairs. “Lori stopped by and...” The witch gave a graceful but awkward gesture back toward where she’d been, looking up at Julian. She hadn’t yet noticed the new object in the room, being as nervous as she was. “... and helped me out a bit.” Nicole could feel a blush soaring for her cheeks. She hated asking for help and admitting she needed it. And she wanted Julian to know before he saw what was for dinner that it hadn’t all been Lori’s idea. It was a pride thing.

She plucked at the semi-sheer black shawl around her shoulders. “How was your day?”

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