The people and tourists of London, just as those around the world, love to shop and eat. Visit a store, have a quick bite with a friend, or just wander the street. Whatever your goal is today, you can get just about any of it done at some part of London.
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by: Lydia Thomas
Friday, 23 March 2012
11:00 a.m.

She had not found her father. She had not found her brother. Consequently, she had not found much of anything aside from reason for concern.

There seemed to be an air of social unrest. While no one seemed particularly against the regime (at least that she had spoken with), they certainly had issues with the more recent shift in rulers and had plenty of opinions to offer. She'd tried to put her feelers out for resistance groups but to no avail. She had returned home to Alan's that evening, glad she hadn't left him a goodbye note since she now felt stumped and had no idea where to proceed from here. She needed to figure out the mutants first, then, and worry about internal conflicts and such second. She'd hoped that Julian and Delilah would focus on them despite the differences in their points of view, but it seemed Delilah had something to do with the government, and who knew what her brother had been up to. So long as it was something and not self-pitying, she supposed it didn't matter.

Alan was off at work when she woke up. At least, Lydia assumed that was the case. She'd moved through the motions of getting ready before deciding she would go into London and enjoy a danish and a coffee. She doubted it would accomplish much more than filling her stomach and giving her energy, but Lydia needed a game plan. If Julian and Delilah weren't doing anything to stop the mutants so far as she could tell, then that would be her task now.

Once she was satisfied enough with her appearance, Lydia apparated to the alley behind the cafe she'd come to favor over the past bit of time she'd been here. As she began to walk toward the alley exit to enter the small cafe, however, she was stopped by....
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by: Sam Sullivan
Ten days ago, Lina had given Sam the idea to search for other time travelers. He knew of Soren's friends, but the displacement threshold indicated that there were probably more. As such, he'd rigged his chronometer to have an alarm function if anyone had the tell-tale particle residue of time travel.

It was a long shot; the odds of just encountering someone on the street who was a time traveler were impossible. Still, the upgrade had been something to do in his spare time.

Beedeep beedeep!

Sam stopped dead in his tracks to stare in bewilderment at his chronometer. It was doing exactly what he had just decided was impossible. There was a time traveler nea-

A woman ran into him, causing him to stagger and stammer an apology.

"Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry, are you okay?"

His alarm was still going off. How did he disable it again? Sam fumbled quickly with the instrument before giving up and removing it, placing it in his pocket to muffle the beeping.
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by: Lydia Thomas
"Um, yeah," Lydia replied, brushing some of her short brown hair behind her ear as she glanced at the item in the boy's hand. It was hard not to notice it with the racket it was making. "What is that?" She couldn't help it. She was curious, and she felt mostly safe to indulge in curiosities in this day and age she had come back to. After all, her judgment in people had seemed fairly good thus far. Alan was...well, Alan. Safe and like a big, cuddly teddy bear. She'd never tested the cuddly bit, but he was good at hugs the few times she'd given him a quick, happy one in thanks.

And this bloke was a bit younger than Alan but had a friendly face. There was something in his face that looked different than most, but it wasn't enough to make Lydia feel alarmed. She wrote it off as being frazzled thanks to their run-in and the high-pitched, annoying beeping. She'd heard muggle devices before but not like this. This was odd, like a detector of sorts. The only time she'd heard beeping this pitch was the time the fire detector had gone off before her adoptive dad had left her and her mom. Mom had a lovely habit of forgetting the hood over the stove when cooking.
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by: Sam Sullivan
Maybe if he smashed it, he'd get it to well as destroy his way home and his warning signal for other time travelers. Out of desperation, he pulled it from his pocket and removed the battery. The beeping thankfully stopped, but now he had to explain what it was. Well...Truth or partial truth? He gave the girl a half grin and teased instead. It was a useful way to put most people off. Then again, it might just make her more curious.

"You wouldn't believe me if I told you that it's a chronodisplacer and chrononaut tracker, so I'll just say it's a watch."

If she WAS his time traveler nearby, she'd probably start getting either interested or nervous. So...let the hunt begin.
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by: Lydia Thomas
Lydia watched as he took apart the device and removed the battery. Well, that was nice, wasn't it? She rubbed her ear to attempt to get rid of the residual beeping then listened as the boy used some technical terms, stating she wouldn't believe it. She crossed her arms and lifted her chin slightly. "Why? Because I'm a girl? I bet you a cup of coffee if you used modern vernacular and not science lingo, I could." She tilted her head in impatient challenge as she awaited his response. Lydia had never enjoyed boys who believed girls wouldn't believe them or that they were smarter, so hopefully he chose his words carefully when he reworded to layman's terms.
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by: Sam Sullivan
Because she was a- what? What a ridiculous assumption! Sam looked at the girl like she was crazy. They weren't in grade school anymore where boys and girls had an age old rivalry.

"No, what I meant was-this device, look..." He stopped himself and took a breath, trying again. Why not dazzle her with the truth? Either she was a time traveler or she wasn't. If she was, he had to get her a cup of coffee for getting her to understand the detector, so there was that incentive.

"I said you wouldn't understand it because it technically doesn't exist yet. It's a goes beep if there's a time traveler around. Well, another time traveler besides me. "

He gave her a conspiratorial grin as if to assure her he wasn't crazy. If she was not what he thought she was, he'd explain that today was international pretend you're a time traveler day. It was really on December 8th, but if she knew that, he'd buy her the coffee shop, not just a coffee.
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by: Lydia Thomas
Lydia nearly giggled at the boy's look. Well, that was refreshing to see that perhaps there were boys out there who weren't misogynistic. Though clearly, he was out of touch to some degree to think her crazy rather than understand. Then again, weren't most boys clueless about how a woman lived and thought and why? At least until they had someone they deeply cared about of their own? Lydia mentally shrugged the thought away to listen as he explained. He seemed to struggle at first.

Lydia felt her stomach turn and her blood run cold at the statement. It was a bit unsettling to think there was a device that made her situation obvious. The boy seemed friendly enough, but what if it was a guise? Would the Death Eaters have sent back someone separately from Julian and Delilah to try to off any attempts by Isis or any other group to stop their future?

Lydia drew her wand, glad they hadn't gone inside yet. "What are you here for?" It was a demand, though hesitation was in her voice. She hadn't had to deal with much confrontation since coming back and knowing nothing of who this wizard was...
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by: Sam Sullivan
Out came the wand. Yahoo, rock and roll, he'd found his time traveler!

Sam put his hands up and smiled at her with his eyebrows raised. He backed up a few steps slowly and tried to explain.

"I'm from a good future...I'm just here to find out why our history text books keep disappearing. So far, I've found some discrepancies and so was looking for other time travelers to see if maybe you guys caused it. Your turn."

He made a dual finger-gun gesture towards her and gave a cheesy grin. If he kept the mood light, maybe she'd answer questions
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by: Lydia Thomas
"Text books?" Lydia asked, her face tilting forward slightly with confusion. "You're here for text books?" Her tone was a bit incredulous. She shook her head. Of all things to go back to the past for and likely end up stuck here to live out the rest of your life, text books. "What sort of text books are disappearing that they're so important? Some sort of nuclear physics?" Lydia sighed. "Who sent you?"

This boy might think that she would fess up to her reasons with him giving her the cliff note's version of his reason for being here. In her experience, "good," as defined by an individual, was relative. It wasn't like the Death Eaters were doing what they did out of some attempt to be "evil" and the most "bad ass" group out there. They believed their ideals had merit and were therefore driven by them and compelled to see them realized.
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by: Sam Sullivan
Feisty, wasn't she? Sam found himself grinning at her obvious skepticism and confusion. Probably not from a utopic future then, was she?

"Why don't I tell you over that cup of coffee I owe you? I know a good spot. Come on."

He started walking, then spoke again over his shoulder.

"Public place, plenty of witnesses if you decide to slap me and tell me to get the hell out of your life. Really good mochas too."

Either she'd come and hear the story about the combined ministry affairs office or she'd disappear and he'd have to find her again...Hopefully she followed. Sam liked their caramel mocha recipe and he was eager to talk with another time traveler.
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by: Lydia Thomas
Perhaps following a complete and perfect stranger who knew you were a time traveler and claimed to be one himself was not the best tactic to stay alive, yet Lydia found herself daring a smile and a nod. "Only if they have some form of a lemon loaf!" she said. It wasn't as common as back across the pond where she'd been raised, yet they had some form of lemon cake-like substance that was satisfying enough. If he would buy her a bit of that to go with her coffee, she would be happy as a clam. Then again, it typically took little to make Lydia happy, sad to say.

"Though I won't guarantee no slapping, hmm?" she said with a pointed look. He tried something funny, said something she didn't like the sound of, and she wouldn't hesitate to play that card. Plenty of people would surely come to the assistance of a "damsel in distress," no? She could only hope. At the very least, she was safer there than alone in this alley with him. Granted, it wouldn't be as quick and easy to get away in public either. She gave his backside a suspicious look. Boy was smart.
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by: Sam Sullivan
Sam could accept that. After all, the threat of physical retaliation wasn't new. A cuff or a smack was a very Spiral way of rebuking a youngster getting out of line. Not that Sam ever got out of line...and got caught. A tight smile bloomed and disappeared at the thought.

The small cafe was a hole-in-the-wall little place run by a nice French couple. In addition to the coffees and pastries, they sold small truffles they hand made. Sam was a sucker for chocolate, so it wasn't too surprising when Mrs. Dubois greeted him by name.

"Sammy! Good to see you again, my by...let me guess, caramel mocha, dark chocolate truffle again, yes? Ah, and you brought a pretty friend...what will she be having?"

Sam returned the greeting just as enthusiastically, affirming the order. Rather than speak for the girl, he turned to her and let her make her own order.
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by: Lydia Thomas
Lydia followed as the boy led the way to the small coffee shop. From the outside, it looked like just any other. Lydia couldn't say the inside stood out either, but it seemed the boy was a regular as the person behind the counter called to him by name. Well then, that was one piece of the mystery that she held. She would assume "Sam" would be the safer option to call him by if she used his name, although she wasn't sure if it was short for anything or simply "just" Sam. Even her second cousin Sam had been short for Samuel, though. She wondered if he was still alive or how he had fared in this day and age and the changing political climate. He had worked for the Ministry, but she had her doubts that he had remained working there after all that had happened.

Lydia looked at Sam for a moment before stepping forward and glancing up at the menu after giving the lady a small smile in greeting. "I'll have a...vanilla latte," she said then glanced at the pastry display. "And...well, do you have anything lemon?"
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by: Sam Sullivan
"I have a lemon cake and a lemon glazed scone, sweet heart....hand made from lemons I grew myself..."

The older woman smiled indulgently. Sam bit his tongue to keep from adding to her pride...Mrs. Dubois had grown the tree from a seed that her grandmother had given her from a tree in France. The heritage tree, as she called it, gave her all the lemon juice she needed to make her cakes and treats. Sam had gotten the story from her when he first found the was a little surprising that she didn't go into it with the girl.

Sam laid down the necessary money for the order and took a seat by the window. He let Lydia have the seat closest to the door. Part of it was politeness in case she decided to leave, part of it was because he wanted to see who came in, if anyone. Call it paranoia, it just felt more comfortable that way. He pulled out his Combined Ministry Affairs badge and slid it across the table to show her.

"So, I'm Sam Sullivan. i'm an agent for Homeland Defense in the future. What we have appears to be an unraveling, starting with when the magical worlds and muggle worlds combined."

He kept his voice low and encouraging, smiling through the information. He didn't want to get anyone's attention but hers. After all, muggles didn't need to know about magic yet, did they?
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by: Lydia Thomas
"How lovely," Lydia replied with genuine happiness over this fact. It was always so much better hand made than from a box or from a chain store by a big brand. "I'll take the cake, please?" She smiled sweetly, figuring she had given the woman enough enthusiasm and hoped to not have to engage in further conversation for the time being. After all, she was far more interested in this Sammy and his time travel detecting device and his future where books disappearing was enough of a reason to send someone to investigate the goings-on.

Lydia sat down in the remaining chair, hiding her own discomfort with the seating arrangement as she did so. They were in a different time. It was safe. No one was going to barge into the building to attack. She swallowed at the unpleasant thought. Her group may have been quite lucky as far as things went in the future, but that made them enviable and being enviable made them a clear target.

Then Sam introduced himself officially and it didn't truly answer much of what questions he'd sparked in her heads earlier. Still, she'd begin with the easiest question to start with. Easiest as in most obvious. "Unraveling?"[…]

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