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by: Cole Callaway
#10979
"Niffler," Cole repeated, let that settle, and then he shook his head. "Learning every day with this unit, I swear." He sighed heavily as he followed Orion closely with his flashlight in hand, and kept his eyes up. "Pet? People keep these little thieves as pets?" He narrowed his eyes. "I mean, I suppose that could be a thing." Oh, the creatures of the 'other side' were so intriguing, and bizarre. It kept his job interesting, but sometimes it took a great while to process just how weird things were out there.

To the tail end of the kid's speech, he just scoffed. Not to mock him or offend him, but more to commiserate the fact that they would have to take the steps necessary to learn the habits of this strange creature, and contain it, unharmed. "Thanks for coming out on this one, kid." He said, sincerely. Cole wouldn't know where to even begin with something like this on his own, that was for sure. "I mean it."
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by: Orion Burgess
#11056
Orion nodded.

Except for their greed for shiny things, they're really quite affectionate and intelligent. Do you have a piece of paper?"

Orion patted his own pockets and came up with a bit of string and a gum wrapper. He seemed pleased with the find and promptly laid them out before poking at them with his wand. The string became a long wriggling worm, the wrapper a bit of smelly fish. Orion planned on making the paper into some mushrooms.

"They're goblin pets, mostly. The goblins use them to sniff out bits of ore or gemstones, sort of like how people use dogs and pigs to find truffles. But wizards enjoy them for their plush fur and personable antics."

The wizard squatted by his offerings and made a kissing sound commonly used to attract the attention of a pet.
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by: Alexandra Taylor
#11279
"Thank you," Lex said as Arlo set out chairs for the two of them. She took a seat as he did and habitually smoothed out her pencil skirt, listening to his question and offering him a slight shrug. "Your guess would be as good as mine," she admitted or at least seemed to admit. The orientation today had given her enough of a clue that this sort of thing was something she could see being a typical part of one's day, yet perhaps not. How often did magical creatures find themselves amidst muggles, after all? It had never seemed a huge problem during her time in the wizarding world. "If I'm being perfectly honest, I only began this very morning and am a bit shocked to still be working after shift." Lex chewed back her lip slightly then released it as she looked around at the items in the shop. "How about you?" she asked as her eyes settled back on Arlo. "Have you seen anything odd like this before?" Hopefully he understood she didn't necessarily mean the Niffler in specific but rather anything that would strike a muggle as odd. Somehow, she imagined things were typically fairly mundane about a shop like this. She wondered how he'd known to contact MI5, though, much less Director Jones. Had he worked for Paranormal in the past? or at the very least the Agency?

How much was ok to ask or to say? Lex figured her instinct was enough to go by. Whatever she wouldn't say to a muggle as a witch, she wouldn't say to a civilian as an agent. It followed, she thought.
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by: Arlo Beckett
#11293
It come as a surprise that the agent he'd been left with didn't have any sort of answer to confirm the trio that had showed up actually knew anything about what was going on. It was hard not to sigh. There was no way James would have given him a contact that was that incompetent... especially if said contact was in MI5.

A soft chuckle broke out at Agent Taylor's admittance that she was actually a rookie, or at the very least new to this particular department. That could also explain why the other two had left her outside on babysitting duty. Ease her into the regular work flow. Arlo supposed if paranormal was this particular division of MI5's specialty, it was probably on heck of a system shock to be exposed to all this magic stuff, especially if said new rookie had never been exposed to it before.

"Like this?" He wasn't sure if she was meaning the creature or just things that could be considered an oddity. In all honestly, being an antiques dealer that dabbled in higher end stuff, had a nice little perk of making the man somewhat of an oddity magnet... a few things come to mind that he'd acquired that he knew were magical in nature but Arlo wasn't sure he wanted to offer up that bit of information quite yet, so he offered Alex a shrug.

"Things like that creature no... can't say I've come across anything like that before. Odd stuff though? Sure. Most of the odds and ends are early 12th century. Necklaces and talismans that just give you a general bad vibe, texts you read and then can't get out of your head for days, idols that are supposed to bring you good luck. Stuff like that, though from what I've gathered that's pretty normal in the collection business. Most of the time buyers are already lined up for the stuff so it's never hear long. There's quite the market for that sort of thing."
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by: Alexandra Taylor
#11734
Lex nodded as Arlo asked for clarification then listened to his answer. It sounded like he had come across a wide variety of things, but it was hard to say if any of them were particularly...like this, like this based solely on his description. You could get a bad vibe of almost everything if you were conditioned to view certain types of things as creepy via movies, social norms, or your own family traditions. So, a bad vibe didn't necessarily mean cursed, and typically, if someone had cursed an item, it was with deadly intent, not to simply cause them to feel haunted or squicky about something. At least, that was how it had seemed in any coverage of the topic of cursed items at Hogwarts.

"I'd imagine there is. I've never been much of one for revenge or luck, though," she mused. "Sounds like the typical superstitions, though. I mean, back in the 12th century, they had some pretty odd practices." Lex shrugged. "What's your favorite object like that you've found?" He may or may not still have it in his possession, though she suspected even a collector would be likely to keep something if it caught his fancy particularly well. She was curious what it was and what he believed it did or had been told it was meant to do. Mostly, she was curious how many truly magical or potentially dangerous magical objects had made their way into the muggle population despite the Statute and strict laws.
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by: Arlo Beckett
#12100
"Favorite piece?" Arlo though a moment before standing and hobbling over to a bank of drawers along the back wall. After a moment of fishing around he brought back what looked to be a medallion of sorts and handed it to Agent Taylor. It was a bronze cast cross, with a serpent wrapped around it that looked meticulously crafted. Runes lined its edge and any any magical user that could read runes would know it was a ward of protection.

"I tend to favor artwork more than anything, Raphael, Monet," he said as he retook his seat.""But this has always called to me in a way I never quite could understand. From what I've been able to piece together, its medieval/crusader European in nature, possibly 8th-11th century. The workmanship is incredible for the time period... see the way the runes are laid into its edge? I still haven't been able to figure out what they mean or what language the could be. The cross itself would have been something given to a knight or a fighter, heading out on his first crusade... maybe a means of protection..."
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by: Cole Callaway
#12130
"Uh..." Cole patted his own pockets and fished through them for the paper requested. He wasn't sure what the kid was onto, but then again he wasn't sure about most things magical. Seen things? Yes. Expected things? No. Everything was so random and wild when it came to that "side", Cole didn't know what he was going to do with the item in question. He successfully found a couple of receipts and gum wrappers of his own and surrendered them to Orion. "Here ya are. Go nuts."

The senior agent stood back and literally watched the magic unfold. The kid had created something from nothing, or rather animals from what would be considered trash, which was interesting to say the least, and he caught on to what Orion was planning to do. Huh. He smirked.

"Personable..." Cole echoed, his lips pursed as he shook his head. Seemed like this lil pet was a little more trouble than it was worth, but then again it also seemed to mimic the personality traits of a raccoon or a ferret from here. Ferrets liked to scurry off with personal belongings too, as he'd had issue with a friend's pet before that snatched his wallet and it took him an hour to find it. Cole sighed and hoped this wasn't going to be the same case. However, the more he was learning from the kid, the more invested he seemed to be in this creature.
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by: Orion Burgess
#12136
A bit of movement under a shelf caught Orion's eye. A grin spread across his lips and he finished twisting the paper into a little curl. With a tap of his wand, it became a mushroom shaving. Orion waved Cole backwards a few steps and duck stepped back himself.

"It's okay, cutey, come on out..."

The niffler finally emerged, looking like a mix between an echidna and a mole. To Orion's trained eye, it seemed thin and sluggish. He reached out and stroked the creature as it vacuumed up all the food. The creature sniffed his hand, looking for more food. As it nibbled his fingertips, Orion scooped it up with his other hand.

"Mission accomplished, niffler captured. Now what?"

Orion cuddled the creature and looked out over the store. Some items were broken, so the young agent waved his wand and repaired them. Orion looked over at Cole with a smile.
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by: Alexandra Taylor
#12234
Lex waited patiently for Arlo's return as he retrieved the object in question and took it carefully in hand to examine it as he told her about it. She recognized the runes. They were legitimate, not some garden variety muggle imitation. But while she recognized their legitimacy, she only recognized one rune, the one for protection. It was funny how the brain picked and chose what stuck with you after a class you took out of curiosity. She still had the book, could probably translate the entire thing for Arlo, but that would mean outing herself to MI5 if anyone found out and she wasn't ready for that. She might be able to spin it as a mutual fascination to Arlo, but if he went talking or gave her other things as a result? That was a slippery slope she didn't want to go down. He'd want to know what books she read, etc., etc. and she'd be able to provide only titles to books that didn't exist so far as he was concerned.

Lex smiled as she handed the protective artifact toward Arlo. "You're probably right. I mean, religious symbols often were believed to carry quite a lot of weight and power to the believer, weren't they?" It was just funny when combined with something that had ultimately been a target by religious zealots who wanted to purge the world of heretics.
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by: Cole Callaway
#16838
Cole looked over at his partner for the day, unable to keep his eyes off of the creature in his hands. It was a peculiar little thing, and funny to think that this little one had caused such a ruckus to have three agents appear on the scene. He shook his head. "You know, you think I'd be used to something like this by now but...I'm really not sure that's ever going to happen." He laughed.

All in a damn day's work. Callaway mused, finding it hilarious that he was still surprised by the things he would see on the daily. He put his hands on his hips and sighed, before shrugging slightly. "You've repaired the man's stuff which is more than metro would do so that's good work, Orion. As for that one...hmm." He hummed as he pondered on that for a moment. "Well, I'd say cage it, if you can. At least until we get it to headquarters. We were sent here to contain them, and that's what we gotta do. At least get a report on him before you take him off to release it, I'm assuming?"
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by: Arlo Beckett
#16839
Arlo took the artifact back and set it down on a table that was near. He'd put it away later once everything was back under control and the agents were done with their trap and retrieval mission. The older man turned to Lex with a smile. "Something like that. Most back in that day and time were brought up with the idea that the more devout they were and the more they believed the more likely it was that whomever they chose to put their faith in would protect them. Then again it could also be a sign of influence, maybe given to a rich noble, a baron or duke perhaps. Something that showed you had favor of the church. All speculation of course. I'm more than a bit rusty on my early history."

He let out a chuckle at that admission and leaned back as comfortably as he could get in the metal chair. To be honest he hadn't kept up much with current archeological papers nor the history behind some of the things he'd squirreled away over the years since joining the MEP back in his youth. Arlo cast a sidelong glance back at the closed door where the other agents had disappeared to and wondered if they'd been successful. It hadn't been all that long but it'd been long enough...and with no sounds coming from the room it was hard to judge the state of things.
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by: Alexandra Taylor
#16885
Lex nodded. It sounded correct from what she remembered. "Me too, I must admit," she replied. She hardly counted the brief amount of muggle history she'd received in Hogwarts as adequate, and history had been something she'd breezed through and considered somewhat dull aside from a few points in the home studies her parents had made her keep up with. Honestly, Professor Binns' History of Magic classes were probably fresher on her mind than that of her own true blood background. Funnily enough, though, she just remembered wars. Someone or some group got mad and out came a war that was fought. Seemed to be the one thing they shared in common.

"Wonder how it's going in there for the boys with that...creature," she mused. She'd never had to wrangle a niffler, but if he had enough shinies back there, it could either be incredibly difficult to round the creature up or incredibly easy to bait and trap. Either way, hopefully it was going well. She did fancy going home and eating, she realized as her stomach growled much to her chagrin. She offered Arlo a sheepish grin. "Seems it realizes I'm late to the dinner table."
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by: Orion Burgess
#17195
Orion cuddled the niffler, cooing little praises to it to keep it calm as he headed to the door. The attention he was giving to the creature was a distraction technique to hide his pleased embarrassment from the praises Cole had given him.

"Cages won't do well; I can keep her secure while the reports are filed and then take her somewhere safe. I think she was someone's pet, so I'll see if any of the goblins I know are interested in having a niffler. They don't do well as human pets generally. Too destructive...but oh so soft and cuddly! Aren't you? Yes you are! Yes you are!"

Orion tickled the creature again, drawing out a pleased chortle from it as it started playing back with him.
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by: Cole Callaway
#17334
Callaway nodded. "Right then you do what's best for it, and make sure it doesn't break loose so we can escort the niffler out of here. Like I said, we have to log it, and then consult with the department on how and where to release it. Pet, or whatever is best." He didn't want to use the word dispose since that would seem insensitive, and being a pet owner himself with a pup at home, he likened Burgess' attachment to the creature to that.

Orion seemed to have a good connection with it, and once it was secure he would escort them out of the newly-refurbished shop, hoping to report to the owner that the mission was a success. Even though he wasn't much help in the matter, it was surely an interesting day to log in the books. "Whenever you're ready, mate." He gestured toward the door, signifying the mild urgency he had that he wanted to leave and get back to the office, since this was going to generate some paperwork to be done, and also as a courtesy to let Arlo get back to work in peace.
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by: Arlo Beckett
#17416
Arlo didn't get a chance to answer the agent. As soon as he'd been about to speak the distinct sound of a door opening could be heard and his attention turned to the other two agents as they emerged. Agent Burgess seemed to have hold of some sort of creature. Hopefully it was the little bugger that had been on the verge of giving him an aneurysm earlier.

The older man stood as the pair approached and it was at that time Callaway informed him all was well and they caught the furry little bastard responsible for the mess. Not that he'd have to worry about that either apparently... Thought for another day. At least this meant no more valuables and trinkets would go missing and he could get back to life.

Arlo grabbed his cane once everyone seemed ready to leave and contact information was exchanged in case the agents needed anything from him or vice versa. He walked them to the door and followed them out, locking up as everyone exited the building. Plenty of excitement had been had for the night and right now all the older man wanted to do was head home, drink a beer, smoke a cig and relax for a few hours.

Once the agents were headed back to their respective vehicles, Arlo hopped in the old pick-up he called a truck. He sat there in silence for a few moments before turning the key and hearing the comforting rumble of the 87 Dodge. A grin worked its way onto his face as he reached for the button to turn the radio on. That done he put the truck into gear and headed home.
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