Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 4:44 pm
Location: On a Journey
I should like, first and foremost, to apologize profusely for my delay in further correspondence with you all. Kraven and I have been enduring some rather large hardships, the worst of which being that, due to circumstances which I will relay in this letter, our Owls have been denied delivery to us by the PALM people. We have received no communication, this long, rough year. This has made our struggles all the more...struggly. We both...well, I can't speak for Kraven of course...miss everyone greatly. Fortunately, things seem to be moving forward again for us, out here in Nova Scotia and, with luck, a pile of letters should be plopped on our doorstep any day now. We are at least now able to send Owls OUT, and since there is now better news for us to share with you, the timing is quite appropriate.
Before I get to the dark and dreary stuff, a little bit of light catching up is in order.
First, Amelia, I assume our Daffodil is in good health? I forgot to tell you that it hates...positively loathes...snow. Not that that has been an issue over the summer, of course, but as we head into the winter months again, it is good to keep in mind. I would also love to hear about your first classes, and how they have gone! I am sure you've already Owled me with your stories, I hope they get released to us soon. You have been in my thoughts, my dear friend.
Secondly, Rook and Kraven have finally come to some sort of agreement. I'm not entirely certain what it is, but Rook doesn't chomp at his hands nearly as much as he used to. I'm hoping it is not because Kraven put something icky-tasting on his gloves...but I would not be shocked if that were the case. He has grown ever more despondent as time has passed out here. How? Not certain - can you imagine him even MORE despondent than he already always has been? I laugh to think of it! I get the impression that his mood is only partially a result of what we've been going through. Rather, it seems to me further due to the lack of response on Bridget MacAlister's part, to all of his mooney-eyed glances. She is having none of it which, I must say, amuses me greatly. It turns out she is all business, that one!
Tori: Thank you for your letter, and the pendants. That delivery came before They cut us off from correspondence, thank goodness. It lifted our spirits hugely!
So, as I've said, things have been rough. Here is what has been going on:
The suggestion that I made to the Timmernak people when we first met with them was initially met with some hope and interest, and they began to take the notion into consideration. It made sense to me: If PALM didn't want Kraven to have anything to do with rebuilding the Timmernak school on the site of such devastation, despite his having the resources to fund such a project, then why not hand the whole thing to him, let us take the school elsewhere, and build it in a place where it would be accepted? Kraven and I would found the school and assure an education for its students, the financial burden would be removed from the MacAlisters and Jean-Francois, and the new Timmernak would be well away from PALM, and us well away from them. Win win, right?
Right. Although it was logically accepted by them that Kraven did not willingly destroy the school and students of Timmernak, it was still a rough patch to cross, the notion of handing full ownership of Timmernak to the very man who, at least physically, annihilated it. So they took the idea away with them and pondered it. And pondered. And pondered.
While they were pondering, Kraven and I remained cooped up and freezing in that little on-site shack we were still in at the time. It was claustrophobic all winter long, with Rook pecking at Kraven's hands, Kraven making fun of my haircut (which I maintain to this day because I personally like how it came out, even though it was from a flaming, just-missed curse), the cold stone of the shack damp with winter chill.
Their pondering took us into spring. There was a knock on the shack door one morning and, when I blearily opened it, MacAlister came bursting in with this bug-eyed expression on his face. I couldn't tell, as I sat him down to tea, if it was hope, excitement, or terror that swarmed around his visage, but it didn't take long to get the news out of him.
Turns out, they were truly seriously considering our proposal! "Yippee!" I thought, until he went on to inform us that PALM had problems with the idea. Huge problems. The delay in their decision was due to PALM and their contrary belief that Kraven was nothing better than a vile Skrewt. Many PALM members lost loved ones that day, and I understood that...but again, the fact that poor Kraven was imperiused when he did it made all the difference to me. And to those who were speaking up for us. But, not to them.
MacAlister looked very sheepish when he then informed us, now over very cold and untouched tea, that if we truly wished to take Timmernak and rebuild it elsewhere, thereby removing Kraven-the-Bane-of-Their-Existence from this old site and out of their country completely, we would have to endure a whole slew of hearings. Tedious hearings, where both of us would stand in judgement by PALM regarding Kraven's actions, and our intentions. And THEN they would decide.
What else could we do? We agreed. I couldn't help but laugh a little at the irony of PALM's wishes. They wanted Kraven Bloodthorne well off of their grounds and out of their domain, but these hearings would only serve to keep him there THAT much longer. Not too smart, those PALM folks.
The PALM Hearings started in the spring, and just now have come to a final conclusion. During this time, a wonderful wizarding family who sympathized with our plight and fully supported our intentions took us into their home, which alleviated the misery of the on-site shack. Other than a struggle of irritation between our host and Rook, who do not get along (and perhaps THAT is why Rook is nice to Kraven now), things have been peaceful at this homestead. I assist our hostess with household needs, particularly the gardening. She shared a story with me of her mishaps in Herbology when she was a girl and is, I think, sad to be seeing us finally go, soon. I've written up an Herbological Care Book, rather similar to the one I left with Professor Emberwing, that should hold her just fine after we are gone.
It is still difficult to even remember, let alone write about, the initial-stage PALM Hearings. The ones where they put Kraven on trial for Timmernak's destruction. He has been serving a penance through his own guilt this entire time, and they had to drag out all of the pain and hurt and fear once again. It was miserable to see him endure that, miserable to behold the entire process. I sat there in the rows, with everyone else, and simply watched. They were not interested in me, or my statements about the whole thing. Of course, I wasn't there, and thus anything I had to say about Kraven's character and his good acts after the incident were useless to them. It was a dark several weeks.
I will simply say, about that stage of the process, that he won. HE WON, everyone. HE WON! He won begrudgingly, of course, but he won. Despite PALM's maniacal hatred for him, at least a little bit of logic prevailed. They simply could not condemn him, the man and wizard that sat before them with tears rolling down his face, as a murderer and destroyer of innocent lives and hallowed property. Not in the face of everything that had been going on since. Not in the face of who made him do it. Which was interesting - given that PALM is primarily full of Drake supporters. Perhaps some of them were not. Or, perhaps, despite their inclinations, they finally saw the light? Or, perhaps, they just want him out of here. That could be it. I hope that someday, Kraven will share his impressions with you, when he is ready to speak about it. The latest activity here and the excitement of it have lifted his spirits mightily...he even laughed out loud the other day, when he heard me running about the cottage garden shrieking like a Bean Sidhe (no offense intended, Clara), only to discover me flailing madly after having been set upon by a small horde of 2-inch pumpkins. You know, 2-inch pumpkins do not seem like much, individually. When they get together and gang up on you though? Whoo!
After that, they wanted to hear our plans. Enter several MORE weeks of trying to explain our idea to them. It was finally my turn to face them all, which was horrifying, to say the least. Especially my first time in front of them, when I was promptly temporarily asked to leave because my Daffodil petal, which I faithfully wear, began HONK HONK honking at the PALM jury. It's rather difficult to explain a great and brilliant idea to a jury of sour and skeptical faces that you know deep down dislike you very much. But I was steadfast and fighting for what is RIGHT, so I explained it over and over and over again. An agreement was finally reached, just three weeks ago:
Kraven gets Timmernak. He has the resources, which thereby relieves the MacAlisters from having to take that financial burden. It is our duty, now, to rebuild the school in another location well away from the site of such devastation and pain. That way, They never have to see or deal with us again, once we are gone. It was, however, also handed to us to fund the construction of a memorial to the Lost Children of Timmernak, on the site of the original school. And it was furiously stated that, once work was begun, we are to remove ourselves from this location. Permanently. And never to return.
Thus, the last three weeks have been a whirlwind of activity for us. Kraven has been working with quite a number of Wizard Contractors, many of whom worked on the repair, upkeep, and additions to the original Timmernak itself. A design has been laid out, at last, and having these particular gentlemen on board truly serves to create a fine memorial that maintains the integrity of what Timmernak was. It will be beautiful.
Meanwhile, now that I can, at least, send Owls OUT, I have been in correspondence regarding the location of the New Timmernak. After the upheaval of the PALM Hearings, I found myself dozing in the cottage garden one day, whereupon I had a dream about an alligator. A white alligator, very much like my own Patronus. In my dream, the alligator started off as tiny as the 2-inch pumpkins, and then began to grow and grow and grow until it filled up a vast expanse of swamp and curled its long tail around a castle. I woke up crying and laughing at the same time, and immediately jumped up to send a message to my family in New Orleans.
Kraven is not the only one with resources. After I sent my message, where I included a warning that I was still not receiving incoming Owls myself, it was not long before I received another knock on the cottage door, this one just before the stroke of midnight. I was delighted to see my fiance', Jean Thibodeaux, his vampire skin nearly glowing in the dark. NOT SPARKLING. Just luminous. You can quit snickering now.
My father had received my message and sent him as an emissary. Discussions were had, plans were made. While Kraven spearheaded the beginning work on the memorial, Jean and I hammered out some important details regarding New Timmernak (as I keep thinking of it as...it might stick, at this point). It turns out that the enormous stretch of swampy bayou, some miles outside of New Orleans, where my Voodoo grandmama lived with my paternal grandfather (the actions of whom caused my own Trouble-y curse, hence the 2-inch pumpkins) is still in the family. And my family has decided to donate it to Kraven and I for use in building the new school. Done, and done.
There are many more arrangements and plans to be made. We've figured it will take about 2 more weeks of work on the Memorial here, before Kraven feels satisfied that things are going well and according to plan. And then, we will finally FINALLY be departing from this place where so much suffering has accrued, and traveling to New Orleans to begin the RIGHT work of rebuilding Timmernak.
It has been a long road that we have traveled, so far, since Kraven and I left Avistrum a year ago. Exile. That is what it has felt like. Exile. It will take some time for either one of us to relax, to quit looking over our shoulder, to quit feeling so wand-shy. Now, though, we are moving forward, and much good is at last being done.
You are all, every single one of you, in my thoughts. Every day. It has been a very hard year for a very many witches and wizards. I remember Drake's promise to you (us) at the end of last term. I know what is coming. And I know that you are all strong, and have faith that you will prevail. After a long, dark year...it is good to feel that, for Kraven and I, our own sufferings have been worth it, and that hope and rebirth are in the near future. I wish the same for everyone.
I will most certainly be in touch as things progress, now that there are things to progress on! Once we re-settle ourselves down in Louisiana, I will let you all know. And, hopefully, our delayed Owls will come to us. We will answer each and every one.
A handful of last notes.
Clark: Are you taking care of my House? I know you, and I know my instincts, and therefore know that you do not feel worthy somehow. Crazy, crazy Clark. You were my Enigmus inspiration when I, myself, was a student. How could you not be that same inspiration now? Think on that. Puzzle it out.
Johnny: I believe in you.
Aleator: I will think of you when I make it to the South.
To everyone: I love you all. I think Kraven might, too. You know, a little bit.
I am now off to fashion mosquito-guards for our brooms. Flight-travel in the south can be a messy business.
With huge love, a warm heart, and a whole lot of pumpkins,
Audrey Trouble Deserand
Striving to do what is RIGHT.