Daily Prophet

Amortentia
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Seulgi reached the ever so familiar snowy-white building, towering over the other little shops. It was a windy evening and Seulgi’s robes was getting blown here and there. She was standing in front of said Gringgots for almost five minutes, contemplating and unable to make a firm decision but soon recollected herself after a stranger bumped her: Wotchu standing there for? Yer blocking the way! Seulgi make haste walking up the white stone steps, almost ignoring the goblin at the entrance before she pushed past another set of burnished bronze door and she was met with the vast marble hall. There were more people and goblins walking out of from various doors and with anxious steps, Seulgi went for the counter. “Evening,” Seulgi spoke to the free, bespectacled goblin. “I’ve come to exchange galleons to muggle money and…”   “And?”   “I’ve come to take er…something out of my vault.”   “May I have your wand for identification?”   “Ah, yes,” Seulgi took out her wand and hand it to the goblin who scan it thoroughly before giving it back to her.   “How much wizarding money would you like to convert?”   “20 Galleons and 10 sickles, please.”   “Very well,” The goblin said, “I will have Gornuk to take you to your vault.”   Gornuk waddled to her and gestured to follow him to one of the doors leading off the hall. The goblin held the cart door open for her before the cart hurtled deep through the twisting maze of Gringgots. It slopped steeply downwards and went in deeper, passing an entire lake below. After a few minutes, the rattling cart which was navigating on its own, made a creaking sound before it stopped beside her vault. “Vault six hundred and ninety four.” Gornuk announced before they hop off from the cart. “Stand back, please.” The goblin placed his palm onto the vault and the door simply melted away. Gornuk lifted a few curses – security purposes, especially for vaults from the old, wizarding families like her – before he opened his arms for Seulgi to enter. Inside were mounds of gold coins, heaps of silver and rows of little bronze Knuts. But that wasn’t her purpose for today. She walked into a certain corner, and there it was, hiding behind a pile of gold, was an impressive wooden carved ring box. She opened it and the green sapphire stone rings gleamed back at her. Seulgi tucked it deep back into her robes before walking out of her vault. A small smile on her face as the cart rode back to the hall.                                                          ***     Often Seulgi had been thinking, when was the right time for her to propose? Every time when she thought it was the right time, something would always came up. Either sudden work that requires her to be outstation, or Irene being busy with her workload too much that she would become grumpy over the smallest things. Irene was promoted last year to be a part of the Council of Magical Law and needless to say, she was rather occupied. But that wasn’t still an excuse for her to not propose because the actual main reason is, Seulgi was chicken out. (Yes, she learned that word from Joy – it means you’re scared). But days, months – or years, of chickening out is over. She would get it done by tonight. No more beating around the bush, no more what if’s. Just her, kneeling on the floor, open the wooden box and propose to Irene. Easy, right? Right? “Why are you looking so pale?” They were having dinner and was moving on to the dessert, an apple pie Irene bought along the way back home from work. The girl cut a slice for her and put it on her plate. “You’ve also been staring at your food earlier. What’s wrong, Seulgi?” Seulgi took a quick glance at the girl, noticing the latter was staring at her rather worriedly. She cleared , “Nothing’s wrong. Just a little…tired from today.” Irene seemed unconvinced, but she didn’t prod on anymore – at least not yet. “Hmm, it seems that you’ve visited Gringgots today?” Seulgi looked up at the girl, trying to hide the nervousness in her voice, “How did you know?” “The muggle notes was sticking out from the pockets of your robes.” “Huh!” Seulgi immediately stood up from her chair. Her robes! She put the ring box in her robes pocket. What if Irene already found out? “Where’s the money now?” “I stuff it back inside the pocket of course.” Irene put down her fork, while looking strangely at her. “Why? What is it? Why are you standing?” “Nothing. I’ll be back.” Seulgi quickly made a dash and see her robes hanging in the rack and she stuff her hand inside and found the muggle notes were there but not the ring box. She panicked a few seconds before realising the ring box was at another pocket, so she took it out and transfer it in her pants pocket instead. “You sure you’re alright?” Irene asked once she sat down once more. “Yes…like I said. Just a little weary that’s all.” Irene hummed, “Do you want me to set up a warm bath for you? Wait, are you even staying tonight?” “Yes – no, I mean, yes I’m staying. And no warm bath for me. Thanks.” Seulgi ate half of her pie, “Maybe I should set up the warm bath for you? I know you’ve been busy with the hearing. I’ve been seeing your face a lot more in the Daily Prophet this week than I actually see you in reality.” Irene throws back a laugh, “I looked so forbidding in the papers. I don’t know why I looked like that.” “Well wouldn’t it be weird if you were smiling at the press over a murder case.” Seulgi commented, “So when is the final hearing for that woman?” “Next Tuesday.” “I supposed she’s going to rot in Azkaban.” “I hope so too.” Irene shuddered, “Was it really hard to catch her?” “Quite so….” Seulgi paused and think, “She was very good at disguising. When I said very good, I meant extremely good. I’d say she would pass full marks for concealment and disguise exams if she was an Auror trainee.” “Glad you managed to catch her before she murders another innocent being.” Irene gulped her drink, “Joy said the woman should be treated at St Mungos since she’s showing signs of illness.” “Mental illness?” “Yeah.” “I suppose some check-ups could be arranged in your department.” “Not really. The boards are not too keen about it and just want her to be put in Azkaban forever.” Irene stood up bringing her plate to the sink where it magically washes by itself, “I think the boards are rather scared of her.” “Yeah, I almost choked to death because of her. It was quite scary.” Irene dabbed her lips with a napkin, casting a worried look at her. “You never told me that.” “Well…” Irene then made her way to her, one hand clasping on her waist and the other planted on Seulgi’s shoulder. Her inquisitive eyes searched for Seulgi’s monolid own. “You’ve been quite secretive as of lately. Is there something I should know?” “What…?” Seulgi could feel her stomach tying to knots, her hands getting sweaty and clammy. “I’m not…being secretive at all. Why would you think that?” “Because I know you, silly.” Seulgi tried to give her best reassuring smile as she clasped the hand on her shoulder, giving it a kiss. “No, everything’s alright Rene. You’re thinking too much. That’s why you are the one who needs the warm bath.” “Hmm….” Irene hummed again, not entirely please with the answer before resigning, “I guess I do need the warm bath after all.” “Yes, you do.” Seulgi stood up and put her plate on the sink before clearing up the table. “You just take a rest. I’ll set the bath for you, alright?” “Okay,” Irene went over to Seulgi, gave her a small peck before leaving the room. After making sure Irene was out of sight, Seulgi heaved a huge sigh before she plunged her hand in her pocket, feeling the wooden ring box underneath her palms. Not sure if today is going to be the day.   __   “I’ll kill you all once I get out from Azkaban! I’LL KILL ALL OF YOU!!” Everyone’s eyes followed the criminal, who was entrapped in a cage before the pulley brought it down underneath a hole and transport the prisoner to Azkaban. The threat came as no surprise to Irene now as she had often witnessed other criminals spewing similar things. Although this woman does gave her a slight creep with how her eyes were bulging and her hair astray like a mad woman. Oh, and she really tried to choke Seulgi to death? Life sentence it is, Irene thought to herself, as the council stood up and proceed to leave the Courtroom. “Merlin’s beard, the woman is mad isn’t she?”   One of the council members, Seohyun muttered beside her. “Did you see how she was glaring at everyone? I’ve never felt such chill seeing someone in the eyes like that before.”   Irene wrenched open the door and walk out with the rest, “She was also quite difficult to catch. Her disguise techniques were top-notch so I’ve heard.”   “I’ve heard so too.” They managed to squeeze in on the first lift that opened the door. “I heard it was Seulgi who teamed up with the Auror Sunmi didn’t she?”   “Oh, they were?”   “Yeah, I overheard one of the Aurors talking in the lavatory. Said something like they always have each others back or something?” The lift dinged open to the third floor and a lot of people went out but a lot came in too, “They kind of do make a good pair I guess? Their families are quite clos – good Lord, Irene I’m so sorry. I forgot you’re seeing Seulgi! I’m –”   “No offense taken. No worries,” Irene chuckled, though her insides were churning.   They soon arrived at their floors and made their way back to their own table in the office. Irene now has her own cubicle but once in a while, Jisoo, her co-worker from their Bloom Department back then likes to drop by and talk with her whenever she is not too occupied. Jisoo was still in the same department but she was now the Head of the patrol.   “Done with the hearing?” Jisoo slides in into her cubicle and took a seat on the only empty chair.   “Yup…” Irene sighed, putting down her things and unclipping the official red cloak before hanging it at one of the racks. “She’s off to Azkaban for life.”   Jisoo put a thumbs up and then asked, “Do you think the Dementors will the life out of her?”   “Everyone who’s locked up in Azkaban will get the Dementors kiss at least once, so…”   Jisoo shivered and propped a hand under her chin, “By the way, I saw Seulgi in the pantry earlier. She was sporting a bloody nose.”   “Really?”   Jisoo vigorously nodded, “I don’t know what happen but she doesn’t seem pissed about it though. She was laughing with that Auror, Sunmi, and the latter fixed her nose up.”   “Oh…”   “Do you happen to have a car, unnie?”   “A car?” Irene sat back at her chair, “I don’t but I’ve thought of owning one but what’s the point when I don’t even have a driving license. I rarely use muggle transports nowadays to be frank…”   “Huh, really?” Jisoo scratched her head, “But Seulgi has a car?”   “She doesn’t.” Irene snorted, “She doesn’t even know how mobile phones work you know?”   “Mobile….phones?”   “Oh, you’re just as clueless as her aren’t you?” Irene laughed seeing the confusion etched on Jisoo’s face.   “Hey, I’m not as clueless as Seulgi!” Jisoo folded her arms, “but I heard Seulgi talking about driving a KIA car and Sunmi said she drives so well.”   “…………..”   “Unnie?”   “I….I don’t know…maybe you’ve heard wrong?” Irene pretended to be busy and sort out the files on her table.   “Yeah, maybe I did.” Jisoo stood up, noticing the woman looking rather upset. Oh, why can’t she keep her own mouth shut sometimes? Jisoo scolded herself. “So…I’ll be at my office. If anything, I’ll drop by again. Bye!”   After Jisoo left, Irene just leaned back at her chair. A sigh escaping from her lips as her mind kept running and insecurities crawling under her skin. She never doubted Seulgi. Maybe once or twice when they were at Hogwarts back then but after that, she never became unreasonably jealous or anything. She knew Seulgi is loyal to her and her only, likewise she is too. But why is there something gnawing in her chest lately? Seulgi was also being rather secretive – that, she noticed but the girl just shrugged it off as being weary. Just what is going on?                                                  ***   The glass of water she held almost slipped off from her finger when she turned around from her fridge to see Seulgi standing, a coat in one hand with a baby blue button up tucked under a navy blue cargo pants. It was the most muggle looking fashion Seulgi had ever worn and honestly Irene would already turned to a puddle over it but the girl wasn’t looking right. “Seulgi…?” The girl shook her head as if to get rid off something from her hair before walking – more like trying to walk, to the stool near the small counter. “A glass of water please.” Irene stood at the opposite of the counter and gave the glass of water she was already holding to the blonde girl, before she poured one for herself. Irene managed to catch a whiff of something from the girl and asked, “Have you been drinking?” Seulgi cupped her own chin under her right hand, a small smile on her lips. “You’re so beautiful do you know that?” Flattered at the sudden comment, but this Seulgi in front of her was being rather odd and so she prodded on again. “Seulgi…have you been drinking?” Seulgi huffed, chugging down the water before gesturing with her fingers. “Just this much…just this much of firewhiskey. You know I hate it, don’t you?” “Then why did you drink it?” “To let loose…” Seulgi stood up from the stool, breathing in and out before she pour herself another glass of water and drink it all in several gulps. “Joy said it was a good idea to drink a little. She even suggested the liquid luck…but that won’t be right, wont it?” Irene gaped, not entirely sure what Seulgi was talking about.
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