Aug 08, 2022 3:54 AM
bella pays suze back
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"I think I have it all," Bella sighs to Suze, holding out her hand.

"Pleasure doing business with you. Maybe don't buy sketchy potions from freshmen you just met," says Suze, collecting her repayment.

"Yeah. I got that. I am lucky to be alive. Thank you Suze."

"Y'welcome."

"I want to do some situps so I have some slush mana, can you sit on my feet -"

"Yeah, sure." Suze sits on her feet. Bella starts doing situps.

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Kanimir is not going to approach the New Orleans freshman while she's actively doing situps. 

After she's disengaged from the sophomore, though, he says, "You too?"

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Bella is now embroidering a sock. "Alexei's potions? Yeah. Too good to be true. Some people had much worse reactions."

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"No one in Atlanta had gotten as far as drinking them when word came that they were bad, which was good for them and bad for me in terms of who got embarrassed." 

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"Well, at least nobody died, which is more than you can say for typical Scholomance mishaps as I understand it. And I got my cool potion-effect-interrupting spell from it."

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"Is it a good spell? Hopefully it shouldn't come up, much." 

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"It's a pretty good spell and hopefully it will never be relevant again but better to have it and not need it. Which makes it the sort of thing I'll probably be able to trade, at least."

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"It's certainly more than I got out of the affair. Although I would have been in more trouble with the upperclassmen if the vendor had proven less capable of making full refunds."

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"It did take him a while, he had a lot of them to scramble for, but yeah, I have not totally written him off in part because he worked so hard on that."

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"If he had gotten killed in the meanwhile I would have been on the hook for the deficit and, more importantly, my own credibility would have taken more of a hit--making reckless deals with someone who holds up their end is at least slightly less bad than making reckless deals with someone who immediately dies."

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"Yeah, I'm construing myself to have used up my stupid mistake budget for the next four years."

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"I'm overbudget. I have younger siblings."

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"Oh dear. - sorry."

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"No, you're fine. There's fucking five of us and we are not New York."

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"Sometimes I think evolution has been at work on wizards a bit too hard and all they want is grandchildren at any cost."

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"It would explain my father. But I don't think it's actually accurate; there's too much genetic cross-contamination with the mundanes."

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"I don't know that I like the word 'contamination' there. And for that matter 'cross', it's not like we throw squibs."

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"I don't endorse the implications but I couldn't think of a better term off the top of my head. --And you're right, I was thinking surely not every victim of the kind of wizard who likes seeding a lot of 'muggleborns' comes out a wizard, but," he makes a face. "Anyway, what I mean is if the difference was genetic, the influx of mundane genes would combat the trend. And historically people had a lot of children in other situations with very poor survival rates--none of which have been as stable as this one seems, so far as I could tell, but--" 

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"Well, my dad's a mundie and I plan to never have children so maybe it does combat the trend. - I don't know that it's all that stable? Only a few hundred years ago you could leave milk out for fairies and that would work. St. George killed a dragon and he wasn't even a wizard."

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"I don't know if stable is the right word but there isn't a clear end condition, it isn't being ongoingly reinforced; most of the situations as bad as this one survival-wise were wars or diseases, and those happen and they end, there isn't a time period in history that we know about far enough back that they didn't have the ability to go, 'well, we know from the past that eventually this is going to stop'."

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"Yeah. I'm going to do some horrible things to agglos and see if I get anywhere but I have no strong reason to believe I will."

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"What things?" 

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"I'm commissioning a four-compartment agglo terrarium and then I'm going to have a control, a starvation condition, a bunch I try to poison, and a bunch I stick assorted birth control to in case the intent carries through, and see if anything works."

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"If the birth control does anything to the agglos do you have any ideas for how to generalize that to non-agglos, given how agglos are."

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"Feed the agglos to stuff? This is all extremely preliminary."

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"Fair enough. I would offer to help but, uh, every spare resource I can scrape together is going to making sure my siblings are in the surviving fraction of our enclave."

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