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 [closed] Wildcard, tag: thea avery
+ London, England
+ Scorpio
+ Heterosexual
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VALENTIN BAUER
Magitechnician
*** Muggleborn Wizard | AGE: 27 | 66 POSTS
Wand 36

9½" Sycamore, Veela Hair
NET WORTH: 3813 ʛ
Durmstrang Alumni alternative text
Nov 6 2017, 08:27 AM
His mouth was a wry line of amusement, face uncharacteristically flushed with victory as the last of the potential investors left the showroom.

Working with Thea Avery had been a nuisance at best and a nightmare at worst, but either way, far more difficult than he had initially anticipated. He’d underestimated how much she would wear on him, the constant avenues that she found to assert her authority whilst at the same time always smiling in the most condescendingly polite way and insisting that they were partners, equals. Valentin was not the kind of person who would let that sort of treatment simply roll off of his back, regardless of whether or not she was technically his employer - he returned in kind with constant quips and barbs, cantankerous and distinctly uncivil - but it was hard to gain the upper hand when Avery refused to be drawn out, when she remained unruffled and patient and impossible to call out directly because she never actually overtly did anything wrong.

He remained persistently suspicious of her, and although there had been moments in which he’d doubted himself - what if she really was simply trying to be a good benefactor, and his misgivings were based on prejudices of his own? - there was something about her that wasn’t quite right, contrived and false, and his intuition told him not to ease up on the pressure. The past few weeks had thus been an exercise in pushing back, and his efforts had truly culminated in today’s showcase.

Certainly, he looked the right part, dressed in the suit that she’d insisted on having tailored for him, and the prototype that they’d presented had been impeccable - his arrogance wouldn’t allow for any less. Beyond that, though, he’d engaged in a careful campaign of smilingly undermining her, using far more sophisticated tactics than his trademark stubbornness and foul-temperedness. She hadn’t responded to any of that to date, didn't seem capable of being riled by it, so it was time to change direction. Politely disagreeing with her, correcting her unnecessarily, subtly and relentlessly one-upping her whenever the opportunity presented itself - yes, giving Thea Avery some of the treatment that she doled out so easily was long overdue.

By the end of it all, it was hard to suppress a smile, difficult to hide the triumphant colour in his cheeks - until, of course, the suggestion of a post-mortem discussion of the meeting at her apartment tugged his expression into an obvious frown just like that. Having been there only once before to take the direct Floo line to her tailor, Valentin had no desire to visit Avery’s flat ever again. It was too opulent and extravagant, an obvious reminder of who she was and the lifestyle that she stood for, the perfect place from which she could look down on people like him, and yet he couldn’t miss the opportunity to hear what she had to say on the off chance that he would finally elicit some sort of reaction from her.

Reluctantly, he took the Floo straight to her ornate fireplace, stepping out and dusting soot from the shoulders of his suit as he straightened. Making a face, he asked with weary disinterest, ”Will this take very long? I want to get home and get to work on some adjustments as soon as possible.”

THEA AVERY

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THEA AVERY
Entrepreneur
*** Pureblood Witch | AGE: 26 | 74 POSTS
Wand 13

8¾" Walnut, Kneazle Claw
NET WORTH: 5 ʛ
Hogwarts Alumni (Ravenclaw) alternative text
Dec 2 2017, 11:14 AM
If Bauer really thought he could beat her at her own game, he was sorely mistaken.

She had to give him some credit for his persistence, though. Thea could see, in the periphery of her vision, the way he glanced at her now at then, checking for her reaction; she took great pleasure in imagining his frustration, seeing her as unruffled as ever even in the face of his blatant disrespect. Not even the flicker of a frown, an index finger tapping an irritated beat against the table – nothing that would give Bauer the satisfaction of besting her.

Thea wasted no energy on being privately furious with him. She couldn’t, when Bauer was making sure to keep her on her toes. He took every opportunity to interject her talking, tried to speak over her at every turn, would take charge of the entire conversation if given so much as an opening – it wasn’t just the product that he was pitching to the investors. Bauer was trying to sell them a story, one where he called the shots in their little operation, and Thea would be damned if she let him. Calm and focused, she methodically wrestled control back from him.

It’d done its damage, though. As they finally rose from their seats and shook hands and agreed to talk again soon, Thea could see the investors were leaving the meeting vaguely confused. She’d taken care to make it seem like she was indulging Bauer, never opposing him as openly as he’d done her, to at least try and project a united front, but these people were experienced enough to suspect when a power struggle was at play. It didn’t bode well – for the both of them, Bauer included. Worse even was that he actually seemed smug about it.

At this point in her life Thea could make idle conversation in her sleep, and she kept it up as they headed to her apartment, all the while planning exactly how she was going to tell Bauer off – politely and good-naturedly, of course, with a smile to match, so he would know that while a repeat of that afternoon wouldn’t be tolerated, it was hardly enough to ruffle her feathers.

She wasn’t exactly sure what happened between one moment – gesturing for Bauer to sit in one of the sofas strategically positioned for a view of glittering, evening-time London from her glass-walled living room, ready with the speech she’d prepared on her tongue – and the next, when the anger that had been slowly simmering on low heat suddenly blazed so bright and hot in Thea’s body it was impossible to keep it in check.

”Will you just stop.” she snapped, and the loudness and suddenness of it surprised her too, but once she started she couldn’t seem to stop. ”I have had quite enough of this insolence, of you acting like I’m your enemy – questioning my decisions and attempting to undermine me at every turn, as if you have any right to presume to do my job better! And it’s your own project that’s going to suffer for it, not me, not my career. I can take the hit. Can you? Are you very pleased, sabotaging your own success? Because you are, if you think for a moment you can do this without me. You might be a disrespectful upstart, Bauer, but I never took you for a complete fool.”

VALENTIN BAUER

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+ London, England
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+ Single
Billie is Online
VALENTIN BAUER
Magitechnician
*** Muggleborn Wizard | AGE: 27 | 66 POSTS
Wand 36

9½" Sycamore, Veela Hair
NET WORTH: 3813 ʛ
Durmstrang Alumni alternative text
Jan 13 2018, 08:22 AM
The fact that Avery seemed cool, calm and collected throughout the meeting and even on the way back to her apartment was slightly irritating and also potentially vaguely unnerving, but certainly not enough to sufficiently dampen Valentin’s mood, which remained buoyant despite his hopes that whatever she had to say to him wouldn’t take too long out of the rest of his evening. He really did want to get back to work on the prototype, after all - and perhaps sit down with a home-brewed beer, Bismarck and a good movie to unwind and gloat properly.

He remained visibly ebullient even as he wrestled with his discomfort at being back in her flat - not even the obvious display of wealth that her apartment embodied was enough to faze him, and it showed in the wryly amused half-smile that he flashed in her direction as he took a seat on one of her sofas, smoothing out the tails of his coat in a deft movement as he did so. Val had to admit, the view was phenomenal, the floor-to-ceiling glass walls giving the illusion that all of London was spread out close enough to touch, the Thames just a short freefall away. Nothing short of the best that money could buy for Avery, but of course, he knew that already.

Too preoccupied with the lights and serpentine flow of traffic below, Valentin failed to notice any warning signs in Thea - tautness in her spine, maybe, a rigid set of the jaw, a harbinger of danger to come. Even if he had seen anything, he probably would’ve disregarded it, because Avery was not the kind to get angry, not the sort to lose her temper. No, no matter how hard he tried, she was impossible to bait a rise out of. She was annoyingly, eerily, even haughtily calm.

Until she wasn’t.

He started suddenly at the loud whip-crack of her voice, shocked out of the lazy and self-satisfied sprawl that he’d been occupying her couch with as he swivelled to face her, an expression of growing astonishment spreading across his features. Valentin was no stranger to confrontation, and being afraid of offending a woman who was technically his boss had clearly never crossed his mind, but even so it was all he could do to sit there mutely, numbly, as what began as an outburst on Avery’s part quickly transmuted into a complete tirade. She was being condescending, rude, intolerable, but she was also blatantly furious, and it was the continuing surprise of that which prevented him from formulating a suitable response. Honestly, he would’ve come up empty even if he’d tried.

“I…umm, wow.” He lifted a hand (he was somewhat relieved that it wasn't shaking) and ran it through his hair, slightly at a loss. “That was…wow.” He didn’t sound entirely unimpressed.

THEA AVERY

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THEA AVERY
Entrepreneur
*** Pureblood Witch | AGE: 26 | 74 POSTS
Wand 13

8¾" Walnut, Kneazle Claw
NET WORTH: 5 ʛ
Hogwarts Alumni (Ravenclaw) alternative text
Jan 20 2018, 12:22 PM
Thea’s chest was heaving, heart hammering, as if she had run the whole way to her apartment instead of simply stepping into one fireplace and out of another. It was an odd feeling, foreign and unexpected, and her cheeks felt warm with color – first with exertion because, apparently, going on a breathless rant was tiring business, and then with shame.

Shame. She hadn’t felt that one in years, and Thea recoiled from idea almost bodily, taking a step away from Bauer – away from whatever had just happened – and gracelessly taking a seat on the opposing couch. Her hands came up to cover her face, but behind them her eyes were wide open, shock and disbelief and horror – what was going on with her? Since when did she lose her cool like this, publicly and humiliatingly and utterly? It didn’t matter that it was only Bauer. That it was Bauer mattered, in fact, Thea realized horribly. That he would see her like this, smug with the satisfaction that he had caused it, was unthinkable. Almost worse than the loss of her carefully maintained composure after years – years! – was the knowledge that she’d let him win, somehow, in this unspoken, undercurrent battle of wills.

When Thea lowered her hands again and folded them in her lap, she was herself again – or rather the self that she took care to display, the one that would never say the things she’d said to Bauer just moments before. He didn’t seem as smug as she’d expected, rather more… jarred, looking at her as if seeing her for the first time, which made Thea want to squirm in her seat, embarrassed. But she wasn’t going to do anything she didn’t absolutely mean to again. ”Forgive me,” she started, her mouth set in an apologetic frown. ”I think perhaps I am… more stressed than usual, you see, and it got the better of me, but – let’s just ignore that. We can pretend it never happened.”

She rose from the couch, her grace returned to her along with her poise as she made a gesture for Bauer’s jacket, flicking her other hand at the fireplace to get a fire going. ”Your coat?” Thea smiled at him, feeling the unwilling stretch of it when truly, she felt like screaming again. What was happening to her today? ”Something to drink? There’s tea, of course, and wine.”

VALENTIN BAUER

tradurre è tradire
+ London, England
+ Scorpio
+ Heterosexual
+ Single
Billie is Online
VALENTIN BAUER
Magitechnician
*** Muggleborn Wizard | AGE: 27 | 66 POSTS
Wand 36

9½" Sycamore, Veela Hair
NET WORTH: 3813 ʛ
Durmstrang Alumni alternative text
Jan 28 2018, 09:14 AM
He felt - and most likely looked - as though someone had hit him over the head, very hard, and with something very heavy. The shock should’ve faded by now, replaced by…anger, more scathing quips, anything else, but it hadn’t, and Valentin remained sitting there still and silent, struck mute by the torrent of fury that had just swept through the luxurious open space between them, consuming everything - including, apparently, a retort from him - in its wake.

Avery seemed to be having some sort of moment, and there was little Val could do, oddly paralysed as he felt, except for to watch her awkwardly as the flush that had risen into her cheeks during her outburst deepened, as she crumpled into the chair opposite his, as her hands rose over her face as though they sought to cover up and repress whatever had just happened, even though it was now far too late for that. He felt strangely hollow witnessing such a peculiar and unexpected turn of events, almost as though he should turn his face away and give her some privacy to gather herself back into the smoothly unassailable fortress of a woman that he had grown accustomed to - because surely this did not happen to her often. Then again, the fact that this had to be such a singularly rare occurrence in the life of Thea Avery made it impossible for him to tear his gaze away.

There should have been triumph at this breach of the facade, even fiercer and more unabated than the smug satisfaction he’d felt before when undermining her in front of their potential investors. Yes, to some small extent, he did feel special, singular, victorious that it had been him - Valentin Bauer, nothing and nobody - who had brought her so low. But it didn’t feel as good as it should’ve, even as he watched her valiantly try to regain her composure and tuck her hands demurely back into her lap.

Instead: curiosity.

Instead: a slow brightening of his eyes as he regarded her now, intently, brows furrowed, as though he had never actually really seen her before this moment. And perhaps he hadn’t.

Deep in thought, he couldn’t muster much more of a reaction to her carefully crafted apology than a slow nod, and he even - uncharacteristically obediently - shrugged his shoulders out of his jacket, dusting it off absentmindedly and handing it to her as his mind finally started to properly play catch-up with what had happened. How unexpected. Thea Avery, suddenly a little more real.

“What…” he asked, slowly and deliberately ignoring her offer of a drink, as his searching gaze - because now, he thought, there might just be something to search for - lingered on the sharp curve of her smile, “…was that?” Clearing his throat, he managed to regain some of his own composure at last, and declared rather more assertively, “No more bullshit.”

Then, on second thoughts (she had, after all, just spectacularly lost her temper), he added awkwardly, “Umm. Bitte. Please.”

THEA AVERY

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THEA AVERY
Entrepreneur
*** Pureblood Witch | AGE: 26 | 74 POSTS
Wand 13

8¾" Walnut, Kneazle Claw
NET WORTH: 5 ʛ
Hogwarts Alumni (Ravenclaw) alternative text
Feb 24 2018, 02:50 PM
Thea didn’t like the way Bauer was looking at her. Whatever it was in his expression – she couldn’t quite tell, it was so unfamiliar on his face – unsettled her deeply in more ways than she could count. She’d expected gloating, self-satisfaction, for her professionalism to be questioned in light of her outburst in that blunt, German way of his, and she’d been prepared for that, had steeled for the amount of damage control she’d have to do, and – this was not it. This, Thea wasn’t sure how to handle. Damn him, for not being his condescending self the one time she would’ve welcomed it.

She blinked down at the coat for a long moment before she remembered to direct it over to the rack by the door with a point of her wand. Damn him.

Thea opened her mouth to explain, or offer an excuse, or otherwise sidestep the subject – I’m afraid I’m not sure what you mean, she would say, and she knew she could steer the conversation back to safe ground in a way that brokered no arguments and made it clear the incident was never to be spoken of again. Thea wasn’t an Avery for nothing, after all. She knew how to smother a scandal before it ever became one. What came out, instead – she seemed to have very little control of her mouth today – was a dismayed, ”Really? That’s all it takes?”

Because she realized, suddenly, what it was about Bauer’s expression that had caught her by surprise. No wonder she hadn't recognized it; from the moment they’d met, even when he was pitching his project to her as a hopeful investor, not once had Bauer treated her with actual respect. And now, finally, watching her as if mentally reassessing a problem he’d thought already solved – an inkling of it.

Well then.

Bauer hadn’t specified his choice of drink and Thea was Thea, and so a bottle of Petit Verdot was already pouring itself into two wine glasses by the time she sat back down, with rather less careful grace. The act was abandoned just as fast as it’d been put on, and without too much thought on Thea’s part other than, she was tired. And she was annoyed. And honesty seemed to be working better than anything else she’d tried with Bauer so far, so that’s what he was going to get.

Fine.” Thea toed off her heels, leaned back against the cushioned couch, took a generous sip of red. And then, ”Your technical knowledge is incomparable, but your people skills are bloody awful. We’re never going to get anyone else on board with you looking surly the entire meeting, or,” a narrowing of her eyes, ”when you’re trying to trip me up in front of potentials. They won’t trust us with their money or their time unless we present a united front. They need to see that we can work together.” A pause, a raised eyebrow as she regarded him over the rim of her glass, poised for another sip. Can we work together, Bauer? No more bullshit, as you… so aptly put it.”

VALENTIN BAUER

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Billie is Online
VALENTIN BAUER
Magitechnician
*** Muggleborn Wizard | AGE: 27 | 66 POSTS
Wand 36

9½" Sycamore, Veela Hair
NET WORTH: 3813 ʛ
Durmstrang Alumni alternative text
Mar 4 2018, 08:42 AM
Now that the initial, paralysing shock was starting to ebb from his body, Valentin found himself fascinated by the way that Avery’s movements were unfolding post-outburst - a little stilted, thrown off balance, almost absent-minded. He watched as the expensive jacket that she’d insisted on having tailored for him sailed across the room to settle on an ornate rack, somewhat bemused, until his gaze snapped back to hers when she abruptly asked a question that he didn’t quite understand, in the most plaintive and distressed tone of voice that he’d ever heard come out of her mouth.

That was all it took…for what? For him to be surprised by her? For him to shut up for once? For him to have damaged their working relationship irreparably and made her decide to revoke any future funding? The list of possibilities was quite endless (some, he didn’t even bother entertaining), and his eyebrows furrowed so hard that a deep line appeared between them that was usually reserved for when he was working on complex circuitry as he tried to puzzle out the meaning of that one strange, cryptic question. His mouth puckered slightly as he considered asking her, but he was acutely aware of the fact that they were both on very strange and unfamiliar ground, and he didn’t know if he wanted to risk tipping the balance too much one way or the other by indulging his curiosity.

Instead, he cleared his throat slightly again and ran a hand over the dark five o’clock shadow of stubble at his jawline, choosing to occupy himself with staring (glaring, perhaps) a little too intently at the expensive-looking bottle of red wine that was deftly pouring itself out in two equal measures for them. He hated red wine almost on principle, but still found himself reaching out for it, the cut crystal wine glass looking comically tiny as he held it with both large, callused hands like it was a mug of watery coffee instead of what was probably the finest vintage. Thankfully, he hardly ever felt the pressure of social cues to be polite, and so he didn’t bother taking a sip - instead, he just watched as another change seemed to come over Avery, like an unmasking.

When he’d said he wanted no bullshit, he had been volleying a suggestion into the dead and empty air between them, trying to take advantage of what seemed like a moment of vulnerability on her part. He certainly hadn’t been expecting her to comply, and so it was his turn for his rigid sensibilities to be wrong-footed by the strange and uncharacteristic intimacy of seeing her kick off her heels and take a deep, fortifying gulp of red wine before addressing him. How odd.

…And yet, still not as peculiar as the blunt, no-punches-pulled dressing-down that he received mere moments later, concise and sharp and honestly slightly rude, which he’d never experienced quite so directly from her before this evening. “I’m not - " he began hotly, temper flaring into life as he set his wine glass down a little too hastily and prepared to fire back. He stopped himself just as quickly, however, not out of fear (well, perhaps some) but with a thoughtful look in his eyes as he realised that, well, this was what no bullshit meant with Avery. She could be direct, straightforward, incisive and a world away from the saccharine front that he’d been enduring for months, and although he was fairly sure that he didn’t exactly like this stranger of a woman he was now dealing with, he made the startling discovery that he…certainly didn’t entirely hate her, either.

Honesty - even if it was unchecked and a little insulting - was something to be prized, valued, and was hard to come by in any business relationship, much less one with a born and bred Avery. If this was a glimpse of what she was like, what she was really like, he much preferred her candour to the alternative.

Expression as solemn as though he was swearing some sort of pact, he extended one of his hands towards her as a peace offering, nodding slowly and with only a trace of hesitation. Fine, he echoed, “we can work together like this. I’ll try to be more…user friendly with investors from now on.” He paused, almost pained, and finally added after a few long moments, “And with you. So long as it’s like this. Honest.”

THEA AVERY

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THEA AVERY
Entrepreneur
*** Pureblood Witch | AGE: 26 | 74 POSTS
Wand 13

8¾" Walnut, Kneazle Claw
NET WORTH: 5 ʛ
Hogwarts Alumni (Ravenclaw) alternative text
Mar 31 2018, 08:38 AM
The night was resolving itself better than Thea could’ve ever expected. It had started out as a failure and had quickly developed into a fiasco of unimaginable proportions, but now it was – she didn’t know what it was, this tentative hope of truce between equals, only that it was… maybe good. Better, certainly, even if Thea still felt a little unbalanced, a little unsure. True honesty was refreshing and alarming at once; Thea hadn’t thought, couldn’t have imagined, that speaking her mind would allow her to breathe that much easier. She felt liberated, and like she hadn’t known before there was anything to break free of.

She had the fleeting, dangerous idea that she should do it more often, but that was ridiculous, of course. She told herself she was only adopting that approach now with Bauer because it was working so well, not for anything silly like freedom.

The puzzled way Bauer was looking at her – half appreciative, half wary – was merely a bonus. Thea enjoyed that she’d surprised him, that he didn’t even argue as she laid out the issues in their work relationship and demanded better, though she suspected she would’ve enjoyed the argument a lot more now that they were on even ground.

”Thank you,” she said, and she meant it, shaking his hand. She held on for another moment as she added, plainly, ”I look forward to it.” Thea smiled, unplanned and unrehearsed; she didn’t know what she looked like, and she found that for once it did not bother her. What did she have to hide, at this point? Or ever, really, but – that was a thought for another night. She wasn’t there just yet.

”If that’s what you want,” she agreed with a nod. ”And I’ll hold us both to it – this is a promise.” Glancing down at his forgotten glass of wine, Thea waved a hand to switch it for a bottle of Weihenstephaner, a peace offering of her own. She smiled again, surreptitiously, into her own sip. Her spoiled cat, Jana, picked that pivotal moment to jump suddenly onto the couch next to Bauer, eyeing him haughtily before she set a single paw in his lap, as if allowing him the time to recognize the blessing that was her attention.

Thea couldn’t help it, she let quite an unbecoming snort of amusement. As far as honesty went, she was already past the point of no return.

VALENTIN BAUER

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WINTER
THE SNOW QUEEN
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Apr 15 2018, 06:16 PM



Excited for Winter, who wants to build a snowman?!
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