A Magical Roleplaying Experience 

Welcome Back! It's time for our 20th Start of Term!

 #35193  by Carter Whittaker
Location: Mitchell Wizarding Penitentiary • Date: January 21

Carter sat in the corner of the room, picking at the food on his plate. Well, it was supposed to be food. He wasn't entirely sure what it was, honestly. But it was something to do, so when the guards came to let him out of his cell to go to the mess hall, he didn't complain.

There was some sort of scuffle going on two tables over, and Carter rolled his eyes, bending down over his spot. After his own outburst a couple of days ago that had gotten him some hours in solitary, he was actually trying to keep a low profile. He knew from experience that the guards would take any excuse to throw him back in solitary.

It didn't mean he wasn't still protective of his own space. "What are you looking at?" he grumbled, feeling eyes on him and lifting his head.
 #35195  by Pavel Albu
"Thanks," Pavel remarked to the man that had been glaring at him and his cellmate, ignoring the other man's grumbling. He'd been stuck with Whit for nearly two years now and sometimes he felt he knew the other man's behaviors better than he knew himself. Still, he liked his own space too, and he imagined it was worse for the other man.

The Romanian had been in solitary too, just not this week. It wasn't exactly pleasant.

Then again, what was in this hell hole?

"Guards were watching," he explained to Whittaker as the man moved away. He was getting pretty good at English and pretty good at sleight of hand, enough so that he was able to make his trade without anyone noticing and slide it into the waist of his trousers. So he hoped, anyway. He didn't need to go back to the thought of being in solitary again.

"Had to get my delivery. You finished yet?"
 #35196  by Carter Whittaker
Sharp blue eyes glanced sideways at the other man. Although he would never admit it, he dd have a sort of grudging respect for Albu after two years. It hadn't been like that at first, though. He hadn't been the most welcoming of cell mates. Oops. To be fair, Albu had shown up during a particularly rough patch during Carter's sentence. It had been unavoidable.

He sighed, picking one more time at the sorry excuse for food on his tray. "Might as well be," he replied, glancing around out of habit to check the nearest guards' positions. No one was approaching them, so it seemed like his cellmate's delivery had gone unnoticed. "Is it just me or has the food gotten worse around here?" It was said a bit more loudly than was necessary for the two of them, and he scoffed.

The scuffle two tables over turned into an outright fight and Carter, halfway to his feet to return his tray, sank back into the chair. "Here we go," he drawled, watching the guards all converge in an attempt to break up whatever was happening. "They should be grateful I'm over here."
 #35204  by Pavel Albu
Pavel had tried very hard not to get into fights.

When he first arrived at the prison, it was hard. He wasn't trying, but he hardly spoke any English and barely understood what was going on. After a few scraps they started leaving him alone, though, and his ability to negotiate trades came in handy.

At least he'd kept something from the Katoracovs, in that respect.

"Pula mea," Pavel muttered to himself, watching the gates come down as the dining hall was instantly, magically sealed from anyone entering or leaving. They could have been on their way to the rec room by now, or he could be back in his room finishing his book. Instead they were stuck with the nasty food, the fights, and each other.

So instead of getting up he pulled the newspaper from his wasteband, the folding spell allowing him to open only part of it at a time under the table. It wasn't like the guards were working anyway.

"Why the fuck," he asked with a sigh, suddenly throwing the paper on the table.

"These idiots. They always bring me Russian paper. I don't read this. I don't speak it. Maybe two words."
 #35207  by Carter Whittaker
Carter shifted in his seat, clearly agitated. He had just gotten his painting privileges back, and now they were trapped in the mess hall until things were sorted out between the idiots who had decided to exchange blows. Never mind that he himself had exchanged blows last week, of course. "C'est chiant," he grumbled, crossing his arms and leaning back in his chair.

He lifted his head again at the sudden movement and his eyes fell on the newspaper. "That's more than I know," he commented offhand. It was strange, being an observer of a fight rather than being involved. He almost felt chatty for once. "Any chance your guys can find a French paper? I'd be willing to trade store credits."

More guards came running in, yelling for all inmates to drop to the ground. "Merde," came the dry tone as Carter pushed his chair back and moved to the cold, hard floor. "You know what?" he whispered, "I almost would rather be over there. This is stupid."

Yup. Definitely feeling more chatty than usual.
 #35314  by Pavel Albu
Of all of the things Pavel hated about prison, this was pretty much the worst.

Before he knew it he was down on the floor with Whit, genuinely worried that he was going to be in trouble if he so much moved a muscle. He needed to get out of here, and he hadn't gotten any letters from anyone in ages. Causing a ruckus on lockdown wasn't exactly going to help, and if he got caught with contraband at the same time...

"Shut up," he hissed. "You want to be back in solitary?"

The way he pronounced the word made it sound more like sollitar, but he knew the other man would understand what he meant. Thank goodness he at least spoke some French so his cellmate had been able to communicate in the beginning.
 #35328  by Carter Whittaker
Carter gave an exaggerated eyeroll, shifting uncomfortably on the floor. He tried to keep his motions small, but at the same time, he hated being still. It was something he had always had a problem with.

"Shove off," he hissed back, rolling his eyes a second time. It was a good thing he knew French. Otherwise communication would have been impossible and he would have hated every second of being in his cell, even more than he already did. "At least in solitary I don't have to deal with them." Conversely, in solitary he didn't have access to the rec room.

He definitely didn't want to be back in solitary, but in the grand scheme of things, lockdown was worse. "This is stupid," he repeated, averting his eyes so as not to inadvertently draw over one of the guards.
 #35345  by Pavel Albu
Pavel counted to ten in his head to pass the time, first in Romanian, then in French, then in Hungarian. Eventually he made his way to English just as the guards were ushering everyone out to their cells. No rec room today, then.

This place was awful, and as far as Pavel knew there was no getting out.

He did not speak again until they were back in their cell.

"The things you want," he began, in slow and practiced English. As he addressed the other man Pavel began to unpack the things he had received from the other man: two packets of cigarettes to use as currency, the Russian newspaper that was mostly useless, a packet of Bertie Botts Beans, and a candle.

"How bad you want them?"
 #35352  by Carter Whittaker
In the meantime, Carter was mentally passing the time by imagining himself painting a new winter landscape. When they were finally escorted back to their cells, he glanced longingly down the hall at the rec room door before following along. It wasn't worth it to argue and get himself thrown in solitary. At least maybe he would be able to get in there tomorrow.

He sank onto his cot when they arrived, reaching under his pillow and pulling out the novel he had borrowed from the rec room. A moment later, he was curled up with his back against the wall, the book open in his hands. At the sound of his cellmate's voice, he lifted his head. Albu's English wasn't the greatest, but Carter could pretend to be patient enough to wait for him to find his words.

"A French paper? Desperately. Swiss chocolate, too. Proper Swiss chocolate, mind you. And I wouldn't say no to a pack of those, myself," he said, gesturing at the cigarettes. "What would it take for your guys to hook me up?"
 #35357  by Pavel Albu
"Swiss chocolate," Pavel repeated, laughing in spite of himself.

"I know some guys, another Roumanian. They are not making miracles."

Even so, he moved the things over to make room to sit on his bed, thankful that the prison at least afforded them bunks across from each other rather than the stacked kind he had seen in some places. There were some like that here, he thought, in other wings, but he and Whit were here for the long haul and they found other ways to make the pair miserable. Pavel felt lucky he at least had someone he could stick together with, in some ways anyway.

"Aici," Pavel announced, tossing one of the packets of cigarettes to the other man.

"Pentru tau. Uh, for you. I got them to trade, so it is nothing. I can work on the newspaper. You are waiting for news? From..." He paused, unable to remember how to say it in English. "...Swiss...land?"
 #35359  by Carter Whittaker
"What, it's the best chocolate. The American stuff just isn't as good," Carter said, shrugging. He couldn't help it. Anything to connect him to where he really felt was home.

He set down his book after folding down the corner of the page again and glanced across at the Romanian again. He didn't mind the random speckling of Albu's language, since he generally could figure it out if he thought about it hard enough. He shifted on his bed, hearing the springs creak. Great. Not again. It had taken him weeks to convince the guards to fix his bed the last time.

Thankfully, there was an easy distraction in the form of the cigarettes being tossed to him. "Merci," he replied, tucking them under his bed, between the folds of the flag. "Switzerland, yeah," he added, lifting his eyes again. "Means a lot. I don't exactly have a lineup of potential visitors to bring me shit." He gave a bitter laugh, leaning against the wall again. "But any news from home would be nice."
 #35361  by Pavel Albu
"I get sick of news from home," Pavel sighed, pulling some makeshift craft supplies out of his drawer. The candle would help, but he was still missing some key components and quills seemed to be one of the hardest things to find. He had spoken with his cellmate about his situation some, but mostly he had kept to himself. It had only been fairly recently that they'd started having real conversations, anyway.

"My wife... ex-wife, maybe, her family buys the papers. They... change the news. But some of it is important, and some of it helps to know what is happening. Some, not all."
 #35365  by Carter Whittaker
"Right," came the reply as Carter watched Albu pull out some stuff. He still wasn't entirely sure what the end goal was, but whatever it was, it looked interesting. It certainly took a mix of supplies. He, on the other hand, kept whatever novel he was working on and a small notebook he had managed to trade for last year along with a pencil so he could sketch in the cell. Truthfully, he was a simple man. Years of living out of a car had done that to him.

"Ex-wife, hm?" There was so much he was curious about when it came to the Romanian. "I just like to read in the language. Don't care much about the actual news, but thinking in English all the time gets annoying. You understand, I'm sure."
 #35367  by Pavel Albu
"Yes," Pavel agreed with a sigh, meeting the other man's gaze for just a moment. "Very much."

Studying his supplies, Pavel took a few moments to open up his packet of Bertie Botts. He grew to like the candy on his travels and it was surprisingly easy to smuggle in. Plus, every once in awhile a sarmale flavored bean would pop up and remind him of home, though he wondered if others enjoyed that flavor as much as he did. The first one was a sort of lemon tart, which he did not mind.

"She is ex, I think. Letters come back to me, her family has money. They should have helped. Instead, no one finds any papers with my name. Like I am a ghost. They are bad people, trying to protect themselves maybe. Shameful. So, I am on my own. No 'line-up' of visitors either. You maybe notice."
 #35371  by Carter Whittaker
"That's rough, buddy," Carter said dryly, realizing that it was going to be a chatty evening. He put his book back under his pillow and opened his drawer instead, taking out the notebook and pencil. After opening up to a blank page, he started absently sketching what he had mentally painted earlier in light, short strokes.

"I noticed, yeah. It's tough to have no visitors. I never tried to write to anyone. There wasn't really anyone to write to. My ma doesn't even know I'm here as far as I know," he offered, erasing some of his sketch. "I think I'd rather have no one, though. Knowing there's people out there actively avoiding me? Not something I'd want."