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Skin Deep

 

No matter how many times he crossed the threshold into the vastness of the manor-turned-school, the newest addition to staff couldn't seem to find his bearings. He hadn't brought much with him - he hadn't needed to. The room, and most of the furniture came with the position he had been offered. In fact, he had been promised, most enthusiastically, a very generous sum of accommodations for his services as a science professor.

 

Graham Buchanan had devoted himself wholeheartedly to his fascination with the proof of things. He liked to know how things worked, how the threads of reality wove themselves together, how the magic- that he alone was aware of -seeped out of the ordinary. Because of his fascination, he had excelled. Because of his excellence, he had been recognized. Because of his recognition, Graham Buchanan did not find it difficult to find employment. So with several options to consider, it was only natural that Graham chose the prettiest opportunity.

 

Chatham Hall had been an educational establishment since the late Regency era - one of the first, it liked to boast. The grandeur of the estate had been preserved over the years, and then cultivated - proud to flaunt its elegance to prospective staff and students. Such grandeur was lost on Graham, at present. This was the fifth time he had made the trek into the bowels of the building, and the fifth time that he had lost his way. 

 

He shifted the box in his arms, uncomfortably, and shuffled its weight to get a better grip on its corners. A passing staff member eyed his precarious hold on the parcel, but offered no assistance or advice. Instead he simply flashed a smile and nodded a wordless welcome before hurrying off somewhere he might not wind up roped into some sort of charity work. Graham didn't particularly mind, but the lack of helpful nature was not something that went unnoticed.

 

With a knee bent to support a corner while he balanced on one foot, Graham reached his hand out to twist the knob of a nearby doorway. Vaguely, he thought he remembered that this door led down a hall that might bring him to the right place. Wrong. It was the door, not to hall, but to a room, where it seemed he had interrupted a small meeting of some sort.

 

Graham's eyes went wide, but only for a split second before vanishing behind a flash of a smile.

 

One of the group, an older man with a great bushel of a mustache, returned a polite grin and spoke up first, "Lose you way?"

 

Graham released a breath disguised as a chuckle as he bettered his hold on the box again, "Hardly," he began, grinning, "I just found this box of crap and decided to go door to door and see if I can't pawn it off on some strangers."

 

The older man's polite grin broadened, but he didn't reply.

 

Graham glanced down at the box, "I heard some new guy on the third floor might be interested - you know where I might find some stairs?"

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