Hallway Interlude


liam1.jpg seren1.jpg phillipef1.jpg

Scene Title Hallway Interlude
Synopsis To the Ministry with paperwork, lists, and tiny little baby girls
Location Ministry Corridor
Date June 01, 2001
Watch For Maggie
Logger Liam

Ministry Corridor Hogwarts
Sat Jun 01, 2001 — Sat Jun 01 18:31:21 2019

Here the smell of parchment and ink permeate the air and the quiet exists over the underlying hum of voices in low conversation. As in any office corridor, the floors are brightly polished and wooden benches line the walls between doors.

The evening hours are the time of day when the activity around these offices slows from a hive to something more like a trickle. Those few that are milling about tend to do so in pairs or small clumps, talking about the day's business on their way out to look into dinner. Most give some form of acknowledgement to the half-Veela who rounds the corner with one arm bracing an infant in a sling and the other arm fishing in his hip-holster to settle his wand back into place there. Phillipe Fawley may very well be one of the two people known to high society as 'the Morhban whores', but none of these people are brave enough to act like it to his face, at least.

Clearly Liam got turned around somewhere, those brilliant aqua eyes of his darting and tracing the hallway, teeth chewing absently to one corner of his lower lip. He holds in one hand a piece of parchment, one he glances at now and then, but not for longer then a few seconds. It's just so ill timed that as Phillipe rounds the corner, this is where the man looks down, gaze lifted a mere second before he would have collided with him and his infant. "Merlin's bea…" he exhales, going still and backing up a step in one graceful movement that saves him from a whole lot of apology. A quick appraisal of the situation and a smile forms readily enough, "Ah, my apologies. I should watch where I'm going."

Seren doesn't have much to do with his time these days. Sure, he knits, and there are times when he's volunteered for things, but he's constantly being reminded that he needs to get up and move. That would be why he's here today. Climbing stairs is a healthy use of ones time and there are always things to be brought between offices. He catches the near collision but if no one's on the ground or hurt, he's ready to ignore the whole thing and move on (it's his go-to way of dealing with everything these days). Except there's a familiar face (One doesn't forget a face like Phillipe's easily, let's face it). "Ah, careful! I hadn't thought to see you out and about yet." He gives a hint of a smile, certainly nothing close to the greetings he would have given before, but it's something.

There are very few things in the world with quicker reflexes than a Veela. Liam's sudden approach catches Phillipe by surprise, but he side-steps just as Liam steps backward - teeth bared in an instinctive snarl for the split-second it takes his human brain to re-assert itself. "That would generally be a good idea, yes." But he forces a polite smile before lifting part of the sling to glance inside at his passenger. Which is when Seren's voice catches his attention and here comes a slightly less forced smile. "It's been six weeks, Seren. I was out breaking into Azkaban at one." Which might be why Liam's face looks vaguely familiar. "I'm fine, I promise. And Maggie's doing very well."

Liam holds up his hands, looking towards Seren for the warning that comes shortly after what turns out to be not even close to a near miss, not with Phillipe's dexterous avoidance of such a thing. The baring of teeth and snarl comes as a bit of a surprise, turning slightly wider eyes back towards what appears to be a woman and her newborn, and so he inclines his head. "Again, my apologies." Lips are pressed together taking another few steps backwards to give the two who appear to know one another space, "Excuse me." With that, the blonde man gives the parchment another glance, shoulders stiffening minutely for mention of Azkaban. Liam lingers for only moment in which he studies the woman's face, but given all that has transpired in such a short time he seems less inclined to remain. One foot set before the other, he skirts around the pair with his eyes set forward. Well, for the most part, some people never learn.

"Oh, I knew nothing much would keep you from the break in." Seren admits. "It /is/ good to see you out and about. Now the question is, can I sneak a look?" Babies are always good news. He casts a glance at Liam and then nods. "You're one of the crowd we evacuated." It sounds like a mere observation when he says it, but far from a cool one. "I hope the transition is going smoothly."

That Liam is seemingly upset by his instinctive, protective reaction does not seem to bother Phillipe one bit. Humans are forever having poor responses to his instincts - at this point, that's got to be a 'them' problem for his own sanity. "I'd hoped to get her to fall asleep after she ate last - it's much easier to go about tending to Adelard's plants when she's not wriggling - but I've had precious little luck with that." Shifting his weight slightly, Phillipe reaches in to the soft, blue sling to draw forth a tiny baby with a shock of soft brown curls. She's alarmingly small by human standards (like, should probably still be in the NICU by human standards) but Phillipe seems entirely untroubled as he settles her against his chest and gently bounce-turns to let Seren meet her. "Magnolia Montgomery is an awfully big name for such a little thing, so Maggie has become our go-to." There's a glance toward Liam when Seren identifies him as one of those taken out of Azkaban - searching his face as though trying to place it. "Were you? I don't remember, but faces look very different to lions, anyway." And like hell is he going to start sniffing. That would just be pointless in this form.

Having barely traveled a few feet, Liam steps back towards the wall this time, with the intention to leave a pathway open for those also traversing the hallway as his eyes settle onto Seren, a distinctive pause before ashen lashes lower and he nods just once in confirmation. Indeed, he was one of those evacuated in the most recent raid on Azkaban, but there's something in his expression that suggests perhaps that the smoothness of his transition was still some matter of contention. A heartbeat later, a smile much like the one that had been given post-instinctive reaction appears, "I'm well, thank you." Then sliding his attention back towards Phillipe, the man tilts his head almost imperceptibly to one side, "I'm told I was unrecognizable and had to be carried out," he replies, brows lifting only a centimeter at mention of being a lion at that time. "I suppose they do."

"She's absolutely beautiful." Seren declares and there's that smile that's reserved for babies and children. "Oh, she'll grow into the name, I have no doubt about that. In personality and size. If you ever need someone to mind her, let me know. I imagine Tilly would be beside herself with joy." Sure, it might be odd for someone to speak of their house elf that way, but he's got a lifetime of peculiar habits built up. "Ah, Yes, there were a couple of those as I recall. Not surprising, given the nature of the place."

Phillipe beams at Seren's praise of his tiny daughter, swaying gently from side-to-side in a motion that seems designed to soothe the infant. She certainly isn't fussing, at any rate. When Liam mentions being one of the ones that had needed to be carried out, he gets a longer look from Phillipe, those violet eyes narrowing slightly. "You're terribly lucky, then, that Lord Morhban has a stronger conscience than either of his husbands." He shrugs. "Auberon and I probably would have left you." Probably. He doesn't hesitate over the use of 'husbands' despite his current form. Just because one needs to breastfeed an infant doesn't stop the preferred pronouns and gendered terms from being a thing, after all. "I appreciate the offer, but between the eight of us, she hardly ever gets put down, let alone needs minding." It's a warm statement made on a gentle laugh - he is obviously terribly fond of his family. "I am Phillipe Fawley, and this is Seren Lascelles. What were you looking for, exactly?" He nods toward the piece of parchment in Liam's hand.

Aqua eyes slip down then to the tinier than tiniest of infants cradled against Phillipe's full chest, his face unreadable but overall appearing quite at ease. Though, pointedly, he does not admire the girl for too long, as Seren speaks his gaze shifts back to him. Another nod is given, "A few, yes." He doesn't have anything to say as to the nature of Azkaban though, instead nodding once before his gaze flickers to Phillipe. It's difficult to say exactly what he makes of the response to his omission, considering his expression doesn't change, that soft and polite smile glued in place, "It seems then that I am, quite fortunate." There was a particularly soothing quality to Liam's voice, one that seemed to be a natural phenomenon rather than something he was doing intentionally. The mix of pronouns earns a pause, a passing assessment of Phillipe's person as offers for child care are declined, tuning back in as it were to the goings on the second that introductions are forthcoming, "Liam Laronte," he replies in kind, the only suggestion that he might be offset by things he doesn't quite yet understand being the trace of tension now to be found in along his shoulders. That, and he seems slightly distracted when the parchment still in hand is brought to the foreground, "Herbal plants Maura is after, she suggested I check with the Ministry." Though, he sounds as if he's not sure why this was the case.

"The offer stands, no matter how far down the list I am." Seren assures and if the mention leaving people behind bothers him, he makes no show of it. Nor does he seem confused by the pronoun string. "Having enough arms around to hold a baby is never a bad thing. I've never believed that spoiling nonsense." He tips his head at the mention of herbs and THAT'S when he looks confused. "Shouldn't you just ask the greenhouse workers? I'm sure they'd know what's available. They'll at least have better lists than anyone, since they're the ones who make the lists."

Seren gets a grin. "True enough. None of ours ever spent much time not being held, and it's turned out very well so far." If Phillipe notices that tension creeping into Liam's posture, he at least has the good grace not to make mention of it, nodding once in response to Liam's introduction before tilting his head to one side in thought. "Which plants did she need - may I see the list?" He shifts the way he holds Maggie to give those specific muscles a break before stepping closer toward Liam.

Liam hmm's and nods to Seren, "That was my thought as well, but she insisted I had to come here." Secret Ministry plants? Pray tell! Helplessly the man's shoulders are lifted to drift back down again in the gentleness of a shrug, seeming not above tossing logic and reason aside at the bidding of she who shall not be denied. "Certainly," he says, the list in question is turned towards Phillipe without hesitation, brows held aloft in hope that this wasn't in fact a fool's errand. As the man in female guise comes closer and the plants' scientific names are surveyed, aqua eyes drop to Maggie whether it be out of interest or something to do other than level and hold his gaze on Phillipe expectantly. Never good to rush any offer of help, regardless if the results bear fruit..

Seren waits for the list to be glanced over. "I imagine it could be something that the school doesn't generally grow or that's forbidden on the grounds of safety." Given the things the students are allowed to handle and participate in, that has to be a very small list. To Phillipe, he gives a firm nod. "Held babies are calmer babies." Mostly because there's no working up a good cry to get attention.

Maggie is a curious little creature, and tilts her head toward the sound of this new voice that wasn't any of her fathers. Despite the contrast between her dark curls and Phillipe's pale blonde ones, her sweet lavender eyes are much closer to his than not. Blinking slowly at Liam, she makes a sound that seems very like a small child imitating something spoken at them, only this isn't babble. This is a creeling sound that - while it doesn't make an actual word in that language - sounds an awful lot like Mermish. It's enough to make Phillipe look up from this list and over toward his daughter with an expression that is… momentarily deeply sad. Tucking her closer against his chest, he returns to the business at hand - though he seems perhaps a little more closed off than he had been but a moment ago. "What she has indicated here are some cuttings and extractions from highly regulated plants. My husbands and I keep some, but there are one or two here that we'll have to get an expedition organized and approved for. Did she say when she needed them by?"

Once again, Liam nods in regards to Seren, "I've some knowledge of herbology, but I didn't recognize most of names," he admits, lips twitching upwards, "Seems it's time to study a bit harder." Reason enough to hit the books, though really he didn't need an excuse did he? Knowledge was power after all, and hardly mundane. He might have gone more into detail about that, but Maggie makes that sound that sends a shiver straight down his spine, turning silent observation into a long meaningful stare. It's not meant to be rude, truly, and as soon as he's able to cobble together two dots of etiquette again he ceases such a thing immediately and yanks his eyes up and off her as she's settled by her parent. If Liam caught the expression and overall change in Phillipe following that, it's well obfuscated, breathing out softly as he bobs his head just the once and is back to polite neutrality, "Ah, yes…that would explain it." The list is turned back towards him and perused with a press of his lips together, tsking softly to himself. The brightly aqua of his attention returns soon after, "She did not, but I got the impression that matter was more pressing than she let on."

"I'm afraid I'm a total loss when it comes to herbs. I grew roses once." Seren shrugs and gives an apologetic look. "I suppose it's for the best. I had to quit when I came to in a face full of rose bramble. Imagine if it were something more adventurous." Or parasitic. The sound from Maggie gets his attention and Phillipe's expression doesn't escape his notice. All he can do, however, is offer a briefly sympathetic expression. "Well, it appears that's sorted. I was just delivering forms. Apparently the order that I get out more has been heard by more than just the staff in the hospital wing."

"I'll get some clippings of these - " Phillipe points toward the part of the list he can actually do something about " - tonight and make sure they get sent up to the Hospital Wing first thing in the morning. The rest of this…" He sighs and lets his hand drop to rest on Maggie's back. "I'll speak with Lord Morhban about approving an expeditionary force." But with the biggest yawns coming from that tiny baby face, he's starting to consider his own exit. "If you've got forms for Adelard there, Seren, I'll go ahead and take them. I've got to stop by his office anyway."

Chewing thoughtfully on his lower lip, Liam shakes his head and the smile that blossoms into place is vaguely more genuine than merely polite, "Roses are more difficult to grow than you might think, it's quite the accomplishment. There are more finicky plants," he admits, sparing the poor man the whole bloody list, though something say he was tempted there for a moment, "…and of course…brambles are an issue." Roses, difficult to seed, harder still to maintain.
"Certainly no reason to give up, however. If you ever the mind to try your hand at gardening again, I'd be quite pleased to help." To Phillipe Liam's head turns, giving over the list of rare herbs without resistance, "I will let her know to expect them." A nod for Lord Morban's part in the collection, "Thank you for your help." He means it too, though his gratitude is perfectly measured rather than over or underdone. With baby yawns and paperwork, he inclines his head to both, "I won't take up anymore of your time, it was a pleasure to meet you both." With that, he departs, heading back the way he'd come.

"You have no idea how grateful I am. His was the last on my list. I'm afraid I overestimated my recovery just a little. …and I cheated the stairs during the break in." Seren hands over the forms just in time to catch that yawn. "I think you may get your wish after all." The idea of growing anything again elicits a soft chuckle. "If only." He comments, giving a nod in Liam's direction. "Much to Tilly's dismay, I've begun to learn sewing. With any luck, I'll have something wearable for your little darling soon. …but I won't keep you, especially if she's going to nap."

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