1995-02-28: A Ready Ear


Bill_icon.gif Jack_icon.gif

Scene Title A Ready Ear
Synopsis Seems Jack's got a lot on his mind, and Bill's willing to listen.
Location London - The Leaky Cauldron
Date Feb 28, 1995
Watch For N/A
Logger Billy Bob

February is drawing to a close, and while it's warming up, it's still chilly out. Chillier than what some people have gotten accustomed to in recent years. Some people meaning Bill Weasley. Being his day off from Gringotts, he offered to do the shopping for his mother. He's such a helpful boy, err, adult now rather. The short walk from his Apparition point to the Leaky has his ears and nose almost as red as his hair. Once inside the warmth of the pub, he stamps his feet and shivers a bit in his cloak and mutters to himself about Egypt's weather spoiling him.

Jack is not especially helpful. Not at the moment. Right now, he's sitting at a booth, drinking something warm and eating something. He looks like he's been busy; in fact, he has his satchel of paperwork again, as though he's doing it all himself again. He leans back in the booth and sighs, then turns toward the noise when Bill stomps his way in. Obviously he can't hear the muttering, but he does lift a hand.

Keeping his cloak on as he ventures further into the pub. He catches Jack's wave, and the man isn't immediately familiar to him, yet he still nods in return greeting. Since he's not in a particular hurry, he orders up a steaming mug of tea at the bar. Taking it with him, he settles into a seat at a table near Jack's.

"Morning." Or is it afternoon by now? Jack isn't really fussed about it. He takes a bite of his burger, and looks sadly down at his chips. Chips make him think of his little sister. He takes a long drink of his tea, emptying the cup, and starts fixing himself another from the small pot in front of him. "Bit warmer today than it has been. Still cold, but…" It's small talk directed at Bill, in lieu of an introduction. He knows he recognizes the guy, but can't place him quite yet.

It's the red hair. Anyone with hair that flaming shade is usually pegged as belonging to a certain clan. As if anyone with red hair should automatically be a Weasley. "Morning," he returns before taking another drink of his tea, despite it being a bit on the scalding side. "Still, a lot colder than what I've adjusted to. No matter." He was born here, and gosh darnit he'll reacclimate.

Jack quirks an eyebrow at that. "Really? Where were you adjusted to?" Obviously someplace warmer. He takes another long sip of the tea, and then eats his hamburger while he waits for the response. Then, he snaps his fingers. "Right…" He smiles. "You're one of Arthur's bunch?" He heard about the Weasleys at the Christmas party, and thinks he remembers some of what his family said. If he isn't, then, he'll apologize.

Bill is good natured about the very correct assumption made. Does he have a choice? "Egypt, and guilty. I should probably dye my hair another color, then watch mum have another fit." As if changing the color of his hair would disguise the clan he's from! "I'm Bill, the eldest of Arthur's bunch, or rather Molly's. Since mum's the more vocal one."

Jack snorts, glad he's not drinking his tea at the time. "Yeah, i think you and I have that bit in common, mate." The very vocal mother. "I'm Jack Noble." The other family with six kids, a loud mum and a Ministry dad. "What were you doin' in Egypt? I've been there a couple times, but not for a while…" Since he now gets to pick and choose where and when he goes international, his itinerary has been a bit more varied. "With my job." He gestures to the satchel beside him.

"Oh ho! Sorry I didn't recognize you, your family seems to lack a shared and easily identifiable characteristic," Bill is now all grins as he gets up from his seat to shake Jack's hand. Now that there's a proper introduction. "I've been a Cursebreaker for Gringotts. Recently transferred back with all the hullaballoo at the Ministry. Right now I'm more behind a desk than anything, not that I mind."

Now Jack's grin matches the other man's. "A cursebreaker?" He lifts his brow, amazed by the odd connections. "Me too, but I went freelance a couple years ago. I found I didn't do as well when I had twenty people trying to tell me what to do. Now, it's me and the client. Means I have to do all the paperwork m'self, but it's worth it, I think." He nods toward the satchel. "I did have a secretary, and will again once i let her know I'm back working. Haven't been able to get a hold of her lately, though…" This makes him frown slightly. It's kind of odd. However, he brushes it off. He'll figure out what's going on. "If you're the second son, I think it'd be downright mad."

"Freelance sounds like a good time. Gringotts didn't give me much time to get in some freelance work. Those tombs and pyramids kept us busy as it was." Bill could easily branch out, but he's comfortable where he's at and likes it well enough. It's another thing he shares with his father in their work ethic. Perhaps there'll be more call for cursebreakers in the days to come. "She should turn up at some point. Ahaha.. no. I'm the eldest. Charlie's the second eldest, he's still in Romania working with dragons."

"I'll bet," Jack responds. "I can see how those old places would be just loaded with traps and curses and…" He shivers, partially with excitement, and partially at the thought of being just that careful all the time. He's careful, but that constant awareness can take a toll. "Dragons, eh?" He takes another sip of the tea, and nods. "That sounds exciting, as well." He nods again when Bill mentions his secretary. "Yeah, I'm not actually too worried. She's good at it, and I sent her an owl." He pauses in his commentary to take another bite of his burger.

"Yeah, you have to stay on top of your game. We've lost a few newbies who were too quick to spring one trap but overlook the more mundane. Those Egyptians were spot on in protecting their dead. Spring loaded needles with poison is a popular trap." So many wizards overlook such a muggle thing to do. Bill grins and settles back into his seat, although he moves it closer to Jack's table. "We've all got our ideas on what's mental. I get all the adventure I could ask for in dealing with curses and traps. Charlie's welcome to his dragons." He takes a lengthy drink of his tea and nods, "If the lack of a response isn't too bad, no need to fret."

Jack is reassured. For now, anyway. He's used to his sister's antics, and that if she's quiet, then you worry. He gives a half-smile, and nods. Bill's comments about the needles get a wide-eyed look. "Wow, yeah. I wouldn't have thought to look for that straightaway." He shakes his head. "At least early on. I'd've been toast." He chuckles. "Yeah, my youngest brother plays for the Arrows. Wouldn't want that much time on a broom every day for anything. And Mick repairs magical items…" Sort of the opposite of what they do minus the dark magic, "and Pete's a teacher. Wouldn't do that one for the world." He rolls his eyes. "Just leaving Rosie… well, Siobhan. She's still in school. Last year, though."

"You have to be fast in looking for those, if you're not? Hope your partner knows some quick spells to save your arse." Bill laughs as Jack goes over the careers of his siblings. "I met Siobhan at the New Years party. She's a lively one, and yeah, I don't envy Pete's job at all. I still need to look up Mick, it's been awhile." Bill doesn't remark on the overlooking of Liam. Seems he understands why. "The twins, Ron and Ginny are still at Hogwarts. Percy's got his knickers in a twist about his work at the Ministry, all puffed up and self-important. He's a bit difficult to talk to at times." Seems someone tried having a talk of not being so serious. It didn't go well.

There's a quietly muttered "One of them in every family," as Bill mentions Percy being in a twist about the Ministry. "What's Percy say about the mess going on there these days?" He affects a light tone about it, but deep down, and probably somewhat in his expression, there is still pain from all that happened. He's dealing with it — somewhat. "You met Rosie, huh? She's a spitfire. Wonderful kid." He beams with pride. They may be on the outs at the moment, but he still is very proud of her. The comments about the needle make Jack nod. "Yeah, that's the drawback to being alone like this. No partner to bail yer arse out of the fire should things get sticky." He chuckles softly.

Bill rolls his eyes, "It's best we don't even get him started on it. He's been making noises about moving out. I suspect he's miffed we don't share his viewpoint. I've told him to stuff it a few times already." In other words, the Ministry is right, the family is wrong. Git. "Siobhan spent a bit of time at the party ducking your mother. Took it upon myself to rescue her with a dance, then later helped your mother after she fainted." That was just unsettling. "Is there enough business for you to consider taking on a partner? I'm sure you wouldn't have a problem finding a suitable candidate."

Jack understands this sentiment. "Liam's just exactly the other way. Da being on the Wizengamot and all, he's always whispering in his ear and complaining about this or that…" Jack rolls his eyes. "And being the eldest, he makes sure we know what he's thinking." The commentary about Siobhan and Edana at the New Year's Party makes Jack smile and then laugh. "That sounds like my mum and my Rosie." He grins brightly, and then his lips purse in a thin line. "I wasn't able to make it this year." That was fairly obvious, but he says it anyway. Bill's idea about a partner gets a quiet moment or two of thought while he idly stirs his tea. "Maybe. Right now, it's just at the threshold. I mean, just enough for me…" He frowns. "If it picks up again, I might put an advert out for one in the Prophet or something." He shrugs. "Or just noise it about."

"Honestly, I don't know where Perce gets it. Everyone else in the family is reasonable. But as you were muttering.. there's bound to be one in every family." Bill is holding onto the possibility that Percy will come around at some point. Hopefully sooner than later. Although, things aren't so bad right now. "I heard about the trouble you ran into. Glad that's all been cleared up. Your family's got a good name, and none of that rubbish seemed right." A nod is made, "But you don't want to wait until you've gotten overwhelmed too. Maybe just feel around a bit, see if there may be interested parties." Just a suggestion there from the younger man.

It's a suggestion that Jack may use. "So true." He takes a sip of his tea, and ponders for a long moment. "Thank you Bill." He looks the younger man in the face, accepting his sympathies, though he's sure Bill doesn't know the whole thing. He finds himself wanting to say more, but not sure how much. "I don't know how much you heard of all that happened. There was a lot more than got into the press." As usual.

"No problem," Bill's typically much like his dad, being a voice of reason and somewhat good ideas. "It was a rotten case of injustice, judging by what I'd read. Of course, mum had her own opinions that I just had to filter out.." Then trying to decipher the dreck in the Prophet. "I figured as much. The Prophet's always been selective on what it puts into print. It's a bit to the point to where you're not sure what's right and what's wrong."

Jack snorts. "Almost more truth in the Quibbler, some issues." He sighs. "You know the basics of the complaint against Umbridge?" He pauses for a couple moments to finish his burger, looking down at his chips with hesitation for a minute and then deciding to eat them. "I don't know how much of the truth they printed. I sort of avoided the rag for a few days." Or threw it directly into the fire, more like.

Bill can't help but laugh at that. "The Quibbler's definitely entertaining. Glad to see not everyone dismisses it utterly." The Lovegoods, always an interesting bunch. "Yeah, I know the basics against that cow, no offense to cattle. Good choice in avoiding the paper all the same."

Jack smiles at Bill's words, and then quickly sobers. Chip in hand, holding it almost like a quill, waving it somewhat, he continues. "Miss Maplewood and I…" He pauses, and then decides to go on. "… we were starting to get close." It adds a new dimension to the situation. "I helped rescue her." He munches on the chip and falls silent.

"Aaaah.." Bill says in an almost knowing manner. Seems like he can take a stab at where this might be going. Getting close, the pause. Oh dear. He winces a bit all the same. "What happened, that she needed rescuing from? I think that bit escaped public scrutiny." He pauses as he swishes his tea around in his mug, "Although… I did hear some rumors."

So, that part didn't get out. Oh. Jack thought sure it had. He scowls, and gazes directly at his friend. "That bitch put her in a cell with Lupin, and denied him his potion." That's enough to be getting on with. "We weren't able to get there before Moonrise, even with Padfoot sniffing out the way." He looks down, and shakes his head. "I've focused so much attention on that lately that… " That other things have fallen through the cracks, or been messed up entirely.

Lupin, Lupin, oh right. "Load of bollocks," Bill utters, now that his mother isn't about to chastise him for language. Yes, fully grown adult and she still gets onto him for it. The name of Padfoot doesn't mean anything to him, but he can deduce it was someone or something assisting that night. "So now she's been bitten?" Best to guess on the positive side, right? "Haven't you tried talking to her since?"

Jack nods. "I've been by her side through most of it." Keeping all the frustration and anger in. "Yeah. She was bitten." He exhales. "I'm sorry. I don't know why I'm telling you all this." It is kind of unlike him. Maybe the similarities between the two men are enough. "I know. I was so proud of her. She only cast a petrificus totalus at her when she saw her at the ministry." His eyes beam for just a moment. He grabs another couple chips and starts eating them. "So, if it wasn't published, most people don't know, so…" The unspoken request hangs there between them.

"Don't worry, I won't tell anyone." Bill's good about that, keeping confidences. He chuckles a bit about the spell casting. "Good on her. Glad it helped capture the cow. From just what little I heard about, she had every bit coming to her. Is Miss Maplewood getting a lot of help and support she needs? Anything I could say is just going to wind up sounding like an understatement as to the changes she has to deal with now." Changes, in oh so many ways.

"Yeah. She's getting a lot of support and stuff. She even came out to Torchwood after the Ministry incident. Da told her what Rosie said about Lupin and that it applied to her as well." Jack smiles, a sad half-smile that expresses more of his feelings than his words normally do. "She's having a rough time, of course, but she'll make it now." Which was a real question before.

Bill nods his head and leans back casually in his seat. "That's good, I'm sure it'll make a big difference. It's one thing to face such a situation by yourself. Having friends around will help I'm sure. I can't say that I've really ever associated with werewolves, but I haven't a problem with them in general." He does have the good grace to keep his voice down now. So long as they're law abiding, he hasn't an issue with them.

Jack made an assumption based on Bill's family and it's clear that assumption was warranted. When Bill lowers his voice, he realizes that it's probably not the best place to be talking about it. He should've realized this much sooner, naturally. "I think so." Worriedly, he gazes around, and notices that the area around them is more or less empty. His expression relaxes in relief. "Yeah. It's been a little rough dealing with it myself." And he's only just recently realized that fact.

"That's understandable," Bill states without any trace of accusation or fault. "It's entirely normal I'm sure. Never having been in that sort of situation myself, I can just imagine what you're feeling is normal." Finished with his tea, his mug is pushed aside. "Depending on how close you two got, you probably just need some time. You think there's hopes of salvaging what you two had come close to getting?"

"I'm not sure." Jack says, fiddling with his own mug. "I'm hoping so. We're talking, and things are okay, but my little sister somehow got involved, and …" He sighs. "I was kind of a prat to her as well." Which complicates things immensely. "But I'm hoping to get it figured out." He smiles. "Thanks for the listening ear, man." It's helped.

"No worries, sometimes things just feel bottled up and as if they're festering if you can't share what's on your mind," Bill says, not bothered at all by lending an ear. He does wince about the little sister complication. "Not an easy situation to be sure. I'm glad I've never gotten cross with Ginny or the other way around. I swear she's turning into a miniature version of our mum. It's a bit frightening when the similiarities show up. Don't fret, you'll get it worked out. She's your only sister, right?"

Jack nods. "Yeah. And she's more like Mum than she'd like to admit as well." He smiles, then picks up his cup and drains it, munching on the last of his chips. "Yeah. Youngest and only. Similar to your lot, right?" He elaborates on his thanks. "That may be as it is, but it isn't everyone who will listen, not be noisy about it, and actually make intelligent suggestions about things." He shrugs, and pushes the plate away. "Finished that. Now, I guess I should stop procrastinating, and get this…" Quick nod toward the satchel. "…done."

Bill laughs and inclines his head in a nod. "Sounds about right, yes." He pushes himself up from his seat and pulls out some money to leave for his tea. "I do try. I guess that's partly why I got the Prefect and Head Boy badges." Tho his OWL's helped a lot. "Good luck with your work. I should get to the errands for mum, before she kills the owl by sending him after me. 'Course, I'll be home by the time he's made it anywhere near here."

Jack laughs, and pulls his paperwork out. "Good job, that." He smiles brightly. "Give my family's greetings to yours." He nods quickly and waves to the other man before starting in on his work.

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