1995-10-26C: Awkward Flooversation


Valentina_icon.gif Jas_icon.gif

Scene Title Awkward Flooversation
Synopsis Jas gives Valentina a Floo call.
Location Eider Cottage
Date October 26 1995
Watch For Clever talking around things. Oh, and Jas' enjoying of Leta's … assets.
Logger Valentina

The living room at Elder Cottage is quite nice. It has all the things anyone might expect of a living room in a wizarding home in Britain: wireless, lovely seats, a fireplace with Jas' head in it, a sofa, a few tables, odds and ends and a bookcase. Just the usual, really.

Well, almost. The cottage's owner — the adult one, as opposed to the cottage's young inhabitant — is curled up in an armchair reading, and it takes her a moment or two to even notice Jas' face. When Valentina actually looks up all the way, all she does is raise an eyebrow at him.

So Jas, maturely enough, raises his eyebrow back at her.

He's going to play this game, is he? Valentina looks back to her journal, turns a page lazily, and then says without looking back up at him, "What."

"That's very nice," is Jas' soft response. He sounds, actually — hurt? No, that can't be right.

Puzzled, Valentia says, "What's very nice?" with an eyebrow raised to show true bewilderment. She hasn't an inkling of why he is trying to talk to her at this moment. "I can help you with something? I was just doing some peer review of recent research, it is very engrossing."

"Are you truly interested in why I'm calling, then?" drawl out Jas' rich Lancastrian tones. He still looks a little bit hurt, a little bit puzzled — a little bit like he's hiding something.

"Yes of course," says Valentina with only the minorest of annoyed sighs — once upon a time, her annoyed sighs were the thing he heard most, but on the other hand, he did provoke them! She sets the journal down and even removes her reading glasses and folds them on the end table, though she stays curled up in her chair instead of moving any closer. Not, of course, that he can't see her perfectly. Along with the whole rest of the room, which has a few of Clemency's toys in it and a sleeping Kneazle who is entirely strange to Jas and is covered in bandages.

It's no surprise that the bandaged Kneazle gets some part of Jas' attention, but as long as he's asleep, Jas isn't going to comment. Probably. "How have you been?" It's an awfully abrupt question, for one that sounds so — tentative.

The kneazle snores a little bit. He's a cat. He does that. Valentina does her best to mask her puzzlement, but her head tilts a little bit in concern anyhow. "I am well," she says sociably, though not in an overtly friendly fashion: he's her ex, not her BFF. But for all that, she cares — she will, always. "And you?"

Jas hesitates, again, but he was the one who showed up in her fireplace, and he did start this — "Oh, a bit odd-man-out at the moment, I reckon. I either won or lost a lottery, not sure which."

"I am not sure, I think, whether to congratulate you or express remorse for your situation. Assume I chose the one which was most appropriate and continue from there, whether or not you feel the need to tell me which it was," is Valentina's near-instant reply. She's used to the fact he never talks about work, and that his reasons for doing so are not that he's not willing to share. (She has no idea the extent of it, though, considering it only MLE business — or perhaps, more sinisterly, that he does tell her things sometimes and then conveniently erases them.)

Laughter, there, a brief snort of it — the kneazle isn't waking, is he? "Apparently I got picked as someone who could be spared from my regular work and sent off back to Hogwarts," he tells her lightly enough. "Nevermind that I quite like my job — the Board of Governors got it in mind that I'd be the one to go, and I wasn't really given any option at all." Because, of course, it got planted in their minds by Lucius Malfoy at the Dark Lord's order, but hey, details. "I know you never really got a chance to visit the school before," he adds, trailing off without a resolution.

The kneazle is rolling over a little bit, but has merely shifted from one feline sleep stage to another: no sign of real irritation here. Valentina raises an eyebrow practically into her hairline. "You? You are not a teacher, you are good at what you do! That is absurd. But I suppose you must do it, yes, and so good luck — I do not know what I have to do with this, though." She is getting a little squinty. Suspicious. He is not actually going to do something as bold as ask if he can take their child into the war zone that is Hogwarts, is he?

Not so much, no! "I was wondering if you wanted to come visit, at some point," is what Jas says instead. "I know my parents would be happy to take Emmy — not that I'm not always happy to see her," a quick addition, "but of course it's not the safest place in the world, at the moment." It used to be. He looks a little sad about it, for all that he's on the side of the people who are trying to make it not-so-safe.

"I — might." Valentina looks distinctly uncomfortable with the invitation, but it has nothing to do with the dangers of Hogwarts so much as it is that he's inviting her, and not them or Clemency. Just her. Why would he do that? What does he want with her this time? "I am, I admit, confused as to why it is you invite me, and I do have parents and siblings and friends as well capable of watching her, not that I do not also appreciate your parents of course, but —" But nothing, apparently.

Jas's hand appears in the flames, then, as he reaches up to scratch the back of his head, looking awkward. "Well. Yes. There is that — of course, Mum's been on me about how she doesn't get to see Emmy nearly so much as she wants to, you know. I rather thought it would be nice if you'd bring her by here, to the manor, and then we can all have lunch, or tea — and then she and Mum can spend the afternoon together and I can show you the castle, perhaps."

Mildly lost, Valentina blurts out, "Hogwarts is not near Lancashire, last I checked," because of course she hasn't been there, and was certainly not there over the weekend. With a handsome, friendly and — attentive cursebreaker. "You mean for us to take Floo, or Apparate there, or is it actually closer than I am thinking? I think I would be willing to do this, though, yes." The amount of 'muuuuum, but whyyyyyy?' she would get if she had said no would never be worth it, and for all she's not too fond of Jas these days she does love his mother.

Jas grins, a little — is that his first proper grin of the evening? Huh. "It isn't that close, no," he agrees. "And I don't reckon walking is the best way of getting there, either. We can Floo or Apparate, yes, either one, to Hogsmeade, and from there it isn't much of a walk at all to get to Hogwarts. The only purely-wizarding village in all of Great Britain," he adds lightly. "It's a lovely place to visit, and we can include it on the tour easily enough."

Valentina remembers Hogsmeade, though she wasn't really given a thorough tour of the entire village: there was enough for her to have taken in the Three Broomsticks, which was the most important part, yes? And presumably, the Jack tour and the Jas tour will be very different indeed. Different enough, at different times, that she says, "Yes, that sounds nice," in a way that is almost not awkward! Almost. "I do know someone who spends some time there from work, though I think we will not run into each other."

If Jas is, now, studying Valentina a little bit more sharply, well — the flames surrounding him probably mask that, at least to some extent, right? "So," he murmurs, "I'll see you Saturday at lunchtime, at the manor?" This doesn't mean he's letting her comments pass; only that he's not adding his own commentary at the moment.

"This weekend?" Valentina doesn't seem displeased, or surprised, only confirmatory. She stretches a little in her chair, and slowly stands, showing Jas a lot more leg than she really has wanted to do in quite some time indeed, saying, "Let me just go check my calendar? I do not have it in here and am not sure if I need to be anywhere or if she does?"

It might be the flash of leg, it might be that Jas is just in a good mood, it might be that he's on a terribly comfortable rug right now — whatever the reason, he murmurs his assent, and watches her legs — or, that is, Valentina entirely — on her way out the door.

It was, probably, mostly her legs — considering his angle. For about twenty seconds it is just Floo-Jas and the sleeping kneazle in the room, and the sleeping kneazle is … sleeping. Remains sleeping, in fact, the entire time. Occasionally he paws at something, perhaps having a dream, and then Valentina comes back in. The first thing she does iskneel over the feline and coo at him, offering under-chin scritches and encouragement to heal — then Jas gets her attention. "Clemency has her violin lesson at nine thirty on Saturday and we can come by after that, da?"

"That sounds lovely," Jas answers, staring at her ch— er, that, is, her charms. No, wait, that isn't it, either. But she is kneeling, a bit, near the fire, and he can, in fact, see her a good bit more clearly than he could when she was all the way across the room. "Maybe you can have her bring it by, as well, and then she can play for all of us, if she likes. How's that?"

"I think," Valentina replies as she straightens up a bit, but does not get off the floor, "that would work out very well, yes. We can leave straight from her lesson, though we will need to bring a change of clothes considering Floo — I am not going to travel by thestral all that way, it would not be fair." Three hundred miles by thestral. Beat. "And very long."

Jas just laughs. "Well, of course — and nobody's going to complain if you bring a change of clothes, you know," he teases. "I'll see you at lunch, then? Give Emmy my love."

Waggling her fingers at him as she turns to pick up the kneazle in her arms, Valentina replies, "Yes, I think that will do! And I will. Dasvidanya."

She probably isn't expecting Jas to blow a kiss at her just before her fire stops being green, but — well —


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