1995-08-31: Baby Birds?

Participants:

Molly_icon.gif Oxley_icon.gif Maralyn_icon.gif

Scene Title Baby Birds?
Synopsis Due to the weird summer, Molly goes to pick up a few last minute items from Diagon Alley. She 'helps' a young lady out.
Location Diagon Alley
Date Aug 31, 1995
Watch For Con man attempting to con. Molly smother-mother.
Logger Mum Wheezy

It's late in the afternoon before September first. Molly ought to be at home, planning the mad rush to King's Cross tomorrow. However, she's not. She's executing her own mad rush, making sure everything is in order before she can go home again. She's spent a good portion of time in Grimmauld with Sirius, and some of the things she normally does in preparation to send her children to school have slipped through the cracks until the last minute. The very last minute. "Well. They're out of the maroon ones. Ronnie will just have to settle for brown." She steps into a couple of shops, hopping in and out to grab small things the children always need.

Just outside the shop that Molly's headed out of most recently, a red-headed man is leaned up against the storefront window doing some people-watching with an expression that could best be described as placid. Oxley might very well be mistaken for a member of the Weasley brood if a good look at him isn't gotten, and he might still be mistaken anyway just because he shares all the family's physical characteristics and it's a nice big clan. On this particular day not much occupies his mind beyond the contemplation of which pub he'll get his meal at a few hours in the future, and so he lets himself drift very slightly in Molly's direction once she comes into view - enough so that he could quite possibly be the cause of a bit of a slip or a trip. Whoops.

Molly is in 'bustle mode', so she bumps into Oxley. "Oh, dear. Pardon me." She drops a package on the ground. "Oh, dear." She attempts to reach down, and nearly loses some of the other packages. "Would you be so kind as to grab that for me, young man?" She tilts her head at him as she gets a good look. "Oh dear. You look like you could be related to my husband some way." She hasn't met all Arthur's relatives; they're about as prolific as she.

Oh, come on now - Ox isn't that much younger than Molly! The 'young' might be taken as a compliment, though, so he lets his brief twinge of befuddlement slip by without issue, rocking back on his heels as the Weasley matriarch attempts to juggle her purchases with very little success. "Certainly, miss." As he crouches down to delicately gather up the package he cranes his neck to peer right back up, eyebrows hiked. "And who, may I ask, is your husband?"

"Oh, well, he's Arthur. Arthur Weasley. He works for Muggle Relations." Molly doesn't see the problem in giving out this personal information. "And I'm Molly. Thank you." She frowns. "I'm trying to get everything done before tomorrow…. so much to do… this summer has been so busy…" She's muttering more to herself.

"Distant cousin. I think we lost touch with your branch a while ago, but there's no reason that can't be remedied." Oxley straightens up and then tucks the package neatly under his arm, offering the other to take some more of Molly's burden. "Packing the kids off to school?"

It's late afternnon the day before the train leaves for Hogwarts. Molly is picking up a few last minute things. She's got her hands full of stuff and Oxley is helping her carry some of it. He's told her they're related. Well, they look it.

"Oh, well! You'll have to come over to the house, then, and have dinner some time." Molly beams. It's always nice to meet relatives. "You can meet all my kids. Bill's a curse-breaker, and Charlie's a dragon tamer. Percy works for the Ministry, and oh, the rest of them are still in school." She rolls her eyes. "That's the reason I'm out here of course." She gazes at the man. "So, who's son are you?" She is curious, now, wanting to know exactly how he connects. "Arthur will be ever so pleased to meet another cousin. He's always wanting to have another relative to show his Muggle stuff to."

Dinner? Score. But then there's a nice curveball to mess with Oxley's intended farce, mostly because he hasn't planned things out quite this far. To stall for time he just coughs once, clears his throat, and then offers a grin. "Glad to know the clan's doing well for itself - even if you collect Muggle artifacts. My name's Felton, by the way. Terribly rude of me not to introduce myself properly - and that's quite a passel of kids to juggle."

She'll be asking Arthur about this one, she will. "Felton?" She quirks an eyebrow. "Hmm." Molly nods. "Yes, there are seven of them, total." She smiles proudly at the thought of her children. "What do you do, then Felton?" She is curious to know more about his life if he's really a relative. And if he's not, well, she does have three of-age strong boys and a good husband.

Why did she have to wait until the last few days, WHY? Internally kicking herself in the rear, Maralyn squirms and forces her way through the crowd outside of Flourish and Blott's looking the worse for wear, even counting out the normal tears and holes in her outfit. Glowering down at her schoolbooks, she pulls a list out of her pocket with a few free fingers and mentally checks off what she's already procurred. Next next next… "HEY WATCH WHERE YOU'RE BLOODY GOING!" she squeaks out, stumbling back as she loses hold of her books and things thanks to a few kids running off toward the ice cream shop.

For a moment Ox's eyes almost seem to threaten popping right out of his head. "Seven?" Lord almighty. He whistles a quick low pitch and then readjusts the package, glancing down the street for a moment at the pedestrian traffic moving by. "Oh, this and that. Mostly I dabble with whatever odd job happens to come by. Not the brightest bulb in the family, don't you know?" And look! A convenient distraction. James' eyebrows hike when one of those pedestrians he's eyeballing has a good bit of a book tumble. "Oi, you alright?"

"You sound like my twins." Molly mutters. That sounds a bit like the answer she gets when she asks them what they want to do with their lives. "Young men should settle down, and get a decent job." She nods pointedly. "Like my Percy. He is an assistant to the Minister." That's a job she can be proud of. Well, most of the time. Except when the Ministry is being… anyway. "Oh, dear. Let me help you, poor dear…" Since she's given Oxley almost all her packages, her hands are free to help Maralyn in any way she needs. "Young lady, where are your parents?" First thing on Mrs. Weasley's mind.

Maralyn is still muttering a string of words that would probably make Mrs. Weasley's cheeks turn as red as her hair before she notices the pair of them coming to her aid, but they fall silent as she stares up at Molly, blinking hazel eyes for a moment before she takes her hand, standing up. "Ah—my mum's at work at the mo', 'nd my dad's touring." She leans down as she speaks, picking up her books and school supplies. Standing up straight, she blinks up at them, shifting a bit. "Thank you two for your help, ma'am, mister," she nods as she tugs at one of her braclets on her wrists almost nervously.

"Right. Settle down, get job, bring honor and wealth. I'll get right to it, Molly." In maybe the next forty years at some point. If he finds the time. Oxley shuffles towards the girl and the lady, peering over the packages and offering the teenager a reassuring grin - and at least he's not grilling her for information about adult supervision. In fact: "Oho, off on your own in this place? You'd best enjoy the ride if they've given you a stipend, maybe get yourself a nice new shiny something."

"Felton!" Molly's in Momma-mode. "She should only buy the things she needs." She grabs some of the things and hands them over to Oxley, adding to his load. "Here, hold these, but don't get them confused with mine." She turns to Maralyn. "What do you have left to buy, dear?" She gazes at what the girl already has. "Hmmm. What year?" That's the important question, of course. If it's the same as one of her own children, she pretty much has the list memorized.

Peering between the pair of them quizzically, she looks from one of them to the other before grinning just a bit to Molly as she takes the things and adds them to Oxley's already burdening load. Giggling just a little, she pulls the list out as she looks to it, then back to the very-obviously-a-mother in front of her. "I don't mind being by myself; it's actually a little easier to get through the crowd when it's just me—my dad's always standing and staring at things. Oh! I'm getting into my fifth year." she chirps, looking back to the list. "I have my books already, I just need to get a new cauldron and some things from the apothecary.."

Maralyn says, "Oh! And a few new uniforms."

As the load suddenly gets heavier in the form of books, of all things, Oxley (who is not paying attention to these things) has the wonderful opportunity to have his elbows buckle. He manages to keep hold of everything though, just huffing a bit as he's loaded up with shopping like a ginger mule. Or like every male ever who consents to go shopping with a female. "Molly, I can't very well be expected to organize a pile of parcels while I am holding them. You a Muggleborn, kiddo?"

"Well, of course you can…" Molly says, moving over to rearrange things in 'Felton's' arms. "Madame Malkin's first, then. She is always ever so busy at this time, of course. So many people waiting until the last minute…" There is a mild rebuke in those words. "Do you need remeasured, dear?" She finishes 'helping' Oxley, and then starts to walk briskly toward the clothiers.

Maralyn tilts her head as she looks between the two, she opens her mouth to speak and mention that she never said she actually needed help, but then promptly decides to close it. Seeing how she's treating the only other person with her, it's probably safest to -not- get in her way, be it physically or by a few words. "No, Half-blood. My mom works for the Ministry," she replies to Oxley as they walk toward Madame Malkin's, her buckled boots clicking across the stones in a quick staccato as she tries to keep up with the redheaded housemum. "I'm sorry, I hadn't told you my name. I'm Maralyn Walsh, and you are?" she asks Molly, since she seems to be the one in charge. Ginger mule notwithstanding.

Whether or not he's been asked, a muffled and rather begrudging "Felton" is uttered in response to the name question on Oxley's part, along with some nodding regarding the teenager's blood status. He also sees fit to comment on the girl's mother, a rather displeased tinge to his tone: "Ministry workers are everywhere these days." And they love making the lives and livelihoods of people like him difficult, which is why he's really not so keen. But Ox does start wandering after Molly and her captive wayward fifth-year, peeking around the edge of the packages to get a better view of where exactly he's walking.

"Oh, yes. My name is Molly Weasley, dear. I do apologize for not saying so earlier." She smiles happily, and steps into Malkin's. "Madame, we've got a customer for you, dear. New Hogwarts' robes of course." She shakes her head. "No, none of mine. They're all set as far as that goes." She reaches around and attempts to grab Maralyn by the shoulder and gently guide her into the shop. Oxley is just expected to follow. Poor thing.

Walking along after Molly, and occasionally giving 'Felton' a few curious looks as he trods on after them, Mara can't help but grin a bit as Molly gives her name. The last name rings a bell from the occasional class, and after all, who wouldn't know the pair that Harry Potter hangs out with? Before she can have a chance to actually respond though, they reach Madame Malkin's and the thought is thrown from her mind at the rather busy crowd around the place. "Oh wow, I didn't think it would be this bad…" she mumbles, though she moves up with Mrs. Weasley as she guides her into the shop. "Do you have a son that's in fifth year too, Mrs. Weasley?" she asks, shouldering gently through the crowd.

The shop reached, Oxley promptly goes about setting the packages he's carrying down on a chair in a short row of chairs meant to be supporting the buttocks of attendant parents or those who are equally responsible. He then drops himself into the next free seat and promptly stretches out, folding his hands over his stomach and clicking the heels of his shoes together a couple of times with a vaguely serene look on his face, observing his two companions for the day as they go about the business of refitting Maralyn and wrangling Malkin. "Careful she doesn't stick you somewhere uncomfortable with one of her pins, lass."

"Yes, dear. My son Ronald is in fifth year. He's a Gryffindor, of course. All of us have been." She looks back at Oxley. "Were you a Gryffindor, too, dear?" She waits until the woman inside is free, and nods toward Maralyn. "Now, step up on the stool, dearie, and she'll get you taken care of." She turns to gaze at Oxley again, and frowns disapprovingly at his pose and comments. "Now then! Madame Malkin has been doing this for years, I'll have you know." Don't start trouble, boy. "Well, we can fit most of this in a cauldron, dear. Would you mind if we had Felton go buy…" She frowns. "No, you should buy your own." She shakes her head.

"Oh, that's fine, maybe I'll be able to get a ring there afterward!" Maralyn grins back toward Oxley as he lounges, wrinkling her nose in jest before she reaches Madame Malkin. Going through the normal rigamarole of getting fitted, lifting her arms, stretching them out, staying still for the tape as she hums a little ditty under her breath. Listening to Molly be Molly to Oxley, she snickers and responds as she turns around for another measurement. "I thought I had heard that name before. He's in Gryffindor? I have potions with him then," she responds, arching a brow at the idea of Oxley going to get a cauldron for her. Idly thinking of the purseful of galleons her mother had given her before going to work, she sighs lightly when Molly changes her mind. The guy gives her the smarmy creeps. "I can get it myself, ma'am!"

Ox is soaking up all this Weasley-family-information like a sponge, and he is utterly, utterly unruffled by the dirty look he's getting from Molly. Well, mostly unruffled. Except for that guilty little twinge right there at the corner of his mouth that appears when eye contact is made and specific questions are asked. "I'm afraid I wasn't qualified to grace the halls of Gryffindor Tower. How about you, kid? I don't believe you've told us." She should still watch for pins. They are dangerous.

Mouth open…and mouth closed again. As she was about to answer, Mara got a twinge of something that told her not to just yet. At least not when 'Felton' asked her. Something about the lack of family-easiness between the two gives her a weird feeling, and with that she looks back toward Molly before she responds. "Actually, I'm in Slytherin." She waits for the inevitable pin to drop as she says it, but instead of dropping, it goes into her as she involuntarily flinches for the oncoming angry-gasps. She's heard about the rep Slytherin gets from Gryffindors. "EEK!" She winces as the fitting pin pokes her. Dangerous pins, those.

Molly gazes at Oxley for a long time. That's really weird. She's sure she heard Arthur say all his cousins were in Gryffindor. It's well-known, at least in wizarding circles. "Oh, yes, dear. Potions isn't exactly his forte, and some of the stories my boys told of last year's class… " She shakes her head. "Well, I do hope Severus doesn't have quite such… exciting classes this year." She shakes her head. "Professor Snape, that is." Maralyn's comment merely gets a bit of a frown. "Oh, that's nice, dear." It's obvious by the tone of voice that she is forcing the cheer, but it's an attempt. Of being poked, she comments, "Oh, dear." That's new.

Slip-ups, unfortunate as they are, do happen. And Oxley really is not paying as much attention to his game as he probably should be - which prevents him from making any outwardly obvious signs that he's just made a bad move and recognized it. Obliviousness can be helpful! The fact that the mention of Slytherin house brings a distasteful wrinkle to Oxley's features might well work a few points in his favor, though it's gone relatively quickly in exchange for politeness. "I'm sure you'll have plenty of opportunity for networking right out of Hogwarts, young lady. Slytherins know how to work the system."

"That's what I've heard…" Maralyn mumbles, catching the tone of Molly's voice. It's evident that her little party for her outing today may be coming to an end as soon as the fitting's over. "Some of the folks in Slytherin talk about how connected their families are. All the time. They're all huge prats, though." She grins a little at that, as Madame Malkin finishes up rather quickly after the pin-prod. Apparently she didn't want to make another mistake, or let it go on long enough that someone would complain about it. Thanking the clothier as she hops off the stool, she goes through the process of buying the robes and other uniform bits before she returns to the redheaded pair, biting her lip. "Thank you for accompanying me, Mrs. Weasley…Felton."

"Oh, well, you don't have your cauldron yet." Where does the little one think she's going? "And of course! I'd hope someone would do the same for my kids." Nevermind that Molly's children could probably do the whole trip with their eyes closed and save three knuts in the process. "Well, come along then, if you've got your robes?" Does she? As to the connections in Slytherin House, she merely nods. "They are rather good at the negotiations." And networking, and stuff. It's not important to Molly, who is a Lioness through and through. But she attempts to understand. There's a child alone here!

It's an almost comically laborious process, but Oxley pushes himself back up to his feet and starts regathering the packages, content to serve in his assigned role of porter. This time he's got a bit more say in how things are managed, and the purchases are much more evenly distributed and not quite so obstructing of important things like eyesight. "Prats they are. Present company excepted, of course. And, Molly, I'm sure she can take care of herself. Fifth year! Before you know it she'll have come of age."

Maralyn nods quickly at the question of whether she has her robes, gesturing to the wrapped package in her hands before she looks to Oxley. Huh. Maybe he's not so creepy after all.. He did pretty much just say what she was thinking. Taking that as cue, she agrees. "I only have a few more things to pick up, Mrs. Weasley, I'm sure I can get them myself. It's no trouble, really. Plus my mum should be getting off work soon too, and we were going to take the Underground together back home…" Hopefully that line would be enough to get her off the hook.

But … but … but… they're just little kids!! Molly blinks. "Well, of course she could, dear, but …" But it's a mother's perogative to help children. "She has two years before then, dear." She pats Oxley's shoulders. "Oh, well, then, it won't take long to get your things, and we'll get you squared away." She smiles brightly. Not a chance of leaving her alone. Sorry. "The … Underground, dear?" This is not the Muggle-savy Weasley. "Is that safe? Walking through caves?"

Poor Maralyn gets an apologetic shrug from Oxley behind Molly's back - he tried! And failed. Horribly. "The Underground runs trains through the tunnels. Don't worry, Molly, she won't be on foot." He chuckles a little, mostly out of amusement at the display of typical wizarding ignorance, and then proceeds to playfully needle because he can. "Your Ronald's almost at that point too, if I recall. Quite ready to be on his own, is he?"

"C…caves?" Mara raises her eyebrows, staring at Molly for a moment, before glancing to Oxley, then back again. She understands the fact that most Pureblood Wizarding families have almost no concept or idea of the inventions that Muggles have created to get around with even marginal success compared to their magical counterparts, but still. Tucking her robe package under her arm, she decides to use her hands to translate. "Ah, the Underground is a train-" she holds her hand up, still in the air "-that travels through tunnels-" she moves her hand forward "-on tracks underground, to different destinations!" She lowers her hand again.

"Oh, those clever muggles. I shall have to tell Arthur. Won't he be pleased!" Molly just beams. The thought of Ron being 'out of the nest', though, worries her. "Well, he's still such a young boy. The twins will be on their own after this year, of course, but Ronnie's still …" She really doesn't see this another way. They're her babies, for Merlin's sake. "Well, to the Apothecary, then, dears." And the bright smile is back.

"All baby birds do eventually fly, Molly. One day you'll turn around and Ronald will be taking Muggle transit and giving you extra grief for being his mum. That's how it happened with me." Wink wink. Except for the fact that Ox has been familiar with Muggle trains since he was around four years old - but nobody needs to know that. "Apothecary it is. Can't have potions without disgusting animal bits in bottles and powders." He moves for the door and puts his shoulder to it, opening the thing and holding it there for Molly and Maralyn.

Maralyn inwardly sighs, but outwardly smiles all the same. If she can't get out of it, she may as well enjoy it. After all, she doesn't have to carry her packages herself. "Alright then, to the Apothecary," she agrees, heading toward the door as she looks to Oxley. "Thanks!" She heads toward the door, getting through it rather easily with the packmule holding it open. Giggling though as she does at his comment about Ron's eventual moving out, she's smart enough to not add anything to that. "Do you have all of your shopping already done, Mrs. Weasley?"

"Well, of course, they do, dear." And then they come home for Christmas, carrying a load of dirty laundry and empty stomachs. Molly knows this. "Oh, I have a stop or two, dear. and the Apothecary is one of them, actually, now that I think about it." She smiles. "Thank you, Felton." She nods approvingly as she passes through the door. "Now, you need a new cauldron, and …" She lists off the ingredients, as if the girl didn't have her list with her. Her kids often don't. "I just need a few …" Oh. They're here. "Hmmm." The place looks packed. "Everyone waiting until the very last minute, and it's so busy…" She said that already.

The girls get a lopsided and rather lazy grin from the man holding the door before he follows after them in a slightly absentminded manner, pausing here and there to peer into shop windows that interest him on the way. But the destination isn't far, and soon Oxley's edging into the Apothecary behind Molly and Maralyn, peering over their heads at the crowd and pulling a bit of a face due to its size. "Bugger. You could try yelling 'fire,' if you liked."

She stops rather quickly as they reach the crowd at the Apothecary, frowning. Being short equals out to being unable to see over most people's shoulders, therefore a crowd quickly becomes an unscalable wall. Well, at least it's not scalable in decent company… and Mrs. Weasley probably wouldn't approve too much. "I don't think they'd actually hear it even if you tried," she muses aloud, clicking her tongue in thought afterward. "What do you think?"

"And it would be rather rude." Molly frowns slightly. She taps the nearest witch on the shoulder. "What seems to be taking so long, do you think?" The witch responds with something about a new shipment of a rare ingredient in, and Molly nods. "Oh, yes, I'm sure that's wonderful." She turns to the 'children', and frowns. "Well, it should be over shortly. These things are…" She flicks out her wand, and casts a tempus spell. "Oh, dear me. Just look at the time. I do have to get back to my children." They'll tear up the place if she's not there, probably. "Thank you, Felton." She makes the assumption that he'll stay with the girl. After all, he's a relative, and it's what they'd do, right?

Oxley quirks another grin and nods at Molly, starting to hand back Molly's parcels piece by piece so she doesn't get too terribly overloaded with them - at least not immediately. "Potions nerds and their ingredients, huh? I'll stick around with our young friend here." Lies. Utter lies. But it sounds good, and that's what matters. The glance that Oxley briefly shares with Maralyn includes a wink that should cast some doubt on his promise for her, which can probably only be a good thing. Teenage independence should be fostered! "Good luck getting them all squared away with the new school year, Molly. I'm sure I'll see you about."

Maralyn giggles at the idea of a bunch of redheaded kids trying desperately to clean up whatever mess they made before their mother gets home, and she nods to Molly lightly. "Of course! It's no problem Mrs. Weasley, I completely understand. Thank you for coming this far with me, I really appreciate it." She slathers on the politeness, hoping that it'll make the transition from being the self-proclaimed babysitter and back an easier one. Offering the mommy Weasley a smile and a wave, she glances over to Oxley in time to catch the wink, figuring that that means that he'll be leaving her just after Molly does.

Molly nods. "Well, of course you will, dear." She never doubted Oxley for a second. At least on that point. "Thank you for your help." She sighs, looking at the apothecary. "I'll have to send Bill or Charlie here tomorrow, then. Luckily it's not for any of the Hogwarts bound." She shrugs, and turns to find a good apparition point, easily handling all her packages. "Have a good day, dears, and good luck with the apothecary!" And with that, the Weasley matriarch apparates away.

Just as soon as Molly is out of sight - and rest assured Oxley tips his head out the door to make sure she's gone - he turns back to Maralyn and grins. "I think you'll be just fine on your own. Have a good time with your shopping, kiddo, and give those damn Slytherins the what-for they deserve. I always sat with Ravenclaw instead, m'self." And then he too is right out the door, heading down the nearest side street at a brisk pace.


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