|Scene Title||Brash Americans|
|Synopsis||Holly's back and pays Morty a visit.|
|Location||Diagon Alley - Habitual Habiliments|
|Date||May 5, 1995|
|Watch For||What not to watch for?|
Holly has been gone for quite a long time - almost two months, actually. Now that she's back, she's checking up on some of the people she met. One particularly endearing fellow sold her one of her dress robes, and she found something after leaving the camp that she was sure he'd like. American Classic Tea, first imported by a Frenchman many, many years ago.
"Mortimer?" she asks, stepping into she shop. He asked her to call him by his first name when they met, which is good. Less formal. Coming to the counter, she sets the box she's carrying on it. It's not wrapped, but there's a dark purple ribbon around it.
"AAAH! Mademoiselle!" Mortimer cries as he sweeps aside the curtains that grace the archway into is backroom. "No, Aries, stay my darling," he says as his krup starts to follow. Swishing out from behind his counter, he approaches Holly, beaming rather widely, flashing his white teeth. He wags a gloved finger in a playful gesture of reprimand as he chastises, "Now my dear, you've been away for far too long. You mustn't play with my emotions in such a manner!" All the same, he's grinning like a cheshire cat and performs a flourished bow.
It's probably a good idea that the krup stays behind, since dogs really aren't fond of her lately, and cats want to tear her to ribbons. Maybe one day she'll make friends with the dog-like creature. It's possible - she knows that much. It just takes time, and familiarity.
She's glad to see the man. A little over-the-top, but pleasant. As he bows, she holds out her hand to him - to shake, to kiss, either's fine.
//Not everyone's going to accept you for what you are.
But isn't this ABOUT acceptance?
For you. Not for everyone else.//
The short conversation with The Boss plays through her mind. Another fact of life, it seems, and while she'll always be sad on some level, she's not devastated by it anymore, nor is she tense or nervous. There's no need to tell Mortimer where she's been, though. "I had to go home for awhile. Brought you something, though!" Picking up the box from the counter, she hands it to him. "Thought you might like it."
Mortimer does indeed grace that offered hand with a flutter of a kiss before he stands upright at his full height. It's good that Holly doesn't share her secret, and that Morty doesn't read the papers, otherwise he might throw her from his shop. Or faint dead away onto the floor. It's a tossup really. His smile doesn't falter, since normal people do go home. Or at least people with normal relations with their families. "Dear Miss Holly! You needn't have!," he cries with delight that sounds sincere, even if a little exaggerated. The box is opened and he takes a dainty sniff of the tea within. "Aaah, delightful! You are far too kind my lady!"
He's just amusing. And there's almost an innocence about him that Holly never sees anymore. She can't help rolling her eyes a little while he's not looking, because it's kind of ridiculous. Who acts like this anymore?
"I know I didn't have to." Or 'needn't have.' Whichever. Why not, though? She saw it and she thought of him, and so here they are. It crosses her mind to say, 'it's just tea,' but she bites back the comment with a smile. "How's business? I've been wearing the dress robes I bought from you. I think they're the best I've ever had." AND UNIQUE! That's always a plus.
It's not innocence. It's called ignorance is bliss. Something Mortimer is quite keen to embrace! "My darling Miss Holly, you flatter me so," he says, even raising a hand to his heart in the sort of gesture silly old ladies make when being given compliments. "I do aim to please and I delight in hearing such high praise about what I've made for you." He leans in like a gossipy teenager and says with an all too slick smile, "I do hope you are telling people where you got them." It's almost conspiratorial in the way he sidles over.
The tea is set upon the counter and a gloved hand waves airily, "My business is quite well! I had a very successful fashion show in Edinborough. While I can't complain, it /is/ Scotland. Their idea of good fashion is splashy tartan!" There's a rather gay sounding laugh, in both senses of the word, before it fades, "My sights are currently set on Paris, Nice, and Milan."
Holly hides a chuckle behind a hand, one finger arching over the bridge of her nose. She's not laughing at him. Not with him, either, it would seem. So perhaps it's just a mirthful assessment of the conversation. Mortimer is straight out of a very old movie set in fifteenth century Britain.
"I am, I am." When people ask. Still, she's no regular of the red carpet, so not many people ask her who she's wearing, and she doesn't like to brag.
In any case, Holly's the type who will walk up to random interesting people and make friends. She doesn't remember the last time she tried this, because Tiana obliviated her, and so no lesson was learned. Perhaps if she did recall it, she'd be less inclined. Mortimer is a reputable business owner, though. "Good luck to you," Holly comments, almost formally. "So, look, I'm planning on staying in the country for awhile, and you did me a favour." The robes, treating her so well when she was here, et cetera. She doesn't add 'because you're interesting and make me giggle.' "Could you use another friend?"
It's easier to embrace this persona. Mortimer didn't always act this way. This playful facade… it's a game of pretend most of the time, and far more fun than being whatever it was he used to be. "Excellent. Be proud of fine garments, they accentuate the inner beauty! Transform a bud into a beautiful blossom." And clearly, he likes to be a part of that. "Luck my dear?" He winks at Holly, "I sweep the fashion circuit with little effort!" Drawing out his wand, he gives it a wave and his tea set gets to work on heating water. Two dainty cups turn themselves upright and the tea Holly brought is prepared. "I'm glad to hear of it. Americans, while brash and sometimes too outspoken, are a charming lot." There's a mock gasp as he turns to face Holly, "I thought it was already understood! Everyone under my roof is a friend!"
She has wondered once or twice of this guy was always like this. Or, well, one would call him a 'bloke' here in native Britain. It's amusing, but shallow, though she wouldn't admit that to him in any way, because one thing Holly is not is insulting to someone who doesn't deserve it. Put Umbridge in front of her, and she'll gladly and expertly pick at the toad of a woman, but Mortimer hardly deserves it. She does kind of want to learn who he really is, though, beyond the smalltalk.
So Holly's about to be Brash.
"Really." A dry smile is offered. "What's my cat's name? What's my favourite food? Where am I from?"
Mortimer is indeed very shallow. He'll save his own arse before anyone else's. Aries excluded. He laughs airily, and sort of gives a chivvying gesture for Holly to go make herself comfortable on a poofy chair as the tea tray rises to gracefully relocate itself to a rather delicate and spindly legged table near the seats. "That is why we are having tea! I know you are from America, but that hardly seems enough now, doesn't it? Dear Edana Noble, bless her, is one of my most faithful clients, and we are the closest of friends! I could tell you the birthdates of all her children! So you and I shall become just as dear!"
Everyone's got some depth, it's just hidden sometimes! Like ogres. Ogres have layers, Morty has layers. Taking a seat in one of the offered chairs, Holly leans back, making herself comfortable as the tea tray floats over. "Michigan. My cat's name is Mozambique. I like string cheese." More than ANYTHING IN THE WHOLE WORLD! When Mortimer mentions knowing all the Noble kids' birthdays, she can't help asking - because she totally wants to know so she can plan some sort of surprise - "Oh, when's Jack's birthday?"
This is a start. You can't peel back all the layers of a person the first or second time you meet, after all. And, hell, maybe this is all there is to him. "Your turn now. Tell me about you?" It's only fair!
"String cheese? You Americans and your odd taste in food!" Mortimer has never seen cheese that's not in a wheel! "Never heard of a place called Michigan!" His education, it's not the most worldly. He can point to a few countries on a map and that's about it. (But ask him origins of fabric and fashion styles and he can tell you.) He settles himself down in a poufy armchair in a delicate shade of powder blue, "May 30th. Are you testing me, dear?" he says with a teasing wink as he serves up the tea. There's a roll of his dark eyes that's feigned exasperation, "Come now, there's not much to tell! I'm sure you're far more interesting!"
"It's the best thing ever. I swear." She adds a smile to this, arching her eyebrows. She'll have to bring him some. How can he have never heard of string cheese? EVER! "May thirtieth," she repeats. Coming up quick! And it won't be during a full moon. That's a relief, because a torn-off arm is just what everyone really wants for their birthday, right? "Nah, he hasn't told me, and I should surprise him. Do something nice for him." 'cuz he has done way too much for her that she'll never be able to repay.
Taking one of the teacups, she holds it in her hands, warming them. "I'm a lawyer, I interrogate people. So humour me." She takes a sip. "You went to Hogwarts?"
Easily! Mortimer was brought up right and proper in a wizarding household, away from the muggles! "Oh? You want to surprise him? I do love planning galas. Have you got anything particular in mind?" Putting liberal doses of sugar into his tea, his lips curve into a rather wide smile. "Such a delightful boy. Lady Noble is a fine woman and raised an excellent brood of children." On the tea tray is an assortment of tea cakes and biscuits. "You could say I do similar. Interrogating people." He leans in and winks at Holly, "About their clothing preferences." If he weren't so… flashy and flamboyant, he just might be considered a bit of a pervert. (Although he still could be!) "Of course I went to Hogwarts. Practically every witch or wizard in the country went. There are some parents who elect to teach their children at home however."
"Nothing yet," Holly muses, glancing off to the side as she ponders. She's not so sure this calls for something particularly flashy - nothing gala-worthy, anyway, and it'll probably happen at some point after his actual birthday. Or before. Either way, his family will probably have him hiJack'd on the actual date. She can agree on one thing right now, though. "He is delightful. Er — nice. He's been through a lot with me." And he's still around. Being at that camp really helped her get that.
For some reason, she can't see Mortimer as a pervert, and so it doesn't even cross her mind. There's a half-smile, though, as he diverts the topic of conversation to someone other than himself again. She's pretty observant of stuff like that. It's what she's paid for, after all. "You really don't like talking about yourself, do you?"
A hand reaches out to give Holly a playful nudge and Mortimer teases, "Or perhaps this should be a more private affair. Requiring a new outfit?" Oh dear. He seems to have picked up on something. While he plays the airheaded fop, he can be perceptive when he chooses to be. Settling back in his seat, he holds his teacup, pinky out, and takes a sip. "I grew up, I went to school, I studied abroad, I design clothes. I'm quite good at it, and rather well known for it. I've got my own weekly program on the WWN. You've met Aries. The only women in my life are the ones I design for. I'm afraid it would feel a bit like cheating were I to settle on one."
Chuckling, she transfers her teacup to one hand, and leans on one arm of the chair, eyeing Mortimer. She'll say nothing, but the silent affirmation is definitely there. Anyway, it seems as if he's not about to open up to her anytime soon, judging by the quick summary of his life. It's a challenge, and she likes a challenge. "So, what, you just stay here all the time? Never go out? No stories to tell? You weren't sorted into a House in Hogwarts, and you just kind of drifted from place to place? If you don't tell me, I'm gonna just go ahead and fill in the blanks, and I can be pretty creative."
Mortimer offers a wink, "I'm sure what you come up with will be fabulous." He nibbles at a biscuit in a thoughtful manner before he does at least start to satiate the curiousity. "I was sorted into Slytherin," he says, unashamed of his House. (Even if he got kicked about by his own housemates.) He's no longer bitter about it. Not at all. "My dear, I have my career to keep me busy! I'm far too occupied to go places unless it's work related! I also wouldn't necessarily say that I've drifted. Not in the least. After leaving Hogwarts, I studied abroad, then brought what I learned back here to London."
Ah, this is the second Slytherin she knows who's not at all Slytherin-like. Though Slytherin-like really isn't a polite term. They're not all evil, and evil is hardly a defining characteristic of the House. Holly learns. Seems like there are more good Slytherins than bad.
She actually wasn't serious when she suggested he never goes anywhere, but, as it turns out, she was right. For a moment, she weighs her options - namely, will Jack be jealous? No. She doesn't think he's really the type to be. Then she sets her tea on the table and reaches out for Mortimer's arm. "Come on. You're coming with me. Let's go. Refusing isn't an option."
No, not all Slytherin are bad. Just… most of them. The trait of being evil is also not solely on Slytherin heads either. There's a faint shriek that's not at all masculine as Holly grabs Mortimer's arm, "What? No! I just prepared the tea for us! My hair is a fright as well!" That much is true, who in their right mind would have it curled in such a manner, but that's not what he means. "I suppose I /could/ close up the shop for a bit.."
God, Jack will never be jealous of this guy. At least there's some comfort in that. She's fairly sure that Mortimer doesn't like any women, which means she doesn't feel bad at all about taking him out. "Aries, watch the shop, boy!" she calls as she pulls Morty toward the door. No one's gonna break in here while they actually go out somewhere for tea, or Butterbeer, or whatever. It'll take a half hour, tops. She just wants to get him out of here for awhile. "No one's looking. Don't worry so much. Your hair looks fine anyway. You could do with not doing it once in awhile." These damn brash Americans! WHEN WILL THEY LEARN? Holly never will, most likely.
Mortimer could faint right here on the spot! "N.. not fix my hair… I… I've never heard such rubbish in all my life!" His hair is as perfectly coiffed as ever. He's just being a big baby about this! "Let me fetch my cloak." His tea is set down and he flicks his wand. The cloak that matches his suit perfectly zooms out from the backroom to his outstretched hand.
Holly has to hide another giggle behind her hand. Oh, fine, she'll let him get his cloak, but then? THEY ARE OUT THE DOOR. He probably takes hours to get ready, and if she wasn't pulling him away, he'd probably insist on changing. And doing his nails or something. Yes, she's going to go on believing all this about Mortimer until he tells her otherwise. If he tells her otherwise.