1995-02-12: Buds and Blooms


Christian_icon.gif Thalia_icon.gif

Scene Title Buds and Blooms
Synopsis Two acquaintances run into each other. And then something develops.
Location Leaky Cauldron, London
Date February 12, 1995
Watch For The hand holding!
Logger Ginny

The evening is young, but already the Leaky Cauldron is full. People getting off for the night, others just now getting out, and people in general mingling. With all that's been happening lately, many are out and about to try and loosen up. Conversation and laughter echo, except from a man sitting alone at the back. A cloud of smoke billows from behind a copy of the Daily Prophet and a forgotten cup of coffee sits lukewarm within arm's reach. Christian seems lost in the news and oblivious to the London early night life unfolding around him.

Thalia has just gotten back from band practice, apparently. Her cheeks are flushed from the walk over here, and there's a guitar slung over her back. She's looking to unwind tonight, so her first choice is the pub that she affectionately calls 'cozy'. Humming softly to herself as she heads towards the bar, Tally scans the room curiously, looking for a familiar face.

Christian sighs. From behind the paper it appears as though a volcano has erupted as smoke heads straight up for the rafters. He lowers the paper, and folds it carefully, setting it down. The hitwizard remembers his mug, and takes it in his hands. He sips, and gets the shot of luke warm mess. He makes a face, but downs the dark liquid anyway.

After a few moments of waiting, Thalia gets to the bar and orders her usual. It's fruity, multicoloured, and smells quite sugary - all in all, quite a pleasing drink. That in hand, she turns to watch the crowd. Blue eyes follow people here and there, going about socializing.

Finding his way to the bar, Christian sets the mug down. "Tom, could I get a refill please?" He asks politely. The bartender obliges by filling the mug with a dark, steaming and aromatic blend of coffee and adding a dash of another dark liquid. Christian accepts with a grin. "Thank you. Just what I needed. Cold evenings like this tend to get to me. Too many nights on the streets." He sips it and turns to see Thalia right next to him. "Miss de Riviat, its good to see you," he comments with a smile. "Christian Faulkner, do you remember me?"

Thalia lifts her drink to her lips and takes a sip, letting out a happy sigh. There seems to be plenty of alcohol in it, for her cheeks begin to flush with just a few sips. When someone speaks her name, Tally turns, looking for the source of the voice. Spotting Christian, she gives a smile and a wave. "Mister Faulkner, of course I remember you! How are you?"

"I am well," Christian says with a nod. "Would you like to join me at my table? That is if big rock stars are allowed to hang out with us lowly ministry types now." He chuckles, obviously signifying a joke. "Also, it will get us away from the crowd."

Thalia grins playfully. "I'm not entirely sure we are, but I won't tell if you won't." Was that a wink? Yes, it would seem that Tally got rather friendly and silly - well, moreso - with alcohol in her. She gives a nod, and gestures for him to lead the way.

Christian chuckles and leads her back to his corner of the room where he pulls out a seat for her to sit. He sits and takes another sip of his coffee. "Oh, that warms one up," He says quietly. "Beastly weather. Its been very cold last couple of days, hasn't it? Then again, I've been out in it more than most."

Thalia glances over at his coffee curiously, then sits, smoothing her stripy skirt underneath her. Crossing her legs at the ankle, she sits back in her chair. "Yes, I'm rather ready for spring to come. Any day now, I hope. Cold is so terribly bothersome. I've been spending most of my time indoors, though." Absently, Tally rubs at one of the vine tattoos on her wrist, upon which a flower begins to bloom.

"Now that is a very lovely tattoo there," Christian comments. "I don't think I've seen a tattoo that moves like that, which is very uncommon for someone like me." He chuckles, and leans forward on his elbows. "I always find myself amazed by magic. It may be a product of not growing up with it, but…" He chuckles.

Thalia smiles warmly at Christian. "Thank you, Mister Faulkner. I did it myself, actually." She stretches out both wrists towards him, so he can properly see the design. "I always liked Charms in school. A little while after I graduated, I started learning about Magical tattoos. They're rather similar to Magical portraits, with personalities and such imbued in them."

"I was never an artist, but my forte was charms as well," Christian says, returning her smile. "I would spend hours in the library researching when I should have been outside with my friends. I was pretty boring back then, of course I haven't changed all that much." He chuckles to himself. "So how is fame and fortune treating you? Is the good life all its cracked up to be?"

Thalia pulls her hands back so they fold in front of her, and she rests her chin on her hands, looking up at Christian. She nods, though the motion looks a little awkward in such a position. "I like it. It takes some getting used to, being recognized wherever you go. I don't have very much privacy these days."

"How many autographs have you signed already?" Christian asks with a smile. "Lost count yet? Sorry. I have a unique curiousity. If I start interrogating you please warn me." He winks at her, and sips his coffee.

Thalia grins, shrugging her shoulders. "I really have lost count. There were hundreds in my first week alone. It's been absolute madness, and it's about to get worse - we're planning a tour for this spring and summer. You didn't hear that from me, though." Tally winks one blue eye. "I don't mind the questions. Feel free to ask whatever you like."

"I didn't hear what from you?" Christian asks raising an eyebrow and grinning slightly. "So all your time is spent practicing then, or is a new album in the works? Don't worry. You can tell me." He chuckles again. "Can I get you another drink?"

Thalia grins slyly, straightening to take another sip from her drink. "Yeah, I've been practicing a lot. We have a few new songs for a new album, but no solid plans yet." Stretching her arms over her head, she leans back in her chair. "I've also been working on getting my own shop together, a tattoo parlor over in Hogsmeade. Grand opening's coming up." Glancing at her drink, she nods, "Sure."

Christian nods and waves to the bar. He gestures to Thalia before turning back to her. "You're own tattoo parlor?" Christian says with a raised eyebrow. "Need any extra security? I know a guy who maybe willing to come by every once in a while."

Thalia nods her thanks, finishing off her drink. "Yup! I know, I hardly need more to do, but it might be a good thing to do when I need to get away from all the band stuff." At his offer, she purses her lips thoughtfully. "Hadn't thought much about security, actually. I can see if a few of the security guys from the band want to help out, but your guy is always welcome."

"Well, he doesn't get down to Hogsmeade all that often," Christian says with a shrug. "However, he keeps saying that he wants to visit. Used to go when he was a Hogwarts." A waitress arrives with a replacement drink for Thalia. She seems to blush slightly as she takes the empty glass and replaces it with a full one.

Thalia smiles gratefully at the waitress, picking up the glass and taking a healthy sip. "Who might your friend be, if you don't mind me asking?" She raises an eyebrow questioningly, eyes focusing on him.

"He's a fan," Christian says quickly. "Works at the Ministry. Likes to hang out with pretty ladies and flatter them." He glances away and takes a drink of his coffee. The steam rises slowly, causing him to blush…yeah…that's right, its the coffee…

Thalia tilts her head to the side. "Sounds like my kind of guy, then. Tell him to stop by anytime." Producing a pen from goodness knows where - her ensemble didn't have any pockets visible to the naked eye - she pulls up a napkin and scrawls the parlor's address onto the paper. "Here you go," she pushes the napkin towards him.

Christian accepts the napkin with a smile. "I will be certain to let him know," He says, leaning back in his chair. "Do you know when you are going to have your grand opening? I can almost guarentte that you will have a line out of your front door and into the street. Everyone will want a tattoo from the world famous Thalia de Riviat."

"One of the upcoming Hogsmeade weekends. Not entirely sure which just yet - need to get all of the paperwork in order, and I have no idea if that'll take a few days or a few weeks." Thalia smiles sheepishly, reaching up a hand to absently rub the back of her neck. "So what's your guy's name? So I can be prepared when he arrives?"

"Jacob," Christian says after a minute. "And don't worry about the paperwork. I can do what I can to grease the wheels for you. Knowing who to go to in the ministry is premium information. I have complete faith in you."

Thalia looks deeply pleased at this. "Really? You can do that? That would be such a big help, you have no idea. Every time I get finished with one batch of forms, there's another. And another. And another. I swear, my writing hand has been permanently cramped these last few days." When he mentions his faith, her already pink cheeks darken slightly. "Thank you. I'm not entirely sure what I'm doing, here."

"Following a dream?" Christian says with a slight grin. "Doing what you want to do and not looking back? Being the much envied Free Spirit?" He finishes off his coffee. "Chasing dreams is an endeavor which I endorse fully."
Thalia grins right back at him. "Well. Maybe all of the above?" With a chuckle, she takes another sip of her drink, savoring the fruity taste. "What about you, Mister Faulkner? What are your dreams?"

Christian closes his eyes and thinks for a second. He takes a deep breath and chuckles. "To be bored," he chuckles. "For once in my professional career I would love to just be bored out of my skull. When I'm busy, it means bad things were happening and I had to stop it. But to be just bored, and I nothing to do. Sometimes I think I should transfer to a small town, and just be a small town cop."

Thalia laughs softly. "Perhaps being bored is ideal, and would be quite satisfying. But I have a feeling that, given enough time with your boredom, you would surely get tired of it and want the action back once more. But.. if you don't mind me asking.. why don't you get some other job? Something with more happy in it?"

"I've thought about it," Christian says, leaning forward again. "Especially recently. I've thought about finding something that would possibly be happier. Maybe give me a chance to have a real life. That's the thing when you work for the ministry, or even for the muggle police service like my father. You aren't really anything other than the job. You might have a family, or loved ones. Howver, you are defined by your job. It maybe just how Faulkner's work though. Da' was a cop, and so was Granda' and Greatda'. Its a Faulkner tradition."

"Well, what're your options? What other skills do you have that you can market?" Thalia asks, propping her elbow on the tabletop and resting her chin in her palm. Blue eyes are focused on his face, her expression serious, thoughtful.

"Oh? Is it my turn to tout my talents?" Christian chuckles. "Well, I am not ashamed to say that I am an expert and charms and dueling. I have many contacts and resources in the muggle police force. Pretty good marksman, and have a presense that causes most junior recruits to quake in fear."

Thalia purses her lips thoughtfully, wrapping and unwrapping a curl around her index finger. "Well. There's the Experimental Charms Unit.. or whatever it's called, I can't recall exactly. You can be someone who officiates duels. Umm. Hm. What do you want to do?"

"What I want to do has nothing to do with my professional life," Christian says, raising an eyebrow. "Professionally, I sort of want to be in a place where I can help, or work with people. However, the law has been such a huge part of my life that I really don't want to give it up."

"I beg to differ. People get what they want - not always, but sometimes. I'm proof of that." Tally spreads out her arms emphatically. "What you want does have something to do with this. If you just go with whatever makes the most sense, instead of what feels right, you'll just be unsatisfied."

"So if I said I wanted to sing back up for you on all your worldwind tours?" Christian says with a laugh. "Joking. Don't worry. My dreams aren't that big. I suppose all I really want out of life is to make a difference and to eventually be happy with a family."

"Then I would set you up!" Thalia cries, maybe a bit too loudly. Oh, well, at least she's enthusiastic. "Well. Stay with what you have right now, but keep your eyes open for opportunities. Things can change so quickly, it'll make your head spin."

"You are living proof," Christian says. "Of course, I wonder how enthusiastic you'd be without two of those drinks in your system. You've got a good running blush on your cheeks there. Then again, it may be the company. Back in the day, I was *the* heart throb of Hufflepuff."

Thalia takes another sip of her drink just as Christian blames them for her blush. She lifts a hand to feel her warm cheek. "Well. They might help, but I tend to be rather enthusiastic, as a whole. Or so I'm told." Tally grins at the heart throb comment. "Back in 'the day', as you said, I was quite the wallflower. Even for a Ravenclaw."
"I don't believe you," Christian says with a chuckle. "You a wallflower? Never. Not with the way you light up the room now."

Thalia gives a laugh at his comment, though her cheeks do darken noticably. Could it still be the alcohol? "Well. Um." Tally coughs, apparently disarmed. "I really was quite shy. And quiet. And odd. Now I'm enthusiastic, and talkative, and odd." Mirth is evident in the upward curl of her lips.

"Not odd," Christian says almost immediately. "Different. Unique. Singular." He finishes off his coffee. "An island of color in a sea of banality."

Well, now Tally's definitely blushing, and it's not her drink, which has gone untouched for the past few minutes. Without thinking, she begins to wind and unwind one of her dark curls, until she can think of something to say. "Well. Thank you." Inwardly, Thalia winces. Real smooth, Tally.

"You're welcome," Chris says. "I did not intend to embarass you or anything. Just make sure you understood my point. Sorry." Chris' turn to blush now. "What kind of tattoos do you prefer?" Chris asks, trying to change the subject. "Not that I am hugely knowledgeable about the styles or anything."

"No, no." Thalia rushes to reassure him. "It's okay. Really. I like compliments, I'm just not entirely used to them yet. It's a hangup I'll have to get over in this business, though, hm?" She grins across the table at Christian, then - maybe emboldened by alcohol - reaches over to brush his wrist with her fingertips. "I like all sorts of styles. There's lots of types that go unexplored - tribal tattoos are always fascinating, because they have so much symbolism. My favourites, though, are the kind that don't mean much to the random passersby but have plenty of meaning to the person with them."

Christian looks up at her as she touches his wrist. "Well," He says, clearing his throat. "What is the significance of the vine around your wrist? Does it have a story?' He doesn't move his hand away, but doesn't move closer either.

Thalia grins, neither pulling back nor making another move. She simply lets her fingers rest right where they are. "Well, they're some of the first tattoos I ever did on myself. So that's significant. But they're also there as a reminder. That life is always moving, always happening, always - well - blooming."

"Always changing?" Christian says, looking at her with a slight grin. "I can see what you mean by that." He draws his hand back slightly, allowing her fingertips to brush against his. He looks directly into her eyes.

"Exactly." Thalia nods emphatically, smiling big. Then their fingertips blush, and her eyes widen a bit. Whoa. Swallowing hard, she moves her hand so that their palms brush, eyes very studiously focused on the tabletop.

"Did you choose those flowers for a specific reason?" Christian asks quietly. "Or were they just something you liked?" His hand slowly closes around her's. It isn't forceful or holding, just a light touch.

Thalia seems to be putting more emphasis and focus on her words than is strictly necessary. "Well, roses are often used in tattoos, to the point that they've gotten overused. I based these flowers off of wildflowers - nothing too rare, something you might see every day. The inks are charmed to shift colour periodically, so they never get dull." She grins.

"Do they change type or just color?" Chris asks. "I noticed how they seem to writhe around both wrists. Did it hurt to get the ink under the skin like that?"

Thalia grins slightly, looking at the wrist that isn't currently entangled with his. "Just colour, though sometimes these things have minds of their own. Part of the result of all the charms that get layered on them." She nods at his question. "Yes, it does hurt, but not more than a Muggle tattoo. The charms that make them move and such are painless."

"I figured as much," Christian says matching her smile. "What is the process? I know the non-magical way is the use of needles to inject the dye, but what about magics? Does one never need to break the skin?"

Thalia shakes her head slightly. "First, the area of skin is charmed, and otherwise prepped for the design. The way I was taught was to do the actual tattoo the Muggle way - there are others who do it differently, though. This way, the tattoo has a physical bond to the person, and so it's easier to do the post-tattooing charms." Tally smiles. "That's probably more explanation than you needed. Were you considering a tattoo?"

"Would you consider it trite if I were to use the phrase 'Now I am?'" Christian chuckles. "Yeah, I'm a really smooth talker. It really depends though. What do you think someone like me should really do?"

Thalia grins widely. "Maybe, coming from most, but not from you." Did she just squeeze his hand? Very possibly. "Hmm. I'm not entirely sure. Tattoos are very personal. Do you have a symbol, a picture you really like? Patronus tattoos are quite common, too."

Christian looks away for a second, and grins slightly. "Well, the one time I was able to actually conjure a patronus was sort of enlightening," He chuckles. "Sort of made me realize what I'm like." He seems to think for a moment, during which he squeezes her hand back. "Something meaningful, but small. Something noble, yet simple."

Thalia looks curious at the mention of his patronus. "What is your patronus?" She pauses, then adds, "If you don't mind me asking.. some find it a fairly personal question." A smile comes upon her lips as she ponders a tattoo. "It's really up to you. If you want to stop by the parlor sometime, I have books with tattoo examples and ideas in them. But there's no point in choosing something that is just pretty - it has to resonate with you personally."

"My patronus is the Ram," Christian says with a slight grin. "Loyal, hardworking, stubborn, and about as proud as you can get." He chuckles and looks down at her hand clasped in his. Yeap, that is actually happening…"I would like that very much…To come by your store I mean."

Thalia smiles warmly at him, her cheeks still holding their colour. Whether or not it's the alcohol or his hand against hers, she's not entirely sure. Maybe both. "Of course. You'll be my first customer. But what's the first thing you think of when you think of getting a tattoo? Just the very first thing that pops into your mind."

"Do you want me to be perfectly honest with that question?" Christian says, looking up into her eyes.

Thalia doesn't blink, though the urge to do so is immediate. She was never good at staring contests. However, she returns his gaze steadily, and nods. "Yes. I do." Why did she feel like she was agreeing to something momentus?
"It's going to sound crazy," Christian says, with a small smile. "The first thing that pops into my head is a pair of blue eyes." He says it simply, then looks away. "The color blue. A bright, royal blue."

Thalia does blink now, several times. Oh my. Clearing her throat nervously, she picks up her drink and takes a generous sip of it. Then she grins at him. "That could work." Hesitantly, she teases him, "Might be a bit creepy, though. Pair of blue eyes following people wherever they go."

"Well, maybe not the actual eyes," Christian says, blushing again. "Maybe just something with that color…Sorry. I think I did it again." He quirks the edge of his lips into a lop-sided grin.

"Did what again?" Tally inquires curiously with a tilt of her head. "A colour is a good thing to start with. It can be applied to anything, really. We could do some ocean waves, a blue sky, a string of sapphires, or something more unconventional like a blue elephant, or something."

"I seem to have a talent for making a comment and you getting flustered about it," CHristian grins sheepishly. "Though, I can't see why."

"I'm a tad easily flustered. Like I said, I was rather a wallflower in school. This whole…" Thalia waves a hand to illustrate her point, "Celebrity thing is kind of unexpected, to say the least. It's been a few months, and I'm still getting used to it." She smiles brightly at him. "I don't mind when you fluster me, though."

"I suppose thats a good thing considering I like to do it," Christian says, giving her hand another soft squeeze. "We do this too long, and people are going to start thinking that I am you palmistry specialist."

Thalia grins, looking just a little giddy. Okay, maybe more than a little. "Let them think what they want. I'm enjoying myself. They probably thing we're just lovers canoodling, though." She blinks, then grins sheepishly. "I'm sorry, sometimes alcohol makes my mental filter disappear entirely."

"No, I like it when you have no filter," Christian says with a grin. "Gets my hopes up that….well, lets just say that I am enjoying myself too." He chuckles and looks about sheepish himself.

"Will you still like me when I'm sober, then? Or will you perhaps carry a flask with you whenever we meet, thereby turning me into an alcoholic?" Okay, now Tally's just getting silly.

"That depends completely on whether or not I will get to see more of you," Christian says with a sigh. "With Spring coming on quick, and this tour that I know absolutely nothing about, you may not have enough time for little ol' me."

Thalia grins. "I have a feeling you won't let me go so easily," she declares rather boldly. "Besides, I can see if we can't push it to a summer/fall tour of some sort. I do have some sway in the band, after all." She grins.

"Oh? So is this a quid pro quo deal?" Christian says arching an eyebrow. "I help you with the paperwork for the shop, and you give me more time to stay with you? Sounds like a raw deal. I'd say you were getting the short end of the stick. Unless there is something else in it for you."

Thalia laughs. "I hadn't thought of it that way, but perhaps we can work something out." She absently traces a design on the tabletop, looking thoughtful. "I like you. Whatever I can do so we can spend some quality time together, I'll do my best to do it." It takes what feels like monumentous effort, but she is able to meet his eyes when she says this.

"That's high praise," Christian says with a grin. "Especially considering the fact that mostly what I hear all day is 'Quick lets get out of here before Faulkner gives us more work!' I think I like the sound of that, Miss de Riviat." He smiles broadly.

Thalia grins broadly right back at him. "Then it's a plan, Mister Faulkner. But you must call me Tally, or at least Thalia. Miss de Riviat is such a mouthful." She reaches across the table to lay her free hand over their intertwined ones, her grin never wavering.

"Only if you make sure to call me Christian," He says, bringing his other hand to lay on top of her's. "Or Chris, or even sometimes Jacob." He looks back at her with his brown eyes, a lop-sided grin covering his face.

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