1995-05-05: Cat People

Participants:

Fiona_icon.gif Edwin_icon.gif Jilly_icon.gif Whitmore_icon.gif Sirius_icon.gif

Scene Title Cat People
Synopsis Jilly still loathes Sirius. Fiona is weird. Whitmore and Edwin are up to no good. Y'know, the usual!
Location Hogsmeade - High Street
Date May 5, 1995
Watch For Sneaky Sneaks
Logger Gromit

Having been in Hogsmeade for most of the day, Sirius finally emerges from Ivy Lane. He's been down in the Hogs Head. Had a couple of meetings, both of which were very low key. Letting Mundungus leave first, Sirius drives his motorbike onto high street. The engine is definitely an attention getting distraction of rumbling noise. Sure, he could have Apparated to and from, but he's /missed/ his bike and now that he has it back and in proper working condition…

No good will come of it, of course. Outside the post office, Jilly Gale sits on a bench for her break. It's been a slow day and anyone heading toward her place of business will pass her on the way in, so she figures that it's nice to get out and enjoy the fresh air. A pad of paper sits open in her lap and she doodles on it with a standard pencil, glancing up now and then to add the odd line here or there for shading. The sound of Sirius' motorbike are certainly not missed and she rolls her eyes, not in an inconspicuous sort of way. Obviously, she disapproves.

Whitmore doesn't spend much time in Hogsmeade. Memories and ghosts reside down these roads. However, he has been thinking and planning, and that requires movement. Since he's working on extracurricular activities, he's charmed to look differently. It's one of the guises he wears to meetings. Perhaps there is a reason for it, perhaps not. Whatever the case, the sound of the motorbike draws his attention.

"Oh, my. Playing at the years he missed, I see…" 'Shadow' pauses in his stride, turning to watch the ex-convict.

Unlike Whitmore, Edwin does spend quite a lot of his time off the job in Hogsmeade. Mostly it is because he lives in the village. Far be it for him to be forced to reside in a place full of muggles, after all. The man has just emerged from Gladrags', and has what is probably some expensive addition to his wardrobe wrapped in brown paper and folded over one of his forearms, held in against his chest to ward against any accidental slips. He stops short halfway down the stairs and onto the street, suddenly engrossed with eyeballing the horrible, horrible motorbike. PFffft.

Sirius was about to fire upwards into the air and take off back to London.. but as he catches sight of Jilly outside the post office? That changes the plan briefly. He hasn't seen the postmistress in some time. She most likely still loathes the very idea of him, but that is alright. It's not as if he's asking to be best friends or anything. (Part of him also likes antagonizing her.) He steers the bike to pull up in front of the post office as he cuts the engine off. "Afternoon Miss Gale," he says pleasantly. He's being downright friendly to the woman, seeing as he has yet to notice Edwin's presence, or Whitmore's for that matter. Not that he knows of the secrets of the other man.

Oh, of course. Jilly frowns when Sirius alters his course and cust the engine off to speak with her. Hasn't he learned his lesson yet? Why won't he just leave her alone. "Afternoon," she replies to him coldly. So far she has yet to notice Whitmore or Edwin, though of the two only Edwin and his more usual visits to Hogsmeade would be identifiable to her. "I see you've taken it upon yourself to disrupt the entire village with…whatever that is."

Whitmore steps up closely to Edwin, seeming to appear from between buildings, and rests a hand gently on his shoulder. "This looks promising…" He doesn't specify what, nor does he introduce himself. Maybe he's talking about the building he looks toward. It's a new shop of something or other. "Gifford." It's a greeting. He exhales softly, and keeps his surreptitious watch on the pair in front of the Post Office.

It's a good thing that Edwin is occupying himself with sneering at Sirius and his absurd - and obviously Muggle, for who else would concoct such a monstrosity? - vehicle. It is a good thing, because the sudden touch to his shoulder would normally trigger an aggressive and very unfriendly response in the tall wizard, who nevertheless still stiffens and starts to turn on Whitmore just in time to recognize the other man. At least sort of. In a way. "Promising? It looks like a filthy blood traitor to me." That being said Edwin returns his attention to the two people in front of the post office, unwilling to tear his eyes from the scene.

"Ouch, I think the temperature just dropped back down to mid-winter levels," Sirius says with an incorrigible grin as he remains seated on the bike. "It's called a motorbike. I much prefer it to brooms. Even if it's rather noisy." Just something else about it to like! Obnoxious, definitely a sign of a rebel! It's much more appealing. "I take it you aren't interested in a ride through the village? They're quite fun." He's teasing Miss Gale now.. mostly.

Mostly? There is certainly teasing going on and Jilly is not exactly okay with it. Mostly ignoring Sirius, she adds a few more lines to her drawings. The temperature outside dropped a few more degrees. "Rather noisy seems to be an understatement, Mr. Black. And, no, I would certainly have to decline your kind offer for a ride." It seems that in the many days she has seen Sirius Black, she ahs decided to kill him with politeness.

"So much to learn yet, Gifford. Every situation, no matter how — distasteful— " And here, Whit's borrowed features curl up into a sneer as he watches the conversation. He walks a bit, just enough to appear to be strolling along with an acquaintance. "Contains a myriad of opportunities." He falls silent, inwardly pleased as Sirius makes his thoughts plain, not just by his words, but also by his posture. (Or is that 'posturing'?) As 'Rather noisy' is indeed an understatement to someone who'd been used to quiet rooms for the most part; Whitmore shudders at the noise the bike makes. But it has the benefit of obscuring his current conversation. "I see an opportunity to … discourage Black's interference with certain things."

Shopping! The author has decided that it was time for a foray into Hogsmeade. Although she had a soft spot for Diagon Alley, there was a certain atmosphere in Hogsmeade that wasn't present anywhere else. It's as if magic was in the very air she breathed, and Fiona was enjoying the experience. On her arms are several bags containing an assortment of items, and she's just emerged from Honeyduke's. One of her cheeks bulges, for she has just popped a gigantic caramel cube into her mouth. As she spots a group of people, Fiona decides to meander that way. Perhaps something interesting will happen!

Distasteful indeed. There's really no other word for what seems to be going on over there - Blood Traitor apparently hitting on Civil Servant. It's practically a prelude to bestiality! In both directions! "Really? The only discouragement that appears to work on Black involves gratuitous violence and, with any luck, liberal application of a few choice curses." Edwin's free hand drifts up so he can casually start rubbing at his chin, fingernails scraping his beard along the way as a matter of necessity. "What've you got in mind?"

"Aw, well, perhaps some other time after you've warmed up to me," Sirius says, not phased at all by the chilly reception. The bike is noisy, and he's nosey, he rev's the bike's engines once, then cuts them off again. "Are you continuing the drawing you were making of the Shrieking Shack?" he asks, in an attempt to get Jilly talking, without deliberately antagonizing her. "Or have you finished it?" He's still unaware of Whitmore and Edwin.. which is a good thing. Otherwise Miss Gale would see the rather violent side of his nature. Nor has he spotted Fiona just yet.

It would be hard to think that Jilly's opinion of Sirius could get less, but to see him become violent toward the other men on the street would certainly drag his reputation down even more in her opinion. "Not at the moment, no." At the right angle, it's obvious that the drawing she works on now is people milling about on High Street in various positions: character studies, really. As the witch is desperately attempting to get out of the awkward conversation with Sirius, she spots Fiona's approach and smiles warmly at her. "Hello there." While she may not know Fiona - never having been much of a reader - she'll take the distraction.

Whitmore, however, is a reader. He notices Fiona, and a rare thoughtful expression crosses his features. However, as she has been approached by the Postmistress, he turns back to talk to Edwin. "Tell me, Gifford. If you had such a machine and enjoyed riding it, and caring for it like a pet Abraxan, with whom would you share the pleasure, hmmmm?" His eyebrows lift, though these features are unable to express themselves as clearly as his natural ones. "Would it not be someone with whom you were particularly — taken?" He shudders at the thought, and then turns his smile toward the younger man. "So, we concentrate on that."

"Hi!" Fiona seems quite willing to greet the woman. Indeed, she's still not quite used to.. well, people. Being a recluse is a hard habit to break, though as of late she's been trying quite hard. Without thinking, Fiona's hand goes to her hair. It's somewhere between auburn and purple, with vibrant gold streaks. Hopefully everyone just thinks it's a spectacular job of using dyeing charms.

That train of thought gets abandoned when she spots Jilly's art. "Oh, wow!" Fiona takes a few steps closer, and returns the smile with equal warmth. "That's lovely! What are you drawing?" She's more or less unaware of the rather dark conversation going on nearby, though a part of her mind stirs, paying close attention to the pair of men.

Folding his arms rather grumpily, the younger Death Eater turns to the slightly-older one with pursed lips and an ill-concealed snarl. "I'm sure it would be much easier to simply remove the problem entirely in the privacy of an alleyway, but I see your point." As far as Mister Gifford is concerned, that is pretty much a point-and-shoot go-ahead for Whitmore. All that remains is the right time to pull the trigger, which - well. In the middle of a relatively crowded street is not the right time.

"A shame.. I do apologize for interrupting you in your sketching of it, but I had my reasons," Sirius says as he debates getting up from the seat of his bike and sneaking a peek at what Jilly's sketching. He's fairly certain she'll draw her wand on him should he get too close. "I'm sure from.. an artistic standpoint that it's an interesting subject." However, Fiona's approach and bold glance at the sketching seems to make up his mind. Kickstand is pushed into place and he slides off the seat of the bike and strolls in for a glance. "Hmmm… wow I think is quite right, miss," he says to Fiona, popping up behind her the way any ex-mass murdering convict should!

Never one to remark on radical hairstyles - she had some after Hogwarts, herself - Jilly simply smiles at Fiona, blushes even at the compliment. "It's just people about the village." With a bit of a wave, as if to indicate it's nothing, she quickly sticks her pencil into the bun of her hair and puts her hands on her sketchbook. Especially since Sirius is walking closer. "It's nothing that's finished yet." She glares a bit at Sirius' boldness.

"Hmmm." Whitmore wonders what the woman is drawing. Perhaps he'll have to find that out in the course of his plans. "We need to think this through. Maximum effect." As to his shoot-to-kill attitude, Whitmore narrowly avoids rolling his eyes. "Sometimes, the subtler arts are required." Oh, the irony. He, a Ravenclaw, lecturing this snake on subtlety and cunning. "We want to dishearten him, not remove him entirely." There are plots within plots in Whitmore's mind. "We need to do it in such a way that …" He rubs his own chin thoughtfully, noticing the odd shape. "He is a courageous one. That needs to be considered. Something to prevent that from…" He frowns slightly. "More thought is required." And maybe talking to some friends.

"Lovely!" Fiona enthuses to Jilly, taking a closer look. "Do you just draw for fun, or do you do it professionally?" A sense that isn't quite any one of the five - perhaps a combination of them? - prickles, and without hesitation, Fiona whips around. She blinks, wide-eyed, at Sirius Black. Only her willpower keeps her jaw from dropping. Various reactions whip around in her body, and finally, she peers down her nose at him - not the easiest thing to do when the man is slightly taller than her. However, her stature seems to subtly increase as she speaks. "It's not polite to sneak up on people." Did Fiona just scold famous ex-convict Sirius Black? Yes. Yes she did.

To be fair, Edwin's cunning runs more towards staying under the radar at work and choosing the best moment to bludgeon someone's skull when they're not looking rather than any sort of surgical tactics. The man frowns thoughtfully and sends a sidelong glance over in the general direction of Blood Traitor & Co., his head tilting to one side just a tad. No one ever said birds weren't wise, and it doesn't hurt to listen to Whitmore's suggestions. "Subtle isn't really my style, but as you wish. We'll discuss it later."

Sirius has no reason to comment on Fiona's taste in hair colors at all. Not when he's around Tonks as much as he is. There's also the fact that he's all for anything that upsets the establishment of 'noble society'. Hands folded behind his back, he straightens and stops angling for a look when Jilly glares his way. There's a dismissive shrug and he glances away, just long enough to see Edwin and his companion. Grey eyes narrow in a threatening manner, but he does not move from the ladies. "My apologies miss," he says a bit flatly, attention still on the two he's eyeing from the front of the post office. While he doesn't know Whitmore, he does know Edwin to some degree. The same dislike is passed onto the Whitmore. Guilt by association.

The smiling and pinkness in her cheeks does not die down at Fiona's continued compliments to her drawing. In fact, her face merely manages to get redder. "It's more of a hobby now than anything else. The post office takes up most of my free time." Her chin is now titled quite a bit upward as to keep up the conversation with those standing above her. The bright haired woman gets a nod of respect at her chiding. However, the sudden glance toward Edwin and Whitmore catch her own attention and she glances slyly that way as well. "Friends of yours?" she asks incredulously. They look too well dressed to have anything to do with Sirius.

Fiona's attention shifts from Sirius to the pair of men, and her brow furrows thoughtfully. Something seems just a tad off about the two, but Fiona has trouble pinpointing it. Still, she keeps her gaze on them until Jilly speaks, and then she looks back at the other woman. "Ooh, you work at the post office? What's that like?" She does her best to keep her tone breezy, but the back of her neck prickles ever so slightly. Something isn't quite right.

"We've been noticed, Gifford. Care for a drink?" It's time for the man of the shadows to return to them posthaste. Whitmore gives a polite nod to the ladies, and nods toward the other side of the road where the Three Broomsticks resides. He gives one last long look at the trio of people, making mental notes on each. Then he turns toward the old tavern, and starts heading quietly that way.

Not bothering to issue a verbal answer to the invitation, Gifford saunters down the remaining two steps between himself and the street. He does, however, wander along after Whitmore, trailing at the other man's heels like some sort of overgrown attack dog. Which is basically what he is, but without the horrifying physical canine defects that go along with Sirius' more literal situation. A drink sounds good - it'll give Edwin the opportunity to mull over what he's seen.

"Decidedly /not/," Sirius says with a rather forceful, chilly tone to his words. "I would recommend steering clear of either of them," he adds, turning back to the women and his expression is sober, serious and a bit, well, scary. He quickly describes Edwin, not wanting to point him out, "— is bad news. I can safely assume that the bloke with him is no good as well. Which is to say a different sort of no good than myself." He's not going to out and out tell the witches, oh hey, Edwin's a Death Eater! He supports You-Know-Who! Sirius's gaze returns to the two, not wanting them out of his sight.. yet he lets them be for now. Once the pair have gone into the pub, he turns back to the ladies. Only his attention is not fully on them. He seems to be on alert, like a guard dog. A literal one. Except he doesn't transform.

"Well, no need to get huffy about it. Alright then." Though Jilly certainly is curious as to who it would be that Sirius would give such hearty disapproval of. Maybe they're cat people, who knows. "A different sort of no good than yourself? I can't even think of what that could be." There's a wry grin in Sirius' direction and then she finally turns her attention back to Fiona. "It's a job, mostly. A lot of letters to strange places - or not so strange places. Mostly to London. Taking care of the owls, tidying, the like."

Fiona also seems a bit puzzled at Sirius's advice. She's not entirely sure how to react to that, simply blinking up at the man. "Well, alright," she says finally, reaching up to fiddle with one of her spoon earrings. It's one of the reasons she wore jewelry - it makes for good fiddling. "I'll keep that in mind." Fiona isn't quite sure about Sirius, but he doesn't make her as uncomfortable as those other men, so she's at least partially willing to trust him. Her lips twist a bit at Jilly's quip, and the tension in the air fades a bit. "Do you like the birds?"

"My apologies if I got huffy," Sirius says as he gives Jilly the most sober expression he's ever given in her presence. "The sort who'd not hesitate to kill. No reservations about who he hurts. Think what you like on my character, but I'll swear on anything you'd like that I've never killed. Recall the two women who caused trouble in the Three Broomsticks, Miss Gale? That one wizard, he's the real deal. The person with him? Possibly the same. I can't say for sure." Okay, so he didn't exactly call them out. "I don't recognize him." Fiona's spoon earrings don't get a second glance. Sure it's unusual, even by wizarding standards. But it's a good unusual.

"Shit." Well, there goes the use of this particular disguise for any reconnaissance for a while. Whitmore sighs, and strides into the tavern. "I'll get the first round." And he steps inside.

The spoon earrings do get Jilly's attention and she smiles at Fiona. "I like your earrings. And, yes, I do like the birds. They can be quite lovely company, to be honest." Her good humor, however, is muted, then extinguished by Sirius. "No need to get all dramatic, Mr. Black." Jilly narrows her eyes in his direction at the warning. Though he may be giving her a sober expression, that doesn't mean that she trusts it yet. As far as she knows he's playing yet another elaborate prank on her. "So you don't like him. That's no excuse to spread rumors that he's a killer. What did he do, look at you the wrong way? The women in the Three Broomsticks were disturbed, but I've seen that man about the village and he has yet to attempt to set anyone on fire." Flipping the pages of her sketch book closed, she stands up, readying herself to get back to work.

Fiona returns Jilly's smile. "Why, thank you! I have the whole set - forks, knives, and such. I like jewelry. It's always so interesting! The good stuff, anyway. I know this great second hand shop in Diagon that has the best jewelry." Her enthusiasm is dampened by the serious turn in the conversation, and she reaches up to rub a fingertip over her eyebrow. "I suppose it doesn't hurt to be careful, times like these. They.. made me feel a little wonky." Fiona lifts a hand and waggles her fingers in emphasis. "But maybe that's just me."

"You won't listen to a word I've got to say, so I won't waste my breath in trying to convince you that it's not a vicious rumor to spread." Sirius then sighs and tries to compose himself into something a little more friendly. It's a bit on the difficult side. Trying to curb his emotions around others, it's not something he's accustomed to doing. "It's hardly being dramatic when I'm trying to warn you from someone. Look, I'm not exactly the sort of people person I used to be.. and I don't care what you think of me at all. Just know that I hardly want to see innocents harmed, particularly when they've been warned. If it makes you feel better I can have Tonks tell you about him." A tight lipped smile forms as he looks to Fiona, "No, it's not just you. You're right to trust the feeling that you get. Sometimes the first gut feeling is the one that's right and should be listened to."

"My first instinct was not to trust you." Jilly returns Sirius' composure with a hard look of her own. After all, why would she trust him? He was a convict when she first heard about him and now what? He's freed? That doesn't make all that mistrust go away. "And don't think you can send Tonks to do your dirty work all the time. I like her, but that doesn't make her your ambassador. I can form my own opinions about people about the village." Working her way around the bench, she shoots Fiona a nod, much more friendly than anything in Sirius' direction. "I would love to see more of your silverware jewelry sometime." And with that, she's back into the Post Office.

Fiona coughs. The tension in the area has come back threefold, oh yes it has. Shifting from one foot to another, she nods back to Jilly before the woman leaves, and then turns to Sirius. Her mind is completely blank, and she just sort of.. stares at him. What to say, what to say? "I, um. Nice.." Fiona's eyes dart around as she scolds her mouth for starting a sentence she doesn't know how to finish. Nice what, nice what? "Bike!" This exclamation is a bit louder and more enthusiastic than necessary, and she even points. Like there are oodles of other bikes around.

"Fine Miss Gale, have it your way. Don't say I didn't warn you about him." Sirius says, sounding a bit impatient now with the post mistress. It's the same sort of impatience that drove him to forcing a bit of healing at her. Just when he's trying to be nice and pleasant, something goes to muck it up. Makes him wonder why he even bothers. He's then distracted from these thoughts as Fiona cries out. "Mmm? Oh yes, a Triumph," he says, turning to his motorbike.

Fiona looks perplexed, but carries on all the same. "Yes, it is a triumph. Of, um.. engines and metal and polish." It doesn't even occur to her that he might not mean it that way. "Do you find bike travel is as useful as Apparating, or the Floo? I suppose it's harder for distances.." Yes, Fiona tends to ramble when she gets nervous.

"Ah, no, that's the make of the bike. Like Firebolt racing brooms. Triumph is the name of the company who made the motorbike," Sirius says, sounding a bit distracted as he explains the bike. "Some people just have their preference. I don't mind travel by most methods, I just prefer the motorbike. I'm quite glad to have it back. When I'm not in a hurry to get anywhere, I like using it. If I'm pressed for time, Apparating, Floo or portkeys are needed."

"Oh! Well, then. That's a catchy name." Fiona is nodding, glancing from Sirius to the bike. "I suppose that makes sense then, yes. You have the time to appreciate your surroundings, and everything." With her wandering gaze, she catches sight of the sun. "Oh, it's getting late. I need to finish my shopping and get back home." She smiles at Sirius, a genuine smile. Maybe this man getting freed was the right thing - at least, he's quite pleasant. "I'm Fiona, by the way. Fiona Hightower." After rearranging her bags, she extends a hand to him.

"I thought so too when I realized who made it. I just liked the style, the noise, everything about it." It's also something that is completely removed from his heritage. Making it all the more attractive to Sirius. "Indeed, that's one of the pleasures of flying, regardless of method." Don't be fooled miss. Sirius has his moments of utter arse-ness and behaving quite like the madman he was accused of being. "A pleasure Miss Hightower. Do take care in finishing your shopping."

Madmen are no strangers to Fiona! No, they are not. As if to prove this, one of the voices in her head - female, younger, quite enthusiastic, whispers to Fiona, 'I liked him'. Just barely keeping herself from replying aloud, Fiona does bob her head in a nod. Perhaps Sirius will think she's nodding to him. "You, too. Enjoy your bike ride." With a final smile to Sirius, Fiona turns, and heads into Jonko's.


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