1995-02-26: Charms and Confessions


Holly_icon.gif Sirius_icon.gif Thalia_icon.gif

Scene Title Charms and Confessions
Synopsis Holly comes in for a tattoo, and tells Thalia a secret.
Location Den of Inkiquity, Hogsmeade
Date February 26, 1995
Watch For The spill. The arse-dogs.
Logger Ginny

It has come to be that time. The time she wrote down on the paper for when she planned to visit Thalia again at the Den of Inkiquity. Holly is nervous about this meeting, because it means divulging several bits of key information she normally wouldn't tell anyone. Actually, it's really one large bit of information that she's uncomfortable even sharing with her family.

Still, she's thought about it, and Holly has had one of her best inspired ideas for this, and it will not only look pretty neat (And will have lots of personal meaning to her,) but it'll really help in the long run.
She shoulders open the door to the shop, making her way in, taking a deep breath. She ate just before she came, so Octavius won't smell so tasty. Good thing for the octopus.

It's about mid-afternoon, and Thalia had gotten back from band practice in time to open the shop for the rest of the day. She's been bustling around the shop, readying it for people - Holly, for one. That sheet of parchment with her current appointments had been tacked onto her guitar case, to make sure she didn't forget. Said guitar case rested on one of the plum-coloured chairs in the waiting area.

Tally herself was coming down the stairs from her apartment, having changed into a fresh outfit - practice always resulted in sweat - when she heard the click-swoosh of the door opening. "Be right there!" She calls to Holly, quickening her pace and coming into the Den itself.

Leaning over from her current position so she can see Thalia coming down the stairs, Holly smiles. It might have just been easier to take one step to the left, but she remains stationary - standing her ground quite literally, as it were. Maybe a nervous habit, and more than that, she draws her hands into the sleeves of her robe, fidgeting. She's never actually told anyone before. Even if she could get around telling - which she's decided she can't, given the complexity of the actions needed to do this, the very design would hint very strongly at her affliction.


"You know, I'm usually not nervous about talking to people," she says, seemingly randomly. Eventually, she does take a few steps forward to meet the shop's owner. "May as well get this over with, though. I'm…"

Long silence.

"…Not so sure I can get a tattoo."

"Miss Maplewood! It's good to see you again." Thalia's smile is warm, and she's about to offer to shake the other woman's hand when she notices Holly's hands slip into her robe. Tally falls silent, then, realizing that Holly likely needed the silence to get whatever was in her head out into the air. Nodding at Holly's confession, she gives another smile. "It's perfectly normal to be unsure, especially in the beginning. I'd be more worried if you weren't giving this a lot of thought, actually. Here - why don't we sit down, and you can tell me about what's making you hesitate?" Thalia nods to the chairs, gesturing for Holly to choose one before sitting herself.

"Yeah, ha, ha," Holly says, the laughter all but humoured as she sits down. "It's not really the pain that's worrying me." Not a lot really hurts to an unbearable degree for Holly anymore. She's sure some of her nerves must be numb to it by now. In any case, she does sit down, hands finally appearing so she can fold them in front of her. "It's my job," she says. Not entirely a lie, since it was a result of the job that got her into this predicament. "And I'm really sort of worried about, ah… Healing times, and if…" Growing fur once a month will destroy the tattoo. This is almost funny. Almost. "If there are any limitations. I asked you if there were any people who couldn't get tattoos, and I was wondering if maybe you'd possibly thought of any between then and now."

Thalia nods, moving forward so she's perched at the edge of the chair. Her hands are also folded in front of her, resting in her lap. "Yes, you're a lawyer, yes? I can see how a tattoo might present a problem, when you need to look professional and upstanding. We can put it somewhere where your clothes will hide it, though - it's not a problem." That addressed, she moves on to the next issue.

"Healing times vary from person to person - some need only about two weeks before it's completely healed, for others, it takes a bit longer. The best way to guess about how long it'll take for you is to pay attention to how quickly you generally heal." Sitting back a little, Tally shakes her head. "I looked over some of my literature after we spoke, and the general consensus seems to be that pretty much anyone can get a tattoo. As long as we're dealing with human skin - for instance, goblins couldn't get a tattoo from me, because their body chemistry is different - and there aren't any allergies to the ink - which can be tested for beforehand - there aren't cases of someone who was unable to get a tattoo."

That's not it, either. Though Holly definitely does appreciate Thalia's attention to detail. She's already planned the place she wants the tattoo… Somewhere where she can see it daily, though where others normally wouldn't, unless she went out of her way to show them. It's extremely personal, after all.

Ah, see? There's the thing. There's a brief narrowing of her eyes when Thalia mentions that goblins - as an example - couldn't get a tattoo. So this might be the last meeting she and Thalia have, because Holly isn't entirely human.

"Well, I usually heal pretty fast," she mutters, as she rubs at her arms. There are some things that just won't ever heal, unfortunately, and there's nothing to be done about that. Looking up at the designs, the attorney allows herself to think on the correct way to phrase this before she says it. Finally, she decides on, "Have you ever tattooed a werewolf?" It's a sudden question, the words quick, almost nervous, fingers briefly tapping on the table as she meets Thalia's eyes.

Thalia shakes her head at Holly's question. "No, not me, personally. But when I apprenticed, the person I apprenticed under did, a few times. It can get a bit complicated - timing the tattooing so that it, and the healing time, doesn't conflict with the moon - and occasionally the charms laid upon the ink will vary, because a werewolf's body chemistry is slightly different, especially when they're just recovering from Changing. There are more factors to consider, but it's by no means an impossibility."

So it's difficult, but doable. Holly nods. Well, she might be Thalia's first werewolf client, then, and this reaction doesn't make it seem as if she's scared of werewolves, which is just more evidence that not everyone is. A vocal population of people, who are numerous, there's no doubt about that, scare others into feeling the same way. It was the same way in the U.S.

"Well, guess there's no more avoiding it then," Holly says. "I got bitten about a month ago. It was an accident."

Thalia's eyes widen. Well, it wasn't a complete shock, with where the conversation had been going, but still! Whoa. She blinks a few times, then seems to adjust, nodding firmly. "Okay, then." Perhaps a matter-of-fact acceptance was just what was needed for the situation. Tally's spent years reading crowds, which seems to have benefited her ability to read people one-on-one.

After a few moments of silence, Thalia leans forward again, and smiles. "So what kind of design did you have in mind?"

Relief of this calibre is hard to describe. It's like all the tension Holly was holding onto just drains away, and she relaxes in the chair comfortably for the first time today. She's actually not sure what she expected, though all she could picture in her mind was Thalia pulling out a torch and pichfork from behind her counter and just going to town. "I could kiss you." Pausing, she holds up a finger. "I won't. But I could. You're the first person I've told. Everyone else was there when it happened." Or guessed, in Siobhan's case. Or heard from the Ministry, in Chase's.

She doesn't seem to concerned about her arms anymore as she rests one on the table. The other reaches into one of the robe's pockets to pull out two sheets of paper. On the first, is a bear's paw print. "My House back home was Bear Claw. I'd like it to start just like this, in gold…" pointing to the second paper, on which is a wolf's paw print "Gradually shifting to this, in scarlet. And on the day of the full moon, this…" Again, she taps the page with the wolf print on it, "would turn black. It's like a clock. I don't want to forget. And, you know, I might forget to look at calendars or clocks, but I see myself every day."

Thalia actually laughs aloud. Is the relief catching? "I do appreciate the sentiment, Miss Maplewood. I'm flattered that you trusted me enough to tell me - I can't imagine how hard it must've been. You're quite brave." That said, Tally leans forward to look at each sketch, nodding thoughtfully. "Okay, this is all doable. I'll need to research the exact charms that will attune it to the moon, but shifting from one image to another won't be a problem. It's actually quite a good idea - I've seen lots of interesting tattoos, but this one is useful, too." Looking up from the sketches, Tally beams at Holly. "Have you thought about placement? Shoulders or collarbones could both work, I'd say."

"Dunno about brave," Holly says. There are other ways where she's… not coping so well. "But thanks, anyway. Not the easiest thing to do." And she's defended a convicted killer at trial!

When asked about placement, she points to just below the collar bone on one side. "Yeah, considered that for awhile. Thought this'd be the best place for it, and this is the shoulder that's not all …" The look in her eyes as she gazes down at the table is pained. Regretful. There's a lot she thinks about… Things she could have done to avoid being torn apart. "All scratched up." Plus, those who've missed a potion have the habit of hurting themselves, and she's certain that she won't try to chew off her collarbone if it ever comes to that. See? She's thinking ahead.

Sirius enters the shop via the front door and stands in the doorway a few moments as he takes in the room. What a far cry this art is from the tattoos he's had for some time. Simple yet strong protective runes, they aren't very artsy or flashy. Which is fine for him. Spotting Holly talking with Thalia, whom he recognizes, he approaches them from behind.

"Going to have a dog tattooed on your arse? I'm flattered," Sirius says by way of announcing his presence.
"Well, I do. Lemme tell you a little secret." Thalia leans forward, lowering her voice conspiratorially. "The really brave ones? Are usually scared out of their mind. S'what makes them brave." With a firm nod, Tally straightens, and grins. "That should work just fine, yup. That area of your skin is fairly strong, so it should hold a tattoo just fine." She doesn't notice Sirius until he makes his little statement, but she barely misses a beat when she replies, "Actually, we were thinking about having matching arse-dogs. That way, they could have conversations with each other." What can she say? She's been spending way too much time with rowdy male band members.

"Yeah. Still feel like I'm falling apart," Holly admits, fidgeting with the images she's laid out on the table. How do you face becoming a monster once a month? Granted, the people who attacked Hogsmeade are far, far worse than Holly will ever be. There's no 'Death Eater registry,' though. No one makes them put their name on a list in order to serve Voldemort. Sad, really, as the world might benefit from such a thing. Yet Holly is a creature to be feared. Go figure.

Looking around the chair, Holly smiles at Sirius. "And we were actually just talking about a third and a fourth, in case we wanted to start a traveling quartet. You're in, right? It'll be amazing." There's a beat, and then she can't help playing the straight-shooter here. "Why in Merlin's name would I get a dog tattooed on my backside? Now, if I was getting a tattoo on my ass, I would have made sure to bring you with me when I came."

Sirius's resulting laughter is barking in nature. "Hello ladies," there, he gives a more proper greeting now. "I never figured you for getting a bit of ink, Holly." He grins cheekily at Thalia, "Think you could tattoo 'Azkaban' across both cheeks?" Not the face cheeks either. Of course he's kidding, even if it's a funny thought and statement against the place. Holly's words only cause him to laugh further, "Feeling a bit rebellious then? Want motorbike riding lessons next?"

Thalia grins right back at Sirius, lifting one hand in a cheerful wave. "Hullo. And surely - just go over there," Tally jerks a thumb to the chair in the pristine half of the Den, "and drop trou, and I'll be with you in a minute." Grinning, she winks at Holly. "I'd take him up on those lessons, if I were you. Motorbikes are supremely fun."

"It's for a reason," Holly says, indicating the rather simple drawings on the table. A bear paw and a wolf paw. "The bear paw becomes the wolf paw as the full moon approaches." Here, there's a half-embarrassed smile. It seems as if she's already told Thalia, and the artist doesn't seem to mind - at least as far as Holly can tell. "That way, I don't forget."

Truthfully, she is feeling a little rebellious. It doesn't really seem logical to say 'no' to things anymore. She wants to live, because she knows that her life's going to probably be shorter than average. She can't retire when she's sixty and live out all her dreams afterward. "Yeah, why not. Are you offering?"

After smirking at Sirius, she turns back to Thalia. "When can we get started?"

"Would you like me to hold your hand, Holly?" Sirius asks, grinning like a madman, teasing her a bit. Undeterred, he grins too at Thalia, "You haven't even bought me dinner yet." Oh, incorrigible, this one. "Of course. I got my bike back from Hagrid and she's been horribly neglected these past few years. Now I can work on putting her back into shape." Yes, the motorbike is a 'she'. Deal with it. He also won't tell the unsuspecting rider that the bike flies. That was a bit of a no-no in the wizarding laws, but he doesn't care. The bike has /style/.

Thalia chuckles, twisting a little in her chair so she can properly see Sirius. "Your friend's got quite a good idea for a tattoo, here." She nods to the drawings, then raises an eyebrow at Sirius's use of pronouns in reference to his bike. "Does she have a name?"

Turning to Holly, she says, "We can do the preparatory charm work today, if you like. The actual tattooing should wait until about.. oh, I'd say about a week after the Change. I'm guessing you'll heal faster than most, so the tattoo will be healed in time for your next Change, and after that one, we can do all the charms that will make it change from one to the other, and change in time with the moon. Does that sound good to you?"

"No," she responds flatly to Sirius. It's almost irritated, but either she doesn't mean it to be, or the frustration is carefully hidden. These mood swings are making her want to KICK PUPPIES!!! Or pet kittens, depending on whether she's on the upswing or the downswing. At the moment, Holly just looks sullen. Of course, there's a reason for the irritation - not a great one, and riddled with entitlement issues. She's been through a painful curse three times, and a goddamn werewolf bite. SHE CAN HANDLE PAIN. Somewhere, deep down, she knows that Sirius wasn't alluding that she couldn't.

ANYWAY. "Yeah, yeah, that sounds good," she says, allowing the scale to tip back toward a better mood. "You need me to take off my robe?" There's an undershirt under that, as usual. "Dunno if you need to see the area or not.

"So I see," Sirius says, looking at the sketch with approval. He knows a bit of Holly's school, she told him a bit of it. Cheekily, he looks back to Thalia, "I named her after my mother. Just to make her screech." He's teasing of course. He wouldn't desecrate that beautiful Triumph by naming it after his mother. Noting the sullen mood, he reaches over to pat Holly on the shoulder. "I meant nothing by it." Sometimes his teasing goes a bit too far, and that was nothing compared to what he's capable of.

Thalia nods to Holly. "You can go over and sit in the chair," she hooks her thumb in that direction, "Or we can do it here. It's also best if I can get access directly to the skin, but I have stuff you can cover up with, that'll leave only the area I need exposed. Up to you, all of it." Thalia smiles, and says to Sirius, "I think there are some snacks next to the octopus tank, if you're hungry."

"S'ok, Sirius," she says quietly in response to the touch on the shoulder. It does bother her. Half the time, she feels like people forget what she's been through. Then, the other half, she realises that she has no right to demand their sympathy so long after the fact - she's fine. She's alive. She's doing well.

Holly hesitates momentarily, before she stands, opening the front of her robe and shrugging it off into her arms. Underneath, she's wearing jeans and a white tank top — and, of course, the necessary articles of clothing to preserve modesty, as it were. Still, without the robe, the scars can be seen. There's slashes starting on one shoulder and disappearing under the neckline to the shirt. Similar slashes are visible on both her arms, and then there's the mess of bite wounds that appear as pink depressions against the white of her clothing.

"Right over here?" she asks, heading toward the chair. "I think I can just pull my shirt down a little, like this…" And she demonstrates, exposing the skin right where she wants the tattoo to be.

"Ah, thank you Miss de Riviat, you're too kind." Sirius says as he strolls to peer at the octopus tank. Huh. Aren't they supposed to have 8 tentacles? Odd. The snacks aren't bothered, as he takes sudden interest in the octopus. See, he's a gentleman where the modesty of ladies is concerned.

"That works!" Tally says cheerfully as she follows the other woman into the second area of the Den. Once Holly is settled in the chair, she pulls up a stool, and extracts her wand from a pocket in her blouse. Ever since what happened at Hogsmeade, she's been keeping her wand extra-close. Leaning over Holly, she outlined the designated area with her wand, then began murmuring various charms under her breath. Some may cause a slight tingle upon the skin, but otherwise, it's hard to tell that it's actually happening.

Wow, she's actually doing this. Kind of weird to think about, given the fact that she's always been fairly conservative with herself. Sure, she uses every possible trick in the book for her clients, and she has had all kinds - those who are guilty, those who are inncent, those with lots of tattoos, or piercings… But she never thought about doing this for herself until now. It's part of her self-noted reinvention, but the tattoo will also come in handy. "Feels weird," she notes idly, though the sensation diminishes in her own mind with time, and it's not uncomfortable. "So, Sirius. Anything happen since I saw you last? And bring me something to eat, I'm getting hungry." Apparently, she doesn't think she's in enough of a state of undress for Sirius to feel he has to stand on the other side of the shop.

"Is it easy, juggling your careers Miss de Riviat?" Sirius asks conversationally from where he is by the tank. See, he's still not looking in their direction. "Hmm? Oh no, not at all. I've just been hanging around, enjoying being able to walk about." He hasn't been in a hurry to return to his home, despite the continued necessity of cleaning and repairs. He much prefers being in the open air. At Holly's request, he looks over what Thalia has offered, and puts a few items onto a napkin and takes it to the American.

Thalia looks up from the charms, and grins at Sirius. "Tally, Mister Black. Tally. And yeah, it's hard. There's a lot to keep track of. The band's fairly good about being flexible with their hours, so it's not too bad. I keep hearing about this thing called 'free time', though - it must be a myth."

Oh, food. Thankfully, things that Holly liked before, she still likes. It's just that if she's having a meal, she prefers food that's only cooked a little. Or, better yet, not cooked at all. It doesn't seem to make her sick, either. Weirdest thing… Still, the cookie and the fruit are most graciously accepted.

"I have too much of that lately," Holly responds in regard to 'free time.' She hasn't worked since Sirius' trial, and she'd love to get back in the courtroom and earn some money. It's going to be hard, but she's sure she can charm her way in. Either she's naive, or Lupin's still living in the past. One of them has to be wrong, and it's probably Holly. Still, she's going to at least try. "I gave my aide an assignment today. That'll bring in a litle work."

"Since you insist, Tally." Sirius says, grinning across at the witch. "I've done a bit of catching up on things that I've missed. Music being one of them." Folding his arms across his chest, he looks down at the casting that Thalia is performing. It's a far cry from the normal tattoos he sports. "Is that so? What sort of assignment did you give her? Or am I permitted to ask?"

Thalia grins right back at Sirius. "If you want, I've got some stacks of all sorts of Wizarding music magazines upstairs in my apartment. I can bring 'em over to you sometime, if you want. Must be hard to catch up on so much in such a short time, I bet." She taps her wand over the designated area, murmuring a few more charms.

"You are," she says, chuckling, though she pauses before she answers to look down at the work Thalia is doing. "I'm actually trying to find out the best way to tackle public opinion of werewolves in the country," she says. "It's bad… But that's all I really know. So I'm looking for percentages. Of course, there'll be some people who don't exactly tell the truth… Anyway, I'm having her poll random people. Look up current werewolf laws, et cetera. It'll keep her busy."

"I'm in no rush. I do my catching up when I can," Sirius says matter of factly. Typically, he does a lot of reading or turning up of the wireless at night when most people are sleeping. It still feels weird to him to have freedom of movement back. "Mmm.. Yes.. that would create a lot of work, even for two people. I'm sure you and your assistant are up to the task. You'll probably find the polling bit difficult. Opinions can get quite heated."

Thalia nods. "Well, if you change your mind, let me know, Mister Black." She grins at the man, though her attention stays, for the most part, on Holly's collarbone. The next round of charms might cause the skin to chill slightly. "That sounds like a good plan, Holly. What do you think you'll be doing with the information, when you get it all?"

"Trust me. Rowena can handle it. She doesn't seem like it, but I hired her for a reason." This is where Holly smiles the same devious smile she offered to Chase earlier. "Me and my assistant? Oh, no, Sirius. I'm throwing her into the deep end. I told her she's got a week to poll a hundred people. I don't know how many she'll get to, but I'm curious to see how she handles it." Let alone the fact that she, as a werewolf, is not ready to ask people about werewolves, but she'll keep that under her hat for now. It's probably obvious anyway. "See how creative she can be."

Again she looks down as the sensation from the charms goes a little cold. "Going to see why people are so afraid of werewolves and start working on dispelling the problem areas," she says. "I mean, it seems like a no-brainer. You'd be surprised how many people think werewolves change every night. Or the fact that some people are certain that if you're a werewolf, you must be evil. Or a killer. Or enjoy hurting people. It's not just normal people, either, that'll need help. Werewolves generally avoid society 'cuz of the stigma. And sometimes it's overstated… Or they just don't feel safe around people. Back in the U.S., I started colonies where werewolves could go to get help dealing with what was happening to them. I'd like to do that here."

It's almost textbook, what she says. The use of 'they' instead of 'we,' for example, the way she didn't have to think about any of it…

"Will do," Sirius states good naturedly despite a touchy topic of discussion. He chuckles a bit at Holly's choice in tactic with Chase. "You're dealing with the general population, the mindset wouldn't surprise me at all." Considering parents are probably still telling their children that Sirius is going to come snatch them in the night. He notices the use of 'they', but doesn't correct Holly on it. He knows she's still in an adjustment period.

Thalia nods vigorously, looking thoughtful. "I think it's a good idea. Get a feel for the area and everything. Once you know what your obstacles are, it'll help in overcoming them." She looks up from the charms long enough to smile at Holly. "I think it's really important work. If I can do anything to help with the colonies or anything like that, just let me know."

"Well, there's a lot of work ahead. It'll take years." But she figures she owes it to the people here to at least give them a chance to open their eyes. "Werewolves just aren't as dangerous now as they were a century ago. Simple as that."

She also has to grin when Thalia offers help. "Yeah… We can use all the help we can get. That's … Far into the future, though, but I'll keep you posted." Holly can't help thinking she's lucky. This has to be a coincidence - so many people are so aceepting, that it makes her suspicious. "You know, Thalia, It's great that you're okay with werewolves. I hope I find more people like that."

Thalia purses her lips thoughtfully as she hits the next round of charms - these will cause the affected area to heat up. "Good good," she nods to Holly, somewhat distracted. "I hope you do, too, Miss Maplewood. It's hard for some people to accept the unknown, the unpredictable, but I've run into a lot of different people. With the tattooing, and the music.. it made me more open-minded to the various walks of life and people who occupy 'em."

"Precisely, Holly. Precautions can be made and the Wolfsbane potion has been a large help." Sirius is a bit selfish thinking about the potion. Had it been invented when he and Remus were kids, they may not have had so many adventures on the grounds. "It won't be easy, but with determination, hopefully a difference can be made." He backs away, "I'll let you ladies get back to the tattooing. I just wanted to come in and have a look around." With that, he about faces and departs the shop.

"Not everyone's gonna be so educated," Holly says with a sigh. Wizards live in a bubble. And in that bubble - far removed from Muggle politics and hardships, from disease, from hunger - they don't realise that there is a real world that they can't hide from. "Lycanthropy is incurable. They're trying to wipe it out by sweeping werewolves under the rugs. Best way to treat it is … well, there are so many ways, I can't even begin to go over them all now."

As Sirius leaves, she lifts her hand to wave, and offers a 'see you later,' to the man's back.

"So." Time for a subject change. "When do you want me to come back? After the full moon?"

Thalia nods, her face becoming solemn. "It's going to be a rough battle, but it needs to be fought. I think you've got a good goal." With a firm nod, Tally murmurs the final charm and sits back. "Yeah, that'll be good. Probably not right after - a week after will be good, sooner if you're feeling better before that. We'll do the actual tattooing then. Just send me an owl when you're sure of the date you'll be coming in, and I'll make sure my schedule's clear."

She's fought it before, and Holly knows she can do it again. She's just not sure she has the heart right now, when she's outwardly just fine, while still fighting off the impulse to curl up in bed and cry all the time. She hops off the chair, grabbing her robe so she can put it back around her shoulders. It hides the scars, at least. "Thanks, Thalia. I'll make sure to let you know."

Thalia rises from the stool, sliding her wand back into her pocket and nodding to the other woman. "Sure thing, Miss Maplewood. Take care of yourself." Moving to head back upstairs, she turns and smiles at Holly. "Also? Good luck." Whether she means in general, with werewolf rights, or just about the next Change, it's not entirely clear.

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