1994-09-13: Civility, Snakes and Trees


Jack_icon.gif Septima_icon.gif Sechnall_icon.gif Christian_icon.gif

Scene Title Civility, Snakes and Trees
Synopsis Polite conversation in the Leaky Cauldron
Date Sep 09, 1994
Watch For Slippery snake, the lady saving the day
Chronology nothing.
Logger Jack

Leaky Cauldron

It is very dark and shabby inside this tiny pub, the air full of the smell of pipe smoke. A few old women sit in a shadowy corner, drinking tiny glasses of sherry. A little man in a top hat is talking to the old bartender, who is quite bald and looks like a toothless walnut. A low buzz of chatter fills the room continuously, sometimes augmented by the sounds of laughter or a scraping chair as somebody rises. Down past the end of the bar, a door leads into the small back storeroom. In the opposite direction, a small parlor branches off from the common room, and from there a handsome wooden staircase leads upwards to a hallway of rooms for rent, each bearing a brass number.

It's late, and Jack is out and about. He sits in the Leaky Cauldron, drink in front of him. He's alone tonight, which is not a common thing. He takes a long pull of his firewhiskey and leans back in his chair. The bar is busy, patrons creating a low buzz of conversation. Someone tells a joke, and Jack chuckles at it. It's a fairly regular night at the Leaky.

With a slow creaking noise, and with light rushing in from outside, Septima Falton slowly opens the door from the Muggle London side, stepping into the Leaky Cauldron. She wears her regular attire of a dress, high-heeled shoes, and a jacket to suit. Her hair, like usual, flourishes over the part of one eye, as the rest flows down in waves. She, unlike others in the pub, is not a regular, though she has been seen once or twice.

Sitting at a table by himself is Christian. He leans back in his chair, and leafs through an unmarked leather book. The young man's feet rest on the table next to a neglected mug of some type of foamy drink. He puffs on a long-stemmed pipe, and seems lost in his own thoughts. Every once in a while, he looks up and surveys the exits before going back to his book.

The back door to the Cauldron swings open, and a thin, slightly dishevelled Sechnall enters. He's thrown his usual brown peacoat on, though underneath that is a somewhat wrinkly black turtle-neck and a pair of corduroys, the closest things to a pair of jeans he'll likely ever wear. And he looks just a bit.. worn out, today. The man walks in the direction of the bar and immediately lifts a hand when the bartender notices him. "Brandy. Double, on the rocks, please." His gaze moves to the woman entering the bar opposite him, and he… ignores her, for the moment, pretending not to know who she is. He does, however, notice Jack at the bar and offer a timid wave. "Hullo, Mr. - Noble, wasn't it?"

"Indeed." Jack stands, offering his hand to Senchall. "Mr. Swancoate. Good to see you again. Care to join me?" He grins, and points to his table. Then, he notices Septima. "Ma'am, if you'd like to join us, you may…" Always make room for the lady. Yup. Christian has been seen, but he's just another customer at this point. Jack returns to his table and sits down, waiting to be joined — or not, according to their preferences. "Tom! Bring me another one, please!"

Septima takes a few more steps in. Her eyes linger only momentarily on Sechnall before looking toward the bar for herself. How can she possibly ignore someone she doesn't even know? Ahem. When Jack speaks to her, she inclines her head. "That is kind of you, sir." But she makes no indication as to whether or not she will, in fact, take him up on the offer.

Christian looks up at the newcomer and the resulting invitations. He takes a long draw from the pipe, and blows out a long trail of smoke. He leans forward, and takes a drink from the long neglected mug (to which he makes a funny face). He takes the mug to the bar, and quietly asks for a refill.

"Ah.. yes, well, why not?" Sechnall, apparently, is feeling slightly more adventurous tonight than usual; while he's generally always pleasant, he tends to come up with excuses not to associate with bar-types if necessary. At the moment, though, he heads over to the table, his mellow brown eyes settling on Septima for a moment. He does not as of yet say anything to her, though, and quickly takes a seat. After his drink floats over to him from the direction of the bar and he takes a long swig, he fishes around in a pocket and eventually pulls out a small brown satchel. "Ah.. drat. I forgot to leave this in the shop. Perhaps I'd better—" It is, however, a bit too late: *something* suddenly crawls out of the half-open bag, falls on the floor, and begins slithering directly in Christian's direction. It seems to be a.. snake.

Jack's eyebrows quirk, and he frowns. "Is that your snake, Mr. Swancoate?" He nods toward the critter. "Need help catching him?" Yes, he's willing to capture something like that. Often par for the course for a cursebreaker. "What kind is it?" Curiosity exists, though it's not the primary motivation for the question. When his drink comes, he takes a small sip, smaller than he had been taking. Must keep wits about him if he's going to have to help them chase the snake.

One would assume that Septima, having graduated from Slytherin, must have some affinity, or at least some familiarity with snakes. So it is such that, once she orders herself some wine, a drink not often ordered, and looks about to see a snake slithering sneakily out of Sechnall's satchel, her wand is quickly drawn from the bag carried around her shoulder. With a flick of said wand, the snake lifts up apparently from the middle, as if being picked up by a stick of some sort, and hangs in the air. "I would suggest to you, sir, that you keep this…pet, of yours, under a tight watch." She says with a slight nod to Sechnall. "We do not want any accidents to occur."

Christian turns to see the Snake slither out of the bag. He reaches into his coat, and grasps the handle of his wand. Septima gets to it first, however, and he relaxes. "It is a harmless creature Mrs. Falton," Christian says, with a small smile. "Ashwinder, if I am correct?" This last part is directed toward Sechnall. "Though, had you not been so quick on the draw, Mrs. Falton, we might have had a merry chase on our hands."

"Ah.. that is, ah.." Sechnall says feebly, standing to try to get a better view of the scurrying reptilian before it tries to crawl up somebody's pantleg. Or into a floor crevice. Christian names the species before he does, however, and he glances at the seated gentleman and nods. "Quite correct. Unfortunately if it escapes, it'll lay eggs. Um, burning eggs," He adds. His own wand is withdrawn as he locates the creature, but Septima halts it quite efficiently, and he merely walks over and fetches it out of mid-air, puts it back in the bag, and fastens the container shut with a leather strap. "Er, thank you, madame.. and you sir, for the kind attempt. Much obliged."

Jack watches the whole scene rather impassively. "Good reflexes…" He smiles at Septima while he recalls the name that Christian used. "Mrs. Falton." He chuckles. "Wow. Carrying an Ashwinder around. That's…" He's not sure what to think of it. Whatever he was going to say is buried in his firewhiskey for the moment. He leans back in his chair. "Now that that's settled…" He chuckles. "How are you, Mr. Swancoate?"

Septima smiles softly. "Ashwinder." She looks at Christian. "Although an animal in and of itself may be innocent in all matters, people with irrational fear may do something in it's presence that will be maintained as regrettable at a later time." She explains as her wine arrives. "That, and I do not believe that the wonderful establishment of the Leaky Cauldron nor anyone nearby would appreciate their buildings burning down due to Ashwinder eggs." She offers the slightest of nods to Sechnall. "It was my pleasure to be of assistance. Just be sure that it does not fall into…the wrong hands?" She smiles softly at Jack. "Thank you." She says quite simply, taking a sip of her wine.

Christian nods to the other man, and retreives his mug from the bar. He leans against it, puffing on his pipe. "Quite so," He says to Septima, blowing out another set of smoke rings. "How are you Mrs. Falton? Was the Department of International Magical Cooperation any help?" He leans back against the bar, regarding her with a friendly smile.

"Ah, yes, I shall try not to," Sechnall murmurs in Septima's direction, his cheeks flushing slightly. "Sechnall Swancoate, by the way. Oh, and I'm doing quite alright, Mr. Noble.. it's been a long day, though, and I thought I might need a bit of a pick-me-up." Saying so, he re-seats himself and takes a long drink of his brandy, draining half of it or so in the effort. "And how has the cursebreaking business been as of late?"

Jack has been remiss as well. "I'm Jack Noble." He introduces himself to the other two. It's a strong possibility that he's a bit tipsy already. "It's actually been quite busy. There've been a lot of little things, but they're the little things that take inordinate amounts of time." He chuckles, lifting his glass. "And paperwork." He takes another sip.

Septima smiles kindly at Christian. "I am doing quite well, thank you Mister Faulkner. The Department of International Magical Cooperation proved most helpful indeed. My trees should be here in no time at all, thanks to their assistance. But the real thanks goes to you, however, for your pointing me in the correct direction. If it had not been for such direction, my whole day would have been spent at the Ministry." He says, happily, and taking another sip of her wine. There's a tilt of her head and a small smile to Sechnall. "A pleasure, Mister Swancoate. I am Septima Falton." She nods her head to Jack. "A pleasure to meet you as well, Mister Noble."

"Glad I could be off assistance Mrs. Falton," Christian says to her with a grin. "However, no thanks is required. I was doing my civic duty." He turns to the others and nods to them. "It is a pleasure to meet you both. Name's Christian Faulkner."

"I know exactly what you mean," Sechnall returns to Jack, although a slightly ironic undertone to his voice suggests that perhaps he's not speaking about quite the same kind of 'little things'. But surely, the mild-mannered little alchemist hardly has the capacity to be snarky, does he? He chuckles genially and nods to Christian, adjusting his seat just a bit so that he's able to easily look between all three of the others. "Pleased to meet you, Mr. Faulkner. And Mrs. Falton." He takes another few sips of his brandy - it's quickly being depleted now - and blinks curiously. "Excuse my curiousity, but.. trees?"

"Naw, pleasure is all mine." Jack replies to the lady and Christian. He was wondering the same thing, but didn't feel the need to ask. However, he does ask Christian, "so, what is it that you do?" All very polite. He shifts a little in his seat, gaining a little more comfort.

Septima giggles lightly at Christian. "Civic duty or no, it was all too kind of you, thank you." She gives a glance toward Sechnall and his question. "Yes. Trees. Magical trees at that. Which I intend to have planted at my estate. However, there were forms and such to have filled out before any such transaction could be fully adhered to, you see."

"I am a Hitwizard with the Department of Magical Law Enforcement," Christian says to Jack. "I can sympathize with your hatred of paperwork. There always seems to be more and more everyday. More forms to fill out and reports to read." He chuckles, then turns back to Septima. "You are Welcome," he relents with a smile.

The remainder of the brandy in Sechnall's glass is drained in a single gulp, and with a slight sigh, he glances at the.. slightly wriggling.. satchel still sitting on the table. "That's.. quite interesting, Mrs. Falton." Standing, he picks up the Satchel and nods to each of his erstwhile companions in turn. "Mr. Noble, good to speak with you again. Mrs. Falton, Mr. Faulkner, glad to meet you both. Unfortunately, I should probably get this Ashwinder back to the shop, it'll be needing heat soon. Good evening." Wobbling just a wee bit (perhaps he'd had one or two drinks before arriving here), he makes his way toward the back door and exits.

Jack chuckles again, setting the glass back down on the table. "Yeah, I think there's always paperwork to do." Which is quite a shame, really. "Pleasant to talk to you again, and good luck with your Ashwinder." He smiles in Senchal's direction. "Even Mrs. Falton has paperwork to get trees to plant. Seems like a bit much." He snorts softly.

Septima smiles softly to Sechnall. "Good day, Mister Swancoate. I do hope that the Ashwinder gives you no more lasting troubles." There's the way that she says 'you' however, that seems to imply, perhaps, a little bit more. Then again, it could be nothing. She smiles at Jack. "Oh yes indeed. Though the trees are coming all the way from Saudi Arabia." She says lightly. "But still, ever the constant work there is to be done, no?"

"Pleasure to meet you Mr. Swancoate," Christian calls as Sechnall leaves. "Must remember to look up more details on Ashwinders." He takes a deep drink, then a large puff from his pipe. "What exactly do these trees do that is so special, Mrs. Falton?"

Jack may have seen those trees. But he says nothing on the trees themselves, instead commenting on Septima's words about everpresent work. "That is the way of the world. Not quite what one envisions when one is younger." He grins. Taking another long, slow sip of his drink, he watches Christian for a moment. "Hitwizard, huh? I've got several friends who are Aurors." Just a little bit different. "Not sure I could do that. I like working on my own too much, I think."

Septima smiles softly at Christian. "Oh, there isn't too much to tell of Ashwinders, to be honest. Not much except for their eggs…and their other form of curious birth. Actually, they are very fascinating creatures." She says with a nod. "The trees? Oh, well, here is the thing about the trees: They are bred so that every year, on the winter solstice, the dew on their leaves come together to form a singular globule of moisture that, if drunk, can quench any thirst, both of body and mind. It so potent that it renews the hopes and aspirations of even the most uninspired and the will of the most weakened man. It can renew the strength of a man who has lost the will to live."

Christian nods as he blows out a long stream of pipe smoke. "Intriguing," He says to Septima. "I can see why they require so much paperwork to aquire." He then turns to Jack. "My father was a Police Officer, as well as his father, and his father before him. I am carrying on my pwn family legacy in my own fashion."

Jack whistles. He'd heard the rumors about these trees. "I think I've seen some of those." Yes, Jack's been to Saudi Arabia once or twice. "That makes sense, Mr. Faulkner. My father is Scottish nobility, and my elder brother gets the unenviable task of taking his place." He shakes his head. "I'd much rather be doing this." He doesn't get along that well with Liam. "He's welcome to it." He takes the last gulp of his drink, setting it down again. "I think that's the limit for me."

Septima furrows her brow at Christian. "What is a…Poe-Lease officer?" She can't help but ask of him. She's not heard of that term before. Not exactly. "But yes, they require much paperwork, and much work before they're able to be transported. Special arrangements must be made before they are." It's more than just portkey for them! "They are certainly special trees."

Christian chuckles. "The Police Service is Muggle Law enforcement," he says, settings an empty cup onto the bar. "An officer is the equivalent to my job in the Muggle world. I don't know how much time you spend on the street out there, but you see them often wearing blue uniforms and yellow vests."

Jack smiles. "They're certainly powerful and useful." When Tom comes around to refill his glass, he shakes his head. "Naw, I should probably be getting on soon. Too many more, and I'll splinch myself." Wouldn't want that. He stands up, and starts to move toward the door. "It was a pleasure to meet you both, and I'll have to see one of those trees some time, Mrs. Falton. I haven't seen one in quite a while." He nods politely to Christian, sketches a short bow to Septima, and walks backward toward the exit, deftly avoiding obstacles and people alike. Showoff.

Septima gives a soft 'ah' in understanding towards Christian. "The Muggle law enforcement, you say? Well, isn't that something? I can take that to assume that you are muggleborn? Not that that is much of an indication of anything of worth, of course." She says with a light smile. "In the end, there is no real definable distinguishable qualities between muggleborn and pureblood and those in between, now is there?" She says softly. She gives a small bow of her head to Jack. "Pleasant evening to you, Mister Noble. Perchance we shall get the chance to meet once more soon."

Christian waves to Jack as he leaves. "Good Evening Mr. Noble," He says warmly. "I hope to see you around the ministry." He turns back to the bar. "No difference as far as I can tell, Mrs. Falton," He says, leaning forward. "Both of my parents were Muggles. It was quite a shock when a wizard arrived to tell us that I had been accepted at Hogwarts. My father was abit disappointed, however, when I became a Hitwizard…I think that may have been his proudest moment."

Septima nods with a soft smile perched on her lips. "No, it cannot have been anything less than a shock to have found out that you were no ordinary person, but were in fact…a wizard." She raises an eyebrow.

"they were surprised to say the least," Christian says. "However, they were able to set that asside and do what's best for me. I can never repay that." He stares off inot space for a moment, puffing on his pipe.

"Parents can be quite spectacular people, can't they?" Responds Septima. Although she most likely grew up with different ideals and with a very opposite set of parents than Christian did.

"Indeed," Christian says with a chuckle. "Though I would love to stay later a chat, I have a mountain of paperwork left for me at the ministry." He tamps out his pipe, and hands some Galleons to the bartender.

Septima nods to Christian and in a soft voice says, "Why, but of course. Far be it from me to keep you from your work. I'd hate for it to build up even more for you, sir."

"Hitwizard's work is never done," Christian says, tucking the pipe away. "Always more to do. However, if you'd like to find me and resume our conversation, you know where I work. My cubicle is the one that's full of parchment and from which Junior Recruits run screaming in horror. In fact, I sometimes entertain the notion that I may be a Boggart for some of them." He chuckles and heads for the door. "Good Evening, Mrs. Falton." He grins and exits.

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