|Scene Title||Neighborly Conversation|
|Synopsis||Xenophilius Lovegood stops by the Burrow for some friendly, neighborly conversation.|
|Date||September 15, 1994|
|Watch For||Nargle shoe thieves.|
|Chronology||Xenophilius visits the Burrow and reveals the Tri-Wizard Conspiracy.|
The Weasley residence is a brisk walk back off the main road, hidden by the greenery and a few magical enhancements. Upon first glance, this looks like a normal little country home. The grass is lush and green with the odd weed poking up, the hedges are kept neatly trimmed. There are even a few chickens pecking around in the yard. As stated earlier, this residence appears normal, until you get a glance of the house. It looks as if it were once a stone pigpen, and rooms had just been built to and around it. The home looks as if it has four stories and there are five chimneys poking out of it. There is no way that this home could be staying upright without the aid of the supernatural. Behind the house and to the side is a shed where Mr. Weasley tinkers about. A pond is nearby with overgrown grass around it. Every now and then a garden gnome races across the yard with a mad giggle of glee adding to the occasional noise provided by the family ghoul.
Inside the home, the kitchen is a small and quite cramped room. Occupying the center of the room is a wooden table surrounded by chairs. Placed against the wall is a grandfather styled clock with only one hand. Instead of numbers on the clockface it has things like 'Time to make tea,' 'Time to Feed the Chickens,' 'You're late,' 'At Work,' and so forth. A fireplace with a large mantelpiece occupies a large portion of the inside wall. Magically oriented cookbooks are kept stacked across the fireplace mantel. Placed upon the mantel next to the books is an old radio tuned into the Wizard Wireless Network. Despite the low income, it seems something delicious can always be found cooking in here.
The sitting area contains a fireplace with a stone mantel. Placed upon the mantel are photographs of the family and a muggle style clock. Positioned back a safe distance from the fireplace is a squashy sofa of indeterminable color. A thin and faded rug is on the floor in front of it. Small end tables have been placed at either end of the sofa. Lamps have been placed on each one, on top of lace doilies. Two lace curtained windows look out into the front garden.
It's mid-afternoon, and it's time for Molly to sit down for a spot of tea. But there's always so much to do. So she finishes up the knitting she's working on, sets it aside, and begins brewing a pot of tea.
It is not a very long walk from the Lovegood Residence to the Burrow, but when one is so easily distracted it can take hours. It was late morning when Xenophilius set off, stopping here and there to look underneath rocks or behind bushes, and only now does he wander up the garden path towards his destination. Soon he will knock upon the door and say hello …
Actually, that may have to wait.
Having just spotted a gnome darting from beneath one hedge to another, he crouches down and lowers his head to ground level to look at them. One shouts a particularly odious swear at him but all he does is stare airily.
Molly hears the swear, and recognizes the vox gerumbile. She steps over to the window, and spots her neighbor viewing the gnomes. "Oh, my." Like father, like daughter, she supposes. She sets her hand on her cheek watching Xenophilius for a moment before she steps outside and calls his name. "Xeno. How pleasant to see you. Care for some tea?"
"Hello there," Xeno says to the cussing little creature upon the verge, "Have you seen a Nargle passing by with a shoe? I'm afraid I might have been stolen from."
When Molly steps out and speaks to him, Xenophilius lifts his head and blinks owlishly at her. His left eye twitches a moment before it shifts to look at the bridge of his nose, making him half-crosseyed.
"Yes please, Molly. In fact, I have brought you a gift."
Standing up, he reaches into his pocket and produces a green onion-looking clipping - Gurdyroot, "There is a particularly nice bushel growing out by your orchard. With it being the spawning season for Gulping Plimpies, I thought you might like to make some Gurdyroot Infusion to keep them at bay."
Luckily, Molly's lived beside Xenophilius Lovegood for years. She takes it all in stride. "Why thank you. How thoughtful." She smiles and gestures to the door. "Do come in. Would you like a snack? I have a few leftover biscuits. I sent my Ronnie a box this week…" She takes the Gurdyroot from him, and moves toward the door, slowly. "I haven't seen any nargles this week." Nor ever, but that is never said.
"I would suspect not, for they are exceptionally stealthy," Xenophilius points out, following after the Weasley Matriarch into the Burrow, "But the Gernumblies are quite perceptive. Gernumbli magic provides them a particular wariness for other magical creatures."
His gift accepted, Xenophilius enters the kitchen and immediately looks towards the ceiling - staring at it carefully and critically in silence.
As Molly scurries about the kitchen to get tea and biscuits for them, she listens to him talk about the different creatures. She does pause to watch him stare at the ceiling. "Is everything alright, Xeno?" She asks, in the process of carrying the plate of biscuits to the table. "I don't know that much about the Gnomes. They have taught my sons sone interesting words." Molly doesn't accept that it may have actually been the other way around in some cases. "Cream or sugar?" She sets the gurdyroot aside and prepares to reach for either if necessary. "How is the Quibbler doing?"
"I think you may have a Wrackspurt infestation," Xeno says airily, lifting a thin finger to point at the ceiling," Those cracks are ideal for sneaking in and building a hive. Have you felt fuzzy at all lately, Molly?"
It is only then that he realizes he is being asked questions and he hesitantly draws his eyes away from the roof, as though wary that something might fly into his ear if he isn't careful.
"Cream and sugar, please. The Quibbler is doing quite well, actually. This month I had an interview with Wagstaff Waddys - the famed Wizarding Astronaut."
"Oh, my. I'm sure that was quite interesting." Molly may or may not know what an astronaut is. "Wrackspurts? I'll have to look into that." She grabs the cream first, setting it on the table, then heads back into the kitchen. She considers the question of whether or not she's been 'fuzzy.' "Not lately, I don't think. Arthur forgot his wand one day last week, and I burned some bread two days ago, but other than that, everything's been pretty good." She moves to the table, bringing the sugar with her. Pulling out the chair, she chuckles. "Although it sounds like the children are having an interesting year already." Again.
"Oh, certainly," Xenophilius agrees, nodding his head as he sits down at the table, "I've written several letters to Luna already - it is unfortunate that Hogwarts has been embroiled in the Tri-Wizard Conspiracy, though."
When Molly recounts the few 'fuzzy' events from the past week, Xenophilius nods, "It does sound like a Wrackspurt infestation. A temporary solution would be some vigorous headshaking coupled with some handstands - at least until you can find some Brazilian Thundertwigs."
Considering that 'vigorous headshaking' is the common response to the fuzzy brain, Molly just nods and grabs the tea, bringing it to the table. Sitting down, she smiles benignly. "I'm sure we'll get along fine." She gestures toward the cream and sugar. "Have a seat, if you like." Her eyebrows quirk slightly as he mentions the Tri-wizard cup. "I believe they're actually doing it rather differently this year. It's more an inter-mural competition, like Quidditch." Except much more dangerous. "I am ever so glad none of my children are of an age to compete."
“Yes,” Xeno agrees with a nod of his head, “But it is quite clear that the Tri-Wizard Tournament is merely an effort for the Ministry to find candidates for their secret police force. It was, after all, how the Tournament was used in the past – although with Durmstrang and Beauxbatons involved it was also an excuse to spy and subvert different Wizarding governments.”
Yes, he speaks all of that with a straight face – as though it is the absolute and undiluted truth, “I am glad that Luna cannot compete in it, too. She would likely be an ideal candidate for their ranks given all her knowledge about unusual and elusive creatures.”
Molly takes all this information in, and smiles. "She does have some very interesting ideas. She came to visit me shortly before school started." After a moment, she remembers. "I gave her some cuttings for your garden. How are those doing?" She takes a sip of her tea, slowly, as it is still quite hot.
“Luna’s plants? Quite well, I think,” Xenophilius ponders the question in silence for a long moment, “I promise that I would take great care of them. They haven’t attracted any Gernumblies yet, I’m afraid – Luna will be disappointed if there are none there by Christmas.”
Molly will remind her sons to throw toward the Lovegood house now. "Ah. Well, if you can catch one or two, you are more than welcome to take some home if you like. We wouldn't want to have more than our fair share." She chuckles, thinking about how the boys throw them pretty far. "If there are things growing, they'll get theere eventually." Molly particularly picked plants that didn't take too much work. "Did Luna tell you about the excitement at the Sorting Feast?"
"Oh, I would not dream of displacing the Gernumblies. They are quite attached to their territory - it wouldn't do to remove them from it." It seems he does not know about the de-gnoming that occurs quite frequently in the Weasley garden.
The question of the Sorting Feast causes Xenophilius to tilt his head slightly, "Excitement?"
"Old Mad-Eye came in late with poor Harry…" Molly is either unaware, or conveniently forgets the presence of the other two of the Trio, "and tossed a troll head on to one of the tables. I had dear Nymphadora and Remus here for supper the other night, and Nymphadora was telling me the story." She figures that Xeno, as a parent, really ought to know. "No one was hurt, fortunately, but I can't imagine that went over well with the children." Not all of them have led such exciting lives.
“Oh my.” Xeno frowns a little at the thought of someone so gruff and accustomed to danger teaching his daughter – especially a former employee of the Ministry. All the same, he voices none of his concerns, “I shall have to write to Luna about it.”
"I wrote to Ronnie when I sent him some of these biscuits." Molly knows that Ron has two hollow legs and a major sweet tooth. "That was only a couple of days ago, though." So, he may not have written back yet, if he will. She reaches for a biscuit, and takes a bite. "Help yourself, Xeno." She snorts. "It would be nice for the children to have a calm year once in their lifetimes." This is a common complaint, but she wouldn't trade what is for anything, really. "Did you finish that … project you were working on?" There's always some project or other going on at the Lovegood house, so this is a safe question.
“Not yet,” Xeno answers with a shake of his head, “I will admit I’ve been holding off on adding the final charms until Luna comes home for the holidays. She had hoped to be there the first time we activated the Wrackspurt Detector, after all.”
"I'm sure she'll be delighted." Molly smiles. "I'm hoping Professor Dumbledore will let us have Harry over here for the Holidays this year. They are having that Ball for Christmas day, but I'm sure he'd rather come over here than spend the rest of the time cooped up in that draughty castle." Nevermind what Harry really thinks. Molly wants him here. She sips at her tea. "Hopefully, it works." This is her slight nod to his eccentric project. "How do you detect Wrackspurts without it?"
“Typically you cannot,” Xeno points out, “Although those particularly attuned can notice them moving around – my Luna is such a person. She has been quite helpful in designing the Detector.”
Molly wonders to herself how he can know if the things exist if he's never seen one. But she knows better than to ask that question. "I'm sure she is." She sits in silence for a long moment, just enjoying the company of her neighbor. Then, she sighs. "Do let me know if you could use some more cuttings from the garden. We've had several more plants bloom that I think might work well with the ones I gave Luna."
"I should take them now while they're still in bloom," Xeno says, having gotten half way through his cup of tea before standing up and looking out towards the garden, "I have something of a green thumb. I'm sure that I could plant them for her and she can relocate them next summer."
Molly sets her cup down. "Sounds like a brilliant plan." She smiles, grabbing her wand from her apron, and stands up. "There's a couple over here…" She's chattering on, explaining a little about the plants while she heads out toward the garden. It doesn't take much to cut the small cuttings off. "They should be fine while you walk home." For several hours, actually.
Crouching down to speak with the gnomes again as Molly cuts some clippings from the plant, Xenophilius reaches underneath the hedge – prompting a chorus of wizard swears from the Gernumblies. Removing his hand which has apparently been bitten, he smiles and stands up in time to accept the plants.
“Thank you, Molly. I’ll visit again in a few days.”
As inevitable as the tide, Xenophilius turns with his armload of plant clippings and heads off down the garden path towards the distant hills and his home.