1994-06-29: Pet Shop Party


Antigone_icon.gif Cho_icon.gif Cullen_icon.gif Lupin_icon.gif Melissa_icon.gif Pansy_icon.gif Riley_icon.gif

Scene Title Pet Shop Party
Synopsis Many students a former member of Hogwarts staff converge by chance and get to chatting.
Date June 29, 1994
Watch For Bald cats, kamikaze crickets, and a werewolf.
Chronology Random summer RP.
Logger Antigone

Magical Menagerie

A cacaphony of sounds comes from all corners of the room and from varying animals. On the sales counter by the door is a cage full of sleek black rats that insist upon skipping about and showing off. Odd colored toads occupy glass cases while nearby there are poisonous orange snails and tortoises with jewel encrusted shells in aquariums. Suspended from the ceiling is a cage of noisy ravens while cats of every color roam about the store or preen themselves in baskets.

Antigone is fairly hard to miss in her bright red linen top and crisp white capris. She's definitely the sort of girl who truly appreciates summer once it finally comes around. Currently, she's embroiled in the difficult decision of … cat toys. She's got a few of them out on a bit of free space on the counter, trying to choose between a ball that rolls about in a haphazardly lazy fashion, and a little wooden cricket that hops about trying to avoid being caught. She's just leaning in for a closer look when the cricket makes a proper bid for freedom, leaping into the air, ricocheting off her forehead, and then bounding off into the expanse of the shop. Antigone claps a hand to her head where the little object just pinged her, and then turns quickly on her heel to try and spot where it went.

A haggard looking wizard enters the shop, looking about. This wizard? Remus Lupin. Upon entering, he's greeting by a lovely little toy cricket trying to escape a girl. A wand is raised as as it attempts to make it's escape, it stops in a mid-air jump. Slowly, it's brought to his other hand where he takes hold of it between his fingers. "Is this yours, Miss Atherton?" The man who was, just this previous term, the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts. "You must be careful with these…" he says, eyeing the little object that happens to be wriggling around in his fingers in an attempt to flee.

Melissa enters the door with a pet carrier in hand- a black striped tabby peers out from inside. One of the shopkeepers notices her and comes over. "Oh, you must be Melissa… And that would be Della?" The shopkeeper peers inside. "I'll just take her in back and we'll see how she's doing." Melissa hands the carrier over to the shopkeeper. "Bye Della…" she says, as she begins to look around. "Oh… Mr. Lupin, what a surprise! We just keep running into each other…"

"No!" The door cracks open with a shout, "No, I'll only be a second," A pause, "A second! A second! Well get off then!" Afterward comes Cullen, hand wagging out the door a second before it falls shut after. Hand flicks, sharp motion of wrist before it falls to his side, half-smile painted on the boys face. He looks first, shuffles carefully aside from the entrance to begin quick examination of the building.

Stepping out fromthe back, a young Asian girl steps out towards the front having heard the voices, a few familiar a few not. Cho steps out and smiles warmly towards Lupin, not wanting to interrupt the line of conversation as she looks over the shop keep and wrinkles her nose, peering curiously towards the animals.

Antigone watches with widened eyes as Lupin catches her wayward wooden cricket with such ease, dropping that hand from her forehead in one heck of a hurry. "Professor Lupin," she greets politely, looking just a little chagrined at her inability to keep a simple cat toy under control. But as he goes on to mention having to be careful about it, perhaps due to his former position at the school, she gives the cricket a wary look. "Why? Is it dangerous?" She might realize after a brief moment's thought that they probably wouldn't be selling dangerous items in a pet shop, but she's somewhat distracted first by Melissa's arrival, and then the more boisterous entrance of Cullen's - and so the question stands. The Hufflepuff hasn't yet noticed Cho.

Lupin bows his head lightly, holding out the toy cricket for Antigone to take back. He doesn't seem to care that she was chasing after the toy. Not really. "Oh no, not dangerous at all. But if you don't watch it, it'll run away on you, and they're extremely difficult to catch sometimes. Much like chocolate frogs, if I'm not mistaken." He explains. He looks around as he hears another voice. "Ah! Melissa. Yes, well, Diagon Alley isn't the biggest of places in the end, is it?" He smiles softly. He frowns as another voice shouts on his entrance. "Is that Mister Langley I hear?" Was he that loud in class? "Ah! And Miss Chang! Why, isn't this a surprise."

A Ravenclaw not recognizing the seeker? Gasp! Oh well, at least Cho doesnt take any offense and she simply smiles as she looks over towards Melissa. "Something like that.." she replies with a soft chuckle under her breath before looking over towards Lupin. "it seems there are alot of us here.." she admits ruefully before looking over to Cullen, smiling shyly.

The birds are what catch at Cullen's attention first, the boy moving toward row of cages, rising up on toes to examine black creatures that roost in their cages there. "You." No response from the bird. There are other things to distract him, though. Head snaps toward Lupin when the teacher speaks, "Aah! Professor! Hello." A bright smile, too much to be entirely sincere. Then he has other things to look at, a few new faces, Cho on the trailing end, the Ravenclaw receiving a slow grin in return.

Antigone takes the cricket back carefully, looking vaguely sheepish again as she finally catches Lupin's meaning about being careful with these things. "Oh. Right. Well, thanks. I think that ball is going to be more Moth's speed anyway," she decides, gesturing back to where the toy ball continues to just loll around on the counter, not getting into any mischief at all. Yes, much safer. "And less expensive," she can't help but add, more to herself. And now that the excitement of the potentially-dangerous cat toy has passed, she fully notices the others for the first time, offering a friendly grin around at them, Cho and Cullen recognized, while Melissa doesn't seem quite so familiar to her. "Yeah, there are," she agrees with Cho as to the sheer number of them gathered here. And then she's a little distracted as she tries to get the cricket back in the jar with the others without losing them all.

Cullen is recognized and a warm smile is sent in his direction along with a little waggle of her fingers. "Hey Cullen, hope you're having a good vacation so far.." Cho chirps brightly before peering over towards the youngest one there and awwws. "I'm sure you'll like it. If you're sorted into Ravenclaw I'll look out for you!" she says brightly before bowing her head at Lupin. "And how are you doing so far, Professor?" she asks curiously before giving Antigone a similar wave of her fingers.

Lupin smiles kindly down at Antigone. "It happens to the best of us, it does." He looks over to Cho. "You might want to keep an eye out for this girl here, Miss Chang." He motions to Melissa. "I've got a feeling that she is going to be in Ravenclaw. And goodness knows first year can be quite intimidating." He says encouragingly. He gives Cullen a nod. "Hello there, young man." He smiles to Cho. "I'm doing quite well, thank you for asking, Miss Chang. How has your summer been so far?"

Melissa gives Cho a little wave and a smile. "Hi… I'm Melissa. Nice to meet you!"

Antigone just gives a little laugh at herself, shrugging her shoulders once she's finally managed to get the cricket put away without causing further disaster. "I don't know how many people get attacked by wooden crickets, but thanks," she says a little wryly to Lupin's reassurance, appreciative of the attempt nonetheless. To Melissa, she gives a grin. "Hey there. I've got a sister going into first year too. I bet you're excited?"

Melissa nods. "I'm going to have lots of fun, I bet."

Cullen remains smiling, pleasant little grin plastered to face as he raises hand in return. Melissa's announcement draws his eyes again, the boy questions, "Oh! Really? Good for you. Get to know people while you have the chance, saves making up on last time." Advice is given with somber nod, vision locking on Antigone after. "Hey, you too. Getting pets?"

"I will, Professor, even if she's not sorted into Ravenclaw, though I'm sure someone else would step up to the plate if need be.." Cho replies while shrugging her shoulders a bit. "And my summer has been good so far, just finished buying books for the upcoming term.." she admits ruefully before looking over to Antigone and Cullen. "How have your summers been so far?"

Lupin looks a little surprised as he listens to Cho. "Buying books already? I didn't even know teachers had their lists out yet. Or are you buying some extra reading material?" He smiles. "Never a bad idea, you know." He nods to Antigone. "Maybe not…but if I'd hoped to impart if not but one thing in my classes, it's that anything is possible."

"Oh, I'm sure you will," Antigone assures the would-be first year of how much fun she'll have, smiling kindly down at the girl before she turns her attention back to Lupin and the older students. To Cullen she gives her head a little shake: "Nah, just getting a toy for Moth, that huge fuzzy thing that's always falling asleep on the chair by the common room fire," she notes with a grin, picking up the ball she'd chosen for him. "And my summer's been fine, thanks," she goes on to Cho, though her smile isn't quite so convincing. She fails to look convinced that buying books so early is such a great idea either, but Lupin's further reassurance is met with a grin. "Anything is possible, right. Even kamikaze crickets."

"I was relying some older students lists, but extra reading material is always good.." Cho quips with a bright smile, having been one of the bookish ones afterall. "Though really I'm looking forward to going back to the quidditch pitch again. It's hard to play with just a few people back home, at least not without eventually attracting muggle attention.." she finishes with a soft sigh.

"Good enough. Got away from the sibling for a few hours," Cullen chimes, "Great guy, but any more and I'll put his head through something." There's a lopsided grin afterward, inclination of head toward Antigone. "That thing. It looks funny," Nod afterward, arc of head toward Cho. "I've seen you a few times," He assents, "Should be nice to see again, right?" A pause. "And books." He just trails off at that, offers another bright smile to the air.

Melissa turns to Cho with interest. "Oh, you play Quidditch? I've never really been interested but I thought maybe I could check it out while I was there…" She pauses to push up her glasses.

Lupin smiles again. "Oh yes. I've even seen an owl who could sing in English such a sweet tune, it could cast a sleeping curse on an entire group of people." At this point, it's hard to tell if he's actually joking or not. Looking back to Cho, he nods slowly. "It must be difficult, not being able to get the practice in as much as you'd like." He says in an understanding tone. Looking between Melissa and Cho. "Ah, yes. Miss Chang here is the Seeker for the Ravenclaw quidditch team. She gives the famous Harry Potter a run for his money, if I do say so myself."

"Yes I do, and Professor Lupin is much too kind.." Cho beams brightly at the question, her cheeks slightly flushed with a birght tinge of red. "I love it, it's quite fun. Been a fan of the Tornados since I was six.." she says matter of factly before suddenly looking back towards Cullen with an impish giggle. "I'm sure we'll see each other more.." she replies with a cheesy grin his way before giggling impishly once more.

Her attention then goes back to Melissa. "If you're interested in playing, then you should definitely pay a lot of attention during flying lessons your first year. Depending on which house you get sorted into there might be openings the following years.."

"Don't you get enough reading during the year?" Antigone inquires of Cho, joking but … not quite joking. "I refuse to read anything more involved than a magazine during the summer." She only then seems to remember Lupin is, in fact, at least sort of a teacher, and recants slightly: "Unless, of course, it's really important." Moving right along then… "What thing? You mean Moth? He's just … floppy, that's all," she notes, slightly defensive of her jelly-like cat. Quidditch-talk doesn't seem quite so thrilling for her, so she just follows it passively without chiming in just yet.

Melissa nods. "Wow… I'll be sure to watch then! Oh yeah, speaking of… I met Harry Potter at the ice cream shop a few days ago… he was on his own! I didn't talk to him very much… I didn't really want to bother him… I'm sure he's tired of people making a big fuss over him…"

Lupin shakes his head at Cho's statement. "I'm serious, Miss Chang. Mister Potter may be the youngest to play seeker in over a century, but you are a very gifted player. I think you're just as good as he is." He says firmly. He gives a sidelong glance to Antigone. "Oh, don't feel the need to say that you read on my account. We all have the need to take a break from it. In fact…I don't believe I've opened a single book since the end of term." He says with a little glint in his eyes. His brown eyes turn then to Melissa. "Mister Potter is…an independent sort. Takes after his parents much that way. When you do get a chance, I do suggest watching him and Miss Chang play against one another. Gryffindor against Ravenclaw."

Melissa nods. "Yeah, that'd be good…"

"Hufflepuff'll win this year," Cullen remarks, voice lacking in just a hint of enthusiasm. Just a wry humor instead, addition of, "I almost tried for the team last year. I had an accident, but I consider myself more a motivational speaker." Fist thumps to his chest, joking motion before his head cocks at another few words. "Harry Potter. Never got to speak to him. Not sure what to think."

"But reading is quite fun! At least when I was reading this treatise on arithmancy. I think I might go for that class next year, but we'll see.." Cho says with a shrug of her shoulders, sighing a little as she lets out a soft chuckle of amusement at the jelly-cat before turning her attention back to Lupin, her cheeks burning even a brighter red. "Thank you for your kind words, I'll have to try even harder next time then.." she says with a soft and slightly nervous chuckle under her breath.

Her attention then goes back over to Cullen and shakes her head a little. "Motivate your team to win then, and if it works I might have to borrow you for our team meetings.." she quips laughing in the end.

Antigone gives an impressed grin to Lupin's comment of not having opened a book all summer. "Me neither," she admits confidingly, laughing under her breath, though it fades so that she can look at Cho with disbelief. "You might have convinced me reading can be fun if you hadn't opened with a treatise on arithmancy," she points out wryly. "I mean, some of those books with the handsome pirates on the covers with their shirts half-open, now those could be fun. Arithmancy is best left for term." She nods sagely with that. "But yeah, Professor Lupin's right," she goes on to Melissa. "Both Potter and Chang are quite something to see. And Hufflepuff's no slouch either. And I'm sure with our own … motivational speaker? … we'll be doing even better." Cullen gets an amused sidelong look with that.

"Of course. I do hope for all the best for Hufflepuff. They put up a mighty fight. And it's about time that they get the cup!" Lupin says happily. "I never tried out for the team myself back when I went to school. I was more of a reader, to be quite honest with you." He tilts his head at Cho. "A treatise on Arithmancy, you say? Hmm…I took Arithmancy back in school myself. It has been a while though." He shrugs lightly.

Melissa says, "I like reading a lot… about lots of different things."

Cullen just offers half-incredulous smile toward Cho at the mention of her chosen course, head nodding slowly. "Sounds fun. You can borrow me anytime you like." Impish grin lights his face, little bow of his head made toward the Seeker before attention swivels over at the professor. "That's what I like to hear. I'll tell them you said so."

Antigone gets somber nod next, attention shifting over to Melissa after. "Some people do. You'll get a lot of friends that way, you will." A laugh, addendum of, "If you need any help finding your way, any of these people are good to ask."

"I think Ravenclaw needsto win the cup before Hufflepuff…I'm more than willing to share, but after we win.." Cho replies teasingly as she lets out a happy little giggle as she runs her fingers through her hair. She winks back over to Cullen and quips, "Then I'll have to do that soon, our first team meeting will be near the start of the term.."

Melissa looks around. "Okay! I'll remember them for sure!"

Lupin smiles at Melissa. "If you like reading, you'll do fine. Even in potions. Don't let the abruptness that Professor Snape showed the other day get to you." He says kindly before turning to the others. "Well, I wish both Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw the best. Certainly they'll do fine. And I'm sure Professor McGonagall will be happy to part with if for due cause."

Lupin says, "The cup, that is."

"Oh well, that's kind of you," Antigone replies with a playful roll of her eyes to Cho's offer to 'share' the Cup once Ravenclaw wins it. "And after we loan you our motivational speaker and everything." She isn't taking any of this very seriously though. Her expression at Lupin's mention of Potions and Snape maybe goes against his promise to the ickle firstie that she'll do fine. But instead of comment, she looks down at the cat toy in her hand. "I'd better go pay for this. I'll be right back," she promises, starting for the register.

Melissa grins. "I know I'll be happy if my house wins…"

Pansy opens the door slowly, bracing a cat carrier in her left hand. Inside, a rather pitiful looking cat — it's lost all of its hair, or rather, has no hair — meows and appears slightly alarmed at the noise and smells of the store. She frowns worriedly down at the carrier, her eyes goes to the counter to search for the attendent before her gaze sweeps across the room, landing interestedly on the former teacher at the mention of Snape. On her way toward the counter, she pauses near the group.

"Hello Professor Lupin." She flashes her best fake smile and then nods to Cho, "Chang." Cullen and Antigone are recognized, but she does not know their names.

Melissa steps back as Pansy passes. "Hi," she says. "Oh, you… um, are having your cat checked up on too, right?"

"Someone'll win it," Cullen decides, further train of thought cut off by new arrival. "Oh, we should have a party," The words are half-absent, pale eyes locking on the cat in Pansy's arms. Just a tilt of head, then upturn of lips toward the girl. "Hello. Guess I'm the only one not here for my animal." Consideration, mention of, "I should get him something."

"Hi Pansy, how is your summer so far?.." she asks with a bright smile, one that's actually quitegenuine as she enters. There's no real animosity towards the Slytherins afterall. Cho looks back over to Cullen and heads on over, patting nhim gently on the shoulder, "It's no big deal, get your pet something or not..as for me,I dont want to get something until the others are gone.." Buying cute mice to feed to her owl might not be proper form anyway.

Lupin can't help but not notice as Pansy speaks to him. The girl who religiously follows that Malfoy boy and giggles notoriously at his jokes. "Ah, Miss Parkinson, how are you?" He asks kindly. Just because she gives him a fake smile doesn't mean he has to be insincere. "Coming to get your cat checked out, I assume?"

Pansy glances at the younger girl and nods, "Yep. She hasn't really been eating." No mention of the weird lack of fur. "This is the only good place around, though the environment is just wretched! It rather smells in here," she complains openly. Turning to Cullen, she quirks a brow. "What are you here for then? Your health?" It's not said too rudely, but the hint is there.

Pansy then turns toward Cho and Lupin, addressing their inquiries together: "It's been fabulous, mother and I went to Greece. I assume yours is going well?" she says breezily to Cho, and then glances at Lupin. "Where are you working now, sir?" Her eyes glimmer slightly.

Cullen's head tilts when he feels palm on his shoulder, flash of teeth given toward Cho, mention of, "I think he needs a hat," The boy decides, "All the other owls would think he was fabulous if he had a hat." Almost playful glance is made around the room, search for owl-hat before he makes low whistle at Pansy's news. "That's a long way." Regardless of magic, it's still something the boy seems impressed with.

"Oh Greece? I've always wanted to go and see the ruins. I do hope you have pictures!" Cho replies cheerily as she ignores the put down towards Cullen, but instead just pats him reassuringly on the shoulders once more. A soft chuckle can be heard at the thought of an owl-hat. "Oh, you must be careful with that, the other owls might get jealous and then make fun of him for not bathing.."

"Did someone mention Greece?" Antigone asks with interest as she drifts back over, her newly-acquired cat toy in the bag now looped around one wrist, swaying slightly to and fro as the Hufflepuff girl sidles back up to the group. "Sorry I took so long. There was a bit of a disagreement over the price," she notes with a faint frown, before shrugging it off and looking around curiously again, trying to figure out what she'd missed. Well, there's Pansy, so that's one thing. The Slytherin girl gets a wary smile in greeting.

Lupin smiles softly. "Greece. Such a lovely country. I hope you had a lovely time there." He shakes his head at the question. "No, I'm afraid I don't have a new job as yet. But soon enough I shall, and I'll be back to my old self once more…somewhat, anyway." He nods. "Well, if you all shall excuse me, I'm going to buy one of these wonderfully poisonous snails that they have here and be on my way."

Melissa waves to Lupin. "Sounds like a challenge, good luck Mr. Lupin!"

"We used the floo," Pansy explains to Cullen at his comment, shrugging and, in turn, moving her cat carrier in such a way that the poor cat slides to the back. She doesn't seem to notice. "Indeed, we took quite a few. I will bring them to the first day and perhaps you will get a chance to see them," she offers to Cho. When Antigone wanders back, Pansy nods to her, recognizing her as a Hufflepuff, and fellow Pureblood. She offers a rare smile, though her teeth are pressed together. "Ah, alright. The job market is tough I hear," Pansy says sweetly to Lupin, sounding older than she is. "See you later!"

"I was hungry," Cullen's reply to Pansy's words come late, absent mention of, "I was going to buy a bird." He doesn't lose his humor, it just dries a touch. Cho gets another nod, heavy bob of head at her suggestion. "He parties to hard to bathe. I asked him once, he looked pretty mad about it." Fingers wag back and forth, emphasizing point before eyes rise to the avian creatures in the cages above. He does wave at Lupin, chiming, "Good luck, professor."

"If you'd gone a month later, perhaps we'd have run into each other," Antigone notes to Pansy with a friendly enough smile, before glancing over at Lupin, smile turning sympathetic as he mentions his troubles with the job hunt. "Yes, well, best of luck, Professor. I'm sure you'll find something great just around the bend." The conversation she entered partway into is given a puzzled look, and finally she just comes out and asks, "Who's this, who parties too hard to bathe?" She's not sure if that's someone she does or does not want to meet.

"I should get going as well. I need to make sure my broom is in!" Cho squeals excitedly as she pats Cullen gently once more before giving a finger waggle towards all the others. "It was nice seenig you all again, perhaps we'll run into each other again before the start of the term. And it was a pleasure, Melissa!" she chirps brightly before heading out.

Pansy makes a sour face at Cullen at his reply — hungry? "Oh, really? We were in the southern parts, here and there. Lovely place," the Slytherin says to Antigone. As Cho leaves, Pansy nods her head. "See you around," she watches Cho leave and then catches Antigone's comment. "Eww, yeah, who is that? Someone that attends Hogwarts?" Her eyes widen slightly, prepared to listen to any gossip that might have missed her radar.

"My owl." Cullen offers those words to the two girls, hand raising up like he's trying to get attention in class. "Maybe you heard." Down goes hand, tucking into pocket after. "Fairly sure he doesn't care about other peoples opinions on it, though. Sorry to disappoint."

"It is. It's gorgeous. I've got family there, so we're meant to be going next month," Antigone explains with a grin, growing less wary around Pansy as they forge this common ground! She offers a wave to Cho, before turning back to the conversation about this non-bathing partier. "Oh. Well, I guess if it's just an owl, that's all right then. Though he might be more popular and get more people to his parties if he stopped to bathe once in awhile," she notes sagely.

Melissa looks confused. "Owls are hosting parties now?"

Pansy also manages to shoot Antigone a more genuine smile with her eyes as she sets down the cat carrier, which was growing heavy. "The ruins are nice, but they are a little touristy. We stayed in one of the wizarding towns outside of Santorini," she says matter-of-factly. Cullen's news about the owl disappoints her — "Oh. How silly! Owls don't attend parties and generally people don't bathe birds." She crosses her arms. Now that Lupin is gone, she looks over her shoulder, "Boy am I glad he's not coming back to Hogwarts!"

Melissa frowns. "What do you mean? He seems like a nice person to me… I don't understand why he left!"

"I'll let him know." Cullen's reply to Antigone is a serious thing, weighty assent before he rounds toward Pansy. "I'll tell him that too," He decides, making addition of, "He's not too bad. There are a lot worse." Melissa gets some clarification, explanation of, "He's a pretty nice guy, yeah."

Antigone gives an understanding nod, quite at ease while discussing Greece. "Yeah, but you've got to see them at least once, I suppose. Then you can get on to the parts that are a little more authentic. I usually just stay with the family there, so I haven't actually been around too much." She shrugs, not too bothered by that. Getting to spend time in Greece often is enough of a trade-off for not travelling around, as far as she's concerned. To Cullen, she nods, quite willing to play along with this being a serious thing. "Do tell him, yeah. I'd hate to see his guest list getting cut short because of hygiene." As Pansy brings the talk around to Lupin, Tig's expression goes a little wary again. "Yeah, he … doesn't seem so bad. I mean, I can understand the concern, but, well, we all made it through just fine, didn't we." It's meant to be a statement, but there's just a slight lilt at the end that almost turns it into a question.

Pansy's cat meows loudly and sticks a paw out of the wire door, but he is igored while his owner carries on with fellow students. "Ah. Maybe we will catch up at the start of the term and we can compare our trips," she offers to Antigone. To the group at large, Pansy turns to the topic of Lupin. "Well, Lockhart was better than Lupin, even though he was a bit of a twit sometimes." She carefully watches the younger girl, trying to reel her into her story. "I was honestly frightened after learning about Lupin. I mean, it's just not right to have someone like that around! Sure, we were fine, but only because I heard dear Professor Snape was really keeping things under control. It was very difficult for him."

Cullen's lips pull down into an exaggerated frown, hand reaching up to scrub at dark curls before he makes chime of, "He didn't do anything, right?" It's kind of a helpless question, roll of shoulders coming after. "He seemed like a good teacher anyway, whenever I was paying attention. I don't think I'd have had a problem with him."

Antigone glances down at the forlorn paw sticking out through the wire door, but brings her gaze back up to Pansy with another grin as the girl makes her suggestion, nodding once in agreement. "Sure, that'd be fun," she replies enthusiastically, much happier with this topic than the one about Lupin's more difficult nature. Her grin fades to a more troubled frown, and the looks between Pansy and Cullen and then down at Melissa. "I guess it's a tricky situation. But I'd still give him the benefit of the doubt. Of course, he's nowhere near as cute as Lockhart, but I guess that isn't really here nor there. You guys hear anything about who we'll be getting this year?" she asks rather quickly, but looking at the other three with curiosity.

Melissa looks very curious. "What happened to him then?"

Well. It seems that the Magical Menagerie's crowd has thinned a little bit, at least — thin enough, at least, that Riley doesn't mind slipping in quietly through the door. The noisy animals and lower amount of people should distract any major attention away from his presence — or, so at least he hopes. He simply stays off to the side, looking at some kittens — oh, wonderful cuteness, kittens are — and occasionally glances off toward the small group of students. He idly raises one hand, a single finger touching to the middle of his glasses and pushing them up along his nose a little more securely. Such a social butterfly.

"If you count turning into a werewolf not doing anything," Pansy says in a low, excited voice to Cullen and Melissa, obviously proud to reveal the news to the almost-first year. "Good teachers don't make their students nervous. My mum and dad had a fit!" She subsides to allow Antigone to speak, her mouth falling into a frown. "Nope, didn't hear yet. I hope it's not some kook or mudblood," she mutters. Finally, she leans down to take the furless, pink-skinned cat out of the carrier, turning toward the counter. She spots Riley and offers him a full-fledged smile and a nod. "Hi," she says, breezing by toward the counter.

Melissa looks surprised. "Werewolf?! Mr. Lupin? But… he doesn't seem like one…" She's too surprised by the news to listen to Pansy saying "mudblood", which she would ordinarily strenuously object to.

Cullen's eyes follow after Pansy when she moves toward the counter, hand balling up into firm fist and making lazy hammering motion after the girl, eyebrows raising to wag at the other Hufflepuff when she can't see. It doesn't last long though, fingers uncurling, hiding away in pocket before he can be discovered. There's someone else now, so he sets attention there, offering fleeting smile at the person in the doorway.

Antigone doesn't seem too thrilled about that M-word getting tossed about either. She even opens her mouth to say something before catching herself and closing it again, pursing her lips. To Cullen's eyebrow waving she just gives her head a slight shake, before offering Melissa rather a too-sunny smile. "Yes, Professor Lupin's a werewolf, but he's perfectly safe. I think. Anyway, you should make up your own mind about him," she advises, a little more decided on the matter now that dirty words and such are being tossed around. She hasn't yet noticed Riley in all the other excitement.

Well. So much for not being noticed! Riley turns his head toward Pansy as she passes, and offers a bright and friendly smile in reply; his head dips just a little. "Hello, Pansy." He says, in a warm voice that holds a rather effeminate tone, while still being distinctly that of a young boy rather than a young girl. "Meeting with friends today?" He idly questions as she goes on — he glances over toward the other three, but as soon as he can turn away and look toward Pansy, he offers a faint grin and a roll of his eyes. Friends. Pff.

Melissa turns around. "Oh, hi… wow, everyone's coming in here today… I'm Melissa, I'm starting at Hogwarts this year…"

"No, not exactly…" Pansy smirks. "Just taking Jewel here to be checked out. How about you?" Pansy responds to Riley, oblivious to Cullen's actions behind her back. She adds after a moment, "I just saw Lupin here. Guess he kind of fits in with the environment," she says lowly, glancing at the animals with a bit of disdain. She catches Melissa's excited words and turns back around, asking loudly, "Which house are you hoping for?"

"Cullen!" The door has opened again, given entryway to several dark faces that peek inside. "Cullen!" The name is repeated, elongated, and then the youths disappear again. It leaves the boy in question with an awkward sort of silence, shrug of shoulders before mention of, "I have to go join the Hufflepuff train." Head tips if genial sort of farewell at Antigone, one hand flickering toward the girl at the counter and the one that just arrives. "I'll see you around." More for the other Hufflepuff than the others, and then he's off, pushing his way out into the street.

Melissa looks back. "Oh… I'm thinking probably Ravenclaw…"

Melissa says, "Which one are you in?"

Antigone glances over as the door opens and voices start calling out, and she turns back to Cullen with a wry sort of smirk, nodding her head in understanding as he must depart. "Yeah, once term starts, if not sooner," she agrees. "Enjoy your summer." She manages a grin with that, though having caught more of Pansy's talk about Lupin, it's harder to really sell the good humour. Instead, she just turns back to study the Slytherins thoughtfully, watching their interactions with the firstie for the moment.

Riley shakes his head slowly a few times at Pansy's question — "Oh, nothing really. Just idling around to pass the time." He says, slowly slipping his hands back to clasp together neatly behind him. "Oh? Lupin?" One of his eyebrows arches delicately, and he leans his head over a little, whispering in Pansy's direction — "Were they giving him a vaccination or something?" He pauses, grins, and then once more melts his expression — as he turns to Melissa, he has a faintly condescending — yet strangely understanding — look to him. "Oh my. Ravenclaw? Well, you could do worse I suppose. Still, you shouldn't sell yourself short." He says, as if being sorted into a house besides Slytherin is akin to a silver medal.

Melissa says, "Well, all the houses have something they're best at… well, except maybe Hufflepuff… I can't tell if they're supposed to be the hardest workers, or just everyone else…"

Pansy watches the Hufflepuff boy leave and then looks smugly to the first year. "Slytherin. Ravenclaw isn't bad, if you like that kind of thing," she says, a touch of pity in her voice to Melissa as she turns back toward Riley, the cat struggling in her arms. "Haha… I sure hope so. I don't want him loose on the streets," she murmurs back to Riley. "Excuse me a moment." She marches to the counter and taps her hands impatiently. "Hello? My cat needs a healer, now." She begins chatting with the attendent.

Melissa nods. "Oh, Slytherin… That's good if you want to be important… But I don't really need that…"

Antigone frowns a little as she listens to the Slytherins talk, finally speaking up directly to Melissa, but not bothering to lower her tone any to keep the older two from hearing either. "Ravenclaw is a fine house. You should be proud if you get into it." Right now, she's having some doubts herself as to Slytherin, though she tries to keep an open mind at all times. "As for Hufflepuffs, we do work hard, and we're loyal, and we accept everyone. And whatever the rest might say, I don't see anything so wrong with that. Things might be a lot better off if everyone tried as much."

Melissa nods. "Oh, okay… that's good to know, now I won't feel too bad no matter where I end up."

Oh my. The look on Riley's face is.. well, he's finding it difficult not to laugh. "Pansy — did you hear that? 'Everyone else'. It's a shame she's set on Ravenclaw." He says, snickering quietly as he does — but as Antigone speaks up, he lifts his pale gaze to look over toward her. "Oh, I'm sure that she simply doesn't have the proper experience with Hufflepuffs to understand the intricate delicacies of how to attempt the same task repeatedly until success." Not the nicest way to describe the word 'determination', to be sure. "Do forgive her, I'm sure she'll start to learn about which houses are.. skilled in what ways once she's officially begun." He says, his tone warm and soft — and with a friendly smile on his face.

Melissa frowns. "I'm sorry, I didn't really mean it that way…"

Pansy manages to hand her cat over to the person at the counter after a few moments, and then she turns back toward the other students, picking up her carrying case. "I guess they have to keep her for a few hours. I think I may head back to the Leaky Cauldron," she declares, placing her right hand on her hip. She does not, however, leave without contributing a few laughs at Riley's well-versed insults, and adding a few of her own, sugar-coated in a sweetly toned voice. "Oh, she definitely will. Not wanting to be important? Definitely asking for Gryffindor, I'd say. You see, people always reckon the Hufflepuffs are the ones that aren't important, but if you think really, it's the Gryffindors that contribute less on a whole to our school. Brave and adverturesome? They're just a bunch of misfits that want to be important but are… not." Shr shrugs. "See you at the start of the term. 'Bye, Riley." Pansy does a little finger wave and heads out.

Melissa says, "Well… okay, maybe it's not that I don't want to be important… I just don't really want to be *famous*… I mean, celebrities get no time for themselves!"

Antigone rolls her eyes a little at the witty repartee of the Slytherins. She pauses only to give Melissa a little smile, shaking her head to the apology. "Don't worry about it. I know you didn't." And then back to Riley and Pansy. "I'd rather have to try a few times and succeed on my own merits than have things handed to me," she says in as diplomatic a tone as she can manage under the circumstances. Not that she's accusing any houses here of tending to buy their way or anything, no, no. As for Pansy, Tig's eyebrows just go up a bit as she mentions Gryffindors not contributing much to the school, but again she stays her hand and just offers a strained smile as the girl goes to take her leave. "Honestly, I've never understood why it's got to come down to all this fighting between the houses," she mutters, not really to anyone in particular.

Riley turns toward Pansy — he certainly hears Antigone's words, but his attention is first vested to his fellow Slytherin. "Do have a delight afternoon, Pansy, and enjoy the rest of your summer." He says, smiling warmly toward her. He certainly takes his time before turning back to Antigone — his friendly expression still offered, now toward Tig. "Ah, it is merely due to the way the houses are sorted, I would suspect." He says, slipping a hand up to delicately tuck a few strands of dark hair back behind his ear. Totally not girly. Really. Honest.. well, maybe a little. "You.. do know how the houses are sorted, don't you? I mean, by the look of you, you must be in the same year as us, and well.." He murmurs off, eyeing Antigone with a faintly worried expression — and rather questionable sincerity.

"Of course I know how the houses are sorted," Antigone replies with just a little impatience, though at Melissa's interjection, she refrains from going into any detail about the actual process. "But just because we're all different doesn't mean we can't get along. I can only think how boring the world would be if it were full of only one type of person." But she really doesn't expect to convince a Slytherin, from the slightly weary tone to her voice. "Anyway, I'm sure wherever you end up, Melissa, you'll be happy there, and you'll find you can't imagine being anywhere else once you've settled in and made friends," she offers to the younger girl with a reassuring smile.

At the very least, Riley seems reluctant to spoil the details for Melissa either. "Oh my, I do agree with you. The world would be quite boring without less talented people — how would one know who who is skilled and who isn't if everyone were the same?" He says, in a jovial tone; "At any rate, I do believe I should probably get going as well. Perhaps I'll see you two during the year at some point." He says, lifting a hand and brushing his glasses a bit higher up his nose once more. "Good day," He adds, turning to head back out into the street.

"Talent comes in many forms," Antigone replies with a smile, refusing to rise to that bait. She's had four years of being Hufflepuff; having people think themselves superior is hardly a new thing for her. "I wouldn't underestimate it just because you don't understand it," she can't help but add though, offering a little wave as Riley goes to take his leave. "Enjoy your summer," she offers pleasantly, before turning back to Melissa. "I should probably be getting back myself," she notes a little reluctantly. "I told my mother I wouldn't be gone very long." But then, Mrs. Atherton must know by now how it is her daughter can get talking and lose track of time.

Crazy huge log full of pub-spam. I hope I didn't take out any poses by mistake in cleaning it up. If one is missing, let me know!

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