|Scene Title||Tea and Smoke|
|Synopsis||A friendly chat outside the apothecary|
|Date||Sept 4, 1994|
|Watch For||A bug, discussion of rumors.|
This place is surely like no other on earth! The narrow cobblestone lane is crowded with vendor's carts while buildings are packed in on each other on both sides of the lane. Very little room if any can be found between the buildings, but narrow alleys can be found here and there. The entire area feels like you've just set foot onto the set of a Charles Dickens tale almost. Usually people can be found up and down this area at all times of the day and night. While in a way this scene isn't too out of place in England, the contents are! The shops lining the lane are out of the ordinary due to their nature and the people crowding around are definitely out of this world. The soft hooting of owls can be heard from Eeylops Owl Emporium, strange and often disgusting smells filter out of the Apothecary, while a throng of children and a few adults ogle merchandise found in the window of Quality Quidditch Supplies.
It's a cool, breezy September evening. Cool enough that Sechnall is glad to be wearing the thick coat that's currently hugging his thin frame. The man is standing outside of a small shop - obviously a potions shop, considering the displays in the windows of cauldrons and various bubbling concoctions - and sipping on a cup of a tea, his mellow brown eyes flitting over the people passing by on the busy street. Once in a while he raises his hand in a wave or offers a nod of familiarity, usually to shopkeepers or others who frequent the Alley on a regular basis.
Jack doesn't really need potion ingredients very often. But today, he finds himself short on a few basic things that every cursebreaker needs. So, he steps out of the apothecary with a bag full of stuff, and catches Sechnall's wave to someone else. Being the gregarious and slightly arrogant man that he is, Jack assumes the wave is for him. "And good evening to you, too," he says with a bright smile. "Brr. It's gotten cold early." He pulls out his wand and transfigures his shirt so that it has long sleeves.
Wade is making way through the alleyway, on his own little errand for the day. He seems to be amassing some small collection in a basket that hangs at his side, wooden looking thing filled with various odd objects. A pocket watch, what looks like a zucchini, one fat and silver bug that's currently attempting to escape up his arm. It causes him minor distraction, the man slowing as he approaches potion shop, attempting to wrangle his escapee.
The sound of the shop's door opening causes Sechnall to turn slightly where he's standing in place, and, being the meek and atypically friendly sort that he is, he doesn't object to Jack's assumption that his greeting was directed to him. "It has indeed, sir. Winter is fast approaching." The brown-haired, brown-eyed man glances quickly at whatever it is that Jack has purchased, and smiles. "I trust you found everything you needed this evening?" He motions with one gloved hand towards the shop - there's a clerk inside, obviously, but apparently Sechnall is either the owner or another employee. His inquiries are momentarily put on hold by Wade's approach, though, and he blinks at the sight of the bug scuttling up the unfortunate fellow's limb. "Oh dear. Here, let me.. help.. with that, sir." The Wizard's wand appears in his hand in a rather disarmingly quick flash - apparently kept up his sleeve - and he points it at the insect. His aim is quite good, so unless Wade happens to move suddenly.. (The smallest hint of something, perhaps a smile, crawls on to Sechnall's face for an instant at the thought.) "Petrificus Totalus."
"Yeah, found everything straightaway." Jack is happy to admit. "The venomous tentatcula roots look like they're really fresh. Which is great because I need them for…" It really doesn't matter what he needs the specific ingredients for, so he falls silent, now noticing Wade. "Arelmore." He greets the other man, remembering his name. When the man stuns the insect, Jack smiles. "That's the quickest way, yeah." He chuckles, and waits to see what happens next.
Strange wands do cause the man with the bug to flinch, though not quite enough that he ends up a statue. Instead the silvery insect freezes, wobbles a moment on sleeve before one hand moves to brush it back into the basket. "Feisty, that one." Wade's complaint is an absent murmur, eyes rising toward his savior and the other man afterward, "Thank you for that. Hello, Mr. Noble. I imagined I'd see you again sometime."
After seeing that the hex hits its intended target (how disappointing!), Sechnall offers an amicable nod to Wade. "Of course, glad to be of service." He glances sidelong at Jack, noting that the two men appear to be acquaintences, and chuckles. "Indeed, we just got that shipment of roots in today. Quite a nice-looking batch, if I do say so myself. You gentlemen are familiar with one another, I see?" It's phrased as a question, although it's a pretty assumptive one, and the man flicks his wand to conjure up another couple of teacups - which hover towards Wade and Jack - before tucking it back up his sleeve. "Fresh-brewed, I just had Mixie make some up. If either of you care for Earl Grey, that is."
"We've met, yeah." Jack says, with a nod. He'll happily take the tea, but does sniff at it first before taking a sip. "Thank you. Jack Noble." He offers his name for the shopkeeper. "Ran into each other down that way." He gestures toward the seedier side of the alley. Then, he turns to Wade. "Yeah. Small enough world, I think, that it's pretty much inevitable." He grins. "What kinda bug is that, anyway?" He didn't get a good look at it. If the man's collecting it, it's gotta be something interesting.
Wade reaches palm out to take one of those cups offered, the other shifting to ensure basket is tucked properly at his side. "Silversweeper, if I recall. Harmless when you don't group them together." That's the reply to the bug, "And yes, we met a few days ago." A pause. "Wade Arelmore. I don't think that's the potion I'll be needing for the day, though." He gives polite smile after, hand drawing cup back toward him.
"I see, I see. Sechnall Swancoate," Sechnall offers in return, nodding politely to Jack once again as the cursebreaker takes the tea. "Mr. Noble, Mr. Arelmore, charmed to meet you both, then." He glances at the basket curiously and chuckles. "Ah, yes. I think I'd heard a story about those Silversweepers once - a bit macabre. Seems they've got quite a problem with them in some of the more humid parts of the world." He takes a sip of his own tea, then looks back at the street momentarily. "My, my, but business *has* gone down lately. All of these rumors flying about."
Wade has partially disconnected.
"Rumors?" Jack is interested in hearing about them, wondering if they have anything to do with Snape and his sister finding less than stellar ingredients on the shelves. "What're folks saying?" He steps a little closer to the basket, looking into it to see the silversweeper. "Yeah." He snaps his fingers. "That's where I remember seeing them. Of course, you're right, not often alone. How'd you come by a single one here?" He isn't sure the man'll be able to answer him, but it's worth a shot.
Wade makes small gesture toward basket. "So I've heard. I'm not quite as experienced as I'd like to be, regarding magical creatures." Jack's question just receives a small smile, reply of, "That's why people come here, isn't it? To sell things like this. I got it aways off the alley, someone managed to catch a few without loss of limb." Rumors, though, turn his head back toward the other. "The attacks in the Alley? The Mark at the Cup? Or were there any others that I've missed?"
"Oh, yes. All kinds of strange things. But mostly involving those dreadful incidents - oh yes. Mr. Arelmore seems to have already heard quite a bit about them," Sechnall remarks. He takes another sip of his tea and shakes his head disapprovingly. "Whether or not there's any truth to them, it seems to be making people quite nervous. Especially the incident at the Cup." The shopkeeper looks at the direction that Wade motions towards and shudders, then nods to Jack. "Well, you can get all sorts of dangerous things like that over in Knockturn. I'll admit some of it is useful, but I won't go down that way unless I need to. I do know a fellow who seems to be able to acquire the most interesting potion ingredients, though." Sechnall chuckles nervously. "I just try not to inquire about where he gets them."
"Well, if the rumors are true…" Which they are, unfortunately, "then folks are right to be a little — cautious." Jack takes a slow sip of his tea, and blows across the top of the warm liquid after he swallows. "I was at the cup myself, and talked to a lass who was around for the attacks here." As well as spending more time with the guy who helped explode that little confectionery, but that's neither here nor there. Is it? "Knockturn's not too bad, if you keep your wits and wand about you. I don't like it either, but I have to go down there from time to time."
"You should inquire." Wade's advice is pointed, but not entirely unfriendly. "You should always. Else you're liable to end up with something that'll land you in a spot of trouble someday." Basket is given another shake, one glance made down to ensure bug is still in place before he addresses Jack. " It's hard to believe they're not true. It's just a matter of finding out what it means." By his tone it doesn't mean anything particularly good.
Sechnall finishes with his tea, and sets the empty cup down on the ledge of the window behind him. "Oh, you were at the Cup? I'm afraid I didn't make it - my schedule was rather packed at the time. I suppose I should be glad I didn't, though, considering how things turned out in the end," He muses, primarily in reply to Jack, although he also nods at Wade when he's finished. "Oh, yes, I suppose you're quite right. Still, I try to steer clear of anything that looks questionable. What is it that you two gentlemen do for a living, anyhow? If you don't mind my asking."
"Cursebreaker." Jack states easily. "I started working in the usual places, but ended up striking out on my own." Hence the well-traveled man. "Yeah. It was a disappointment, really. But while they were playing, those triplets were amazing. American team's chasers." He grins widely. "Twenty points in a very short time. If it would have gone on much longer, it probably would've been a thrashing." Jack likes quidditch. Can you tell? "Yeah, I'd rather know the whole story of something and then make the decision… that way it doesn't come back to bite me."
"I work for the Ministry of Magic," Wade explains, "And telling you more than that would, likely, be some sort of crime on my part. They're sensitive about that, sometimes." Mention of sports just gets small tip of head toward Jack, the kind indicating acknowledgement without any particular understanding. "I took over a few projects that day. There was too much work left to be done to take a holiday."
"Ah, cursebreaking is a most interesting art. I actually considered the same profession when I graduated, but I've always been drawn more to the art of alchemy," Sechnall relates with mild enthusiasm. He, like Wade, seems to be relatively clueless when it comes to Quidditch-related discourse, but he does nod politely. The aforementioned Ministry worker also gets a look of obvious interest when he refers to the secrecy involving his profession, but the shopkeeper doesn't say anything about it. In fact, he probably wouldn't have had time to do even if he'd planned on it, because there's a sudden hollow-sounding 'boom'. The windows of the shop rattle noisily, and a copious amount of smoke begins to issue out from under the doorway. Sechnall frowns heavily. "Oh dear… it's hard to find good help, these days. Perhaps I really /do/ need to start asking about where Murthrop gets his ingredients." Sighing, the alchemist bows to the other two men. "If you'll excuse me, sirs…" And with that, he ducks into the shop past a billowing cloud of fume that issues from its entryway.
Jack quirks an eyebrow at the man's sudden retreat. "Thanks for the tea and nice to meet you," he calls after the departing man. He drains the cup and looks at it, wondering what to do with it. With a quiet shrug, he sets it on the windowsill. "There. Maybe he'll find it there." He chuckles softly. "Where are you headed?" This to Wade.
Fade to Black