|Scene Title||Whiskey and Hog Heads|
|Synopsis||Sechnall and Jack share drinks and stories in the Hog's Head.|
|Date||October 11, 1994|
|Watch For||Mention of Indian Joe.|
Hog's Head, Hogsmeade
The Hog's Head is the second pub that is found in Hogsmeade. One look at the exterior of the building clearly states that this is not a kid-friendly establishment. The outside appears run down and in desperate need of a new white washing. On the inside, the lighting is dim and smoke hangs thick in the air. It's quite obvious that the Hog's Head caters to a seedy looking bunch. The human wizards in here are rough looking and there are a few other creatures recognizable and not, milling about. There are tables towards the back where groups can be found playing cards and gambling.
After a long day of trying to figure out some very obscure curses on an ancient item, Jack is exhausted. He sits in a seat at the Hog's Head Tavern, leaning back in the chair, reading over the same parchment several times, not getting much more out of it than he did the first time. He sits with his back to the wall, keeping his attention on the surroundings, knowing the reputation the Tavern carries. "If it's not…" He mutters quietly to himself, running a hand over his face to stave off the tiredness.
Indeed, the reputation of the Hog's Head is hardly what one could call 'pristine'. That's exactly the reason Sechnall's come here, today, however. The unassuming shopkeeper props the door open and steps inside quickly, giving his eyes a few moments to adjust to the smoggy darkness. He's dressed in a very simple gray cloak and hood today, the latter drawn up to shadow his face somewhat. All in all, he looks like a typical customer here. After a few seconds spent looking around as if trying to locate someone in particular, he frowns and begins to walk back toward the door - before he notices Jack in his corner. He hesitates briefly, then walks over to the seated cursebreaker, clearing his throat and nodding to get the other man's attention. "Good evening, Mr. Noble, good evening."
"Good evening, Mr. Swancoate." Jack smiles, setting the parchment down and extending a hand. "Is there something I can help you with?" He is still in 'work' mode, and that necessitates asking such things. He catches the bartender's eye, and nods for him to come over. "Would you like a drink?" He'll buy the first round. He rolls up the parchment, sticking it into a small bag previously unnoticed beside him.
"Ah, no, not precisely. I was hoping to run into a certain.. friend, here, but it seems I've no such luck today," Sechnall explains with a slight sigh. Normally such a phrase might cause raised eyebrows, but then again, this /is/ the Hog's Head. "But, ah, yes, that would be most excellent. Just a firewhiskey on the rocks. Are you certain I'm not interrupting, Mr. Noble?" He had noticed the sheet of parchment, and so he doesn't sit down quite yet. Instead, he simply rests his hand on the back of an empty chair and chuckles. "I'm sure you're a busy man, and if you have something to complete, please don't feel afraid to say so."
"Oh, I need the interruption. I've been working on this problem for several hours straight and nothing seems to fit." When the old barman walks over, Jack gives him the order of two firewhiskeys, one neat, one on the rocks, and Abeforth strides away to get them for him. "Go ahead. Sit down. Who were you looking for, if I might be so bold? I might have seen them earlier. I've been wandering around town quite a bit, and have seen a lot of people." And Britain's wizarding population isn't that huge, really.
Arching a brow, Sechnall looks mildly curious as he considers that answer. "Oh, really? You're working on something particularly nasty, then, I assume?" At least, considering the other man's line of work, that would seem to be the most reasonable explanation. He watches the grizzled old bartender walk off to get the drinks, and reaches up with a gloved hand to adjust his hood, pulling it back slightly so that his face is a bit more visible. Not much, though. "Ah, well.. you'd probably remember him, if you'd seen him. A very pale-looking chap, tall, dark hair and eyes. Usually wears quite a lot of odd jewelry."
"The American?" Jack raises his own eybrows in curiosity. "Joe or something?" He leans forward, and shakes his head. "No, I actually haven't seen him apart from the one time I ran into him here. If it's someone else you're referring to, I'd have to ask for more specifics." He frowns, watching the 'tender bring them their drinks and set them down in front of them. "Thank you, sir." He inclines his head, as does Abeforth, and Jack picks up his drink and takes a long slow sip. "Yeah." He replies to the question of his work. "It's a jewelry box. Older than my mam." He chuckles. "By a long shot. And …" He frowns, and looks up as though trying to connect something in his head. "I keep getting stuck on part of the spell that's holding it. It'll come to me." He shrugs again.
"Yes, that would be the one. I'd heard he was supposed to be stopping into the area this week, but I may have been misinformed.." Sechnall frowns just a bit, and after his drink is placed in front of him, picks it up and takes a cautious sip. 'Cautious' mostly because there's always a possibility that whatever he's just been given may not actually be edible, considering the establishment. "A jewelry box? Interesting.. well, I'm afraid I can't be of much help in the cursebreaking department, but I do recall seeing something similar in Diagon several weeks back, at one of the peddlers' stands. Funny little fellow was selling some kind of trinket that he swore was impossible to open, but was supposed to contain something incredibly valuable." The apothecary chuckles and shakes his head, making it rather obvious how much stock he puts in /that/ story.
Jack is really interested in that story. "You know, those kind of tales have the sad tendency to have some sort of truth to them." He leans back again, setting his glass down to consider how to approach this. "Would you tell me more about the funny little man?" He wants to know if it's a similar item. "This has a familiar sense to it, but I can't seem to place it…" He sighs. "You know how certain potions always feel the same from the same maker?" He looks down at an ink spot on his finger. "This is like that. It feels awfully familiar." He shakes his head. "Oh, well. I'm pretty sure I won't get much farther on it tonight. If I see Joe, I will let him know to stop in at your Apothecary. Would that do?"
The apothecary raises a hand and scratches at his chin, lost in thought for a few moments as he tries to dredge up the appropriate memories. "Let's see.. he was sort of mousy, short, had a thin moustache and sandy-colored hair. I'm fairly certain he was foreign, because I don't recall ever seeing him before, and I know most of the usual peddlers." He takes another slow sip of his whiskey and smiles. "But yes, I know exactly what you're speaking about. Every potion is just slightly different, and I suspect it's the same with curses.. but, ah, that would be most appreciated. If you do happen to see him around, of course."
Jack inclines his head, listening to the description of the peddler. "I may just have to have my Auror friend check that out." He doesn't specify which one; he has a couple of them now. He sighs, leaning back in his seat, making a grand gesture with his hand, more to release the excess energy than anything else. "So, other than looking for the tall Naitive American man, what else is going on?" He leaves it as an open-ended question, letting the man keep some things close if he likes.
"Mm, well.. not very much of note, I'm afraid. Things at the shop have been going fairly well; I just got a very large order in to supply Mungo's with a wide variety of the potions they stock every few months, so, er, quite busy." Sechnall lifts the glass of whiskey once more, and squints his eyes slightly as he notices what looks to be a questionable smudge on the lower half of the vessel. After thinking about it, he chooses to ignore it. "And what of yourself, Mr. Noble? Aside from work, things have been going fairly well, I should hope?"
There hasn't been much 'aside from work' lately. Jack looks down at his whiskey and shrugs. "It's been okay. I sat in on the meeting in the Wizengamot the other day. Just watched it. That was a bit of an eye-opener." He rolls one shoulder back in a relaxed fashion. "That's good to hear that things are going well." He takes another slow sip. "I don't know. I'm just feeling like something's… well…" He hesitates to say much more in front of the man yet. "But yeah, things are going pretty well."
The alchemist blinks at that little revelation. The whiskey is nearly gone now, so he finishes it off with a quick gulp, the leftover ice cubes clinking as he sets it back down and sighs. "A meeting of the Wizengamot, really? If you don't mind my asking, what about?" It's a natural enough question to ask, considering Wizengamot meetings aren't exactly the most common thing one would attend. He does arch a brow at the last statement by the cursebreaker, and while he looks as if he's on the verge of inquiring further, he decides against it. Instead, he simply leans back in his seat and nods politely. "Well, that's good to hear."
With a grin, Jack enlightens him. "It seems that dear Miss Maplewood stirred up a basilk's nest with her article in the Prophet." He grins. "She wants for him to get a real trial. Da and a couple other wizards seemed to agree with that, and I think they gave Fudge and his …" He's only met this man once or twice, so he doesn't want to be too informal or insulting yet. "Well, nearly gave the Minister a bad stomach ache." He grins.
"Ah.." Sechnall says, looking slightly more interested now. "Well, now, that's a rather touchy subject, indeed. Er, of course, I'm not saying that Black shouldn't have received a trial.. but then again, how many others were tossed into Azkaban in the same manner?" He taps a fingers thoughtfully on the table. "And the fact that he escaped now, when - well, when all of these rumors about You-Know-Who are floating around - well, doesn't it seem a little odd? Too coincidental?"
Jack shrugs. "Coincidental, sure. But coincidences do happen." He smiles. "I knew those four at Hogwarts, and really, if there's something to the fact that he migh tbe innocent, I don't mind someone looking into it." He takes another sip of the drink. "Honestly, I wouldnt' be opposed to all of them being tried. Those that can. Obviously, some were Kissed, and you can't undo that, but …" He shrugs again, and looks up at Sechnall. "I just don't want to be a part of a world where I could be Kissed just for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Maybe it's my Scottish heritage coming out, but I feel strongly about it."
Nodding in reply to that, Sechnall glances over at the bartender - who happens to be looking over in their direction, conveniently - and motions for another two drinks. This time, the round's on him, naturally. "Quite right, that.. in fact, they probably /do/ deserve trials, that's true." Staring off into the distance momentarily, he seems to lose himself in thought until Aberforth approaches with two full glasses and sets them down. The apothecary gives a nod of thanks and smiles. "To tell the truth, though, I know little enough of any such matters. I wasn't really familiar with any of them in school - ah, you know, those Gryffindor chaps - even though I graduated just a year behind them. I was never very outgoing, and, well.."
Jack looks up at the other man in a bit of surprise. "Really?" He grins. "I don't know if I remember you…" He tries to, but shakes his head. "I was three years behind them, so that's two years behind you, I suppose." Oooh. He can count. "But I was outgoing and got along well with them. You were in Liam's year, I think." Jack's very proper older brother was just a year behind them or so. "He was also a Gryff."
"Ah, yes, I think I remember Liam. Again, wasn't too well-acquainted with him, but.." Sechnall chuckles. It's fairly obvious that he was probably better at observing other people than they were at observing him. "He was, er, quite a model student, wasn't he?" In fact, if he's remembering properly, 'model student' would probably be a rather flattering description. "I have a younger brother and sister, but Taggart was born almost nine years after me, so I doubt you'd have known him very well, and Ashlyn is still in school now."
Jack lets out a loud snicker at the man's description of his older brother. "Yeah, that'd be Liam." He nods. "I have five siblings. My youngest sibling, my sister, is in her seventh form this year." He grins. "Maybe she knows your sister. What house is Ashlyn in?" He asks with a mild curiosity.
The snicker from the cursebreaker tells Sechnall that he was thinking of exactly the right fellow, and he smiles a little despite himself. "Ashlyn is in Slytherin House, as was Taggart. And, er, both my parents. I was, ah, the black sheep of the family, you see," He explains with a light chuckle. And on that note, he picks up his latest glass of whiskey and takes a long, steady drink. "But yes, it's quite possible they know one another. Ashlyn is fifteen, so they're only two years apart."
"Especially since they're both Slytherins." Now there's a surprise. Jack's little sister is a Slytherin. "Siobhan Noble." He smiles. "If your sister mentions her, that's my Rosie. That's my nickname for her." Nobody else gets away with calling her that. "Yeah, Rosie's the black sheep for us. The rest of us were mostly Gryffs." He chuckles. "So, I understand completely." After another slow sip of the drink, he falls silent, thinking.
"Ah, yes, I'll certainly have to remember to ask her, next time I speak with her," Sechnall muses. Of course, he /rarely/ talks with his family, so that might not be for a good long while. For a few moments he shares Jack's silence, taking the time to finish off most of his drink before he stands and tugs his hood further over his head once again. "I r-really ought to be going, though, Mr. Noble. As I said, there's still a large order to be filled out at the shop, and I've dawdled overlong already.." He bows slightly and offers another smile. "Have a pleasant evening, then."
"You too, Swancoate." Jack smiles, lifting his hand in farewell as he reaches down with his other hand to pull out the parchment. Maybe being a little buzzed will help his thought processes. Probably not, though.