Winds of Change

Winds of Change

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Winds of Change

Post by Willow Deschene on Sun Aug 28, 2016 3:08 pm

Willow felt lost and overwhelmed. She hadn't ever flown on a plane before. She hadn't battled airport security before. She was glad she'd only brought one duffel bag because she couldn't imagine battling checking a bag and then having to track it down.  Then again, she only expected to be here a couple of days. If she were going to be here longer, she might need to buy another sweater or two. New Mexico was just plain warmer than here.

She had arrived in Heathrow and taken a cab to this address. The solicitor's letter had been very specific about sending her to a pub at this address. He'd sent her a key too, but he never said what it went to or where to find it.  That hadn't been helpful either. That sounded shifty to her. What legitimate attorney met a client at a bar? Then, when she got to the pub, she wanted to turn around, go get back on the plane and go home. What the heck sort of rundown, slum-pit had he sent her to? It was derelict, all painted black. She double-checked the address with the cabbie. Yes, he said, this was the place.

She asked him to wait. She got out of the cab slowly and shouldered her duffle and her purse and went over to the door. She hesitated, afraid. She looked back at the cabbie who waved her to at least try the door. She opened the door and peered inside tentatively. Well, the inside of it looked not nearly as derelict as the outside anyway. She reluctantly waved him away and went inside.

"What'll ya have?" the barkeeper asked her.

"I...I'm not here to drink," she said softly. She showed him the letter. "I think I'm supposed to meet someone here."  The barkeeper read the letter.

"Oh," he said. "That's through the back." He pointed her to the back of the pub. What? What sort of shady deal is this? she thought. I shoulda kept the cabbie. She slowly walked to the back of the bar and found nothing but a brick wall. What a pitiful joke this was.  She sighed, frustrated. This was someone's idea of a practical joke, and it had been expensive for her. Plane tickets to Europe. Flights, layovers, repeated airport security lines.  Poor airplane coffee. Even worse airplane food. And now she was finding she'd somehow been scammed. For what? A coin collection?

She went back to the bar. "Could I just have...maybe..a cup of coffee?" she asked.

"Sure," he said. He poured her a mug of black coffee. "Milk or sugar with that?"

"No thanks," she said. She had gotten some dollars changed to pounds at the airport. She offered him a couple of pounds.

"One'll do," he told her, taking only one. "You're not from around here, are you?"

"Um...no," she said.

"Staying long?"

"I doubt it," she said.

"Well, that coffee should perk you up. You're looking a bit tired."

"It was a long flight," she said. "Do you know where I can get something to eat?"

"Right here, if you don't want nothing fancy," he said.

"No, I don't want fancy. Just good food," she replied.

"Now, that we can do. What'll you have? Bubble and squeak? Shepherd's Pie? Fish and Chips?"

"Um...what do you recommend?"

"We sell a lot of fish and chips, we do," he beamed.

"That'll be fine," she said.

"Have a seat, then. I'll bring it to you when its ready. You sure you don't want a pint with that?"

A pint of what? she wondered. "The coffee's fine," she said, unsure of what she was ordering if she ordered a pint. She took her coffee mug and went over to one of the small tables in what looked like an out of the way corner and started to mull over her options. Off the top of her head, she couldn't think of any. She'd call her British grandparents, but they didn't have a phone. She didn't know why they didn't have a phone. They just didn't.

She was alone and stuck. She took a sip of the coffee. Well, at least that was good. Warmed her up. It made her smile. There was always something good to smile about, even if she sometimes had to look for it.

@Hugo Weasley
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Re: Winds of Change

Post by Hugo Weasley on Sun Sep 11, 2016 3:19 pm

“You might enjoy it,” Riley protested, elbowing his co-worker playfully in the ribs as they wandered down the cobbled high street of Diagon Alley.

Hugo Weasley passed a disinterested look in the direction of his colleague and huffed lightly, mutely dismayed by the sight of his smoky breath drifting up into the air. The younger wizard crossed his arms and burrowed deeper into the thick material of his cloak, wishing sorely that something of summer would come back to the streets of London. In the last handful of days, it seemed, someone had flicked a switch and invited the dead of autumn and early winter into their midst. Hugo yearned privately for the sunshine and the kiss of that golden touch on his cheeks, drawing freckles to the surface. As September drew in, though, he knew that it was a dream he would have to hang onto until spring broke through the clouds again. He sighed, tucking his chin down against his chest. Until spring.

“She’s a good looking girl, Weasley,” Riley continued, twirling round a lamp post they were passing. “Legs that go on for days…”

“I’m not sure that legs are really what I’m looking for in a relationship, thank you,” Hugo replied as evenly as he could, closing his eyes for a moment as though he couldn’t bear to visualise it.

“Or any relationship,” Riley chuckled, nudging Hugo with his shoulder, having abandoned the lamp post and jogged over to the redhead. Hugo hummed in agreement, a smirk playing against his thin lips.

“You could be friends though,” Riley suggested. Hugo sent him a despairing look. The Auror threw up his hands in defeat. “Alright, alright, I’ll drop it. But you can’t be professionally alone forever, mate.”

Hugo flipped Riley off and the latter barked out a laugh as they turned the corner and found themselves just outside of the back wall of the Leaky Cauldron. Riley did the honours and soon they were gliding through the courtyard and into the pub through the back door. The warmth was a reassurance for the wizards and they eagerly shucked their cloaks, hanging them up with all of the others on the mishmash of hooks and hat stands.

“Beer and a sarnie?” Riley asked over his shoulder, already half-way towards the bar.

“Sure,” Hugo chuckled, running his fingers through his smoky red hair. “I’ll buy you a couple of beers next time I save your sorry arse.”

“From dark wizards or my wife?” Riley laughed, wriggling his brows at Hugo before he turned to the barmaid.

“Bloody idiot,” Hugo muttered to himself, turning his gaze out over the bar, half looking for a seat for them, half surveying the patrons … risk assessing.

A blonde-haired girl caught his eye and Hugo clucked his tongue against his teeth thoughtfully, mentally going through the catalogue of Leaky patrons. She didn’t fit. In fact, she was more out of place than he and Riley were.

“Whatcha looking at?” Riley’s voice was ostentatiously loud and Hugo jumped, nearly spilling the beer that was thrust into his hand. “I thought you don’t like blondes.”

“I don’t like anyone, not even you,” Hugo snapped. “Get off of my case.”

Riley was unfazed. “I think you need to chill out, mate. Look, watch me.”

Then, with that, Riley handed Hugo his beer and swanned over to the girl in question. He put one hand on the chair opposite her and Hugo watched, cringing internally as Riley offered his most winning smile. I’ll kill him, he thought bitterly to himself.

“Say, you look new to town,” Riley opened the conversation bravely, a grin on his face. “Mind if me and my mate sit with you? It’s always good to make a few friends early when you’re new to good ol’ London.”

And I’ll bury the evidence.
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Re: Winds of Change

Post by Willow Deschene on Sun Sep 11, 2016 4:43 pm

Truth be told, she liked the little pub, though she couldn't say much for the outside, all painted solid black, no sign of life, no sign of any sort of welcome. She had been surprised that the place was open at all, much less to find people in it. She had thought she had seen two guys come in from the back way--the way she'd just come from--where there wasn't a door. The same back way that the bartender had referred her to that didn't exist. Okay, so she'd obviously missed something--like a back exit. There were stairs to an upper floor, but they hadn't come from that direction. She reserved her right to be clueless about the whole back exit thing.

She did notice people dressed a bit differently here. Very...eccentric? Was that the word? Some of them looked normal enough, but some of them looked like they were dressed to go to a Halloween Opera mashup. Cloaks? Not necessarily elegant opera capes, but more like an every day cloak. To anyone here, no one seemed to notice the out of this century clothing but her. Why had her grandfather not told her about Brits dressing weird? She hadn't seen it at Heathrow. She hadn't seen it on the streets in her cab ride. This was going to take some adjustment, she decided. And then she saw some dude with a cup of tea, and she noticed his spoon was stirring by itself. That made her pause, staring at the cup. Now that was familiar. She knew that spell. Magic? Could some of these people be magic? Maybe? If they were, that might make some sense. Evidently, though, British witches and wizards had their own sort of British culture to it as opposed to her culture. How fascinating!

"Oh, hi. Sure," she smiled. She wasn't surprised they had made her for a newcomer. That was rather obvious, she thought. She wasn't sure whether it was the fact that this appeared to be a little place for locals, or whether it was the duffel bag, or whether it was the southwest style to her clothes that she preferred. She definitely didn't look anything like a local. She was looking entirely like she was fresh off the plane.

"Feel free." She motioned to the man who'd asked to join her. "Yeah, I am definitely new, and a friend or two would be nice, maybe friends who know some directions and touristy information. I'm a bit out of my element here. I thought I was meeting someone, but it looks like the joke's on me. Ah well, it'll give me a chance to see some of the sights, as long as I'm here. I'm Willow."

The server brought her a large platter with fish and chips and put it on the table. She looked at it wide eyed for a moment. It looked to her like it was enough to feed about four not so hungry people or 2 overly starved ones. Three might get a generous snack.

"You sure you don't want a pint with that?" the server asked her.  She looked at the men and their tall beers. Oh. Pints. Beer. Now she had it. Back home, beers made it to have a wedge of lime, but they rarely made it to glasses or mugs before the bottles were drained, even at the local watering hole. It was all icy cold, no muss, no fuss. Still, when in London, she decided....

"Okay, you twisted my arm," she smiled.

"Its the only way to eat fish and chips," the server laughed and went to get her pint.

"You guys want to share this?" she offered. "I can't begin to put a dent in it by myself. You'd be doing me a huge favor."
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