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Hot and Cold

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Post by Kenna McBain on Sun Jul 02, 2017 3:31 am

“They spend all day getting offended,” she said, waving a dismissive hand in their direction as she prepared Kip’s drink. “Always going on about something or other that we should all be up in arms about. You start trying to go out of your way to keep them happy and you’ll find you’ve got an entirely new full time job.” Regardless, she cracked a smile and nodded. “But of course. Let them think they’re right this round – we’ll get ‘em one of these days.”

Right. As if she even had the time or energy to try.

She shook her head as she reached for a glass. “Only in my bar is a scotch ‘toning it down.’”

The shorter of an older pair of gentleman at the end of the bar rapped on the bar. “Kenna, bird, my glass has been empty for a full fifteen seconds! You’re slacking!”

“Keep your pants on Willie,” she quipped back, shooting him a warning look that betrayed her own amusement as the man clapped a hand on his companion and the two guffawed. Kenna rolled her eyes towards Keiran and said, “These jokers are in four times a week too. Never a dull moment, though, so they must have done something right in their time.” She slid him his drink and said, “Let me deal with them and then I’m going to find Carla and see if she can take over a bit so we can catch up. You hungry? We’ve got great chips.”

Jack supposed the ‘they’ in that sentence meant the Ministry. Between being an Unspeakable and being the sister of the Chief Warlock, it shouldn’t have been a stretch to think she might have information. But she had none from a Ministry standpoint. Despite it being a legal matter, despite it being a mystery, it had somehow evaded being any of her concern. She didn’t want to jump to conspiracy theories and cynical views of her government… but Merlin, what was left?

She sighed. “I mean… we know it was fiendfyre. The assumption, as annoyingly persistent as always, is Death Eaters. But I dunno. To go from silence to such a show… I think we have someone new on our hands.”
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Post by James Potter on Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:26 pm

"Sure," James mused, his head leaning from side to side. "We could be. But, on the other hand, this is pretty similar to what happened at that Muggle Inn. Someone set the building on fire near that leader bloke. Could be they're after him. Or somebody new joined and they've convinced them to, however unhelpfully, step things up."

He frowned, resting his chin on his fist. "Don't count them out, Jack. But you may well be onto something. Fiendfyre, though? Bloody hell."

Keiran shook his head in a relatively self-depricating manner. "Compared to the options that crossed my mind, it absolutely is."

But then he straightened up when someone called out to her. Disapproval flashed across his face but not at her. Granted, he wasn't sure what they needed to catch up on, other than his brief talk with Kip and how he'd become friends with James. But he couldn't be sure she would even think to bring up Potter.

Still. "I'll give them a shot," he agreed. "Just let me know when you're sorted."

And then he moved down the bar to sink into the chair on Jack's other side, muttering under his breath about 'birds' and pretending he didn't know he was interrupting by invading their space.
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Post by Kenna McBain on Tue Jul 04, 2017 3:30 am

"They're certainly not counted out," Jack assured him. "I wouldn't jump that far. And I'm sure they're a kindred spirit. It has the same trajectory, the same intent. But the style and the boldness... The Death Eaters we have now just... don't... strike me as the sort. Call it intuition, instinct, a gut feeling." She heaved a shrug, knowing that wizards far greater than herself would never hang their certainty on such things. But she was no great wizard. She was a person, with the intent to to do good.

Kenna let out a laugh and then pointed a finger upward, making a mental checkmark to note the chips, shouting the order into the kitchen before heading over towards the elderly men to give them as hard a time as they were giving her. "Whaddya ol' farts want?" was her greeting, and more laughter was their response.

Jack straightened up as Keiran joined them, swiveling to look at him. For a moment, her face remained serious as she looked towards his eyes, trying to tempt him to meet her gaze.

"Alright?" she said, her voice a bit guiding, but certainly questioning. An apology wrapped up in the unspoken explanation that her feelings towards him had never changed nor been compromised, regardless of what her actions might have suggested.
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Post by James Potter on Tue Jul 04, 2017 6:40 am

James twisted his wrist, running the bottom of his pint glass around and around on the bar top as Jack spoke. "I don't doubt it," he agreed. But then he cracked a smile, unable to keep himself serious long enough to hold up any extension of the conversation. "If I promise not to disappear again, will you keep me updated, then?"

But he didn't get the chance to suggest any times or places they could continue to catch up. Hayes had returned, so he would have to send her an owl later, presumably.

Something was weird between Jack and Keiran, so James took a glance up at the match playing on the screen a ways off, and let his gaze drift down to that bartender friend of Hayes', wondering just what was going on there.

Keiran, on the other hand, was lifting an eyebrow at Jack. He didn't want to make matters worse, regardless of what Kip had suggested to him. And Jack was one of his few genuine friends at this point. Even if she had broken the unspoken rules he held for people who fell into that category.

"Been better, mate," he confirmed, lifting his glass. It stopped halfway, though, so he could add something on. "But yeah. Alright."

Then he looked down and took another deep swig of his scotch.
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Post by Kipling Parsons on Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:54 pm

"Rory, while I can appreciate your discretion on this issue, you should probably start to introduce the possibility-"

"Kip, I can handle this."

"All due respect, I don't think you can."

Jack allowed for a small smile, a dark foreboding deep in her stomach urging her to refuse to smile, but she forced one of her barking laughs out. "Yeah, let's see evidence of that first, then we'll talk." She took a drink and lowered her glass, suddenly struck with a question that she probably had no right to ask. But it was already rising in her throat. "Hey. Have you-"

And then Keiran was there, and she could not ignore the position she had put him in. It wasn't a fully open response but she was pretty sure he would speak up if the problems were (or became) irreconcilable. She offered him a small bracing grin and her eyes flicked up as a figure appeared over his shoulder.

"Where's Kenna?" Kip asked mildly. Jack heaved a shrug as she lifted her glass again.

Kenna glanced his way and nodded, prepping a glass while she continued to talk with the two older patrons. Kip settled next to Keiran.

"How's Rory?" Jack asked.

Kip flicked his eyes skyward in a dismissive, but good-natured manner, shaking his head.

Kenna returned, setting a drink in front of Kip. "I'm taking my break soon. You should have told him to come down and visit, or work, or something."

Kip took a drink as Kenna withdrew into the back, and if anyone bothered to look, they might have spotted an almost grim look on his face. But he looked up at the game. "Who's playing today?"
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Post by Keiran Hayes on Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:47 pm

James would ask, later, what Jack had started to say. But for the moment, everybody was moving about and James was left to answer Kip's question while Keiran wondered who this Rory person was.

"The Canons," he provided. He couldn't help but mutter about his distaste, though. "The gits." Uncle Ron might have loved them, but those tossers ruined one of James' best seasons. So he figured he was allowed to hold a grudge, and took another drink to try and cover up the scowl nudging its way onto his face.

Keiran gazed absentmindedly after Kenna as she wandered off, and he started to wonder whether he was allowed to ask questions or not. Kip seemed... off. And this bloke seemed either problematic or important. Maybe both. His eyes drifted towards the way upstairs. Perhaps he would be able to ask Kenna later on without upsetting anything. If she did end up returning to catch up, as she'd said. But with so many people around, Keiran rather doubted it.

"Listen," James said suddenly, tired already of the awkwardness and brooding. "If we aren't going to play nice, then I vote we take bets on the match. Or on drinking. Or on the patrons. Anything, really. If it'll get you lot to cheer the hell up."

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Post by Jack Dyllan on Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:59 am

"Good plan!" Jack said, practically speaking over James at his suggestion. In truth, part of her knew that it was a testament to their loyalty and trust that their group of allies (for it was much more a connection of alliances than it was of friendships, and that wasn't a bad thing either) that they could be comfortable in tension and anger, didn't have to cover uncomfortable truths in casual conversation and fake smiles.

But every now and then, an active effort to step above all the dreariness was surely a good thing.

Kenna had just arrived again with a basket of chips, an eyebrow arching as she set it in front of Keiran. "Plan? What plan?"

"They haven't come up with it," Kip murmured, finishing off his drink. "Could-"

She was already reaching for it, filling it up. "Right, I'll top you all off then. I want in. What's the game?"

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Post by Keiran Hayes on Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:08 pm

Keiran cracked a smile as Kenna returned, quickly snatching the basket away from James as he pushed himself up off his chair to try and reach past Jack. A heavy sigh fell from the obliviator's lips, but he was still smirking. Nothing would shake his mood now that everybody was in on it.

"Well, there's that drinking game," James began. It immediately earned him a disapproving eyebrow lift from Keiran. "The one where you guess things about somebody else and drink if you're wrong."

"Yes," Keiran returned smoothly. "Because that worked out so well when Holmes tried it in those films." He bit off the end of a chip to punctuate his sarcasm. "Besides, we know each other pretty well. Most of us anyway."

James shrugged, tired of the headmaster's seriousness. "Well, that or we could take bets about the other patrons. For example," he nodded towards a blonde in a nearby booth, "about whether she'd put up with Mr. Boring himself," he gestured towards Keiran, "chatting her up."

The older man just rolled his eyes, trusting the others to know better than to get involved in something like that. If only, of course, for the sake of his pride. And his heart, considering the girl looked a little too much like Melissa.

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Post by Jack Dyllan on Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:13 pm

Jack complimented the disapproving lilt in the Headmaster's brow with an approving upturn of her lips at James' suggestion. That was the thing about James. She and the eldest Potter were hardwired to be more similar than their Slytherin friends. But if the world were run by Jacks and Jameses, there would surely be a decrease in safety and an increase in drinking and vigilante justice. It took the Albuses and the Keirans of the world to bolster those bold intentions and turn them into practical approaches.

Kenna tilted her head as well Unlike Jack, she was less interested in the drinking part (which she had access to more than any person needed) ,but sincerely interested in the exchange of information. It seemed to her to be a less intrusive way of expressing herself, as she often felt shut up into the role of quiet observer, or messenger of meaningless jokes and small talk. Especially with personalities like Jack and James (though usually she was contending with Remy and Rory) she tended to slip into the background, silenced by loud, strange, and accidentally clever opinions.

But her friends had a thing or two they could learn about her, if only they asked.

James pressed on as Kenna began reaching out to take glasses and top them off, a ridiculous suggestion following his original. A frown pulled at Kenna's lips but she glanced toward Keiran, confident he would quick to refuse.

But he was only rolling his eyes, and she wondered briefly if he didn't mind all that much. And with an unpleasant sourness coiling in her stomach, she dropped her gaze and finished off the last drink, placing it in front of Jack.

When her eyes had lifted, no trace of the frown was there. "Now, now, I can't sanction betting on or against my patrons. If you need help chatting someone up, Potter, you'll have to ask for Keiran's help privately." Jack barked a laugh at Kenna's quip. "But why don't you start us off. C'mon. Guess something about me."

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Post by James Potter on Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:10 pm

Keiran the Spoil-Sport looked up at Kenna's suggestion, merely lifting an eyebrow at the idea that she thought he could or would do something like that. But it was probably just sarcasm, considering James.

Speaking of, James the Plotter-Supreme had pressed his heels into the rungs of his chair until he was hovering above his chair. His elbows, planted on the bar, propped up his chin as he observed Kenna with both amusement and seriousness. He even squinted a little for the dramatic effect.

'Guessing' her house would be lame. He got the distinct feeling she had been in Gryffindor with him, though he'd never really tried to get to know her. So, no. Hogwarts was out. What next? Job obviously didn't work. He could guess her favorite drink. But that was also boring. The sort of thing Albus probably would've gone for. Well, the Albus he remembered, anyway. It had been ages...

Merlin, anything but that. Back on topic.

Why would a Hogwarts graduate - a pretty one, at that - want to run a pub and listen to other people's problems? Perhaps,

"Okay. I think... That you work here because something you wanted didn't work out."
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