(1937-06-03) A Present
Details for A Present
Summary: A few hours after the incident with the boggart, Bannon finds Jo to try to cheer her up, and to talk about Camilla's offer.
Date: June 3rd, 1937
Location: Leaky Cauldron
Related: http://wandw.wikidot.com/log:1937-06-03-mascot-alley

Bannon Benjamin Bryson Bates enters the Leaky Cauldron from the London side, his icy blue eyes scanning the patrons quickly with little fanfare and only the usual amount of trepidation at his arrival. He finds his own table again, the same one as before that offers him a good look at the front door and the exit to the storage courtyard. He shakes his head towards the server as he is approached, "Not yet. I'm awaiting Miss Davies. Please be so kind as to show her to my table as soon as she arrives." He reaches into his jacket, removing and unrolling a piece of parchment. His walking stick is uncharacteristically set across his lap, in easy reach of his wand hand. He passes the time reading and rereading the note, whatever its nature may be.

Jo comes in from the direction of Diagon Alley. Empty-handed, of course, since of course she can't buy anything. Soon, she's directed to Bannon's table and she makes her way over, plopping into a seat, but smiling cheerfully, "Hi, Mr. Bates."

Returning the smile, Bannon nods his head to Jo as she walks in, "Hello, Miss Davies. I trust you have been in Diagon Alley looking around at our wonderous world, and perhaps most importantly, staying out of trouble?" He tilts his head, raising his eyebrow towards Jo.

Jo nods without any hesitation, "Haven't gotten in any trouble since that Boggart. Not much trouble to get into. It's all shops." She shrugs a bit then and adds, "But I'm feeling better now."

Bannon nods, "Indeed. There's something I have for you. He reaches into the pocket of his slacks, removing a coffee cup of soil about twice the size of his pocket. There is a little bit of work to maneuver it, but he is eventually successful, "I swear that pocket was larger when I put that in there." He places it in front of Jo. It is, for all intents and purposes, a typical Muggle coffee mug with potting soil in it. He flourishes a hand, presenting it to her, "There. I made this for you. In retrospect, in regards to the Bogart incident, I was to assure you that for as much Dark Magic there is in the world, there are still wonders to behold as well."

Jo blinks at the words 'something for you', looking more astonished about that than at the coffee mug of dirt. She looks at it a moment and leans forward, putting her fingers through the handle to pull it closer and take a better look. "Thank you!" She's happy to receive a gift, any gift, even if she's not sure about what. Then she asks, full of curiosity, "What is it?"

Looking askance towards Jo, Bannon replies, "Miss Davies, it is most obviously a coffee mug with potting soil in it." He lifts his walking stick, waving it towards her, "That is certainly a problem with the youth today. Always want something to be more than it is." He gestures with the end of his walking stick, placing it on the handle of the mug, "Coffee mug." He then places the very end of the walking stick on the edge of the mug, "Potting soil." He then pushes forward, a smile spreading across his face as he adds, "Seed." He withdraws the walking stick, the joke having been pulled, "Whenever you feel that magic is too hard, or when you just need a bit of a pick up, just add water. Not too much, you're soak your bedchamber at Hogwarts."

Jo blinks, looking confused and disappointed for a moment as she looks at the cup. That is, until the seed is mentioned, and she smiles again. Still a little confused, though, and asks, "What kind of plant is it? Promise I'll take care of it."

The Auror reaches up, removing the wand from the end of his walking stick, "No plant you'll find in Herbology classes, most certainly. The seed consists of some charms, some transfigurations and a hint of skill." He sets the walking stick back in his lap and points his wand towards the mug. He glances up towards Jo before he casts anything, adding, "Please do use a watering canister until you perfect the Aguamente charm. One must be precise when watering this seed, using only just enough water." He looks back to his wand and intones, "Aguamente!" He teps his wand on the side of the mug, coaxing a small stream of water from his wand. He makes several circular motions, dampening the soil all around, "The trick is to stop when you see the sprout." True to his word, the plant sprouts and he whips the wand away. The plant continues to sprout, growing right before Jo's eyes into a white carnation with a twisted stem. Once the petals fully bloom, Bannon flourishes his wand to present the carnation again, "There we have it, but should you wish to add just a little more water, you may." He taps the mug again, casting the same water charm. The carnation turns from a bright white to a glowing orange. Bannon whips his want away again, banishing the water charm as the carnation begins to untwist rapidly. The flower petals blast up and away, exploding all around the table in dazzling blue, green and red sparks. The sparks dissipate before they reach the floor. Bannon muses at his own handiwork for a moment, sighing, "So you see, Miss Davies, there's more to this world that bogarts. Never forget that."

The stem of the carnation withers and contacts as the sparks fall, withdrawing back into the seed from where it came.

Jo is awed to start with just by the aguamente spell. Her eyes widen further as the flower grows right in front of her. "Wow," she says softly. Then, more water turns it into a fireworks display, and the girl actually laughs in delight. "That's beautiful!" Suddenly she's on her feet, and she runs around the table to try to give Bannon a hug, "Thank you!"

Bannon's shoulders stiffen, and his neck draws back from the girl. He seems at a loss for what to do. He glances towards his walking stick in his right hand and his wand in his left. He hmms, vexed and takes to simply patting Jo on the head with his wand, as it is the lessor of the two bludgeoning weapons (most of the time), "There there, Miss Davies. You are quite welcome. I hope it will bring you much joy while at Hogwarts. I warn you, however, that magic will only last as long as I do so enjoy it while you can." Lifting his walking stick, Bannon returns the wand to the opening at the top designed to conceal it. He ensures that it's well secure before dropping it on to his lap again, "There is one more thing we must discuess that has been weighing heavily on me since my friend came to me with news of you. It occurs to me that, once the school session ends and possibly on vacations as well, you will be otherwise lacking in a place to go home to. Agent Grey reminded me that her family has been the caretackers of the Forbidden Forest outside of Hogwarts for several generations. They maintain a farm there, full of wonderous magical creatures. She mentioned that you are welcome to stay with her family there. There will be work to do, but the Greys are a prominent wizarding family with none of the hatred of the Muggle-born you will find in some smelly corners of this world. You would flourish there." He frowns for a moment, raising an eyebrow, "Would you find this arrangement agreeable, Miss Davies?"

Jo steps back then around to her side of the table, hand going to take hold of the cup as she looks at it, slipping back into her seat. "This is the best present I've *ever* got." Not that she's likely gotten many presents. Then she looks up, listening to Bannon's offer as she blinks. "I could stay there? I wouldn't ever have to go back to… muggle London?"

With a tilt of his head and a slight frown, Bannon concedes, "No, you will have to return to muggle London every so often. For the routine things such as visits to Diagon Alley and Kings Cross Station. Other than that, only at the bidding of Agent Grey and her family. They will be responsible for you, and you are expected to treat them with respect and do as they tell you. They will care for you until you reach the age of sixteen, perhaps longer, or until other acceptable arrangements are made." He then asks again, "Is this arrangement agreeable to you, Miss Davies?"

Jo blinks, "But not to stay, I mean?" She bites her lip, looking down to her cup and the dirt in it. "What if I don't like it there? Can things be changed, or will I be stuck there? I like Agent Grey, she's really nice, but… escape plan. I didn't have one with Jimmy and I was stuck working for him until that wizard found me." This last sentence is just blurted out.

Bannon shakes his head, "No, you won't be stuck there, but… The alternatives may not be the best of places. I want you to go to the Grey's farm, and give it your best shot. Keep in mind that Wizarding ways are not Muggle ways, and there will be differences. Work hard on the chores you're assigned, and learn everything you can." He tilts his head, a shrewd smile on his face, "Did you know that the Forbidden Forest is off-limits to all Hogwarts students unless under strict supervision? You will have more opportunities to delve into the mysteries there, which will help you along quite a bit."

Jo looks hesitant still, until he mentions the forest is off-limits. Her eyes brighten then and obviously the opportunity isn't one to be missed. "Alright," she says, as if she was still hesitating. "I can take care of myself, but I'll try it."

With a shake of his head, Bannon replies, "Not to be contrary, Miss Davies, but you are in no position to think you can take care of yourself given that you have no experience to base that statement off of. That makes it presumption, and quite erroneous presumption at that. All young witches and wizards need a steady adult presence in their life. Hogwarts can fill your brain with all of the aggregate knowledge of the professors, but you must also learn how, when and why to use it. That is where a guardian comes in." He continues, "As I said, I want you to be of a serious mind about this. I want you to want to make this work. It is the best solution for you."

Jo considers this a little more, looking to Bannon a moment. Then, finally, she nods. "I'll try. I haven't had anybody look after me since my mum died. I.. dunno if I'll be any good at being looked after. But I'll try hard."

Bannon smiles, "There you are then. We will be meeting Agent Grey and Mister Demetrius Bennet at the hour of seven this evening here in the Leaky Cauldron for dinner to discuss arrangements. You will most likely remain here in the Leaky Cauldron, as it will be a shame to deprive you of the experience of the train to Hogwarts." He then adds, "Work hard at it. There is a reason that the old take care of the young in this world. It is mutually beneficial." He stands, "I'm afraid I must be going. Until then, Miss Davies."

Jo nods to that and smiles. "I'll be here in time, promise." She waves then and stands as well, picking up her new coffee-mug, and says, "Thank you again!"

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