(1937-08-25) Climbing High
Details for Climbing High
Summary: Josie helps Phae out, and the two get a bit closer.
Date: August 25, 1937
Location: Whatchamacallit Junk Shop, Diagon Alley, London
Related: None

Whatchamacallit Junk Shop

It would be a wonder if even the owners of this establishment know all the is contained within these four walls. There are no aisles to be found anywhere, merely trails that meander among the mountains piled impossibly high, reaching to the ceiling and leaning back over the heads of customers. Looming overhead, the wares could possibly to slide down in an avalanche of wires and gizmos and gadgets if disturbed by even a loud noise. Almost any item, object, or mystical artifact one is looking for can be found by those brave enough to go spelunking among the paths, but will it work? That is a question that can only be answered by the treasure hunters that venture within.

Hephaesta looks for another foothold on the teetering mountain of spare parts and whatsits. She has managed to scale nearly to the ceiling, for apparently there is something at the top she just must have. The entire pile leans and groans with each movement, and every few seconds some other piece some somethingrather falls off of it, clattering to the messy floor below.

Josie makes her way inside, peeking in and looking around the floor before she ventures in farther, likely so she knows where she can put her feet without stepping on anything. She starts to take a look around at the various piles, picking up something to examine it, then putting it down and venturing on. She smiles, though, as she spots Phae high up one of the mountains of stuff, "Hi!"

Hephaesta flinches, having though she was alone in the shop while the owners were in the back sorting through…well, junk. Her foot slips, sending a shower of springs, broken handles, jar-less lids, and other tidbits down below. "Aieee!" Phae squeals as her other foothold gives way, and with her desired object just out of reach, she suddenly drops, sliding down the rather steep slope until she is laying on her back, mostly upside-down, at Josie's feet. "Um…hi."

Josie's eyes widen a little as Phae starts to fall, taking a quick step back to be out of the way. Once the older girl's landed, she quickly says, "Sorry! Are you ok?"

30 seconds too late a large mattress sproings out of a near by spittoon and lands ontop of Phae instead of her on it as was the intention of the person that rigged it up.

Hephaesta hums thoughtfully, "I…think so." FLUMP! The mattress flattens her just as she tried to sit up. "Mow," comes the muffled response.

Josie jumps as the mattress comes out of nowhere, and says, "What…" She moves quickly to try to pull it off of Hephaesta. She's short, though, which doesn't give her much leverage, so it's more of a slide off her.

"Thanks," Phae mumbles, clearly embarassed. She slowly sits up, testing each limb in turn to make sure her fall (and subsequent mattressing) didn't do any permanent damage. But soon it becomes apparent that something may, indeed, be amiss. Splayed on the junkpile as she is, her skirt has lifted a bit, baring more of her legs. While it may have looked at first like her left leg was buried in gizmos, it becomes apparent as she lifts it that some of those gizmos are attached to her limb. She takes a little longer inspecting the clockwork leg brace, looking for bent or loose pieces before she attempts to stand on it.

Josie wrinkles her nose, and says, "I shoulda known better. I climb all the time, shoulda known not to say anything to distract you. Sor…" She trails off as she sees the gizmos attached to the leg, and she stares a moment. "You're part machine too?"

Hephaesta blinks up at Josie, looks down to her leg, then back at the other girl. "Oh. No. I'm…lame. It's just a brace." She winds a dial on the side of her knee several times with a staccato clicking sound, then turns about and tries to stand up, with obvious difficulty.

Josie ohs, and says, "It must work really good, you walk pretty normal." She reaches then to try to help the older girl up. "Well, if you ever need me to run for you or anything, just gotta ask. I'm pretty fast." She grins.

Hephaesta's cheeks color, but she does her best to hide her embarrassment. "Thanks. But I can handle my-…" Suddenly she stops, and looks up at the pile she just slid down. "You said you climb all the time?"

Josie nods quickly and smiles, "Trees, houses, barns, even city buildings. I like being high up, having a view of everything." She looks up the pile of junk and adds, "I bet I could climb this."

Hephaesta nibbles at her lip, looking up at the tall, wobby mountain of stuff. Send an eleven-year-old girl up an unsteady mass of loose materials that could crumble at any moment? Sure, why not? "Do you see that shiny brass circle at the top? With the chain dangling from it? I think it's an old fob watch, and it would be perfect for about a billion different things." She gives Josie a hopeful smile.

Josie looks up at the pile again and then nods, "I see it." She thinks a moment, examining the pile, then, grinning, she steps forward and starts to climb up.

Hephaesta watches with her lip trapped between her teeth. She glances down to the mattress, and starts to maneuver it to be underneath Josie…just in case.

Josie continues up the side of the pile, placing a hand, then a foot, then another hand. A couple times, her footholds or handholds slip, sending stuff tumbling down, but she's extremely good at keeping her weight balanced on three points at all times. It's slow going, but she eventually gets high enough to grab the fob watch. She smiles triumphantly as she tucks it into a pocket and starts back down.

Hephaesta gives a little hop — punctuated by the mechanical rattle of her leg brace — clapping excitedly. "Brilliant!" she proclaims, then covers her mouth, remembering Josie's comment about distracting a climber.

There's no problem for Josie, though, in the distraction. She comes down much more easily than she went up, and she drops the last few feet just jumping off the pile and landing bouncily on the mattress below. She grins, pulling the watch from her pocket and offerng it to Phae.

Hephaesta beams proudly at Josie. "You're amazing! Thank you!" She collects the fob, cradling it tenderly in her hands. "Oh, this is perfect. It's even broken!" Which, apparently, is a good thing.

"I know," Josie answers the compliment with a giggle, but then more seriously adds, "Thanks." She bounces a couple times on the mattress before she hops off and says, "First time I ever climbed anything that loose."

"You did it far better than I ever have. Thank you again. You're very handy in here, you know." Hephaesta beckons her over to the clerk's desk, where she rings a bell for service. "You're going to Hogwarts soon, aren't you?"

Josie nods quickly as she follows Phae over to the desk, pausing to pick up a seemingly ordinary, unenchanted charm bracelet on the way past one of the piles. She quickly catches up again, though, and says, "Uh-huh. Can't wait! Gonna be brilliant."

"It's loads of fun. I love it there. I hope you get sorted into Ravenclaw. Then we can be house-mates." She gives Josie an endearing look, something almost sisterly.

Josie smiles, "That'd be fun." She pauses and adds, "But, we can be friends no matter what, right?" She looks at the bracelet as she says, "Dunno if I'm smart enough to get in Ravenclaw, everybody says that's for the smart kids and I've just barely learned to read."

Hephaesta smiles to the clerk when she arrives, offering up the fob for purchase, and pointing to the charm bracelet as well. "That, too." While the items are assessed and a price decided on, she shakes her head at Josie. "That's what everyone says. But if you already knew everything, why would you even need to go to school? Ravenclaw is for kids who want to learn. Besides, you seem clever enough to me. Though," her eyes go to the towering pile Jo had climbed, "You're brave enough to be a Gryffindor. You sure didn't seem scared yesterday in the malt shop."

Josie looks surprised as the charm bracelet is included, and she smiles, "Thanks." She puts it on her wrist then and shrugs, smiling, "Not scared of much. Except Boggarts. Don't ever wanna see another one of those."

Hephaesta winces, "Ah…well…maybe they won't include it in the curriculum by the time you get to that point." She shrugs sympathetically, remembering her own Defense Against the Dark Arts lessons involving a boggart. "Anyhow, of course we can be friends, no matter what house you're in. It was just…wishful thinking."

Josie blinks, "They teach them at school?" She bites her lip, then shakes her head, "Don't matter. Even if I'm scared, not gonna let that stop me. Gotta do good in school, if I'm gonna be anybody important after."

Hephaesta hands over the coins for the purchases, tucking the watch away in a pocket of her skirt. "Yep. You definitely sound like a Gryffindor." She giggles softly.

Josie shrugs again but smiles as she says, "Glad we'll still be able to be friends anyway, no matter what. And if I do get into Ravenclaw, it'll be even more fun!"

"I'm glad we're friends, Jo." I have so few…is what Phae doesn't say. She just reaches for Josie's hand to tug her out the door. "Do you want to see something really neat? We'll need a bottle of butterbeer, some fizzy candies, and a someplace we can make a mess…."

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