(1937-09-04) Clarity
Details for Clarity
Summary: Desperate for clues in the missing child case he's working, Gideon meets Niamh again, who gives him some sound advice.
Date: September 4, 1937
Location: Kilkenny Apothecary Shop
Related: Looking for Answers

Kilkenny Apothecary Shop

The store's interior is packed full of goods, with barrels of Purple Toad Warts, Flobberworm Mucus, Leech Juice and other large quantities of potion ingredients on the floor. Jars containing Knotgrass, Aconite, Newt Eyes, Ground Scarab Beetles, as well as other herbs, roots, and brightly-colored powders line the walls. Bunches of feathers, fangs, and claws hang from the ceiling. The combination of smells coming from all these different ingredients combine to create an overall stench of bad eggs and rotten cabbages that permeates every corner of the store.


It's evening, and the sun's going down on the city. The street's traffic is lessened, what with the time of day AND the fact that the kids have now all gone north, back to school. It gives the shopkeepers a blessing and a curse; the chance to breathe and restock, and.. the chance to breathe and restock. Means not quite as much revenue, but it's known.
Kilkenny Apothecary is still open, and Niamh is in the never ending battle of trying to keep the spoiled egg smell from overtaking the upstairs flat, or wandering out the door, though it has been considered that the scent might actually lure customers inside. Any way one can! She's lighting a touch of herbs in a ceramic plate, or rather lighting a candle under it, and adding some scent to the herbs, whistling as she does so.

Stepping out of Ulric's Malt Shoppe, Inspector Gideon growls out a frustrated sigh. How many more businesses to look into? Merlin knows where his so-called partner, Elijah Crane, had gotten off to. Undoubtedly sniffing strangers for clues. Gideon's blue-grey eyes settle on his next destination: Kilkenny Apothecary. Mustering up a shred of hope for a break in his case, he steps into the building, wincing at the suddenly overwhelming blend of aromas.

It's a reaction that always sets an apology to her lips, that wince.. but she simply can't help herself. "I'm sorry.." and she sounds genuine, even with the shrug that gives her shoulders a brief rise. "I haven't yet found anything that might make this less.." and she finds the positive in it all, "All fresh ingredients, though!" Once that's done, however, Nia makes the approach, her hands coming behind her back, her fingers linking loosely there. "Could I interest you in a nice slug parfait.. helps with dreams at night. Or.. fireflies.. that helps too, but," and here, her brows knit briefly on that animated face, ".. in a slightly different way.."

Gideon gives a slight shake of his head, removing his hat as Niamh approaches. "Thank you, no. I'm not shopping." He takes a moment, examining her features. "You might remember me from earlier today, at the Leaky Cauldron. Inspector Gideon."

Absolutely, she does! But, it's nice to have a personal introduction, rather than something shouted for general consumption. Nia smiles, and her expression lights, "A pleasure, Inspector Gideon. I'm Niamh O'Shea.." Canting her head, she stands there for a moment, before a thought occurs to her, and makes her jump in the realization. "Oh.. I have something of yours. The hologram.." Putting a finger up, she's on the move, "I've got it.."

Gideon arches an eyebrow? "Hologram?" Confused, he wanders after her. "Miss…I'm here about the boy I mentioned before. I know he's come to Diagon Alley, and I need to know if anyone matching his description may have come into the shop recently."

Nia slows as she goes behind the counter, and ducks underneath briefly, taking out a hologram picture that was dropped at the Cauldron. Her brows knit in confusion as well as she sets the pic on the counter. "This?" Leaning with her elbows on the counter now, taking care not to spill some of the contents of shallow bowls, she rests her chin on her knuckles. "I honestly haven't seen him. I've got a couple back rooms, but they're usually locked. I still think he's gone North to school because the term started."

Gideon picks up the photograph with a sigh of relief. From the picture, young Dorian Bosworth waves emphatically, speaking to someone off camera. "Like a fool, I dropped this. Thank you. But no, he's not at Hogwarts. As I said, the school was notified, and they noted his absence as well."

Pressing her lips together in a fine line, Niamh exhales slowly before she shifts her lips to the side in thought. A soft *ttt* sound comes next before she shakes her head, and she levels her gaze to his own, pausing a moment to look at him before, "Do you think they'd notify you if they thought they could handle the problem themselves for the boy? Without getting the Ministry involved?" Her voice is soft, "But, I couldn't begin to imagine where he'd be. Potions is noplace for a kid.. certainly not before fourth year." Even if she played with them.. quite a bit earlier!

Gideon frowns at the thought. "I'm sure Headmaster Dippet wouldn't dare obstruct an Ministry investigation. It certainly wouldn't be doing the boy any good if he did." He rubs his neck in an gesture of exhaustion, the bags under his eyes showing how little sleep he's gotten on this case. "You're certain you haven't seen him? With all the children about shopping for school, he could have been a face in the crowd. He'd likely have a bruise or a black eye." He's asked before, but desperation is growing.

Niamh looks.. disappointed that she can't be more help, and coming out from around the back of her counter, she moves close to Gideon as she passes by. "I'm .. mostly certain. But, I do have something for you.." Twisting her head around, she's looking at the Inspector even as her hands are pulling things down off her shelves. "Let me make you something.. and before you say 'no', it's a clarity potion, with a touch of sleeping draught. So, it's important you sleep in order to pay attention to your dreams." Turning back around, she's murmuring the names of the bits and pieces that will be going into said potion, her voice conversationally loud. "Nothing more than something to help you look back on the past few days.. or however long, and let you look at those memories again, without emotion. Maybe something'll hit you.. something missed?"

Gideon's brow creases skeptically. "Without emotion? That's not how I operate. Gut feeling is a large part of the job, Miss…I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name."

Nia looks.. almost crestfallen. She'd introduced herself, and he'd forgotten, or rather, wasn't paying attention! Recovering quickly, she finishes pulling the items from the shelf, and her brows rise in curiousity. "But, what happens if you're attached to one thought, and let something else pass because of the emotion on it?" Carrying all the bits back to the counter, she gets out her mortar and pestle from beneath and before she begins to grind, introduces herself again. "Niamh O'Shea." She doesn't begin the process yet, however, adding, "I hear it all the time, being a girl and all. I linger on the things that are emotional to me, and don't hear the things I aught.. so my mum says."

Gideon repeats the name, "Niamh O'Shea…you did tell me that already." Obviously, she isn't wrong about being so focused on one thought that he misses details. "I'm sorry. It's this case. The boy's been missing for ten days. It's rare to recovery a missing child after even two days. I just…" He doesn't finish the thought, pinching his lips, wearing his harrowing like a mask.

"I'm really sorry I didn't do quite as well in Divination now.." Nia offers, and remarkably, it's not really a joke. She's.. upset, actually, but for a multitude of reasons. She hasn't seen the boy, doesn't know where he is, the Inspector is tearing his heart out (and his gut) looking for leads, and hasn't gotten any sleep, and, well.. his partner is a loon. Nia begins the work on the potion.. first the dry ingredients, then one dropper here, a stopper there.. and then some filtered water in which to mix the concentrate. "Inspector Gideon?" Her words are almost a whisper, "I'll do what I can do, and what I can do is help you sleep and maybe focus your thoughts.. which getting rest." She hands over a corked bottle now, "For you.. and I'll put a word out with my brother. He's a medic in town. If he's heard anything, I don't know.. but you really never know?"

Gideon nods slowly, taking the bottle with minimal reluctance. "Thank you, Miss O'Shea." Deep down, he knows she's right. Just like Crane has been right. Gideon hasn't been sleeping, and it's been affecting his ability to work the very case that has him up at nights. If anything has happened to that boy…he frowns at the idea, swallowing down the sense of guilt.

"Nia.. if you please." Those words come out rather quickly, and she takes a deep breath, making sure that they're not taken back! "And good.. I'm glad you'll take it with you." Now, her practicality is truly showing, and she invites, "Do you have many more to visit, or can you stay for a quick cup of tea? Just to relax you a little?" She gestures towards the potion, "You can have a dram before that.. or tea. Won't make a difference to what I've put in there for you."

Gideon looks to the door, eyes penetrating to the alley beyond. "I…that's very kind of you to offer. But I should be going. Still more shops to look into before they all close." His normally stern gaze softens in apology.

"How about this, then.." Nia begins, "You go and check on the other shops, and I'll keep a light on, and I'll have some tea for you." She holds her hands up briefly, and offers a genuinely warm smile. "Then, I'll make sure you get home safe and sound?" Beat. "Okay?"

Gideon is accustomed to the perks of being a law enforcement official. Businesses tend to offer free services and goods rather often. But he's been reading people long enough to see that there is something more genuine about this young lady; this isn't a play to get on the law's good side. "You're generous to offer. I don't want to put you out. The truth is, I don't know how long I'll be out there."

Nia comes back to the other side of her counter and leans on it, her forearms and elbows on the countertop, her gaze settled on the tired Inspector, her soft Irish lilt in full effect. "I have a lot of work to do down here. And I only live upstairs. The worst that can happen is that I leave a pot of tea on the doorstep with a note. The best that can happen is that you get your things done for the night, I get my things done, and we both have a cup of tea." She pauses and nods towards the draught in his hand. "And you will have to do things for the night and be done in order to use that. And I really hope it helps, but if nothing else? It's another part of the investigation."

A hint of a smile beings to manifest on Gideon's dour lips. How can he argue with that? "Alright," he nods, acquiescing. "But please don't be offended if I cannae return promptly." He takes some wearing down, but it seems there is a human being under that tough-as-nails exterior.

A bright smile comes at the agreement, and Nia rises from her lean, her eyes gleaming. "There, not so hard?" She shakes her head, and now straight, makes an 'x' across her chest. "Promise. And I promise to keep your tea warm." She pauses, "How do you like it? Cream and sugar like the rest of London?" Beat. "Biscuits on the side with jam or clotted cream?"

Gideon chuckles softly, holding up a hand. "Nothing fancy, Miss, unless you're keen on slipping that dram into it." He gives her a polite nod, placing his fedora back into his head, and giving the brim a slight tug to pull it down toward his brow. "Thank you for your help."

"I might be, then, Inspector," Nia responds with a smile, her eyes gleaming with the humour. "I'll see you later.. and you be well." That last bit is offered with a great deal of sincerity; not just words. "You're very welcome." Coming back around, she's ready to walk him to the door, just those few steps into the evening's air.

As he steps outside, Gideon turns to give Niamh another nod, touching his fingers to the brim of his hat. Then he turns, moving on through Diagon Alley, slowly fading into the gathering mists.

The following morning, Niamh finds an empty teapot on the shop stoop, along with a note: Thank you for the tea, and especially for the advice. —Gideon

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