(1937-09-11) Hit Me With Your Best Shot
Details for Hit Me With Your Best Shot
Summary: Ministry workers relieve their professional troubles at the Leaky Cauldron.
Date: 11 Nov 1937
Location: Leaky Cauldron
Related: None

Leaky Cauldron London
Tue Sep 11, 1937 ((Tue Sep 11 03:50:35 2012)) (E,4 NE)

It is a summer night. The weather is hot and stormy.

This cramped, angular room is the taproom of the Leaky Cauldron. A long bar runs along one side of the room, plain wooden stools set out before it. Smoke from pipes and candles fills the air. The patrons of this curious little bar, many of them elderly, sit hunched over their mugs at the tables. Waitresses bustle back and forth bearing trays of food and mugs of ale. Many of the people seem strangely out of place, dressed in cloaks and floppy hats, it almost seems as if you've stumbled into another century. Notably absent is any modern muggle devices or electric lighting, or any sign of electricity at all. Still, the occasional muggle does find their way in here, usually declaring it to be 'quaint' and 'atmospheric'.


It's a warm, rainy night in London, and the Leaky Cauldron seems to be unusually busy - packed, in fact. Patrons have crowded into the tiny establishment, filling it with bodies, smoke, and quite a lot of noise. A tall, thin, long-haired man has managed to grab a seat at the bar - there are still several left in a corner - where he's lined up several empty martini glasses (and from the looks of it, at least a beer or two, as well). He's currently tapping on the bar-top in a bid for the attention of the bartender.

And like an abandoned mut, a sopping wet Cooper walks in frumpled and a mess with worry plaguing her furrow brow. Despite the crowd and the fact that her head seems somewhere else, she weaves easily through the net of people. It could perhaps be her size or it could also perhaps be the eased way in which she moves her limbs and effectively parts people with little disturbance. Combing her hair back with her hands she flops onto the barstool next to Magnus and observes him tapping for a minute with a miserable expression on her face before she calls out to the bartender, "Geraldine." And the witch hears her instantly, moving closer to take their orders to which Cooper says, "Something strong, please. It's been a long day. Oh…and…also whatever this man here wants. He's been tapping, open your ears."

Cooper is busy running her hands over her face with both elbows on the bar top while Geraldine takes their orders and shuffles away. And because of this, she doesn't notice him much up until he offers his hand. "Genevieve Cooper, monsier. Merci beaucoup," she shakes it, and despite her rather strong French she doesn't sound too glad to meet him as she said she did. Though she continues the dialogue in the foreign language, "You speak well. You must not be from here."

Magnus shakes Cooper's hand - although he also raises it to his lips and kisses it very briefly. They /are/ speaking French, after all. Since he's currently bereft of a martini, conversation will have to do - at least until the bartender gets him his drink. "You're too kind, Miss Cooper. I'm from London, in fact - but I spent nearly a decade in l'Hexagone. But your French is excellent." He grins, and sits up a bit, brushing a few long strands of hair back from his face. "If you don't mind my saying - perhaps I should have bought you two drinks, Miss Cooper. You look like you've had a hell of a day."

The affectionate gesture convinces Cooper for a second that he actually is a foreigner. That is, until he clarifies his true originals. "A decade. Oh so practically -are- French then," she's surprised yet totally impressed. Though she doesn't stop talking in the language, seeing this as a fine opportunity to practice. Her eyes follow the collection of martini glasses though and she asks, "Are these yours?" Geraldine comes back to serve them their drinks, and indeed fulfilled Cooper's order: a straight glass of rum, no ice no frills. "Well when you almost set your boss and his office on fire, I'd say yes that would be quite the hell of a day. Recommend any stronger remedies rather than two drinks?"

"Well, perhaps I qualify here, but they never did stop teasing me about my British accent - they are so very /French/, after all," Magnus says wryly, leaning back in his stool and grinning as their drinks arrive. He picks his glass up gingerly - clearly, he's already had plenty - and takes a small sip. "Oh, yes - all mine. I thought my day was pretty bad… although I can't say I set my boss on fire. Pity, though, it would have been pretty entertaining if I had." Laughing, he leans over with the good-natured bravado of someone who's had a bit too much to drink, close enough to nearly brush his lips against her ear (if she doesn't move, anyhow). "Well, in Paris, they do say kissing a complete stranger is a cure-all for awful days." Then he's straightening up again, glancing at her from the corner of an eye and smirking. "Of course, they're French. What does someone who sets their boss on fire do for a living, Miss Cooper?"

"Ahh so scrutinizing aren't they? Never understood why the French were so in love with themselves," Cooper nods and toasts to that, taking a sip of her rum. It results in a scrunched up cringe on her face as the liquid burns down her throat. She wiggles a bit when he gets too close to her ear, a hand going on his shoulder more to halt him than to really shove him away. "I believe I have some catching up to do if I were to try that treatment. You are clearly way ahead of me," of course her head is turned to meet his when she speaks to him. Her face is perhaps dangerously close to his now. And it remains so when she says, "That kind of person is an auror, monsieur." Her lips curve into a smirk after that. Perhaps that'll send a clearer signal of how close he should tarry.

It's a busy night in the Cauldron - very busy, in fact, for this normally drowsy establishment. People are clustered tightly about, and all of the tables seem to have been occupied already. Near the end of the bar, Magnus is seated next to Cooper; there are still a couple of stools left open, for the time being. "Oh, it's just that they're terminally French. Don't hold it against them." He smiles, only raising his glass slightly to her reply. "Madamoiselle, I am /far/ ahead of you. It's been a long evening." He takes another slow sip of his martini, and then arches his brows slightly when she names her profession. "Ah - you are a credit, Miss Cooper. I have been nearly killed by Dark Wizards three times in the last two years - of course, not in this country, but still - may I say that I very much appreciate you for what you do?" He smiles, and raises his glass. "To the law of this good country."

Elly takes a moment to breath, it's a very good thing she's a witch, this sort of crowd would be the end of a muggle without magic to make the job more manageable. Elly is a fine reader of body language and so as she comes down the bar to do the courteous check in with the customers she's giving the fellow lady a 'want me to get the frying pan?' expression. The Dooderidge Women are known for their keen hand with a frying pan upside a cheeky man's noggin. "Get ye loverlies anytin else? A Pep Up Potion maybe?" It's a wonderful potion really. It tastes good too! One dose of Pep up, and for example a gent who's 'way ahead' can be reinvigorated and get sobered up. Many people use the potion so that they can sober up and start drinking all over again.

Ah the desired effect she intended, for the most part at least. Cooper raises her glass of rum as well, "To the law. And you're welcome." With a grin she takes another painful few sips of the drink before putting it back down and wiping her upper lip. His tidbit of near deaths certainly makes her ears perk and head tilt with curiosity. "Three times? What business do you have dealing so closely with Dark Wizards that your life is that much at risk?" she observes him up and down. She'd know if he was in MLE. And she's -supposed- to know if he's important, but she hasn't gotten through the Auror's directory of important figures just yet. "Are you someone's son?" she guesses.
But when Elly steps up she gives the woman a grin and says, "I'm quite all right. Thank you." This time it's said in English. "Though perhaps you'll need an energy potion this evening, Elly. I'm surprised you can even get through this crowd."

Despite Magnus's rather, uh, 'advanced' state, he declines Elly's offer with a laugh. "Thank you, but then I'd just have to get drunk all over again, wouldn't I?" His smile curls into a smirk, and he turns so that he can watch Cooper thoughtfully for a moment. In spite of the alcohol, his eyes look quite somber. "Well - I'd tell you, Miss Cooper, but then what would your excuse be, when you wanted to investigate me further?" Without much of a pause, he glances at Elly and clanks his martini glass on the bar, somehow managing not to spill it. "Elly! Pardon me, I'm eavesdropping, but I quite like that name - Elly, what's a good shot? Give one to my friend Miss Cooper here, and one for yourself as well, should you like. Everyone needs to bloody catch up."

"When I wanted to…," Cooper looks confused for a moment, her glass still up at her lips. It takes her a minute to understand the innuendo but her eyes close and she sighs once she puts two and two together. "It might be the alcohol, but a decade in France definitely made you one of them," she sips some more. It's unclear whether her words are a compliment or meant to be derogatory. Her eyes widen suddenly at the word 'shot' and she shakes her waves her glass around frantically saying, "I'm already drinking one big shot, aren't I? I don't know if one is a good idea." Leaning against the bar she observes, "By the looks of your level, you seem like you had a harder day than me. What'd you do that tops nearly burning your boss?"

Elly gives Magnus a warm sunny smile, "Well just make sure you remain on your best behavior." She wags a playful finger at him and then winks at Cooper. "Some make it more of a challange than others, when ye have been doing this long as I have ye learn how to navigate." Three shot glasses are placed on the bar and then filled with a flourish with firewhiskey. The middle one is taken by the wench and clinked one way and then the other against Magnus and Cooper. "To yer health!" Then she shoots the drink back and proves that doing this as long as she has most certainly has affected her ability to drink things down without a flinch. She tilts her head back to exhales a plume of smoke with a sweet impish smile.

Laughing, Magnus takes another small, careful sip of the vodka. "Well, madamoiselle, I also spent nearly a decade in Germany - though I daresay I didn't pick up their brusque habits. Or at least I hope not." He smiles; when Elly places their shots on the bar he gives a little bow and laughs. "Our health! Miss Cooper, come now, you are an officer of the law. I hope that also includes the laws of common courtesy." Winking, he lifts the shot to his lips and drains it, then sets the empty glass on the bar. "Ah! Well, it's not so much what I do as what I used to do - because that's what I'd rather be doing now, if you follow." He peers at his glass and smiles at Elly. "Lovely drink. Thank you, Elly."

Cooper's eyes narrow with interest in the mention of Germany. "Brusque habits?" she questions in German, which unlike her strong French is perfect and fluent. Another grimace is made though when the shots are placed before her. It really wasn't just a concept they were throwing around. This was serious. So after rubbing her face one last time, she picks up the glass gives a timid 'A votre sante' and downs the firewhiskey. Contrary to Elly's elegant exhale, Cooper coughs out a couple clouds of smoke in the opposite direction. "Godddd Elly," she rasps out before clearing her throat. "Is that something you learned to do along with navigating?"
And with a resentful look she says to Magnus, "I hope you're happy." She even turns around to chase it with her rum, and although it burns as well its certainly more soothing than -that- poison. Luckily, she's sober enough to still follow and then asks, "What did you used to do then? And what do you do now that's so terrible."

Elly gives a little curtsy to Magnus, "Very welcome." Then from behind the bar she pulls out two little potion vials. The glass is in the shape of an arrow pointing up, the flued in the top of the vial where the triangle is is a pretty purple, while the liquid in the stem is pearly white. Drinking the liquid down is when the two potions combine and the exhilarating sobering effect is like drinking a hundred energy drinks in one small dose. (5 Hour Energy eat your heart out.) "On the house. Get ye two anything else? My Venison with Cranberries is the special tonight." She makes a gesture with eyes, expression and hand towards the packed house. Seems it's a local favorite her Venison with Cranberries. "Ye'll find I'm a girl of many talents." Cheeky little cockney! It's her answer to Cooper's questioning of the things she's learned.

For his own part, Magnus seems to be handling the firewhiskey surprisingly well - though that's probably largely due to the help of the other umpteen drinks he's had already. "Oh, very happy," He drawls, still smirking. "You are a very curious person, Miss Cooper. I suppose it goes hand in hand with the whole auror bit, though." He sloshes his martini back and forth a few times, letting the effects of the firewhiskey settle in slowly. "Tell you what. It'll cost you one more shot to find out." The man smiles winningly, then pokes a finger cautiously towards the weird vials that Elly has set out. Clearly, he doesn't trust them. He lets his gaze settle on the bartender. "Well, Elly - what do you think? One more round, if the young lady should prove so curious, and another for yourself as well? You decide."

Elly puts her hands on her hips with a chuckle. "I think that the shot she should order - if ye are playing pound for pound is that we have a round of Pep-Ups so the lady knows what's coming out of your mouth is nae drunken drivel." A wink is offered to the man and she unstoppers the vials, "To your sanity." Is now toasted quite playfully before she excuses herself to wander off and it's like watching a ballet as the wench skirts about the crowd.

That light pink flush on Cooper's cheeks is unmistakeable. The hard liquors are beginning to mix themselves inside her tummy and filter on to the rest of her body. However, she seems pretty coherent when she says, "A decade in two different countries would spur some questions in anything, Herr Troy." Again in her fluent German. But groan is given when the dreaded 's' word is said once more. Her eyes brighten up with a tricky smile though when Elly proposes some Pep-Up shots. "That is a very good proposal Elly," she tries to tell the witch only to find that she's gone off. "The potion is a solid idea, but I'm also aware that alcohol could be a fairly effective veritaserum sometimes. Regardless, it doesn't matter. If you are who you say you are, I can easily find out everything about you tomorrow if I cared enough." So she thinks, at least that's what her smug and slightly buzzed smirk seems to say.

"Undoubtedly," Magnus mutters, though he follows it up with a smile. Although Elly departs too rapidly to grant either of their requests - all's the more pity - he sighs and raises his glass to her anyway. "To our sanity, then. As good a toast as I ever heard." Well, the firewhiskey is doing its work by now - not a drink he's used to having - and he glances sidelong at Cooper and grins. "Well, I believe you could, Miss Cooper. Aurors are notoriously paranoid, after all, and for good reason. Of course, you wouldn't find anything terribly interesting, I daresay, since everything I do is public knowledge." He leans closer - not quite as close as before, but close enough - and traces her smirk a few inches from her face. "Not that there aren't things about me that /aren't/ public knowledge. How diligent of a detective are you, madamoiselle?"

Elly gives a little gasp when she gets a swat to the bum while she's bending over a table to clean it up as several large men that look like mine workers make to take their leave. After the gasp Elly seems well enough in taking it with a swat back of her own. "Cheeky devil! Now promise your Elly that ye won't let them Goblins work ye too hard?" They all promise and seem to be regulars enough that Elly gives them a kiss to the cheek and then swats to the rumps from the wench herself to send them on their way. Then it's with a stack of plates, bowls, silverware, and napkins that's tall as she is balanced in one hand all in one tall tower stack does she bustle back to the kitchens to deposit the dirties.

Cooper's bright blues glance down at those tracing fingers and then back over at Magnus, thinking on those last words a bit. She's no longer sure if he's drunkenly hitting on her or if there's some reality behind his words. Still, she takes a mental note to look into it in the morning. "So you -are- someone rather important. I don't seem rather like a rather diligent detective if I can't even recall you based on name," she admits casually with a shrug, "No matter, I always catch up even if I'm late in the game." And to that she takes a sip of her rum, her level of inebriation is also upping her tolerance of the bitter drink since she doesn't wince this time. "I'm sure I'll find something of interest that you've gotten hidden beneath it all," she looks smilingly back at him as she reaches out to straighten his collar, thumb touching the skin of his neck if he doesn't flinch before hand.

Magnus grins, obviously enjoying the auror's consternation, to some degree. Probably to a large degree. "Well, that's quite flattering, madamoiselle, but I think it's rather telling that you don't know who I am - I can't be that important, then, can I?" He grins, then pauses, holding quite still as she reaches out to touch his collar and then his neck. He smiles, his eyes locking on hers, and shudders slightly. He reaches out for her other hand, and should she allow it, lifts it to his lips again. "I do hope you'll try, Miss Cooper." Slowly, he gets to his feet. Balance is something to strive for in his condition, and it's going to be quite a long walk home.

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