(1937-09-11) License, Then Lunch
Details for License, Then Lunch
Summary: Niamh runs into Gideon when she comes to the Ministry to renew the paperwork for her apothecary shop.
Date: September 11, 1937
Location: Atrium, Ministry of Magic then a Cafe

Ministry of Magic Atrium

This scepter shaped room starts with a long hallway floored in dark polished wood and lined with multiple gilded fireplaces placed between massive, arched brick work columns. People are constantly popping out or disappearing into these fireplaces through flashes of bright green flame. The hallway leads out into a round room in which center of which proudly stands a large golden sculptural fountain, a plaque at the fountain's base reads: Fountain of Magical Brethren. Before entering this room all guests and employees of the Ministry of Magic must pass through a set of golden gates where a security guard registers all magic wands. Once past the gate multiple lifts line the walls whisking people away to the various department on levels 1 through 9. The dark and gold color scheme is relieved by the ceiling, which is covered in a peacock blue mosaic over which unfathomable golden symbols travel randomly.

In the middle of the day, the atrium of the Ministry of Magic is bustled, with waves of witches and wizards sweeping past one another, going about their Very Important Business. Stepping out of an elevator, Inspector Gideon joins those throngs, though his intimidating gaze and imposing presence tend to cut a swath for him, as people move to get out of the Hit Wizard's way.

While Gideon may have a presence enough to part the Red Sea, Nia does not. There are times when she has to scoot sideways between two groups to make her way in the direction she believes she has to go. She's done this every year since getting the Apothecary, so why does it always seem like the first time? She's got a handful of papers folded away in a brown envelope, and every once in awhile, she has to take stock of where she is in relation to where she wants to be, so, very much like a prairie dog, she lifts onto her toes and cranes her neck to try and see over the crowds to the doors. Ah! Administration! And once getting her bearings, it's much easier to navig-

"Oh!" Okay, maybe not so much 'navigate' as 'bump of direction'.. literally. "Pardon.." which is followed by a blink of recognition for the man still off a bit. A smile springs to her face, reaching the eyes (who would actually smile at the Ministry?!), and she veers off course. "Inspector!"

Usually, when Gideon hears someone in the Ministry calling after him, he's inclined to ignore it. Typically, it is followed by Commissioner Ogden wants to see you, or Where do you think you're going? But that wasn't the voice of some Ministry official or lackey. "Miss O'Shea?" His eyes scan the mass of busybodies, but finally find those familiar, soft brown eyes. His brow crinkles curiously, and he moves toward her, nearly causing a passing courier to fall backward trying to avoid his path.

Now, if Nia knew those statements usually followed the hail, she'd have at least given him the business once, in the form of 'Where do you think you're going?'. Correctly identified (score one for the team!), she's on her way across, navigating successfully (for the most part). "Inspector," though this time, she doesn't have to shout anymore. "Aye.." and she swings around to set herself next to him rather than blocking the way. "G'day.." Beat. "Fancy meeting you here."

"I work here," Gideon explains plainly. Subtle teasing, it seems, is easily lost on him. "What brings you here? Is there some trouble?" Because of course she was coming to see him. Nevermind the numerous other departments in the Ministry.

Nia has to lean in slightly, searching those eyes to see if he's teasing her right back; the deadpan is perfect, and she's left uncertain. She looks heavenward briefly hoping for aid, but she takes it as she will, and smiles wider. "That's true.. and.." She bites her bottom lip. Now here's an opening that she can so easily walk through- but, there is the truth too. "I was dropping some papers off for the shop, but I was hoping I'd run in to you. It's why I didn't just use a goblin and came in myself." There. That is actually the god's honest truth. "And now that I have, I can assure you that all is well, but I wouldn't mind having someone to sit with at a late lunch?"

Gideon ponders for a beat. The last time a woman invited him to a meal, he nearly insulted her twice, and left on an awkward note. Still, this isn't exactly the same situation. "Lunch?" He looks toward the fireplaces leading out of the Ministry, then back to her, torn. "I'm supposed to…" …meet with a dangerous man and threaten him. Maybe this is a sign. "No, actually, lunch sounds brilliant."

Well, this is certainly not the same situation! Nia presses her lips together in a smile, her eyes lifting and waiting for an answer. She does follow his gaze towards the fireplace; he's got to Floo out, it seems, and is in the process of lifting a hand to offer a 'maybe later, then' with no hard feelings. The work of an Inspector is never done! When he changes his mind, however, and his attention comes back around, her expression brightens like Edison's incandescent bulb, and tilts her head in the direction of the fireplace. "Are you sure? Because I can always leave a pot of tea on.." meaning she'll keep it brewing into the night! "I won't be insulted.." but she is hanging on the decision that he's changeing his plans. "I just need to drop these off, and we can decide where.."

"I'm sure," he reassures her. "Come on, we'll get those handled in no time." He gestures toward the archway that reads Administration, and starts to cut a path through the crowds to lead her in.

Nia's a little forward and slips a hand in his so she won't get separated by the movement of people in the area. Besides, he's got the parting of the Red Sea down to a science, and she easily follows in the wake behind him. "Perfect.." and when they do get there, she'll simply pass off the paperwork, sign a couple of papers declaring that she is the one that shops for ingredients, attests to their quality; that she's the one who mixes the potions and distributes. Just in case there is question…

Gideon glances down to their joined hands with an(other) unreadable expression, but doesn't pause in his Moses act. While she gets her paperwork handled, he stands ominously behind her, giving the clerk a Terribly Serious Look that suggests Niamh's matters should be handled promptly and expediently. Once the bureaucratic fun is over, he again provides her a clear wake to follow him out. "I'd suggest Farin Braw for lunch…but I'd rather not subject you to Mr. Carmichael. What do you fancy?"

It's a very non-committal hand-hold! His hand is held loosely, and Nia finds that all the 'i's are dotted, 't's crossed reasonably quickly, and she's got her parchment declaring her an official wizarding business in good standing for another year. She smiles and turns about, lifting her head to look at Gideon, her brows rising. She catches some of the look, and it makes her bark a soft laugh. "It was fine.. we're good."

Her steps take her from the office once again, at the Inspector's side, a little behind him to catch the clearing- not to mention it's not a bad sight from her vantage! Once in a cleared spot, she takes an extra couple of steps to come along side. "I could say the 'Cauldron', but I've been there a lot lately. There aren't many take-outs in Diagon.. but wasn't there a new Italian place that opened?"

Gideon's feature tense at the suggestion of lunching at the Natrix, and a single word fills his mind: Montague.

Later, at a little Muggle café (not the Natrix Club)…

It's a nice little out of the way place that's been found. The cafe boasts proper English fare; fish and chips, steak and kidney pie, ploughman's lunches, and other items that threaten to clog up one's arteries- if one was artery-clogging conscious, that is. Thankfully, Nia isn't quite so much, and after the morning she's had in griding down fresh ingredients and putting some in emulsifiers, others into a distilling process to pull out impurities, and the like, AND stopping by the ministry, she's.. a little hungry and not so much worrying about the ol' ticker.

Seated at one of the tables, there's a tea pot sitting in the center, two tea cups facing up now, and Nia's got her sugar and cream in hers. It's sitting before her, but her hands are in her lap, her eyes gleaming as she looks across the table, her mouth quirked into a smile. "You're not going to get in trouble, are you?" She leans forward conspiratorially, "Your partner isn't going to hunt you down for something?" She's teasing, and the Irish lilt is in full form.

Gideon looks legitimately concerned, suddenly looking around. "Why? Did you spot him?" It takes a moment to realize that she's teasing, but he wouldn't be surprised if she was right, anyhow. He lets out a breath of relief as he lifts his cup for a sip. He doesn't have any whiskey on hand to properly flavour his tea, so he settles for a single dash of sugar, and nothing more.

Nia has taken notice of how the Inspector takes his tea, the information put away for later. "Hmm?" Her brows rise, and brings with it a broader smile. "No, he's not. At least," and here, she can't resist the urge to twist around and look towards the door, her breath in her throat. Whew.. nope. Turning back around, she has the courtesy to look apologetic. "Sorry about that.. I should learn," and she pretends to zip her mouth and hold the key in hand. Still, something like that doesn't help with conversation, and she realizes it reasonably soon after, so gestures as if she's unzipping her lips and exhales as if she couldn't breathe in suck a state. "So.." and she leans on the table, her eyes dancing, "I would ask about work, but I don't want you to talk about it. So.. what else do you like? Walks in the park? Catch a good .. game on the pitch?" Could be cricket! "Boat rides on the Thames?"

Gideon gives an arched eyebrow and a single chuckle to Niamh's breathless act. It seems her adorable charm can cause even the stony Scotsman's gruff exterior to waver. He ponders her questions for a few moments. This is getting into more personal territory. "I…work quite a bit." Way to blow her off, Gid. "But…there is a little pub where I go sometimes to play." Nice recovery!

"Oooo.. working quite a bit.." and Nia makes a soft *tchk* sound as she shakes her head, though her smile, her entire manner and mien doesn't change. She's not standing down, really. The fact there's a favourite pub, however, brings that exhalation of discovery. "I'm not good at darts, sadly.. or snooker." She is quite quick to add, "But I'm excellent about being part of a crowd to cheer?" Her smile broadens even further, "And I'm good at saying 'Another pint here!'.." But, really, Nia settles in to the topic. "I'm keen on gardening. Odd thing, sure.. so walks in the park are on my list of 'really like it'."

"Darts? Ah, right. I mean that-…" Gideon trails off, scratching his scruffy red beard. He regards her carefully with steely eyes, then leans in, seeming to make a decision. "When I say I play," he rephrases, keeping his voice quiet, for her only, "I mean the guitar. They've a little corner stage, and every Friday is Amateur Night."

Play? "Really?" Nia's tones take something of a breathy cadence. "Are you any good? I mean.. I didn't mean it quite like that, but.." And she tries again, her expression lighting, "I'd love to hear you play. And sing." Nothing like an invitation, right? She pauses for a moment; a bloke's pub, his haunt, is a sacred thing.. and there are times when no woman should cross that threshold. "If it's at all possible."

Gideon cants his head in that way that expresses uncertainty. "Good? I did say it was amateur night, right?" He gives a silent chuckle. "I'm not terrible. I'll say that much. But…" The moment of truth. Are you ready for this, Adamantus? "…that would be for you to judge for yourself, if you ever came down to The Dog & Bone."

"Well, I can't imagine you'd still be going to your pub if you sang like a.." Nia does remember where she is, and she lowers her voice, ".. troll. So, obviously either you're good, or you sing well in the even hours when people have had a few pints." She's teasing now. The invitation to the pub comes in a round about way; he could have given her the nebulous 'One day you may' response, but.. the identification of the man's home away from work.. that takes a proper lot of courage. It's that courage that she applauds, as it were, with another bright smile. Her eyes gleam in merriment, and her voice remains low- just for them. "One day I might.. on a given night that is suitable to you. I wouldn't want to catch you unawares." There, her declaration that his pub is still sacred ground.

Gideon gives the waitress a nod of thanks as she brings their food…and very nearly catches Niamh speaking of trolls, had she not caught herself. Sprinkling his chips with vinegar, he scoops up a bit of fish along with it, popping both into his mouth. He gives Niamh a solemn nod — appreciation of her respect for his haven. "You might give the regulars a shock at such a bonnie lass wandering in there."

Her food arrives; it's not very fancy- a meat pasty. Easy to eat, small enough, and neat enough. Nia cuts it with knife and fork, and with a nod to the waitress in thanks, digs in. "I'm starving.." She takes a bite, and finishes the morsel before her shoulders slump a little, her brows rising, and her mouth forming an 'Awww..' before, "Then you wouldn't have much time to sing and play. I'm sure I could keep them at bay, once they recovered from shock." She ducks her head, her smile turning cheeky, "Or will it be shock that Inspector Gideon's come into his pub with a bird?"

Gideon tucks his tongue into his tongue, giving her a slight smirk. "I'm sure they'd behave themselves. It's nae a very unruly place." He takes another bite, chewing and swallowing in momentary silence as he mulls over his words. "I'll be playing there tomorrow." And another mouthful. Apparently that's where he's leaving it for now.

"Not unruly?" Nia almost sounds disappointed. "And here, my brother always tells tales of pub brawls as an excuse for staying out for all manner of days.." She apparently doesn't hit 'real' pubs. Not often, anyway. She cants her head and nibbles delicately on her pasty, and when the next bite is finished, her fork and knife are lowered. "I don't think I've got anything planned, actually.." is given consideringly. She raises her utensils again to take on her pasty, even though she's certainly cheering inside!

Gideon shakes his head. "I dinnae go in for that sort of establishment. A pub should be a place where a man can have a pint and forget his troubles." Undoubtedly, the Hit Wizard gets his fair share of brawls and excitment in his everyday life. He gives her a steady gaze, but a much softer one than most receive. "So…perhaps I'll see you there, then."

Niamh finishes her bite, and setting her knife and fork aside, she reaches for her tea. Her eyes are smiling as much as her lips- what is it about 'When Irish eyes are smiling'? "Perhaps you will," and she takes the swallow of tea. It's a lovely banter, this back and forth; the pair putting things 'out there', and dancing around, but not frustratingly so. It's open, honest.. and a little scary! All in all, a pleasant meal, disturbed only by the time- one for the Inspector to attend that which he needs, and Nia.. to finish unpacking her shipments and organizing the new stock.

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