(1937-09-13) An Interesting Evening
Details for An Interesting Evening
Summary: A seemingly mundane evening in Diagon Alley turns out to have a few surprises up it's sleeve.
Date: 09-13-1937
Location: Diagon Alley
Related: A Spark of Sanity Och, Piss in your Tea

Southwest Diagon Alley Diagon Alley
Thu Sep 13, 1937 ((Thu Sep 13 21:53:51 2012)) (A,3)

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

Diagon Alley is the largest collection of Wizarding businesses in the United Kingdom so it is no wonder that people always come here for their shopping needs. Especially just before school starts this crooked little alleyway is filled to the brink with people, vendors and even a few charlatans.
The buildings in the area shimmer a bit in the summer's rainstorm, only the passages under their eaves spared a shower and left dry. The street ahead reflects the cloudy sky above, puddles scattered about the surface and gentle drops adding to the overall wetness.
At this western side of the diagonal alley notably the hodgepodge buildings that lean at precarious angles over the alley are numerous shops of all sorts, shapes, and sizes. A fancy shop looms right beside another shop that's so rickety it leans against the nicer shop. Tall numerous leveled buildings make the bare little lot beside it seem all the more empty. This sort of whimsical mismatchedness continues to crook off to the northeast towards the central area of Diagon Alley.

Elijah sits quietly on a bench all by his lonesome. He's back in his usual garb, even the long, black coat. Unusual for how hot and humid it is, but it doesn't seem to be bother the inspector. He's currently knitting and humming some tune softly to himself.

The door to The Magical Menagerie opens, Veruca stepping out into the warm day and pulling it shut behind her before any of the creatures within might escape. She pauses a moment, brushing her skirt off briskly with one hand, her purse clutched in the other hand. About to go on her way, her eye is caught by the familiar face of the inspector on the nearby bench. Her eyes fall on his busy fingers for a moment, before she offers, "Good evening, Inspector Lovegood."

Elijah continues looping fabric over the needles and assembling something as he looks up at her, peering over his sunglasses to get a better look, "Ah, Veruca. Lovely to see you again. I'd tip my hat if I weren't pre-occupied." He flashes her a warm smile and looks back down at his project.

Veruca watches the wizard a moment, intrigued by what he might be making, before she steps closer. Her heels click lightly on the cobbles of the alley as she moves, her movement unhurried. "It's the thought that counts," she remarks as to his inability to hat-tip. She stops within an arm's length, and asks curiously, "And what might you be making today?"

Elijah looks up at the woman again and says, "Isn't it, though?" He smiles and looks back down, shrugging a bit, saying, "I have no idea really. Perhaps some sort of small blanket. A mouse could use it."

Dark eyes shift from the needles to Elijah's head. Or hat, really, since she's standing above him, more or less, and his attention is down. "Interesting." An MLE wizard that knits small blankets… for mice. She's heard more daft things in her life. "Do you mind if I sit?" The bench isn't big, but there looks to be room for one more to sit comfortably.

Elijah pauses and looks up at her, looking her up and down. After a moment he nods and pats the bench, "Please, have a seat." He quickly slides the tiny blanket and needles away into his coat and rests his hands on his knees.

Veruca regards him back evenly as she gets the once-over from the inspector, then moves to sit as he pockets his handiwork. "You needn't stop, if you'd like to go on with your blanket making," she observes, crossing one leg over the other. Her skirt hikes up a bit, but she pays it no mind. "I would hate for a mouse to go cold tonight because I interrupted you."

Elijah unintentionally rests his eyes on the newly revealed part of Veruca's leg, but quickly looks away, adjusting his glasses to sit higher, "I find it to be a great exercise in calming the nerves. I feel my nerves may soon become too calm. That's dangerous." He loosens his ascot a little bit and looks back to her.

The fleeting thought passes through Veruca's mind that she could surely jangle the inspector's nerves up a bit. It brings a half smile to her lips. "Mmm, yes, someone in your position would need to stay sharp, I would imagine." She would imagine a lot of things, actually. As Elijah raises his hand to adjust his ascot, Veruca watches it, then raises her eyes to his face.

Elijah returns his hands to his legs and looks over at her, "Mmm, indeed. Must stay vigilant in the face of all adversity. Yes." He nods assuredly and says to her, "How are things at Macnair? Lots of manufacturibg goinh on, I assume?"

Veruca unclasps her purse, withdrawing a silver cigarette case. With her thumb she eases it open, revealing the tidy, white line of it's contents, slips one out with her fingers and casually holds it toward Elijah in offer. "There is indeed, Inspector Lovegood. Nearly night and day, always something going on. But things are going well, in fact. Already starting the planning for the holiday festivities." Yes, it's early, but Veruca believes in planning ahead and being prepared. Usually.

Elijah gladly accepts the cigarette and slides it between his lips, a lighter appearing in his hand. He lights it quickly and waits to light Veruca's before putting it away. "I don't think I've ever really looked into what you make." He shrugs at this and says, "Never too early to make a plan."

The tip of Veruca's cigarette flares bright red, her hand again lightly touched to Elijah's for a moment. Her fingers drop, sliding softly over the back of his hand, and she exhales smoke with her words, "It will be my first Christmas planning for Macnair, so I'm keen to have it go well." She licks her lips before taking another drag on the cigarette, watching a very tall, very thin wizard disappear into the cauldron shop.

Elijah almost commented on the lingering touch, but then he noticed the man as he notices everything else always…and says to the woman seated next to him, "Someone you know?" He takes a drag from his cigarette, looking forward into the street. He dusts a bit of ash off of his pants and looks down at the ground.

Veruca glances at Elijah, then turns her head slightly, seeing his gaze is elsewhere. "Not really. Seen around some." The cigarette is drawn on again, a snake of smoke drifting upwards as she holds it with her elbow crooked, shortly releasing the smoke from her lungs in a stream blown away from the inspector's face. "Do you know his name and occupation?" she asks.

Elijah accesses that eidetic memory of his, visualizing the man and all other people associated with him before saying, "Michael Cunningham. Low-level enforcer for the Montague's. Few cases of B and E. Some extortion. Not worth my time." He takes a short drag from the cigarette, flicking the ashes from it.

Veruca's eyes remain on Elijah, studying his profile as he rattles off the details. There's something fascinating about the man's ability to store and recall information, his attention to things, and she says nearly that. "That's impressive, Inspector. Is it an ability you've always had?"

Elijah nods to her and says, "Very nearly. Used it a lot during my school years. I was picked on a great deal, being a Ravenclaw, y'know. I would learn things about the bully's family life and use it against them. Whether they were from an unconventional househouse, or their mother was an alcoholic prostitute. Things of that nature. Made a lot of bullies cry."

A half turn has Veruca more facing her companion on the bench, her arm moving to rest comfortably on the slat back. The movement shifts her skirt again, and brings her knees near to brushing against Elijah's own. "And is that why you went into law enforcement," she asks, finding herself actually interested in the answer. The cigarette meets her lips once more, before it is flicked to pop softly away.

Elijah looks down at her leg as it comes close to his and swallows before clearing his throat, "Uh…yes. I wanted to make sure that once those bullies grew up and persued their lives of crime, that I would be there to stop them. No mean professors to hold me back now. Can't get in trouble for breaking a few arms anymore."

His last words bring full on amusement dancing into Veruca's dark eyes, and a smile to curve red lips. "Your supervisor condones such things?" she asks, her fingers drumming lightly on the top board of the bench back.

Elijah smirks over at her and says, "My supervisor doesn't find out about such things." He takes a final drag from his cigarette and tosses it down to the ground. It's one of Veruca's so it disappears after a few moments. He dusts his hands off and looks over at her, "So, what is it that you like to do, Miss Veruca?"

Veruca sits on a bench next to Elijah, turned to be more facing the wizard than the street in front of them, one bent arm resting on the bench's back. She pauses at his question, the smile on her lips taking a crooked cant as she regards him. A shift to get more comfortable bumps her knee into his lightly, briefly. "Many things, Inspector. Going out to a nice dinner, to a club, to the theater. Sometimes, staying in." She looks away from him then, her attention again drifting to a passerby.

Elijah nods at her and says, "Those all sound like a lovely time. You'll have to get me to escort you at some point. Not to the clubs, of course." He nearly shudders at the thought of people dancing around together. He jerks his head slightly in the direction of the passerby, saying, "Eleanor Jennings. Avid reader of detective novels. Saw her in the library one day."

The offer… was it an offer?… is considered for a moment. "I think that would make for an interesting evening, Inspector Lovegood. I shall make sure to do so. And no clubs," Veruca promises lightly. A little disappointing, the dancing may well have been interesting too. Her eyes shift to the woman Elijah indicates, watching her progress down the alley, not commenting but again left thoughtful by the wizard's recall.

A loud popping noise proceeds the apparition of a Wizard who comes into existance in the intermediate space between Veruca and Eleanor Jennings as the latter walks by down the street, completely unnoticed. The Apparating gentleman is well dressed in a cleaned and pressed black suit with white undertones right down to a neatly folded pocket square in the pocket right near his left lapel. His walking stick is held out to the side, pressing solidly against the ground. Bannon Benjamin Bryson Bates, Auror Extraordinaire, stands stock still for a few moments until he hunches over, holding his midsection. His face takes on a mask of calm acceptance, merely waiting the stab of pain out before he straightens up again. He turns his attention outward now, looking around and getting his bearings.

Camilla is outside the Magical Menagerie, hooting with one of the owls in 'conversation' as she checks him over. Gently using her finger to pet aside the feathers to try to get a look at the owl's skin. She smiles to the bird and chitters on at it as she dabs her fingers into an ointment jar and gives it a careful rubbing in. But it's about then that Auror apparates and after she realizes who it is, that red banded bowler making quick work of it has her smiling, then frowning seeing his discomfort. "Bannon?" She moves to close the distance quickly and forgetting herself in her worry she reaches to place a hand on his sleeve. A rather still ointment sticky hand at that.

Elijah smiles over at the woman and says, "It's a date, then." He clears his throat and looks away, pretending he didn't say anything. He's about to change the subject when a wild Auror appears! He flinches a little bit at the sudden entrance of a new person to the street, but calms himself rather quickly. He peers at the man and then at his hunching over, saying, "You'll want to get some ointment for that, Bannon. Can't have an Auror walking around in pain."

It's no longer the famed and fabled Eleanor Jennings in Veruca's line of sight, but a man. Interesting. Still, Veruca's eyes dart briefly to Elijah, before returning to the newly appeared man. Camilla's voice draws attention there, and she watches the woman approach the apparent Auror, registering Elijah's words even as she watches the scene unfold with interest but without comment yet.

Bannon seems to have just gotten his bearings when Camilla walks up to him. He looks towards her for a moment, his lips curling at the left corner before he responds to the touch, "I assure you that I'm quite alright, Agent Grey." He straightens up fully, looking over towards Elijah. A spark of curiousity alights in Bannon's face as he replies, "How familiarly you address me, Inspector Lovegood. People will talk." He then waves his walking stick non-challantly, "Anyway, ointment is not required, I assure you. Nor is it a cultural mandate not to have an Auror walking around in pain, though I quite wish it were." He turns his attention to Veruca, "Madam." He reaches up, taking the tip of his hat between his thumb and forefinger.

Camilla's eyebrows arch up. 'Agent Grey'…'Agent Grey'…blast him and his gentlemanly decorum! She just stares at him from that point on in a 'Really? Really!? manner. "Glad you are all right." She says crisply after the exchanges with Veruca and Elijah and she turns about, leaving the ointment smeared Auror where he was so she can return to take care of the owl some more. More disgurntled hooting comes from the veternarian and she must be saying something scathing about Bannon because the Owl's head spins about to stare at Bannon, squack and then turn back around to click and whittle with Camilla.

Elijah smirks at Bannon and crosses one leg over the other, resting his elbow on the arm-rest of the bench, "Well, I never know what you Aurors like to be called. So pampered and fickle." He slides his sunglasses off and tucks them away in his coat, offering a nod of his head to Camilla.

Veruca's head is inclined by way of greeting the Auror. "Sir," she responds simply and politely. Camilla's regard of Bannon is observed, something of a glare turning to a rather cold shoulder. It's turning into a most interesting day. Veruca moves to straighten her posture on the bench, her hand coming off the backrest as she turns, accidentally brushing lightly, unnoticed, on Elijah's shoulder before coming to rest on her own knee. Her fingers lightly tug the hem of her skirt into place from where it had slightly shifted.

Bannon looks back towards Camilla with a moment's shocked expression passing across his face. His eyebrows knit together in a vexxed expression, to which he looks back towards Elijah with a huff, "No telling what she's saying to that owl." He trails off for a moment, then continues, "I find it so odd that we Aurors are considered pampared and fickle. We can not be considered pampered because it took us months to get a new espresso machine, whereas a 'pampered' department would not have to work quite so hard. Also, we Aurors can not be considered fickle. Fickleness implies a certain likelihood to change, _which we are not often known to do_," the last said loud enough to carry towards Camilla, "capricious, irresolute, or unstable, which none of us are known to be." He pauses for a moment, considering, "Oh! Also, fickle could also mean an inconsistancy in loyalties or affection, which is not the case either. Many in my office speak highly of you, Inspector." That last is said with a certain dry sarcasm. He looks over towards Camilla again, frowning softly as he continues to be glared at reproachfully by the owl.

Camilla calls back, "No no, there can be no convincing /some/ Auror's that maybe their way of doing things is complete ridiculousness that makes them act like an arse!" She then lowers her voice to grumble at the owl like it was a dear girlfriend. "No…kissing a woman back and then the next time you see her in public it's 'Agent Grey' like she was a bloody stranger still. That's not inconsistence in one's affection at all. I cleaned up smaller piles of manure this morning. _Of Granian's_." Granian's being the winged horse breed her family is famous for rearing, also notably they are larger than a horse and therefore basically she just said Bannon's full of more shit than a stable full of large horses can produce. She just gives a rather thinly drawn forced smile over to Bannon before she returns to her Owl Speak. The sarcasm that's been dripping from her tone carries remarkably well into Owl Speak.

Elijah looks over at Veruca as she brushes his shoulder with a slight smile. He nods to Bannon and says, "As well they should. I've turned down those promotions plenty of times." He smirks and rubs at his stubble. He grins at Camilla's jab at Bannon and hums softly, looking around.

Veruca is content to hold her tongue, her brows slightly arched in interest. At Camilla's rejoinder to the Auror, she even has to raise her hand, letting her fingers rest lightly on her lips to still a smile.

Bannon smiles in response to Elijah, "Well, perhaps I'm all the luckier for that, I suppose." He glances towards Camilla again, then back towards Elijah and Veruca, "If you'll excuse me." He turns, walking towards Camilla with an easy step. He glances quickly towards the owl, then back towards Camilla, "A word, please?"

A tall fellow in a suit and cape walks into Diagon from the direction of the Cauldron, carrying a briefcase and cane. He's walking slowly and peering around in a strange, estimating way, as if he were trying to memorize everything. In fact, he's so caught up in this that he nearly runs into a very large man carrying a huge iron cage containing a giant toad. Startled, steps to the side to avoid a collision, which is when he notices the woman seated on a bench nearby. He doesn't know the gentleman she's seated next to, but he immediately smiles and walks towards her. "Hullo - Veruca? Is that you?"

Camilla pets the Owl's feathers back into place. Her eyes narrowing just a hint when Bannon approaches. Her ranting in owlish has seemingly helped her calm considerably. Because she gives Bannon a very professional. "Of course _Auror Bates_, you may. I'd assume you want to speak privately? I'm done here." She calls into the Menagerie, "Gessip is all fixed up. Just a little bit of irritation from the Bundimuns. See you next week!" She smiles and waves to the clerk inside and then turns about to gesture towards Bannon to lead where he wants to have it out no doubt.

Elijah smirks at Bannon and says, "I'd say that yes, you are quite lucky. You might be out of a job." The man is joking, of course. His attention is captured by the man who calls for Veruca and those dark blue orbs of his begin scanning every aspect of the gentleman.

Bannon shakes his head, "No. No I don't wish to speak privately. I wish to speak very quickly, then I must be off." He takes a breath, "I keep my private life and my professional life seperate. That is the way I do things because that is the way I see fit to do them. You know this. You have just humiliated me in front of a colleague from my workplace because I didn't change my ways in two minutes, is inexcusable. Expecting me to change my ways at all, is inexcusable." He then continues coolly, "Good day, Agent Grey." He turns, walking back towards the way he came. As he continues past Elijah, Bannon replies with a quick, "With all due respect, Inspector Lovegood, it will take far more than a soft grip on sanity and an encyclopedic knowledge of Agent Grey's pile of winged horse manure to put me out of a job. Good day." He then proceeds on down the Diagon Alley.

A slight disappointment that the 'show' is over, Veruca's attention is caught by her name and she looks to the approaching figure. She eases to stand, leg lightly brushing the inspector's leg, and steps forward to Magnus, for that 'cheek airkiss' thing. "Magnus, what a surprise to see you. I thought you were still out of the country?" she asks, not having caught up on family matters in some time. The Auror merits another glance… perhaps the show wasn't quite over yet. She does hate to have missed the finale. Tsk.

"Indeed - a pleasant surprise, though. Good to see you, Veruca," Magnus says, returning the faux-kiss - French habits die hard - before peering over her shoulder to see what the commotion is all about. He only catches the tail end, though, and just arches a brow. A polite nod is given to Elijah, though. "Ah, well… yes, I was in Germany, but things are heating up quite a lot over there, and it seems Madame Gambol decided there was too much risk for me to remain." He doesn't sound particularly happy about that, but shrugs. "How are you, cousin?"

Elijah peers at Bannon as he passes and mumbles to himself, "It's an encyclopedic knowledge of everything. Your personality as it relates to manure is just a bonus." He seems content in his retort to the man that's already left and turns his attention back to…Magnus, was it? He'll rudely peer at him for a few more moments before going back to looking around.

Veruca looks somewhat pleased to see Magnus, a rarity among her and her family. She nods to his words, "Mr. Macnair and I were just talking about that… situation. Trying to come up with a scope on the possible effect on Macnair Manufacturing." She shakes her head slightly. "But otherwise, I'm quite well." She half turns toward her benchmate, reaching to touch his shoulder lightly and draw his attention back from it's wandering. "Magnus, I'd like you to meet Inspector Elijah Lovegood. Inspector, my cousin, Magnus Troy." Though she wouldn't be surprised that she was already telling Elijah something he knows.

Camilla is heard muttering bitterly, close to tears about the stupidity of human mating rituals and that she'll never ever understand why they are so abominably *insert animalistic noise here*. Wiping at her cheeks as she tries not to make any further of a scene as she heads into the alley between the Menagerie and the neighboring building. A handful of time later a grey horse flies into the air behind the building and glides up high into the sky heading north.

Magnus nods. "Of course, I imagine that's very prudent. I would imagine there could potentially be some very big ripples in the market in the next few years, if not months." The suit-clad man peers back at Elijah as Veruca makes introductions. There seems to be a slight flash of recognition on his face, but given his job, he's probably read the inspector's name in the newspaper or heard it around the office even in the short time since he's been back. He offers him a hand. "Inspector."

Elijah appears quickly standing next to Magnus, going back to looking him up and down, "Hrmm…I don't believe I've seen you around here before. Strange as you are quite…lanky. I remember lanky people. Like Nosferatu."

Her hand is pulled away before Elijah stands, and Veruca allows the men their exchange of greetings. She notes Camilla's swipe with a hand at her cheek, regarding the woman with her typical detached interest. It's a shame there's no one around to offer her some comfort. And, as quickly as the thought came, it's gone again, dark eyes returning to the wizards. Elijah's comment leads Veruca to look back at Magnus, and there is no disagreement about her cousin's stature.

The diplomat stands for a moment with his hand out, then puts it down when Elijah makes no move to return the gesture. He manages a crooked smile anyway; wouldn't be the first time he's been greeted rudely, since he just got back from 'the Fatherland'. They were quite adept at that sort of thing. "I'm an ambassador, Inspector. I was just recalled to the country some weeks ago, so no, we haven't previously met." He starts to fold his hands behind his back, but in the act of doing so glances at his wristwatch, and frowns. "Oh - I was about to run an errand, and I've got limited time. Veruca, we should get together soon now that I'm back on this side of the channel - I'll owl you, hm? Monsieur Lovegood, good to meet you. Good luck with that awful Butcher fellow. The Prophet made him sound quite ghastly. Au revoir!" With that, Magnus hurries off, his cape flapping behind him as he maneuvers in between the other people crowding past the sidewalks.

Elijah's eyes widen as Magnus brings up the Butcher. The Inspector just kinda limps over to the bench and grabs onto the arm-rest with a firm grip. From the looks of him, you'd imagine that someone just punched him in the gut. He breathes slowly and looks back to Veruca. No hiding this breakdown.

Veruca nods to Magnus, "Yes, do send an owl." As Magnus hurries off, her attention snaps back to Elijah, and something that actually looks like concern clouds her eyes. She steps over to the man swiftly, no hesitation as her hand comes up to rest on his arm. She doesn't fuss or flutter about, just gives a light squeeze, and says softly, "Inspector Lovegood."

Elijah rests his hand on Veruca's and exhales slowly before going back to normal. Well, as normal as Lovegood can get. His thumb slide softly across the back of her hand and he says, "Sorry…photographic memory isn't always a blessing." He releases his grip on the arm-rest and moves it up to wipe his eyes.

The caress of the thumb on the back of her hand, or perhaps moreso the nerves on her skin that dance at the contact, cause Veruca to regard his hand, on her hand, still resting warmly on his arm. A brow quirks slightly. Interesting. It's barely a moment although it feels longer to her, and she moves to draw him to sit again if he needs. "Don't be sorry," she says with surprising gentleness.

Elijah sits down, withdrawing his hand from Veruca's and resting it on his leg. His other hand rubs at his face and he says, "I was just…I was so close to leaving that case behind. Thought he was gone. Then Magnus brings him up again."

Although she would never volunteer the information to anyone, Veruca's curiosity was aroused enough to have taken a bit of time and looked up some newspaper articles. Sitting next to him, heedless of wantonly touching knees, she keeps the contact of her hand on his arm. "I apologize for my cousin's thoughtless words, Inspector. I'm sure he meant no ill by them." That look of concern is still in her eyes, a slight frown tugging at the corners of her lips.

Elijah shakes his head, "Oh, no. I don't blame your cousin for anything. The blame rests solely on me. It was my case and those victims are my fault." He sighs and finally realizes that he's being touched by another person. How odd.

Veruca's frown deepens. "Nonsense," she says simply, softly. Her delicate touch moves, hand lightly rubbing Elijah's arm, an attempt at being soothing which, despite it's foreign-ness, comes easily. "You aren't the vicious animal that did the killing."

Elijah hangs his head and says, "No…but I'm the fool that let him get away." He doesn't comment on the arm touching, even though normally he'd be climbing the walls with an awkward finesse.

"You just haven't caught him yet," Veruca says gently. She pulls her hand away, turning to pick up her handbag, legs moving away from his. From her open purse she withdraws a small card. On it is contact information, if that isn't something he already knows. "You have promised me a date." The card is offered, the formality returning to her demeanor.

Elijah clenches his fist, a bit of anger rising to the top that he subsequently squishes back down with a slow breath, "You're right. I'm gonna get him." He looks over at her with a grateful look in his eyes and says, "Thank you…if I hadn't had someone to bring me back down to earth, I would've taken this with me to work…then Gideon would've looked at me angrily." He takes the card and flips it around in his hands, giving her a nod before looking down at the ground, "Yeah…I'll…I'll keep in touch." With that he stands up and begins walking down the street.

Veruca actually doesn't really know how to react to that look in his eyes. Before he rises, she simply says, "You're welcome, Elijah." As he moves away she allows herself a moment to sit back on the bench, watching him go thoughtfully through slightly narrowed eyes. She really does need to make a trip out to visit someone, because her hormones are obviously out of control. Her attention drops to her purse as she fishes out the cigarette case, switching to thoughts of work and not about this odd evening.

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