(1937-09-29) Out Darn Spot!
Details for Out Darn Spot!
Summary: Niamh leaves the Apothecary in the hands of her brother; Annie has need of a potion; Sloan looks threatening. Just another day.
Date: 29 September 1937
Location: Niamh's Apothecary
Related:
Characters
AnnieKeenanSloan

It's just gone noon in the fair city of London, and the day is cool with a peek of sunlight every now and then as a treat for the locals. Having only errands in Diagon Alley in mind for the day, Annie is, wonder of wonders, wearing a robe for a change, over her usual muggle street clothes. She can conform when she needs to, really. Still, by wizarding standards, it's rather a plain robe of a deep blue colour, without much at all in the way of shiny things or finery. Her steps take her to the somewhat familiar apothecary shop. She's got a bit of a problem that she's hoping Niamh can help her solve, and she walks boldly in as she opens the shop's door. To be hit at once by that peculiar smell that she never prepares herself for, and she inadvertently gives a soft "Oof." as she pauses and her hand automatically comes up to protect her nose from the assault.

Niamh isn't there, but her older brother is, leaning back against a stool behind the counter, and the foot of one, long leg braced on the counter in front of him, tipping him back against the wall behind him. His arms are crossed over his chest as he stares at the rows of bottles across from him, not really looking at their contents. His robe is slighltly wrinkled, and just held closed with one button, revealing a normal button down shirt and slacks underneath.

Sloan has been out hunting. Having found the information he needed to find, he makes his way back towards the Apothecary. Muscles tense, the seams across the shoulders of his plain white T-shirt strained from the tension, he wears his bowler hat low over his eyes. Fists clenching and unclenching, accompanied by the popping sound of broken knuckles pushing the door open, the Auror steps into the apothecary quietly, looking around as his eyes adjust.

She expects to see Niamh there. Niamh is always there. Annie looks about the shop twice before letting her eyes settle on Keenan. Well, he looks like he belongs, with the casual way he's seated, and since he's the only one in sight, the young witch steps toward him, first clearing her throat, then asking "Beg pardon… is Miss O'Shea in?" The arrival of Sloan behind her, turns her halfway toward the door, before her eyes flicker back to the slightly rumpled ginger man.

Keenan shakes his head once in answer to the question. "Nay, I'm sorry, but Niamh's stayin' with a friend's fer a few days." He sets his foot on the ground, for a moment, just to upright the stool, then he slides his legs over the top of the counter to sit on the customer side. "I'm her older brother, Keenan. May I be of service t'ye?" No sooner are the words out of his mouth than Sloan enters, and he freezes. His green eyes flicker over the newcomer's posture an there's a gleam of concern in them. "Pardon, lass, I'll be right back." He lightly places his hands on her shoulders to hold her steady while he chooses which side to walk around her, then approaches the man with a barely audible question.

Looking at Keenan for a moment, Sloan's upper lip curls slightly before he replies. "Is feidir leat a stop Breathnu. Edwarlinda ag taisteal." (You can stop Looking. Edwarlinda is travelling) Lookiong around, he adds. "Need a bone knitting potion an' a fecking hangover cure. Damned Absinthe Roars me skull." Eyes settling on annie, he gives her a sort of nod, though mostly he just stares at her, memorizing her features while it looks as though his steel grey eyes might bore right through her.

Annie surely would have done that awkward little dance with Keenan, had he not thought to still her with hands to her shoulders. As he slips past she turns, wondering if she'd ever heard Niamh had a brother and thinking no, perhaps not. She's not come in for anything important, really, so she doesn't mind when the older man is seen to first. Especially not when he puts his request out there. Annie's needed both potions before, although not at the same time, and a look of sympathy settles on her face. The stare from Sloan gets a small smile, along with the sympathy, and then she turns away politely, aware she might be thought to be eavesdropping.

There's a moment of awkward silence. "Travelin'? She find a lead? I don't…" he pinches the bridge of his nose as he tries to think, then nods. "Sure, I brewed some fresh boneset this mornin'. Make up fer what I been pilferin' from Niamh. Now, lass, thank ye for yer patience. How may I help ye?" he asks as he goes about gathering what Sloan's requested and putting it in a bag. "Put on yer tab, then?" he asks the Black Irish man.

Nodding, Sloan grunts. "Oh aye. she found a lead on a good deal around Europe, aye? she's on Vacation until lat'r this week." yeah Sloan? not a happy man of late. moving up to get the potions, he adds. "Need a darning needle and some thread too, aye? I'll grab it from stores." Moving towards the back room, he pauses as if remembering something, spins on a heel and tips his hat to Annie in what is possibly the angriest sincere show of manners on record since the "After you my good sir!" shouting match of 1917 between 2 opposing generals at the Paris Opera House.

Being very intent on politely not paying attention to the two men, it takes Annie a second to realize that Keenan just addressed her and directed a question to her. She turns toward him, catching sight of the hat tip from Sloan (which is actually just a bit frightening, given his countenance) and it takes her another second to answer. "Oh, yes, thank you. I was wondering if there's some sort of spot removal potion." Not even a fraction as important as Sloan's needs.

Keenan's brows draw together in a straight line, although he doesn't echo Sloan's anger. Instead, the expression in his eyes before he becomes politely interested in Annie can be more described as fearful. Without saying a word, he nods when the man heads to the back room. "Spot remover, 'course Niamh has some of those. What kind a spot ye lookin' to remove? An' from what?" With a tip of his head, he starts leading her down the aisles.

There's a few minutes before sloan returns a darning needle and thread in his hand, he sticks it through the brim of his hat. Grabbing the potions, he downs them both one after the other and sets the bottles back on the counter with a nod, he heads for the front door.

Annie starts off after Keenan, dutifully following the man's lead. "Well, I think it might be a drop of scotch. Or tea. But I don't think the spot was there at the cafe." The words come in a spill, with a thoughtful frown. "No, no, I think it was after, so it would be scotch. On a dress that I borrowed. So I'm very keen to get the spot out." Sloan's reemergence gets her attention once more, and the man gets a pleasant, if tentative, smile at his nod.

Keenan looks over as Sloan re-emerges, his gaze follows the man thoughtfully out the door. There's a pause, then he almost visibly shakes himself. "Scotch, ye say?" he asks. He reaches up to pull a blue bottle from the shelf, and hands it over. "Niamh made this one when Sloan an' I got ourselves, well, went on a bender in our younger days." A dimple flirts from the left side of his mouth as he grins. "I can personally guarantee that it will work."

Slipping out the door, Sloan heads down the street. He'd been drinking for 3 days now and he needed to hibernate.

Annie's eyes drift back to Keenan, catching his thoughtful look after Sloan, and then the pause. It brings a curious lift to her brows, but she doesn't pursue a line of question. She watches him reach up, eyes following his hand, and then smiles as he retrieves the blue bottle, taking it as he offers. His guarantee strengthens her smile. "Well, I know Niamh is as good as her word, an' her brother can surely be nothing less." She produces a small purse from within her robes, looking down to it as she talks. "I didn't know Niamh has a brother, it's a pleasure t'meet yeh. I'm Annie. Annie Taylor." Her eyes lift, a few coins jingling in her fingers. "How much do I owe yeh?"

Keenan chuckles. "Well, shame on Niamh, then," he teases back before naming the price. "She has three brothers 'n a little sister. I'm beginnin' t' think she's embarassed o'her family. It's right pleasure t'meet ye, too, Miss Taylor." The bottle is wrapped in paper and placed in the trademark MacDiamarda Apothecary bag. "There ye go."

There's a momentary relief that washes over Annie's face as the price named isn't too dear, and she's even able to drop a coin back into her purse before handing over payment to Keenan. Her smile is back as coins are surrendered. "Well, we don't really talk that much, so I'm sure she's just never gotten around to it." The wrapped bottle is tucked away as well, before the purse disappears again. "Are yeh the oldest then?" Ok, so she can't quite tamp down all her curiosity, but she's done well so far.

Keenan leans back in the stool again, comfortably crossing his arms. "I am," he acknowledges. "An' then Niamh right after. Had t'wait a couple years fer Padraig an' Seosiamh t' come along. Then Sorcha was a complete surprise. What about ye, lass? Any brothers 'r sisters of yer own?"

Annie shakes her head, then reaches up to push back the curl the movement dislodged. "No, I'm an only. But Hogwarts was sort of like having brothers and sisters, for a time. Still, I think it would have been nice growing up with someone like that." She crosses her arms as she talks, then one hand lifts to absently toy with the chain around her neck. Her smile is still easy as she asks lightly, a teasing lilt to her words, "I've never seen yeh here before. Has Niamh kept yeh locked up, or have yeh just recently come?"

"Och, no," Keenan replies good naturedly. "I'm just usually at Mungo's durin' th' day. I'm a healer, an' accordin' t'Niamh an' Lindy, I work too much." He nods his head towards the front door, where she may have noticed there was another door to the side. "I live on the flat on the third floor, an' I can sneak out when she's not lookin'." He grins mischievously at that. "Hogwarts is good fer findin' family. Ye can usually keep 'em long after ye leave, too."

The nod turns Annie's head to look toward the door, and then her attention is back on Keenan. His comment on sneaking out draws a soft laugh, "Ah, yer a sneaker then." Her eyes narrow slightly as she studies the man, and she nods slowly. "Yeh do look like one. P'raps it's the scruff." Her smile shows it for the joke it is, and her face eases. "I've not kept in touch with very many, I'm sorry t'say. But I do still get to see some housemates when they come in on the Hogsmeade weekends. That's always a treat."

Keenan chuckles. "Well, Sloan 'n' me were th' quiet ones at Hogwarts. An' ye know what they say about the quiet ones." He raises a hand to rub over said scuff along his jawline and nods. "Niamh's always after me ta shave. What is it with sisters an' thinkin' ye need t'be clean shaven t'be presentable?"

The young witch smiles warmly, "Does she think that? I think it looks quite nice on yeh. Though, I've never seen yeh without, granted. She might think yer hidin' yer good looks beneath it." Again, there's a friendly tease in Annie's voice, and she laughs again. She glances toward the door, and then back. "Well, I've taken up enough of yer time. Thanks very much for the help."

Keenan raises his eyebrows at the compliment, and then he smiles as he unfolds his arms and stands a little straighter for the leave taking. "Do me a favor an' make sure ye tell her that next time ye talk to her. I could use a little support…" he nods once. "Ye have a good day, then. Pleasure meetin' ye Miss Taylor, an' mind ye use some nice warm water with that spot remover. Not too hot, now."

Heading for the door, Annie looks back over her shoulder. "I'll do just that, Mister O'Shea. Ta!" Whether she was referring to putting in a word with Niamh or his directions about the water, she doesn't specify. A last flash of her smile and away she goes in a ruffle of robes, pulling the door closed behind her.

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