(1937-10-03) A Straddle-able Piece Of Freedom
Details for A Straddle-able Piece Of Freedom
Summary: Annie visits Laurence's broom shop to talk about the broom she won in his drawing.
Date: 03 October, 1937
Location: Flights of Fancy Broomshop
Related: Flights Of Fancy Broomshop Grand Opening

Late afternoon at the Broomshop sees Laurence handling pending and completed orders at the front desk, leaning against the counter and sorting through sheets of parchment, making notes here or there. A soft classical recording playing, something with an oriental type…edge to it and he hums softly to himself, muttering softly in Greek and hovering around that desk.

It's not a very long walk from the Library of London to the Leaky Cauldron and the shops of Diagon Alley beyond, and Annie made relatively good time on her journey to the broom maker's shop. As she enters, shutting the door behind her, she glances around, reaching up to remove a scarf from covering her hair. The young witch's cheeks are pinked from the cool weather outside, and as bright eyes land on Laurence she smiles. "Alright, Mr. Toulson?"

"Miss Taylor." Laurence replies softly as he sets a sheet of parchment down, folding it up and carefully slipping it into an envelope before he turns, opening his arms to the young woman. "Miss Taylor! I was hoping to see you today, don't you look wonderful today, hm?" He flashes a grin. "You've come just in time, I was going to have a spot o' tea."

Annie loosens the belt on her jacket as she steps toward the front desk. "Mr. Toulson, yeh always say the kindest things, ta. I'd not say no to a cuppa, it's a bit brisk out there." She reaches up to push a curl back from her temple, smiling brightly. "I wanted t' stop by again and tell yeh how excited I am at the promise of having a broom again. And do yeh need anything from me? I've never had anything custom made for me before."

Laurence nods slowly and gestures towards one of the couches, smiling softly and offering an arm. "Come now, aye…aye…and a broom is something I'm sure you deserve, it was worth it to see your face light up like it did." He gestures towards a couch. "I have a delicious spiced peach tea or some jasmine I was meaning to serve up actually, do ya have a preference? I do need a few things from you so lets sit and chit chat, hm?"

The offered arm is taken lightly as Annie steps close and moves as Laurence does. "I do love jasmine tea, if it's not any trouble. May I help yeh?" she asks, looking up at the taller wizard. It's a rather fair tilt of her head, with the inches she lacks, and she good naturedly says as much. "Cor, yer tall then, aren't yeh?"

"Jasmine tea it is, and a few biscuits…sounds fair enough. Nah, you just sit down, I had put the kettle on…just need to get the tea on as well." Laurence then has to laugh softly at the comment on his health. "Would you believe me if I told ya I'm actually considered short in me family?"

This brings a soft laugh from Annie. "So am I." She lets herself be led to a seat then, and perches on the edge, content to wait as Laurence does up tea. Her eyes wander, lighting on the display brooms, one after another.

Making sure the young woman is seated comfortably, the pale wood wand is tugged out of wherever he keeps it and Laurence makes his way towards the backrooms of the shop, rummaging around and there's the sound of a few pots falling, something shatters…probably a cup and then there's something that sounds like a dove cooing before Laurence is cussing. When he does return, its with a tea tray, complete with a white and silver teapot and two tea cups and a small plate of biscuits, the china has designs of flowers and dragons or something like that. "Here we are dear, Jasmine tea, there's some milk and sugar and such if you want it but that should get us started."

The noises don't escape Annie, and as she looks around she winces at the sound of falling pots, then again as something else breaks, and she has to stifle a giggle as the colorful cussing drifts out. By the time he comes back she's tempered her humor down to a bemused smile. "I hope it wasn't too much trouble," she says lightly, trying to keep the gleam of mirth in her eyes tame.

Laurence coughs softly and shakes his head. "No just…Belisma had gotten into the seed again, she's a wee speck o' a thing but she's a mite curious." He settles on the couch beside the woman, leaning forward to set the tray down and start pouring the tea. "Ahem, how do you take your tea then fair Miss Taylor?"

"Oh, is that the little bird I saw around last evening?" Annie's brows go up as she asks. "Seems so appropriate that yeh'd have a bird. Just a splash of milk, ta, no sugar, Mr. Toulson." She shifts a bit forward, automatically smoothing her skirt as she moves.

"Ahh, yes. Turtledove. Pain in me arse. - Pardon my language miss." Laurence does sound fond of the little creature however as he adds a splash of milk to the cup before offering it to Annie with a soft smile. "Now, we're here to discuss your future straddleable piece of freedom, aren't we?"

Annie can't help but smile, enjoying the broom maker's openness. She accepts the cup with another soft "Ta." and holds it for a moment without drinking. "Well that's a lovely way of putting it, isn't it? I still can't believe my luck, I've been longing to be in the air again lately. I think it's the fall that's brings that out in me."

"Mm, yes, it is perfect weather for good flyin'…the scent in the air as you float on the breezes, its just delicious, ya know?" Laurence gets his own cup of tea, taking a sip and hmming softly. "When's your birthday luv?"

"And yeh start learnin' t' fly at Hogwarts in the fall, I think that plays a part as well," she offers, clearly thinking back to the time with fondness. She takes a sip of her tea as well. "It's in February. The nineteenth."

Laurence looks thoughtful as he listens to the birthday, closing his eyes and he takes a deep breath. "February 19th..hmm, born under the Ash wood moon, hmm." He nods slowly. "I had a feelin', and do you enjoy flying for the freedom and speed, or for the convenience and comfort?"

Annie watches the man going through his thought process with keen interest. It strikes her as watching an artist face a canvas or a musician compose a new piece. "I have t' say that I do enjoy the freedom and speed. There's really nothin' like bein' up in the air."

"But you aren't the type to seek out danger, to attract flashes of pain and destruction, you know it is possible to attract the lightening but you don't attempt to court the flash." Laurence sets his tea cup down, rummaging around in the cushions for a moment to tug out a sheet of parchment and some more rummaging he retrieves a pencil, scribbling something down. "What is your favorite animal Miss Taylor?"

As her cup raises, Annie's eyes are on Laurence over the rim, and she looks at him curiously as she cradles it in her hands again. The smile blooms again. "That sounds like quidditch. The bludgers are the danger, and it's true I never sought them out. Cor, they were painful, too." His next question doesn't even require pause for thought from the young woman. "Elephants. I could spend hours at the zoo, sneakin' 'em the odd peanut when no one's lookin'."

Laurence's eyebrows raise as he smiles and chuckles softly to himself, nodding and scribbling more things down. "We'll have to schedule a…fitting so to speak, measure certain bits to make sure the broom is specifically designed for you…" He hmms softly. "Do you have anything special you'd like included within the design? Any special features?"

"I'd imagine you'd need my height and all," Annie speculates, looking excited at the whole prospect of the process. Her head shakes at the questions. "I've no idea what I'd even ask for, it's been such a while."

"There are security charms of a sort, decorations and so much more, I do after all try to make your fantasies into reality." Laurence taps his pencil against his chin. "You are very beautiful Miss Taylor, I feel myself inspired by just looking at you. There's a natural charm that radiates from within, a gentle spirit there I think…" He hmms thoughtfully. "Height and weight, very simple things."

The compliments bring a light blush to Annie's cheeks. "Yeh flatter me, Mr. Toulson. But I am quite content to leave things in the hands of the master, because who knows better than you?" She can compliment back with ease, and she does so without guile. "I'm just dead chuffed," she says with a laugh, expressing her pleasure like the little North London scrapper she grew up as until Hogwarts.

"Ahh…flattery indeed, I will not disappoint you." Laurence promises and then he quirks an eyebrow, laughing merrily and reaching to take another sip of his tea before setting the cup down. "And you are librarian are you not? A former Ravenclaw I would assume?"

Annie's head nods readily, "I've not met a librarian in the wizarding world yet that wasn't a Ravenclaw. I'm sure they must exist, but it really does take a love of books and we do seem to have that comin' out our ears. Especially books that bite," she adds, with a soft laugh. "And what house are you from? I would guess Hufflepuff, because they always seem so very artistic, but I wouldn't bet money on it."

Laurence is quiet as he smiles slowly, folding the parchment neatly and tucking it away in a vest pocket as he idly twirls his pencil between his fingers. "I was a Ravenclaw." A hint of a smirk goes here.

"I've always been rubbish as guessing houses unless it was screamingly obvious," Annie admits good naturedly. She leans forward a bit, regarding Laurence with open curiosity. "How'd yeh come t' be a broom maker?"

"Bah, its not just you. Most folks cannot place me." Laurence waves a hand vaguely before he points to Annie with the pencil. "Brilliant question. I got started after travelin' around the world, studying different aspects of woodlore, learning exactly the heart of the brooms worked, respecting their sources and the like…I eventually put two to two together, I loved to fly when I was in school and I wanted to share that love with others."

The words 'travelin' around the world' bring a raise to Annie's brows. "Have yeh been to very many places? We took a few holidays in France, but that's the only place I've ever really been to."

Laurence nods a bit. "Hm? Yes…Turkey, Moscow…Ethiopia and India, India's always a nice place to visit and that's just a few places actually. I spent quite a bit of time out there, learning and watching and growing in my art." His lips curve in a hint of a smile before he looks back to Annie. "France isn't bad, I love the language." He flashes a grin.

"We'd only really learned enough to get by, mum and I. Da, he was quite good at it." Annie pauses for just a second, and then asks a pressing question. "Do they really have flying carpets in India?" Never having been there, she doesn't know for sure, but obviously Laurence would.

"Me family was never rich, the furthest we really got to go was special Quidditch World Cup events, that's what we saved up for." Laurence tucks his pencil behind his ear but the question draws a soft rumbling laugh from the broom maker. "Aye, they have 'em. They are beautiful things really, very beautiful but not as safe and reliable as a broom."

Annie laughs at this news, "That's brilliant. When we were just little, my friend Digger and I would play at riding magic carpets. Who would ever have thought then." She looks toward the front of the shop, noticing the change in light as the evening deepens. "It's getting darker out, and here I am keepin' yeh talkin' like yeh don't have a dinner t' get to." Looking back to Laurence, she asks, "When would yeh like me t' come back for whatever measuring you need t' do?"

Laurence grins and nods slowly. "That's adorable luv, really…" Then he eyes the window and looks back to Annie. "I'll probably get somethin' out and bring it back to work on it some more stuff." He sighs softly and gets to his feet. "I'll need to see yah in one or two days, whenever you'd like, and I could get you measured."

Standing, Annie brushes her skirt down briskly, smoothing the wrinkles from sitting. "How about in two days? I can bring yeh dinner." It's an offer, but rather more of a statement of fact the way she says it. The cup is set down with the tea things, and the young witch straightens. "Thank yeh for havin' me for tea after me just dropping in on yeh like this." Her hand goes out for a parting handshake, a smile on her lips.

Laurence smiles softly and takes the hand gently, bending at the waist to kiss the back of the hand before straightening up. "I would love that, Miss Taylor, it sounds delightful and I'll probably have a few sketches by then as well." He takes a deep breath. "There's always a cup of tea or glass of wine for those who visit the shop, whether its to buy, discuss a broom or just rest for a while."

Annie looks very pleased, and she quickly tightens the belt of her jacket again, not bothering to put her scarf back on. "Alright then, I'll see yeh in two days time, Mr. Toulson. Have a lovely evening." Another smile and she turns to take her leave, her step lightened by the delight of her good fortune. Stepping out she turns back to wave, before heading off toward the main road, and the Leaky Cauldron to Floo home.

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