(1937-10-20) Three Hundred Broomsticks
Details for Three Hundred Broomsticks
Summary: The famous flying witch, Jocunda Sykes, is signing broomsticks in Hogsmeade. But when two of her younger siblings arrive at the Three Broomsticks along with their significant others, sparks fly.
Date: October 20, 1937
Location: Three Broomsticks

It is a chilly evening, the drizzling rain setting everything in muted tones. The door of the Three Broomsticks sets open, the light and sound spilling out onto the street… though it seems unable to travel very far. Within, a table has been shifted to be more of a central point and at that table is one Jocunda Sykes. She has a brush and a few pots of ink close at hand, the latter spelled to remain upon whatever it's marked on. Pray it does not spill. A few kids are milling about, clutching brooms or things that have been signed. It's a small lull in activity, leaving the blonde an opportunity to take a long drink of some frothy ale.

Sitting on a bench in the corner, Elspeth has her legs pulled up in front of her, and a sketch book on her knees. Next to her, on a table, is a mug of butter beer, from which she sips occasionally. She looks up towards Jocunda, and towards the door, then back to her drawing. This process is repeated fairly often.

Mabel comes along into the pub, brushing a little rain off her robes, and looks to add her broom to a broom rack which is, as should have been expected, rather more full than usual, tonight, with all the broomflying enthusiasts about. She hrms, and, glancing around the place, decides to bring her own Yankee-built Saugatuck coastal tourer in with her, while she finds a seat, and a coatrack, pausing to obtain a butterbeer along the way.

Jocunda being at a table doing some broom-signing: "Oh hush, it'll be fine," Jocunda says something in response to… someone that must be acting as a handler for her this evening. A mousey young man who looks rather uncomfortable with the whole ordeal. His first assignment, perhaps? Surely he doesn't work for the pub, as they're rather used to a rowdy lot. Especially upon these weekends. Jocunda thusly orders another ale, despite her first not being finished. A few lads around their sixth year jockey for position to have their brooms signed, laying down flirtatious words in that awkwardly charming way that young men often do. Jocunda just smiles and signs their brooms; giving them that mysterious form of approval they could only hope for. It does the deed, as they find their way to a small table in the back, arguing over just which of them she was smiling at.

Mabel is smiling now about the younger fanboys, but then again, not so long ago, she'd have been right there with them. Right now, the Three Broomsticks is a place of more like threescore broomsticks, so Mabel finally finds some coathooks to perch her own on, which frees a hand to give Elspeth a wave of the fingers. "Evening, Rosen," she says, "Mind if I join you?"

Ria has her hood pulled so far over her head that she seems rather ominous and anonymous walking through the door, that is until the gold-haired Lucian walks in right after her. And then anyone at Hogwarts would be able to tell who exactly it is under those robes. After pulling her hood off, she dries the both of them with her wand and lest her eyes rest upon the small crowd that gathers in the back. "There she is," she mutters to Lucian and tugs on his sleeve to come approach Jocunda with her. If he's been trying to hold her hand, it's another one of those days she's making it slightly difficult for him. She let him do it on the way, up until they reached outside of the Three Broomsticks, but then avoided it as soon as they entered. Overall Ria seems tense and rather anxious, but as she cuts the line and goes straight for her sister an irritated Gryffindor boy pipes up, "Hey! No cutting." To which Ria curtly replies, "Bugger off. Family privileges."

Family privilegde indeed. Ria will get a first-hand look at Jocunda downing a fair bit of ale. After all, the fresh one she ordered has arrived. The man fretting at hand is one Ria may recognize as the fellow that helps organize these things and though Jocunda has yet to cause anything /too/ problematic at one of her signings, well… he's always been a nervous chap and the aviatrix likely does nothing to cure him of that. "Ria!" She's in good spirits, cheeks slightly flushed. And does her best to ensure her sister suffers a hug. Family privilege /indeed/.

Looking up from her drawing again, Elspeth shakes her head. "Not at all, please be helping yourself, Hawker," she says quietly. She checks the table to make sure her butter beer and array of colored pencils aren't going to be in the way.

Kaiden and Briar aren't too far behind the Slytherin couple, though they're coming from a different place. After a good time full of overtly sappy walking around and running from the rain, the all-around better Hufflepuff couple have stopped in at The Three Broomsticks, soaking wet and laughing at each other's general sogginess. Briar is wearing Kaiden's leather jacket, which he no doubt offered in a gentlemanly manner. Kaiden turns to her and says, "Oh, yeah. Jo's here." He pulls Briar by the hand over to the signing table where he also cuts in line, wrapping his arms around the two Sykes girls as they hug.

Lucian stands by patiently as Ria and her sister greet one another, and gives the mouthy Gryffindor boy a look of warning that could melt steel. When the not-nearly-as-awesome-as-Lucian-and-Ria Hufflepuff couple enter, he lifts his head in recognition. His features are neutral, but he does stare a bit long at them, and even gives a silent nods of greeting when they approach.

"Jo!" Ria grins and equally huge smile. Okay, so she can't stand her parents singing Jo's praises all the time. But it doesn't mean she doesn't take a little pride in seeing a crowd gathering for her sister. Then suddenly she feels something wet envelope her from behind. And instantly, she panics. "What. is. that?" She pails in horror on how Kaiden's getting her wet and she squirms and flails around helplessly while she remains trapped between her two siblings.

Mabel smiles to Elspeth as she looks over to the new arrivals. "Oh, good, it does look like more of the Quidditch teams have turned up. Lots of Sykses, of course, which schoolmates Mabel's been partly successful concealing her own fandom for their aviatrix sister, along with of course, some Muggle equivalents they may not have chanced to hear of. Still, the others get a wave, and tries not to peek too hard at Elspeth's work in progress. Some artists are bothered by that. "Ought to be good to kick off the season, at least. At this rate, I think we're likely to have some rather wet first matches."

Elspeth looks over the top of her tankard as she takes a sip and nods. "I am imagining so. I don't suppose they'll be letting me wear amulet in matches. It is probably cheating to stay dry when everyone else is being wet." She furrows her brows a little at the actions of the Slytherin couple, but the soggy hug from Kaiden, and his sister's reaction draws a giggle from her.

"Bloody 'ell, Kaiden!" Sing praises they might of her successes, but the head of the Sykes household has never had much luck keeping Jocunda's tongue in line. The woman is damp and trying to extract herself. It's not for appearances, as it may be for Ria, but because it's just so pleasantly warm in the pub and the Hufflepuff has just gone and tried to ruin that. "Don't they teach charms for drying anymore?" As if she were decades older and not just graduated a few years prior. If her extraction is successful, the woman turns to retrieve her fresh mug of ale to take a long glug, glancing at those starting to get antsy about signings. She seems about to call for a break when the man hovering to the side clears his throat. "Alright, alright… a few more, than I must rest!" As if she hasn't done enough of that already.

The still living flowers that are woven into Briar's french braid seem to have loved the dancing in the rain more than their wearer. The snapping dragons nip at the pearls of water that cling to her hair still and with a nurturing smile she lifts the end of her braid up to drip some water into the flowers little snapping mouths. She blinks though when Kaiden tells her that his sister is there and suddenly she looks at him a bit suspiciously. Then it's face to face with Ria and Lucian and the Famous Broomflying Witch and Briar seems grateful for the distraction of soggy hugs as she gives her chin just a little jut of greeting towards Lucian. Though concealing a grin with pressed lips at Ria's discomfort she gives the back of Kaiden's shirt a 'knock it off tug'.

Kaiden squeezes the both of them tightly and lets go, grinning cheekily, "Hey, girls!" He stands up straight and tugs on his shirt that is clinging to him, chuckling. He turns and gives Lucian a pat on that back, "How are you, Proudmore?" He'll wait for a response and turn to grin at Briar, saying, "Whaaat? Just showing my love for my wonderful sisters."

Lucian gives Kaiden another nod. "Grand." As subtle as he's able, he puts a hand to his back, as if stretching, to check if anything's been stuck there by Kaiden. His eyes shift to Briar, watching curiously as she feeds the flowers in her hair. It even earns a tiny smirk of amusement. It's pretty cool, really. "So you two are a thing now." He doesn't really make it a question; more of a dry statement.

Had her siblings not let go of the hug, Ria would have really broke into tears. A keen eye can detect the slight hint of teariness to them as she turns to the rest of group. "Kaiden you're such a clot sometimes," she pouts at him as she too magically dries off herself again. "A few more quick ones, and then you should join us for a drink, though I suspect you're way ahead of me," she snickers to Jo, "You have to meet our…friends." Her eyes wander over to Lucian and Briar, but they settle on the latter. Clearing her throat she tries her best to give the Hufflepuff prefect a friendly greeting. "Good day Briar you look…kissed by nature." Okay. Terrible analogy. But she's trying here! "I can dry you off…unless you snap dragons protest," she eyes the flowers gingerly but tries to keep a friendly expression, which just comes off as if though her face was stiff from plastic surgery.

Mabel ahs, to Elspeth. "Amulet? For the weather? I don't suppose so. The weather's part of the game, after all." She gives a little wave of paired fingers, particularly toward anyone who's perhaps left out of the little Sykes family reunion, stealing a peek now and again at those proceedings.

Jocunda is not slow, oh no. Teenagers think they're sly, but they're not. She's old enough to acknowledge this and young enough to remember. It makes her, in many ways, worse than they are! In this regard, however, she is right on the ball. As the blonde flops back into her seat, it's with a steady smirk. She sets to signing more brooms, brush dipped into the spelled ink — so it won't scrub off! — as she sighs the brooms brought up. The pub may need to re-stain the table later, or leave all the droplets she's leaving behind as a mark that Jocunda Was Here.

Briar gives Lucian a big grin, which is normally a rare sight. "Yep. We are. Finally. Seems everything works out for the best after all." A glance is given and it speaks volumes to Lucian when Ria introduces him as '…friend'. To Ria's offer, "Thanks but no." She does point up to the flowers in her hair. Bold as brass American shines through as she leans around Kaiden to offer to shake Jocunda's hand, "Yeah hi, Briar Crocker, Kaiden's girlfriend. Very nice to meet you. If you need I can drag Kaiden to a booth so you can finish up here."

Kaiden raises a brow and grins at Lucian, saying, "Oh, yeah? Careful, now. You wouldn't want to show too much expression over there, Captain Stoic." Kaiden turns to address the younger of his sisters, "Ria, would you be a darling and fetch us a table. Lucian and I will fetch the drinks." His hand rests on Briar's back and he says, "You go with Ria." He then leans in to whisper something to her and will flash her a pleading expression afterwards.

Lucian's eyes narrow at Briar for a moment, jaw clenched. There's your damn emotion, Kaiden. He arches an eyebrow at the Hufflepuff boy when he volunteers him to get drinks. This should be good. He nods to Ria, "Go ahead. What do you want to drink?"

Elspeth nods to Mabel and smiles. "That is being true. I would not really be trying to wear it, I was just making conversation," she gives a light smile to her fellow chaser, even if they are in different houses. "Have your practices been going well?" She glances at the crowd around Jocunda again, watching the woman sign brooms and shuttle them through.

Ria thinks she's gunna be sick with the way Briar and Kaiden are just grinning and beaming about. So she replies to Lucian, "I don't know. Something strong." But then she pauses, remembering that she has to play nice and she shakes her head, "No actually. Nothing strong. Just a butter beer." Trust me when I say, this is for the good of all. Turning to Jo, she gestures to the booth she'll be choosing and nods over to Briar in a 'let's go' fashion. "So … you and Kaiden. How'd that happen, hmmm?" Again. The intention is friendly, though it's masked with a bit of questionable curiosity. She slides into a booth next to Mabel and Elspeth where she greets the two girls, "Oh, you're here too then Mabel and…erm…friend." Ria has never met 'friend' before unfortunately, or maybe fortunately.

One can never avoid meeting a Sykes forever. There's a number of them and they're prominent! It's like a perfect storm. Jocunda finally gets through the queue and though there's sounds of more without, she caps the ink and gets to her feet. "My hand is getting sore." Truth or not, it's a valid complaint and her handler can't make much a fuss over it. The woman gathers up her ale and heads towards the table that Ria has chosen, though she does call to Lucian: "Bring me one as well, would you?" Might as well make use of her sisters errand boy- er, boyfriend. Suitor. Puppy. Whatever one might want to call it. Leaving the seats of the booth to the happy couples, she instead snags a chair to post up at the end.

Lucian catches Jocunda's request, and gives her a smile and a friendly smile. "Will do."

Noalan pushes open the door to the three broomsticks and pushes his hood off his head. He takes a moment to leaning a Silver Arrow broom stick he was carrying against the wall before removing his damp cloak entirely and hanging it up. He takes the broom in hand again and looks around the Three Broomsticks. He spots Elspeth first, and gives her a little wave. He spots the Sykes woman next but perhaps he's too late there.

Mabel is saying, to Elspeth, "Oh, it'll be interesting: it's a bit of a rebuilding year for most of the teams: I think it may come down to how the new talent stacks up, for many of us…" She smiles up to Ria, "Oh, of course, I think. Ria Sykes, this is Elspeth Rosen, one of the Ravenclaw Chasers."

Kaiden walks with Lucian over to the bar to put the order in for the drinks. He looks over at the prefect and says, "So, how are things with you and Ria? As stodgy and uneventful as always?" He drums his fingers along the bar, looking over to make sure Briar hasn't hit anybody yet.

Oh, so that's how Kaiden wants to play it. Lucian smirks and shrugs, "I don't know how uneventful I'd say it is. She's quite a girl. Whip-smart, beautiful, strong-willed…and one hell of a kisser." He nods to the barkeep, "Another ale as well, for Miss Sykes," he gestures toward Jocunda.

Briar smiles in that forced smile when Ria starts asking about how her and Kaiden happened. "I'm guessing not too dissimilarly than you and Lucian." (But you know, with actual heart and affection.) "Been very close friends all this time. I got tired of him not noticing me for anything other than a friend. Whacked him upside the head…not really." Okay, there was actual whacking of his head, but it was with the most fondness ever!

Jocunda probably has a tab. A hefty one. Not that she minds. The fellow assisting her this evening might as she's sure to forget and leave him to tend to it. She's settling in at the table in time to hear Briar tell her love story. As it were. "Kaiden often needs a knocking over the head," she draws, lips curving in something of a smirk. Pale eyes take in Briar, perhaps measuring the girl. Hufflepuff, of course. There's something a mixture of mild interest and how one might view a critter in an exhibit. "So you're the one Kaiden intends to abandon his family over the summer for?"

Ria narrows her eyes, unsure of Briar's last sentence. "Like literally? You literally hit him on the head?" She continues to look confused as she pulls out her Chesterfields, plucks out a cigarette with her polished fingers and offers one to the other two. "Goodness Jo, she's a girl after your own heart," she comments idly and lights up. Turning to the two Ravenclaws in the next booth over and nods politely. "Good to meet you Elspeth. Oh, Mabel. If I can recall correctly, you're a fan of…things that fly aren't you?" Then she turns to Jocunda and says, "Did you sign anything of hers Jo? She's in the dueling club with Lucian and I." And now Ria's acting like the agent! Wee!

Kaiden smirks at Lucian and says, "Well, I can't attest as to the last thing, but yeah, you're a lucky guy, Proudmore. Treat her well, and we won't have any problems." Nice Kaiden is nice. It's about that time that the drinks are placed in front of them and Kaiden picks up his and Briar's, leaving the other three for Lucian to grab.

Mabel looks up then, as a childhood heroine takes a seat at the table. Childhood, of course, wasn't so long ago, but some of the intervening time's been spent around Sykeses, so, she raises her eyebrows a little toward Elspeth, then gives Briar a bit of a sympathetic look. What's to do, though, she smiles, "Actually, her Chocolate Frog card, not too long ago," she admits, and offers a hand to Jocunda. "Mabel Hawker. I'm on the Gryffindor team with your brother Garrett."

Elspeth nods. "This will be my first year being a starting chaser. I have been practicing as a backup, last year." She raises her head a little when Lan comes in, and offers a wave to him, then she's being introduced to another Slytherin. "Oh, hullo," she says amiably enough. "It is being a pleasure to meet you."

Lucian lifts his brow with a hint of surprise at Kaiden's response…or rather his lack of rising to the bait. He puts out a hand to bar Kaiden from leaving just yet. "Wait a second." He levels an even gaze to the Hufflepuff Sykes. "Look, I know you can't stand me. I can live with that. But I've no beef with you." He sighs, continues, "And I know I'm lucky. She's amazing. I'd do anything for her. I need you to believe that." He'll leave it at that, moving to let Kaiden pass as he picks up the rest of the drinks to follow.

Briar takes one of the cigarettes from Ria, "Thanks." To the question about her hitting Kaiden she just smiles. "Figuratively." She slides the cigarette behind her ear for a moment, very American Tom-Boy indeed. Turning about in the booth she gives a greeting wave to basically everyone else now that she's adjusted to the fact that her boyfriend tricked and trapped her into a meeting with the Sykes women.

Noalan moves hesitantly towards Jocunda, not wanting to interrupt her conversation, the broom in his hand telegraphing his purpose. He carried it all the way down here, he's going to try to get a signature, besides, Elspeth is currently swarmed.

Ahh yes, the other black sheep of the family. Why is it left to the girls to make sure the family doesn't descend into utter insanity? Jocunda accepts one of the cigarettes offered readily — this means she doesn't need to track down where she's left her own — and lights it, accepting Mabel's hand with a nod. "Ohh, the cards. Such an awkward thing. I'm sure in a handful of years, I'll utterly dread coming across them." She already does, by the sound of it. "I suppose I could sign a couple of things," perhaps Noalan will overhear, "provided it doesn't interrupt my drinking." The handler seems pleased of this and rushes over the brush and ink.

As Noalan comes closer, Elspeth stows away her sketchbook and colored pencils in her book bag. Swinging her legs down from the bench next to her she addresses the Slytherin Keeper. "I will be trading you a place to sit for a butter beer," she offers, draining the last of the tankard next to her. "This is being a fair trade, yes?" There is now an open space next to her where her she had propped her legs up a moment ago to use a sort of desk. Planned? Noooooo….

Kaiden raises his eyebrows to Lucian and says, "I don't have a problem with you, Proudmore. Ria likes you, so you're fine by me. I do want you to know, however, that if you ever do hurt her…that there's not enough dueling knowledge in the world to keep you safe from me." After that bit of seriousness, he smiles brightly at Lucian and continues on to the booth that Ria's claimed, nudging Briar over with his hip and sitting down next to her, putting her beer on the table.

Lucian nods assuredly to Kaiden. "I know, Sykes, and I respect that." You're wrong, goes unspoken, but I know you'd never stop trying. Never let it be said that Lucian Proudmore isn't cocksure about his abilities. He is right behind Kaiden with the rest of the drinks, setting an ale before Jocunda, and a butterbeer in front of Ria and himself. He takes a seat beside Ria, giving her arm an affectionate rub. That's right, Ria. Affection. Suck it up. "So, are you going to properly introduce us, Ria?" Slight emphasis on the world "properly," along with a you'd-better-say-it look.

"Ah," Ria nods to Briar, but does keep gingerly observing the her American mannerisms. She'll keep the disdain to herself. But to Mabel she nods, "Oh okay, then you're all set then. Those cards are rather interesting. They sure came out with them fast after she made the flight." Mabel's name dropping catches her attention though, "Garrett, you say. That's a fellow I haven't seen in a while. I wonder what he's up to." She after taking a drag, she scoots over to allow Lucian in the booth, rather glad to see that he's rejoining them. Ria clears her throat at his question though and turning to her sister she indeed does introduce him. "Yes uhm…Jocunda meet Lucian Proudmore my uh…boyfriend." As the sentence progresses her volume gets lower and lower until she reaches the last word which is so inaudible she might as well have mouthed it. And after the spits it out, she quickly places the cigarette back between her lips nervously.

Noalan does hear, but the only real change is a slight gaining of confidence as he waits. There is someone ahead of him after all, and he's nothing if not patient. He eyes some of the other people with Elspeth momentarily before he says back to her, "Seems a bit steep to me, but I'm no good at haggling, so sure. Just give me a minute? I've got a broom in need of some ink."

Briar snuggles against Kaiden in a way that is both affectionate but nothing sickenly overt. Just a casual ease with each other. His cheek is kissed even briefly before she takes a drink of beer. "So Jocunda, we should set you up with a very long drinking straw. They've got these new ones where the ends can bend so you don't even have to lean much." Very American indeed! Sign autographs and drink beer through a straw with very little effort!

It's a good thing Jocunda took the seat at the end of the table. Soon there's ink, a brush, and perhaps things to sign. If Mabel has anything to offer, well, it does get signed first. The majority of the woman's attention does remain on her siblings. "Lucian Proudmore. Good bloodline, there." The 'if Gryffindor' is left unsaid. Never mind the other stains upon the poor lad's life. She looks between her siblings, extending a hand to take up the mug that's been so graciously brought for her. "So am I to have no buffer other than Garrett while you two while away the time with your sweethearts, snogging in public I'm sure?" Sniffle. Briar does gain a glance and a look of surprise. A good idea! From a Hufflepuff! "Now there's a thought… I would never decline a quicker method of delivering ale to my waiting stomach."

Kaiden rests his arm along the back of the booth, his thumb dragging idly along Briar's shoulder. He looks over at Ria as if to say 'where's my cigarette?'. Apparently, Ria's been to busy being awkward about Lucian to offer him a cigarette. Egregious! Kaid rests his head against Briar's and says, "What they don't tell you in the Prophet about the great Jocunda Sykes is that she's an absolute lush."

Elspeth glances over the conversation that is happening around her. Then she glances back up to Lan and shrugs lightly, one hand gesturing around the rest of the crowded Broomsticks. "Well, maybe it is being a high price, but what other seat are you seeing here? And being this close to the celebrity broom signing woman?" She raises her eyebrows in challenge, then settles back down, her book bag being place square on the middle of the area that she's saving for Lan. "What is being a lush?" she asks Kaiden curiously, his statement catching her attention.

The moment Jocunda mentions Lucian's bloodline, he reaches a hand under the table to grip Ria's. He tries to show nothing in his face, but anyone looking at him can see the tightness in his jaw. He nods to Jocunda, speaking evenly, "It's an honor to meet you, Miss Sykes. You're an inspiration to many."

Mabel nods to Jocunda, then, Ria, in turn "Oh, no more or less than usual, I should venture to guess. Largely I only see him at practice, these days, don't you know. Good enough chap, really." Briar's comment about flexible drinking straws draws a raised eyebrow. "Well, there's something we never knew we needed," she smiles.

Ria runs her comforting thumb a couple times over Lucian's hand in a discreet fashion before lacing her fingers through his. "Good bloodline indeed, though I must say they're rather unaware that they hit a jackpot when Lucian was born. He's a talented dueler," she mentions. And smirking to Kaiden, she hands him the cigarette in the pack that she practically sets aside for him and even lights it like she always does. "But there are a great many talented at this table. Briar here, rather remarkable at herbology. Did you put your name in the Goblet, Briar? I didn't see you anywhere near it." As far as Kaiden's talent goes she sarcastically smiles, "And what is it you do, Kaiden?" But she does turn instantly red at Jo's snogging bit. "We don't snog in public…."

"Yes, but at least you balance it out." Noalan responds to Elspeth, with a little grin. Waiting for an opening in the variety of conversations, finally seizes a moment and steps forward, offering his broom to Jocunda. "Good evening Miss Sykes. I was hoping I wasn't too late to get a signature." He says politely but stiff. "I'm the current Slytherin Keeper."

Briar gives a wide grin to Mabel and Jocunda both. "I know!" Then to Kaiden she just smiles. "Be nice to your sister." She pokes him in the side with a wink and then pulls her cigarette from her ear and lights it with her wand before holding it over so that Kaiden can have a drag without holding it. Oh look Ria, cigarette butt sharing. Briar seems to be a girl with no mind for 'cooties' and germs. She answers Elspeth, "Being a lush means that one has a fine pallette and tolerance and appreciation for alcoholic spirits." To Noalan she gives a smirk, she seems to be playfully memorizing what he looks like. The Hufflepuff Beater is obviously drawing a big bullseye on the Slytherin Seeker's forehead as she takes a sip of her beer.

Briar just shakes her head at Ria, "Wouldn't go to Durmstrang if you paid me a million dollars."

Kaiden takes a drag from Briar's cigarette, exhaling it out of the corner of his mouth, as to not have it go directly into anybody's face. Kaiden tilts his head to Ria's question, those green eyes sparkling at the challenge, and says, "Well, let's see, shall we? Hrmm, I'm as good a dueler if not better than you, Ria, I'm good at hitting things really hard with my fists, I'm a pretty good artist and I'm a damn good kisser."

Elspeth nods at Briar's definition of a lush. "I must be remembering that," she says quietly, and for a moment seems to be concentrating on something. Then she grins to Lan, blinking for a moment as she considers what he says. She covers a little smile as he becomes 'most proper' when talking with 'Miss Sykes'.

Mabel nnods to Briar. Despite the Muggle-inspired robe she wears, perhaps the bendy straw bit is just *too* American for her idea of English pubs. She nods, though, on that. "It's hardly much of a tourist season up their way just now, but I do hope our champion will show them what we're made of." Then she thinks, fishing in her pockets for something to write on, "Oh, actually, for my young cousin Lucy, if you wouldn't mind so much, finding this year's rail ticket to Hogsmeade there. "I'm sure she'd love to be here if she were quite old enough."

"Oh, why ever not?" Ria tilts her head curiously at Briar's refusal at a chance for glory. "I'm likely wrong, but they're rather rough and gruff there as well. You might enjoy it more than you think." The 'as well' of course refers to Briar. Okay, she does not mean this as an insult, but it's evident that Ria doesn't recognize her poorly worded statement. But she does eye the cigarette sharing a bit bitterly. She always takes care of Kaiden's smoking! Does this mean she's being replaced? Instead, she leans the one she lit for her twin against an ash tray should he want his own. His challenge though is met with a smirk. "Are you? We'll have to test that out on the dueling stage someday and see if you really are."

Lucian settles a bit at Ria's reassurance and words, but remains relatively quiet for the moment. It wouldn't do to flip out on Ria's sister in the middle of the Three Broomsticks. It might be gratifying, but he likes having a girlfriend, soooo…

Briar smiles too sweetly towards Ria, "They are a bunch of Purists, who actually teach the dark arts along with Defense, and unlike some, I don't condone tyranny, hate and prejudice just because it puts on a pretty face and offers meaningless things like 'glory'."

"I think, regardless, one should at least try to be in the tournament. It'd be regrettable to not at least do that." Jocunda's gaze goes to Noalan and she extends a hand for his broom. "Keeper, mm? Most don't realize how agile you have to be for that. Do the chasers still complain about how little the Keeper moves around? I was a Seeker, myself." Because she's a speed demon on the broom. "Lush, booze aficionado…" a handwave before she sets to the signing. "Whichever you'd like." A brief pause before she tacks on, glancing to Kaiden: "I have no desire to know of ANY skills you may or may not have in kissing."

Kaiden looks over at Briar and says, "You do know that I put my name in, right?" He picks his mug and takes a sip from it before plucking his cigarette out of the tray where Ria left it for him.

"Not lately." Lan answers Jocunda's question, "A complaint like that is just a back handed way to blow their own horn anyways. Personally, I'm hoping I can take a nap through the entire match, it would mean we're kicking arse, er, posterior." He gives her a nod of respect, "Oh yes? You considering looking for a pro-team, or have you had enough flying for a life time now?" He asks, finding her easy to talk to, "Oh, sorry, I'm Noalan Eibon." He says, belatedly introducing himself.

Lucian rolls his eyes, "Merlin, Briar. It's a school. Relax. And participating in the Tournament doesn't mean any of that. It's a chance to prove yourself the best. You want to prove purity doesn't matter? Go win the tournament."

Ria tilts her head again as she narrows her eyes at Briar in confusion for the second. "Right, but…I don't see the issue there," she says this in regard to the girl's first sentence. And she takes a drag of her cigarette. To the latter part she nods in agreement with Lucian, giving his hand a good squeeze under the table. "Indeed. Durmstrang is merely the venue, that's all. And purism isn't so much about about hate and tyranny as it is about restoring the natural order of things." She waves her hand around casually, "Anyhow, you say tomato, I say tom-ah-to." Speaking of good bloodlines, she turns back to Noalan and Jocunda, and nodding to her housemate she says, "Afternoon Noalan."

Briar rolls her head in a nod, "I do. If you make it I'll wish you well and send you off. But I'm sorry…I'm not going to that vile place. I'm sick of people just letting people treat others like shit just because they were born differently. It's a school, a school that teaches the Dark Arts, don't tell me to relax Lucian. You think winning the tournament would actually change any minds? Last summer in Germany the people in power forbid Jews and Blacks from participating at the Olympics, it wasn't until those countries with enough courage to boycott the Olympics rallied against the policies that Germany allowed them to enter. This tournament is going to be no different. Just you watch if one of the Muggle-borns of Hogwarts or Beauxbatons does make champion. Watch the stink that's going to happen. Despite what people like to claim, the politics and prejudices are just the same, just in different guises." She shakes her head at Ria, "Spoken like a Purist. Natural order of things. News flash Ria, Pure-bloods are on their way to a big decline and muggle-borns are cropping up more and more. In time the natural order of things will see that Half-Bloods and Muggle-borns are the majority while Pure-bloods are the minority in their little inbred corner." She finally takes a moment to angrily swill down some beer and nudge Kaiden, she wants to go and be let out of the booth.

"Good lad," Jocunda answers Noalan. There's not even a hint of sarcasm! She can recognize the good players. Or perhaps she just cancies she can. "If a pro-team offers me first-string Seeker? Yes." Becausae a Sykes, especially this Sykes, is not about to sit on the bench. "Many of them want me, but that's a spot that doesn't open up much. You should campaign." She winks at him to imply that she's likely joking. "And if," she looks again to Briar after her rant, eyes narrowed slightly, "you /truly/ take issue with Durmstrang, would it not be best to learn about them?" She seems to want to say more, but wisely — shock! — keeps it to herself.

Mabel nods a little, between what Briar says and Lucian, "I do suppose that would be my own take on the matter, really. If they've all gone so dashed mad over there, one may as well show them, rightright?" Ria's particular comment causes her lips to press into a thin line. She thinks, momentarily, perhaps thow to phrase it, and says, "Well, if one reads the news out of the continent, one might think some ideas about the 'natural order' just so happen to be stark-raving barmy, really." A pause. "And I wouldn't sell Mr. Owens short on that one. Some will think what they want to think, regardless. It's not them that will learn anything, necessarily."

Lucian sighs, giving Ria's hand a reassuring squeeze. "Good plan, Briar. Moan and whine about what you don't like. Much easier than doing something about it."

Elspeth as the discussion around the table gets heated, Elspeth pushes her empty tankard around in a slow circle. She peeks once over towards Lan, and then someone mentions that pure-blood is 'the natural order of her things' and she suddenly grabs her bag. Standing up, she squeezes out behind them and shakes her head. "There is no showing people like that," she says quietly. "I… have to be going, now. I will not be needing that butter beer, Lan." The fact that it's raining out doesn't seem to worry her into covering her book back with her cloak as she pushes her way through the crowd and towards the door.

Kaiden takes Briar's hand in his and squeezes it reassuringly, giving her a nod and saying softly, "I'll go with you if you want." He'll stand up and let her out, accompanying her if she so chooses to have him tag along. He'll cut a look at Lucian and say, "A brief caveat, Proudmore; if you feel like you might want to say some negative things about or to the girl that I love, well, just take those thoughts, disregard them, and return to your usual ones of Ria and animal torture."

A lobsided grin appears momentarily on Noalans face but is wiped off by the sudden change in topic around the table. He gains a conflicted look over the subject, being pureblooded himself. Elspeths look doesn't help matters. His hands ball into fists, but he doesn't make any attempt to stop her, "A deals a deal." He says trying to be light hearted, "I'll just have to make sure you get one, where ever you end up. Just like Emi." His hands flex again and he's quite forgotten about the broom signing. "Pride is a double edge sword, and the worst bullies are those who think they're the ones who've been wronged. The worst thing for either side would be a civil war."

Lucian frowns at Kaiden. "Here's a plan. Shove it up your arse. I'm quite sure Briar can take care of herself. I didn't hear you encouraging her to take action. You were just worried she'd think you're a prat for putting your name in." And any progress they made earlier just went out the window.

Mabel looks up with some concern as Elspeth vacates the table, considering whether she ought to follow. It's one of those times, at least, passing a sympathetic look and a questioning raise of the eyebrows, to see if she wants company. Lucian's choice of language, at least, provides some opportunity to mention, to Noalan, "Sometimes good breeding and good manners aren't as inextricable as some manners of pride may assume, for one," she says, straightening.

"Oh just further evidence that muggles are off kilter. They put down and objectify their women and they separate based on color as if people were articles of clothing to be laundered. And now they're stirring up a war that is likely to hold tremendous consequences for the rest of the world. So you're telling me that mixing muggles in with our kind is a good thing?" Ria lets out a truly amused laugh as she ashes off her cigarette. And smirking to Kaiden she snickers and gestures to Briar, "Apparently she doesn't think too much of your kind Kaid. It's a good thing you have her to save you from our terrible little inbred corner, no?" Finally to Mabel she smiles, "Yes, well those stark-raving barmy people don't understand why wizards have to hide in cave likes neanderthals while the muggles lead the world into deeper treachery. I appreciate the news flashes, but if you were truly up to date you'd know that this war is likely going to happen. And it's going to kill thousands if not millions. Way more people than Grindelwald can even get his hands on."

Out of the corner of the corner of her eye, she catches someone pass by the window and rises out of her seat. To the rest she waves her hand casually around again before saying, "Oh no no, stay stay. Enjoy the company of my sister some more, she's a real treat. I've got important business to handle." She smiles at Lucian indicating that she'll want to pass him to exit. "Would you like to come Luc, you're perfectly welcome to talk to Jocunda more?"

Briar narrows her eyes at Lucian, "I am doing something about it, I'm boycotting it. Both of you knock it the fuck off. But here's a parting word for you Ria, you better start getting over the fact that you are any better than me because the two most important men in your life have no problem with "dipping a toe" into the Muggle-Born pool." She pointedly looks to Lucian. Then she includes Jocunda in the next bit, "And you someday might have adorable half-blooded nieces and nephews. Because Kaiden isn't a Purist, he loves me no matter who gave birth to me or what my family lineage is. I'm not even talking about Grindelwald, I'm talking about this ridiculous pervasive attitude that Wizards are any better than Muggles. So no, I love Kaiden's "kind" because he is smart, gentle, and loving and has an open mind and isn't some stuck up better than thou prat. You sneer about Muggle racism and then tout blood purity in the next breath. Do you not even hear how two faced and idiotic you sound?"

Talk of things such as war seem to unsettle Jocunda a bit. Perhaps it's because working for the Ministry, she just knows it'd make her life difficult. Some might bandy around the term exciting, but it's not her kind of excitement. "Ahh, I ought to step away and see who else has been waiting to see their broom signed." She shifts and gets to her feet, finishing her ale. "Lucian, it was a pleasure to meet you. We'll have to talk more sometime." Briar, however, receives no such courtesy. Instead, the aviatrix studies her for a moment. "I will be surprised if you are still dating by the end of the summer. Childhood love is so fleeting."

Mabel attempts, for the moment, to try and maintain her decorum. There's a rare look that crosses her face that intimates she wishes her butterbeet were something a little stronger. Since Ria's vacating, of course, it'd be a bit awkward to follow. She does muse, "I had no idea you wre living quite so rough as that, Ria. My apologies, of course." Zing.

Elspeth pauses at Mabel's look, then she looks to Ria when she mentions the war. "This war was going to be happening from the minute the Treaty of Versailles was signed. Because people who win and are not being gracious about it drive the losers to being desperate. It is not being pride." She pauses when Briar talks, and uses the girl's monologue to finish her escape, with a shake of her head to Mabel. *see you later* she signals to Lan, and then she makes it out the door.

Lucian just stares at Briar for a moment, slowly shaking his head. He says nothing to her, but rises for Ria's sake. But before her lets her out of the booth, her turns to meet her eyes, stating firmly, "It's time to talk."

Noalan grabs his broom off the table as if afraid it will be used by someone as a blunt instrument. The whole discussion is making him uncomfortable, not agreeing entirely with Ria, but Brair just being far too offensive to even consider supporting his point. The group seems to have shattered anyways, so he starts towards the door but pauses momentarily to be polite, "Thank you Miss Sykes, It was a pleasure meeting you, and thanks for the signature." Setting the broom down by the door, he sets about putting his damp cloak back on. He had hoped to be here long enough to let it dry out.

Ria scrunches her nose disapprovingly at the blatant cuss word Briar spits out. Though she can't say she isn't surprised. What she is shocked to hear though is Lucian's toe dipping. The cigarette still smoking in her hand, she side glances at her boyfriend with a murderous look and her nostrils flaring. Good god, Ria Sykes is seething. But other than the muted expression of rage, she keeps herself fairly contained. And turning back to Briar she calmly says, "Yes, well could you blame him when the target is so easy to hit. If you could keep it in your pants Briar try to, hmm? Men are easily bored by girls who aren't much of a challenge. I'm only telling you this if you are truly interested in keeping Kaiden around for long." She winks at the Hufflepuff and slips out of the booth not acknowledging Lucian in the least bit. "No, it's time for me to leave. I take it back. You stay. I don't want you following me for at least a day." She stoops to give Jocunda a kiss on each cheek before smiling, "It was wonderful to get to see you. I know you hear it from mother and father, but I'm very proud. Sorry this turned so sour, I'll make it up to you when I see you again. Take care." And toward the door she begins to go!

Fortunately for Noalan, Jocunda would ensure no harm comes to any brooms during the course of the fury that seems to run rampant. She does, however, only stop long enough to accept Ria's farefull and offer Kaiden a shoulder-squeeze of his own. Their respective dates are glossed over, as are many of the others. Noalan does receive a murmured parting and a nod before the woman is finding her handler to finish up the evening. Perhaps a few more brooms signed, certainly more ale imbibed… and a much brighter demeanor than just moments before.

Lucian sighs, shooting a glare at Briar, and charging after Ria. "Damn it. Wait!" He's clearly not going to let her just storm out without being stormed out after. She doesn't wait, and he doesn't relent, disappearing out the door after her.

Mabel sighs, silently, and heavily. Forces a smile, and as gracious a "So lovely to have met you," to Jocunda, as everyone departs in their various directions. She glances outside, and decides, perhaps it's best to give them a head start.

Briar blinks at Ria, "You have a dirty dirty mind Ria Sykes. I tell you that they don't have the same sort of prejudices you do and immediately you assume that it has to do with sex? Wow. You're as depraved as you are stupid." Though she slowly turns to look at Kaiden, staring, "Why ever would your sister think that I'm easy and that we've had sex Kaid?" His hand that's thus far been held is released so she can cross her arms underneath her chest and her cigarette is placed in her lips.

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