(1937-11-21) Escaping the Rain
Details for Escaping the Rain
Summary: Some Ravenclaw alum ditch the rain and warm themselves in the Cauldron, soon to be joined by a shop-a-holic ginger.
Date: 21 November 1937
Location: Leaky Cauldron
Related: St. Mungo's Mayhem - Vials Unleashed, plus others.

Leaky Cauldron London
Tue Nov 20, 1937 ((Sat Nov 03 21:38:35 2012)) (E,4 NE)

It is a fall morning. The weather is cool and raining.

This cramped, angular room is the taproom of the Leaky Cauldron. A long bar runs along one side of the room, plain wooden stools set out before it. Smoke from pipes and candles fills the air. The patrons of this curious little bar, many of them elderly, sit hunched over their mugs at the tables. Waitresses sometimes coined 'Wenches' bustle back and forth bearing trays of food and mugs of ale. Many of the people seem strangely out of place, dressed in cloaks and floppy hats, as if they stumbled out of another century. Notably absent is any modern muggle devices or electric lighting, or any sign of electricity at all. Still, the occasional muggle does find their way in here, usually declaring it to be 'quaint' and 'atmospheric'.

Its a wintery evening in London. That means one thing: cold wet weather. This Tuesday is no exception to that rule. Witches and wizards of all shapes, ages and sizes are sat around tables in various states of dampness and Phil is no different. Her cloak is draped over the back of her chair and is dry thanks to a spell, but she never has had the courage to use magic to dry her hair so it is damp and curling around her face. The nice thing is that her table is near the roaring hearth - that's probably why she was able to grab it. Its a tad too warm for most so Phil is currently sat alone.

Despite the weather, Annie and Tim have set out from the house for a while, although it is Annie who steps into the Leaky Cauldron unaccompanied. He's stopped into a muggle camera shop down the road, and she chose to go on ahead and wait for him. He may be five minutes, he may be an hour, she never knows when he might get caught up in his passion for photography and forget the time. Better she have somewhere warm to sit and wait it out. She's pulling an umbrella closed as she enters, taking a quick look around, seeing who might be around to talk to as she steps toward the bar.

The weather doesn't stop Zack from getting where he needs to be, though from the look of him tonight it's given it a damn good try. Soaked from head to foot, he heads straight for the fire, and the wet footprints he tracks across the floor mark his route. At one point he has to squeeze between two people and interrupts their conversation, but he hardly notices them and keeps on going. When he reaches the fireplace, he stands in front of it and finally takes the time to look around. He finds himself standing next to someone's table, and he frowns as if surprised to find it so close, but then he notices Annie across the room. "Annie!" he calls loudly, no doubt giving Phil an earful in the process.

Phil is very ladylike most of the time, but now she feels more like a water vole. She squints an eye as she looks up at the loud man next to her table then leans forward to peer around him to see which Annie he was shouting at. As she spies the Annie she knows she raises a hand and waves to her. "Come and join me - er us," she looks up at Zack and gestures to one of the empty chairs at the table. "Do sit if you wish to."

The call draws Annie's already searching eyes to the fireplace, and two familiar faces. She's already veering her course toward them as Phil joins her voice in a greeting. A beaming smile goes to each of her two former housemates and she speaks up when she's near. "Phil, Zack, it's good t' see yeh both. Alright?" Although she looks typically cheery, there are dark smudges under her eyes, and a rather spectacular bruise to the left side of her forehead and partway down the side of her face. "I was going t' get a cider, d'yeh want anything?"

Smiling when he sees Annie turn to his direction, Zack turns back to the fire. But he's interrupted by the person at the table next to him, and he blinks at her. "Sit?" he asks, glancing to the empty chair. "Oh, yes. Maybe later. I'm still wet." He clasps his hands together and shivers, but then Annie's there. "Hello, Annie," he says. "Yes, I want a new wand. But they don't seem to want to sell me one since I already have one." He frowns at this, but then catches sight of Annie's face. "Oh, what happened to your…?" He gestures vaguely at her head.

Phil looks at Annie as she comes over to the table. "Goodness. Were you caught up in the troubles at the hospital?" She glances at Zack again. "Honestly, it doesn't matter if you are wet. You can sit anyway, the fire will start to dry you out soon enough." She looks back at Annie again, "Or just unable to get into the hospital to get that looked at?"

Annie is shrugging out of her coat to set it over the back of a chair nearest the fire, her umbrella is set leaning against the table, and there is a smile for his misinterpretation of her question. "Would yeh like anything t'drink then, Zack?" She is able to answer both their questions at one time, as her hand comes up to gingerly touch near her temple. "I was, Phil. I was there with Rhyeline, I don't know if yeh might remember her as well, my yearmate." And nearly constant companion at school. "Next thing we knew, everything was just… well, quarantined." She stops there, and decides not to go on with more specifics. "I was just going to get a…" and before she can finish, one of the servers swings by with a cider, just the way she likes it.

Elly bustles through and the Princess of Domestic waves her wand to help those soaking to dry off with a little ruffling on their clothes and then a small warming charm that will get them all toast warm for about five minutes. "There we are loverlies. Specials are Lavender 'Oney Glaze Chicken. Soup is Chicken an' Leek. Wot can Elly get ye?"

"Yes, but then the chair will get wet," Zack tells Phil. "And the table. Oh, and the floor." He frowns, noticing for the first time the footprints he's left behind. "Oh," Zack then says to Annie. "Yes. I'd like a cider too. Like yours." But as she goes on to tell them about the hospital, his brow furrows. "So how'd you get that bruise?" he asks. "It looks painful." When Elly shows up and he's suddenly dry, and he turns to her and smiles. "I want soup. You make good soup. And I want a cider. Like Annie's. Please."

Phil was in the process of combing her fingers through her hair in order to separate it out a bit for drying when suddenly it is dried by someone else's magic. She looks around for the culprit and spies Elly. Immediately her body language relaxes, clearly Phil doesn't mine Elly primping or drying her. Nothing sinister about Elly. "Earl Grey please, Elly, with a touch of whiskey to go with the lemon if you could." She leaves her hair well enough alone which means it is likely rather frizzy at the moment. "It will all heal up soon, Annie, to be sure. I can only imagine how poor Tim must have felt when he saw you. My sister would have been beside herself if I came home after taking a knock like you did. Sit down, rest a while."

Annie sends a smile to Elly, "Just the cider for me, ta. If Tim isn't by soon, I'll have t' go back an' find him." She slides into a chair at Phil's offer, one hand automatically smoothing her skirt. An unhappy look goes to Phil briefly. "I hate t' have worried him so. I couldn't even talk t' him until they let us all go." Wrinkling her nose, she goes on, eyes shifting to Zack and looking a little unsure of exactly everything that happened. "One vial was vanishing sickness, and some people got it. Some of them attacked Rhyeline, an' I got hit when I was tryin' t' help her."

Elly gives them all warm smiles and nods and bustles off to fetch their orders. She sends another wench over to give Zack his warm Apple Cider as she puts together a lovely little tea tray for Phil together. Complete with a shot of whiskey in a little pitcher that is surrounded lemon wedges to make it look like a yellow black eyed daisy. A nice bread bowl is filled with the Chicken and Leek soup and all is set before their people. "There ye are my loverlies." Annie is given a side hug, "Glad ye are safe Annie girl." Then she must be off to bustle and take care of others in the pub.

"Oh, I'm dry," Zack announces, realizing what that means all of a sudden. "So I can sit down too." He does so, taking the nearest chair and angling it so that he can still sort of face the fire if he wants. He half listens as Annie talks about what happened at the hospital, but he turns his attention increasingly towards her as she goes on. "So you were helping? That's good. Then it was worth it." He smiles again when Elly delivers his food and drink, and he takes up his cider for a sip.

Phil gives Elly a smile of thanks as she listens to Annie's brief tale. She takes up the pot of tea and pours some into the cup then sets the pot aside and squeezes lemon into the tea before adding whiskey and stiring - all with her little finger sticking out of course. "I agree with," she looks at Zack, "I am sorry I don't know your name. By the by mine is Phil," then back at Annie again to add, "him. You helped save people's lives so it clearly was worth it."

Tim shuffles in and looks like he's some Beverly Hills socialite that went on a shopping spree on Rodeo Drive. But in this case all of his bags and boxes are all from one shop, the Camera Shop just down the ways on the muggle side of things. He's got a boyishly charming grin on his face as he looks over the bags being ever so careful not to get the jostled around as he makes his way through the crowd stretching to his tip toes trying to find a certain set of brunette finger curls.

First things first, and Annie's eyes widen as she realizes she has been remiss in introducing the pair. "Phil Rowle, this is Zack Bennington. Phil, I think yeh were between Zack an' I somewhere in school." She colors lightly at their words and shakes her head, "I didn't do anything special, others there did so much more. The healers were tryin' t' track down the vials that were missin', an' I don't know exactly what happened with Healer O'Shea, but I heard something bits of things that weren't good." She herself was witness to the aftermath of an exploding body, but she shies away from bringing that up.

"It's Zack," Zack says, but then Annie begins the introductions and he lets her, taking another sip of his drink instead. "I was in Ravenclaw," he adds to Phil afterwards. "So was Annie, but I don't remember her because I didn't pay attention to the younger students." He then looks to Annie again. "It wasn't special, but it was good. I would have used magic instead of my face though. I like my face how it is."

Phil nods faintly. "I think there is some vague recollection. Or perhaps it is the surname." Her gaze flits towards the door as it hits the wall and of course then lands upon the Malfoy albeit briefly before turning back to those at her table. "Your people are Hogsmeade people are they not? My brother St John," which she pronounces in the odd English way (Sinjin), "and his family have settled there not too recently. I prefer city life myself. Far more to do."

Annie laughs softly at Zack's words, "I will remember that next time, Zack, ta." Her eyes shift to the door, and her smile brightens at sight of Tim. Rising, she moves to help him with some of his packages, giving him a quick kiss to the cheek. "Looks like yeh had a nice time, love."

"Yes," Zack says to Annie, though it takes him a moment to realize that she's already on her way to say hello to someone. "You could have made smoke, or turned them upside-down, or… Oh, she has to go somewhere." So he turns to Phil instead, ubt he doesn't give any sign that he recognizes her brother. "Oh, yes," he tells her. "We're from Hogsmeade. It's nice there. There are too many people in this city, and they're always in the way. Hogsmeade is nice and small. What do you do here?"

Tim looks a touch guilty actually when Annie comes over to help him. "Ah'm sorray. Dinnae mean ta be gone from yee so long." He kisses her cheek but gives her over one of the smaller bags. "Went'n for one thin an'…" He hoists up the rest of the bags. "Tha' clerk is good…" He nods to the only bag he gave over to Annie. "Tha's for yee m'Annie." Sappy and sweet he says 'm'Annie' like anyone would say 'm'love'. "Dinnae mean to interrupt…" He tries to get them herded back to where Annie was seated before. His smile goes shy and his adam's apple bobs as he swallows hard and starts to chew some on his tongue.

Phil gives Tim a once over and spying the camera store bags smirks then looks at Zack as he is speaking to her. "I'm a reporter for the Prophet," she tells him as she tops up the tea in her cup with some fresh from the pot in front of her. A little more lemon is also added. "Mainly society pieces or court proceedings at the moment, but one day I'll get something with a bit more flesh on it." The way she says the last bit makes her sound almost determined to get a decent story. Phil turns a smile on Zack as she looks up from her tea things. "And you? What is it that you do?"

Annie gives Tim's arm a squeeze as they come back to rejoin the others. "Tim, yeh spoil me." Her bright smile goes to Zack and Phil, quick introductions given, although working at the same paper, she doesn't know if Phil and Tim already know each other. As Zack and Phil get to know some things about each other, she asks softly, "Did yeh want t' eat here, love, or home?"

"Yeah, you should," Zack says to Phil. "I like reading the Prophet, but society pieces and court proceedings are boring. You should write about something interesting, like a spell that turns people's tongues blue. Oh, I design spells. And test them. The others don't like it when I test them, though. They think I'm too volatile." He smiles to himself at this. When Annie returns and introduces Tim, he looks up and says, "Hi, Tim. There's soup tonight." That reminds him that he has his own, and he peers at it in surprise and starts to eat.

"It does not tend to work like that," Phil informs Zack. "I have plenty of ideas, the difficulty lies in getting permission to write a feature rather than a smaller piece. Features are the reserve of those with bylines and you have to earn your stripes first." She reaches up and pats the halo of fluffy, frizzy hair around her head as she catches sight of her shadow - or rather the shadow of her hair in the flickering light of the hearth. The arrival of Tim and Annie causes her to lower her hand and look there way. "Do you think that couples who are together often start to meld together, like people who's pets look like them?" she asks this question of Zack - and does so somewhat quietly - then gives the Moodys an encouraging smile.

Phil looks up as the clock chimes the hour. "Blast!" She pushes her chair back and grabs her cloak from the back of it. "Do pardon me, I must be off." The pureblooded witch pulls on her cloak as she hurriedly makes her way out of the pub, pausing briefly to put coins down on the bar in front of Reece.

"Then you should go earn your stripes," Zack tells Phil as if it were as easy as that. "Then you can write whatever you want. I like my job because I get to do what I want." But when she asks him about Tim and Annie he just blinks at her, having no idea what her question even means. Thankfully, she has to go before he can come up with an answer, and he says goodbye with a rather puzzled look on his face. A moment later he looks to Annie and says, "You should stay. I don't want to eat by myself again."

Tim settles down with a nod to Phil and Zack. "'Ello…guh bye…" Is said after Phil gets up and leaves. He looks a bit, 'was it me?' To Annie and is now shifting a bit self-consciously in his own skin. His teeth rather obviously now chewing at his tongue. "Ah th-think maybe 'ome?" He reaches out to rub Annie's back when her smile quickly fades. Giving Zack a very apologetic smile. "Sssorry. m'Annie sshould really be gettin' 'er rest."

Annie does look a bit more drawn now, and she would be pretty happy never to see anything that looks even remotely vial-like for quite a while. She looks regretfully to Zack, suggesting, "Would yeh like t' have lunch soon, Zack? Here, or in Hogsmeade, perhaps?" There's an almost imperceptible twitch as Tim's hand passes over a sore spot on her back, but she doesn't pull away from him.

Zack, though disappointed at Tim's words, says, "Oh, okay. Yes, because of the hospital thing." He then smiles, somewhat brightened by Annie's suggestion of lunch. "Yeah," he says. "In Hogsmeade. They have nice food here, but there are always too many people." He hesitates, then adds, "Goodbye then."

Getting back into her coat with Tim's help, Annie takes up her umbrella and the package Tim had handed her. "I'll send an owl, Zack, an' we'll pick a day. Have a good evenin'." Tucking her arm into Tim's she's ready to go home and get some rest.

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