(1937-12-10) Almost Business As Usual
Details for Almost Business As Usual
Summary: Elijah comes in to check up on Niamh, and Bannon comes in to make purchases, promising his return business.
Date: 10 December 1937
Location: MacDiarmarda Apothecary
Related: None. Okay, I'm a liar. Will link.

MacDiarmarda Apothecary (#1058R) Diagon Alley
Mon Dec 10, 1937 ((Tue Nov 13 17:53:24 2012)) (B,2 SE)

It is a fall night. The weather is cool and clear.

Built in the late 1700s, MacDiarmarda Apothecary has been in business from the building's inception. Windows line the walls facing the street, a fireplace creates a cheery atmosphere within. Shelves line the walls from floor to high ceiling, dusty wooden boxes of who knows what are held there. There is a large library ladder on wheels that helps the proprietress gather ingredients that may be out of her grasp normally. A counter stretches across the back of the store, a door behind it. There are two work areas, one next to the other. One is purely a 'cutting up' and preparing area, the table showing marks from use over the centuries. The other is the actual creating of a potion area- cauldrons, distillery and various sources of heat.

The store's interior is packed full of goods, with barrels of Purple Toad Warts, Flobberworm Mucus, Leech Juice and other large quantities of potion ingredients on the floor. Shelves that line the wall are filled with jars and old wooden boxes that contain Knotgrass, Aconite, Newt Eyes.. and many, many other herbs, roots and powders gathered across the decades, gathered across the continent. Bunches of feathers, fangs and claws hang from the ceiling, and in some cases the unwary customer may knock into them. The combination of smells coming from all these different ingredients PLUS the age of the shop itself, creates an overall.. stench of bad eggs and rotten cabbages that permeates every corner of the room.

(TEMP: Currently, there is a Constable of the MLE inside the shop. A quiet presence.)


The gaslights burn again in the MacDiarmarda Apothecary shop. The moon and stars are out, and the air is crisp and clear. Within the shop, there can be seen two shadows; one is the familiar (to her regular customers) form of Niamh O'Shea as she flits from shelf to workbench, her attention fixed on the task at hand. There are more than a couple of slips in her backlog that have to be done, and there simply isn't enough time in the day. The other, a Constable, sits off to the side, thumbing through one of her older herbal books, the illustrations painted on the thin ricepaper.

Elijah has heard the news that there may once again be life at the Apothecary, so he hastily makes his way there. He opens the door and steps inside, giving the Constable a nod and saying to Niamh, "Ah, Miss O'Shea, I'm glad to see you have returned to your post. I trust you've gotten over whatever it was that happened to you?" Elijah didn't believe she was sick, not for a minute.

There is yet life, yes! The apothecary lights burn, and looking up quickly, her head jerking up, Niamh catches sight of the familiar face, and she exhales, her smile growing warm, with a touch of relief. "Inspector Lovegood," she begins, and casts a glance towards the constable. She'll not discuss his potions with the other man present. "It's good to see ye." And it's a genuine expression. "An' it's good to be back, even though I'm nae quite.. over it."

Elijah nods to her and begins to have a look around, finger dragging along the counter-top. He looks to Niamh and says, "Might I ask what it was that had you decidedly under the weather. I didn't think it like you to let some illness keep you down so long, as it takes a stubborn woman to fall for Adamantus."

It's evening, the gaslights are on. The night is cool and clear; the moon is out, as are the stars overhead. Within the apothecary, there are now three figures.. the proprietress, Inspector Elijah Lovegood (who wanders slowly around the room, eagle eyes scanning everything) and a Constable that was assigned to the proprietress when no other is available.

Niamh actually remains where she is at the workbench, herbs and such upon the top (as she tries to catch up on her work!) avoiding the counter for the time being. She does watch as Eli moves, however, and turns away as his hand moves over the countertop. She knows the difficulties between Gideon and Eli, but.. she's told the stubborn Scot that she'll not cease her dealings with the man. And the Constable has had some semblance of briefing and knows what to look for. Taking a deep breath, she lets it out slowly, "Spell damage, really.." and her Irish lilt is soft in the room. "Memory charm, all's told, an' Adamantus is afraid that whomever'd done it might try again." She nods towards the Constable, "He's here t'be sure I'm fine when Keen's not about, or Sloan.. or Lindy.." A healer, her brother, and two other Aurors.. ".. or himself."

Elijah hears the news and walks over to rest a hand on her shoulder and say, "My dear Miamh, I'm so sorry. I did not know." He sighs and says, "If Gideon would consent, I'd add my name to that list, though I'm sure that he would not. It seems he wants nothing to do with me these days." He removes his hand and clasps it with his other behind his back, saying, "Are there any clues as to who it was?"

The door of the shop opens, a bell ringing if such a thing exists, allow entry to a man in a bowler hat. Bannon Bates, if photographs in the Daily Prophet are to be believed. He takes his hat off, and tucks his walking stick beneath his arm. He looks around, spotting the constable on duty here and giving them a quick nod. He turns, moving down a line of barrels slowly, eyeing the ingrediants carefully. Behind those blue eyes, one can almost see him making a list. without further preamble, he walks up to the counter. He nods first to Niamh, "Madam." Then to Elijah, "Inspector."

"Aye.. no one does.. or did.. or.." Niamh shakes her head and exhales in a soft, relieved smile at the contact. She lays a hand on his briefly and nods, "Aye.. an' I know ye are right. He wouldn't. He's a stubborn man, an'—" She sounds as if she'll go on, but there's the door, and her head swings over to look to see who it is, that hint of apprehension tinging her manner. While she doesn't recognize the man, it's not.. him, and so relaxes, if only a little. She returns her attention quickly towards Eli and presses her lips together in a line and shakes her head quickly.. more a no more than an I don't know. Niamh remains at the workdesk, behind the workdesk, eschewing the counter where transactions are normally made, and she sounds a welcome, "Evening, sir.. Can I help ye with aught?"

Elijah nods to Niamh, saying, "Indeed. I shall still see what I can do to help from the outside." His eyes turn to Bannon as he enters and Elijah gives a tip of his fedora, saying, "Good evening, Mister Bates." He reaches to offer a hand for shaking.

Bannon tucks his walking stick under his left arm, reaching out to shake the hand offered to him, "Good evening to you as well, Inspector." His eyes glance back and forth between Elijah and Niamh, completely aware of the fact that he had interrupted something. He clears his throat, looking towards Niamh, "I'm looking for billywig stings, fire seeds, and bezoars. Are they in stock, madam?"

It's nothing personal, it really isn't! It's just.. well.. allegations, and those are dangerous. Word of a half-blood Irish woman against, well.. a pure blood Ambassador. Who wins out? "Aye, Inspector Lovegood. I would appreciate it, I really would." Niamh sounds a genuine tone of relief, and she offers the man a warm smile before moving to attend the newest arrival. She finally moves from behind her workbench, and in her work apron, her wand sticks out. "Aye, have them. Do ye want them ground or are ye fine with them whole? I have solutions, too, if ye need to soak them for the best results.." As she walks about, she takes hold of her ladder and pushes it, climbing the first couple of rungs quickly, and laying her hand on a box.

Elijah smiles at Niamh and rubs her arm again, saying, "Just don't tell Gideon about it. He doesn't know that I'm on surer footing these days and he wouldn't believe you if you told him." He turns and gives a nod to Bannon, saying, "Have a lovely night, Mister Bates." With that he steps over to have a word with the Constable about keeping his silence about Elijah's assistance.

Bannon watches Niamh as she steps out from behind the workbench, shaking his head, "No, whole will suffice. I'll have to store them for a time." He considers it for a moment and then shakes his head, "No, these are ingrediants I'm storing for anti-poisons. No need to soak them for their purpose. If you could box them up, however, that would be lovely." He looks towards Elijah again, nodding his head, "Indeed. Glad to see you are well, Inspector Lovegood. Until next time." He reaches up, tipping his red-banded bowler to the Hitwizard before turning his attention back to Niamh.

Niamh smiles, her lips a thin line, and she nods, "It's good to see you again, Inspector. It really is." A soft chuckle sounds soon after, and her smile warms and brightens a little more. "Ye are looking quite.. fit."

Now, it's to the good Mister Bates, then, Niamh turns her attention, and coming down off her ladder, she moves back behind her workdesk. Pulling out containers, she begins to move the ingredients around, giving him a good selection. "Aye, I noticed.." She's a potions mistress, and a good one. "Just making sure that ye didn't need aught else to fix it." And poisons? Something else Niamh is a little sensitive about! "If ye need more, I'll be sure to have more about for ye, next time." Pulling out a small book, she makes a notation, and holding her quill, she stares.. and drops the feather again, and closes the book again.. and steps away. For a moment, she stares at it, before she looks up, and offers a sheepish smile. "I'll have more for ye soon enough. Will be needing to go harvesting soon."

Elijah finishes his conversation with the Constable and moves back over to Niamh, interrupting any conversation she may be having to rest the tip of his finger on the end of the wand that's sticking out of her pocket. He'll lean in to whisper something to her before giving her a comforting rub on the back and disappearing out of the door.

From afar, Elijah whispers, "I'll be close, but I'll be out of sight. Your wand should be very much the same. Do take care, Niamh, and know that I'm there even if you can't see me."

Bannon watches Elijah whisper something to Niamh, looking away out of respect for the two. When he has exited, he turns his attention back to Niamh with a smile, "I would appreciate it if you could consider me when stocking. Antipoisons are something we in my line of work need quite a bit more often than the next wizard. I'm sure having the reputation of being the apothacary that stocks all the ingrediants for such a potion would have others Aurors descending upon you in droves, Madam. We practically drink it every afternoon with our tea." He glances towards the book for a moment, a small smile on his face, "The name is Bannon Benjamin Bryson Bates, if you wish to note it in your records."

Niamh puts a hand on Elijah, but doesn't say anything.. but the appreciation is easily seen in those hazel eyes. Watching his departure, her hand moves towards the wand in her workapron's pocket and pushes it down.. but she'll need another pocket; one that's deeper.

Now, to Bannon, the potions mistress smiles a little more warmly. Familiar, apparently, with Aurors and their jobs. "Aye.. a couple of my friends are Aurors, an' poison control is always on my mind for them." Ain't that the truth! "Recently, too." She exhales, some of the strain exiting her shoulders, and closing the containers, she sets it aside. Her voice lowers, as if imparting information he may not have heard elsewhere? It is on record, however! "There was a new poison in.. Mungo's discovered it.. an' it's from America. No antidote for it yet, but my brother.. he's a healer. He's got a potion worked out that'll pull it from ye." And she knows how to make it now! "It's nae pleasant, but it'll save your life."

Bannon listens intently to Niamh, his jaw dropping open with a sharp intake of air, "Oh yes, you mean the business at St. Mungos, I think. Nasty bit, that was. I'm afraid I was in Scottland at the time it occured, so my knowledge of it is ancillary at best. However, if you were willing to brew this antipoison, I am sure the Ministry would enjoy having some on hand as well as stocked at St. Mungos."

"Nae.. not that recently passed," which she heard about through her brother, "There's a poison in London now that's nae got an antidote. An' near as we can see, parts were made in America." Niamh carries everything over to the counter now, and she keeps her gaze up even as she feels for her bags. Once in hand, the wand comes out and a small proprietor's charm is given to keep the contents from shaking and clinking together before it's held out for him. "It takes a bit o'doin'," she begins, but she offers a slight smile before she pulls a couple small phials from her shelf. "I do try t'have enough on stock.. an' instructions."

Bannon shakes his head, "Not that St. Mungos business? I see. How absolutely dreadful." Perhaps this is a dumb question for an Auror to ask, but he persists, "Do you know if the Ministry has launched in inquiry yet?" Perhaps he'd want to be on it. He watches the charm being cast, noting its magical affects. He peers towards the bag for a longer moment, almost as if contemplating the existence of the thing itself before he finally reaches out to take it. He carries it in his left hand, his walking stick remaining fixed in its position under his arm. He watches as the phials are drawn from the shelf, "Will you be so kind as to detail these instructions to me, so that I may pass them on to the Ministry?"

Niamh shakes her head, "Aught else.. a couple of months past now." But she's still studying the herbs that could be in play; not easy when they're from a different continent! "An' aye, of course I will.." She looks across at her workbench before she heads in that direction, reaching out to take her quill. It's a different book, then, that she pulls a sheet from, and in flowing letters, writes out the instructions, the indications and contra-.. and 'what to expect'. Vomiting. Lots of vomiting as the herbs surround the poison and pull it towards the stomach, and then out. "It's nae the anti-venom, remember. It's just how t'get it out of the system. We don't have a cure for it yet." Taking the paper, she sets it down so he can place it in the bag. "I'm sure there are a few at the office that have those potions already.. Lind- Edwarlinda Malfoy, for certain." An Auror.. "If ye want t'keep those for yourself, perfectly understandable."

Bannon opens the bag, still seeming to contemplate the nature of things, "So this is more along the lines of a detoxifier than a cure. I see now, Madam. Thank you so much for your explanation." The phials themselves actually go into the Auror's hat with a quick throwing motion, one at a time. The instructions are folded and placed into a pocket, "If you do come across any new information about this American poison, please let us know." He then gestures over his shoulder, "Or Inspector Lovegood, for that matter. He'll see to the information's dissemination."

"Aye.. Eli- Inspector Lovegood was present when my brother'd returned an' left again for America." Her smile is fond for the slightly eccentric Inspector Lovegood. "An' Inspector Gideon knows of it.. I keep him informed on most things," and now, Niamh's eyes light at the thought of the man. She smiles, the expression a little sheepish as she rolls her head forward in the mention of the hard Inspector, and raises it again. "Ye will find that I'm willing t'give the MLE aid.. an' have since I took this from my gran." She straightens, her chin raised, "All my licenses are in order, an' there's nae other but me here, so I take full responsibility for what departs through that door."

Bannon smiles, "I certainly don't doubt your intentions here, Madam. I would appreciate any help you might be able to provide to the Ministry on this matter." He smiles, leaning forward, "And I certainly would no shop at an unlicensed apothacary." He then straightens up, "How much do I owe you, Madam?"

Niamh looks towards the bag, and offers something of a little shrug. Her prices can be pretty fluid, and for those in the MLE, well.. she's in a position where she can discount where needed. Also helps in that she's the one that does most of the gardening and harvesting. Keeps overhead down. "A couple sickles will do it, Mister Bates." At his lean in, however, she automatically takes that step back. It's not a conscious gesture, to be sure.. but it's there. "It's O'Shea, Niamh O'Shea. An' it's a pleasure."

Reaching into a pocket, Bannon rumages through the coins there. He removes a galleon, looking over it for a moment and then setting it on the counter, "I'm afraid I'm only carrying galleons at the moment. It will have to do." He reaches up, tipping the corner of his red-banded bowler to Niamh, "It was a pleasure meeting you today, Madam O'Shea. I shall certainly see you the next time I need to restock." He turns, beginning to walk towards the door.

Niamh stays away from the counter, she really does.. and at the placing of the galleon on the counter, she swallows and nods, the smile drooping a little before it rises again. It takes effort, however. "It'll do.. aye." She inclines her head and begins to make her way back towards her worktable, leaving the galleon in place. "Good t'hear. I'll have more for ye when you come. If ye e'er need anything, owl it an' I'll have it ready for ye, too." She waves, and exhales, looking to the work before her before she looks outside at the time passing.

Bannon returns the wave and exits out the door. As soon as his back leg clears the threshold, Bannon disappears from sight with a loud popping noise.

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