(1937-12-23) Preparations
Details for Preparations
Summary: Niamh prepares the shop's orders for the few days it'll be closed for the holiday, with help from her sister Sorcha. Gideon comes home with a Christmas decoration! And the three make ready to go 'home' to Cornwall.
Date: 23 December 1937
Location: MacDiarmarda Apothecary
Related: None, and a few.

MacDiarmarda Apothecary (#1058R) Diagon Alley
Sun Dec 23, 1937 ((Thu Nov 22 02:36:49 2012)) (B,2 SE)

It is a winter night. The weather is cold and snowing.

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, homey 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.. odour of musty herbs, and 'time' that permeates every corner of the room.
The shop is now in the middle of being decorated for Christmas; holly is strewn all about, hanging from shelves, settled on the mantlepiece, along with red candles. Burlap sacks are hung upon the front of the counter, and a messily decorated tree sits in a corner filled with ornaments that seem to run from 'antique' to the very new, pieced together by small, chubby hands.
(TEMP: Currently, there is a Constable of the MLE inside the shop. A quiet presence, but a presence all the same!)


Oh the weather outside is frightful… While the song won't be written for another 7 years, the sentiment is the same. It's dark, snowing, and inside the apothecary shop, it's warm, cosy, and smells of wassail; honey wine and spices. Niamh is burning the midnight oil, even if it's not near midnight, at her workbench.. filling potions and setting them aside, making marks in her ledgers for inventory and potion completion, setting names and contents on the phials so they can be identified later. She whistles a tune, a Muggle Christmas song, though it is given a distinct Irish sound. Every so often, she intersperses the whistling with words, but it doesn't last long before it turns back into either whistling or humming.

It's late. How late is it? Late enough that Sorcha is coming in! Which is, in and of itself, perhaps noteworthy. Bundled up with a deep grey knit cap and wool coat over her green dress, she's got a scarf of a multitude of different colors wrapped around her neck hanging loose. And, to literally top it all off, is snow. Plenty of snow. On her head, shoulders, sticking to her scarf, her wellies. It's everywhere. And now… it's in the front of the shop! She does have the temerity to knock some of it off her shoes before actually coming in, "Oh! Good you're up!" She starts to unwind her scarf from around herself and continues talking loudly enough that wherever her sister is in the shop she'll be sure to hear her, "I was just at the most marvelous pub, you will never imagine in an age how wonderful it was. Just lovely."

Niamh looks up from her work when the door opens; it's become a habit now, and perhaps the action is a little jerky as to indicate 'surprise', but soon enough, there is the familiar, warm, fond smile, with a touch of thin-lipped-ness when seeing the snow brought in. "Wand.. dryin' spell. Don't want anyone slippin' or fallin'.." Or the old hardwood floors to be wet and warp. They've lasted the century-plus, but.. hey. And she too speaks loud enough for that 'echo location' to work. "An' aye. Need t'get all these done before holiday. Some's cannae wait, an' others, well.. they'll be picked up soon enough after I get home. They can do to set." She gets back to the actual potion work, prepping herbs for that next level of creation, her head down over her word, but her tones still hold that conversational, 'yes I'm paying attention' quality to them. "An' where is that, pray? There are plenty o'good pubs 'round.." Beat. "Mostly."

Rolling her eyes, Sorcha reaches in her pocket and pulls her wand out, twirling it over her head and casting a drying charm to sprinkle the little tiny heat sparkles over her and keep her sister's precious floors all nice and clean for the invisible midnight customers. "The Vine and Fox, just around the corner from the Leaky Cauldron on the muggle side of the street. It's lovely. Mulled cider, carollers. The whole bit. And the bartender is really quite good. Nice boy." Ah. Yes. There it is. "Did you know that that pub has been there for almost as long as the shop? And even though it's changed hands more than a dozen times, they always keep the same horseshoes on the wall for luck." She nods sagely as she finishes unwrapping her (now dry, thank you) scarf and then goes to unbuttoning her coat.

Niamh doesn't even have to look up to know that Sorcha is doing as she asked, and her tones reflect that. She's moved on.. to the topic of the pub. "Oh? I really don't get over t'that side very often. There's been so many new little businesses croppin' up in the Alley that it's all I can do t'keep up to date on who is who an' where. There are a few more shops in, an' I haven't yet gotten to them. Antiquities, and a new apothecary even." She lets that last one slide for the moment as she comes back to the pub. "The bartender is good.." She doesn't look up, but there's a sly smile that comes to her face, "Cute, ye mean. An', undoubtedly a muggle. Can ye say with honesty tha' he's a nice Irish lad? Jus' so when we go home, ye can at least avoid that fight?"

She loops the scarf around her collar as she slides the coat off her shoulders and moves to hang it on a nearby peg, "I… can… say… Ah…" She moves on quickly from that, "You know, he's got an Irish -soul-, Nia. He wants to be a brewer? He's just starting off tending bar until he can learn brewing from the owners and then open a brewhouse. And that's terribly Irish, isn't it?" Says the one O'Shea who sounds just like the rest of her Londoner classmates, "And his eyes are terribly deeply green." She comes to lean on the counter, lifting up enough off her feet to see back around and try and catch where her sister is, "I mean much more than my dull brown ones. That's practically Irish."

The door opens once again to let in another well-bundled figure, this one much taller and broader, with weathered fedora capping a scarf-wrapped head. Only a pair of steely blue eyes peering out, and short, ginger hair confirm his identity. He carries a plain brown shopping bad under one arm. Adamantus Gideon tugs the scarf down to unmuffle his mouth, draws his wand and taps himself on the head, incanting "Aguanulla" to banished the damp and snow.

"Ye've seen his eyes up close an' personal, have ye?" Niamh teases, "So ye've actually talked t'this one, rather than worshipped from afar?" She's still working on those potions, and will be well into the night, or perhaps the morning hours. Not that she minds, knowing there's snow out there! "Green eyes, aye, you're gettin' closer." Holding up her tray now, she whistles softly for location. "Can ye bring these over an' put them on the back shelf, behind the counter for me?"

The door opening truly does gain Niamh's attention again, and she looks back quickly, and smiles, her expression brightening, if it was possible. "There's more wassail, Adamantus," is given by way of greeting, "T'take the chill off." And, of course, with the Hit Wizard's arrival, the Constable knows that he'll soon be dismissed.

"They're quite hard to miss. And he's very friendly." Sorcha says as she picks up the potions her sister asked for and comes around, moving them to the shelf in question. "We had a lovely conversation, he was impressed that I knew all the words to "Bright Caps and Streamers". I'm thinking of composing something to go with it… Joey said if I did he wanted to hear it." She turns as the door opens, auburn eyebrows going up a bit. But, when her sister seems to know the ginger in question she smiles and goes about her business, letting her take the whole shopkeeper part over and being happy in her role as stockgirl.

Gideon smiles warmly at Niamh, the lines in his face deepening. He gives the Constable on watch a nod, releasing the man from duty. When the man passes by Gideon, he nods with a cheerful smile, offering a "Happy Christmas, Inspector." Gideon balks for a moment, then gives a reluctant nod in return. "Aye, Happy Christmas." As the Constable departs, Gideon steps up to Niamh, doffing his hat, loosening his scarf, and setting the shopping bag on the counter. His eyes drift to Sorcha, arches curiously. "New help?" he asks Niamh softly.

"'Joey', is it?" Okay, Niamh nods, "Joseph.. good name." Slowly, the older sister begins to not hate that Sorcha is talking about such things. Though, her words are a little drawn out, "Very friendly, is he?" Her brow creases for the moment, but of course a 'thank you' comes as the potions are taken to their places.

Now, Niamh watches Gideon's progress through the store; the dismissal of the constable with the requisite 'Happy Christmas' given and .. returned? There's hope yet! Leaning over the counter, she peeks at the bag before she gives him a quick peck, her voice lowered. "My baby sister, Sorcha. I'll introduce ye." Raising her voice again, she first clears it. "Sorcha, this is the gent that mum's gotten an earful about." Enough that she'd sent an owl to the man when Niamh was home briefly, "Adamantus Gideon. Adamantus, my baby sister Sorcha." O'Shea.

"Mmm, very. He said he'd help me work on writing it up if I needed someone to listen. He's going to be at the pub all week, it's terribly sad, no family to go visit or anything. He offered to walk me back when the pub closed but, obviously, I declined." If Sorcha hears the danger sign of the drawl in her sister's tone she doesn't pay any heed to it. As luck would have it, instead she turns in time to catch the peck on the Constable across the counter. Smile beaming she comes over to the counter, sidling up to Niamh, "Oh, hullo. Lovely to meet you, somehow I haven't gotten to hear as much as Mum." She glances over to the other redhead in a way that implies that there Will Be Further Conversation, "Did you want some of the wassail? I'm sure we've some glasses about."

Gideon nods in respectful greeting, "Miss O'Shea, it's an honour. I'd love a hot drink, aye. So, are you just visiting, or has Niamh finally come to her senses and taken on some help running this place?" He gives Niamh a teasing wink.

It's late, and the snow is falling, sticking to man, beast and roads, promising a white Christmas in London, at the very least. It's cold outside, but within the MacDiarmarda Apothecary, it's warm, cozy and the smell of the wassail is a spicy, sweet scent. Upon the counter, of course, are the seed cakes and mincemeat tarts. Niamh is back behind her workbench, a paper bag on the top of it, and Gideon is just on the other side. Sorcha is crossing, and arrives beside her older sister; the pair now on the one side.

"Nay, ye haven't," and Niamh elbows her sister gently before she turns a wide-eyed, playful 'why you!' look to Gideon. She sounds a pout, "Aye, she's goin' to help. An' I'll only give over t'family." So there! And it's back to Sorcha, and she gives a tightlipped 'mmmhmm' to her sister, "Aye, an' ye declined. That's a smart lass. We'll discuss more o'this tomorrow.." She looks over towards Giden, her smile fully in play, "Tomorrow mornin', I should be all ready for Cornwall. Just workin' on all these backorders. Are ye ready yourself?"

"I was surprised she didn't ask me to hand over my exams and term papers before she'd let me take orders down." Sorcha says over her shoulder to her sister as she goes to collect the hot cider for her guest. It takes just a moment before she comes back with three, actually, one for each of them. Setting them down on the counter to slide one to each side she raises her eyebrows again and looks from Gideon to her sister and back again, "Is… Are you bringing him along to meet Da and Mum?" Her interest is definitely piqued, eyebrows stay up, glance goes back and forth… again… in anticipation…

Gideon nods a quiet thanks to Sorcha for the hot wassail, wrapping his hands around the cup to warm them. "I've met your parents, actually. Perhaps nae the best of circumstances, but we got along, all the same. This will be better, I think." His eyes shift to the shopping bag, and he reaches into it. "Niamh, I…got you something. For the loft. Or the shop, whichever you like." He withdraws from the bag a holly wreath, with a bow of green and gold dangling its tassles along the bottom of it.

"That's just for the other two," their other two brothers, "Ye, I had hopes for. After all, ye are mum's, too." The potions mistresses! Niamh watches her sister get the mugs for the wassail, and upon her return, also takes it gratefully, her hands wrapping about the mug, even though the shop is warm and toasty. The wassail is something that'll warm the insides in more ways than one on this snowy evening! "Aye, I am," and she looks pleased. "An' he's met mum an' da, aye." She nods at Gideon's words, "An' this time, it'll be much better circumstances. I'm sure mum'll even set him to work.. maybe. Or, he'll be a 'guest' an' won't have to do aught to earn his meal." After all, mum will have her other sons home! Oh boy, do the girls need a chance to chat!

Niamh's attention comes back around to the bag, when it's accessed, and watching as Gideon pulls out the holly wreath, she can barely contain her excitement. There's got to be more under that sheer.. pleasure than just the receiving of a wreath! "Oh, Adamantus," and she comes from behind her workbench to give the man a hug, wrapping her arms around him.. and letting him hold the wreath just that much longer. "I'll hang it on the door here, an'.. Or should we hang it upstairs? On the inside of the door, so we can see it…" All that is followed with a kiss, a 'real' one, even if it is brief, due to the presence of her little sister. "That is such a sight.."

"Oh! That's grand, then. And he's met Padraig and Seosiamh?" That he'll have already met Keenan doesn't even seem to be a question for Sorcha as she picks up her own mug of warmth to drink from. The amusement in her eyes is not dissapating eeeeeeven slightly, however as she continues to glance back and forth between them again. She doesn't interrupt the gift giving, though, smiling at the wreath as it's handed out of the bag. "That's lovely." When her sister seems overjoyed at getting it, she grins, leaning on the counter and sipping from her own mug, not wanting to interrupt as it seems she's truly enjoying herself. And when Niamh goes in for the kiss, Sorcha doesn't seem abashed at all, just standing in her spot without feeling any need to make herself look at all busy. It's not like she's stealthily lurking… at the moment.

Gideon returns the kiss softly, eyes shifting briefly to Sorcha afterward in an reflexive look of apology for the awkwardness. At least the girl doesn't seem put out by it. "We'll hang it wherever it's needed. I dinnae ken much about these things. You're the decoration expert." He presents her the wreath formally, properly handing over the gift.

"Nay, nae them yet.. or the kids," Organized chaos. "But he's been t'the house." Which is just so very.. Irish.

It's when Niamh lets go of the full body hug and stands beside 'her man' that she begins to try to explain without truly explaining. "It was a perfect present; there's naught that'd make me happier." Not even a ring! Well, okay, maybe a ring, but.. not at that very moment. For some odd reason, that one holiday decoration is the best thing the Irish lass could have received. She looks to Gideon again, that fond.. okay, adoration on her face, "An' I'll nae look for aught else." And softer, "Thank ye.."

Taking the wreath now, as the formal handover is given, Niamh is careful she doesn't prick herself with the holly, and crosses to put it on the counter for the time being. "We'll bring it up.. an' ye, Sorcha.. are ye packed? Said your good-byes to Joseph, and comin' with tomorrow mornin'?" She clucks her tongue, "Ye better turn in soon. I'll not be in bed until hours o'the morning' for these orders, but ye.. ye have no excuses!"

Looking in amusement between the other two, Sorcha nods, "Yes, I'm packed. My things are all waiting upstairs for when we leave bright and early in the morning. And I'll see Joey when we get back after Christmas." The terms Bright and Early come out as though she thinks the're a sin against nature in their own way before she sips again from her mug. She offers to Gideon, almost as though she feels guilty for something, "It is very pretty." She blinks with big innocent eyes, shrugging her shoulders, "I'm not a bit tired. And I couldn't very well leave you down here to do all the work on your own, could I? That wouldn't be very much in the holiday spirit at all. I can at least sort and label things."

Gideon smirks adoringly at Niamh. "Aye, well, dinnae look, but 'aught else' is comin' all the same. You two sort out the shop. I'll get the rest of my own packed up for the trip." He leans in to place a chaste kiss on Niamh's forehead, then turns to bow his head to Sorcha. "It was good to finally meet you, Miss O'Shea. I'll see you on the morrow, then." Folding up the shopping bag, he moves toward the stairs to ascend to the loft.

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