(1938-01-10) For Reference
Details for For Reference
Summary: Niamh comes in to do some research, and leaves with having made a friend in Annie a closer one.
Date: 10 January, 1938
Location: Wizarding Library
Related: None yet

Wizarding Library London
Thu Jan 10, 1938 ((Tue Dec 11 14:38:05 2012)) (D,4 NW - N)

It is a winter night. The weather is freezing and flurrying.

The Wizarding area of the Library is of course for wizards only and is hidden from muggle sight. Every imaginable book a wizard could want can be found here, or most likely acquired upon request. During the day many wizards mill about at the shelves or are seated at the available tables in the circular space in the center of the surrounding shelves that ladders and stairwells wind about for stories above the floor. A dome of iron and glass high above the stacks at the top of the tower of knowledge allows the day light in. Some windows can be found scattered amongst the shelves.


It's a cold afternoon, and even indoors in the Library of London, there is a chill to the air. It's a difficult building to heat at the best of times, and it's generally kept a little cooler anyway for the good of the books. Most of the patrons for the wizarding side have warming charms cast on themselves, and Annie is always willing to cast one for someone who may be a little rusty with that particular charm. The young witch is busy with her work, having been a little late getting back to work from lunch. Currently, she's in the process of reshelving books, floating them up to settle back into their places, as she keeps an eye out for anyone who appears to need assistance. She's near the main desk, in the center of the large room, wearing her work robe so she is easily identifiable as library staff.

It's truly hard to tell when Niamh is having an 'off' day as she is genuinely cheery. But today? There's an extra hop in her step as she enters the library. She enjoys the chill of the air, with her woolen coat wrapped about her, calfskin gloves on her hands, scarf wrapped about her head to keep some of the heat from escaping. Every season has something for the potionsmaker.

Stepping into the library, Ni makes sure the door is closed behind her, and she makes her way across the front to check down the reference aisle to check write-ups of organizations. She slows to see Annie, her smile turning warmer, and in her approach, she pulls the scarf down from her hair, at the same time, offering, "Boo," to the other woman. "Afternoon."

There is a bright smile for the pretty Apothecary… Apothecarian?… for Niamh, and a greeting much warmer than the temperature. "Miss O'Shea, it's lovely t' see yeh. An' lookin' all rosy from the cold." The book she was in the process of return to it's shelf is quickly put into place with a flick of the girl's wand, and her attention is turned completely to the newest arrival. "Can I be of help t' yeh with somethin' t'day?" she asks, typically cheery and helpful.

"Niamh, please," she reminds, and pulls her gloves off to stuff them into pockets. "An' ye are lookin' lovely. Winter suits ye, I think. Just as every other season seems t'." Niamh's lilt easily rises, even though she's keeping her voice down. "I hope all is well with ye? Your health is good?" She's in no rush, not now anyway.. and settles easily into conversation. "I keep meanin' t'bring things by for Tim. Probably time t'change out the potions he's nae used yet so he's got 'em in good supply when needed."

"Niamh," Annie repeats dutifully. A light blush rises to her cheeks with the woman's compliments, her nose wrinkling as she waves a hand to dismiss such kind words. "I'll be havin' a little break from the cold this weekend," she says with a smile. "Maybe even swim with some dolphins, I've been told." The excitement at this prospect is clear, and she goes on. "I've been very well, ta. An' yeh? Is yer brother well also?" She seems to hold back a touch on the subject of Tim, saying simply, "I'm sure he'll find that very helpful. It's very kind of yeh."

"Really? Ye must tell me where.." but lowers her voice even more, "unless it's a secret get-away, an' then I'll nae push ye for particulars." Mind, she's not one for warm climes, nor is her Scot. Niamh doesn't say as much.. why should she? She's happy for the other woman! "Dolphins.. I hear stories on how they're good for ships when lost, so always look for 'em t'dance in the waves." There.. helpful advice? Her smile is easy and warm, hazel eyes bright and dancing. "Can ye atleast say 'when', so I don't go bargin' in during your preparin's?" Just so she knows how long she has to get those potions over and clean out the old/out of date.

Annie's eyes drop away from Niamh's, her lip caught lightly in her teeth for a brief pinch. "It's just me goin'. Well, me an' Mister Steele, he's openin' up a travel business in the Alley, an' invited me t' be his first 'client'. It was kinda' my words that gave him the idea t' open the shop, yeh see," she explains, looking up with a smile again. "He's a very kind man, invitin' me t' go so I could tell people about the trip an' all." With absolutely no ulterior motives. At least not to Annie's knowledge.

Niamh listens.. and as it unfolds before her, her eyes widen a little, her head dips, and she reaches out to grasp Annie's arm in prelude to dragging her off to a secluded corner for the moment. "Ye an' I have t'chat.." she begins. "'Kind men' don't go an' offer trips t'ladies.. unless it's t'try their wares.." And, oh look.. there's a reading area in the back corner there!

Annie frowns lightly, not resisting the guidance to a quiet corner, but she protests in her 'library voice'. "Oh no, Niamh, not Mister Steele. He's very kind. An' he's got a dog." As if that means he can be trusted implicitly. Her smile returns, but there's a cast of unsureness to it now. "An' he offered for Tim t'come as well. It's just that… we're havin' a little trouble an' all, an' I wanted t' go somewhere quiet t' do some thinkin' on it all."

Before Niamh begins again, she settles herself down, and tugs at Annie to take her seat. Then, there's the furtive check to see if there's any prying ears before taking out her wand for a quick charm. She doesn't want to be overheard. Period. "Aye, Mister Steele. Annie, don't go. I've made the man's acquaintance, an' he's nae someone ye want t'get mixed in with. Nae like that.." The Irish lass must be in earnest as her lilt thickens, though it never loses that warm, caring tone underneath it all. "Th' offer for Tim was t'make ye believe all's on the up an' up. It's nae right for 'im t'be askin' ye such a thing an' leadin' ye in where ye may nae wish t'travel."

Dropping into the chair next to Niamh, Annie's brows are drawn together in confusion. "Cor, he'd not have any designs on me. An' I'd certainly not entertain any such thoughts. Even Tim hasn't…" Her words cut off abruptly, and she rephrases, "Even Tim has been a perfect gentleman, an' I'm promised t' him." Her lip is chewed again, a modified version of Tim's habitual chewing on his tongue when he's feeling uncomfortable, and blue eyes settle directly on Niamh. "Yeh really think he'd think anythin' of the sort?" She's not deluded enough to imagine herself a better judge of character than an older and wiser witch.

Niamh looks at her, and there's a fond smile that plays on her face, and she reaches out to take Annie's hand. "Ye are a lovely lass, Annie. Sweet. Kind. Smart.. an' have so much t'speak for ye. If I was your mum, I'd suspect any man who spoke t'ye for more than a few moments. But, after takin' the measure o'the man as I have, I can't say in all honesty tha' I believe him when he says that all's innocent. I mean, ye just made his acquaintance, aye?" She pauses in her words as Annie's words begin to sink, and she dips her head, a soft breath escapin'. Thank goodness for that silence charm! "Nae.. as man an' wife?" Playing house without any of.. well, okay. It's proper, but no wonder the lass wants to step out and breathe? "I'll tell ye what.." and she begins again. "Promise me ye won't go.. an' ye and I will step out. I've got Sorcha t'watch the shop when I'm out, an' she's good. When she's up on time, tha' is." And it's said lovingly! "But, if ye do go, there'll be a bitter regret there.. an' it'll sit in your stomach like a rock."

It's clear from the deepening of her frown that Annie is giving Niamh's words careful thought. Surely Niamh can hear the gears turning and see the light drift of smoke from the girl's ears. "Well, I've met him… twice…" she says, hearing how lame the words are as they leave her lips. The question of her and Tim's living arrangement brings a soft shake of her head. "No. An'… well, t' be honest, I was wonderin' if somethin' was wrong with me," she admits softly. "But we… had words." Fought. Rather badly. "He said he respects me, an' knows I'm not like that." A deep sigh huffs from the girl, seeming to come from all the way down to her toes. "An' I'm… confused." She looks up, despair in her eyes, "Cor, Niamh, I've almost made a horrible mistake. I've moved back t' live in Hogsmeade t' get some room t' think, an' because peopl just don't understand me livin' in his house. They assume…" Her eyes drop, shame in them. "An' how much worse would I have made it, lettin' a man take me off, even if I think he's got no such ideas? How would that look?"

"Ye'd have all of the Alley waggin' their tongues at ye. Particulary when ye an' Tim'd been steppin' out." Niamh keeps her tones down, far from judgemental, she.. understands. She does! She sits up, her smile affectionate, and shaking her head, she gives Annie's captured hand a squeeze, "There's nae a thing wrong with ye. An' fights are natural. They are. It's.. t'balance ye, to find where ye are.. an' where he is. Th' question is, after a fight, do ye move forward an' work on the issues at hand, or do ye run from 'em?" A soft chuff sounds, and she scoots a little closer to the younger woman, changing her spot. "Mind, a fight an' such differences can also mean tha' things aren't t'be. I'm nae the judge of it. It's.. how ye feel after it's done. Weight on the shoulders, or a liftin' an' lightenin' of 'em. One causes sorrow an' hurt, an' t'other.. understandin' and closer feelin's."

Annie gives Niamh's hand a squeeze back. "It would just do me worse than I am now, wouldn't it? Goin' on this trip with Mister Steele, even if he was a perfect gentleman." She sighs, immeasurable sorrow and frustration trapped in the soft sound. "I don't know if the fight helped or not. I know I'm still confused. There's someone… I care a bit for. But he's with someone, an' he's happy. So why can't I just let him be happy an' be happy myself?" Her eyes raise to Niamh, but it's clearly not a question she expects an answer to. She straightens in her seat, setting her backbone straight both literally and figuratively. "But, I can promise yeh that I'll not go on the trip. I'm sure Mister Steele will understand." Yes, Annie still has faith that the man has her best interests in mind and not his own.

"Aye, would.." Niamh agrees with a very sympathetic chuff of breath. "Ye could protest all ye want.. but people will think what they will. An', o'course, that's when ye learn your friends from those who simply profess such." She still has hold of Annie's hand, and dipping her head again, she looks to the side where her friend sits before rising to come and sit before her. "This other gent.. does he know?" Must be painful for the pair? "Did ye meet him when ye were both wit' someone then? An' he's just caught your eye?"

"They already think what they please about me an' Tim," Annie says, a touch of anger in her words. But she deflates again at the next line of question. "I… I don't think he knows, no. An' I've really no place t' tell him. I knew him before Tim, but he was always with someone." The girl stops there, falling silent as she ponders her own words. "Maybe that's tellin' me somethin' right there," she says softly. "If he cared for me, he wouldn't always be with someone else, would he?" Again she goes on, not expecting an answer, "An' he's not… like Tim." She looks up without raising her head, regarding Niamh from beneath a fringe of lashes. "I don't rightly know that he'd be so… understandin'. He's more… worldly."

Ooooh, one of those.. Niamh clucks softly, giving Annie a 'chin up' sort of encouraging smile. "Always with someone else. Lots of elses, then?" From the sound of it? A quiet chuff of air leaves her again, and rolls her head forward. "Love," she begins slowly, "is a wonderful place t'be. T'be loved, an' to love back. T'be cherished.. an' happy. Free. S'what love is. But, t'find it, ye have t'look.. an' keep things open. But, if there's any doubt, darlin' Annie," and she brings her head up, "then it's nae the real thing. An', just because someone loves ye, it doesnae make it right that ye have t'love them back." A thumb rubs the back of the other woman's hand in encouragement, "You're young, pretty.. an' smart. I can't think of a man who'd nae want t'be with ye. Now, all ye need do is decide who it is that truly turns your head."

Annie's lips purse. "I've never really wondered if there's lots of elses. I suppose… maybe?" Her shoulders shrug. "At any rate, there is an else, an' I should likely count my blessin's an' not worry about what's not mine t' worry about." While it's sensible, she doesn't sound exactly ready to embrace the idea. But maybe she'll get there. "I know Tim loves me. He tells me. He shows me. No one else does that. An' I do love him," she says with sincerity. "But it bothers me that someone else could be takin' up part of my mind. I feel.. untrue in my heart. An' that's what I need t' think long and hard on." She sighs, as if the weight of the world is on her shoulders, but she looks up with gratitude in her eyes. "I appreciate yeh listenin' t' me, Niamh. All this has not been restin' easy on my mind."

"Nae, I can see it hasn't.. t'just hear ye," Niamh agrees, and she reaches out to put an errant bit of Annie's hair back in place. "You'll worry yourself grey. An' it's unbecomin' on such a pretty young lass like yourself." Sitting back now, she frees Annie's hand and quirks her head sideways with an impish smile rising to her face, "He's in your mind.. an' nae your heart? Then that should give ye an idea. If ye decide that he's in your heart an' it's pushin' things aside, well.. then ye know tha' too, aye?" A brief headshake comes, and her now freed hand rises to wave thanks away. "It's perfectly fine. Thin's like this always come first t'me. I'm jus' glad I wandered in.. an' t'make the promise tha' I won't leave things t'chance. I'll owl ye an' we'll set times t'wander on our own, aye?"

Annie has to smile as Niamh pushes that stubborn lock of hair back, but her head dips quickly to hid a sudden glistening in her eyes from the older witch. No older sister, her mother gone; Annie tries not to dwell on it, but sometimes something so simple as having someone listen brings the pain back. Her head stays dipped for a few breaths as she recaptures her composure, and when it comes back up there's a weak smile on her lips. "I'd like that very much. An' I'll have t' go see about tellin' Mister Steele. Should do right after work, an' not leave him makin' plans." She doesn't comment further on her war of heart and head, overwhelmed with it and no closer to conclusions. Instead there's even more to think about. "But yeh did come in here, an' there must be a reason? What can I help yeh with, Niamh, now that yeh've been so much help t'me?"

Well, Annie's got an O'Shea to come to now, at least Niamh. "Th' door's always open, an' I'm always agreeable t'steppin' out. O'course," and she chuckles wryly, "might mean me workin' well into the night, but it's well worth it in my book. Nothing I've nae done before, an' will do again 'til the shop is passed off t'the next generation." Hopefully her own children rather than a sibling's, but.. "An' if ye want company t'deliver the news so ye don' get sweet-talked again?" She'll come!

At the question, Niamh's smile brightens, lighting her face in pleasure. She reaches into her coat pocket and brings out a letter; obviously from Ireland. "I got this, an' it's from a group I've ne'er heard of.. but I'm nae a city girl, so it's not a big surprise." On the return address is 'Coimisiun Bealoideasa Eireann, Dublin.' The Irish Folklore Commission. And the letter looks.. official. "So.. I want t'know what's what. They're askin' me about my potions, an' herbs.. an' such." Before hue and cry can be made regarding that veil, she puts a hand up. "We Irish are known for.. our fairymen.. our healers usin' herbs an' the like. It's part o'the culture. An' our family's been with herbs since, well.. well before the shop here."

Annie's eyes widen slightly at the woman's offer, "Niamh, if yeh would, I'd be forever grateful." She has no illusions right now that she couldn't be easily swayed. Her judgment is clearly shite with all that's weighing on her. "Maybe I could stop by yer shop t'night?" As the letter is produced Annie puts aside her own woes, tucking them away efficiently to study more later tonight when she's back at the cottage in Hogsmeade. The frown that now graces her face is curious, not troubled. "Folklore? What would they want t' know about yer potions? Wouldn't they want t' know about leprechauns or summat?"

"Then ye tell me when an' where." Settled as far as Niamh's concerned.

As for the letter, it's written all in Irish, as evidenced as she pulls it from the envelope. "Nae.. folklore. Healin', an' the like. They're askin' for family histories, an' questions regardin' herbs. Seems finally they're recognizin' that they've a country filled with ability an' they don't want t'lose it. Perhaps, it's 'cause the English tried t'put it all down for so long tha' they're tryin' to nae let that part o'our history go." Niamh.. obviously doesn't care for the English as a whole. "An' fairymen weren't leprechauns. They're the early healers. The ones who could use magic an' charms," and she smiles impishly. "Aye.."

Is that two strikes again Annie? She's English AND a city girl. The brief thought twitches her nose, but she puts it aside. Niamh doesn't seem to consider her for those two things. "History should never be forgotten," Annie agrees. "It's where we all came from. It matters." Her head tilts, "So d'yeh want me t' see if we have any information on the group?"

"Nae, ne'er forgotten.. an' remember tha' it's a part of us, whether we like it or nae." And Niamh is very Irish. No chance there that she'd ever forget her roots.. nor any of her children's children. "I do." And her voice lowers again, "I'd like t'find out who's runnin' it.. an' if they're a registered wizard an'.." Things that Annie might be able to get for her, either on her own or through her contacts through the library. "Please?"

Now this… this is something Annie can do. She's a Ravenclaw AND a librarian. Double threat! Her wand comes back out, along with a piece of parchment. Tapping the letterhead of the letter Niamh holds, she says, ""Effingo." A simple copy charm. When her wand is touched again, immediately, to her blank parchment, the words are copied exactly the same. "There," she says, smiling. "I'll be able t' look up some things, an' I can see if I have any information for yeh by tonight."

Niamh looks.. pleased. Very pleased, and her face shows it, her eyes gleaming. "Thank ye," and her voice lowers again, "I owe ye for this." She's one who believes in going to the right person for the right things. And, it doesn't hurt when they're friends. "I ask ye, though.. please don't breathe a word t'other shopkeeper, Ms. Black. If it's a true opportunity, then.." It could make her career and set her in the annals of Ireland, her and her family.

It's time, then, to take the quiet charm from the ladies, and out comes the wand to do just that. "I should get back. An' expect word from me t'step out, aye? I meant that. An'.. I expect word from ye when ye need me present to speak with this Mister Steele." She pauses, and leans over to give Annie a light peck on the cheek, and she corrects herself, "Nay.. when ye want me present."

The light frown is back on Annie's face. "That lady with that other apothecary that's so sterile an'… lackin' in personality?" She only had to search for the words a moment. "No worry." It's pretty clear where Annie prefers to take her business. Of course, even though she has always gone to Niamh's shop, the new knowledge she has of Niamh's older brother certainly doesn't hurt her loyalty any. If Tim trusts them, Annie trusts them. Her head is tilted to accept the kiss, and Annie pecks one back to Niamh's cheek in return. "I'll come by t'night after work, an' see if yer available t' step out t' his shop with me," she promises. Better to have it done and not hanging over her head. Annie reaches out to stop the older witch before she can leave, blue eyes serious and intent. "I owe yeh even more, Niamh."

"Aye, that'd be her." Niamh's shop is.. old. Broken in. Well loved. And a fixture in its own right. And she's fiercely proud of it. Her smile turns fond, "I knew I'd have none." And she means it.

Annie's promises of stopping by the shop later is met with an acknowledging nod, and as she straightens, ready to pull her gloves back on, she's stopped. The earnestness in which the words are spoken touches the Irish lass, and she sets her hand on Annie's, her voice a whisper, "I'm nae keepin' score, lass. Ne'er do.. an' ne'er will." With that, then, she pats her friend's hand, and turns to leave.

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