(1938-07-02) There's Nothing Exciting About Cast Iron
Details for (1938-07-02) There's Nothing Exciting About Cast Iron
Summary: Fiona Donnelly is cauldron shopping and encounters Adam, a muggle boy. Tales of caution for the muggle-born and excitement over the prospect of flying, plus the tediousness of cauldrons.
Date: 2 July 1938
Location: Potage's Cauldron Shop

Inside Potage's Cauldron Shop, Diagon Alley
Tue Jul 02, 1938
It is a summer morning. The weather is hot and stormy.

Light comes in through the shop's display windows causing the stacks upon stacks of cauldrons that make up the aisle of Potage's Cauldron Shop to cast long shadows towards the back of the shop. Instead of waiting at a counter the staff at Potage's walks around the lanes of stacked cauldron with wands in hand, making sure nothing collapses and levitation smaller stacks of cauldron to and fro to free the ones requested by customers. The floor is marked with multiple lines left behind by sliding cauldron legs and from time to time a customer could be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a rare self-propelled cauldron clanking about on its little stubby legs.

Fiona rolls her eyes and moves away from the woman she was speaking to. It is morning but summer, so a bit warmer than usual. Fiona has no interests in cauldrons really, save for she needs one for school. She has managed to shuffle her way away, out of the line of sight of the adults who are gossiping. Dressed in a dress, because she had to come to town, Fiona rubs at her reddened cheek with her palm as if scrubbing something off.

Adam, who had been wandering about the shop with a great deal of curiosity for the past few minutes, is now examining a small cauldron that he holds in both hands and peers into. He looks up when the girl about his age comes into view. "Do people actually use these?" he asks her as he rotates the cauldron in his hands. "What are they for?"

When she speaks it is with an obvious Irish accent. "Oh aye. You can use them fer all sorts. Me mam uses them -" she huffs when the woman she was standing near calls out, "Proper, Fiona." The girl, presumably Fiona, starts again. "Yes, they can be used for many things. My mother has one that she uses to make up different potions. A small one like that." She nods towards the little cauldron Adam is holding. "The larger ones are used for cooking. Do you not have a cauldron?" She looks him over then, obviously curious about the boy who doesn't know about something as ordinary as cauldrons.

Adam's attire might seem a little strange if one isn't used to the sort of thing Muggles wear. He starts to smile when he hears who he assumes must be the girl's mother correct her, but he quickly suppresses it. "Potions," he says, not quite managing to keep the wonder out of his voice. "Right, of course." He puts the cauldron back where it belongs and then frowns at his hands, which are a now a bit smudged from cauldron grease. "No. I haven't needed to make any potions yet. Why, how many cauldrons do you have… Fiona?"

Fiona stops rubbing at her cheek, distracted from whatever she had been doing it for by his declaration. "Me? I don't - well I once tried to make a stinky feet potion to give to my brother Eniri but it failed. Sort of." A grin crosses her mouth. "It turned his feet pink. It wasn't supposed to do that. Technically it wasn't magic usage so I was not in trouble, well with the Ministry, but I was in trouble with my parents. It upset father something awful, my brother made quite a fuss you see and that meant Father was distracted from his work. Mother had to step in and I was not allowed to leave my room except for going to school or meal times for three entire weeks." She hakes her head, "Can you believe that? Three weeks!" Even now she sounds put out over it. Drawn back to the question he asked, as if she almost had forgotten it. "I think we have six or seven. I shall have to go to the kitchens and ask Sarah - she's our cook - how many there are."

Adam grins as well, but it's more of a bemused grin at the way Fiona so casually talks about turning her brother's feet pink. "Three weeks?" he says as he wipes his hands absently on his trousers. "That's shocking that is. Tell me you snuck out somehow." But his eyebrows shoot up when she mentions how many cauldrons she has. "Six or seven? What on earth do you need so many for? You must be made of money. Actually, I'm not sure how much cauldrons cost. I've looked for prices, but all I can find are these funny little numbers that don't make any sense."

She leans in and grins, "Of course I snuck out. I am a good climber." She peers at the cauldron he is holding. "That is the price, but it is in wizarding money. That one costs ten knuts. I don't know if that is good or not because I have never bought a cauldron before." She looks around at the shop then. "I should think you would not need an overly large one for school." Her gaze returns to Adam, "It is for school isn't it? That is why I am here. I could have used Aidan's seeing as how he has just finished school but Mother said I should have my own, that a girl's first cauldron is special. I can't imagine why." Fiona gestures to the cauldron, "There is nothing exciting about cast iron."

"Good on you," Adam says. "So am I. My folks can't keep me inside for more than an hour if I don't want to be there." He peers at the cauldron he was holding. "Ten nuts? What, like acorns? Can't be too expensive then. You can find those anywhere." He rubs at his nose absently, leaving a small dark smudge there, a remnant from when he had been holding the cauldron. "Right, for school. Don't know why I'd want to lug one of these things around school though. What's wrong with cast iron? Looks nice and sturdy to me."

Fiona laughs a little, she can't help it. "Not n-u-t-s," she spells out, "but k-n-u-t-s. They're coins. Say, are you pure Muggle? That is, are neither of your parents wizarding folk?" She looks him over again as if just realising he may be a fish out of water. Her gaze flits around the shop and she grabs Adam by the arm and drags him behind a row of large cauldrons. "You aren't alone are you? I mean, your parents are here, yes? With you?"

Adam stares at her. "Coins. Of course. Well, those are a little harder to find then." He shrugs, her question making him feel a little self-conscious. "Well, they don't do magic if that's what you mean. I do though. 'Least, I can once I properly learn how. Hey!" he half-heartedly complains as he follows Fiona behind the cauldrons. "What? No, I'm not alone. They're here. Well, not here exactly, but out there, talking to some official about my future or some such nonsense."

Fiona lets go of him and leans up on her tip toes to peer over the display, seeing nothing to concern her she drops back down onto her heels and looks at Adam. "Sorry about that, but there are some who dislike Muggles. That is what we call non-magical folk. Some don't think children like you should be allowed in our schools. Just be careful. You seem a nice sort too." She offers him her hand at last. "I am Fiona Donnelly."

"Not at all," Adam says, a little confused, but unbothered. His confusion grows as she explains, and he looks around with some discomfort. "So I'm in danger then?" he asks, standing on his own toes to peer over the cauldrons in the same manner she did. "I didn't think it was such a big deal. Surely loads of kids have parents who can't do magic?" His cheeks turn a faint touch of read at her last remark, but he grins and shakes her hand. "Adam Irving. It's nice to meet you, Fiona."

Fiona lowers her hand and says in all seriousness. "Hopefully you are not in danger, but just beware that not all are going to be friendly. My brothers came home from school just this past week and told me that there was a club for kids like you - students who were not from wizarding families and quite a few get bullied. What you have got to do is get yourself some mates." She nods firmly, "Yes, that will help. Right away sort out who are the others like you and stick with them." She sighs. "It is shameful things have come to this. I am not allowed to play with the local children anymore because of it. Father gets all red in the face and sputters a lot. I don't see why. There are folks born into families who have magic and cannot do magic. You are just the opposite."

Adam seems more bothered by the idea that people will be unfriendly to him than he was when he thought he was in danger. "So you're telling me I should only talk to the other kids with parents who can't do magic?" he asks. "Come on, it can't be that bad. You seem like a nice sort too. There have to be others like you as well. Anyway, I can do magic, can't I? So what difference does it make if my parents can?" He pauses, and then starts to smile. "Hang on a minute. You're pulling my leg, aren't you? Had me going for a moment."

She looks rather pained as she shakes her head. "I am not. Do be careful, Adam. Sarah once told me that the way magical folk see non-magical folk, that is Muggles, is like how Muggles see Blacks. She said that you treat folks who look different badly. Because of their skin. Or ones who have different religions. For wizards, some wizards, the world is divided between us and…them." Fiona runs her hands down over her bright yellow dress, its colour vibrant and summer hued - seemingly out of place with the dark look on her face as they speak of such dark things. "The school will protect you. Nobody can hurt you, really hurt you at school."

Adam's face falls. "Well that's a load of rubbish," he mutters, rather put out, and sullenly folds his arms in front of him. "But I'll be careful. Thanks for the warning. It's a shame, though. I was really looking forward to school. Now I'm not so sure I want to go after all." He frowns as a sudden thought occurs to him. "Wait, so since I take it you come from a family that does magic and I don't… Does that mean we can never be friends? How do I tell who the other people like me are?"

Fiona exhales loudly, blowing her cheeks out like a chipmunk. "It is," she says in agreement. "Oh don't let it put you off school. There will be many good things there and now that you know you will be more alert." She smiles at Adam, trying to reassure him now. "I shan't think it should be a problem for us to be friendly, my brothers aren't likely to tell. Well not Eniri anyway. I am not sure about Gilroy, but he is much older and will have exams." She reaches up and begins twirling some of her hair around her finger, almost as if she were unaware of what she was doing. "I don't suppose you will know right away. Ask whoever your prefect is. They can give you some tips I am sure. My brother Aidan was a prefect and always helping people. I can ask my brothers if they have ideas too. Then I can tell you if I see you on the train or before then if we bump into one another again."

"Suppose so," Adam agrees with a smile, trying to appear a bit more cheerful. "Guess I just don't know all that much about the place, so hearing the unpleasant stuff first is a bit jarring." He grins at her next words. "Well that's reassuring. Suppose it's not worth being overly concerned about it in that case. We'll just have to see what happens when I get there." He shrugs as if ridding himself of his fears were as simple as that, and then goes on to say, "Have your brothers ever talked about what the good things about the school are? What do you do up there? Aside from learn magic that is."

She keeps on twiddling, winding and unwinding the hair from around her finger. "Well…" she says, drawing out the word, "there is flying. You get to learn that. And you get to play quidditch, its a sport. You can take a pet like a cat or an owl or a frog. You never really have to do much in the way of chores because the house elves tidy up after you. The food is nice. They all have liked the food. Plus it is a gigantic castle you can explore."

Adam, who was expecting to hear about things he can relate to, finds himself quickly reminded that he is in fact an outsider. But that reminder is vastly overshadowed by a surge of excitement. "Flying? You're serious, aren't you? We get to learn how to fly?" He reins himself in, but can't help but grin. "All right, so that's something to look forward to. Don't think I'll have a pet though. Sounds a bit expensive. What's that sport about though? Quidditch? Sort of a weird name. Hang on, did you say elves?"

Fiona lowers her hand as she nods. "Yes, with broomsticks. You can use school ones. You don't have to own one." She grins back at him, glad he is finding something to look forward to. "Quidditch is great. Each house has a team. It is played on brooms. There are hoops you have to get a ball through, its called a quaffle. And beaters with sticks who try to knock budlgers - another ball into people. Plus a seeker." She nods towards the window, just visible from where they are. "Over there, that is the quidditch supply shop. Boys often like to congregate there." She looks back at him. "House elves. Many old families have them and so does Hogwarts. You barely notice them, the good ones that is. Great-Great Aunt Winifred had one that was ghastly, can't recall the name of the elf but he used to grunt all the time."

"I can't believe no one mentioned this before," Adam says, his grin threatening to split his face in two. "I don't care how unfriendly the other kids are. If I get to fly it won't even matter. And there's a whole sport based on flying?" He follows her gaze to the window. "Suppose that's where I'll be headed next then." He nods at her explanation of elves, though his thoughts are mostly still on flying. "So they're like servants then. Have you played this Quidditch game before, then? Is it as fun as it sounds?"

Fiona bobs her head to the affirmative. "I have played a few times. It can be fun." She turns her head as she hears her name being called. "I had best get going. It was nice to meet you Adam. Good luck with getting your supplies." She offers her hand again. "See you around?"

"Can't wait to give it a go," Adam says. "Oh, all right. Suppose I'd better go find my own family anyway. Maybe I'll just pop over to that Quidditch shop and have a quick look first, though." He clasps her hand and gives her another friendly grin. "Yeah, definitely. Thanks again for the advice."

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