(1938-10-06) Chatting in The Three Broomsticks
Details for Chatting in the Three Broomsticks
Summary: Students and a few adults share some quality time together at Hogsmeade's most popular bar
Date: October 6, 1938
Location: The Three Broomsticks, Hogsmeade

What a difference twenty-four hours makes. Yesterday Medusa was in this very same tavern, albeit sat with different people — person. And that started off the rumour mill. Today she is nursing a butterbeer, drinking it slowly and sitting on her own. The Three Broomsticks is bustling as students try to enjoy their last few hours of freedom before the grind of more classes. As people move from table to table talking with friends several of them give her a nod or offer a teasing quip. Most of them are along the lines of 'How is your snake charming going, Malfoy?'

"Ugh," Gus says, rolling his eyes at the next teasing comment he hears directed Medusa's way. "Spare me the unimaginative prat," he mutters into his own butterbeer. He's nearby at the next table — seems the friends who were there are mingling with others at the moment, though evidence of their presence in the form of scarves and ties and a tidy stack of cards remains behind.

Medusa ignores it for the most part, she glares at a few who she feels are risking her wrath by saying such things. The gaze she turns on Gus isn't quite so cruel, however. "But they are unimaginative prats, Augustin. That's why they cannot think of anything new to ask." Her mouth quirks into a smirk and she takes another sip of her drink. "Where are your posse of Hufflepuffs?"

Augustin nods a couple of times, pulling a long face. "Poor them," he sighs. "Doomed to a life of triviality and pettiness, and sheep-like conformity. I feel… baaaaaaad for them," he confides in her, bleating the word 'bad' like a sheep. His eyes twinkle with repressed mischief. At her question, he glances at his table. "Oh, they're around," he says, motioning toward one across the room who happens to be chatting up a girl from a younger year. "Where're your mates?" he wonders.

She looks amused by his pun but doesn't laugh. Her gaze hoewver does follow the gesture of Gus' hand towards one of his housemates. "She stuffs tissues in her bra." Medusa doesn't elaborate on how she knows this but instead replies to hs question. "Candy store." She glances back at him. "Lillian, huh?"

Gus barely manages not to spew his butterbeer all over the table, by clapping his hand over his nose just in time. A couple of dribbles leak through his fingers to land on his plate, and his eyes water as his face turns red. He puts down his mug and grabs a napkin, pressing it to his face to mop up the snotty, beery mess. "Owww…" he groans. Then, "Great timing, that." He means the comment about the tissues.

Medusa laughs. "I have my moments." She reaches over to pick up his friend's scarf and holds it out to Gus in a 'go on' gesture' since his friend is too busy trying to cozy up to the girl with tissues in her bra. "Maybe he is nice and won't care." The Slytherin sounds doubtful.

Gus waves away the scarf. The napkin seems to be enough. He blows his nose on it to clear out the last of the butterbeer, sniffles a little, and seems much recovered. "Whew." He casts Medusa a curious look. "Yeah, Lillian. Douglas, huh?"

She settles back in her chair and crosses her legs beneath the table. As always her clothing has been arranged to accentuate her appearance. Even her non-uniform skirts are a bit shorter than most girl's. Medusa shrugs a shoulder and says deadpan, "What can I say? I am a sucker for lazy aimless types."

Gus is unable to stop his eyes from noticing that short skirt, and the slender legs beneath it. He turns pink, and then grins at her. Cheerfully. "And Doug's always been a sucker," he says, bringing up both hand and cupping them in the air, "For girl with a great pair of…" he pauses just long enough to let her fill in the blank before finishing. "…gams." Calves. He claps his hands together and rubs them briskly for a second. "Though I could have sworn he was eyeing your prefect."

Of course he notices. Even Gerald notices. But Medusa won't hold that or anything against Augustin. "Has he?" She sounds amused if the tone in her voice is anything to by. "Which one?" There are several female prefects and even one male for Slytherin house. "Lillian always looks like if I poked her a bit hard she might cry. So sensitive and gentle."

"The very pale haughty one," Gus answers. "Janette, I think is her name. The way she colors up around him…" he shakes his head. His eyes narrow a bit at her last comment. "Until she gets a bat in her hands," he returns with a bit of a grin. "But why would anyone wanna poke her?" he asks, and cautiously sips his butterbeer again.

Medusa is sat alone at a small table not far from Augustin, who at present is also alone. The pair of them are talking. The Three Broomsticks is bustling with activity of a mainly student variety. Students sit in groups or mill about chatting with friends and making new ones. There are some adults, those who don't mind all the students. Medusa throws her pale head back and laughs throatily. She shakes her head, "No, he is not interested in her. The other way around. She fancies herself some kind of ice princess and evidently threw herself at him in the infirmary last week and again yesterday." Clearly Medusa does not see whomever she is speaking of as a threat in her gossip mill romance with Douglas Macmillan.

"Isn't he?" Augustin murmurs into his mug, affecting an air of someone who doesn't quite believe what he's hearing, but is rather too polite to say that. "Well, you must be rather confident, then. Good for you." He gives her a charming, very polite smile. "Not that I believe it for a red-hot second," he amends.

The Malfoy girl gives Gus a sharp look, not quite the full gorgon stare but not far off. "Do you really think that freak Janette Abbott can compete with me, Rousseau? Really? I think you should look at me again and think about who I am." Medusa looks away from him and takes a sip of her butterbeer.

The bell above the front door chimes twice before Astoria, wearing long matte-black robes, enters the inn. She closes the door with a snap, and a second ring from the bells, before walking farther into the room. She glances around at all the students, intense eyes not focusing on any of them in particular. She eventually finds herself at the bar and levels her gaze on a barman. She waits to be served.

Entering by way of the street, the door is left to shut on his heels as Gerald takes the first few, tentative steps inside. He may even earn a few blinks as he enters, his hands shoved lazily into his pockets and his eyes scanning, rather slowly, over the faces. The end result, he doesn't see who he seems to be searching for, but he does spot a few familiar faces..and one very familiar (and haughty) blonde. He hesitates, but he does will himself forward, reaching to gently tug at a lock of platinum hair as he passes Medusa.

Medusa glances briefly over as the door opens but then Gus is speaking to her and she turns to give him her attention. The seventh year blinks, surprised by the comment. People fear Medusa Malfoy. Small students actually flee when she is near, some of the more dimwitted older ones do too. What people do not often do is offer her kindness or express concern for her wellbeing. To say she is taken aback would be an understatement. Whatever she had been going to say however remains unsaid as Gerald arrives at that moment and tugs on her hair. She turns her head expecting to dish out a verbal lashing but just says, "Gerald Cornfoot, are you flirting with me?"

Astoria eventually gains the attention of the barman, who wanders closer. "One butterbeer," she orders, her accent light, though very well enunciated. She places one hand on the bar and turns away to skim the room again. She eventually finds Augustin, Gerald, and Medusa, and her hawk-like gaze lingers for a moment. So many students!

"Oi!" Gus says when Gerald pulls at Medusa's hair. And he might have said more except that the girl seems to handle it quite easily herself. He sighs and picks up his mug, takes a long drink, and looks around the tavern again. His eyes light on Astoria, who seems to be staring at them. He blinks a couple of times, and tilts his head curiously.

The tug was quiet light, and enough that he pauses near the table, but he remains focused on the room for a moment. That's not to say that he isn't paying /any/ attention to Medusa and Gus. He is, and he hears, at the very least, Medusa speak. And that's when his agreeable nature sneaks in. Almost without thinking he turns back, sparing a glance toward the other two, "Yeah." Beat, "No..wait..what?" Inwardly he flails, but outwardly he simply appears…confused. Gus's reaction earns a look as well, but he doesn't address it for now, rather he seems, confused..it's only made worse by the staring adult who earns her own look from Gerald. "I'm looking for Eibhlin. Anyone seen her?"

"Eibhlin? No. Sorry. But I haven't left here for ages," admits Medusa. She likes Eibhlin and grins a little at Gerald. "Nice choice there. Maybe try the candy shop?" She kicks an empty chair out for him to take if he wants it. As she does so another student passes by and hoots, "Recruiting more than just Macmillan for your harem, Medusa? Watch out Cornfoot she's got a stare that can make you go hard." The boy and his friends snigger and then run as Medusa calls out in response, "Remember who knows your secrets, Tristan!" With a soft soothing sigh she smiles sweetly and reaches for her drink. "Augusting things Douglas is going to use me and was just warning me to be careful. Isn't that kind of him, Gerald?"

The pale haired Malfoy girl glances sidelong at the bar, curiously noting the attention they have garnered from Astoria. Her finger taps against the side of her glass as she tries to remember if she does know her.

Astoria's gaze lingered for a moment, though she apparently didn't intend for it to be long enough to catch anyone's attention as, before Augustin has time to tilt his head, she has looked away. The expression catches her attention a second later, however. She focuses on him, dark eyes intense, and affords him the smallest of knowing smiles. The most is brief, and soon ended as Medusa calls out. Astoria focuses on Tristan, and then another conversation across the room. If Medusa's parents, or brother, dragged her out to social events this past summer she most likely recognizes Astoria. If she reads the Daily Prophet she may recognize her as well. Otherwise, she's just another people-watching witch.

Augustin says, "I — I didn't say he'd use you!" Gus says, hastily shaking his head. "Maybe he's madly in love, I don't know! But if he is I didn't hear about it, that's all." He's rapidly turning red. "Oh, dear, me. He's my /friend/. I — I should have kept my mouth shut, eh?" He nods, rests his face in his hands, and says, "Aye." He sighs miserably into his hands. Right now an adult witch people-watching them is the last thing on his mind."

Gerald watches, though Gus's response causes a small chuckle to part his lips. "Gus, she knows what you meant. She's playing with you." It should be the FIRST thin on someones mind with Medusa..or so Gerald believes. "Anyway, he's not far off base. Who's looking for a wife right now?" Some, perhaps but Gerald seems to have at least that view in common with Douglas. "Of course, Medua is number on all out lists, right Gus?" He does narrow a glance toward the other male, though it's more of a teasing glare than anything.

Astoria's butterbeer arrives with a gentle slide, which sends a bit of foam over the edge and down the side. She turns from her people-watching and pays for the drink quickly. After swiping some foam away, Astoria licks her finger and sips the drink. "Mmm," she murmurs.

Gerald is going to be the death of her if anyone is. Medusa shifts on her chair, recrossing her legs, and gives Gerald a withering look but then says to the poor anguished Hufflepuff on the other side of her. "I was teasing. It was kind of you to be concerned however. Thank you." Medusa glares at Gerald again as if to ask 'There are you happy now?' "I don't think people plan who they are going to be attracted to." Well, maybe some people do. "He said he couldn't help himself." The Slytherin girl with the platinum hair shrugs a shoulder and then brings her glass of butterbeer to her lips and drinks. As she lowers it she says to the pair of them, "I think that is Astoria Bletchley, the writer. Why do you think she'd be here during a Hogsmeade weekend? Most adults can't wait to leave town."

Gus lifts his head to peek over his fingers at Gerald. "Teasing?" he asks. Relief blooms on his face when Medusa confirms that, and he's good-natured enough to laugh at his own reaction. "Actually, Gerald, I've got Lillian. No offense, Medusa, but she's my number one. Er… my only number, really. It's a very brief list." He holds up his fingers a couple of centimeters apart to illustrate his point, and grins. "The reporter?" he asks, swivelling his head to gawk at the grown-up who's been caught looking at them. "What story could she possibly find here?" he wonders, pulling a confused face.

Astoria drinks half her beer quietly, but pauses before finishing the rest. She turns back around, oblivious to the conversation about her, and looks over the room once more. A moment later, she moves away from the bar and towards a small table that has recently been cleared.

"No idea." Medusa rises from her seat and smooths out her clothes. "I am, however, going to find out." She leaves her unfinished drink on the table with the instructions, "Don't let anyone spit in that," and then begins the walk which will bring her towards Astoria. A couple of her housemates call out to her. Their jokes are more from the perspective of her beating Douglas into shape. The words 'lazy arse' may have even been used. Medusa waves a dismissive hand and by the time she reaches Astoria she is all social smiles. "Good day, Ms Bletchley. I believe I saw you at the Benevolent Society for Witches summer gala."

Gus' eyes widen momentarily at the thought of someone spitting in Medusa's drink, and then his nose wrinkles. Yuck. He leans back in his chair and watches her confront Ms. Bletchley.

Gerald chuckles, nodding as Medusa stands and approaches the adult. He may know her, he may not. We'll never know, as his attention is sucked up by a red head passing by the open door of the pub. Offering a wave to Gus, Gerald quickly stands, hurrying to rush just outside, no doubt to chat with the girl he's been chasing all day.

Astoria has seated herself by the time Medusa arrives. She glances upward, intense eyes focusing on Medusa's. The smallest of smiles graces her lips before she answers, words crisp and audible despite the inn's noise, "Good afternoon. Yes, a pleasant evening, if I remember correctly." She crosses one leg over the other and straightens her skirt, though her attention never wavers from Medusa. A moment later, she gestures to a seat. "Do you care to join me?" she asks.

A tall and dark haired youth stepped into the Three Broomstick Pub just in time to see Gerald scoot past on his hunt for fiery hair. Though he threw out a comradly enough upnod, even the notoriously self centered Black could accept that for a teenage boy, chasing skirt was more important. Barely. By a scratch. Alphard didn't come alone. There was a trio of sycophants in his wake whom he unceremoniously dictated to find a table and order some butterbeer while he, like a conquering general paused just beyond the treshold to take stock of his surroundings. Inevitably his attentions focused on Medusa, Astoria and Gus.

Medusa motions to the table where she had been sat with the two boys. "Or if you like Ms Bletchley you are welcome to come and join us." She does not offer her own name likely because she expects people know it, afterall the Malfoys are well known. Her gaze flits to Gerald as he runs out and then she smiles seeing Alphard come in. "Perhaps, Alphard might join us too. Do you know Alphard Black, Ms Bletchley?"

Augustin waves farewell to Gerald and has another drink of his butterbeer - he's close to finishing it off by this time. At the exact same moment that Medusa so elegantly gestures his way, he lifts a hasty fist to cover a loud and rather impressive belch. He has the good graces to look abashed at the noise, but can't stop himself from chuckling, too.

Astoria follows Medusa's motion to spy Augustin, again. She smirks and raises an eyebrow after the young man's faux pas, but her expression is swift to resume its normal state. "I could be convinced to join you, Miss Malfoy," she answers, rising gracefully to her feet. She picks up her drink and continues, "I have heard the name, but I do not believe the young gentleman and I are acquainted. Why don't you introduce me to your friends? I would be pleased to make their acquaintance." She prepares to follow Medusa.

Alphard took Medusa's smile for an invitation to join. Without a flicker of guilt or even acknowledgement, he ditched the group he had come with. That it wasn't the first time was obvious in their defeatist expressions. His strides were long without being hurried, his bearing blessed with the natural and unshakable confidence belonging to old aristocracy. Subconciously he brushed a hand down the front of his neatly pressed shirt, straightening out non existant wrinkles. It looked expensive, tailored to his lean frame to perfection.
"Malfoy, Rousseau.." Both got a smile and a casual upnod for a greeting, before he fixed his eyes to Astoria. Politely he left room for someone to make introductions.

"Black," Gus says flatly to the boy that strides up. Not impolite, just… not warm. At all. He nods to the grown-up, crosses his arms, hold the last of his butterbeer in his mug. The addition of the snobbish bully to their little group seems to clamp down on Augustin's usually jovial Hufflepuff friendliness.

Astoria follows Medusa to the table. She finds a chair and seats herself, taking care to cross one leg over the other in a swift, graceful gesture. She looks up towards Alphard and smiles before glancing back to Augustin. "A pleasure," she says briefly, to both young men. The older woman doesn't seem disturbed by the presence of teenagers; he face is a mask of intense, undivided attention that passes between the students at the table without surprise or pause.

"Ms Bletchley, it's a pleasure to meet you," Alphard said, even if his crooked smile suggested it was her who aught to consider it a pleasure to meet the likes of him. He offered to take the older woman's hand, even going so far as to dip a cursory little bow. As far as grips went, his was solid while remaining gentlemanly considerate. "What do you write?"
"Thank you," that went to Medusa, before he flicked a look in Augustin's direction asked what his problem was? As if Alphard, who made a point out of bullying Hufflepuffs above all others out of their candy and happiness, couldn't understand why anyone could not welcome him in with open and loving arms.

Medusa finishes off the last of her drink and says to Alphard, "Another for me too." She flicks her hair back behind her shoulder. "What brings you to Hogsmeade during a students weekend, Ms Bletchley?" Agustin gets a sidelong glance and Medusa lightly nudges him with her foot under the table. Play nice old people are about.

"Excuse me," Augustin says immediately after Medusa nudges his foot. He gathers up all of his housemate's things - two scarves, three ties, and a deck of cards - and stands up. He doesn't seem like he's really in any mood to hang around Alphard right now. He takes a few seconds to look around for his friends.

Astoria accepts Alphard's hand with a small, brief grin. She retracts her arm slowly when the young man releases her fingers. "I write occasionally for the Prophet," she explains, "witch a focus on pieces that require a historical background. My primary focus is in the study of ancient runes." She pauses to smile, but only for a moment. Turning to Medusa, she answers, "I find Hogsmeade weekends to be a most enlivening experience, even after all these years. I have a… dark bit of work ahead of me, and thought I would take the day to lighten my spirits." She turns back to Alphard and gives him a slight nod. "Good day," she replies.

"Sure, sure. Have a good night, Rousseau," Alphard murmured pleasently. Apparently he was on his best behavior for the night. Or perhaps it was just the presence of an adult that tipped the scales of his personality towards civility. He even gave way to let Augustine out of the table easily, before he settled back down himself. "Soaking up a bit of nostalgia before heading into the storm?"

Medusa reaches out, catching hold of Augustin by his jacket before he gets far. "Thank you. I will speak with you later about what we were discussing before." She lets go then and turns her attention back to Alphard and Astoria. "A dark story? Isn't history all about dead people? How can that be dark?"

"Indeed," Astoria replies to Alphard. She turns to Medusa. "I am helping a coworker with a disturbing piece - it is only an interview, but I suspect it will leave me shaken. I shouldn't say more." After folding her hands in her lap, Astoria says, "How has the semester been? I have caught wind of the Sorting Hat enticing the student body with a peculiar riddle - otherwise, I haven't received much news from Hogwarts."

Gus nods to Medusa, and then he's off toward the door, because apparently his friends left with whatever girls they found, likely to the candy store.

"That sounds dangerous, Ms Bletchley, I do hope you take care." Medusa gives Alphard a smile when her drink arrives with his. She leaves him to pay. "We have our new headmaster, Headmaster Flint. He is an admirable professor and from a good respectable family." So says the Malfoy.

Astoria listens to Medusa quietly. She answers, "I remember him as Professor Flint - he was an excellent instructor. I had him for ancient runes, of course." She reclines slightly. "I think he will make an admirable headmaster, though he will be more strict that Dippet."

Alphard duly paid, not even thinking twice about it. He would have done the same for the group of students that he had left behind in the corner table. There was even a little tip, coins clinking against the table as he made the transaction. Then he contently buried his face in the tankard and took a proper long swallow. Mhm. That was the stuff. Thirst slaked, he could return to being social. "He's a man with great vision. I think he's going to transform Hogwarts into something better. He's started already with the Magijugend Club." With a flick he drew out the silver symbol of the club; Grindelwald's intersected triangle and line. So, I know you said you -shouldnt- say more.. but surely you could? A little tease?" He grinned. Dark and possibly traumatizing story? Alphard was sold.

Medusa also seems interested in what is happening to Astoria but she leaves it to Alphard to press for further information, undoubtedly feeding into his ego that little bit more. She sips her drink and looks around the still busy tavern noting a few other students. At present nobody is hurling jokes her way which is a blessing, likely because she is sat with an adult.

So maybe he actually did need to speak with the red head, but with business dealt with and his conversation done, Gerald returns. Stepping through the door, he looks (to his credit) a little less bewildered than he did the first time. This time he's aware of what will greet him just inside the pub, and so he moves rather easily back toward the table, and his 'friends' there. Finding an adult does take him back just a hair, as does the absence of Gus and the addition of Black. "Huh.." he mutters, glancing back over his shoulder for the missing teen, "Hey Al." It's a simple enough greeting for the other boy, though the women get a small nod, "Mam." To Astoria, "Princess." To Medusa. He's already been accused of flirting. He might as well milk it.

Astoria eyes the symbol. Her eyebrow begins to arch, but doesn't get very far. "A new club, hm? Very interesting." She glances between Alphard and Medusa before saying, "Unfortunately, I cannot say more. If it were my own story, I might. But it is not." She smiles briefly and glances up to Gerald. "Good afternoon," she says, her tone light and crisp. "If each of you would excuse me for a moment, I am going to order a second drink." She stands, scooting her chair back, and gestures for Gerald to take it. A moment later she moves towards the bar.

"Pity. Take care, though!"
Alphard's attentions switched. "Ugh. I'm assuming that was an attempt at friendliness, Cornfoot. And really, I appreciate the effort since we are.. friendly. But -honestly-! -Al- sounds so bloody plebian. It's Alphard; after the star; the Heart of the Serpent. Let's stick to that, or just plain Black. That way I won't have to feel this completely rational need to bea-" he suddenly remembered that he was in adult company (abeit a departing one), and clomped down. His 'innocent' smile was really all the cause anyone should ever need to lock him up. "To correct you." Ahem. He then shifted a little to make room for Gerald.

When Astoria refuses to share more information Medusa doesn't seem surprised, adults are like that as well she knows because she is nearly one herself. Her head turns, chin lifting with amusement at Gerald's greeting. "Smartarse," she says with a laugh and sips her butterbeer. "Goodday Ms Bletchley," she offers the departing woman. Her attention turns to Alphard then and she asks, "So where have you been? I've been here two days and this is the first time I've seen you. Got some girl you holed up with?"

A wink goes to Medusa as Gerald settles into the newly emptied chair. He slumps back, unmindful of his posture for the moment. He's far to sidetracked by Alphard's lecture. Then again, the other young mans words causes a small smirk to draw slowly across Gerald's lips. Perhaps the slipup was intentional? If it was the teen leaves it there, instead offering him a seemingly honest nod. "My apologies then." It's a simple act, but Gerald seems amused enough. Enough so that he remains silent as Medusa addresses Black, his own attention shifting lazily between them and the rest of the pub.

"I took a study weekend," Alphard said, before passing a look in the direction of the group he'd come in with. They were still there, occasionally sending looks in this direction. He shrugged. "But you know that point you get to where any more studying will make you feel like your ears are bleeding, and your brain is slowly being eaten up by some ugly creature? I got to that point, and decided I might as well take a break and be social. Speaking of being social, I didn't think you ever went to Hogsmead, Gerald."

The idea of an entire weekend spent studying would probably make Medusa's ears bleed so she can sympathise. "Yes, you should be here then, relaxing for a while Alphard." Her head tilts towards Gerald, "You know I am the Queen not some princess. Get it right next time Gerald. Points for effort, however." An amused smirk turns up the corner of her mouth and her gaze drifts around the tavern.

"I don't usually. I was looking for Eibhlin, and I'm supposed to meet Soleil later." Gerald has a date, or maybe he does. He doesn't seem to realize this though. "And I was bored. My nap wasn't as fun as I had hoped it would be." He chuckles lowly, be he seems rather unmoved by the pub. Then again..isn't that how he always is? "I figured…I could /attempt/to give it a try." And here he sits. Still unconvinced! At least Medusa gets a laugh out of him.

Alphard took a long drink from his butterbeer, then let out a content sigh afterwards. Without really thinking about it, he waved down the staff for a second butter beer, and then another one to be brought infront of Gerald. It was a habit earned from young age when it had become apparent that buying friends was easier than making them. These days it was just second nature. "Aren't you doing your best to chase skirts.." Alphard said with a snort. His eyes traveled from his tankard towards Medusa at the words, though, eying her up consideringly. "Speaking of proficient skirt chasers. Macmillan? Really? I admit I didn't peg you as another one of his.." he paused there, chewing for the right word to describe Douglas' usual female companions.

Medusa turns an amused gaze on Gerald, "Aren't you the closet Cassanova." She chuckles and sips her drink. "Sunny and Eibhlin. I hope you can juggle, Gerald." Alphard's turn of question — that it is directed at her — makes her shrug her shoulders. "What can I say? It was unexpected." But there is a story there undoubtedly. Afterall, Medusa Malfoy does nothing without a plan.

"I'm one of the better students," he reminds Medusa and Alphard both, "I'm too smart to juggle girls. Or think I'm going to get away with it." The last part earns Medusa a smirk and a narrowing of his eyes, but he drops it there as the tankard finds its way in front of him. "Anyway, I think Medusa is a big girl. She can pick her man better than we can." Despite his words..yes, he's judging. Heavily. "You have my support." He then adds in that same possibly fake tone of nobility. As for the butter beer..he casts it a glance, but he doesn't touch it for now, but he does offer Alphard a nod of thanks.

"Not very much at all," Alphard replied to what she could say. And if there was just a tiny cruel edge to follow, well, it could not possibly have anything to do with spurned hopes. "Hopefully he doesn't hold it too much against you that you don't quite look like the Muggle poster-girls he so favors. I'd hate to see a friend hurt. But I'm sure you're right Gerald." The Black let his voice trail off as if it had been nothing but a flippant comment anyway, off handedly made and just as soon forgotten.
"So Ms Bletchley mentioned that Sorting Hat treasure song. Any of you think there's anything to that? To me it sounded like just a prank by the hat, a wild chase so the kids won't get into other kinds of trouble."

Equally cruel Medusa looks at Alphard and says, "There is still something you can give me which he cannot. However, if you decide I am no longer worth the effort…well…" she leaves it there unsaid knowing Alphard's imagination will take over. "I tend to ignore the feast. It was a foregone conclusion where I would go." Or so she likes to think. "I am sure some Ravenclaw has got the whole thing written down. Ask Eibhlin, she's one isn't she? I normally hate half-bloods but she isn't that bad, has uses. Still tread carefully there Gerald. You don't want to get a reputation." Medusa takes another sip of her drink.

Sitting outside of this particular portion of the conversation, Gerald merely sits back and listens..and watches. He also lifts the tankard to his lips, though his attention remains focused on the two 'friends' for the moment. Medusa's warning doesn't go ignored. He nods deeply, a look of agreement corssing his features before he returns his attention to his drink, leaving her to scold Arnold again..it's so much more entertaining than anything he could possibly say!

A rather flushed and angry looking dark-haired girl rushes up to the three of them. "I hate you Medusa Malfoy! I was going to go the Halloween Feast with him. I had it all planned.!" The girl sobs and has to be lead away by her friends.

It takes Astoria a long time to get her glass refilled. While waiting, she takes in the sights and smells of the inn. Ah, nostalgia. She takes note of the young woman who shouts at Medusa. Her eyebrow arches, but otherwise remains expressionless. When her butterbeer arrives, Astoria grips it by the handle and walks back towards the table. Sharp, focused features turn from student to student while she walks over.

The look in Alphard's dark eyes was different. It was self contained, hard to read, blank like the porcelain smooth cast of his features. He watched Medusa for a moment that stretched, saying nothing at all. Then it was over, his usual cocky smile returning as he leaned back against his seat. He opened his mouth to say something regarding Eibhlin, but of course there came the dark haired girl. His eyeroll was of epic proportions. "Really?" He asked with a shake of his head. "It's not often I see something so pathetic, I'm almost at loss for words."

Medusa salutes the sobbing girl with her glass and says rather bitchly, "All part of the Malfoy service." With that she knocks back the last of her drink and gets to her feet. "I am going to go." She looks between the pair of them. "You two are my knights. You have been promoted. Without you I will not survive this year. Make of that what you will." She grabs her jacket and pulls it on over her jumper then makes her way away from the table, offering her seat to Astoria.

Astoria takes Medusa's seat with a quickly, accepting it with a slight nod. She crosses her legs and looks between the two boys, but doesn't speak. After all, it would be rude to interrupt.

"Bye." It was all that Alphard said to the departing Malfoy, not commenting on his 'promotion' at all. His hand lifted in a farewell gesture. Behind his confident gaze, gears were turning. Thoughts being made, perhaps reassessed. His head turned so he could take in Astoria as she settled into the seat previously occupied by Medusa. "Welcome back. So, if you can't tell us anything about the omnious story you're currently working on, do you have any other nifty little stories to share?"

Stuffing her hands into the pockets of her jacket Medusa makes her way out.

As soon as you think you've got rid of House Malfoy and can return to a normal pattern of breathing, up pops another of its representatives: one of the elder generation, this time, a small black-clad witch with a parcel pressed firmly against herself by her left arm, and her lips pressed into a similarly firm line by her seemingly perpetual ill-temper. … Of course, this witch and her mood may not be known to the younger people in the pub: she has kept largely to herself during the years of her widowhood, and nothing about her plain and well-worn-in robes and hat suggest birth into one of the wizarding world's greatest and shadiest pureblooded families and subsequent marriage into another.

She stalks across the pub to the bar via a straight path, rather than weaving her way to avoid inconveniencing the other patrons: she expects people to move out of her way, and those who know her, do. The cast-iron self-confidence in her bearing is echoed in her voice as she orders a small glass of the second-best brandy.

Astoria listens to Alphard's question, and smiles partially afterward. "I rather doubt it. I have never had a knack for entertainment." She pauses for a moment before asking, "Why, do you find life at Hogwarts particularly boring?" Her eyes narrow, perhaps in interest, before sighting Ismene. Astoria's gaze diverts to follow her progress to the bar, but she eventually focuses on Alphard again.

Alphard bore all the hallmarks of a scion of the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black. Dark of hair and eye, pale of complexion, a bearing that spoke of refined aristocratic blood and unshakable confidence. Smugness and arrogance holding hands, and of course snobbish judgement of anyone who looked like they were of a lesser quality. He only needed one passing look of the witch wearing such plain an attire to determine her as not worth his time or attention. His conversational drawn continued with Astoria. "Then perhaps you should amend that. Who wants to walk through life being dull company? Anyway, Hogwarts is.. well.. Hogwarts. I'm rather looking forward to being done, if you must know. Too many rules.. to much forced association with lessers. You must remember how that's like."

Holding her glass of brandy delicately between the fingertips of one black-gloved hand, Madam Malfoy glances about the pub to find somewhere to sit — she abhors sitting at the bar, even for so short a time as she'll require to drink down this small and steadying libation before her return to London. Scant possibilities present themselves to her eye. The nearest empty table happens to adjoin one occupied by several… young people. Well, it's only for a minute or two. She sets down the glass, gently, and the brown-paper parcel, with a distinct thump, and arranges herself in an attitude of extreme dignity upon the edge of a chair.

"On the contrary, I detest amusing others with 'nifty little stories,'" Astoria quips, though her tone or expression do not change. Her gaze retains its intensity. "And I detest people who tell them." She pauses for a moment, studying the young man with the mildest of grins. To his later comments, she merely nods, though her attention diverts to the older witch, who she surely recognizes from social gatherings. "Madam Malfoy," she says curtly.

"Really? I can see a wonderful future in the story business for you," Alphard said with a grin. He started lifting up his tankard of butterbeer only to realize that it was empty. Frowning, he looked down into the foamy container, as if it might give out some clues of how it had so quickly been emptied. Nothing. He sighed. "Ah. Damn it. I suppose I should he heading back. Nice meeting you." The latter to the reporter. With a languid motion he heaved himself to his feet, his hand instinctivly going down the front of his shirt to ease out any wrinkles.

The brandy is halfway to Madam Malfoy's lips when, addressed by name, she pauses, her eyes flicking up to the young (all things are comparative) woman who has spoken. Her eyes are small and black and the more you look at them, the more they have in common with razors. "A Bletchley, if I'm not mistaken," says she, who seldom is. A brief search of the genealogical charts of pureblooded British families which are never far below the surface of her mind. "Astoria Bletchley."

Still eyeing the historical correspondent, with a growing appearance of disapproval, she drinks down her brandy in a single practiced swallow. "Good evening, Astoria Bletchley," she says, though her tone suggests she is, in truth, wishing her anything but. Then she sets down the glass, picks up her book, rises, sniffs — and is gone.

Astoria raises an eyebrow after Alphard. "I would not put much stock in that future," she replies. As Alphard and Ismene both stand, Astoria nods politely. After a brief pause, she, too, stands. Taking her drink, she walks away from the table. The scene at the Three Broomsticks remains rather busy, but without the antics of the Slytherin alumnus and students, it is not as lively as it once was.

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