(1938-10-14) Fast Friends
Details for Fast Friends
Summary: The friendship between Fabia and Corina cements as they bond over similar experiences.
Date: 14 October, 1938
Location: The Three Broomsticks, Hogsmeade
Related: The Fox Takes Possession of the Henhouse

At half past eight or so, still drunk even after her supper and her impromptu nap, Fabia Whomever-she-is strolls downstairs (one hand on the bannister, as a precaution) and into the taproom of the Three Broomsticks via the door which bears an elaborate Staff Only plaque. She's staff! What a joke.

She pauses to appreciate the humour inherent in her new position; and also, of course, how splendid she believes she looks, in her glittering drop-waisted silver lamé gown. Of course she's changed for the evening. (It's still Scotland, so she's thrown a Barguzin sable stole over her otherwise-bare shoulders.)

A step or two and she's behind the bar. WHAT a vantage point!

For the second time in as many days, ivory-haired courtesan, Corina Silver, has been seen amongst the rustic folk of Hogsmeade in the Three Broomsticks. Reactions among the local vary from wide-eyed awe at the exotic beauty, to upturned noses at the presence of such a harlot in their midst. For both, she has the same solution; sit alone at the bar with her hood pulled up, periodically flashing decolletage to earn some poor husband a smack from his wife. It's an amusing enough game until the real reason for her presence arrives…and there she is! As soon as Fabia appears behind the bar, Corina draws her hood back to reveal the impossibly snow-coloured hair, offering a warm smile. "Faaaabia," she drawls. "I was beginning to wonder if you hadn't already decided this life wasn't for you."

"Oh, hello, sweetie," the landlady sighs, gliding along till she's just opposite Corina's stool. She leans one wrist on the bar, then the other upon the first; her arms are quite beautiful, with well-defined and elongated muscles decidedly unusual in a woman of her years — however many years those are, and wouldn't it be impolite to think too much upon it? She smiles impishly up at Corina, whose head is at present higher than hers. "The novelty of not having to pay hasn't had time to wear off yet — bring me another martini, sweetie," and this last is to the bar wench, who has been keeping an eye on her new employer's progress even whilst pulling pints of Butterbeer for the customers.

Corina chuckles, eyes dancing with amusement. "Martinis in a pub. That must earn some strange looks. How are you managing, dear?" She leans forward to kiss Fabia's cheeks, spilling forth a lovely view for a gentleman down the bar, who manages to dribble mead into his beard. "I can only think how overwhelmed I would be in your shoes."

Fabia rises onto her tip-toes to return the warmth of Corina's greeting, kissing the air instead of the younger woman's cheeks — a courtesy; she'd leave such bright red smudges otherwise upon that alabaster skin — but their faces manage still to brush daintily against one another's… Beaming with amusement, Fabia glances down the bar to the wench with the cocktail shaker, and whispers, theatrically, "I spent all day teaching the girls how to make better cocktails. I think it took, in the end — the last few were decidedly palatable. Go on, order something frightfully chic and we'll see. If they can't make it for you," she throws her head back and raises a shoulder, a wondrously three-dimensional pose such as a Hollywood actress would be proud to achieve, and laughs, "I will!"

Corina throws her head back, laughing brightly. "Merlin, how you remind me of Paris! Alright, then. A Rose Cocktail? I haven't had one since I left France." She lifts her eyebrows at the poor, put-upon wench that may be subjected to her epicurean whims.

"Cherry brandy and dry vermouth," Fabia supplies, when the wench looks thunderstruck, "or," and she looks back to Corina, "do you have gin in it as well? Some do, some don't… I really think you ought to, you can have some from my bottle, I had to send out for it. And you rub the rim of the glass in lemon juice," she's talking to her unhappy minion again now, "and dip it in powdered sugar. Well, go on, go on." Her hands make little fluttering motions in the air, the diamonds upon them glittering like miniature suns. One rises to stroke her fur as she watches the wench dart off into the kitchen in search of lemons and powdered sugar. Her martini, meanwhile, has been left upon the bar in its chilled glass; she lifts it in Corina's general direction, and sips, smiling.

Corina nods deeply in agreement at the suggestion of gin, as if to do otherwise was unthinkable. She nurses her red currant rum while awaiting her cocktail — looks like there's going to be a bit more drinking tonight than she'd anticipated. "So, there must be plenty of gossip around the village today. I read in the Prophet that Sirius Black is a professor at Hogwarts now?"

The landlady of the Broomsticks looks wistfully across and confesses, "I don't know who that is." One shoulder shifts beneath her fur in a minor shrug, and, observing, "No stools on my side," she glimmers round the edge of the bar to perch on an empty one next to Corina. "Was it in the paper? I meant to look at the paper, but, you know, it's been one thing after another today…"

Corina lifts her brow in disbelief. "You don't know? Surely you know who the Blacks are, at least. The Ancient and Most Noble House of Black? Sirius Black is one of their elder men. Apparently he used to be the Chief of the Department of Mysteries. He's just been appointed to a professorship at Hogwarts."

Some thought is devoted to this, during the course of three considered sips of Fabia's martini. She holds the glass further up the stem than usual, one immaculate fingertip upon the bowl of it, for she's had… how many has she had? Given that she started at lunchtime it's anyone's guess. "Not Serious Black," she says suddenly. "I was at school with him. He pinched me once! At least," she blinks, "I think it was him, though he said it wasn't… Possibly he wasn't so serious as all that. Children aren't very good at nicknames; the skill only grows, if it grows, later in life… You say he's a professor now? Good heavens. Serious Black." Her lips curve, possibly in response to other memories.

Try as she might to stifle her guffaws and maintain ladylike decorum, Corina finds all of this entirely too funny not to laugh aloud. Her boisterous giggles draw a few irritated looks from patrons trying to relax as the evening winds down. "My goodness. I'll bet he was sweet on you. Wouldn't it be marvelous if he came here and recognized you?"

Naturally Fabia laughs along with Corina; how could she, in such delightful company, not to mention her present state of pleasant inebriation, resist giving herself over to mirth? "Oh!" she gasps at last, "I shouldn't *think* Serious would remember me, after so long. Though we did have," she looks coyly upward, "one or two friends in common… Oh, I think that must be your glass."

The rim of it is indeed dusted with sugar; and the wench bearing it has a bottle of cherry brandy in her other hand. Fabia beckons her over. "My gin," she says, "two ounces, and then an ounce each of the brandy and vermouth… Unless you prefer different measures, sweetie?" She tilts her head inquiringly at Corina.

Corina waves her hand dismissively. "I trust your methods. Show me what a Three Broomsticks Rose Cocktail is like." She sighs softly, shaking her head. "What I wouldn't give to have been a fly on the wall during your days on Hogwarts. Though I'd wager you were a completely different person. Let me guess…mousy? No…shy, though. Am I close?"

"How potentially terrifying," Fabia breathes in answer to Corina's expression of confidence, and her eyes stray once or twice to the cocktail in its next stage of preparation, before returning, with all due fascination, to the young witch's beautiful face. "Not really," she shoots back, "were *you* a mouse?"

Corina's eyes shift conspiratorially, and she drops her voice to a near whisper, leaning in toward Fabia. "Let's not get into that. No Corina Silver ever attended Hogwarts." She gives Fabia a wink and an impish smirk.

It's too delicious. When Corina might draw away, Fabia rests a hand on her shoulder, keeping her close a moment longer — "No Fabia Iskanderova went there either," she confesses into the ear of this lovely pale girl, and releases her with a smile playing somewhat naughtily about her lips.

On cue, the rose cocktail is pushed tentatively across the bar to Corina.

Corina eyes stay firmly locked on Fabia as she takes up the glass, fascinated. "I knew I liked you." She lifts the drink to her pursed lips, sipping a sample. Her head tilts in muted appreciated. Perhaps not the best she's ever tasted, but then one shouldn't expect Paris-quality cocktails in a Scottish pub. At last she gives the wench an appreciative nod. "A fair first effort. Thank you."

The wench bobs nervously and moves away to attend to someone else's blessedly less complex and terrifying order.

"Ah! Of all the country pubs," Fabia sighs, "I'm so pleased you walked into mine." And that's the end of her martini; but she doesn't, just yet, call for another. She's still toying with the empty glass, watching Corina with her drink, trying through eyes which don't focus as well as they did at lunchtime to judge how truly this exotic customer is satisfied with her libation… "I'm so pleased it's drinkable," she remarks, "but I'm sure it'll be better tomorrow if you're still here… I can't imagine why you would be, though. Who, here, could possibly have the galleons to keep you tethered in one place so long. Oh, I know, I know, I shouldn't… but somehow I can't quite help myself."

Corina chuckles through a swallow, wagging her finger. "Now, Fabia. You know I cannot reveal that if my client wishes it to be kept behind closed doors." She glances over her shoulder at the thinning population of the pub. "Especially with so many curious ears about."

"Hardly any curious ears, anymore," Fabia protests, but without much vigour. She casts a deliberately world-weary eye over the few patrons left to her: "Lord, how early to pack it in. I thought the custom of the lock-in was enshrined in country pubs… perhaps," she leans in to whisper again, her eyes dancing, "perhaps they're just frightened of being locked in with me."

"Can you blame them?" Corina injects with a wicked grin. "You're not exactly what they're used to. Not to mention your taste in drinking companions. Socializing with a whore. Tsk."

"I'll socialise with practically anybody," Fabia tells her firmly, "who'll socialise with me. And what people who don't know what's what might be so crude as to call you, is nothing I've not been called myself."

Corina cannot help another snickering laugh. The alcohol is clearly having its effect on her. "Oh, you are so bad. Marvelous. You really should come visit me in London next time. Have you ever been to the Natrix? It's a dance hall. I think you would adore it."

"I don't know it," the elder of the duo confesses to the younger. "In the last half a dozen years hardly anyone seems to ask me to go dancing; can you imagine?" An ingenuous little shrug; her fur slides away from one slender, lightly-muscled shoulder, and she tugs it up again, nestling into the warmth. "I should adore to see it, do let's go one night. I don't know when I shall be in London, though. When shall you?"

"Always. I live in London, at House Lorelli. I would caution you about the nature of the House, but I imagine you've already guessed it." Corina winks. "Of course, some nights I am occupied. But I'll send an owl and we'll arrange an evening on the town."

"Oh, do let's. But just now I'm terribly afraid Madam Tabitha has come in and is trying to catch my eye. Some crisis with the Butterbeer, or some contretemps in the kitchen. My life is so full of incident now that I'm responsible for," and Fabia's arm rises in a graceful sweep, "all this!" At the last instant the gesture is converted into a friendly wave to two of her acquaintances from earlier in the evening, who have just got up to leave.

Corina nods, slipping free of her barstool with a bit less grace than usual. She had been waiting a while for Fabia, after all. Plenty of time for a few rums. "Mmm…I think I'd best get home, then."

There's a little bump as Fabia's feet hit the floor. (She wears shoes lower-heeled, altogether less flamboyant than one might expect, considering the rest of her attire; perhaps it's the one matter in which she can't help showing her age…) Her arms float over to capture Corina in a brief, headily scented embrace. "Mind how you go," she murmurs, laughingly, as she releases her, "and spare a thought for me in my taproom, the next time you cross the threshold of some too, too glamourous salon."

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