(1938-10-21) Not Up Here
Details for Not Up Here
Summary: Fabia returns from an outing. Frid actually denies her something.
Date: October 21st, 1938
Location: The Three Broomsticks, Hogsmeade

The Three Broomsticks

Despite the obvious patina of age, The Three Broomsticks has a warm, inviting ambiance. This character the pub has attained is, no doubt, thanks to the years it has been steeped in the environment of this particular village. Just one evidence of the village's influence on the pub can be seen in the dark paneling inside the building. The wood was once the outer walls of the home that housed Hogsmeade's founding family. Put to good use once again after the founding family bequeathed it to the pub, the paneling has served the pub just as well as it once served Hogsmeade's founders. The Three Broomsticks has flourished under its current proprietor and is always open and ready for a customer or visitor.

The dark wood surface of the floor glows with a polished sheen from much cleaning, and exposed ceiling rafters, which appear to be original, cross the ceiling in tidy squares. Wood tables of varying sizes litter the room, and matching chairs are scattered among them. Several secluded booths fill up the space along one wall. A flavorfully aged mahogany bar takes up most of the space near the back wall with a series of mirrors and shelves of varying heights hanging behind it. Those shelves behind the bar are lined with memorabilia depicting the life and people of the village as well as items which are special mementos to the pub's owner.

The Broomsticks has been open for a couple of hours and is doing a modicum of business when its mistress (and that term is used advisedly) comes through the 'Floo, sneezing mightily, in a veil which disguises her identity and a fur coat and turquoise suede gloves which establish it beyond any doubt.

"Achoo! achooo! … Oh, Frid," she exclaims, holding out her handbag and hatbox in a desperate request for relief.

Frid apologises quietly to the gentleman next in line to be served, moving over to the fireplace to claim both bag and box, holding both in one hand and producing a handkerchief from his jacket pocket, which he holds out to her. "Madam," he responds, looking her over. "I take it that London was to your satisfaction?"

It is beyond Fabia to refrain from responding suggestively. "Oh, to my complete satisfaction," she assures Frid, fumbling inside the collar of her coat for the edge of her veil, and flipping it back over her head. She is immaculate, but her eyes are exhausted, her smile tremulous. She takes the handkerchief and dabs at her nose. "I'm not at all certain I could manage the stairs," she confesses, and sinks into the nearest booth (toward which she has been gravitating rather often). "Pot of tea?" she implores.

"Pot of tea," Frid responds, dipping his head politely as he disappears for a moment or two to arrange it. He returns, not yet with the beverage of choice, but with a teacup, saucer, milk, sugar and all the appropriate fixings for when the tea does arrive, which he sets down in front of her, and then waits, a brow raised. "If you fall asleep here," he warns, "I may just leave you this time."

"Oh, sweetie…" Fabia looks up at him with enormous green eyes full of reproach. "You wouldn't. Not if I was in such a state that I passed out when I hadn't had a drop to drink in hours. You couldn't. Why, what could I possibly have done, that you'd neglect me so?"

Frid quirks a slight smile at that. "If you can't manage the stairs," he reasons amiably, folding his hands behind his back. "Unless we arrange some sort of winch system, of course."

And Fabia gasps. "I'll have you know I weigh less than I did when I was TWENTY! I'm practically the same size, and I've less muscle now. You could carry me up, you know you could. Just look at you."

"I'm not sure it would be appropriate, madam," Frid insists, smile widening. "To be carted around in front of anyone. Besides, I rather like being able to breathe," he points out, it being no great secret that there are definite limits to his ability to physically exert himself without wheezing, a present courtesy of the German mustard gas which cut his war short.

Oh, well. This, some of this, Fabia concedes. "I don't think it would make them," she glances about the taproom, "think anything of me they're not already thinking." The tea arrives; she sighs and begins taking off her gloves. "Oh, by the way, I'm expecting a piano later in the day."

"Very good, madam," Frid responds, ever unruffled. "Where would you like it? Here, or in your rooms? I imagine your rooms might prove more of a challenge."

"Oh, I rather thought — there." She points with a recently-bared, entirely-sparkling finger. "We might put the extra gramophone on top for when there isn't anyone in who feels like playing. Do we still have the extra gramophone? I can't just at this moment recollect."

Frid dips his head. "We do, madam. I shall see to it," he agrees, gesturing to the table as one of the bar staff comes over, somewhat nervously, with the tea tray. Without asking, Frid automatically puts sugar in the teacup and then pours, finally topping it up with a dash of milk, before offering teacup and saucer over. "Will there be anything else, madam?" he queries, hesitating just slightly.

"Hmm? Oh — could you draw me a bath, sweetie, and put out something for me to wear this evening. For when," she flashes him a bravely bright smile, as she lifts her cup and saucer, "I tackle the stairs."

"Are we expecting company, madam?" Frid queries nonchalantly, glancing briefly to the door.

And again that slight wilting. "No, sweetie. Not up here."

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