(1938-11-18) Nightmare and Good Morning
Details for Nightmare and Good Morning
Summary: Bailey suffers an awful nightmare while sleeping on Fabia's couch. When Frid arrives in the morning, Bailey is a little jumpy.
Date: 18 November, 1938
Location: Fabia's Apartment, The Three Broomsticks
Related: Follows Drinking Alone

Fabia's apartment is no stranger to new faces taking advantages of its comforts. Of course, most of them seem to end up in Fabia's bed, rather than on her couch. But Bailey has proved to be a different sort of creature than many of Fabia's friends — literally, as she is much smaller at the moment than she was earlier in the evening. It allows her to fit more neatly on the couch, after all. But her slightly diminutive form only adds to the image of vulnerability as she squirms on the cushions, her feet tangling in the sheets. Her light moans and whimpers are certainly too soft to disturb the fermenting Fabia in the next room. But perhaps the sudden scream that penetrates the apartment will do the trick. Bailey finds herself in the dark, in an unfamiliar environment, sitting bolt upright and panting heavily.

A nearby whimper is nothing to Fabia, while she's deep down in her alcoholic dreams; but that scream reaches her, somehow, and she fumbles about in her bed, trying to find whether there's someone with her… There doesn't seem to be. But there must be — someone. "Sweetie," she calls out, as strongly as she can, but with imperfect diction, "are you—?" She's too groggy to know how to finish the sentence.

The voice in the dark is unexpected. Trying to remember where she is, and with whom, through sudden waking and whisky-soaked memories is no small feat. She jumps and scrambles for her wand…wherever that might be…and only manages to knock an empty glass from a nearby side-table, sending it smashing to the floor. She pulls her feet up, gathering enough wits to realize that darkness plus bare feet plus broken glass is a bad combination.

To pull herself from such a slumber is a struggle. Fabia lies naked and breathing between the sheets of her bed — having managed to shed her clothes, all over the place, but not to find her pyjamas — something's broken, something's happening, and she doesn't know what… "Atalanta!" she exclaims, as something of the evening seeps back into her not-quite-conscious mind. Her throat feels like… She fumbles above her, for the glass of water Frid always puts out before bedtime, and finds it and splashes it about a little but manages to bring it to her lips. She gulps hopelessly. "Are you— are you awake?" What a bloody stupid question. She tries to stir from her present position. She can't. "Can you… come here?" she asks, without absolutely knowing why.

Bailey blinks trying to adjust her eyes to the dark. She still hasn't found her wand. Desperately, she reaches out a hand, incanting aloud, "Accio wand!" Nothing. Trying to summon her wand wandlessly, especially without knowing where it might be coming from, proves fruitless. Fabia's voice reaches her ears, and there is familiarity there that jogs loose some memories of the evening. "I'm…I'm here!" she calls back, her voice trembling. "There's broken glass, and I can't see anything."

"I— I don't know how to…" And then Fabia realises she does know. If it will work. "Accio wand," she utters, clutching at her pillow, and the box on her dressing-table, the box Frid never touches, lifts its lid. 12 1/8" of silver lime arrives within her grasp a few seconds later. She has known it half a century, this wand, though she has scarcely… it fits so well within her hand, though she barely recollects… "Lumos," she breathes, but fiercely. And there is light — wherever she wishes there to be light.

Bailey squints as the ball of light Fabia summoned hovers into the room, slowing to a stop near the drink trolley. But it's enough for her to see by. Spotting her wand, fallen to the floor, she snatches it up. Not really because she needs it now, but more for her own sense of security. Stepping carefully, she pads across the room to the bedroom door. She is easily six inches shorter than she was a few hours ago. Her hair is disheveled and wild, eyes heavy with exhaustion. "Fabia," she finally remembers the woman's name. "I'm sorry, I…broke a glass."

The prone figure beneath the bedclothes, her fingertips caressing a familiar, yet unfamiliar, yet curiously beloved wooden object, murmurs, "Oh, sweetie, the glasses I've broken…" She has been lying face-down; she levers herself a few inches upwards, and then collapses again, rolling with a moan onto her back. She can see Bailey's silhouette, but not much more of her. "Did you… did you have a bad dream, sweetie?" she asks, brushing red hair away from her face with her wand-hand. "Are you all right? Can I— can I help you— Oh… oh, just get in if you want, I don't mind," she sighs, as her other hand surges up beneath the covers to tug them down on the other side.

Bailey hesitates uncertainly. But her other option is to brave broken glass, or trying to actually clean it up while still rather tipsy and tired. Bleeding doesn't sound especially enticing, so she steps lightly to the bed, crawling in beside Fabia, leaning back against the headboard. "I'm so sorry," she whispers. "I haven't had a nightmare like that since…I don't know. It's been years."

And Fabia curls toward Bailey, wand still clasped snugly in one hand, the other reaching out — trying to find, in the soft glow which reaches them from the ball of light still hovering in the next room, her hand, or some other suitably innocuous part of her. It's possible she brushes against more significant parts in her quest, though in that case she'll vaguely, sleepily withdraw, searching for what she had in mind in the first place. Ah, yes. A hand. "It's all right," she whispers. She's not certain of much, when woken in the night after such magnificent boozing, but that much she rather thinks must be true. "You'll be all right… Some nights are just bloody awful nights."

Bailey makes a light squeak when Fabia inadvertently gets a handful of bare thigh. But the innocence of the touch was obvious enough, and soon her hand is in Fabia's. "Thank you. I'll clean it up in the morning. Right now…I don't think it would be a good idea." Seeing that Fabia is most certainly settling back in, she scoots down to lay her head on the pillow, facing Fabia.

There's an incoherent murmur which may or may not be an apology for the groping. Fabia laces her fingers in between Bailey's, and brings the back of her hand up to her lips, for a quick, perfectly chaste kiss. "It's all right," she says again, sleepily. The rest of her is still beneath the covers. She's too exhausted to take advantage, even if she wished to. "You're all right," she adds, though there's no earthly way she could know that. She settles their clasped hands in the hollow between the pillows, and seems content to leave them there. Her other hand has ventured beneath the covers; the beautiful pale length of her wand is lying against her torso, between her breasts. "Aren't you?" she asks plaintively.

Bailey nods slowly, her breaths slowing as she finds a touch of comfort again. "I am. I think…it was just with losing my mother-in-law. It brought back some bad memories. I'm sorry I woke you. What an horrible way to awaken."

"I was… having a mad sort of dream," and Fabia giggles into her pillow. She squeezes Bailey's hand gently. "It's all right," this seems to be her mantra at the moment. "Do you want to talk or sleep… I don't mind. I can hardly tell the difference."

Bailey chuckles, sighing. "Well, that's not encouraging if I want to talk. No…you sleep. I'll be alright. I'll nod off eventually." It's not the sort of situation Bailey would normally find terribly comforting, but Fabia has a way about her, and as always, adapt, adapt, adapt.

A faint moan from the other pillow. "Oh, no, tell me if you want to… I'm simply hovering between one thing and the other… I always talk a lot in bed, though, ask anyone."

"Ha. I don't know anyone that you've been in bed with," Bailey murmurs. "It's nothing. Just reliving an accident I had years ago. It came right after the divorce. Margaret, my mother-in-law, was the first person I saw when I woke up in St. Mungo's. So…you see how my mind went there."

"Oh, sweetie…" A shiver runs through Fabia's slender form, beneath the covers, at a wholly proper distance from Bailey's. "What happened?"

Bailey grimaces. "You really don't want the details. It's not the best pillow talk."

"Oh, when did this become pillow talk?" Fabia almost giggles.

Bailey huffs a light laugh. "You got me drunk and now I'm in your bed. You work fast." She groans a sigh. "I'm sorry…my humour leaves something to be desired when I'm this wasted."

"God, I'm sorry," Fabia breathes, and unconsciously squeezes Bailey's hand again. "If I'd done it on purpose it wouldn't have been… But I didn't, you know, I didn't, I wouldn't assume… I can't tell whether this is a horrible joke or—" She breaks off.

"You see? That's the humour I'm apologising for." Bailey smiles weakly. "I really should steer clear of jokes. They're not my strength."

There's a short silence. Fabia is thinking. "You'll have to tell me, sweetie," she says at last, "what's the joke, and what isn't…"

Bailey sighs, really at herself. "The pillow talk…you getting me into bed. I was kidding. In no way do I think you somehow orchestrated getting me drunk and giving me a night terror to get me into bed with you. That's the bad joke."

This requires a little more thought. "Well, good," Fabia says sleepily, "because if I were trying to get you into bed with me, actually I'd have tried dinner and dancing and a bouquet of gorgeous flowers and my hands in your hair… If you're in bed with me, which you seem to be, it's completely by accident and it can't mean anything."

Bailey chuckles. "A classic romantic, hm? I wouldn't mind getting flowers. It's been ages. But I'm not much of a dancer." Her words are turning into mumbles, as her eyes go more heavily lidded.

"It's all right, I can lead…" Fabia breathes, snuggling against her wand, pulling Bailey's hand against her lips for another soft kiss before putting it back roughly where it was. Between the pillows. Equidistant. Asking nothing, demanding nothing.

That compassionate acceptance, and pressure-free presence is apparently just what Bailey needs. It takes little time at all before she has drifted back into sleep, this time without reliving the horrors of her accident. Just…peace.


Another Monday morning at the Three Broomsticks. When Frid shimmers discreetly into Fabia's chambers he finds assorted bottles laid out upon her coffee table, her sofa covered in pillows and blankets, and a pair of boots standing next to it, in association with a shattered glass which once held Lagavulin.

Whoever was on the sofa — well, there's someone in bed with Madam. A woman, another woman, another blonde. As much of her as can be seen above the bedclothes suggests she is clad in a man's white linen shirt, which Frid may recognise as the one of the tulip gentleman's in which Fabia returned from London not so very long ago; Madam, however, snuggled up against her where she is lying on her back, seems to be nude. As has been quite usual lately.

The tea, there is always tea, is set down on Fabia's side of the bed, with two cups and two aspirin. No longer surprised to see company, Frid has taken to bringing enough for two now as standard, and simply retreating with one if it proves to be unnecessary. He gives the bed enough of a look over to establish exactly what sort of clothes he ought to be laying out, but then the broken glass gets his attention, as well as a distinctly recognisable smell from what little alcohol has splashed out from it and remains, soaking into the carpet. Rather, therefore, than cleaning it up, Frid's next act is to draw the curtains, letting bright sunshine in, and then moving to get a broom. Broken glass being swept can be so noisy.

At the first slight sound of Frid's entrance, Bailey's eyes snap open. Someone is in the apartment. Her body tenses, and her finger curl around the wand in her hand, where it is tucked under her pillow. When the valet appears, she sits up suddenly (possibly disturbing the naked woman cuddled up to her), whipping the wand out and aiming it at him with a warning look in her eyes. Then…there is a confused look in her eyes, seeing the man's attire. He's certainly well dressed for a burglar. "Who are you?"

Fabia could sleep through almost anything, especially when she's so comfortably nestled against… But her eyelids begin to quiver.

Frid pauses in the process of moving to the bed, dipping his head politely. "Tea, madam?" he inquires simply, raising a brow. The wand pointed at him appears not to bother him in the slightest. Perhaps this is usual behaviour. "I have an aspirin here, should it be required," he adds. He nods towards Fabia's side of the bed, querying, "May I continue?"

Fabia murmurs something incoherent into Bailey's shoulder; and then rolls toward where the tea ought to be. She has no idea what's going on, but she knows the sound of Frid.

Bailey slides out of the bed opposite Frid, wand still aimed at him. Her long blonde hair is a wild mess. She is, indeed, dressed in only a man's shirt, her strong legs bare to the toes. She looks from Frid to Fabia, reeling from the confusion of a fitful night and suddenly waking to find a strange man in her-…not her home. "Answer me. Who are you?"

"It's only Frid," Fabia moans, reaching for the tea which isn't there. Help, help. Where is her tea? Where is her Frid?

Frid may be a valet, and he may be the height of professionalism, but it's also still dark in there for the most part, and he does risk a quick look at those legs. Well. Why not. While he's dipping his head, who'll notice, right? And they're THERE. "Mrs. Fairfax's valet, madam," he offers, again lifting the tray with the tea. "If I might?"

Bailey's growing embarrassment becomes more evident with her sigh, and she lowers her wand. Obviously, Fabia is unconcerned, and it's not mere sleepy confusion. "Yes…of course. I'm sorry." She runs a hand over her tangled hair, standing where she is, ashamed and uncertain just what she should be doing next.

Frid tilts his head in acknowledgement, picking his way to set down the tea tray, and even helpfully guiding Fabia's grasping hand to the cup. There, there. Frid makes it all better. The second cup is poured, and then offered to Bailey, an eyebrow raised. "Milk and sugar, madam?"

Fabia draws herself infinitesimally further up in the bed, the covers slipping away almost far enough to uncover her breasts, before being caught and held against her by the hand which hasn't a teacup in it. She drinks deeply of this most beloved morning beverage, reaches out for her aspirin, knocks one onto the floor, pops the other into her mouth, and catches the covers again more or less before too much is revealed. Another heavy gulp of scalding-hot sugary black tea. She can't open her eyes yet. But any minute. Yes.

Bailey gives Frid a grateful, apologetic smile. "You're…very kind. I…" She considers declining, but how can she refuse when he's putting for the effort after she just had him at wandpoint? "Yes, please. One lump." She turns and sits on the edge of the bed, watching Frid with a kind of odd fascination.

Frid actually returns the smile as he stirs the tea, moving round to hold out the cup to Bailey and giving her a nod of respect. It's then that he moves away and spots the wreckage of glass, smile turning to a look of resignation. And then that faint but all too recognisable peaty smell soaking into the carpet, and his brows draw together. His Lagavulin. Worse, wasted Lagavulin. He moves to the curtains to throw them open, letting the light stream in and across the bed, something he's usually careful to avoid.

"Frid," Fabia gasps, writhing in sudden discomfort so powerful that she almost spills her tea and does indeed lose control of the bedclothes. Well, it was one or the other; and she needs the tea. She arches her back, somewhat bare all of a sudden, and rolls away from the light, carrying the cup but not the saucer zealously with her into the middle of the bed.

Bailey sips her tea with a soft moan of appreciation. She squints a bit at the sudden light, but doesn't seem overly bothered. She also manages to miss Fabia's peep show, as she is facing away in her sitting position. "Thank you," she murmurs, rubbing at her temple.

His little revenge taken, Frid relents somewhat. Rather than cleaning up the glass particularly noisily, he carefully crouches to pick up the larger pieces, then flicks a cloth from his pocket to clean away any shards, carefully depositing both on his tray ready to take away again. "A bath, madam?" he offers over towards the two ladies, gaze firmly fixed on the wall now.

"Bath," Fabia utters; a shiver runs through her at the very prospect of immersion in scented hot water. But. But. She has a guest. She gulps most of the rest of her tea, and, holding the cup tenderly with one hand, she reaches out to tug at a fold of Bailey's shirt with the other. "Breakfast," she says insistently. "Tell him what you want. He'll make it. He'd better bloody make it."

Bailey glances to Fabia, lifting her brow. She's quite unused to the idea of a man just hovering around to serve one's every whim. But she is quickly distracted, hearing the sound of the glass being handled. Bailey frowns and hurries to the bedroom door to find Frid dealing with her mess. "I'm so sorry. I was going to clean that up this morning. Last night was-…" She looks back into the bedroom, then out at Frid again, her waking mind putting together what it all must look like. "I was sleeping out here," she explains, as if that clears everything up. "I mean…we didn't…this isn't what it looks like." Of course, right now what it looks like is a woman without pants trying to justify why she was sleeping in his mistress's bed.

"Of course not, madam," Frid soothes Bailey, tone that of absolute acceptance. "I shall run you a bath. What would you like for breakfast? I imagine Mrs. Fairfax will have scrambled eggs this morning, but I can certainly whip something else up for you."

Unclad, tousled, overhung, Fabia manages by degrees to work out some of what she's been missing. And… what is that sticking into her leg? She sets her empty teacup back in its saucer, and fishes about under the covers. Oh, yes. That's what it is. She looks guiltily at Frid, and withdraws her hand, pulling the covers up with it till she's decent again. She nudges the cup again, so that it rattles against the saucer. She would like another. "Miss… Miss Atalanta," she says, not quite recollecting the young lady's other name if she heard it, which she thinks she didn't, "is…" A Metamorphmagus? A security witch? A gorgeous young woman, at the moment? … Ah. She remembers. "Coming with me to London today," she says vaguely. The first she's mentioned of another visit to London. But there have been so many, haven't there.

Bailey shakes her head in astonishment at Frid. "You're sure? I don't want to make extra work for you." She gives a shrugging smile. "Alright…scrambled eggs actually sounds fantastic. And…some kind of juice, if you have it?" She's clearly embarrassed to even ask. She glances back to Fabia for a moment of confusion. Ah yes, the London trip. "You can call me Attie. It's easier. Or Bailey. Merlin, I should just go by Bailey again," she mutters as she braves the now glass-free living room once again to retrieve her clothing.

"I shall see to it, Miss Bailey," Frid promises Bailey, dipping his head. "Will we be staying in London, madam?" he calls, before retreating to the bathroom. Bath. Breakfast. The usual. It's Frid. He's there. He's not there. Baths appear. Breakfasts appear. And somehow he's about two paces away when actually called for.

Fabia's eyelids have unglued themselves by now. Her gaze focuses, not without effort, not without residual pain, upon… the doorway, and Bailey with her beautiful bare legs and her arms full of clothes. "I don't know," she says, in answer to Frid's question, "I suppose I might… I can't decide yet." There's tea in her cup. Water is running somewhere. Frid is… nowhere in sight; downstairs, seeing to breakfast? And Bailey's still standing there. Atalanta's standing there, or Bailey's standing there. She heard something about 'Bailey', but it's so early in the morning… "You have the first bath," she says groggily to her guest, because it's only polite. Also because she doesn't think she can move. She draws her wand up from under the covers and deposits it on the bedside table.

When Frid disappears into the bathroom, Bailey is left alone in the living room for a few moments. All the time she needs. When she returns to the bedroom holding her clothes, her mess of hair has miraculously untangled itself, now flowing freely in flaxen tresses around down her back, if still unbrushed. "Oh…I suppose…" The London trip does rather make a bath a priority. "Alright, thank you." No sense getting dressed now, so she deposits the bundle of clothing into a chair, and seats herself on the edge of the bed away to await the bath's readiness. "So…I vaguely remember last night. I gather I was rather…open with you."

Fabia thinks about this for a moment. "Not that open," she promises, for starters; and then, as she gazes across at the woman sitting near to her, and lets recollection flood back into her conscious mind… The tea is helping, the aspirin is helping, the sunlight is not helping, but she's coping with it. "Quite open though. Goodness." She curls onto her side again, facing Bailey, decorously concealed except for her shoulders and one lightly muscled-arm… "I won't tell anyone," she promises, gently.

Who said squibs don't have magic? By the next time she looks, Bailey's clothing is folded on the chair. And a set of clothing is laid out ready for Fabia's approval. And there, the miracle worker that he is, stands Frid, having arranged breakfasts on a silver tray, even with a sprig of parsley atop both plates of eggs, as though he were serving in the Ivy, not in his employer's bedroom. Somebody works fast.

Bailey shakes her head, tucking her hair back behind her ear. "Tell them what? It's fine. I'm fairly certain I remember saying I don't hide what I am. It just doesn't usually come up, is all. So please don't fuss over it." When she catches Frid's movement and glances over, her eyes widen in surprise. Of course she has no idea he's a Squib, but that was a fast breakfast even for a wizard, so colour her impressed. "Thank you," she says softly. "Frid, was it? Thank you, Frid."

One of the few travails of having an overnight guest is… Frid's determination to present the speediest possible breakfast. If Fabia is alone she's usually allowed more time to wake up and put her stomach in order, before being obliged to address anything as complicated as… eggs. Slowly, slowly, she sits up further in bed, pulling the sheet up over herself if not the more securely-anchored articles of bed-covering, and blinks up at Frid with wholly innocent trust as he bends to present her with her breakfast. "Frid," she says solemnly, "everything black today. Even black knickers. I have to go and be a widow."

Frid glances to Bailey, running through the likely scenarios in his head where Fabia would be required to be a widow, and Bailey would be required to go with her. Coming up a blank, he merely nods. "Very good, madam. A memorial service?" he hazards, brow raised. "Should I bring the car down to meet you?"

"You know, you really shouldn't go through all of this trouble for me," Bailey chimes in. "We've only just met. Not that I don't appreciate it. But you could just give me the address of those men, and I'm sure I can persuade then without requiring you to travel all the way to London." She glances over to Frid, shaking her head. "Fabia has offered to help me find…" She suddenly realises how odd this must sound. "My ex mother-in-law passed recently, and I'm trying to find where she has been taken, so I can pay my respects."

"Don't be silly," Fabia murmurs, flapping her hand at Bailey. "It'll work better if we both go. Anyway what else would I do today, pull pints? I can pull pints tomorrow. We'll go by Floo, Frid, I only need to… look the part. You know which things I'll need. All right, I'm getting up." Having given fair warning, she draws herself out from under the covers with a magnificent full-body stretch, arms raised to the heavens; and pads stark naked into the bathroom. The door shuts behind her.

Frid fixes his gaze on the wall. It's an exciting wall. He stares at it a lot. At least while Fabia is in the room. "I have a few friends at St. Mungo's," he offers, "or I could find out from the muggle authorities, if you would like, madam? Do you have a name, and where she was when she passed?"

Despite the warning, Bailey is caught by surprise. Never mind that she slept next to the naked woman, she had quite forgotten Fabia's state of undress. She catches herself staring for a moment, then quickly turns away, hiding her blush, but not the faint ginger colouring that shimmers through her hair along with it. "Her…ah…her name is…was…Margaret Diggory. She lived here in Hogsmeade until just two days ago. That's why I was here."

Frid doesn't miss the blush, a slight grin flickering across his face before he's the model of professionalism once more. "Hogsmeade is a little more difficult," he admits. "I don't know so many people here, but I'll see if the gravediggers have anything for you. Margaret Diggory."

The water stops running in the bathroom. Fabia re-emerges, tying the belt of a turquoise silk dressing-gown she found hanging behind the door. "I'm taking her," she explains to Frid, rubbing a hand over her head, tangling it in her hair and squeezing the back of her slightly-aching scalp, "to see the people who came to tell me when Bertie died here. It stands to reason they'd know about it, don't you think."

Bailey grimaces. "I've checked the cemetery. She wasn't buried here. But thank you. I truly appreciate it. Both you…you've been wonderful." She rises upon Fabia's emergence, picking up her clothes, pausing for a moment to wonder how they got folded so neatly. "I suppose I'll take that bath now. Thank you again." Gives each of them a deferential nod and a modest smile, then disappeared, taking over the bathroom.

The eggs are still fairly warm. Fabia curls up on the end of the bed with a plateful of them. Plenty of leg showing, but nothing worse. "She's charming," she sighs. "And unusual…"

"I like her," Frid decides, lips half pulled up into a smile. "It's not often I'm challenged in the morning, before I've even brought the tea."

Fabia's eyes widen. "This one, you like?"

"Madam, I assure you that every one of your guests is welcome," Frid hurriedly insists, moving to clear away the empty tea things. "I was merely stating how unusual it is to be caught out so early."

Every one of her guests hasn't been welcome. But she hopes they will be now… She transfers another forkful of eggs to her mouth, and chews pensively. "Well," she sighs, "I shall just have to hope she comes back, shan't I?"'

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License