(1938-11-30) Window Shopping
Details for Window Shopping
Summary: Ranjit is out window shopping in the West End when she encounters some of the Palanchers.
Date: 30 November 1938
Location: Knightsbridge

Cold damp has the Christmas shoppers in Knightsbridge bundled up against the elements. Although the lights have not officially been turned on, and so the decorations that hang across the street above the shopping district of this part of London are unlit the shapes are still clearly those of Christmas baubles and trees. The windows of the warm, brightly lit shops have all manner of decorations in them and there are an equal number of onlookers as there are shoppers. One of those who is window shopping is the familiar exotic figure of tiny Ranjit Jadu. Huddled in her wool coat with a garish yellow knit hat on top of her dark head she stands peering at a window scene depicting a smiling family of mannequins seated around a Christmas tree opening presents on Christmas morning.

Linc has his baby brother on his shoulders the kit bopping and smacking the blue pom-pom atop Linc's own knitted cap. On his hip is his daughter who's clapping her knitted gloved hands in time with her uncle that's close to the same age as she is! Delegated todays pack mule he's also got a dozen ribbons and ropes in his free hand, all attached to shopping bags and boxes. It's not him that spots Ranjit. Nope if only she were that lucky. "Ranjit Jadu! Is that you?" Holly, Linc's mother chuckles at her little sing song greeting that rhymns and boy, it's a good thing it actually IS Ranjit because she is already swooping in for a hug, doing that weeble wobble thing side to side as she hugs. Linc is behind his mother giving his friend and apologetic grimace and mouths, "Sorry."

It isn't often that the witch hears her name which means when she does it is someone who clearly knows her and isn't mistaking her for someone else. "Mrs Palancher," Ranjit barely gets the greeting out before she is engulfed in an embrace from the older woman. Over Holly's shoulder she grins at Linc. "Hello. Out for a spot of seasonal shopping?" She herself has nothing to show for her venture out of doors so far from the poorer side of London where she lives but a pair of rosy cheeks. The toddler and the small girl are looked at with both professional and personal interest. "I can't believe how big your son is, Mrs Palancher." Then realising the potential mixup she adds, "The littlest one that is." Of course Ranjit was well aware when Linc's mother had her fourth child, despite having not been the woman's midwife. What with the potential risk of magic at the birth of a half-blood it is always preferable for a wizarding midwife to attend.

Linc comes in once she's been released from his mother's bear hug and since he's rather occupied hands wise he leans over to give her a kiss to the cheek before offering her Briony to hold at least so he can switch hands and get some circulation back into his fingers. "We're both big boys, huh Rugrat?" He says looking up, "Big boys!" The little one flexes and then waves to Ranjit but then he rather shyly tries to hide behind the pom-pom on Linc's beanie.

"Hello there," Ranjit says to the girl as she happily settles her against her hip with one hand while the other adjusts Briony's wooly hat and scarf. "I have heard lots about you. I went to school with your daddy and I can tell you all sorts of stories about him being a naughty boy." She grins and lightly taps the tip of the girl's nose with a gloved fingertip then looks at the other three. "Still buying out all the stores I see, Mrs Palancher. I hope you left something for the rest of us." Not that Ranjit could afford to shop in any of the places around here.

Holly gives another little giggle and she begins to hunt through their bags. "Samuel won't let me!" She says with a playful pout. Finally she finds what she's looking for. "I have been informed you're joining us for Christmas. I can't tell you how excited I've been to see you again. You're all grown up! Look at how beautiful you are. Isn't she beautiful Sam?" Holly brandishes the present she pulled out making sure that Ranjit can see her name printed on the gift tag. Linc gives Ranjit a smile. "She's almost as bad as Kit." Trying to tease them about how good a couple they think they would be. "But you do look…absolutely garish. It looks like a snidget nest is on your head." He acks when he gets swatted by his mother. But then the rugrat is reaching for his mother yawning and she's all about scooping him up off of Linc's shoulders. "Linc, why don't you wave the car for us and I'll take the children and you can escort Ranjit while she shops!"

In truth Ranjit had forgotten her agreement to spend the holidays with the big Palancher clan what with everything that has gone on with her lately. "I'm looking forward to it," she says earnestly because once reminded of it she is. As Briony's droopy head falls onto her shoulder she reflexively nuzzles the girl and looks around for the towncar that usually chauffeurs the socialite and her brood. "I wouldn't want to interupt your family time, I know how busy Sau-," she pauses short of calling him Sausages, "Linc can be."

Linc's eyes go a bit wide with fear that she wouldn't catch herself his hand lowers down from signalling the car that's down the street. Holly remains all smiles, thinking that she only caught herself from calling him Sam. The rolls does slide up to the curb and the chauffeur looks a bit stunned at just how much there is. It's a very good thing that the boot space has been enchanted. Naughty Palanchers! Linc looks very relieved when suddenly he goes from burdened to not at all. "I'm free!" He teases and then reaches for his sleepy little girl to kiss her forehead. "Go with Holly baby. Mommy will be picking you up before bed time. Love you." A groggy, "Wuve you." Is returned and she hugs her daddy around the neck before he places her inside the Rolls. Holly once more after everything is in the car comes over to give Ranjit a crushing hug. "See you in a few weeks! So good to see you. Take care." A smooch is placed on Ranjit's cheek before she enters the car herself and the driver shuts the door. Lowers his goggles and gets behind the wheel. Linc watches until the car turns out of sight. He's got proud Daddy face going. "You are a life saver."

It is as if a whirlwind of baby scenes and perfume descended briefly upon her only to ascend just as quickly. Before she knows it Ranjit is waving as the car takes off with the mother of her childhood best friend and the two children. "You mother certainly hasn't changed," she says with a laugh. Slipping an arm through one of Linc's she starts to walk. "Ah, you say that but now you're forced to window shop with me." Things are always easy with them, as if they never had periods of time where they didn't speak. "How are things with Phronsie? Is she going to be comfortable with my being there for Christmas?" Ranjit well knows that his family jokes about her being the one which got away, even if it never was romantic between the pair of them.

Which is exactly why his family thinks she is the one that got away. "Phronsie is doing well. I don't think there will be a problem. She's used to everyone gossiping about who I should be with. She knows she and B come first." He drapes and arm over her shoulders and draws her in for a side hug. The yellow hat is tugged off and shoved away into his coat pocket if he's able, to replace his own Arrow Blue cap down on her head. With his trademark grin he strolls down the sidewalk. "So what brings you to the land of posh and pomp?" He doesn't know just how bad things are money wise for her. But he does know that this is way above her pay grade.

Ranjit gives him a mock glare when he swaps their hats. "One of my patients made that for me." She'd likely be naked to the elements in the winter if it weren't for the bevvy of jumpers, hats, scarves and mittens she is given year year. "A bit of soul searching." With an eye half on their surroundings she says, "I had a date with a RAF pilot. Sort of an odd situation really. I caught wind of him trying to push a date with the consort of Cassius Malfoy and won a promise out of him that he'd leave her alone. It ended up with him taking me out instead." She doesn't sound as if she knows quite what to make of the situation she found herself in. "We went up in an aeroplane." Which she knows isn't that unusual for Linc who has grown up with a foot in each world, but for her it was a harrowing experience.

Linc looks as if she's had Christmas come early when she talks about the aeroplane. "Really? How was it? Did you have fun?" He then realizes that she did say it was a date and he gets that look he gets before he's going to get blurty. "Did you kiss? Snog? Shag?" He has to know to be able to help her figure out the situation!

Leave it to Linc to get to the point! "I was too terrified to shag anyone afterwards. I love flying as well you know, but that was different." She slips her arm around his waist since he seems to want to keep one around her shoulder. "He was terribly sweet. I don't know which frightened me more, just how big the aeroplane was and it was one of the smallest ones in the big building they are kept in or that there were so many guns everywhere. He just thought it was air sickness." Ranjit reaches up with her other hand and tucks a now loose strand of hair behind her ear. "He's a proper mug-you know what and that is odd for me. John might have been born one but he knows our world. Went to school with us." Her ex-husband graduated the same year they did.

Linc smirks and gives her a little squeeze against his side when he hears that she didn't like it. "Well what does that matter? I mean, yes, look a John. He went to school with us. That didn't make him a good husband did it? Do you like this pilot fella? Do you want to kiss, snog and…" An old couple pass them so he doesn't repeat the last part. Once they are out of ear shot again he just grins down at her, expecting a more detailed explanation of how she's feeling towards this bloke.

"I don't know. Part of me was just paranoid about keeping him safe from Malfoy. There was this witch in a pub, I didn't know her, but she seemed to delight in the idea of egging the poor man on as if to push him into some kind of confrontation with Malfoy. I," Ranjit sighs a little, "couldn't let him suffer like that. And now…I just don't know. He seems so foreign. I like his motorbike. He let me steer it a little." As they slow to a stop near a corner window she leans up on her tiptoes to peer over the hat of the woman in front of them only to sink back down onto her heels. "Part of me finds him a little dull. He's just so nice." She looks up at Linc. "You know me. I get itchy feet if they are too nice." Which is why she hasn't ended up in a relationship since her divorce, but thankfully her best friends don't know about her one-night stands.

Linc slides his arm down from around her shoulders to around her mid back, he squeezes and lifts her up so she can get a clear view over everyone's heads at the window display. "You're a healer, there's got to be some sort of balm for those itchy feet. With some to spare?" He grins up at her and all the way down as he settles her back onto her feet when his arm gets tired of free-lifting her. "Well, if she's Malfoy's dame. Then I guess that should explain the egging." He waits to see if she catches that he was hoping she had some itchy feet balm to spare, for him perhaps?

She lets out a squeak as he hoists her up then laughs and hugs Linc, dotting a kiss on his cheek. "Cheers." Ranjit appreciates the muscley effort he went to. She takes his hand and drags him along to another less crowded window, this one depicting a loving pair of mannequins kissing under mistletoe. "A bit of hair of the dog, hmm?" She tilts her head back and looks up at him. "Who has your feet feeling itchy these days? Not Jo Sykes?" Nurses gossip a lot and healers hear that gossip, the breakup of Sykes and Snowdon didn't go unnoticed by many a girl who fancies the handsome lawyer.

Linc takes a deep breath as he looks at the display then down at her when she names Jo Sykes as a culprit. "What makes you think it's her? Which it's not…well..it's more just a general feeling." He glances towards her a bit before looking around and then continues. "I love Phronsie. I do. She and B are my top priority, they'll always come first. Phronsie knows, I mean she knows who she got into a relationship with. I've never been dishonest that I'm a bloody lech. I love women, not ashamed of it. So long as no one gets hurt. I just feel a bit of a shift. She was the one that ran off and left me when she found out she was pregnant. Had to track her down. I guess I'm worried now that being myself is going to send her running again. This time with B. So I've been refraining from my…admiration of others." It's clear that the restraint is wearing on him. "I don't want to hurt her. I don't want to lose her, and especially B. I'm a good dad Ranjit. I love it more than Quidditch." He rubs his face and sighs. "I just don't know with her sort of self esteem that she can believe it that I'll always be coming home to her and loving her no matter what, no matter where I might spend my time when I'm not with her. It's not like I'm my Dad. I've been nothing but honest with her." The crux of his anger with his dad is for the lying, the running around behind his mom's back and trying to cover it up. Which is why he's always been very upfront about his behaviors with those he gets involved with. Jo Sykes just happens to be the exact same way, so their on again off again 'thing' since Hogwarts is pretty much idyllic for their personalities.

Spying a stand selling roasted chestnuts, Ranjit drags Linc over to it and fishes a few bob out of his coat pocket to pay then leads him to a little bench to sit on. "You cannot live your life waiting for her to grow up and be able to stand on her own two feet in your relationship. I know you, Sausages. You hate lying more than anything. If she cannot take you as you are maybe you should…well maybe you should stop being with her. Denying your true self is only going to make you both miserable and then without meaning too you will make your daughter feel that tension. Thankfully fathers have equal rights to mothers in our community. Get something drawn up, for your own protection and Briony's." A hard life has made Ranjit harder than she was as a girl when the idea of any kind of infidelity would have made her angry. In fact she was often as angry at Quinten as Linc was. The warm chestnuts are a rare treat for her during the holidays and she seems to be savouring each one.

Linc ruffles his hair that's all hat haired up with a frown. "I love her though Ran… She's a good mother and she takes good care of me too. I want her to be at home with B. Our home. I don't want to break up. I don't want to put my baby girl through that. I think that we can make it through all of this. I'm just afraid that she'll just be grinning and baring it when I'm off - but it's killing her inside." He tugs on her, using the tug to try and be sneaky and drop a galleon into her jacket pocket before he opens his mouth like a baby bird at her.

More concerned with his words than his actions Ranjit misses the coin drop although later she will be annoyed by it for now she feeds Linc a roasted chestnut. "Sometimes love isn't enough. Just because two people come together and mesh well at one moment in time doesn't mean they will be together forever. For all you know I'm your soulmate." She smirks at that because they well know she isn't taking a chestnut for herself she chews slowly savouring the meat of the seasonal treat. "Be honest with her, that is all you can do. Maybe she'll be happier if she knows you can both do your own thing. Maybe she thinks it only goes one way." Ranjit shrugs because she is speculating here as she is not part of their relationship.

Linc smirks, "Just ask my sister." He snerks and chuckles about the soulmate thing. Though it wouldn't be the first time he's taken it into consideration. "Hey…" He takes her by the lapels of her jacket and gives her a little tug so he comes in front of her. He leans down to put his forehead on top of her head and looks at her all cross-eyed he's so close. "I'm sorry you got burned, and hurt so bad. That bastard better hope I never come across him again. I can't let her go like that though. I won't. She's the mother of my daughter and for that alone I cherish her. Just like I cherish my cynical best friend." He lifts his head away and when he does he gives her cold nose a little peck of a kiss. "I'm going to be honest with her, I've never been dishonest with her. Maybe you'll be able to see at Christmas if she's doing the suffer in silence thing. You know me, I'm a bit dumb and blind when it comes to that sort."

Ranjit wrinkles her nose after he kisses it, wiping off his boy cooties. "I'm the worst person to ask for relationship advice, you should know that by now. My one chance at a good time these days is that pilot who knows nothing about me, how depressing is that?" She laughs it off and eats another roasted chestnut. "I will be your secret relationship spy. Maybe I'll round up some bloke to be my date so she's less suspicious and your mother and Kit lay off."

Linc smirks as he steals a chestnut to quickly pop into his mouth. "Well hey now, I think this is a lovely date." He winks and chews his pilfered nut. "For the record - I didn't ask you for relationship advice. You asked me about itchy feet." He doesn't let it show, or at least he tries his best not to let it, but when she talks about her bringing a date to their dinner he gets the same sort of suppressed grumpy growly sort of sensation he got when she talked about Phronsie being able to date other people. It's something he's not used to, nor likes the fact that it's happening. So he quickly changes the subject. "That's amazing…" He points to a window across the street where there's quite the mechanic set up in the window display. It's a sleding scene. The cotton down snow is on a conveyor belt that's at a steep hill like angle and the back drop is also on it's own belt so the scenery and the hill both move around the dummies and sled that is hovering from fishing line. "Clever."

"Fair point," Ranjit concedes that she is the one who asked even if he did drop the hint. She eats another of the chestnuts and peers into the bag to see how many are left; only a few. It means she apparently misses his grumpy face. Her attention is drawn over to the window display and Ranjit gets to her feet. "Let's go look at it. Maybe you can get something like that for yourself for Christmas. Have you been a good boy?" She grins, teasing Linc as she nudges him with her elbow. "Will Father Christmas be bringing you something or are you on his naughty list?"

Linc pauses only so long as to get a really big bag of chestnuts when she's not paying attention and offers her one by tilting the big bag in her direction as they cross the street a big Palancher grin on his face. "Me? A good boy? Nevah!" He cries out the last in a rather Shakespearian style. "Permanent resident on the naughty list." He wags his eyebrows at his friend.

"No toys for you then," Ranjit takes the chestnut and pops it into her mouth. "What a lovely display." She becomes caught up in watching the mechanical toy work, seemingly oblivious to the few odd looks she gets for being a foreigner. The size of the man next to her means those looks are short lived and don't go anywhere beyond just looks. Ranjit slips an arm through Linc's as she laughs and points out little bits of the display to him. "Someday when you have a son you will give him toys like this for Christmas."

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