(1938-12-06) The Three Broomsticks
Details for The Three Broomsticks
Summary: Zack and Chaucer at a table in the Three Broomsticks, joined later by Elise.
Date: December 6, 1938
Location: Three Broomsticks Pub

It's a cold winter's afternoon in Hogsmeade, and the Three Broomsticks is bustling as usual. Zack has a table near the door all to himself, and he has a great number of books and loose sheafs of parchment strewn across it. A number of pages have also been swept onto the floor by gusts of chilly wind that blow in whenever the door opens, but he hasn't seemed to notice them yet. He's scratching away with a rather ragged-looking quill, absorbed in his work, a barely-drunk butterbeer glass on the edge of the table next to his elbow.

The door swinging open may not be all that exciting. Nor would the arrival of another wizard that enters on this cold December day. The old man peers this way, and that, frowning at the number of people crammed in. He spots a seat, and makes his way over, gripping the cane in one hand firmly. Finally, it tapped on the empty chair across from Zack "Mind if I sit there?" he asked, simply.

Zack doesn't look up when the door opens, even when another page flutters off the table and slides across the floor. But at the sudden tap on the chair across from him, he starts and nearly knocks his drink over. He frowns at the bottle and moves it safely out of the way, and then seems to remember what made him jump in the first place. "Oh, yes," he says looking up at the man. "I mean no. No, I don't mind at all." There are several pages on the table in front of the old man, each of them showing rough sketches of wands in various positions and movements, as well as a great deal of barely legible scribblings.

"Thank you!" the man stated as he carefully slid the chair out, taking a seat there with a weary sigh. He very carefully nudges one paper to one side, mindful not to send it randomly sliding between others. "Hard at work? SHouldnt you be relaxing and enjoying yourself?"

Turning his attention back to his work, Zack purses his lips as he tries to remember where he was. "What's that?" he says, almost surprised to see that the old man is now sitting across from him. "I am enjoying myself! Oh, right. I'm supposed to share the table." He leans forward and hastily starts shoving papers out of the way, leaving him some room on his side, albeit not very much. "What makes you think I should I be relaxing anyway?"

"I dont need much room! " waves the other one. He scowls a little at the inelligible scribblings "Dont they teach kids proper scribe these days? Tch. And its a Hogsmeade weekend. You're supposed to be relaxing from school work. Or is this an extra project? If so then I recant my earlier comments!" he notes, smirking a little as he settles back in the chair, waiting for the waitress to swing by to order himself some hot butterbeer "Your name then?"

Zack stops shuffling his papers around. "No where've they gone?" he mutters. "They were just here." He looks around the table, lifting up a rather sturdy-looking tome to peer beneath it, and then lets it fall back to the table with a loud thud. "Extra project?" he says distractedly. "No, not really. Well, I suppose everything I do is extra now… My name is Zack." But then he looks up at the old man in surprise. "School? I'm not in school. I haven't been in school for seven years."

Chaucer pauses, then states "Ah. You young people always look so much alike." he grunted, covering for that "I go by Chaucer myself. What is it you're working on then if not schoo lwork for a school you long graduated from? " he asked next, somewhat nosey indeed.

"That's what I used to think about old people," Zack says without stopping to think that it might be rude to say something like that. He continues to search the table and then finally takes a look under it. "What are you doing down there?" he asks upon seeing the papers scattered around the floor. He then peers at Chaucer. "You're interested in my work?" he says before ducking under the table to retrieve his notes. "Um, well I'm just trying to figure out what I was working on before I died."

Chaucer frowns and leans down, pinning one or two papers with his cane so the more agile Zack could retrieve them more easily. Then he blinked "Before you died. Huh." he grunts, not sure how to take that at first. His hot butterbeer arrives then and he uses the corner of it to pin down a few papers "Well if you arent a student, you're working hard on a project involving books, and I know a thing or two about said books." he remarks.

"Yes, that's right," Zack says. "Before I died. Well, before I was officially declared dead. I didn't really die." He says this last bit as if it might not have been obvious. Having collected all his papers, he dumps them unceremoniously on the table and settles back into his chair. "Right. Books. Of course. I'll need to buy new books now, since mine are buried somewhere in Russia. I think." He frowns at the one on the table, which contains a whole lot of theory on Charms. "What did you say you know about books?" he asks after a moment.

"I was going to say you look pretty good for a corpse." admits Chaucer. " That one book caught his eye, and he reached over to slide it and inspect it, flipping it open to see who the printer was "Hmm. Interesting. A bit out of date but still very useable. And I know quite a few things. I run a bookbinding business." he explains "Lima Press. So you've lost some memory? no Memory Charm to help with that?"

"Memory?" Zack asks absently, sorting threw the papers he just recovered. "No, my memory's quite fine. It's books I've lost. They might have gone along to Siberia with me, but I can't be sure. Only half of the lab showed up, and I'm not sure where the other half went. Maybe the books went there…" He trails off, considering this line of thought. "Bookbinding?" he asks all of a sudden. "Do you sell books then, or do you just bind them?"

"I sell them. Mostly to bookstores but I do private sales as well." notes the man. His eyes softene dthough at mention of lost books. He understood that entirely! "I've been on the search for lost books as well. Some people like copies of older out of print versions."

"I had a rather large collection on advanced Charms theory before the accident," Zack says. He gestures briefly towards the one Chaucer was looking at. "There were two more volumes after that one, but I can't find them. They must have been in the lab, I suppose. I don't suppose you sell anything like that? I'll need to find more copies."
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"What happened to the lab? " asked Chaucer curiously "I think I have a few of this particular series… we lost some of our own due to… an accident years ago." he admits, with a scowl "But we're slowly rebuilding. Let me give you my card at least, Zack, and I can look it up and see what I have o this series. And in return, if I may look at any you recover to complete my own collection…?"

"I blew it up," Zack says, matter-of-factly. "Half of it landed up in Siberia with me and half of it vanished. Unless some was left behind… But I heard there was nothing left but a giant hole in the ground, so that can't be right. Perhaps someone came along and stole them." He looks quite cross at the idea of anyone doing a thing like that. "You lost yours in an accident too?" he then asks. "Maybe they're cursed." He hesitates. "Er, well, I can certainly lend them to you to make copies of, if you like. But I'll need them for my research."

"Not an accident." muttered the old man "Oh, if they are ones I do not have, we can work something out. It would only take a few weeks and then they would be back in perfect shape. I treasure books as much as I do my grandchild. An explosion eh? Hrm. I dont know much about that - the Ministry probably could help." he suggests thoughtfully, hand running over the top of his cane.

"The Ministry were the ones who declared me dead," Zack says, "when I was perfectly healthy on the other side of the world. Actually, I should probably tell them that I'm still alive, now that I think about it… I'm not really sure." He frowns, uncertain. "Oh, right. Well, you can borrow them as long as I get them back again. So do you not like your grandchild much or do you just really like books?"

"Well if they found a blown up lab, no body and no sign of you, I wouldnt blame you." Chaucer points out simply. Then he guffawed "You're the first person to ask THAT. I like both, quite a bit. Gresham is a fine young lad, I hope he wants to buy the business off me sometime." he remarks "And I dont need to borrow them now. Let's see if I can get what YOU want first. If I do not have any, I may know people. Or I will recompensate you for the borrowing another way."

Zack takes a moment to think that over. "Well, it was perfectly obvious to me that I was alive," he says, "but I suppose everyone's allowed to make mistakes." He peers at Chaucer. "Gresham? Oh, your grandchild. I suppose he likes books too. Why are you selling your business?" He blinks. "You don't have to pay me to borrow my books, just as long as I get them back. Do you have an actual shop then? With customers and everything?"

"I'm not! But I wont be around forever!" explaisn Chaucer "And yes, I do. Kind of. Mostly I sell via catalogue or to bookstores as I said and ship it via… owls." a scowl, and he slurps some warm butterbeer "The press itself is in Nottinghamshire. Nice, out of the way. good view. I dont know if Gresham likes books. He went into Slytherin, so probably sees them as Nerdy." he looked dissapointed.

"Nerdy," Zack mutters to himself, unfamiliar with the word. "Oh, so he's still in school?" He looks around as if expecting to see him right there in the Three Broomsticks. "You should sell it to someone who likes books," he then says, as if he has any say in the matter. "So I can come by and see what you have for sale then? I don't like buying books by owl. I like to see what I'm getting, and I don't want them dropped in a lake or anything."

"Hrm. Maybe." grunted the man in between sips of the butterbeer "ITs a tough choice. Someone who LIKES books or the family business." he remarks. Then he chuckles and nods "Fair enough. I do allow a 'buy back' guarantee so long as its' not been marked or anything like that. " he pulls out the magic business card and slides it that way "There. I'm here in Hogsmeade for a few days to see if Gresham will be coming by for the weekend before I head back. I prefer non owl myself anyways."

"My parents tried making me do what they do," Zack says. "But they eventually gave up and now I get to do what I like." He gives a vague wave of his hand at the mess of parchments littered about the table. "Actually, I should probably let them know I'm alive too," he adds, remembering all of a sudden. Picking up Chaucer's card, he glances at it briefly before tucking it away in his robes. "Okay, well I'll stop by sometime next week then. It's not just that the owls might ruin them. I like my books to have the right feel to them too."

"Heh. You would be surprised how tactile buying books is. Student required books are one thing, but the feel… I've seen them you know. You probably do it without seeing it. A man will look at a book, look at its' back, its front… run a hand over the cover, and THEN buy it." remarks Chaucer thoughtfully "What DO you do?"

"That's why I want my copies back," says Zack. "They had the right feel to them. Maybe the ones in your shop will too, I don't know." He frowns at Chaucer's question. "What do I do? I create spells. I'm very good at it. Except when I'm not, like when I blew up my lab. But most of the time I am. Look, you can see for yourself." He points at the papers in front of the man, although they probably mean nothing to anyone but himself. "See, there's the wand movements you make, like this -" He waves his hand in the air. "No wait, it's upside down. Like this. And the writing's got the precise details and the words you have to say. Only that one doesn't work properly anyway, so there's no point in trying it."

"Hmm. You have someone to print it out for you right?" he lifts it up to peer at the scribbles "If not, I'd suggest getting one. As someone who proofreads books this would be difficult for some people to read." he notes.

"What do you mean?" Zack asks, utterly bewildered. "No, I don't have anyone. Print it out? What for? Why would anyone want to read it?" He picks up one of the pages in front of him and peers at it as if seeing it for the first time. "You mean like a book? I'm a researcher, not a writer. I just like making the spells."

Chaucer raises an eyebrow "Ah. So you dont intend to publish any of these." he looked a little dissapointed, and puts the papers down "well if you ever consider it, I know a few good hags who are good at reading the inelligible and can copy it out nice and neatly for you." he notes simply.

"Maybe some of the others were planning on publishing them," Zack says. "I never really gave it much thought. What do you mean ineligible? I can read it just fine. Look, this one says that you have to cast it… Um, well it is a bit smudged actually. Nevermind. It's a worthless spell anyway." He frowns at his notes. "Maybe I should have them rewritten, now that you mention it."

"You can. nobody else can." explains Chaucer kindly "Others? You were working with partners? " he asked at that as he looks at the next sheet "If you intend to share them its probably a good idea. A misspoken spell can be dangerous." he raised an eyebrow.

"Some of the letters might have gotten splinched too," Zack murmurs, peering closely at an odd-looking squiggle that doesn't seem to represent any known letter. "That would explain it. Oh, yes. There was a team of us. Three, I think. Or was it four? Only, I don't expect they'll want to work with me anymore. I prefer working by myself anyway. Although they did pay me…" He glances at the sheet Chaucer is looking at. "Yes, I suppose so. I could even write a spellbook. And they could teach it at Hogwarts."

"Indeed. Or it could be supplemental. Some of these guestures look at least Intermediate level. Third year perhaps. " remarks the man. He takes his glassses off, rubs them on his shirt and puts them back on to peer again. "Hmm. What DOES this one do?"

"I prefer simple gestures if I can make them work," Zack says. "Some of the more complicated ones can cause a lot of problems. Like sending a building halfway across the world." He looks at the page Chaucer is referring to and squints to read his own writing. "Oh, that's one I came up with in Siberia. Sets your shoes on fire. Only my feet got a bit too hot after awhile, and it's really difficult walking in snow when it keeps melting."

"Always an awkward thing." agrees Chaucer "I think the worse was when one of my fellow students sneezed halfway through Apparating. He always DID want to go to India though." Admits the man. Then he chuckles "I can imagine so. You need to tone it down to 'make them smoulder' maybe." he remarks as he peers "A very good idea that one though. "

"I've been trying to come up with a way to Apparate a lot of stuff all at once," Zack says. "That's how I ended up destroying the lab. Think I might have preferred India. It wouldn't have been so cold. Although it was nice and peaceful at least." He blinks at Chaucer. "Just smolder? Yes, I suppose that does make sense. Maybe I'll give that a try." He takes the page from the man without asking and scans it, nodding to himself. "Yes, that should be rather easy."

Chaucer nods "Indeed." he points out a way HE would think it would work, and then continues "Hmm. Apparating a lot at once. A pity it doesnt work as simply as 'The house and all the contents.' huh? Twould make things much easier."

Zack tilts his head to the side as he consider's Chaucer's method. "That might be the best way." He then looks at the man. "I didn't know you knew about creating spells. I thought you were just a bookbinder. Do you have a secret lab hidden in your shop too? Can I use it? I need a new one now that mine's gone. I won't blow it up. I'm done with that spell for now. I'll need to do more research."

A bit of a chuckle at that "No, but I've a lot of experience with Charms… it was my best class, and I developed a few to help improve efficiency at my job." he smiled, almost apologetically. THen he considers "BUT, if I hear of anything, I will let you know." he promises.

"Oh," Zack says, a bit disappointed. "You seem like the sort who'd have a secret lab in your shop. However, if it was secret… I suppose you can't exactly tell me about it, can you?" He makes a rather ridiculous, over-the-top attempt at a knowing smile and a wink. "Charms was my best subject too. Still is. I also liked Ancient Runes. I hope I still have my Runes books. I'd better not have lost those too."

"I do? " Chaucer looked surprised at that, and rubs his chin "I guess I do have a bit of a haggish appearance eh?" he considers. HE brightens again "Ah. Runes. My second choice too. Very good. I will keep my fingers crossed for you and hope perhaps, that I can borrow a few back for copying." he remarks, smirking.

"Haggish?" Zack asks, scrutinizing Chaucer's face for any sign of hag. "Not really. More goblin than anything. I had two secret labs, so I'd have expected you to have at least one. I can lend you some of my Runes books too. They'll be at home. As long as my parents haven't gotten rid of them yet. They'd better not have. They're mine. How long ago were you at Hogwarts?"

"Goblin? Ha! That's new." he pokes at his large nose "But I suppose in a way true. And well, some have likened my pennypinching to the good old bank. Ahh…" he pauses to think, frowning

Chaucer says, "Eighteen Fifty Six!"

When Chaucer doesn't immediately answer, Zack looks someone concerned, and he hunches his shoulders as if the conversation had just come to an abrupt end. Picking up his quill, he makes to bury himself in his work once more, but then looks up in surprise when the man speaks again. "Did you say eighteen fifty six?" he asks, staring at him. "You don't look that old. You probably remembered wrong. What House were you in?"

"Flattery wont get you anywhere. I'm one hundred years old roundabouts." noted the man as he finishes the butterbeer finally "I was in… heh. Hufflepuff. A shock to many people, considering most of the family is Slytherin. I suppose I was a borderline case. Definitely shrewd and ambitious enough!"

"Flattery?" Zack asks, confused. "I was just telling the truth. But I suppose all old people really do look alike, so it's hard to tell," he adds, as if this were an errant thought that had just occured to him. "I was in Ravenclaw, but the rest of my family is in Gryffindor. I definitely belong in Ravenclaw though. The Hat didn't even hesitate before putting me there. You're ambitious? I thought you wanted to sell your business."

"Hmm. Yes, but also I know I wont be around forever. And even if I am, I dont know if I would be able to run it." he holds up a somewhat curled hand "Already slowing down a little bit. Thank goodness for charms and proteus! I can copy eight books at once!"

"I don't plan on getting old," Zack states. "Eventually I'll come up with a spell that will fix all that. Then I'll be able to keep doing what I do forever. Eight books at once? How long does it take? Do you do all of it by yourself? Does it matter how big the books are, or how thick the pages are, or what color ink they're written in?"

"I do most of it myself. I dont mind. Its good work, relaxing and it means I can lock the door and ignore it." he remarks "And no, not really. Well, bigger books take longer, more writing obviously. Some books require special inks, such as the ones explaining Explosive Runes, to avoid having them go off accidentally. THen there's Monstrous Books of Monsters. " he grimaces.

"It's boring doing the same thing all the time," Zack says, as if this were unarguably a fact. "That's why I always move onto something new as soon as I figure out how to do it. Although, I might go back to that fire-shoe thing… Do you do a lot of books on Runes? Those are my favorite kind of book. Very interesting. What's the Book of Monsters?"

"A rarely used book on monsters. Its a monster book." a pause as he tries to describe it "It acts like a monster, quite vicious, with teeth. Takes some handling to be able to read it. Whoever had that idea was quite DAFT." he remarks. "I dont mind the repetition. Its a good way to memorize spells. THere's more automated processes these days too, although sometimes you just HAVE To do it by hand."

"Someone charmed a book to behave like a monster?" Zack asks, looking as if this is the most amazing thing he's ever heard. "That is a really great idea!" He shifts papers around in a hurry, searching for one that isn't completely covered in sketches and scribbles. Finding one with an empty corner, he grabs his quill and starts writing, muttering, "I'm definitely going to try something like that."

"… PLEASE dont make me hit you with my cane. I would regret it the LEAST of any bad idea I've planted in another's head." replies Chaucer as he stares at Zack "Just make sure to have dragonhide gloves about. They DO bite."

"What?" Zack asks, pausing in his writing and looking up at Chaucer, who is sitting across the table from him. Their table is just inside the door of a very busy Three Broomsticks on a cold December afternoon, and it's covered in an assortment of parchment and books belonging to Zack, who has just been scribbling something down with his old, ragged quill. "Why would you hit me? I just never thought of charming a book to behave like something else. Maybe not a monster, though. I don't like monsters."

The Three Broomsticks probably is well used to students wandering in from Hogwarts during the occasional weekend. In comes Elise, all bundled up. She's twelve, and smallish, and dressed in very nice robes of a fetching mauve color. She pauses just inside the door and to one side so as not to block it while she slowly unwinds her scarf. Her eyes flick across the tables, and seeing only one spot open - and that with two grown men - her narrow little shoulders sag a bit with disappointment. She looks a bit torn, and nibbles on her bottom lip.

AS the door behind him opens and lets a cold draft around his wool socked feet, Chaucer doesnt respond to Zack right away. He twists in his seat to see… a rather small young girl. A blink, and he realized the problem immediately as he lifts a gnarled hand "Well? Come and sit unless you want to stand there and take people's coats!" he notes to her, waving Elise closer with his cane. Then back "oh, I wouldnt REALLY unless you were about to do something VERY stupid." he reassures Zack.

The cold gust of wind stirs one of loose sheets of parchment on the table, sending it sliding off through the air until it comes to a stop at Elise's feet. Zack doesn't even notice it, as he's currently frowning at what he's written and chewing on the end of his quill. "Well, I'm not about to charm a book right in the middle of the Three Broomsticks. I'll need to do some research first. And I'll need to find a suitable book. And I'm already sitting, so I don't know what you -" He looks up and sees that Chaucer has been talking to the girl at the door. "Oh. Hello."

"Oh, er, thank you very much, sir," Elise says politely. She stoops to pick up the paper at her feet. She comes closer, puts the paper on the table, drapes her scarf and hat across the back of the chair, and then hops up onto it. "Hello," she says, looking first to the old man, then to the younger. "I'm Elise Harper." She sticks out a hand to shake, as any well-raised child would. "How do you do?"

Taking the hand Chaucer lifts both eyebrows "Harper eh? My condolences." he remarks simply. "Chaucer Ollivander, and this is Zack… Zack something." he paused, already not recalling Zacks' last name "How do you do yourself? Butterbeer? " he waves at the waiterss.

Zack stares at the paper Elise just put down. "Hey, this is mine," he says, peering at her. "How'd you get this? You didn't suddenly come into a large collection of books on advanced Charms theory, did you? Or perhaps some on Ancient Runes? Hang on, I was just working on this one a minute ago." He frowns as if he has just been presented with a rather complex puzzle. "Harper," he mutters, forgetting to introduce himself. Thankfully, Chaucer does it for him. "I've heard that name somewhere. That one's mine," he adds, gesturing to the nearly untouched bottle of butterbeer on the table.

Elise's shoulders sag at the old man's condolences. "Thank you," she says woodenly. "I'm well, thank you. Yes, a butterbeer would be lovely." She doesn't look well. She looks tired. Her pale little face makes the circles under her eyes stand out all the more. "The wind blew it off the table and it landed at my feet," she explains to Zack. She nods solemnly when he claims his butterbeer and keeps her hands in her lap. "Very nice to meet you, Mr. Ollivander, Mr…. Mr…? What shall I call you, sir?"

"Chaucer works. or just Sir. A good, respectable term for young people for their elders. " he orders two hot butterbeers, one for her, one for himself as they arrive, the cane hooked onto the edge of the table again.

"Oh," Zack says. "Yes, that would explain it. So you definitely haven't seen any bits of building or a bookshelf or lying around then? Good, that's good." He stares at his butterbeer for several seconds before picking it up for the first time since Chaucer joined him. "Who, me?" Zack asks, blinking at Elise. "My name's Zack. My last name is Fudge. Am I supposed to give that out too? Oh, I suppose I have to share the table with you as well. Right, sorry." He starts shoving parchments out of the way, clearing a space in front of the girl.

"Yes, sir," Elise says to Chaucer. "Thank you." For the butterbeers. She turns her attention to Zack. "Pleased to meet you, Mr. Fudge." She watches him clear the tables, and his absent-minded babbling has her lips curling up in an amused little smile. "May I ask which Houses you were in, sirs, when you attended Hogwarts? I'm in Ravenclaw."

"Sometimes I swear one's old House is more important than anything else in the world." muttered Chaucer "I was Hufflepuff!" he noted proudly as he straightened off his beer "Ravenclaw. A good one. Hrm. You look about… fourth year I guess? No, a little too small for that."

Zack looks around in alarm when Elise calls him Mr Fudge. "Oh, you meant me," he says a moment later with some relief. "Er, my name's Zack. So you can call me that. A person's House isn't the most important thing in the world. That would be magic. But it is rather important. It's good to have clearly defined categories for everything." For a moment it seems he's forgotten to answer the question himself, and then he says, "Ravenclaw, yes. That's the one I was in."

"Oh, really?" Elise asks Chaucer. "I was rather hoping grown ups cared less about that kind of thing after graduation." She sighs. "Second year, sir," she answers. "My cousin Luci is in Hufflepuff. She always brings me these tiny little cakes, and biscuits." She nods her head. "I rather thought you might have been a Ravenclaw," she says. "You have that sort of… thoughtful air about you." She grins at him, just a bit impish. "Though I think treating people well is more important than magic. It's something that everyone can do - and should."

"Hmm. So between the two of you, I'm a very youthful thoughtful goblin." remarks Chaucer between the two, then guffaws loudly "I do a lot of thinking yes. These are thought lines." he rubs a finger over his wrinkled forehead "And yes, treating people with a measure of civility is always a good idea. Respect can come later. "And yes, some do care about it still. Seeing their children go into the same house…a nd of course if you intend to teach obviously. I'm an odd one, most of my house well… not Ravenclaw. Zack here knows, but do you think you can guess? " he asked Elise.

Chaucer says, "My House, that is…"

"Really?" Zack asks the girl. "You could tell what House a person's in just by looking at them?" He looks at her as if expecting to see a label with her House on it. "Well, I already know you're a Ravenclaw too, but that's because you've told us. What do you mean by 'treating people well'? Like making them tea or doing their dishes? Magic does all that and more. What do I know?" He glances at Chaucer, frowning. "Oh, about your family having been in a different House? Mine too."

"A… goblin?" Elise asks, eying him dubiously. Then, "Do you mean I should guess your family's usual Sorting? Well… You've already said they're not Ravenclaws, nor Hufflepuffs, I suppose. So… if you're an Ollivander, then I believe most of your family are Slytherin, right?" she says, looking down at the table and frowning thoughtfully as she reasons through it. "If I'm remembering correctly." She shakes her head at Zack. "No, sir, that's not what I meant. What I meant was that you behaved in a way I've seen many of my fellow Ravenclaws behave, and not as many students in other houses. All these notes, the way you speak. It just appears as if you're devoting a great deal of attention to some grander matter, is all, and that kind of academic dedication is most frequently seen in Ravenclaws. It was just a guess, though. I'm glad I was right." She shrugs at his question. "Treating people well… I mean, treating them with kindness, and not indifference or disdain. Looking for good traits to admire in all of humanity, and helping whomever you can."

Chaucer nods at Elise "Right on all accounts. If I remember right, the Sorting Hat took quite a while to decide which to put me in.' he paused, remembering it fondly. Then he chuckles and continues "Indeed. Civility - because you never know if they may be your employer some day in the future." he nod at ZAck "There is a little bit of tradition to which families go into which houses, as well as stereotypes too."

Zack peers at Elise, bemused, then looks down at his notes. "Do they? I didn't really notice when I was there. Is it really dedication to a grander matter? I just thought it was interesting. Everyone has something that interests them, don't they?" Spotting something on one of the pages in front of him, he picks up his quill again and scratches something out, his mouth twisting in distaste. "The Hat took no time at all in deciding which to put me in," he says. "Straight into Ravenclaw. So do both of you go around looking for good traits in people?" he asks absently.

"Well, I suppose that's one way of looking at it," Elise says to Chaucer with a little chuckle. Their butterbeers arrive and she picks hers up and has a drink, getting foam all over her upper lip and nose, which she quickly wipes off with a napkin. She tilts her head curiously at Zack. "Well, yes, I do," she says. "I'm in a club at school that tries to cheer people up. It's much easier to cheer people up if you can find something to like about them. Sometimes it's awfully difficult, though," she sighs. "It feels like things only get more complicated the older I get." She scoots down in her chair just enough so that she can rest her head against the back of it.

Chaucer remarks "I look for good traits in people so I have less reason to dislike them off the bat. Its easier to do business with someone if you can compliment them instead of tell them their choice of robes makes them look like a big fat toad." he admits to both with a sage nod and a butterbeer moustache of his own.

"I never joined any clubs when I was in school," Zack remarks, now intent upon his notes. "I know how to do a Cheering Charm, though. That should cheer someone up just fine. It's a lot easier too. Just a quick flick of the wand and they're perfectly happy. And what difference does it make what kind of robes they're wearing?" He says, wearing some that look like they've been through several wars. "Spells do get more complicated as you get older, yes. But if you study you'll do fine."

Elise tries not to giggle at the old man's butterbeer mustache. "And it's just the nice thing to do," Elise says. "I mean… I like it when people are nice to me. So it makes sense to be nice to people." She shrugs at the idea of a Cheering Charm. "But those don't last. If someone's nice to you, you feel good for longer, because you have a reason to think about feeling good." She closes her eyes a bit. "I'm sure spells do become more complicated, but I just meant that life in general gets more complicated."

"It doesnt. Its called an 'example'" snapped Chaucer simply "And yes, they will get MUCH more difficult. The rest was just so you got the basics of how it works. Then comes the REAL work." he notes to the young lady. "I dont use cheering charms. Most WIzards and Witches I deal with spot them a mile away." He nods at Elise "Exactly. Its good for a good laugh between friends, or party favours, but not for business deals." he remarks.

"I don't use Cheering Charms either," Zack says. "They're a little boring." He glances up from his notes. "Life's not that complicated," he says. "I'm supposed to be dead, and half of a building is somewhere out there along with a good deal of my books. And I'm not sure what they did about that hole in the ground. What's so complicated about your life anyway? You're still in school. That's a very easy life. It was when I was there anyway."

Elise shrinks away from Chaucer a little bit when he snaps at Zack. "Yes, sir," she says meekly. Then she blinks at the younger man. "Er…" she takes a deep breath. "First of all I have a family curse that kills all the girls before they have any babies and kills off the men, too, after they've passed on the name, and we all die in rediculous ways. Then there's the fact that I like a boy who doesn't like me back because even though we're the same age he's too young to like girls and anyway what if he turns out to like boys instead? Thirdly I'm being tormented by a shadow that grownups can't see so they think I'm making it up and when I sleep I dream about this wonderful plance and it's so amazing I don't want to wake up so I try to sleep as little as possible and I'm tired all the time. And I'm in the Mud Club because I think it's just bloody stupid to hate someone because of who their parents are but a lot of the purebloods have bullied me fore it and it's just hard to stick up for people all the time, because I'm only a girl and I'm only twelve and I'm not a Gryffindor I'm a Ravenclaw and I faint at the sight of blood." She finally runs out of breath.

Chaucer hmms a little "That IS a lot of complication." he admits "I dont remember MY teenage years being like that." he admits "Then again Hogwarts wasnt QUITE as busy, and a lot stricter. Maybe we were just too afraid to." he finishes his butterbeer "It grows late, and I'm old and tired and must sleep. We'll talk more in the morning." he notes to both, sliding his card to Elise as well "And you too, Zack." he tips his head to both, turning to depart.

"I knew I'd heard the name somewhere," Zack murmurs when Elise mentions her family's curse. He, Chaucer, and Elise are sitting at a table just inside the door of the Three Broomsticks. It's a cold day in December and the place is packed. The table is almost entirely covered by books and sheets of parchment, all of which belong to Zack, who continues writing as Elise speaks. But about halfway through her story he looks at her as if seeing her for the first time. "What was that bit about a shadow?" he asks when she's done. "That sounds very interesting. Is it like a ghost, or something different? Oh, you're leaving already?" he adds, looking over at Chaucer in surprise. "Well, goodbye. Please don't take any of my notes with you."

Elise takes the card, looking slightly startled. "Ah.. alright," she says hesitantly. "I suppose I can come here after breakfast, sir." She is sitting at the table with Chaucer Ollivander and Zack Fudge. There do not appear to be any readily available seats in the entire place - but that's never stopped Alphard Black, before. carefully she tucks the business card that Chaucer just handed her into the pocket of her pretty mauve robes. "Have a pleasant evening, sir," she bids him as he leaves. She looks at Zack and blinks. "What? Shadow? Nothing," she says, her cheeks turning pink. "Er… probably someone messing with me, is all. I'm sure it will be sorted soon." She gives him a most convincing smile.

Zack takes Elise at her word, but looks rather disappointed to hear that it isn't very interesting after all. "Oh," he says. "Are you sure? That would be complicated. And I suppose the curse thing is too," he adds after taking a quick moment to think about it. He puts down his quill finally and looks around the table. "What was that you said about a Mud Club? I don't remember hearing about anything like that when I was in school. What is it?"

"Oh, well," Elise says. She picks up her butterbeer and has another drink to give herself time to think. "It's just a club that you can be in if you support the idea of all wizards and witches being treated with equal respect, whether or not they're pureblood, half-bloods, or muggle-borns. Since Muggle-borns are called, well, you know, they sort of named it the Mud Club as an act of, er, defiance, I suppose." She shrugs a bit. "I'm in the Broomflying Club, too, and on the Quidditch team. And I wanted to start being in the Chess Club. That might be too many clubs, though. We'll see."

"Called what?" Zack asks as he opens up one of the nearby books and starts flicking through its pages. "Oh, Mudbloods. Right, that would make sense. You're in that many clubs? All at the same time? I was never in any clubs when I was in school. I do like playing chess though. I used to play it with my friends in the common room. What kind of broom do you fly?"

Elise nods. She closes her eyes again and replies sleepily. "That many. Maybe too many. Pirates, Mud Club, Broom Club, Quidditch… Chess." She yawns. "Oh, Mr. Toulson made it, from the Flights of Fancy broom shop. It's Ravenclaw colors. Marvelous thing. I love flying."

"There's a club for pirates?" Zack says. "I don't like pirates much. Aren't they supposed to be horrible people? Are you even allowed to be in Pirate Club and Mud Club at the same time? I suppose even pirates can be Muggle-born, though, so it does sort of make sense… I don't much like flying. I'm afraid of heights. I like brooms though. They're made with some very clever magic. Have you fallen asleep or are we still talking?"

"The… pirates," Elise says, yawning. "We're good pirates. We're the cheering-up club. Like Robin Hood was a highwayman, we're pirates. Nice ones. We give out quite a lot of chocolate." Another yawn. "Sorry, sir. Like I said, I try not to sleep much." She makes herself sit up and blink-blinks a few times. Then she lifts the butterbeer and finishes it off. "Well. I should walk out in the cold for a while. That'll wake me up!" She stands.

"There are good pirates?" Zack asks. "And you cheer people up? Why's your life so complicated? And who's Robin Hood?" He shifts about in his seat when she addresses him as sir again. "Oh, all right then. Goodbye. You're sure you haven't got any more of my notes or books hidden somewhere? And you should go to sleep. Dreams are the best part about sleep, especially if they're good ones."

"Not if you don't want to wake up," Elise says. "I haven't got the days to waste, after all." And with that remark, and a shake of her head — no, she doesn't have his notes of books — off she goes. He'll have to find out who Robin Hood is on his own.

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