(1938-12-08) Leaky Conversation
Details for Leaky Conversation
Summary: Jocunda Sykes arrives at the Leaky Cauldron, and ends up embroiled in a brief but intense political discussion.
Date: 1938-12-08
Location: The Leaky Cauldron
Related:
Characters
Jocunda

Saturday night, and the Leaky Cauldron is packed. Witches, Wizards, and all kinds of other creatures like to call this place there home by night, and most only leave once the sunlight shines through the windows. The barkeeper is kept busy, with constant requests for more and more drinks.

While most tables are full, one man is sitting all alone near the fireplace. He is a tall man holding a cane in his left hand. Tristan Urquart seems to be enjoying the night-life.

Saturday Night. The Cauldron is /packed./ So when the whispers spread through the crowd, it builds into almost a Quidditch Pitch roar. Jocunda Sykes is here. The woman saunters in with the wicked smirk for her fans and general adoring public - A symbol of all that Wizards love about Brooms and Broomsports. Unlike normal people, Jocunda doesn't need to wait for a bartender, either, leaning across the bar to murmur. "I'd love an ale by the fire, if you could." No need to take a number. No need to give change - A generous tip is included in the coin that she slides across the bar.
Oh yes. It's not going to be hard to figure out where Jocunda Sykes is sitting - It's where everyone will be facing. And with the lack of empty tables, Tristan seems to be her table-mate. "You look awfully familiar. I don't suppose you're wanting for company?" She gestures to the seat beside him.

Tristan averts his gaze as he hears the noise, and looks at the star that is Jocunda Sykes enter. He smiles, and turns back to his ale, and his fire. But it seems that the Quidditch star has taken a liking to his fire! He stands up, holding his cane firmly, " It would be quite the honour to sit next to someone as famed as you, Miss Sykes." He says, in his sweet tone, " As for looking familiar, I have watched quite a few of your matches, though I doubt you would be able to spot me in the crowd."

Not every young man can turn their back on someone like Jo, either. She turns to her adoring public, holding up a hand, "Excuse me, everyone, but it's been a long flight, and I'm due for some peace and quiet - I'm sure when I've had a few ales I'll be willing to sign anything that's handed me." A waitress stops by, and drops of an ale for her. The woman turns back to Tristan, and takes a seat beside him with a casual smile.
"I played Seeker at Hogwarts, stranger; I wouldn't question my eye. Please, call me Jo'." She drinks deep of her ale, a satisfied 'ah' escaping her lips, before she speaks again. "Do you have a natural habitat, other than the stands during my games? I'd struggle to say I remembered you from Hogwarts." A chuckle. "Do you even have a name? Since everyone knows mine."

" I remember your Hogwarts days, Slytherin beat us quite a few times thank's to your prowess." Tristan takes a slurp of his dark ale, and licks his lips, " My name is Tristan Urquart, and my habitat is the Ministry. Iv'e worked there for some time, perhaps you have seen me while you were there accepting all kinds of sporting medals from the minister?" Tristan says with a grin firmly edged on his face.

Jocunda is used to such banter. It makes her feel all kinds of comfortable. "My ego isn't so unshackled that I'd claim all the credit. I deserve… Well, most of it." She chuckles softly to herself, and tilts her head to look at Tristan. "Ministry, hmn? I spent a year there, dealing with Broom Regulations. It… May be the single most boring thing I've done, in my entire life." Not that she's had a boring life. Especially since she did that after crossing the Atlantic on a broom.

Tristan laughs, and orders a bottle of wine. " I assume you'l take some as well?" He asks the star, " Broom Regulations? That doesn't really sound like the most interesting thing to do in the world… I'm a charms examiner, life is never dull in my profession." He smiles, " Should you really be out here drinking with all these charming men around you, instead of getting a good night sleep?"

"We'll see how the ale goes down. I might not be ready for wine yet." Jocunda manages another mouthful, and shrugs. "I've heard of worse things to be doing. And I could be sleeping, or practicing, or any number of other things. Fact is, I've learned that if I neglect my public, and neglect my pub, I end up a very shallow imitation of myself." A little self-absorbed, isn't she? "Anyhow, I spend all day being me; let's here about you - Since my week's all lit up in the Prophet, what did you do?"

Tristan smiles, and as the wine arrives only he gets a glass. He tries the wine, and accepting it, motions his hand for the man to pour away. " Sadly, I didn't read that section of the Prophet this week, nor any other week. I don't really keep up with the celeb gossip." He takes another sip of his wine, " The usual, work during the day, go places in the night."

"And on a Saturday night, your average charms investigator takes a lone table at the Leaky Cauldron? Forgive my confusion, Tristan…" Jo raises an eyebrow at him, "But I find your story wanting."

Tristan turns to the lady, " Loneliness beckons a man to the Leaky Cauldron." He says, averting his gaze to the fire, " And if one sees no one one knows, the lone table is your only friend."

"Loneliness is a strange emotion. So quickly is it dispelled by good company; while I can't promise to be that I wouldn't mind being friendly enough." A smile, loaded with moxie and mischief is reserved for the man. Jocunda, charming and sweet. "Besides, rubbing shoulders with celebrities normally does wonders for the social life."

Tristan looks at Jocunda, " I sure hope you will be good company. As for the loneliness, it dispersed the moment you sat down." He says, beaming. " I'm not sure, most of my friends are more occupied by the newest charms than who won the Quidditch World Cup."

"And most of the Cauldron will want to know what charming man Jocunda Sykes spent the evening talking away with, so soon after the tragic and abrupt end of her relationship." The last part is said with the dryness she reserves specially for the media. "I've always though Ministry Workers were the third gender though, in many ways." Jocunda teases. "So I assure you that I'm well worth the annoyance I pose."

"Oh I am sure rumours will fly when such a good-looking man like myself, and such a good-looking woman like yourself, meet and talk." He laughs, as he says this. " Some Ministry Workers are the third gender, but most of us are just like normal people, we have needs that even the overbearing Ministry can't fulfil."

"And rumours are the lifeblood of my industry." Jocunda confirms with a sad, ironic shake her of head. "Typically, as long as whatever I'm doing can be misunderstood in a way that makes headlines, I'm in the clear." She finishes her ale with a hearty mouthful, and catches the eye of a waitress. That can /definitely/ be refilled. "It's the nature of the industry. If I didn't love the spotlight so much I'd be sickened by it."

" Well I guess you should enjoy it while you can, the spotlight won't be on you forever. But I will forever get people glancing at me, talking about me while I pass them." Tristan looks toward his leg as he says this, but doesn't utter an explanation.

"Oho? You have a better spotlight than mine? I have to admit, I have been delicately dancing around," Oooh, wrong choice of word, "The subject since I noticed the cane, but if you're prepared to broach it..?" It's about as close to a 'please tell me what happened to your leg' as one is inclined to get from Jocunda. A waitress emerges, carrying a heavy pitcher of ale - Refilling Jo, and then wandering off to other men in need of strong drink. "I had a terrible curiousity."

Tristan stands up, and one can immediately see that something is wrong with his left leg. It is limp in his slacks, and for a second it looks like Tristan will fall, but he steadies himself by holding onto his beautifully carved cane. " I look sexier sitting, don't I?" He says with a smile, as he takes his seat once more. " Curse gone wrong." Is all he says.

"Oh, I don't know. You could pass for a flamingo, in a pinch." Jocunda passes off the awkwardness the way she knows how to best; with a joke. "A rare curse, to defy all attempts at healing. You poor man." She shakes her head sympathetically. Lord knows what she would do if she lost the use of her leg. Probably point her broom straight up and see if she could break atmosphere.

" A flamingo? Maybe I should try my act at the Zoo…" He says in good-humour. " Very rare, very failed." He waves his hand at her sympathy, " I'm fine with it, hasn't inhibited me awfully." He takes a sip of his wine, " So tell me, what does a Quidditch Star do in her free time?"

"Pretends not to be bored out of her skin." Jocunda responds casually. "If I'm not playing, I'm practicing. If I'm not practicing, I'm at a booked event. If I'm not at a booked event, I'm free to use my best judgement." A sip of her ale, she's taking it a bit slower now. "Best judgement means flying, more oft'n not. Or meeting with potential sponsors. Or thinking. Plenty of thinking."

" And what do you think about?" Tristan asks, as he moves his hand through his already perfect hair. " I doubt you have the normal troubles us normal folk have."

"Darling. I'm Jocunda Sykes." She answers simply. "Famous. Beautiful. Rich." Modest, too. "Single. Careless. Competitive." The six words - Three positive, three negatives. "Tomorrow, some girl takes a broom to the poles, and I lose my edge. A new chaser catches an Appleby scout, I lose my edge. I can't figure out how to go above and beyond where I am? I lose my edge." A pause. "Like normal people. One bad decision, and my life changes forever."

Tristan nods, " It's an unstable position to be in. I get a fixed income, which is quite high for a ministry job, I can't be fired, since I know to much, I have the perfect job!" He exclaims, " In a few years I'l probably be married and have some children in Hogwarts, the perfect life?" He leaves the question open.

"Is it?" Jocunda seems confused. "You seem wholly uncertain about that. As if you're conflicted between what you're expected to do and what you truly desire." It's a feeling she actually understands, to some extent. "To some, the perfect life is a loving wife, a nice house and two to four children. To others, it's the blue sky, good friends and better booze." Her ale is lifted, in a mock toast.

" I'l toast to that." Tristan answers, as he raises his wine glass. " I guess we will live and let life choose what becomes of us, I remember back in Hogwarts, Dumbledore always said that one can affect his own destiny, but that is has already been decided. Full of quotes like that, good old Dumbledore."

"It's my life. If I want to spend it looking for love, mayhaps I'll do that. I've no shortage of suitors and a finite amount of patience." Jocunda shrugs lightly. "Dumbledore said much and often. I'm amazed if even he knows what he believes any more… But I'm not a victim for life."

"It's my life. If I want to spend it looking for love, mayhaps I'll do that. I've no shortage of suitors and a finite amount of patience." Jocunda shrugs lightly. "Dumbledore said much and often. I'm amazed if even he knows what he believes any more… But I'm not a victim for life."

Tristan laughs, " Well I am sure not even your patience can match the amount of suitors.. Speaking about Dumbledore, have you heard all this gossip about Grindelwald?" Tristan seems to eye her with some interest, does the star know anything about the political situation?"

"He has it right." Jocunda speaks without even a moments hesitation. "His execution might be poor, but that doesn't change the truth. Muggles are dim creatures, blind to our ways and making decisions made from fear. Might be we could have ignored them, but with their increased hunger for killing one another, us and ours will be caught in the crossfire." The Witch shakes her head. "It's all very well and good to say 'they're sentient'. They're ignorant. They won't take guidance, they won't accept cohabitation. Control is the only option we have left."

Tristan bristles as he hears this, " That is the biggest load of crap since I read that you broke your leg on a night out on the town." He takes a sip of his wine, " We have wars, just like the muggles do, and we should let them fight them out just like they let us fight ours! We have no place to interfere."

Jocunda's responding glare is the sort that might level buildings. "We don't kill muggles in our wars. We don't fight indescriminately based on nameless fears and selfish wants." The Sykes has her back up about it. "It's easy to say that they deserve the right to fight their own battles, live their own lives. And if they could do that without involving us, more power to them. But they can't. They're obsessed with killing more, faster, better." She reaches out, patting him upon the shoulder. Is it pity? "I won't subject my family to risk because I want to 'see if Muggles can work it out'. And every wizard who dies while people like you refuse to interfere is just more blood on the ministries hands."

" The problem with people like you is that you have never actually talked to a muggle. I travelled the world, in wizard and muggle company for more than a year." He takes a break to drink some wine, " The only difference between us is that we can cast spells and they can't. And what danger is your family going to come to? The wizard danger has been exaggerated greatly!"

"The difference between us is that we seek to understand the world, and they seek to dominate it. We know they exist, they don't know we do. It's not so long ago our brothers and sisters burned by their fears, Tristan." Jocunda shakes her head. "Muggles kill Muggles better'n Wizards kill Wizards. And when it comes to being killed? An unprepared Wizard is no safer'n a muggle. And a random house, filled with muggles or wizards, catches fire just as easy. We know the difference. They don't."

" Grindelwald is trying to dominate it as we speak!" Tristan exclaims, as he fidgets with his cane. " We must forget the past, the past is the past, it's over. What we must remember is that we and Muggles are basically the same thing." He takes a second to drink a glass of wine, " How is any wizard unprepared? If one does not have some defensive spells up around his abode, well that's just plain stupidity."

"Fire is not aware of muggle avoidance charms. Explosions do not care for them either. Any Wizard in the Muggle world cannot use his wand for defense unless he believes his life is in real danger." Jocunda shakes her head. "Grindlewald seeks to contain the problem, until we can understand it. What if they crack the surface of our world, Tristin? What if they reduce London to rubble. What can a wizard do about that? Why should a wizard live in fear of a Muggle's mistake?"

" This war will not go on forever, Muggles will tire of the fighting just like Wizards do. The enslavement of a whole race is a much more terrible thing than a few Wizards dying." Tristan says, as he finishes his cup of wine. " Want some?" He asks the lady as he is about to order another glass. " Grindelwald is a horrid man, and deserves to be in Azkaban."

"We cannot know." Jocunda answers simply. "Enslavement and domination are different games entirely. Merlin knows the Ministry isn't keeping us safe."

" The Ministry is keeping us safe!" Tristan responds, " Trust me." He says with an aura of certainty. " We can know, we do know, and the ones who disagree are fucking idiots."

"Baa." Jocunda's reply is a slight bit mocking. "Forgive me for being terribly, terribly blunt, Tristan, but the ministry isn't capable." She smirks a little bit, "And it doesn't matter how cuet you are, it's always a good idea to start a political argument with available women. Because this happens." Jocunda stands, steps back from the table, and… Well, leaves.

Tristan looks after her as she leaves, licks the wine of his lips, and stares into the open fireplace.

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