(1938-12-24) Lunch in Winchester
Details for Lunch in Winchester
Summary: Cousins Rowle have lunch with Eibhlin Shine; talk centers around gift-angst and romance-angst. Edgar lurks unseen outside, fogging up the windows.
Date: 1938-12-24
Location: Winchester

It's lunch time in Winchester! Cousins Rowle have escaped from the mad din that is a home teeming with relatives in order to catch up with a friend - as well as just take a breather from the hectic holiday hubbub. The little diner they've chosen to patron has been there for as long as Andromena can remember, but it was well-maintained and always possessed of a warm and cozy atmosphere. Unfortunately, they had come at a rather busy time, only just managing to squeeze in without having to wait for a table. Numerous witches and wizards were all trying to fit in last minute meetings with friends, relatives, or business partners before tomorrow.

"I don't think I've ever been in here with it so crowded before," Andromena admitted to Anthony as she looked over a menu. Their waitress had taken their drink order, but knew a third person was soon to arrive, and thus did not rush them for their food choice.

Anthony nods, and looks around, "We'll have to be careful with how we talk." He's been a little subdued since returning from London. Not always, though, sometimes quirking unusually bright smiles, but then returning to a brooding air which is most unlike his usual studious consideration.

Having spent previous breaks, summer aside, at Hogwarts getting around elsewhere takes some getting used to which might explain why Eibhlin is on the late side of meeting the cousins. Spending the present break with friends however makes it possible to meet up with them this afternoon. On entering the diner blue eyes cast a look about the space and manage to spot the pair through the crowd of people. Making her way over to their table she slips into an empty seat. "Sorry if I'm late," she greets with a soft smile.

"Really? What for?" Andromena queried, being a completely oblivious ditz in that moment. Girls are allowed such lapses, are they not? She took a sip of her drink, watching the crowd for Eibhlin's arrival. When the red head at last appeared, Andromena's face lit up with a smile. "Hey, Evie," Andromena said as the other girl seated herself. "Don't feel bad, we've not been here all that long." There was a sidelong glance to her cousin as she privately wondered at his strange moods.

Anthony gives Eiblin a faint smile, "Hello there." He stands as she approaches the table, and remains so until she is seated, whereupon he slides back down. Someone taught the boy some manners at some point. In a lower voice he says, "Well, awful lot of muggles around. We should probably watch how we talk, shouldn't we?"

Manners which while nice are somewhat embarrassing for Eibhlin, "Anthony you really don't have to…" she says sending a smile his way before she shakes her head. "He does have a point though," she notes looking to Andromena next as she catches up on the conversation at hand.

"Oh, right," Andromena said, looking abashed. Muggles. How awful that a good, upstanding witch such as herself would have to watch the things she said just because of an infestation of Muggles. It was hardly fair! And then for two people to point out the obvious number one rule for any witch or wizard, well…it was downright embarrassing. Andromena did her best not to appear too put out by it all.

"Yeah, yeah…" The young woman agreed, casting furtive looks about. "I guess…uhm. How is your break coming along, Evie?" Nice and safe. Boring!

Anthony looks to the other girl. He looks interested. Curious. Okay, cos that's not creepy, Tony.

It's not creepy to show interest!

Eibhlin nods. "Well enough," she replies. "Gerald's parents have SO many questions, but I'm learning quite a bit from them too." Of course cursebreakers would have a million questions for a girl raised in the muggle world. "How about yours?" she asks the question back, looking to each of them in turn.

Andromena smiles broadly, a thought blossoming within her mind that made it impossible to do anything other than just that. "It's been wonderful so far," she shared with Eibhlin. "I mean, I know it's not really been that long since we got out of school, but it has been good." Doubtless they'd want to hear about her time spent with Alphard, so Andromena spared them. Still, the necklace he got her was plainly on display for all to see, though thankfully Andromena wasn't toying with the little onyx pendent of the raven in flight. Her gaze rolled over to Anthony, awaiting his own answer.

Anthony's answer takes a little time to come. "It's lovely. Of course. The cooking is just superb, after School!" Cos Hogwarts never produces magnificent feasts or anything like that, "Maman is asking a few questions though. Girls, and so forth."

Eibhlin wouldn't mind hearing about her time with Alphard, but since Andromena isn't offering it up she's not asking. Then again while she might not mid that doesn't mean that Tony would. The redhead laughs lightly for the boy's answer on the food, nodding for the rest of their answers. "Glad to hear it," she says sending a smile towards the other girl, and then to the boy, "And this is a bad thing?"

"Have any girls caught your eye, coz?" Andromena asks, resting her chin within the palm of her hand. Just then, however, their waitress returned to take their order. A Muggle woman with lank, dirty-blonde hair that was tied at the nape of her neck, she offered the assembled teenagers a polite smile as she held her little pad of paper aloft. She was one of those types. The sort that can always be cheery, even while working in an overrun restaurant on Christmas Eve.

"Tony's mother is a fabulous cook," she tells Eibhlin before giving her order to the waitress.

Anthony gives his order in turn, and merely replies to the question from his cousin with a non-committal shrug, associated with a sigh. Ah. That would be a 'yes', then.

Curious, Eibhlin's attention shifts to Anthony given his cousin's question, distracted only for a moment as she gives her order to the waitress as well. "Well then I suppose it would be better after school then," she agrees. "Anyone in particular?" the question is only logical to follow the answer he gives.

Of course that meant Andromena would have to know! So that she could aid him in his romantic quest, naturally! Hence forth she shall be known as Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty. With her help, how could things possibly fail? "Yes," she said after Eibhlin asks for further explanation on Anthony's part. "At least give us a hint, eh?"

Anthony says, slightly moodily, "A gentleman doesn't give that sort of information. In case it's an embarrassment to the lady."

"Oh come on Anthony," Eibhlin prods with a bright smile, "Its not like we're going to tell anyone. Just give us a hint?" she echoes his cousin's request.

Anthony sighs, "Are you joking? It's bad enough having seen her everywhere for the last six years, without having you chaps know that I know."

So. Six years. Means either a sixth or seventh year.

Eibhlin sighs, "Six years and you've probably never so much as said hello have you." Boys really can be quite hopeless. "At least tell us what how she's in, hmm?" she questions, tilting her head at him.

Anthony remains stubbornly silent on the girls name. Of course, he said 'see her everywhere', with the appropriate implications. "Do you have to know? I mean, dammit, can't a chap have some privacy?"

Eibhlin nods, reaching up to tuck a strand of hair behind her ear. "Right then," she replies, "I'm not about to drag it out of you, but I can't make any promises for your cousin." A hint of a grin flashed towards Andromena. "Good luck with her though, whoever she is," she offers the boy. "And I meant to thank you, for the card I mean," she adds, the last week or so of school being busy enough that she hadn't had a chance to give him a real thank you for the birthday gift.

Anthony waves a hand, "Oh, it was nothing. Really just playing around, of course." He looks intensely relieved that the subject has changed. "A conceit, if you will."

"And Tony is nothing if not a gentleman," Andromena sighs, almost mirroring her cousin except for the moodiness. "Well, then, can you answer this: is she special enough to have warranted a present from you this year?" Then, because Andromena is a young woman in like-like with a young man and her cousin is being very stubborn about the identity of his own lady-love…"My present to Alphard is totally worthless." Big. Dejected. Sigh.

"Still," Eibhlin replies, sending a smile his way, "I appreciate the thought." She turns to Andromena then, raising a brow at her sigh, "I'm sure it's not worthless. It was from you."

Anthony gives a firm nod, "Of _course_ it wasn't worthless! Don't you mean priceless? It was from _you_!" And he pauses and admits, "I got her something, yes."

"No. It really is." Another sigh, the pain of the world was in it. "He got me something really thoughtful and grand, and what did I do? I couldn't be assed to think up a single thoughtful gift in return." Because what did you get a person that had everything; who had parents or other relatives to lavish upon his gifts if it was not something he could readily get himself? Still, between the pair of them the coax a small smile from Andromena. "I guess I just worry. I like my gifts to others to be special. Meaningful."

Anthony lets out an 'Oh'! And hurriedly digs in a bag, "I actually got you an extra one, Andy. Just by chance, but who am I to turn up my nose at fate?" He produces a (badly) wrapped present that is obviously a book, "You can open this one early, if you want, or wait until tomorrow."

"An extra present?" Andromena queries, taking the gift, badly wrapped as it is. "I don't know…I think I just may have to open this one now!" Doing just that, Andromena's smile grew as the title was revealed to her. "Ah, Tony, this is just wonderful. I actually don't have this one." But of course Anthony would know that, because they were around each other often enough. Said book being 'The Real Truth Behind The Legends of Rome,' by Dillorous Diderot. Andromena hadn't been able to purchase it when it had come out because it had been out of stock, and then time moved forward and it was just buried beneath the list of future books to get.

There was a suspicious look sent Anthony's way, but…no. Certainly not. It had to be someone else. "I think I can guess as to whom it might be," Andromena winked at him. "But I'll keep it to myself, since you're so adamant about keeping her identity secret. Does she know you like her?"

Anthony pauses, then gives a slight nod, "She doesn't reciprocate. Although she has agreed to accompany me to a party. As a friend." A beat, "Oh, Andy! Look inside! It's dedicated!"

Andromena frowned at that. What sort of girl couldn't adore Tony? But then she was looking inside her book, positively beaming at the inscription therein. "You got him to SIGN it- you…you got to MEET him!?" Her voice rose in pitch, plainly excited. It drew only as much attention as a fiery teenager would naturally be afforded by adults. Andromena slung an arm around Anthony's shoulder, pulling him into a hug.

Anthony oophs in surprise, "Yes! Yes, chance meeting! I got three copies signed. I thought… well…" Ah, yes. I wonder where that third copy might be going. So he hasn't given up hope entirely. Bless. "It was awfully kind of him, actually!"

"I wish I could have been there…" Andromena sighs wistfully. For all of that, she's quite happy Anthony had the chance to do so, and especially that he was thoughtful enough to have given her a gift such as this. "Three copies, hmm?" This asked in a giggle. Evie is given a wave as she departs. At least they'd all had their food delivered and had the chance to eat! Because that would have been just a shame, otherwise. "At least you have good taste. Some of the guys running around Hogwarts have the most peculiar fancies. I'll never understand it."

Anthony's brow lifts, "I have good taste? It seems so to me, but she doesn't seem to feel so."

"Some girls play at hard to get," Andromena supplies helpfully for Anthony. "I think…I think it's because we're made to believe that if we show interest too soon that it's bad." And maybe that even the guy would grow bored before it was too late to entrap him! Oh, the nature of love, what a twisted, thorn vine you are! "And, I don't know, maybe she has reservations. I mean wasn't she…er, that is, perhaps she has a history to come to terms with, and is afraid to jump in to something new?"

Anthony gives a morose nod, "Yes. Yes, I think she's scared. And she doesn't understand, I think, that I won't hurt her. Can't hurt her, even. But she says she doesn't know me." He grimaces, "She's known me for _six_years_!" But… well, Tony's not always memorable is he? He sounds like that hurt a bit.

Andromena and Anthony are seated within a busy diner in their local haunt of Winchester. There's half-empty plates before them, as it is lunch time. They're talking, as should be expected. "There's a difference, coz," she explained. "Between knowing of somebody and knowing somebody. After all, I knew Alphard all these years but I've only really start to get to know," was there a faint blush? Yes. Yes, there was. Ahem. "Him since we've gotten together."

Anthony sighs, "I know. I'm impatient, I know. And I _know_ she's out of my league… but I don't know. Too many romantic books, I suppose."

"She is so not out of your league, coz. Don't sell yourself that short. Just be yourself, rather than try to impress." Age old advice, that. Did it ever really work? Andromena thought it was better than suggesting he lie! Besides, she hadn't all that much experience in the realm of love…though maybe that worked in their favor? "What do you like best about her?" Because…why not ask something like that?

Anthony pauses, "Her brains? Talent? Looks? Oh, I don't know! The whole package! She's even an amazing musician!"

Yup. That definitely gave it away, even if Andromena had already strongly suspected the girl already! Andromena grinned. "I hadn't suspected you were crushing so hard, Tony! I hope the lady doesn't treat you badly." Not that Andromena would really…do anything if things did not work out between the two youths. "Still, going with you to a party is a start, don't you think?"

Anthony nods, although he says softly, "As a friend. I'm not sure that it's… going anywhere. I understand. She says she has.. oh, secrets she can't share that would scare me away, but I think she's just frightened of _letting_ herself feel things." A beat, "Or I'm not the one to let her do so."

"Now you're over-thinking it," Andromena said, tap-tapping her index finger against Anthony's temple. "Wouldn't you rather be friends with the person you like as opposed to just…suddenly beginning to date them?"

Anthony's lips quirk, "A Raven overthinking things? How absolutely unheard of!" He does at least have a sense of humour about it, "Can you try and keep Maman… well, from asking too many questions if you could? Please?"

"Yes," she said, offering Anthony a reassuring pat. "Of course. I'll just sacrifice myself, and draw her attention away from you with talk of Alphard. You know it's always a favorite family topic of discussion to remind aunt Olivia about how she failed to catch herself a Black." Because they all knew about her wild, explosive relationship with Reggie Black! At least no bastards had come of it.

Anthony flashes a smile, "Thank you. I appreciate it. Tons! I'll owe you a distraction, if you want to get some quiet time with Alphard at any point!"

Andromena flushed pink when Anthony suggested time alone with Alphard. "Well, uhm. Yes. That would be- Be nice." Not that she intended to take Anthony up on his offer. That would be just a little weird, wouldn't it? Using your cousin to snag some alone time with your boyfriend. No…she'd much prefer to do things under the radar, for all of Tony's good intentions. She didn't really want people knowing when she went to go snog Alphard. There was appearances to keep up!

Anthony nods, "He's a but of an idiot, but that sort of overreaction is to be expected when he's dating my cousin! You're worth flying off the handle for!"

"Oh, please don't call him an idiot," Andromena requested sweetly. For all their sakes. "But yes, I suppose you're right, I'm not just any girl. I'm Andromena Rowle!" And so what if she was…sort of lumped into the same category as Anthony for most of their academic lives. (Ander- Adra…Rowle who? Not the journalist?) "We Rowles are like undiscovered diamonds. The men and women of this world just won't understand what they're missing."

Anthony flashes a smile, "EXACTLY!" A beat, "Well, the female of the species is, anyway!" His mouth droops for a moment, and then he gives a smile, and reaches over to squeeze your hand, "Why couldn't you _really_ be my twin sister, anyway?"

"Because," Andromena begins, grinning roguishly. "Dear, sweet cousin of mine, the gods just couldn't handle such a pairing!" And here people were worried about further mixing of the blood lines through the unions of cousins. Hah!

"Well, anyway, I know you don't want to keep hearing about it, so I'll stop after I say this: I think you'll do fine with this girl. Just try and exert a little more patience, hey? Think of it like translating a new language."

Anthony takes a breath, and nods, "It's insane. I keep varying between utter terror and misery and joy! Is this what love feels like?" He gives a wry smile, "Do girls talk to each other, anyway? Are you going to be talking to _her_?"

"I…I haven't really ever done much talking to her before, to be honest. I could try but it might be obvious what I'm after. And, uhm, yes. Girls do talk. About that sort of thing. But with friends." Oh, she was really making this sound more confusing than it was, wasn't she? Andromena SHOULD have said: girls talk about that amongst friends, and unfortunately she and I can't be called friends, exactly. They certainly weren't enemies.

Anthony gives a slight nod, and then pauses, "Maybe some advice, as things go on, then? I… I think there's some tension in that family. Betwixt M…. the lady and her mother. So, perhaps.. well… shoulder to cry on, sort of thing."

"Advice to her, or to you?" Andromena asks, a brow arching upwards. Would the lady even want advice from her? Surely, Anthony would not mind whatever help could be given, however!

Anthony laughs, shortly, "I meant me! But hell, I don't know!" The swearword sounds unusual out of the boys mouth- perhaps indicating how torn he feels. "Oh. Sorry, Andy. I mean, you know. Pardon my Gobbledigook."

Andromena mock covers her ears. The pair of them never swear. Has ever an even slightly bad word fallen past her lips? Doubtful. "It happens. But it's much more forgiving when a man swears, even in the company of a gentle lady," she teases. "I'll help however I can, you know that. I wonder…I wonder why affairs of the heart are as hard as they are," Andromena mused aloud. "It's not the same as studying, which can be difficult but the nature of it is different. I can understand what it is to learn." But how did one learn love?

Anthony blinks, and then says, perhaps astutely, "Are things difficult with Black? I mean… is there anything I can do?"

"Well…no. Actually things are going swimmingly with Alphard." Her brows furrow. "I didn't mean to imply that. I just meant…in general." Actually, it could be said that Alphard Black would be a difficult person to like, especially one to love, but Andromena hardly gave it a moment's thought. "Everybody has to…to work on being with another. And sometimes even people you really adore hurt you, but you still like them, and how can that make sense? It's just stuff I've always tried to puzzle out, honestly."

Anthony's lips quirk, "One of the others. I think he's a Gryffyndor mocked me for taking the easy way with my books, rather than… you know, engaging more." He gives a wry smile, "Said books were taking the easy way."

"I guess I can see how some might call them easier. But just because I read books doesn't mean either of us were hiding. I was just…never interested before." Andromena looked down at her plate, then pushed it away. She took a drink instead. "And I don't see a reason behind those boys and girls that just date people to date them. Where's the meaning?"

Anthony mmrms, and admits, "I was hiding." He takes a breath, "I've wanted to say something to her for over a year. But she had… well, that thing, and… it never felt the right time."

"Oh…well, even so," Andromena waves it away with a hand. "It's better to keep quiet in such a scenario, isn't it? I wouldn't want a boy coming up to me now and confessing his feelings. I'd just feel a little awkward, and…kind of bad." Because Andromena was that terribly nice person that didn't like putting people out or telling them no. "And there's some solace to be hiding in hiding your feelings, isn't there? Knowing at least you are doing the right thing."

Anthony pauses, then nods, "Yeah, but she wasn't always… you know." He shrugs, "Bad timing on my part."

Andromena wanted to be consoling, but what could she say? 'Oh yes, I thought Alphard was cute for ages?' Hardly. Better then, to just play the sympathetic ear. "Now you've got your chance, though. And just wait, you'll see, the charm of Anthony won't go unnoticed." Had Andromena ever even seen her cousin as he tried to woo his maid? Clearly not.

Anthony flashes a shy and grateful smile, "Thanks. I… well.. _hope_ to get over to the Isle of Wight to distract her a bit. But lord only knows if I'll be able to. My apparating isn't… well, I passed the _test_, but…" Yeah. Barely. Skin of the teeth stuff.

Andromena groans. Here's a subject she can talk a little more comfortably about even if it is embarrassing in a way. "I really need to sign up for the lessons this coming months." She could not apparate. At all. Her broom flying was nothing to get excited over, just your every day average…so learning to apparate was one of those skills Andromena really wanted to master. So she couldn't be good at everything, but by God would she do her damnedest to be good at a lot!

Anthony gives a little nod, "I'd offer to teach you, but… I'm really not that good!" He glances at the clock over the counter, "Gosh! We should get going! Otherwise they'll be wondering." Indeed, the cousins have always been close, and perhaps a protracted absence together might cause talk.

Andromena nods in agreement when she notes the time. "Yeah, we shouldn't keep them waiting. You know, family traditions to observe and all!" The two Rowles pay, and then depart.

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