(1939-01-08) What Are You Wearing?!
Details for What Are You Wearing?!
Summary: Shelley and Jocunda talk about recent events and politics - then turn to lighthearted transfigurations to improve their moods. Katherine becomes an unwitting victim.
Date: 1939-01-08
Location: Katherine and Jocunda's Flat

There's three raps at the door - unusual for Shelley, though Jocunda likely hasn't learned that yet. Outside is the sarcastic auror, showered and in fresh clothes - well slept after an evening in her bed at St. Mungos, as the insistence of the healers. She wears an odd expression - embarrassed, worried, and grateful, an unusual mix of emotions, and would greet whoever opened the door with a tight smile.

Jocunda hasn't. The woman has had a day, alright, with the disagreements deep within the heart of Unity. She's an unlikely ambassador after all - And probably not one anymore. And while she'd stormed out, intending to go /home/, she'd found herself back here, drinking pensively in one of her large, wing-backed chairs, alone. The Jo that answers the door lacks the Sykes Smirk, a dullness seeming to have invaded her in the wake of the attack. In the wake of Shelley. There's a brief spark though, when she sees her friend. "Shelley. Come in." She murmurs. A step back into the mudroom, and Jocunda begins to walk back up to the lounge. A glass of whiskey couched in one hand.

"Hey, Jo," Shelley greets the woman casually. She steps inside, closing and latching the door behind her, and following her friend up. She doesn't wait for the invitation to have a drink - she works on assumption, pouring herself a glass if Jocunda doesn't beat her to it. "How's your family holding up?"

"Things are better." Jo's answer is as pensive as her attitude. As she's constantly wearing down her bar, it's hard to tell how much she's had to drink, but the near-trip she makes before she eases herself back into her chair is a mild giveaway. "Unity are discussing where we stand… Chances are I've been ignored, and we're walking into a bloodbath." A sigh. "Politics." Like she's discussing a hemorrhoid.

"I'm not sure there's any out of it," Shelley responds with regret. "After something like this. Folks'll demand blood. There's already been attacks against a few Mu-ggle-born wizards. No deaths that I'm aware of." She takes a sip of her drink, ignoring her near-slip. "But there will be."

Jocunda shakes her head. "There's a way to keep the body count down, but it's too late for that. Malfoy's kin control his heart, and they'll send us into a civil war." The woman reaches up, rubbing her head gently. Her forehead feels numb, which is never a good sign. She must have had more than she thought. "I think I'm done with Unity, Shelley." A pause. "I'm being a drag. How are you, Shelley?"

"Life is a drag right now." Shelley stares at her cup. War is coming - dark wizards one both side, no doubt, and here's her. Just proving her inability to do field work.

"I'm in one piece. And I /appreciate/ the help you gave, Jo. Really. Memory's always pretty vague about anything that happens then I'm… not myself, but I know you were there, and you helped." She lets out a sigh, before adding, "Though I'm sorry you had to see me when I was like that - really in one of my… fits."

"I'll be there for you, Shelley - I promised, remember?" Saccharine or not, Jocunda is a woman of her word. "As much as I can. Warts n'all. You went to a party you didn't care for for me. The least I could do is clean up my own mess."

"That wasn't your mess," Shelley counters. "It's the mess of the dark wizards who cursed me, and the dark wizards who inadvertently triggered it. But… it's appreciated. I can really use a friend."

"Wouldn't have happened if I hadn't dragged you along, Shelley…" Jocunda swirls her whiskey again, and enjoys a healthy mouthful. OR necks it, and hopes the numbness spreads. "… I realized this morning how lonely I really am." She admits, although not how or why. Confessing to Frid had been humiliating enough, no matter how she justified it. "I only hope that I'm not too much for you to want to deal with."

Shelley had been about to take a drink; she's glad she hadn't, as she lets out a loud but brief laugh. "Too much for- Jo!" she protests. "/I forget who I am/. I'm not sure what your basis is for being 'too much,' but if you can handle /that/, I think I can return the favor."

She shakes her head, and adds, "And don't apologize for that. I remember what happened - mostly, at least. I did my job, and most importantly… I blew out the wall. I saved lives. If I /knew/ what was coming, I still would have chosen to go."

Jocunda smiles a little, stroking her fingers around the rim of her glass. "You did. You should be proud of what you did. Where do you sit though, Shelley? On Grindelwald, on the Preservists?" Jocunda finally asks. It's an important question, with the lines being drawn left right and center.

"I am," Shelley responds quietly. "I just hope I can be there the next time I'm needed." When means getting a handle on this curse.

What if getting a handle on the curse, means putting aside her desire to find Alis' killers? Would that be worth it - now that such dangerous times are upon them? She frowns grimly at her glass, considering that unsettling thought along with Jocunda's question.

"We have talents Muggle's lack," she says after a long silence. "I don't believe that makes us any better than them. Alis grew up in the Muggle world - she showed me some of it. They're just people, just like us. No better, no worse, no smarter or less intelligent. Just… no magic. They don't need us to rule them, or subjugate them. That's wrong."

She takes a drink of her whiskey before adding, "But unity or not? I dunno. I worry that'd turn into a bloodshed. But maybe it can be done."

"… They have things /we/ don't, Shelley. Gas, that cripples as bad as any spell. Guns, that kill without thought. Bombs, with explosive force no wizard can match. They can do what takes /hate/, /strength/, with the push of a button…" Jocunda shakes her head. The thoughts, the memories, the conversations all playing back in her head. Nightmarish. "I meant… I will have to choose a side. And I will side with my family." With Grindelwald. "Will that.. Change anything, between us?" There's a pause. And then she asks, with another long pause. "… And would you stay here, tonight? I'd rather not be alone…"

"They have their own ingenuity. The cruelty we do with spells - they do in other ways," Shelley agrees. She takes another sip while watching Jocunda, her expression thoughtful. "Friends don't always agree," she finally says. "But neither do families," she reminds her friend. "I got not plans or desires to fight you, though."

As for staying over, this is likewise given consideration. She doesn't like sleeping in unfamiliar places. But… "Is the poster back on your wall?" she asks teasingly.

"I'll let you take it home." Jocunda replies simply. "Just… I don't want to be alone. Not with how things went today." It's not often she lets her guard down like this.

Shelley can't help but let out a quiet snort. "You can keep it. I need a poster of /myself/, remember?" She finishes off her whiskey before adding, "Suppose I could. But I'd have to apparate home briefly - to make sure Ebony is fed and grab a few things."

Jocunda nods slowly. "I'd appreciate it, Shelley." She forces herself to smile, and it's wholly unconvincing. "Any ideas for helping me get out of this funk and back to the Jo we all know and love?" Teasing. That's a start.

"…Alis and I used to ride our brooms /through/ Diagon Alley," Shelley admits with a wry smile. "I mean - during the day, when there were plenty of people. Dodging around them. /Stupidest/ thing to do, isn't it? But it always lifted my spirits. Only crashed into /someone/ once. Crashed into /things/ plenty of times, though. You know, veering to miss unexpected people." Is she actually suggesting this as a way to cheer up Jo? Who knows.

"I." Jocunda admits, revealing why she retreated back to her couch so quickly. "Am probably a little too drunk for that. Besides, I've yet to retrieve our brooms - Although I have it on good authority that they survived the fire." There's some good news. And a flicker of a smile.

Was that relief on her features? Oh definitely. She lets out a quiet laugh before admitting, "I wasn't gonna ask - it didn't seem… right. But I've been wondering, that's for sure." Shelley pours a second glass for herself, and sits next to Jo - assuming she's not reclining on the length of the chair. "Well. One other thing we used to do was transfigure the more horrific outfits for the other to try on. …it's more entertaining than it sounds. This is all school stuff, mind."

"That sounds a little more entertaining." Jocunda admits, "And probably a bit safer. Did you end up getting your wand back, or are we sharing?" That's a bit of a tease. She's almost certain that she would've been given it back, otherwise it would have been a cruel dig.

"I don't go out with my wand," Shelley says firmly. "…and I am thinking that the /famous/ Jocunda Sykes smiles is just calling out for polka-dots." She holds her hands apart from each other to make a realtively large circle. "Big ones."

"Oh, how /utterly/ horrid." Jocunda manages to giggle softly, and gestures with her wand. Not casting, but tapping each of the shoulders. "I'm thinking something furred. With massive shoulder pads. Who goes first, Shelley?"

"Oh, by all means. You're the host. I wouldn't /dream/ of depriving you of the honors," Shelley responds, gesturing with her glass. "Give me your worst."

Jocunda points her wand /at/ Shelley. Perhaps letting a drunk woman do this isn't such a good idea - Because Shelley ends up wearing a massive fur coat with heavily puffed out shoulder, zebra-print print leggings and a pair of translucent purple wedges. And Jocunda cackles like she's about to die of amusement.

Shelley sets down her glass, rising to her feet to study herself in the mirror. She smirks as she turns this way and that. "Not bad," she remarks. "For a first attempt."

They she turns on Jocunda, a mischief glint in her eyes. "But it's my turn…" A wave of her wand, and Jo is dressed in robes that start at the top with large orange polka dots on blue background - with neon yellow lace at the collar and cuffs. It's loose and baggy, but fitted at the waist, at which point it switches to lightening bolts that gleam in turquoise on a back ground that Shelley would describe as 'puke green.' Bells jingle at the lower hem. The shoes are much simpler, though - clunky and unimpressive, but look unattractively as if they were once white before a long hike through the woods.

Jocunda slowly gets to her feet, wiping the tears from her eyes as she does so. The woman seems to have found something that makes her laugh, which is always a good thing. She's struggling to her own feet when she's transfigured, and she struggles her way to the mirror in a drunken amused haze. "Holy fuck, I look like…" She glances at Shelley. "Call the Ministry of Fashion Enforcement and drag me to Azkaban for crimes against taste." It's enough to blind a gay man, after all.

Shelley snickers, well pleased with the monstrosity she created. "I lost a bet with Alis, once… had to /go out/ in one of these monstrosities. Go to the apothecary for some potion ingredients."

Revenge is sweet. Jocunda waves her wand at Shelley, and the hideous outfit is gone, replaced with a massively wide brimmed, bright pink hat tied with a supremely overdone lace bow, tulle and netting coming up off it in a weird coif. Shelley's entire ensemble is replaced by a tight, lurid pink pleated cocktail dress, with deep black highlights, deep purple garters and garter belt, and electric-orange heels. Jocunda is back into a fit of laughter.

"Now that's just mean…" she remarks as she takes in the pink in the mirror.

Shelley's next monstrosity is relatively muted by comparison. It has a collar that buttons tightly around the neck, and similar cuffs, but with poofy shoulders. No bells, no complicated patterns… Just a particularly shocking yellow color that makes Jocunda's skin look sallow and sickly. She didn't even manage to change the shoes.

A loud crack drowns out the laughter for a moment as Kat appears at the edge of the alpaca carpet. And she also appears in mid rant, which continues for a bit before she realizes there are other people in the room, "Stupid Worthington! MY family is attacked and I can't take part in the investigation. And on top of it all he keeps me so busy with everything else that I haven't even been able to…" And here's where she notices the other two women in the room. Her eyes open wide as she goggles at them, mouth frozen open mid rant. Then she blinks rapidly as if to clear the image from her vision and finally her jaw snaps shut with an audible click of teeth before she asks,"What in Heaven's name are the two of you wearing??"

Jocunda looks at herself in the mirror with something of a horrible frown. "I look jaundiced." She states simply. Her wand is twirled between her tipsy fingers, and she goes to turn Shelley into something even more humiliating than a bright pink ensemble. The crack gets her attention immediately, although rather than being here to listen and lend a sympathetic, miserable, half-drunken ear, she's having fun with her new friend. "Kat!" Jocunda seems /so/ excited. "Meet Shelley. Shelley; " A knowing look is given to her friend, and then the wand is flicked at Katherine. "Meet Kat!"

She'll blame the spell on being drunk. Surely.

Shelley looks at Jo, at the same time that Jo looks at Shelley. There's a brief pause, before she also brandishes her wands at Katherine. A moment later the woman's clothes have been altered, split down the middle. On the left, a zig-zagging pinstripe in green and purple, with orange trim. It's fitted against the body, and shaped almost like a suit - her skirt morphing on that one side to wrap around the leg and become a pant leg. Singular. The shoes are rather strappy heels - with each strap of the shoe a different eyebleedingly bright shade. On the right, half of Katherine is about to explode into something ungodly, a robe and gaudy hat made of hideous cloth-rosettes. The footwear? A calf-high roman sandal, with the slightest heel to it.

"We have a strict dresscode here, Sykes," Shelley intones solemnly, mischief in her eyes. Nevermind that this is /Katherine's/ home where she's declared this dress code.

Katherine has been dealing with way too many people that have been willing to use wands on her over the last few days so her wand is already in her hand by the time the spells hit her. That means that it only takes a second between her gaping at what her favorite white and blue polka-dot dress has turned into before she turns on Jocunda and Shelley with a vengeful little smile on her lips and starts casting spells of her own. A couple of flashes later Jocunda is barely dressed and playing the part of a harem girl. Her barely there top almost glows a lurid green while the gauzy harem pants covering her legs are an equally bright and very clashing pink. Shelley is the complete opposite, literally covered neck to ankles in a potato sack. "And hello to you two as well."

Jocunda's transformation from moping former Unity member(?) to laughing wreck is complete with Katherine's bi-transformation. Two different people combined in one. The resulting counter-attack is supremely revealing, ethereal and frankly fantastic on Jocunda, should any wandering mid to late teenagers find her. She sobers immediately, cocking out one hip and placing a hand upon her hip. "I'm /still/ rock this." She states defiantly, trying not to blush at the amount of skin the Celebrity has on show. "Welcome home, Kat." She finally greets, smiling. Sashaying a little as she walks over. "Shelley's been helping me feel better. Bad day. How was yours?" A little slurry. So what?

"Really?" Shelley asks, looking down at the sack she was wearing. "This is the best you can do? I gave you /pinstripes/, Sykes! Pinstripes! With orange trim!" She shakes her head, still smiling. "Hope you don't mind the little invasion." She just had to check in on Jocunda, after everything that had happened.

Katherine starts wandering around the living room grabbing empty bottle and turning them upside down offer her open mouth to squeezes the last few drops out of each. Then she smiles as she finds a whiskey bottle with some of its contents still intact. After taking a slug from it, which causes a whole body shiver as it goes down she finally responds to Jo and Shelley,"Well. Considering that prat we call a Chief refuses to let me be part of the team investigating the attack on the party and on top of that is keeping me so busy I can't even visit people about as bad as yours I imagine." As she keeps talking she drapes herself bonelessly over one of the chaise lounges, "And no, I don't mind the invasion. But one of these days I /will/ get you to call me Kat. There are too many damn Sykes to call us by our last name."

"I've been trying for a week now. She still calls me 'Your worship'." Jocunda teases. Protective of the whiskey she has couched in her other hand, she points at the bottles of alcohol that's still available on the little table she's squeezed in beside the bookshelf - Her neat little bar. "How're things going on that front?" Jocunda would be lying to say her heart didn't lust for revenge… But with Unity still undecided on where they would fall, she doesn't know just /what/ she's doing.

Shelley rolls her eyes at Jo, gesturing with her wand to some of the empty bottles and bits of refuse lying around the room. "Remordeo," she intones. The bottles start rolling across the floor to Jocunda, bumping up against her feet, and following her wherever she goes. Any convenient scraps of paper throw themselves at her, repeatedly.

"Sorry, Sykes. You can keep trying - but not yet. She's Jo - you're Sykes. It works."

Katherine laughs for a moment in reaction to Shelley's cast then takes another long pulls straight from the bottle she's appropriated. Putting her elbow on the back of the chaise she proper her head on her hand and waves the bottle dismissively at Shelley, "Tell you what. We'll play for it one day." Then she looks at Jo sadly, her typical half smile completely gone for the moment, "Nothing new I'm afraid. But believe me, as soon as I find out who did this…" She trails off without completing what was obviously going to be a threat and shakes her head gently, "I have to stop that. Its probably why Worthington won't let me in on the case…"

"Which will make it amusing if she ever meets us in public, yells out 'Jo! Sykes!' and we end up in a media mob." Jocunda teases, although a moment later she's left pouting as the parchments, unopened letters and bottles around the room begin to pester her. "… How's about we /don't/?" She puts on a mock pout, gently kicking them away. They return though, faithful piece of trash that they are. It certainly looks awkward, in a mismatched harem outfit. The trio must look truly ridiculous.

A few more pieces are kicked out of the way, before Jocunda collapses onto a chaise couch, resting in a languid fashion that somehow seems to work with her new attire. "Perhaps that's what upset Miss Lee today. I'm not subtle about it, Kat. I'm /angry/. We've been fighting so EXACTLY this wouldn't happen."

"Lee?" Shelley asks with a frown. "Rena Lee?" She waves her wand again, a cup flying towards her. With this in hand, she moves towards Katherine to liberate some of the whiskey from the bottle.

"I wish I could work the case, too," she adds quietly to her fellow auror. But - well. She's not exactly allowed to work /any/ case.

Katherine glares in a playful way at Shelley, hugging the bottle to herself for a moment before pouring the other woman a few fingers of the liquor. "You're still walking wounded basically. Best to recover fully before going back into the fray. And we're in the middle of a media frenzy as it is. Did you see even Sullivan is calling the attackers out? The Prophet printed a letter he sent them in today's edition."

"Cassius Malfoy is about to make a public declaration of position in relation to Grindlewald. Miss Lee and I are opposed - But with his family, and that scribe-come-whatever on his hand so firmly set against any kind of peaceful resolution, it seems like Unity, Grindlewald and the Preservists are busy leading us into a civil war." Jocunda doesn't like politics. "Miss Lee gave me the closest I've come to a death stare in a long time."

Shelley's smile is tight at the mention of her status. "If it gets better," she answers grimly. "I understand why I'm kept to the sidelines - I don't even think Worthington's /wrong/ to do it. But I don't gotta like it." She takes a sip of the whiskey. "I did see it," she confirms.

"Lee can be surprisingly intense," She adds towards Jocunda. She purses her lips into a frown, swirling the liquor in her glass idly. "Why was she glaring at you if you both agreed, though?" And why would Jo even worry about them being on opposite sides of things if she'd been arguing /against/ supporting Grindelwald at the meeting.

Katherine gets out of her chaise with a frown, "Well, all I know is that I'll be there to protect my family and friends if it comes to that. And you're coming along, Shelley. I saw what you did at the party, that's a good sign." Walking over to Jocunda she leans down to give her cousin a tight hug then comes back up covering a big yawn, "But for now I have to catch up on some of the sleep Worthington has been costing me. We'll have to do this again soon." As she walks out she blows kisses to both the other girls then flounces up the stairs headed for her room.

"… Rena and I disagree. I believe the declaring for Grindelwald is the only way to lessen the coming bloodshed. Change the beast from within, but present a unified front. I won't put myself in a position where I'll end up at wands with my family." Jocunda smiles as Katherine walks closer, hugging her cousin and whispering. "I'm leaving this horrible outfit on the landing for you to put right." A smile, and she leans back against the chaise again. "… Goodnight, Kat. Sleep well."

"Goodnight, Sykes," Shelley adds, nodding to her fellow auror. She takes one of the chairs now, lounging and calling up the stairs, "I like these chairs, by the way!"

She returns her attention to Jocunda, frowning and shaking her head. "Disagreeing with your family doesn't mean /crossing wands/, Jo. I disagree with my mom about- well. Nearly everything. If Lee thinks declaring in favor of Grindelwald is a mistake - well. I'll have to say, I agree with her. It'll bring more bloodshed - and almost immediately, in my opinion."

"We can try and make his movement as non-violent as possible." Jocunda frowns. "If we come out against Grindelwald, we face open conflict on two sides - From Grindelwald, in Europe, and the Preservists, here. And Grindelwald will reveal our existence regardless, leaving us with a divided world - Unfit to rule, or guide the ignorant masses. An unknown force that sits in the background, upon the backdrop of their own political unrest." The woman seems uncomfortable about the discussion. Between the recent death, and talk of death…

"Conflict with the preservists isn't the same thing as warfare," Shelly counters. "And if Grindelwald /reveals us/ - well. The Statute of Secrecy is still law. You really think he has the strength to just /ignore/ that?" She lapses into a thoughtful frown, and shakes her head. "It feels wrong to me, Jo. Muggles are ignorant of /us/ - of our world. But calling them 'ignorant masses' is a gross mischaracterization. It's not our place to /rule/ them.

"Look - there a lots of factions no matter how you come down. You'll be facing opposition no matter what. You can't let /that/ be what decides you."

"It's /not/." Jocunda agrees. Wholeheartedly. "But things will be much worse if Grindelwald gets his way. The fact remains that Muggles aren't ready to know about us… But one way or another, they will. I don't believe the law even matters to Grindelwald anymore, Shelley." A sigh. "I can't justify giving the Muggles a hand to bite. What if muggles attacked my home, Shelley? What if an incendiary device was used? Explosive force, killing us all without a chance to defend ourselves, escape? What if it was gas, and we died burning, choking, begging…" She sounds more like a Preservist, really. If only that stance had any future.

Shelley raises her eyebrows. "So. You're encouraging the /Unity/ party to support /Grindelwald/, when you think both Unity and Grindelwald are bad ideas," she points out, before taking a sip of her whiskey. "Just to sum up."

"If we try to subjugate them - that's exactly what will happen. I just- I don't see how you think supporting Grindelwald in /any/ way shape or form will lead to anything other than that, Jo." There's honest puzzlement in her voice and expression.

"There IS NO WINNING MOVE." Jocunda tries to explain. "/Muggles/ aren't ready for us. But the storm is upon us, and the veil will be lifted - I'd rather we present a unified, strong front. Grindelwald isn't going to join us… And he /will/ attempt to subjegate them. And how we will illustrate our difference? How will we encourage their trust in our strange, secret society, while members of our kind seek to ruthlessly control them." She bites her lower lip. "I… I see only damage control. I see only a chance to make Grindelwald's movement as non-violent, as bloodless as possible."

Shelley shakes her head. "No. There probably isn't. But there definitely isn't if you give up on what you /actually/ believe in before it's really begun. Unity isn't guaranteed. But either way - there is no unified, strong front. There will be wizards fighting against Grindelwald if he tries to subject the Muggles - and I'll be one of them. I hope it never comes to that.

"Don't listen to your fears, Jo. Listen to your heart. And next time I use a cliche like that, you can punch me, but it's true in this case and I mean it."

"Then revealing ourselves at all is a mistake." Jocunda states simply. "I know it's a shitty, shitty situation… But time comes when wands come out, Shelley, and I'm a Sykes." A shake of her head. It's a strange conversation to be had while dressing like a colorblind harem girl?

"If it comes to wands - be Jocunda first. Sykes second," Shelley counters. "You're in for a miserable time with a lot of drinking and rough nights if you're going to go acting against what you really believe. Not that going against family is ever easy, but…" She shrugs her shoulders. What can she say?

"We'll have to see." Jocunda sighs. "I… I don't want to think about it. I don't want to talk about it. Not now." She responds simply. It can wait until Cassius makes his call.

"Fair enough. And hopefully we're nothing but a bunch of unwarranted pessimists." They're not. "But I want ya ta know - I will never raise my wand against a friend." It's far too short a list for that. In fact - calling it a 'list' is a dirty lie. "No matter how things turn out." Shelley lifts her glass, drinking from it again. It's nearly gone, now.

"No matter what, Shelley, I'll never raise my wand against you in aggression. Only to put you in a potato sack." A tease. Jocunda smiles, breaking the tension of the moment. "Or my family. Tomorrow morning'll come and I'll just be a paranoid Jo."

"Well, yeah, potato sacks don't even count, do they?" Shelley agrees. She finishes off her whiskey then adds, "I should go see to Ebony. You're welcome to come with if you want - as long as you don't mind a side-along. I think you're a bit too far gone to apparate on your own."

"You're not far wrong. But don't splinch me, or I'll be sorely upset." Jocunda slowly pulls herself off the Chaise lounge. The alcohol has had enough time to settle in, and make her /more/ than a little unsteady.

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