(1939-01-23) They Meet Again
Details for They Meet Again
Summary: John and his ex-wife accidentally bump into each other.
Date: 23rd January
Location: Drunken Dragon

The scent of gardenias perfumes her hair and clothes, filling the space around this short Indian witch and lingering just a little after she has gone. Hair a rich chestnut brown, almost black at times, is usually worn down though can at a moment's notice be swept out of the way. Her skin is the color of milky tea, flawless and smooth over gently rounded features. Slightly wide set almond-shaped eyes look out from beneath feathery dark brows. In different light her eyes can appear hazel or brown. Her nose is slightly rounded and her full-lipped mouth wide. She smiles with ease and friendliness.

Her long black woolen coat is buttoned with toggle buttons. Underneath it she wears a thick bottle green cable knit jumper that looks like it has been darned carefully in places and likely once belonged to a man. Her slim fitting black trousers are belted at her narrow waist. On her feet are a pair of black knee length boots.

The small Asian healer picked up a few bad habits from her ex-husband; a love of games of chance, a taste for lager and the ability to be comfortable in dives and seedy pubs. With the collar of her winter coat turned up her face is partially obscured as Ranjit sits with her back to the door, nursing a pint. She has the classified section of the Prophet open in front of her and is perusing it with laziness. Behind her some decidedly dodgy looking wizards are playing a complicated card game for money. The Dragon is busy for it is evening and many of the regulars regularly get sozzled before drunkenly apparating home to their wives.

John stumbles his way into the Drunken Dragon. He is already a little intoxicated when he arrives. His shabby clothes hanging from his frame as he sidles his way unto the bar. As he does so, he slips his hand into the pocket of another man at the bar, producing a Knutt, he slams it on the bar "Oi! Barkeep!" he yells loudly "You getting me a drink or what?"

As the man next to her stumbles forward Ranjit is jostled and some of her drink sloshes onto her hand, "Careful," she says in her thick Brummie accent, her head turning towards the drunk. When she realises who it is she is speaking to her face falls, all politeness leaving it. "Oh, it's you. Managed to figure out how to put your trousers on I see. Was that so mentally taxing you had to fortify yourself with a drink first?" Something about her ex-husband brings out the inner bitch in the normally sweet-natured woman.

John looks down his nose "Oh, I might have guessed." he said simply looking her up and down "I'd like to say it's nice to see you, but I'm afraid….no." he looks round the bar "What brings you down here, not your kind of place is it?" he asks as he drinks about half of his pint in one gulp, and belches loudly.

Hackles immediately rising Ranjit puffs out her chest, "What do you mean it's not my kind of place? What is wrong with the Dragon? It's clean isn't it?" Which it is now that it has a new owner. But of course the family of one of Ranjit's closest friends runs the Cauldron. "Well-mannered as ever I see. I'm amazed you haven't poked yourself in the eye with a fork."

John's shoulders straighten "Hmmmm, sometimes I wonder what I ever saw in you." he shakes his head again "I just thought you were more of a Diagon Girl, you know, not liking to get your pretty manicured fingers dirty!" he snarls and takes a pipe from his pocket which he lights, puffing away as he stares straight into her eyes, his face quite emotionless.

Ranjit snorts, "Please. I am the only one who ever got their hands dirty. You did nothing but siphon off of me for years. Long boring years filled with endless cleaning up after you and bad sex." She crosses her arms over her chest. "Years which left me wondering what kind of illness I was suffering from when I agreed to marry you."

John giggled "Well, the sex wasn't too bad, at least for me, on those rare occasions I got any that is. Frigid doesn't cover it!" he shook his head "Odd that we were happy once!"

Their argument is drawing some attention and a few sniggers. Especially after Ranjit huffs and loudly protests, "I am not frigid! You thought saying 'Hi I'm home' was acceptable foreplay." A grizzled old wizard from further down the bar calls over, "Come sit on me lap chuck, I'll show you a right good time."

John turns to the man "Wouldn't bother mate! It's as dry as a gringots vault down there!" he looks to Ranjit and finishes his pint.

"Funny, I've never had anyone else complain." Ranjit looks John over and questions, "I'm surprised you look so shabby after running off with all my money. Did you lose it all playing poker?"

John looks to her and shows a flicker of some emotion in his eyes. Trying to change the subject he says "So who have you been whoring yourself out to then?" he giggles and puffs on his pipe.

"That giggle always annoyed me." Ranjit sips her pint and eyes him, keeping a careful watch on those hands. Lowering her voice she admits, "I dated a soldier a while back." Which isn't entirely untrue just the numbers are cut in half.

John put a hand in his trouser pocket, and realised it was empty "A soldier. Interesting! It's your round isn't it?" he says brushing his hair away from his eyes and looking to the bar.

Ranjit sighs into her glass. "When was the last time you ate?" As much as she loathes this man she is still a healer and unable to accept someone's suffering, even if it is due to their own stupidity. "Have you not managed to con some other unsuspecting woman into taking on your debts?"

John shrugged "Couple of days ago, or something like that." he replies "And no, I haven't. Women aren't really a concern at the moment." he sits down and puts his feet on the table, one of his shoes has no sole and he smiles "It's not completely bad seeing you again!"

Rolling her eyes Ranjit leans over to speak to the barkeep and fishes a few knuts out of her pocket to pay for some food. The man moves away with a nod and returns a moment later with a couple of pint glasses. "You know you can magic those better, John," Ranjit says to him as she puts one of the glasses down near him. "Or do you no longer have a wand?"

John smiles "Thanks!" he says, honestly as he pulls out two broken pieces of wood from his pocket and puts them on the table "Still got it, it's just……well!" he says as he stares at his broken wand. "Thanks for the drink!" he says with a smile, "What happened to us Ranjit?"

With a sigh Ranjit sets her fresh and nearly finished drinks on the table so that she can pull out her wand. Some flicks, swishes and incantations later and she has repaired the wand but also ensured that John's shoe is waterproof again. "What happened? I don't know, John. You didn't want to be married anymore and left town sticking me with the bill."

John looks to his wand "You fixed it!" he said excitedly "And yeah, I didn't have much of a choice to be honest, but…wow! I should have paid more attention in charms. I miss Hogwarts!"

Feeling a bit maudlin now, for she too misses life at school, Ranjit downs the rest of that first pint. "It doesn't sound so nice there now, what with those muggle born haters running the place." She cants her head as she looks at him. "You were a cute boy. Do you remember when we rolled those stink potions into maze to stink out the Slytherins? What were we, third or fourth years?"

John giggles "I think we were third years, it made me giggle. And the look on that prefect's face when he came up. That detention was so worth it, but yeah. That MagiJugend thing is more than a little worrying. I'd still go back tomorrow though."

"It was a happier time," agrees Ranjit. Before her parents disowned her. Before the pair of them were married. "What did you do for Christmas? How long have you been back in London?" Usually she hears about his returning because debt collectors wrongly assume they are still together.

John looks to her "Not sure. Spent christmas on Gringotts steps." he looked up to her "Been here a bit but not sure how long!"

The corners of her mouth turn down as Ranjit lists to her ex-husband explain how slept rough over the holidays, especially as she spent a good deal of it esconched in the home of a wealthy family friend. "I will likely regret this, but I am still in the same flat. If you are having to sleep rough again." She sips her pint and watches him carefully, looking for any signs that he might be trying to play her. Now that the couple aren't exchanging barbs the rest of those in the pub are ignoring them.

John looks up. "You mean that? I'm a little down on my luck, that would be great!" he smiles naturally and takes a drink of his beer "Maybe we should start over….not fight as much?" he smiles "I could really do with a friend about now."

Judging by her own somewhat shabby chic appearance Ranjit isn't rolling in galleons either, but even so she nods. "I mean it. You can take the sofa and…we'll see from there." This from the woman who was a veritiable shouting fishwife a half an hour ago. She tucks her wand away as the barkeep brings over the plate of chips and gravy and sets them down in front of John.

John's eyes widen "Wow! Fresh food! This is amazing! Not as good as your cooking, but still. Thanks Ran." he stops talking and unceremoniously stuffs chips into his mouth.

She shrugs it off, "I just remembered you preferred gravy with your chips is all." Ranjit isn't a northerner, well not that far north but she isn't adverse to a bit of gravy coated chip herself and snags one from the plate. "The new owner of this pub seems the sort who might be hiring. I got the sense that he's had his fingers into many different pies."

John looks to her "Hiring? Like…a job? I wonder if I should ask him. Do you know him?" John looks up to the bar. "Beginning to wish I had been more polite when I ordered my beer now!"

"His name is Nathan Eldritch." Ranjit does seem to know him it appears. "He's not here now, you'd know if he was. The man is a veritable giant and gets a lot of female attention." She sips her pint and watches as John cleans the plate. "Feeling a bit better?"

John nods, wiping his mouth on his already stained sleeve. "I'll try to get hold of him, but can I wash my clothes at the flat? I look like a mess. Still a simple Alohamora to get in?" he winks at her.

"No, it isn't that simple anymore." Not since she started dating muggles. "You should be able to apparate in." Ranjit gets to her feet and pushes what is left of her pint towards John. "I have work in the morning so don't roll in too late will you. And you can wash your clothes in the sink." He'll find her flat is more sparsely furnished than it was when he left her, in fact she seems to have little at all.

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