(1939-02-15) An Especially Special Broom
Details for An Especially Special Broom
Summary: Rena finally works up the nerve to request a very special broom be created by Diagon Alley's resident master broom maker.
Date: 1939-02-15
Location: Flights of Fancy Broomshop

Early Afternoon…that means Laurence can be found in his shop, head bowed as he's idly whittling away at a piece of wood, its small and being elegantly shaped into some type of animal. He still has some chips and sausages no doubt wrapped up in paper on the front desk as a tiny turtledove sits on his shoulder, idly grooming his ear. He speaks softly to himself and the bird in Greek as he works with the knife. Under the glass today? A decadent looking angel cake, lots of cream and yellow cake drizzled with strawberry syrup with fresh strawberries decorating it. He wears a simple white button down, sleeves pushed up exposing his tattoos and a pair of black slacks, boots on his feet…obviously taking it easy on this slow day.

For months, Rena has meant to take the time to pay a visit to the Flights of Fancy Broomshop. However great her desire has been to do so, she just never worked up the nerve until today. Her request will either tickle the fancy of the broom-maker, or cause no small amount of consternation.
Timidly approaching the shop, the shy little redhead pauses with her hand on the doorknob for a moment. Steadying herself by drawing a small breath, in she goes.
Dark eyes go wide with amazement, almost the instant Rena steps in off the street. Her gaze drifts around the shop quickly, but it is immediately drawn to the ceiling. For the moment, she forgets to close her mouth, or even unbutton her dark green overcoat. "Cor…" is the only word to escape her lips.

There's the soft coo of a dove that is the door charm when Rena enters…that causes Laurence to look up in mid-carve, those unnaturally ice blue eyes studying the potential costumer as he just smiles slowly, getting to his feet and chuckling softly as he approaches the young woman carefully, head tilting to the side before he whispers softly, seeing as she looks very distracted by the ceiling. "Welcome to Flights of Fancy beautiful…where I make your flying fantasies come true…"

The whisper is heard, and the young woman blinks as she drifts back down to earth where she finds Laurence standing right in front of her. Giving a small start, Rena immediately blushes and offers a sheepish smile in return to the greeting: "Oh! Hullo."
Having already been overwhelmed by the general grandeur of the shop, it takes Rena a moment to regain some equilibrium. "I've never seen any place like this before in my life," she attempts to explain. "I've meant to - to come by, I mean. I'm certainly sorry now that I never did until now." Another glance is cast about the shop before she smiles brightly pulling the glove from her hand so that she can offer it politely to Laurence: "I'm sorry, I didn't introduce myself. Lee - Irene Lee… but I prefer people call me Rena, if it's all the same."

Laurence's lips part in a smile as he quirks an eyebrow and bows his head politely. "People eventually manage to make it here in time, all that matters is you're here now…and I have never seen a young woman as lovely as you are, like a glowing poppy." He bites his bottom lip and hides a grin before accepting the hand, squeezing it gently and raising it a fraction to brush his lips against the back of it before releasing it. "It is such a pleasure to meet you Miss Rena…I am Laurence Toulson. Can I get you anything? Tea? Coffee? Wine? The world?"

Much as Rena tries not to show it, she is thoroughly taken aback and somewhat flustered by Laurence's greeting - and quite amused. What young woman doesn't like such blatant flattery?
Blushing rather hotly at the kiss of her hand, the petite redhead attempts to hide the shy smile tugging at her lips: "Tea would be lovely, thanks. I could smell the aroma the moment I came in." Pausing to unbutton her coat now, Rena glances furtively at Laurence and says: "If you can really give the world… Do you by chance take special and rather unusual requests for brooms?"

Laurence winks and backs up a bit, shifting to accept the coat if allowed and he nods. "I have a lovely orange blossom and cinnamon blend I think, then a spiced chai somewhere I believe. I just put the kettle on." He tilts his head to the side. "If its wood, normally I can make it…haven't yet found a broom I could not make, and that's not bragging, its just love…now have a seat, I'll get you some tea and biscuits, put your coat up and we can talk more…comfortably."

Willingly, the lovely coat is handed over into Laurence's care. The proprietor really does have a way of spoiling his guests, if this is how he handles all of them. She knows that she ought to feel bad on some level, but really, Rena is just enjoying herself.
"Well, it would be a bit more than just wood - lovely as your work is in that." The redheaded woman replies, looking around herself, rather like a kid in a candy store as she takes a comfortable seat. "See, I'm in a bit of an awkward situation as far as broomflying goes… and I was hoping you could help a poor girl out."

(New BB message (9/31) posted to 'Vacation' by Doozer: Out of town)

Laurence drapes the coat over his arm, moving to hang it up neatly before retreating to the backrooms of the shop, rummaging around a bit before re-entering with a silver tray, a fancy Chinese painted tea-pot and a few porcelein cups and tiny plates, a small plate of chocolate and vanilla biscuits and he sets it own on one of the tables. "Now you have me a bit nervous lass. I mean there are really only so many awkward things you can do on a broom…"

It's difficult for a fairly accomplished witch to admit that she has confidence issues where broomflying is concerned. It's practically the easiest, most common and accepted form of travel for magical folk, and yet Rena just fails at it.
Eyebrows arch a bit at Laurence's comment, and the young woman blushes again after a moment, stammering: "Oh… n-no, you see it's just that I'm very unsteady when I fly - see? I KNOW what I'm supposed to do, but I get nervous and accidents tend to 'appen." She's dropping her H's again. She must be getting nervous. "B-but, you see, I'm very good with riding a Muggle bicycle. And I wondered if there might not be some way to attach the 'andlebars of a bicycle to a broom in a fancy way so that I'd have something to 'ang onto."

Hopeful, but slightly embarrassed, Rena looks up at Laurence finally, almost ready to cringe at his answer without hearing it yet.

Laurence quietly pours tea, thinking as he listens to the young woman and he brings over a teacup (and saucer) and a small plate of biscuits, offering them both to Rena before he settles down at her feet, looking up at her with a squint before nodding slowly to himself and then just laughing softly. "Oh goodness, you are adorable…simply adorable." A pause. "You do know that handlebars won't help you balances as well however…I think we can make you a special broom indeed to help you with this…"

The delicious aroma of the tea is enticing, and although Rena has already begun to shrink back into her shell, she does accept the cup and saucer, as well as a biscuit with a tiny, grateful smile. She was just about to nibble on the latter when Laurence gives his answer.
The instinctive cringe begins to drift away, and redheaded woman sits up straight once more. In fact, she eagerly leans forward in her seat. Her hesitant expression brightens into a truly optimistic smile: "Really, you think that you can help after all, then?" Somebody's day has already been made.

Laurence hmms and considers this for a few moments, arching an eyebrow and tilting his head to the side before nodding quickly to Rena. "Aye, I believe I can help you out…and help teach you how to ride a broom all proper like. We'll get your broom balanced in a comfortable way for you…so you're more steady."

That's a great deal more generosity than Rena was ever expecting when she first came into the shop. Having taken a healthy bite from her biscuit and taken a sip from her delicious tea, it takes her a moment to respond.
"Would you really? Help me to get better balance and learn to be a better rider, that is?" She asks brightly - and quite innocently at that. "That's awfully kind of you. I don't know why I get so nervous" A slight pause and her brow furrows a little: "Are you sure you would want to go to so much trouble for a stranger? Your time is valuable. I mean, just looking at all you do /here/."

"Because you're beautiful, because you're causing all manner of unspeakable stirrings within me…and because my lovely, its a shame for such a lovely poppy to not be able to float on the breeze." Laurence replies simply before he gets to his feet, stretching his arms over his head and moving towards the front desk. "Besides, I have no life…my life is my work, and you've given me a challenge that I cannot resist…now lovely, when's your birthday…day and month?"

Laurence's reply causes Rena to very nearly drop the remains of her biscuit. Recovering herself quickly, she takes a long, steadying drink of her tea to prevent the self-conscious blush and expression from showing too plainly on her face. Unsure of how to reply, she can only smile… Surely Laurence doesn't mean any harm.
"Oh, I just had it." Rena chuckles with regard to the question, easily able to answer that one. "Or rather, it was only a few days ago. My birthday is in February - on the ninth."

Laurence looks over his shoulder at Rena and he just chuckles lowly before retrieving a piece of parchment and a pencil, idly scribbling something down before he nods slowly. "Alright, and what's your favorite color and animal?"

Rena cants her head to one side slightly, narrowing her eyes and gazing upward at the wondrous ceiling for a moment as she considers her answer carefully. "Well…" she speaks at length, biting her lower lip just once before making up her mind. "My favorite colour is Peacock Blue. And to tell the truth - my favorite animal is a Unicorn. Probably because when I was a Muggle, they were meant to be the stuff of fairytales. And then when they brought me to Hogwarts, I found out they were /real./" So, a dream come true. No wonder that she's fond of them.

"February…9th…peacock and unicorn…" Laurence smiles softly to himself as he starts a rough sketch and also takes down notes, frowning as he mutters to himself in Greek, closing his eyes and taking a deep breath before nodding. "Rowan…a rather sensitive wood indeed, filled with the light of love its a guardian of purpose, you see your dreams and work towards seeing them achieved and you have a way of making other see how wonderful the world actually is. You help all that you can…" He trails off. "And we'll temper it with…ahh…Cedar…a rare beauty, that's what it is much like yourself, lots of healthy optimism…it'll be a steady ride indeed, because it'll love you as much as you love and as long as you know how to love…"

Rena's dark eyes sparkle warmly, and she watches Laurence with keen interest as he muses and works. It's a pleasure to see an artisan creating before one's eyes - and certainly not something you see every day.
"How do you know all that?" She asks after a time, puzzled at the way the broom maker seems to have been able to figure out so many facets of her personality, just in the little time they have spent together. His observations are right on the money about everything; especially the last part. She is a very loving and caring girl, with a lot of love to give. "It's almost as if you knew what was inside of me!"

Laurence falls silent after a moment, bowing his head before smiling softly. "I understand how…things work." He offers sofly. "On an inside level, life in general…wood can explain many things." He tries to explain. "Its a…lore and magic of a sort."

As Laurence explains, the young woman finishes her biscuit and tea quietly, taking in every word carefully. It's been an eventful day already, and now, she's learned something new and interesting that she didn't really know before.
Setting her empty cup down on the saucer, Rena looks up at Laurence with a measure of genuine admiration. "I'm awfully glad I finally worked up the courage to come here. I just know you're going to be able to make a broom that I can ride well and cherish. It won't be like the one the Ministry handed to me, nice as it is… this one will be special."

Laurence mmhms softly and then nods quickly. "I also make brooms for the Ministry, so we'll make sure it'll pass inspection as well." He winks before he offers the parchment over to Rena. "Please write your name and address on there lass, I'll get the materials ordered and begin cutting and making a sample few. And you're always welcomed to come here, if only to relax and read and drink my tea or something like that."

Rena takes pen in hand and carefully writes her address on the slip of parchment as instructed. House No. Three in the residential area of Diagon Alley. She could have merely mentioned that it was the only Japanese house on the street - but it's best to keep things formal.
"Thank you so much for going to all this trouble," Rena says with a grateful smile as she hands off the paper. "I'll be sure to pop around when I can. Your place is so lovely, that I hate to leave it." She admits, gathering her coat and slipping back into it. Reluctantly, she takes her leave of Laurence and the broomshop then, but quite sure that she'll be coming back soon.

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