(1939-06-21) Guilty Bones...and Skipping Stones
Details for Guilty Bones…and Skipping Stones
Summary: Graham Shelley and Rena meet at the beach
Date: June 21 1939
Location: Hogsmeade Beach
Related: {$related}

Drinking, and riding brooms - Shelley's two favorite past times, though she generally prefers not to do them in that order. At the moment, she's entirely sober, as she swoops low over the surface of the lake, reaching down to trail her fingers through the water. She pulls up, just as she approaches the shore, circling around the scattered trees.

It is a good outside sort of day it would seem and many are out and about and Graham is one of them moving towards the beach shore a nice place to relax if not being a bit busy at times. He will hear before the swoosh before seeing the other though he looks up and chuckles. The auror will grin a bit before he speaks when he's close enough. "That explains it, reports of a mad-woman flying here and there." he says though his words are light and teasing.

"Mad woman?" Shelley calls down. "Mad woman? It's not like I tried the aerial dismount!" Of course, having said this - she does now. Pulling her broom up, she shoots skyward, then abruptly kicks off, her feet and rear coming clear of the broom as her hands shift, pointing it down towards the ground. She falls back down onto the broom, pointing the opposite direction and rushing down towards the ground.

Graham will watch the stunt and wince even though she does make the landing and he will chuckle to her words again. "I'm going to have to go with a yes, on the Mad woman plea." he will say though is silent a moment in thought and well not wishing to disrupt until he's absolutely sure she's alright. "How have you been Shelley?" he'll call over to her once her feat is over and she's proper in control of the broom again.

Shelley would argue that she was never, not even for a moment, anything other than in /complete/ control of her broom. She circles around the beach a few more times, clipping close to trees, and grinning ear to ear, her speed seeming to increase with each turn. She comes quite abruptly to a stop though - alarmingly close to Graham - and hops neatly to the ground. "Ah. That was a good go. Did they really call me a mad woman?" Yes - she seems rather hopeful on that front.

The young man has enough mind not to dive out of the way or anything silly when she stops so close to him though a half step back perhaps. Graham will watch the other "I can see what you mean about how you fly, but you do a good job." he will shake his head "Fraid that is of my own making but people did see you flying and I came to check it out."

"Damn. I would have loved the mad-woman label," Shelley responds with a dramatic sigh. She picks up her broom, planting it handle-down and leaning on it. She studies Graham for a moment, a slow smile growing on her features. "Don't suppose you ran into Lee in town?"

Graham shakes his head slightly "I can still spread it, mention it at the broomsticks or something. It'll be everywhere in no time." The young man will say though the sigh from his friend he'll recover his half step back and look over to look and listen to what she is saying. "I havent, in fact i've not seen her outside of work in a while now that you mention it."

"Mmm," Shelley remarks simply, then promptly switches into a smirk. "You flinched. You thought I was going to crash into you," she teases. "I didn't know they let little sissies into the Aurors."

He is confused at the sudden switch in topics from another auror to her nearly crashing into him with the broom. He'll arch a brow to her the question plain enough but wont bombard it doesnt really work anyways. "Yeah, well i'd like some time off work for a vacation, but not spending it with broken ribs in St Mungo's." Graham says in return to the other he's used to the pattern here

Shelley waves one hand dismissively. "Broken ribs heal fast enough. Magic is good for stuff like that - last time I checked anyways." Using her broom as a walking staff, Shelley moves towards the edge of the water.

Graham will roll his eyes a bit at her words "Very reassuring." he will say to the other though he does know at least some part of her wouldn't want to hurt him intentionally so that part is good. He will take a few steps towards the other as she moves. "How was the flying?"

"Like it always is. Focuses the mind," Shelley remarks, looking out over the surface of the lake, as she stands just by the water. Her broom is in her hand - handle planted in the moist beach. Until very recently she had been enganging in ridiculous and rather dangerous aerial feats.

"I find that with practicing spells and such in the practice room." Graham says about focusing his mind he's made his way down to the water line as well though not extra close to the other just conversation distance. "If i'd known you were here i'd have brought my broom." he says with a chuckle "Could have focused your mind on watching me crash into a tree?" he says cheerfully.

In the office or away from the office, Rena Lee has not been herself for several weeks now. Most people are polite enough not to notice it - or at least, not make mention of it if they do. Nervous and on edge, quiet and easily distracted, she just hasn't been her usual cheery and talkative self. And then, she nipped off to Hogsmeade to get away from town for a few days, presumably. Funny how you can try to get away, and yet, somehow the very people you might actually be trying to avoid show up anyway.

Coming along the beach in a light summer dress, Rena's dark eyes trail along the ground thoughtfully as she walks. Holding a sun hat in her hands, she doesn't seem to be paying attention to the people on the shoreline. Pausing, she looks out over the water slowly until snatches of Shelley's and Graham's conversation reach her ears, and she spots them nearby. There's nothing for it. If she turns and walks away, it'll seem suspicious. She'd best just smile and head over to say hello.

"That can do it to," the practicing, "but this does it better. Got your life in your hands - on the back of a broom." Shelley smirks with amusement, glancing at Graham as she adds, "Repeatedly, you mean?" But then her eyes are moving past Graham, towards Rena to remark casually, "Ah, speak of the devil."

Graham will nod "That is true about having your life in your hands." The young man says though he chuckles to her later words "Well of course once wouldn't be nearly good enough." he will say about his possible chances of running into a tree or other such obstacle. He will turn back and spot Rena, he will smile "Hey Rena." he's glad to see her outside of work which as he'd been saying he'd not done lately. He'll motion her over, he has noticed her difference but since he'd not seen her where he can ask its just been a waiting game.

Approaching the others with a decent attempt at a natural smile, Shelley's words cause Rena's step to falter slightly. Her expression suffers momentarily as well, but she quickly recovers. "'Ello," she says, lifting her chin slightly. "Talking about people be'ind their backs?" She then asks carelessly as she moves over to the edge of the shore.

Slipping out of her shoes, the young woman seats herself atop a warm, flat stone. Holding her skirts up a little, she lets her feet dangle down into the lapping, ripples of water to cool them down. "Funny 'ow all the city birds seem to 'ave turned up all the way out 'ere this weekend," Rena remarks casually.

"Asking after, yes. A matter of semantics, I suppose. Though now that you /are/ here, I suppose I can inform Graham that you simply cannot hold your firewhiskey," Shelley remarks while Rena settles in.
"Oh, you know how it is. There's no good broom flying in the city. Got to come out to some place like this if I'm to enjoy myself."

"Rena, its good to see you." Is added as she approaches and places her feet into the water. Graham pauses however at the exchange between the two the friendship there isn't what he'd thought it'd been at one time at least but the last bit about the drink gets a look back to Shelley and a confused look the statement will require more explanation but he doesn't want to not answer "Something like that for me too, been too rushed lately needed to slow down." he says but looks back and forth a moment.

Rena can't help but chuckle and reply lightly: "Graham already knows I can't 'old my liquor." Pointing at him with a broad gesture using her hat, she adds: "'E's nursed me back from a 'angover before, remember?" Yes, who could possibly forget the infamous incident between the redhead, Graham and Guy Grosvenor in the Leaky Cauldron. However, at least this time she didn't lose her hat.
"I was up 'ere on business, so to speak, and I decided to spend the weekend. I like to think my little cottage gets lonely without me when I stay away too long." Rena explains her own presence in Hogsmeade, flicking at the water with her toes. "Couldn't see the 'arm in getting away from the soot and smog - even if I was raised on the stuff."

"True - I seem to recall such an incident," Shelley remarks, a smirk tugging at the corner of her lips. "Shame you can't be a proper drinking partner - though I suppose there's Nightengale for that."

Graham will look back towards Rena as she speaks but rolls his eyes "Yes I remember that bit." He will say not the best hour for either really but luckily that's been moved past for now. "Its almost like a Hogsmeade weekend all over again." he will look back to Shelley to see the smirk on her face though the name she speaks gets the opposite from him. It is well known those two don't get along even on friendly sort of terms.

A poker face is not something that Rena Lee was ever blessed or born with. She hasn't much talent for hiding her emotions, despite her best efforts.
Shelley's comment about Arthur causes an involuntary little start, and she quickly turns her face away from the others to look out at the lake. Her cheeks tinge with a blush very quickly. If only she could control herself better!
"Well, 'e's a damn sight better at it than most." Rena forces herself to speak, trying to keep her voice as light and natural as possible. "Comes with the territory, I guess. You know as 'ow our upbringings were so similar-like."

Glancing at Graham - perhaps a little guiltily for a moment - Rena can't help but notice the change in his expression. "Dearie me, you shouldn't've brought 'im up, Shelley. You've gone an' ruined Graham's afternoon." She half jokes, trying to deflect the attention off of herself for a moment.

"Ruining Graham's mood is how I amuse myself. I thought everyone knew that by now?" Shelley answers, without turning to look at the pair beside her. No - she's just listening to their voices - her smirk growing a little wider. Why be cruel to one when you can be cruel to both?

The young auror turning back to Rena will catch her reaction to the name though he doesnt really understand it beyond the stories going on about the past which of course in an office like their's spreads like wildfire. Graham isnt sure that explains the reaction but cannot remain quiet to puzzle it out. "I'd rather stupify myself… repeatedly.." he comments about going drinkng with that particular auror. He looks back to Shelley and will sigh "Yeah you missed her trying to break my ribs a bit ago with her broom-landing." something odd is going on and he'll watch between the two again.

"There are better 'obbies out there to busy yourself with," Rena remarks wryly, "Than running about ruining someone's day. You could always try to take up knitting."
However, Graham's comment causes her dark eyes to snap back to Graham in an instant. Sharply focusing on him, her gaze narrows briefly before she forces a light chuckle. "What the devil 'as Arthur gone an' done to you to deserve so much 'atred? I know 'e's a bit of a trickster an' all, but lord love a duck!" Part of her is genuinely curious about the cause for friction between Graham and Arthur, but the other part wants to know merely for her own protection. For all she knows, he's found out something she doesn't want him to be aware of.

Knitting? Shelley can't help but laugh at this prospect. "Oh, come on now. Can /either/ of you see me /knitting/?" she asks.
"I'm with Rena on this one. Nightengale ain't bad company." That's practically glowing praise, given the source. Stooping, Shelley retrieves a stone and tosses it casually across the surface of the lake.

Graham will turn following the conversation but still puzzling a bit further then all of that, but he doesnt want to miss something and fail to respond or to the wrong question or something his focus does land on Rena when she speaks to him about Arthur. "We dont see eye to eye on anything really. He's self-important, reckless he'll get someone hurt one day hopefull only hurt. A prat really." yeah no swaying that subject he turns back to Shelley and will manage a chuckle "You could knit.. angrily?" he says teasingly.

"Graham, I'm not entirely convinced you didn't just describe me," Shelley interjects.

For some inexplicable reason, Graham's description of Arthur seems particularly biting to Rena. In fact, it downright stings, and her expression undoubtedly shows it - if only for a fleeting instant.
Her jaw tightens suddenly, and she looks away from the others quickly. The only way to hide the fire in her eyes is to conceal it, but her quickened breath is indicative enough of that hot temper of hers welling up inside. Fortunately, Shelley interrupts this train before it completely derails and causes a crash. And her remark is enough to cause Rena to laugh a little.
However, the young woman realizes that she can't stay in this conversation for much longer. Her temper or her nerves will get the better of her, one way or the other. And so, she rises to her feet and steps up onto the rock to let them dry a little. No sense putting wet feet into her nice shoes. "I'll be sure to take the fall for you, then, Graham. I'll make sure to partner up with 'im whenever 'e needs one for a mission. You can't work with someone you dislike that badly." Rena remarks a little tensely.

"Or I will," Shelley agrees. "Really, Graham, with this level of vitrol - I almost wonder if there isn't something going on between you two." She turns to looks at him with a teasing smirk. "Come, now - you can tell us the truth."

"Not at all Shelley, not the same." He will answer her words easily enough. Graham will turn back to watch the reaction from Rena which doesn't make much sense to him, but her words get an arched brow as well and then Shelley is speaking again and he scoffs "Yeah cause that helps.. I don't want anyone hurt due to incompetence or arrogance, but a friend would be much worse." he will ignore Shelley's other remarks for the moment.
Shelley gives you a cookie.

"Maybe so, but you can't 'ave it both ways, love," Rena replies to Graham, slipping back into her shoes and stepping down from the rock. "You say 'e's dangerous and going to get someone 'urt. Same goes for working with someone you can't stand. You make mistakes an' slip up. Nobody's perfect, an' anger just makes everyone more accident prone. Even setting that aside, you're mind'd be distracted by your feelings for 'im, an'…"

Again, Rena's words catch, and colour rises in her cheeks. She might as well be preaching to herself. Maybe if she ever listened to anything she said, she wouldn't get into trouble like she does.
"Oh…never mind, Graham. Forget I said anything." She says with a faint sigh, walking past the others. "Enjoy the rest of your afternoon, both of you," Rena then bids the others as cheerfully as possible. "I feel I need to get out of the sun. You'll excuse me."

Shelley lifts her hand in a casual farewell, then plops back down onto the very rock Rena had occupied. "You are both much too easy of targets," she remarks cheerfully as Rena moves off. "I should really stop doing that." But will she?

Graham looks back to Rena arching a brow he bites his tongue as speaking what he wants to say wont help. "Sure sure.. i'll see you later Rena." he says watching her go before he turns back to Shelley "I am aware of it. I dont know if Rena is as much so.. even that being said.. something is wrong." he will shake his head lightly he hasnt been able to puzzle it out yet but he's trying to place pieces together.

"Really, Graham, when is there not /something/ wrong in any person's life?" Shelley asks dryly. "It's a rare moment when that'd be true. Wouldn't you think?"

"Rena will manage - she's a capable sort. She should trust in herself more'n she does, I think," Shelley answers calmly, her gaze watching across the lake. "I keep hoping to spot the squid," she adds idly. "But it should probably be closer to sunset for that…"

"You have that last part right. She doesn't see herself right, but even strong people need friends sometimes to help." Graham isn't really stopping his concern though he'll move back towards Shelley now standing beside her now to look towards the beach front "I saw it a couple times when at school but mostly cause people would throw food in to see if it would come get it." he'll chuckle a bit.

"Saw it in school a few times, myself," Shelley agrees. "But that feels like ages past." Though she'd had a small smile on her features, it slowly fades as her thoughts turn back to her days at school. She leans over to pick up another stone, and skips it across the surface again.

Graham will nod in agreement "It does feel that way sometimes ha, so much has happened since." He will glance across the beach towards the direction of the castle but looks back as the rock goes skipping across the water. "You know I never was any good at that, how do you do it?" he'll ask with a chuckle yes trying to distract her and himself for that matter.

"Hmm?" Shelley asks. "Oh, it's all in how you flick your wrist. You have to cradle the stone in your hand, your index finger along the flat plain, and hold it horizontal to the water." She demonstrates by picking up another flat stone. "Then you just… flick." She sets another stone bouncing across the surface of the water. "Of course - the flatter the stone the better."

"Aaah." he will look around for a stone of his own to see if he can copy her movments he'll hold the rock the say way she does and gives it a flick and though it bounces once *sploosh* afterwards "Hrm maybe i'm not ready for the professional league. Show me again?" Graham says with a small laugh at his poor effort on his first try.

"One bounce is a good first effort, though. Alis was always lousy at it," Shelley remarks. She cranes her head around looking for another suitable stone, then leeeeans over to retrieve it. Once in hand, she shows Graham how to hold it again, before flicking it across the water.

Graham chuckles he looks about for his own new stone to throw. "I've been told nobody can be good at everything. I'm not sure im ready to belive it yet though. I've still got books to read after all." The young man says with a grin he does find one and picks it up he'll try to correct his grip from the last time and after a moment giving it a flick and does a bit better this time. "I'll take it, I cant remember the last time I even tried to skip-stones."

"I can't say I do it too often, either. It requires one to… stop." Not something Shelley can frequently be accused of. Speaking of which - she pushes herself back to her feet, holding her broom in one hand.

He turns back from the beach as she moves and nods to the others words knowing well how that goes. Graham will ponder a moment before thinking of a solution which might work for now. "I can go get my broom if you'd want? Pop back home and back into town?" he will offer though he isnt sure if the other is meaning she wishes to be alone or what.

Shelley turns to look at Graham for a moment, her expression a neutral mask. "If you'd like," she answers him after consideration, holding out her broom in her hand beside her, before mounting it. "Not that you'll be able to keep up," she offers, some of her mischief creeping back into her tone.

Graham shakes his head "Well probably not, but it will at least be amusing and I could use the practice anyways i'm sure job will need broomflying eventually and cant be unprepared to fly." he will say the tone of mischief is better then her being down or angry and so yes the young man will take it as a positive. "I'll be back in a moment or two then will you be around here or should I look elsewhere?"

"I'll be here," Shelley answers before kicking off. She's soon circling above - higher and higher in tight turns, that she leans into.

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