(1939-08-09) Sifting through the Ashes
Details for Sifting through the Ashes
Summary: In his desperation to find some evidence that Niamh is alive, Gideon drags Elijah back to the apothecary.
Date: 9 August, 1939
Location: MacDiarmarda Apothecary, Diagon Alley
Related: Assembling a Broken Man

It's afternoon and the shop is still closed to the public, though Graham had showed up to find Sorcha doing inventory. After a bit it was decided to move to the loft for a bit of lunch and so the two are headed that direction. "That works." The young man follows her upstairs and into the loft also very familiar internally he is wishing things were as they had been it'd be so darned easy, but he'll try to keep that from showing on his face if she looks though she knows him well so may fail. "I do luckily so, he'll move to the kitchen area first."

Heading to the stove, Sorcha picks up a large wooden ladel and lifts off the lid with a flick of her wand to leave it floating in the air out of the way as he stirs the heavy potato and beef stew, "It looks just about done." Stepping around Graham in the kitchen easily if she notices the expression he's hiding she doesn't say anything or respond… as of yet. Instead she picks up a giant knife…! And starts cutting the bread into hearty slices. "There's mead about somewhere, as well."

Downstairs, there is a rattling at the door, and when it swings open, Adamantus Gideon removes his key from the lock and steps aside, gesturing inward. "After you, Elijah. The place has been cleaned up. But…maybe you can find something we missed." By which he means, of course, to find something to prove Niamh is alive. "Sorcha? Keenan?" He hollers inside to announce their presence to the O'Sheas.

Elijah offers a nod to Gideon and slips into the apothecary, not making the effort to announce his presence as Gideon has already done so. The inspector slides his fedora off and sets it down on the counter, his eyes moving around the scene. "I can't remember the last time I visited," Elijah muses, sounding a bit forlorn.

Graham has gotten plates out and the required eating utensils, and navigates the kitchen with her able to avoid her knife wielding abilities for the moment as he places them on the table before looking back. "Mead sounds lovely as well." he is moving back to get this item when he hears the door open downstairs and turns quickly to it only the voice which is only semi-familiar to him brings his focus back to what he was doing "A couple more place settings than?" he grins towards Sorcha.

"Likely so." She opens the door to the flat and calls down the stairs, "Up here! We have stew on if you'd like any?" She comes about and leans around so she can look down at the steps to the men in the shop, "And mead as well." She's wearing a mint green dress under an apron with her hair in a kerchief, red curls peeking out from time to time but mostly tucked away. From the state of the shop she's been cleaning, most things already well tidied in the time since the attacks, clutter put where it belongs and potions starting to be replenished.

Gideon gives Elijah a sad look; a momentary commiseration of their pain. He steps to the bottom of the stairs to look up at Sorcha. He's looking rumpled, unshaven, with dark circles under his eyes. "This is nae a social call, Sorcha. I've brough Elijah to have a look at the place. Sorcha…where are the ashes?"

Elijah runs his hand along the counter, looking over his shoulder and then towards the stairs, "Where do you think I should look first, Adamantus?" He turns and crosses his arms, leaning back against the counter, a pensive look resting on his features.

He will move and grab the mead as well as more plates and utensils and move his way back towards the table setting the items down before looking to Sorcha at the door as she speaks to those downstairs well more than one person. Graham will ask when she's done "I recognized the one voice, but who else is here?" he is curious, but the question is answered quickly enough and he'll move from the table where he'd been to her side the word ashes catches his ear and he'll only watch for the moment.

"Gid and Elijah." Sorcha answers up the stairs to Graham before she frowns just a bit at her brother-in-law's question and comes down the steps with a nod to the Hit-Wizard, "Elijah, good to see you." Getting a better look at Gideon, that frown deepens somewhat, "You do live here, so I wouldn't think so?" Despite the state of him she does step close enough to smell him and lean in to drop a quick kiss on his cheek, "You should grab yourself a change of clothes while you're through. And eat unsocially then." At his question she raises her eyebrows in a bit of surprise, "Ah, if Keen hasn't taken them to Cornwall they'll be back here." She wipes her hands on her apron, coming down into the shop she goes back to the restricted potions cupboard in the corner.

Gideon smells surprisingly fresh, given his appearance. He gives Sorcha a grateful nod as she moves off to fetch the ashes. "Over there, Elijah." He gestures to a spot on the floor. "That's where Keenan found the ashes. Her key to the locked cabinet and a broken potion bottle were among them. That's why he assumed it was Nora. She was the only other person who had a key, and Niamh was supposed to be with me in Brazil."

"And you," Elijah responds warmly to Sorcha, standing up straight and offering her a polite dip of his head. Adhering to Gideon's instruction, the inspector moves to crouch at the spot indicated, his hand tracing along the floor as he vocalizes a quiet 'hrmmmm'. He takes a deep breath before he stands and moves to a shelf near the ashes, lined with potions. A quick tilt of his head and he leans in closer, mouthing something to himself. He reaches between two potions and plucks something out, his face hardening at what he's just discovered.

Graham will follow finally downstairs realizing he's being rude and so will move down the stairs after the other. "Mr Gideon, Mr Lovegood." the young auror will say to each wondering if all that happend recently will cloud their view on him but he's innocent and so hopefuly not so much. He does move to stand close beside Sorcha though wondering what is going on before he rememberd what she had told him previously he'll simply watch in silence

The ashes are in the cupboard where Sorcha unlocks the door protecting most caustic and dangerous potions that they purvey at the shop, having been moved into a more appropriate urn than the original jar that Keenan collected them in. Her attention is mostly on Elijah as she silently watches him examine the floor and then come over to where she stands at the cabinet, moving out of his way so that he has plenty of room to move things about as he likes. Rightly or not, she doesn't seem concerned that he'll mess about with the things normally kept under lock an key any more than necessary given the situation. When his expression changes, she folds her arms at her waist and without interrupting as she waits to see what it is he's come across.

Gideon nods in curt greeting to Graham, offering a simple, "Cohen." He's never really broken the habit of referring to MLE personnel by their last names, with the occasional exception of his former partner, Elijah. When Sorcha emerges with the urn, the lines in his face deepen as he fights a grimace of despair. Try as he might to deny that those are Niamh's ashes, the sight of the vessel is almost too much to bear. He opens his mouth to say something to Sorcha, but his eye catches Elijah's expression, and his own matches it. "What. What is it, Elijah?"

Elijah hesitates to answer, but manages to do so, "It's…a few of her hairs, Adamantus. All of them singed on one end." Elijah finally turns to face the rest of them, the hairs pinched between his thumb and index finger.

Only watches the procedings as they seem to be investigating though Graham will turn at the greeting and return the nod though he also looks to Elijah as he's investigating ashes a horrible reminder of loss all the way around as he speaks the young mans brows furrow slightly he almost unthinkingly reaches up to place his hand on Sorcha's shoulder unless she should shrug it off or move away trying to comfort of course whatever may be.

Sorcha leaves the ashes to Elijah and his investigations as she stands next to Graham, seeming perhaps almost more comfortable not touching them than she was when she was bringing them out of the cabinet. At Elijah's discovery she brings a hand to her mouth for a moment after her skin loses a bit of its pink tone, letting Graham put his hand on her shoulder and even stepping a bit closer to him in the process. Her attention, though, is on Gideon and his reaction to the information that his friend is sharing with the group.

Gideon takes a slow, shuddering breath. He shakes his head, "No. Those could belong to anyone, or…some of her hair was singed off. That dinnae prove anything." He looks to Sorcha with an intense gaze, seeking some kind of…what? Support? Reassurance?

"Gideon…" Elijah says plaintively, "she's gone." He slips the monogramed hankerchief that Niamh gave him for Christmas out of his chest pocket and tucks the hairs into it before folding it and looking to his former partner, awaiting his response.

Graham has a frown on his face though holding his own self together now for the sake of the others, not family but Niamh could have been and she was at very least a friend and someone he cared about. He glances to Sorcha as she steps over to him he can see the color drain from her face and his frown turns to concern his arm moving around her shoulder giving her a squeeze against him and just holding her gently.

Stepping away from Graham's arm after his brief embrace, Sorcha moves over to Gideon with glassy eyes of her own, uncharacteristicaly taking the role of a voice of reason, "She wouldn't just leave us, Adamantus." Reaching out to put a hand on his arm lightly she bites her lip a bit as she collects herself and continues, "She wouldn't just leave you and not send word somehow." Taking a shakey breath she says quietly, "I've tried to think of… anything that would make more sense? But they've scoured the Alley for evidence for the attacks if she'd been here she would've been sent to Mungo's or brought home. If she'd been somewhere else we'd have gotten word from her. And nothing would've kept her from getting back here to find out what had happened if she was able to get here."

"She is nae GONE!" Gideon explodes suddenly at Elijah, and just as quickly retreats, nearly backing into a display shelf. "Dinnae you say that. Those hairs are nae proof." He is visibly shaking as he fights the overwhelming emotions that threaten to consume him. He turns to Sorcha, clasping his hand over hers. "Aye…we'd have heard from her if she could. But…nae if she was taken." In an effort to keep his calm, he grits his teeth and wrings his hands, his fingers stroking his wedding band over and over for some kidn of comfort. But then he pauses, and looks down at his hand. "The ring," he mumbles. "Her ring, Elijah! The key survived the fire, so could her ring! There was no ring in those ashes, nae even the remains of one. If there's no ring, in cannae be her!" Even he knows that isn't the only possibility, but he looks to Elijah for some recognition of the possibility.

Elijah purses his lips at Gideon's violent outburst, "There's been nothing out of Montague's bunch for the past few months, Adamantus. Nobody had reason to take her." He tucks the folded handerchief into his pocket and crosses his arms, eyes resting on his partner.

The young man watches as she moves away of course she should comfort him. The auror goes wide eyed though as his mood shifts and he's speaking loudly and agitated a moment its now a bit conflicting he isnt sure of he others grasp on things and Sorcha is closer to him than to Graham as far as protection should it be needed but the mood passes as quckly as it comes and now he's speaking to Elijah about his ring and her ring, he simply tries to follow along.

"Gid…" Sorcha goes back to her familiar nickname for her brother, not at all put off by the ranting and railing it seems, or honestly even much startled by it. Glancing over to Elijah to see how much luck he'll have in convincing Adamantus of anything, she doesn't seem to take that one as a likely success. Her hands go out to close over Gideon's, and she looks over to him again, pulling them apart gently so he'll stop wringing them and giving them both a squeeze, "I want her to be here… I wish that we could find another answer that makes sense…"

"Crime of opportunity," Gideon retorts. "Dinnae discount it. You know it's possible. It was chaos that day. Some nutter grabs her, she drops the key and bottle. Someone else came it after looking for help, and burned up. You cannae tell me it isn't possible!" His eyes are wide and wild now as he looks to each face in the room. "There's no ring! Where is the ring? We find that ring, we find out what happened to Niamh. But dinnae tell me the ring just vanished into thin air!"

Elijah just presses a finger to his temple as Gideon rattles on. "Yeah, sure. I'll find the ring if that's what it takes," Elijah remarks, moving to pick his hat up from the counter.

"I will try and find the ring as well when i'm able to look." Graham breaks his silence at last though he doesn't want to give false hope either and so he doesn't speak much of finding Niamh along with said ring but he looks to the room at large once more settling on Sorcha "Perhaps we should continue upstairs? There's stew and mead might help?" he suggests though he isn't sure if it will to be honest.

She can't help but smile a bit at Graham's suggestion of food as desperate as it sounds perhaps, another squeeze of Gideon's hands lightly reassuring, "You look like you should eat. You're no good to anyone if you starve to death." She looks over to Elijah at his resigned offer of finding the ring, "You as well, there's plenty." Sorcha blinks a little and composes herself a bit more in the process, "We'll find it, Gid."

Gideon's hand lifts to rub at his eyes. "I'm fine. I'll eat later. Now we've got something to go on. Sorcha…scour this place. I know there's a chance the ring is here…but unlikely. But now we've got to start turning up the usual suspects. Brokers. Pawn shops." He gives Sorcha's hand an affectionate squeeze, and suddenly he's off toward the door, snatching up his hand. "Elijah! We've got to go," he insists impatiently.

Elijah sets his hat on his head before tipping it to Sorcha, "Thank you, kindly, but as you can see, I'm very much in demand elsewhere. Another time." He slips his hands into the pockets of his long coat and slips out of the door.

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