(1939-08-15) Dueling Potioneers
Details for (1939-08-15) Dueling Potioneers
Summary: Three folks end up in an apothecary in Diagon Alley for three reasons, only to find out from a fourth that things are not always what they seem.
Date: August 15, 1939
Location: MacDiarmarda Apothecary

It's evening, and a man in a Healer's robes - and who ever chose Chartresuse, anyway? - and a rather smart suit is standing in the Apothecary with a shopping list of a single page levitating in front of him. He seems to be checking the eye of newt for freshness, tapping at the glass to see if the eyeballs move.

Seren steps in from the warm summer evening, still dressed herself in rather smart robes that cover a far more Muggle-drab suit. After the door closes behind her, she removes the robes and begins very neatly folding them while studying the shop quickly, attention landing on Adelphus. "Good evening," she greets politely before tucking the robes into her leather satchel, which should be bulging afterward, but is not. Clearly enchanted. "Do you work here by chance?"

Signe slips in last, dressed in a summery, Muggle style dress, with a hat pinned neatly into place, and a small clutch purse held in gloves hands. She glances around the shop, smiling uncertainly at Seren and Adelphus, before making her way towards a back counter where someone is working on bottling a freshly brewed potion.

"Me?" Adelphus says, turning suddenly and nearly dropping the eye of newt jar as he's surprised by being addressed. "No, no I don't. But I know my way around, if there's something in particular you're looking for." He taps the shopping list, and it vanishes, then he puts his wand in a pocket of his vest.

Seren turns when she hears someone enter after her, and smiling, she gives the singer a nod of greeting before turning back to Adelphus. "Oh! No, it's not that," she says, waving a hand slightly before pulling a shopping list of her own from the front pocket of her skirt. "I just wanted to make sure you wouldn't mind if I poked around gathering things. My mum sent me an owl just before I left the office, so…" She gestures with the list, then gives the man a friendly smile before giving Signe a second, idly curious look as she moves toward the counter in the back.

The woman working at the counter looks up as she places a careful stopper into the bottle she's filled, and greets Signe with a smile. "Can I help you, Miss Crabbe?"
"My throat is still acting up," Signe confesses with an almost embarrassed smile. "I was wondering if you had anything a little… stronger?" she asks helpfully.
"I'll check the stores," the employee promises, nodding to Signe, then adds to Adelphus and Seren, "I'll be back in a moment if you need anything!"

"Oh, by all means. Sorry if I was monopolizing the newt." Adelphus says, with a slight nod and a tip of his lime-feathered hat. "Where's the office? Offices, with their implication of drudgery and hard work, are good places to leave, I find, even if I work in a place where one might say it's organized chaos." St. Mungos, that is. He can't help but cock his head, and one can almost see the healer's ears perk at Signe's mention of being somehow ill. But he resists the urge to pounce and turns back to his current conversation.

Seren rummages deeply in her satchel, then comes away with a second bag of washed leather, though it turns out to be more a rolled apron. When she unravels it, neat rows of vials are jars appear, all of them squeaky clean. She hangs the strap from her neck, and takes out one of the vials, then picks up the jar of newt eyes, grinning before she checks her list. Then, carefully, she begins transferring some into the vial. Meanwhile, she answers, "The Ministry," sounding slightly distracted. "Today happened to be a slow day, which is somehow both better and worse than being busy." She stoppers the vial and glances toward Signe, but spots the woman working behind the counter disappear. She sets the vial down on the shelf and replaces the jar near Adelphus before taking out another vial.

"Thank you," Signe answers as the woman moves off. She stands for a moment, looking awkward and uncertain, then moves towards one of the shelves to study some of the items.
She has no notion how to use /any/ of these - and some of them are quite baffling, or just openly revolting. She's always wondered, though - is potion making just like cooking? Do you /need/ to have magic to do it?

"The Ministry is a big place. Lots of activity in the beehive." Adelphus comments, then says, "I'm in the Magical Bugs and Diseases section at Mungo's. And, since I don't make enough potions at work…" sarcasm there, certainly, both by his tone and the fact that most magical cures involve potions of some kind, "I am working on some research on a few improvements in my spare time."

"That it is," Seren readily agrees, moving on to her next item. Fairy wings. She looks over at Adelphus, her smile a little crooked in response to the sarcastic remark. "Is the research at least yours?" she asks before glancing at Signe again, perhaps as curious about the singer as the other woman seems to be about the various ingredients on display.

Signe glances aside at Adelphus as he mentions that he's a healer - but her gaze doesn't linger for long. The man's away from work - it's hardly fair to hound him with health problems, and besides, it's only a perfectly mundane sore throat. She only needs the potions.
She picks up one of the bottles off the shelf, tipping it to study the contents. Bobotuber pus? Disgusting. Has this ever gone into any of the potions she's drank?

It is evening. Seren and Adelphus are talking near the eye of newt while Seren gathers ingredients into an apron with little vials. Signe is standing near the counter waiting for magical cough syrup.

After a moment from the person brewing potions stepping away, a redheaded woman comes down from the steps inside the shop, "Oh, hullo there." Sorcha says to Signe, offering her a smile of recognition, "I'm so sorry, the shop isn't actually open… The door should've been fastened but I understand you're in need of something for your throat?" She goes to a shelf off to the side easily, barely reading labels as she's familiar with all of the contents as she plucks one off and glnces at the color of the liquid inside, "This should do the trick for you."

Adelphus answers the question, noting, "Oh, yes, it's my research. I might write my own potion book someday… Hopefully better than some of the dross out there." Then he looks confused for a moment as Sorcha comes in, and says, "Wait, wasn't there another witch behind the counter when we came in?" He shakes his head once, and glances a the potion that's been provided, saying, "If your sore throat is lingering, miss, you might want something a bit stronger and longer lasting." He lowers his voice and notes, "And despite what they tell everyone, potions don't have to be foul tasting to work." He has a thing about that.

"Closed?" Seren asks, surprised. Luckily, none of the fairy wings go astray, as she had already finished stoppering the second vial, and the main jar was in no danger. Whatever the cause for the surprise, she does not elaborate, instead setting the filled vial next to the other one. "I suppose I'll have to let my mother know she needs to do her own shopping from now on," the pale-skinned woman muses with a frown as she glances down at her list of ingredients. She sticks the list back in her pocket and quickly removes her apron, rolling it neatly with the empty vials protected inside. The apron goes back into her satchel, then she takes the vials toward the counter. "Just these, then. And I'll need to place an order for one unicorn tail and one horn," she adds, placing a scrap of parchment next to the vials with her name.

"I didn't realize- I didn't mean to intrude," Signe offers uncertainly, as she accepts the potion. "Thank you." She slips it into her purse, and starts counting out the coins to pay for it while she's at it. As Adelphus speaks, however, he earns her attention next, with a curious and somewhat hopeful, "Such as?" She smiles a bit apologetically as she adds, "I'm singer. So… obviously it's imporant to me to deal with even the smallest amount of hoarseness."

Seeing Saren put away what she's been collecting, Sorcha smiles and shakes her head, "Oh, do go ahead and finish your list, I'd hate for you to have to stop half way through, it's not your error." Picking up the paper she sets on the counter and reading it over briefly as she listens to the rest of the conversation. She raises her eyebrows at Adelphus with a hint of amuesemsent, "You're saying my potions taste bad? I'm sorry to hear that, I haven't had any other complaints." She takes the galleons offered by Signe and tucks them under the counter, "Oh, you're a singer?"

"I haven't tried your potions. But the reports from most of my patients are that healing potions in general taste like something involving a pair of week-old unwashed socks, garlic, and the occasional undercooked snail." Adelphus says, with a snort of disdain for such poor potion work. "I'm sure that yours are of generally higher quality, this being a quite respectable shop." He looks at Signe next, and says, "Wouldn't a simple amplification charm help with that, or would that be cheating?"

"If my mother tried to sell something like that to our neighbours, she would have been out of business before she even began," Seren comments to Adelphus, grinning in agreement. "Then again, if the poor Muggles had any idea the ingredients that go into her concoctions…" She trails off, looking more amused, then turns to Sorcha, waving a hand. "No, if you're not meant to be open, then I will get out of your hair. I just want to place that order ahead of time, as those items are not always in stock. Plus, I am not dishing out my own gold for that," she adds more wryly. She glances from Adelphus to Signe, once again curious.

"Your potions taste fine," Signe is hasty to insert, giving Sorcha a smile, before her attention returns to Adelphus.
At the mention of an amplification charm, she shifts uncomfortably, dropping her gaze before answering with, "My voice is… amplified." By a microphone, mind, but it's the same concept. "Maybe I just need to take a week away."
Her gaze shifts to Seren, next, as she speaks of selling potions to Muggles. Is that allowed…? How strange.

Giving a smile to Adelphus at his compliment she nods, "Thank you. I'll make sure and ask my brother to check with Mungo's apothecary to see if they'd like some of the tricks we've picked up so that they're not as horrid as all that. If you're already in that position to be in hospital you don't need to have that on top of it." She takes the list and nods to Saren, "I'll make sure and contact her when they've arrived then. If you'd like to leave the rest of the list she asked you to collect I can put the items she needs together and arrange to have them delivered. I know when you're running low on any key ingredients it can be very inconvenient." Nodding to Signe she replies, "Thank you. And I've had some success with a different type of soothing potion if you're singing frequently. We don't keep it on hand, there isn't much call for it, but I could make you up one if you like."

"Might I suggest tea with lemon and honey, as quite the mundane remedy. Along with steam." Del says, in response to the same query. Then he tilts his head otwards Seren, "Your mother is a potion maker? Or a healer? I'm sorry, how rude of me." He removes his hat, and says, "I don't believe any of us have met. I'm Adelphus Slughorn." Healer, by his robes. Scottish, by his burr.

"Seren Bryce," the dark-haired woman replies. "I work in the Games and Sports division of the Ministry." She leaves some knuts and sickles for the eye of newt and the fairy wings, then places them carefully in her bag. "And my mother is a potion maker and herbologist. Runs a rather mundane looking shop on Baker Street, at least from the outside. Hiding in plain sight, and all that. Good thing they can't see into the greenhouse on the roof," she adds, brown eyes twinkling. She then turns back to Sorcha and shakes her head quickly. "No, I'll just have to find another shop that doesn't close the same time my office does, but thank you for the offer." Then to Signe, she smiles again, adding, "Sometimes rest really is the best remedy, of course."

"I wouldn't mind trying it," Signe agrees with Sorcha, offering a grateful smile. "If it isn't too much trouble."
As Adelphus introduces himself, she responds in kind, giving him one of her reserved smile. "I'm Signe Crabbe," she offers. "I do drink tea with lemon - quite frequently. It does help, but… some weeks it just isn't enough. We've had so many rehersals lately…"

"Sorcha O'Shea." The apothecary introduces herself, as well. "I'd imagine you know my brother?" She offers to Adelphus as he shares his own information. At his question to Seren she turns, "Oh, that's lovely. I'd love to trade recipies with her sometime." When the games official mentions the shop's hours she frowns slightly and glances down before forcing a smile and turning to the others, "Normally our hours are more extended… the shop has been closed several days due to… a death in the family, I'm sorry." Taking the opportunity to latch on to Signe's change of topic, "Of course, it's not any trouble. Where should I direct it when I've gotten it put together?"

"Yes, rest, then, is quite the remedy for that sort of thing. The body is an instrument, too, it can't just be played indefinately." He approaches, reaching into his vest pocket - the special, long one - for his wand. "May I?" he asks, of Signe.

"Ah. That explains it," Seren replies briskly to Sorcha, nodding in her head. Seren has ever been a rather socially clueless person, sadly, as evidenced by, "In that case, perhaps tomorrow will work better. For now, though, I had best get myself home. Sir," she says, inclining her head to Adelphus, "Mesdames," to the two women. She then makes her leave, heading into the late summer evening.

At the mention of a death, Signe's eyes widen, and she gives Sorcha a worried and apologetic look. "Oh. I'm sorry to hear that. If we're being a bother…" she says uncertainly, looking towards Adelphus, and then the door leading out.
As the man pulls out his wand, she nods, looking a bit embarrassed as she adds, "I haven't been to see a Healer - it is just a sore throat, after all. I'm sorry to be a bother on your time off…"

At Seren's comment about coming back tomorrow, Sorcha looks like she's about to say something but lets it go as the other woman leaves the shop quickly. Instead she turns to the remaining two customers and observes their interaction. At Signe's sympathy she nods, "Thank you. No, not a bother. But I appreciate the offer."

"It's really no trouble for me, either." Adelphus says, as he picks the wand up, "Just a simple healing charm that every first-year healer at St. Mungo's learns. If your throat is raw and swollen, it should help, the same as a cut lip or a black eye. If it's more serious, it won't help with that." Or if it's nothing, though there is undoubtedly a placebo benefit in that case. He touchs the tip of his wand to her throat and murmurs, "Episkey." The wand glows, and Signe's throat will feel first warm, then cold. He steps back, twirls his wand once in his hand, then puts it away.

"I appreciate it - thank you." Signe smiles at Adelphus and then Sorcha again. "I sing at the Natrix. Would it be possible to have the soothing potion delivered there? I can pay now - or I'm sure Wolfgang could pick up the cost for me."

Sorcha nods to Signe, "That isn't any problem, Nora should be able to drop it off if I'm not available for some reason. It takes a few days to brew but as soon as it is finished we can bring it to you." She smiles, "If you like, that's fine. If not you can pay when it's delivered. It's not expensive, the ingredients are fairly simple." At the charm on her throat she pauses to see if she can sense any difference but doesn't seem to be able to tell from behind her counter.

"Feel any different?" Del asks, after adjusting his robes back over his clothes, sortof like a gunfighter who has just holstered and now is adjusting his duster. "If it becomes more serious, feel free to give me a call." He removes a calling card from his vest pocket and hands it over, giving his name, profession, and addresses at St. Mungos and on Grimauld Place in London. He turns to Sorcha as well, and says, "I have a few ingredients I need, before I forget. I'll just send an apprentice over for them in the morning?"

"I'll just tell Wolfgang to expect the delivery. Thank you," Signe answers Sorcha, giving her another smile, before returning her attention to Adelphus. One hand goes to her throat as she swallows, before she tries singing a few brief lines in Italian. She lowers her hand, and then nods to Adelphus with a smile. "I think it did. Thank you very much."

Sorcha nods to Adelphus, "Of course. If you can leave the list for me I can have it together. If you like, my brother should be able to bring them to the hospital for you tomorrow, I imagine he's on the shift as usual." She smiles when Signe sings and claps a little at the brief performance, "That was lovely. And I'll send it to both your attentions then, if you like."

Adelphus removes the list from his pocket and leaves it on the counter, along with some money to cover the ingredients, including a few rare ones. "Thank you." He replaces his hat, "A pleasure meeting you both. Have a good evening."

Signe smiles shyly as her singing is complimented, and nods her head in thanks. "I'd best be going as well. Sorry to disturb you," she adds towards Sorcha, turning to make her way out, just a step behind Adelphus.

Sorcha says, "Good evening to both of you, thank you for coming by." She follows them to the door with a smile and shakes her head, "It wasn't a disturbance, it was nice to have people in the shop again honestly. I hope the potion you have there helps and I'll bring the other by as soon as it's ready." She gives a little wave when they get to the door, "It was lovely to meet you, as well."

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