(1939-08-16) Duckkrieg
Details for Duckkrieg
Summary: Two wizards, a girl and a soldier cross paths in a park, only to have to quash the Great Duck Attack of 1939.
Date: 16 August, 1939
Location: Green Park, London

It's a bit after midday and though its summer the partly cloudy sky has the added effect of not being too stiflingly hot out. The park spreads out across many city blocks green in the middle of the city of buildings and people. One of the places used often is a little water feature with a bench ducks swim in the little pond and are used to seeing the people and receiving food for the effort of merely being there. This is where Graham sits lightly on the bench a basket next to him, today he's dressed completely and properly in muggle attire.

It's not often that Katie ventures into the more posh parts of London. Not that she avoids it, it's just that she doesn't often have reason to venture far from her familiar haunts around Waterloo and the East End. When some old school chums suggested an outing, she was lucky enough to beg off a few hours from work, and joined them for a picnic. Even though it's fairly early still, they little group is forced into splitting ways by family and work obligations. She's already helped gather up the blanket and pack it into another girl's basket, and the foursome are parting by Canada Gate. Saying the last goodbyes, Katie turns to walk through the park before going back home. Her eyes roam as she walks, her steps unhurried, enjoying the typically overcast day. She has another summery dress on, sleeves short, neckline dipping in a modest scoop, and flat shoes on her feet. As a breeze ruffles her hair, she tucks it behind her ear, a habitual gesture.

Nothing like having to get dressed in your ceremonials for a morale boosting parade when you're supposed to have a weekend of leave! But it's not too too bad, have a stroll wave to the King and Queen and princesses and then off he goes the moment his commanding officer blows his whistle and dismisses the troops. The Private still looks a bit banged up, abrasions on the exposed skin of his hands and face. No fancy wizard healers to fix Gavin up good as new after the bombing in King's Cross Station a couple of weeks ago. But he's in good sorts none the less. After bumming a smoke from another soldier making a b-line anywhere but under the commander's nose he pauses in his stroll through Green Park heading away from the palace to light up the cigarette and pop the highest button of his collar.

After a recent reminder that he does, in fact, live in the lands of a Muggle kind, Xander decided to take some time brushing up on some royal facts. So he signed up for a tour that went by Buckingham Palace and filled his head full of information about royals past and present. It took some time before he got the hint that his questions about just how each previous monarch had died were making the other tourists uncomfortable. So he decided it was time to excuse himself and just enjoy a walk through the park. It is thusly that he finds himself approaching a familiar face along the path. His eyes light up and he adopts a lopsided smile as he nears Katie, pausing just near the water feature where Graham sits. "Good day, Miss…Hinds, I assume?" He suddenly realizes that he never got her name. "You, ah…probably don't remember me. From yesterday? You…you gave me some sponge and custard with my order."

Graham will toss a bit of bread into the pond the ducks flapping over to snatch it up. He smiles simply as they tear it into bits and each take bits of it. The approach and voices will take his attention from the pond and he spots the two walking he'll stand up and offering a wave "Ah Katie, hello." he greets friendly the other he has to ponder through names of those who work at the ministry perhaps coming up with it. "It was Mr Tully correct?" he says and asks to be sure he isn't getting the name wrong.

Katie had spied Xander first, as their paths were heading more or less toward each other, and her smile lights up her face with his greeting. "Hind," she corrects gently, dropping the ending s. "'Course I remember, Mister Tully, t'was just yesterday. I hope t'think my mind's as good as keepin' a name an' face for at least two or three days." She glances over in the direction of the palace and then back to Xander's face. "Visitin' th'King then? Did he wave t'yeh as well?" There's good natured humor in the words, her attention solely on Xander before another familiar voice pulls it away. "Mister… Graham," she corrects herself before she even finishes the formality. "Lovely day t'be out in th'park." The observation is quick before she quiets to let the men have their greeting. And another line of one customer knowing another is drawn in her head. She looks away for a moment as they do, noting a soldier nearby, a few others dotted around the park.

"Miss Hind, of course," Xander silently chides himself. "Yes, the King. Well…actually, no. I didn't see him, myself. Do you think he's in?" He glances toward the palace briefly before Graham catches his attention. He nods affirmatively at the name, but realizing that the two are on a first name basis, he chimes in, "Ah, Xander. Alexander. But you can call me Xander. No need to be formal out here, eh?" He shoves his hands into the pockets of his suit. He might still be a little off about certain Muggle things, like the line of succession, but one thing he knows well is how to dress like one.

Gavin looks more and more relaxed with every drag of his cigarette. He is a customer as well, often in to soak up some of the beverages drunk at the Dog and Bone on his way back over the bridge and off to Knightsbridge and his barracks there. But not so often as to really recognize Katie as he notices her around the time she notices him. With a little smirk he gives the girl a salute as he continues to stroll along a path that will eventually meander across the little group.

"It is a very nice day yes, I decided since I didnt have work that a picnic basket and a duck pond would be a good way to spend time." Graham chuckles a bit though he turns to the other and nods in understanding he'll remember to use the name next time they meet it would seem but doesn't want to dwell on that too much. "It seems a good meeting all around though, care to join I still have food and a some drinks i've not really started."

There's something about habitually seeing someone in a certain setting that makes them difficult to recognize outside of that environment. It's something Katie experiences quite frequently. Usually she's just the chippy bird in the white apron to most people. Take away the shop and the apron, and it's as if she's someone else entirely. But she recognizes customers much more often. That's why her eyes linger a moment on the soldier, and she nods in return to his salute. As the wizards exchange less proper names, Katie speaks up to Xander, "If we're not bein' formal, it's Katie then. Xander." She says the name almost experimentally. She's known an Alexander or two, but they were all Alex, and this version is new. Unique. It takes a moment for her to gather her thoughts back in from that tangent, her smile returning to Graham. "I just parted ways with some mates, an' I've not another thing planned for th'day." Her eyes return to Xander, curious as to his response to the offer.

"Katie," Xander echoes, nodding stupidly at her for a moment until it dawns upon him that he ought to give Graham an answer. "Oh, yes, Aur-…ah…Mr. Cohen. Graham. That's very kind of you, I'd be delighted." Xander might wear a suit well, but he's still uncomfortable in the professional world he shares with Graham. "Shall we sit?" He gestures to the bench from whence Graham just came.

Gavin is approached by a small band of soldiers. They have a momentary bout of rough house play with each other and he's left without his cigarette. Distraught that his only means of chemical relaxation is gone with the fleeing band of laughing soldiers the young man chuffs and decides himself that ducks on a pond will have to settle for natural relaxation stimuli. He rakes his fingers through his messed up hair and picks up his hat that fell to the path and then strolls several paces more to the edge of the pond, he sits down in the grass with his knees crooked up, arms draped around them. He has not yet noticed that he's in for another ambushing. That of a group of ducks that are quite spoiled, Royal Ducks and all, are swimming towards him with their beaks raised haughrily and their little beady eyes narrowed as they don't see bread, they demand bread!

Graham will listen to her speak of the other group and nods it really is a great day to be out and about not to hot and not raining. "Ah, well that sounds like a grand way to spend a Saturday a free schedule I mean." The young man turns back though at the almost use of his proper title he will move on. "Yes your welcome of course I should have enough for everyone at least."

"It's not often I'm out this early on a Saturday, with the shop and all," Katie notes as she scoots around to sit on the bench, smoothing her skirt under her rear as she does, and brushing it down properly over her knees when she settles. "But with th'parade an' all, things were slow, most bein' down around here. An' I asked Da, couldn't I be down around here as well." There's a grin that flashes to each of the wizards. Being the first of the trio to sit, she's dropped into the middle-ish of the space. "An' I do believe th'King is in," she directs at Xander, referring back to his earlier question. "Likely havin' a kip after all the excitement and crowds."

Xander smirks, nodding. "Yeah, likely. The tour guide was pretty vague about it." Plus, Xander was a bit fixated on royal deaths. He pauses at the bench, then clears his throat and takes a seat by Katie. Is he too close? He inches away. But…what if she takes offense at him moving way? He scoots a little closer. Oh, but she might take that as being too forward. He stands, pretending to brush something off of his pant leg, then reseats himself, juuust a half inch further away. "So…it's your family that owns the chip shop, isn't it? Have you all been there long?"

Gavin is further distracted by his incoming doom by duck by people watching, more like focusing with great sympathy and, "Poor sap." muttered to himself as Xander acts like he's sitting on an ant hill and not a bench next to a pretty girl. Smirking and shaking his head some before the flash of feathers and leather webbed feet are all that he sees. In only the way a Glaswegian can spews forth such a muttering and explicative hollering he flails and acks for about five seconds, but the attack is harmless, just annoying and his curses turn to actual chuckling and he swats and ducks a wing. "Help!? I'm being attacked by Nazi Ducks!" Laughter stacattoing his plea for aid.

Graham is about to sit down when he sees the ducks acting rather oddly. He will reach to the basket getting some of the scrap bread he's brought "Guys food's still in the water," he speaks to get the ducks attention holding the food up he tosses it back towards the water. He will than sit down assuming this delay tactic works well enough. "I often thing my work schedule is a tad full but the King's I cant even imagine."

Katie doesn't give a thought to Xander perhaps sitting too close. Until he starts to shuffle around. She is rather aware of him, since he's right next to her, and while she doesn't make it obvious and look directly at him, she doesn't miss it. She doesn't quite understand it, either. Perhaps he's just a bit of a twitchy sort? "We 'ave been," is the answer to Xander's question. "Da bought the shop just before I came into th' world… been there since. Sometimes I think it's rather…" She stops speaking as the incident that will come to be known as the Great Duck Attack of 1939 commences, and she starts to stand, ready without thought for her own personal safety to try and aide that poor man in uniform. But before she's fully up, Graham is there with his temptation of bread for the beasts, and Katie settles back onto the bench. Unfortunately for Xander, that scant half inch has disappeared with her shifting. "That was fast thinkin', Graham," she says with a laugh. Then she raises her voice just enough to call out to Gavin, "Alright then?"

The half inch has disappeared…and she made it go away! Xander's smiles broadens considerably…until he realizes that he completely forgot what they were talking about. "Um…is he hurt?" He peers over at Gavin curiously. "Is that normal behaviour for ducks?"

Gavin actually gently throws one of the more aggressive ducks back into the water, it looks for a moment like it may just attack the breadless soldier all over again, but oh BREAD! It gives a nasty quack towards the bemused Gavin and then the other duck add their own curses as they waddle away from the duck. "Nazi spies, I tell you." He smirks and grunts as he stands up and brushes himself off. Realizing he got a bit of a stain on his uniform in the scuffle he rather meekly comes over to he that rescued and points to the basket. "Sorry mate, trouble ye for a spot of salt?"

The auror tips his head towards the lady. "I try my best." Graham says to the compliment though he will now sit down on the bench on the otherside. "The ducks here are too used to humans, they don't have the natural instinct to stay away anymore." he explains though if he's noticed the exchange with the shuffling and everything. He's not acting like it perhaps there's really nothing he can say about it anyways. He turns as the soldier moves over and will nod "Of course." he reaches into the basket finding a small shaker he hands it over.

"We'll tell th'King of your bravery against the threat," Katie says with a grin to Gavin, "An' see that yeh get a medal, all proper." Blue eyes go to the still ruffled ducks as they paddle around, and a thought occurs to her. Her grin turns to Xander. "P'rhaps they fancy themselves as posh as your Mister Black, an' think themselves deservin' of cleaner water. A real uprising among the upper-duck class." There's not a note of mockery in her voice against the pure-blood Black, but rather a warmth of a shared joke between herself and Xander.

Xander laughs merrily, imagining Alphard Black waddling about like a duck, complaining about impure water. "We should offer them some scraps. If they pretend not to like them, you'll be spot-on." Perhaps he noticed more in the shop yesterday than he had let on. Xander peers curiously at the uniformed Gavin, he nods with sudden recognition. "You're in the army, aren't you? A fighting man."

Gavin salutes with the shaker to his forehead gratefully. "Life saver there mate. Thanks." The scotsman raises the flap of his uniform and salts the stain. The shaker is offered right back. A cheshire grin is offered to the lady and he clicks his heels and bows at the shoulders, "Mum, quite kind of you mum." He affects a bit of a posh brit accent there. Getting quite a confused expression again as they go on about ducks and water purity, his brows do hood quite low over his eyes when he's perplexed but then he's being questioned by Xander and nods. "Yes, that's what this gettup means." When the stains been rubbed out as best as it's going to be he offers his hand to Xander, then Katie, then Graham. "Private Gavin Ferguson. Probably will see ye two on the front sooner or later once things get going." There is sadness in his voice as he brings up the draft, sad but true fact. "Sorry, Down Dally me. Beautiful day though, innit!?" He forces a bit smile trying to swing the mood back towards pleasant.

Graham turns towards Katie as she speaks of a Mr Black though he shows the right level of confusion on his face that he might not know what she's talking about. He turns back to the soldier placing the salt back in it's place "Graham Cohen." he shakes the others hand.

The return from Xander sends Katie into a fit of giggles, and she brings one hand up to try and muffle them, her eyes holding on the young wizard. She finally looks to Graham and Gavin, sobering enough to apologize, "Forgive us, not intendin' t'be rude, we've just been reminded of someone we know." It's vague but sincere, and she clears her throat, gathering her wits again as she shakes the soldier's hand in turn. "Katie Hind. I b'leive I've seen yeh before, at the chippy. Hind's." Although that last clarification may not have been needed, having given her surname. Still, better to be clearer for a change. Her smile falters at mention of the draft, a look darted at Xander. She's a young girl in many ways, and she tries not to think about the harsh realities of the coming war when she can avoid it. The thought that the young man she's only recently met is of drafting age hadn't truly occurred to her. She immediately grasps at the straw offered by Gavin, nodding to him. "Aye, we were just sayin' that very thing. A good afternoon t'be out an' about, visitin' th'King." Her smile settles on Graham now, "Or out feedin' th'killer ducks."

Xander offers his hand in turn. "Xander Tully." He lets the comments about the draft go, as everyone seems ready to move on from that subject. Besides, how could he explain that he'll never be drafted? Oh, no worries. We magical people are exempt from Muggle wars. Of course, that's assuming that certain political figures don't manage to unite the two worlds. Then what? Would he be subject to the draft? Not the most pleasant thought. His eyes return to Gavin's uniform, and on an impulse, he rises. "Please, Private. Take my seat. I insist."

Gavin waves Xander back down so he doesn't get up all the way. "Nae the King, Xander, 'ave a seat. It's a good one." A little smile is angled at the reason it's a good one - Katie and Xander only just came to a decision just wear to sit. "Thank ye though. Right o yeh." He looks to all three, "Fella bum a fag? Please?" Cause this 'natural relaxation' crap turned out to really suck!

Graham tips an invisible hat towards Katie "Someone's got to keep the duck menace in check." he says which is of course ridiculous but yes he doesnt want the conversation going down either a dark road nor one with questions he cant answer. He looks to the solider "Sorry I dont at least."

"We should be after gettin' a medal for yeh as well, Graham. Such bravery in action t'day, it's just a wonder." Katie's eyes lift as Xander starts to stand, offering his seat to the soldier. There's a considering pause for just a moment, before her smile broadens. It falls quickly into an apologetic earnestness as she also has to answer Gavin's request in the negative. "My mate Ginny would have, but…." The words trail off, not having to state the obvious that it does no good because Ginny's not here.

Xander finds himself a bit embarrassed, his gallantry refused. He pats himself down as if searching for a cigarette that, of course, he doesn't have. "I…no, I'm sorry. I don't smoke." Feeling doubly awkward, he retakes his seat, crossing one leg over the other and trying to at least appear relaxed.

Graham will shake his head though looking towards Katie at her words he laughs lightly "All in a days work Katie." the auror says smoothly, though he looks at the other ministry employee who looks rather uncomfortable at the moment, and cannot help but think that they will need to have a talk at some point here.

Gavin hmms and puts his hands in his pockets, he smells the air and then squints a direction. "The nose knows, aye. Thanks anyways. Graham, Xander, Katie, very nice to meet you all. I will make sure to pop in the shop and say 'ello some time soon." Like in the morning after his bender he's on his way to. "Good on ye all. I think I smell someone that does smoke in that direction." He offers to shake all their hands and gives a lazy salute before he begins to follow his nose.

The amusement is back in Katie's eyes as Gavin hunts out the smoke he's looking for like a birddog flushing out the brush. "I hope t'see yeh soon, Private Ferguson," she says sincerely, shaking the offered hand again. As the soldier takes his leave, bells chime the hour and Katie sighs softly. "I think I'd better be on my way as well," she says regretfully, "I had said I wouldn't be about all day, an' it'll take me a bit t'get back. On my own, like." It could be that's a hint if someone were quick enough to catch it. Or perhaps she does just have to get on her way.

Xander shakes Gavin's hand, giving the man a respectful nod. "It was an honour, Private Ferguson." He goes to settle back in when Katie's words finally click. "Oh…ah…well, I was headed out of the park myself when I ran into you, Katie. Maybe…I could walk you back? If you'd like the company, that is." His brow goes up hopefully.

Graham will shake the offered hand before looking to Katie and will nod "I should probably head home myself if I run out of bread i'll be quite defenseless." He jokes about the ducks "It was good to see, you i'm sure i'll be in the store soon enough." he looks to Xander lastly "A good day to you as well Xander." he will stand up from the bench and grab his basket.

Gavin didn't want this job, but he's got to admit, the uniform does come with at least some perks. A patriotic gentleman handed over the rest of his pack to Gavin and so now, in a whisping veil of smoke, rather like a steam train, Gavin cata-nana-choo-choos his way to the northeast exit of the park. Actually he's probably walking a few yards ahead of Katie and her company for most of the way there. To the Dog and Bone! It's getting pissed time!

Katie's smile brightens again, and she looks to Xander, surprised as if she'd not had that thought in the least. "That would be grand, if yeh would, Xander. I'd feel better, havin' th' company." She looks to Graham, laughing softly, "That would be a tragedy, havin' saved a soldier only t'get targeted yerself before day's end. I look forward t' yer next stop at the chippy." She stands as Graham does, turning to look at Xander expectantly, ready to be escorted safely home.

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