(1939-08-28) Buttering Up
Details for Buttering Up
Summary: Gus introduces his sister Lizette to his new girlfriend, Nora.
Date: 1939-08-28
Location: Gambol and Japes Joke Shop

Gus has invited his little sister to a candy shop because he has something very important to tell her. He's given her some money to spend - enough to buy a treat for herself and a couple of friends! He looks cheerful - in fact, he's been extra smiley, lately, and has taken to wearing more color in his wardrobe. This is remarkable because for the past 7 months it's been nothing but black and shades of grey. For the past few days, though, midnight blue and deep forest green and dark garnet robes have hung from his shoulders. "What looks good?" he asks her, peering around the shop - it wasn't long ago that he used to buy from here, himself!

Lizette grins happily at the profusion of bright colors around her, for once letting go of Gus's hand and gazing at all the sweets eagerly. Although she wants desperately to run down each aisle and poke her nose into everything without ado, she also, someone belatedly, remembers her mama's manners advice, and she heaves a big breath, trying to channel that something called 'moderation'. It would be unladylike to rush headlong, so she carefully steps to the nearest shelf and tries to browse methodically from one end to the other, but it isn't long before her attention is drawn to a very green, very slimy candy that is being drawn on a magical candy-puller- the effect is very mucus-like, and the bubbles in the candy have a disconcerting tendency to going pop in the most gruesome way possible. "Ewwwww," she giggles, in horrified delight. "Gus, what's this?"

Gus wanders languidly behind Lizette, and grins at her giggles. "That's… well," he says. "It tastes a lot better than it looks. Sort of like…" he ponders for a moment. "Like candied apples and ginger, with a hint of… tea?" He shrugs. "I won't tell you how to spend the money, it's up to you." He beams at her. "Mostly because I want to butter you up, you see." He winks.

"Ooooohhhhhh." Lizette draws out the word, still hypnotized by the slowly stretching and dripping candy. She grins widely as Gus winks at her, slapping her brother teasingly on the arm in response. "Gus! Be honesttt." she whines. "Do you like this candy?

Gus nods. "I do," he says truthfully. And Gus is a terrible liar, as anyone who knows him knows.

Lizette eyes him dubiously, but everything in Gus's expression beams truthfulness. She grins. "I think I will take…" she scrunches up her face slightly. Oh, the pain of division. "…one pound." That should be enough to hold them both for a while. "Can you remember where this is, Gus? I sorta want to look around some more." She races ahead, this time with no inhibition, as she looks through the other stuff. "Ooh, they have more than just candy!" she announces proudly to her brother. "Lookit this!" She picks up a perfectly innocent looking teacup and shows it to Gus. "I wonder what it does?"

Gus' eyes widen at the amount that she wants, but he holds his tongue. One pound is a LOT of candy. But he'll stick by his promise to let her spend the money how she wants. "Ah, careful!" Gus says. "That's a Snapping Teacup. It'll snap at you." He gestures for her to put it back. "The signs, Lizzy - if you break anything, you have to buy it - and if you try it, you'll break it." He points to the nearest one so she can read it.

For a few minutes now, Honora Summerbee has actually been in the shop as well, browsing the shelves with curiosity but no real intent to buy anything. She'd been expecting to find Gus, but had not actually noticed him until Lizette startled him with a teacup. Hearing his voice over the chatter of customers, Nora steps around some shelves to where she can see Augustin and Lizette and raises a hand in something like a shy wave, smiling. She's still distant enough - roughly on the other end of the shop - that she doesn't attempt to speak a greeting over the background noise, but if Augustin's reaction seems friendly she'll probably head over to meet them.

"Eep!" Lizette's excited expression promptly changes into one of dismay as she sheepishly and quickly returns the teacup to the shelf, pulling her fingers back from the item as if it had burned her. "That's cheap." she frowns, dusting her hands on her new robes, putting her nose into the air with a primness that is laughable in an eleven-year-old. "That's almost…extor-tis-ism." she says, struggling a bit over the larger word.

Gus meets Nora's eye and he smiles at her - definitely friendly. "Nora!" he says. "It's good to see you here. Lizzy," he says, turning to the little girl. "I'd like you to meet Honora Summerbee," he says. "Nora, this is my sister, Lizette." He beams at the two of them. "I hope you'll like one another."

Nora smiles, approaching the two. "Nice to meet you, Lizette. Augustin mentioned you're just about to start at Hogwarts?" It's just a polite question; of course she knows the answer, but it's better than awkward silence!

Lizette looks shyly up at Nora, hanging back slightly behind Gus. "It's nice to meet you too, Nora." she replies, her gaze flitting from Nora's face to her brother's and then back again, seemingly reassured. "I can't wait for the first day!" she says, her good cheer restored, and she steps out of Gus's shadow. "There'll be a lot of interesting things to see and do, but I'm kinda worried about the Sorting." she says, wrinkling her brow a bit, although this moment doesn't last long. "So, how do you know Gus?" Lizette asks Nora, just to be safe.

Gus rests a gentle hand on Lizette's fair hair, a reassurance and a loving brotherly gesture. He'll tweak a blonde lock and boop her nose. "Whatever House you get sorted into will be exactly where you'll flourish," he promises her with a smile. He glances at Nora for a second, then to his sister. "Well, Nora and I went to Hogwarts together," he starts. "She was a Hufflepuff, too. And now…" he looks at Nora again, his looking making it clear that she should explain.

Nora gives Gus an annoyed look in return, considering her options. After a moment's hesitation she decides on an answer: "We met again recently. We've talked a few times and spent some time together, and I saved Gus from setting himself on fire once. A few days ago he took me out on a date and gave me chocolates." She tilts her head a little, glancing back at Gus, and the next words are almost as much a teasing question to Gus as a statement to Lizette. "…I think he was afraid to tell you about that."

Lizette makes a face as Gus tweaks a lock of her hair, but her grin is unmistakeable as Nora breaks the news. Her expression becomes impossibly innocent as she ponders her next question. "So you're girlfriend and boyfriend now?" Lizette asks, giggling a little in her head as she imagines her awkward older brother (to her at least) with this pretty girl. Sure, Gus had been dating for a long time, but it still felt funny to her. "Have you guys kissed yet?" Lizette asks, mischievously.

Gus grimaces, realizing too late his mistake. "Sorry," he whispers to Nora. He'll nod along with her explanation. "Yes," he says to Lizette. He reaches for Nora's hand, if she's not too annoyed to take it. "I really like her and…" then Lizette's last question throws him for a loop. He blushes. "That is absolutely none of your business, little miss," he says, a gentle rebuke.

Nora takes Gus's hand, blushing just a little herself. "Yes," she says, but doesn't make clear which question she's answering — might be about the kiss or just the boyfriend/girlfriend thing. "Anyway," switching topics back to school, "Don't worry too much about the Sorting. All the Houses have their good points." Somewhat hypocritical coming from Nora, who's always resented being sorted into Hufflepuff, but Lizette needn't know that.

Lizette looks satisfied and giggles a little internally to see her brother looking so discomfited at the moment. But hm, so /that/ was why he had been seeming so much happier recently- mystery solved. Even if, somewhere in the back in her mind, she wondered about Eibhlin and felt vaguely…sad? (no more helping in the kitchen in the summer…) , she was glad that this new relationship made Gus happy- It made everything seem so much more normal, somehow. Lizette nods at Nora's advice. "Yes, but didn't it make you nervous?" she asks. "When it's talking about you, the hat talks so loud." she says, thinking of the stories she'd heard from the older kids. "I don't want them to know everything about me. It's embarrassing." she says, tugging on her robe sleeve. And yes, even little Lizette had her secrets.

"That they do," Gus agrees with Nora. He squeezes her hand fondly. "I wasn't nervous," Gus says. "Well, maybe just a little. Sometimes the hat talks to you, in your head. Sometimes it just immediately knows which house is best for you. It went back and forth a bit for me - debating about if I'd be better in Hufflepuff of Gryffindor. I'm glad I got Hufflepuff, honestly." He smiles a bit at the thought of her being embarrassed. "I've never heard of the hat telling anyone about anyone else's secrets, so don't worry, yeah?"

Nora nods in agreement, "The hat has to be good at keeping secrets — somebody would have gotten rid of it by now if it wasn't. Lots of pretty secretive wizards and witches have come out of Hogwarts, you know?" She considers. "It's a little scary having everyone's attention on you while you're being Sorted, but it's only for a moment, then they're watching the next person."

Lizette listens to the two of them, wide-eyed, feeling a bit silly (but for the most part unimaginably relieved) as they assure her that the Sorting Hat did not make a habit of blabbing. "Mmm!" she agrees emphatically to both her brother's and Nora's statements. "It must be weird to be a magical hat," Lizette says, after a bit of pondering. "If you knew someone was evil, but couldn't blab their secrets, would you feel guilty?" That felt like a story in the making, but she files it away for later. "What classes did you like the most your first year?" she asks, addressing both Nora and her brother.

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