(1939-08-30) Wishful Petting
Details for Wishful Petting
Summary: A random encounter among current and future Hogwarts' students leads to a short lived discussion on Dark Magic.
Date: 1939-08-30
Location: The Magical Menagerie

The Magical Menagerie

It is a summer afternoon. The weather is hot and fair.

The Magical Menagerie is of the larger shops in Diagon Alley but it still manages to be very cramped and noisy with every inch of wall and most of the floor space covered by cages of varying sizes. It sells all kinds of animals - poisonous orange snails, a giant jewel-encrusted tortoise, sleek rats of all colors that are very intelligent. The store also sells a vast array of owls, ravens, puffskiens, and cats of every colour. A cage set in a place of honor at the middle of the store a big, fluffy white rabbit will transform into a black silk top hat for people it likes then transform back and look at them expectantly as if waiting for a treat.

Late afternoon in Diagon Alley finds Gabriel in The Magical Menagerie. Specifically, he's towards the back of the shop, sitting on the floor in front of a display of fairies. All of which are posing for him in everything from silly attitudes to frankly a bit too sensual for a 13-year-old to be witnessing.

In his lap Gabriel has an open sketchbook and there's a spill of colored pencils next to him, which he constantly trades out as he sketches the fairies.

"I know, I know, we're going in. Settle down," Madeline says sternly to the large black bird on her arm that flaps his wings with excitement, as a man holds the door open for the child. It's /not/ Perry for once - this man looks a good decade older. A woman also follows Maddie in, and the door is closed behind the trio. "I'm sure we'll find you some real nice tre- Ooo! It's my friend Gabriel, there, I've told you about Gabriel I think he's drawing the pixi- what're those two pixies there doing?"

Madeline's mother lets out a quiet gasp and takes her daughter by the shoulders, spinning her away from the cage. "Hey… I was gonna introduce you…"

Hands clasped behind her back, Samira steps into the shop. A tall, elderly witch a small pair of spectacles on her crooked nose follows her charge inside. As Samira pauses to take in the shop, her governess fixes a stern look of disapproval on her for such time-wasting. However, she refrains from vocalizing her criticism.

At last, Samira makes her way through the shop to the counter next to all the cats. Most of them are sleeping while others watch with bored, unimpressed looks. Samira grins before looking up at the shopkeeper. In a perfect, clear accent devoid of any trace of regionalism, she says, "I would like a bottle of cat tonic. He is having trouble adjusting to the England climate and his whiskers have been drooping."

Gabriel barely looks aside from his sketchbook and the fairies. Hearing Madeline's voice he does offer a distracted and mumbled, "Hello Maddie." before putting down a brown pencil and picking up a blue one.

The particular fairy being sketched opens her eyes wide when she sees how much darker the blue Gabriel is about to use is compared to her own translucent, sapphire-colored wings. She lets out an annoyed buzzing sound, hopping off her perch to land on the sketchbook and harangue Gabriel in an ever higher pitched buzz, accompanied with tiny stomps of her foot.

"Hi, Gabe!" Madeline answers cheerfully. "My parents came with me today!" she informs him. She peeks over her shoulder at the little fit the fairy is throwing and giggles.

Mrs. Evans, having had a few moments to observe the little creatures, reluctantly releases her grasp on her daughter's shoulders, allowing the girl to move over to her friend, and peer down at the creature on his notebook. "So pretty… the drawing and the fairy of course," she explains, before whispering, "Wanna know what the color changing potion's really for?"

<FS3> Gabriel rolls Drawing: Good Success.

The shop keeper asks Samira a few details about her cat and asks her to wait while he mixes something up. In the meantime, she glances up at the cats for a few moment before the sound of Madeline's voice catches her attention. With a bit of a grin, she approaches the two younger children. She peers over Madeline's shoulder at the pixies with interest.

Gabriel's drawing are by no means as good as the highly realistic images drawn by some of the naturalists in the zoology books he likes to peruse from time to time but they do show that he's been practicing what Gabrielle taught him, way back when the budding Ravenclaw artist had time for things like making friends with firsties.

The young teen blinks a couple of times at the fairy tirade then makes a pencil switch, "Very well. I'm sorry. I'll change colors!" He hold out the new, lighter blue pencil out for inspection by the tiny, winged woman. The little one peers at it from various angles, finally nods her approval and flies back to her perch, resuming her pose. As Gabriel goes back to drawing he says, "Hello Mr. and Mrs. Evans. Nice too meet you." to which he adds a mumbled, "What's it for?" as he sinks back into his sketching. Samira, well, he does catch a glimpse of her out of the corner of his eye but since he doesn't know her he ignores her, not so much out of rudeness but instead because he's rather focused on his self-imposed task.

Mischief the raven watches the fairy's flight with a hungry enough gaze that Madeline gives a gentle tug on the leather jess the bird is wearing. "You stop that," she chastises. Leaning in near Gabriel's ear she adds, "If we use it to make candies, then whoever eats them…" She can't help but giggle, leaving it at that, as she turns to see who's come up from behind them. "Oh it's! Gosh, I forgot your name already. I'm sorry. Gabriel, she's starting Hogwarts this year - so she's moved all the way from Egypt and she knows loads about," here she drops her voice dramatically, "mummies."

The Evans can only shake their heads at their daughter's theatrics. "A pleasure to meet you, my boy," Cecil responds, his voice rougher and more gravely than most.

"Maddie has spoken of you often," Gladys adds. "Something about chocolates?"

Samira ignores the little boy, but studies his work in progress with some interest. She grins at Madeline before supplying her name. "Samira." She watches Madeline's parents in their strange Muggle clothes with great interest.

The door is pushed open, allowing for Terrance to pass through into the Magical Menagerie. He would after all be needing an owl of his own soon, as one of the family owls was getting a bit old for the demands placed on him. So, with a pocket full of money his parents sent him to purchase an owl. His eyes darted over the many unique beasts as he made his way towards the sounds of hooting. As he walked, he caught sight of young Gabriel and Madeline by the pixies, with the older foreign student beside them. He slowly stepped over towards them, "Well hello to you three." he said kindly offering a nod and smile to each of them.

Gabriel finally stops sketching. In his book about half the fairies on display are complete, something which make the ones that didn't get his full attention clearly displeased.

Looking around himself Gabriel finally internalizes that there are really other people around them and gives everyone a slightly hesitant smile. "Hello Green. Nice to meet you, Samira. Yes, Mrs. Evans, I taught myself how to make animated chocolate animals and spread them around during St. Valentine's Day." This last comment is made with a hint of badly concealed pride in his voice before he finally turns to Maddie and does his Ravenclaw bit, "Mummies are just old human bodies embalmed with special fluids and wrapped in gauze. What's so special about that?"

"Samira! Right! I remember now!" Madeline responds brightly, grinning the older student, while the bird on Madeline's arm busies itself with playing with his owner's hair. "Oh, Green! Hello! Thanks again for that quill - it's really nice! I used it to write a letter last night."

Gabriel's question about mummies gets him a shocked stare, and she repeats his words right back at him - with melodramatics. "Only that they're old human bodies embalmed with special fluids and wrapped in gauze!" she answers. She turns towards Samira to ask, "Is it true they pull their braaaaains out through their nose?"

Amusement dances in Samira's dark eyes as she laughs. Gabriel and Terrance both receive the same polite nod before she glances to Madeline. "Yes, this is true. But, there is more to mummies than that. In truth, preparing a corpse is only the first step. The Inferus spell to animate them is a complex dark magic." Her smile quirks with a wicked mirth.

As he was now near, Terrance heard the last bit about the Mummies and the Inferus Curse used to animate them back to life. "That is some very dark magic.." he said, raising his brow a slight bit as he saw the smile dance on Simara's lips. Then at the thanks he turned to Madeline and gave her a nod, "Not a problem, I am glad to hear you are putting it to use."

Gabriel's head moves as if on a swivel, slowly panning back and forth between Madeline, Samira, and Terrance. Finally settling on Samira, one eyebrow arched slightly in doubt he asks, "Inferus? What kind of spell is that? How does it animate the bodies? Biochemical processes shut down almost immediately after death so does it restart them? Or does it just infuse the body with magical energy and do it that way? Are the bodies autonomous? Or does the caster have to be around constantly to control them? Does it work better with new bodies or with old bodies?" *GASP* Quick! Someone jump in before he keeps going!

Maddie's not going to. She's fascinated by every single question that Gabriel comes up with, and looks towards Samira, expecting all of the answers.

What she doesn't see is her father's scowl at this talk - though it's hard to miss how her mother grabs her by the arm and tries to lead her away. "Aww, mum, this is interesting! It makes a great story! You know I wouldn't reeeeally do magic like that!" she complains.

Samira just grins at Terrance before arching a brow at the interest Gabriel shows. "So keen to learn dark magic, are you? I- Her governess snags Samira by the wrist and leads her away. She seems even more disapproving of such talk than Madeline's parents. "Hey, I was not going to answer their questions. It's not /my/ fault they brought up Inferi." But her governess is having none of it. How /dare/ her charge even entertain a conversation about dark arts? Such a disgrace to their family name. Samira sighs and pays for the tonic waiting for her before getting steered out of the shop. All along, her governess mutters angrily under her breath.

Terrance gave a soft laugh as the talk was quickly quelled by the parents and caretakers. Being left now with Gabriel, he offered a smile. "See what happens when you start asking about the Dark Arts?" he asked with a playful reprieve. Then glancing to the side he spotted a few owls, stepping closer for a look.

Gabriel lets out a dragon-sized sigh and starts putting his art materials away, "Knowledge is a tool, like any other tool. Its not about what you know, its about how you use it." Once he's done putting stuff away he tags along to look at the owls too. And after a few moments points at a small screech owl, "He looks eager."

Madeline ends up in a hushed conversation with her parents, where she offers a little pleading and more than one, "Yes mum," and, "No mum," and "Of course, Da'." The fact that Samira seems to be leaving, however, seems to have a reassuring affect on the girl's parents.

Terrance gives a sideways glance to Gabriel before turning his attention to the screech owl that he had pointed out, "That he does, but I am not sure I want a screech." he said softly, looking for a moment to an Eagle Owl perched proudly.

Ever helpful Gabriel sidles up to the eagle owl's cage and looks at the price tag then lets out a low whistle. "Yep, yep, he's a handsome one. But he looks uppity and kind of snooty. You sure you like this one?" Then he turns back to Mad with a smile and whispers, "That's why I never let my parents come along. I told them non-wizards were not allowed in Diagon Alley so they always just drop me off at the Leaky Cauldron."

Madeline gives Gabriel a wry smile as she rejoins the other two students. "I usually come with uncle Perry like you saw - but mum and dad wanted to see me off on the train tomorrow. I'm surprised you're allowed here on your own, though, after the attacks. Did you just not tell them about it?" she asks.

"I mean - of course my parents found out about it - since uncle Perry was in St. Mungo's and mum had to come all the way to London to pick me up at the Ministry…"

Rubbing at his chin, Terrance gave a light shake of his head to Gabriel. "No, I think you might be right about him being a bit snooty." he said before glancing back to Madeline as she rejoined. Allowing them to talk, he turned back ot the owls, and as he did he spotted a wonderfully kept Laughing Owl. She seemed to be quiet and well-mannered. He moved over, running the back of his finger along her plumage. "Well aren't you a beautiful little thing." he said softly.

Gabriel looks down at the floor and kicks some imaginary pebbles as he says, "I'm almost completely disconnected from everything wizarding over the summer. I did not know about the attacks myself until yesterday."

"…oh," Madeline responds, letting out a quiet sigh. "Well. Maybe that's a lucky thing." Because it was really, really awful.

She stares at the floor for a few seconds before getting a peck in the head by her raven who either doesn't like to see her sulk - or just doesn't like to be ignored. "Ow, Mischief! … fine, fine. Here." Reaching into her pocket, she pulls off a piece of dried meat to offer them.

"Hey, Gabriel. Did you know I'm an Auror now?" the girl tells him.

Terrance smiles at the owl before moving on to the next few. He couldn't help but give a light laugh as Madeline declares herself an Auror, though wouldn't deny she had been closer than he was. The next owl to catch his eye was a proud and stern looking Barking Owl. He observed him for a moment, trying to identify the bird's temperament.

Gabriel turns slowly over to look at Madeline, "An Auror? How did that happen? I thought you needed to study all 7 years then go through something like three more years of training after ward?"

Proudly, the girl produces her shockingly legit looking badge. The quality, the heft, the design… it looks like the real deal! Except for the word 'JR' inserted in front of 'AUROR.' "Auror Odori called me all the way into the Auror's office so she could give it to me," Madeline says. "I'm Jr. Auror Madeline Evans, now! And that's not even all of it!" Like a good story teller, the girl is trying to draw it out.

Terrance looked to the side, another soft laugh escaping him as he watched the younger students discuss Madeline being an Auror. Then he rose a finger, running it along the Barking Owl's side. It seemed to posture itself, showing pride in being noticed. "You might do, strong and not to mean." he said glancing at the owl's cost.

Gabriel is completely distracted from the owls by Mad's badge. Taking it from her when she offers it he turns it over in his hands, giving it the examination it deserves, "So how did this come about?"

"For Courage, Honor, and Duty," Madeline says with a puffed out chest. "That's what she said - that I showed all three, and that I'd helped the Auror's office, and then she gave it to me! But you still don't know what happened next!" the girl exclaims, before lowering her voice and adding in an excited whisper, "To Alphard Black, because he was right there too when I got it."

Nodding at his selection, Terrance takes the tag for the Barking Owl. With his selection made, he turned his attention back to the two. He had not heard the story of how she had gotten the badge, so his interest was regained, at least momentarily.

Gabriel nods sagely, "I can see you showing all three. So do tell, what happened to Black?" He seems a bit eager to hear the news, maybe hoping it was nowhere near as nice as what happened to Mad. Black is a Slytherin, after all. No way he showed any of those qualities…

"One of the Hitwizards got mad at him - 'cuz he wasn't being nice when Rena gave me the badge," Madeline confides in a lowered voice. "So he hit him in the face, and knocked his head into a desk! He had to be rushed off to the infirmary, and his face was bleeding," she confides.

Terrance's eyes went wide as he heard of the Hitwizard hitting the Black causing his face to bleed. "Quite brave of that Hitwizard. The Blacks are not a family to get on the wrong side of." he said in a hushed voice before moving over to the counter to pay for the owl. The clerk smiled taking the money, before moving off to fetch the owl, preparing him for Terrance to take.

Gabriel frowns as he hears this part of the story, his face a study in contradictions. "On one hand, a Slytherin getting a comeuppance… On the other a full grown man, hitting a little kid… I don't know how to feel about this…"

"Not just a full grown man - a Hitwizard," Maddie confirms. "It was weeeeeeird. I think he lost his job, though," she says solemnly. Understandably, of course. "Oh, and Eibon - you know, Angelus, in our House," she nods to include Terrance, "He's really jealous of my badge. He tried to steal it even, I think. Like he'd ever earn something for courage, and honor, and duty."

Off to the side, Madeline's parents are looking at some of the stranger animals in the Menagerie, and occasionally checking on their daughter.

Terrance glance over to Madeline as she said this, giving her a slightly disappointed look. Talking bad of her own house? Then he turned back to the clerk, taking his new owl from them.

Gabriel looks down at the Muggle watch strapped to his wrist and then jumps in a little start of surprise, "Ohoh! I'm late! My parents have been waiting for ten minutes already and Da' is /not/ patient when it comes to timeliness. Bye Maddie, Green!" And with that he dashes out the door, the knapsack full of art supplies trailing behind him at the end of one arm.

"See you tomorrow, Gabe!" Madeline calls after the boy, waving her hand wildly - and managing to dislodge Mischief, who circles over her head, croaking in protest, and contained by his jess.

With owl now in hand, Terrance turned to see Gabriel hurry out of the shop, "Till tomorrow, Gabriel." he called out and then glanced over to Madeline, "I should probably be headed home as well. I still have to pack my trunk, and my stuff is all over my house." he said with a friendly smile, obviously not holding the Angleus comment against her.

"See you tomorrow!" Madeline answers Terrance cheerfully. "And nice owl!" She turns her attention upwards to her raven, however. "Come on, Mischief. Let's get a mouse. Want a mouse, Mischief? Hrm?" She seems to be all she needs to get the bird to settle onto her arm again. Ooo! A mouse!

Terrance nods in agreement as he makes his way over to the door. "Thank you!" he calls out to Maddie, before pushing through the door and into the alley.

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