(1939-09-06) Catching Up
Details for Catching Up
Summary: After seeing each other at the Three Broomsticks, Annie and Tim meet outside, having not talked for a year and a half. Their conversation starts tentatively, and ends with Annie agreeing to do some 'spying' at Hogwarts for the Daily Prophet photographer.
Date: 6 September 1939
Location: Hogsmeade Village
Plot: Headmaster from Hell
Related: Reacquaintances

With more students finding their way into the Three Broomsticks, Annie figures it's high time to skedaddle out of there. It has almost nothing to do with the irishman who left just prior to her. And Annie is only hurrying because of the students. Once clear of the door she stops, sniffing the air for the scent of smoke, turning to find it's source.

Tim is leaning against a lamp post enjoying his cigarette and people watching, but mostly he's watching the door to the Three Broomsticks. When Annie comes out and lifts her head to sniff at the air, the sun low on the horizon makes for a great picture and he can't help himself and there's the all to familiar *pop* of his camera when he takes the picture.

That sound as much as the smoke has Annie turned and her eyes find Tim where he leans. She doesn't take pictures in the same way he does, but she has a whole album of moments like this in her head. Her steps are consciously taken, partly holding back, partly having to force herself forward, her heart thumping a bit faster. The hand holding the napkin moves enough to indicate it, and she says, "Uncle Richard has been very well, ta. Have you?" She's kept up with what makes it into the Prophet about the Banshee, but she knows well that the real story never quite makes it there.

Tim rests the camera back down onto his chest and rights from the lamp post. He gives a nervous smile when she approaches and tucks his hands into his pockets as he's got the urge to scoop her up and give her a kiss. When asked how he is he tilts his head from side to side. The news about her uncle has him brandishing that boyish grin. He's been chewing on his tongue as she crossed the street so he manages a rather clear, "Glad to hear. Keeping me head down. There was a woman… ss-sh-she got 'urt. T-tryin to do wot The Banshee does. He's been quiet pretty much evar since. 'E Sent a letter to the woman saying 'e was sorry for givin' the impression it was a th-th-thing to do. That 'e had training and nothin' to lose. He weren't doin' it to be famous… 'e was doin' it because he wanted the world to be a safer place." He speaks about the Banshee like any photojournalist with an inside scoop does. "Are ye livin' 'ere again?"

"I was concerned," Annie admits softly, "When the stories got so far between." She understands what he's doing, with people still around them on the street. "I will be, likely within a few days. I was staying with Rhyeline, but feel like I'm imposing, and I've kept in touch with the old dears that own the cottage up the road. They'd like me t'look after the place again. I was cleanin'," she adds, with a vague flap of her arm in the direction of the cottage. "Are yeh still in town?" She knows he is, she's gone past the house. "An' Bowie? Is he well?"

Tim perks up with a soft little smile at Rhyeline's name. "'Ows the lil mouse?" He asks affectionately, shy people unite. "Tell'r I said good on for the engagement. Caught a Malfoy, surprisin but grand on 'er." With Annie in the Wizard only Village he lets loose his brogue, as there's no fear of getting mobbed by angry mugggles fearing he's going to plant a bomb somewhere. "Aye, same place. Bowie, oi 'e misses ye more than I do. Which is sayin somefin. Sits by the window in yer room. 'E thought 'e saw ye the other day. Came runnin' down the stair hollerin' bout ye. Stood at the door after waitin for a full hour for ye to knock."

Tim's smile is mirrored on Annie's lips, the tension of the moment easing as talking becomes more familiar. "I will tell her, she'll be pleased t'hear from yeh." Possibly. But she was the one that told Annie to go see Tim and confront her fears. OK, maybe it didn't exactly happen that way, but it's happened all the same. Hearing that Bowie saw her linger outside the house, and his reaction, makes it necessary for her to drop her eyes to hide a stab of pain and shimmer of tears. "I miss him as well," she says softly. There's a pause and her voice drops to barely audible. "An' yeh." Almost as soon as the words leave her lips Annie head raises, and she looks around. She clears her throat, not looking back at Tim for a good couple minutes.

Tim isn't aware that it was her out there, it was meant to be sort of a funny light, Bowie did the funniest of things. But to her reaction he realizes he botched that up. Despite better judgement he reaches over to give her bicep a little squeeze and rub. "Ye should come by an' see'm." When she is avoiding his gaze he clears his throat. "I'm sorry I made ye sad. I din't mean for it to come cross like tha."

The apology swings Annie's eyes over immediately, her brow lightly furrowed. "Tim, yeh didn't make me sad. Well… I mean, alright, it made me sad, but it's not yeh that's at fault." She has to pause, and offers a crooked smile at a curious look as one of the villagers goes by, and a group of students across the street call out "Miss Taylor!" and wave. Ravenclaws, of course, the denizens of the library. She waves but doesn't call back, instead looking to Tim again. "I know yeh'll need t'get back t'work an' all but… maybe yeh'd like a bit of a walk." To get away from all the curious eyes.

Tim waves his hand at the notion he's got to get back to work. "Flint might not let us in til tomorrow or a week from now, it'll at least me a few hours more. My partner is snug as a bug in there eavesdroppin'. I would very mmm-mmuch like to have a walk." He offers his arm to Annie and then tilts his head to the side in an 'after ye' manner.

There's a hesitation before Annie takes the offered arm, and her touch is light, tentative. It might strike Tim that she's afraid, and that would be accurate. Afraid of being so desperate for the comfort of his arms that she loses her head. She falls into step beside him, leading the way down the road, toward the cottage, and attempts to cover her awkwardness with words. "I'd like t'come see Bowie, thank yeh for invitin' me."

Tim seems to walk with a bit more confidence when he's along with Annie. "Aye, course, ye are welcome to stop by any time. Iffin I'm out, ye feel free to sit a while wif Bowie." His tone is very welcoming. Like he doesn't hold an ounce of grudge. How could he? She had a sick uncle and he understood his secret was a lot to take. There really is no ill will from him in the least. "Ye look good. Wif yer uncle being well, are ye workin' at the Library again?" He did note the students paying her a bit of attention more than they would a simple local, but it is Annie and according to Tim, that's worth all the extra attention.

Annie had worried most about having broken her promise to Tim, to not break his heart. But his confidence, as always, puts her at ease. It's a rare combination they seem to have, her bolstering him and that echoing back to ease her own mind about most things. She relaxes in measures, a bit with each step. "When I decided t'come back t'London, I inquired after a position at Hogwarts. I'm assistant t'Madam Patil, just started this past week." There's a note of pride in the words, and Tim would know better than most how delighted she must be to be back at the school. If only the school was being normal.

Tim beams down that boyishly charming smile at Annie, "Tha's fantastic! Good on Annie!" He gives her hand on his arm a little congratulatory pat and rub and he does come down to kiss her cheek in a friendly peck of congratulations as well. "Ye don't happen to be willin' to sneak my camera in an snap some pictures o' what's goin on in there? Nae is a fine answer, I don't want ye to get into trouble and lose yer job Annie….nevermind me askin." He shakes his head ashamed that he'd ask and put her at risk like that.

That smile is Annie kryptonite, always has been, knocking down any defenses as it makes his eyes dance. She's pleased by his enthusiasm, and surprised by the quick buss to her cheek, bringing him near enough to tickle her nose with the familiar scents, photography powders, cigarette smoke, and just the lightest hint of whiskey. Scents that her heart always considered home, none of which have tickled her nose in the same way for a year and a half. It unbalances her for a moment, but she's pulled back by Tim's question, and she stops their progress with a light tug, turning to look at him earnestly. "What kind of pictures, Tim? I'll take yer camera in, havin' a job at the Hogwarts that is now isn't nearly as important as trying to help it get back to normal." She's already decided to put herself on the line trying to help students. In for a penny, in for a pound.

Tim turns to look at her and it's pretty clear as day that he still adores her as much as he used to, the time away did nothing to dampen it. He's clearly not over her but he keeps things professional though her in for a pound does strike that urge to scoop her up again. But professionalism wins out and he shifts around his camera. "Anythin' tha ye think the public needs to see. Only rumors have been filtering out. Lil kids bullied by the upperclassmen. Students given rights to 'arrest' other students. Some pictures of the 'special class'. I trust yer wit an' eye to capture some good snaps."

Annie knows that affection in his eyes, and sight of it gives her a spark of hope that she didn't bollocks up the works entirely with her panic and poor judgement. "Would it help any if I got yeh copies of some of the memos?" The order they got in the library about the new restrictions on muggle-born students alone would be strong evidence of the abuse of power going on. "An' I could try an' get yeh a copy of the new 'textbook' they've given the students. It's a disgrace, how they're bein' treated. Tim, that could've been me." Granted, she wasn't the best student, but that only makes it more of an outrage for the bright minds she knows are being pushed down with all this.

Tim has never been mad at Annie, it's why he's never gotten over her and while the whole blind date thing Phil arranged with Isobel was nice to meet a lovely person, there just wasn't much in the way of romance and it puttered out into just friendship. "All tha would be spot on Annie. Amazin' as ever, ye. Is there anythin' else ye can think o' tha will help shed light on what's goin on? Ye aren't in any danger now are ye?" He is worried about what getting caught might mean for her and that's apparent, but he's trying not to be over-protective and let her do what she wants to do.

Given this new track, and actual purpose which makes her feel less like she's floundering for a way to do some good, Annie puts her mind to what she might be able to get off the grounds and turn over to Tim. With her mind occupied, it's old habits that find her hand sliding into his as she turns to start them walking again along the road. "No, I'm trying to present a neutral front. I think some of the Magijugend beasties think I ought to be kissin' their… ah… be bowin' down t'them more, but I'm tryin' t'treat everyone th'same. I don't want them too interested in me, I can't do any good that way."

Tim is pleasantly surprised by her hand sliding into his. Though he does realize she's in a zone and so he doesn't get his hopes up too much. However he entangles his fingers with hers and nods along as he listens, "Neutrality is good. Just promise me you'll do your best to not get caught, I'd 'ate meself if ye got fired from yer dream job Annie. I appreciate yer willing to 'elp. But it's hard to stomach that someone else gettin 'urt tryin to do my job." Again he refers to the Valkyrie and how that shocked him out of his mission for a while. In this case it's an even bigger deal to him because it's not some stranger, it's the love of his life putting herself at risk.

Annie frowns lightly as she thinks. "I'm not even sure the Headmaster knows I exist, Tim. Truthfully, it was Professor Dumbledore an' Madam Patil that handled my hirin'." And maybe there was a purpose behind it that Annie didn't fathom. "I think… I hope… that if I got tossed out during all this, they'd take me back when things are back t'normal." She shrugs lightly as she adds, "And even if I didn't get t'go back t'Hogwarts, it's worth it. My job isn't more important than any one of those students. Even those I feel in the wrong might at least learn a lesson. Good will always out." She sounds confident in a way that she used to, that all would end up being right with the world. It's easier to feel that next to Tim, although she doesn't realize that fully yet. "I'll do whatever I have't."

Tim lifts her hand in his so that he can give the back of her hand a little kiss. "Well so 'elp'm if they do anythin' tha 'urt ye." An Annie in distress means Tim won't stop until he's broken onto campus and can give Flint the fright of his life! As they walk he does so a bit on automatic, all the times he walked her back to her cottage he could do it blind folded. "They'd be idjits nae to, though sure as all ye could get work in London again iffin all goes to pot."

The kiss brings Annie's attention to her hand nestled safely in his, and she can't help a crooked smile at his words. "I know yeh'd always come for me, Tim." She hms softly. "I'll land on my feet, come what may. It's only a job, an' there will be another." Her dream job, sure, but worth losing over this. They're nearly all the way down the street to the cottage and Annie's steps slow, reluctant to arrive quite so soon.

Tim isn't in a huge rush either his pace slows along with hers and his thumb lightly rubs at her hand. To her words he nods and smiles softly. "Aye, always." He states to being there for her. Then to lighten up things a little he playfuly acts dumb as he compliments. "That's a lovely necklace. Some one must have fancied ye a great deal to give ye that."

Annie laughs softly, her free hand, still with the napkin crushed into her palm, coming up to touch the sentimental baubles. She goes along playfully, nodding her head, "Ta. Someone did. Fancied him as well. S'why I wear it close t'my heart." She gives his hand a light swing, twisting her torso a bit as well, sending her skirt rustling softly as it moves.

Tim laughs and gets that boyish grin of his, "Ye are so fine Annie Taylor." There was a split moment there between firstname and surname where he alsmost said Moody. But he switched names in his head fast enough that he didn't verbally slip up. There was a blink though as he processed it in his mind. "I missed ye so."

Stopping at the low stone wall set around the property, Annie turns to look up at Tim, her smile a gentle curve on her lips. "I missed yeh as well. I'm sorry I didn't come t'see yeh when I got back t'town. I just didn't know if yeh'd wanted t'see me." She pauses, then admits, "I saw yeh. Last week, yeh came through the Cauldron."

Tim blushes a little even though his eyes give her a little squint of a scolding, "Not want to see ye? Tsk." He shakes his head and gives her hand a little squeeze. "Aye, I do tha, twice a day really." It's a bit more of a tease, him going through the Cauldron is a common occurance. "Shame I din't see ye. Usually just breeze tru."

Annie wrinkles her nose at Tim's teasing, squeezing his hand in return. "Cheeky. Yeh did breeze through." And then Annie promptly got piss drunk and had to be escorted home. She may even admit that to him as well, eventually. "Will yeh pop by with a camera for me, or shall I come 'round t'the house? Yeh'll have t'give me a refresher in usin' it."

Tim blushes all the more when he's called cheeky. "Sorry." He apologizes genuinely for his cheek. "Aye, tommorow would be fine. Perfect. Your camera is still in your room, so ye can brush the dust off of it. Would ye stay for a while? Maybe 'ave a meal?"

"Don't be sorry. I even missed yer cheek," Annie says softly. There's a nod to the invitation. "I'd like that, t'come by for a bit. I've been asked t'come in t'help Madam Patil in the library… but I think it's somethin' else. But I'll come by before, an' if it's anything very important I'll make sure t'let yeh know." Blue eyes shift to the house, then back up to Tim's face. She takes a sigle step backwards, their arms stretched between them from joined hands. "So I'll see yeh t'morrow then…"

Tim can disguise himeself from everyone around him, but not with her. She knows that look it's pretty clear by the way he doesn't let go of her hand and the wa that he's looking longingly at her that he does want to pull her back to him for a good-bye kiss. But in restraint he bows over to give her hand in his a kiss and then straightens up. "See ye anon."

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