(1939-09-14) Muddy Tea Party
Details for Muddy Tea Party
Summary: Annie and Elspeth share some tea with Madeleine… and try to share with Myrus
Date: 14 September, 1939
Location: Hogwarts Grounds
Plot: Headmaster from Hell

It's a sunny Sunday afternoon, fair enough for it to be a good day to be outdoors, yet not overly warm. Some of the trees are starting to turn their Autumn colours already, bright splashes of yellow, orange, and red among the green. Although it's her day off, Annie has taken the walk up from Hogsmeade after sending a morning owl to invite Elspeth out onto the grounds for a small picnic.

The assistant librarian has chosen one of the marble benches to share, thinking a full out picnic with a blanket and all might make the pair appear just a little too chummy. No, she's just a faculty member having a spot of tea with a student over a matter of academic interest. She has a thermos out, similar to those a muggle might carry, but charmed to keep the contents warm, two cups and a little bag on which she's set an assortment of biscuits. Her satchel rests at her feet like a faithful dog, bulky with it's hidden contents.

With her own satchel over her shoulder, and her hair allowed to hang down her back where she's pulled the front back and tied it at the nape of her neck, Elspeth crosses the lawn at a steady pace. The prefect's badge is still in place on her uniform, as she's been concientiously herding Ravenclaws to the SCUMS classes. If only because it affords amusement to watch Professor "Tash" Burke flounder in the face of their reasoning.
Looking at the tea, she cranes her neck slightly to peek in the bag, unable to contain her curiosity. "I hope your trip to Diagon Alley went all right," she says as she lifts the strap over her head so she can set her own bag on the bench.

Annie's got a few different styles of biscuits set out, some with fruit fillings, some almond flavored, and, of course, the ever steady digestibles. She smiles as Elspeth nears and begins pouring them two cups of tea. "Miss Rosen," she greets. "It was a smashing success on many fronts. I managed t'get all my errands done in one afternoon, and had th'evening free t'relax." The older witch sets one of the cups nearer to Elspeth. "I hope that cream and a bit of sugar is alright? It was earlier t'just add them in at home."

"A smashing success?" Elspeth grins, settling herself more comfortably and reaching for the tea as it is handed to her. "A little bit of sugar is fine," However, beyond the initial inquiry in her voice for the success of the weekend, she doesn't pursue it any further. "Are those… almond?"

Annie grins, nodding her head to confirm the answer to the question. The first one. She also lets the topic drop for now, since there isn't very much for them to discuss about it, nor is it prudent to do so. She points to the cookies as she names them, "Yes, almond there, raspberry jam and plain. I always like to have a choice, and I think those three just go lovely together." She takes a sip of tea, just warm enough without being scalding hot, before she asks in a low voice, "And how are things in the school this weekend?"

"Oh, it is mostly the same old school that you left behind," Elspeth replies, taking a sip of her tea. "Although.. there is a new painting in the art gallery. Apparently, the hallway across from the library was not the proper place to hang it." There is a little bit of a merry gleam in her eye as she reaches out a hand for an almond biscuit. "Raspberry and almond are two wonderful flavors in baking. My parents make a little … danish, they are called. With almond flavoring in the pastry and a raspberry filling."

The grin on the young librarian's face turns more to a smirk, and Annie nods her appreciation. "I hadn't seen it on my arrival Friday morning. It took Mister Eibon pointin' it out. 'Course, I went to Madam Patil immediately," she says with a tone of mock dismay in her words. "It was just unfortunate that Pringle didn't have th'time t'remove it until so late in th'day." There's a soft chuckle as she adds, "I'll have t'make time t'go see it in it's new home." She chooses a raspberry jam biscuit for herself, looking interested at the mention of baked good. "I'll bet that's just lovely."

"It is quite… gratifying? Is that how I should say it? To see it hanging on display," Elspeth remarks, with a definite glow of pride in her eyes. "I will ask Aba and Ima to send you some. Maybe the should send them to your cottage? I know how hard it is sometimes at the school, people always helping themselves to your treats."

"So it was then…." Annie speculates, giving Elspeth a knowing look but not voicing her suspicion aloud. As a couple of Slytherin students wander past, Annie's tone changes, a note of hardness coming as she says, "Just disgraceful, and well out of there." There's disapproval that she doesn't truly feel, but she's becoming more and more adept at masking her true feelings in order to 'play the game'. Her eyes follow the pair, although her head doesn't move, and as soon as they're far enough down the path her voice is soft and kind once more. "It was brilliant, I think." The kind offer of bakery brightens her eyes, "That would be lovely, Miss Rosen, and so very kind."

Elspeth hangs her head suitably as the Slytherins pass, but she glances up with a grin when Annie returns to her honest assessment. "It is nothing. You are, after all, a old housemate. It is only being polite to share with a housemate." She grins. "Not to mention that if they are sending them to you, they won't be confiscated."

Annie sips her tea, taking a nibble from her biscuit. "And next time we have tea, I'll bring them along. The newest faculty member sighs lightly, shifting to get marginally more comfortable on the marble bench off the path, where she sits with Elspeth. The assortment of biscuits set out on the bench gets a moment of consideration, before her eyes lift to Elspeth, her voice lowered again. "I have that item for you." She leans forward, pulling her satchel up from it's place at her feet, and settling it in her lap. A small bag is withdrawn from the larger one, looking to be made from a durable fabric. "The bag is charmed, so it will be less conspicuous. And the contents also, so it is not identifiable by just anyone." It's handed over to Elspeth without any particular fanfare, no real notice brought to it.

The item is taken, flipped over, then peeked at in the bag. Elspeth gives a little smile. "Thank you, Miss Taylor." She takes another bite from her biscuit and sits in companiable silence for a bit. "Do you have any favorite fairy tales, Miss Taylor? I have the two volumes of Grimm's Fairy tales at home. They really are cautionary tales, are they not?"

Myrus was walking by himself. A more and more commonplace action since purebloods had recently few and far between calling him a blood traitor for hanging around muggleborns and helping them out. And called somewhat of a prude by the muggleborns because, let's face it, his own father had sent him yet another letter outlining that if it gets back to him one more time that Myrus was called out as being a blood traitor and disregarding the 'Greater Good For Pure Wizarding Blood Heritage', that he would be cut off once again from family funds. Meaning expulsion due to financial reasons. And the possibility of financial hardship and still maintaining student status was beyond Myrus' knowledge currently.
A muggle-born from his own house walks past him the opposite direction.
No response. Myrus keeps walking up the path with a pensive expression and his hands crammed into his pockets.

And as many might have already heard, Myrus was teaching muggleborns how to cook. Obviously so they could eat more than what's meagerly being offered at meals in the great hall, but that has all but stopped within the last few days.

Annie puts aside her cup, now less than half filled with tea, returns her bag to the ground, and looks out over the sweeping expanse of Hogwarts lawn. "I rather fancy the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk. Standing up against giants, against all odds. The women in fairy tales seem t'be such withering flowers, or, if they're brave like Gretel, they're doing horrible things t'witches." There's a lightness with this, her hand coming up to push her hair back from her face. The turn of her head puts her eyes on Myrus, and she watches him walk for a moment. She believe's she's seen him in the library and that he looked somewhat familiar, and this opportunity is taken to ask Elspeth, with a nod toward him, "He was here when I was, yes? I've not had a chance t'ask."

Stowing her little package in her satchel, Elspeth looks up to Annie, then across to Myrus. "He was being here, yes. He has been growing taller, has he not?" She glances back. "He is being on the quidditch team as well, and has even helped the muggle born at times." She shakes her head. "I do not how long it is going to be before the other purebloods are being on his case."

Myrus begins to stroll after a long sigh and a light breeze pushes the hair on top of his head to flit about for a moment before laying back down where it wants. As he strolls two young Slytherin run past. 'Mud-lover', and 'go play with the mud'. Two phrases he was hearing more and more often. He simply smiles with a genuine smile that could melt a heart on a first date. But that quickly fades, and his eyes fall down to the fallen leaves that denote that fall is soon upon them in full swing.
He stops to look up and out at a cloud, sitting there on it's own between two storms. Unable to decide which one to join and become a greater part of nature. And there he stares for those fleeting moments, looking off in the distance, at a simple, and undecisive cloud on the horizon.

With his attention far away, Annie watches the interaction between Myrus and the others, her eyes lingering as he stops and ponders the sky. With what Elspeth has said, Annie can understand, at least somewhat, the young man's predicament, caught between heart and blood. "He has gotten taller," she observes to the younger witch. "His name is almost right there… Rowe?" There's a doubtful note, she doesn't think that's quite it, clearly, and she squints at him a moment, as if that'll bring the correct name to the surface. Or, hopefully, it'll be supplied by Elspeth.

"Your memory is quite wonderful, Miss Taylor, you are being close. Lowe? We are having tea and biscuits, would you like some?" She glances back to the Librarian. "The tale of the beanstalk is being a good one. I am wishing that there were more girls who are being strong without being mean. I am also wishing there were more stories where witches were being good, and not evil." The tea and biscuits that she has offered are set on the bench between the Ravenclaw prefect and the Assistant Librarian. The two ladies seem to be sitting out, taking in the afternoon sun on one of the few nice days left as autumn begins to set in.

Rus turns at the sound of his name being called to him. He'd been lost in thought beforehand, so their conversation was lost on him thus far. But now he's being offered tea and biscuits.
'But… muggleborn..' chimed in the back of his head as he started towards them, and that thought just stopped him in his tracks. His mind wandered to those that would have him grouped with the muggleborns in their minds, to include his own father, if he sat down and was seen with them. And those that would call him a biggot for not sitting with them, reason given or not.
His eyes narrow in angry frustration as he shakes his head, gives a pensive frown, and turns back up the path to walk back towards Hogwarts proper in a very slow, deliberate fashion. Though he merely turned toward the castle as of yet. He still hasn't taken any steps toward it. So for now he just stands there, looking grumpy and facing the castle proper. Such a bind.

Madeline has been climbing trees. It's as good a way to pass an afternoon as any. Unfortunately, her escort has tired of practicing his magic outdoors and has started in, the little second year tromping along behind him, seeming to make a game of something as she leaps from oneside to the other, seeming to calculate her jumps very carefully, her bookback slapping on her rump with each leap. She gets pretty close traveling in this way until she finally spots the pair on the bench, and smiles at them brightly. "Oh! Hello!" the girl greets them. "I'll be okay here!" she calls after her escort, waving brightly, before trotting over to the group. "Are you having a picnic?" she asks brightly.

Lowe, of course, that's it. Annie's head inclines in a bare nod at the correction, and her eyes are still on Myrus as he turns, then turns away. It's painful to see the struggle and be able to do so little about it. She dealt with some taunts in her school days, and is thankful that so few here now know of her own heritage. Not because of how she might be treated, but moreso because she can accomplish more the farther under notice she remains. She glances around, the paths clear with Madeline's approach still moments away, and raises her voice only enough to carry to him. "It's alright." Hopefully her understanding carries in the words. Her voice drops as her eyes turn to Elspeth. "It's already startin' for him." Then there's a Maddie on the scene, and Annie's smile comes. "Afternoon, Miss Evans. Havin' a cuppa and a biscuit, care for one?" There are several on a bag, some raspberry jam, almond, and digestives.

Elspeth nods once to Annie. "It is. And half bloods are being pressured to be choosing sides by the Magijugend." She watches Myrus for a moment, then stands up and gives a rueful look to Annie, and a look to her satchel on the bench for the Librarian to guard it for her for a moment. Taking a couple of the biscuits with her, she walks over to the slightly taller Ravenclaw. Stepping closer to him, she talks quietly with him for a few moments, handing over the biscuits, then offers him a little smile before she returns to the bench.
"Hullo Evans. Just some tea and biscuits. I happened to be passing by Miss Taylor while she was enjoying the day, and she was offering to share with me. The almond biscuits are being very good, may I be trying a raspberry one, Miss Taylor?"

As Elspeth comes up to him and speaks to him, he sighs audibly, and watches her walk back to the bench. Then he starts to say a word, "Myself.." a couple times, looking over at the castle, then at the ground in front of him, then up at the sky. Each spot he looks at gets the same word.
A contemplative frown and an approving nod, he looks at the ladies over at the bench. Thinking about himself was very bad news when he and Esther fell out. One of the scariest things he had felt, ever. The joy of being absolutely wretched to her, and the drunkenness of power when she was afraid of him. NO different than other people in this world that were currently causing rebellion.
It needs more fear to be effective. He closes his eyes and starts shaking his head, "No.. nonono.. I can't do that. That causes lots of problems that noone needs."

"Oh, Gosh that's awful nice, a biscuit would be lovely," Madeline answers brightly. "Are they really pressuring people? That's just stupid," she remarks, slipping into Elspeth's spot as the older student gets up. She picks up one of the almond biscuits, nibbling at it before letting out a happy, "Mmm! These are good!"
At Elspeth's return, she starts scooting over, trying to give enough room for the older girl to slip into her spot once more.

Although Annie seems to have let her attention shift to Madeline, getting the youngest sorted with a cup from Annie's bag, there's an eye on Elspeth as she speaks to Myrus for a moment. When Elspeth returns to sit, Annie remains aware of Myrus as she pours tea for Madeline. "Of course, Elspeth," she says, "try the raspberry." The older witch looks to Elspeth questioningly, worriedly, no idea what was said to cause this reaction.

"Thank you, Evans," Elspeth says politely, sitting in the space left by the second year. She accepts the biscuit with a smile, and takes a nibble from it while she settles her satchel to give Madeleine and herself a little more room to sit. At the questioning look she seems somewhat serene and just gives a little shake to her head. Whatever she said to Myrus, she seems all right with leaving it alone with that.

Myrus at this point is just.. a touch of a mess, but he at least has something in his head that makes him look at Elspeth, and with a simple nod, "Thank you for your input, Rosen." As a young slythrin arrives. One of the two that had jibed at Myrus a few minutes ago. "Ooo, a mud picnic. Sipping mud tea, having mud-crusted crumpets!"
And Myrus just holds his hands up, and steps back a couple paces with a nearly contented smile, and turns to walk away towards the castle.

"Thank you Miss Taylor," Madeline says happily when she's offered a cup. She takes a sip, not seeming to pay much attention to Myrus - though the Slytherin earns her gaze. For just a moment she looks angry, before abruptly breaking into a smile. "Hellu! It's really good! I think it's earl grey - is it earl grey, Miss Taylor? And the biscuits are fresh! Come have some!"

Annie is conflicted, but still, willing to stand back and let Elspeth's judgment have reign on this one, not knowing what words were exchanged. There's a dubious look toward Myrus, until the snide words of a returned Slytherin catch her ear. Her blue eyes turn steely as she focuses on the young wizard, "Mister Nott, one more word out of you and I'll advise Madam Patil that the lessons of last week were lost on you and should be repeated." He'd had a similar outburst in the library, and it was not taken lightly. Granted, it's not hard for someone of dubious observational powers to have missed that it's the new assistant librarian sitting there and not another student. Annie is still not amused. She stands as she gives the rebuke, stepping to position herself more in front of Elspeth and Madeline. Thankfully, he's young enough to be intimidated by authority, and has the brains to scuttle off without another jibe thrown in their direction.

Elspeth is spared having to do anything Prefect like about the young Slytherin as Annie stands up, and so she contents herself with her biscuit and a wink to Madeleine. "And how are you doing this fine evening, Evans? It is being lucky that I am not having to protect my treat from Mischief."

Madeline watches Annie chase off the student, allowing herself a brief hint of a satisfied smirk, before she quickly covers it up with her teacup. Looking to Elspeth, she answers, "Oh, poor Mischief. I've kept her so busy running letters this year, I've barely seen her at all. She's probably sleeping in a tree right now…"

Annie sits back down, glaring after the retreating troublemaker, smoothing her skirt. It takes her a moment to collect her thoughts back from that encounter, and remember that she has something for Madeline as well. "Miss Evans," she says, pulling her back back up into her lap, "I found you something at Diagon Alley this weekend. After I stopped by to visit your parents." She pulls out a small bag, roughly half the size of the gas mask that Madeline has been instructed to carry. "This is made with a special charm, it looks small but will hold your gas mask, so that it's not so obvious and you can keep it on you."

"Gas mask?" Elspeth wonders, looking at the little bag. Her glance goes between the two, and then she shakes her head. "Poor Mischeif," she adds with a grin.

"At least it's keeping her out of trouble!" Madeline answers, before her gaze goes to what Annie offers her. "Oh, Miss Taylor, you didn't have to and do something like that! Why, you're just swell!" She's all smiles as she takes the bag, then looks around, before digging out the large cylinder her gas mask is stored in. "My da' says I gotta keep it with me all the time," she tells Elspeth. "He fought in the Great War, you see," she adds, as she starts slipping the canister into the bag."Why that just works - well - like a charm, don't it?"

Annie doesn't still the urge to reach out and give Madeline's hair a soft stroke. "I spent some nice time with yer folks, Miss Evans. They asked me t'remind yeh t'mind yer manners," she says with a pointed but still gentle look at the girl. "And have authorized me t'take matters into my hands, should I see yeh actin' out." She quickly tops off each of the girls' cups, then slips the thermos and her own cup into her bag. "I've got t'be off, still things for me t'do today. Bring the cups by the library when yeh can, an' enjoy th'rest of the biscuits, ladies."

As she's already almost finished with her tea, Elspeth finishes it, then glances around. Pulling out her wand, she does a quick cleaning charm before handing it over, and smiles to Annie. "Thank you, Miss Taylor. I will be letting Evans take the rest of the biscuits with her to the Gryffindor common room." Pulling her satchel strap over her head, she stands up and settles it in place, her wand safely stowed away. "I should be continuing on as well, but it was being a lovely little break to be sitting with you for a little while."

"See you around!" Madeline says to Elspeth before returning her attention to Annie, looking a little cowed, even by the librarian's gentle words. "They just get me so mad sometimes," she murmurs quietly. "Especially Eibon." She lets out a sigh. "But I'm trying, really. Thank you for going out to see 'em, I can tell their worried this year - what with everything."

There's a sympathetic look for Madeline, and Annie says, "I know, but yeh have't rise above, poppet. Come t'the library when yeh need some quiet, both of yeh. We're workin' hard t'keep it a safe place." There's a smile for Elspeth. "Let me know if I c'n be of more help." Everything gathered up and put away, Annie shoulders her bag and heads for the gates, to walk back to Hogsmeade.

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