(1939-11-11) Darts and Fluffy Slippers
Details for Darts and Fluffy Slippers
Summary: Zoe comes down from her room for a cup of coffee in a pair of fluffy slippers and challenges Shelley to a game of darts. When Shelley wins, she buys Zoe another cup of coffee. The conversation turns to careers and Zoe decides to open a coffee shop.
Date: Tuesday, November 11th, 1939
Location: The Leaky Cauldron

Shelley has been a regular patron at the Leaky Cauldron this week - and has had a few drinks bought in her honor by folks who'd read of her recent adventures in the paper. At the moment, she's seat alone, at one of her usual tables - a table that lets her put her back to the wall, and keep and eye on the doors. She has a bottle of firewhiskey on her table, and a glass in her hand. There's also the remains of a basket of chips.

Zoe drifts down from the upstairs rooms like a sleepwalker - except her slender eyes are open, albeit just barely. The girl seems up to her ankles in white fluff. Two balls of fluffiness incarnate have swallowed her little feet. "Coooffee…" she murmurs, trudging to the bar. She doesn't even manage to make it up onto a bench before she slumps forward to rest her chin on the counter. "Cooooffee… with cream… and all the sugar… Please."

Shelley's eyes follow the girl as she crosses the room, amusement reflected in her gaze. She shakes her head slightly, then takes another sip of her whiskey. Just what is the girl wearing on her feet, anyways? And does everything need to be so melodramatic at that age?

Zoe seems to have dozed off until Reece sets down a cup an inch from her nose. Lifting her head, Zoe pulls her coffee close take a long, deep draught. With a soft sigh of bliss, she grins up at him. "Thaaank you, Reece… You are the prince of mornings." He chuckles and reminds her that the sun just set. Zoe waves away this minor detail. "Bah. It's just rising in Dhaka…"
Rising from the bar, Zoe meanders across the room with her cup of coffee. In those fluff ball slippers, her steps make no sound. She comes to stand before the charmed dart board. After a moment of consideration, plucks one of the darts and turns to face Shelley. "Hello. Care for a game?" She offers the tail of the dart with a grin.

Shelley studies the girl, and the dart board, before shrugging her shoulders. "I suppose. Are we going to make it interesting?" she asks. She rises to her feet - picking up her bottle of firewhiskey, so she can place it somewhere in her line of vision. A paranoid auror never turns their back on their drink, after all. "Ante in three sickles each?"

Zoe sets her still half-full cup of coffee next to the whiskey. "Perfect. I have sickles upstairs. If you win, I will fetch them." Not nearly so paranoid, she turns away from her cup to fetch the rest of the darts. She hands Shelley the blue ones and keeps the red ones for herself. "But, the winner has to buy the other their next round. Deal?"

"Fair enough," Shelley agrees. She takes the dice she's handed, and gestures for Zoe to go first. "Best of luck," she wishes the girl, while considering the dart board.
…she's really much better at cards.

Zoe snags her cup of coffee and considers the dart board as she takes a sip. The colors alternate and the bull's eye shifts around seemingly at random. With a tilt of her head, Zoe flicks the dart forward. "Aiyaa…" she breathes in good-natured exasperation. "It caught the edge. But, two points for me! Good luck- oh, what can I call you?"

"Shelley," she offers simply, as she considers the board. She hefts the dart in her hand, feeling its balances, before lifting it for a toss. It lands on the outer third of the board, and earns a quiet 'hrm' from Shelley. Not bad, she supposes.

"Ah! Two points for you. Not terrible. But! My score will soon leave yours buffeted in its wake." Zoe takes Shelley's place before the board and flicks the dart at the board. It hits the board, but no where near anything valuable. After a silent pause, Zoe grins over at Shelley. "Ok… as soon as this coffee works its magic, expect a lot more wake."

"I'm quaking in my shoes," Shelley remarks dryly, before tossing another dart - and getting no further towards the center. Still - a few more points was good. "I seem to have a slight lead," she points out 'helpfully.'

Zoe sets down her empty mug and steps forward, balancing the tip of the dart on her fingertip. "So it seems. But in this world, winds can change so quickly…" With a confident lift of her chin, she flings the dart at the board. Honestly, she's lucky it hit anything at all. "Hm. Right…" She glances sideways at Shelley with a sheepish grin. "Uh… your turn." She shuffles to the side to let Shelley have her turn.

Shelley tosses her last dart, and smiles with satisfaction. "It seems I owe you a drink," she announces, as she surveys the final score. "Good game," she adds, offering over her hand towards Zoe."

"Yes. Excellent aim. Well done, Shelley," says Zoe, giving the woman's hand a secure shake. She grins up at her a bit sheepishly. "Clearly… I need another cup of coffee. While you order it, I will go fetch the sickles." And with that she turns to bounce up the stairs. It's a wonder the fluff doesn't slip on the age-worn wood.

Shelley retrieves her bottle, and then gestures to a serving maid to get her attention. "The girl," she thumbs her finger to the stairs where the girl in the white fluffy slippers had disappeared, "needs another coffee. On my tab," she instructs. "And I need a clean glass." Since she'd left it behind and it had been behind her back. "Thank you." She drops back into her seat, setting her bottle down beside her.

Zoe returns but a few moments later and holds up the three sickles for Shelley to take. "I am honored to have faced such a worthy opponent," she says with an impish grin. Reece hands her a fresh cup. "Ooh!" It is a sound of pure delight. Eyes drifting shut with bliss, she brings the coffee to her lips and savors her long, slow sip. "Thaaank you, Reece," she says just as before. Then, grinning up at Shelley, "And to you. Thank you. May I join you while I drink this?"

"If you like." Hardly the warmest of invitations - but that's about all that can be expected from Shelley. She pours herself a fresh glass as Reece hands over her glass as well, then adds towards Zoe, "You didn't give your name."

"It's Zoe," she says, settling down across from Shelley. She doesn't seem to mind (or even notice) the lack of warmth. Grinning up at Reece, she tilts her head and says, "I know the kitchen is in dinner-swing… but… could I please have some oatmeal with blueberries? With lots of butter and molasses?" Reece laughs and says he'll see what he can arrange.

"Were you awake until noon?" Shelley asks with slightly raised eyebrows. And apparantly staying here in the Cauldron? That's an odd sort of life. The girl can't be much out of Hogwarts - and with a strangely exotic look to her. Oriental, maybe? But not quite.

"Mmmmhmm… I stayed up to watch the sunrise, and then an elderly couple invited me to their table for breakfast. I couldn't resist… Their faces showed such beautiful lives. I had to ask them everything." Zoe smiles to herself, almost whisftul as she sips her coffee.

Now, there's a sentiment Shelley couldn't really understand. "…I see," she answers, taking another sip of her whiskey. "And now you're living life from the wrong side." Though as an Auror she's had more than a few graveyard shifts herself. "Might as well try to stay up and watch the sunset 'tonight.'"

"I might. But, when I don't have classes to wake up for, I don't see much of a need to obey the clock's chimes." Tilting her head, Zoe studies Shelley's features with interest. "What governs your hours of waking and sleep?"

This week? Not a blessed thing. "The job," Shelley answers, rather than voice her thoughts. "Like most people. Have to show up at the office on time." Or she'll hear it from Worthington, that's for certain.

"Job? What job? I am considering a job. But, I haven't decided on one yet… Tell me what you do, Shelley," says little Zoe, her eyes shining with curiosity.

"MLE," Shelley answers, without specifying which branch. "Not sure that's the sort of job you're considering, though," she remarks a bit wryly. Most people don't, after all.

Zoe shakes her head with laughter that is far too impish and sweet for the MLE. "No. Not one of them. But… the IMC offered me an apprenticeship. I was thinking of opening a coffee shop though. I have explored the allies from nook to cranny and there isn't a single one. Not a real coffee shop."

"You could do alright with that," Shelley muses. "Books Unbound used to sell it - had this big coffee… machine. I wonder what happened to that when it closed? It made decent coffee."

"Books Unbound? My shop might have some books… but conversation is the point of a coffee shop. Books help inform discussions… or help pass the time until someone joins you. But, I haven't decided yet. I might also write stories for the Daily Prophet. I don't think I'll accept that apprenticeship though. I think I'd rather be a freelancer."
Zoe grins up at Shelley as she warms her hands against the sides of her cup. "Did you always want to work for the MLE?"

"So - Books Unbound in reverse," Shelley remarks dryly. "Instead of a book store that happens to have coffee - a coffee shop that happens to have books." She takes another sip of her whiskey, before answering with a nod of her head. "I did," she answers. Except for a brief period as a little girl when she was determined to tame and breed manticores.

"I wanted to be a rain dancer one week and a fishing boat captain the next. Something different each week." Zoe pauses, gazing down into her cup of coffee. "But, now it seems I'm supposed to choose at long last." She tilts her head, glancing off at the bar. "Except, mother never chose. She was a traveller and for money, did whatever there was to do. Now she works at Hogwarts as a teacher, but that's not forever either…"

"…a raindancer? How can you make a living dancing in the rain?" Shelley asks, puzzled by this idea. She refills her glass as she talks. "A teacher, huh?" Though she doesn't remember any orientals on the staff. Maybe the girl isn't an oriental? "What does she teach?"

"She is the new Transfiguration teacher now that Professor Dumbledore is headmaster," says Zoe with a grin before sipping her coffee. "And a raindancer is the wizard that brings rains to nourish crops. It's an important job."

"Ah yes, I'd read they brought in a new teacher. Can't recall the name." Shelley drinks more whiskey while listening to Zoe explain raindancers. "…where do they do that? I think we'd have more trouble getting it to stop raining here," she remarks.

"Well, it isn't the most reliable magic. In some places it's almost like Divination is here. There are many who are skeptical." Zoe shrugs with an impish grin. "But, I think opening a shop for now is a good idea, no? I was looking for possible locations yesterday. I can hire others to manage it and serve coffee…"

"If you can avoid it, don't take the location where Books Unbound was," Shelley recommends. "I think it's still empty. People seeing coffee and books there again - you might get stuck with the same negative associations from the last owner." Even if she isn't convinced the man actually did what he was accused of.

"Negative associations? Did something terrible happen to make it close?" Zoe tilts her head, intrigued.

"The owner was arrested in association with the attacks on Sweet Temptations, Peppy Potions, and Wiztruth Robes," Shelley explains simply.

Zoe's brows lift. "A shop sabeteur?" She can't help but grin. "Well then… if the charges are true, then I'm glad I didn't try to open a shop last year."

"I wouldn't say sabeteur," Shelley answers. "There were nearly 30 deaths." She picks up her glass again, swirling the contents before taking another drink.

Zoe's impish grin fades. So it seems she /is/ capable of seriousness, though it doesn't quite seem to weigh her down. She tilts her head with a hint of curiosity. "So many deaths… customers and shop keepers alike? The work of a powerful and terrible wand wielder."

"Potions," Shelley responds. "That mixed to create a deadily magical affect, carried on the fumes. Customers, shopkeepers - and MLE and the mediwizards. I'm surprised you didn't hear about it. It just happened in July."

"Ah… I was in the south of Egypt at the time. This is the first I've heard of it." Gaze lowered, it seems she wouldn't care to hear any more. Resting back in her chair, she says, "So, where do you think I /should/ look into opening a coffee shop?"

Shelley shrugs her shoulders. "Anywhere but that one location. Of course, you can always ask the neighboring shops what used to be in the location, and why it closed. I'd likely go to a coffee shop if we had one in the district." She is a fan of dark coffee.

"Yes. /I/ want to go there too. I think that settles it. The district needs a coffee shop." Zoe celebrates her decision by tilting her head back and draining the last drops of from her cup. Just then Reece arrives, placing a bowl of fresh cooked oatmeal in front of her. She peeks up at him with an adoring little smile of appreciation to thank him.

Shelley lets out a snort of amusement. "I think you've got a new admirer, Reece," she teases.
"Well, they can't all be old cranks like you, Prewett," the man responds goodnaturedly before he retreats to the bar.
Shelley shakes her head, still looking amused as she takes another drink of her whiskey. "Well. Goodluck with the shop, then."

Zoe takes two large bites of oatmeal in quick succession. To respond, she can only smile and nod with appreciation as she works through what she has in her mouth. Hopefully, the coffee shop won't end up more than she can chew, but her eyes are full of optimistic cheer. Eventually, she manages to swallow and say, "Thank you. It has been wonderful to meet you Shelley. And thank you for joining me in that game of darts."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License