(1939-11-15) The Trickster Returns
Details for The Trickster Returns
Summary: Eshu pops up in London for a visit with Zoe and the pair make plans to go to Paris to hunt down a particular box of chocolates.
Date: Saturday, November 15th, 1939
Location: The Leaky Cauldron
Related: Starstruck

The shop windows stand dark and silent. The distant sound of merry making from Leaky Cauldron has even started to die down as its patrons start to take the floo network home for the night. At long last, a single little wanderer makes her way around the corner from Central Diagon Alley. Her dark gaze shines as she stares up at the stars. Oblivious to the rest of her surroundings, she drifts a long in awe of the diamonds of the sky.

A glowing orange dot hovers in the darkness by the wall leading to the Leaky Cauldron. Then the dot brightens, momentarily illuminating the slender features that are all too familiar to Zoe. Eshu smiles at his sister before the illumination fades. He pushes off of the wall, strolling out of the shadows with a cocky smirk. "Hey, Zuzu. How's my baby sister?"

Zoe rocks back on her heels, gasping at the voice with an open smile of delight. With a sharp squeal of delight, she dashes forward. "Eeeeeshu!" She pauses before him. Hands folded against her chest, she grins up at him. Her eyes shine with such adoration. Overcome with excitement, she wiggles a bit. "It's so wonderful, SO wonderful to see you. I sent you an owl this morning! I'm going to open a coffee shop. Not run it. Just open it. It will be mine, but I can still write for the Daily Prophet as a freelancer."

"Well, that sounds like all the news. Guess I can be going now." Eshu gives her a playful smirk, pretending to turn to go. But he doesn't prolong the joke, turning back and spreading his arms wide. "Get in here and give me a hug."

Zoe's laughter spills like a waterfall of delight. She bounces forward and throws her arms around his chest. One of her legs even wraps around one of his as she hugs him so tight. "Have you been waiting for me out here? You feel so cold. You should come inside. They can bring cocoa and spiced wine up to my room!"

Eshu squeezes Zoe back, lifting her up off of the ground for a few seconds. "It's only been a few hours. Am I cold?" He sets her down and shrugs, taking a drag from his cigarette. Drawing his wand from his pocket, he twirls it in his fingers, then taps the correct brick to cause the wall to open up into an archway, permitting them access to the courtyard behind the Leaky Cauldron. "After you, Zuzu."

A little squeak of delight gets squeezed out of the girl as Eshu lifts her up. Set back down and invited to lead the way, Zoe takes Eshu by the hand and tugs him into the warmth of the Leaky Cauldron. Of course, Reece is working the late shift. Although Zoe has met him before during his travels, Eshu had struck out on his own and wasn't around to meet him when Zoe did. So she introduces them, but briefly, because she wants to take a cup of cocoa and a drink of Eshu's choice upstairs. It isn't long before Zoe is dashing up the stairs, somehow managing not to spill a drop from her mug.

The little one has crafted a nest of pillows and blankets upon the modest queen-sized bed. The rest of the room looks like a small storm of woolen leggings, dresses, undershirts, letters, boxes of chocolate and everything else that she can pack in an instant into her little leather satchel in five seconds flat. It's bigger on the inside of course. Balancing her cup of cocoa, Zoe slips out of her boots and her cloak before she crawls up onto her bed to sit back against the cushions leaning against the wall.

Eshu strolls into the room, wandering in lazy, serpentine paths toward the bed as he explores the scattered contents. "It looks like a Zoe exploded in here. You planning on staying long? I mean, opening a coffee house…sounds like puttin' down roots." He leans up against the bedpost at the foot of the bed, arching an eyebrow with an inquisitive smirk.

Zoe wrinkles her nose and shakes her head. "No. No roots. But, I might linger for a bit. While mother teaches at Hogwarts. But- but, I will come and go. The coffee shop- I think it would be a nice place to return to sometimes." She sinks down and brings up her knees. Her toes curl into the soft mattress.

Eshu takes a sip of his drink and sets it on the nightstand before flopping down on the foot of the bed to lounge. "I can't believe she took that job. Ten sickles says she disappears from Hogwarts before the term is out."

Zoe slinks down onto her side so that she can peer down at him, but still sip her cocoa. "It's something knew. And she has so much to give. I wasn't surprised. I think she'll last at least the term. But, maybe not much longer than that. No roots for her. And no roots for me either. I'm a little feather. I've settled for a moment, but the wind will soon carry me off again."

Eshu chuckles, rolling to his back. He doffs his hat and rests it on his chest. "You say that now. But before you know it, a year will pass. Two years." His eyes sparkle with impish amusement. "You'll get yourself a steady lover. You'll wake up one day and realize you've bought a flat, or worse…a dog."

Although it is mere jest, the thought of falling into such a dull, life-less existence brings true distress to little Zoe. Shaking her head, she cries, "Nooo, no-no no! Never. Not to me. I'm going to be a writer. I will travel the world, collecting stories. I will open eyes to the wonders of life- the troubles- the sorrows and joys…" She sets her cocoa next to his own drink and then turns back to curl up on her side. She tilts her head to peer at him.

"Aww, don't be upset, Zuzu," Eshu says softly, but his mischievous smile never falters. "It's my job to warn you away from the dangers of getting too comfortable. You know I'm just looking out for you." He slides a hand toward her, palm up and open.

"Iiii know…" A soft smile returns to her lips. Zoe takes his hand and shifts to curl up around it. She holds it tucked against her chest. "Your little sister gets lost without you sometimes."

Eshu gives Zoe a wicked grin. "You'll get lost with me, too. It's no fun if we always know where we're going. The best adventures are the lost ones." He clasps his hand over hers, holding it to his cheek for a moment. "Keep that. You might need it someday."

Zoe sits up so that she can shift closer and rest her cheek against his chest. Looking up at him, she says, "I don't mind being lost. But, it isn't as much fun to be lost alone. Laughter is best shared. Oh! But, I forgot to tell you. I met a famed courtesan of Paris! Corina Silver. And, and she /invited/ me to visit. I'm going to Paris soon to find chocolate liquors for her. I'm just waiting for Ministry papers." The little one's eyes shine with excitement.

"Bollocks," Eshu says disbelievingly. "Corina Silver gave you an invitation? Did you come into some riches I don't know about? Listen to you. Opening coffee houses, getting cozy with fancy ladies. Someone's living the high life."

Over the years, the funds in Zoe's bank account have grown as her father continued to add to it, while she never needed to draw much. It was never something that her sister or brother had, so Zoe rarely mentions it. "It wasn't for my riches. Although- I did buy her a pair of gloves. But, nothing more than what I'm sure the most humble of her admirers could offer. But, she caressed my cheek, took my hands…" Zoe's eyes drift shut as she savors the memory. "And she /invited/ me to visit her. I hope so much that I can find those chocolates. A taste from a city I know she loves…"

Eshu idly combs his fingers through Zoe's hair, letting out a slow whistle. "Sounds like you charmed her good. Not that it's so surprising." He gives Zoe a playful wink. "So what's the hold-up from the Ministry? You want some help moving things along? I think I still know someone in the D.M.T. You've got to grease the wheels if you want anything to happen fast in the Ministry."

Her tresses easily escape the loose knot of her bun as he idly combs through her hair. Zoe tilts her head into the touch like an eager kitten. "Mm… that would be helpful. I thought to take muggle transport, but I was worried about getting stuck there. Better to make a quick trip… if I'm alone… at a time like this."

Eshu smirks and shakes his head. "Alone, she says. Her brother, right here…the man that makes his living traveling with other people, and she thinks she's going alone. Zuzu, sometimes you can be awfully silly."

Zoe's soft smile grows as she peeks up at him. "Well, I didn't know you were coming. I /thought/ I'd be going alone. But, I'd like it much better if you came. I was going to visit Giselle. And Madam Dufayel. Perhaps we could spend a night there."

"Stay an evening in Madame Dufayel's home? I couldn't possibly. Oh, well, if you insist." Eshu gives his impish grin, and playfully pokes Zoe's nose. "I have a few old mates in Paris I could look up. It'll be fun. We'll make a holiday of it."

Zoe blinks, half flinching at the playful poke. Her eyes shine as she grins up at Eshu. "I want to meet your old mates. And- and we can go exploring the city! Find the best parties. Get into the best trouble. Won't we?" She watches him, wide-eyed with hopefulness.

Eshu twirls a wisp of her hair around his finger. "Course we will. We'll get all dressed up and crash someone's debutante ball. We can be cultural attaches from China and the Congo. People are hilarious when they can't understand what we're saying."

Zoe giggles with sweet, impish mirth. "Even more when they think /we/ can't understand /them/." She nuzzles her cheek against his chest, brimming with excitement for their adventure to come. "And hunting for the chocolates… do you know the black markets well? Such luxuries grow scarcer by the day."

Eshu shrugs. "I'm no master of the underworld. But I know some places off the beaten path. Don't you worry. We'll find what you're looking for. Maybe even at a party. Foreign diplomats are given gifts all the time, after all."

"Ah! If you notice someone hoping to charm me, you can tell them of my weakness for chocolate liquor. But, I also want to go to a party tres boheme. Although… not as likely to find the chocolates… and /that's/ why I'm going to Paris. But, another time soon? I want to dance in a smoke-filled cafe, drinking coffee all night and speaking philosophical nonsense."

Eshu grins broadly. "Isn't that what you're opening up your own coffee house for?" He chuckles and nods. "But of course. Anything you want, Zuzu. Granting wishes is a favourite pastime of mine." Of course, many of those he grants wishes to might not get exactly what they thought they were wishing for.

As the hour grows later, the brother and sister continue to chatter on about their plans for Paris and strategies for obtaining a box of chocolate liquors. However, it isn’t long before the comforting presence of her brother and the effect of the warm cocoa lull little Zoe off to sleep.

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