(1940-01-09) A Regular Returns
Details for A Regular Returns
Summary: After a busy few weeks, Graham makes it back for a meal and some nattering with Katie.
Date: 9 January 1940
Location: Hind's Fish and Chips

So far, 1940 has been rather cold and not that much different from 1939 for most. It seems to be business as usual at Hind's Fish and Chips, although Katie might seem more prone to go about her work humming than usual. Oh sure, she's always a happy lass, but the new year, new decade, have filled her with hope for things to come.

It's with this happy humming that the girl goes about swiping a mop over the dining room floor, clearing up the snow trudged in by the lunchtime crowd. One table is still occupied by an old gent reading over the day's paper after his meal, a cigarette burning low between his fingers. The mopping up would normally be Jack's job, but Katie's younger brother seems to be missing from the restaurant at the moment. The mop swishes past the closed door and she turns back to follow the trail toward the counter. To the old gent's amusement, the girl starts singing the tune she had been humming, almost dancing with the mop. An Irving Berlin tune popular last year, "I poured my heart into a song…" Her voice is tuneful and lilting, perhaps even good enough to earn a few shillings at a local pub if she'd a mind to.

Graham had been kept away likely with work duties, though he did feel bad for having not seen his friend in so long. It is hard when he cant properly explain why things are how they are. Well maybe that would change soon, but would he want to tell her himself? The auror seems to be in full thinking mode before reaching the door to the shop, he'll pull the door open stepping in to see what might have changed and all. He spots Kattie bee-bopping along and cant help but smile warmly himself at the sight.

"And when you hear it please, remember from the start…" the tune goes on. But the draft of cold air from the opening door has Katie pausing, turning to greet the new arrival. Her smile kicks up a notch when she sees a favoured regular. "Graham!" She motions toward a coat rack that normally isn't there, but for the cold months when it's needed. "Take off yer coat, let the warm get at yeh." Even as she greets him, she's moving to put the mop aside near the kitchen door, and crossing to the teakettle to pour him a warm cuppa. "Did yeh have nice holidays? We've missed seein' yeh, things must be busy at the Ministry." There's still a war on, after all, and everyone in government work is surely busy.

("I Poured My Heart Into A Song" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTgT3nfQsSE)

The auror returns the smile and will indeed remove his coat and hat placing it on the rack before he moves towards his friend "It was lovely, thanks Katie how about yours?" he will offer a hug if she'll accept but does continue "I'm afraid it has been busy lots of changes and things with the war and all, but I should have a bit more time now to spend freely which means i'll be here eating more often." he grins.
Graham gives you a cookie.

Katie crosses to one of the empty tables with the hot tea, putting it down and accepting the hug. It's brief and very properly British, and there's a smile for Graham as she steps back. "Everyone is busier these days, but it'll be nice t'see yeh if yeh make it in more. Will yeh be after the regular t'day? The cod's lovely, an' Mum's made chocolate sponge."

Graham follows and will sit down after the hug "Regular sounds lovely actually." He comments looking to the tea which after being outside will be nice too. "But hows all been here? Catch me up?" he asks and motions "Hm maybe too busy for you to join me for a sec eh?" he asks with a chuckle somewhere he still wonders about the crossing of these two worlds would she want to be his friend if she knew what he was? "You didn't answer either how are you?"

Hearing the comment about the shop being too busy, the old gent gives a snort and speaks up, his voice gravelly, "No need to worry about me, Katie, have a natter with your young friend there. I won't be a bother." He motions toward Graham, the paper rustling, before his attention returns to it. On her way back to call the order into the kitchen, Katie passes by him, pausing to hug his shoulders, "Yer never a bother, Mister Grange." Then to Graham as she moves along, "Things are fine an' dandy 'round here. Well, Jack's down with a bit of a cold, but he's doing better already, an' we've none of th'rest of us shown signs of it." She leans to call through the passthrough window to her father and mother, "Cod 'n chips, please, chocolate sponge for afters." The teapot is scooped up as she starts moving again, even before the familiar "Aye, Bug" comes from her father. "An' me?" Another pause as she tops off the tea for Mister Grange, then straightens and beams a smile at Graham. "Never been better." She brings the kettle along to Graham's table, setting it down as she sits across from him. "Did yeh get t'spend the holidays with family?"

The young man tips his imaginary hat to the older man "Thank you." Graham says kindly watching Katie as she moves towards the window to order before moving back towards him at the table and nods to the question "I did, get to spend a few days. My family's up north." he answers "It was nice I always enjoy when i'm able to get some time away like that. "What did your family do, how about for the new year any celebrating?"

Katie grins across at Graham, "It's lovely yeh got t'see them. I remember yeh mentionin' before they aren't in town. I'm so lucky t'have my family here." Although, it's what keeps her musings on joining the Land Girls as just musings and not action. She doesn't really want to leave London. "We had a lovely Christmas, just the four of us. A lazy day with presents and a big lunch." She pauses, a wistful smile on her lips. "We stayed in for New Year's Eve as well, but a friend of mine popped 'round for a quick visit." A polite way of putting 'deserted his post to nip over for a peck at midnight.

The young man will take a sip from the tea set before him and the warmth spreads which is lovely indeed. Graham smiles at the words "I am glad for it, work keeps me too busy people often say I am either at work or with my nose pressed to a book but I have gotten better." he gives a wink though nodding to the holiday story "That sounds like a great time both the holiday and the new year." he comments "Well belated happy New Year and I hope its a great one for you and your family."

"And th'same for yeh and yers, Graham. Happy, healthy and prosperous, as Da says," the chippy bird returns with a smile. Then Katie's eyes light up, "Oh! I did go somewhere new. D'yeh remember that soldier from the park, with the ducks? Private Ferguson?" Actually, if he's remembered would be nice, but she goes on heedless, "He took me to a lovely, posh club called th'Natrix. Such a fancy place! A far cry from the neighbourhood pub, that was."

Graham smiles "Thanks, i'm sure it'll be a year of new things which is always exciting." The auror says gladly though still pondering the question would he tell her. He listens to the story and grins "I do remember him yes, and the Natrix is an excellent place one of my friends sings there quite often. She is quite talented we should go see her sometime when she's there." he asks "I'm glad you enjoyed it though."

The kitchen bell rings, and as Katie stands to go fetch Graham's meal, she says, "There was a songbird in here once, said she sang there." She gathers up the plate, and frowns thoughtfully. "Can't remember her name, she was only in th' once. But I'd have known if I'd seen her, an' she wasn't there that night. We didn't stay all that long, though." Plate is set down, and there's a quick scan of the table to make sure anything he'd need for his meal is present in ample supply. She goes on as she sinks back into the chair. "Gav bought me this lovely strawberry drink, said it was called a daiquiri." She looks back to the kitchen suddenly, realizing that her father may have overheard that. Luckily, he's back to work doing some between-rushes cleaning. Katie grins, and leans in a bit, her voice lower, "It went to my head a bit, an' we had a walk 'round th'block t'clear it."

"Thank you, looks delicious." Graham says as the food is brought to the table and he has a moment to look over it. "Hm that sure sounds like Signe, though she often goes by a stage name when she's there of Sydney Cole." he tells her in case this rings any bells about who she'd listen to sing. The word about the drink gets a chuckle "Secret's safe with me Katie, glad you enjoyed it and sounds like Private Ferguson is a proper gentleman which is good."

"Oh, right, I think that was the same bird then," Katie says with a nod. "Pretty, she was, and fair nice for looking so posh." The upper class aren't always so nice, even still, and Katie has had a share of being looked down upon because of her accent and location. It's never bothered her, she doesn't care about people she doesn't know. "Ta, Graham, for that," Katie says with a grateful grin. Then her eyes take a slightly dreamy cast, the look of a girl in the first stages of being twitterpated. "He's very much a gentleman, an' so kind. Mum an' Jack love when he comes 'round, an' even Da stops t'talk with him." Of course, Da might still punch him out of reflex if he finds out Gavin kissed Katie, and more than once, but he happily took no for an answer to anything more. Hearing the change in her tone of voice, Mister Grange has a chuckle at the other table, murmuring, "Sounds like a certain lass is fallin' for a man in uniform." Katie blushes as she says comfortably to the man, "Hush, yeh."

Graham nods to her words "That does sound like Signe to be sure, she's very down to earth and hopefully she stays that way despite all the fame shes enjoying these days." The auror says and he really hopes this is the case. He will drink and eat a bit enjoying and finishing his bite while he listens. "That's good to hear you should be treated like a proper young woman that you are." he says nodding in assurance at this. The older mans words makes him stifle a chuckle but after a moments thought "I suppose that its only fair its my turn to share. It would seem Miss Sorcha and I are back on as some would say, hopefully staying so this time."

Mister Grange chuckles wheezily, never taking his eyes from his paper, amused at the success of his goad. "Well, he knows if he isn't, he'd have t'answer t' Da," Katie says with a laugh. Technically, she's not mentioned yet that there's more of an interest than the friends they were, to her family, but Mary knew it that first night that Gavin brought Katie home from his birthday celebration. She's one of those mothers that just knows by looking at her girl. "Are yeh, Graham?" Katie sounds delighted by the news. "That's grand! She was so lovely when we met."

"Her, Da, myself and a few others if we're speaking truth." Graham says about those who'd be upset if Katie was being mistreated taking another bite and bit to drink as well finishing and nodding at first to the question "Yep, i'm glad for it myself to be honest I didnt even look around after we'd split for the months we did. Anyways no need to talk about that. Its a New Year and things are going to be good."

Katie laughs at the assurance that her back is being watched, and she nods. "Yer truly too kind, Graham. I'm sure he knows that it would be risky business t'play with the heart of a well-loved lass." Hopefully he does, anyway. But she does have all faith in him, since they've been talking for quite some time already. "Yeh ought t'take her out t'th' pictures," she suggests brightly. "That new one from America. With the girl an' the little folks. I've not seen it yet, don't know when I might either, with Gav havin' to be on duty so much." There's a slightly sad pitch to her voice on that, but she brightens again immediately, "But maybe he'll have some time soon."

Graham smiles "I would hope so even without the threat of so many." He says levelly though he hopes this is the case for the other peron's sake if he's honest. "Ooo i've only been to the pictures once, a friend took me though thats a great idea too bad he has to be away some i'd suggest we all go together perhaps we still can sometime." He nods "One can hope all will return to normal sooner rather then later."

The surprise on Katie's face at this statement is plain to see, and she echoes back, "Only been once? Cor, how c'n yeh be t'this stage of life an' only been t'the pictures once?" The surprise turns to sympathy, mostly put on for show and light teasing. "Poor Graham. Have yeh been livin' in another world then? Only once," she mutters, tsking lightly. She drops the act, though, and her broad smile is back. "I'll send him a letter an' see if he might know when he'll be able t'have time again." The slight cloud of disappointment that comes now is all too real. "But it might not be for some time. I've no idea. I don't even know if he knows much before the day."

The auror laughs a little at the teasing "I know guess I was sheltered coming up or something." Graham says with a straight faced nod but smiles afterwards nodding "Well whenever it can happen will be fun, of course its understood he's so busy right now so no worries about it Katie I'm sure it'll work itself out. The food is wonderful by the way."

Katie glances down to Graham's plate, surprised to see that he's made it so far through the meal without her noticing. She mentally scolds herself for getting so wrapped up in thoughts of Gavin that she was nearly less than attentive to one of her favourite customers! "But yer almost ready for afters!" she exclaims. She pops up at once, hurrying over to the window to call through to her mother. The man at the other table chuckles again, looking up from his paper to look at Graham. "Sheltered," he mutters, so his voice doesn't carry. "Likely private school and all." He says it knowingly, and gives a little wink. "No matter where you're from, there's no better chippy." The paper flaps up again as Katie returns with Graham's chocolate sponge. An extra large helping, with extra custard. "Here yeh go, Graham!" Katie chirps.

Graham looks to take another sip from the tea but he looks back to his friend and shakes his head "Its okay Katie, just glad we're able to catch up a bit seems like it has been quite a while." The young man watches as she moves over to get the desert but is distracted by the older man's words he wonders if the man is saying what he thinks which puts him on edge a bit but he smiles a bit "Thanks Katie woah it looks amazing." he will try a bit and nods "That because it is amazing."

Katie doesn't take her seat again, but smiles happily at the compliment to the pudding. "Ta, Mum'll be tickled t'know yeh think so." She reaches and splashes a bit more tea in Graham's cup so he'll not be wanting with the sweet sponge, and then turns and pours some out for Mister Grange as well. The old man murmurs thanks but doesn't look up again. If Graham might be curious, he would indeed find the man's name in the records of the Ministry, a half-blood, no criminal offenses on record. Another cold breeze blows in as the door opens, a couple of young men in uniform (neither one Gavin, unfortunately for Katie) are pushed in with the wind. "I'll go see t'them," Katie says to Graham, "An' if yeh need anything, just call out."

"I didnt think it would be anything less than wonderful." Graham says simply but he's glad that her parents will be glad for the meal having been excellent he is interested in the man who appears to know what he is and makes note to check up on the description, but for now he'll enjoy his pudding and relax while he has the chance to do so until he needs to go of course he'll grab the check first and tip generously.

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