(1940-01-15) Frozen Field of Stars
Details for Frozen Field of Stars
Summary: Former schoolmates and a squib converge on a quiet street in Diagon Alley.
Date: 1940-01-15
Location: South Vertick Alley

It's a cold, cold night. There is no clouds in the sky, only a pale moon and distant stars. Sometimes it's pretty, with the glow of that nightly orb falling on snow and making it sparkle. But tonight, it is not so nice. It's almost like the darkness is swollowing, haunting. And that cold chill can reach the soul.

Vertick Alley is done for the night. Most shops are closed and the darkness from those adds to the atmosphere. Street lights give off some hint of life, and the odd person wonders under them but leaves hurried steps in the snow. All in all, one could claim this area near abonded right now. But it's not, at least in the light of day.

One shop is lit, but not open. Movement comes from the inside and the door creeks open. Stepping out in a long heavy coat is Clara. A pair of gloves have been slipped on and she shivers. Why did she come out of the shop? And why is she leaning against the door looking skyward as if wishing for something. These are details left unsaid and all that can be seen is the young woman standing lone under the pale light of her shop looking to the sky.

Bobbie is in a hurry, but that's likely just due to the cold. She has her hands deep in the pockets of her long, wool trench coat, her head huddled between its collar, and her wool hat obscuring all but the snow-crusted walkway in front of her. With shoulders hunched and attention on her footing, she doesn't realize there's another person outside until her path nearly collides with Clara's position. Boots skidding slightly on the compacted snow, she looks up quickly, registers the other person's face, then manages to regain her balance without falling. Though it's still far from graceful. "Sorry 'bout that," she mumbles, voice muffled by a blue and silver knit scarf. "Had my head in my… Cold out, yeah?"

Around the side of one of the shops, Galen stirs, his long coat buttoned up along with the collars pulled up. As he strolls out to the street, scraggly hair spotted with snowflakes, he wears a rather bored expression. His green eyes scan the alley as he walks along, pausing at the sight of the two women up ahead. Slowing, Galen utters out in a low, grumbling tone, "This place isn't really alive with action at this time, is it?"

Clara isn't paying to much attention either, which may not be like her. Those big silver eyes peer back through the shop window, and there is a frown. Shaking whatever thought it is out of her head that is when the bump is felt. Turning quick - not in anger, but surprise, the young with settles that gaze upon Bobbie. "Oh sweetie! Are you okay?" A tad worried, for it is as much her fault for not paying attention, a kind smile is given to the woman. "I'm sorry I didn't see you there. And my, it's cold out! Shouldn't you be inside where it's warm?"

Catching then another figure she looks to Galen His muttering just hits her ears. With a sweet bell like laugh, a comment is tossed out to him. "That's because people are smart enough to be having their fun inside where it's warm darling!"

Zoe shivers at the ominous chill hanging in the air. Her scarf wraps around to cover her nose. Leaving little footsteps in the snow, she meanders out of Merlin's Square with a content smile shining in her almond-shaped eyes. At the sound of voices, the little one tilts her head and approaches with curiosity. The girl recognizes Galen and pulls down her scarf so he can see her face. She parts her lips to speak, but pauses as she catches sight of Arla's features. "Clara!" she cries with delight.

Bobbie can't help but let her grin in reply turn a little crooked. "'Sweetie', huh? Tha's a firs'," the woman replies, though she sounds genuinely pleased by it. She resettles the wool cap on her head, then repositions her scarf for better coverage, glancing up at the clear, cold sky, then around the street, gaze landing on Galen for a long moment before she returns her attention to the witch she just bumped into. "Cold is cold. Nothin' to do but endure," she says, shrugging, though it might just be part of the resettling of winter clothing. "Anyways, I'm used t' it." With another glance to Galen, then to the new arrival who's calling toward the first witch. She lifts a gloved hand in greeting.

Galen lets out a little snort in response to Bobbie. If he caught the almost collision, he doesn't seem all that concerned by it. "Why are you outside then?" he asks curiously in a low tone. "Just… out for a walk?" he asks, a touch of teasing in his tone. The young lad shifts on his feet when he turns his head to catch sight of the other arrival, eyeing her curiously until she pulls down her scarf and a grin flashes across his face. He inches closer to Zoe automatically. "Hello, Zoe. You've got to have an interesting reason for being out and about," he says, looking hopeful.

Eyeing Bobbie, there is a smirk. "Well, little habit of mine. It's warm by the door here if you wish to stand there!" Chuckling eyes fix on Galen. "Well maybe we are out with reason. Wouldn't you like to know!" That is when Zoe is seen, and nothing hides the mixture of surprise and joy. Sure it's cold but Clara decides to say screw it and steps away from the fellow witch she bumped and goes to give the newly arrived girl a hug. "About time I saw you sweetie! It's been to long where -have- you been? Some place I haven't? I dare you to try!" There is a laugh.

Zoe lifts a hand of greeting to Bobbie before peeking up at Galen with a little cheshire cat smile. "Aaah, I do." She giggles impishly before darting into Clara's embrace, hugging the witch tight. "I was in Egypt! Buut… mum's working at Hogwarts now… so, I thought I'd come to London. But- but just like you, I come and go."

"She did say 'fun', yeah?" Bobbie replies to Galen, eyes twinkling in what little light is offered by Clara's shop or the street lamps. "Might be she doesn' like fun. Though I seem ta remember differently, goin' by some o' the ol' memories from Hogwarts days." She does indeed take up a spot next to the shop door as Clara heads toward Zoe, though her attention soon wanders toward the north end of the street, though that end of Diagon Alley seems even darker than this one at this hour.

Galen's green eyes briefly study Arla and Bobbie before they shift onto Zoe, eyeing her curiously. Shrugging lazily, he draws back another step as he watches the exchange between Arla and Zoe with a smirk. Well. Maybe he'll just continue on and let the girls, what it sounds like to him, catch up. Without a word, he silently shuffles off, making an attempt to go unnoticed as he heads on his way.

After the hug Clara steps back and looks at Zoe with a bit of envy. "Egypt? I miss that place! But like you, I'm back! Which is good and we've got a ton of catching up to do!" Turning, that is when Galen disappears. She didn't him leave so looks a big suprsied. But with the world they live in, people do tend to disappear here and there. Shrugging it off a hand motions for the girl to follow her towards the shop, where Bobbie is. Once they are near, it's realized that she never got the womans name. "Oh, dear me I am so rude! I'm Clara Prewett. And this is Zoe!" A hand would motion to her friend, more like sister from another mister, if she would of followed. "Warming up now at all?"

Zoe glances over at Galen with an impish smile as he heads off. Keeping close at Clara's side, the little one follows her back over to meet Bobbie. "Hello," she says, smiling up at the Quidditch player. Unfortunately, this one doesn't follow Quidditch close enough to recognize the fallen falcon.

Bobbie nods to Clara. "A bit, thanks. Enough." She studies Zoe more closely for a couple seconds, then shakes her head. "You went ta Hogwarts?" she asks the teen, then grins to Clara. "You were just a couple years behind me. Ravenclaw, yeah? I'm Bobbie Riggs. Play for th' Arrows now. But gotta press on tonight. Nice ta meet you," she says to Zoe, nodding, adding to Clara, "and re-meet, I guess. Have a nice night. Warmer 'n this, I hope." She touches the brim of her hat, nods to them both, then resumes her path north along the street at a quick clip.

That is two people gone, and giving a wave to Bobbie she turns to the youngling. "It's cold. How about we go inside and get some tea? I can show you around my new shop too!"

Asked if she went to Hogwarts, Zoe nods a bit. In truth, the little one looks as if she should still be there. Her slender gaze widens as she learns Bobbie is a professional Quidditch player. "Taaake care," she offers with a smile as the woman heads off.
Looking back up at Clara, little Zoe's eyes brighten with excitement. "A new shop?" She glances to the shop and blinks. "Prewett and Fawley… wait… you own this shop now? You're- you're Prewett?"

Indeed, it is interesting. A professional Quidditch player! Going to the door she grabs the knob and before turning nods to Zoe. "I am that. Prewett's the name selling is my game. Did I never tell you that? Silly me. This is my shop, handed down to me recently, and not in good fashion either. My fathers cousin.. she, well, I don't agree with how she handled it but she trusted me with it, and I take pride in that. Come along in, you'll like the place I think. Full of items from around the world." That's when the door is opened so they can go in, and of course the girl is guestered to head in first. "Still means I get to travel some and see more places and find neat artifacts."

Zoe bites her lower lip. Stepping into the shop, she says, "I've been here before. And… and I knew your father's cousin. I'm sorry to hear that- that something unpleasant happened. Though… it's wonderful that you've stepped into a good place."

After they have stepped in, and not hiding her surprise, Clara stops right in front of the closed door. "What is it you know, exactly?"

Zoe blinks, looking up at Clara. "I… nothing. Just what you've said. She… didn't handle it well? I haven't seen her in a long time… I just sold her some things…" She tucks a strand of hair behind her ear.

"Oh." Not knowing this, Clara sighs. "Well nothing wrong with selling her a few items. But when it comes down to it, she isn't involved with the business anymore, I am." Shrugging and moving over to the front counter there is a cup of tea, wrell a few. Looks as if some people may of been here earlier. There is however, a clean glass and some tea is poured for Zoe. There is also snacks on a tray - yes, some sweet. "Here sweetie. Get warm, the cold is bitter and unforgiving tonight."

Zoe warms her hands against the sides of the teacup with an appreciative smile. "Thank you… it /is/ cold. But I like it too. Even if it always makes me tremble, it also makes me want to run and have a snowball fight…"

"The last snowball fight I was in was in Greenland." Recalling this with a smile and her own cup of tea, Clara sits in a chair close by. There are others, and Zoe is more than welcome to sit too. "That was a fun time there. And have some sweets, you know I wont eat them!" Taking a sip and relaxing in the warmth, she sighs. "Not sure how the other owner of this place is taking it so far, but I hope to be a help here."

Zoe takes a sweet from the tray with a little smile. "It will be a wonderful new adventure for you," she murmurs before nibbling at the sweet. "I… I opened a shop too. Sort of. I don't run it… or anything. But.. I wanted a coffee house… so I opened one."

Sitting forward she grins. "Really now? Well where is it? I will stop by some time, and try a few coffee flavours." Clara brushes some hair from her face. "When did you do this?"

"Mmm… not long ago. And it's in Whimzick Alley," murmurs Zoe, almost looking shy. "It's called the Sip and Sonder."

Clara notes the shyness. "Why so shy? It's a good thing! If you love it, why not do it? And you're doing something you love, right?" Sitting back and crossing one leg atop of the other she sighs comfortably. "I mean, I didn't plan to become a shop owener but unexpected can be good as well. Did you partner with someone? Or did you do it on your own? And I promise you I'll be by as soon as I can."

"No, I just… I arranged for it to happen. I didn't really do anything. I don't wnat to put down roots and- and just run a coffee house. Someone else does that. I… I want to wander still," murmurs Zoe before taking a small sip of tea.

Thinking this over, and fully understanding because Clara has been very similar there is a small smile of understandig that appears after a drink of her tea is taken. "Listen, sweetie, I know. And are they forcing you to stay? There is -some- responsability in having a shop and if you wanted it, you need to take that. But, given that it is also something -you- wanted, you can still travel I think. After all, you can say you're off getting different coffee from around the world too. You will just need to manage your time better."

Zoe fidgets a bit in her chair, not looking up at Clara. "I… I didn't want the responsibility of running a shop. I… I pay someone else to. That means I don't really get any money from it… but… I just wanted to be able to spend time at a Coffee House. The Mysticked District didn't have a real one! So… so I'm not a 'coffee house owner'… I'm still just a wanderer."

Clara chuckles. "Then why are you so shy over this?" Not able to retain her curiousty the woman stands and goes to grab a snack - something more savory, like a spiced bread. Those options are also there. As for the empty cups from whoever was there earlier, they are put away. "Admittedly, to provide for a place you get no profit out of just to be there sounds a touch.. confusing, but you -can- make it work! And get some profit from it."

Zoe shrugs a bit when Clara asks why she seems so shy. It's hard to explain. "I just set things in motion. Now and then, I have to do a few things. But, not much. I just… I don't want roots. I just wanted a little perch here in London… but to still come and go."

"Sounds like you've got that." Replies Clara slowly. "But as you get older, your ideas may change too. You're young yet and have that freedom. Well, I guess so am I. Life changes though. I'd say go see what you want to see now, and live in that. And when the time comes, make the changes you need to. Like me with this shop. I love to travel, and plan to, but just not as much. For what I can get when I travel, I can see. It's a home base, I really like that now. Though I might of done a lot more traveling than many my age since I've seen most of the world."

Zoe lifts her chin with a hint of defiance at the thought of growing older and changing her mind about settling down. "It's my nature to wander. Just like my mum… And brother. I'll never set down roots." Pausing, she smiles up at Clara. "But… I'm glad to see you here in London while I linger for a bit."

Seeing this, there is a smirk. Clara understands this, and was once more down that road. "Age, is a horrid thing, but also splendid. It's such a mixture of things. I'm glad to be here too, to start something new. I -will- still find some adventures, which I persist upon us going together for it is often a bore not having company! There are still a few places yet that I want to see. Who knows, maybe you will find a nice young man one day to prompt you to settle down." Humour is in her eyes as a sip of her refilled tea is taken.

Zoe siiinks down in her chair, wrinkling her nose like a child asked to try boiled brussel sprouts. "Not me. Never ever." She sneaks another sweet from the tray as she watches Clara.

"Sure sure. Before you know it, bam! Ring on the finger and happy." She kids, she knows well enough Zoe may not be the type. "I'm just saying, you never know, and lets leave it at that, hrm? Now," Moving to sit Clara grins at the girl. "Now now, remember, do what you love. And we will still have adventure and fun! And I'll make a point to come and try some coffee."

Zoe is more than happy to leave it at that and not go anywhere near it again. Sitting back up slowly, she nods with a small smile. "Not sure if I'll be there, but I hope to see you. I… I think I also might one day do some writing. Maybe. Tell stories from far away lands…"

And that part of the conversation seems to be over, so Clara moves forward as well. "If you plan to write, then perhaps you want some pictures drawn? I'd be happy to provide them! You do know how I love to draw. You should see what I'm doing at my place. But no, I wont tell! It will be a surprise, more fun that way."

Zoe giggles as she peers up at Clara. "Now I want to see even more! Buut, I don't know if I'll need pictures. I want to paint the pictures with words. But, I'll remember just in case." She shifts a bit, folding her knees to sit on her calves. "I was just on my way to find the best place to make designs in the snow… a place with untouched snow… Do you want to come?"

"That sounds like a good idea! Let me finish cleaning this up, and grab my stuff, close shop and we can go." Happy about this idea, Clara does just that. Puts the rest of her stuff away - after all, her partner wouldn't like a mess left about either, and gets her things so they are ready to go and look for some fresh snow.

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