(1940-02-18) Sight for Sore Eyes
Details for Sight for Sore Eyes
Summary: Lucy makes her first return visit to the Leaky Cauldron after an absence of years, to find familiar faces and meet someone new.
Date: 18 February 1940
Location: The Leaky Cauldron, London

Midafternoon, midweek, possibly one of the few times the Leaky Cauldron might be called 'slow', and there is still a fair crowd gathered in the popular public house. From out on Charing Cross road a figure lingers, tucked up beside a building out of the wind, bundled in a woolen coat against the February cold. It's a woman, clearly told from the legs beneath the coat's hem, stocking covered, and feet tucked into modestly heeled shoes. Lucy Randall has been watching the once familiar establishment for the better part of 30 minutes, and as the cold seeps deeper into her bones she braces herself for her first foray back into the wizarding world in at least four years.

She takes a deep breath that releases into a puff of white, swept away by the wind, before she steps off the kerb and crosses the street, pulling open the door and slipping into the pub before she can change her mind. The warm air within is like walking into an oasis, and it emphasizes the cold without. A knit cap covers the young woman's head, and she doesn't remove it as she moves into the large main room, glancing around. She's chosen the time carefully, to be least likely to run into old chums or, perish the thought, friends of her once-family. Lucy moves to the bar, keeping herself to herself as much as she can, and only then pulls the hat from her head as she orders tea and a bowl of whatever stew is on hand today.

Graham is here already which isnt too surprising given that he's a regular to the establishment though he's only just got here and is still trying to decide where to sit before he'll likely order his usual food and just relax a bit. The young man finally does so a good table where he can see both doors a habit he's taken up lately well from doing the job that he does. He spots the woman entering and tilts his head a moment trying to place the face it has been a while and so its taking him a moment.

Reece behind the bar has to do a momentary double take as Lucy is seen in his peripheral vision. "Elly…" "Aye!?" Comes the wenches voice from the kitchen just before she comes out with a tray of food to deliver to another table. The momentarily confused Reece looks between Elly and Lucy as he puts together the tea for Lucy and he's also spotted Graham so a cider is also on the things to do. "Here you are." He says to Lucy when the tea is put down. It isn't until the tray is served and that table is all tucking into their food that Elly notices just who is at the bar, "Lucille!? Cooor! Tha really ye!?" No matter if it is or isn't the stranger is getting a big warm hug from the side from Elly.

Lucy glances toward Reece before she half turns away, trying to look as if she's distracted by voices from a nearby table. The tea gets another glance, a tentative smile, "Ta." The one person she had expected to see, perhaps even hoped to see, is Elly. Although, over the course of four years, Lucy hadn't known if the lass would still be serving at her family's place or if she'd be well stuck into midwifery now. It's a relieved smile that comes when she's recognized, and Lucy turns to fully face Elly and return the hug. "Elly, as I live and breath, you're a sight to behold." She's not noticed Graham, having been doing her best to not catch any other eyes, and thankfully most are so accustomed to Elly's warm greetings that they don't pay much mind to the two girls, still looking so similar, as they hug.

The auror will spot the cider and stand up to go get it instead of anyone having to bring it over. Its here that Graham will hear the name and it clicks as he looks over the new woman who'd entered and is currently be smothered by Ellyness he will stand to the side trying to place the years it had been since after school now. "Well i'll be." he says first smiling "Afternoon Elly, and aren't you a sight for sore eyes the both of you."

Elly gives Lucy's cheek a quick kiss. "It has been an age! Where have ye been keeping yourself? Traveling the world, exotic men swooning after ye?" Elly has a lot of time to fantasize since Jack's passing. Seemingly not just about herself, she's just the sort to think of old friends and wonder up fantasies of what they've been up to since she last saw them. Such as Graham, in the handful of hours since she has last seen him, he's gotten a promotion and single handedly taken down Grindelwald! She rubs at Lucy's arms a few times before she pulls out her wand to enchant her long lost friend's clothing with a warming spell that makes it feel fresh from the drier. Next comes Graham's clothes just before she leans over to give his cheek a warm kiss of greeting. Yes, indeed the usuals are very used to Elly's affectionate greetings.

The cheek kiss is returned, and Lucy smiles at Elly's speculations, answering vaguely with, "Something like that, Elly." There'll be time enough for her story, what she'll choose to tell of it, although if anyone would get the full story in time it would be Elly. Lucy looks to Graham as he speaks, and it only takes her a second to place her former housemate and friend. "Graham Cohen. You've hardly changed a bit since school, I'd recognize you anywhere." The charm from Elly gets another grateful, "Ta. It's so cold, I can't help but wonder if the weather has decided to join in on the Muggle war and make life difficult." It's a weak joke, but still an attempt to make light of a situation that could too easily weigh heavily even on Wizards.

Graham smiles over to Elly at the cheek kiss and warming spell he will take a drink from the cider after paying though looking back he wonders where Lucy's been as well though he is greeting and is glad she recognizes him. "Thanks Lucille, though you've not changed much yourself havent seen you since graduating it seems." He wonders and cant remember having done so though he'll smile "We should sit and talk the lot of us been too long and the day's too short to be wasting." he'll motion to a table.

Deciding to take a break from her work and have something to eat, Clara comes into the Cauldron with her satchel, like always. The jacket is shuffled off and the snow is kicked off her shoes. It's nice and warm in here, but the walk wasn't to far from her shop either.

Elly leans back from her snuggle group of her, Lucy and Graham hearing the door open. "Welcome loverly. Specials today is the Quail Pie and the soup is the Lamb and Veal Stew." A warming spell is angled at Arla and then she rubs the backs of both Graham and Lucille. "I've got to go fetch the Squidge. But I'll be back with something delicious to eat. An' the lil man 'imself." She grins to Graham in that 'yes you can play with the squidge!' look.

Lucy releases the light hold she'd still had of Elly, looking a little perplexed at mention of some squidge, but all in it's time. There's a glance to Arla, but having been in different houses and different years, the face doesn't strike any immediate chords with Lucy. Still, there's a polite smile from the young witch, but she looks back to Graham. "Did you go on with your plans to join the Ministry?" she asks, before picking up her teacup for a sip. She's content to linger at the bar unless other suggestions are made, and she glances around frequently, a look that Graham, of anyone, may pinpoint as holding caution.

The auror turns back as the door opens that same habit "Hey Clara." Graham gives her a smile before looking back to Elley as she speaks and touches his back. "Sounds lovely." The young man does indeed look hopeful and grins when he sees the look from Elley. He turns back to Lucky as she speaks to him "I did, I even stuck to becoming an auror." He explains though he might spot the confused look "Elly's son." he explains about the squidge comment.

Yay for the warming spell, Clara feels better and warmer. "Hope spring comes soon.." Says the young with to herself. Nodding to Elly and giving a grin feet bring her in further. Looking around that polite smile from Lucy is returned. Seeing Graham the woman heads his way. "Hello." Comes the greetings to the two who are talking. "Hope I'm not interrupting."

Elly pats the bar, "Sit 'ere so we can gab while I am in the kitchen. Lucy's chosen spot is actually perfect for looking into the serving window into the kitchen. Like a fussy mother she boldly helps Graham, Lucy and then Arla out of their winter wear and gives it a hanging on near by pegs. Then she's off to bustle about around behind the bar and then into the kitchen.

Lucy's brows shoot up, and she looks to Elly in surprise. "A son? Goodness, I certainly did fall out of touch," she says with a soft laugh. And she knows full well how true that is. She's almost reluctant to shrug out of her coat, but she doesn't attempt to argue it with Elly, falling easily back into the other witch's habit of fussing over others, which clearly hasn't changed a bit in the years Lucy's been away. "I think if I expected any of the lot of us to go on with their plans, Graham, it was you," Lucy says as she slips up to perch on a barstool. Her hand goes out then to Clara, a welcome face in it's lack of familiarity. "Lucy Randall," she offers with the hand. "No interruption at all, just… old home days." Her smile is warm and broad, and she looks very similar to Elly.

"Clara Prewett this is Lucillie, Lucille this is Clara." he notes the change of last names but smiles only. Graham makes introductions as he's sat down at the bar and his winter wear removed while he takes another drink from his cider. "I've heard that and I stuck with it. What sort of work do you do? It seems like forever since we've been out of school." He comments trying to place all the time that's gone by now.

With the help of Elly Clara is all settled and warm. "Nice to meet you sweetie!" Says the young witch with a shake of Lucy's hand. Her grip is the right amount of pressure and her hand is warm and soft. Moving the satchel to the counter she opens it and removed some drawing pencils, then her sketch book and then what looks to be a pen and paper. Half a ear is listening the two talk. "Elly, darling. Can I ask you something? Or, two things that is."

Elly gives a proud mum beam over at Lucy when they discuss her son. Her left hand is lifted up to show the very simple and very thin bit of gold band around her wedding ring finger. Even though she points to the black framed picture with a black shroud swooped over the top of it, an obvious memorial she still smiles and looks just as proudful as she taps the face of the RAF pilot with kissed upon fingers. "Me Jack." She tells Lucy on her way into the Kitchen. She pops into view again in the serving window. "Sure loverly. I'll be back in two swishes of the granian's tail. Must pop up the stairs. Be right back."

"It's just Lucy now," is said to Graham with a smile, before there's a nod to Clara as they shake and release hands. "It's my pleasure, Miss Prewett." She's still got that notion of formality that was drummed into her from an early age, and knows the Prewett name, of course, despite having been out of wizarding society for so long. Her eyes shift as Elly points out the picture, and for a moment Lucy is stock still, looking at the young man in the RAF uniform. Somehow it's not surprising to see, nor is it that Jack and Geoffrey are vaguely similar names, and yet it's surprising enough that Lucy could be knocked over with a feather in her few moments of stillness. But she recovers it quickly, perhaps without anyone noticing, dropping her attention to her tea, and then lifting it at once to focus on Graham. "I've been working in a little shop, nothing very fancy." Last known, she was intent on a career with animals, but sometimes things don't go the way they were planned. As she glances over and notices the items Clara takes from her bag, Lucy decides to add, "It's a little art supply shop, in Brompton."

Clara has moved her eyes to the picture Elly has pointed to. There is a frown. It's such a sad thing. Big grey eyes look to the other witch. She doesn't need works, that gaze expresses enough that she is sorry for her loss. "I.." Looking to the other two, and oddly enough - which isn't like her, that sudden shyness comes about the woman. "I would like you to teach me how to cook, for one. Even if it's simple things. And secondly, I was wondering if you could make up something for a fundraiser I am doing."

Lucy then gets attention and eyes widen. "You work in an art supply shop?! I'm getting low on supplies. In Brompton you say? I will be stopping by as soon as I can. I've got a rather large project on the go, outside of what I'm doing for the auction." The frown that was there fades, along with the shyness. There is a bright smile that replaces it.

"Ah, Lucy sorry." Graham says taking another drink from his cider. He does look over to Clara a moment and the items she removes the bag art supplies before back to Elly he smiles ruefully but sees the picture giving a nod to her pride as far as he's concerned she should be proud. The last look given to Lucy and he smiles "Excellent, an art shop. I'll have to come by sometime, though my skills there arent very good still."

Elly returns from upstairs with her ever growing son. She missed Arla's questions while upstairs so the young lady will need to re-ask them when she's able. The tow-headed boy (she takes after her mother in coloration, but features are spot on to his father.) is placed on the bar and he sits there like a champ before Graham who he babbles at and wields his teething spoon at his 'uncle' in a 'lookie what I've got nuncle!' way. "There, now ye blokes behave." She points to the boys looking at Lucy, "Keep an eye on these two. Don't let the badge fool ye, when this lot pal up, it's trouble." She grins through her playful tease and then backs back up for the kitchen once more.

Lucy turns and looks to Reece, smiling at the man as she asks, "Do you have a paper and something to write with, please?" When it's supplied she jots down the shop's name, address and hours, twice, ripping the page in half and turning to give a piece to Clara. "It would be lovely to see you, if you find yourself in the area. A fair number of local artists stop by regularly." Muggle artists, but there's no need to mention that. The other piece, of course, is offered out to Graham. "The only way you can improve is with practice, surely you know that as an Auror." It's a cheeky/friendly observation, coming with good humor. Elly's return and subsequent deposit of the baby is met with a bout of delighted cooing at the boy from Lucy. "And look at this little man. Such a big boy you are."

Graham looks back as Elly returns and with child in tow. He looks with wide eyed happy expression "There's my partner in crime, we dont do behaving do we lil man?" He listens to the boy tell him about the item he's wagging at him. "Ah, well sounds like you've had an adventure today." He says easily though looks back to Lucy in time to accept the address "That's quite true and I enjoy looking at art too." he grins looking back to the baby "Looks like we've got to plan a night on the town hm?"

Lucy can't help but smile at Graham's interaction with the baby. She takes another sip of tea, and again her eyes scan the room. It being her first foray back into the Cauldron in all this time, she's keeping watch for any familiar faces that she doesn't want to bump into and play catch-up. It's too much to explain, and she's not sure how much she will even to Elly yet. But her feeling of kinship with the barmaid has grown once more, even on such a brief meeting as this. "Do you have any of your own?" she asks Graham, a natural question on seeing his comfort with the boy.

The auror is keeping an eye on the baby as well as turning back to Lucy as she asks about his status he shakes his head. Graham takes another drink before he answers in proper. "Afraid not, though I would like a couple at some point." He says grinning he looks back to the baby "Until then i'll hang out with lil man here. How about yourself?" He has noticed she's not really given much information beyond where she works he's not trying to press but making conversation.

If she'd have been thinking, Lucy would have avoided asking Graham that question, because returning it is only a natural response. And she's had to hide who she is for so long, being careful with what she says and having had to fabricate much of a past for herself to be able to live in the Muggle world, she really should have known better. She decides to answer, but keeps it short and neutral. "I was married." And now, a distraction comes in the almost perfectly timed throw of his spoon. "Oh dear!" she cries in mock distress.

Clara, after getting the paper from Lucy, had stepped away. Someone dragged her off. An older looking witch with hair that would remind someone of cobwebs. The two seem to be having a very heated conversation over something. It's a fair distance from the others so hearing it would be rather hard. The old woman looks a tad angry and then goes to storm off leaving the young with to head back to the others. If her mood was sour from that encounter it brightens at seeing a baby. Yay baby!

"Oh!" Says the Prewett softly, "Look at him. Now isn't he just the cutest little thing.." The return is in time to hear some of their conversation. But it isn't her place to say anything other than comforting hand briefly put on Lucy's shoulder if allowed.

Graham nods to the words about being married though he gets the idea that she doesnt want to talk to much about it and will drop it though the thrown spoon gets a wideyed look as he moves to recover the spoon though he'll offer it over to be cleaned off before he offers it back over "Nice shot lil man, but probably best not to go pelting people with spoons hm?" he smiles he looks over to Clara "He is indeed."

There's a warm smile for Clara's return, and Lucy, of course, doesn't pry into why she was pulled away. "He is a lovely boy," she says. She seems about to go on, until her wandering eyes happen across a new arrival, coming from the Diagon Alley entrance. Her eyes widen just a touch, but enough to show light alarm, and she turns away from the newcomer, pulling her hat back on hastily. "Oh dear, I've just remembered…" What?? What did she just remember? "… that I've made an appointment this afternoon." Lame. "Graham, it was lovely to see you again after all this time. Clara, it was truly a pleasure to meet you." Each gets a warm smile in turn, although she's clearly trying to hastily beat a retreat now. She leaves some coins on the bar, too much but she's out of practice with wizarding money and will have to brush up again if she intends to continue visiting. And if she'll do what she's planning, she must continue visiting the world she left behind. Her coat is grabbed up and shrugged into as she adds a hasty, "Please, do give Elly my regrets that I couldn't stay." And, true to her word, she doesn't stay, heading at once for the door, as if there's a devil on her heels.

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