(1940-04-16) 50 Shades of...Lessons
Details for 50 Shades of…Lessons
Summary: Hero and Clara (Arla) run into each other at the Cauldron, and he tries to teach her some interesting lessons.
Date: IC 1940-04-16
Location: Cauldron
Related: -

Thursday night isn't the most popular night to go out and about on the town in Muggle or Wizarding London, but there are a number of people enjoying the Leaky Cauldron on this weeknight nonetheless. One of them is Hero, and since he is at the bar with a glass in front of him, he doesn't seem to be here on business. Also lending to this impression is the way he's laughing and talking to a pretty red-headed witch, both of them pink-cheeked as though those empty glasses were not their first. It seems she has somewhere else to be, however regretfully, as she hops down off a bar stool and wiggles her fingers at him in a wave, and then heads out of the shop toward the street.

Clara arrives to the Cauldron, carrying her satchel like always. There is a newspaper in her hands, but unlike the one a typical witch or wizard would read, it's muggle, and rolled up ready to be read. Her aim is to find a table and do just that, but it's seeing Hero red faced with a redhead that makes her pace stop and brings about a smirk. The woman passes by and with a risen brow she moves towards the journalist. From the last time they met, her face is healed up and slowly that spark has returned to her silver eyes. "Charming the ladies I see." She says to him in jest.

"Clara!" Hero seems pleased to see her. This is followed by a sharp, attentive sort of look, scanning her features, but she seems better, and so he says nothing. One hand gestures at the now empty stool next to him, and he returns the jest, "I've still got charm left to spare, if you care to join me. Believe I owe you a drink anyway, don't I then?"

She laughs softly and nods. "Sure, I'll join you, I've got nothing else really going on tonight." Feet bring her to the spot at the bar where the ginger-witch had been sitting, and Clara takes a seat there putting the newspaper down, and it rolls open with some muggle headline. Her satchel is removed and put on her lap. "That's right! You do owe me a drink," Though she guesses he's ahead of her on that front right now. "How have you been? You seemed in a tough spot when we last saw each other."

"Oh, that." Hero waves away concern for the 'tough spot' with a dismissive, one handed gesture, as though nothing could be farther from his interest right now. "I was just unlucky," he explains vaguely, and then grins, happy. "But not tonight. Tonight, I've had all sorts of luck, so you can fee free to order whatever you like. Hungry? You can feast. Thirsty? You can order the whole bottle. You can order the whole vineyard if you like."

Well now, Clara is curious, he seems to be so.. uplifted, and the invite to have anything makes her grin. Though she looks to the barman and orders a beer, no food, at least yet. Within seconds it's in front of her. Looking back to Hero she tilts her head. "So, what's got you in such a good mood?" There is a nod towards the door where the ginger-haired woman left. "A new girlfriend?"

"What, her?" Hero laughs. "No, I've only just met her tonight. I've got no idea what her name is… Sherry, or Cherry, or something like that. She's pretty to be sure, but she didn't have anything interesting to say, so I don't reckon I'll be calling around trying to find where she works or if she'd like to come to a dance with me. Sometimes, it's just nice to have a drink with someone. I like to meet people, never know what their story might be."

"Suuure, sure." Clara says jokingly, having seen the way the two were.. talking. She lifts her beer and takes a sip, putting it gently back down on the counter. A hand would then come up to sweep through her hair and smooth it away from her face. "Well some people haven't had a very interesting life I guess. Not like seeing the world." That's interesting, right? "Wait, you can dance?"

"Of course I can dance," Hero replies, in tones of amused surprise. "How else would I invent excuses to see girls again, otherwise? It's no good going to dances in the Muggle world these days, though; they only want uniforms, and really, who could blame them?"

"What kind of dancing do you -do- then?" Clara asks with a laugh. She shuffles out some papers from her satchel so the newspaper can be put in, a deck of cards being put on the counter to help make room. "I enjoy swing dancing myself, belly dancing, amoung many. Muggle dancing is a little less.. formal, than our own, so that makes it a bit more fun."

"Muggle styles," Hero nods agreement with Clara's skills, and her reasoning. Her cards are eyed with interest, but he's yet to comment on this, instead thanking the bar tender as Clara's drink is dropped off. "It's fun, isn't it? Mind you," and here he grins, "I didn't say that I am a /good/ dancer. Just that it's something I enjoy. Usually. Feels a bit low when all the girls go off with the tall blokes."

It doesn't pass her, the look he gives the cards. She grabs it, thanks the man for the beer and takes a good sip. It's put back down afterwards. "Well, you're not all that short I would say! And if the girls are doing that sweetie, they aren't for you anyway." She means it true with the grin she gives him. "Now I'm curious on how you can dance if you've got no talent! Enjoy cards? Could play a few games."

"Oh, it's alright. I'm a bit short." Hero doesn't seem particularly bothered by that fact, or maybe he's just that excited about the invitation to play cards, and he grins. "Of course," he answers readily. "Any game you like. I don't play for free though." And here, the grin broadens a little. "So, you'll have to think of something you want to wager. Doesn't have to be money, of course, but where's the fun in a game if there's nothing to be won or lost?"

Well a bet, now Clara doesn't even know what to bet, it's not overly her thing. Thinking while drinking her beer she looks to said drink, smiles, puts it down and nods to Hero. "How about, whoever wins pays for the next round?" Small time, that's her. She can't really think of anything else of worth she'd have to wager anyway. "How about we play.." Now, what to play, the cards are awkwardly shuffled in her hands. "Well, I can't really think of a game outside of say, twenty-one, if that's fine. Or do you know a game better than go fish?"

Hero looks amused. "Don't gamble a lot, do you?" he remarks, which might be about her knowledge of card games, her choice of wager, or both. "Come here," he beckons, and moves their spot from the bar, to a table not far away. "There's more room here. I'll teach you to play Kings Corners, you'll like that. It's easy, doesn't take too long, and someone wins or loses at the end." Her deck is confiscated and he begins to shuffle the cards for her. They make a satisfying sound against each other and the table, and it seems to be an action with which he is very familiar.

Grabbing her stuff, and the beer, can't forget that, Clara goes to follow him to the table and goes to sit across from him, it's the easier way to play card games right? With her stuff put down on a spare chair she'd sit in hers, put the beer down and rest on her arms so her big grey eyes can watch and learn. Though a curious glance is given to him, perhaps things are making a bit more sense from their last meeting. "I never gamble no, well. only with my life sometimes when I go treasure hunting, I've had a few close calls there." Is that the ultimate gamble? "That game sounds good! I'm always willing to learn." The way he shuffles the deck like a pro also gets attention, maybe firming her suspicions.

Hero deals and explains the game, which is simple enough to learn in one session in a busy pub. The basic premise seems to be similar to other games, where the player who runs out of cards first is the winner. Instructions issued, he allows Clara to begin, insisting "Ladies first." He grins, however, at her response. "What are you doing carrying cards around if you don't play?" he wonders. "Just in the event that you're trapped at the station when the train is late, and you have a spectacular and profound affection for Go Fish?"

Well, for her it's a bit to take in. Clara isn't against games but perhaps she just wants to win so is paying more attention this time. With his instruction her card, or cards, are played. It may be a poor start, but it's a start. Looking up there is a sweet sounding laugh. "Exactly!" She jokes. "Well, to be honest I was walking back this way with my cousin, he was given them as a gift and didn't want them, so I said I'd take them, maybe find someone who wants them. So they are yours if you want, I've got no real use for them myself."

"Who wouldn't want cards as a gift?" Hero seems bemused at the very thought. Kings Corners isn't a hard game, much like solitaire, and he doesn't take very long to consider his moves, playing cards quickly on his turn. "I don't exactly need them, but I'll take them anyway. They look Muggle-made, which is always popular in some circles. Some people prefer knowing they're enchantment-free." Another turn passes, and eyes on the cards, he remarks, "Your bruise seems better."

"They are muggle." Clara says with a nod, watching him play his cards and then looking over hers. She considers for a second then lays hers, again, not the best move, but she is just learning! Once the cards are down her gaze would fix on Hero. "Sure take them, all yours." The smile she did have fades a bit, teeth crasp ontp her lower lip and this time her nod is slow. "Yeah, it's long gone now. Thanks for the stuff, by the way. I went to my brother, have you ever met him? Graham, he's an Auror. Right after we ran into each other, he went and dealt with Henry, from what I saw my eye looked perfect compared to his."

"Haven't met him," Hero shakes his head. "I don't meet too many aurors. If there's news on them, it doesn't tend to be the likes of me that get the story on it, you know? But it's alright. You've heard naught from this Henry since then, right?" He only has one card left, a potential he might go out next turn, and both brows lift. "Better hurry!" he warns her, impishly.

"I've not." Clara replies, in regards to Henry. "And even if he came around he'd probably find the edge of my foot firmly planted into his groin anyway. I don't take kindly to being treated like meat." Anger is in her tone as she utters that, but why wouldn't she be angry? Who wouldn't be angry if they were hit for standing up for themselfs! Seeing that he has one card left there is a playful frown, she isn't going to win, she has to many and didn't play them rigt. So in a last ditch attempt she places them ALL down, grinning and looking up. No, it probably isn't a legal move, or is it one that would even make her win.

Hero grins and chides Clara with a 'tsk' sound, waggling his last card at her. He seems satisfied with the outcome of the bad boyfriend situation, and doesn't dwell there, instead moving on to tease her about her card moves. "Naughty," he mock-scolds. "Very naughty. Seems that you've lost the wager I'm afraid, Miss Prewett. But out of deference for your skills as a new and fledgling card player, I will allow you to buy 'the next round' some other evening, if you prefer."

Yet again Clara laughs and shakes her head. "I couldn't think of anything else!" She says in defense, but playful defense. "That is a kind offer sweetie but I'll pay for the next round, it is only fair since I tried to cheat you. I'm not as talented with cards or gambling." She takes the cards now and tries to shuffle them, but not before waving over a server. "I'll have another beer, and whatever the winner here wishes for himself." Eyes focus on Hero. "I need to figure out something else I can win at now. To make the stakes even, since you know more of this then I do."

Hero apparently can't stand Clara's shuffling skills, or lack thereof. Or maybe he just really enjoys shuffling cards. "Here, let me," he insists, and tries to take them again. He orders Bloody Nose Turnip Wine, which who knows what that is, but it's on the wiki and sounds sufficiently weird to be something wizards like. "Most people bet for money," he explains. "Sometimes with chips or whatnot, like a red one is worth a knut, a blue one a sickle… that sort of thing. All the way up to Galleons. But me, I'll bet for anything. Secrets. Favors. Books, trinkets, odds and ends. Jewelry, stories, kisses. There's nothing I haven't won. And nothing I haven't lost. I don't reckon I'd bet my wand, but anything else…" He shrugs.

The server nods and walks away to place the orders. Clara hands over the cards, she sucks at it and he seems to enjoy it, it works! Resting back in the chair and finishing off her beer she corssing a leg over the other, resting a hand casualy on the arm of the chair. Again she laughs, she always seems to laugh around him. "That.. is about everything." She comments with a smirk. "I've never really bet anything in my life, again, except for my life I'd say. How about next round we bet for money if you'd like? Or a story, you know I got lots of those." Thinking further their drinks arrive quick, they are on the ball tonight! "I'm a pretty simple girl, can't think of many interesting things I could bet on, then again I've never had to think of it before."

Something in what she's said makes him laugh. "This is a thing with you," he insists. "This is a definite thing with you. 'La la, I'm just little Clara Prewett, nothing to see here, I'm just simple and there's nothing interesting about me.'" He's teasing her for sure, but not unkindly. "'La la, nothing to see here, just a simple girl, never mind all the bits about gambling my LIFE and traveling the WORLD and repeatedly finding myself in eye-opening and/or life threatening situations and experiences.' Yes, you're so dull." Hero flicks an ace of hearts between his fingers, grinning. "I bet you can't even say, straight out, 'I, Clara Prewett, am gorgeous, mysterious, and interesting.' I bet you."

Every amused around him Clara takes the newly brought beer and holds it in her hand, it's not drank from yet, just held at a ready to be emptied sip by sip. His words bring about a big smile, and a playful roll of her eyes. "You know me to well sweetie." Remarks the witch softly. With a good swig of beer the woman sits forward, putting the bottle down and goes to look him right in the eyes. Her own big grey eyes sparkle and alight with life, which might be nice to see after the dullness they had for so long afer the hit. "I bet you're wrong! I could say it! I, Clara prewett am…." Words choke off, there is a shake of her head with a laugh. "You're right! I can't. -You- may see that, but I surely don't! To myself I'm as I said a simple girl, sure to be of little interest to most." It's not that she doesn't lack confidence, more so that she just.. doesn't believe herself to be anything different, or special, or unique. "But you -are- right, I do, and have done all those things."

Hero's grin does nothing but broaden. "Ah, nothing better, the feeling of a wager won," he says, and taps his ace on the table, winking at her before he returns the card to the deck. "What would be the harm in saying it then, Clara?" he asks following, a bit more gently. If you are all those things, if you have done all those things, why is it so hard to call a spade a spade? You've only got one self. It's alright to be proud of it."

Clara sits there, watches him and listens. She was never great at taking a compliment, she was never overy sure why anyone would -want- to compliment her. But he does and as Hero speaks nicely of her the witch shifts in her chair a bit, gives a shy smile and tucks some hair behind her ear. What girl doesn't like being called beautiful? "That.. sweetie, is kind of you, but you really don't need to." She protests a bit, just not use to it or perhaps just doesn't see herself in the same way. "Or, are you trying to butter me up for a good story now?"

"Close," Hero instructs, like a teacher correcting the pronunciation of a spell at Hogwarts. "But not quite. What you want to say is, 'Thank you.' If you're not interested in attention from the person complimenting you, of course, then the response would be something more terse, you know, just like a 'Thanks,' and then you go back to doing whatever you were doing. We'll try again." He grins. "You're very interesting."

Her big grey eyes fix on him, Hero seems so intent on trying to fix her more modest approach to herself. It's a swig of beer that helps her to relax a bit more, and nods as if taking instruction from a teacher. "Okay, okay darling." And sitting upright, for she was leaning back in the chair, again like a student she addresses the journalist with a smile. "Thank you." Her lifted brow asks 'that better?' in a humourous sort of way.

"Brilliantly done," Hero praises her, and grins. "See, that wasn't so awful then, wasn't it? Just practice three times a day for six to eight weeks and you too can become a confident, professional compliment-accepter using the guidelines of the simple and enjoyable Vex Method for Social Ease and Self Esteem." Just in case she starts wondering if that's an actual thing, maybe he buys his own ad space in the paper, Hero adds, "I'm joking."

"Sweetie," Clara says with a laugh. "I get what you're trying to do I just.. well I'm confident in myself, who I am, my looks and abilites. I've just never felt the need to 'flaunt' it, you know? I've spent a lot of time seeing woman use their.. um, bodies, for attention, never wanted to be -that- sort myself. Figured just being me was enoug or not, and if not, that's not my issue and move on. But the flattery and lessons are nice. Maybe I needed them."

"Just remember," Hero points out, "There are three approaches to compliments. Expect them, accept them… or turn them aside, and say oh, no, not little old me. You're mostly doing the third one, now. Try the second one." He smiles. "Just try it. See where it takes you. Good places, I think."

"Fine, fine. Arm twiser." Clara replies with a smirk. "But I thought being modest was a good thing? Or was I wrong in that belief?" She would sips from her beer again. "I mean do men really like it when a woman is all 'look at me, pay attention to -me'? I never thought they did."

"Oh… no no," Hero shakes his head, worriedly. "It says right in the Men's Guide to Masculine Mannishness that I can't tell you those things," he replies, and then grins. "Clara, asking what men like, or what women want, is like asking 'what color are cats.' Depends on the cat. Depends on the man, the woman. What I'm telling you about compliments, I'd tell anyone, because I see it a lot - people who think it's black and white. Good and bad. Vain or modest. There is a shade of gray between, where you don't have to trumpet the good parts of yourself for all the world to see, but if someone else turns out to like them too, you're allowed to agree. I like that. I like shades of gray." 50 shades of gray?! "I like nudging other people to see those shades too, and I strongly believe they benefit from the distinction."

"Or what colour are dogs." Clara replies softly. "I don't know if I see it as black and white, I just don't see a reason to flaunt myself. Mind you," Now she pauses and presses her lips together. "I grew up being picked on for a very, very long time, and never got a compliment until my father fetched me. So, it's hard to take sometimes when I do. All I've learned is to just be me, shades of grey, black or white, just me and to accept that first and fully."

Hero processes that for a moment, and then grins. "I bet…" he starts off, and then sighs, letting go of his idea, whatever it may have been, with a reluctant laugh. "No, never mind, I've tortured you enough. And I should go home, Clara, but thank you for the drink, for the cards." A wink. "For being you."

About to ask into it, Clara is cut short when he mentions leaving and gives a nod. "Fine, be that way." Replies the witch with a grin. "Thank you for the company, and the lessosn, I'll take them to heart. And you make sure to get good use out of those cards, okay?"

"Ohhh, not to worry about that." Hero grins and looks for a moment like the kid around the corner that nice kids' moms always said was trouble. Then the cards disappear into his sleeve, and he stands from the table. "Good luck out there, Clara… but of course I hope you have the misfortune of tripping over me again soon." He grins, and departs!

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