(1940-06-02) No News
Details for No News
Summary: Shelley endures the foibles of Muggledom during her stay at Rena's house while Faulkner is absent.
Date: 1940/06/02
Location: Faulkner Residence
Related: Mind Over Matter

Poor Shelley. Her kindness in offering to stay with Rena for a few days has afflicted her with more Muggle living than she could have ever desired. However, at least the grand Faulkner house is on the masculine and practical side with decor. There are very few feminine touches to be seen… yet. Rena hasn't been living here for long.
For the most part, Shelley's host has been doing her best to keep it together. But, it is now June 2nd, and Faulkner has not returned - nor has Rena heard any word of him. Nothing like work to keep one occupied, though, she decides.
While Shelley has been trying to read mind-improving books, Rena has been focused on learning some of the more domestic charms, personally. Lacking any Muggle interference, she's free to stand in the middle of the parlor, with book in one hand and her wand in the other… wearing an apron over her clothes and a very determined expression on her face.

"Which one are you looking at?" Shelley asks, with her gaze still on her own book. She's showing appalling manners - her back against the arm of an arm chair - her legs draped over the opposite side. She turns a page, her finger tracing over one of the sentences.
Ebony has been making himself at home - and the ginger tom is currently lording over the back of the chair that Shelley is draped so oddly across - licking his paw calmly.

Not having been brought up in posh surroundings with posh manners like her husband, Rena makes no remark about Shelley and Ebony draping themselves over furniture. It just seems normal to her.
"Sweeping Charm," she answers, glancing away from the book for a moment. "I ain't so sure about this. The consequences of messing up ain't exactly pretty. I mean, I've seen worse, but if I wear an 'ole in the floor, Birdie will 'ave my 'ide over it."
Dropping both book and wand to her sides briefly, Rena asks cautiously: "Finding any 'elpful answers?" By now, it has become plain that her cockney dialect has been worsening every day since Faulkner's disappearance.

"If it goes wrong, we can just Reducto it," Shelley suggests offhandedly, her finger still tracing the page. For a moment, it looks like that's all she's going to say before she adds, "Nothing too enlightening. Though I hadn't really expected it to be." After all - some of the best had been on her case, and how could she expect to do better than them?
"It's not that hard, actually, and you're pretty decent at charms. You shouldn't have trouble. The wand motion is key, though. If you're too emphatic - that's when the thing gets carried away."

Rena frowns a little. She wants to say something, but thinks better of it. Really, part of her is dying of curiosity, wanting to know exactly what Shelley is searching for in those books; but, she hasn't the nerve to pry. Not yet, anyway…
"Right, so, not too emphatic, not too emphatic," Rena murmurs to herself, raising the book and wand once more. Glancing several times between both, the young woman finally builds enough confidence to give it a go. "Purgo Tabulato," she commands.

None could look more pleasantly surprised than Rena by the results. The broom (not the flying kind) bounces up onto its bristles and begins marching toward a dusty corner, where it begins to sweep.

Shelley finally glances up as Rena murmurs to herself, watching the woman's wandwork - and giving a nod of approval. "See? Didn't think you'd have trouble with that one. Really, domestic charms are easy. And much better than doing things nonmagically." Her gaze is already on her book again.
Ebony's eyes go to the bewitched broom and after watching for a few moments - he springs down and runs towards it to start batting at the bristles as it sweeps. "He does that," Shelley remarks - without looking, of course.

About all that Rena can manage is a self-conscious smile of satisfaction upon seeing her wandwork paying off. Ebony's antics with the broom at least elicit laughter from the woman. It's the first time she's laughed in days.
Before Rena can say anything, a loud, uproarious bell rings from the telephone, and it causes her to start. Not waiting another moment, she runs to the elegant contraption and picks up the receiver quickly: "Hello, hello? Is this…" There is a pause, and her hand trembles. "Ooh.." her anxious tone slips into disappointment, and her shoulders slump. "I'm s-sorry, Mother, he isn't here… I've not been able to get a hold of him since the twenty-sixth… No, I've not heard anything." There is a long pause, filled with the faint sound of a woman's voice on the other end of the line. "Alright," Rena finally gives a weak smile. "As soon as I hear something, I'll let you know."
The receiver is laid into its cradle, and Rena sinks down into the nearest chair.

Shelley looks like she's still reading - she's listening, though, while Ebony continues to assault the hapless broom that is only doing as it was told! She turns the woman's words over in her mind for a moment before asking, "His mother?" She looks up again, studying the woman slumped in the nearby chair.

It takes a moment for Rena to draw out of herself and bleakly look across at Shelley. "Yes," she answers quietly. Then, the faintest ghost of a smile shows for a moment and her gaze drops to the floor: "T-tomorrow is 'is birthday, you know. She were calling for… it doesn't matter, now." She leaves the thought unfinished and rises to her feet.
Idly walking across the room to her handbag - the tiny one that is so much larger on the inside - she picks it up and begins rummaging around inside. "No reason to let myself go. Who knows, he may show up any minute now." Rena says, unconvincingly. "I think I'll do my nails." She adds, withdrawing a glass bottle of deep rosy pink stuff. What Muggle devilry is this?

Shelley watches the other woman rummage. "He may just," she agrees. What, by Merlin's beard, is that pink nonsense she just pulled out, and how does one 'do' nails? She's silent a few more moments before she asks, "Do you know the hair-styling charm?"

Rena may be a young, vibrant woman, but she doesn't go for the bright cherry red polish so many espouse. Shelley's question takes her slightly off-guard, and she glances up from the bottle. "No, silly as that sounds. I do mine up the way Muggles do with pin curls and all." A beat, and she lowers the vile pink bottle to ask: "Why?"

"It's much easier than the sweeping charm. Then again - it's a transfiguration, and I've always been better at those than charms." Shelley reaches over to where she's kept a glass of whiskey - picking it up to take a sip. "You can use it to change not only the style but also color."

"Oh, I don't know if… I don't think Birdie would like me to be anything but a redhead," Rena muses, more to herself than to Shelley. "Though, for work… that might come in right 'andy for disguises and the like. And a bloody lot easier than swallowing polyjuice potion." Not that she ever did that - ever - for any reason, surely.

Shelley smiles as Rena jumps right to what she sees at the only real use of the charm. "Which is exactly why I learned it," Shelley agrees. "The hair thickening charm to change the length - the hair styling charm to play with color and style - you're a whole new person. Add a change of wardrobe, and you're done. But - anyways - I suppose it could come in handy for doing yourself up, as well."

Clearly, the wheels are turning in Rena's mind, now. She has more spells and charms to learn, perhaps… "But, it strikes me odd that nobody's ever invented Wizard nail varnish," she says, holding up the bottle of pink. "You'd think someone would've - and stuff that changes to any colour you want, too!" Some potion maker or artificer should work on that.
"Your 'air isn't so different from mine - and your complexion." Rena says abruptly, looking Shelley over in an eager way. "You should try it for something new! It'd look smashing on you."

"Nail… varnish," Shelley repeats - looking at the bottle a bit dubiously. "What is it for? I thought varnish was for furniture? Do you put it on the nails in the joints - to add a decorative touch?" Was Rena going to decorating the house for her gentleman's return? But then why talk about her complexion? "It's for fingernails?" she hazards.

Shelley's initial question about the application of nail varnish to furniture actually causes Rena to break into a slow grin that collapses into a fit of giggles.
Doing her best to stifle and calm her laughter without offending the other woman TOO much, she hides behind her hand until the giggling subsides. Nodding in reply, she answers brightly: "Yes! That's what they're for. Oh, please let me try it on you? I promise we can clean it right off without too much trouble if you don't like it. But… pleeeease?" She begs. "You can keep reading while I do it, even."

This is the sort of thing that Alis would have never let her hear the end of. Of course - she would have returned the favor. Shelley lets out a sigh, letting her head fall back so her gaze is up on the ceiling. "Fine." Surely this makes them even, right? Letting Rena paint her nails has to be comparable with the woman saving her life…?
Damnit. It really isn't.
On the other side of the room, Ebony is gnawing on broom bristles. It's questionable how much cleaning is getting done with the cat interfering, and spreading everything back out.

It may not be comparable to saving someone's life; but, Rena really needs this right now. A distraction - something, anything she can do to keep her mind off of her troubles.
Focusing madly on the work at hand, Rena tries to cause minimal distraction to Shelley's one-handed reading. However, she does occasionally ask the innocent question about the Glamers book between fingers. She really does a very neat and tidy job of gliding the awful-smelling nail varnish onto the other woman's nails. She must have done a lot of this with her Muggle girlfriends back in the day.

Shelley bears the treatment stoicly - offering first one hand, and then the other. She hardly even wrinkles her nose at the stench (why do Muggles do this to themselves?) Each question is answered - though usually briefly, and with a 'I've always been interested in glamers' spin. Which, admittedly, is true. Once the varnish is on, Shelley sets down the book to study the results in silence.
"I'll never really understand Muggles," is her conclusion.

"See?" Rena says with triumphant satisfaction as she surveys her handiwork: "I told you that it'd look smashing!"
Smashing is what Shelley is bound to do if Graham or anyone else at the office remarks on her Muggle manicure when she goes to work the next day.

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