(1941-08-02) Don't Be Out Late
Details for Don't Be Out Late
Summary: Dorea runs into her niece while she's out and they talk a little. Then Dorea finds something she must draw.
Date: August 2, 1941
Location: Southwest Diagon Alley

There's people moving about the crooked streets, some busy as they're heading from working late and others getting in some evening shopping as the sun is still up yet beginning to set. Along Diagon Alley, there's one young witch who is walking with a house elf that is following and carrying a large black canvas bag. Walburga's chin is held upwards, her shoes clicking on the cobbles as the dress hardly swishes given the starched stiffness.

Dorea is in a hurry to get from one place to the other. She darts through the alley in a hurry, not quite at a run, but not a walk, either. Her cheeks are flushed red with the exertion and her breathing is heavy as she keeps her fast pace, her arms around packages that smell, well, delicious. Her hair is pinned up, bobbing with her movement, and still looks good even with a couple strands slipping free of the bun. Her heels click against the cobblestone, but as Dorea speeds past, she slows as she turns her head, catching a familiar sight. “Hmm.” She’s sure she saw her in the crowd. Her pale green eyes slide back until she finds Walburga, and she smiles as she lets herself stop altogether. “Walburga. You’re out shopping late.”

Walburga hears a voice she recognizes, so Walburga stops and tells the house elf that follows her, "Wait here for the time being, Kreacher," and the house elf gives a "As you wish, mistress." before bowing underneath the heavy canvas bag. There's a flash of a smile given to Dorea before she says "Hello Aunt. It's the best time to shop, you don't have those nonsense do-gooders spouting off silly things like Muggle Rights. Have you and uncle Charlus been having success with the shop?"

Dorea shifts her load in her arms, making herself more comfortable while she’s stopped and in conversation. “Hmm,” she says thoughtfully. Her eyes glimmer a little, but she only smiles to her niece as she nods to her. “Well,” the witch lets out as she wraps her arms more securely around the packages. “That might be so, but I’m not sure how I feel about you being out in the dark.” Dorea inclines her head skyward, looking on the sky and just where it stands on how dark it is. She smiles, giving her head a shake and lowering her gaze to settle on Walburga again. “I know you can probably take care of yourself,” she adds in. “Yes, the shop is going well.” She adjusts her grip on the packages and a smile flicks out in amusement. “About uncle Charlus,” her finger taps lightly on the packages, as if to show where her thoughts are, “our secret that you saw me with these, okay?” A small laugh escapes her. “I made a mistake when I tried making dinner tonight.” She grimaces, not really wanting to think about /that/ particular catastrophe.

Walburga says "I always have Kreacher here with me, he wouldn't let -anything- happen to me." as she gives the house elf a look over her shoulder; he's buried underneath the large canvas luggage bag. "Sometimes potions are easier than cooking, that's for sure. Domestics club is so-so, when you're not having to listen to some mudblood go on and on. But I'll keep your thoughts on me being out by myself and pass them to my parents, they'll probably agree with you."

“Hmm,” Dorea murmurs, considering this as her pale green eyes slide over to the house elf. She again shifts the packages in her arms, nodding her head. “I’m sure there’s no reason to worry,” she comments, almost confidently. Another laugh escapes the witch at the mention of potions and cooking, adjusting the load in her arms so that she can brush at a strand of brown hair, hiding her embarrassment on the matter. There really isn’t any point in going in depth about the little catastrophe. No one wants to hear about how she way overcooked the meatloaf, and how she put way too much salt on the potatoes, which were too undercooked. A slight tinge to her cheeks, which she tries to hide behind her merry laugh. Still, tilting her head as she regards Walburga, Dorea does share, “Still, it would be nice to be able to cook a nice meal for Charlus for a change.” A soft, wistful sigh escapes her. “Oh well. Say, I’ve something for your next school year, but it’s at home. Do you have everything you need already?”

Walburga says "If I don't have everything, I know I will have everything by the time the next school year comes around. Speaking of that, granduncle Sirius appointed me as student aide for the study of ancient runes. Perhaps there's hope for Hogwarts yet!" in a tone that could convey the purist might apply her political thoughts to the fellow students. There's a pause as the Black thinks on things, looking over her aunt. "But I'm sure uncle Charlus adores you no matter what you're cooking up. Mischief can be applied I'm told like spices to foods, giving the day to day humdrum a bit of ….what's that word? Pizzazz? I wouldn't know, I prefer things how they should be."

A blonde-haired woman in grey robes walks down the street with the distinct impression that she is looking for something or someone. After a few moments she looks around, then shrugs her shoulders. She sits down on a bench and half-closes her eyes, sighing. She's somewhere between her mid-twenties and her mid-thirties, and she looks a little tired.

Dorea nods, adjusting her armload again briefly and trailing a finger over her hairline, tucking a brown strand behind an ear. “There’s still plenty of time before school starts, too,” she points out pleasantly. While she looks over her niece and considers, her pride shows as she opens her mouth and her eyebrows both lift to the sky. “That’s fantastic, Wal. I’m so happy to hear you’re going to be assisting uncle Sirius.” Her tongue slips out to run along her upper lip as she thinks. “It’s so good to have him as Deputy Headmaster. How were things working out there last year?” Dorea’s smile brightens as she inclines her head to the side, shifting the packages in her arms again as she lets out a mirthful laugh. “Oh, Charlus adores me all right. He gave me his heart long ago,” she says, winking as she flashes Walburga with an amiable smile. “When you find your one, Wal, you make sure he’ll run for anything you desire.” Then she lets out a dramatic sigh. “Yes, your uncle’s ‘pizzazz’ all right,” she replies with faux exasperation even as her lips undeniably flicker with fondness.

Dorea’s pale green eyes survey the area, sweeping unconsciously over the blonde haired witch. Tilting her chin a little, her gaze watches curiously for a few before glancing to Walburga again.

"Things were dreadful. You have things that aren't wizards yet not all muggle trying to teach about wizarding subjects and taking professorships from good wizarding families. You have a headmaster that is systemically trying to undo all that is good about our way of life with the insertion of…wait for it…giants in the classrooms. Headmaster Dumbledore is a danger to all of us, and all those that think like him are a danger too. Can you imagine the wizarding gene bred out of the world? That magic is lost? It's because of ignorant or dangerously political people with ulterior motives like him that we're in the mess we are in today." Her deadpan voice begins to climb to a higher tone until she reaches the end of her talk. She shakes her head, clearly dissatisfied with how things are in life. But at the mention of hearts and love she says "I don't have to worry about all that, I have Orion that I'm betrothed to and that suits me just fine. I can focus on being the best witch I can be rather than expending my energy doing what the other girls do.”

The blonde witch is sitting on the bench, and she is reading over a bit of owl post, shaking her head. Now and again her head lifts, and her brows raise slightly as Walburga preaches her sermon. The woman rolls her eyes, then pulls out a bit of parchment and a quill and begins to write. It is evidently a self-inking quill, and the woman writes fairly quickly, shaking her head now and again.

Kreacher clears his throat and ambles towards Walburga. "Mistress, your parents are wanting you to attend dinner." he offers to her, and Walburga nods. "Ta ta, aunt Dorea. I'll try to stop by your shop and see you and uncle soon."

Dorea shifts her weight and adjusts her packages so they’re rested against her hip, arms secure around them as she watches Walburga. She lets her niece talk, a loose, sympathetic smile against her lips as she listens to the girl. Her own thoughts wonder through her head as Walburga continues. She shifts her packages awkwardly to one arm, smiling as she leans, reaching out to pat Walburga’s shoulder. “You’re not alone, Wal. Uncle Sirius will do what he can to see that Hogwarts will be the best there is.” Even if there might be some bumps along the way. But Dorea keeps it simple, and she only has time to laugh about her reply about boys and girly stuff before Kreacher interrupts. She regards the house elf, her eyes glittering with interest. Oh, but she must… draw. She nods to Walburga’s departure. “When you do, I won’t cook, I promise.”

As her niece heads off, and Dorea’s gaze trails after her and the house elf, her gaze lifts and finds them on Effie. A short, inspiring breath is drawn in and she tilts her chin as she begins to approach. Her armload is shifted as she looks to the witch. “That is the perfect picture. Do you mind? I /must/ capture it.” She gestures at the woman, at the bench, and the buildings around. Ohhhh… Her eyes are all but moony as she envisions it all, leaning over to set the packages down on the bench, the smell of foods in them. They might get a little cold by the time she gets back, but hopefully Charlus won’t mind too much.

The blonde witch looks up, blinking, a bit puzzled. "The perfect— Ah. You're an artist, then?" Her voice is warm with a Scots burr, and her eyes are a clear grey, echoed in her robes. She ponders a moment, then inclines her head. "I can stay a bit longer, then," she says. "If that will suffice. Do you mind if I finish what I'm writing, though? I have someone waiting on my answer."

Dorea inclines her head a little to one side, smiling warmly as she says sincerely enough, “Oh, that’s wonderful, thank you.” Her hand lifts to delicately hoop a strand of her hair behind an ear before she waves that hand through the air dismissively. “Oh, yes, yes, yes. That’s f-iiii-n-e. Continue doing whatever it is you were doing.” Her smile is bright and almost glowing as she sits down by her things on the bench, positively happy that she managed to run into her niece. Her bag that was hanging from her shoulder rests lightly on her knees, pulling out her sketchpad and a quill before setting the bag to the side. Drawing in a breath, she lets it out on a reflective sigh, brushing a hand gently over the blank paper. Her eyes close for but a minute, and then she leans over, bringing the quill to the page to begin scratching lines over the page.

"I couldn't help but hear your niece," the subject says quietly. She writes a couple more lines, then looks up without moving her head. "I'm given to understand that Muggle-born witches and wizards are being admitted with ever-increasing frequency. Is this so? And how do you feel about it?" She sighs, tapping the feather-tip of her quill against the parchment. "No, no, that won't do at all…."

Dorea begins with a couple strokes, a pleasant smile resting against her lips. “Hmm, so I don’t believe we’ve met. What do you do?” She speaks, as if purely conversationally while she sketches. Her tongue touches her upper lip as she works, listening to Effie while she draws. When she lifts her head up, brushing hair gently off her face, she inclines her head as she regards the woman next to her with a faint, but a friendly, smile. “Oh, I’m not up on the statistics or anything,” she replies, waving a hand simply through the air. “It’s hard to tell how many witches and wizards are coming from… Muggle families.” There is slight pause there, where a soft breath escapes her. Her pale green eyes study the woman, finger resting lightly on her lips, before she lowers her gaze again and continues to sketch. “Well now, that’s a touchy topic for some folks,” she answers in turn to her question. She turns the sketchpad a little, scratching down some lines here, some there. “Such topics usually don’t end up as light conversation.”

"I'm an Auror. My name's Effie Grant." The woman's voice is pleasant enough, and she bends her head briefly to look at the letter. "Been serving for nine years now." She licks her lips, then looks up. "Not exactly a light subject in and of itself, is it." The corners of her mouth twitch up, and she laughs softly. "Do you make your pictures move, or are they static?"

Dorea pauses now and then to look over the sketch as it comes along, but returns to it as she leans over the sketchpad. She does lift her head at Effie’s introduction, tipping her head back as she offers a small smile and a nod, regarding the blonde. “A tough job, that. How are the hours?” She smiles, brushing at a strand. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Effie. I’m Dorea.” She looks back down and turns her head as she looks at the sketch, and tilts it another way, and again her quill returns to the page. “I run the Artisana off of Merlin’s Square.” A light laugh escapes her in response to the question. “I’ve made a couple of my portraits move, but others don’t.”

"Long, but flexible," answers Effie. "And even when you're off-duty…" She shrugs her shoulders. "You've always got an eye out. Though other than ongoing casework, I take the North fairly often. But I'm pretty fair off in London, too. Know how to blend in with the Muggles. It's…. difficult out there, though, with the war."

Taking a moment to look down at the page, Dorea slides a hand over it as she thinks. Staring down at the sketch with a crucial eye of an artist, her lips press together. She turns her head to acknowledge Effie, brushing two fingers across her brow and hooping the strand of her hair behind an ear. “I’m sure the best Aurors always do know how to keep an eye out even when they’re off the job.” Her lips twitch lightly and she nods before lowering her head back over her sketch. She returns the quill to the page to add some more strokes to it, her tongue touching her upper lip as she works. As Effie speaks, Dorea keeps an ear out to her. The quill slows against the page until it freezes for a second, though the artist doesn’t look up. A breath escapes her as she lifts her head, looking out straight ahead. “Yea,” she murmurs, one corner of her lips twitching. “Sure.” There’s definite hesitation around her, but she closes her eyes and rests her forehead against two fingers. When she manages to control the flutter in her stomach, her hand lowers and she looks back down to her drawing without a look to Effie. “It’s a dangerous world out amongst the, err, Muggles.” And not just because of the war.

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