(1941-11-20) Three Broomsticks, a Butterbeer, and You
Details for Three Broomsticks, a Butterbeer, and You
Summary: Mackenzie starts drowning her disgust in Butterbeer when she's joined by some friends. And some not-friends. The students talk about preparations for their futures, including boning up on their coursework.
Date: Sunday, November 20th 1941
Location: Three Broomsticks, Hogsmeade

Despite the obvious patina of age, The Three Broomsticks has a warm, inviting ambiance. This character the pub has attained is, no doubt, thanks to the years it has been steeped in the environment of this particular village. Just one evidence of the village's influence on the pub can be seen in the dark paneling inside the building. The wood was once the outer walls of the home that housed Hogsmeade's founding family. Put to good use once again after the founding family bequeathed it to the pub, the paneling has served the pub just as well as it once served Hogsmeade's founders. The Three Broomsticks has flourished under its current proprietor and is always open and ready for a customer or visitor.

The dark wood surface of the floor glows with a polished sheen from much cleaning, and exposed ceiling rafters, which appear to be original, cross the ceiling in tidy squares. Wood tables of varying sizes litter the room, and matching chairs are scattered among them. Several secluded booths fill up the space along one wall. A flavorfully aged mahogany bar takes up most of the space near the back wall with a series of mirrors and shelves of varying heights hanging behind it. Those shelves behind the bar are lined with memorabilia depicting the life and people of the village as well as items which are special mementos to the pub's owner.

The weather outside is cold and blustery, but inside the Three Broomsticks it's warm and cozy. Mackenzie sits at a table in the back of the bar by herself. Empty plates lie pushed aside on the table, evidence of a meal already eaten. She sits holding a half-empty glass of butterbeer - her third, if the two empty glasses in front of her are any indication. She seems content for the moment to just watch the goings-on of the pub in silence.

Phoenicia comes in through the front door, shivering a bit. She's huddled under a bright chestnut anorak which doesn't seem to be doing enough to keep her warm — her pale skin has turned pink at the bits due to her body trying to warm up from the nippy weather. "Me goodness, but it is a dreary day out! Good day, all!" She waves broadly about the room in a generalized greeting, then hangs her coat up on one of the hooks nearby.

John has just made his way into the pub from the cold, shaking off the chill from the autumn shower outside. His gaze shifts about establishment for a moment before he spots Mackenzie. He makes his way to her table after a few moments and offers his house-mate a nod of recognition. "Lestrange. May I?" he asks, a hand moving to indicate one of the chairs at her table. His eyes flick towards the door at the sound of Phoenicia's greeting, lips pursing briefly in vague recognition of the Gryffindor before his attention turns back towards Mackenzie.

"Knock yourself out," Mackenzie responds in a friendly tone, reaching out to push some of the empty dishes out of John's way. She glances over to Phoenicia and frowns slightly, but pays the girl little heed as she takes the moment to look John over carefully. Taking a long drink of her butterbeer, her eyes would seem to bore a hole through John if the weren't quite so.. distractible.

Phoenicia briefly twitches, then smiles. Oh goodness, does she smile. It might be briefly unsettling to anyone who looked at her smiling, in point of fact, how much she smiled just then. She leans over to the counter, a hand trembling, giddy, in point of fact. "Sir, a tankard o' Butterbeer if ye please." As she says that, she reaches into her purse and rummages about for her coin.

"Wonderful," John replies, sinking into the seat he had indicated and seeming rather unphased by Mackenzie's stare, though that may well be a result of the fact that it is so easily distracted. "Good day for a drink, even if the walk here was miserable," he says amicably, settling himself rather easily into his seat and looking to catch the eye of one of the serving staff.

Mackenzie blinks a couple of times, focusing on John's eyes finally. "A drink warms some of the cold out of your bones," she says factually before eyeing the empty glasses in front of her suspiciously. "Or three," she adds. Releasing her drink with one hand, she runs her fingers through her hair atop her head, spreading it about her shoulders roguishly. "So how have your classes been going this year, Mister Carrow?"

Upon being presented with her order, the redheaded young witch slapped down the knuts she owed and bobbed her head in gratitude towards the 'tender. "Thank ye, thank ye, sir," she nods, picks up her tankard, and goes immediately to sit at Mackenzie and John's table. If they will not let her be seated, then she stands, as cheerily as she can, while inclining her head towards them. "Good evenin', what like are ye? Ye know," she said with a little laugh, "I dinnae think we've e'er had the pleasure of each other's names. Nae, I've gathered yer Miss Lestrange, but I 'aven't the foggiest of more than that, to me shame. And ye, I dinnae know at all, but I think I've 'eard ye called John? Me name's Phoenicia Phillips, but ye can call me Phee." She extended one hand in a forceful greeting.

John makes no move to attempt to dissuade Phoenicia away yet makes no move to invite her to remain. He eyes the witch for a moment, lip curling slightly when his gaze drops to her hand, though he schools that expression rather quickly. His head moves in something of a stiff nod, then, as if in affirmation of Phoenecia's question. "Carrow," he says, rather dryly just before finally catching the eye of one of the serving staff. "A butterbeer for myself and another for Miss Lestrange here, I think," he requests before responding to Mackenzie, "Fairly well, actually. It certainly doesn't hurt that I'm only taking the things that actually interest me at this point, though. Yours?"

Bowen's entrance into the Three Broomsticks is accompanied by the door being forced shut by the heavy winds. His green Slytherin scarf is the single remaining piece of his school uniform and it is lightly wrapped around his face in an attempt to keep block the heavy winds. A relieved sigh leaves his lips but barely makes it through his thick scarf. He starts to unwrap his face and shrug off his coat, all while scanning the room. Off to the side he makes out a scene that brings an amused half-smile to his face. It's like the opening to a joke: Two Slytherins are sitting in a pub and are approached by a Gryffindor…

"A butterbeer, please," he says to the barmaid, "I'll be at that table," he adds gesturing to the obviously awkward scene. After hanging his coat and scarf, he decides to join the interaction. He needs a good laugh, after all.

Mackenzie stares at Phoenicia incredulously for a bare moment. "Miss Lestrange is good enough," she answers, turning her attention back to John. "I said almost the exact same thing to Bowen Nott the other day," she says, looking up to smile at the aforementioned, "Speaking of… Good afternoon, Mister Nott." Setting down her empty glass, she nods her thanks to the server who drops off a couple more butterbeers and cleans up some of the empty dishes on the table. Taking it in hand, she begins to work her way through her fourth drink.

"Miss Lestrange, Mister Carrow," Phoenicia said, sliding her way into a seat. "It's me distinct pleasure. I'm enjoyin' the switch to N.E.W.T.S. meself. It's a challengin' curriculum, but it 'elps that I am only takin' what interests me most! Nott, is it? As I were just sayin', I'm Phoenicia. Ye may call me Phee, though." She's all smiles, bright as a Lumos Maxima. "What courses ye have?"

John offers a nod of recognition to Bowen before saying, "Common sentiment, then. I'm certain most are relieved to be free of the more, ah, dreadful subjects." He takes up his drink, then, drawing a rather large gulp from it before answering Phoenecia with an idle, "Potions and Defense," though the latter is spoke with something of a wry tone. "Glad to be free of most of the rest, if I am quite honest."

Bowen takes a seat and is unable to mask the surprise on his face look at Phoenecia, "Yes, Bowen Nott," he says with wide eyes. He then looks at the rest of the table and nods acknowledgement at the greetings. He then voices his earlier thought, "Two Slytherins and a Gryffindor?" he rhetorically mentions.

Bowen looks at Phoenicia and says, "Yeah, we have Charms, Care of Magical Creatures and Transfiguration together. I can't believe you opted for 4 subjects. Awfully brave of you."

Mackenzie sets down her drink on the table and sits up straighter; maybe four butterbeers was a mistake. "Four NEWTs?" she says sarcastically, "No wonder you're talking to owls." She giggles at her own joke maliciously. Taking a piece of hair in between her fingers, she begins to twirl it around idly, as if she has to stay in constant motion.

"Cold, cold, cold!" Zoe darts into the Three Broomsticks and leans back to shut the door secure. "Too cold!" She shivers and keeps her heavy traveller's cloak on for the moment. No doubt she could choose something hotter, or more alchoholic, but for nostalgia's sake, she orders a butterbeer. Settling, she lets her gaze drift across the room, taking in the throng of students with a smile. But pausing upon Phoenicia in the midst of several snakes, she pauses.

Phoenicia just smiles diffidently. "I really like tae study, what can I say? It's all very interestin', and if ye wish tae be a field magizoologist — which I dae — ye have tae be prepared for anythin' and everything. How're ye comin' along wi' yer Intruder Charm, Mr. Carrow?" she asked, referring to the spell they'd spend much of this month on. "Between boggarts an' the rest that's a spell I know I'll be findin' quite 'andy when I'm makin' camp next to Acheron an' Styx somewhere inna middle of Transylvania, aye?"

A cool breeze blows into the Three Broomsticks as the door leading out onto High Street is pressed open from outside shortly after Zoe darts inside. The blonde figure that steps in after her is wrapped in a heavy cloak of his own, the fabric of a high quality as is the rest of his dress and all tailored specifically to his frame. Victor's eyes only casually sweep the pub, not expecting there to be anyone that he knows to bump into, before he makes his way toward the bar itself. He doesn't slip onto a stool, rather he slides between two and leans against the bar to give the bartender a friendly smile and order up a mug of beer.

"Four of them?" John asks rather incredulously, shaking his head. "Aah - satisfactorily, I should think," he replies in answer to the question. He leans back in his chair, then, giving Mackenzie a questioning look. "Done with your drinks then, or just going to slow it down a bit?"

Phoenicia catches sight of Zoe and Victor briefly. If it'd been just any other Gryffindors, she might not have remembered people from four classes ahead — but Chinese descent was rare and Zoe's appearance striking, while the business with Victor and the former headmaster was hard to forget. Phee looked up from her spot at the table and waved at the graduates with a smile. "Miss Qian, Mister Proudmore, as I live an' breathe. A pleasure to see a spot o' red and gold!" She raised her tankard in recognition before taking a long draught of her butterbeer — her first — and returning her attention to the table. "Though while I am fondest of me own colors, nothin' wrong wi' green and silver, me friends." She beamed from Bowen to Mackenzie and everywhere in between.

After that aside, she shakes her head to Bowen's question and giggles a bit. "Afraid not. 'm jes a Phillips. Not had the pleasure of meetin' a Weasley, this is jes me mum's hair."

After Victor's beer is delivered, the young man closes two calloused hands around the glass only after sliding his payment across the bar top. Lifting the amber colored liquid up toward his mouth, he takes a few deep gulps of the liquid and then finally turns his back to the bar, his clear blue eyes peering around at the other assortment of patrons in the establishment. He catches Mackenzie's look and offers her a casual nod of greeting before Phoenicia's wave draws his attention. He smiles at the greeting, the pleased expression reaching his eyes as he returns formally, "Miss Phillips. I trust that you are following my example and staying out of trouble, yes?"

While some of the younger students are unfamiliar, Zoe recognizes most of the older ones by sight. She smiles across the room at Mackenzie and follows her eyes to Victor. "Oh! Hello there," she greets Victor, pleasantly surprised. "Thought you were off with dragons. Popped over for a visit?" But before he can answer, Phoenicia calls to them from back over by the Slytherin, regaining Zoe's attention. With a soft laugh, she pushes off from the bar and drifts over to them. "Qian? Phee, you should know to call me Zoe."

John nods once at Mackenzie, then, before saying, "Don't get yourself sick here in the middle of things, eh?" humor carrying easily in his tone. After speaking he drains the remainder of his own butterbeer before catching the eye of one of the staff and ordering a second, growing quiet then as his gaze flicks briefly between Bowen and Phoenicia.

Phoenicia nodded with a laugh at Victor's comment. "Doin' me best, sir. An' I try to be polite an' respectful tae everyone, but if ye insist… Zoe. Allow me tae introduce ye? Mister Carrow, Mister Nott, Miss Lestrange. Mister Carrow's steady as a rock in DADA, he is, Mister Nott's got a way wi' owls if he dinnae mind me sayin' that, and Miss Lestrange 'as a way wi' Charms I dae me best tae keep up wi'."

Bowen finds it hard to mask his obvious disappointment at Phoenicia's reply. He drains his butterbeer while considering the information. A Pure-Blood Gryffindor is a Pure-Blood, at least, he can't associate with a half-blood Gryffindor. It's absurd. Bowen catches Mackenzie's look that are obviously questioning his actions. He just gives her an innocent smile and shrugs. He really does need help in Care of Magical Creatures. He'll just have to figure it out.

"Of course not," Mackenzie says, "I'm too classy for that." She gives John a devious smile and chews on her lip as she thinks for a moment. "Actually, it may just be time for me to leave for a bit," she says, giving Phoenicia a slight frown, "Seems my appetite for drink has been dissuade." She stands and stretches before nodding to the boys present and grabbing her coat and scarf. Once she's dressed once more for the cold weather, she drops a tip on the bar and heads out.

"Ye 'ave a good day nae, Miss Lestrange!" Phee rises up politely as she leaves and does a little curtsey.

John allows his gaze to linger on Mackenzie as she departs, turning his attention back to the students still seated at the table, murmuring a bit to himself under his breath, though he does not make any comment on the current topic of conversation.

Turning his attention toward Zoe, Victor offers her a warm smile as he says, "I was off with the dragons, yes. I spent two years in Scotland training and learning. It was a pretty great experience. But I got orders from the Ministry to return to London, so I packed my bags and came back this way. How have you been, Zoe? You're looking good." Turning back toward Phee, Victor tracks each introduction around the table and offers each person a nod in greeting before he introduces himself, "Victor Proudmore. Junior Dragonologist with the R.C.M.C Dragon Research and Restraint Bureau. It is a pleasure, I'm sure."

Zoe laughs with a slight shake of her head as Mackenzie heads off. She doesn't quite track Phoenicia's introductions, but perhaps she knew each of them well enough by sight. But as Victor introduces himself so properly, she decides to follow his example. "Zoe. Been travelling, and I suppose I've started writing a bit. Had a few things in the Daily Prophet this year - stories from abroad." She grins up at Victor. "Not surprised one bit you found yourself there. Ah! Did you know? Professor Kettleburn married my mum."

Phoenicia chuckled — she hadn't realized what Victor had been up to in the intervening time! "I really am doin' me best tae follow your example, then! Though I 'ave another critter or three I'm more interested in followin' than dragons. I was thinkin' I might dae some time wi' the R.C.M.C. before really goin' off on field work. Ye know, makin' sure I really 'ave a grasp onna dangerous critters I might be facin'. What about ye, Mr. Nott? What were ye plannin' tae do wi' your Critters N.E.W.T.?"

"I'm personally curious what the draw of that whole field is," John muses, shifting where he sits to lean a bit against the table as he begins to work on his second butterbeer. "Maybe it just was not a good fit for me, but I was rather…miserable…with Care of Magical Creatures." He shrugs, then, lips pursing as he continues to listen to the ongoing conversations about the bar.

Victor smiles at Phee and says, "Well then, if you end up joining us at the R.C.M.C I suppose we will be gaining a valuable person. If you want, I can put in a good word for you this summer term and maybe you can come on as a Ministry Intern? We can get you some field experience. It'd be fun." Turning his eyes back toward Zoe, Victor offers her a grin, "Kettleburn? Really? I had not heard that, but I am happy for you and your family. I think I read one of your pieces for the Prophet. It was a good read."

Zoe smiles, delighted at Victor's praise of her work. Oh, and his congratulations to her family too, no doubt. "Thank you!" With a glance to Phoenicia, she is about to say something further when another young woman calls out from over by the fireplace. "Zoe! Over here! Sorry I'm late." Zoe waves at her with a bright smile. Already flitting off, she nods towards the littler gathering of lions and snakes. "Must be off. It was nice seeing you!" And with that, she goes off to join her friend.

Phee's eyes shine at the idea. "An internship! Well, me auld aunt will be a bit disappointed tae lack me company, I think. I'll 'ave tae see if I can talk 'er out of it… but I'd love the opportunity, Mr. Proudmore." She rubs her hands together gleefully, then after a moment's thought, realizes she forgot John's question, among other things. She signals for the waiter, then returns her focus to the other Slytherin.

"Well, I cannae speak for Mr. Nott, or Mr. Proudmore fer that matter, but I find they're jes' such majestic creatures I cannae 'elp meself. We'd be 'elpless wi' out them. We use owls to run our mail, we build our wands from 'airs and feathers willingly given, our potions from nails an' scales an' whatnot, an' sometimes we e'en eat them. And yet, they rise 'bove it all. I'd love tae see the moment a phoenix reborns i'self, or sings its luverly little song. The moment a 'ippogriff chick first figgers out how tae fly, or a sea kelpie streamin' long the waters at dawn.

"Would it be completely irresponsible to not have any concrete plans? My brother works as an obliviator. I've never thought about it much, but I do quite like Transfiguration magic." Bowen answers Phee.

"How about you, Carrow? Any plans?" Bowen asks while sipping on another mug of butter beer?

"I don't think you'd need to have any solid plans for your future yet. You've a few years ahead of you here, really eh?" John says, directly addressing Bowen. "No shame in not knowing precisely what you want to be doing after you're done with your schooling." He pauses, then, considering his drink for a few moments before finishing it and pushing the tankard aside. "Give yourself a bit more time to figure that stuff out."

Victor nods as Zoe moves off to the meeting she had scheduled and then looks at the Hogwarts students. "Well, it was good seeing you all. Phee, let me know what you decide about the internship and I will see what we can get going for you. I have to be off as well, sadly." He offers them all a last parting nod before turning and heading back out of the Three Broomsticks into the street outside.

Phoenicia nods her head in agreement with John. "Mr. Carrow's right. I mean, honestly, it's nae as if most Aurors know fer sure 's what they're goin' tae do when they get outta Hogwarts, right? A lot of 'em needs tae shore up holes with W.O.M.B.A.Ts. S'only th'Inspectors and the like who need to 'ave everything planned out. But it's nice to talk about, innit? Plans ain't much use, but plannin's pretty useful!"

She stands up as Victor leaves to curtsey and wave goodbye, before sitting back down at the table. "What're the odds, an internship! I'm giddy at th'idea!" She gives a little squeal of delight and bounces in her seat.

"Maybe something in Magical Law Enforcement, but eh… I do not know. At this point, I'm almost thinking that I should try and open up my own potion shop or the like, since that seems to be what I have really been excelling at as of late," John answers, gnawing at his lip in contemplation. "But I've a year and a half or so to figure that all out still. Plenty of time to solidify plans."

"You're probably right, I'm probably worried about nothing. It just strikes me as slightly irresponsible to not have a plan. It's definitely reassuring to not be alone in that regard," Bowen looks at Phee and decides to risk it, "You're good at Care of Magical Creatures, aren't you? I've been struggling there. Not quite sure what I'm missing, honestly."

Phoenicia giggled diffidently and just shrugged. "Well… I mean. I guess so, ye." She was both embarrassed and proud of how far she'd come as a student. "Well, tae tell the truth, it's a hard class for students tae see how each the other is doin', naet like in Charms or somethin'. But if ye want, we can study together a little. I'm sure it's somethin' simple, and there's probably a lot someone who's spent 'is whole life wizardin' can teach someone like me. I needs tae be on me way shortly, but ye can send me an owl anytime. Ye 'ave one as yer familiar, aye? I've enchanted me window as a post-drop seein' as I stay up so late." She reached into her purse and pulled out a small composition notebook, ripping out a page. This was followed by her withdrawal of a feather quill and her hurriedly scribbling out a magical address in a florid, bubbly hand, which she pushed over to Bowen with a smile.

"Uh, yeah, we can head back together," Bowen said sranding up, "Uh, yeah, bye," he looked at Phoenicia pointedly ignoring the piece of paper as though he had not just not-so-subtly asked for help. He got up to approach the door with John but as he put on his coat and wrapped his scarf around his face in preparation for the cold, he summoned the piece of paper, "Accio."

John pulls his own coat and scarf back on and heads towards the door before tromping out into the cold once more and back to the castle.

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