1935-05-00: The Gahmack
The Gahmack
IC Date Summer, 1935
OOC Date 12/29/09
Location Flourish and Blott's
Cast Wendy and Ian
Description Ian makes quite the first impression. Wendy makes an invitation.

It's a summer day in Diagon Alley, and the weather is… pretty dreadful, really. A thunderstorm is rolling through London, and the water is coming down with unpleasant enthusiasm, soaking clothing and needling into exposed flesh. Wendy, sturdy Badger that she is, has been stoically sludging through it, but near the door of Flourish and Blott's a gust of wind catches her wrong, and flips her aging umbrella inside out. Muttering a stream of invective in English and Welsh, she ducks into the shop, and gives a doglike little shake. Ewww, dampness.

Just inside the entryway is Ian Scrounge, who has yet to be identified as any sort of House animal from Hogwarts, if one were to guess by his appearance, since he looks like a typical black ten-year-old. Less typical, however, is his manner of dress - he's head-to-toe muggle in that sense. Given the year, too, this means he's wearing stockings, short pants, a smart sailor's jacket and shirt and a little tie, not to mention black buckled shoes. If one can make it through all that, of course, there's the matter too that the fabric looks worn and old, like a hand-me-down that was well-cared-for but nevertheless faded to a degree by natural aging. Ian doesn't seem to be too terribly upset by his fashion choices (if indeed they were chosen by him), content to look through books as if making serious decisions on what he plans to bring along to school, despite the fact that the majority of texts are preselected for the first year of Hogwarts - if, indeed, that's where he's going.

Wendy is wearing Muggle clothing herself, though hers is rather less memorable - a conservatively cut dress in, yes, bright yellow, with open-toed summer shoes that were /such/ a bad idea today. She wrestles with the umbrella for a long minute, growling something /vile/ sounding in Welsh as she does so, before it finally consents to fold up properly. "HA." Setting her shoulders back, she strolls, shoes squelching, into the shop proper with as much dignity as she can muster. Now that she's paying attention to her surroundings, Ian catches her eye - and keeps it, as she stares incredulously at him.

Ian winces at the shoulders upon hearing what is so obviously some curse in a tongue foreign to him. The girl's loud arrival seems to have brought a little darkness to his eyes as he looks finally looks toward the source of the noise, and if Wendy is looking at him incredulously, he is regarding her with an attitude that's nothing less than the same. Ian, for his part, seems to have little trouble being open about his gaze, in particular noting the open-toed shoes with a little cluck of a 'tsk' coming from between mostly closed lips. He looks back toward his book, which looks to likely be a few grade-levels higher than a First-Year's going by the name: A CHILDREN'S LABYRINTH OF OFFENSIVE SPELLCASTING.

Wendy doesn't even bother pretending to not be staring, even once the younger boy's gaze turns towards her. Drawing her dignity about her (such as it is) she squelches over and regards him steadily. It requires looking up, slightly, as she's an inch shorter than him. "Hullo, there. Interesting, uh." Her eyes flick towards the sailor collar, and her mouth twitches. "Interesting clothes. Are you taking part in a Dickens production?" Her accent is quite possibly instantly recognizable - the singsongy Welsh Valleys lilt.

"Don't you have a windmill to stick your fingers in?" Ian asks, without looking up from his book. Immediately after saying that, though, almost as if it were part of the same statement, the black boy looks over toward Wendy. "It's not that," he says, shoulders drooping a little and his posture changing toward one that's much less confrontational than the tension of the moment just before this one. "I'm sorry. I just get used to people … saying things. It's like a reflex." he shrugs. "These are my clothes. It's what I have. If you want to blame someone, blame my mother and father. I'm Ian, by the way." His eyes are still twinkling with a perhaps-suspicious sort of darkness, but he's smiling at her now, showing good teeth.

Wendy has the good grace to immediately look abashed, and the better grace to cop to it: "Oh, hel - heck." One can practically see the gears turning in her head, as she puts together an apology. "I'm sorry, that was /frightfully/ rude of me, wasn't it? Feel free to stomp on my foot or something, I deserve it." She accompanies the latter sentence with an airy handwave, which is followed by a more thoughtful gaze. It's open and direct, and, after a moment, good-natured. "I've a bad habit of making terrible first impressions. Charmed to meet you - I'm Wendy." Her eyes flick towards the book in his hand, and she comments, "Uh - interesting book?"

Ian sets the book down, affecting a disappointed look as he considers the tome he's just rejected as if for Wendy's benefit. "Not really. Nothing worth the time." His voice might unnerve Wendy, or not - but it's worth noting that it tends to rise and fall in pitch even in-between words, let alone phrases. It sounds tremulous, almost singsongy but in a manner that's almost like a theremin. "It's all right, though. That's why I'm looking." He looks back toward Wendy as he says the last word, 'looking.' "But maybe I've found a new friend?" It's said without affectation, plain words that might belie the truth but sound sincere.

If Wendy is unnerved, she isn't showing it; what she is, extremely obviously, is curious. "Look here," she says, decidedly, "you just met me, and I've hardly been making a good impression, either!" Again, he is regarded, with the same forthright thoughtfulness as before. "Offering friendship might be a wee bit premature, as for all you know I'm a mass murderer who likes to eat young boys. That being said -" there's a moment while she thinks something over "- I s'pose you're going to be one of our firsties at Hogwart's next term? You look about the age."

Ian grins, closed-mouthed, and nods. "That was my test," Ian says. "You passed the test." He doesn't, for the moment, elaborate further on the nature of the test, but he seems relatively pleased with Wendy's response. "Yes, I _am_ going to Hogwarts," Ian says, sounding proud of his impending school attendance. "And you should know - I'm not the least bit scared."

"Did I, then," says Wendy, eyebrows lifting. "Well - jolly glad to hear it. You're a very strange child, Ian." It's clearly not intended as an insult; she says it in the same tone she might say, 'It's raining outside'. A plain statement of fact. Folding her arms in front of her, she regards him approvingly. "Well, you seem a good enough sample. Glad to hear you've some starch in you, it's tedious to have first years crying on the train. Ruins the trip for everyone. They never seem to have the brains to carry a handkerchief, either. Nuisancy."

Ian shrugs, grinning out of the corner of one side of his mouth. "Just so you _know_," Ian says, lowering his voice conspiratorially, "if _any_ First-Years are crying, I will _personally_ say to them 'Oh, you must be crying because of the Gahmack." He says this so simply that one could easily think he is expecting Wendy to understand the concept of what he's talking about in this statement. However, there's also a possibility that he really thinks there's something called a Gahmack.

Wendy mulls this over, then says, apparently quite seriously: "I've always found a quick smack upside the head, followed by a sweet, works just fine - just a little one, you understand, in light of their tender years - but what on earth is a Gahmack?" She tilts her head to the side, as if Ian will make more sense when regarded at a different angle.

Affecting a worried look, Ian responds: "Oh," he says, stretching the word out far longer than needed. "That's probably what they'll say, too," he adds, nodding his head once definitively before he continues. "And then I'll say 'What? They didn't tell you? You didn't bring the Charm? From your acceptance Letter?'" He sucks air through suddenly-bared teeth, as if deeply concerned. "Then I'll say, 'Well, that's all right - I'm sure they won't come after you, even without it.'"

Wendy considers this novel method for a long moment, before she gives a firm shake of her head. "Full points for creativity, I'll grant you, but your plan's just fuel to the fire, don't you think? We don't want the little buggers /more/ scared, they'll all be so wound up that their new Housemates'll be a week talking them out of it." She frowns at him, not quite so approving as before. "That's not the sort of thing the best sort do."

Ian raises his hand, as if to indicate that Wendy should be quiet for a moment, so he can finish, and then he leans over in a way as to suggest that he's talking to one of the very people he'd explain the concept to on the upcoming train ride. "They guard the gates of Hogwarts against the Nazis," Ian explains in a bare whisper. "But you have to feed them, of course. And what they love most … are the tears of us children. So if you cry … they'll come for us all."

"You," says Wendy, impressed in spite of herself, "would be a corker to have along on a camping trip when it came time for stories around the fire." Compliments out of the way, she puts her hands akimbo, tone blunt. "/But/ it's still a bad idea. I'd've hated you if you'd tried something like that on me when I was a firstie, as I /wouldn't/ have known you were only joking. You'll make some poor idiot have hysterics and get a bad reputation."

Ian considers, then shakes his head. "Would _you_ want to tell somebody you got tricked on your first day?" He shakes his head again. "They won't _say anything_," he assures with two definitive nods on the last two words. Then, he calms himself. "I'm just along for the ride. _I_ didn't say anything of the sort would even _happen_, did I?"

Wendy says, dryly, "If you'd've done that to me, well, you're right that I wouldn't have /told/ anyone about it. Box your ears for it, is what I would've done." Neither her tone nor her expression suggests this is meant /remotely/ jokingly. She gives a decided shake of her head, damp curls bouncing. "Take my word for it, you'll land yourself in a world of trouble." She gives him the same regarding look as before. "If it'll keep you from frightening the other firsties, you'll be welcome to come and bother the fourth years. Gerry'd think you were a kick, I bet."

There's an impossible-to-miss look on Ian's face, though whether Wendy is familiar with such a look isn't apparent. It's avaricious, pure and simple. It's only there for a moment, though, and it's replaced almost immediately by a look of humble gratitude. Who knows? It might be understandable to Wendy that Ian would very much desire to travel with Fourth-Years instead of Firsties. However, the look was very real, though whether Wendy noticed it or not or understood it is a matter for her own psyche. "I - you'd do that? I'd _like_ that, _very_ much." He nods his head. "I'd … be indebted to you. Thank you."

<OOC> Ian says, "STATUS JUMP. Ian stands, regarding the other Firsties with disgust. "I've got an appointment with some Fourth-Years," the boy declares imperiously. "I've got no time for children." He lifts his chin and departs the coach. :)"
<OOC> Wendy cracks up. He is the most adorable little Snake /ever/.
<OOC> Ian bows.

The regarding look remains. There's something that looks rather like sympathy in Wendy's eyes, alongside a healthy dose of good humor, though she doesn't let the look linger. The older girl brushes aside his gratitude with an little wave of her hand, momentarily looking, despite her squelchy shoes and ordinary dress, not entirely unlike a jolly medieval queen bestowing a favor. "Don't mention it. You're a corker, like I said, and the Fourth Year is pretty jolly all around. You just ask around for Wendy Price when you get to the Express, and I'm sure someone will be able to point you to me." The grin that's been lurking under the surface comes out in full. "People generally know when I'm about."

"That's how it's going to be with me," Ian declares, proudly. "'Oh, Ian Scrounge?'" he says, as if describing someone talking about him. "'He's in the Head Boy's car.'" He grins. Just then, though, a rather attractive woman wearing a too-fancy-but-faded black coat with a too-ornate-but-likewise-faded black gown affair beneath it comes up behind Ian and puts a pale hand on his shoulder. "Ian, darling," she says, as the boy's eyes narrow and he looks a fright of embarrassment. "It's time to go. Say good-bye to your little friend." The woman casts dark green eyes upon Wendy and then moves to try to draw Ian along with her, never lifting the hand from his shoulder. "I've … got to go," Ian says, visibly shamed, cheeks darkening with the affront going on in his carefully-planned scene. "I'll see you, Wendy Price, on the train if not sooner."

Wendy stiffens at being called Ian's 'little friend', and her nod to Ian's mother is a trifle forced, but polite enough to pass muster. To Ian, she shoots a sympathetic glance - /parents/, it says, clearly - and a quick, good-humored nod. "Right you are, Ian Scrounge. Think up some nice stories to tell us on the way, if you don't make Gerry squeak in fright at least once then I'll be /very/ disappointed!"

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