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🎄Christmas 69
[Hogsmeade] A drink for two [talia] [open]

Started by Mallory O'Cleary, June 09, 2021, 10:16:55 pm

Mallory O'Cleary

It was a nice time of the year. No, not jolly, no not merry. Nice. Mallory didn't have anyone to spend her Christmas with, unless she could make it to her father's. Everyday she could only hope he was holding up well in this cold harsh weather. He wasn't exactly full of money, and that was a problem. It always has been. Sometimes when she was younger they couldn't afford to heat their fire, and she remembered how hard it was. She could only hope it was a bit easier for him with one mouth to feed now. Of course she still sent him things every week or two to keep him going. He says he's been doing good be she can see right through his letters.

She rubbed her hands together and shoved them into the pockets of her light pale pink coat. Her black hair blew in the cold wind behind her and her back boots crunched in the slight snow blanketing the ground. She didn't know where she was going. She was just out. She wanted to be outside and get some fresh air. Never did she think that the air would be so cold. Of course it would, though, it's winter. But she didn't think about that until after she was outside.

A warm glow was cast on the snow from the windows of a building, and she looked up. The three Broomsticks. "I suppose a warm drink wouldn't hurt." She said, walking to the door. "And maybe some food." She pulled open the door and felt the warmth on her face as she walked in.

Talia Bryce

Hogsmeade had never been something Talia took advantage of when attending Hogwarts. She had gone here and there and mainly with Eoghan but even then the trips were few and far between, she had been too busy with her studies. Now as an adult and returning to Hogwarts, Lia had promised herself she would take full advantage. There had been a sale down at Scrivenshaft's Quills that had been going on with the upcoming holidays. Of course Lia wasn't going to pass up the chance to get her hands on a new quill, ignoring the fact she had completely misplaced the last three she purchased somewhere in her office. Still, it gave an excuse to get out of the castle for the day.

Spending most of her time agonizing over buying two different quills, a slight difference in feather sheen, Talia finally settled on one and rationalized getting another container of twinkling navy ink. Leaving the shop with her treasures safely tucked inside her purse, she made her way back through town enjoying the sight of others spending time in the snow. A few children were playing happily and laughing, adults watching nearby with warm drinks in their mittens. The swirl of steam was enough of a temptation for Talia to decide on a pit stop to the Three Broomsticks.

Five butterbeers deep, Talia was sitting happily chatting away with an elderly wizard who appeared to be wanting to make an escape, his cheeks flushed. An awkward goodbye left her shrugging and giving a small wave as he turned the corner of the bar and made his way back to a booth in the back. A chilled breeze swept through the room as the door opened, Talia lifting her eyes from the bottom of her mug and glanced curiously to see who it was. "O'Cleary!" Talia turned herself on her stool and leaned on her arm resting on the counter, waving her other at the fellow Hogwarts professor. "Over here!" It would be nice to get a bit of company, perhaps they could even wander back to the castle together.

Mallory O'Cleary

Mallory could instantly smell the food and the drinks as she walked in. Mallory wasn't one to turn down drinks, but she wasn't one to get drunk either. She remembered when her father did once when she was younger, and it was the worst thing ever. She's never gotten drunk before, luckily, she knew when to stop. Looking around she could see some others did not.
"O'Cleary! Over Here!" Mallory looked up to see a fellow professor and Ravenclaw. She smiled and walked over.

"Bryce! What a nice surprise." She sat down next to her and took off her coat. She ordered a butterbeer. "So, how is things?"

Talia Bryce

"Likewise! See you've escaped the castle for the day." Talia grinned as the woman walked over, turning her knees back under the bar counter and waving for another order. "Things are pretty good, actually! Classes have been going well and I finally feel settled in-well minus my office being a mess." She still had a handful of boxes from August to unpack but every time she went into her office something else demanded her attention. "What about you? Excited for the holiday season? I might have some plans with Rose but that's about it... I probably won't be visiting any family this year."

Mallory O'Cleary

Mallory smiled as her butterbeer was handed to her and she took a sip. "Thought I'd get some fresh air." She said, waved her hand as if swatting a fly. She set her coat on her lap. "well, messy rooms are a given. It comes with the job." She laughed. She had finally managed to organize her desk and her shelves this year after working here for 2 years. "Well, I don't know if I'm doing anything... She took another sip. "I'll be trying to visit my father..." She said, tapping her fingers on the table.

Talia Bryce

"Oh good, that makes me feel a little better." Talia grinned and thanked the bartender as another mug slid its way in front of her. Rotating the cool glass in hand, sliding her fingers into the handle, she nodded slowly as Mallory mentioned being unsure if she had plans. Holidays seemed to be hit or miss with many of those around her. "Trying?" There was something about the woman's voice that made Talia think there might be more to it than just a simple attempt to visit family and fit it around her schedule at the castle. She took a sip from her drink and licked away the frothy line settling below her nose.

"Is he doing alright? If I can offer any help covering for something here while you take time away please let me know." She knew what it would be like to miss family and Christmas amplified the feeling of loneliness more than any other time of year.

Mallory O'Cleary

Mallory smiled. "Glad there's some comfort in that." She said, as she rested both of her hands on the glass of her drink. It wasn't bad, and Mallory hadn't realized she had missed times like this. Easy going, no students, no work. Just a drink and a chat.

Mallory inhaled and sighed. "Trying." She took a sip of her drink and shifted in her seat slightly. "Trying to manage the money, you know?" She said. "My father acts like nothing is wrong, and it's frustrating that he won't admit he just needs some help, you know?" She said, rotating her mug on the table.

Mallory shook her head. "Oh no, you don't have to." she said. "I've been able to handle all this so far, but if I do need some help I'll keep that in mind." She took another sip. "So what about you?

Talia Bryce

"I do..." Talia murmured and nodded in sympathy as Mallory brought up financial concerns. She knew all too well how that was... her family managed to live comfortably but she had witnessed a number of arguments growing up between her parents involving money. "I'm sorry." Lia let out a sigh and shifted her glass in her hand again.

"I remember we talked a little once about that outside by the lake. I think it was," She paused and conjured up the memory with little trouble. "My second year? I was still trying to settle in with everyone else in Ravenclaw. A couple girls mercilessly teased me all term about my clothes. You were one of the few to talk to me like I was worth anything." She smiled and looked down at her drink before taking another sip. "I've always been grateful for that. Not everyone gets to grow up with a bursting Gringott's vault."

Mallory O'Cleary

Mallory looked at her mug absentmindedly. She had gone through about half of it, and she had already started to feel a warm feeling in her stomach from the drink. It was peaceful, and she ran her hands on the glass. She looked at Talia with a confused and sympathetic look. "Thanks, but it's not really anyone's fault. It's just the way things are." She said, looking back at her drink.

"I remember we talked a little once about that outside by the lake. I think it was" Mallory looked up from her glass as a memory of a small girl wearing old clothes by a lake flashed in her head for a split second.  Mallory looked at Talia, surprised she had remembered that. "I'm surprised you remembered..." She said, shaking her head.

"I remember seeing you... and I didn't feel pity." She said, trying to remember. "I treated you like that because I knew clothes didn't define anyone. " She turned to Talia. "I saw a girl with potential. " She said. "Not everyone gets to grow up with a bursting Gringotts vault." Mallory nodded and took another sip. "Indeed." She paused. "But I think the ones who don't know how to handle things more because we grew up with challenges. " She looked at her drink. She had only a little bit left. She turned her voice to a playful whisper. "That makes us kind of awesome as adults."

Talia Bryce

"I think you're spot on about that!" Talia laughed and gave a nudge of her elbow in Mallory's direction. It did feel very different at times being an adult compared to the life she led growing up. Although in many ways it was still the same... she was the same, wasn't she? Maybe not in every aspect- academically, career wise, magical abilities, socially and all that... but more so in her personality. Had she changed that much? It was a little unsettling to stop and reflect on herself if Talia was being completely honest. She was where she thought she would be by now in life, certainly?

Shaking the thoughts loose from her mind, Lia took another long drink from her mug. "How have your students been this term? I feel like I'll never get used to some of the questions I get asked... Don't get me wrong, a lot of the kids are great but sometimes I truly wonder about them."

Mallory O'Cleary

Her students? Oh boy.  Mallory looked at the small amount of her drink left in her cup before looking back up at Talia. Some students are extremely bright, but they have trouble. Some students don't try. Mallory exhaled with a laugh. " There are... good students. They're good kids. But ya know, all students have different learning paces and it's hard to keep up."

Truly wonders about them. "That sounds like there's a student. A certain student." She took another sip.  "Do you have a trouble maker?"

Talia Bryce

June 16, 2021, 01:10:03 pm #11 Last Edit: June 16, 2021, 05:57:51 pm by Talia Bryce
Talia gave a partial shrug in response. She wasn't really one for gossip beyond friendly conversation. Sure, some students had been more taxing than others just teaching was still so new to her and even if she knew Mallory it didn't feel right to toss anyone under the bus.

She kept her focus on her drink, deep in thought. She hadn't been in one of her classes to know how she taught. Saying anything especially after the Yaxley girl could come back around to bite her. Not to mention Lia was sure the Slytherin meant well... but should she say something and it effect her other classes Talia would feel badly.

Her stomach twisted uncomfortable with the way the conversation was flowing. She had been on the other end of plenty of gossip recently and wasn't willing to subject a child to that.
"Not in particular." She gave a half smile and adjusted her position on the stool. "How has your father been? Do you think coming back here changed anything?" she was sure even her family dynamic had shifted once the news of leaving Mungos sunk in, especially with her mother.

Mallory O'Cleary

Mallory shrugged and ordered another drink with a smile to the waitress. She turned back to Talia and rested her fingers on the counter. "Hm." Is all she said, and let the conversation move on. When she got her drink, she thanked the lady and held it in her hands, listening to Talia.

The conversation had changed to her father, suddenly, at Mallory paused. "He's been good. Well, only time will tell." She took a sip. "I would love to see him again. After only talking through owls." She said.

Talia Bryce

Talia noticed another shift in Mallory's demeanor again when her father was brought up. She wasn't one to pry but it certainly seemed as if there was something going on, perhaps Mallory was just not willing to divulge anything too personal to her. Understandable, Talia wasn't one to open up so quickly about her private life. Not to mention holidays always brought out deeper emotions that one might not even realize is there.  "I hope you're able to see him then this Christmas. Even for a little while, that should help set your mind at ease. It would probably do you both good in all honesty."

Shifting the liquid in her mug she felt her stomach start to bubble. How many had she had so far? Resting back on the stool, Talia pushed her palms against the counter and stretched her legs out. She was starting to feel a bit lightheaded. Maybe it was time to head back to the castle.  Pushing the mug aside, she dug into her purse and fingers fumbled for a few galleons.  "I think I might head back to the castle. You're welcome to join if you have nothing else to do in town?" Ah, there they are! Talia set down a neat stack of galleons next to her mug and gave a nod to the barkeep. Sliding from the stool she tugged at her jacket, sleeves getting a bit twisty before she could properly put her right arm in. "If not, no hard feelings! I might swing by the Owlery on the way back and send a couple letters out myself since I'll be here for the holidays."