Floo Network

🌷 Spring 70
It's nice to feel normal for a change...

Started by Quillan Cadwick, July 27, 2021, 04:20:56 am

Quillan Cadwick

Muggle london. The place where, thanks to the enchantments on his clothing, no one looked twice at Quillan unless they were a witch or a wizard. Yes, he still had his cane and his limp, but muggles couldn't see his freakish, gold-green skin, pirate's coin eyes and blackened fingernails. He looked just like any other guy on the street. It was refreshing, not to have mothers draw their children closer at the mere sight of him, and not to have to deal with startled little shrieks and gasps. He knew he was only fooling himself and everyone else around him, but what was wrong with that? He'd been to a few other places today too, the music store, in which he'd bought a few blank books of music sheets he could write his compositions down on, a drum kickstand, a bundle of horse hair used to restring bows for cellos and the like. Then at another store, he'd picked up a few muggle things, pencils, an eraser and a couple other odds and ends.

It was a fine Saturday afternoon and as he stood at the crosswalk waiting for the light to change, he was able to enjoy the day rather than have it ruined by gawkers. He was out and about today on a bit of a mission, he was looking for crystal animals to add to his collection and there was one in particular in a store window that called his name loud and clear. He'd had it reserved and today was the day he was going to pick it up.

The light turned and he carefully crossed the street and entered the pawn shop, looking around he searched for a few other, more interesting things he might want to pick up on a whim. Nothing caught his eye, so he went to the front desk with his order ticket and slid it over. The man behind the counter nodded and got Quillan his item and Quillan held it up to the light to see. The brandy inside sloshed a bit, catching the sunlight perfectly. The dragon was beautiful and it'd fit in just fine in his display case! "I'll take it." He paid and left.

It was then that Lady Luck decided to spit in his eye.

As soon as he set foot outside the shop, two boys raced by, laughing and shouting as they chased after something. One avoided him, but the other bumped into him. Quillan was knocked off balance and fell, his cane clattered to one side and he dropped his bags from the music store and the supply shop, the music sheet books slid out, along with his kickstand and several of the pencils. He landed hard on his left side, but managed to keep hold of his precious new bottle.

"Shit!" He hissed, partly in pain since it wasn't exactly a great fall, and partly out of anger at being knocked over in the first place. The boys (in typical fashion) were long gone. He wouldn't be able to yell at them. He lay there, pain lancing up his leg and into his hip, trying to recover from it. No one was around, it wasn't exactly a time of day where lots of people were around. Most of them were inside eating or traveling somewhere or working. Whatever.

Where the hell was his cane?

Maggie Kelly

July 27, 2021, 05:02:35 am #1 Last Edit: July 27, 2021, 05:06:22 am by Fiver
TW: brief mention of abuse

Today was Saturday, and Maggie had the day off. Father Michael was visiting relatives, and his niece and all the rest had gone along too. So Maggie did what she usually did when she had time to herself--she left her apartment early in the morning and went roaming around London.  That morning she'd brought along some pocket money she'd saved from work, and had treated herself to a coffee at one of the shops.  She sipped it as she walked, dodging people clustered on the sidewalk.  Every now and again, she slipped into a shop, but usually she didn't stay long. She had her coffee, and anyway, the salesgirls were always asking if they could help her find something, and after the fifth time of stammering out, "No ma'am, no thank you, I'm fine," Maggie was done. She was done with talking, and she was done with feeling her face growing hot every time someone spoke to her, and she was done with trying to figure out what she kept doing that made all the salesgirls think she was stealing. She was, she was, she was.

And that had to be what they thought--that she'd come in to steal.  Why else would they keep coming up to her and asking, when all she was doing was looking at the clothes, or the jewelry, or the purses? Maybe she should stop touching everything. That was probably it. She looked suspicious, handling all the goods like that.  As she walked out of yet another store, Maggie stuffed her free hand into the pocket of her coat.  There. Now maybe she wouldn't be tempted. No wonder Father Michael was always smacking her hands when she was younger for touching things--books on bookshelves, knickknacks, shiny odds and ends at the shops--that she wasn't supposed to! Pity the lesson hadn't stuck. Well, Maggie told herself, the next shop she entered, she'd behave herself, and she wouldn't touch anything.  She wouldn't, she wouldn't, she wouldn't.  

Rounding the corner, Maggie made her way toward yet another store--a pawn shop--when a commotion up ahead made her stop.  A very unusual looking man was coming out of that same shop. His skin was--Maggie squinted.  It was green, a golden green, and his eyes glinted in the light.  He limped besides, and used a cane. That had to be hard, with all the sacks he was managing! Her cheeks grew hot and she looked away.  She hated it when people stared at her, and there she was, doing it to someone else.  

Just then a pair of boys came hurtling down the street.  Maggie stumbled back too, to avoid being run down, but the children didn't seem to pay her any mind. She shook her head as she watched them go.  Father Michael would've whipped her, and good, if she'd acted like that. When she looked back, the man was on the ground, sacks scattered about and cane laying off to the side. Maggie darted toward him. Snatching up his cane, she held it out toward him. "H-here you are, sir. I, I'll, I'll help you, I'll help you with your bags if you like?"

Quillan Cadwick

July 27, 2021, 05:34:15 am #2 Last Edit: July 27, 2021, 05:39:48 am by Quillan Cadwick
Quillan looked up as a pair of feet came into view and then, made eye contact with a young woman who had his cane. He was embarrassed and in pain and just one of those things made him prone to being a jerk, but both of them? He had to resist the urge to yell at her to go away. To leave him alone. That he was fine. She was just being nice. Just trying to do what any decent person had done. He took his cane from her with a small, awkward nod, making sure his hand didn't brush against hers. He didn't like the reaction people had when touching his skin. It always made him feel worse about himself. "I don't need any help getting up. I don't like to be touched." He explained, "But I'd be grateful for the help getting my things back into the bags." He pointed out. That was all the 'thanks' he could generally muster.

She seemed to be staring a lot so.....he kind of guessed she was a witch. She might've just been staring at the old man who fell down though... he'd just wait for the questions to come that she'd have asked if she saw him for what he really was. Everyone had questions. At least, those that stuck around long enough to ask them. Many just turned and ran from him! He set down his pretty dragon bottle in its protective case and collected the pencils and other supplies, then using the wall of the building behind him for support, he got to his feet. His left leg refused to go the right direction, it went crooked at the knee and his foot pointed inward. He helpfully held open the bag for the woman to put his music supplies in, aware that a drum kickstand, a bundle of horse hair and music sheets didn't exactly say anything about the instrument he played.

Maggie Kelly

July 31, 2021, 03:14:05 pm #3 Last Edit: July 31, 2021, 03:16:57 pm by Maggie Kelly
TW references to mustard gas, war injuries, and body limb and eye differences

 Maggie nodded. She didn't like to be touched either, unless she knew the person well, or they were hugging her. Then she didn't mind at all. Handing his cane back, she turned and began to gather up his things. As she did, questions swirled around in her head. Why did he look that way? Had something happened or was he born like that? Was it the war? Sometimes people came back looking different because they'd been hurt in battle. Some of their neighbors back home were like that. One poor man had his face disfigured by mustard gas during the First World War. He mostly didn't leave his house, except for Mass. he was very kind though. He carved little animals from bits of wood and he'd given her a little robin once. It lived on her dresser at home. Maybe something like that had happened to this man.

She wanted to ask--but that would be rude. At the school, some of the children had looked different--their faces or arms or hands or legs or backs weren't like everyone else's. Some of them hadn't minded talking about why, but some of them had. Sister Bridget had said, some people are sensitive about such things, Margaret and they don't like talking about them, so you shouldn't ask unless they bring it up and tell you it's alright to ask, after Maggie had made a boy cry by asking why his foot was turned sideways. She hadn't meant any harm--she wouldn't care, if she'd looked like that and someone had asked her about it--and so Sister Bridget--the only one of the sisters who believed her when she said she hadn't meant to be rude, or impertinent or  disagreeable, the way the other nuns always said she was--had explained.

So she would be polite, and not ask--but, oh, she was very curious. He had green skin! And up close she could tell his eyes looked like gold coins. Did they work? They must've worked. He wasn't using his cane the way a blind person would, and he seemed to be able to see. That was good. One of the girls at school had white, clouded eyes, and she couldn't see at all. Something very strange must've happened for him to look that way. Maybe she would look it up in the library later. Sometimes, she did that when she had questions that she couldn't ask Father Michael about--because he wouldn't tell her--because she wouldn't understand, or he didn't think it was proper to talk about--or because she'd have to tell him she was asking because she'd seen whatever it was on her walks, and he didn't know about those. So the library it was.

In the meantime though, she could ask about the instruments he must've played. That wouldn't be rude. Maybe. "Ex-excuse me, s-sir? W-what, what in-ins-instruments do you, do you p-play?" As she spoke, she put the bundle of horsehair and the funny metal thing she had no words for into the open sack he held. 

Quillan Cadwick

She was staring. Again. And he could almost read the questions in her eyes, like words scrolling in her pupils. 'Why do you look like that? Are you contagious? Did someone do that to do? Does it hurt? Were you cursed?' He got them all the time, he wasn't ashamed of how he'd gotten cursed, it had been an accident and since it wasn't something he could hide, why bother lying about it? She didn't ask, but he knew she was curious about his appearance. He also knew, she wasn't a muggle for a muggle wouldn't have stared at him like that. A witch then. Of course. Timing was everything....

Then, the question she asked was one he hadn't expected. Instruments. As if he played more than one. He could answer with a simple 'Piano' and walk away, but ...something about this girl was.....well he didn't want to just blow her off. It would be like kicking a puppy. "Just one. The piano. I use the drum kickstand to provide a baseline with my foot. My good one anyway....and sometimes the horse hair is threaded between the piano strings so that when I pull it, it makes a sound like a cello. Picked it up when I was around twenty. Thought it would impress my wife. And I needed an outlet. She'd probably notice the lack of a wedding ring, or even a tan line suggesting he'd recently removed one.

He noticed how she stammered and used 'sir' as a title. Did he make her nervous or was she always a little mouse? "And the name's Quillan. You aren't a student of mine, so I won't make you address me by 'sir' or Mr. Cadwick or anything like that." He told her, "And I teach at Hogwarts. Potions." He knew he wouldn't have to elaborate. 'Hogwarts' was the wizard equivalent of Yale of Harvard in the muggle world. Everyone knew its name! He went to sit down on a little bench near a cafe and checked over his supplies. They were all in one piece, including his dragon bottle, thankfully.

Maggie Kelly

Maggie grinned, clapping her hands before she could stop herself. "That's grand! I'd love to hear you p-play sometime."  Oh, he was very clever! He could play the piano, and whatever a baseline was, and pull the horsehair between the piano strings all at the same time! Well, maybe.  Now that she thought about it, that did sound rather complicated.  Probably she would look ridiculous for asking, but just this once she tried not to think about that, and said, "A-all, all at once?" He would be very talented indeed if she was right and he could do all that at once! He'd still be very talented if he couldn't, but she couldn't even play one instrument let alone--she paused and counted in her head--three!

He mentioned his wife and Maggie nodded.  Most of the people she knew were married--though she wasn't sure what an outlet had to do with anything.  Wasn't that where electrical appliances plugged into the wall? It must've meant something else too, but she couldn't have said what. Maybe she would add that to her list of things to look up the next time she visited the library. 

Then he introduced himself and Maggie tilted her head. He was a teacher, but the rest of what he said made no sense. Perhaps he'd hit his head when he fell. That must be it.  Why else was he talking about Hogwarts and potions? What was a Hogwarts anyway? It didn't sound very nice for the poor hogs.  Maybe he was a veterinarian who specialized in treating hogs with warts? Maybe that's what he meant by s students.  sometimes veterinarians taught in colleges. But then, what did potions have to do with anything? Those only existed in fairytales, not in real life.  "I'm Maggie," she said, because being polite was important. Then, "D-does it hurt the hogs? The warts I mean. It, it sounds just awful." She wouldn't ask about the potions, because if he had hit his head, maybe he didn't mean to say that, and she would make him feel bad by pointing it out.  But oh, she wanted to ask about that to, very very much.  Maybe, if he said it again, she would let herself--and maybe he wouldn't mind too much. Maybe.