Floo Network

🌷 Spring 70
Ingredients Not Included

Started by Elias Redgrave, August 17, 2021, 03:15:53 am

Elias Redgrave

Elias would always wonder and question how he always managed to get into this tedious situation. Once he started his own business, he had promised himself that he wouldn't bother with his father's family business ever again. It was why he moved away from his father and never let the man know where he lived or worked. It was why he hyphanated his last name. It was why he focused more on tinkering with his muggle products over his doing anything in the magical world. So why on earth was he now apparating from one Redgrave Apothecary to another all around the UK? Wherever he couldn't apparate to, he ended up flooing to that location. This was the job left to his brother, Ezra, his father's golden son. Yet here he was, doing the man's job.

"All because I tricked him into a date? It was just a joke. And she wasn't bad looking. Just...frustratingly annoying." Elias griped to himself as he walked through the alleyway toward the next Apothecary.

It was true, Elias had left his younger brother to take on a date that was...less Elias' type and was even less Ezra's type. She was a spunky, happy-go-lucky girl who wouldn't shut up long enough for either brother to get their thoughts together. On this rare double date that the brothers had strangely conducted on one of their rare moments of not wanting to kill each other, they had met up with two sisters who would be their dates for that night. Needless to say, Elias left with the less active sister, who was originally Ezra's date, and left the more energetic one to Ezra. It was a hilarious turn of events for Elias...until his younger brother tricked him the following fortnight with a potion that Elias drank in a glass of whiskey. Elias would admit that he was ashamed that he didn't detect the potion. His whiskey did taste off, but he had paid it no attention as he has just wanted to get his buzz going before heading out to Sanctuary that night. Unfortunately for Elias, his brother drugged him with a potion that was similar to Veritaserum but as far nastier as it would have the inhibiter speak their most embarrassing truths to anyone within earshot no matter if they asked a question or not. Elias was not stepping a foot outside of that house without an antidote; one that would cost him two months worth of checking on their family's businesses all throughout Europe which was usually a two day trip. That was two days Elias wouldn't be able to mess around with his products and two days he wouldn't be able to contact his Muggle partners about the growth of their own companies. Not contacting them would put him behind schedule and could ultimately back him up in paperwork as well. And like most people who work, Elias hated paperwork.

The dark-haired man sighed as he stepped through the doors of the Apothecary. This particular branch was in an obscure location that anyone would miss if they didn't know what to look for. This was one of the rare ingredient shops that had some of the more illegal specimans that were harder to come by. Basalisk eggs and fangs, Basalisk venom, Aracmantula venmon and hair, certain dragon parts, Unicorn horn - which was the hardest to come by as one had to be pure of heart - anything one could think of that was rare and illegal, this location would have it. There was a sister and brother branch in France and Ireland respectfully that were just as equally obsure and hard to find. Thankfully, there were only three that the Redgrave family managed to create. Each Redgrave Apothecary store knew what day it was. It didn't matter if they were the illegal stores or the regular ones that students and other Potioneers alike shopped at. They were given an owl as a heads up whenever the rounds were to be made. So it always baffled Elias when the less busy Apothecaries ended up being the ones that took the longest to get the bi-monthly funds and productivity charts from. Looking at the middle-aged man behind the counter, Elias rubbed at his eyes in exasperation. "You knew today was coming. You were sent an owl a week prior to today to prepare you for this moment. Why do you not have the information that I need? It isn't hard, Benjamin. You bring me the books, I take the books and hand you over a new set, you take the new books, and we both go our merry way. Why is it every time I or my brother come in here you make life so difficult?"

Elias wasn't patient with this particular man. For years the family had dealt with this man and his half assed running of this shop. From what Elias knew, Ezra always asked their father why this old man wasn't fired from the job. They would never get an answer. Instead, they just dealt with the stammering old man who ran to the back of the shop after Elias' tirade. Maybe the man thought Elias was part of Ezra's ilk. Well, if the man thought that, he wasn't going to correct the man. If it garnered him respect, it was for the best. It mattered not, however, as Elias would still have to wait for the man to get his shit together and bring the older Redgrave brother the books he had come to pick up. While he waited, he decided he would check out some of the products that were being sold within this hole in the wall Apothecary. He never realized how disgusting some of these ingredients were or how some of the items procured required inhumane methods to acquire from the hosts. He was so engrossed in looking at the items that if someone were to enter the store, he wouldn't realize it until it was too late.

Declan O'Dwyer

August 17, 2021, 12:36:53 pm #1 Last Edit: August 17, 2021, 12:46:25 pm by Royal_Poet
The floo fire turned green. Declan sighed. Another call. Was he not going to have five minutes of peace and quiet today? His features contorted into an outright frown as the face of Eithne O'Dwyer popped into the flames. His mother calling never spelled anything good. They weren't close and with recent tensions in the family he didn't look forward to whatever it was she would have to say. To Declan's surprise, she was calling in a favour. His good for nothing cousin (twice removed!), Benjamin O'Sullivan, was once again in trouble. He sighed. There was really no explaining why his mother was so fond of the talentless hack. Sure, the man's father had been her childhood sweetheart and she somehow felt responsible; but he was forty-seven for Merlin's sake! Wasn't that about time for Benji-boy to start figuring out his own life?

Anyway, the gist of it wall was that Benji was once again due his bi-monthly inspection at that hovel he called his workplace. Something, something Redgrave apothecary, though as far as Declan was concerned ditch would have described the place more aptly. Well-hidden from any potential customers, the business concept seemed to be 'look as dodgy as possible and hope for the best'. He didn't want to think about which bright spark had come up with that idea. Clearly, whoever was in charge of Redgrave was a few sandwiches short of a picnic.

His idiot cousin, apparently, had been selling some of the choicer ingredients off the books, trying to make a quick buck. Of course, he hadn't thought the 'nefarious' scheme through all the way to the end. If you were going to embezzle, there was such a thing as doing it with style. Was it really that difficult to manipulate the books in a way that would actually add up? How could a scheduled, routine inspection be even considered and obstacle?

The things one did for family. His mother would have to owe him for this, big time.

Declan summoned a basket to him from one of the storage rooms downstrairs and carefully stepped through his lab. Erumpent horn, check. Lethifold yarn, check. Vial of unicorn blood, check. The last item in particular angered him a great deal. The content of the vial he owned had been willingly given to him by an injured animal. Giving up his high quality, perfect stock to his stupid, stupid, stupid cousin at Redgave annoyed him beyond reasonable levels. If he never saw Benji again after this, it would be too soon. Maybe he should just hex him - a pleasant thought.

He threw on a fancy white jacket, then stepped through the vanishing cabinet to take him to Viridian at Belgravia. He didn't like apparating and the Redgrave hovel was only a short walk from where his London store was located, although in dodgier area of town. The brisk walk helped with cooling his temper a little to more of a subdued simmer. Probably for the better, because when he stepped into Redgrave's there was already a gentleman there. He had to stop the door from swinging open all the way, to avoid knocking the patron over.

Declan elegantly squeezed past him. "Benji," he then addressed the shopkeeper, "there you go." He slid the basket over the counter paying the customer no mind. What he really wanted to say was 'Don't you dare make me come out here again' but that was hardly appropriate in front of this stranger he didn't recognise. Instead, he gave Benji a look that clearly read 'I'll wait' while retreating further into the shop pretending to have developed an interest in acromantula venom - well, incorrectly stored acromantula venom that was. Declan couldn't help but adjust the position of the vials and placing a mild cooling charm over them. He just couldn't stand seeing ingredients go to waste.

Elias Redgrave

Elias barely managed to side step out of the way of the door when it swung open forcefully, only to be stopped by the young man that had pushed it open in the first place. No words were uttered by the techy guru, but he did watch through narrowed eyes as the young man walked over to the counter to hand what looked like a basket over to Benjamin...who still hadn't moved his ass to go get the books. Elias had half a mind to hex the idiot and put a pep in his step, but he refrained. He only cleared his throat rather loudly once the young man moved over to a shelf and gave the shop keeper a pointed look that seemed to say, "Chop chop!" causing the bumbling man to rush off into the back behind the curtains.

Elias turned back to the shelf he was looking at; various Eye of Newt were staring back at him and a slight shiver ran down the man's spine at the thought of having to touch those things again. He had always hated Potions. He wasn't pants at it, but he never enjoyed it. Picking up one of the vials, he looked at the tag and read the experation date. It read that the ingredient wouldn't expire for another seven months. A scoff left the man's mouth as he knew for a fact that certain ingredients, even pickled, only had a short shelf life. These eyes definitely had one and Elias knew it, which was why he took out his wand to cast "Revelio", revealing the real expiration date on the vial. It expired last month. The better ingredients were shoved to the back of the shelf while the expired ones were made to look nice and good and placed in the front to possibly get them sold. If Elias had cared more about his father's busniesses, he would ask for the catalog book that every delivery wizard took note of when they made deliveries, just so that he could find out whether or not this idiot was stealing from his family in some way.

But Elias didn't care.

He was only doing this dumb job to pay his debt to his brother.

Putting the vial back, he made a note to casually mention what he found out to his younger brother before moving over to the same shelf that the younger man had walked to and stood in front of. Elias picked up a vial of Unicorn Blood, watching as it shimmered when he moved it in front of the light and swirled it around before addressing the guy next to him. "They must find some virgin bloke that is entirely pure of heart in order to get this stuff. It's nearly impossible to get a unicorn to donate their hair for wand cores. I'm sure that acquiring their blood required something much more...darker in order to gain this beauty."

He replaced the vial carefully back on the shelf and continued to examine the rest of the ingredients. He could afford anything that broke, but he would hate for any of them to break on his brand new shoes that he just purchased two days ago! He was trying to break them in, for Merlin's sake!

Declan O'Dwyer

Declan looked up, surprised to be drawn into a conversation. He examined the vial the man was holding and shook his head. "I hate to be the bearer of bad news, good Sir, but what you are holding there is scarcely more than a vial of water with silver dye. The colour is too light and the liquid isn't viscous enough for it to be anything else." He probably should have stayed out of this, but he found Benjamin's little schemes so distasteful he couldn't help the urge to interfere.  "At best this might have contained some blood at some point, but it's been stretched with other substances. I wouldn't recommend trying to brew with it. You'd probably have to stabilise with a lot of ash winder eggs to get any potential recipe to not blow up in your face. Not that there's much you could hope to achieve with this watered down mess."

He took the time to study the patron now. He seemed well put together and didn't smell of desperation and hopelessness. Most people interested in unicorn blood were looking to extend a life at any price, often triggering a deep blood curse in the process. Rarely, he came upon someone who understood that it's true power lay in restoring nature and undoing damage. The gentleman before him, well, he didn't seem the kind to have a deep spiritual connection with the world either. So why was he here?

"Anyway, I don't know about virgins," a little chuckle, "or why people always think purity is about sex. In truth it is about the soul's capability to submit and sacrifice without regard for the self. If you can accept suffering without wanting to retaliate, if you can take hardship without anger and if you understand the nature of what it means to truly heal then there's hope you can collect and brew with this substance. But if there is darkness in your heart a malediction is sure to ensnare your soul and you will be cursed."

Declan plucked the vial from his hand and returned it to the shelf. "Don't mess with it if you can help it. But if you are in dire need, I'd ask for the vial on the counter. I can't promise that it won't kill you, but with that one there's at least a chance you might survive it." He sighed. 

"What are you looking to make? I might be able to help with a recommendation or two."

Elias Redgrave

Elias blinked at the vial in his hand and looked at it closely after the young man beside him mentioned that it was nothing more than silver dye with water. Turns out, the kid was right. Who in their right mind would try to sell this junk to customers?

'Obviously someone not in their right mind.' Elias muttered in his mind. He didn't put up a fuss when the vial was removed from his hands and replaced on the shelf. The man had half a mind to shut the entire place down today and damn the consequences of his father's yelling and anger. This place was dangerous! Anyone who bought these items and used them in potions could make themselves explode for Merlin's sake! And Benji boy was just happily selling these things for profit? He was seething inside so much that he barely heard the question aimed at him, but he managed to hear a bit in order to respond with, "I'm not making anything. I'm here on business for my father. But if I were to make anything, I damn sure wouldn't be buying from this shop!" Elias stated just as the shop owner walked out from the back with an armful of books. Elias stomped over and grabbed for the bottom one, the one that Benjamin seemed to be clutching onto for dear life. As he looked through the books, he could clearly see that the numbers weren't adding up the way they were supposed to. Which could mean one of two things:

Either Benjamin was being robbed often enough that he couldn't make up the debt that was piling up or make up the missing money, or the right bastard was stealing from his family and keeping a portion of the money for himself. Elias had an inkling that the latter was the case. Why else would the idiot put mimic versions of the real potion ingredients on the shelves for people to see and buy?

Normally, Elias wouldn't care about his father's business or what happened to him in the end, especially if it all failed or fell through. But this business would eventually fall to his brother and though he didn't care for his brother's political veiws, Ezra was still his brother and he wouldn't want him to deal the fallout of this asshat's side business and end up being the talk of wizarding Britian. Plus, this was the Redgrave family name this idiot was messing with. Even though he uses his mother's maiden name most of the time, he was still a Redgrave and he'd be damned if someone fudged with his family. He flipped through the boooked some more and made mental notes about each ingredient that wasn't matching up with the delivery amount and the price they were sold at. Then he moved onto the next book and saw the same inconsistencies from the bottom book. He glanced up with a glare at the panicked man before him before continuing on to the last book. The top book looked immaculate and everything seemed to be in place, which was probably why Benjamin wanted to only show the top book instead of the other two.

"Ev'thin good, yeah? When do I get the new books?" the slimeball had the nerve to ask.

Elias stood up straight and glared at the man full on. "Good? You call this good? You've been stealing from my family, you good for nothing bastard!" Elias had a mind to pull out his wand and hex him right there! However, there was a witness and he didn't think it would be a good idea for him to start hexing or cursing the idiot shop keep with a witness around. "You've been stealing from this shop by taking the real ingredients and switching them out with this," he waved to the shelf with the fake unicorn blood, "fake shit!" Elias poked his finger into the man's chest and hissed. "You will pay the Redgrave family back every cent you've stolen from us from this side business you've been running."

The man sputtered. "I-I-I have no idea what you're talkin' 'bout, Mr. Redgrave."

"Bullshit." Elias finally flicked his wrist to drop his wand into his hand. "You know exactly what I'm talking about and you're going to own up to it."

"B-bu-bu-but that would ruin me! You can't do this!"

"You should have thought about that before my father sent me to collect his money. You should have been smarter than me if you wanted to get away with this. I'll be sending you an invoice by owl with how much you owe the Redgrave family. If you don't pay up, we'll take what is owed some other way."

He hated showing his ugly side; his more aggressive side. It showed his father's upbringing coming out in him and he wasn't excited about it at all. But he knew that some people definitely needed to see this side of Elias Redgrave and not take advantage of the playful, joking, playboy side of the man. He turned to the other guy in the shop. He hadn't forgotten about him but he also wasn't concerned about the guy enough to not handle his business. "Sorry that you had to see all of that."

Declan O'Dwyer

There was no way of stopping the unpleasant scene that unfolded itself in front of him. Benjamin was in deep trouble and from the looks of it, the man deserved it. There had only been one slight miscalculation. The man Declan had identified the other man in the shop as a harmless customer when, in fact, he appeared to be part of the Redgrave family. He probably should have recognised the face, but in all truth, Declan had absolutely no recollection of the man. Oh well, the damage was done.

He watched the ensuing altercation between Redgrave and Benjamin with a bored expression. People could get truly barbaric when it came to money. Especially those who should have had enough on paper to not have to care. Benjamin's plight probably should have done something to move his heart, but the only emotion Declan felt was annoyance. He could easily picture how outraged his mother would have been had she been here in his place. Alas, she wasn't and would never have to know what happened here.

"There's no need to apologise," Declan said as Mr Redgrave finally returned his attention to him, trying to move past the unpleasant scene that had just occurred. "I've had the misfortune of knowing Mr O'Sullivan here for many years. Nothing, absolutely nothing could surprise me anymore." He probably shouldn't have said that, but Declan struggled to muster the energy to produce a more pleasant façade. There was nobody to impress here. Redgrave, of course, didn't seem quite as repulsive as Benjamin, but that was a remarkably low bar to clear.

"Anyway, how much does the fool owe you?" Declan asked Mr Redgrave. "I'll settle his bill." He didn't particularly want to, but he was sure his mother would never let him live it down if he didn't somehow take care of this. "Or if it makes it easier, how much to buy this branch? It can't be worth much to your family. Bad location, shoddy business concept. I daresay if I offer you 20000 galleons for it that'll be more profit than it will make you in 10 years, even if you find somebody who isn't incompetent to run it."

Benjamin meanwhile seemed rather outraged at Declan's proposal. "You can't do that," the man rasped nervously. Declan didn't bother to give a response. He doubted that his useless relation would be given any say in what happened to this shop or his debts as long as a profitable offer was made to the Redgrave family.

Elias Redgrave

Settle his bill? Knowing this fool for years? Were these two related? Were they friends? Elias looked at the sorry idiot behind the counter who seemed outraged at the prospect that this gentleman would offer to pay his due. Ungrateful little... who would be friends with such a smarmy little rat such as Benjamin, Elias would never understand. But he wasn't going to go deep into that territory.  He didn't care about the relationship between these two blokes. All he wanted was to finish the business here and keep moving onto the next place.

He wished he had left this part of the job to Ezra. Why the heck didn't he just take a different form of payback? "That won't be necessary. He will pay what he owes or he'll deal with the man who runs this place himself. And trust me, he's not as nice as I am." Elias looked at Benjamin with a glare. "If I were you, I would quickly come up with the payments by the end of the week." The young man continued to offer to pay this man's bill, offering 20,000 galleons to pay off the bill and buy the place. Truth be told, that would cover the expenses for the last two months and give an extra profit toward his father's business. He rightfully didn't care about any of this. His father's business, this swindling, snivelling, thieving curr, or the money owed to his family's Apothecary business. He had his own business that was booming and made him richer than his father in both the Muggle and Wizarding world. However, it was the principle of the matter. The principle that these fake ingredients could potentially harm or even kill an innocent who was using the items in potions. Should the potion blow up and the ingredients that were included in the potion were investigated, it would all fall back onto his family and that would ultimately lead to Elias and his family being investigated and possibly fined for this idiot's greedy blunder.

If Elias was investigated, there would be the potential troublesome issue that he would be outed as messing with and mingling with Muggles during these dark times. That was something that he definitely didn't want to have out in the open. He was sliding under the radar as it was, never actually telling his brother and father what it was that he did exactly. They knew that he worked on things at his penthouse but they never were allowed to go into his basement at his manor or the bottom level of his penthouse. Hell, his father was barely allowed to walk through the doorway of his home. Regardless, the fee needed to be paid.

"If I had any say in who ran this place, I would gladly sell the branch to you and damn the consequences of being a rival shop. This is my father's business though, you see. So I cannot speak up on selling this place, regardless of the incompetent running of it. You may pay his bill, but that's the extent of what I can allow for now. That being said," Elias looked at the shop keeper again, "You will still pay what you owe. He may be paying off the bill for the money you took from the Redgrave family, but the missing ingredients are not included. Trust me when I say that you don't want the owner of this place to come around to collect what they are owed...or my brother for that matter. Neither one of them are very nice compared to me."

He then looked back at the gentleman and asked, "Why exactly will you be paying his bill? Do you happen to know this scumbag?"

Declan O'Dwyer

Oh, so the gentleman he was dealing with was one of the Redgrave sons. That made sense. A shame he didn't have the seniority to make a decision about selling the place. It did make sense though. Why would Redgrave sent anyone senior to deal with a nuisance like Benjamin? They probably had more important matters to get on with.

Declan felt his temper bubbling up. This situation got more and more annoying by the minute. Not because of Redgrave, the man was just doing his job after all, but because of his stupid, good for nothing cousin. How could anyone be that incompetent? Declan really wanted to fly of the handle and scare the living daylights out of the man, but obviously not in front of Redgrave.

"How about I settle both accounts, the missing money and the missing ingredients and you sign that you will not pursue legal action against Benjamin here. Just get me a full list of what's missing and I'll either reimburse you or take care of it." He tried to give a winning smile. He really wanted this to go away quietly. The last thing his mother's family needed was a full blown scandal.

"And since you asked, I unfortunately know this scoundrel and I owe his godmother a favour. I wouldn't be here if it was just for his sake." A dismissive shrug. "He's hardly worth my time or yours I'd imagine, so let's just get this settled once and for all."

Declan reached into the pocket of his coat and produced a business card, featuring his name printed in gold onto solid black card stock as well as the name of his business, Viridian. If one were to tap the card with a wand, it would give directions to the nearest branch, either the main house in Dublin or the subsidiary branch in Belgravia.

"If you'd be so kind though as to mention my name to your father, I'd be much obliged. My offer to buy out stands and I can reassure that there would be no competition or business rivalry from me. My only condition is that you fire this fool and don't employ him again." He paused. "Just think about it. There's not much hope of making this venture here profitable. Bad location, hardly any footfall and the margins on controlled substances are tight. Any potions master worth their salt would rather gather their own than to buy from an apothecary, unless there was no other choice. Maybe with a more common product palette and some ready made simple potions this shop could turn a modest profit, but I doubt that's worth your father's time or investment."

Merlin, it wasn't worth his time and investment. If Redgrave Senior sold him the place he could use it as storage or maybe renovate it and rent it out as a flat? He'd think of something. The more important part was covering for Benjamin and making sure this affair wasn't talked about again. It had to end here.

Elias Redgrave

Elias nodded. He wanted to be done with this bumbling baffoon and if this kid was willing to pay up, then by all means he wouldn't say no. But he still couldn't sell the place even if he wanted to "Alright, kid. If you want to pay his dues, I'm not going to stop you and take you up on your offer. But I still can't sell you this place as much as I'd like to as it's not mine to part with. And I'll think about not sending the owner and his people after this fool of a man." Elias looked at the shop keep...soon to be fired shop keep and sneered. Every time he looked at the simpering fool he wanted to hex him. Why on Earth would his brother or father hire him to work for them, Elias would never know. But what he did know was that the thieving looney would never work in this form of business legally ever again. Elias would see to that himself.

When the young gentleman mentioned that he knew Benjamin, Elias tsked. It was sad that he had the unfortunate fate to know this idiot. Elias would have probably killed him...by accident, of course. The Muggle way. With one of his machines. No one would ever know...

Taking the card that was held out to him, Elias glanced at it quickly, committing the information to memory. He listened to the proposition and nodded in agreement, though he still couldn't make a sound decision without his father's say-so. "You're right. He's not worth either of our time. And I'll be sure to inform my father about you, Mr. O'Dwyer. The card I'll keep for myself, thanks. This idiot will be-"

"Now that's enough! I'll no' have you two talking about me as if I'm not here and calling me names and degrading me any further!" Benjamin yelled as he pulled out his own wand and pointed it at Declan's chest. "You're nothing but a filthy traitor, Declan. I've known you for 28 years and you've always held air about you as if you're better than me. In nappies together, we were! I don't care if aunty is your ma! I'll kill you dead before I let you or this primpy, pissy, daddy's boy tarnish my good name!"

Elias quickly raised his wand and held it pointed at Benjamin. He scoffed at the man's words. "You wish I were a daddy's boy. I'm here doing a favor for the real daddy's boy, but I'll be sure to pass on the acknowledment to my brother for you. Now, why don't you lower that wand? You don't want to make a mistake and hurt the man who's doing you a big favor, now do you?"

Elias didn't mention that it was because of Mr. O'Dwyer that Benjamin was even still standing. He was a witness, and since Elias didn't know him, it meant that he wouldn't be able to hex the stupid shop keeper to kingdom come like he wanted to do orignally. He was sure that the guy next to him was adept at dueling, but Elias knew that if he cast the first spell, there was a possibilty Benji boy would cast something at the same time and catch the other gentleman square in the chest. Unfortunately, there was no telling how well of a spell slinger the ex shop keeper was with his wand. Hopefully the situation could be diffused.

Declan O'Dwyer

Declan gave an amused smile. Had Redgrave just called him 'kid'? Just how young did he think he was? "I understand," he muttered at the repeated refusal to sell the shop to him. He didn't like it, but what could be done? If the man in front of him didn't have the authority to make a sale, there was no point in going on about it. Redgrave promised to forward his offer, and given the circumstances this clearly was the best he could hope for.

His work here was done. Time to get out of trouble and back to work. Not that he had anything pressing to do, but just about anything was preferable to spending time with Benjamin. He'd done his duty, he'd report to his mother and the hopefully he'd be able to forget about this incident and spend his time, money and effort on something a little more worthwhile.

Benjamin had other plans. Declan gasped as his cousin (twice removed) decided to dig his own grave. How could he be this arrogant and stupid?

"You've never needed my help to tarnish your good name, Benjamin," Declan responded to his accusations. "You don't get to blame me for what you have done."

Apparently his words didn't help the situation. Redgrave was trying to get things to de-escalate, but Declan had had more than enough. He just wanted Benjamin to stop talking. Declan subtly slid his hand along his sleeve, producing his wand from a slim inside pocket. He should have probably done something to warn Redgrave of his intentions but there was no time.

"Stupefy," he whispered lazily and his spell hit Benjamin squarely in the chest before he could say another word. The man collapsed like a sack of potatoes.

"Sorry, he was starting to annoy me." Declan shrugged a half-hearted apology.

"Pint?" He looked at Redgrave with the most casual of expressions, as if he regularly stunned people and then went to have some beer. "I dunno about you, but I have little desire to be here when he comes to. I'd suggest you take the bag with ingredients from the counter with you. Wouldn't entrust them to him for safe keeping."

It was kinda sad to be talking about a member of his family in such a way, but what could he do? You could lead a horse to water, but you couldn't make it drink.

Elias Redgrave

Elias looked at the slumped over shop keeper and shook his head. He tried to tell the guy that he needed to calm down; to just say he'd pay the Redgrave family back and then Elias would have taken his leave. But no, the idiot had to be difficult and then result into violence as if that would have solved anything. This whole thing could have been avoided or at least handled differently. Then again, Elias had wanted to hex the bastard too. Maybe he was just disappointed that the other guy beat him to it.

He could only smirk when the other guy apologized for stunning the shop keeper, who was apparently a relative of his. "No need to apologize. He was annoying me as well and if you hadn't done that, I would have surely done it or worse."

Which was the truth. While Elias had restraint in using dark spells against his enemies and against other people, it wasn't as if he didn't know the spells and wasn't trained in them. He just wasn't trained as hard and strictly as his brother was. Their father would drill them for hours, making them use spells that had counter spells one one another, but the punishments for failure were much different for each brother. It was why Elias allowed his brother to one-up him often during those sparring matches. But it didn't mean that the older brother didn't know how to use those spells.

He just felt that they were a wasted sense of time and energy and Elias surely wasn't going to waste energy casting one of those spells on the laid out bloke on the floor now. No, the simple Stupefy that the kid showered on him was quite enough.

The offer of getting a drink was made and Elias quickly took the offer on. "Thank you, though I prefer whiskey if they have it. If not, a pint will do. If I cared enough, I'd take out the trash but for all I care, it can rot and stink up the place more than what it has." the man said as he frowned down at the prone body. He took the advice and gathered up the safe and actual ingredients from the Apothecary into a box he transfigured from the tip jar on the counter. Calling a house-elf, he wrote a quick note before directing the creature to take the ingredients to his brother with the note explaining the situation. Elias was done with the afternoon and with running this errand. Any other places that needed checking then his brother could do it. Elias was sure he would hex the balls off of the next idiot who tried his patience.

Upon seeing the elf off with a pop, Elias turned to his new companion. "Shall we?"

Declan O'Dwyer

"Probably shouldn't have," Declan admitted, twirling his wand between his fingers. It was the kind of thing his father Fintan might have done in a similar situation. Normally, Declan prided himself on being able to find diplomatic solutions but something about Benjamin that just rubbed him the wrong way. Family or not, he was disreputable and ungrateful and he had little patience for people who lacked ambition and integrity. "Alas, too late now. If my mother wants to be upset with me she can send me a howler." He shrugged. It would hardly be the first time that his actions had upset somebody in his family. The O'Dwyers really were quite a dysfunctional bunch.

His new acquaintance didn't seem to mind his sudden burst of violence. Declan raised an eyebrow at that and had to admit that he felt a little intrigued. Few people owned their violent impulses with such casual nonchalance. He hadn't been so sure about Redgrave at first, but the man was starting to grow on him

"Whiskey, man after my own heart."

Except, they were in London. And he sounded English. Declan wrinkled his nose for a moment trying to think of where to go. The Leaky Cauldron wasn't quite his pace, feeling too much like a country pub. He mulled the question over while the other man was cleaning up and composing a note for his elf to take to headquarters. Yikes, it was embarrassing really. He'd opened the London branch of his business month ago, but he still didn't know his way around the city. He supposed they couldn't just head to Diagon Alley and take a look what was there.

"Yes, let's get out of here," Declan agreed. "If you've got a recommendation where to go I'm all ears. I don't really know my way around London." He thought he'd have to ask Farren sometime. His fiancée probably knew where to go.

"So, when you're not running errands for your father, what is it you actually do?" Just a bit of idle curiosity he no longer managed to hold in. From the way Redgrave had spoken it was obvious he was just helping out. He thought it was a little unusual for a son of a well known family not to enter the family business. Other than his own father Declan couldn't think of many purebloods who had opted out.

Elias Redgrave

Recommendation? Oh, Elias knew plenty of pubs on the Muggle side of London that would give them the right amount of buzz they wanted after dealing with that idiot. But he wasn't sure if his partner would want to sit amongst the unmagical rabble. However, there was one that was actually a wizarding one that played off being Muggle to accomodate both worlds. Elias didn't blame the owner. He did the same thing himself with making sure to currency in both worlds in order to survive. It was the smart way to do business, if he had to be frank. And it wasn't as if the goblins didn't like money in any currency.

"I know a few places we can venture. Actually, there's one that isn't much father from us now. About four streets down this way." Elias pointed to their right. "We could pop in there and have a few pints amongst other drinks and a bite to eat if you're feeling a bit hungry." He started walking down the street before turning around the corner to the right. When his soon to be drinking companion caught up, he continued down the street at a steady pace, artfully dodging around the rush hour Muggles that were making their way home or to Kings Cross. Elias stopped at a corner and looked around the intersection to see where he was exactly. It was when he looked down the street to the left that he saw his destination. Turning his body toward the correct direction, he waited for the crosswalk to allow pedestrians to walk before signaling to his companion to walk along with him. He wasn't sure if being in the Wizarding world so long made the other man less aware of cars and how much they hurt when you're hit by them...not to mention that magic wouldn't exactly hurt the mechanical contraptions either.

'He isn't stupid, Elias, for Merlin's sake. He just doesn't know his way around London.' the man berated himself as he rolled his eyes.

Finally, he stopped in front of a pub that wasn't exactly obscure but it was hidden away on a side street. Outside were a couple of tables for those wishing to spend their time enjoying the outside breeze and people watching while having a relaxing drink. Inside were more tables set up in a similar fashion as the outside and further inside was the bar with stools set up in front of it for those patrons who just wished to hang out near the bartender. Elias turned to his companion and with a flair, waved his arms while saying, "Welcome to The Conductor!" Heading inside, he greeted the bartender, a good looking young woman who couldn't be any older than twenty-four. She had a brother about about same age as Elias and who happened to own the place as well. "Felicia! Long time no see!"

The young woman rolled her eyes and scowled at Elias. "You better be here to pay that tab of yours, Pri-" she stopped short as she saw that Elias had company ands he narrowed her eyes. "Redgrave." She then pointed her rag that she was cleaning the bar top with at Elias and sternly said, "You better be paying that tab tonight, Eli. Don't make me have my brother come by your flat to collect again."

"Ah, Felicia, you know I'll take care of it. Monetarily or in...other ways if you wanted. Like last time." He said with a sly wink making the woman blush furiously. "Anyway, you mind starting us off with two pints of your best? We'll be over in the corner there." Elias pointed to a secluded corner and moved to sit there. Once comfortable, he decided to answer the other man's question that was asked while they were walking. He hadn't forgotten about the question. He just wasn't keen on answering it at the time. As it were, Elias was wary of even telling this guy...who was pretty much a stranger to him about what work he did. Ministry officials wouldn't appreciate Elias trying, for the last ten years or so, to combine the magical and muggle worlds together via magic and technology. But he would give the man an answer all the same that would hopefully satisfy his interests.

"I own my own business. I've had it since I was about fourteen or fifteen. At first it was difficult, trying to make something for myself to...get away from my father's influence, but I had help from a friend and managed to make a name for myself. Now I just build things and sell them in bulk to companies for profit and gain more profit when the companies sell my products to smaller companies who then use the products to make smaller items to sell to the public. If any of that made sense, of course." Elias explained as best as he could without giving away the fact that the majority of his technology was sold within the muggle world. The small amount of items he made in the Wizarding one dealt with making adjustments to something already made or tricking the Wizarding buyer that the new item they just bought was something exclusive. In fact, it was most likely that Elias took the broken item and replaced it with a muggle one that he managed to tweak and fix so that it could work in both worlds.

Soon, Elias will be able to say he managed to combine the two worlds into one.

Technology wise at least.

Declan O'Dwyer

Elias wasn't wrong in his assumption that Declan wasn't entirely at ease in the muggle world. While he could navigate the perils of traffic without a hitch - he was used to it after all - he otherwise remained fairly ignorant of their culture and their lives. His attitude was mostly one of live and let live, but he preferred things when wizards and muggles stayed in their lanes respectively. He found himself surprised when Redgrave took a turn into a part of London that was densely populated by muggles. A group of tourists was cluttering up the pavement, making a general nuisance of themselves. Declan elegantly threaded threw them, bit suddenly dept quite awkward. The white jacket he was wearing was hardly inconspicuous. However, London seemed to be somewhat more forgiving of oddly dressed individuals than rural Ireland. He caught himself thinking that if he were dressed like this in Glendalough it would spell trouble.

As promised the walk was a short one. Redgrave stopped in front of a place Declan normally wouldn't have considered entering for love or money. The Conductor seemed to be a down to earth, yet modern establishment furnished in bright colours. Taking a look around the crows was, as in any pub, mostly male. However, unlike in other establishments, he didn't recognise a soul here. Did this mean that these people were muggles? The thought made him a little uneasy. Redgrave on the other hand seemed to be right in his element. He greeted the lady behind the bar, who apparently was an acquaintance.

The words that were being said left him struggling though. Redgrave owed money at this questionable establishment? What? He had paid by servicing the lady before? His discomfort at all of this was so visceral it took some doing to keep his facial expression carefully neutral. For the first time in his life ever he was rather grateful for the etiquette lessons that his family had subjected him to as a boy. He'd learned how to give the appearance of calm, even if on the inside he felt anything but. Just what kind of disreputable creature had he fallen in with? Did the old Redgrave know what his son got up to? Somehow, Declan doubted it or he might not have been trusted with that errand earlier. And what a hypocrite! He'd been annoyed with his cousin Benjamin and yet it was starting to look as if he wasn't that much better himself.

They settled at a secluded table at the back of the pub. Declan nursed his pint, after casting a surreptitious cleaning charm over the glass it was in. In all honesty, it had looked alright, but he'd decided that he trusted neither Redgrave nor this establishment. Hopefully the concoction inside his glass wasn't poison. He had to stop himself from smelling it to determine which ingredients had been used in the making. Doing so, well, would have been rude.

He couldn't say why he even cared. Redgrave started to talk about his work in the unspecific ways only a man with something to hide would. He sold and resold goods? That it itself didn't seem dodgy. If he'd said he'd worked in bulk retail, Declan would have batted an eyelid. This way of phrasing things though, was odd and suspicious. Taking a moment to reflect, Declan had to berate himself for all of this. We was bloody well stupid, wasn't he. Why had he expected to meet a reputable wizard in a store that was anything but? Benjamin's apothecary sold illegal goods for Merlin's sake! Okay, he was in over his head.

"Sounds like interesting work," Declan commented at last, trying to keep his thoughts in check. Truth be told, together with the way Redgrave had been greeted upon entering this pub, it sounded more like work that wasn't profitable. Or maybe Redgrave was living above his station? "You're based here in London?" It was a boring question, but he was struggling to keep the conversation going while his mind was consumed with questions and somewhat harsh judgements. "A fascinating city really. I thought I'd get to know it better since I opened my store in Belgravia, alas I seem to be stuck working rather than exploring most of the time."

In his mind he was back to his etiquette lessons as a boy. He remembered being taught ten things that one could say in any situation. What was that list again?

Elias Redgrave

Throughout the initial interaction with Felicia and his telling of what he did for work, Elias had to restrain himself from laughing out loud. He had no idea what his company thought of his work explanation nor what he thought about the proposition he had made to Felicia, but he could hagar a guess. This chap seemed to be similar to his brother in a way, and while Ezra was also a man who frequented a woman's...world, for lack of better phrase, he was still an uppity stuck up bastard and Elias often took much joy in embarrassing or making his brother uncomfortable with his debauchery retellings. This fellow was giving off the vibes and the slight facial change that he had corrected gave Elias delight. No one who wasn't raised in that posh society would recognize the cover up from the other man, and truth be told, if Elias wasn't watching from his peripheral he wouldn't have either.

He wondered if his companion was really all that pish posh that he had never been laid. It would be a shame, really. Women were such wonderful people. And even men, too, though they were mainly reserved for Elias's really drunken nights. The nights where he imbibed in too much drink and other things to have a good time. A thought occurred to Elias as he finished his first pint and signaled for Felicia to bring him a whiskey this time. Maybe the guy was into...well guys? Maybe he didn't care for women? It was possible. A hidden possibility, though, considering the times they were in and how liking the same gender was frowned upon, but it wasn't unheard of.

"Interesting work indeed," he replied as he smirked and took a sip of his whiskey. "Nothing that requires poison or hurting others...at least not unless someone tries to screw me over. Then I may have to assert myself." Elias glanced up at the guy before turning to look at a group of loud and rowdy muggles who were watching a checkers match between two other men. He wasn't sure if the guy was having the wrong ideas about him, but if he were, Elias might as well have fun with it. It wasn't as if he'd see the guy again after today. And if he did, this interaction would be one of the best forms of entertainment that Elias had had in such a long time. He downed his whiskey and called for another. He knew that he would need a few more drinks in his system before doing what he was about to do but he wanted to have some fun considering his crappy morning.

"I've told you what I do for work," he started as he stood up and move to the bench with his companion, sitting next to him. "Why don't you tell me what it is that you do?" Elias looked the man in his eyes as he leaned on the table with one elbow, his head resting on his fist of that same arm.

He would wait a bit to see of his partner would tell him what he did for work send if the man did, Elias would only smile and nod. He would then move in with an unexpected reaction, by trying to leave a peck on the other man's lips. It truly would have all been in jest though Elias was quite aware that if this move was too much, he was asking for trouble later on.

But embarrassing the bloke was so much fun for the bored Redgrave. He couldn't help himself but to play these kind of games.