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by: Rupert Reynolds
March 25th, 2012
The Abbey, at the Bar

Rupert left Claudia's boutique after his daily check-in with her and his beautiful little niece. Things were getting a little busy at the front of the house, with the Sunday shoppers all out on the hunt for her latest designs, so he wanted to get out of the way. The last time he stuck around, Rupert was hit on by at least three 'cougars'. The story was the same too, they reminded them of their late husband, and that itself was enough to give him a chill. As much as he could just people watch, give a little psycho-analysis on the folks out and about near the boutique today (to himself, of course), Rupert decided he needed a break.

The Abbey was in London, he remembered. He'd only been there a few times, with some of his old mates from school, but today he wanted to go alone. He'd sent a message by owl to his flat to let Ezra know where he was, in case he wanted to come out and have a supervised visit, maybe a chat, with his 'guardian' or sorts, at the humble pub. He'd heard about the owners here too, the poor lot. The wife left to pick up the place when the husband was sent to Azkaban? For murder, no less. There had to be a story there, a story behind everything. He'd forgotten their names, and didn't see any recognizable faces when he took a seat at the bar. And asking for their names didn't seem very natural either, so he'd have to let that question come organically.

"Ale please. Newcastle." He offered a smile to the man behind the bar.

He breathed out a sigh, propping his elbows up on the counter and letting his fingers tangle into his curly locks. Claudia had been hounding him for weeks to get a haircut, but he'd refused. If he wanted to cut his hair, he'd do so...on his own accord. Truth be told, he hadn't had time to do much for himself other than the daily work with clients (the usual), then playing mannequin for his sister when she called him, and some sleepless nights he owed to the investigation. His wall at his flat was worse than the information he was piecing together at the office. Articles, photos, research, names, everything he found on the Order of the Phoenix and did his best to correlate that information with anything that tied to Michael Owen and his father.

There was so much missing, there were details he hadn't even found yet. Why was this so difficult? Was he just not looking in the right spot? He had broken Ezra out of prison for this...yet the investigation hadn't gone anywhere.

"Here you go, mate." The Irishman set his pint on a square piece of cardboard in front of him, and gave him a pity smile before walking off to tend to the rest of the patrons at the bar.

"Yeah, cheers." He uttered.
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by: Svetlana Smirnova
She had been in London for a while now, and yet she still felt like an outsider. This wasn't the first time she had relocated and started over in a new city, but it was the longest adjustment period by far. When she moved to St. Petersburg and Moscow, each new city felt like home in a matter of weeks. Maybe it was just a bigger adjustment because she was in a new country and so much further from home, but Sveta still felt like a transient who knew next to nothing about the city.

Dammit, though she was trying! Whenever she could, Sveta made an effort to explore around a bit, visit new places, and more than once she would have gotten herself hopelessly lost if not for enchanted maps that could show you the way home from anywhere. So far, she didn't actually feel any more at home in London, but she had a lot of fun adventures and got to see things she normal would not have seen. That was good enough for her to keep it up.

Today was one of those adventurey days. Sveta had spent hours holed up working on writing a musical piece that wasn't coming together quite the way she hoped, and she was desperate for a chance to get outside, stretch her legs, and maybe get a nice drink. She walked a twisty-turny path through the city and ended up in front of The Abbey: a place she had walked past many time before but never stepped foot inside. In the spirit of trying new things and exploring her city she pushed open the door and stepped inside.

She took a seat next to a man, just in time to overhear him order a Newcastle. "Is that one any good?" she asked without giving any kind of introduction. "I haven't tried many English ales yet."
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by: Rupert Reynolds
The Irishman, Rupert discovered was called Seamus, nodded at the newcomer and set off to the back to fetch another round of pint glasses fresh from the wash since they had run out up front.

Rupert, on the other hand was a little surprised that he had come up on new company. He'd spent so much time with Ezra, his charge, and Claudia, his sister, that hearing outsider's voices directed at him was a treat. The rest of it was a herd of his patients, whiny ones, closed-off ones, overly-chatty ones, over-sharing ones--which is odd to think there's such a thing as 'over-sharing' when it comes to therapy. But this pub was a nice getaway from the norm. Set in the muggle world as opposed to being a place like Three Broomsticks or anywhere else int he Wizarding World, it offered a different dynamic.

He held up the glass and nodded. "I drink it exclusively, if that's any indication to its flavour." He chuckled, "But don't blame me if you don't like it." He knew how to work a conversation, even with strangers, that was his charm. But he didn't know what to expect when he acknowledged the newcomer.
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by: Svetlana Smirnova
Svetlana nodded and gave the dark ale a careful look. Probably not the kind of thing she would usually order, but if it was good enough for him maybe she'd like it too. Worst case scenario, she wouldn't like it and could have something different. Today, after all, was a day for trying new things.

"Let's see if I like it as much as you do." As soon as the bartender returned she waved to him. "One Newcastle."
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by: Rupert Reynolds
Rupert grinned when he heard the order.

"You got it." Seamus fetched one of the freshly cleaned glasses from the racks he brought out and pulled the tap. Once full, he set the glass on the coaster in front of the young woman before setting off to help others.

But then he faced forward, because he completely blanked on what to say next. Phrases like 'Come here often' or 'What brings you in today' were soliciting idle chatter that usually ran him nowhere, or had a negative connotation--and maybe even presumed that he was trying to pick up on her. That wasn't the case. He came here alone for a drink, maybe two. Food, if he was hungry. It wasn't that sort of visit.

He debated on what to say to the girl, but nothing came to him. His breath whooshed out as he exhaled, staring awkwardly at the bottles behind the counter. Yep, it was confirmed today. He was terrible at socializing.
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by: Svetlana Smirnova
Sveta watched closely as the bartender prepared her drink. She studied the glass for a moment before she reached out to grab it, bring it to her lips and take the first cautions sip. She thought on it for a moment before she tried another bigger sip. Yep. This was certainly not the kind of thing she would normally drink, but she did like it and was very glad she decided to try it.

"It's good. Maybe not so good that I'm going to stop drinking other things, but good."
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by: Rupert Reynolds
Rupert took a drink and looked around. He tried not to look too nervous, but he'd been anxious for some reason. Would Ezra take him up on his invitation. Probably not...but as long as the man didn't have access to a wand, he'd be fine. He took a deep breath as he took another drink from the ale he'd been served and finally shifted to face the girl, as she'd muttered something about his recommendation.

"At least you didn't spit it in my face, so that's a good sign--yep, but the way that has happened before," He laughed, reaching behind him to scratch the back of his neck, nervously. "Someone told me it tasted of shit and stormed off like I offended their mother."

Well, at least the ice was broken. "Rupert, by the way." He extended his hand to shake, as it was only the polite way to introduce themselves at a quiet pub. He'd preferred the quiet over the boom and bump of a noisy club. The conversation would have started and perhaps finished a little differently if they were there instead.
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by: Svetlana Smirnova
Sveta took another sip. The ale was beginning to grow on her a little bit more. Maybe it was an acquired taste? She was certainly starting to acquire it.

"Sveta," she replied as she cautiously took his hand.
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by: Rupert Reynolds
"Pleasure." Rupert took her hand and shook it briefly, before retracting it and sitting back. He took another sip of his drink before diving back into conversation he hoped would not end up with him looking like a fool. "So what brings you to the Abbey today?"

That was an awkward start, if he ever thought one up. He hated that nerves got to him so much. "Not trying to sound like a salesman approaching at the market, I swear it." He chuckled and reminded himself that as a doctor of the mind, one would think that he would be good at this. Not at all...
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by: Svetlana Smirnova
Sveta shrugged and took another sip of ale. "No special reason, just wanted to get out and go somewhere new. I've lived here in London a few years now, but I feel like I've hardly seen any of the city." She paused and leaned back in her seat a little. "And you? Just getting a drink?"
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by: Destiny
Sunday afternoons were relatively quiet at The Abbey and today was hardly any different. Three was just late enough that most late lunchers who fancied pub food were no longer streaming in and those who were here were getting a head start on the five 'o clock hour. It was, as many so often said, five 'o clock somewhere. South Africa, maybe. The young redhead glanced around at the patrons in the bar. She was the newbie of the staff, so Rebecca was here while Seamus was on his lunch. It was quiet enough, so Rebecca really didn't feel overwhelmed, though the furtive glances she kept giving the door said otherwise.

After brushing the loose strand of hair behind her ear, she started to make rounds to ensure the few patrons here were satisfied and not wanting for anything with the decision to start from the furthest table first then work her way back to the couple of people at the bar. Her first table wanted a rum and coke. Her second table was happy. The only other table wanted a few various drinks and were rather particular about how they wanted their drinks, so she wrote them down then made her way to the bar. She made her drinks in silence with a rushed fashion about her then put them on the tray, carrying them out to the larger group first, setting the drinks down as she did. Apparently she forgot the soda, and the co-ed was not afraid to let her know it. She stuttered out a sorry and brought the last beverage to her first table. They were nicer, but she could hear the co-eds talking about her behind her back. She hurried behind the counter to make the drink then walked around the bar fast enough she didn't notice her apron catch on the door, and that did her in.

Rebecca stumbled forward, her eyes alertly focused on the glass as it slid across the tray then, before she could stop it, tipped the tray over and went flying toward the couple at the bar. Rebecca's eyes went wide as she looked at the two and she quickly exclaimed her apologies as she darted back around the bar to grab some cleaning rags and a bunch of napkins. This was not her day, was it?
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by: Rupert Reynolds
"Long day...so yeah. Needed this." He sipped at his own bottle, but as soon as he set his down, Rupert found himself covered in whatever it was the waitress had been carrying oh her tray. The liquid splashed over his back and seeped through his jacket, trailing all the way down to his pants. His back tensed as he froze, turning to look at the uber-apologetic young woman with a flash of annoyance in his eyes. Rupert quickly caught himself and decided not to get too mad at the poor girl who seemed rather overwhelmed, and he stood to remove his jacket.

He looked over at Sveta, checking to see if she'd been hit with any of the mess the waitress had made, before Seamus caught his attention.

"'Ere, mate." He tossed Rupert a towel, which he'd caught from the bartender as it was thrown.

"Thanks." Rupert knew that Claudia would probably scold him for getting this new suit dirty. Even if it was her original creation, he'd still have to foot the bill. [b]"Take it. I'll grab another."[b] He offered the towel to Sveta, before raising his hand to grab another towel from Seamus.
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