[Hall Way: Patrick & Newt]
The holiday season was a special time of year. Even here, in the Hall Way, where, yes, muggles did, indeed, acquire trees, the decorations'd already gone up—or, they were in the process of it. The only stopper, post-Halloween, was that here, in America, there was Thanksgiving as a hold-over between Halloween (a wizarding favorite) and Christmas. Ears of flint corn and their dried stalks glistened like colored teeth, hung up in wreaths or tacked about. There were self-refilling cornucopias here and there, brimming with miniature squashes, pumpkins, and the like. Garlands in orange, yellow, black, red, white waved from high up, near the glass ceiling of the arcade, fluttering in conjured breeze. Crows gathered in close, black murders, calling down at those walking beneath them, eyes shining in the ever-present gloam. Newt'd spent some time kicking at leaves, dead, curled, and dry, and half of them, he thought, looked like replications of others—a rather neat trick, he thought, to bring more autumn to the protected corridor. It looked like some local magical children'd been commissioned, as well, and their hand-tracings of turkeys, warbled and shining with gold ink, gobbled from where they were clipped inside the bookshop Newt was hanging about. It was quite chaotic, really, but in the way it usually was where wizards and witches gathered. There was always loads going on and people milled about in a steady stream.
Newt was, in fact, quite tired. With the collar of his coat pulled stiff about his neck and his hair swept off of freckled forehead, he'd bought himself a cup of cinnamon tea to wait with as Patrick finished up his appointment, and to endure the chill. He'd been snagged, however, just outside the bookshop. Sighted, really. His own book was there, on display in the window, the glistening scales on the cover bright as copper. He was due to do a signing—his first—the week after Thanksgiving, but the book was out and it'd been covered in the local paper, and, yes, he'd been spotted. This mild bit of celebrity was rather new to Newt, and he was entirely flustered as he stood, chin down, with a slight, polite smile, as a mother had her school-aged children offer up their books for autographs. She talked about the kneazles they kept, and Newt only nodded along, overcome with his usual shyness.
It was a flashing peak of green that caught his eye. That, and the familiar silhouette from afar. Patrick, he thought. Newt glanced up as the mother ushered her children away and as a man took their spot, wanting, it seemed, to discuss dragons. Newt would've been happy to, really, if he'd been alone and not cornered, but someone else had their mobile out for a photo and it was getting to be a bit much for him. Still, he was flattered that anyone'd bothered to read anything he'd written and he was glad others seemed keen to learn about the creatures he so loved. So, he endured it all, hoping Patrick would rather pick up the pace, so they could get to the cottage and away from here for a moment.