Hannah and Quinn - Sunday Night Dinnertime Again
Who: Hannah, Quinn, and Quinn's parents When: Sunday evening, 5/4 Where: Auctorita Manor and Quinn's flat What: Mortimer throws another obstacle in Quinn's path to paying off the ten thousand Galleons he owes him, Bernadette tries to shake Hannah's resolve to never get married, and Hannah and Quinn prove that they're both too stubborn for their own good.
Sometimes, when Hannah sat in her usual chair at the table in Auctorita Manor's informal dining room, she felt that she had never left, that all the ups and downs and events of her life between these monthly dinners were just daydreams she distracted her mind with, too vague and fleeting to be counted on. The manor as a whole had that tomblike, permanent feeling to her.
At least she wasn't likely to have to make conversation tonight. After she and Quinn had announced--well, okay, gloated about might have been more fair--their intentions to never marry, the previous month's dinner had passed without a word exchanged between any of them. Even after seeing Bernadette at the Black Tulips initiation and being surprised at the lack of anger in her expression the one time their eyes had met, Hannah had no reason to expect that tonight's dinner would be anything but quick and silent. That would certainly be a gift from Merlin. After everything that went on at the after parties last night, Hannah didn't quite have the energy to really look forward to asserting their independence again.
So, all there really was to do was endure the silence and get through it, something that would be helped along by a slight bit of distraction. As she reached for her wine glass, her fingers brushed against the plain gold bird she'd pinned to the neckline of her dress, her eyes catching Quinn's for the briefest moment. She'd taken a page out of Ernie's book and had Transfigured it from her Prefect's badge when Quinn was right there, so he couldn't miss the meaning. She almost smiled, but hid it behind the rim of her wine glass.
Quinn was exhausted. Between the Gellys and the after parties and all the drama which occurred there, he and Hannah had hardly gotten any sleep. And he normally wasn't good at controlling his temper on minimal sleep. But he found when the urge to say something particularly sarcastic arose, that if he let his eyes focus the pin on Hannah's blouse he could relax, just a small amount. Doing that now, he met Hannah's eyes with his own, his shoulders letting out a small amount of tension before taking a sip of his own wine.
Mortimer looked between the two of them. "It's impolite to exclude the table from your conversation, now matter how unspoken it is."
Hannah lowered her glass and reached for her knife and fork. "I suppose I should find it flattering that you still expect politeness from someone from such inferior breeding."
"Perhaps next time you crash your car I should take longer sending my Healers to retrieve you then?" Mortimer replied simply, causing Quinn's head to whip around, his teeth clamped around his tongue the only thing holding him back from speaking.
She stiffened, and her knife froze in mid-stroke through the veal on her plate. "I apologize. That was rude. As was not thanking you properly," she said, biting her lip to keep herself from finishing the sentence with for doing your job.
Mortimer was silent, his thick white eyebrows meeting over his eyes as he returned to his food. Bernadette continued eating small bites of her own veal from across the table, not even registering the presence of guests at her table with a word or a glance. For a moment the only sound at the table was the clatter of cutlery on china, the soft sound of a wine glass being returned to the table, Quinn rustling restlessly in his chair. Finally, he glanced up at his father. "Things have been going well with the band and the album. I'm almost half way to paying you back. After the tour, album sales should spike again and combined with revenue from the concerts it should all be nearly there. So I expect we won't have to drag these out anymore by the end of the summer."
That earned a sharp look from Bernadette, the single motion that revealed she had registered that there were other people sharing a table with her. "You've saved nearly five thousand galleons? I somehow doubt that. I hardly think your little band is that good."
"The album already went platinum, and they were nominated for three Gelly awards," Hannah said, an edge to her voice though she tried to keep her tone to a simple statement of fact.
Bernadette raised her eyebrow. "And did they win?" she asked politely.
Hannah went back to cutting the veal into small pieces that she didn't really intend to eat. "Being nominated is a huge honour in itself."
"Didn't that peppy group of girls win a few?" Bernadette mused, glancing up at her husband and ignoring Quinn completely. "The ones that wear hardly any clothing?"
Mortimer glowered. "I have no idea."
Hannah was too busy glaring at her veal to catch the look. "Who wins usually means less than who's nominated anyway."
"Don't you have to be nominated to win? I thought those girls had the most nominations?" Bernadette wondered.[no problem! multi-characters scenes are a pain.]
Finally, Hannah looked up, her eyebrows raised high enough to draw several creases across her forehead. "Six months ago no one knew who he was, and now he has a platinum album and three Gelly nominations for a song he wrote. That's impressive," she said with a tone of finality.
Bernadette's lips twitched. "Well he's fortunate that you think so, dear."
Rolling his eyes, Quinn put down his fork. "Can we go back to ignoring each other? I like that one much more."
"I thought it was working rather well myself," Hannah said, her cheeks burning.
"Good, we're in agreement then. No more talking," Quinn muttered, stabbing at the veal with his fork. For a few long minutes it seemed as if Quinn's request would be honoured, but then Mortimer looked up, pushing his finished plate aside. "I assume you haven't taken into account the interest you'll be owing on the galleons as well, am I wrong?"
Blinking, startled to hear talking after the deafening silence, Quinn looked up. "What interest? You said to pay back the ten thousand, I will, end of story."
Mortimer shook his head, almost amused. "That isn't how it works, Quinian. When you borrow money your return is paid back with interest. My representative at Gringotts will discuss it with you, but the longer it takes you to accumulate the money the larger the sum will inevitably be. Already it is much higher than you are probably thinking."
Hannah's eyes narrowed. "Terms regarding things like interest have to be stated when an agreement is made. They can't just be assumed."
"Quinian never requested a formal contract, nor bothered to ask more in depth questions about the arrangement before storming out. If he had, he'd have realized interest was always part of the matter at hand," Mortimer responded calmly, finishing his wine.
"And did you request one?" she said. "It works both ways."
"I am in charge of his account. Opening it back up to him is purely at my discretion until he reaches the age of twenty-five. I don't need to request formal documentation to ensure he pays me back. I hardly care if he does or does not. He just won't have any access to his funds if he doesn't," he said simply.
"But that's not--" Hannah stopped herself and clenched her teeth. "Of course it's not fair. I don't know why I keep thinking that it would be. You're not trying to teach anyone a lesson. You're just punishing him."
"Punishments are lessons. If he ever pays back what he owes he will have a new appreciation of money and not spend so frivolously again," Mortimer reminded her. "The harder I make this for him, the more likely it is that he will never want to suffer through it again."
"I'm right here," Quinn muttered scathingly. "In the room. You can address me directly you know."
Turning his gaze to him, Mortimer raised an eyebrow. "So you are," he said dryly before turning back to Hannah.
"If you really cared about teaching that lesson, you'd reward the strides he's been making instead of pulling the goal further out of reach," Hannah said, tightening her hands together in her lap until her knuckles turned white. "Positive reinforcement is far more effective than the negative kind."
"And when you're a parent you may reinforce however you please," Mortimer returned mockingly. "But until then, as you clearly have no experience in the matter, I suggest you stick to what you know."
"That's enough," Quinn ordered, pushing his plate away and standing up. "Let's get this night over with already." Leaving his seat, he walked around the table, pausing to grip Hannah's shoulder before leaving the room and heading towards his father's office. Mortimer let out a huff of air through his nose before standing as well. "Tell your grandfather my best days this month are the tenth and the twenty-second," he muttered before following Quinn out of the room.