Who: Stephen Cornfoot and Su Li When: Tea and Sympathy Where: Wednesday early evening before the shop closes. What: Stephen offers to read Su's palm and the two catch up! Rating: PG? Open/Closed: Open to Su Li
It hadn't been a very productive day, in Stephen's opinion, merely because he had done less fortunes and more tea serving than anything else. He didn't like pressuring customers into getting readings but honestly, what did they think the shop was for? If they wanted to go to a cafe to relax there were plenty other places to go!
Granted, not many of those shops sold the same things they sold. Coffee, yes, but flavored teas of all sorts? Teapot and cup sets? Teas boxed up for brewing at home? Tarot cards? Crystal Balls? They had it all! Stephen had been counting and taking inventory of the Tarot cards when the chime of the door being opened signaled him to turn around and greet the customer.
"Ah, welcome to Tea and Sym- Su!"
Su had never been to Tea and Sympathy before, but this was only just now striking her as odd. She liked tea. Very much. Divination? Well, it had never been her strong suit, and she never did take the course at school - at the time she was having a difficult enough time choosing between everything she wanted to take, and it didn't seem exactly practical. It still seemed like more of a novelty than anything else, but there were often times when Su wished she possessed the so called "Second Sight" when it came to, say, locating Merton Graves or foreseeing any possible PR disasters.
As she entered the shop, she heard the tinkling of a bell and the start of a customary greeting. But Su saw Stephen just as quickly as she saw him, and she rushed forward with a wide grin. She didn't even pause to take in the room. There would be time for that.
"Stephen, hi!" Something smelled like incense, though she couldn't pinpoint what kind. "Look at you, all professional." Her eyes roamed over the space around them. "This isn't what I pictured!"
There was a moment of hesitation where Stephen didn't know whether or not to shake her hand or give her some sort of big hug. He wasn't against either and he was certainly okay with whatever she gave him but she didn't do anything either. So, he decided to make the first move and close the gap between them.
After all, they were housemates and practically family for the six years he was at Hogwarts. Stephen towered over her (as did most people, he supposed)then stooped a bit to give her a rather warm hug as a greeting. When he released her he took two steps backward and gestured toward the shop with a smile.
"Oh this? It used to be sort of a joke, to be honest. Not quite welcoming enough.. just a bit odd but Madame Cake has given me the reigns and I've set about making it more acceptable to the younger crowds."
He shook his head and clicked his tongue against his teeth. "Not enough people take the fortunes seriously, which, speaking of... what sort of tea shall I brew for you, Miss Li?"
"D'you have anything with peppermint?"
Su had never been a very touchy-feely sort, so the hug at first took her by surprised. But the feeling passed quickly. It was the sort of thing old friends did after they hadn't seen one another for a long time. What would she have done, shake his hand? That was far too formal. This was Stephen Cornfoot, for Merlin's sake, not the Minister for Magic.
Taking in their surroundings more attentively, now, Su plucked up a tiny teapot from a table to her left and inspected it closely. It was far too small for anyone to actually use, unless mice enjoyed taking afternoon tea these days. "How long have you been working here?"
"Sure!" Did they have anything with... please, they had everything and if they didn't have it he'd make the closest thing to it and use cooking charms to add taste, if he could.
Stephen allowed her to wander around the empty store as he set about preparing the tea. He was using a combination of magic and his own hands to work at the tea. A flick of the wand had the box of peppermint tea bags flying into his hand and then a flame to sprout up under a kettle. This was all done behind a long bar like area that seemed fitting for an actual pub but instead of their being bottles of liquor on shelves there were tins and boxes of tea leaves and bags, assortments of saucers and cups and tea pots. There were five different areas set up to let kettles boil water and only one was being used at the moment to get her tea going.
He grabbed at a clean cup and as he waited for the water to boil he watched her move about and inspect things. He was pleased with how clean everything was, he was sure she'd approve to.
"Six years almost. Remember how I didn't come back for my seventh year? I was homeschooled, my father made me take the N.E.W.T.s anyway at the Ministry and wanted me to go into the Ministry with him but.. I opted to get my own job and live on my own. It was awful at first, I had to work here and at Scribbilus but... they offered me full time here and moved me up. Madame Cake is rather fond of me, says I have a good gift and that was four years ago. I rather think by the time she passes I'll be, ah.. inheriting. Much to the dismay of my parents.. they think it's rubbish."
Su's eyebrows raised as she listened. Leaving the teapot where she found it, she made her way to the bar and took a seat near the center of the counter. This place was making her smile. And to think how many times she'd walked right by! It was good to hear that Stephen was doing well - his absence their final year had been just one of the many things to go wrong back then.
She nodded, then shrugged. "That's just silly. This is fantastic, really, and it's something you're good at. What, would they rather you be miserable in some Ministry office?" Straightening up, Su stuck out her chin in a subconsciously defiant gesture. "I, for one, am quite impressed Mr. Cornfoot."