|A Cattermole (alfiecat) wrote in wished,|
@ 2009-08-05 23:12:00
|Entry tags:||!complete, alfred cattermole, julien dorny|
Who: Alfred Cattermole and Julien Dorny (cameos from Alfie's family)
What: Random Encounter
Where: Brixton Market
When: Early Afternoon
"Alfie, you get back here this instant!" His mum's voice from a few stalls down made Alfred Cattermole jump, and then he rolled his eyes and, with a nod, left his friend Paresh to man his own parent's stall - which smelled of exotic spices and perfume and which played strange music from inside the shopfront - to stroll back to his own. It was not fair at-bloody-all that he was stuck on an amazing day like this just helping out at his grandparent's grocery stall with his mum. He could be out playing with his mates - he only ever got to see them in the summer anyway - or practicing for this year's Quidditch trials. He wasn't at home having to do his summer Charms essay, at least, like Ellie and Maisie were, so that was a plus.
"Sorry, mum," He mumbled, taking his place behind the table again. His own family's shop smelled like dirt and gardens and citrus, not exotic at all but good all the same. His mum took his apology and disappeared back into the small shop space to talk with his grandmother, and Alfie sighed and picked up an orange, peeling it with just his fingers. It wasn't as if he really had anything to do - there weren't crates to be moved until later, and the people who came by generally didn't ask questions while they felt up the produce.
Julien had escaped from his house, his mother a little stressed out and his father at work and thus not around to deflect her stress away from their son. He knew it had to be hard for her, he knew that seeing someone in your own family have access to that which you wanted the most (even though he was still underage) had to be hard for her, but really, he would have thought she'd be able to let that have a backseat to the family that she had decided to have. It was always the worst between school years though, no Christmas to take her mind of it, plus he'd just had his Hogwarts letter through the post.
No, she wasn't very happy but then Julien wasn't very happy while he was still there so he'd had to escape. He stepped out of his Brixton council flat and wandered off towards the market, head down, hands in his pockets, avoiding eye contact with anyone for paranoid fear that it would be someone he knew at school; he'd left the house to avoid getting in a fight after all.
He wandered his way with faux-interest through the stalls, some small change in his pocket but nothing he saw that he wanted to spend it on. He stopped to check out a stall where incense burned enticingly and decided that he'd come back for a couple of sticks if he couldn't find anything else to buy. He walked away but looked over his shoulder just to check the shop name, neatly catching his foot on a strut that held up a table laden with grocery produce. Luckily the only thing that fell was an apple, and he juggled to catch that before it could hit the floor. "I'm so, SO sorry!" he exclaimed, holding the apple back out to the boy behind the stall, his cheeks blushed with embarassment.
Alfie was licking the last of the juice from his orange off of his fingers, and he'd started to move out instinctively to catch the boy he thought would fall, but he didn't get there in time - and the bloke didn't fall anyway. Good on him, since chasing produce down the street was not the way he wanted to spend the afternoon.
When the boy held out the apple he'd rescued, Alfie wiped his hands on the green apron he was being forced to wear and then took it with a grin. There was something oddly familar about the bloke, but really that happened a lot here. The same people came by the stand all the time, so you got used to seeing them. "Thanks mate, good save," he said amiably as he tucked the apple back in with the rest.
Alfie looked familiar to Julien as well but he couldn't place why; he assumed that meant that this kid had gone to one of his schools, and he looked down, uncomfortable. "I should, like, at least buy it for, y'know, the trouble." he said, tucking some hair behind his ear and reaching his other hand into his pocket to get his change. "Like the apple or something, really. I'm really sorry." God why did he have to be so clumsy?
"Don't worry about it, really," Alfie was pretty used to being clumsy himself, just the last year. He'd shot up in height, and was gangly and awkward sometimes. Knocking over an apple, not such a bad thing. Accidentally smacking Flitwick last year in Charms because he'd been talking with his hands too much? Big problem. "No harm done."
"Everything alright, Alfie?" That was his grandfather from the doorway - eyes like a hawk, that man, even when he was inside and they were outside, at least when it came to his stall - Alfie laughed and turned to him. "Fine, just bumped the side is all." And the old man seemed to take that as fine and headed back inside.
Alfie? The name was vaguely familiar but Julien didn't know why. Maybe it was the name of a character in one of his mother's soaps or something. He looked a little freaked out about the man coming from the back though - he was trying to make amends for spilling the apple! But he needn't have worried after all as the Alfie boy reassured the old man. Really, this was why Julien spent most of his time safely away from people and society in general. "Really, I should pay for this." he insisted, holding out the first lot of change that came to his hand. "In fact, you know, you can just take this." he reached out to take Alfie's hand in a move very bold for him, and tipped the money into the other boy's palm. "Just, yeah, bye." he turned and left just wanting to get out of this place and back to the security of his bedroom.
Alfie sort of gaped after him for a minute, wondering what was so bloody dire about knocking an apple over. It wasn't like it had even hit the ground - he'd caught it! He didn't look at the change in his hand until the strange, familiar boy was out of sight, and then he finally shrugged it off and went to count out what he'd been given.
Twenty pence in pennies and... a sickle and five knuts? Alfie was a little slow sometimes, but seeing the wizarding coins in his palm made him blink and then it all came together. He went to the shop front quickly to tell his mum he had to chase down someone and give them their change, then he started in a jog down the street, looking for the back of the boy's head. What was his name again? Alfie could swear he'd sat in classes with him, so he had to be a Ravenclaw because that was who Hufflepuff was usually paired with... Droney? Deany?
He saw him, a street or so down, and yelled "Hey, Dorny!" Without thinking, hoping that was right.
Julien jumped when he heard his surname yelled out, and he turned, stepping to the side at the same time in case some kind of projectile object was heading for his head. He didn't know what to say, wasn't sure if he should acknowledge that at his name, but then supposed that it was too late to pretend that wasn't him now. He stood until the Alfie-kid came within speaking distance before he stepped back a little, unsure of what was coming next. "Uhm... yes?" He tried. The last thing he wanted was to suddenly get jumped.
Alfie was smiling a wide, easly, friendly sort of smile - and he didn't get the signs when Julien backed away from him. It wasn't like he could yell out what he wanted to say to him in the middle of the market, anyway. So he stepped in close - he'd never really had the best concept of 'personal space' - and held out the sickle and knuts. "Sorry, mate. Didn't recognize you without your... eh, your school uniform, you know? Accidentally gave me these. Probably better me than anyone else at least, right? Muggles would flip or... well, they'd probably think they were foreign, right?"
Julien froze as the kid came closer, but the smile on his face put him a little at ease; surely someone out to hurt him wouldn't look at him like that, right? Oh, he was holding out the- CRAP! Crap, he couldn't believe he'd left Wizarding money, in his JEANS pocket of all things. He shook his head to himself and took the money gently from the other boy. "Thank you... Merlin, I'm so stupid... can't believe I did that." In his defence, he was useless in social situations. Of course he was going to mess up. "Thanks for, well, thanks. What's your name? I'm... Julien." He said it grudgingly only because he hated it so much.
"Julien, right!" Alfie rolled his eyes at himself. "Could not think of that for the life of me, you know?" When he talked, he had a particular habit of talking with his hands. The 'you know' was punctuated by a frieldly smack on Julien's arm and a laugh. "Guess we look different without the robes, right?" And he'd gotten a haircut, so he knew he looked different. "Cattermole. Alfred. Or, Alfie. We had Herbology together, right?" And loads of other classes where Hufflepuff was paired with the claws, but Alfie paid as little attention as he could in classes.
Julien - as previously stated - wasn't used to this much conversation with anyone outside his parents, and the verbosity of, well, Alfie wasn't it, threw him a little, though not as much as the friendly smack. He didn't quite know what was going on here but he kind of liked it. He thought. Maybe. "Yeah, we did. I don't think we were ever paired up or I would have remembered you better, sorry." he apologised out of habit. "So, uhm... what are you up to?"
Alfie didn't mind not being remembered. It wasn't like they were housemates or something, and he honestly hadn't remembered much about Julien other than his name. "Oh, um..." Alfie jerked a nod back in the direction of the stall and shrugged. "My grandparents on my mum's side. They've had a stall here since before she was born, even. So just helping out." And he hated the apron, and hated not being able to run about and do what he wanted, but he didn't mind spending the time with his family. "What about you?"
Oh, well, that made sense. "I'm just, you know, escaping from home for a bit. I've been there most of the summer and I think I'm getting a little underfoot." Understatement, but who was counting. "Do you live around here? I come down to the market a couple of times but I don't think we've bumped into each other before now, not that I remember anyway." Was that rude? Merlin, maybe that was rude? He couldn't tell, had nothing to compare it by.
"Mum comes more than I do," Alfie shrugged. "Hate it, honestly, but what can you do? It's family, right? I'd rather be out doing something a little more exciting. Or, you know, useful. But this works as well as anything else. I mean, at least it isn't summer schoolwork, right?" And it dawned on him right as he'd said it that Julien was a Claw, and so he probably liked to write the summer essays. What a waste.
Julien shrugged in that one-shouldered way. "I don't mind it. I've done all mine so I'm just reading up on the school books now." If that came off sounding a little arrogant he genuinely didn't realise it. "Do you need a hand or anything? Do you work here all the time or...?"
"Nah, just weekends usually. And not always me, we have to trade off. My sisters, you know?" He shrugged too, pulling a face and looking back over his shoulder in the direction of the stand, as if his mum was going to come looking for him or something. "What I'd really love is a way to escape it, you know? Get out and do something instead of standing around watching people shop for veggies all day?"
Julien tilted his head, thinking about that one. "You can't go away for a bit for the summer? Like, I dunno, somewhere with friends or something?" he suggested. His few hours of escape had been enough to show him that the last thing the big wide world needed was Julien tripping up and over in it.
Alfie just blinked at him, then laughed and shook his head. "I didn't mean away away, mate. Just out of work for the day. But I guess I better go back to it, or mum will be down here dragging me back. Alfred Joseph Cattermole, you... blah, blah, blah. You know?" And again his hands waved as he talked, expressively gesturing and the 'you know' was a smack to his arm again. Alfie was a natural people person, the majority of the time.
Julien winced again at the oncoming smack but more because any touch was unexpected than because it hurt. "Yeah but if you went away for a couple of days..." he shrugged, not wanting to press an idea that hadn't been taken on. "I don't wanna get you in trouble." he said, chewing on his thumbnail. "Sorry."
Alfie just waved a hand, dismissing the idea that it was something that would get him into trouble. "Don't worry about it. Actually glad to get away from it for a few minutes. But I should be getting back... I'll see you on the train, though, yeah?"
"Oh, yeah... uhm. I could catch you through those journal things, you know?" he asked, unsure if Alfie would even want to do that.
Alfie looked blankly confused, and he bit his lip and tried to think what he was talking about. He gave up after a moment though and asked, "What journal things?"
"Uhm, they came with the Hogwarts letter. They're like just little journal things. If you write in them other people on the, well, the network can see what you're writing and stuff. Or you can charm some entries to be private, or only visible to certain people. Things like that. If you wanted to, I mean, you know, I don't mind..."
It clicked then, and Alfie's face was expressive enough that when something clicked you could see it turn on like a lightbulb. "Oh!" He laughed, "Those! I didn't even look at it, really. I thought it was some sort of assignment or something from the owl?" To be honest, he was pretty sure he'd tossed his under his bed. He didn't tend to look at things like summer work until the day before the Express, anyway.
"Yeah, they're pretty cool really. Like the internet for Wizards." Yeah, Julien was pretty sure Alfie wouldn't want to talk to him again after this. He just wanted to run home and hide now.
Alfie knew 'the internet' though, from the library his sister liked to drag him to. His eyes widened a little, and then he grinned, shrugging one more time. "I'll check it out then. So yeah, probably can get me that way once I learn how to use it." Or once he'd made Ellie show him. He wondered if she'd been messing about with hers.
"I'll leave a note for you to let you know when I'll be leaving to get the train, if you want. It'll be, yeah, good to see you then. Thanks." Merlin this was awkward.
Alfie gave him that same wide, friendly smile that had stayed pretty easily plastered across his face most of the conversation. "Sure, sounds good mate. Good to see you!" And he started to take a few steps back toward the traffic of the street, because he did honestly need to get back before his mum came hunting for him.
Julien watched him go and turned back to go home, surprised suddenly to realise that he still held an answering smile.