"What is it like for safety?" Ianto asks.
The car salesman frowns, then laughs a little.
"I'm sorry?" Ianto asks mildly. "Is there a problem?"
"No! It's just - well, that's not the first question we're normally asked when we're selling this particular model."
Ianto smiles. "No, I suppose not. Well then, if you'd prefer - how does it drive?"
The salesman visibly brightens. "Like a dream, you've never seen anything like it."
"Well then. If I could just see the inspection records, all the same? Just to be sure, you understand."
Mostly containing his opinions on the matter, the salesman leaves Ianto with all the documentation his heart could desire, and Ianto peruses it all at length, walking around the car and checking things for himself. By the time he's finished he notices a small crowd gathered at a window upstairs. He looks up and gives a little wave, and they all hastily scatter.
Ianto makes his payment - a credit card that the woman working at the desk doesn't recognise, but runs through without any problem. (Charging it as a corporate expense had been Jack's idea, and Ianto wasn't going to kick up a fuss at that particular suggestion.) He files away the receipt and warranties meticulously and then picks up the keys.
"Right," he says to no one in particular, turning back to face his new purchase.
The lines are almost impossibly sleek, and the red paint gleams brightly against the dark leather interior. Ianto opens the car door and slips inside, running his hands over the controls and fittings. He allows himself to smile fully for the first time as he carefully drives out of the garage.
The salesman was right, it really did drive like a dream. And, well, if Ianto found himself going a mile or two over the speed limit on his way back to the Hub, it would only be the work of a moment to amend the records accordingly.
Handily, this next one is something of a missing scene from the post-DH WIP of Doom (that I will get back to properly once exchanges are out of the way).
For allie_meril; Andromeda and a Black family heirloom.
It's Narcissa's third visit today, and Andromeda doesn’t feel any more at ease than the first time. She readjusts the cushion on her sofa again, trying to give her hands something to do. She checks on Teddy, who's still contentedly in his afternoon nap, clutching a toy Snitch Harry had dropped over the other day, saying it was the sort of thing he wished he'd had as a child.
There's a soft knock at the door, and Andromeda puts the kettle on before going to answer. Narcissa looks a little pale today, and so Andromeda finds herself softening a little as she invites her in. They drink tea in mostly silence, exchanging a few words on Teddy's doings and the winter that seems to be creeping in extraordinarily fast.
Narcissa places her teacup down delicately, just in the way she does everything, and straightens in her chair.
"We received an owl this morning," she begins, and she seems composed - resigned, almost, Andromeda thinks. "We're to go before the Wizengamot soon. We'll be taken into custody in a matter of days, it seems."
Narcissa smiles humourlessly. "We can but hope that justice will be done." She seems on the verge of saying more, but falls silent.
"He's to be dealt with separately, along with many of his schoolmates."
Andromeda has a sudden image of a huddle of frightened schoolchildren in one of the deepest chambers of the Ministry, and sighs. "This generation has grown up far too fast."
"It has." Narcissa glances over into the next room, where the outline of Teddy's cot is visible. "I only hope --" She shakes her head, then reaches down into her bag. "There's something I would like you to have, if you'll forgive me."
She places a small cloth package on the table, and Andromeda unwillingly reaches for it.
"Whatever the outcome of the trial, we're unlikely to keep many of our possessions." Narcissa laughs slightly. "A few years ago, that would have troubled me a lot more."
Andromeda pulls back the fabric, and lifts up a silver signet ring. She feels a chill run through her as the seal of the Blacks stares coldly up at her.
"Turn it to dust, if you want. But the old family's gone now, and you and your grandson should have the choice."
Andromeda feels a dozen replies brimming in her throat, but she pushes them all down, just nods and wraps the ring back up again.
After Narcissa has gone - perhaps for the last time, Andromeda wonders - she returns to it, not unwrapping it again but holding it in her palm, feeling the weight of it. She picks up her wand, almost certain she wants nothing to do with it at all. Then she hears Teddy stirring in the next room, and stays her hand. It's a decision for another day, and maybe it's one that should not be made by her at all.
For saevemnemosyne; omphaloskepsis, and "around her neck hangs a delicate gold chain, but whatever it suspends is beneath her buttoned collar, and thus invisible."
"What are you doing?" Ginny sounds amused as she stands at the doorway, but Luna doesn't look up.
"Omphaloskepsis," she replies absently, crouching into herself and moving the bottom of her shirt a little higher, better to examine her navel.
Ginny doesn't ask for an explanation, but she walks over to her, then calmly sits at her feet.
Luna's mental state has been a little shifted upwards now, the world of the now feels more present, and she wonders if that was the point of it after all, as she lifts her chin to look at Ginny. She sees a gold chain hanging around her neck, and wonders what symbol Ginny would wish to keep so close to her heart.
The ancients may have held that inward contemplation could show the keys to truth, but Luna thinks she might like to propose a different hypothesis; that there are enough secrets and revelations in the eyes of a pretty girl to keep a mind busy for a lifetime.
The rest on the way next week. These are working are a charm, hurrah! Exchange fic has begun in earnest, and is going well.