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Cosmo Zabini for Calliope Riley.
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Street Rat Scat
Simeon moved about his shop with purpose as he dusted shelves, rearranged various items, and checked over his inventory in general. Everything had to be precisely in it's place, and after each customer left he would move about the room arranging things as they were prior to the visitation. When people entered in once again he would return behind the counter, give them a polite smile, and say, "Hello" with the slightest nod of the head.

A woman stepped in with a raven's feather in her pointed hat and robes made of the same glossy texture or so it appeared. "Mr. Fox what a joy it is to receive your owl so early! I wasn't expecting it for another three days."

Simeon gave a smile and a polite nod as he donned a pair of white gloves, "Hello madam, I am as pleased as you are." He stooped ever slightly to retrieve a small box and set it on the counter, close enough to where he could snatch it away should she try to take it without pay. The woman however had a bit more brain then she put off though and handed over the coin. "There is two extra galleons in there for you for the superb service. Do feel free to count it."

He gave a nod once more as he picked up the purse and set it on the scale beside him which weighed the contents. He then peered inside to see if any of it had been replaced with rocks, which it hadn't. He smiled once more, "Pleasure doing business with you madam. Do come again." With two fingers he slid the box further her way, and as she left he removed the gloves once again.

@Imogen Fox

A week. It had been a week of a roof over her head, of not worrying about where her next meal would. One of being surrounded by people who, if not wholly welcome, did not tell her to “go away” (or similar sentiments in less polite terms). The youth was not ready to acknowledge the arrangement as permanent—not yet—but privately hoped ardently that it would be. This was a far cry from the life she had led with her father and brother, but one in which she was able to exercise some control, some self-determination.

The witch liked it.

She waited until she heard the door shut before emerging from the back room, broom in her hand, where she had been sweeping. Don’t bother the customers had swiftly been drilled into her head, and she found herself quashing her natural curiosity into a tiny box—one that threatened to blow at any moment—until she was more secure in her position.

“Back’s swept,” she offered by way of greeting, eyes casting first at the shop’s proprietor and next towards the door. While he had not welcomed her with a hug and a grin, he had (possibly begrudgingly) allowed her a roof. Still, unlike Jay, she was not yet certain what to make of Simeon Fox.

[Image: imset.png]
Schemes are afoot! Graphics by MJ

Simeon took a a breath as the girl walked out from the back, his head turning ever slightly in acknowledgement. "Good." He said though his voice was rather monotone. Fingers dipped into the coin purse just given to him and he pulled out two galleons and put them in a small trinket box, setting it on the counter thereafter.

His elbow bent at the crease and two fingers beckoned Imogen to him. On the counter was the box, open, with two shiny gold coins sitting inside. "Take them." If her first move was to take them straight from the box he'd rap her quick with his wand, certain to leave a bruise. Perhaps though she was wiser than that. The question in his blue eyes beckoned her to solve his riddle. How did one take something in broad view of the owner, without being seen?

She was either up for the challenge, or she had no interest in being a part of his family, "Choose wisely." The world was cruel, and to make sure those under his wing survived in it. he dare say he had be cruel at times tool.

Two galleons, shiny and golden, was more money than the young witch could recall having ever seen in one place. It was more than a week's wages for her da, who had always swiftly spent any coin he could down at the tavern. And now Fox wanted her to take that money which, to  a girl in her position (though surely not his own), was nothing shy of a fortune?

She did not need to see his face to know that there was a catch, a trick at hand. Moreover, not a single part of her expected she would actually get to keep the money. No, this was a challenge, a test of some sort—of loyalty, or of something else?—and one the girl felt ill-equipped to succeed in.

"And if I do?" she asked carefully, meeting his gaze, willing him to betray something of use. She had had but a short time in the world, a short time of learning how to bend it to her will, but she was eager to learn.

[Image: imset.png]
Schemes are afoot! Graphics by MJ

"Takers keepers." He said quite simply in regards to her question, but no more than that. He pulled his wand out and watched her, this very much was a test, and being the case he wasn't keen to give her anymore answers. The world was full of riddles and Simeon was one of them. So here they were, his staring at her waiting to use that head she had on her shoulders. Two galleons sitting in the box, practically calling her name, if she could get a hold of them, but he was watching her and the coins, on guard, ready to react in a split second.
Aha, so there was a catch, the youngster thought as she watched him draw his wand. No way was she quicker with her body than he was with magic, especially not with him expecting her to make a move. Best case scenario, she wagered, was a smack to the head; worst, some sort of obscure hex (he looked the sort to know obscure hexes). Was that the lesson? Some sort of show of control?

This notion caused her to bristle. She had never much liked being told what to do.

"I wouldn't even know what t'do with 'em," she said dismissively, punctuating the declaration with a shrug. That much, at least, was the truth; while there was much in life the girl wanted, her life thus far had not given her an appropriate understanding of the precise value of a galleon. Even with a large sum of money, she would not know where to start.

[Image: imset.png]
Schemes are afoot! Graphics by MJ

"Should you quit. You give up on more than just a galleon or two." He stated firmly, his gaze taking hold of her in all seriousness. He let his words sink in for a long moment and then tapped the box with his wand, "Use. Your. Head." That was an order. His wand pulled away but remained in his hand. Just then a customer came in, announced by the creek of the door.

His gaze shifted from her to the customer, momentarily caught off guard, "Misses Peatreat, I wasn't expecting you til Friday." His jaw tightened, the headache immanent. The large woman with huge tracks of land gave a tuther, "Oh but Mr. Fox, Mr. Fox it indeed is an emergency, a ghastly horrific emergency."

Fox's right corner lip slightly twitched as he gave a polite smile and his head tilted, "Is that so Misses Peatreat? And what sort of crisis involves a jet death stone?"

She scowled, but the arrival of a customer stopped her from making a retort that she might later come to regret. It didn't take a genius to get to the true meaning of his words—was it possible to begrudge the roof over one's head even as one was grateful for it?

Though the words jet death stone drew her attention momentarily from the task at hand, the child realized that she had been afforded an opportunity. It was not one she wished to trust, not wholly, but whilst his attention was divided was surely a better time to move than when his steely gaze was fixated upon her.

"...be in the back," she murmured to no one in particular, effectively excusing herself to do just that. Be in the back. At least momentarily.

[Image: imset.png]
Schemes are afoot! Graphics by MJ

Simeon turned his gaze to the girl as she spoke of taking momentary leave. It was a flicker of a gaze, but a spark of surprised ignited his blue hues for just a second. He gave a nod and turned his attention back to the customer. He listened to the woman yammer on about how her sister had disgraced her at the latest ball, and she could not bare to live another moment with the woman's presence as a living human being on this earth. " I have yet to obtain it. come back at our arranged time Misses Peatreat." It was a lot of words for Simeon, but far too few for the customer who then went about listing off some very unlady like obscenities resulting in spit on Simeon's face. Blegh, he pulled out a handkerchief to wipe them away eyes momentarily closing.

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