Title: Things To Die Before You Do
Griselda Campbell - June 14, 2010 03:14 PM (GMT)
It truly was a beautiful engagement. Fancy dinner, fine wine (sweet and white and plenty older than she was), and then, down on one knee with a rock the size of a small strawberry. The gold was white, but studded with smaller diamonds - flashy, for sure, and shiny! Oh, young love. How she adored it!
Naturally, they were to get married as soon as possible. No more than a couple months - having been through this a couple times, Griselda knew exactly what she wanted - white dress from Zimmerman's, cake from Honeycutt's, maybe an old church or park for the venue. But most importantly, she wanted EVERYONE in the press to know that she, Griselda Campbell, author and columnist extraordinary, was to be wed to the charming young wizard, Alexander Avery! Announcements were sent everywhere, insisting on the brightest and best to come and share in the celebration!
The engagement party itself was decidedly humble in comparison - she'd have loved to have thrown the thing at Jarvey Estate, but it seemed to have disappeared from the face of the Earth - Wizarding things had a habit of doing that, though, so she paid it no mind. When she shared this with her husband-to-be -- oh, it was all so exciting! -- he asked humbly/suggested the Vault, a little club right in Diagon Alley that was admittedly chic enough, yet modest enough, to hold the most diverse clientèle she'd ever seen. As mentioned, not her first choice, but she figured it was as good a pick as any, and if it made her fiancée - !!! - happy, than it was alright with her!
She just hoped that EVERYONE was there for the big scoop.
"So, you think there will be a big turn out?" Her lovely Lexi asked, beaming, his body shaking with jitters and excitement as they walked arm in arm to the Vault.
"Darling, absolutely everyone will be there to toast to our union, I'm sure," she replied with an equally grand smile. "I posted an invite to pretty much everyone - even if you figure half of them don't show, there will be plenty of excitement for us tonight!" She'd even scheduled it for a Tuesday night, when the pub was less crowded, so that everyone who showed up would make it all that more obvious to whoever was in charge of the venue what the deal was. She'd already assigned one of the bouncers to keep tabs on who showed up and who brought gifts to the little table that had been set up for them in the back of the room, so she knew who did what -- always good to find out who to write about next. Her most recent article about Sofia Robards and Jasper Christie, notwithstanding - that was such a throw away article. She wanted someone she could really hate - someone that could inspire her to write the deliciously nasty kind of work that made her so famous, after all.
At the bar, she ordered her usual - a Dragon's Martini, the recipe on a napkin in case they were unaware of how to make the delightful drink. Her fiancée ordered himself a beer, and was quickly snatched up by a friend of his.
"Darling, would you excuse me a bit?" he asked, his hand on her hip, lips to her ear.
She smiled. "Not at all, my wonderful love." She kissed him. "Do hurry back to me." He grinned at her and went off to get drunk with his buddy. She smirked devilishly. Now, she had what she wanted - a beautiful ring on one hand. Oh, let the flirting begin. She was hoping to get some good dirt, seeing who hit on her. But, also, publicity, naturally. See who decided to say unkind words and give them a taste of their own medicine.
But first! Her martini. "Thank you!" she said with genuine delight. She sipped at it and gave a found sound. "Mmm... It's fantastic, darling. Thank you."
Teague MacGuire - June 14, 2010 04:21 PM (GMT)
It was all too perfect for words.
The man now entering the Vault, a gift for the bridal couple wrapped in silvery-white tissue paper under one arm, seemed a fairly ordinary man, but inside he was cackling with fiendish glee. Surely the "blushing bride" had not realised to whom one of her invitations had been posted, but she had invited the entire staff of the Daily Prophet, which included the last man Griselda Campbell would want at such an event, one Teague MacGuire. Of course, Teague thought to himself, grinning inwardly, "Grizzly Bear" Campbell never noticed anything that wasn't about her, so she probably hadn't noticed his name on the staff roster. But he had noticed hers.
Oh, yes, he had definitely noticed hers.
Teague set the gift on the table with the others and scanned the room for the "happy" couple. A young man chatting with another--that was certainly the celebrated Alexander Avery, the unlucky groom. He didn't seem to be with his fiancée, which in Teague's mind showed that the poor lad had at least some sense left. He briefly considered going over to commiserate with the boy, but dismissed the thought from his mind. He would of course try to ruffle Griselda, but he would never ruin a public event and hurt the feelings of someone who had never done anything to him. Now, what he could do to the bride-to-be, if only he could...
Ah, there she was. She looked just like he remembered her--red hair in too-tight ringlets that made her look like a birthday present gone bad, revealing and too-tight dress that made her look like twenty pounds of potatoes in a five-pound sack, sipping a martini and flirting outrageously with the bartender. Teague began mentally taking notes for his next column as he strode casually up to the bar.
He slid onto the stool to Griselda's left and ordered his usual, a Fluffy Duck. He saluted the bartender when he received his drink, then turned and raised the glass to Griselda. "A toast to the bride-to-be," he declared, in a voice that carried to Griselda and anyone straining to eavesdrop on the conversation, but did not permeate the ambience of the room. A mischievous grin split his face as he added, "May your newest victim last longer than the last one."
There. If that didn't tell Grizzly who he was, she was thicker than two short planks.
Griselda Campbell - June 14, 2010 09:09 PM (GMT)
Beside her, a thin fellow with blonde hair took up the next stool.
"Fluffy duck, please."
A curious choice. Griselda took in this fellow with curiousity. Not bad looking, with buttery locks layered to about shoulder length, and the whisper of a moustache - she did have a thing for facial hair. A light Scottish lilt, she noticed - accents were always nice. She smiled into her drink - she was engaged now. No paramours for a while, now. He seemed pleased, humming absently to himself, until his drink arrived.
He took the drink happily, then turned to Griselda, raising the glass, an impish grin on his face. At that moment, she felt a startling moment of recognition.
"A toast to the bride-to-be," he said.
She held her glass aloft in response, and his grin broadened - wait a second, bad vibe.
"May your newest victim last longer than the last one."
Then it hit her, and he sipped his drink with perhaps some trouble as he grinned, the devil.
Curiosity gave way to shock, and then fury. She put down her drink with some absent vehemancy and felt herself puff up as her face contorted with rage.
"Teacup MacGuire!!!" she growled. She stood up, scooting the stool behind her. "Of all the no-good, dirty rotten scoundrels I've ever met in my entire life!" She looked over and spotted Lex - chattering with his mate (probably going over Stag Night plans), and oblivious to the demon beside her. "What the hell are you doing at my engagement party?!" she hissed. Why, of all the -- !!!
Teague MacGuire - June 14, 2010 10:03 PM (GMT)
"Teacup MacGuire!!!" she growled.
Teague smiled in his most infuriating manner, inclining his head politely. "At your service. Long time no see."
"Of all the no-good, dirty rotten scoundrels I've ever met in my entire life!"
Teague put a hand to his chest, as though either wounded or startled. "Oh, come now, Grizzly. Thank you for the compliment, but I'm no Steve Martin yet." Inwardly he smirked, knowing that she had probably never heard of the movie whose title she had inadvertently blurted at him, let alone of the actor who was his idol, but still, he was doing his best to disarm her.
"What the hell are you doing at my engagement party?!"
"You invited me, darling," Teague said with unflappable calm. He took a sip of his drink, then held it up critically to the light. "Hmm, just a bit off. Must be using the dark crème de cacao. Oh, well, still tastes fine." He set the drink down and turned to face Griselda, a placid smile on his face that was carefully calculated to make her want to hit him. "As I recall, the invitation on the break room bulletin board said 'all staff members of the Daily Prophet are invited'. As a staff member, naturally, I came. Or had you not noticed that my byline has appeared above my columns for the last fortnight? My, my, Yogi, you're slipping. I recognised your writing style right off, even if you are using a pseudonym." He cocked an eyebrow at her. "By the way...that latest article of yours, the one on Robards and Christie? Quite fascinating. Where do you get your facts, or is it simpler to make them up as you go?"
Now to sit back and see if all the buttons were still in working order. He had pushed about half of the ones he knew about, the ones guaranteed to get Griselda about a weeks' worth of detention for retaliating, while he--who hadn't done a thing that anyone could prove--would sit innocently by and polish his halo.
Griselda Campbell - June 22, 2010 04:29 AM (GMT)
Teague smiled in his most infuriating manner, inclining his head politely. "At your service. Long time no see."
Boy, he had a lot of nerve! Griselda fumed at the sight of the scoundrel who'd made her life at Hogwarts a living hell - still with that same, insatiably evil smirk, his eyes glinting with the same mischeif - actually, he didn't seem to have changed much. A bit thinner than high school, but he'd also always been a skinny one. With his stupid little moustache - twitching on his lips. It was almost... dangerously attractive.
He touched a long-fingered hand to his breast. "Oh, come now, Grizzly." She scowled at the ancient moniker. "Thank you for the compliment, but I'm no Steve Martin yet."
Smart ass comment! Jerk was taking her insult as a compliment. She could feel her nails starting to press uncomfortably into her skin, and loosened her grip a little.
"Besides, you invited me, darling," he replied.
She had to admit, he was... charming. Disarmingly charming. He was clever, and witty, and confident, and bold. Things she really liked in her men. And she's learned through her paramours the splendours of a thin man - unassuming, but strong of grip. Even looking at him, she felt her mind go in the usual direction, from his hands to the shape of his torso and how his hair laid softly against his face...
NO! This was Teacup MacGuire!
She fumed again. Fool was tricking her! Getting the best of her! After all these years, he still bothered her!
His placid smile was the same as it had always been, casually unassuming, cool and chic. Bastard! "As I recall, the invitation on the break room bulletin board said 'all staff members of the Daily Prophet are invited'. As a staff member, naturally, I came. Or had you not noticed that my byline has appeared above my columns for the last fortnight?"
She blinked. He... he worked for the Prophet?
His delight was evident. "My, my, Yogi, you're slipping. I recognised your writing style right off, even if you are using a pseudonym."
Yogi--? Why the little--!!![/b] She fumed again, and he merely grinned devilishly.
He cocked an eyebrow at her. "By the way...that latest article of yours, the one on Robards and Christie? Quite fascinating. Where do you get your facts, or is it simpler to make them up as you go?"
A number of explicatives popped up in her mind, and a few curses, as well, but her wand wasn't in her pocket like it had been back in school. It was instead in her handbag, on the bar. She looked to it, scowling at the far away bag, but reminded herself that... this wasn't Hogwarts anymore.
In fact, she hadn't seen this man in years. And yet, he was goading her again? She smiled, the delicious, evil joy returning. Who was the child now? Here she was, getting herself married, a dedication for life (well... She'd had some strange luck with that in the past), and Teacup was still doing piddly little articles for the [i]Prophet. Well. Two could play at that game.
She lowered herself into her chair and swiveled ever so slightly back toward the bar, taking her martini in hand. "If you must know," she replied, her voice dark and soft as velvet, "It's entirely fact. It's the latest gossip, naturally, or I wouldn't have written about it." She then gulped down the last of her martini -- Mm, damn good -- and raised an eyebrow.
Alright, MacGuire, she thought to herself. You want to dance? Let's dance. I can play.
Teague MacGuire - June 22, 2010 05:52 PM (GMT)
The looks she was giving him were a little on the unsettling side. Teague hadn't seen anyone look at him like that since...well, since Diana. He found himself remembering those days: long walks in the moonlight by the river, frolicking through meadows full of flowers, splashing in the river, curling up under trees and...
Down, boy, he ordered himself. Even if this wasn't Grizzly Campbell, he was done with tangling with married women--or even just engaged women--even ones who promised him their everything. What had that left him with? A broken heart, a child he hardly ever got to see--and, okay, the plot for his fifth novel. A bit of a wicked smile tugged at his lips briefly, but he fought it back. That was a button to push in a bit.
"If you must know," she replied, her voice dark and soft as velvet, "It's entirely fact. It's the latest gossip, naturally, or I wouldn't have written about it."
Teague, unhurried, merely took another sip of his drink as Griselda downed her entire martini at a gulp. "Remember what Professor Sprout told us, when our Defence professor left suddenly and everyone started talking about how he'd had an affair with that Ravenclaw sixth year?" he cautioned her, one part needling and one part genuinely reminding her of a motto he had taken to heart when he began writing his articles. "'Gossip needn't be false to be hurtful--there's an awful lot of truth that shouldn't be spread around.' I can't decide who's worse about it--you or Lola Davis."
He ran a hand through his blond hair, finished his drink, and signalled to the bartender. "Another Fluffy Duck, please, and bring the bride-to-be another of whatever it is she's drinking." He placed the money on the counter. Like his reminder of Professor Sprout's words, Teague had a double motive for this: one, it was the polite thing to do for a bride-to-be, and two, it would keep Grizzly on her toes wondering what he was up to now.
The bartender brought their drinks, and Teague raised it in salute first to him, then to Griselda. He took another sip of his drink, then decided to lead the conversation down a path she was sure to think she would win at. "So, what have you been doing since graduation? I've been away for so long, you know, isolated in the wilderness, I haven't heard a thing."
He was probably laying it on too thick--she'd know he was up to something--but, who cared? She'd never guess in a million years.
Griselda Campbell - July 13, 2010 02:25 PM (GMT)
((At long last! They work! Mind, the fact that Arista posted in something else and got Artie all talkative might have had something to do with it... But I said, 'if you're going to talk to Arista, then you're going to go write those posts we owe Bre!' and here we go!))
"Remember what Professor Sprout told us, when our Defence professor left suddenly and everyone started talking about how he'd had an affair with that Ravenclaw sixth year?" he teased. "'Gossip needn't be false to be hurtful--there's an awful lot of truth that shouldn't be spread around.' I can't decide who's worse about it--you or Lola Davis."
Griselda narrowed her eyes. "This is true, but it's also true that the bloodier it is, the more the public likes it," she gave her satisfied smirk. "Plus, I'll have you know that Lola Davis and I? have tea every Saturday morning." She grinned. How'd he like that one?
Teague ordered another drink. "Another Fluffy Duck, please, and bring the bride-to-be another of whatever it is she's drinking."
She glared at him suspiciously, but turned to the bartender. "Another Dragon Martini, please. And try to go a little slow on the varmouth - more juice, alright?" She looked sideways at Teague - my, he had a handsome profile. Very chiseled features. She wondered idly why she'd hated him so much. He was actually rather attractive. Yes, Griselda, this is why you should slow down on the drink, she told herself. This is your engagement party, by the gods. You will by no means make a fool of yourself with Teacup MacGuire of all people!
The bartender brought their drinks, and Teague raised his glass in salute to Griselda. She glared at him, but drank to it. What was he up to? Now that she thought on it, she'd never really seen him drinking - whenever they had house parties, she was usually... ahem. Celebrating accordingly with others.
"So, what have you been doing since graduation? I've been away for so long, you know, isolated in the wilderness, I haven't heard a thing."
She scoffed. Well. "Actually, I've been travelling the world a bit." She sipped at her drink. "Tried the whole marriage thing. It's nice... for a while." She smiled. "No one for forever, I'm afraid. But, each person teaches you a bit about yourself." She gave her winning smile - the one that was cute and made men become goo at her charm. "I've also published a few novels here and there. Nothing fantastic, but bestsellers." She smiled deliciously. How about that, Teacup Teague MacGuire?! "They keep me with a pleasant paycheck. Gives me the time to..." She glanced back at her fiance. "... live life to the fullest."
Teague MacGuire - July 13, 2010 05:59 PM (GMT)
"This is true, but it's also true that the bloodier it is, the more the public likes it," she gave her satisfied smirk. "Plus, I'll have you know that Lola Davis and I? have tea every Saturday morning."
Teague suppressed the urge to roll his eyes. "I'm sure the fact that she has tea with you makes her a paragon of all the virtues. Surely someone who goes out of her way to ruin lives would never drink anything as mundane as tea." Okay, yes, that time the sarcasm was so thick even Grizzly could hear it, but come on. How was her comment in any way, shape, or form a defence to what he had said? It almost reminded him of a button he had seen in a shop once--Proud member of the National Non-Sequitor Society. We may not always make sense, but we do like pizza.
He sipped at his drink. Dragon Martini, hmm? He probably should have known that was her drink of choice, but at house parties, even the very occasional ones where he had a drink, he had always deliberately avoided her. Anyway, he wasn't too fond of vermouth or he would try it himself. He'd never been a martini man, always preferring his drinks a little sweeter. Like his women.
"Actually, I've been travelling the world a bit." She sipped at her drink. "Tried the whole marriage thing. It's nice... for a while." She smiled. "No one for forever, I'm afraid. But, each person teaches you a bit about yourself."
Teague nodded in understanding. "Did a bit of world travelling myself--as you no doubt recall. Quite a broadening experience, wouldn't you say? And I agree about the whole marriage thing. Never married myself, sad to say...but I've had several fulfilling relationships, and you do learn a fair bit about yourself from your partners, don't you?"
"I've also published a few novels here and there. Nothing fantastic, but bestsellers." She smiled. "They keep me with a pleasant paycheck. Gives me the time to..." She glanced back at her fiance. "... live life to the fullest."
Teague resisted the urge to do an undignified victory dance. Without any prompting from him, she had brought up her own novels! Keeping his face perfectly blank and innocent, he sipped at his drink again. "Oh, really? I had no idea! I've tried my hand at writing a novel or two myself. Quite a fun experience. What genre do you write in? Perhaps I've seen your books and just not made the connection to you."
My, my, he was treading dangerous waters here. But dammit, he was enjoying himself, and he was going to enjoy himself even further when he dropped his bombshell.