May 7th, 2098

"Mmm… but if that's…" Talking to himself wasn't entirely unusual when Izzy was buried in the midst of important thoughts. Those important thoughts were mostly just further notes and theories on a topic he'd broached two years earlier. Written an essay on it. Published it in a book of essays. Defended it ferociously in academic circles in Japan, then later acknowledged that he still needed further proof. (He didn't back down on the certainty of his correctitude, though. Never.) Today, Izzy's regularly scheduled hours of brooding with his requisite notebook and fountain pen seemed to be taking place inside Lilliput's, nestled into a seat by the front window. The rain had returned after a day's break from it, and he found he had little will to head back to his temporary quarters just yet. Another seven days of Conclave to make it through. He'd seen, he was fairly certain, everything he was interested in seeing. Between the Dragonariat and Calico Katya's… unexpected… announcements, it had actually proven more interesting than he'd anticipated. And soon it would be over, and he'd be back to a more normal routine, with less conflict with Mitsuda. (And Noriko had been right - she was awful. Even if Izzy hadn't especially wanted Noriko's input at the time.)

Electric blue hair announced her arrival before her cheerful voice did, greeting a familiar barista at Lilliput's with a grin and a wave and a bit of chatter about how cute her curls looked and did she do a charm or actually curl them the muggle way. Or were they just naturally so pretty? She chattered a bit more while waiting on her tea, got out of the way as more people entered the shop and came to place their order, then turned to look around the shop. She spied Izzy and smiled, but then turned back as her tea was delivered to her, picking it up carefully and taking a sip. Perfect. She made her way over to Izzy, not so eye wateringly bright in a dress of very dark blue. "Izzy. You look like you are tired." She commented simply, taking a seat across from him and a sip of her tea to follow. She didn't want to bother him, but she was also keenly aware that the end of the Conclave was coming and that with that, the departure of Izzy back to Japan. And she would go back to her norm. She would go back to the regular day-to-day. And wasn't that just a sham and damn boring? Well yes. What was she supposed to do about it, though?

In fairness, Izzy was also planning on staying in London for the World Cup, because it was very important to show national pride, or something like that. (He wasn't sure what nation he had national pride for, mind. Cuba, maybe? He was born in Havana…) There was always the possibility of an abrupt departure because Kijushou duties wait for no giant magical fuck-you wasp, granted. "Tired? Mmm. No." Izzy smiled, carefully snapped his notebook closed, capped his fountain pen. He was still wearing the trappings of the Kijushoujietai, deep red robes trimmed in white, though he'd been off duty for more than an hour. "Not tired, just thinking. Wondering, really, I suppose. About doorways. How they really work. What happens when you break them." A slight smile, at the very corner of his mouth. "Off to anywhere interesting tonight? Adventures? Excellent or otherwise? Perhaps drunken caroling?" In the summer, of course, when the best caroling was to be had. As long as it wasn't in Milan, where nobody had ever gone and nothing had ever happened. London was okay, though.

A smile lit her lips as he closed his notebook to focus on conversing with her. She was happy to sit in quiet, but she was more happy to talk. She sipped her tea and mmmed, then gave a nod as he explained what he was thinking. "Mmmm. Well I guess that depends on the type of doorway we're talking about. But I'm guessing you mean something a bit more…umm…immaterial…than say the wooden doorframe over there." She murmured, using her chin to gesture toward Lilliput's front door rather than unwrap her hands from the steaming mug of tea. "Ooh. Tonight? I hadn't planned on anything. But that was more to do with just being indecisive than nothing going on." She grinned at him, then laughed. "Drunken caroling might be fun, though I'm more prone to hangovers than I used to be." She paused, a slight pout and frown on her lips. "Don't know when that happened. it makes me very sad."

"Something like that," Izzy commented with an air of definitely-not-telling-it's-a-secret. Naturally Xia was right, she was certainly sharp enough (and had probably read enough of his theories to know what doorway he was worried about specifically anyway) to catch onto the same things that had him nervous, but he didn't have to say that. "I don't really want to be drunk anyway… I mix badly with alcohol." But he'd never mixed badly with alcohol in Milan. Not once. "All I was planning to do tonight's read. Write. Brood. You, um. You know how the regularly scheduled programming goes, yes?" Conspiratorial. It was true that Izzy wasn't entirely unpredictable in his day to day life. He spent most of his not-working time ignoring the rest of the world and retreating into his own thoughts. It was a harder routine to keep here, naturally - hard to find anyplace quiet or alone in the midst of Magipalooza 2098. Hence the bouts of notetaking in bake shops and park benches…

Her smile widened all the more, and she gave a slight nod. She definitely knew what he was talking about, but she wasn't going to push about it. She didn't really want to make it an issue. "You don't mix badly with alcohol." She murmured into her tea cup, remembering a few of their past incidents with drunk!Izzy. They certainly hadn't been bad incidents in her opinion, but then she also didn't see them from Izzy's perspective. His distinct decision that Milan was NOT a thing, however, was the most amusing result of any of their drinking sessions. "Nothing terribly new or out of the ordinary then." She agreed, smiling a little more while she played with her tea, slowly swirling it in her mug. "I imagine I could liven that up a bit. I could do my best Celestina Warbeck impression." She teased, flashing a grin so wicked that anyone looking knew that impression was AWFUL. "Until someone offers me free food just to shut me up." That had only happened…four or five times.

Narrowed eyes. "No. I mix very badly with alcohol." And if Lilliput's had had a proper special effects budget, the ambient lighting surely would've dimmed as he said that, perhaps with a dramatic thunderclap in the background for good measure. "I don't know. I think blackmailing Diagon Alley's noble establishments for food is a bit… seedy… don't you? It's like playing a banjo. No good can come of it." (Will play banjo for food. Will stop playing banjo for money.) "I think quiet is good anyway. Company is nice. I think I've had enough excitement for today." It was strange, he'd never have said something like that in school. He was always practically tripping over his feet to get in trouble. Mostly, admittedly, out of a desire to keep up with Xia… he peered at his empty mug, thought better of requesting more of whatever it was he'd had two hours earlier. "There was a bit of an… incident… with the Bisan and the Centaur delegations. Not sure what sparked it. It wasn't pretty."

For all the dramatics and dark look that was given when they discussed alcohol, Xia simply smiled at him knowingly and took another sip of her tea. "It's not seedy. It's just entertainment for the masses. It's not my fault if they don't like the entertainment. Nor is it my fault if they decide they would like to feed me in order to end my entertainment." Okay so it probably was seedy. But she didn't do it often. And usually only on street corners when she was trying to entertain in general. She hmmed, sipped her tea, nodded in agreement when he mentioned having enough excitement. "I bet. Being all auror-y and stuff. Sometimes there has to be excitement, right?" Her eyebrows rose and then she grinned. She knew that troublemaker wasn't exactly Izzy's primary role in life, even if he was pretty good at it. "Oooh? Bisan and Centaur? I wonder if there were insults. Do Bisan have any sort of fortune telling or star watching methods? Sometimes fights with centaurs are related to that…" She trailed off and pressed her lips together for a moment, then shrugged. "Sounds quite the event, though. I just remember centaurs from the forest…" She trailed off, frowning.

"I… actually don't know much about Bisan," Izzy admitted. A little quietly. They were a mystery to him. Which was a touch embarrassing, considering his knowledge about so many topics was so very encyclopaedic. And also considering his… particular ancestry. "My mother was not, exactly, on the best of terms with that part of the family. And she didn't share much. And…" A slow glance up towards the ceiling. "I was never welcome among them either." A fact that was unlikely to change after today's extracurricular activities. Izzy leaned back in his chair, with a breathy little laugh. "I think Huian has the right of it, really. Basically just giant magical fuck-everyone wasp monsters." Even if they didn't, in point of fact, lay eggs in anybody's brain. He'd spent years deflecting rumors of that at Hanakotoba.

She smiled and lightly nudged his foot with her own, then withdrew it, a small show of friendship. She tilted her head back to glance at the ceiling as well. "Mmmm. Magical fuck-everyone wasp monsters is a good description. Maybe I can find out more. Do a little bit of listening and poking and prodding." Izzy had created a sudden curiosity in her now, and she wanted to know more about this disagreement that took place. "Are you okay after it all? Nothing terrible happened in the end, right?" her eyebrows rose with question.

Without a moment's hesitation, Izzy responded, his face straight and deathly serious. "I'm afraid I lost both legs and my left eye. I also died. It was entirely terrible." He pushed his empty mug away from him and lifted (in that odd, alien way) from his chair. "Walk with me? I'm not entirely ready to head… home." Well. Not home, really. Also, it was still raining, but the rain at least hadn't ever bothered Izzy. His upbringing involved far too many places noted principally for their raininess. London had no weather to intimidate him. Ah. Mind wandering a little. Well, nevermind that. Nothing to be done. He shuffled his feet lightly, rearranged his robes. They were a little too long for him, a little long in the arms especially. He pretended not to care about that. Even clothing tailored specially for him always seemed to end up that way. Strangest thing…

There was no reaction to his deathly serious response except for a sudden snort of laughter and a shake of her head. When he got to his feet she finished her tea and got to hers as well. "Of course." She chirped, happy as ever to accompany him on said walk. She sidled up beside him, glancing at his robes and hmming softly. She knew it was a common problem. Also knew it bothered him. So far she had not perfect a lengthening and shortening charm for clothes, though. It was being difficult, something about what to do with the excess fabric and where it went when it wasn't needed, and where to pull it from when it was. Unless Izzy wanted a bunch of fabric bunched up under his cuffs. "You know you can use my flat as second home." She reminded him, for probably the fiftieth time since he'd turned up in London for the Conclave. "I have space. Soft surfaces that include a bed, a couch, a cushy armchair…" She trailed off and shrugged.

Soft surfaces. That was… certainly still an astoundingly tempting offer. Why it was that he kept turning it down, Izzy wasn't entirely sure. Only time he'd taken her up on it was days earlier, when he'd been a little tipsy, and too tired to object to her nurturing. (He also wasn't sure why he kept objecting.) "Ah. I… I suppose that's true. Space and soft surfaces." For the briefest of moments, Izzy glanced away. Then offered his hand before he made for the door. Really, the fabric thing didn't bother him too much. It was occasionally vexing. He sometimes suspected he was under the influence of a hex. Some sort of fashion-nuisance hex. There were, certainly, worse hexes to suffer from. "That sounds… nice. I think." Wait, did he actually accept that offer? Huh. That was a little unprecedented, and also Izzy wasn't quite sure how it happened. It seemed he'd said a thing while he was busy following his thoughts down a long and winding rabbit-hole. That was either fantastic or terrible. History could be the judge of that later.

A smile set her face aglow as she accepted the offered hand, and she moved with him out of the shop and onward. She wasn't expecting him to accept her offer, but she practically radiated happiness when he did. She smiled up at him and gave a small nod, obviously suppressing a sudden wave of enthusiasm out of fear of scaring him off. "Yes. You can try it out and decide if you like it or not." She agreed, giving him a small nod as if all was well no matter the outcome. And then she gave his hand a gentle squeeze before she lightly tugged him onward in their walk, a sudden excitement in her as she grinned at the street ahead of them.

"So, when are you going to surrender to media pressure and play for England?" An abrupt, hard-left turn into a wholly new topic. Nevermind that he already knew the answer to it, and the whys and the howfors and the wherewithalls as well. Which didn't stop him from finding it rather entertaining whenever he caught an opinion column declaring her return to Quidditch to be eminent. Plus he always did find her reactions a little entertaining. "You're disappointing the English schoolwitches, you know. They could be growing up with memories they'd take with them for the rest of their lives! Memories of England!" When he wished to, Izzy could be quite animated and dramatic. Admittedly, he rarely wished to. "…oh. Also, um. What's her name? Noriko. She says hello. She was very insistent about it."

A snort escaped her at the sudden question, and she rolled her eyes at it. "I disappoint everyone because I don't do what they expect me to." She replied shortly, giving a slight shake of her head that sent blue strands flying. "Maybe next year." She murmured, giggling. It was always next year. Soon enough she was going to be too old to be considered for the teams. She wondered if she really should play for England before she put it off too long. A frown curved her lips and she paused, biting her bottom lip. "But really. Why would I want to play for England? I'd much rather play for Scotland. Bloody English being…English." She said, scrunching her nose and shaking her head. "No. Until I get a proper offer from Scotland I don't think I'll be playing." She tsked, then perked up as he mentioned Noriko. "Oh! That's nice of her. If you see her before I do tell her I say hello back!" She giggled. "Though I feel bad making you the messenger. So maybe you don't have to."

"But it's such a proud tradition, Xia, for all the best players from Scotland and Wales to play for England instead because money!" Some things, some things were timeless. Like the English trampling over the Sottish and Welsh. Speaking of, Izzy needed to mention something about that to Meredith. Actually, no, he probably wasn't going to. That wasn't in him at all. "Well. I'm sure Scotland will poke around your way eventually. You might just have to wait until you're thirty-four or so." Quite impulsively, Izzy nudged her with his hip. That had… kind of come out of nowhere. He had no idea what came over him. Oh well! Nothing to be done about it. "I'm not a very good messenger, you know. Mice are notoriously difficult to train. Really, we mostly just want breadcrumbs and nuts and seeds. It's a simple existence, but an elegant and dignified one as well." If he'd had whiskers, he would have waggled them. Unfortunately, Izzy couldn't have whiskers while still maintaining his ability to speak. Sacrifices…

She shook her head and made a sound of annoyance in the back of her throat. "No." She replied simply, and tsked. Her attention shifted from looking ahead to looking to him, and she tilted her head to one side. "They might. But then again, I doubt it. They don't look for anyone until they decide current roster is too old. I'd play for Ireland or Wales before England, though. Maybe Holyhead Harpies." She looked thoughtful and gave a slight shrug, then looked away and made a surprised sound when he nudged her. She playfully nudged him back and giggled, glancing up at him with a slight tilt of her head. "You're right. Perhaps I should just send her an owl." She grinned at him and then laughed. She looked away, down, then looked back up at him and shrugged, playfully bumping him with her hip as she bit her lip. "Hmmm. I don't even know if I should get back to it, though. Miss it, but don't. But do…"

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