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I may be going crazy, but at least I'm not going alone.
Sunday, June 3rd ~*~ Afternoon



It was a fine day to be outside. The sun was shining, birds were chirping. Several owls were flying through the air to deliver messages to their owners. One owl seemed a little different then the others. It carried no message or parcel. Rather then flying in a direction for a purpose it circled lazily around the town.

After a while it flew down into a small alley.

A few moments later, Gregory Goyle walked out of the alley, shielding his eyes with his hand against the bright sunlight.
 
 
 
 
 
 
It had been a slow day at the shoppe, and Severus had caught himself looking out the front window on more than one occasion. He'd barely registered the owl flying in, but when Goyle had walked out of the blind alley he'd blinked.

No one had been into, or out of that alleyway all afternoon, so where had his former student appeared from?

Two possible answers presented themselves to him, and while he was inclined to side with Apparation, there was the slightest possibility of the other. No matter how far fetched it might be.

Severus quickly flipped the sign on the door of his shoppe to "Closed," and stepped out into the daylight. His long legs carried him across the street quickly, and he was soon within speaking distance.

"Good afternoon, Mister Goyle."
Greg turned at the sound of the voice. It was more then just familiar in sound, but familiar in tone as well. It was the same tone he used when Professor Snape was about to confront one of the members of Slytherin over something.

He turned to look his former house master in the eyes before letting a somewhat confused look settle on his face. "Yes Prof... Mr. Snape?"
"Are you in a hurry, Mister Goyle? I would hate to be keeping you from an appointment."

Severus felt no such thing, but certain social niceties were expected outside of the school environs.
"Wotcher, boys."

Tonks alighted from a Nimbus 2100 and spoke from behind Goyle.

She'd been out for a spin around the lake and castle, just enjoying the weather, when the owl's behaviour, which in some ways had mimiced her own, caught her attention. No parcel, and it was daylight so it probably wasn't hunting; Tonks' ever-present curiousity was caught.

"What's up?"
Greg looked from Tonks to Snape and began to feel a bit penned in. Only years of training at the tables prevented his face or heart from revealing his thoughts.

What on... Did they see him?

"Not in a hurry no. I was going to do a bit of window shopping and enjoy the day." He replied, careful to keep his eyes blank, face looking slightly bewhildered and shoulders relaxed. "Would either of you care to join me?"
Instantly, a short, wrinkled crone was walking alongside the two wizards.

"That would be overegging the pudding, wouldn't it be, Sonny?"

Mixing the two very different types of transformations was possible in theory, but several books warned against it and Tonks tended to agree with them. Maintaining your own identity when you could be anyone was difficult enough without adding "or an animal too" to the mix.

"Back to you — no dodging your elder's question, now." The old woman snorted. "Young men these days, I ask you."
Greg bowed to the old crone walking beside him. He took the woman's hand in his and kissed her wrist. "And rather beastly of me to ignore the wishes of a lady. I will remedy that mistake immediately. All those I have talked to that took the class said it was fun."
Just as quickly as she'd morphed into the other form, Tonks was back to her normal self, and her hand tightened on Greg's.

She tilted her head and asked with genuine curiosity, "Does anyone actually fall for that sort of thing? Seriously? Not asking for a secondhand report on the class you took, here, Iceman."
Greg sighed and knew he was cornered. He chewed on his lip and looked into her eyes. Lies had a way of getting back to you and biting you in the ass. Especially with a determined Auror.

"The one I sat in was entertaining, yes." He replied
See, that wasn't so bad, now, was it?

"And useful." Tonks shook her head. "You know, I think if you register yourself you only pay a fine that might take you all of a weeks' worth of games to earn and sit through some sort of safety lectures. They really toned it down after the end of the war. Less fear of spies."

She turned to inspect the window of the shop they were in front of, which held a fine display of lacy and satiny underthings. Gabrielle's old shop. Hrmph. I wonder ... No, that was just "a favor."

Tonks told herself that there was no need to speculate about a friends' personal life while casually throwing out, "But the penalties if someone else turns an unregistered animagus in are still pretty severe."
He'd kept quiet while Tonks and Goyle talked around the matter at hand, digesting the implications of Goyle mastering the discipline needed to become an animagus.

Which was probably how he found himself standing next to the pair in front of a shoppe window filled with lace and silk, and a small display with several bottles of lotions and creams. Even though Gabrielle Delacour had moved on to live with her husband, he still had a contract with her business, and still made a fair sum of galleons providing perfumed potions for her shoppes.

He ignored their discussion of metal rings and ribbons, and only spoke up when Tonks asked about Draco.

"With Draco, it usually comes down to three points: rich, decadent, and completely frivolous."
Tonks blew a tuft of hair out of her eyes. "That's all? All right, then. I don't think he qualifies yet on the 'expensive' tip but frivolous and involving male nudity should be easy enough."

It might be wiser to ignore the birthday altogether — more politic, maybe, when if things went well she'd be helping to send his aunt to Azkaban soon. The loyalties on that side of the family were mystifying from Tonks' point of view.

But Draco at least was amusing and wasn't homicidal, so some sort of birthday tat seemed in order.

She turned to Snape with honest curiosity.

"So what were you planning? Somehow I don't see you doing 'frivolous.'"
One corner of his mouth tipped up slightly. "Very astute of you."

He turned away from the window to look toward his shoppe, making sure he wasn't missing any customers.

"Draco's tastes tend to lie outside of my budget, but I've learned to make due with what I have on hand."
Greg found himself fighting a smile as he looked over at his former professor. "I'm sure Draco enjoys any gift you give him. Very likely it was more appreciated the last gift I gave him. I rather made him work for it."
"I never said Draco enjoyed anything I gave him," Snape clarified. "Considering the things I've received from him over the years, if he actually used anything I've ever given him, I would be surprised."