Stepping into Flourish and Blotts, Maia had to stop her lip from curling. Who in their right mind had decided to hire a squib, that was pathetic. The Darnells had been family friends, once upon a time, before...that. Not that Maia could really remember that time. She had only been fairly young when the girl had not gotten her Hogwarts letter, and the Belanger's had broken ties. As you rightfully would, there was little benefit continually to associate with a family that produced squibs.
Maia moved further into the shop, heading straight for the section of books which she wanted. If she quickly found the book that she wanted, then she could get out of this store and back home.
She didn't really know why she'd come back to this place. The bookstore. It was full of memories, it was full of moments she wanted to relive, but, at the same time, moments she wanted to tuck away in the recesses of her mind, never to be brought to the forefront ever again. Still, here she stood, in the doorway of this shop. Jakob had been an avid reader, her boyfriend had dragged her here every chance he got. He had spent hours picking the shelves clean, rummaging through the volumes as if they were some unmatched treasure.
She'd never been much of a reader - she lacked the patience to rely on the form of the written word to give her the answers she wanted. However, Jakob had insisted she pick up a book every now and then, constantly referring her to favorite titles of his own. The last time she'd been here, it had been the summer between fifth and sixth year, a month before....the incident. He'd suggested a volume on the history of witches and wizards in the mid seventeenth century. She'd refused to buy it.
Now, though, she was desperate to find the book. She couldn't remember the title, though. Only the cover remained ingrained in her memory, a black one with red writing, a wand with a few sparks sprung free, dusted in gold. It had been a rather unimaginative concept - the idea of illustrating magic that way seemed overdone. Still, she had remembered it, even after all these years. She supposed that said something for the artist,
She was currently combing through the shelves, trying desperately to find the volume. As if finding the book would make her feel closer to Jakob again, or something. As if anything would bring him back. She rounded a corner, having finished with one side of the bookshelf, when she came face to face with someone who looked all too familiar. She'd known she'd run into people she knew, that was a given. But....her own old roommate? This was going to be difficult to pull off the distant act. She and Maia had been friends once, at least, Era had considered the blonde to be a friend of hers.
Hesitantly, Era ducked her head, not sure what to say. There was no denying that the pair would not recognize each other, whether the other girl admitted it or not. Especially since Era looked basically the same she had the last time she'd seen Maia. "Hey, Maia." She said finally, deciding a straightforward greeting was best. "Fancy meeting you here....it's been a while..." She said, stating the obvious because she wasn't sure what else to say.
She continued to scan the shelves, looking for the particular book that she wanted. She was certain that this would be the section to look for it, but had not quite yet managed to see it. She could go and talk to the staff to find it, however that involved speaking with the squib, and she was not quite in the mood for that one at this moment.
Someone came around the corner, and Maia glanced at them briefly, and then paused. Wait a moment. That was a person she recognised. An old roommate, even. Vespera had disappeared out of the school one year, without really an explanation of what had happened. Had she died, had something else happened? Clearly not dead considering she was standing before her, and looking very much like she had when Maia had seen her last. Interesting.
But she pulled her mouth into a smile. "Vespera!" she said, her tone shocked but pleased. As far as the other girl had been aware they had been friends. She was unsure whether it was worth continuing to be so yet, but that was why she had to test the waters before making a decision. "I am quite surprised to see you."
Era had been much more trusting before all of....this. She had been more of an open book, more of a friendly person. However, after everything that had gone on, she couldn't afford that childish foolishness any longer. She had to be ever vigilant, and had to be protective over own self. She had bigger problems to worry about and bigger secrets to keep than her fifteen year old self could have ever imagined.
She was trying to keep to herself, getting things done quickly and efficiently. However, unsurprisingly, she'd run into a former classmate. Not just a classmate, a roommate - someone she'd considered a friend. This would open a whole avenue of questions. Since she'd been looking down, the blond had gained the upper hand, spotting her first. This would force Era to say at least a few words in reply. Perhaps she could try and keep it short.
Inevitably, Maia would have questions. The girl, despite her hair color, was far from dumb - she'd always been one of the most cunning people Era knew. Hesitantly, Era mimicked the other girl's smile. "Maia. It's been....a long time. How are you?" She asked, hoping the polite question could be answered formally and quickly, so that she move on.
Vespera did not want to be here. That was quite clear from her body language, and well, being a legilimens did certainly help with that too. Which made it even more interesting. Maia was not letting this conversation go until she got to the bottom of it. It would not be too difficult to play the old friend that just wanted to stay and talk more.
"I'm good," she said brightly. "Work is going really well," politeness would then lead into a possible conversation about her work, or at least what she did. Which Maia could then easily turn on the girl standing before her. If her next question did not get there first. "And how are you? What happened? It's been so long and you just..." she trailed off as though she did not want to say the word vanish. This was interesting.