A note from Serade Black - It's been awhile, but I'm continuing all my stories! I'm into a new fandom, so I apologize for my lack of updating. Stay tuned...more to come (and to finish).
Ch. 3 - The Letters Begin
They say April showers bring May flowers, but in this case, April showers brought more rain. It had been nearly four solid days that the sky had opened up and decided to hydrate the flowers, trees, cars, houses, dogs, cats and Sirius's motorbike to a new level of saturation.
It had been a week since the dinner at Grimmauld Place. While speaking to Harry a few times, the only word he got on Hermione was that she had arrived home to Bulgaria safely and would be leaving for Tokyo to play the Asian part of the Quidditch tour. Well, Viktor would be, anyway.
By the end of the day, Sirius was sitting on his covered deck out his backdoor that overlooked his own small garden. He had accomplished a lot on the inside of his home: painting, cleaning, decorating. It was finally owed to him a cold frothing pint for the end of a hard day's labor, so he stripped off his dirty shirt and sat back to watch the wet sky fall on his very prominent rose bushes that he enchanted with his own concoction of "Miracle Grow".
As the rest of the day wasted away sneaking into the early evening, Sirius laid his head back against his chair and slid his fingers up and down through the condensation sweating on the outside of his pint bottle. His eyes fell shut and he listened to the sound of the rain drops. Behind him, his raven colored owl hooted loudly, reminding him that she was about to take off for the night to hunt.
"Go ahead, girl," Sirius said, keeping his eyes closed and his body relaxed in the contours of the chair he occupied.
As he drifted off, his thoughts turned to Hermione and his ending words with her. A little disappointed, Sirius was not pleased with being the reason of her early departure from dinner. Starting a row with her was not necessarily out of character for him, it was almost expected, but it seemed highly unfair. The two of them had not even shared a good sit down conversation since he'd been back. Except for Christmas and the short run-in at the pub, he never really had a chance to talk to her. Then the idea came to him.
"Morgan, wait," he said to his raven owl that was just about to take flight through the wavering rain. She glared at her owner. "Can you wait a few minutes while I write a letter? It'll be going quite a distance, but consider the hunt, girl."
The owl hooted pleasantly; her large dark orbs blinking curiously of her new destination as her owner went back inside his house. She craned her head, looking about for any prey that might be mere hors d'oeuvres.
Sirius fell into the chair at his desk with an exhausted thud, looking at the bare wood before him like they hadn't been together in quite sometime. He ran a hand through his unruly hair and reached up to pull out a fresh quill, the inkwell and a clean piece of parchment. Smoothing the paper out before him, he dipped his quill and poised the point at the top left hand corner. Unable to think of a good opening, he ran a hand over his face feeling a little foolish that his mind suddenly drew a blank when about to write someone he had recently had a row with that he also found unexpectedly attractive.
He looked around the room, hoping for some sort of inspiration, but all he came up with was to discuss the color of his sofa and how it so didn't blend well with the rest of the room. Then without reason, without purpose, he started the letter as honest as he could:
Let me first apologize for being a git or even more so, let me apologize for being that thing that you called me as you walked up the stairs in a huff. Your displeasure and early departure was due to my big mouth and ill tongue. I did not mean to say what I did, because Grimmauld Place is as much your sanctuary as it is mine (never thought I'd say that). I do not want to be the cause of your absence in London or in Harry's life and I truly hope that you will find it in your heart to forgive my harsh words.
On the other hand, it was a great homecoming to see that you still had that spark to argue and fight with me, something I thought was well gone. Thank you for proving me wrong.
A little over a week later and Sirius was returning from dinner at the pub with Remus when his raven colored owl was just soaring in from a nearby tree. He unlocked the front door and let her fly in with quiet grace. She perched on top of her stand by Sirius's writing desk and fluttered her wings out from the journey. With almost a smug look on herself, pleased as everything that she'd traveled so far, she stuck her leg out with a letter attached with a pink ribbon.
Hanging up his jacket on the nearby coat rack he said, "Well, you did well." The owl's eyes followed his every move. "What did you do? Peck her hand until she answered?" The owl hooted quietly, sticking her leg out so he could untie the letter and receive the treat Sirius held out in his hand. He pet a finger down her chest and said, "Well done, Morgan."
Sirius unfolded the letter and smiled when he saw the sweet handwriting with the nearly perfect scroll. It wasn't a long letter, but at least as he scanned the page he saw the signature ending with a "Sincerely, Hermione". Something warm settled in the pit of his stomach as he sat down into the desk chair to read.
I will say I was surprised to see your beautiful owl swooping into my window offering a letter. She's quite stubborn, much like her owner, for she hooted from my owl's perch until I sat down to write you.
You said what you said, because a lot of it is true. I tell you this in confidence, of course, because I know that you're not going to run out and discuss my issues with the entire town. You said many things that night that did hit the nail on the head, some things a bit out of line, but that is to be expected coming from you. It was good to ruffle my feathers for a change, but please let's not make that a habit. I'll behave as well as I see fit, if you just learn to keep your tongue quiet.
I won't go on what I think about in this letter, for this is the first of a couple I might send your way just for correspondence sake. At least I can't hex you from here if you say something off color. Speak soon.
Sirius folded the letter in half and laid it in a tray that sat on his desk. For a moment he just stared at it, the way her handwritten script looked on the pale pink parchment, written by the favorite quill she spoke of when they met up again at the Leaky Cauldron. He smiled to himself content to know that he didn't scar her. Of course, dressed as fine as she was down to her French manicured tips, it was just her way of asking for it.
I am good at ruffling feathers, so keep that in mind. It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks and a leopard can't change its spots. I'll do my best to warn you when I throw the grenade after I've pulled the pin.
Saw a book in the shop that I wanted to get your opinion on and if you haven't read the book, lie to me. Please, whatever you do, don't tell me that you haven't been to the bookstore in over a month as this will deeply scar my idea of you for life. Anyway, the book is called, "Finding the Magical Purpose," and it's written by Ceilia Hammersmith. It delves into the different levels of Karma and approaches life from a cynical approach. I'm eager to hear what you think and eager to hear how you are in the North Pole.
The shops of Diagon Alley were busier than normal. Small children clung close to their mothers as they weaved through the sea of eager shoppers trying to partake in their own contribution to the wizarding economy. The season was well into spring, allowing people to shed their scarves and heavy cloaks. Fresh flowers were in bloom and several shops sold exotic odd hybrids outside of their store fronts in order to attract passers-by. Snapping sounds and the occasional firework could be seen and heard vacating the brightly painted store advertising the Weasley's Joke Shop that was along the path towards Gringotts.
Sirius was passing the Quidditch sports store when his eye caught the newest Chudley Canons jersey displayed in the front window next to a broom. It was enough for him to stop in, out of sheer curiosity, but mostly it was to see if there was anything interesting that he might be able to pick up for Harry.
As he stepped inside the colorful shop that was a hooligan's dream he was taken aback with banners soaring to the ceiling, flags waving freely and small statues of certain team players having to be separated due to fighting and put into small boxes. The wireless in the shop blared different fight songs throughout the store and a few teenagers were falling in love with the flashing posters of players riding on their brooms.
"Something I can help you with, Mr. Black?" said the shopkeeper.
Though Sirius did not know the man, he displayed no surprise when his name was heard. Thanks to the nearly weekly column of Sirius's whereabouts in the Daily Prophet, he would be more amazed if there was someone who didn't know who he was. One could only hope for the future generation.
"I'm just looking, really. I'll let you know," he said nodding politely.
"Absolutely, I'm here," he waved with a spring in his step, pleased to be speaking freely to a celebrity. "Do you have a favorite team, sir? Canons?"
"Ah, not particularly. I know that's wrong to say," Sirius smiled, glancing to the brooding poster of some angry Irishman shaking his fist as he rode his broom. "What about...Bulgaria?"
"Ah, the Vratsa Vultures are very hot right now. They just played in Tokyo the night before last and won! Swift mover that Lorski; really gets the blood going as a spectator. Hooligans go absolutely insane when he plays." The shopkeeper carried on, believing that Sirius was something of a fan. Whereas Sirius couldn't bring himself to actually stop him, once the short man started his rant.
"Not seen a game live, actually," Sirius finally got in, just in time to see the shopkeeper's face fall. "I'm just friends with one of the wives of the team." Sliding his hands nervously into his pockets, Sirius carried on browsing, his attention grabbed by small statues of the players. They all stood stiff, alert and very smug as they were being surveyed.
"Well, you're missing out," the shopkeeper said somberly. "However, the Quidditch wives are their own personal team, if you ask me. All of them are truly beautiful women. Exotic, too. The Bulgarians seem to have a knack of attracting women from all over the world - including Iceland. Of course, Viktor Krum is the only one that's married to an English woman."
Sirius allowed the man to carry on, but then jumped at the window of opportunity when a group of young children came in and wanted to touch all the brooms currently displayed just out of their grasp. This distracted the shopkeeper enough for Sirius to quickly pay for a new Chudley Canon's jersey for Harry and be out the door on his way.
As he Apparated home, it dawned on him that the reason his owl had taken longer than usual was because she had to travel to Tokyo to deliver the letter. Thinking to himself as he eyeballed the normal mouse-flavored owl treats he always gave to Morgan, he made himself a reminder that he would go out and get the top of the line treats for her, for traveling such a great distance for him.
Never have I felt so tall! We're just leaving Japan now. We won, enough said. This country was beautiful, rich in history; never want to live here, though.
Your book you mentioned, I have read it. Many times. Its eye opening and it has kept me company at times when I pondered what the next step in life is. It helped me answer a few lingering questions and maybe, it'll help you. Odd pick up for someone like you. Are you searching for answers from your afterlife? Just kidding.
I will be in London for my father's birthday next week. Care to meet me for afternoon tea (not a pint, tea!) on Wednesday? Not sure if our owls will correspond in time, so I will be at The Capital on Basil Street about 1pm.
Sirius loved the feeling of the wind in his hair when free of a coat, hat and scarf. He felt truly alive and adventurous, even if he was now responsible enough to stick out his arm to indicate which direction he was turning, whereas in his youth it was always a matter of chance, or arrogance rather. The day was overcast, but not raining as he made his way further into London, passing Harrods Department Store on his left hand side.
Tourists were scattered over the sidewalk like herds of cattle moving amongst the grass, occupying every open space for walkers as they took turns taking pictures out in front of the famous store. Locals pulled up their collars, plugged in their iPods and walked the sidewalks alongside of them, weaving and bobbing throughout the hordes of onlookers that still looked the wrong way when crossing the street.
Sirius managed to find a good parking spot for his motorcycle and stepped off of it like a cowboy climbing off his horse after a long ride. He charmed a locking spell from the wand hidden in his pants pocket, making the motorbike weight approximately three tons, should anyone try and steal it. Of course, if anyone was eager enough to take it, Sirius probably would have caught them in the act as they tried to ride off at less than half a mile per hour, pulling its now true weight. Should that fail, the exploding seat was always a winner and he'd only managed to see that erupt once when some cocky teenager thought it a good idea to try and ride it off into the sunset. Poor bloke wasn't able to sit down for at least three weeks, from what he heard.
Sirius dusted off his jeans and rolled up the sleeves of his shirt. He flexed his forearms as he walked, pulling the fold over the other as he duplicated the other sleeve. Running a hand through his tousled hair, he smoothed out his thin beard stubble, making sure he looked tidy enough for The Capital.
He walked up the stairs into the lobby of the pretty hotel and tea shop, having the door opened for him by the doorman standing straight and proud like a Yeoman Warden at the Tower of London. Nodding to the man, Sirius stepped in and looked around the lavish accommodations when he saw the afternoon tea seating area. He walked towards the small tables, his boots clicking on the marble floor below him, and immediately trying to muffle the sounds echoing off the walls in the lobby. Tables were draped in white linens and biscuit plates were set out where an array of pastries was pleasantly displayed on the counters along the walls. Sofas and comfortable chairs were by the windows for those having tea alone.
Sirius stuck his head around a corner where another small alcove of seating was and saw Hermione sitting by three other empty chairs. Her tea and biscuit were on the table next to her. She appeared like a perfect little debutante: ankles crossed, lilac dress with matching shrug, the sides of her hair swept up in barrettes and on the floor next to her was an enormous purse you could fit a small dog into. Her face was angelic, light make-up and her skin radiated perfection. As he observed her for a few moments longer, he watched as she broke the character she had become by lifting a finger to her lip and gently nibbled. Sirius couldn't help but smile to himself. All the stylists in the world couldn't stop a habit like biting your nails.
A few more steps in and Sirius gave himself away by the clicking of his boots. Hermione glanced up, locked eyes and grinned. She set her book aside and stood to greet him with a cordial hug and chaste kiss on the cheek.
"So glad you came to meet me. I wasn't sure if your owl would have made it back in time." Hermione sat down, smoothing out her dress and immediately crossing her ankles and keeping her back straight, as if she were being interviewed.
"She got back yesterday; she makes very good time," he said sitting down in the plush chair across from her. A waiter came over to offer him tea, to which Sirius replied, "Just black, no thrills." The waiter nodded and left to retrieve Sirius's choice.
"You know, they have quite a variety if you wanted-"
"I've been here many times...as a boy. My Uncle Alphard took me. Mum couldn't stand the muggle establishments, but Uncle Alphard really liked their chocolate biscuits the best. Of course, they've done a bit of renovations, since then, "he said looking about the room at the updated decor that had since changed since the seventies. "I'm boring when it comes to tea."
Hermione smiled, tilting her head sincerely for her friendly company. When she first looked up, plucking herself from her fiction world, her heart fluttered just enough to be elated by his arrival. Too brief to have noticed, she licked her lips nervously after their customary embrace for his cologne was somewhat alluring and it caught her incredibly off guard. Slightly ashamed of herself, Hermione was not prepared for him to have looked the way he did. A hasty glance allotted her just enough time to grant herself a subtle approval of her secret turn on: forearms.
His forearms were among the nicest that she'd noticed, even nicer than Viktor's. Some women preferred nice shoulders, or legs, or thighs, but for the once bushy haired girl it was the forearm. Sirius's, as she noticed, appeared strong and nicely tanned with just a bit of veiny muscle pulsing through as he'd shift in his chair, scratch his arm or gesture with his hands. Her eyes followed along his forearms down to his hands and she watched carefully as he reached up to the collar of his shirt to adjust it, in order to keep his Azkaban tattoo out of sight.
Clearing his throat, he started, "Hermione, I want to apologize for our last conversation in person-"
Hermione held up a hand to stop him in mid sentence. She closed her eyes and shook her head, "No. Nothing more."
Giving a half grin and a stern stare, indicating that he wasn't to continue, Sirius complied. Hermione rested her hand on the handle of her cup and lifted her steaming tea to her lips; her eyes remained on Sirius with the silent threat that she could hex him, should he say anything further.
Their afternoon tea went on until after three-thirty. Sirius went on discussing the book he had just purchased, as Hermione elaborated on her views of the contents. They both got very long winded on theories of the afterlife, Sirius having been there, along with topics on reincarnation and the path beyond. They learned that their spiritual views were well matched and in agreement, whereas these days provoking thoughts of a different nature were considered taboo and not acceptable for everyday conversation. They both swore to keep their secrets.
Time had escaped them like a mistress dashing out the backdoor and neither one of them had bothered to glance at the time. It wasn't until the afternoon waiter came over to inquire on their comfort.
The young man with the black vest, probably a few years older than Hermione, cleared his throat to gain their attention. "Do you need me to prepare dinner reservations for the two of you at a restaurant nearby?"
"Oh golly, is it that late already?" Hermione asked. She immediately shook her as if releasing herself from a trance she allowed herself to be swept up in with the handsome older wizard sitting across from her. Gathering her things that were scattered around her, she craned her neck to see the clock on the building across the street. "Blimey, it's nearly four! I can't believe it, Viktor will be-"
"Ah, no, thank you. We're fine," Sirius advised the waiter with a polite nod.
As if someone had cast a fast forward spell on her, Hermione hurried herself into stacking books, collecting her notepad and tucking them into a slim briefcase nearby. She hoisted up her designer bag over her shoulder, pulled her sunglasses from it and paused to say good-bye to her afternoon companion.
"Sirius, I'm sorry to have to do this to you, but I think I'm going to be late," she stressed, trying to make sure she had collected all her items around her. She felt like a mini hurricane had briefly whirled her world and then it hit her; she stilled. Her eyes met Sirius's as if just finding him in the midst of the fury and sighed, "I'm sorry."
He couldn't help but smile at her pretty face, for when she tilted her chin just so, there was a glimmer of the young girl he once knew. However, the intoxicating scent of her perfume reminded him that a stunning grown woman sat in her place and if he didn't check himself, she would notice he was checking her out like a another prospect. He quickly averted his eyes, created business by double checking the placement of his wand and flipped his hair behind his shoulders.
He offered a friendly smirk, "its fine, love. You have obligations...you have a husband to run to."
"Actually, I have a dinner meeting to go to," she corrected, catching his quip. "Viktor isn't here in London with me. He and my father don't really get along, so it was best he stayed home. I do, however, need to Floo him before I go into this meeting tonight, so... I know, boring stuff for you."
Sirius feigned interest, "No, no, I find the life of a Quidditch player as fascinating as watching grass grow! Honest!"
When she flashed Sirius a smile, keen on the tease, she caught a flicker of something that up until this point, she had pushed away. It was a glimmer of attraction. A miniscule moment of weakness for a man she once harbored a crush on when she was freshly fifteen. But, as a married woman, she shrugged it off and thought no more of it.
With her things gathered, Sirius followed suit and smiled politely as he held his hand out for her to leave first. She walked passed him, clutching her purse and briefcase and clicked her shoes along with him as they walked together towards the front doors. Ever the gentleman, Sirius waved off the doorman from his purpose and reached over to hold the door open for Hermione.
With a polite nod, she stepped through the doorway and spun on her heel to face him again. She flipped her hair free over her shoulders, slipped on her sunglasses and said, "Thank you for meeting me, Sirius. I really enjoyed my afternoon."
"I did as well, thank you for the invitation," he replied while sliding a hand into his pocket. "When are you coming back to London to visit, again?" Though he tried to play cool, Sirius immediately felt like a teenage boy kicking the ground, not wanting to say good-bye to the pretty witch. It was hard to admit, but he found himself comfortable with her and it was almost a shame that she needed to run off.
"I really don't know, to be honest. My schedule is really-"
"-all about Viktor, yes, I know."
"Sirius, please don't," she pleaded kindly. Their afternoon had gone rather smoothly and she didn't need to heat it up at its end.
"I know, I know, I apologize. I'll try to bite my tongue around you, more often."
She gave him a slight pout and clutched the handle of her bag tighter, "Have a good night, Sirius. Be careful on that motorbike." Without another word, she turned around and walked down the sidewalk in the opposite direction.
Sirius murmured a good-bye, somewhat stubbornly, but managed to sound like a mature adult, rather than a petulant child. He continued to stare at the sidewalk, deep in the thought that one of the most beautiful witches had just left his company. It was wrong, it was pathetic, and it was almost a cruel game to play, because he had caught a certain look from her. He noticed how she glanced his way when she thought he was preoccupied with something, or how he'd noticed more than once that she shamelessly looked him over, at least twice in their afternoon tea. It was her eyes, but then the soft skin of her cheek and over those lips...Merlin's Beard, those lips...
"And Sirius?" The piercing sound of his name from her voice seized him and he immediately spun around to see her smiling, now halfway down the sidewalk, as she added, "Keep writing, yeah?"
"I will," he said with a slight nod and watched her disappear down the stairs beneath the Underground sign.
The Ministry of Magic was bustling at one o'clock in the afternoon on a Thursday. Fireplaces to his left ignited with green flames as later commuters walked out of them one right after the other. The fountain in the center of the main lobby of the Ministry was currently being drained and the galleons and sickles taken from it, preparing for their annual donation to St. Mungos Children's Ward. Cleaners that worked feverishly were supervised by Ministry officials that stood by watching them carefully, as well as guarding the large barrel that contained all the gathered money. Waving to one of the officials that stood guard, Sirius walked over and smiled politely.
"Ah, hello, Mr. Black. Pleasant morning, yes?" the short balding man asked for small talk. He was still trying to keep an eye on the cleaners and be courteous to the wizarding world's best known (pardoned) convict.
"Good morning, yes. May I?" Sirius asked as he removed his wallet from his inner jacket pocket and took out what remaining money he had in it. He dropped it into the barrel and nodded to the man for a good day.
Sirius had come to the Ministry to meet Harry, the head Auror, for lunch. It wasn't every day that he was convinced to go to the Ministry willingly, but his godson had tempted him with out-of-this-world curry from a shop that had just opened up around the corner. Not being able to pass up a proper curry, Sirius agreed to meet him.
Along the way to the elevators, a news agent waved the Daily Prophet in his hands shouting something along the lines of Dumbledore's newest recruit as a successor to Hogwarts. Sirius stood by an old wooden stand that was lined with almost two dozen or so different publications. The moving ones were obviously wizarding world produced, where the static covers were from the muggle world. It was apparent that many witches enjoyed catching up on the gossip of David & Victoria Beckham as they had their lunch.
Stopping to second glance a cover, Sirius moved on out of the crowd of afternoon businessmen, now standing closer to the news stand. On the cover of Witch Weekly was a picture of ten very beautiful women, all dressed proper in form fitting dresses, their hair blowing about them in the wind with flawless make-up. They stood side by side, glancing around at the other witches standing next to them, all competing for the viewer's sole attention. The second from the left, the one in the red knees-length dress was Hermione. Knowing what the young woman was like, made her stand out of place amongst these women. However, a closer look would reveal that she fit in with their "look" and it seemed to come quite naturally to her, coached or not. The lower left-hand corner of the magazine cover read in bold print: Vulture's Vixens.
Sirius felt a chuckle erupt in his throat, enough so that he rooted around for excess change in his pocket to purchase the magazine. He managed the exact amount, paid the news agent and carried on his way to the overfilled elevators to find Harry's floor.
Their lunch was satisfactory, according to Sirius's Indian taste buds, but the conversation with his favorite person was better than expected. They were halfway through their meal and already they were up to date on the personal day's events, Molly's latest rants and the final insider's tip on the Weasley's joke shop and where it faired on the market (seeing as Sirius remained a private investor, holding a great interest in the men's' future, along with the prospect of seeing some of he and James's ideas come to light).
While stealing the last piece of naan bread and dipping it in mango chutney, Sirius pulled out the magazine her purchased from the inside of his jacket pocket.
"Sirius, I don't know what to think with you pulling out a magazine like that out of your coat," Harry chuckled, stuffing his mouth with a piece of seasoned chicken.
"Sod off, boy," Sirius said, flipping through the pages until he stopped on two of the photos that featured their friend. The two men looked it over as she smiled and laughed at the two of them from the portrait, while occasionally pulling down her sunglasses and spinning around, letting her light brown locks fly around her.
"What do you want me to say, mate? I haven't got an opinion on it, anymore. She made her choice, she married a Quidditch bloke and now she's never home. I miss her, yeah. I know Ron still gets a little sad whenever she's off having her life, but we can't keep holding onto the past."
Sirius's mouth dropped open, quirking his left eyebrow up as if Harry had just said something most disturbing. In an instant, he rolled up the magazine and gave his godson a proper hard swat on the side of his head that sounded like he'd just killed a fly. "You git, I'm not talking about that! I'm talking about this! The hair, the make-up, the clothes...she was never like this! She's beautiful without that stuff," he said, waving his finger all over the presentation as if frighten of the image flashing her pearly white teeth at them flirtatiously. "What happened to the know-it-all that was smart and clever? Where's the level-headed girl with bushy hair and quick curt answers to drive us all mad? This- This- this isn't her."
"Sirius, I agree," Harry said exasperated; he'd had this same conversation with many others. "She's not the same Hermione and unfortunately, we have to accept this. When she first dated Viktor, it wasn't really this extreme, but you could see that she was secretly dazzled by the gifts and the money. Not to mention, he is technically her first love." The wise one sat back in his chair and swigged his Indian beer, offering his godfather a sympathetic head tilt that he was just seeing this tainted light only now.
"Yes, you do," Sirius was quick to quip. He closed the magazine in disgust, unable to handle the flirty glances her picture kept giving him. It was already enough to drive a man insane with the way she would bat her eyes, lick her lips and flip her hair over her shoulder... Sirius, snap out of it! "How long has she been married, again?"
"Just over three years, now. They got married about a year before you dropped back in," Harry said, trying to recollect the exact time. He leaned forward on his elbows to share his conversation. "They made it a year, before he asked her to marry him. Moved a little quick, if you ask me."
Sirius feigned disinterest, but it was hard to ignore the girl entirely as she smiled and twirled for the viewer. Though she told the story of a happy, having-it-all kind of girl, the Dog Star namesake couldn't help but wonder if she was really have a good time. Spending only a few more seconds lingering over the way her dress pulled tightly across her bosom in the picture, he rolled the magazine back up and slipped it back into the inside of his jacket.