It was Easter Sunday and much of the parish was in attendance in the tiny church located in the highlands of Scotland. After the Vicar's sermons the crowd quickly dispersed including the family of the last Vicar, Robert McGonagall Sr. Vicar McGonagall was still fondly remembered by the local church going populace. It was a shame he'd passed away some six years ago from a fierce ache in his chest.
His widow, Isobel McGonagall still lived in the village of Caithness with her two sons and their families; the eldest being named after his father, Robert, and the youngest, Malcolm. The oldest child, a daughter, Minerva McGonagall was a professor at her mother's old posh boarding school. Still unwed, which was a tragedy and a complete oversight in the villager's opinion.
The villagers chatter as they make their way down the road back towards the village down below. The usual paths taken through the grass are avoided as the grass is rather muddy. It had been raining somewhat fierce the day before but thankfully the sun was out on this Sunday afternoon. With the sun shining so warmly most of the mud is bound to dry up.
That being said it was the highlands, one day it was sunny, the next day it was cold and wet, and the following day it was snowing. There is a very good Scottish saying, "Cast not a clout till May be oot." In other words, the Scotland highlands weather is often quite unpredictable.
A group of gossiping elderly women chattered loudly in a group as they walk back down the road, the local village gossips so to speak. They were either spinsters or widows with not much else to do. One of the women with her hair done up in wispy curls eagerly points at a dark-haired stranger making their way across the outskirts of the village.
The women instantly begin to chatter and speculate, who on earth the stranger could be? They didn't have to speculate long when they saw the stranger making his way towards the home of the McGonagall's. The two brothers lived in houses side by side of each other with their mother living next to them in her marriage home.
One of the elderly women with a rather large mole on her chin says, "Well, that's new. I don't suppose you think, he's come a courting McGonagall's widow, do you, Mary?"
Mary, the elderly woman with wispy curls shakes her head in the most definitive fashion. "He's far too young for her, Margaret. A cousin, perhaps?"
"Aye, that must be it," Margaret wisely concluded in agreement.
Nevertheless, the group holds a speculative gleam in their eyes, no doubt intending to stop by for tea with Isobel later in the week to further inquire about the identity of the stranger. Satisfied, there was something of interest to do during the week, the women return to gossiping about the latest scandal in the village. Apparently, Farmer Brown had been caught stealing chickens from Farmer Owens. The constable had gotten involved and now, Farmer Brown was to be forced to return the chickens and pay a rather hefty fine.
The middle-aged wizard in his forties nervously pats down his slicked-back hair that only caused his widow's peak to become that much more prominent. Elphinstone Urquart checks himself for the sixteenth time that his clothes are still clean of mud and unwrinkled. Making sure he has a firm hold on the bouquet of flowers in his hand and the bowl of potato salad that he'd been asked to bring in the other, he takes a deep breath, before marching up the steps of the cottage.
However, before he can knock on the cottage door, the door swings open to reveal a pretty little lass with golden, reddish hair. The eight-year-old girl has a crown of flowers in her hair and is wearing her Sunday best dress. Smiling the girl says, "So you're the fellow that's courting, Aunt Minnie?"
Elphinstone flushes, but before he can speak, a woman's voice shouts, "Morag, what did I just say about manners?!"
The girl named Morag wrinkles her nose at her mother and flashes Elphinstone a cheeky smile, before skipping back towards her mother, a golden, reddish haired woman. The woman is flushed pink in embarrassment as she dries her hands on her apron. "Pardon me, I was just washing my hands, when that little minx, my daughter rushed ahead of me to answer the door," the woman apologized as she extended her hand in greeting, before flushing again embarrassment.
"Oh goodness, me," the woman muttered again in embarrassment. "Just where are my manners? I apologize, I am Evie McGonagall, Malcolm's wife, and you must be Mr. Urquart. Minerva has written to us so much about you."
"She has?" Elphinstone said with a gleam of delight in his eyes.
Evie McGonagall nods her head and holds out her hands to take the bowl of potato salad from the wizard. Elphinstone carefully hands the bowl over and says, "I don't know how good it will taste, but I tried."
"It will be delicious, no doubt," Evie murmured. "Now please head on outright down the hallway and out the backdoor. They're already set everything up outside since we're having such lovely weather today."
"Er, yes, thank you," Elphinstone said, before making his way down the hall. He slowly took in the fact that the cottage is mostly muggle styled with no wizarding portraits visible out in the open. But he already knew that the father of his beloved Minerva was a muggle.
Still carrying his bouquet of flowers, Elphinstone emerges into the warm shining sun to see an open pavilion tent set up over the long dining table that had been set out on a patch of dried grass. There are two seated men along with an older silver-haired woman watching the children running around in laughter.
There are two more golden, reddish haired children. One is a boy that looks roughly around five years old, while a little girl looks to be about three years old. The two children chase each other around with a third dark-haired boy chasing after them. Said child, is roughly three years old, and greatly resembles the youngest McGonagall brother, Robert Jr.
Beyond them standing is a dark-haired woman, no doubt the wife of Robert Jr. The young witch is rocking a one-year-old toddler to sleep. The little girl is yawning loudly but is clearly putting up a fight refusing to take a nap. Still, the young woman continues to rock her youngest causing the little girl's eyes to flutter open and shut.
Overall, it was a picturesque scene, which Elphinstone would one day love to be a part of. He had been an only child having been born to his parents in their older years. They'd both since passed away some ten odd years ago. And though he did indeed have cousins still living, they all were quite older than him or estranged due to living on the northern European continent.