A loud crunch broke the picturesque scene as Elphinstone realized he's stepped on a fallen twig causing everyone to turn their heads towards him. Knowing this was now or never, Elphinstone tries to hide his nerves and confidently strides forward. Which would have worked if he had not stepped into a hidden pothole and tripped forward onto his hand and knees.
Elphinstone feels the surge of sheer mortification on his face as there is a burst of laughter from the youngest McGonagall. "You sure know how to make a first impression, Urquart," Robert Jr. chortled, before earning a look of ire from his mother.
Elphinstone feels the twitch of a smile on his own face as the older brother, Malcolm, who had gotten out of his seat held out his hand to aid him to his feet. Accepting the offered hand, Elphinstone is pulled to his feet as Malcolm pulls out his wand and with a wave vanishes the mud stains. "That is a neat trick," Elphinstone commented as Malcolm flashed him a grin.
"It pays to have small children running about," Malcolm said. "It makes one incredibly proficient in the art of keeping a child clean."
Elphinstone hides a grin and solemnly says, "I can only imagine."
Walking over to the matriarch of the family, Elphinstone holds out his bouquet of slightly crushed flower. "For you, Madam McGonagall," Elphinstone said with a trace of embarrassment still clearly visible on his face.
"Thank you," Isobel McGonagall said as she accepted the somewhat crumpled bouquet of Peruvian Lilies. She quite liked the lovely, bright flowers. Her daughter must have made such a remark to the wizard in front of her.
Isobel is a slender woman much like her daughter with a sharp piercing gaze. But unlike her daughter there is certain creative or better said energetic gleam about her. After all, she had once upon a time been the Quidditch Captain of her house and had been recommended to become a brilliant Charm's masters. But alas, some things are not always meant to be.
Isobel's dark brown, silver-lined hair is neatly tucked in a smooth updo. Her grayish colored eyes are rather clear until she turns towards her daughter-in-law. "Freya, won't you be a dear and take the children inside to wash their hands?"
"It will be no trouble at all, Isobel," the dark-haired witch with light-colored eyes replied, before patiently shooing the children inside the house.
When the children are at last gone, Isobel gestures to the seat next to her. "Please have a seat, Mr. Urquart."
"Yes, Madam," Elphinstone obediently said as he took the seat next to the older witch.
Isobel carefully set down the bouquet of flowers, before solemnly turning towards Elphinstone Urquart. "Mr. Urquart, you have been seeing, my daughter for some time now. I wish to ask clearly, what are your intentions towards her?"
A dark flush crawls up Elphinstone's neck up towards his cheeks as even the McGonagall brothers are intently watching and waiting for his response. Feeling his mouth suddenly rather dry, Elphinstone licks his lips, and croaks, "I wish to marry her, Madam."
Isobel slowly nods her head, before saying, "However, Mr. Urquart are you aware that my daughter does not intend to abandon her position at Hogwarts not even for marriage? Can you live with such a compromise?"
"Yes," Elphinstone truthfully replied. "I'm told that married professors can live off of the grounds at Hogsmeade. I'd not mind relocating to Hogsmeade as I can still Floo to the Ministry."
Isobel thought as much as she delicately rests her hands together on her lap. "And what of children, Mr. Urquart?"
"I would not mind having one," Elphinstone admitted," but it is not a necessity."
"You must be certain of the matter, Mr. Urquart," Isobel plainly said. "I shall be blunt with you, young man. There was an accident when Minerva was younger that left her barren. She will never conceive any children in her lifetime."
Isobel paused to look Elphinstone straight in the eye. "If you cannot live with such an impasse, Mr. Urquart, I formally request that you abandon all pursuit of my daughter and never darken our doorsteps again."
Elphinstone straightens up and steadfastly replies, "Madam, I love your daughter. And though it indeed would be nice to have a child of our own, I fell in love with Minerva and not with her childbearing capabilities."
"Very well," Isobel finally said. "You have my approval, Mr. Urquart. But be warned should you hurt my daughter, I nor my children will rest until we seek an appropriate recompose."
"Of course, Madam," Elphinstone sincerely said. "And I'd allow it."
"Excellent," Isobel said as she rose to her feet. "I shall go and see if everything is finished in the kitchens. And Mr. Urquart-?"
"Yes?" Elphinstone instantly said.
"Please call me, Isobel," Isobel firmly requested. "Madam makes me feel rather old."
"Yes, Ma-, er, I mean, Isobel," Elphinstone hastily said.
Isobel left with the bouquet in her hand, no doubt to find a vase. The three men are silent until Isobel McGonagall disappeared into the cottage. The instant in which she disappeared; the two McGonagall brothers turned their equally piercing gazes towards Elphinstone.
"She's our only sister," Malcolm firmly said.
"Our elder sister in fact," Robert Jr. chimed in.
"And if you hurt her-."
"We'll kill you."
"Understood," Elphinstone answered in acute understanding.
"Good," both brothers' said, before grinning widely at him.
"So, Elphinstone," Robert Jr slowly said. "Do you fancy helping out a brother-in-law in seeking a position within the A.P.D. department?"
Malcolm rolls his eyes at his brother and says, "My apologies, Elphinstone. My younger brother has no tact. It must be the Gryffindor in him."
"None taken," Elphinstone said with a grin. "In fact, I'm a Gryffindor myself."
"I knew it!" Robert Jr. exclaimed with a smug grin. "I told you so, Mal."
Malcolm purses his lips and mutters, "Bloody Gryffindor's."
"You're just annoyed, because I was right, and you were wrong," Robert Jr. said with relish. "Poor Mal here for sure thought that you were a Ravenclaw like him."
"Aha," Elphinstone exclaimed. "Am I to take it that Malcolm here is the only Ravenclaw in the family?"
"No!" Malcolm grumbled. "My mother is one too."
"Well, good to note," Elphinstone wisely said.
Robert Jr. brazenly turns towards his older brother and says, "It would seem that the McGonagall's are still a strong Gryffindor family."
Malcolm rolls his eyes and says, "My wife is a Hufflepuff, but so is your wife, Robby. Ignoring Elphinstone here, at the moment it is a tie between Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, and Hufflepuff. Until Elphinstone formally joins the family, I won't have it said otherwise."
However, before the three men can continue to argue the merits of their house, the bouncy eight-year-old, Morag skips out of the house. Coming to a stop before them, she says, "Aunt Minnie's here. Mum says for the three of you to come inside and help carry out the food."