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Oct. 18th, 2006 | 05:08 pm
location: LONDON la!la!la!
mood: weirdIn a GREEN state of mind
music: quiet household

i did it.
i made it to London...
and i'm sitting in my GREEN SUITE here at cissa's.
*weirded out stare sweeping room*
"green" doesn't even cover it.... i feel like i am residing in Hotel de Verde.
If i am not mistaken, the porcelain in the damn LOO is also a profane shade of green.....
*makes note to self: not exactly the best backdrop for a hangover.*

i am pretty bored at the moment...i wonder where my kiddo is? haven't seen her since we settled in.
probably has found herself a nice mudpuddle to pounce in. muddy footprints would look charming on the white shag in cissa's parlor.....

so what do i do with myself now that i am living in the lap of luxury?
*throws self upon flouncy bright green bedspread and knocks over several dozen assorted green pillows*

eat a meal? read a book? do i unpack?
*curls lip at mountain of luggage and boxes*
nahhhh. leave that job for that for narcissa's snivelous excuse of a house elf to deal with. damn little twit thinks he rules the roost here.
*makes mental note to self: read "101 ways to antagonize a house elf*

i am not going to sit around here and collect dust like some museum piece...i think i am going out to celebrate my arrival. i'm going shopping.
yes! shopping will be splendid! i am going to buy myself a "welcome to civilization" present....
and charge it to narcissa's account.
*grabs lightweight coat and heads for door*

(want to see what andie ends up purchasing??? clicky the linky)

Andromeda stepped out of her sister's London home and onto the busy afternoon street. She had shopping on her mind and no one but nothing could stop her. Narcissa's money was burning a hole in her pocket.

She made her way down the bustling street, lightly jostled by passersbys that seemed to have their own agendas. She passed several clothing boutiques and many jewelry stores, but for some reason nothing was really striking her fancy. A darling little four carat emerald and diamond ring caught her eye in a window and she stopped to look it over. But then a ruby neclace set in gold filligree sparkled in the sun and her attention shifted in the same direction. Her eyes kept wandering from necklace to bracelet to ring, but nothing was really calling her name.

She sighed aloud. Jewelry was really not what she was looking for. Other than doing a bit of damage to Narcissa's overflowing bank vaults, Andie did not see the need to own such frippery. She wanted something that was going to make her day. She wanted some excitement, something that titilated her.

A frumpy business man in a frumpy suitcoat bumped into her and apologetically made eye contact. In his hand was a copy of the most recent issue of "Horse and Hound".
Suddenly Andie had a light bulb moment and she smiled brightly at the businessman, who nearly choked at the thought of scoring a tall redhead. When she started walking towards him he nearly coughed up a lung, but she whisked by him and made her way ambitiously along the sidewalk. A half hour later she found herself at a riding stable in London's famous Hyde Park.

Horses. Beautiful, racy, built for speed steeds.

Horses were something she knew well. Growing up wealthy did have it's advantages, and horses were considered a right of status. Her childhood was spent competing in all types of horse events bringing home ribbons and trophies and mudcovered riding britches. She spent hours at the riding academy stable taking lessons and drinking in the equestrian lifestyle. She loved every moment, every sensation every smell. Being in the barn was bliss. There was no place she would have rather been than reading equestrian magazines on a pile of hay or out in the ring on the back of some pony trotting out dressage exercises or jumping standards. Nothing made her happier. Until boys entered the picture.

Somewhere in her teens the male gender wheedled their way into heart and slowly took the place of her fuzzy coated friends and she traded in her soft nosed ponies for lovenotes and stolen kisses behind school hedges. By the time she was ready for university, the horse world was long forgotten. Then of course Ted entered the picture and university was also forgotten.

Ugh! she crinkled her nose, Ted... she erased his visage from her immediate thoughts and breathed in the heady aroma of horseflesh, oiled leather and hay. It was time to right a wrong. She was getting herself a horse.

She looked intently around the stable area. There were palaminoes and buckskins and pintos. Thoroughbreds and warmbloods... mares and geldings. So many animals! She kept turning this way and that, heading towards one stall, and then seeing the bright eye of another animal and heading towards that one instead. Slightly overwhelmed, she stopped in the barn aisle and crossed her arms. She needed help. And he just so happened to be standing right behind her.

"Is there something I can help you with Madam?" a definitively male voice floated to her ears.

Shaken from her musings, Andromeda spun round, her striking red hair flying out in a fan behind her and falling short on her opposite shoulder when she stopped and looked up. She found herself staring at the most intriguing speciman of a man she had seen in ages. Tall and dark haired, he was not exactly what one would call classic handsome, but his ebony eyes had an intellectual twinkle and his shoulder length black hair was quite attractive. He definitely had his own allure. And a definite charm... his grin was quite fetching. And the tight riding britches certainly helped too.

Andie found her voice. "With whom would I speak to about purchasing a horse?" A second thought entered her mind along with the image of a certain six year old mud magnet and she added, "And a pony. I need a horse and a pony."

"You would be speaking to that person madam." O.k. and his voice... add the voice to his list of charms.

"My name is Noah." Observing Andie's non-equestrian attire he continued rather smoothly, "Are you looking to view some animals now, or make an appointment for a later..."

"Now please." Andromeda did not want to wait. "Lets start with the ponies." She gave Mr. Ridley a determined stare, then stepped by him, heading down the barn aisle.

Ridley coughed to hide the grin. "Madam, the animals you wish to see are this way," He pointed in the opposite direction.

Andromeda stopped short and pivoted to face him. She straightened her already aligned overcoat to avoid his amused look as she strode by him.

"Hurry up. I don't have all day."

His amusement doubled as he caught up to Andromeda's gait and fell in alongside her, leading her to the pony pens.

In a matter of minutes Andie was perusing several wonderful ponies of various breeds and sizes. A sweet tempered Norweigan Fjord caught her eye. As did a fiery Icelandic gelding. The more ponies that were trotted before her the more befuddled she became. Too many to chose from. She had no idea what type of pony her daughter would want. She shook her head in frustration. She was getting nothing accomplished today. NOTHING.

Noah Ridley read her mind. "It seems to me that a rider should pick his own mount. Choosing for another is very hard, especially if you do not know what type of animal the rider wants. Why don't you let the child pick out his own pony?"

"HER pony. The child is a she." Tonks was just going to have to come try out her own pony. "So lets have a stab at the horses, shall we?"

"And what breed of horse do you wish to purchase Miss..." he faltered a bit, as Andie never did relay her name.

"Black. Andromeda Black" she informed him, and was moderately taken aback as his attractive face slightly blanched. She forgot that her name caused somewhat of a stir in certain circles. She had been in bourgeois hell for far too long.

"I want a durable mount." she answered his other question. " Something that will ride like a locomotive and still have refinement in stature. Something with endurance. And big. It has to be big. I want to feel power between my legs." This time she enjoyed the blanching. "Do you have such an animal?"

He regained composure beautifully. "As a matter of fact, we have several."

This time she waited for him to lead the way, following him to a few paddocks at the far end of the stable area.

"Are you an instructor here Mr. Ridley?" Might as well make conversation with the man, because it was sure hard as hell to keep her gaze off his bottom in those britches. It was like they were painted on. His bum was adorable. She struggled to make smalltalk. "There may be a chance that I will be looking for lessons for my daughter."

"I do instruct madam. But not children. My specialty is jumping... mainly endurance riding, for adults. Aaaah... here we are." He brought her alongside a large paddock with a beautiful grey arab gelding. "And this is Aladair. Champion bloodlines, perfect..."

She took one quick look at the horse and interrupted him yet again. "Too small. Arabs are too tiny. I was thinking warmblood." She registered his quick appreciative smile. Yes, she knew a thing or two about horses. Sure, arabs were great for endurance and speed, but she wanted height too. And power. Strength. Something with brawn and punch.

Slowly they made their way through several paddocks, the conversation generally revolving around "too small" or "too dumb". Andromeda managed to nix her way through several hundred thousand dollars of exquisite horseflesh. But Ridley was not giving up. Apparently he was making it his mission to give the customer what she wanted. Andromeda wondered if he was part of the package. The thought made her smirk.

Finally, they stopped along the farthest paddock on the property, and Ridley leaned against the whitewashed fence in defeat.

"Madam, I do believe you have turned down some of the finest horses in London." His eyes sparkled mischievously in Andie's direction. Apparently he didn't seem to mind the rejections too much. "But I know of several exceptional animals that will be shipped in at the end of the week. Warmbloods even." But Andromeda was not listening, her eyes were fixed on the paddock behind him.

"That horse. I want to see that horse right there." She pointed to a huge black muddy and unbrushed horse calmly munching over a pile of hay. His mane was a tangled mess and his tail was worse. Completely full of burrs. "What breed is that?"

Ridley turned around and groaned. "That," he announced rather disdainfully "is an abominable animal. You do not want to see that dreadful beast. He is incorrigible and not ridable. Trust me. He is more trouble than he is worth." But he was speaking to himself as Andromeda had already scrambled under the fence line and was heading towards the filthy creature.

"He is perfect." She breathed, eyes locked on the horse. "He is exactly what I want. He is gorgeous, and big and..." her words were cut short when the perfect beast laid eyes on her and went from docile to bastard in two seconds flat. He reared up so quickly and violently she fell onto her back in the muddy paddock. The horse then proceeded to buck and fart his way to the far end of his enclosure, where he pivoted to face them defiantly and paw the ground in disgust.

"ATROCIOUS" Ridley finished her sentence as he reached down a hand to help a muddied Andie back up.

"...without equal." She corrected him and allowed the riding instructor to yank her ungracefully from the muck.

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