Here is a bar. At it is a girl, late teens - ? - dressed in wide bands of black silk tied ragged edge to ragged edge in a neat pattern. There's a small owl on her shoulder and a stack of napkins at her elbow and she's nursing a cup of something steaming and spicy.
He rolls his eyes. "But that rules out more or less his whole dating pool."
"Alas, wizards cannot so much try online dating."
He snickers. "It's tragic. And the lonely hearts mailing lists have been out of vogue since the eighties."
"Should I be keeping a lookout for a certain type or anything? I mean, I'm usually hanging out in your basement, and therefore not meeting people to set folks up with, but I was planning to make time to volunteer at miscellaneous schools and pat large quantities of children on the head."
"That is astonishingly sensible," David says. "I am absolutely horrified that we're not doing that already."
"I know, right? It's easier to find opportunities at home because my mother's a kindergarten teacher, but it's not actually that hard to find a way to volunteer at a school and shake hands with the little kids and it should already be being done, more comprehensively than I can personally pull off. I was six when I had decently wieldable magic! I and everybody around me is really lucky that I had an unshakable sense of morality when I was fucking six! That my mom made weird friends who knew people who knew people who knew actual wizards and I didn't have to self-teach!"
He gets up to find a Post-It. "Idiot."
He scribbles himself a note in his very pretty cursive and flops back onto his couch, looking more disgruntled than bohemian.
"Yeah, involving them is a good idea as long as they know where to forward a kid with a bigger talent than they've got. I can provide advice on how to seem like a good school volunteer. It involves giving the teachers cookies and smiling until your face hurts."
He does not seem delighted at the prospect of forwarding a young talent to the Council, but perhaps that's latent hatred of some other monolithic cabal of elderly fascists burning behind his eyes.
"Well, if Harry - or you - are prepared to take on more apprentices that's all to the good, I suppose, but I'd sooner not hand the kids directly to the council. My teacher was good, I sent her the one miniwizard I found."
"We'd forward them to various other practitioners who are more competent to take on students, yes; Luciozzi springs to mind, for instance, being a relative moderate and apparently having more free time than he knows what to do with. The Council was mentioned in case someone thinks Harry eats babies, which is an opinion that has been known to occur."
"Had you run into this opinion before? I'd almost be surprised if you hadn't, really."
"I mean, yes, but while it's not outside the realm of possibility that there are evil warlocks who also put themselves in the phone book under 'wizard' and underprice their services and... act like Harry... it's not the most conservative hypothesis ever and the White Council is itself."
He grins. "It is indeed."
"I've avoided tangling with them so far, but..." Shrug.
"Mm. Are you registered? Officially, I'm a generalist of rather pathetic talent, which was an acting job and a half, let me tell you."
"I'm registered. I was six and it didn't even occur to me to throw the tests."
He winces. "My condolences. Do you have to attend the meetings?"
"Of course not, I have a horrible disability which would qualify me for a free universal-public-healthcare wheelchair in a civilized country and definitely means I can't be expected to pick up and haul via woefully inaccessible transit whenever the council says jump."
"I see, I see. Harry will very considerately not offer to take you through the Ways next time they drag him to Shanghai."
"The Ways are very out of compliance with the ADA."
"I could see that. The ramps are very poorly maintained, and there are sometimes a lot of flashing lights. Especially when Harry is around."