“Nice day fer it, innit?”
“Yeah, ain't got room to complain 'ere, mate.”
The two boys were stretched out on a rooftop, occasionally gazing down to look at the crowds below. Their position was surprisingly comfortable for them, being used to rooftops and other such high places. Neither boy was much to look at, dressed in tattered clothing and looking as though it had been a while since either had given themselves a good wash. Their names were the Artful Dodger and Gavroche, and they were quite happy in their companionable silence. The Artful Dodger looked down.
“When the hell are they meant to be showin' up anyways?” he asked Gavroche, who opened his eyes lazily to glance over at the top hatted boy. “Well?”
“How am I meant to know?” Gavroche answered with a shrug of his shoulders. “Don't keep with that Poppins woman schedule, keep to me own. Only here 'cause she comes lookin' if you don't show up,” he added, tucking his arms behind his head, and enjoying the warmth of the day.
“Right terror so she is,” the Artful Dodger agreed with an eye-roll. “Ain't even sure why she bothers with us all,” he added. With a haughty sniff, he continued. “Sure I ain't needin' no nanny. An' I 'pect you ain't needin' one neither, so why bother with us?” Gavroche rolled his eyes, and looked over at the Artful Dodger.
“'Cause she's Mary Poppins, an' bothering with us is what she does,” he said, with a shrug of his shoulders. He stood, and stretched, peering over the edge. “Speaking of... reckon we'd better get down before she starts with the yellin' again.” The Artful Dodger looked for himself.
“Reckon you're right there,” he agreed, making for their way down to the ground. If Mary Poppins knew of their little habit of waiting on rooftops, at least she didn't make a point of scolding them about it in front of the others.
“Jack Dawkins, Gavroche Thénardier,” Mary Poppins greeted the pair. “Would it be at all possible if, for one of our outings, you would each introduce yourselves to the concept of washing?” Just because she didn't scold them for hanging about on the rooftops did not mean that she didn't scold them for other matters.
“Ah, give over Mary P,” Jack Dawkins – the Artful Dodger - rubbed at his nose with his hand. “Enough of a time getting away from Fagin, so it is. Now you want me to add washing to that an' all?” Gavroche gave his own protests to add to the Dodger's, though both grew quiet under Mary Poppins' stern look.
“If we are quite finished?” She glanced at the pair, who nodded. “Very well then, usual places at the end of the line, and quick about it.” She stepped off, and the group followed. First there were Jane and Michael Banks, who kept their heads down as they past the urchin boys. Next was Charlie Bucket, who gave them both a grin as he past. Charlie was almost an urchin like them, but then a stroke of luck had him fall right in with that Wonka bloke. He never forgot where he came from though, unlike someone they could mention.
That someone? Annie Warbucks, next in line and annoyingly chipper.
It wouldn't be so bad, according to the Dodger and Gavroche, if Annie didn't try to force her chipper attitude on to everyone around her. There was only so much they could take, after all, and having a thing forced on you tended to make even the most accepting of people say no. Annie gave a bright smile and jaunty wave, which the Dodger mocking returned. Gavroche elbowed him hard, rolling his eyes. It was easy to see which of the two boys had the manners.
Behind Annie was Oliver, who gave the Dodger the grin of familiarity before scampering on. Following him was the smallest of the group, Matilda Wormwood. Gavroche and the Dodger fell into step behind Matilda, the Dodger loping an arm over the small girl's shoulders to give her a half hug.
“Cheer up, 'tilda,” he said, “Dodger's here to make your day somethin' special.”