(1937-09-18) The Barking of Dogs
Details for The Barking of Dogs
Summary: Niamh visits the Natrix Club, and bears first-hand witness to the tension between Inspector Gideon and Wolfgang Montague's family and organization.
Date: September 18, 1937
Location: Natrix Dance Hall

The Natrix Dance Hall, London

Formerly a restaurant and bar alone since 1850, this building has been remodeled and updated to also include a large dance floor and bandstand and stage. The restaurant still lives in that the white linen draped round tables positioned around the dance floor are catered to the best Saltimbocca dishes in England. The other regular Italian food fare is also deliciously found on the menus in the center of the table that are crystal plaques engraved and frosted so the lettering sparkles in the dim light making the script easier to read. Silver is used liberal in the decoration, the table legs, the chair legs and backs besides the green tapestry cushions are all silver. The styling beyond that is all very modern art deco. Greens and silvers prevailing. The live orchestra always always has a finger on the pulse of the crowd, they pick up tempo or slow things down with amazing empathy.

Wolfgang is up on stage, it's before the night club hours take full swing and he's just playing the piano to enjoy playing the piano. The hostess is polite and welcoming when the pair of witches come in. They are shown to a table that's actually on the dance floor at this time of day.

Nia's not quite dressed for a night out on the town, to be sure. A testament, perhaps, to the suddenness in which she was called and asked to serve as a second for a friend who is, by most accounts, a great deal prettier. (You know the type- bring a slightly 'uglier' friend, and the boys will gravitate, casting off their wingman to the uglier friend..) Still, her hair is up and off her face, settled to fall in curls along her back, and at least her make-up is neat. She's here to enjoy the music, and to make sure her friend makes it home tonight!

Ushered to their seats, Nia walks backwards for a couple of steps when she finds that they're being led to a table on what will be the dance floor. Turning about again, she quick-steps and grabs her friend's elbow, "Really?"

"Yes, really.."

Nia sighs, though she's good natured about it. The music coming from the stage gains her attention, and brows rise as the pair of ladies settle in at the table. "He's not bad.. but there's going to be a little orchestra, right?" Hadn't she heard that?

Wolfgang glances over to the two girls that have come in and bows his head to them. He then continues to play the piano a few notes pausing to mark them down on some sheet music and then he closes up the folder of pages and put it into the piano bench after lifting the cushion up like a school desk. He slides the 9mm ontop like a deadly paper weight before he closes it up and moves to greet the two new faces. "Ladies, welcome to The Natrix. I'm Wolfgang Montague, this is my place, so please if you need anything. Let me know." Perhaps a touch oddly as to what might be expected, he's focusing most of his welcoming attention on Niamh. Perhaps liking to be that guy to ruffle the 'pretty girl' feathers a little.

Thump, thump, thump. The heavy footsteps can be heard from a mile away as Sweeney steps in from the V.I.P. area. The tall man pulls his leather gloves from his hands and stuff them into his jacket pocket, stopping to have a look around. He spies Wolfgang sitting at the piano and gives him a nod before walking over to the bar and saying something to the tender about 'cleaning up' and 'needing a drink'.

There is a little whispered talk as Nia's friend keeps looking towards the door, expectantly. Nia puts a hand out on her friend's arm, her voice low, a smile is set on her face, and her eyes are twinkling with a conspiratorial gleam. "Oh, stop it." This time, the sigh exits the other woman and she nods.

Of course, when the pianist and obvious composer comes down off the stage, the friend sort of wriggles in her seat, looking for that eye contact, and puts her hand out, palm down, in introduction. "I'm Sally Brown.. a pleasure. And we will, I'm sure."

For Nia's part, she lifts her attention up to the newly introduced owner of the club, and she offers a smile. "Niamh O'Shea." The sound is an Irish lilt. "And I'm sure everything will be fine, thank you."

The thumping arrival of Sweeney does bring Nia's head around, as well as Sally's, and her brows rise.. but still.. and she returns her attention to the younger man. "It's a very nice place."

Gideon walks into the place like a man on a mission, longcoat swirling about his legs, his fedora low on his head and tinted dark with the first drops of rain from the approaching storm. The thickly set man minding the door lifts a hand to halt Gideon's momentum. He levels a menacing scowl at the doorman, and a few quiet words are exchanged. "Then you get the hell out of my way, and tell him I'm here," Gideon growls, leaning into the other man's space. The doorman straightens his coat in an effort to appear unintimidated, but he does move away toward Wolfgang, giving Sweeney a nod as he goes. Gideon strolls in, past the entryway, but remaining merely a looming presence for the moment.

Wolfgang reaches to shake hands with Sally, "Very nice to meet you Sally Brown, thank you for coming." Then a hand is offered to Niamh and if she takes his he'll lift it up to kiss her knuckles. A little dig at the need attention ho that is Sally." He moves to sit down in one of the vacant seats. "Can I get you Dolls," Again his attention focused on Niamh at the affectionate nickname 'dolls' "some bubbly? On the house of course. We're pretty famous for our Saltimbocca, that's veal, Prosciutto, and sage rolled together. Saltimbocca means Leap In Your Mouth. It's no lie." Gideon's brazen entrance doesn't go with much note from the Crooner. He simply looks over at Sweeney and tilts his eyes towards Gideon before he looks back with a debonair smile to Nia and her companion, not the other way around in his eyes. "Let Sweeney handle it." Is all that's spoken to the doorman. "So what say you ladies?" The Hit Wizard takes absolute back burner to lovely ladies.

Sweeney looks back over his shoulder at the commotion at the door but decides to blow it off for the moment while he waits for his drink. Finally his glass of whiskey is set down in front of him and he picks it up, turning to lean against the bar, looking at Gideon, "Looking for something, Inspector?"

Well, if this isn't something that Sally expected, it's doubly so for Nia. She fully intended to sit in the background, have a drink perhaps, listen to some music, and keep an eye on her friend. Nothing she really can't handle, truth be told. But.. such attention? She can almost feel the tension in her friend's back and shoulders, and hazel eyes turn towards Sally briefly before she looks at the younger man before her.. with her hand. The smile turns self-conscious, certainly, and as she retrieves her hand, she sets it lightly upon the table. "Ah.. yes, please.." On the house? "And I think I'd like that, yes." Now, too.. with everything around, Nia is certainly feeling a bit out of place. Still, she soldiers on, "I'd like that."

The entrance, however, does gain attention, and Nia turns to look at the door. Her eyes open wider as she thinks she recognizes the form and figure in the distance. Sally scowls, not having recognized the Inspector, and 'tsks' at the sight.

Gideon levels his steely gaze — jokingly called "the Cruciatus Glare" at the M.L.E.S. office — toward Sweeney. "Your boss. Give your leash a tug so he knows I'm here to talk to him." He starts toward Wolfgang (undoubtedly soon to have a large Sweeney intervening), and that's when he catches sight of the young Montague playing the suave gentleman with Niamh. His nostrils flare, and Sweeney is momentarily forgotten as he strides forth like a stubborn bull.

Wolfgang is keeping half an eye on Gideon as he suaves all over Niamh. "While we wait for your food…" He's ordered for them by mere hand signals. "Could I interest you in a dance?" There is a small section of the dance floor by the stage that is open still. "Miss Brown, if you'd like a tour of the stage, my Band Leader will happily show you around, and do request a song for me while you go. He stands up and offers his hand out to Niamh to help her up and guide her to said space if she accepts.

Sweeney is apparently unaffected by the Good Inspector's gaze and moves over to stand between Gideon and his approach, murmuring something about firing the doorman. He looks the man up and down and says, "I'm afraid Mister Montague isn't taking callers right now. He's got a bad cough, wouldn't want to get you sick." He looks back at Wolfgang, giving him a 'run along' sort of jerk of his head, but is appeased when Wolf offers one of the women a dance. He turns back around to look at the Inspector, saying, "Now, you can settle whatever business you have with me, or you can see yourself out." He crosses his arms, making sure that it's know that he's not planning on moving.

"Me?" Nia turns her head back, her expression looking quite distracted with the determined approach of Gideon. She's not seen 'this side' of the man in particular, well.. other than in the parting of the Red Sea, that is, crowds at the Ministry. Returning her attention to Montague, she offers a smile, a touch on the apologetic side, and it does reach her eyes, and she shakes her head. "I'd better not. I honestly wasn't expecting to do much.. rug-cutting." Following it up, she does add graciously, "Thank you, though.. I do appreciate the offer.." and she does! (Not a liar, at least not a good one..)

Sally, for her part, rises to her feet and looks grateful for the fact that Nia's turned the owner down.. knowing that won't go well for the alchemist! (Okay, maybe she's a little bit of a bitch?) "If Niamh wanted to speak with the Band Leader, I'd love a dance.."

Gideon gives Sweeney a smirk, "Is that right? A cough? That sounds like a health concern to me." He looks around the club. "This place is looking a bit shabby, don't you think? Dirty, really. Customers might be concerned when they see me escorting inspectors from St. Mungo's in here during peak business hours." Special emphasis is put on those last words, spoken loud enough to reach Wolfgang's ears. Can't bully through the muscle? Hit a Montague where it hurts the most: the wallet.

Wolfgang calls, "Joe, please see that Miss O'Shea gets the full tour, Miss Brown as well." This time Miss Brown's hand is given a kiss. "The Law dogs are barking, disrupting my good customer's with lies. Excuse me Dolls, need to go roll up some newspaper." He gives Sweeney the head tilt towards the back of the club where his office is.

Sweeney doesn't get paid enough for that prospect to bother him, so he just tilts his head at Gideon, saying, "How would you know the difference between clean and dirty, Inspector? That run-down little apartment of yours hasn't seen a good dusting in a decade. Or atleast that's what I'm told." The last part is said with a raising of his eyebrow and a smirking of his lips. "Now, if you're quite done with your threats, why don't the two of us have a seat and talk about things? No need to bother Mr. Montague. He's just a harmless playboy. Everyone knows I run things around here. Or you could have a talk with my associates." He gestures to behind the man where the two bouncers are standing.

Nia looks up at Wolfgang and offers that same, genuine smile as she rises, her hands her own. She links her fingers before her as she stands, and almost seems to bounce in place. "I'd love a tour, actually," and she glances at her friend again- Oh, they'll be having words later! before she returns her attention to the owner. "Thank you."

A step forward, towards the stage, is taken, and she can hear that Scottish brogue, and knows it anywhere.. from quiet lunches to her dreams! Hazel eyes turn towards Gideon once more, and there's a warm smile that comes; genuine.. and even with Sally being unhappy in the man's behavior, well.. Niamh's not. Blinded by affection? She wiggles her fingers in his direction before she does turn and begin to walk with the now-swooning Sally.

Gideon rumbles, "Try it, bulldog, and I'll haul every one of you into lockup." It wouldn't be the first time the Obliviators had to clean up the Hit Wizard's mess. Gideon's eyes flicker toward Wolfgang (or as much of him as can be seen around the Wall O' Sweeney), catching the nod. He gives Sweeney a cocky smirk. "Now if you'll excuse me, I have an appointment." He moves toward the back, not exactly toward Wolfgang, but on an intercept course to meet him. Though he can feel Niamh's eyes on him, he keeps his gaze resolutely forward. Don't acknowledge a connection. Don't give them anything. As he and Wolfgang reach the door leading toward the office, he can be barely overheard, "Montague. We have to talk…"

Wolfgang looks from that wave that Niamh tosses Gideon and that smile that goes with it. He knows that look, plenty of Dolls get that look when he croons. He gets a bit of a wolfish smirk and nods to Gideon, "Of course Inspector. Right this way, sorry about Sweeney you know how protective he gets. Still trying to train him in how I do things." Wolf turns about and itches his cheeks in a way that gestures to his eyes, then tugs on one ear and then smiles over at Niamh, "Be right back Dolls." Indicating for Sweeney to keep his eyes and ears on Niamh, in other words, learn about this new Dame with sweet eyes for Inspector Gideon.

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