(1937-09-28) I Don't Debate
Details for I Don't Debate
Summary: Josefa finds out just how persuasive and dominant Cassius can be.
Date: 28 September, 1937
Location: VIP Lounge, Nowhere
Related: Stuck

VIP Lounge, Nowhere

The VIP Lounge is much more whimsical looking than the art deco Muggle design and decore downstairs. The goon at the top of the stairs acting as a bouncer probably has troll blood in him. Several House-elves looking extremely dapper in tailored to fit pinstripe suits serve the VIPs, who really unknownst to those downstairs are really just the wizards and witches clientele. The set up is very similar to that downstairs, though there is more booth seating upstairs than down. The walls of the lounge are enchanted one-way walls, where those inside can see out, but not the other way around. The stage is however much smaller upstairs than the one downstairs as all that's on this stage is a single 'microphone', and a large music box on a pedestal besides the mic. A spotlight that can change in a myriad of colors and patterns shines down on the center of the small stage. The light reflecting off of the shiny chrome megaphone.

Where normally Josefa would mingle freely with the Muggles downstairs, on a Saturday night with the Natrix packed with customers, she's just not in the mood. Specifically, she's avoiding a certain Muggle in particular. Jo sits alone at a booth, a half-full glass of something amber and alcoholic in front of her. A house-elf comes to ask her if she'd like anything else in a squeaky voice and she smiles politely and declines, giving the glass a swirl without actually looking at it. Daydreaming.

Cassius strolls into the VIP lounge, hands clasped behind his back. His eyes wander, examining the room and its occupants as if performing an inspection of the troops. Yes, very good, soldiers. You're really keeping this operation ship-shape. Then, what is this? His grey-green gaze settles on a young face — one that became all too familiar as the only (and most pleasant) thing to look upon when trapped in a stuck elevator car. He moves in, slowly, so as to gain permission before fully entering her sphere of personal space. "Miss Loucks? Well, isn't this a pleasant surprise."

Josefa is knocked from her reverie by a voice, one familiar, if only distantly so. Dark eyes move from a distant point on the wall up to his face and, seeing Cassius, she breaks into a smile. "Mr. Malfoy, it is indeed. When you said you planned to pay the place a visit, I didn't actually think you meant it." Briefly, she looks past him, and seeing he has nobody with him, asks, "Would you care to join me?"

There it is, the invitation. Bubble of privacy penetrated. Cassius steps closer with a nod, sliding into the booth. "Thank you, I'd be delighted." He gives the room another critical look. "I must say, Mr. Montague has truly outdone himself with this establishment. Very posh, indeed."

His words invite a second look around and Josefa chuckles. "Mr. Montague spares very little when it comes to himself and his things." The way her expression grows distant, he's not her favorite subject. She takes another drink from the tumbler and then lifts a hand to draw the attention of a smartly-clad house-elf. "Mr. Malfoy, would you care for a drink? Or perhaps something to eat? The food here is quite good, if you're hungry."

Cassius gives the house-elf a neutral glance, and even then it is only the briefest of acknowledgements. "Elderflower wine," he says, already looking at Josefa again, and paying no mind as the elf leaves. "It sounds as if you are familiar with Montague. Is he a friend of yours?" There he goes, delving again.

Josefa opens her mouth to reply and then shuts it again with a rueful glance down at the table. She has no clue what they are. "I don't think we are friends, no. I suspect at best he wants to say he won me over…at worst he's a danger."

Cassius nods with some understanding. "Ahhh, so he's that sort of man, is he? Charming, yet dangerous. I'm given to understand that many women find that combination irresistably alluring." He smirks with a bit of teasing. "I hope that he hasn't mistreated you in some way. I would be very put out if he had."

"It's not that it's not alluring," admits Josefa at length. "But I'm a sensible girl. I can't say he's particularly mistreated me, unless you count being inconsiderate." When the elf comes back with his wine, Jo finishes her drink and orders a second.

Cassius arches an eyebrow impossibly high. "Inconsiderate, how? I daresay that I do consider a failure to show a woman the respect she deserves to be mistreatment of the most knavish sort."

"Perhaps inconsiderate was the wrong word choice," admits the petite witch. "I think it's rather just… he doesn't consider how things might affect others… I don't find it particularly endearing."

"I suppose I'll be prying too deeply if I ask how he's inconvenienced you. Though I will not deny that I'm terribly curious." Cassius' eyes smile over the rim of his wine glass as he sips. "For what it's worth, I'm sorry that you've suffered whatever discomfort at his hands."

"It's too silly to even mention," replies Josefa with a shake of her head. If he's 'looking' he'll simply find a sense of post-event terror knowing she was delivered into a bad neighborhood in a limo, making her a target for anyone who thought she might be well-connected, or have something worth attacking her over. "He just gave me the impression I was safe… while making me even less so. I live on the rougher side of town, you see… being connected to him could be very bad." Now her attention returns to him and she asks, "Have you done anything interested today, Mr. Malfoy?"

Cassius tut-tuts at how she has suffered, shaking his head in disapproval at Mr. Montague's performance. "You are the most interesting thing that has happened to me today, Miss Loucks. I had hoped to run into Edwarlinda here. But I suppose I shall wait and meet her for lunch tomorrow. What a happy surprise to find you, instead."

Josefa lowers her head, a blush staining her cheeks. "That must mean your day was quite dull. I'm glad your time here wasn't wasted, though. I… well… Edwarlinda hasn't been around lately," she admits. "I overheard that she might be missing, in fact, but I don't know if that's simply overreaction."

Cassius is ready to dismiss her self-admonition, but the notion that Edwarlinda might be missing brings a concerned scowl to his face. "Missing? No, that can't be. She's a very capable Auror. Surely, she is simply undercover and unable to contact friends. It happens, in her line of work." Despite his assurances, his agitation and worry are clear.

Josefa spreads her hands to the sides in a gesture of helplessness. "I am sure you're right," she concedes. "Ms. Malfoy is obviously very capable." Though at what point do you call a person missing, capable or not? After a moment of hesitation she reaches across the table to pat his hand awkwardly. "I'm sure she's fine."

Cassius adopts a smile; the sort of mask one wears to reassure others, regardless of one's personal feelings. "Of course. My sister is nothing if not resourceful. She'll likely appear tomorrow and laugh at us for being worried."

Josefa isn't fooled…she works in diplomacy, she knows all about social graces. "I'm sorry," she offers quietly, licking her lips. "I didn't mean to worry you with a rumor."

Cassius waves a hand dismissively. "No need to apologize. Obviously you are concerned about my sister, and that endears me to you. So, thank you." A heavier quaff of wine is taken. Something to settle the nerves, no doubt.

Josefa presses her lips together and sighs in relief when her second drink arrives. She covers an awkward silence by drinking from it. Ah well, nobody said she was fantastic at polite conversation. It's much easier to talk to children, or enlighten Muggles, than try to carry on conversations with nearly-strangers. "So um…" she attempts before the quiet between them can break irreparably, reluctant to see him go just yet.

Cassius's brow lifts curiously, as it sounds like Josefa has something to say. "Hmm? Is something on your mind?" Curious, he gazes directly into her eyes, trying to catch her eyes in his. It's so much easier to go exploring in someone's mind when one has their gaze.

Josefa is caught staring, even if it may be rude. Her lips part slightly; she licks them again, finding them to be suddenly dry. "Oh, I — what?" Blinking a few times, she realizes she was staring right at him and flushes. "Nothing, really. I was just thinking." Mostly about how nice he is to look at, and not stuck up like she was expecting. Opinion of Malfoys, definitely rather high between the two siblings she's met.

Cassius gives her a charming smile, for a moment letting his eyes drift down along her neck, then back up to her face, deliberately permitting desire to flash in his eyes. "Thinking about…anything in particular?"

Sure you want to do that, Cassius? Josefa's mind reads like a teenage daydream in a dark bedroom, full of the hazy imaginings of what it might feel like to be touched in a romantic way. The blood in her cheeks spreads, suffusing her dark skin with a rosy glow all the way up to her ears. "Oh, er… No." The drink she takes this time of her whiskey is bigger than the last. "Not anything in particular, at least. Just reflecting on…on my day, of course, and what I might do tomorrow."

Cassius chuckles softly. The game is afoot. "Miss Loucks…may I call you Josefa? You shouldn't be burdening your mind with what might come tomorrow. There is still so much that could happen tonight. Focus on the present." The last almost sounds like a command, but for his easy smile.

"Oh, um, yes, yes of course. Or Jo, if you'd rather." Ah, if only he knew what sort of things she was focused on. But of course he does, because she's watching his mouth move and nodding simply. "That's true, you're quite right, the night is young…" Lifting her glass in an informal toast, she takes another sip and sets it down.

"Josefa," Cassius isn't very fond of masculine-sounded nicknames for women, "You are far too lovely a creature to be sitting here alone, consumed in your thoughts." He rises from his seat, and offers a hand to her. "The music is enchanting, and so are you. Dance with me."

Oh, he's good. Completely caught off guard, the petite young lady has no time to think of a reason to refuse (nor does she want to) and she she lays her hand in his, getting to her feet. She smells nice (if slightly like alcohol) and she's pretty, and she moves gracefully. He's not honestly doing too bad here, if we're going at this from an outsider's perspective. "I trust you're a better dancer than the last person I danced with. I'm still waiting for feeling to come back in my toes," jokes Josefa.

Cassius just smiles knowingly at her, not deigning to answer. He sweeps her onto the dance floor, assuming the lead as a gentleman should. He isn't shy about pushing a hand low on her waist, and pulling her against him. It quickly becomes evident that, while not a professional dancer, the man has been taught to dance. No sore toes tonight! "You are an intriguing creature, Josefa. I hope you don't mind my saying so."

Josefa seems a bit overwhelmed by such impropriety. Girlish fantasies or not, she's always acutely aware of who much be watching, judging, ready to gossip about her in unflattering ways in the office by Monday. She says nothing though, generally being the easy-going type (unless you are Gideon of course).. It's not like he's grabbing her behind, and he's not stepping on her toes despite the scant room between them. "Why would I might?" she asks, looking up into his face and smiling in that particular way she has. "I must admit I can't understand why you think so, however. I'm sure you meet many more interesting ladies on a daily basis."

Cassius tilts his head slightly in curiosity. "Why do you do that? Twice now you have maligned yourself. You are obviously intelligent, and certainly beautiful. Why try to tarnish your own image?" He turns suddenly, swirling her around dizzyingly.

Josefa's fingers on his shoulder tighten as she's whirled, keeping up with him. She dances well. "Habit," she replies automatically of his inquiry. "I suppose I find it curious that you should truly find me interesting. I don't think I'm your type."

"My type?" Cassius chuckles. "I wasn't aware I had a type. I simply know when I like what I see." If he's got nothing else going for him, the man is at least confident.

"Oh, absolutely, or at least, you have a stereotype. Wealthy, pure-blood, old family, probably a Slytherin…" Josefa grins up at him to show she's mostly teasing. She is none of those things, not even close to any of those things. "I'm glad you see something you like, though. It certainly makes my night more enjoyable. I've gotten the better end of this deal to be sure."

Cassius laughs at the teasing, "Oh, I'd say that's debatable." His hand shifts to the small of her back. It's a subtle gesture, but just enough movement over sensitive areas to remind her that it's there. "But I'm delighted that I have improved your evening."

It's enough. Surely he can hear her heart pounding, louder than a train roaring down the track. "I don't debate, remember?" she replies with the ghost of a grin.

Cassius's eyes shine mirthfully at that. "Ah yes, of course. Well, in that case," he leans close, his lips less than an inch from her ear as he whispers, "You won't argue when I say I'm taking you from this place." He stops the dance, and when his eyes meet her again, there is no effort to disguise exactly what it is that he wants from her.

Josefa's breath hitches, embarrassingly audible with her mouth so close to his ear. She sees what's on his face, and her eyes go wide, and then she laughs, very self-conscious. "I thought Imperio was forbidden," she teases. "Let me get my purse."

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