(1937-10-06) Teutonphilia
Details for Teutonphilia
Summary: Cooper and Frank run into each other at the Ministry. After a bad start, the two discover a common (culinary) interest.
Date: 10-06-1937
Location: International Magical Cooperation, Ministry of Magic
Related: None

Out of doors, England has tossed up a particularly English October day: it's cool, rainy, gray and gross, and many people have just had their weekend plans sadly destroyed. Inside the Ministry, though, it's warm, pleasant - and, at least in the I.M.C. offices, quiet. Outside of a receptionist shuffling around back in towards the little kitchen, the only visible soul is one Frank Weasley, sitting in a chair set aside for waiting visitors. Actually, not sitting: sprawling. If he's here on a Saturday for a purpose, it's evidently nothing pressing. Unless he's reading that lurid looking mystery novel for work

Somewhere in the back, there is a room full of radios. Super secret radios that intercept various signals from other countries and at each radio sits a witch or wizard listening in. Today, however, they were short one German translator and so instead they reached out to the MLE office where one humble little Auror agreed to come in on a Saturday and fill in. "Willkommen, Wilkommen. Kein Problem," says the voice of the young woman who exits the room. Her accent sounds fluent and as she walks her way toward the exit, she pauses just outside the receptionist area to see a sprawled out man on the guest chairs. In confusion, she eyes the receptionist who doesn't seem to be paying any mind, but if her Auror senses had anything to do with it, it would seem this man doesn't look well. Perhaps he's even…inebriated? And so she hestiantly steps closer toward him, one foot in front of the other and with awkward caution gives him a brief poke.

Alas for Frank, inebriation isn't in the cards. The sprawl, as it turns out, is one of distraction: he's just really into that book, and the chair is really comfortable. (The book is, up close, noticeably written in Cyrillic letters - Bulgarian, specifically.) The poke brings forth a contained thrash of surprise, expression briefly alarmed. Then… the mortification sinks in. "Verzeih mir, bi -" The German (flawlessly Bavarian in its accenting) lasts all of two seconds, before the man awkwardly switches track mid-sentence. English, this time: "Sorry. Didn't see you there."

Cooper jumps and retracts her hand instantly at the thrash, her eyes growing wide and her hands automatically turning into fists while she shifts into a fighting stance. It's her fight or flight reflex. She can't help it. Clearly, she has a greater affinity for the former. But when he speaks, her brow quirks in confusion and she puts her fists down to realize that the man may not be drunk…maybe just crazy. With a struggle, she understands him, but she can't place his accent so instead she corrects him. The snob. "I think you meant…Verzeih mir…," she says the -correct- way. And then in English, "Forgive me. I thought you were maybe an intruder. I've heard there's a homeless man wandering the offices of the ministry lately, taking advantage of the plush visitors chair." It maybe be the cheap suit…even if it's clean. "I mean…not to say you look poor…it's just…it's a Saturday." Who is -she- to judge anyone's clothing? She wearing threads not meant for her gender and her hair is messily tied up while her thick frames glasses slide awkwardly down her nose.

"What I was about to say," Frank says, a trifle dryly, "was 'verzeih mir, bitte'. But thank you for the lesson." It's impressive, the way he's managed to collect himself: five seconds ago he was a sprawling idiot, now he's sitting in that chair as properly as a clean-faced schoolboy, book closed in his lap with his hands neatly folded across it. (Though the suit, alas, does not miraculously make itself more expensive.) She is regarded for a moment, his eyes flicking to the messy hair with perfect neutrality, but if he's thinking of any sharp retorts, he keeps them to himself. After another brief moment's contemplation, he opens his mouth to speak - in German, this time. "No apology is necessary. I was summoned to help with some translation issue, but arrived to learn they had found someone else before I was able to arrive. Since I didn't want to be distracted from my book again in case they needed me after all, I thought I'd take advantage of the quiet and stick around for a bit." She is, again, regarded. With dignity he adds (back in English): "I'm guessing you were my replacement? In which case, I can probably go home after all."

Cooper smirks at his retort to her correction, though not in anyway mocking. She's simply amused that's all. And her amusement grows when he sits up straight. Amazing how people can transform with a change in posture. She looks to her own shoulder thinking that she too should perhaps fix her own perpetual slouch. Frank's German, however, is most impressive and she nods understandingly at his words. "I probably was," she thinks about it and nods. "It's perhaps a good thing you didn't come in. It's nothing but sad sorry news that came in through that radio. Is that your job then? You sit around listening to the muggle war come close to home everyday?" She frowns, clearly bothered by the things she heard. But then she sticks her hand out, offering his the cheap suited man a polite handshake. "Genevieve Cooper. I'm an Auror with the MLE, but they lend me out on occasion for my languages. You can just call me Cooper though. No one will know who you're talking about if you say Genevieve."

"Part of what I do," Frank says, expression wryly communicating his agreement on how Not Fun it is. "One can always hope it won't grow worse." He shoots her another glance, guesstimating her age before adding: "You're probably not old enough to remember reading the news back during The War," the capitalization is audible, "but I can promise you, spats about the Rhineland and whether Austria ought to belong to Germany are nothing." After a second's regarding of her hand, Frank rises from his seat, the better to deferentially offer his own in return. "Pleased to meet you. Frank Weasley, translator." He doesn't specify 'with the I.M.C.', but considering the circumstances, it's obvious enough. A sort of subdued interest sneaks into his expression as he adds, "Languages, plural?"

"Oh Mr. Weasley, I hope that -every- day," Cooper sighs with a bit of weight added into that exhale. She even runs a hand through the front part of her blonde hair in slight exhaustion, as if to indicate what she heard was rather taxing on her. Though she does listen with interest on his brief account of the first world war. "Hmm…I imagine not. I was only a wee little thing living Wales," she says. Though oddly enough, she doesn't have a trace of a Welsh accent. "Were you in the same position then as you are now?" But she does not however at his question and says, "Well I speak French otherwise. Though it's not as good as my German. In fact, I was going to grab some schnitzel from the -only- German restaurant I know in London. Seems like a lot of them have been run off out of town with the country's growing unpopularity. Would you like to join me?"

"Amen." Frank's own reaction to the thought of Europe's tensions flaring into another all-consuming war are a little more muted - just a tightening at the edges of his mouth - but no less sincere. "I wasn't working for the I.M.C.; I only started working here a few months ago. But I had a few odd jobs that brought me to Italy, and then to France towards the end of the war. And I've - everyone has - seen the scars left behind." A small pause, before he adds, a muted fervor in his voice: "The poor Muggles." Because Europe post-WWI kinda suuuuuucked. Her summary of her linguistic exploits is listened to politely, and he only hesitates momentarily at the offer before nodding, an odd, suppressed hunger in his face. (Maybe he really likes schnitzel?) "There is a German restaurant here? I'm a bit hesitant to ask around too much about that sort of thing… Most Wizards won't know, and Muggles - well, as you say, talking about Germany in anything but negative tones…" He's not going to finish that sentence.

Cooper's mouth flatlines at the tale, her arms crossing at and perhaps there's a bit of rage in those big blue eyes on her too. Though they're certainly not directed at Frank. "Poor Muggles indeed," she nods in agreement. "Especially with Megalomaniac wizards like the Malfoys and their nonsense rally," she frowns, not realizing perhaps that this translator could be a supporter. Any how, she seems to smirk at the look on his face when she mentions schnitzel. And she nods vigorously at his question. "There is. It's a rather small business on the working class end of town, but it's delicious. And not well patroned. Maybe you can help me with that." She smiles and steps a bit toward the door, beckoning him perhaps if he'd like to come along.

Frank is, (just her luck), a supporter. He is also, however, a middle-aged man accustomed to discretion when he hasn't been drinking and/or isn't safely encompassed in the anonymity of a crowd: unless she's looking for it directly, Cooper isn't likely to spot any hint of feelings beyond composed neutrality. "It was certainly a pale imitation," he observes, mildly, "of Grindelwald's rallies, and the continental arguments." And that's all he's going to say about THAT. Not when there's promise of delicious German cuisine on hand! "The East End is no problem," says the dude in the cheap suit. "Actually, better. You have no idea what I would do for an actual glass of quality beer, Miss Cooper." She doesn't have to beckon twice: pausing only to fold his book up and tuck it away, he quickly follows her.

Something about the way Cooper's eyes narrow at the name 'Grindelwald' is a fairly clear indication of how much she detests the man and his movement. "Yes, pale indeed. But still an imitation," she says in an icy tone. But again, nothing directed toward Frank, for she can't tell his position on the matter. And with a nod they're off and heading out of the ministry while she gives the man bright and warm smille. "The berr there is quite impressive, I won't lie. I'm fairly certain you won't be disappointed."

And after a hop on the Knight Bus and a few minutes later, they end up on a shady looking area of muggle London in the early dusk sunlight. "There are a ton of Magbobs, so just keep slightly tight lipped about any magical," she warns before they step off the bus and eventually leads them to a somewhat derelict storefront where the paint on the sign is painted. After they find a seat a booth, a rather burly German man comes by to take their order she says to Frank, "My treat. Order what you wished. My way of paying for you company." Something like a gigolo.

Well, one can only hope it's a cheap restaurant, because Frank would be a cheap gigolo. Despite her given reasoning, he looks hesitant to accept the offer (there's something about him that suggests 'too poor to paint, but too proud of whitewash' might be an appropriate saying), but finally, carefully, consents. "Thank you. You'll have to allow me to repay you some time." Although he had robes on at the Ministry, he's left them there, and moves through the Muggle restaurant with obvious familiarity to blending. After ordering - the aforementioned schnitzel, of course, and one of the cheaper varieties of wheat beer on offer - and waiting for her to make her order, he steers the topic firmly away from politics. "How did you even find this place, Miss Cooper? Is there a secret club of German food enthusiasts at work?"

"Sure," Cooper nods her consent at his offer to repay. Though she'll likely never let him, because she can tell it may be out of his economic status. The cheap suit perhaps gave it away, and her detective thought process from her job certainly added to it. While she had her heart set on schnitzel, the word 'bratwurst' had her sold and she changed her mind instantly. "Well, I'll tell you a secret if you promise not to sell me out if all hell breaks loose," she says. "I'm German. Well…I grew up here but my family's German. Got out of the country and came here while getting was still good. So my aunt knew of these places when we visited London. Like I said, there's less of them now." She removes the cloche hat from her head and peers at Frank, "I'm curious to know however, how you came to learn the language. It's not for the beauty of the sound, I'm certain."

Oh, just you wait, Cooper. He'll find a way to open his wallet, when it's his pride that's on the line. "Given," Frank says, dryly, voice quiet without being lowered to the point of potentially intriguing a curious Muggle, "that I lived in Germany for a solid decade, and have few ties remaining here in England -" dry turns to just a tich bitter at that "- I'd be as vulnerable as you." His own hat tucked away on the seat besides him, he gives a subdued smile at the question, and explains. "Languages are the only thing I do well - I was rotten at everything in school until it came time to try the Classics." Since he can't exactly say 'Ancient Runes' here. "I taught myself, mostly, and mostly because it was interesting. But after I left school I eventually found work where I'd have the opportunity to refine my accent, and from there -" This will be the tone of conversation with him for the rest of the evening: harmlessly impersonal personal stories and Teutonphilia. Also, of course, beer, brats, and delicious breaded meats.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License