(1937-10-11) An Evening of Excess
Details for An Evening of Excess
Summary: Ranjali comes to Watershed to give Magnus something that he's requested from her and ends up spending the night…
Date: October 11, 1937
Location: Watershed
Related: Did You Ever See A Dream Walking?

Watershed London

It is a fall night. The weather is warm and fair.

Designed by famed architect Edwin Lutyens, this home is a newer addition to the Mayfair neighborhood. The estate is surrounded by a tall, circular iron-wrought fence. The arched gate bears an embossed title: 'WATERSHED'. Just inside the gate, past a scant few feet of grassy lawn, is a huge circular pool that takes up almost the entirety of the property. The pool is quite deep, and its rocky bottom can only be seen because of soft lights under the surface of the water. Lily-pads float here and there, flowering in the warmer months. Rising out of the center of the body of water is a stone tower, its color a pale grey that is almost (but not quite) white. It looms three stories above the surface of the pool. At its top is a glass dome with a small spire pointing accusingly up at the sky. A raised walkway connects the tower to the gate and allows entry to the structure through a set of heavy brass doors.
Inside, the decor is modern and the atmosphere surprisingly airy for a stone building. The bottom story contains a dining room, kitchen, and sitting area (as well as a small smoking parlor); the second a library with bookcases lining the circular walls; the third a bedroom and study with an open view of the sky, thanks to the glass dome. While the downstairs areas have been arranged for the entertainment of guests, the upper floors are normally kept locked, and those with any magical prowess will likely notice that the place is buzzing with security charms.

The guards are still posted in front of the gates at Watershed. Luckily for them, the rain and foul weather has ceased. They sky cleared during the evening, and now the night is warm and comfortable. Inside, Magnus is sitting in his smoking parlor. He's been in there since finishing work, thinking; his suit coat has been abandoned on a hanger, and he's just in his white undershirt (unbuttoned halfway down his chest, with the necktie loosened and skewed aside), grey slacks, and loafers. The ambassador raps a set of fingers ceaselessly on one arm of the overstuffed chair he's sprawled out in. There's a book turned open on his lap, but he's gazing into the nearby lit fireplace intensely rather than at its pages. A wooden pipe hangs loosely from between his lips.

Ranjali approaches the Watershed calmly, barely even seeming to notice the guards this time around. She stops for them, though, waiting until they allow her to pass before passing through and heading for the door. She's dressed very simply herself. Her hair has been pulled back into a plain chignon, she wears no makeup or jewelry, and wears only a simple black sheath dress with a scoped neckline and a pair of bright blue heels with straps that buckle around her ankles. After knocking thrice on the door, she pulls from a small pocket cut into the dress' hip a small blue handbag, then waits quietly.

Magnus startles when he hears the knocks on the door. His pale eyes flit up and away from the fire, and he quickly gets to his feet. The book tumbles off of his lap and lands haphazardly on the carpet, and he goes strolling out of the smoking parlor and into the main entryway. Once he's at the door, he pulls it open quickly with a smile. As soon as he sees Ranjali, his expression turns more serious, and he reaches out to take her free hand and tug her lightly inside. The door is pushed shut with a snap of locks and he turns to her anxiously. "Well, Miss Winterthorne?"

Ranjali seps inside without hesitation. As the door is shut she turns, opens the bag, and begins pulling out and offering him the small vials within. Each is stoppered and magically sealed, and each has a small label with the name of a disease written neatly in plain black ink. She offers him first one labeled Vanishing Sickness, and then Spattergroit and Ludicrosis. The next one she pulls out is held as she reaches for the last, so that she can offer him Scrofungulus next, and Dragon Pox last of all.

As each vial is presented, Magnus takes it, examines it carefully, and puts it /very/ carefully into a separate pocket from the others. His anxiety eases as soon as they're safely tucked away, and he smiles at the healer, reaching out with one hand to cup her chin gently. "You are /exceptional/, Miss Winterthorne. Come, have a drink with me." He idly sets his pipe on a nearby shelf and guides Ranjali further inside, motioning towards the seating area. Meanwhile, he walks off to the kitchen and comes back with two short glasses and a bottle of whiskey.

Ranjali smiles blissfully as she is complimented, and nods. She lets herself be led, wandering to the seating area and dropping happily onto one of the sofas. She continues to remain quiet, her hands clasped comfortably in her lap, her eyes wandering lazily around, taking in the decor as though she finds it all to be fascinating, as though she is sitting in a museum.

Magnus sets the two glasses down on the table and pours whiskey into each. He doesn't set the bottle down, though - just holds it with the top off in one hand and picks up his glass in the other. After taking a slow, cautious sip, he motions at the second glass and smiles. "Drink your whiskey, Ranjali. All of it." His grey eyes glint with… mischief?

"Alright." Ranjali replies happily. She reaches down and takes the glass, lifts it to her lips, and starts drinking. She pauses only twice, for a breath, but doesn't set the glass down until it is completely empty. By now, her cheeks are quite rosy, though her expression generally remains the same.

"Very good," Magnus intones gently as he watches Ranjali drink. When she's finished, he pours another glass for her. "Again." He'll wait for her to finish this one, then pour another. "Again." And so on, until the bottle is a good deal more than halfway finished. This is what one might call 'black-out drunk' territory, although the ambassador is very prudent about making certain the healer doesn't fall asleep.

Ranjali continues to drink, even when her eyes start to shine brightly from all this sudden intake of alchohol, and her body to drift from side to side, as though she can no longer hold herself entirely upright. The last glass is set down with a heavy 'thunk,' her hands struggling at that point to even find the table. And when it is released she leans back against the sofa and stares at the cup, struggling to focus on it.

At this point, Magnus halts. He has no desire to endanger her by taking this further (luckily he's experienced enough with drinking to have a fairly good idea of when to stop). He recorks the bottle and sets it on the edge of the table, in plain view. Then, he kneels in front of the healer and smiles at her. "Stay awake, Miss Winterthorne. Just a moment longer." Reaching into his robe, he withdraws his wand and points it squarely at her forehead. "This won't sting a bit. Obliviate!"

<FS3> Magnus rolls Charms: Great Success.

"Yes, alright." Ranjali nods slowly, though she stops quickly, the motion making her quite dizzy. After that she just stares, trying her best to hold steady, barely moving at all save for a wobble as the wand is pointed at her. She even smiles, when he reassures her that she will feel no pain. Of course, the force of the spell causes her to rock back, her eyes going suddenly wide… And then she falls forward again, her eyes squeezing shut, her hands reaching up to either side of her face. She groans, slowly, even the sound a painful thing, and very slowly mumbles, "What… ?"

As soon as the Memory Charm is complete, Magnus flicks his wand again in a wordless incantation which will end the Imperius Curse placed on the healer. The wand is immediately tucked back into his pocket, and the whiskey glass is clinked on to the table a second after. He leans forward, placing his hands on the woman's shoulders so that he can lift her up and pull her towards him. Since she's not in any state to resist him, he reaches down and lifts her up. His lips have curled into a wicked smile. "Miss Winterthorne, really. Remind me to restrain you the next time we're at the Cauldron. I never thought to see such a well-mannered English lady drink to excess…" There's a spiral staircase at one end of the room, and it's towards this that he walks. He ascends two stories, passing through a solid brass door for each, before emerging into a large bedroom dominated by a glass roof and a king-size bed.

"W-what?" Ranjali mumbles, stumbling against Magnus. "Me?" Beyond confused, and unable to figure out due to her state just /why/ she would even be in such a state, she goes with him unresisting. In fact, she has to reach out when they get to the stairs and grasp at his undershirt to help steady herself. Its a long process to get her up the stairs, especially when the spiraling brings back the dizziness. But eventually she makes it, and while still clinging to him enters the bedroom, frowning, "I… 'mso sorry, Vnever… done that… wasthis room?" Her words slur no matter how hard she tries to carefully pronounce them, drawing forth an even deeper frown and distracting her, briefly, from wondering why his guest room is so very fancy.

Once the ambassador /finally/ manages to get her up (he's not an exceptionally strong man, even if he is tall and looks rather imposing), he heaves an exhausted breath and sets her down on her feet (well, heels - luckily he's still holding on to her). "The bedroom, Miss Winterthorne. You'll be sleeping here. Let's get you out of that thick coat, shall we? Arms up." Still keeping a hand around her waist to steady her, he reaches down and grips the bottom of her dress and peels it up and off in one smooth motion. Clearly he's done this before. Finished with that, he grins, tosses the dress aside on to the floor, and guides the very drunk Ranjali towards the bed. "Lay down, Miss Winterthorne. I think you need some rest."

"My coat?" Ranjali asks. The sound is muffled, thought, the dress already over her head. She wobbles, even more unstable, when the garment is gone, though she's yet to notice that its her /dress/ that she just lost rather than the aforementioned coat. "Rest." She manages to say, more clearly, "Yes, rest is good… " She walks along with his guided help, dropping onto the edge of the bed and nearly falling over as she tries to get her heels off despite not having nearly the dexterity for this at the moment.

Smirking a little at the healer's slurred words - he has to wonder if this is the first time she's ever been this drunk, and strongly suspects the answer is yes - Magnus helps her on to the bed, tugging her far enough up so that she's in no danger of falling off. He shoves the blankets and sheets aside as he goes so that she's not atop them. When he notices what she's doing, he bends down to help her, loosening the shoes and then setting them gingerly aside on the floor one at a time. He doesn't want to ruin them; women seem to be oddly sensitive about their footwear. As nice as the view might be while he's doing this, he's all business at the moment. "Good. Go to sleep, Ranjali."

Ranjali relaxes as soon as the shoes are off, and is much more cooperative now in shifting until she's actually found a pillow to lay her head on. As soon as she has found said pillow, she practically melts into the bed, nodding, her eyes already closed, mumbling even as she falls asleep, "'Lright, sorry… "

"Quite alright," Magnus says, his lips parting in another wry grin. He waits for a minute until Ranjali is clearly down for the count, then removes his wand and points it, business-like, at her underwear. "Diffindo." Those, too, are pulled off and thrown aside (although he Reparos them before doing so), though he seems completely disinterested in even looking at her - he's rather clinical about it, immediately tugging the blankets up to cover her. He might be a lech, but he's definitely not a necrophiliac. At this point, though, he climbs out of the bed and takes off all of his own clothes, letting them fall as they will on to the floor; the precious vials have already been stashed elsewhere, while he was getting the whiskey bottle. He clambers back on to the bed, then roughs the sheets and blankets around for good measure, making them look as dishevelled as possible. After a moment's thought, he reaches over and gently musses the healer's hair as well. "Good night, Miss Winterthorne. I'll see you in the morning." Smiling serenely, he leans down and places another chaste kiss on her cheek, same as the last he gave her, then crawls under the covers and falls asleep.

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