(1937-10-30) Pure Blood, Pure Bias
Details for Pure Blood, Pure Bias
Summary: Magnus invites Jocunda to visit his home for dinner. They learn a bit about one another.
Date: Tue Oct 30, 1937
Location: Watershed

A week or so after their last meeting, an owl arrives at the Sykes estate addressed to Jocunda. There are additional cards for her siblings, but the one addressed to her is the largest and most prominent. Inside is a simple message written in dark golden ink on off-white parchment:


Please do stop by my estate in Mayfair at (an address follows). Drop by after four PM on any weekday, or send me an owl in advance to let me know when you'll be by, and the guards will allow you in.

Your Uncle Magnus."

Outside the iron gate of the estate, it's just as Magnus has said - two guards in somber business suits stand by the gates, looking rather bored.

It is closer to five PM when Jocunda arrives, moving at an easy pace down the street until she arrives before the gates and the guards outside. The hour after work is done and she's free to go… and the hour in which the woman usually finds any excuse not to go straight home. "Hullo," she greets the guards as she steps up, glancing from one to the other. "I'm sure he's been expecting me?"

The guards look at the witch noncommittally. They both look rather disinterested, although one moves forward a bit and offers a bland smile. "Your name, Miss?" As it happens, though, Magnus steps out of the tower at almost this exact moment; after stepping out of the brass doorway and into the light, the tall, thin man raises a hand to shield his eyes from the sun and calls out, smiling: "Jocunda! Come in - she's fine, gentlemen. Move aside." The order is almost hostile, although the smile he's offering to Jocunda is anything but. The man is dressed in a black and silver robe, his long hair pulled back in a ponytail - clearly he's more at ease in Wizarding attire.

It's not like Jocunda's attire is common for either Muggle or Wizarding worlds, but she's comfortable enough in it. The best gear for her element: flying. The woman casts something of a self-assured smirk to the men as she steps nearer to her uncle. Magnus is offered a hug, should he be interested. "I met Ria and Kaiden's current interests this past Hogsmeade weekend," she starts, seeming amused by it. "Ria's made a good choice, as usual. Kaiden… well, the girl he's seeing would… certainly bother the family. I wonder if that's why he's done it."

As Jocunda moves across the walkway to the tower, Magnus strides towards her and gives the young woman a quick embrace. He grins, leaning back a bit to brush a few stray bangs away from her face in an affectionate manner, and then stands back and motions to the doorway. "Is that so? It doesn't surprise me, really; Ria always was the wiser of the two. Kaiden's a good lad, and I can understand his situation, to some degree…" After all, for his own part, the ambassador is a Gryffindor from a Slytherin family - although some would argue he'd have fit in just as well in the latter house. "…but he lacks sensibility."

"He already pushes enough buttons," being so darned Hufflepuff. "But a clearly American girl who dislikes Purebloods?" Jocunda shakes her head and steps in the direction indicated, towards the doorway. Her gaze does shift to the vast pool the tower is situated in. "I feel like it may just be a ploy for attention, which he loves. At least, I hope it is."

Magnus pauses to lead the girl through the archway; as he listens to her, he swings the heavy brass door shut, then leads the way into the large room beyond. There are two couches and several chairs arranged around a large table. "He's probably just rebelling. It's a common reaction at his age, I'm afraid." Grinning, the ambassador waits for Jocunda to follow and select a seat, and then clears his throat. "Pardon me for one moment." And with that, he paces off to the kitchen - letting the help know that there will be a guest for dinner, no doubt - then reappears a few moments later. "My apologies, Jocunda. Enough about your siblings - how are you?" While he's asking the question, he makes his way over to one of the couches and sits.

It's a larger, but plush chair that Jocunda chooses, opting to sink within rather than go for the vast space of a couch. Something cozy, as it were. She's plucking some link from her trous when Magnus returns, lifting chin to smile once he's back. "It's fine," she says, waving off the brief interruption. "Ah, me? I'm well. Much of the same at the Ministry, as you well know. I am getting that broom-maker in Diagon to craft a broom for me, though."

"I'm glad you're doing well. And…" Magnus grins, waiting to continue until after a maid has dropped off a tea set on a large tray; the wizard waves her off and then pours the two of them a cup of the dark substance, starting with his niece. "I know what you mean. You're still finding employment with the Ministry a bit tedious, then?" He picks up his own cup and takes a sip. "It's a sentiment I can empathize with. Which broom-maker do you mean?"

"Mr Toulson at Flights of Fancy," Jocunda explains, accepting the tea with a dip of her head in appreciation. "As for the Ministry… I just feel bored some days. There's a lot of paper work involved. I rather hate paperwork."

"As do I." Magnus takes another sip of his tea, his pale eyes alighting on the young woman's for a few moments. "Your flight across the ocean was rather dramatic, Jocunda. Do you feel that you lack similarly exciting ventures in your life, now that you've moved on to more… mundane endeavours?" The man's thin lips part in a smile that's almost conciliatory. "My assignment in Germany was to infiltrate both the Muggle and Wizarding governments. They pulled me off of the post when they decided it was too risky, but here in England… the atmosphere is rather tedious, don't you think?"

"You are correct, on both counts," Jocunda says with a brief grin. She takes a slow sip of the drink, tilting head. "So you understand, I imagine. To do things vast, changing… and then to just sit in a dark room, lunch the most exciting thing of your day."

"I thought perhaps that was the case, Joca…" Magnus grins and takes a sip of his tea. He doesn't seem to be in any hurry; in fact, he pours himself another cup, then leans back across the plush cushions of the couch. "Well, there are many things to keep a young witch or wizard motivated in England, nowadays. Why don't you get involved politically? What are your thoughts on the Repealment movement, and the Statute?" His tone of voice is genial, careless - as if the subjects he's mentioning don't mean a thing to him beyond the fact that they're currently hot topics of debate.

"Politics?" Jocunda blinks a few times, looking up from her cup. She had even been about to take a sip. The blonde's brow furrows, lips pursing. "I… admit I have not really considered it overall. I see the points of both sides, to be perfectly honest. There is… an amazing thing allowed to us because of the Statute, but I also can see the reason behind the call for a repeal."

"That sounds rather wishy-washy, Jocunda. You're free to speak your mind here, you know." Magnus grins, then stands up; he reaches down to snatch up the teapot so that he can refill Jocunda's glass, then sets it down and reseats himself. "Of course, I wasn't a Slytherin, so perhaps I'm simply being too bold." He chuckles, then folds one of his legs across the other and frowns thoughtfully. "How are your parents?"

Thus far, Ria's the only one that Jocunda's truly felt 'gets' her at times. Likely their parents, but one can never be sure of that. She taps her fingers upon her leg as she waits for her glass to be refilled. There's another nod of appreciation. "I… fear that repealment would cause a loss in power for families like ours." Which in and of itself likely speaks volumes. "My parents? Well enough. I fear they have hopes I'll meet someone I like enough to allow a decent courtship."

Magnus nods slowly to the young woman's words, then wraps one long-fingerd hand around the handle of his teacup so that he can pick it up and take a slow sip. "That's an understandable concern. The Sykes would certainly feel the repercussions of a major paradigm shift…" His half-lidded eyes narrow a little more, and then he smiles. "But I think that bright girls like you and Ria might benefit from the freedoms afforded by repealment, even if other members of the family couldn't cope quite so readily." After an effervescent shrug, his dark brows arch and he smirks mischievously. "Oh? You mean that a fetching girl like you isn't interested in anyone?" His tone is familial and teasing.

"I know I rather enjoy living in the city, but without the eye that many other high profile families receive. It's difficult enough in our world…" Though she does seem to love the limelight. Maybe it's her distaste of Muggles that makes all the difference. "However, yes, the other freedoms it would allow…" She trails off, eyes a bit distant. Likely considering just those things. Joca takes another long sip of her tea. "Mmm?" A smirk and a low chuckle answers him. "No one in particular. Mother believes I am too picky."

"Of course, of course. Discretion certainly has its benefits. Although if it becomes necessary for witches and wizards to step forward as the leaders of both worlds, I know I'd feel more confident with capable families at the helm." Magnus takes one more long sip, then sets his empty cup down on the table and rises. He offers a hand to Jocunda and laughs softly. "Come, niece. I'll show you the rest of the tower while we wait for dinner to finish."

"That…" Jocunda tilts her head, getting to her feet as she sets down her tea cup as well. "You have a very good point there, uncle." Her lips curve in something of a smile. "Ensure that the right people are ready to step up and take charge. It's sure that the Muggles would come to understand that we are better suited… Afterall, their social policies are just… /ridiculous/." She dips her head and gestures, "Please. I love what I've seen so far."

The ambassador chuckles and reaches out for the young witch's hand, then walks idly towards one side of the large room. "You have a much clearer understanding about such things than most people your age, Joca. I don't think most witches and wizards grasp just how dangerous the situation is for us." He starts up a flight of curving stairs, then stops at the top to open a heavy brass door that leads into the library. "There's a smoking parlor downstairs, and the kitchen, but I don't think you'll be too interested in those."

"I have a lot of time on my hands to observe the moods of the Ministry and hear what people think on these things," Jocunda admits, casting a glance towards Magnus. "It is nice to know that you are open-minded enough that I can discuss it with you. It's not like I can just visit with Ria whenever I want to talk such things." Oh what a sight that would be. "I do smoke, but not the kind that requires a parlor," she quips.

"Then you've probably realized what a useless organization the Ministry really is, sometimes," Magnus returns wryly, his lips twisting into a sardonic smirk. "Of course you can discuss things openly with me, my dear. If not your family, then who else?" He smiles, then gestures at the bookshelves that line the walls in a large circle. "Most of this collection was imported when I moved in, and I haven't finished more than a tenth of it so far." The man chuckles and moves up the next flight of stairs. "Cigarettes then, I suppose? They're quite popular, these days."

There's a widening of eyes. Almost something of surprise. "Oh yes. So many layers of redundancy! Paperwork for this, but first you need paperwork for the paperwork and that requires a certain clearance that can be obtained by…" Jocunda shakes her head a bit, "I'm sure it's needed because of all the loopholes that magic can provide, but it's utterly infuriating sometimes." She pauses to look over the library. "Do you collect anything in particular? I've never asked."

Nodding somberly, Magnus pauses on the landing at the top of the stairs so he can glance down at the bookshelves contemplatively. "Unfortunately, you can't substitute rules for common sense. And I think a good deal of the rules exist simply to advance the prospects of politicians and - to be frank - their bootlickers. I deal with such often enough, in my line of work. It's extremely inefficient." The tall, gaunt wizard's grey eyes flit over to Jocunda's with mild surprise at her inquiry, and he smiles. "Well - I mostly read books on international relations and history, but I have a weak spot for fantasy."

It's not like Jocunda did poorly in school. It just was never much of a focus for her. She did well enough, as it were. "I've seen some of the bootlickers… I can't wait for the next summer's interns to be announced and I can start picking them out of the fresh-faced crowd." Likely a great past-time for her sort. Pick out who will do well, who will go nuts, and who is a suck-up. "Fantasy?" She pauses also, looking back to the books. "Any kind in particular?"

"It's good to keep an eye on those types. They can be useful, sometimes." Magnus chuckles darkly, and looks as if he's about to say something else, but suddenly seems to change his mind. "Hmm - oh, well, lately I've been reading some interesting French works by the Marquis de Sade." He winks one pale eye shut at the young woman, then laughs sarcastically. "Science fiction is of some interest to me. To picture the ways that Muggles imagine magic functioning is… amusing." The ambassador reaches out and swings the heavy door in front of them open, then steps around his niece and raises his hands to cover her eyes. "Go on! This room is my favorite."

"Do they translate well to English?" She doesn't know French. Never saw the need. Jocunda does chuckle at the mention of science fiction. "A few of the Muggle-borns when I was in school would talk grandly of such works. We would often have a grand laugh at it. So ridiculous…!" All the more reason to keep or repeal the statute? Hmm. She makes a small startled sound when her eyes are covered, but moves forward carefully to make sure she doesn't stumble.

Magnus snickers at her reply - the licentious joke is clearly lost on the always-serious Jocunda. "Oh, I'm sure they would. I'll read one to you, Jocunda." He undoubtedly would, considering his twisted sense of humor, and probably set the poor girl's ears burning in the process. "They /are/ quite imaginative, aren't they? Like children, really. And about as good at governing each other." Keeping his hands over her eyes, he walks forward with her until they're in the room. "Look up," he says softly, removing his hands; they're standing in the bedroom, of course, but the ceiling is one huge glass dome. It bends the sunlight in an odd way that makes it seem to undulate and shimmer; perhaps the glass has been charmed.

"Imaginative would certainly explain their governing style. Using things such as religion and other perceived things to decide who is lesser or greater than another. It's simple as birth, nothing else. That is a tangible, trackable thing." Just wait until DNA testing… Jocunda does as requested, lifting her chin to look at the dome. Lips part a bit, curving into a smile. "I thought I saw glimmers of light on the roof as I approached, but… this is quite amazing! The closest I have seen to something like this is the Great Hall at Hogwarts, but… this is better."

A thin smile graces Magnus's lips, and he gently sets a hand on the witch's shoulder. "Good girl." There's a fair bit of pride in his voice as he looks up to observe the ceiling along with her, and his smile widens into a grin. "I'm glad you like it - I'm rather fond of it, anyway. It's certainly better than the quarters I had in Germany." He pauses, then reaches out and clasps her hand again. "Ah, dinner will be ready in a moment - we should go back downstairs. Do you drink, Joca? The bar is fully stocked, of course." The man heads back towards the stairs and begins making his way back down. "Just don't tell your parents I offered. They'll have my head."

"Did they not give you well-appointed quarters?" Jocunda sounds a bit disappointed. "For your station, it may not have been as grand as this, but…" She moves shoulders in a small shrug, shifting to follow after. "Have your head all they want, they need to understand that I'm an adult and I can drink all I want." A brief pause and a slight smirk. "That is why I rarely dine at home though. No one chiding me on limits." Not that she's made too much a fool of herself.

"Well, the quarters themselves weren't terrible - but they were located directly next to an army barracks, and the German military takes pride in being noisy, boisterous, and interfering…" Magnus smirks and leads the rest of the way back down, releasing the girl's hand once they're back in the main room on the bottom floor. "In that case, I'll go fetch something for us. What do you drink?" He tosses the question back over his shoulder as he wanders into the kitchen. Apparently a night of familial bonding over food and booze is ahead.

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