(1937-11-01) All In The Family
Details for All In The Family
Summary: Magnus invites Veruca over to catch up.
Date: November 1, 1937
Location: Watershed
Related: None

Watershed London

It is a fall evening. The weather is warm and stormy.

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.

Unsurprisingly, it's raining heavily in London on this fall evening; there's a thick cover of dark brooding clouds overhead. On the other hand, the weather is unusually warm for October. Still, nobody likes being caught in the rain - and that includes the two fellows standing guard at the gates to Watershed. They have umbrellas, but the glow of their cigarettes illuminates their faces enough to show that they're clearly rankled by their unfortunate situation.

Magnus, on the other hand, is perfectly content; he's in the smoking parlor on the bottom floor of the tower, sprawled comfortably across a couch with a cigar and a book. A thick red and gold robe - very Gryffindor - is his attire for the evening. Earlier in the week he'd sent a note off to Veruca asking her to drop by for dinner, if she could escape her work duties for long enough; should she choose to come by traditional means, the guards will allow her in immediately, though there's a fireplace in the smoking lounge to floo into as well.

Having planned her day with the intent of spending some 'quality time' with her cousin, Veruca planned a few errands in the area, so she does arrive by conventional means. The tap of heels on the hall floor precedes the arrival of Rue and her escort. She has already left a light raincoat near the door, and carries only her clutch purse. As she follows a step behind the guard she eyes him, and when the door to the smoking room is before them he stops to let Rue go in alone. She strolls in, a smile curving her lips at sight of Magnus in his Gryffindor glory. "Good evening, Magnus."

The sound of approaching footfalls stirs Magnus from his study of the book held out in front of him; he sets it down on the nearby table and is just standing up as Veruca enters. His lips curl into a wry smile in turn, and he casually waves the guard off through the momentarily-open door - the man quickly does as he's commanded, shutting it and heading back outside. "Hello, Veruca." The cigar, too, is abandoned on an ashtray on the table, and he walks across the room to stand a foor or two away from the witch. His hands move up to rest on her shoulders, and he leans down to brush a kiss across her cheek. "I'm glad you could finally make it to my humble abode."

The cheek is offered willingly for the peck, Veruca's empty hand coming up to rest on her cousin's arm for a moment. "I'm happy I could finally slice the time out of my schedule." Her eyes flicker around, taking in this room in addition to what she's already seen. "Humble? Magnus, my flat is humble. This is magnificent." She smiles with the light verbal poke at him.

"You do seem to be quite the commodity these days, cousin." Magnus grins and steps back, then glances around the room and chuckles at the compliment. "Well, I'm a fan of understatement. What can I say?" He smirks sardonically, and motions towards the entryway. "Dinner should be ready within the hour. Would you like a tour, or would you prefer to relax here a moment?"

More at ease with Magnus than with many people, Veruca laughs softly at his words. "Yes, you were always the wallflower in the family," she teases lightly. "Why don't we spend a little time here before putting on our hiking boots for the tour? We've still not really gotten a chance to properly catch up."

"It couldn't be helped. I felt so out of place, surrounded by such enticing relatives," Magnus responds, his playful tone mirroring Veruca's. Her response to his question is met with a nod, and he paces back across the room to a large cabinet. When he opens the door, the contents are revealed to be numerous bottles of liquor. "What will you have to drink, then? Please, have a seat wherever you'd like."

Veruca saunters over to a comfortable looking chair, folding gracefully to sit. "Well, Magnus dear, to be perfectly honest I could absolutely murder a scotch right now if you have some. Once I've cleaned you out of that, we can take inventory of your stock again." She is just full of frivolity tonight.

Magnus reaches into the cabinet for two short glasses; these are set on the counter. A bottle of aged scotch follows, and after he pours a healthy portion for each of them, he closes the cabinet and strides over to Veruca to hand a glass to her. "There you are. I trust you'll find my stocks meet your expectations." With an impish smirk, he takes a seat just across from the woman and leans back, drink in hand. "So, Veruca. How do you find the life of a busy executive assistant?"

The glass is accepted, and immediately lifts to her lips for a pull from the contents. This is followed by a contented sigh before Rue speaks. "Yes. I knew I could count on you, Magnus." She settles back comfortably, crossing her legs, smoothing her skirt with her free hand. "To be honest, cousin, I find it a bit taxing and less rewarding than I had thought it might be. I've been pondering another change. And how are things Ambassadoring?" she asks with a grin.

"Oh?" Magnus tilts his head to one side, his pale eyes showing a certain degree of calculating curiosity at her reply. "Less rewarding in what ways, I wonder? Do you find it tiring, having to deal with Muggle businessmen?" He could certainly empathize with that, given his own job description. "Or is it just that you feel a lack of excitement?" Those pale eyes drift down to Veruca's legs and linger there briefly, and the man's lips curl into a smirk. "Oh, my position is quite tedious. The Ministry has more than seen to that."

There are some benefits to dealing with Muggle businessmen, and the question quirks Rue's lips into more of a smirk. "No, I find the Muggles quite easy to deal with. But it's a very demanding position, and recently something a bit intriguing has come to my attention, which I am pondering." The slender leg crossed over the top of the other starts to swing lightly. "I'd been meaning to ask if you had made it to that rally staged by Cassius Malfoy a few weeks ago. I looked for you in the crowd, but saw neither hide nor hair."

The wizard laughs softly and takes a long drink of the scotch, pausing when he's finished to let the biting taste linger for a moment before he speaks. "If only the same could be said of the rest of our society. It seems they're quite content to let the Muggles drag us into impending catastrophe." Magnus sighs and raps his fingertips lightly on the surface of the glass. His gaze remains pinned on the distracting movement of the witch's leg for a few seconds before it swings up to meet her own, when she questions him. "Ah - as it happens, I /was/ there. I wasn't quite myself at the time, though - if I had been, I certainly wouldn't have neglected your company." He chuckles, takes another sip, and leans forward. "What's your opinion on the whole matter? Repealment, I mean."

As Magnus looks up from the movement of her leg, Veruca's eyes are already there to meet his directly. "Ah well, I'm glad that you didn't miss it. I stayed off to the sides, myself. I was more interested in hearing what was to be said than to jump into all the socializing that was going along with it." She lifts the glass to her lips, in no hurry to speak without letting her thoughts form, and takes a drink, then licks her lips. "I find it a very interesting argument. I'm not entirely sure that I see the benefits to letting the Statute stand as it is. Well, let's be candid, shall we? I do not see the benefits to letting the Statute stand. It would be better all the way around, socially, financially, if we were to just stop sneaking around already and stop this war that the Muggles are gearing themselves up for."

"Hmm. Yes, I'm afraid 'socializing' is exactly what it was, for the most part. It's all well and good to stand up and make noise about the whole affair, but I don't think it has a great deal of effect on anything." Magnus smiles wanly and drains the rest of his scotch in one long pull, his eyes on Veruca all the while, then stands and walks across the room to the cabinet. He pours himself another glass, then paces over to where she's seated and casually rests a set of fingers on her shoulder. "More scotch, cousin?" he asks, his fingers trailing down her arm - though he removes them so that he can reach up to stroke his jaw when she's finished speaking. "I agree with you. I can't imagine that people like you and I wouldn't stand at an advantage, given the opportunities of such a change… but I don't believe the Ministry or its sycophants will allow it without a good deal of unpleasant pushing in the right direction."

The touch of his fingers draws Veruca's eyes to the side, but otherwise she shows no outward reaction to the movement. But she does raise her glass, and turns her head now to look up at him, "Please." She considers his words, still regarding him thoughtfully. "You do have a point there. What's that quaint Muggle saying? You can't make a cake without breaking a few eggs? But still, I don't see a revolution sweeping the community over this."

Magnus smiles and tilts the bottle over her glass; once it's full again, he sets the former down on a nearby end table. That done, he walks back to his seat and lowers himself into it slowly. "No, that doesn't seem to be the case." The ambassador raps his finger on his glass again thoughtfully, then looks up and grins. "Of course, if /someone/ doesn't act, everyone will wish they had, sooner or later."

"Mmmm, I suppose," Veruca agrees thoughtfully. A drink, another lick to her lips, and she frowns slightly. "Did you hear of those leaflets that rained down on the Alley?" They caused quite a stir, so she assumes that he has. "One must wonder if violence is the answer. Isn't that what we are trying to avoid with the Muggle war, after all?"

"I heard a thing or two about them," Magnus replies evenly. He takes a drink to match hers, though the glass remains tilted up fractionally longer than necessary at the sight of the woman's tongue trailing along her lips. He tilts the glass back down, then licks his own before grinning. "Violence is never the answer, true. But sometimes it serves as a useful reminder of the consequences of vacillation. Perhaps if someone in Germany had made a few examples in due course…" He rolls his shoulders in a mild shrug. "Well, I'm just a diplomat, after all."

Veruca nods thoughtfully at his words, again acknowledging the veracity of a point he makes. Her smile returns, "And I'm just a glorified secretary." She can so joke about things!

Magnus smirks, then rises from his chair again. He walks slowly over to Veruca and extends a hand; unless she stops him, he'll run a finger nonchalantly across the line of her jaw, then over her lips, before he laughs softly and takes a sip of his scotch. "Even secretaries can be surprising, can't they?" He tilts his head and lets his hand fall to his side. "Dearest cousin, suppose I were in favor of taking… covert action, in order to prevent the worst possible scenario from playing out. Could I trust you?" He allows his grey eyes to meet hers. His normal cavaliere attitude is, for now, replaced by earnest intensity.

There is no protest, but there is a measure of veiled curiosity in Rue's dark eyes as she regards Magnus. "Although we are not blood, Magnus, we are family. As such, you will always have my regard above others. Things within the family stay within the family, after all." Her head tilts back a measure and cants to the side. "Perhaps there are also some things that family should not know about each other." Her words are carefully chosen, and her eyes do not drop from his face.

That response causes the ambassador's pale grey eyes to grow slightly more chilly, though it's tempered by a soft smile. "Always the cautious one." Magnus stands in place for another instant, then walks casually over to the cabinet again. He sets his glass down on its surface and folds his hands behind his back. Then he turns back to the witch, the corners of his lips curling up into a smirk. "Well, perhaps you're well-suited to your profession after all, Veruca. The food should nearly be ready - would you like to accompany me to the dining room?"

The change in demeanor, although slight, is noted, and the small jab is noted. But she does not rise to it, instead rising at his suggestion. Her smile is no less pleasant than it has been since her arrival. "I would be delighted, Magnus."

"Lovely. Just this way, then." There's only a hint of disappointment in Magnus's voice, and again, it's mostly covered up by the same brilliant smiles that he's used to giving out freely during the course of any workday. He makes his way over to the door and pulls it open, then waits for Veruca by the entryway; when she gets closer, he'll extend an arm to her and chuckle. "I hope you enjoy roast pheasant." He casts a sidelong, almost-curious glance at her, then starts towards the dining room slowly.

Veruca moves easily and takes the offered arm, tucking her hand into the crook of his elbow cozily. "What a lovely choice, Magnus. I haven't had it since the last time I was home, which was quite some while ago." Her steps match his, unhurried. "And after dinner, a tour of your lovely home?"

Magnus nods, pocketing his free hand and glancing idly at a few pieces of art that line the hall as he makes his way along its length. "Excellent. Variety is the spice of life, as they say." He grins. "Of course. I'm dying to show you the rest. I think you'll love the top story, Veruca."

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