(1937-11-03) The Old Song and Dance
Details for The Old Song and Dance
Summary: Emrys returns to the Sykes Estate, expecting things to have been cleared up in his favor…
Date: Sat Nov 03, 1937
Location: Sykes Estate
Related: Misunderstandings Lead to Hilarity

It's an unseasonably warm fall evening, but in classic London fashion… it's still raining. A light rain, thankfully, but it can still be rather uncomfortable. The Sykes Estate is not spared the rain, though it seems somehow… less there. Less heavy, less uncomfortable. When Emrys approaches, he is directed to the rear lawn where floating candles are arranged around a patio. Umbrellas without handles float overhead as well, multiple layers of them deflecting any water before it can fall below. It's just past the dinner hour and Jocunda is settled in a lounge chair sipping at a warm drink, staring off into the darkness.

Emrys comes to stand near where Jocunda is settle. He's dry, thanks to judicious use of magic, as is the bouquet of roses he's holding across his chest. There's a polite clearing of his throat, then. "Miss Sykes."

Blue eyes shift and raise to Emrys. She doesn't seem surprised to see him- likely this time she was informed of his being due to visit or his arrival. Now did she purposefully select to be outside when he arrived or does she care so little that she just went about her day? The cup — looks like a hot cocoa — is set aside and she shifts to her feet. "Snowdon. I hadn't expected you back so soon."

"Well, it seemed long enough to give you time to talk to your parents and think…and short enough to not be too long." Emrys replies with a smile, holding out the flowers. "These are for you, Miss Sykes. I apologize if you feel I returned too soon. I trust you're well?"

Jocunda casts a look to the roses, seeming a bit surprised at their existence. Never mind them being offered to her. She reaches out to accept them after a moment's hesitation. "I have spoken with them," she says in a guarded tone. "And you? Have you spoken to yours?"

"I have spoken with my parents, yes." Emrys replies, noting her guarded tone and becoming more so himself. It's like a game of cards. The smile grows, though, when the roses are accepted.

"I assume it went well, since you're back so soon," Jocunda offers, turning away to head to a small, but still well-established outside bar. The roses are set across it as she reaches for a warmed pitcher. "Would you like some cocoa or something stronger?"

"Indeed. And since you seem willing to receive me, I am assuming it also went well for you." Emrys offers in turn, following her across to the bar. "Whatever you're having will be quite alright with me."

"I'm not one to turn someone away, Snowdon," Jocunda states, gaze lifting to regard the man. "Or do you think me cruel enough to reject you simply because of this misunderstanding?" She's cruel for other reasons. "Hot cocoa it is." She pours him some, offering out the mug. Perhaps it's amusing to give a man a non-alcoholic drink?

Emrys, on the other hand, doesn't seem troubled at all by the fact it's non-alcoholic. "Thank you." The cocoa is taken and sipped. "I don't think you cruel at all, Miss Sykes. I just know finding out things were not as you thought they were…was probably difficult for you."

"Considering that you assumed to change the whole landscape of my life? Certainly it was troubling." Jocunda steps around the bar again, leaving the roses for now. Likely the house-elf will get them sorted away at some point. She settles back into her chair, picking up her own cup. "But now the tables are turned. How do you feel learning that what you thought was a certainty is not?"

Emrys blinks at that, and there's a long silence. Finally, he offers hesitantly "My parents…said that their understanding of the matter had been correct, Miss Sykes. I am guessing, then, that your parents told you /their/ understanding of the matter had been correct also?"

"Of course they did," Jocunda says, looking back out across the lawn. "In their eyes, we are adults capable of making our own decisions and, as I had said the last you visited… the Sykes are not prone to forcing their children into marriage." She shifts slightly, turning to look at him finally. "My mother, apparently, had thought we may get along well and that perhaps it could lead to a courtship. That is the breadth of their… meddling."

"And as I believe I told you, the Snowdons arrange all their marriages." Emrys shakes his head slightly at that. "It seems then our parents are definitely at cross-purposes, and unlikely from the sounds of it to reach an agreement even if we went back to them and pointed out that there was a great misunderstanding."

"Well, seeing as how no one can force me to be wed…" Jocunda gestures grandly, ending with a smirk directed at Emrys. "You are more the one on the outs than I." There's a lull before she continues: "My mother has said she will try to clear up the misunderstanding, but has requested that in the meantime, I at least entertain you and attempt to be sympathetic."

Emrys winces at the talk of clearing things up, and it's obvious he feels a little sympathy for her mother. "That is most kind of her." The comment about him being more on the outs goes unreplied too. "You seem almost amused by this whole mess."

"I'm surprised you aren't!" Jocunda has a hint of laughter to her tone, though she does not outright do so. "Isn't it rather grand? You think you've finally had your parents decide on a wife for you, only to learn it's all been a misunderstanding. You ought to turn it around, make a show of how you ought to have your own choice in all of this!"

"Why would I be amused by it?" Emrys shakes his head, seeming to feel more embaressed than anything else. "But no, it's not grand. Nor is it…I've never expected my own choice. That is not a luxury allowed someone in my position. And I'm not about to start demanding it now."

"You keep repeating that. Your position. Our station." Jocunda's lips twist mildly in distaste as she sits up. She takes a drink of her cocoa, gesturing at Emrys. "You sound like Muggle nobility. That's… the best part of who we are, Snowdon. We don't have to hold to their ridiculous societal standards and rules. We /ought/ to marry other pure-bloods, I agree. Only they can understand who we are. But…" A shake of the head. "To feel as if you don't have the choice. Tsk."

"That." Emrys draws himself up, looking hurt, when she tells him he sounds like a Muggle. Wounded, even. "That was uncalled for, Sykes." A long silence then, as he sips his drink. "I don't. It is a family tradition, one of many fine traditions my family has. And I have no intention of being the one to flout them."

"And you think it is not uncalled for to insist that I must do things the way your family does because of my… position?" Jocunda settles back, kicking her feet up. She looks off into the darkness once more, letting the sound of rain falling fill the silence. When she finally does speak, it's an almost low tone: "I recommend you request a new arrangement, then, Snowdon. You do not wish to tie yourself for these many decades to a woman who will not go without a fight."

"Clearly you are not listening to me, Miss Sykes." Emrys shakes his head. "I have never insisted you must do things that way. I believe it is the right way, but notice I have not insisted we are getting married. Only that my family thinks we are. As I have said, several times, a misunderstanding." There's a wry laugh then, and a shake of his head, for her latter words.

"I simply gathered that between your insistence that your parents believe we are to be wed and your insistence upon being the dutiful child… That you would also be insisting upon following through with this… farce." Jocunda is smirking somewhat, perhaps relaxed a bit at the laugh.

"Well, as you have so correctly pointed out, nobody can make you get married. And your parents have no inclination to try." Emrys notes, even as he twitches slightly at the word farce. "So I can hardly /insist/ on following through with it, as you put it." He pauses, to sip his drink. "But I do intend to court you, yes."

That throws Jocunda for a loop. The woman stares somewhat at Emrys, looking a bit baffled. She takes a sip of her cocoa, slowly lowering the mug after she swallows. "I'm sorry, I believe I misheard you. You didn't say you intend to court me, did you?"

"Yes." Emrys can't help but smile a little, at Jocunda's reaction. Generally she's been the one with the upper hand, after all. "I intend to court you, Miss Sykes. Which it would appear I have your parent's blessing to do."

"You do," Jocunda admits with a soft sound of resignation. "I do not understand why you would wish to, however. Surely there is a girl out there much more… amiable to such a situation as your parents desire."

"Surely there is." Emrys agrees with an easy nod. "But, as it is, I have been pointed in your direction. And I do not find myself unhappy with my parent's choice. So it seems foolish to go looking for this hypothetical girl when I can instead court you."

"May I ask why you are happy with their choice?" Jocunda may just be fishing for compliments… but she may also be genuinely curious.

"You are a well-bred, attractive, young woman, and I can, so far, have a conversation with you without being bored out of my head or wanting to rip my hair out in frustration." Emrys answers after a moment. "We shared a House, so I know we have some things in common."

"I am those things," Jocunda says, smirking in a somewhat self-possessed fashion. "I also pride myself on rarely being boring. Often it's only when I do so on purpose. To drive someone undesirable off." He can take that as he wishes. "We did share a house, but I recall… As you kept your nose tied up in your studies and the Professors, I was busy being the Star of the Quidditch team." Whether she actually was or not, well…

"My nose was not tied up in the Professors." Emrys grumbles with a shake of his head, though there's no real seriousness to it. "And yes, I recall that also. As you may or may not recall, I attended every game."

"Mmm, did you?" Jocunda's lips curve slowly into a smirk, the woman gesturing with a bit of a hand wave. "The stands were always so full… How was I to notice one silly Prefect?" Maybe she did notice.

"Well, I imagine you wouldn't have noticed a single Prefect." Emrys agrees with an easy shrug, before adding with a smile of his own that almost approaches a smirk "But I would have hoped you'd have noticed the Head Boy."

"Only in so much as to avoid you that final year." Thankfully, seeing as how Head Girl and Boy only last for their seventh year. Jocunda grins a bit, lifting her cup to finish the drink. "You were too busy dealing with snogging fifth years to pay me any mind."

"I still made every Quidditch game." Emrys points out with a grin of his own, shaking his head at the memories of dealing with all that nonsense. Of course it was practically required at that point.

"Mmmhmm. Didn't you take one of the Chasers to the Yule Ball that year?" Jocunda can't recall, but surely he was the one. She herself, of course, had a couple of lads attending her. Why not?

"Yes, I did. Lovely girl. We still keep in touch. She had her first child earlier this year." Emrys smiles, and it's clear he's talking about a close friend. Which is…about how they acted at the Yule Ball, actually.

Eyebrow raises somewhat, "Did she? I hadn't spoken with her since she took that posting across the Pond for a while." Jocunda shifts and gets to her feet, moving to take up his cup. "Would you like more?"

"We still write." Emrys comments, nodding at the offer. "More would be lovely, thank you."

"You'll have to put her in touch with me sometime," Jocunda says, voice turned thoughtful. Perhaps other things are at work? She returns to the bar with cups in hand, returning shortly thereafter to offer Emrys' over to him. "So how do you intend to court me? I'm sure it'll be a far sight better than most who have attempted."

"I'm sure she'd love that." Emrys murmurs, taking the cup with a grateful smile. "Thanks. And…well, visits. Asking you to accompany me to social events. Spending time together. Gifts. You know….Courting."

"Well, that is a site better than the usual sort. They often… conveniently forget their money. Or want me to plan a group outing with my friends and theirs." Jocunda finds her way back to her seat, settling in. "What sort of social functions do you tend to go to?"

"Well, that doesn't sound very gentlemanly at all." Emrys blinks, apparently genuinely taken aback by her words. He moves past it though. "Not terribly many, unless it's for work. Something that will now have to change."

"Well, I've had few suitors from our… station," a smirk at the use of the word, "in quite some time." After all, she's not as interested in settling down and tends to get into scraps. "Usually they're interested to improve their own place in life and hopefully inherit some fortune."

"Well, I can assure you that's not what I'm interested in. Both of those are more than seen to in my case." Emrys smiles easily, sipping at his drink. "Perhaps this will be a refreshing change for you."

Jocunda takes a moment to sip her drink, drawing things out in the quiet. Considering, thoughtful. "You ought to know some things," she says finally. A breath and she continues, lighthearted despite the serious bent to her words. "I smoke. I drink. I enjoy a good scuffle. I'm not changing those things for anyone."

"Alright." Emrys finally says, sipping at his drink. "Well…none of those are exactly deep dark secrets. Not really proper, yes, but….not the end of the world. And presumably your good qualities outweigh them."

An eyebrow raises and Jocunda sits up. "I hope you did not for once think that the woman you plan to court is /proper/. I did defy /proper/ and fly across the Atlantic after all."

"I never said I thought you were proper, Miss Sykes." Emrys offers, his tone mollifying. "But you pointed those things out, so I thought you'd like my genuine reaction. And yes, yes you did. By yourself."

"You bring up propriety so much, I wanted to be sure you know what you're getting into." Jocunda settles back, taking a sip of her cocoa. "I can't say how I'll respond to this courting, but it should be interesting."

"Propriety is very important to me, Miss Sykes." Emrys agrees, with a sip of his own coca. And then he adds, with a smile. "I still wish to court you." And she may take from that what she likes.

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