(1937-11-05) Call me Magnus, Rhyeline
Details for Call me Magnus, Rhyeline
Summary: After a prolongued struggle against a curse meant for Magnus, the healers have pronounced Rhyeline strong enough to recieve visitors and immediately informed Ambassador Magnus Troy of her progress.
Date: Monday, November 05, 1937
Location: Spell Damage, St Mungo's

It is a fall night. The weather is cool and clear.

Spell Damage - St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries - London

This area of the hospital has been set up for a double purpose. At the beginning of the ward are multiple stations meant to deal with transitory cases that only need the attention of Medi-wizards or Healers for a few hours. These stations have a small adjustable bed and a rolling chair and a stand with all the necessary tools to deal with any kind of temporary damage caused by misfiring or misused spells. The back of the ward has been designed to resemble a boarding house with individual rooms for each patient. These rooms are separated from the primary ward by a set of double doors securely locked by multiple charms. Over the doors a large wooden signs reads:

"Spells Damage Ward. Long Term Care Wing."

During the night this ward is illuminated by the ever present light globes floating around the ceiling.

Stars glimmer faintly in the clear autumn sky. A chill has settled upon the city, but the still weather keeps it from cutting too much into the tramps and vagabonds that still wander the streets. All decent folk are well-away indoors, tucked into bed.

The healers never sleep. In the wake of the madness that accompanies the Halloween season, the Spell Damage floor of St. Mungos is overflowing with patients. And thus, even at night, well past closing time for the muggle shops and restaurants along the street outside, the Medi-wizards and Healers bustle from task to task as they try to keep up with the overabundance of patients.

In the Long Term Care Wing, tucked away in the farthest room at the end of the hall, Rhyeline is sitting up in bed with a fresh cup of coffee at her bedside and a leather-bound tomb open in her lap. A gift from her father. The card sits next to the coffee. Across the room, an exquisite bouquet of pure, snow-white roses and fresh baby’s breath lends the fresh scent of peace to quiet, still room. The curtains on the windows are drawn.

An owl arrived for the Ambassador early in the evening from the hospital to inform him of the success of a recent treatment for Ms. Diderot’s condition. Until now, no one but her immediate family has been permitted to see her. The Ambassador may now see his assistant when he wishes. When he arrives, he is recognized immediately and greeted by a senior healer. With all the deference a man of his power and influence commands, he is escorted to her room.

Magnus is a busy man, but he cleared his schedule almost immediately upon receiving the message earlier in the day; he's ensured, over the course of the past few months, that he has a direct line to any news about his assistant's condition. He's dressed in a slim-fitting grey and black robe with silver highlights - in magic-friendly locales he tends to favor them over suits - and a simple black cape. Once the healer has brought him to the corridor just outside of Rhye's room, he gives his thanks, along with a cordial bow, and cautiously pads inside, his footfalls echoing softly down the hall behind him. The tall, gaunt man pauses just past the doorframe and smiles at the young woman on the bed. "Rhyeline."

The healer dips into a curtsy before departing in silence.

As the man enters her room, Rhyeline lifts her eyes from her book and gazes at him for a moment. “Ambassador,” she murmurs. The young woman remains as pale as when he last saw her. Placing her hands on either side of herself, she pushes herself up a bit to offer him a small bow from where she sits. “Good evening.” Her dark regard lingers upon his features with a subtle hesitation.

At the sight of the young woman's bow, Magnus frowns. "Please, don't strain yourself. And I believe /I/ should be the one bowing to you." He extends one foot and gives a far deeper version of the same gesture, then straightens. His pale eyes skim the room's contents briefly until he locates a chair. He retrieves it and places it a foot or so away from the edge of the bed, then seats himself. One of his long-fingered hands reaches out and clasps one of Rhye's quite suddenly, though his grip is gentle. "I'm told it's likely I wouldn't have survived the curse, since it nearly killed someone half my age. I owe you a great debt."

At last, a touch of color warms the young woman’s cheeks as the man returns with a much deeper bow of his own. Her eyes flicker back and forth from the man’s face to his knees. Finding her cold, delicate hand taken in such a gentle grasp, her bewildered shyness deepens. “Sir,” she murmurs at last. “I assure you, you owe me nothing. I understand your time in Germany was cut short, regardless.”
Magnus's own cheeks redden slightly at Rhye's humbleness; his lips twist into a slight frown once again, and he shakes his head. "Nonsense. I owe you more than I can hope to repay." He glances down for a moment - at their hands - then back up at the young witch. He does not, however, release his grip. "Don't worry about Germany, that's in the past. How are you? Are you feeling well?" The answer seems to be an obvious 'no', but that doesn't prevent him from asking.

Rhyeline nods. “Yes, I’ve been feeling much better recently.” A subtle smile touches her lips. “Eyes open, sitting up and everything. I hope that they will let me out soon.” Casting her gaze around the room for a moment, she says, “This room is very peaceful. Warm and – cozy, even. But I’d like to return to work as soon as I can.” Her eyes flicker hesitantly to him once more. Perhaps she has been replaced, she doesn’t know.

"As do I. Have they given you an idea of how much longer they'd like to keep you?" The ambassador glances down one more time before letting go of the young woman's hand, and folds both of his over his lap. His lips part in a smile when she mentions the room. "I'm glad you like it. I requested it for you." Well, not so much 'requested' as 'purchased', but he has no desire to boast to someone who jumped in front of a deadly curse for him. He clears his throat and raps a set of digits on his leg. "I'd love to have you back, Rhyeline, but - I want you to be very careful of your health."

Once more, a soft smile touches her lips when she learns she still has a place with him. “Thank you, sir. The room is wonderful. I think they might let me go within a few days. At least, if the new treatment continues to work as well as it has been.” Lowering her gaze, she adjusts the burnt orange comforter keeping her warm and folds her hands in her lap. The young woman is wearing a simple white nightdress of the lightest silk. Peeking up at him, she asks, “How are things at the ministry?”

"Rhyeline, there's no need to call me 'sir'. Just Magnus, please." Magnus's lips curl into a lopsided smile; this is the first time he's made such a request of her - until this point, 'sir' had always been more than sufficient from a mere assistant. He seems pleased to hear the verdict on how much longer she'll need to remain under supervision. He moves a bit closer to the edge of the bed, setting his elbows on his knees and leaning forward. "The Ministry? To tell you the truth, it's very boring."

The young woman is caught off guard by such a request. She blinks and hesitates as her cheeks warm ever so gently. Trying to hide the effect he has had on her, she averts her gaze and reaches for the warm cup of coffee resting on her bed-side table. “I have been reading the Daily Prophet whenever I’ve been able to. I understand that the controversy of remaining hidden and rising up have not been confined to the continent. Even with this, it has been dull?” From behind her cup as she takes a sip, her keen gaze flickers to his own pale eyes.

The thin man's grey eyes don't leave the woman's face even as she averts her own - though they do flicker down just slightly when her skin flushes a bit. One corner of his lips tugs up just a bit further, and he casually reaches out to set his hand atop hers again. "You're very perceptive. I'm afraid the answer is yes, though - things here are nothing like Germany. Oh, there's plenty of official bluster and rabble-rousing, but nobody on either side of the debate is taking any action." His thumb lightly brushes back and forth over the back of Rhye's hand. "I hope that doesn't affect your decision to come back to work for me."

With his hand over hers in a way that may only be described as affectionate, the young woman’s shyness grows noticeably. Hiding a bit too long behind her cup of coffee, her blush has deepened as much as it ever will. Beneath his hand, hers remains perfectly still, like a field mouse caught in the shadow of a hawk. “Not at all,” she murmurs at last. “Where there is a lack of action, a vacuum of power is created. It is the calm before the storm. It will be best to prepare for it, no?” Despite her calm words, her gaze flickers back and forth from her cup of coffee to the man’s gaunt features.

Perhaps in light of the fact that he owes his life to the young witch, Magnus refrains from looking /too/ pleased at her blush. On the other hand, his smile remains firmly in place. "I think you may be right, Rhyeline. It's likely that change is in the air - although it's difficult to say how long it will take to blow in. In the meantime, I'm sure there are ways we can be productive with our time." He allows that rather vague statement to stand as is for several seconds, his pale eyes pinned on hers. Eventually, and very nonchalantly, he adds: "Making preparations, as you say, of course. I'm currently in the process of doing some research with another gentleman recently back from Germany, in fact."

The way he allows his vague statement to slowly sink in causes the gamine to grow perfectly still. Her young, dark gaze is held steadily in those seconds. The spell breaks when he speaks and she quickly lowers her eyes to her coffee cup a moment before forcing herself to look to him once more and not hide. “Yes, sir,” she nods. “I will help you as you need. And in the meantime, I will try to do some research of my own. Perhaps something useful will turn up.”

"Magnus. Call me Magnus, Rhyeline," the ambassador says, enunciating each syllable with an almost order-like crispness. He smiles again when she meets his gaze, this time more softly, and nods at her suggestion that she engage in ulterior activities. "As long as you've the strength, I think you'll find there are many ways you can put your skills to use." His expression suddenly turns grave and rather earnest, his lips thinning out, and he moves his hand up to Rhye's arm. "You saved my life, Miss Diderot. I want to know more about the woman who was willing to do that for me. And I mean to keep her safe." He smirks - more affectionately than sardonically - and sits up straight. "Which means that I fully expect you to be careful, and not overexert yourself. Understand?"

As his hand travels up her arm, the young woman’s gaze widens slightly. However, she does not attempt to pull away. Nodding, she murmurs, “Yes, s- Magnus. I will be careful.” After a moment of hesitation, her gaze flickers to the cup of coffee held in her left hand and a subtle smile touches her lips a third time. “I will keep to my books and drink lots of coffee for now. If I drink enough, it should keep my heart beating quick enough, no?”

Magnus allows his hand to move slightly higher, then linger briefly on his assistant's shoulder. "Please do." He withdraws it, then slowly gets to his feet and returns the chair to its original location. "And don't drink /too/ much coffee, my dear. They say it stunts your growth." He winks slyly at her. "The hospital staff will be instructed to notify me as soon as they're ready to release you, unless you have any objections. Has anyone made living arrangements for you, or would you like for me to handle that on your behalf?"

Rhyeline’s smile grows at his sly wink, and for a moment, her eyes shine with a subtle mirth. Resting back against several feather pillows propping her up, she hesitates a moment before saying, “No, I do not object. I had thought I might contact an old friend of mine, Annie Taylor. And my father’s home is open to me. However, neither of them lives in London and I would prefer to stay close to the Ministry.”

"Ah, I know Miss Taylor. A librarian, I think?" Magnus paces back over to the bedside for a moment, a contemplative look settling on his features. "Well - you're more than welcome to stay at my estate in Mayfair. It's quite close, and there are servants' quarters which go unused, since my household help lives elsewhere." He smiles somewhat apologetically. "However, it would be easy for me to secure a flat for you in the city, as I imagine you'd like. I can save you the bother of having to deal with paperwork until you're in better health."

Rhyeline nods to confirm the identity of her friend. At the invitation to stay in the servant’s quarters of his estate, she hesitates a bit. When he offers to secure a flat for her though, she nods and murmurs, “I would appreciate that. Though, it has been suggested that I should not live alone at first. I intend to ask my friend Annie to stay with me. However, if she is not able, I will reconsider other options.” A pause and she adds softly, “Thank you, Magnus. You are more kind than you need to be.”

After thinking this over, the tall man nods and clears his throat. "That would be wise, I think." Her last statement causes him to exhale a bit more sharply for just a fraction of a second in surprise. Then, slowly, his lips curl into a knowing smirk, and he bends down, placing a hand on the young woman's shoulder again. "Forgive me, then. Nevertheless, I won't forget what you've done for me." He moves slightly closer to her as if to kiss her cheek, but then suddenly hesitates and stands, his pale eyes narrowed just a bit. "I'll be going. Good night, Rhyeline."

As he draws in close, Rhyeline turns her head ever so slightly, both to look up at him and to subtly avoid the touch of his lips. Her gaze remains quiet and steady as she watches him. Nodding her head respectfully to his farewell, she murmurs, “Good night, Magnus. Thank you again.”

Magnus smiles wryly and nods, closing his eyes for an instant, and then turns on his heel. When he reaches the doorway, he slowly stops, turns, and then - with an impish smirk - gives the young witch a bow from the waist with practiced flourish. It's very medieval - the type of bow that's still practiced in certain antiquated wizarding circles. "Bonne nuit, ma cherie. Faire de beaux reves." With that, he departs, the sound of his booted heels striking the marble tiles echoing down the hall long after he's out of sight.

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