(1937-11-09) Fifty Shades of Diplomatic Boredom
Details for Fifty Shades of Diplomatic Boredom
Summary: Magnus reveals to Cooper what his pet project is really all about.
Date: November 9, 1937
Location: Watershed
Related: You Always Have Your Free Will

Watershed London
Fri Nov 09, 1937 ((Mon Oct 29 06:38:37 2012)) (C,3 NW)

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.

Magnus is currently stretched out lazily on an armless sofa in his smoking parlor, which as it happens is his most-frequented room. A decanter of whiskey and a few crystal glasses sit on the table nearby (obviously he's only using the one, but the decanter is set out on a tray with a matching set). The man is dressed in a simple white shirt with a low v-neck and loose sleeves (rather renaissance fair for anyone but a wizard), comfortable grey silk pants, and slippers. A book is open on his lap, but he's not reading it; at the moment he's listening to a French violin concerto playing on a nearby phonograph, his eyes closed, a half-smile on his lips. It's late evening, and he hasn't invited anyone to visit on this chilly Friday evening, but it would be easy enough to floo in for anyone who knows the appropriate passcodes, which he's given to the auror previously - or to just walk up to the gates, since she's no longer blacklisted by certain vindictive crimelords.

Despite her several visits to Watershed, Cooper still isn't accustomed to flooing in. There's something about the grandeur of it all that throws her off. Perhaps she's not accustomed to how finely everything is decorated. Or maybe she never got over that one time she was making a morning after bathroom run in the buff and instead ran (literally) into the help. At best, she has little Maggot who would never judge her if she were nude. So the main gates it is. But today however she seems antsy and on a mission. "Genevieve Cooper," she hastily to the guard who wants to say something but the auror stops him, "Check your papers, I talked to your bloody boss already." And with some hesitancy, they do so and deem her clearance, escorting her up to the parlor. Of course, she's cold and rather irritated so Cooper's actually the one leading on the way up, but out of politeness she does let them introduce her. "Miss Cooper is here, sir," says the guard at the door and steps out of the way for the woman to walk in.

The ambassador looks more than a little irritated to be shocked out of his reverie by one of the guards, though when he hears the auror's name the scowl disappears from his features. He walks over to the mobster thug and grabs his shoulder to whisper something venomous-sounding in the man's ear, then waves him away. Once he and his associate have left, Magnus turns towards Cooper and grins. "Good evening, Genevieve. I wasn't expecting you, at this hour - but come and join me for a drink." He offers an easy smile and turns to pace back into the parlor, then pours a second glass of whiskey and holds it out to her. "I'm afraid you won't be able to stay for long, though. Did it slip your mind that I'm still dealing with the small matter of Montague's misplaced aggression?"

Cooper completely disregards the guard, gracing him with no 'thank you's as she slide in past him. Already, she's removing her jacket and cloche hat, which left her with terrible hat hair that she doesn't seem too concerned about. She leaves her glasses on though, it seems to go well with her oversized sweater and those ill-fitting trousers she loves so dearly. "Yes, a drink would be nice," she nods, tossing her jacket over a chair and finding a sofa she can lazily lounge on, "Frankly, I'm not too concerned over what Mr. Montague does with you. Though I'll put a little ease in your heart by letting you know that I've talked to him already and you won't be bruised on my behalf." With a half smirk, she accepts the whiskey and holds it up in the air like a toast, but instead she just says, "You're welcome. However, you're to stay away from Ranjali." With a sigh, she rubs her face under her frames and takes a deep swig of the drink, followed by a wince and then sinks into a cushiony sofa with a sigh. "I'm sorry for the intrusion. Haven't been able to sleep there's just so many strange things going on as of late. I've been in my apartment all day mulling over something and if I stay there any longer I'll explode." And so she runs off to Watershed to take her mind off things. Wait a minute, is this a booty call?

"Good to know you have such a fond regard for me, Miss Cooper," Magnus drawls, and though it sounds acidic, there's a trace of humor in his pale eyes. As the auror seats herself, he walks back over to the sofa and lowers himself back on to it, folds one leg over the other, and leans back delicately. At her order to stay away from Ranjali, the man merely takes a slow sip of his whiskey and chuckles. He taps a finger on the edge of the glass for a moment, and a large silver and red ring on his finger clinks against its surface noisily. "Well, I planned on it. Have you decided you don't believe me after all?" Hidden under the genial layers of smooth speech that he uses so regularly, there's just a very faint trace of a dangerous hiss in that question - but most people would miss it. He reaches into the pocket of his slacks and takes out a silver case - smaller than the one he carries around for cigars - and removes a cigarette from it, lights it, and tosses the case over to Cooper. "They're French, flavored with vanilla and a bit of cavendish. Better than those dreadful things you smoke. Have one and tell me about the kinds of things that keep Genevieve Cooper awake at night." Smirk.

"I'm always looking out for you, Magnus. I hope you remember that," Cooper says with mostly sarcasm, but she gives him a lazy affectionate smile as she turns to lay herself down on the couch. She slips the boots, slightly muddy with moist autumn earth, off her feet along with her socks before resigning to a full sprawl. Yes, Cooper doesn't like using the floo, but she's lounge around where she pleases as if she were Mr. Troy himself. The very subtle sting in his words though catch her off guard, and she quirks a brow at him as if she's unsure that there was venom in that at all. "Well…of course I believe you…," she replies warily and then adds in French, "Ease down there a bit Mr. Troy. Sante!" She raises her glass to cheer at him through the air before skillfully taking a sip of her drink as she lays down. Whatever it is that's irritating him, if he's irritated at all Cooper chooses not to pursue it, writing it off as PMS perhaps. Women tend to get that way, and judging by his tastes, Magnus is definitely walking the boundaries of femininity.

She can't help but Oooooo with delight, catching the silver case in one hand when its tossed to her. "Wow…this is impressive," she pulls one out and slowly runs it under her nose to enjoy the scent before she lights one up. Taking a deep drag, she lays back and blows a couple of thick smoke rings into the air before nodding, "You're right. Immensely better than what I smoke, only those dreadful things are within my price range." She smirks and enjoy the subtle taste of vanilla in her mouth. But she continues on with her problems, explaining, "I just feel like … a few people around me have been acting strange lately. Just oddly…compliant or off. Ranjali for example, but she's fine now. And then there was this translator, Mr. Weasley…"

Magnus pauses from where he's arranged himself on the sofa to take several deep draws from the cigarette; he holds the smoke in for long enough that when he exhales, there's only a faint grey tinge to the air. He follows her switch into French automatically: "Cheers to you as well, madamoiselle." And he slowly takes another sip of his whiskey, his eyes settling on the auror for a long moment before she begins to speak again. By then, his lips have curled up into a wry smile, and he's returned to his native language. "Well, that's why you know me, Miss Cooper. We wormy international types are good for one or two things." The gaunt man winks, and when she mentions Ranjali and Frank, there's a faint hint of a change in his expression… but he passes it off as recognition, because a moment later, he frowns. "Oh, I know Mr. Weasley. Ran into him several times in Germany, and he's helping me out a bit with a small project of mine."

Cooper sinks in comfortably in her own sofa, holding the smoking cigarette close while resting the glass on her tummy. One can almost hear the silent hum of gears turning in her head. Her brows raise though, and she removes her drink onto a table nearby to prop herself up on her side to look over at Magnus. "Yes, that's right. Your project. Since when do you write novels," she smirks over at the diplomat, taking a deep drag only to release a puff once more. Her head it tilted at him curiously, but rests on her hand and she lounges. "Top secret ones especially. Not even your little translator drudge seems to know what you're writing about." It seems like the man has successfully gotten her off track of her topic. For now.

"Oh… it's always been something of a personal interest of mine," Magnus says. He follows it with another long drink of his whiskey. He pauses for a long while, his eyes flitting down to the plushly carpeted floor, seemingly to think to himself; eventually they go back up to Cooper. "Well - there's a reason I haven't made Mr. Weasleyprivy to the contents of my little piece of fiction. It's not because it's any great secret, but…" A wicked smile bows Magnus's lips. "I'm not sure his tastes run in the same vein as mine." The man reaches up and rubs at his angular chin with a long finger, then stands up, smoke curling from his mouth, and walks across the room. "Though perhaps /yours/ do, Miss Cooper. Would you like to take a look?"

Cooper quirks a brow in slight disbelief when Magnus confesses its been a 'personal interest of his'. "Never pegged you for a fiction sort of man," she half-frown, half-smirks and reaches over to take a sip of her drink. But still keeping herself propped up on her side, she watches his tall thin frame strides across the room to retrieve whatever he was retrieving. "I'm not sure if we share the same taste in literature, but sure I'd like to take a gander at it," she shrugs, pushing herself upright with a grunt. And in her bare feet she also walks across the room to meet him, taking off her glasses and leaving them on a table before she does so.

The ambassador is currently standing in front of a stout maple secretary's hutch; he slides the cover back on its rollers and then reaches inside, where a stack of plain white paper is resting next to several auto-dictating quills. "No? Well, I suppose I'm not, really - but I do enjoy a good fantasy novel, now and then." Smiling placidly, Magnus slides the manuscript towards the edge of the secretary, casting a sidelong glance at the auror as she approaches. Then, as she nears him, he walks back across the room so that he can pour himself a new glass of whiskey while she's perusing. For Cooper, who probably has at least a decent grasp of French literature, it will probably have strong overtones of Marquis de Sade - the story starts out following a German politician and begins like a spy novel, but quickly devolves into scandalous debauchery involving whips, gags, restraints, and similar paraphernalia. Magnus, meanwhile, has retaken his position on the sofa, a sly grin plastered on his otherwise serene face.

Cooper languidly leans against the hutch and the wall it's propped up against as she drinks and peers about the smoking room, waiting for him to bring out said book. Her fingers gently pick up the papers at the edge, her own eyes meeting his sidelong glance briefly before turning back down to the text. And then begins a long interval of silence between them when Cooper begins to read. Rubbing her eyes she yawns and leans against the hutch at the beginning, but a few minutes in she seems somewhat engrossed in the book and she returns back to his sofa, sitting on the arm of his chair. She always had a thing for spy novels and she briefly pauses to comment, "No, no. He wouldn't have camped out in the cellar like that, it's a really dumb move. I'll explain more later." As a professional, she can't help but slip in her opinion.

But as Cooper skims through the next few pages, one of her eyes begins to narrow as if she smelled something putrid. Completely absorbed in the book, she slides down the arm to occupy the other end of his sofa, even gently pushing him over without his permission to make room for her. And then suddenly her eyes go wide and brows raise in disbelief, she looks up at Magnus and frantically flips through the last pages. She's barely closed the manuscript when she reaches for her glass to down the rest of her whiskey with a wince before saying, "This is your novel?!" She places the manuscript on her lap and says, "Are you seriously going to publish this with your name on it?"

While the young woman is reading, Magnus seems entirely content to relax. Now and then he takes a sip of his drink or sends out a cloud of vanilla-scented smoke, but other than that, he simply waits until Cooper passes judgment on the 'novel'. One of his brows arches at her commentary about the protagonist hiding out in the basement of a quiet country house, but he merely nods and continues waiting… until she gets to the parts that make her stop and berate him. Almost immediately the man is laughing in soft, bemused notes; he reaches out for the decanter of whiskey and refills her glass as soon as she empties it, then grins. "With /my/ name? Heavens, no, madamoiselle. A pseudonym, of course. 'G. Cooper', perhaps…?"

Cooper is holding her glass out of have it refilled, all the while she throws him a sharp glare before she tersely replies, "That's not amusing. You do that, and you're dead. And they won't find your body until someone smells it first." Ahhh such a wonderful picture. Perhaps Cooper should be the one writing a novel. She takes another gulp of her freshly filled glass before setting it aside and leans back on the sofa's arm, pondering on what exactly to say next. "Magnus, I can't say I'm surprised…," she looks at him across from her, slipping the cigarette in for another inhale, "Only … I suppose I expected something completely different." She sighs out a plume of vanilla smoke, closing her eyes and massaging between her brows which knot together in thought. The gears in her head seem to have clunked and are slowing down, and it clearly frustrates her judging by the way she reverts back to the irritated state she entered the room in.

"Oh, it's not? Strange, I thought it was extremely amusing." Magnus smirks, his pale eyes trailing the auror with… amusement? Yes, clearly that, but there may also be something else in his gaze. Caution? "Miss Cooper, I have no desire to endanger your career… or your social standing. Nor my own." He chuckles and leans slightly closer to her, one long arm going around her so that he can pull her slightly closer. One of his brows shoots up again when she rubs her forehead. He lifts both hands to her neck, his long fingers perched on either side of it for a fraction of a second - before they begin to knead it, gently, in a massage. "Something different, Genevieve? Higher hopes for the likes of me, then?" His hands move from her neck to her shoulders, and he laughs softly again. "You're tense."

The auror peers up to look back at his gaze from behind the hand she uses to work at her forehead, and her head tilts curiously. What exactly is that look? Cooper really can't tell. Neither does she have time to really dwell on it, for she's pulled forward for a much better massage than whatever sorry crap she was doing to herself. "My hopes for you have been low from the start," she snickers, the lids of her eyes lowering sleepily as she relishes in the kneading. "The writing's not bad, just never fully realized you'd actually take the time to pen such a thing. Why such a risque genre, though? Are you that bored?" She smirks slightly, taking a drag as she looks over at him. With a sigh, she leans sideways against the back of the couch, bare feet settling casually atop his and she shrugs. "I've just been getting this feeling in my gut that something ominous is about. Some sort of impending crisis. I don't know when or how, or if I'm even right. It's just a … bad juju if you will." She half-smiles which fades and melts into a furrowed brow. "Just keep hitting dead ends, you know?"

Magnus merely smirks at that first admission, though his hands continue to work at the auror's neck and back. "You're wise, then. I don't put much stock in myself either, madamoiselle. And yes, I am." Which, in its own way, is very true - the man's concerns are not with his own trite personal problems. He invests himself almost entirely in weightier matters, and views himself as nothing more than a pawn, when it comes down to it. And he considers his current job posting extremely tedious. At the moment, though, he's being sarcastic about it. When the auror lists her concerns to him, though, he frowns. One hand moves up, and he gently runs a finger across her cheek and down to her neck; the other goes around her, wrapping around her waist. "You're being paranoid, Genevieve. Relax a little." He leans down slightly and kisses her neck, then smiles. "That's what you came here for, isn't it?" And although he doesn't believe that, it sounds as though he wants /her/ to.

"Then why don't you just do something normal and spend your free time doing charity work?" Cooper snorts when the man admits his own boredom. Though it's hard to picture Magnus doing anything charitable. At least not directly. Reaching for her whiskey another gulp is taken with a wince, while she feels his fingers travel down her cheek. Despite the tickle, she remains completely still, almost torpid if it weren't for her eyes that seemed alert although not in the room. Like she was thinking of other things with those gears in her head humming. "I'm just trying to do my job," Cooper says in a half daze, until his arm snakes about her and she's moved in closer. Dammit. She hates that she likes the way her name sounds when Magnus says it. She runs her nails up into his hair the on back of his head, pinning him exactly where she wants him with a firm grip. And then. Pulling her neck back for him, she takes a vanilla drag of her cigarette above his head, exhaling with a slow sigh and then smirks, "Sort of."

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