(1937-11-14) Prowling the Natrix
Details for Prowling the Natrix
Summary: Cousins bump into each other, men come and go, and ultimately the girls stick together.
Date: 14 November 1937
Location: The Natrix
Related: Probably many.

The Natrix Dance Hall London
Wed Nov 14, 1937 ((Wed Oct 31 22:04:56 2012)) (D,2 NW)

It is a fall morning. The weather is warm and clear.

Formerly a restaurant and bar alone since 1850, this building has been remodeled and updated to also include a large dance floor and bandstand and stage. The restaurant still lives in that the white linen draped round tables positioned around the dance floor are catered to the best Saltimbocca dishes in England. The other regular Italian food fare is also deliciously found on the menus in the center of the table that are crystal plaques engraved and frosted so the lettering sparkles in the dim light making the script easier to read. Silver is used liberal in the decoration, the table legs, the chair legs and backs besides the green tapestry cushions are all silver. The styling beyond that is all very modern art deco. Greens and silvers prevailing. The live orchestra always always has a finger on the pulse of the crowd, they pick up tempo or slow things down with amazing empathy.

Even in the middle of the week, The Natrix is the place to be for muggles and wizards alike who have a taste for the good life. The band is playing, the floor already has dancers moving about on it, and Veruca has been here for a few minutes. Having already surrendered her cloak to an attendant, she stands near the bar with her purse tucked under her arm, scoping out the local talent. With a practiced eye, she can tell wizard from muggle more often than not, and her eyes linger more on the muggles present than those of her own community.

Katherine takes one final spin of the dance floor before she's escorted back to the bar. Once her and her escort make it to the bar she smiles at him, puts an arm on his forearm and before he can sit down next to her says,"That was lovely. You are a fairly good dancer and maybe next time I stop by you can have one or two more. BUt for now, goodbye." And then just stares at him with a slightly raise eyebrow until he walks away.

Although they haven't seen each other in a bit of time, Veruca recognizes her somewhere-along-the-line cousin almost immediately. It's that Sykes way she has about her. Her attention is torn away from her perusal of the 'meat market' to linger on Katherine and her erstwhile escort. The younger witch's actions bring something of a smile to Rue's lips. She's so proud.

Katherine turns to the bar as her once dance partner walks off, looking quite dejected and surprised, and motions the bartender over. Once she gets his attention she orders a Disarrono wiht a splash of orange juice being very specific about wanting it in a martini glass.

A few casual steps take Veruca over to where Katherine waits for her drink, and she speaks up with enough volume to be heard through the band, but only enough to take her voice to her intended target. "Cousin Katherine, how nice to see you." The words some smoothly, pleasantly, and are followed quickly with "Vodka with a twist." before the bartender can walk away.

Katherine turns to look at Veruca. It takes her a moment but once she recognizes Rue her lips curl up in a welcoming smile,"Rue! Its been a long time. HOw has life been treating you?"

Taking the liberty of family, Veruca steps forward to airkiss Katherine on each cheek, stepping back with an easy smile. "Things have been good, Katherine. It's been far too long, I must say. Where on earth have you been?" The bartender is back at once with their drinks, it's wonderful how quickly a couple of attractive women can get served, and Rue takes up her glass for a swallow of the clear liquid.

Katherine returns the kisses in kind then reaches over for her drink. As soon as she grabs it she frown a little and motions the bartender back over,"I have no cherry. Why do I have no cherry?" As she points out his mistake, which really isn't a mistake since she never asked for cherries, she pouts a little bit and suddenly there's three cherries in her drink. Returning her attention to Veruca after giving the bartender a sweet smile she uses the cherries to swirl the honey gold liquid around while she speaks. "Here and there. After I finished at Hogwarts I needed a break… And it turned into a long break. But Daddy has finally decided its time I got back to what I was supposed to be doing after graduation so he threatned to cut me off unless I went back to Auror training… So here I am. Tadah!"

A dark eyebrow arches at this news. "Auror training? Well, I can imagine you'd be well suited to it." She does not wonder aloud at her cousin's age. She thought an Auror must start training very young to become proficient, but honestly, she's got no real idea. Her line of work, thankfully, doesn't cross her with the wizard law often, if at all. "So how long have you been back to work at that?"

Katherine curls one corner of her lips up in a little half smile then takes a small sip from her glass before answers. "Well, about three months now. I'm only an Initiate right now so its almost a hazing ritual. But at least Father is happy. And it puts me in a better place too." She doesn't really elaborate on that comment but her little smile does fade.

Veruca isn't one to pry at a good time, and in the middle of a crowded dance club is not a good time, so her cousin's words go unquestioned. In fact, while Katherine answers, although she listens with interest, her eyes stray across the room, lighting on a tall, dark haired man, smoking a cigarette and conversing with another man. He notices her look and holds her gaze for a moment. Even after Veruca turns her full attention back to Katherine, he continues to look at her with interest. "We have missed you at the little family gatherings. Will you be there for Christmas this year?"

Katherine watches that interchange between Veruca and the tall man with amusement taking the time to sip her drink. Once Rue is back with her she sets her drink down on the bar and starts to swirl things with her cherries,"Definitely. So do you come here often?" As soon as the words are out of her mouth she lets out a merry laugh, realizing she's just spoken one of the old, weakest pick up lines in history.

The words bring a laugh from Rue as well, and a gentle chide, "Really, dearest, you'll have to do better than that." Her eyes sober a measure, and she shrugs her shoulders lightly. "From time to time, usually for business meetings." Although she did meet her last conquest here. Across the room, the dark haired man is in earnest conversation with his companion, both now looking toward the pair of witches at the bar. "Do you frequent here, or has somewhere else caught your fancy, Katherine?" Veruca asks, now ignoring the men for all intents and purposes.

In direct contrast to the two self assured witches that stand at the bar, the young blonde who enters with her blonde hair failling down her shoulders and the pale colored dress manages to attract littlle attention. In fact, it's highly unlikely that the population of this dance hall has risen at all as she finds a way to immediately melt into the crowd, moving quietly but with little purpose. Her lack of height doesn't impede the vision of the dark haired man and his companion who look right over her head towards bar, as she stops, and just… looks around.

Katherine smirks as she sees the interaction going on across the club,"You Madam, are going to get us in trouble. Might be fun. But to answer your question, I really have to avoid the establishments I've been frequenting over the last few years so I'm exploring new places. And I had been meaning to visit Wolfgangs place for a while so, here I am."

A glance goes from Veruca toward the men as Katherine makes mention of them getting into trouble, and a sly smile curves her lips. The dark haired man elbows his more fair companion, and even across the room his body language shouts 'I told you she looked over here!'. Still, she lets her gaze shift, dropping enough to catch sight of the newcomer, a pretty little blond looking out of place, and that is where her eyes linger for a moment. Then dark eyes come back to Katherine. "Well, what is a Wednesday for if not getting into a little trouble?"

There's a little twitch of the blonde's feet at the music, but her eyes are scanning the crowd. She doesn't appear to be actually looking for someone, in fact it more seems that she's looking to see if there's anyone to avoid. When it appears the coast is clear, she decides to sidle slowly towards the bar, as the cocktail waitresses pass by her without even noticing her presence.

Even on a Wednesday night The Natrix is a hopping club. Mingling with the people at the bar two young women, one brunette and one blond are sharing some conversation and looking around the bar. Like Veruca Katherine is now looking over at the two young men. But unlike her cousin she doesn't just glance at them, she takes a frank look, her head tilting a little bit to the side and one corner of her mouth curving up in a half smile that is hard to interpret. As she returns her attention to the conversation her eyes also pass over the uncomfortable looking little blonde, pausing for a moment and narrowing in thought. Turning to Veruca she speaks to her in a low tones ment to carry only to her…

Veruca has to turn halfway toward the bar to hide her amusement at her cousin's frank stare at the two men, bringing up her drink for a convenient sip. "Really Kat," she murmurs, "Who is going to get us into trouble?" She falls into using the other woman's nickname easily, although it hasn't slipped off her tongue in years. "You'll have them over here before the next song is done." Perhaps even sooner, as the two men look as if they're gearing up to make their way to the bar, and the pair there. Kat's soft words direct Rue's eyes back to Phronsie and she seems to consider the other blond a moment. "I don't think so," is the reply to a whispered question.

Raff comes into one of the few places that he used to frequent long ago. He's dressed to the nines, a nice suit and every bit of his hair perfectly styled. He comes in the door, looking about and catches the eye of one of the ladies. He gives a little bow to them and a wink. They giggle and keep walking as their beau looks entirely non plussed by this man hitting on his girl.

Finally reaching the bar, Phronsie leans forward on her elbows, looking up and down the bar for a moment, and showing a little sign of relief as she still doesn't recognize anyone. Then she gets enough bravado to order a gin and tonic with a lime twist from the bartender.

Katherine takes another look at Phronsie before returning to her conversation with Rue,"It will come back to me, don't you worry. And any night is a night to get in trouble, its all really about what kind of trouble you get into. And if they take too much longer to make up their minds /I'm/ going to decide that they would clearly not be trouble enough." On this note she pulls a cherry out of her glass, sticks it between her front teeth and slowly bites into it before pulling the stick off and letting it drop all the way into her mouth so she can chew it properly, savoring the flavor.

As Rue's eyes drift to see how the men across the club are doing in their bid to gather courage, her eyes pass over a new arrival, then drift back. She catches Raff's little greeting, the giggle from the targets. The suit is noted, well tailored and hanging on him in a nearly perfect fit, as her eyes take him in from top to bottom through a gap in the crowd. Interesting. Across the room the two men rise, starting to skirt the dance floor on their way to get to the bar. Veruca turns her attention to her drink, her eyes coming away from Raff. She decides to get right to the heart of the matter with Phronsie, turning her attention to the woman who nearly blends into the crowd. "Have we met?" she asks without preamble. A study makes Veruca think Phronsie may look a bit familiar. Maybe from some pureblood gathering or other?

Raff drifts through the crowd and with a winning smile he greets every woman that meets his gaze. He walks with a certain kind of confidence in this muggle crowd and a girl comes up to him and speaks to him for a long moment. He gives her a winning grin before he leans in and places a rather scathing kiss on her lips before pulling away and just laughing, "Emily. It had been a long time. There is one for the years I have been gone." He winks and then pulls away from her and continues on towards the bar.

Phronsie turns as she's waiting for her drink, ascertaining that Veruca is indeed speaking to her, and finds her face to face with one of her worst nightmares. She takes a breath, and the smile that tries to go along with the words is less than convincing. "I don't think so," she says quietly.

Katherine finishes the cherry she was chewing on and starts toying with the stem of one of the other two left in her martini glass. Tilting her head slightly to get a better look at Phronsie scrunches up her eyebrows in concentration. Now that Veruca put it out there in the open she's determined to get that nigling half-memory off her brain,"Newspaper, I'm sure it was the newspaper… Don't you… ahm… live with that Quidditch player? Palancher I think his name was?"

Ah well, Quidditch. That would count Rue out, not being anything at all of a sports person. Yes yes, it's quite popular, blah blah blah. There are other 'sports' she prefers. But, since she was the one to put it out there, her face remains pleasant with a half smile, and she looks to her cousin. "Oh, would that be it, Kat?" Polite, pleasant, bored now. Dark eyes drift again, back to the rakish Raff, happening to catch just as the man kisses the woman who had stopped him and he walks away. And then her attention is drawn as the gentlemen from across the room finally collectively grow a pair. The dark haired one is a step ahead, and speaks up, "Excuse me, Miss?" His eyes shift between Veruca and Katherinse, as if it isn't important which of them answers.

Raff arrives at the bar and leans in, "Bruce. Hey…" He waves down the bartender. "Sazerac." He orders and looks to the ladies down the bar a little. If he catches any one of the three lady's eyes, he'd give them a saucy little wink. Bruce comes back with his drink and he tosses a few coins down for it, last one landing in an empty glass off to the side. He turns and rests against the bar as he looks off at all those that are milling about.

A warm blush appears on Phronsie's cheeks as she suppllies the name, "Linc, yes." It's apparent that it's more to do with her fondness for the man rather than any embarassment of the mentioned living in infamy. She accepts her drink from the bartender, and takes a sip, looking around the room again.

Katherine considers Phronsie for a short moment, clicking her finger nail against the side of her glass as she thinks. Finally she says,"Join us for a drink. You shouldn't be by yourself like this, it might lead to wagging tongues." Never mind that both herself and Veruca came in on their own. Now her attention is turned to the two young men that have finally approached them. But all she really does is look at them over the rim of her glass as she takes another sip of the honey gold liquid in it, letting Veruca decide how to deal with them.

While Veruca hears Kat's words to Phronsie, her attention has remained on the dark haired man who offered the greeting. It most certainly does matter who he's talking to, to Veruca, and his wavering gaze takes him down a notch already. It's a chilly reception that goes out to him. "Yes?" She looks at him levelly, no expression readily available on her features. He hesitates under the direct gaze (he who hesitates is lost) and then attempts to be suave. "We couldn't help but notice you lovely ladies, and wondered if you would care to accompany us out onto the dance floor." Now dark has seemed to settle his gaze on Veruca, and blondie looks to Kat. They rudely ignore Phronsie. Another notch down.

Kenneth enters the dancehall and glances around. The lovely girl whom he was speaking to two days ago, there are some other people here, and he is once again wearing his grey suit. It is easy to recognize him, as he only owns two other than his military uniform.

There's a raising of eyebrows from Phronsie in surprise at the invitation, she glances briefly towards Veruca and then nods. "Thank you," she says quietly. "I'm Sophie." She stands slightly to the side and behind Katherine, and watches the two men talking to the brunette. She sips her drink quietly with some amusement, not seeming to mind at all that she's been ignored.

Katherine never takes her eyes off the two men talking with Veruca as she brings her martini glass down. Slowly her lips curl into a sweet smile that could almost be considered encouraging until she says,"Boys, boys. I don't know if you've noticed by there /are/ three of us ladies spending some time together. What kind of friend would we just up and left leaving the third member of our group alone. Now, toddle along and if you get one more person then /maybe/ we will consider gracing you with a dance." As she dismisses them verbally she also shoos them away with one hand.

As far as Veruca is considered, Kat has just spoken for them collectively, and that is fine. Her eyes fall to Phronsie, head tilting in a cordial greeting, "Veruca. A pleasure." She keeps her introduction to a first name, as the other witch does. For their part, the two interlopers at least have the manners to look properly abashed as Kat takes them to task, even though the female to male ratio was increasing even as they were already making their way over. Pay attention better, boys. "Another?" blondie asks. He looks toward dark, "Do you know anyone? Find someone." Again, dark proves to be the smarter of the two, as he offers a polite, "Pardon us." and drags his friend away, trying to get him to shut up so they can regroup and not look like total prats. Hm. Kinda too late, guys, but thanks for playing.

Phronsie watches the routing of the two men with mild amusement in her eyes. "Do any men stand a chance with the two of you?" she asks curiously, giving a nod in return to Veruca to echo the 'pleasure' of meeting.

Kenneth approaches the young woman that he had met the previous visit, then offers a smile. "Good evening, Miss Sykes. It is good to see you again. I trust I am not intruding on you ladies this evening?"

Katherine smiles pleasantly at Kenneth, noding her head once in acknowledgement, "Captain Benton, how are you tonight? Can I introduce Ms. Max and Ms. Prewett?" The last is probably a surprise to Phronsie and probably an final, clear indication that Kat has indeed remembered the rumors on the society pages of the Prophet.

The question from Phronsie brings an amused light back to Veruca's eyes, and she pauses a moment, giving it consideration, before she answers honestly. "They have to be exceptional men." This comes with a good natured wink. The approach of yet another man (good lord, don't they ever stop?) has Rue looking at him curiously. "Captain Benton. Did we meet once before? Perhaps with Gilbert Sullivan?" He looks passingly familiar, but she's been a little distracted lately.

Phronsie grins to Veruca when the woman states her requirements. Her eyes widen slightly when Kat does remember her name, but she gives the man another one of her uncertain smiles. "Gilbert Sullivan? Wasn't he on that radio talk show one night?"

Kenneth finds his eyes brighten at the words of Miss Max. "Yes, Miss Max, we have met before. I am honored that you remembered me, it is kind of you to do so." Then he turns to the other young woman and offers his hand "Miss Prewett, I am charmed to meet you."

Katherine simply spends the time between the introductions swirling her drink with one of the cherries left in there. After a bit she puts another cherry between her lips and pulls it off its stick.

Veruca sends a pleasant smile to Kenneth, not overly warm nor chilly. As he turns his attention to an introduction with Phronsie, Veruca tilts her glass back, draining the more than half that was left in two easy swallows. There is hardly a sign it was anything more than water in the glass, the bite of the vodka not as vigorous as, say, a good scotch. She looks at the clock behind the bar, and opens her purse, to fish out the ticket for the cloak room. "I do hate to drink and run, but I'm afraid I have a meeting tomorrow, and I should get my beauty rest." As Veruca has a word for each of her companions, her eyes go to each in turn. "Sophie, it was indeed a pleasure. I hope to see you again soon, with more time to talk. Captain, it was lovely to see you again. Kat," this one comes with a step in for another airkiss, "It's wonderful to see you again, cousin. Send me an owl, let's have lunch soon."

There's a touch of surprise in Phronsie's response to Kenneth's greeting. It seems, despite having one of the most eligibly Quidditch players for a boyfriend, admiration of any kind from the opposite sex is unexpected. "Captain Benton," she replies, using the muggle title a little awkwardly, and becoming even more flustered. "Thank you, it's a pleasure to meet you." She takes another, longer sip from her drink in quick order. Then Veruca is leaving so soon, and she's nodding to the beauty. "Thank you, yes, that would be nice," she manages to get out without stammering.

Kenneth smiles to the ladies present. "My wife was rather fond of owls. When we were children, she had a rather special trained owl, one who was her constant childhood companion. She got it for her 11th birthday if I recall and it stayed with her for the next seven years or so. Delightful creatures, owls."

Katherine returns Rue's air kiss then widens her eyes at her followed by a quick, almost annoyed narrowing as Kenneth starts talking about owls,"I will Rue dear. Have a good night. Maybe we can all three get together for tea sometime soon." Turning to Kenneth she smiles brightly at him,"Owls are beautiful birds. Both Ms. Max and I collect owl figurines. How was the rest of your birthday?"

Even as she's turning to go, Kenneth's words catch Rue's ear, bringing her slip of the tongue to her attention, but even moreso, what he says has her looking at him more pointedly for a moment. Pet owl. 11th birthday. Although she's only seen him in muggle locations these two times, perhaps he's a wizard? Mental note, find out. And then, with one last wave, she's off to collect her cloak and head home. Busy day tomorrow.

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