(1937-11-23) Having a Look at the Flat
Details for Having a Look at the Flat
Summary: Annie and Rhyeline go to have a look at the flat that Ambassador Troy has secured for his assistant. As they explore it, Rhye confides in Annie about Magnus' recent affection towards her.
Date: Friday, November 23, 1937
Location: Rhyeline's Flat

Though the sky is a dreary grey, at last the rain has stopped. The address which Rhye scribbled onto a slip of parchment is leading them into a comfortably middle class area of London where the streets are lined with two stories of flats.

Since her dear friend has the day off, Rhyeline has brought Annie along to look at the flat that Ambassador Troy has had prepared for her. At the moment, they’re on the right street, but a block or so away. Since the incident at the hospital, Rhye has been particularly quiet. Walking down the street, she keeps quite close to Annie, her right arm wrapped around hers while her left hand holds the directions.

Annie is very comfortable walking in close companionship with her dear Rhyeline, arms linked easily and steps paced alike. She frowns lightly, but only because she's studying the street numbers. "It shouldn't be far, should it? We are on the right street." Her bruises have faded, although she still has shadows under her eyes from being woken up a few times since the incident with bad dreams. Not nightmares, like the one she had about Tim, but bad enough to make getting back to sleep a chore.

Rhyeline nods before pausing to make sure no muggle vehicles are zooming down the street they are about to cross. “Yes, I think it’s just over here.” The coast seems clear and so Rhye scurries across, keeping close to Annie. “I’ll miss you, when I go. I- I hope you might come now and then to stay with me, maybe.” Just a few doors down, they at last come to stop at a blue door, the same color as the police boxes seen now and then throughout the city. “I think this is it,” murmurs Rhye, pausing before it.

Annie is more confident crossing the street, having grown up very much out and about in traffic with her muggle friends. "Of course I'll come, poppet," she says easily, giving Rhye's arm a squeeze. "Yeh'll have t' bar the door t' keep me out." The words come with a smile and a soft laugh. As they stop, Annie peers up at the door. "Yeh'll be living in a police box?" she teases lightly.

Rhyeline tilts her head to the side and nuzzles against her friend just a bit when Annie reassures her that she will in fact be coming to visit. At the sight of the door, the girl’s soft smile grows, “That color does seem similar. I like it though. Red would be better, but this blue is rather nice.” Pulling out a key from her pocket, she peeks up at Annie. A noticeable touch of nervousness flickers in her eyes, “Are- are you ready?” The girl’s cheeks warm after having said something silly like that. Of course Annie’s ready. Only Rhye is the nervous one here.

"Perhaps you can paint it if you like, after you move in," Annie suggests. She steps a bit aside, letting go of Rhye's arm, but slipping her arm comfortably about her friend's waist. "Go on then," she urges with a smile, "Open it, poppet."

“Alright,” murmurs Rhyeline, reassured by the arm around her waist. Slipping the key through the lock, she carefully turns it and at the click, the door creeks open. It opens onto a little foyer, with hooks ready to receive coats and a china vase for umbrellas. An exquisite Persian carpet lies upon the floor over the mosaic of cream colored tiles. Beyond, polished wood floors lead them into a charming parlor with the most exquisite antique furniture. To the left, a door is partly cracked, allowing a glimpse of the exquisite four poster bed. Further on in the house is a kitchen with a cozy little wood table. Rhyeline stands in a daze, slowly trying to take in the luxury such a cozy apartment contains. Her cheeks have warmed to the deepest shade of pink possible.

Annie's eyes widen appreciatively as the door swings inward, and she lets Rhyeline be the first to step through the door, as it should be. "Cor, Rhye, it's grand." Her North London accent comes back in full force, not thinking to temper it in the awe of her friend's space. She'll wait to step in after Rhye, and then follow, stepping lightly as if she's just entered a museum or some showplace.

It takes some time for Rhyeline to find her voice. As they slowly wander through the apartment, gazing at the warm kitchen with a window overlooking a small, enclosed garden behind the flat, Rhyeline clings tight to her friend’s arm. “He has asked me to call him Magnus…” she tells her friend at last as they stand in the back doorway, gazing at the roses.

Annie's eyes are drawn from the flowers, to regard Rhye curiously. "Really?" She looks thoughtful, before adding, "Well, I suppose since he feels such a debt to you, that is understood. Although, perhaps with the efforts he put forth to come to your aide at Mungo's he will feel he's repaid even a small bit to you."

“I think-” Rhyeline hesitates, peeking up at Annie as she bites her lower lip. Turning to face, her, she draws close in the open doorway, resting against her as she clings a bit to Annie’s coat. “Annie… my secret keeper… you promise, promise to keep this safe?” she asks, about to share a burning secret.

This hesitation from Rhyeline immediately has Annie's mother hen mode on, and she draws her friend near, hand coming up to lightly brush at Rhye's cheek. "I will always keep yer secrets, poppet. Tell me what yer keepin' all bottled up inside."

Biting her lower lip, Rhyeline tilts her warm cheek just a bit into Annie’s soft, reassuring hand. Gazing up at Annie with such vulnerability in those dark eyes of hers, she murmurs ever so softly, “The day… the day that you came to St. Mungos… before he took me there, before Magnus decided I needed to go… he told me he wanted me.”

This brings confusion clearly to Annie's face. "But, he's got yeh, popper, yer his assistant. What an odd thing t'…." And then, Rhye can almost see the bulb light over Annie's head, and a frown lightly clouds her face. "Yeh mean….?"

Rhyeline nods with such earnest anxiety. “Yes, Annie. He… he kissed me… that’s why… that’s why I got so dizzy… and he took me to St. Mungo’s.” Not only was it a kiss, but it was the girl’s first kiss.

Annie's eyes widen in surprise. "Rhyeline!" It's barely whispered, clearly shocked. Her first thought is for the man's age; technically the Ambassador could be either of their father. She recovers quickly though, her face smoothing into more concern than shock. "Do yeh care for him, poppet?"

Rhyeline’s unhappiness deepens at such a question. “Annie,” she murmurs. “I don’t know what to do. I can’t even begin to sort through how I feel about him. He has been so kind and I don’t want to leave my work.” Swallowing, she lowers her gaze. “I used to watch him toy so easily with the hearts of women in Germany. The Ambassador paid little attention to me and often forgot I was there. Now though… suddenly his interest is in me. And he seems… different. I haven’t seen him like this with anyone before. I don’t think it’s just a game. But… I… I guess… more than anything, I feel… scared?”

Stepping close again, Annie turns so they may both look out at the garden, and perhaps this will easy Rhye a measure as she asks another question. "What scares yeh, poppet?" She's still having a little bit of an issue seeing Ambassador Troy as anything other than a hawkish older uncle sort.

“He told me… he said to me that he’s more dangerous than I suspect. He told me that he wanted me and that now I’ve been warned,” murmurs the girl softly. Though she doesn’t say it, the scared look to her eyes that accompanies what she says shows she is worried he will take what he wants. “I don’t know what to do. Don’t know what to think or feel. But… but my work… it’s too important, Annie.”

Annie looks back at Rhyeline immediately, all pretense of admiring the flowers gone, and her eyes stormy. "If he makes any untoward advances, Rhyeline, I swear that he'll wish I'd only bitten his arm." She's already more than shown what she'll do to defend her precious friend.

For a moment, Rhyeline seems transfixed by her dear friend’s stormy gaze. Fierce and protective on her behalf. She drinks it in. “But Annie,” she murmurs at last. “When he took the kiss… I didn’t- I didn’t-… it didn’t feel like when those… those hands were pulling me away. I felt… scared yes… but it wasn’t like that. Not… not the horror, horrible, horrible feeling… I was scared but… that’s all. I didn’t want to scream or cry, I just… I don’t know, Annie. I don’t know what to think.”

Annie brings her hand up to lightly stroke Rhye's hair, the touch soft and soothing. "If yeh care for him, poppet, that's one thing. But for him to threaten liberties without a proper courtship even? No, I cannot abide that." Even Tim (sort of) married Annie first!

Closing her eyes, Rhyeline savors the gentle touch. Then peeking up at Annie with such vulnerability in her completely unguarded gaze, she murmurs, “I don’t know how I feel about him. It’s… it’s too many things at once. I don’t know. I’ve never let anyone but you close before… but he got close before I knew what was happening.”

Annie nods, understanding something about that. "An' do yeh think he'll give yeh the proper time, poppet, to learn yer own mind about it?" While her voice is much more gentle, there is still the clear indication that if the Ambassador does not seem so inclined, he will have to go through Annie.

Rhyeline bites her lower lip as she watches her dear friend. While she doesn’t want to upset her friend, she hasn’t ever lied directly to her either. At last she murmurs, “Outside of his work his patience does not seem to be great. I… I had asked him to wait… but he said that I had already given permission. I told him I hadn’t but then… it didn’t matter.”

Annie gasps audibly, "What a cad!" There is no lightness to her tone in the least, and the storm is back in her eyes in full force as she turns to Rhye again, looking to catch the girl's eyes. "I will not tolerate him taking such liberties if yeh have clearly said no, Rhyeline. I'll hex him myself if I have to." Meaning, she won't betray the confidence to tell her husband so he can take measures, which she knows he would.

“N-no Annie, please.” Rhyeline’s eyes widen as she gazes up at her friend. So tightly does the smaller one cling to her. “He is a dangerous man. Please. You promised you’d keep my secret safe. He mustn’t know I told you. And I told you… it didn’t feel like those terrible hands at St. Mungo’s. It was… different. It was different. Not horrible just… I don’t know how to explain it.”

The anger still flares brightly in Annie's eyes, but her hands are clearly tied, as Rhye points out. Her words come stiffly and controlled. "I'll not let on anything, my poppet, because I am yer secret keeper. But I swear by Merlin's beard, if I hear anything he's done, he will regret it. An' that is not license for yeh to just not tell me," she clarifies in no uncertain terms. Annie takes a breath, looking around briefly as she does. Suddenly she's not so enchanted with this little piece of real estate.

Rhyeline gives a small, meek nod to her friend. The girl will not keep anything from her friend. Annie can trust this. “I will make sure he keeps his distance. I won’t be foolish enough to venture into his home. Public places, public places will be better. Wouldn’t do for anyone to see us together, that would be most innapropriate.”

Although she's still boiling under the surface, Annie attempts a reassuring smile to her friend. But, with their knowledge of each other, the barely stifled anger is clear to Rhyeline, although others would be fooled. "I know yeh'll be smart, poppet." And he better be smart, too.

Rhyeline nods as she takes in the anger still simmering in Annie’s lovely blue eyes. After a moment the girl at last closes her own and her arms move entirely around Annie’s waist so that she can hug her tightly. Tucking her head against Annie’s neck beneath her chin, the girl murmurs, “Thank you, Annie.”

Annie gathers Rhye into her arms easily, one hand coming up to pet her hair again. A kiss is given to Rhye's pale forehead, and then Annie rests her cheek against the other witch's head. A deep breath is taken, and some of the tension releases from her body.

“You’re wonderful, you know? I truly, truly would be lost without you, my love. You are the most wonderful friend,” murmurs the little one ever so softly as she rests against her. Her delicate hands remain tight upon Annie’s coat fabric behind her back as she clings to her.

Annie responds softly, comfortable in the embrace with her friend. "My poppet, I'd do anything for yeh, yeh know that. Always." She lets the moment linger for a few more minutes, standing quietly, petting Rhye's hair with a slow rhythm.

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