(1937-11-26) A Chance Encounter at Trafalgar Square
Details for A Chance Encounter at Trafalgar Square
Summary: Cyril encounters Rhyeline at a Muggle café bordering Trafalgar Square and chat for a bit.
Date: Monday, November 26, 1937
Location: Charing Cross

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

Charing Cross – London

If there's a true centre to London, it's Charing Cross and, specifically, Trafalgar Square. Trafalgar Square is a large public space and one of the major tourist attractions in the city. The square's centerpiece is Nelson's Column, a tall stone column surrounded by large bronze lion statues and flanked by two huge fountains. Across the fountains from the column is the National Gallery, and other buildings nearby are Canada House, St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church, and the Admiralty Arch, which serves as an entrance to the The Mall, the red road which leads to Buckingham Palace. Venturing further from the square, the headquarters of the London Police can be found in this area, and, to magical eyes, The Leaky Cauldron is settled between a book shop and a music store. Not far from here, the Thames comes up from the South and makes a sharp turn to the East.

A young girl, wearing a long, thick coat and a cozy little cloche hat sits in perfect anonymity among the muggles at an outdoor café bordering Trafalgar Square at Charing Cross. Holding the reassuring warmth of a cup of coffee in her hands, her dark gaze lingers here and there upon passing muggles, studying them with quiet curiosity.

Cyril makes his way down the street, fashionable as always. He's covered his usual silk, gray suit with a lovely, dark peacoat and looks as if he has absolutely nowhere to go. Seems that he is just idly wandering around, successfully evading any sort of responsibility.

And then her gaze falls upon a surprisingly familiar face. “Mr. Malfoy?” she says, blinking in surprise. In the gentle lamplight illuminating the café’s outdoor seating, Rhyeline’s dark gaze seems to shine as she watches him with curious surprise.

The soft light of the lamp catches in Cyril's yellow eyes and he gives a playful smirk to the woman, "Ah, well if it isn't Miss Rhyeline Diderot. How do you do?"

Dipping her head into a respectful nod, she murmurs, “I am quite well, thank you. And yourself? Would you care to join me, sir?” With a soft, inviting smile, she indicates the other chair across from her. A small candle burns against the cold in the center of the little table.

Cyril shrugs and says, "I cannot see why I would not." He walks over to the table and slides a chair out, sitting down in it slowly and looking across the table at her, "I am doing alright, I suppose. Cannot complain."

The soft smile lingers. Though Rhyeline’s voice remains rather soft, for once, the little mouse doesn’t seem consumed by such shyness. “I see. Is… London keeping you interested then?” she asks, tilting her head to the side for just a moment before bringing the cup of coffee to her lips.

Cyril drums his fingertips along the tabletop and looks across at her, saying, "Hardly. There's little to no excitement around here outside of the cinema and theatres. It's quite droll."

“I would not have expected muggle cinemas or theatres to be what might capture your interest. You seem… you seem a man of action and reality- not idle imaginings,” murmurs Rhyeline before taking another small sip. Hiding behind her coffee cup, she gazes up at him with keen curiosity.

Cyril nods to her, "You have a good eye for people, my dear girl." He fishes his cigarette case from his pocket and plucks one out, giving it a quite light and a long drag. He exhales the smoke slowly and says, "What are you getting at, Diderot?"

Rhyeline blinks a bit. "Hm? Not at anything. I am just curious." With an apologetic smile, she murmurs, "Forgive me. I've been sitting here watching people as they wander by. There is so much to read in them. Life is but a single, ever changing moment and everything that has happened still lingers in some way or another. We only have to notice it."

Cyril raises an eyebrow to her and says, "What a dreadfully boring task you've given yourself." He sniffs a bit and says, "I have no use for sitting back and looking at life. Only making sure that mine is preserved."

“Well you and I are quite different, yes? Keeping my life preserved… that… that’s something I try not to think too much about,” she murmurs rather softly, lowering her gaze to her coffee cup before taking a long, slow sip.

Cyril crosses his arms and leans back in his chair, saying, "The thought of my own mortality is one that never leaves my head. I take comfort in it, actually. Hoping that one day someone or something might best me."

“Well…” murmurs Rhyeline before pausing to stare thoughtfully into the dark, rich coffee. Her smile has vanished. “When death is always close, and there is nothing to be done, I try not to dwell on it. It is easy to forget to live. So instead, I focus on just this moment. Not when it is to fade at last.”

Cyril shrugs at her and takes a drag from his cigarette, "Well, it's no great surprise that our outlooks are widely varied, is it?" He exhales the smoke and continues, "As we do lead very different lives."

Looking up to him, a soft smile touches her lips once more. Rhyeline nods and says, “Quite true. But perhaps we might still some small interests still in common. Have you had the opportunity to speak yet with Ambassador Troy? I recently had the good fortune of meeting your brother.”

Cyril shakes his head to the woman and says, "No, I have not. Though, I heard news of his incarceration and subsequent release. Strange how political power can get you off like that, isn't it?" He tilts his head, "Oh, you met Cassius? Was he everything you thought he'd be, then?"

Rhyeline nods, her eyes shining softly as she speaks of his brother. “Yes, he as very charming and I appreciated what he had to say regarding the current debates. While I haven’t yet chosen a position, I thought his arguments were well stated.” But then, the girl pauses. In a rather soft tone, she says, “As for Ambassador Troy, he was incarcerated for harming those who attacked me. It was not power that released him. It was justice.”

Cyril raises his eyebrows, "Oh, I forgot about that justice thing. It's a dirty mess, that justice." He rubs at his chin and looks out into the street, remarking about Cassius, "Aye, he's got a good head on his shoulders. A good mind for politics." An even better personality.

“A good mind and an eloquent tongue. But you are a man of action. Curious that you would so suddenly find yourself interested in our petty squabbles after having been absorbed with the great wars of desert tribes,” murmurs Rhyeline, gazing up at him with her earlier keen curiosity.

Cyril rubs at his jaw and says, "Well, a man has to find someway to entertain himself. And with the lack of brothels, well, I've chosen politics." He shrugs and takes another long drag from his smoke.

Averting her gaze, Rhyeline bites her lower lip at the casual mention of brothels. At last her shyness emerges, her blush easily noticeable even in the soft lamplight. “Ah… yes. I- I’m glad that politics has proven… interesting to you.”

Cyril leans forward and says, "Though, I must admit, it is you who has begun to intrigue me, Miss Diderot. What is it that makes your tick, my dear? Why did you choose this life for yourself, hrmm?"

Rhyeline’s blush only seems to deepen as the man leans forward and expresses his interest. Her gaze flickers quickly back and forth from her coffee to his eyes. “Do- do you mean… why did I choose to become the ambassador’s assistant?”

Cyril nods to the girl, "Yes. Tell me about yourself, Rhye. I wish to be enthralled by a story." He rests his chin on his propped up hand and peers at her.

Rhyeline’s hands tighten upon her cup of coffee as her gaze flickers hesitantly. Keeping her elbows close to her side, she bites her lower lip. “Well, enthralling is… not something I can promise. There isn’t much to tell. I just- wanted to do something that would matter. Affect things on a greater scale. I already knew I wanted to work for the ministry. I had enough O.W.L’s, but it wasn’t until my final year at Hogwarts that I started to follow the newspapers more closely. I studied German. I knew I wanted to travel, to… to not just- hide after leaving Hogwarts. I felt that if I didn’t do something… bold… I’d live a life that would be barely a whisper on the wind… vanishing without a trace at the end of my days. So I applied for a position as Ambassador Troy’s assistant in Germany, at the heart of the brewing storm.”

Cyril nods to the woman, "So, the simple tale of the girl who was too big for the world, then? It's rather charming." He looks her up and down and says, "So, what is it that Ambassador Troy has you do for him, then?"

Rhyeline blinks, peeking hesitantly up at him. “Too big for the world? What do you mean?” His second question remains unanswered for the moment.

Cyril clears his throat and says, "It's my way of saying that you wanted to do something bigger than yourself. I do apologize if you didn't quite understand it." He clasps his hands and rests them on the table, saying, "Well, go on, then."

“Ah,” she nods. “Yes. Something bigger than myself.” Resting the cup of coffee on the surface of the table, she goes on, “Since he was forced to return, things have been very different, including what my duties consist of. At the moment, I engage mostly in research. I sort through piles of communiques and write summaries for him. Just… the regular duties of an office assistant. He hasn’t had a need for anything else from me of late.”

Cyril nods to her and says, "And…anything else?" It's clear what he's getting at, as the inflection of his voice changes. Those golden yellow eyes flickering a bit malevolently in the candle light.

Rhyeline pauses, looking startled as she catches the malevolent flicker of his golden gaze. “N-no, sir. Nothing else. I am his assistant. Anything more would… would not be appropriate.” The girl's cheeks have grown quite warm at such a suggestion.

Cyril chuckles and takes a drag from his cigarette, flicking the ashes to the ground and snuffing it out on the table, "Ah, that's right. I forgot that everyone who works in the government is completely free of their vices."

Peeking up now and then at Cyril, the little one murmurs in a rather soft tone, “Ambassador Troy takes his duties as Ambassador very seriously. That is why he maintains strict neutrality when it comes to domestic affairs and I am used only in matters relating directly to his work.”

Cyril smirks and says, "That's your story and you're sticking to it. Good on you." He gives her a nod and says, "I think I should hire an assistant for myself. Would be rather fun, don't you think?"

“Your brother said something similar,” muses the girl before drinking the last of her coffee. “I hope you find someone competent. Do you have a pressing need for one?” Tilting her head slightly to the side, she peers up at him curiously.

Cyril shakes his head, "No, not particularly. I just quite enjoy bossing people around. It's quite fun when you think about it." He shrugs and leans back in his seat, looking across at her again.

“Don’t need an assistant for that,” murmurs the little mouse of a girl, lowering her gaze to the empty coffee cup in her hands. There is a lingering warmth to her soft cheeks.

Cyril smirks at her and says, "Well, I imagine it would be incredibly rude to boss someone around unless I was paying them or they were my lover. Or some combination of the two." He chuckles softly.

Oh dear. The girl does seem to blush so easily. Shifting in her seat, squirming just a bit, she turns away and tries to catch the attention of a passing muggle waiter. Showing the empty bottom of her coffee cup, she indicates that she would like a bit more. The mustachioed waiter hastens to fetch a fresh pot. It isn’t until she is warming her hands against the sides of the full cup and they are alone once again that she peeks up hesitantly at him.

Cyril raises an eyebrow to the woman as she peeks up at him and says, "I do appreciate eye contact during a conversation. I find it's one of those simple pleasures."

Rhyeline blinks, but then gives a meek nod. “Forgive me.” Though her cheeks are quite warm, she now does her best to meet his golden gaze. Occasionally she cannot help but glance down at her cup of coffee, but for the most part she manages it despite her intense shyness. “I hope- I hope that you found my story- interesting at least.”

Cyril nods to her and says, "Oh, yes. I was absolutely riveted by it. Though, I'm afraid that I must be departing. Allow me to pay for your coffee." He pulls out a few notes and leaves them on the table, standing up and straightening out his clothing.

Rhyeline parts her lips to protest, but she doesn’t seem to have a choice. The money is already on the table. Nodding, she places her coffee down upon the table and then, with great care, she slowly rises. “It was a pleasure to speak with you, Mr. Malfoy.” The girl leans against the edge of the table, subtly using it for support.

Cyril offers up his charmingly deviant smile and says, "I very much enjoyed it myself, Miss Diderot." He looks at her leaning and then flashes his eyes to hers, saying, "Is there something wrong, dear girl?"

“Wrong? N-no, sir. I’m alright,” she murmurs. Biting her lower lip, her gaze flickers just a bit, but she forces herself to meet his gaze steadily. The meek creature seems vulnerable as she watches him, hoping he does not inquire further.

Of course he's going to inquire further. He doesn't get halfway into an ancient tomb and then stop, does he? He takes a step forward and gives her a closer look, "Tell me the truth, Miss Diderot."

Rhyeline shakes her head, lowering her eyes at last. “It’s nothing. It doesn’t matter. No consequence,” Unable to meet his luminous gaze, she focuses on the table cloth and with care, moves to sit back down. “I am recovering from a recent illness. That’s all.”

Cyril furrows his brows at her and says, "I see. Well, if you do not wish to share, there's no way that I could make you." Well, in fact there are several ways that he could make her, just none of them are socially acceptable.

Rhyeline peeks up at him, her cheeks quite warm. “In Germany, I was caught by a curse meant for Ambassador Troy. That’s all. I am still recovering from it.”

Cyril rubs his hand along her arm and says, "Well…I do hope you get better. I'm sure Mister Troy has several more assassination attempts for you to foil by throwing yourself in front of them."

Rhyeline’s shoulders grow just a bit tense under his gentle touch. However at his words, she grows perfectly still. The girl has done her very best to give the impression that being caught by the curse was an accident, and yet this man assumes she took it deliberately. Silently she watches him, unable to find words.

Cyril gives her arm a pat and says, "Well, do have a lovely evening, Miss Diderot." With that, he straightens out his coat, turns around and begins to take his leave.

“You may call me Rhyeline… if you wish,” she murmurs just before he leaves, lifting her gaze at last to meet his eyes. “Thank you. Thank you for your

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