(1937-12-07) Kat's New Playhouse
Details for Kat's New Playhouse
Summary: Veruca helps Kat find a new flat which coincidentally happens to be across the street from Rhyeline's flat.
Date: 1937-12-07
Location: Lambeth Place
Related: None.

Most of the buildings in Lambeth are Victorian era or newer, made up of people and businesses that moved into the area since the opening of the Waterloo and Blackfriar bridges. It is mostly middle class but there are signs of of both richer and poorer living in the area. The richest residence, of course, is the Lambeth Palace, home of the Archbishop of Canterbury, a sprawling palace right on the Thames, opposite Westminster Palace. Also in the area is St. Thomas' Hospital, one of London's most famous hospitals.

Today Kat is wearing a nicely tailored woolen skirt suit in a soft pastel green pairs with a cream blouse. She's carrying a purse that doubles as a briefcase, which she frequently refers to as she searches out the addresses of the flats she's decided might make good places for her to live. At the moment she's looking for the fifth one,"Here Rue, do you see this one?" As she asks she tilts her little notepad over for her companion of the day to see.

Veruca is checking out the neighborhood as they walk. It looks nice enough, well kept shop fronts and tidy residences. "It's nice that the tube is so near," she remarks, even as she's stepping nearer to Katherine to look at the pad. Her attire is as would be expected, a navy skirt, white blouse, purse tucked under her arm. A glance at the notes, and dark eyes sweep around, catching a nearby address. "I believe it's just a few numbers up this way." As she speaks she motions in the direction they're going, and on the right side.

Katherine smiles at Rue and nods,"Exactly what I'm looking for. Now that I actually have to work for a living I want to make it as easy as possible to get to the Ministry so I can get as much beauty sleep as possible. So I haven't seen you in days, how's life treating you lately?" As she speaks she walks at a comfortable, strolling pace in the direction of the newest address, keeping a hand on the top of her purse to stop it from swinging on its strap.

Rue matches her cousin's stride easily as the pair walk up the street, a half smile on her lips. "This should solve that for you then, unless you miss your train and make yourself late regardless." There's a light tease in her voice that comes more easily, as if she's not as guarded as normal. Since it's rather warm for a December day, she doesn't have her coat buttoned, but she does have it tucked around herself against the breeze. "Life has been treating me well," she answers lightly. "Mostly work, a bit of play, and a ton of party planning." There is a thoughtful pause before she adds, "I've been thinking about striking out on my own again. I rather miss finance." And setting her own hours. She points to the next residence, "Is that it?"

A door with stained glass window panels reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright's water lilies distinguishes Rhyeline's red-brick flat from the others on either side. Despite the relatively warm weather, the young witch wears a winter coat of soft, navy wool and a cloche of the same color. A red scarf hangs in several loose loops around her neck. Pulling a key from her pocket, the girl pauses to peek over her shoulder at the passing women.

Katherine looks down at her notepad then up at the building Veruca is pointing and nods with a big smile,"It is. Good job Rue. This will earn you the early Christmas gift I brought you." The flat the two women are focused on is across the street from the one Rhyeline is standing at. A standard brownstone building it apparently has four flats, each of them three stories tall, judging by the windows.

Veruca laughs softly at Katherine's comment. "One day you shall learn that I'm not just another pretty face." She pauses on the sidewalk, looking over the exterior and front garden. "Very clean looking, from the outside. And three floors, that's nice." She glances around to assess the neighborhood again, her eyes lingering for a moment on the young woman across the road before passing on to settle back on Katherine. "Maybe this will be the one."

Rhyeline meets Veruca's gaze and gives a small nod of respect in greeting. After locking her flat, she slips her hands into her pockets and makes her way out onto the sidewalk. For a moment she watches the two women with silent curiosity in her steady gaze. At last, careful that no muggle cars are coming, she ventures across the street. "Good afternoon," she murmurs.

Katherine puts her notepad away in her purse, "I know /that/ already silly." Stopping at the fence in front of the flat they're interested in she turns to face the murmur coming from behind them, giving the newcomer a friendly smile,"Well, hello there. Are you a possible new neighbor? What do you think about the area?"

The soft voice catches Veruca's ear as well, and she turns almost in synchronization with Katherine. A second pause and she places the face now that the young woman is closer. "Miss Diderot, what a pleasant surprise." The words come with less formality than they usually would, and a warm smile. "Katherine, this is cousin Magnus' assistant. Miss Diderot, Miss Sykes," she introduces.

Rhyeline's stance seems hesitant, as if she is about to continue onward so as not to intrude. However at Katherine's friendliness, a soft smile touches the girl's pale features in return. Then as Veruca begins to make introductions, she clasps her hands behind her back, intending to linger a bit longer. "Pleased to meet you, Miss Sykes. Yes. I have just moved to that flat there," she points across the street. "So far it seems a very nice neighborhood. The muggles keep to themselves and except for one of their cars backfiring now and then, it's quiet."

Katherine motions towards the flat behind the little group,"I am sure we will be great friends Ms. Diderot. Would you like to come in and give your thoughts on the flat as well? The landlord was kind enough to give me the keys. They're in here somewhere…" Her voice trails off as she starts searching through her purse. After a few moments of rustling she finally pulls them out with a grin,"Aha! There they are. Shall we?"

Veruca watches with no little amusement as Katherine searches for the keys. When they finally come out with a jingle, she comments lightly, "Oh, good show. For a moment I feared we would have to call up a search party. Perhaps bring out the hounds." She motions for Rhyeline to follow Katherine, not thinking for a moment she wouldn't, and moves to bring up the end of the line.

Rhyeline's eyes brighten as she is invited to join them and look in the flat. Though such a shy creature, she nods to Katherine and murmurs, "Of course, I'd be happy to." Peeking up at Veruca, the little one follows Katherine into the flat. "And then… if you wish, you are both very welcome to come to my flat for tea. And my fireplace is connected to the floo network so there wouldn't be any need to aparate."

Katherine tilts her head first to one side then to another as she gives Rue a, "Ha ha. I know its a big purse, but I needed something to fit the notebook in so I could keep track of the good and the bad of each flat." Then she smiles brightly as she unlocks the door and holds it open for Rue and Ryhe,"And it goes fabulously with this suit too. And thank you for the offer Rhye. I am sure it will come in useful at some point."

Rue moves to step into the townhouse, stepping aside almost immediately to make room for her two companions to enter as well. She glances around, offering no comment on the interior until Katherine has had ample time to look around herself.

An empty residence. The Lambeth neighborhood is a rather comfortable working class area and the residence reflects that to every nook and corner. Bare floors and walls are freshly scrubbed and painted. Several packing boxes are stacked here and there. The stringent scent of cleaning products and fresh paint is strong and ever lingering. This home is comprised of several rooms. A mud room just inside the front door is lined with racks and storage space for outside wear and poor weather accessories. If the home is multi-leveled the stairs usually are very close by the foyer. Every home comes with a living room area that's most usually adjoined to a dining room which is attached to a kitchen. Within the kitchen there are several appliances such as gas stove, sink, and refrigerator. Often there is storage space under any available stairway. More often than not the floors are all hardwood, waxed and polished in all shades from pale pine to dark oak in the fancier homes. Every home is slightly different in its lay out. But there are always of course the necessary rooms and at least one indoor bathroom. A sign in a front window says: 'For Sale'.

Rhyeline's looks around curiously as she steps into the narrow brownstone apartment. "It's a lot like mine," she murmurs. Standing at the foot of the stairs, she peeks up towards the first floor before looking to Katherine. "Do you know if it has a little rear garden as well?"

Katherine looks around and nods a little bit,"Its a little small compared to what I'm used to, but I think it will do. And climbing the stairs to what I'm guessing is the bedrooms will help me keep trim. Lets find out of there is a garden, shall we?" Moving deeper into the apartment she crosses the combination kitchen and dinning room to a door at the back of the flat.

Dark eyes take in the space appraisingly, noting certain details like the fairly new looking icebox and the scent of fresh paint. "I do like the open space on this floor," Veruca comments, stepping more slowly after her cousin. "The large window lets in a fair amount of light. Natural light is so much better than artificial."

Hands still clasped behind her back, little Rhyeline follows along as Katherine leads them through the flat in search of a garden. "It seems so warm and cozy in here. A good place for curling up under a blanket by the fire, sipping mulled wine while it snows outside…"

Katherine opens the door in the back of the kitchen to reveal that there is indeed a small back garden with a little stone paved section just large enough for two chairs and a small table,"This is charming. And the high fences guarantee privacy. And the dinning room window looks right out into the garden, which is perfect too." Stepping out into the garden, which is really more of yard since its nothing but flat grass at the moment, she does a tiny little twirling dance that takes her to the end of it in about 10 steps.

Although Veruca watches Katherine with a smile, it should come as no surprise that her mind is on more practical matters. She steps over to the sink, turning the handle to make sure the water flows and isn't some god-awful color. Next she steps to the cooker and makes sure the gas is on and it lights. Then the ice box door is opened and the interior checked to make sure it's clean.

Rhyeline lingers in the doorway and watches with a smile as Katherine delights in the small, secluded garden. "I think it's just enough, no? Not so big that it will take too much time to tend, but enough to be a nice little spot for lemonade in the summers."

Katherine giggles as she comes back to the kitchen,"It is very nice. Now, where is the living room and the bed rooms. How much to you two want to bet the second floor is a great room with a water closet and the third floor has the bedrooms and another WC?" Suiting action to words she heads towards the stairs, pausing only for a small moment to open the closet under the stairs to check its size.

"Everything seems in order in the kitchen," Veruca offers, catching back up to the pair. She hangs back again as they progress onward, her attention lifting to the light fixture in the hall for a moment.

Rhyeline follows up the stairs behind Katherine. The girl peeks down at Veruca as she mentions more practical observations. Coming to the top of the stairs, Rhyeline drifts to the windows as she looks around the spacious room. "This room… it seems like it would make an excellent study. So much space for books…"

Katherine grins at Rhye and shakes he head just a tiny bit,"Or a living room. One must have a place to entertain after all. I'll probably make the small bedroom a study instead. I don't really own /that/ many books. An Auror's work is more… active." Going over to the windows she peeks out them and makes a little moue of distaste,"Of course the view would be of nothing but buildings. But it can't all be perfect…"

Rue follows the pair up slowly, running her hand along the stair rail. She pauses, considering the view. "Perhaps a charm to make the view more pleasant? Surely there must be something to do that."

"A living room is a good place for books," murmurs Rhyeline, as if to herself, but then hearing that Katherine doesn't even own many books, the girl blinks. "Oh… I see." Peeking out through the same window, the girl is quiet for a moment, before she murmurs, "From the top floor, you should get a very good view of the sunsets over the rooftops."

Katherine turns away from the windows and takes both of Rhye's hands in her, smiling brightly as she turns her in a small half circle, "Darling, that is a /marvelous/ point. And we're just in time to check and see if its an accurate one too. Shall we?" Living room forgotten she starts heading for the stairs again, making her way to the third floor, not even thinking to check the bathroom, "Rue, its great having you along, you always come up with the best ideas."

Stopping by the window, Rue pauses and looks out at the meager view. A smile curves her lips as her thoughts wander for a few moments as Katherine and Rhyeline head up the last flight of stairs. Finally she sighs softly and turns, walking straight to the loo to make sure everything is in order.

Rhyeline squeaks like a little mouse when Katherine takes her hands and turns her. When she moves to follow her up the third flight of stairs, her cheeks are a bit pink. Peeking over at Veruca, she bites her lower lip just a bit, before continuing onward up the stairs. Upon reaching the top of the stairs, she looks up and blinks. "There's a trap door here." Pointing, she indicates a place in the ceiling where a string needs to be tied to the small metal handle.

Katherine stops at the top of the stairs and turns around to look at what Ryheline is pointing out,"I completely missed that. Its probably an attic of some kind. I will make for good storage I think." With that she's off again, investigating the two smallish bedrooms, both of which connect to this floors bathroom,"These are a little small but I would say they could work, especially since I don't have any furniture yet so I can buy specifically for them."

Veruca continues her own version of an inspection, testing the facilities on both floors, then approaching Katherine. "I would say that it's nicer than the first and third places, but not quite as nice as the second. About on par with number 4. I will give it an edge up since you have a ready-made friend in the neighborhood." She smiles at both witches, a warmth in it that is seldom seen, and her attention hones on Katherine. "Dear cousin, I'm afraid I'm going to have to abandon you here. I must get back for a late meeting with a client." She moves to kiss the blond witch's cheek.

Katherine returns Veruca's kiss then starts talking while he digs around in her purse,"Thank you for all the help today Rue. I think I've settled on this flat and having a ready-made friend is indeed part of it. And to thank you for your help and as an early Christmas present I would like you to accept this token of appreciation." Pulling out a medium sized box she offers it to Rue. The box has a nice ribbon around it which is tied off in a complex decorative bow but its not wrapped making it obvious its a box of Christmas Creams from Kaboon Choco. "I hope you enjoy them."

Rhyeline follows along quietly behind Katherine as the young Auror explores the two bedrooms. Standing off to one side, hands still clasped behind her back, the little one peeks up at Veruca as she approaches them. As Veruca encourages Katherine to choose this flat, specifically because Rhyeline will be a close neighbor, the shy creature blinks, but she can't help but smile. The sight of the rare warmth brightens her gaze even more.

Veruca looks a bit surprised at the gift, but her thanks are warm and genuine. "How very thoughtful of you, Kat, thank you." With her purse still tucked under her are, Rue holds the box in her hand, and she turns to address Rhyeline. "Miss Diderot, I hope you have a very pleasant. Give my regards to dear Magnus next time you see him, if you would." As she turns to go, her smile actually reaches happy, and she trots lightly down the stairs and on her way.

Katherine finishes her exploration at the back bedroom's window. "Well, look at that, you were absolutely right Rhye! The sunset looks amazing from this window. I think I'll make this a study with a little sitting area right in front of the window." Hitching a hip she half sits on the window ledge after putting her purse down on the floor. "So what do you do for Cousin Magnus, exactly?"

Standing near the doorway, Rhyeline's hands are still clasped behind her back. At such a question, she blinks in surprise. "Hm? Oh. Ambassador Troy? I well, I serve as his assistant. I started working for him when he was in Germany, and… when he was forced to return to London, I was permitted to continue my work. Though things are much more quiet here."

Rhyeline pauses and hesitates a moment. "Mm… Miss Sykes? Would you care to come to my flat for a spot of tea? Perhaps seeing my flat too might give you ideas for yours."

Katherine claps her hands a few times as she pops back to her feet and scoops up her purse,"That sounds like a splendid idea. Lead the way. And please, Katherine or, even better, Kat. I'm nowhere near as uptight as most of my family… Except when its to my advantage." The last sentence is accompanied by a wink and a little flip of the head to make her ponytail bounce back to the back instead of being over her shoulder.

"Oh! You you can call me Rhyeline then. Or even Rhye if you like." It doesn't seem like an offer she often makes. The girl's cheeks are quite warm as she bows her head and leads the way down the stairs. Behind her back, her hands are clasped quite tightly. Despite her intense shyness, she has been making a strong effort not to hide or stay silent.

A door with stained glass window panels reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright's water lilies distinguishes this red-brick flat from the others on either side.

The mudroom opens onto a foyer with stairs leading to a second floor. A long hallway runs alongside the stairs through to the back door. The foyer opens to the right onto the parlor with an adjoining dining room. From the dining room, the kitchen hides tucked into the back of the house. Upstairs, a master bedroom and a guest bedroom allow for guests or even a flat mate. Outside behind the flat, surrounded by tall brick walls, sits a small garden.

The scent of an ever crackling fireplace intermingles with that of brewing coffee and the pure white roses in the bay window facing the street. Gentle lighting lends the flat a warm and cozy atmosphere.

A mosaic of porcelain floor tiles allows for visitors to remove their harsh weather gear before venturing onto the polished oak floors of the rest of the house. Along the wall to the right, a selection of muggle coats and wizarding cloaks hang from decorative cast-iron owls. A floral, blue and white china vase holds two umbrellas. A matching china bowl for holding keys rests upon a narrow table topped with Victorian marble across from the coats. A pair of black wellingtons stands against the wall beside the table.

Katherine follows Rhyeline into her apartment and stands at the doorway for a moment taking the apartment in. "You were right, they are a lot alike. And you have a delightful decorative sense. I really like what you've done with the place." As forward as she is in many things she still waits to be invited further into the apartment showing that she does pay more attention than one might expect at first and has recognized Rhye's shyness.

Rhyeline quickly removes her cold weather clothes, leaving her wearing a little rust-red dress and a turquoise cardigan. Peeking up at Katherine, the little one offers her a soft smile and gestures for her to step into the parlor. "Please, make yourself at home while I put the kettle on." Once her guest is seated comfortably, the girl scurries off through the dining room and into the kitchen. A couple of seconds later, she returns, tucking her slender, 7" wand into her cardigan pocket. "Your cousin, the ambassador, was kind enough to arrange for me to live here."

Katherine makes her way to the parlor and take a seat in one of the arm chairs. Once Rhyeline comes back she's received with a big smile,"Well, that was nice of him. You must be an exemplary assistant. How did you end up working for him?"

Rhyeline sits down in the other armchair across from Katherine. Folding her hands in her lap, she murmurs, "When I graduated, I applied to join the Department of International Magical Cooperation at the Ministry. I was accepted and suggested for the position, along with several others, as Ambassador Troy's assistant in Germany. After an interview, he chose me. What about you? What is it you do, Mi- Katherine?"

Katherine daintily crosses one leg over another then folds her hands over her knee,"I am a recently appointed Auror Initiate. And that only because Father decided that a life living off his money was not bringing enough pride to the family. You might have met my father at some point too. He was the Ambassador to Russia for a long time and has been working in the main offices for about the last 18 years or so. Jancarlo Sykes ring a bell?"

Rhyeline's dark gaze widens in awe. "Yes I have heard of him, read about him, and and even seen him a few times at the Ministry since I returned. But I haven't had the opportunity to meet him yet. Mm but so does being an Auror interest you?" The gentle warble of a nightingale begins to sound from the kitchen. "Oh- please excuse me. I'll- I'll be right back." Nodding apologetically, the girl scurries off. About a minute later, she returns with a silver tray laden with two china cups, a teapot, a silver bowl of sugar cubes and a tiny silver pitcher of cream. It looks like it's probably rather heavy for the little one. With great care, she approaches to set it on the low coffee table.

Katherine patiently waits from Rhye to come back before answering her question. "Well… Its work. But at least its not behind a desk all the time and it lets me get plenty of dueling practice in. There really should be a professional dueling circuit, just like there's professional Quidditch. That is a very nice tea set. You have very good taste and you're quite attractive. I'm surprised that you are as shy as you are." Kat is obviously neither shy nor hesitant to ask questions. And she knows better than to offer assistance when not asked for it.

Rhyeline pauses for a fleeting moment when Katherine's compliments drift from the tea set to the girl herself. Lowering her gaze, she can't keep the blush from warming her pale cheeks. "Ah well, it doesn't make it easy to talk a lot. But with the Ambassador, my duties are usually simply to listen and take notes for him. Or to compile summaries of all the recent communiques from abroad. Em… would you care for sugar or cream in your tea?" The little one peeks up at Katherine at last as she sits down and takes up the teapot.

Katherine nods once then holds up three fingers,"Three lumps and a dash of cream. I do like my tea on the strong side though so truly just a dash of cream. And I admire that you can do that kind of work. I would be so distracted most of the time I would probably be fired in the first week." The right side of her lips quirks up in a self-deprecating half smile at the last comment before she reaches out to take the cup of tea once its ready.

"I find the work quite fascinating. And even the small tasks had a certain peace to them that was reassuring after the intensity of some of the negotiations in Germany. Of course now, everything is quiet. I admire that you can do your kind of work. I'm I'm really not much for dueling." Tea prepared exactly as Katherine requested, she holds the cup and saucer with both hands and offers it with care. To her own cup, she adds a great deal of milk but only a bit of sugar. A bit of a mirror image of Katherine's cup.

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