(1937-12-09) The Mouse and the Golden-eyed Cat
Details for The Mouse and the Golden-eyed Cat
Summary: In a chance encounter at Cafe Tasseo, Cyril invites Rhyeline to join him at his table. Rhyeline learns of his recent expulsion from his brother's home and the two chat about the benefits of living in a small flat of their own. In the end, an invitation slips out from Rhyeline for him to come visit her for coffee and to see her flat.
Date: Sunday, December 09, 1937
Location: Cafe Tasseo
Related: The Cat Comes for Coffee

It is a fall evening. The weather is cool and clear.

Cafe Tasseo

Named for the art of Tasseomancy (Tea Leaf Reading), the posh Cafe Tasseo offers complimentary tea leaf reading to its customers. The cafe has a sort of French elegance to it, but it is much less flagrant, which makes it pure British. The chairs are all padded dining chairs of mahogany and golden embossed fabric one would expect to find in a Louis XIV style without all the pomp of leaves and flanges, just smooth curvaceous lines of mahogany. The use of mahogany, gold and pristine white is throughout the spacious room.

The ceiling is a floral mosaic of white and gold with chandeliers and light fixtures dangling from the mosaic in appropriate places. The gold gilding continues into the walls, accenting raised relief panels on the columns between the windows. The panels share the floral motif of the ceiling, intricately crafted down to the last detail. The windows themselves are just as magnificently turned out; the top quarter is draped in gold shades, the bottom half covered by white sheers, allowing the patrons privacy yet letting ample light through the uncovered section of glass.

It seems like it's another night out on the town for Mister Cyril Malfoy. The man with the golden eyes sits alone at a table in the Cafe, probably just coming from doing something that most likely costed too much money. Or who knows, he may just be out of the house because Sloan and Edwarlinda are doing nasty grown-up things. In either case, he's sitting at a table in the corner, nursing a cup of coffee.

Though pale as ever, Rhyeline’s features don’t seem quite as ashen as they may have in the past. Instead her complexion has become as pure as new fallen snow. However with her downcast gaze as she slips into the café, and her slow, careful movements as the host helps her out of her heavy winter cloak, she seems a bit more fatigued than usual.

Cyril stands up from his table and moves to intercept Rhyeline, resting a hand on her arm and saying, "Good evening, Miss Diderot." His free hand slides into his pocket and a charming smile creeps to his lips, "All is well, I hope?"

The host stands to one side as Cyril Malfoy approaches. At the touch upon her arm, the gamine lifts a startled gaze. Looking up at the charming smile with such profound shyness, she murmurs, “Good evening. Yes, sir. All is well. I was told yesterday that today a new shipment of fresh caught salmon would arrive. I have come to try some.” A soft smile touches her lips as she glances up at the host, who returns with a mustachioed smile and a deep bow.

Cyril's smile turns to a warm one as it falls upon the host, saying, "You heard her. Fetch her some salmon." He pats Rhyeline's arm again and says, "Now, come." With that, he's walking his way back to his table where he will stand with a chair pulled out for her.

The host chuckles and bowing to Cyril, he says, “Right away, sir.” The softest blush emerges in Rhyeline’s cheeks as Cyril guides her to sit at his table. Biting her lower lip, she peeks up at him with a touch of bemusement, not sure what to make of his devoted attention. “Thank you, sir. I… I trust that all is well?”

Cyril keeps that smile up and says, "Oh, yes. Everything is absolutely splendid aside from being kicked out of my brother's house." He moves to take his own seat, straightening out his jacket as he does so.

Startled by the news, Rhyeline blinks. “What? Kicked out?”

Cyril picks up his coffee cup and sips, taking his time before he answers. Mmmm, warm, delicious coffee. He sets the cup down and nods to her, saying, "Yes, I was kicked out. My brother and I had an argument and he asked me to leave."

Rhyeline bites her lower lip, but the only emotion in her eyes is concern for the one sitting across from her. There is no sign that his present distance to his brother has caused her to rethink her interest in speaking with him. “I see. I’m sorry to hear that. I do not have any siblings. But,” she hesitates, “I understand that fights can be common?”

Cyril raises his eyebrows to her and says, "Fighting amongst siblings? Oh, yes. It happens all the time. Apparently I'm a little too crass for Cassius' taste." He scoffs a bit and rolls his eyes as he says this.

“Crass? Well… for someone who has spent such time living among the uncivilized, perhaps that is to be expected?” The most subtle of smiles touches the girl’s lips and as she peeks up at him, her eyes shine with a quiet mirth.

Cyril smirks at her and pats her hand, saying, "Oh, yes. Just consider me a savage, Miss Diderot. I wonder if I should excuse myself from your presence and go bang a drum somewhere." Those golden eyes of his twinkle playfully as he says this.

Rhyeline closes her eyes and lifts her nose in the air. Waving away his suggestion, with an air of mock superiority, she says, “No need, sir. It is important in the world of diplomacy to learn to interact with the most unsavory of characters. Pray, remain with me so that I might practice.”

Cyril grins at her and says, "How very adorable." He brushes his thumb along her hand as he leans back in his chair and retracts it. He claps his hands and crosses his legs, saying, "So, oh civilized one, tell me; how have things been since our last encounter?"

Rhyeline’s calm composure wavers as the man reaches to brush his thumb across her hand which was folded in her lap. Falling silent, her hands tighten and bowing her head, she sits further back in her chair. A subtle blush returns once more to her features “I have been well, thank you. I have moved to a flat of my own at last. It has been so cozy now that the winter nights have been getting colder.” Biting her lower lip, she pauses a moment. Perhaps hoping to distract him from her for the moment, she murmurs, “Forgive me for asking, but if I might inquire, what did you say that prompted your brother to turn you from his home?”

Cyril nods to her, saying, "I'm thinking about finding my own place soon. I'm tired of living with other people, you know? It's time to build an estate for myself." He nods to himself, leaning back in his chair and turning his eyes back to her, saying, "You may not."

Rhyeline’s shyness turns to embarrassment and lowering her gaze, she nods to him and murmurs, “Forgive me.” Thankfully a waiter arrives just then their dinners. A small salmon fillet is placed before the girl, topped with herbs and accompanied by roasted vegetables. The girl peeks up at the waiter, cheeks still quite warm and nods in thanks.

Cyril looks to the waiter and taps his cup, saying, "More coffee." It's true, he is quite blunt. His eyes begin to glance around the room, taking in the people and things as he lets Rhyeline enjoy her meal.

It is some time before the girl gathers the courage to speak once more. After several minutes of uncomfortable silence as she picks and nibbles at the salmon, she peeks up at him and murmurs, “You say you are going to build an estate? What of the meantime?”

Cyril looks up from the coin that he's been twirling about in his hand and says, "Hrmmm? Oh, I was just kidding. I'm not a gaudy person, dear. I'd much prefer the intimacy of an apartment, possibly next to the Thames. Some place quiet and just for me."

“Ah. Yes. I think… even if I had the money, I’d prefer a quiet little flat as well. On the river would be lovely. Mine is just down the street from this quaint little muggle coffee shop. And I have a few wizarding neighbors which is nice,” she murmurs rather softly.

Cyril raisesh is eyebrows and says, "Oh, really? Friends of yours or was it all just happenstance?" He rests his clasped hands on the table, and continues to study her as he answers.

“Well… a bit of both, perhaps? I was leaving my flat one afternoon just for a bit of a walk when I noticed Miss Veruca Max and her cousin, Ms. Katherine Sykes across the street. They were there to look at the directly across from mine and after examining it, and having realized I lived close by, Katherine chose to take it.”

Cyril nods to her and says, "Oh, Veruca Max. I've had the pleasure of running across her before. She was actually a year ahead of my at Hogwarts. Can't say I've met her cousin, though. Is she any relation to the pure-blood Sykes?"

"Yes, sir. I believe so," murmurs Rhyeline with a nod. "They were both most kind. It's a good neighborhood. The muggles keep to themselves and a witch lives across the street."

Cyril nods to her, "Yes, well, that's a bloody relief, I suppose. I've come across far too many Muggles who enjoy sticking their noses in someone else's business. It's absolutely appalling."

“I haven’t, to be honest. But I know that they often present a problem, which is why I feel fortunate to have settled in this particular area. Perhaps some time, you would care to come for coffee?” The invitation seems to slip out and once she realizes what she has said, she pauses and peeks hesitantly up at him, cheeks warming just a bit.

Cyril nods to her and says, "You're lucky to have picked such a prime place to settle down. I hope that fortune smiles on me in that aspect, as well." He leans back in the chair and smiles, "Oh, I would absolutely adore that, Miss Diderot. Maybe you could give me a tour of the house, too. It might spark some ideas for me."

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