(1937-12-10) The Cat Comes for Coffee
Details for The Cat Comes for Coffee
Summary: As promised, Cyril drops by Rhyeline's flat around lunchtime for a bit of conversation and coffee.
Date: Monday, December 10, 1937
Location: Rhyeline's Flat
Related: The Mouse and the Golden-eyed Cat

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

Rhyeline’s Flat

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 plate of fresh-made sandwiches waits on the dining room table. Two places have been set in anticipation of Cyril’s arrival. Wearing a navy blue dress under her usual turquoise cardigan, the little mouse of a witch busies herself in the kitchen, pushing down on the plunger of the French press, preparing the coffee. Perhaps it is due to the anxious energy bubbling within her, but she doesn’t seem quite as fatigued as she had a few days prior when she had first invited Cyril for coffee.

A few simple wraps on the door signify Cyril's arrival. Being a man who's far more accustomed to the searing hot deserts of Egpyt, he's positively bundled up in a pea-coat, a pair of gloves, a scarf and a wool driver's hat. He exhales jaggedly as he shivers and waits for the door to open.

At the knock, the little one quickly abandons the coffee preparations and removing her little apron with the ruffled borders, she scurries out through the dining room, heading for the front door. Through the stained glass window, the man will be able to see the little one as she approaches. Unbolting the door, she draws back to dip into a little curtsy. “Good afternoon, Mr. Malfoy. Please come in.” She keeps close to the door and once he is inside, she closes it behind him.

Cyril smiles and steps inside, saying, "Good afternoon, Miss Diderot." He begins the whole unwrapping process but finally manages to get down to just the suit that he wears. He seems quite pleased that his anti-wrinkling charm has worked and has left him looking as if he's just slid into a finely pressed suit. His eyes begin to dance around the room and he says, "What a lovely home you have made for yourself, Rhyeline."

While the area is not necessarily beyond the girl’s means, the improvements, such as the stained glass window panel in the door, and the luxurious furnishings certainly seem a bit much for one working only as an assistant at the Ministry of Magic. Smiling up at Cyril, the girl bows her head and murmurs, “Thank you, sir. Please, come sit down. I’ve made sandwiches.” The invitation is a bit abrupt. It doesn’t seem as if the girl has ever hosted many personal guests before.

Cyril smiles in return to the woman and follows her to have a seat, saying, "Sandwiches? How very extravagant, Miss Diderot. I didn't expect you to pull out all the stops like this." He smirks and rests his hands on the table, waiting to be served as it customary.

The little one flushes as she follows him to the dining room. With great care, she serves him two of the smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwiches on a diagonally cut French baguette. “I… well… I’m not much for cooking, you see. But… would you care for something to drink? There is some lemonade in the icebox, or I have a bottle of pinot noir…”

Cyril settles in and happily accepts the sandwich, saying, "Oh, I'm sure you did fine, Rhyeline. When you live in a desert for as long as I have, you learn to appreciate every little thing, be it bad or good." He ponders for a moment and says, "I shall take a glass of wine, thank you." With that, he takes a bite of his food, 'mmmm'ing softly.

Rhyeline nods and dips into another little curtsy before she scurries off into the kitchen. Not knowing how to act towards her guest, the girl has fallen back on her mannerisms as the assistant to a diplomat, serving Cyril as if he were a visiting dignitary. Before long, she returns with a bottle and two wine glasses. With great practice, she pours a glass for Cyril, and a smaller amount for herself. After a moment of hesitation, she moves to sit across from him. “Please enjoy,” she murmurs at last, peeking up at him.

Cyril takes the glass and takes a sip of it, regarding the woman over the rim of it and saying, "You seem a little bit nervous, my dear. Is there something on your mind, because I can assure you that the food is excellent and your home is immaculate."

“Ah. Thank you. Forgive me, I’m not nervous. I just… well… I’ve never really… had much in the way of guests,” she murmurs hesitantly before nibbling at her sandwich.

Cyril nods to her and says, "Well, do try and relax. One of the worst things you can do as a host is to be outwardly nervous. It can throw the whole experience off." He takes another bite of his sandwich and chews it happily."

“Oh.” Rhyeline lowers her gaze and falls silent. After a moment when she peeks up again at Cyril, her features are clear and her reserve has deepened. In a soft, calm tone, she says, “Things have been so quiet lately. Since the public forum, there has been scarcely a word regarding the debates over the Statute of Secrecy. Not much about the conflicts of Europe either.”

Cyril nods to her and says, "Indeed. It's been a bit eerie if you ask me. All of a sudden, things fell dreadfully still. It's got me feeling like something big might be coming our way. Though, I'm hardly worried, as I doubt any of it will end up at my door-step."

“True. It does seem a bit like the calm before a storm. While I doubt any of it will be on my doorstep, we will all be affected in some way by the outcome of this controversy,” she murmurs before lowering her gaze and taking a small sip of wine.

Cyril nods to her and says, "Oh, most assuredly. Though, you shouldn't worry. You've got a Malfoy on your side." He offers her a wink and leans back from his mostly eaten sandwich to sip slowly on his wine, "It seems I came back at just the right time. I imagine that whatever happens will be quite the spectacle to behold."

Rhyeline blinks at such an unexpected reassurance. After another small sip of wine, she peeks back up at him with a subtle gleam of playful mirth in her dark gaze. “Truly? Your brother was so charming when I met him, but I didn’t realize his kindness extended so far. That is most reassuring to know.”

Cyril raises an eyebrow and says, "I was talking about myself, Miss Diderot. My brother's candied words and winning personality could not do a thing to protect you if perhaps a riot were to break out."

Rhyeline smiles a bit as he corrects her. But then as he mentions protecting her from a riot, she blinks and watches him curiously. “You think such things are to come? In my experience the violence stemming from intrigue is far more dangerous than a spontaneous public outcry. Demonstrations in Germany never touched me. It was the more subtle ones of cunning and dark intent that slipped unnoticed into our midst that proved the most harmful.”

Cyril shrugs and says, "You can never tell where the chips are going to fall, my dear Rhyeline. The only thing you can do is have your gun ready under the table for when they do." He sips a bit more of the wine out and sets it down on the table.

“I’m not much for dueling. I have always thought my best option is to stand off to one side. To be overlooked, watching for when the unexpected harm draws close,” she murmurs softly. Lowering her gaze, she nibbles a bit more at her sandwich. “Your offer of protection is most kind, sir,” she adds after a moment, a quiet sincerity shining through her reserve. “I appreciate it.”

And yet she'll jump in front of an attack headed towards her boss. How very curious. He nods to her and says, "It is a shame that we do live in such tumultuous times. It's hard to tell who is on who's side, really. Where their allegiances lie."

“Yes, especially in such times it is difficult to perceive through the muddied waters. At least, mine are quite simple.” Peeking up at him, Rhyeline offers a soft smile. “I know my place. It is in service in service to the Ministry. To the Department of International Magical Cooperation. To the Ambassador in his work regarding the situation in Europe. While I am curious of the current controversies surrounding the Statute of Secrecy, it is not for me to participate, or even to remark.”

Cyril smiles to her and says, "Yes, thank goodness for that. I find the never-ending talks about the Statute to border on the dull. Now, don't get me wrong, I've garnered a bit of interest lately as it's only polite to my brother, but too much one one thing and I could go insane." He chuckles softly.

“I see. Yes, the subtle intrigue of these politics doesn’t seem like it’d be to your taste. I was rather surprised when you developed such a sudden interest. But perhaps we should change the subject? Would you care to see the rest of my flat before we have coffee?”

Cyril nods to her and sets the glass down, saying, "Yes, that sounds lovely. A change of topic and a tour. What more could a man ask for." He stands up and clasps his hands behind his back, waiting for Rhyeline to do the same.

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