(1937-12-15) Artifacts and, Ahem, Assets
Details for Artifacts and, Ahem, Assets.
Summary: Jacqueline visits the new shop and makes an impression on the Proprietess's assistant
Date: 1937, Dec 15
Related: None

With the day clear, the interior of the shop is quite bright from the light streaming in the large front windows. Only the deeper reaches need the light of the floating candles to illuminate the merchandise. There isn't much of an 'order' here, although the pathways that wind among the different items of furniture and statuary, as well as the shelves filled with smaller curios, are amply wide enough for one to walk without worry of accidentally brushing against something and knocking it over. Everything is sparkling clean, and there is not a spot of dust to be seen today.

Considering the little trial before the Wizengamot that is coming up, Jacque isn't exactly going on any world hunting plans over the next few weeks. So, she might as well explore her back yard. The little, elegant Antiques store is a new kid on the block and that surprises her. No where to go, no appointments today, the redhead is feeling quite restless. So, there is time. In an elegant, pinstripe business dress, her hair messily half pinned off her face in casual waves, the bombshell pushes the door open and ducks inside, looking up and down the aisles with an arched brow. "Hullo…?" Calls her thoroughly middleclass accent.

Michais clears his throat as he approaches the customer, and gives a bow, a proper bend at the waist with feet together that one sees in the Eastern Orient. As he straightens, with his hands clasped behind his back, he gives her a gentle half smile. "How may I be of service?" he asks quietly. His robes are simple, non-descript, but they've been kept neatly but a careful hand.

The bow from the man draws another arch of her brow and Jacque straightens up a bit more, a half smile flickering across her full mouth. "Mm… Just looking, really. You're new, aren't you? I work for Grigotts, do a lot of appraising, antiques, artifacts, art, you know… The Big As." She gives a little giggle, as if that was an inside industry joke. Maybe it is. With that, she allows her warmer smile to cross her lips. "But thought I'd see what you all have."

Michais nods quietly. "Yes, ma'am. We just opened recently. My friend Miranda actually owns the store, and I am here to help her." He turns slightly to allow Jacqueline room to pass if she likes. "Perhaps you have seen some of the pieces that I've handled at the Wizard Museum of Britain. Have you been there? I'm sure you would enjoy it." His voice is quiet, with a sincerity to it, and his accent is hard to place. Definitely British, but more along the educated lines.

"I have. I actually work for them as well… and occasionally the muggle British Museum. I contract out. I find it's more… profitable, that way." Another one of those gleaming smiles is flashed in his direction as she skirts around him, perhaps a *bit* too close for personal comfort, but she does leave the scent of sandalwood and vanilla in her wake as she moves her way down the line, seeing what is among the crowded pieces. Jacque makes a few approving sounds in the back of her throat. "And you are, Mister…?"

"Holmes," he supplies quietly. "I would say I am surprised I have not seen you before, except that I am usually buried in the back storage rooms." His accompanying smile carries a little bit of amiable self-deprecation as he moves down another aisle nearby. He lifts his wand to light a fixture above her as she walks, and one in front of her as well.

"Holmes. Like the detective?" It seems the woman knows Muggle literature as well as wizarding literature. Her smile ghosts warmly across her pale face, half splitting her attention between his handsome frame and the work around them. Jacque nods in approval and then pauses, picking up a remarkably fine piece out of the mass of stuff. Her eyes is good. She managed to find the one thing worth ten times everything that surrounded it. "And I don't stay in London much. You might call me a field appraiser. Have a thing for languages, so I know how to tell jack ass sellers to sod off in all different tongues."


The sandy colored eyebrows raise over Michais's eyes at the mention of the detective, and his chuckle barely reaches her ears. "Michais," he supplies. "But after she read the series, Miranda took to calling me Sherlock… something to do with my cat named Watson." He glances to the vase she raises and nods. "When Miranda first sent that home, I thought she'd been taken in, but it is true Shang dynasty. Very rare to find anything before the Imperial Dynasties of China."

"Indeed… the way the markings were fashioned as well as the wear on it… it's either Shang Dynasty, or a fake produced at the exact same time. Which still makes it valuable, but also amusing." It seems the redhead finds much amusement in life, her eyes glimmering lightly as she looks back to him. "I'm Jacqueline. Jacqueline Strathcona… but Jacque is just fine." It's pronounced Jack, but with the soft, slightly rolling French J, not the hard English one. "And you should read the books. They are quite good. Some muggle authors have brilliant minds."

Michais gives a small shake of his head. "Definitely not a fake," he says quietly. "I thought it must be when she sent it, but when I examined it, the age charm, as well as the symbols worked into it, and…" he leans slightly forward to point to a corner that is slightly worn. "The corrosion layers have not been simulated by modern techniques." His smile that accompanies the statement is complacent, yet absolutely certain.

That smile lingers a bit more, a good chuckle echoing in her voice, "I am not disagreeing with you, Holmes. Not at all. You all have quite the piece." And with that, Jacque continues on, content to look and not buy right now. But, undoubtedly, a big report will be given back to Gringotts on things they might want to purchase. She's taking mental notes as she goes along, making her conversation just a bit distracted.

Michais nods. "It is too bad that you missed the wedding bed that we just sold. It was truly a magnificent piece, I was gratified that someone saw it's true worth and was willing to purchase it. Not many Britains find Eastern Art pleasing." He looks the woman over again. "It is rare to find someone who appreciates what they term as 'alien' art forms."

"It's rare to fine a citizen of this country that has anything but an overgrown piece of cabbage on their head. It doesn't mean they don't exist." That is, actually, not a joke from her. It seems she considers most of the population little better than vegetables. She pauses at a rug, carefully bending so she's crouched on the floor, knees delicately pressed together, balancing on her high heels somehow but also showing all those curves as she opens the rug to look at the back of it. "Good, good pieces indeed… it seems you and your partner are not cabbages."


It is more the mention of most people having cabbages for brains than the curves kneeling on the rug that brings color to Michais's cheeks. Whether it is because he agrees, or feels bad for the people included in the woman's assessment is her guess. "A Tabriz prayer carpet, North West Persia, late 19th century," he clarifies as he squats down beside her. "I was particularly taken with the tree motif, myself. I will be sad to see it go. It seems to me, ma'am, that you are not having a cabbage for a head yourself." His smile is more appreciative of the woman's knowledge as he glances towards her eyes for the first time.

It's the afternoon, a brand new little antiques and imports shop just having opened in Diagon Alley and, of course, Jacqueline is there. She's currently crouched in front of a gorgeous silk persian rug, next to the handsome co-owner of the shop. Or whatever Michais is. She chuckles a bit at the comment of being sad to see the rug go, "Ah, it's a rug. There are plenty more… and I'm not personally buying, sadly. Gringotts pays well, but it doesn't pay brilliantly. Still, I will be bringing a list of things back. I suspect the little goblins will jealously hoard some things for their vaults." That actualy makes her frown just a bit, looking a bit sad to think things will be hidden away.

The sound of the door squeaking as it's opened is followed shortly by the sound of footsteps. The culprit is soon revealed to be the golden-eyed mercenary; Cyril Malfoy. His eyes immediately fall onto the angel that is Jacqueline and he stops in his tracks, clearing his throat and straightening his tie. For the moment, he remains silent, his eyes moving between the two other people in the shop.

A slight frown mars Michais's features as he stands. "Oh, I hope not," he says quietly. "Miranda brought these things for people to… make their lives a little more beautiful. To try and enrich- " as a good shopkeeper, he catches the clearing of the through and looks over. He inclines the upper part of his body, his feet together, in an almost Asian bow. His hands are once more clasped behind his back. "Good afternoon, sir. May I be of service?"

Carefully unfolding from her crouched position, the elegant redhead arches a brow as she sees who has just entered the shop. Jacque doesn't say anything, but she remains standing behind Michais, watching Cyril with amused, slightly smoldering eyes. Her arms just casually fold across her chest (wearing a low cut black pinstrip suit dress with a jacket overtop today.) and she waits patiently for the men to talk.

Cyril looks up to Michais as he breaks him from his trance, "I…um, yes. I was wondering if you might be interested in purchasing something of mine." Before he can say what, he looks back to Jacque and says, "Red, I didn't know you were going to be back in town. You…look lovely as usual."

"I do live here, you know… Not always on the road. A girl has to have a flat of her own somewhere." Jacqueline states dryly, that amused smile returning to her pink, unstained lips. She doesn't really use make up. She doesn't need it. She picks her way a few more feet across the interior of the room, instinctively putting herself between Cyril and the Shang Dynasty vase. Perhaps she doesn't want him to see it. Perhaps she wants it herself. Or she's worried about the place getting broken into? Either way, she settles there, arms still folded. "This is Holmes. Holmes, Cyril Malfoy. We're in similiar… Trades."

Cyril smiles warmly at her, finally managing to reclaim his cool. He straightens out his vest and says, "Oh, well it's good to see you." He steps forward and to the side in an attempt to try and get a peek at what she's hiding. He looks to Michais and extends his hand, saying, "Yes, Cyril Malfoy. It's a pleasure to meet you, sir."

It's a dance that she does. A careful, single step towards the side, to obscure his view still. It's like they're tangoing, but several feet apart. And by the grin on her lips, she knows she's been caught. She's just doing it to piss him off now. Jacqueline tilts her head towards him, "You as well. I see the desert didn't eat you. Well, welcome home."

Michais glances between the two as they do their little dance, his eyebrows raising slightly in amusement. The distraction offered by the man offering his hand is taken, and he steps forward. "Michais Holmes," he replies quietly. "I am not sure if Miranda is going to be buying as well as selling. I'm not sure it's something that crossed her mind, honestly speaking. She collected everything here herself over the past six years, in her own travels. Perhaps you can try again when she is in?" he suggests, his hands having come to rest behind his back again.

Cyril retracts his hand and turns his eyes back to Jacque, who he takes a few steps towards, saying, "So, uh…whatcha trying to keep from me, Jacque? Hrmm? I'm sure it's hardly worth my time. I mean I am a Malfoy and the things you rabble find interesting hardly ever intrigue us." He grins playfully, obviously trying to get under he skin.

A few moments pass, the woman considering how to respond, and then she simply shrugs. "Just an old chinese vase. Muggle artifact… Not really worth much, but I wanted to see if I teased you how you'd respond. Now I know. Jealous, jealous Mr. Malfoy…" Jacque grins a bit wider, winking at him and stepping aside from the priceless Shang Dynasty piece. Her eyes momentarily flicker over to Holmes, sharing a little look with the man.

Michais stands somewhat to the side, almost as a referree in a tennis match as the two match wits. Except that, in a tennis match, the observer looks back and forth as the ball is passed. In this case, Michais simply stares politely ahead, as if he weren't even there, fading into the background while they spar. He does glance over when Jacque mentions the old muggle artifact, but says nothing.

Cyril smiles warmly at Jacqueline and says, "Oh, just a vase, then? Well, you know I always leaned more towards acquisitions than actual appraisal, so I'll let you hold on to that one because I have no idea what it is or what it's worth. Well…actually…" He shoots a look to Michais and says, "So, since you can't lie to me, what's this thing do and how much does it cost?" Seems he's out for a little one-upsmanship.

Quietly, Jacque steps past Michais to move into the other section of the room, so she can pick through a few more things over there while Cyril tries to ply his trade, or one up man ship, with the poor proprietor. She doesn't seem overly worried, really. Maybe it was nothing after all?

From afar, Jacqueline mouths quietly as she passes. "Cabbage."

Michais blinks to Cyril at the sudden question, and raises one eyebrow as Jacqueline passes by him. "I'm… pardon, sir?" he asks, slightly flummoxed. "Do? It is a vase. Supposedly when it was created, it held things, presumably it still can, if one chooses to use it for such a purpose. It's cost is clearly marked on the tag." He shifts his feet uncomfortably as he is drawn out of his role of observer to unwilling participant in this battle.

Cyril waves a dismissive hand and says, "Hrmm, well, as I don't have my own place I don't feel like carrying that thing around." He draws his coat tighter around himself, eyes remaining on Jacque for a short time before he goes about having a look around at the various wares. "So, who's the proprietor, Mister Holmes?"

Jacqueline is quiet now, stopping here and there to bed over, inspect something on the floor, make a few more mental notes to carry back to her employers. She genuinely seems to be in her natural environment here — the bookish plump ravenclaw of her youth coming out in a setting like this. Only it's Jacque standing there, NOT an awkward teenager. "You will have to tell the owner she really has done excellent work here, Michais. I'm impressed."

Michais remains neutral as Cyril announces that he has no place for the vase, and nods his head once. "Miranda Prewett is the proprietess and the collector of the pieces you see here," he answers. He turns at the sound of Jacqueline's voice direted to him, and gives her more of a formal bow of appreciation for the compliment. "I will be sure to pass your compliments to her when she is in next."

Cyril approaches Jacqueline as she's having a look around and rests a hand on the small of her back as he says, "Well, seeing as there's no prize for us to fight over at the moment, perhaps I could convince you to go to dinner with me at some point later this week? I would cook for you, but I'm not sure how my sister would feel about me hosting guests at her house." He grins softly as he asks.

"Staying at your *sister's* house, Malfoy? Goodness, you have fallen far… How do you expect to take a woman home with your family listening. That is awkward. But yes, I will let you buy me dinner. Since you insist." Jacqueline gives him another wide smile, before pulling away from that hand and sauntering over to the counter, nodding to that prayer rug. "I do think I shall purchase the rug, Holmes… I need something warm and tasteful for my flat, now that I'm home a bit more."

Michais manages to not reddent too much at the tenor of the conversation between the two, but when Jacqueline expresses a wish to buy the rug, he nods once more. "Of course, Miss Strathcona," he replies properly, despite the earlier encouragement to use her first name. "Would you like that delivered, or will you wish to take it yourself?" He moves forward, and with a wave of his wand, followed by a continuous circular motion and a softly spoken spell, he coaxes the rug out, rolling it as it goes. He then levitates it towards the counter, where it comes to rest against the edge. He himself follows the purchase over to complete the monetary part of the transaction.

Cyril smirks at her and says, "Oh, goodness, Miss Jacqueline. Well, if you insist on me taking you home, I suppose we could just skip dinner altogether." He gives her a wink and begins to head for the door, saying, "I shall send a car around to fetch you when I'm ready." He nods to Michais and says, "Perhaps I shall stop by later for that vase. It's caught my eye. Good day." With that, he disappears out the door.

Dammit. The comment about the vase makes Jacque roll her eyes, though when her head is turned away from Cyril. She keeps her lips half smiling, focusing upon the elegant man who works there. "If you could deliver it, that'd be wonderfl. I'll pay the fee." And she digs into her breast pocket of her suit, pulling out a pouch, almost all sickles or more expensive money. She carries cash on her. Good cash. She also gives a casual wave behind her. "I'll see you then, Malfoy. Don't get too distracted!"

Michais nods once towards Cyril. "We shall see you then, Mr. Malfoy," he replies politely, before returning his attention to the redhead as she pulls out her money. "We do not charge of delivery here in London," he informs her, taking only the payment for the rug. "Might I say I am relieved to know that it will be going to a home such as your own? As I said, I am sorry to see it go, but since it must, at least it will be properly admired."

Even as Cyril goes, so it's not just flirting to make the other one mad, Jacque leans across the counter and smiles just a little wider, "Well, dear Michais, perhaps you can come over some time and… visit it?" Jacque's husky voice offers, not looking at the run at all now, but straight into the man's handsome features.

Looking up as she leans on the counter, perhaps her assets do finally strike his attention when she proposes that he come visit the rug. His eyes widen like a trapped animal, and his mouth falls open, he closes it, then it falls open again. Once more he closes it, and swallows audibly. "That is… very kind… Miss Jacque, ma'am," he manages to get through his strangled throat. "I ah- appreciate the offer." He clearly, however, has no idea what to do with said offer.

And she leans juuuust a bit more, across the counter, letting him see all those lovely assets and that striking smile of her's. It seems Jacque could care less about the rug right now. "It's not kind. You are handsome, intelligent, not a cabbage, and here. So… is that a yes, or a no, dear Holmes? I can show you my… Books, too." The hesitation there was just long enough to be intentional.

Once more the man's mouth falls open, and Michais doesn't seem to know where to look, the smile, the eyes, the… ahem, right. The eyes might be safest, except that he stands dumb, like she's a cobra that's hypnotized him with her smile. "Uh… uh… yes? Ma'am?" he agrees to the invitation, almost as if he can't help himself.

"Excellent. This is the flat. Come over any time. I'll be waiting…" And Jacque steals a pen to carefully write down her address for him, leaning fully over the counter, some of her red hair falling across her face so there isn't much to look at OTHER than some… Ahems. Once she's done, she turns the paper around and puts the sickles down to pay for the rug.

His eyes fall to watch her write on the paper, and the red hair pulls his attention, drawing it downwards once again. Michais's hands clasp behind his back once more, taking refuge in his normal posture, although now they are slightly clammy and moist as they twist together. "Ah, yes, ma'am," he says again, finding his mouth dry and with nothing else he can say at the moment.

Payment, address and flirtations delivered, Jacque tosses him one more wink and then turns on the ball of her foot, "It was good meeting you, Holmes. I look forward to your visit." And with that, the woman saunters casually out the door, humming a little song from the back of her husky throat.

Michais blinks and stands transfixed, watching Jacqueline walk towards the door. "Ehm, pleasure, Miss… Jacque," he manages to remember before she's completely left the store. Then he's left, just staring at the closed door before he finally looks down to the piece of paper, and, oh, the money. Have to put that away. Right.

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