(1937-12-20) A Walk in Winter
Details for A Walk in Winter
Summary: After having tea with Alis, Cassius and Edwarlinda retire to Berylwood to discuss the young lady, and catch up on a few other personal matters.
Date: December 20, 1937
Location: Berylwood
Related: Follows Vetting Alis

The travel back to Berylwood was quiet, elegant and comfortable, as Cassius and Eddie have want to be. She remains on his arm loyally, walking in no particular hurry up the winding pathway too his house after apparating into the safe area of the estate. Still tightly wrapped up in her long jacket against the cold, they look the picture of winter elegance together…"How are you feeling after that all?" She finally asks as they approach the estate.

Cassius keeps his steps slow, quietly enjoying this moment with his sister, and the beauty of a snow-covered Berylwood. He lets out a long breath, steaming billowing from his lips. "Actually, I should like to hear your thoughts, first. You gave her quite the examination." He smirks in approval.

"I think she's buyable. For the right amount of money, she will be die hard loyal to the Nth degree. You just have to make certain that you pay her better than anyone else can afford, is my worry. She seems… smart. I don't know that she's all the strongest, but then neither and I and yet I consider myself quite dangerous. Did you test her magically at all?" Eddie asks quietly, content to just stroll with him, no need to go inside quite yet.

"Not yet," Cassius admits. "But she tells me she has been studying abroad, in both magical and Muggle martial forms. If she is at all the fighter she was in school, then she is certainly capable. She's about as loyal a comrade as one could ask for. I'll absolutely pay her more than she could earn elsewhere, but I doubt it would make a difference. But tell me…what are you impressions of her, personally? I realize tea isn't the best time to gauge it, but how do you think she might handle herself when she is called upon to speak, or to be silent?"

That seems to perplex Eddie a bit that he would even ask such a thing. Her head tilts to the side, lips pressing in a line. "…I… why do you ask? I think she'll speak or be silent exactly as she's paid to do so. You want her to be some… public secretary and face for the movement or you want her to be a body guard, dear? Or are you thinking both?" That makes her doubtful. Perhaps just a hint jealous.

Cassius chuckles, "A face for the movement? No, I think not. That is actually my concern. She can be…volatile. Rather, she has been in the past. You heard her. She was proud that she was able to sit in on the Squibs' meeting for thirty minutes. My demands on her will require considerably more patience. I worry that she will not understand her place in things."

"Oh… Well, you know her better than I in that. In our discussion, at least, she seemed calm and respectful. But that might not always be true. If you think that she's going to be a firecracker in a poor situation, that will not do for your cause at all." Eddie admits protectively, her arm tightening around his limb just a bit tighter. "We could test her, somehow… bring a fight in front of her and see what she does?"

Cassius lifts his chin, gazing upward thoughtfully. "Not a bad idea, really. Though, how to go about it? It would need to be genuine, but I cannot be seen having a public row with anyone. I cannot afford to give her the opportunity to escalate an otherwise civil disagreement."

Edwarlinda laughs a bit, "We set up something here. With myself, or hell…If we bring Cyril in, it might not need to be a set up. We see how she reacts at home first, with the family, especially when it looks like violence might be imminent and it isn't really. Then we can consider taking it out to the streets, but still private… Perhaps somewhere in Knockturn…"

Cassius barks a laugh in return. "Cyril? I think I'd rather eat glass. Besides, with him here, violence very well could be an issue. Or hadn't you noticed that our brother is rather barbaric underneath his pretty face?"

A quiet sigh escapes the lovely blonde's lips and Eddie continues their slow pace through the yard up closer to the house. She shakes her head slowly, rather sadly, "I…I had noticed. I'm working on it with him. But yes, that could be bad. So… so a fight between you and I."

Cassius frowns, shaking his head. "No…no more fighting between us, please." He tilts his head to look her in the eyes, his own pleading. "I cannot bear it, even in farce."

She pauses once more, reaching out to take both his hands and turn him towards her. Eddie's eyes are gentle, understanding, squeezing his hands tenderly and letting him see the care behind her face. "Cassius, I love you. This is just to protect you and it will just be a farce, I promise. It will let me sleep better at night knowing your guard is what you need."

Cassius lifts her hands his face, kissing them softly. "I would rather another method. Do what you must to test her. But…the feelings that have provoked our past conflicts have never faded. You well know that they've only gotten stronger since you let me so deeply into your mind. I think it best that we do not 'wake the dragon,' so to speak."

"…If…if you think. Perhaps I will provoke her. I will challenge HER and we shall see how good her control is. Is that more acceptable?" Eddie asks him gently, not pulling her palms from his kisses. Her smile just softens a bit, worried and quiet.

Cassius lowers her hands after only a moment. "I do hope she'll understand that it was only a test, and won't hold it against you." He sighs, again tucking her hand into his arm to consider their walk. "I'm considering taking a wife," he says in a sudden change of subject.

That news makes Eddie slightly hesitate, almost tripping over her own feet, but she takes in a breath and straightens up just a bit more. She nods to him, "That…that is probably a wise idea. Did you have an idea of… who to take?"

Cassius tilts his head at her in concern, offering his other hand to steady her if she should need it. "I had a few possibilities in mind. Are you alright?"

Other than that brief trip, of shock as much as anything, Eddie walks smoothly again and straight up, hugging his arm against her side once more, a smile on her lips. "I'm fine, fine… Just… didn't even think you were courting someone."

Cassius shakes his head. "I'm not. It's more a matter of practicality than anything. I am nearing thirty years old, and I should like to start a family. Also, weddings always garner positive reactions from the public. It would be good for the movement."

"That is all true. Who did you have in mind?…You know I'd stand by and support you in this. As long as she's a good woman… You cannot marry someone just for her family name. You must be friends with her, if not actually love her, alright Cassius?" Eddie asks gently, her fingertips rubbing protectively up and down his arm.

Cassius chuckles. "Well, I certainly don't want to marry a shrew, or somebody that I cannot get along with. Of course, I had considered Eden Eibon. Lovely, intelligent woman. But of late she has become wrapped up in work and the movement. Admirable, but I need someone who can devote time to family. There is another woman I've considered. Are you familiar with Miss Rhyeline Diderot from the I.M.C.?"

"I've… heard of her… mousy little thing. Shy… She… she's your sort of lady?" Eddie is doing her best to curb any sort of strange jealousy in her voice. Her back is stiff, though, and there is a new sort of doubtful tension across her entire body.

"You wouldn't think so, would you?" Cassius arches an eyebrow at Edwarlinda. There is a brief pause…does he sense the jealousy? "I've had a few encounters with her. Orchestrated by her master, Ambassador Troy, no doubt. But she is quite intelligent when one can get her talking. Also, she is a half-blood, but I looked into her ancestry, and a child with me would be pure-blooded. Taking a half-blood wife would do wonders for public opinion."

If he's watching Eddie at all, feeling her on his arm, the comment about Troy actually makes her stiffen. There is something there. A worried tension that wasn't before. But she takes a breath about it and squeezes his arm before forcing herself to continue walking. "This… this is all true. You should start courting her and see, no?"

"I think I shall invite her over for dinner, and see where things go." Cassius lapses into silence, his jade green gaze lingers on her features. "What is it? You went rigid."

"Nothing… Nothing right now, at least. Forget it. Please." Eddie's voice is just a bit too tense as she says that, the words not a question but a quiet, firm order. It's her business voice, the sort of expression she puts on when being an Auror.

Cassius frowns, pushing just a little more. "Lin? I'm not asking as a barrister. I'm asking as your brother. Now you've got me worried."

The blonde shakes her head almost immediately, a bittersweet smile crossing her lips, "I'm sorry, Cass. I can't. It might not be anything and even if it's, it's official business. I can't. It'll be fine, one way or another, I promise you." She squeezes her palm over the back of his hand.

Cassius sighs, "Alright. Just promise me it isn't something that has you in trouble." He tightes his arm, pulling her close in the same sort of protective gesture she so often performs.

Eddie doesn't fight as she's tugged in close, a warmer smile pulling up at her lips and her head tucking into her slightly taller brother's throat. She breathes in deep and takes a moment to simply feel safe. "Love you." She murmurs against his cheek. "And in no more trouble than any other day at the Auror's office."

Cassius turns to kiss the top of her head, again keeping it brief…chaste. "That sounds a bit evasive. If you've gotten yourself into something, I want you to tell me. You know I can help."

"I haven't, darling. I literally mean this is just a part of the job. I promise. You worry too much." Eddie murmurs, turning her head to kiss his cheek just as chastely before she pulls away to look up into his handsome eyes.

Cassius sighs and smiles down at her. "Of course I worry. Nothing in this world matters to me so much as you do." He sighs, just a hint of sadness as he veers back to the prior topic. "In any event, perhaps you know some eligible women of breeding?"

"Ah… goodness… I… I never much thought of it, in truth, but I shall keep my eyes open? We shall find you something proper, darling. I promise." Eddie squeezes his shoulder tenderly, returning that smile as she tries to pull him out of the sadness she can see behind his eyes.

Her smile does brighten his own, but the sadness remains, for only her to see. "I think it would be best, yes. I shall certainly let you know how things go with Miss Diderot." Cassius swallows, straining with visible effort to even ask his next question. "And…how are things with you and Mr. MacDubsithe? He is treating you well, I pray?"

"Well enough. He is very busy. Working an extra job for the holidays helping some folks. I don't get to see him overly much, but things are fine." Eddie admits simply, though there is just the hint of doubt and loneliness behind her eyes that no one but Cassius could probably pick up. Maybe he's imagining it. Maybe not.

Cassius nods, maintaining a neutral expression. "Things are fine," he echoes. "Good." They had better be fine, or he'll have the man flayed alive. At least, his mind goes there for a moment. "Well, you know that you are always welcome here, if you are in need of company. Your visits always brighten the manor." When they aren't having emotional breakdowns and fighting…but they're past that, right?

"I appreciate that. And I know. I just… the damned moods. I'm not quite myself these days. Probably because of this… thing…" Eddie motions to her middle, apparently still not in the glowing excitement about motherhood stage yet. Sometime soon! Hopefully.

Cassius winces a little when she calls the baby a thing. "Have you…given my offer any more thought?" His eyes shift to her belly indicatively.

Seeing the wince on his face, Eddie looks just a touch more guilty. "Sorry. I… I shouldn't act like that. I'll get there… one of these days. And… I'm thinking about it. We have time. I can't make decisions now…we'll figure it out later." She leans up and kisses his cheek before letting go. "I should be on my way, dear."

Cassius nods reluctantly. He gestures to the house, "Won't you come in and warm up first? I'll have the chef fix you something mild and hot."

"No, no, dear. I am tired and work come early. I should be on my way. But later. After the holidays, there will be more time. I love you. Be safe." Eddie murmurs tenderly, squeezing his hand once more before fully unleashing herself.

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