(1937-12-20) Vetting Alis
Details for Vetting Alis
Summary: Alis meets Cassius and Edwarlinda for tea to discuss her feelings on Unity, and her possible employment as Cassius' personal security.
Date: December 20, 1937
Location: Cafe Tasseo
Related: Questions of Security

Café Tasseo is having a slow afternoon, which suits Cassius Malfoy just fine. Less noise means it is easier to concentrate on the last-minute work he brought with him to finish while he awaits his lunch companions.

More than happy to meet her brother for lunch, Eddie took off from the Auror's office the moment lunch time started. She's still in her proper gray Auror's robes, though she's unbuttoned the front to reveal her favourite, screaming emerald green suit. The one with the sweeping low neckline and high collar in the back. She has shoes to match and her hair is pinned in careful finger curls against her head. The suit is fitting just a touch tight on the upper half, but then it was always close to skin tight tailored before. She smiles as she sees her brother, stepping fast in his direction. "Cass." She leans over for a quick, warm kiss to the cheek.

Alis will never admit to anyone (especially Cassius) that this sort of establishment is very much the sort of place she would normally have to be dragged into rather forcibly. She has nothing against tea, or the French, it's the hint of quasi-mystical tea-leaf-reading hogwash that sets her teeth on edge. That, and it's of a much higher class than she's used to, but then that comes with the territory of spending time with Malfoys. Fortunately, she's resolved to be on her best behavior today, and is positively demure upon arrival, if not nearly as elegantly dressed as either of the Malfoy siblings. She doesn't even need to be pointed in their direction, and steps briskly over to the table. "Hallo, Cassius. And Edwarlinda, isn't it?"

Cassius rises as soon as Edwarlinda arrives, closing up the file he was looking over. "Lin, dear," he smiles affectionately, and pulls out a seat for her. "Alis should be along shortly. Ah! Here she comes now." He immediately takes out another chair for Alis. "Welcome, Alis. Edwarlinda, do you remember Alis? You met her ages ago when I convinced you to bring me to London for a summer weekend."

The Auror slips out of her gray robes, leaving her in that stunning green, looking as elegant as the highest classes of society, despite being a working woman. Eddie turns a shining, crimson red smile onto Alis before offering one of her slender hands. "Miss Alis! I do remember, if just briefly… How could I forget a woman like her? Sit, please relax. Join us. I've been ever so curious to see you again… " Eddie then smiles back to Cassius, brows arching in a quiet question about something.

Patting one of Cassius' hands, Alis smiles up at Edwarlinda. "That's very kind of you to say. Of course you are yourself quite impossible to forget." She shrugs out of her cloak and settles in the chair, one leg crossing over the other as she looks back and forth between the siblings.

Cassius settles in, tucking away the remainder of his work into the snakeskin satchel he carries everywhere. "I'm delighted that you both could come. What finer company could I ask for?" He gives a little smirk. "Please forgive me for being buried in work these last few days. The Movement is about to release another newsletter, and I've been busily compiling all of the outlandish statements of that Miss Huntington. Ah, there I go again. How have the two of you been?"

A slight frown tugs at Eddie's lips as she hears that, her head tilting to the side, "…Another newsletter? And you did not let me write or help you, Cassius? I am disappointed. I don't mind you burying yourself in your work, but I thought we were doing this together." It seems the woman doesn't really like being left out of her brother's life, but they were close, as siblings go. And there is a certain protectiveness in her tone as she mentions such things as well. She then looks back over to Alis, "And you believe in the movement, Miss Alis?"

Alis answers Eddie's question first, as it leads into the younger Malfoy's rather easily. "You know, I wasn't entirely sure, at first. I've never been much for politics. However, I happened to hear about the gathering last night, the Society for the Support of Squibs? I managed to sit still for nearly half an hour, Cassius, you ought to be proud of me." She flashes him a little smile, then continues, "Some of those people said some of the most appallingly ignorant things. Which is the other reason I didn't stay through all of it, because I can only keep my temper so long." She looks back at Eddie. "I've read up on it, a bit. I was sorely tempted to write Cassius an essay, only we're not in school any more. Anyway, I've always felt that actions speak louder than words, especially words on a page, so here I am."

Cassius tut-tuts at Edwarlinda. "You'll have to speak with Eden. She manages the newsletter, not I. I've simply been providing her content and giving some notes on what I'd like to see. Of course I want you by my side, in all things." He rubs her hand encouragingly. "I'm very curious, Alis, about what was said at that meeting. I heard that is was a rather large gathering, and Unity came up."

At the comment about the news letter, Eddie purses her lips just a touch but nods, not pressing the issue further. She sinks back into her seat and crosses her long legs, getting a bit more comfortable even if her body language still screams business. Gray eyes turn back to their evaluation of Alis, not intruding with further questions as her brother has asked one which truly interests her.

"It was quite the crowd," Alis confirms with a nod. "And Unity was the primary subject of the gathering, or so the speaker in charge seemed to indicate with his speech." She doesn't by any means have a perfect memory, but she has a fairly sharp one, and it helps that the meeting was just the previous evening. "Terwilliger, that was the gent's name. His speech mostly had to do with the difficulties that Squibs face, that sort of thing, but then he opened the floor to the public." She goes on to relay how that conversation flowed, up until the point that she left, of course.

Cassius listens with considerable interest to Alis' summary of the meeting. A broad smile spreads over his lips. "So, Miss Huntington was in attendance? Excellent. Every time she opens her mouth, she gives us more ammunition. I believe I shall have to ask to address the S.S.S. myself. It seems there are some sympathetic ears to be found there. But this witch from the Leaky Cauldron you mentioned. Who is she?"

Still quiet, Eddie is mainly here to observe and learn about the woman, especially with her brother asking the most vital questions. She reaches over and scoops up her tea, at least taking a few sips of it, but Alis may get the feeling the blonde woman could care less about the tea and her eyes are drilling into the woman's heart, so to speak.

"Dodderidge?" Alis shakes her head. "I didn't stay for introductions, so I don't know who she is. She sounded like a sensible girl, though, and Merlin knows there was a lack of sense at that gathering." If she's aware of Eddie's scrutiny, she doesn't appear to let it bother her, but then Alis has very little to hide, aside from a handful of legitimate, business-related secrets.

"Dodderidge. Not a pure-blood family that I know of," Cassius muses aloud. "But the Leaky Cauldron is a portal between worlds. It's important, no matter how dingy it may appear. Goodness, I may need to actually go in there." In all likelihood, Cassius hasn't set foot in the Leaky Cauldron since his days shopping on Diagon Alley for school supplies.

"Take a guard with you if you do go, Cassius. You see the types that populate it, and they are often sauced and half off their head. I would not put it past someone taking a punch at you. Just… just be careful, if you go. But it is a good place to learn about the town and the thoughts of the people, which you need to know in this campaign." Eddie admits with a softly husky tone, moderate and gentle, clear love and loyalty in her voice for her brother. She looks back to Alis, brows arching a touch more, "If you'd work for my brother… how free would you be to follow him at all points in time? How willing?"

Alis nods at Cassius. "It is a portal, and a fairly important one." She tilts her head at Eddie's question. "I'd be quite free to follow him. I don't currently have any other obligations, and I have a personal interest in his safety." She glances briefly at Cassius before turning her attention back to Eddie. "My professional policy is to limit my clients to no more than one or two at a time, depending on individual needs. Less chance for conflict of interest. Given Cassius' position, I'm prepared to be available at all times."

Cassius gives Edwarlinda an adoring smile. "Always looking out for me, Lin. Has the Leaky Cauldron really turned so rough?" He shakes his head sadly at the notion. "Alis, if I took you on, I would require your exclusive services. I'm afraid there could be no other clients. It is a question of both availability and confidentiality. I wouldn't want the possibility of a conflict of interest."

A smirk pulls at Eddie's lips once again at the comment of the Cauldron being rough. She shakes her head quietly, "Not that rough, but you are not necessarily the most beloved man. That is my only concern, dear Cassius." She reaches a hand over to momentarily squeeze his knee, elder sisterly and protective, before she turns that business like glance back to Alis. It seems, right now, Cassius is one of the few things that can melt the icy exterior of the eldest Malfoy child.

"I expected you'd say that." Alis nods at Cassius. "Edwarlinda makes a valid point. I certainly wouldn't want you going into the Leaky Cauldron without some sort of protection. As it happens, I'm available to start immediately." A side benefit of being recently — and unexpectedly — returned from travels abroad is that she didn't have anything else lined up, career-wise.

Cassius chuckles to Eddie. "You are listening too much to the opposition. I am beloved, or I am hated. But do not neglect the former. The likes of Huntington and Sullivan expect that only pure-bloods will be lining up behind the Unity Movement. But these Squibs and this Miss Dodderidge are fine examples of how wrong they are. We have support from all corners. That said, we have enemies in all corners as well. Hence my desire for protection." He nods to Alis. "Let me think on it a bit. In the meantime, I shall keep you on retainer, if you are agreeable to it. You'll be my Security Consultant for now. The pay should be enough to allow you to arrange for lodgings in London, or you may stay at Berylwood."

As the two decide to settle the business between them, Eddie nods and smiles a bit, letting Cassius handle his negotiations as she silently falls into sipping at her tea.

"I'm agreeable, though of course you know I don't do it for the pay." Alis has made a career of protection and security, but she didn't get into it for the money. "So long as the role is consultant, lodgings in London should do. I can reassess if the position changes." She glances at Eddie, then looks back to Cassius. "Regardless, do let me know if there is anything else I can do to help."

"If you wish to be of further help, I would suggest doing as you have been doing." Cassius nods approvingly. "I need eyes and ears out there. Your report on the Squibs' meeting was most helpful. Though, next time, perhaps stay for the duration." He smirks knowingly at her.

"Talking to people is something I do well." It's much harder to shut Alis up than it is to get her talking in the first place. "Listening is a little harder, though, especially if it involves sitting still." She wrinkles her nose at the idea.

Cassius nods, apparently unsurprised at this. "Listening will be a large part of your duties. What people say is just as important as what they do, and both can reveal if they are a danger, or a potential ally."

"Yes, but there's a difference between listening for threat assessment and listening to remember it later," Alis points out. "I know that probably doesn't make any sense to you, but that's how it generally works for me."

Cassius sips his tea and shakes his head. "No, no, it makes perfect sense to me. But both are equally important. What a man says today may inform about his intentions tomorrow. But don't worry, I have plenty of means of keeping my finger on the pulse of public sentiment. If I have concerns about individuals, I shall point them out to you. There is one name that I want you to pay particular attention to. I've mentioned it before: Constantine Hopewell. It's a pseudonym, but whomever is using it is a dangerous person."

"Hopewell. I remember you mentioned him before." Alis does pay attention, on occasion. "I'll do my best to keep a look out, of course. Though presumably Law Enforcement is looking into him as well? I shouldn't want to get in the way of an investigation." She glances briefly at Eddie, though she expects Cassius to be the one to answer her.

Cassius nods, also glancing to Eddie. "Edwarlinda is even involved in the investigation. No, do not get in the way. We will report anything we discover to the Aurors, of course. But the man has specifically named me twice, and I shouldn't be surprised if he attempts to make an example of me at some point. Just something for you to be aware of. In any event, I think we've discussed all of the professional matters we came here to talk about. Let us speak on lighter things before time gets away from us."

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