(1938-01-05) Know Your Neighbors
Details for Know Your Neighbors
Summary: Rhyeline goes to visit Katherine after her housewarming party and the two ladies chat for a bit, getting to know each other.
Date: Saturday, January 3, 1938
Location: Kat's Flat

It is a winter day. The weather is cold and clear.

Kat’s Flat – London

This tall, narrow flat is comprised of three floors starting with the dining room and kitchen then moving up to a great room and finishing with the two bedrooms on the third floor. It has been furnished with tasteful, eclectic pieces that could best be described as sharing a certain neo-Roman esthetic. The intricate marbling of cream and brown hues within the polished pecan wood floors spreads throughout each floor of the house. The gentle scents of vanilla and roses linger everywhere in the air.

As the afternoon wears on Katherine is in the kitchen preparing for Rhyeline visit. Almost at the same time as the doorbell rings the kettle lets out a whistle so she takes it off the heat then goes over to open the front door. "Hello neighbor. How're you doing this afternoon?" Stepping aside she hold the door open for Rhye with one hand while motioning for her to come in with the other.

Even for the short walk across the street, Rhyeline is all bundled up in her fur-lined winter cloak. With a soft, warm smile upon her cheeks, already flushed with cold, she murmurs, “Hello Katherine. I am well. It is good to see you again.” Slipping into the woman’s warm flat, she carefully removes the cloak from her shoulders.

Katherine takes Rhye's coat and hangs it up in the closet under the stairs before leading the way to the dining room, which is now put back together again with all its chairs back in place. "Would you prefer coffee or tea Rhyeline? And I have an assortment of biscuits and scones too if you'd like any." As she talks she motions for Rhyeline to take a seat at the dining room table and continues on into the kitchen to gather up what ever the other woman asks for.

With a smile, Rhyeline closes her eyes cheerfully and like a child eager for cake, she says, “Mmm… coffee. Coffee, coffee, please.” Clasping her hands behind her back, she peeks up at Katherine and drifts towards the dining room table as indicated.

Katherine comes back from the kitchen with a large tray in both hands. On the tray are two mugs instead of the more traditional cup and saucer, a plate of sorted biscuits and scones, a large coffee pot, and all the possible necessary additions to coffee. Placing the tray on the table between herself and Rhyeline she then sits down across from her and starts to pour the coffee. "Say when."

Rhyeline folds her arms upon the table and leans closer, peering into the coffee cup. At last she looks up at Katherine. “When.” With a smile of pleasure, the girl takes the cup. Closing her eyes, she brings it just under her nose and inhales deeply. Resting back in her chair, she warms both hands against its sides and looks over at Katherine. “Forgive me for leaving early the other day.”

Katherine stops pouring Rhye's coffee when she's told to do so and starts pouring her own. The smell of the beverage starts to fill the room, mingling with the ever present smell of roses and vanilla as she finishes filling her cup and drops three cubes of sugar into it. "No need to apologize. It was pretty clear Mikhale was making you uncomfortable. He can have that effect on some people, women especially. But overall he's not a bad man." She holds up a cube of sugar wordlessly asking an obvious question.

Rhyeline blinks, but then at the silent request, she holds out her cup for a single cube to be added. After a moment, gazing down into her cup as it dissolves, she peeks up at Katherine and murmurs, “He wasn’t making me uncomfortable. I just- just find large gatherings like that a bit overwhelming. Find it hard to speak and- well- he was talking to me and- well, I thought it would be better if I just slipped away.”

Katherine chuckles a bit as she offers cream, not milk, not creamer, actual honest to goodness cream. "And he should have realized you were uncomfortable and shifted his focus. He might have been only part of the problem but he was a big part of the problem. So have big gatherings always caused that sense of being overwhelmed for you?"

Rhyeline nods and murmurs in a rather soft voice, “Yes. It used to be much worse. But Mikhale was very kind, he came to my home last night to make sure I was alright. He brought me a bag of coffee he had been just picked and freshly roasted that morning in Colombia.” The little one’s gaze shines at the memory of such coffee.

Katherine slowly pours cream into the extended cup then stops when told to do so. She then put enough cream into her coffee that the liquid in her cup is more caramel colored than brown and starts swirling it around with her spoon, "I wasn't aware you were such a fan of coffee. Or that you knew Mikhale well enough for him to know that about you. But that was a very nice gesture on his part."

“Well- I think he is observant. Or perhaps lucky. But when he met me, I had just arrived at the Leaky Cauldron and I was so cold and immediately was offered a coffee. Perhaps he realized from that, I always drink coffee there and enjoy it very much.” Rhyeline prefers only a hint of cream and sugar, having gained quite a taste for the rich bitterness of the coffee itself.

Katherine grins at that, "Well, at least it makes you a cheap date it you enjoy coffee that much. So how's work with the Ambassador going? He's not working you too hard I hope?" After looking at the tray for a few moments she reaches out and grabs a blueberry scone and takes a small nibble from it.

“W-what? Oh- I see what you mean. I wouldn’t drink much in the way of expensive drinks?” The hesitant naiveté of her gaze suggests the little one hasn’t ever even been on a real date before. “There is much to do, but to be honest, things are a bit quiet. So far from where the trouble is, it is hard to truly do much.” Rhyeline lowers her gaze to the cup of coffee in her hands.

Katherine laughs happily at Rhye's reaction, "You're precious, you know that? Yes, that's somewhat what it means. More accurately it means taking you out for coffee would make you a happy girl and that's the intention behind a date." After taking a sip of her coffee she mirrors Rhyline's hold on her mug, taking her in both hands as well. "That sounds kind of boring…"

Rhyeline’s cheeks grow quite pink and warm as such bashfulness settles upon her. Avoiding the subject of dating any further, she murmurs, “It- it is a bit- maybe. At the moment. What- what do you do?” Her voice has grown rather soft and small.

Katherine watches Rhyeline for a moment, then takes another sip of her coffee before answering her, "I'm sorry. I thought I had mentioned that already. I've recently started training with the Aurors. So the actual title is Auror Initiate these days. Makes for a fun job." Recovering the scone from the little plate in front of her she takes another nibble from it.

Rhyeline nods a bit, “I knew that. And you knew I was assistant to an Ambassador. But what do you actually do as an initiate? What does it consist of?”

Katherine takes another bite from her scone and chews it thoughtfully. Finally she swallows and says,"Well… Right now? A lot of reading, brushing up on defense against the dark arts techniques, practicing my spell casting, and following fully trained Aurors around. Oh, and doing all the dirty work the full Aurors don't feel like doing, of course."

Rhyeline blinks and tilts her head to the side. “Dirty work?”

Katherine nods, "Research, canvasing witnesses, being the one staying awake at stake-outs… That kind of thing." With a smile she takes another drink from her mug before going, "Oh! Did I tell you Jocunda will be moving in with me? She looked like she was a little jealous of the apartment so I asked her if she wanted to be my flatmate, so she could move out of her parents' home."

Rhyeline brings her cup of coffee to her lips at last and takes a long, slow sip. Hearing that Jocunda is to join Katherine, the little one smiles and murmurs, “That’s wonderful. I will have a second good neighbor. Once she is settled, you should both come to my home.”

Katherine nods, "Of course. She still hasn't told me when she's planning on moving in but I expect it should be soon." After taking another bite of her scone and pushing the plate that has the rest of the treats one it, buying herself a moment to consider her next question she finally asks, "I also noticed that Keenan seemed to make you uncomfortable as well. Was that just the same general discomfort of a large gathering or was there something specific about him?"

Rhyeline’s smile fades at the mention of Keenan. Sinking down a bit more, the girl lowers her gaze to the coffee in her hand and after a moment, she says rather softly, “Healers make me nervous.”

OK, this time Katherine just looks plain confused. "Healers make you nervous… Why would that be Rhye? Healers are all about making other people feel better and fixing things that are wrong with them. What is there about them to make anyone nervous?"

At such questions, Rhyeline simply looks down into her cup of coffee once more. It doesn’t seem like she wants to answer.

Katherine tilts her head a bit to the side as she takes another bite of her scone, which is almost gone at this point. She takes her time to slowly chew on her food just observing Rhye. After all, its impolite to talk with your mouth full.

As the silence grows, Rhyeline’s dark gaze flickers up to Katherine’s face a moment before she looks back down. In a rather small voice, she murmurs, “I’d rather not talk about it.”

Katherine smiles as she finishes chewing on her bite of scone and nods, "I got that impression. So, do you play poker?"

No. But it turns out that Rhyeline is pretty good at it.

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