(1938-01-12) The Fox and the Hound
Details for The Fox and the Hound
Summary: Alis comes by Sophia's shop for tea and conversation.
Date: Saturday, January 12, 1938
Location: Fox's Treatises and Rarities
Related: So Much Tension for a Casual Encounter

Fox's Treatises and Rarities, Diagon Alley

Although small and cramped, there's nothing dark or dank about this tiny bookshop. The shelves are neatly organized and always free of dust and cobwebs, featherdusters constantly making the rounds to keep them that way. None of the books are easily available in Flourish and Blott's, as the owner specializes in old, rare, and very hard to find texts. The rarest are kept behind the counter, the showpiece being a first edition copy of 'Ephemeris of Bryn yr Ellyllon,' by Gwalltafwyn Snowdon, dating back to the Sixteenth Century. Also behind the counter is a comfortable easy chair and a nice fireplace, usually kept burning during business hours, with a cauldron hook, just in case the proprietor should desire to make a cup of tea. A door there leads to the back of the shop as well.

It's a day or so after the rather tense encounter at Mikhale's shop. Sophia's currently in her shop, by herself at the moment, as she's given her assistant the afternoon off. She sits in one of the easy chairs behind the counter, sipping at a cup of tea.

Into the shop steps Alis, this afternoon in no one else's company, though she's still dressed as though she'd been working for the day. Her hair is slightly wind-tossed, and she takes a look around, making note of details before turning toward the chair where Sophia sits. "Good afternoon, Ms. Fox."

Sophia smiles. "Ah, please, call me Sophia, Alis. How are you today, and is there anything I can help you find? Or would you perhaps care for a cup of tea?" She stands, and motions for the tiny redhead to join her behind the counter.

"Sophia." Alis smiles, glancing around again before shaking her head. "I'm well, thank you. Yourself? And tea would be lovely, thank you. As for helping me find something, I'm afraid you would find me a poor customer. I've never been much for sitting and reading, I'm sorry to say. My interests lie in more active pursuits."

Sophia smiles, nodding understandingly. "So I gathered. Milk or sugar in your tea?" She prepares to pour the tea into the cup. "Please, don't be offended. You remind me very much of a small terrier. Tiny, but with more than enough fierceness for a dog easily twice your size or greater.

"Both, please and thank you." Alis can be very polite, when she's not actively playing the role of guard dog. Sophia's comment draws a laugh, however. "I've been called worse, to be sure. They used to refer to me as Malfoy's guard dog, back when we were in school."

Sophia nods. "Indeed. Unfortunately, I don't know Cassius nearly as well as I should like to, although my dear friend Melania Black is quite close to him. However, I must say that your loyalty is most admirable. Watching you the other night with Madamoiselle Diderot, I had to admire your tenacity.

"I'm aware of how close Mrs. Black is with my employer." Alis' smile sharpens, briefly, but then it fades as she sips her tea. "Loyalty has never been a problem for me, though it's different with Cassius. We were friends at school, after all. Rhyeline is also quickly becoming a friend, and I'm inclined to protect my friends. It's why I chose the career path that I did."

Sophia nods. "I'm glad that we appear to feel the same way about Rhyeline. She's quite special to me as well, and I desire nothing but her continued good health. It's why I hope that you and I could be friends as well."

"You'll forgive me if I can't make any promises just yet." Alis sips tea, then makes an apologetic gesture with one hand. "When I was younger, I was more inclined to trust people, but I've since learned some hard lessons in that regard. However, I'm not averse to acquaintance, otherwise I wouldn't be here. I do think it's best to be familiar with those people that my friends are inclined to associate with."

Sophia nods. "Of course. And probably quite wise. With all of the turmoil, particularly surrounding the movement, and the opposition. It's likely quite wise not to be too trusting..

"Precisely." Alis smiles. "Given my position, especially, I must be careful with extending my trust. There are lives at stake." It's probably not really that dire just yet, but she does take her protection very seriously.

Sophia nods, and takes a sip of her tea. "Now, I admit I'm not as well versed on the opposition to the movement, but do you think someone might actually try something?

"Cassius told me he's been getting death threats," Alis replies, her expression sobering. "There's no real way to know if any of them are genuine until something happens, but it's still a concern. There's also this Hopewell fellow. Knifed a bloke during a wireless broadcast? Not to mention some of the fearmongering going on among the opposition."

Sophia nods. "Of course, the ignorant will try to incite hysteria. They fear what we want, so they try to incite that very same fear to convince more people to join their cause.

"I'd be less worried if it was only the ignorant," Alis says with a sigh. "Not all of them are, they're merely misguided. However, misguided is infinitely more dangerous than ignorant. They're generally smarter, for one."

Sophia nods. "Which ones would you categorize as misguided, then?"

Alis holds up a hand. "I'm still working on the list. I've had opportunity to meet some of the players, but not all of them, and I prefer to reserve judgment until I've looked at everything firsthand." She smiles again. "It's a process. Not something everyone in the security business does, either, but I've learned a thing or three about the value of being thorough."

Sophia nods. "Again, quite wise. You do impress me, Alis. I can see why Cassius trusts you as his bodyguard, beyond your friendship." She smiles, and pours herself another cup of tea.

Tilting her head, Alis can't quite help a smirk. "I've been hearing that a great deal, lately. It's almost as if everyone has certain expectations that I keep exceeding, and I can't decide whether it's flattering or insulting."

Sophia laughs, the sound quite musical. "Not at all, I assure you. Cassius is an intelligent man. I'm sure that anyone who is charged with protecting him would have to be equally so.

"Oh, I can't compete with his intellect." Alis waves her free hand again, sipping more tea. "My official title, however, is security specialist. I'm more than just a bodyguard,a nd I'm certainly not a thug for hire. I'm the whole package. Admittedly, I'm relieved that Rhye is taking up assistant duties, but I'm capable of doing some of that, if there's need."

Sophia nods. "Oh, please, I hope I didn't imply that you were a mere thug. If Cassius had wanted a thug, I'm sure he'd have gone to the Goyle or Crabbe families. Personally, I'm of the opinion that you, as loyal and intelligent as you are, are far more of an asset to him than a simple thug.

Alis finishes her tea and stands, flashing Sophia a grin. "Of course I am. It suits my purposes to be underestimated, I just hadn't realized I was doing such an excellent job of concealing my potential. I don't have much of a gift for deception, really."

Sophia laughs. "Well, Straightforward can be very useful as well. And, to be honest, it quite suits you." She refills the teacup. "So, tell me of your time at Hogwarts. I've already gathered that you and Cassius were schoolmates…

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License