(1938-01-02) Kat's Housewarming
Details for Kat's Housewarming
Summary: Kat invites some friends and family over for a housewarming.
Date: 1938-01-02
Location: Kat's Flat
Related: Kat's New Playhouse
Characters
KatherineRhyelineVerucaKeenanJocundaMikhaleEndira

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 aesthetic. 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.


Kat's new apartment is spic and span, every surface almost gleaming with cleanliness. The dinning room chairs have been added to the living room on the second floor as extra seating and the dinning room table itself is loaded with hors d'oeuvres including trays of tiny cucumber sandwiches, a large cheese ball with wheat crackers set up around it, trays of shrimp with little cups of cocktail sauce, a bowl of caviar with little toast stars, and the one and only magical offering, a never-ending fountain of melted chocolate.

Living only just across the street, Rhyeline arrived a bit earlier to give Katherine her housewarming gift while all was still quiet. At the moment, the little mouse is sitting curled up on one of the chaise, nibbling some food she had gotten earlier from the spread downstairs.

There have been too many times Jocunda has had to apparate around lately. The woman misses her broom time. So poor Emrys was made to fly to the party, utilizing the dark, wintry sky and the usual broom charms to evade Muggle notice. So when there's a knock at the door, Jocunda has broom in hand and red cheeks from the flight. Her braided hair is still in fairly good shape with just a few wisps free in a sort of halo around her face. "Hope we're not too late," she'll tell her cousin, offering the woman a hug.

Having been unusually supportive toward family lately, Veruca arrived right on time, with a date no less. Seems there is no end to the oddities of this witch lately, breaking her mold left and right. Offering whatever last minute help Katherine may have needed, she's now content to linger in the dining room with Keenan. One way she's not breaking a mold this evening is in her apparel, choosing a simple dark dress, nothing flashy, and Keenan looking neat in a shirt and pressed trousers. Being on time also means first pass at the delicious offerings on display.

Emrys looks a little frazzled, apparently not exactly a practiced flyer. But he has a smile on his face, frayed as it is around the edges, as Jocunda greets her cousin and he just sort of stands there.

Sweeping into the gathering, Endira has a little wrapped package in hand that she hands off to the hostess. "Hello, Kat. You're looking as lovely as ever." Her attire is still in the oriental style she's favored since arriving back from the far East, an ornately brocaded silk cheongsam, the brocade designed done in pale green threads against a silvery background. "This is a beautiful home. Did you do the decor yourself?"

A knock on the door followed by a quick entrance because… who waits, certainly not Mikhale The dark hued wizard is in high class Muggle attire, a three piece suit in pinstripe grey. His cane in one hand and a bottle of wine in the other. Precator at his side, the catahoula flaps an ear idly as he sniffs at the floor, his tail wagging in excitement at all the new smells. Mikhale laughs as he watches the dog who doesn't leave his side despite all the excitement.

Katherine is on the first floor, greeting people as they come in. For the people that might have been to the house before there is a new, attractive piece of decoration sitting on the fireplace's mantle. A vase with a round base around which swim bright, red-orange fish against a turquoise background. Plants of the same color extend from the water up the sides of the vase's long, graceful white neck, not quite reaching the red-orange brim. "Hello everyone, please feel free to wander the house. Food is on the table in the dinning room and I regret to tell you that the seating is on the second floor in the living room. A bit of an awkward set up for entertaining, but what can you do?" The air smells of roses, vanilla, and freshly made food and strains of jazz can be heard coming down the stairs from the living room.

Noting the slightly frazzled man that arrives with Jocunda, Keenan gives a brief smile in his direction… one of relief that he is not going to be the only man in this house warming affair. He takes Veruca's coat for her, finding the appropriate places for such things, and catches up to her at the food table. Pausing with his hand at the small of her back, he murmurs something with a grin before he reaches for a cucumber sandwich. "Can I find ye somethin' tae drink?" he asks her in a more normal volume. As of yet, he hasn't scrutinized the gathering, so anyone sitting down has yet to be noticed.

Broom in hand, Jocunda shrugs out of her coat — and scarf and gloves, etc — once fully within the party. "That's what you get for being proper. You could have brought the table upstairs." Her tone is light-hearted. "Kat, you remember Emrys Snowdon?" She tucks scarf and gloves in with the coat, letting the bundle drape over her arm for the moment, broom clutched in the same hand. It leaves her other hand free for hugs or handshakes or alcohol. Whatever comes along.

Leaning against the side of the chaise lounge with her legs folded to the side, Rhyeline nibbles the edge of a cucumber sandwich. How else are you supposed to sit on a chaise lounge? Hearing the sound of so many voices on the first floor, the girl is relieved to have decided to sit down upstairs. Setting aside her now empty plate, she takes a slow sip of wine from the glass in her hand.

Emrys gives Keenan that smile and nod men give each other at these sort of functions, that mutual recognition. But the majority of his attention is on the greetings. "It's a pleasure to see you again." He tells Kat.

Endira's interest is presently with the food, or rather with those assembled by the food. "Veruca, Keenan, how delightful to see you again." She greets her sister and her sister's beau with a warm smile, glances at the table long enough to pick up something to nibble on, and turns just in time to notice Mikhail. Her eyebrows arch, but rather than comment she shifts her attention to Jocunda, watching her cousin and the barrister.

Greeting Kat with a smile and a kiss to the cheek, "Kat, stunning as ever." Mikhale says with a grin, glancing around, "And the digs aren't bad either, much better than I'd have ever thought you to be in back Thailand." He hands the wine off, "Something I stole from my father's cellar." He nods to Emrys and Keenan. "The food was up stairs you said?" He asks before heading that way, Precator following him up the stairs.

Katherine gathers up all the coats, scarfs, brooms, etc. and puts them in the closet under the stairs after shaking Keenan and Emrys' hands,"A pleasure to see you again Emry. Sir, welcome to my house. I assume you're the famous Keenan? Everyone, could I introduce Mikhale? A friend I made a few years ago." All other introductions are left to each person's companion as she goes to the kitchen to bring out a few extra bottle of wine, which she floats behind her in an orderly line with a flick of her wand.

Veruca smiles at Keenan's low words, then notes the arrival of her younger sibling. "Endira, it's nice to see you again so soon." The words even sound sincere and come with a warm smile. "I was hoping you'd be here as well. Have you had much of a chance to catch up with Kat yet?" She notes the arched brows and shifts her gaze to the gentleman with the dog in tow.

Ah, her cousins. While Katherine moves about to handle the other duties of being a host, Jocunda reaches over to place a hand on Emrys' arm. She makes to guide him towards Endira. "Endira, this is Emrys Snowdon. You had inquired…" She leaves off -why- exactly the other witch had, mind. "Barrister for the Ministry." She does dip her head in greeting to Veruca, offering a smile for the woman.

Keenan turns at the sound of Endira's voice. "Endira," he greets as he pours two glasses of wine, then pulls another over and fills that one as well. "It is a pleasure to see you again, wine?" he offers as he picks up two of the glasses, giving one to Veruca, and the other is held towards Endira. "I trust you have been finding your fill of parties?" If she takes the glass he'll turn back to lift the third one, raising it to his lips and looking for her answer over the rim.

"A pleasure to meet you." Emrys inclines his head in greeting to Endira when they are introduced, glancing between the two women as though trying to figure out exactly what had been inquired.

"I haven't, as it happens," Endira answers Veruca, before nodding at Keenan and accepting the glass. "Yes, please and thank you, Keenan. I heard tell I missed the Eibons' party, which is a shame, but I've been out and about." Her attention shifts again as Emrys is introduced, and her expression positively lights up. "So this is Emrys Snowdon. It's good to finally be able to meet you. Jocunda mentioned you when I visited her last week."

Once Kat has set out the new bottles of wine she takes the little gift Endira brought and the bottle of wine from Mikhale and takes them upstairs, setting them on one of the small end tables in the living room. Then she comes back downstairs and makes sure everyone had food and drinks before encouraging them to join Rhyeline upstairs.

Rhyeline blinks and looks up as she hears the sound of approaching footsteps along with the strange sound of the dog's paws upon the wood stairs. Catching sight of the dog, the girl grows tense, but lifting her gaze to the man, she nods in greeting.

Veruca's smile to Jocunda is warm, which may account for any trouble the younger woman may have in recognizing her cousin. "Jocunda, it's been quite some time since I've seen you. Veruca, Endira's sister," she reminds, just in case. The glass is accepted from Keenan with a grateful smile and a murmured thank you. The gentlemen being introduced around get polite nods of acknowledgement, although it's difficult to engage in much more than that in the number that are gathering in the dining room.

Knowing that he left the food behind doesn't prevent Mikhale from heading away from the party and into the more… interesting parts of the home. After all, any house of Kat's is bound to have at least something interesting about. And when he does get upstairs… he finds something interesting, Rhyeline. "Not a dog person?" He asks as she tenses up at the sight of Precator. "Would getting to know him be better?"

Is that some color on Jocunda's cheeks? Maybe the cold made them rosier than usual. Someone was not expecting Endira to react quite so excited over the introduction. She clears her throat slightly, moving to pour drinks for herself and the lawyer. "The day we had lunch before Christmas," she explains to the man, glancing over to Veruca with the explanation. There's understanding then and she dips her head in a nod. "It -has- been some time. I'm afraid I was remiss in some of my familial duties for a while."

"Ah, I see." Emrys smiles, at the explanation. It's quite a wide smile. "Well, I'm flattered to hear she talks about me, of course. Good things, I hope?"

Jocunda's words get a light laugh, and Veruca nods, "I would have to say the same. Congratulations on your flight," she adds warmly, showing she does have some knowledge of what the family gets up to, even extended. "And may I introduce my date, Keenan O'Shea. Keenan, this is my cousin, Jocunda Sykes."

"Forgive me, I- I've just- never been around dogs much," Rhyeline explains to Mikhale with an apologetic bow of her head. Her hand is tight upon the glass of wine, while her other, in her lap, is in a little fist. "The only dogs I've- I've really ever seen were- not so well behaved as yours."

"Oh, yes, I should say so." Endira smiles at Emrys, the glass held almost absently in her hand. "I daresay you're the first person Jocunda's called sensible and not meant it as a criticism."

Mikhale takes a seat next to Rheyline, Precator lays down on the floor next to him. He reaches his hand out to the hand Rhye has clenched in a fist. "You can't judge every dog by the ones you've met before, just like you can't judge every book by the first one you met. Here, give me your hand. I promise nothing will hurt you." He snaps his fingers and Precator half sits up on command. "All you have to do is pet him."

Keenan lowers his glass as he's introduced and offers a hand if Jocunda will take it. "Pleasure to meet you, Miss Sykes," he adds to Veruca's introduction. His eyebrows raise slightly, and his eyes sparkle as he listens to Endira and Emrys, grinning to Rue as another of the family seems to be playing the part of the canary tonight. "Would you like to go upstairs and find a place to sit?" he asks, offering his arm to escort her upstairs.

A glass of wine is offered to Emrys and Jocunda is still looking a bit off-kilter. Perhaps more so at Endira's explanation. So the blonde focuses on Keenan instead. She accepts his hand for a polite, but firm shake, "Pleasure to meet you, Mr. O'Shea. My date this evening," said to both Veruca and Keenan, "is Mr. Snowdon, as I'm sure you've surmised." She waits for Emrys to have a moment: "This is another cousin," as there are quite a few, "Veruca Max."

Emrys accepts the wine gladly, considering Endira's words. "Well, I do pride myself on being sensible." He chuckles, nodding to the latest introductions. "A pleasure to meet you, Miss Max."

Veruca is only too happy to take the arm offered by Keenan, slipping her hand to tuck familiarly into the crook of his elbow. "I think that would be lovely." Which translates to "Yes, while her attention is on someone else." However societal niceties prevail, and she offers a greeting to Emrys before they might make their way to the next level. "Mr. Snowden, it's a pleasure to meet you. And my date, Keenan O'Shea," is added, just to make sure no one has to fumble for names, although many people do anyway meeting so many at one time.

Rhyeline hesitates a moment before slowly extending her hand and placing it in his. The apprehension in her eyes is great. Her dark gaze shifts to Precator, staring at his eyes and teeth -her first mistake were this not such a well behaved dog.

Katherine finally gets herself a glass of wine and then makes her way upstairs to sit with Rhyeline and Mikhale. She gets there just in time to witness the little dog drama which makes her raise her eyebrows slightly. Making her way to one of the dinning room chairs instead of one of the chaise lounges she sits down and watches for a moment before said,"Rhye darling, Mikhale can be a little… Forward at times. Don't let him sweet talk you into doing anything you don't truly want to do." The comment is accompanied with her trademark smirk, making it hard to tell if she's joking or not.

"There's absolutely nothing wrong with being sensible." Goodness knows Endira is generally regarded as being so, though it's probably not the first descriptor that comes to mind when those who know her hear her name. "I know how difficult it can be to become properly acquainted at such an event as this one. If your schedule permits, Mr. Snowdon, we really should see about lunch or dinner someday soon, the three of us."

Mikhale smiles at Rhyeline and his hand gently guiding hers to the back of Precator's head, the soft fur behind his ear. "He loves to be scratched behind the ears, just there." Precator leans into scratch, his tongue lolling out slightly. "See, he likes you." Mikhale runs his hand down Precator's side. "Ignore her, she's a liar and a cheat." He tells Rhyeline.

Keenan grins, perhaps he's reading the translation, although he does pause to do the obligatory offer of a hand to the man he's introduced to and grins. "Pleasure meeting you," then he nods and turns up the stairs with Veruca.

Rhyeline's eyes widen as she finds herself actually petting the spotted mongrel. Scritching gently, a soft smile of subtle delight warms the girl's features. Hearing Katherine's warning, the little one lifts her gaze to her and blinks hesitantly. She peeks with a subtle not of caution at Mikhale who sits in an adjacent chaise lounge.

Emrys makes the appropriate hand-shaking rituals with Keenan, before he's distracted by Endira's offer of lunch. "I'm certain I can make my schedule accommodate that. The three of us then, sometime soon?"

For accepting the offer, Emrys receives the most brief of baleful looks. Jocunda fixes her expression just a beat later. "I'm sure, all of us at the Ministry as we are, we can work that out easily enough." And get it over swiftly, just like taking out stitches. "Shall we gather some food and make our way upstairs with the others?"

Katherine puts a hand to her chest and lets out an obviously fake offended gasp, "Me? I have never cheated in my life!" Followed by a sip of her wine as she keeps a close eye on the interaction going on on Rhye and Mikhale's chaise.

"You'll note she isn't denying the liar bit, which means she's probably lying about not cheating." Mikhale says with a wink at Rhye. Precator for his part pushes his head into Rhye's hand since she seems to have slowed down on the scratching. The dog being as well behaved as ever.

Strolling upstairs with her date, Veruca has the chance to give her cousin the proper compliments that the flat deserves. "Katerine, you've really done wonders here from the bare shell it was," she says with a smile, moving to a chaise but sitting up, so Keenan can sit as well if he chooses. "And Miss Diderot, it's lovely to see you again. I hope you are well." She introduces as a group, "My date, Keenan O'Shea. Keen, this is my cousin, Katherine Sykes, Miss Diderot is a neighbor, and this is…?" She turns an interested look toward man and dog.

"Admittedly, I haven't been spending nearly as much time in the office as most people who work for the Ministry." Endira has the benefit of not being required to keep office hours, but it helps that maybe a handful of people even know what her profession is. "But yes, Jocunda is right, we really should head upstairs. I'm quite certain I saw Mik earlier, and I hadn't realized he and Kat were acquainted."

Rhyeline almost withdraws her hand as the dog gives an unexpected nuzzle against her hand. Calming back down, she strokes the top of his head gently. Peeking up at Mikhale and Katherine, the little one remains silent, not wanting to get involved in their banter.
At the sound of Veruca's voice, the little one looks up curiously. However as she catches sight of the man whose arm she is upon, the girl bites her lower lip and sinks back a bit deeper against the chaise lounge, as if hoping that he might not notice her. Unfortunately, Veruca mentions her by name.

Emrys looks very confused at the baleful look, since he's been playing nice with her family. "Indeed. Let us head upstairs after gathering food. We can make the arrangements later."

Katherine smiles at Rue and gives her a nod of acknowledgment for the praise, "Did you see the lovely vase Rhyeline provided as a new piece of decoration? It adds a great pop of color to the living room, don't you think?" Motioning to Mikhale she adds, "Oh, sorry you missed the introduction downstairs. This is Mikhale, a friend from a few years back that I've recently become reacquainted with. And Keenan, its a pleasure to meet you in person after all the talk I've heard about you." She smirks a little bit with the right side of her lips before taking another sip of her wine, intentionally not saying what she's heard about Keenan.

"We met Mr. Steele at the Eibon Ball on New Years," Jocunda offers to Endira, preparing a plate of various fingerfoods for both herself and Emrys to share. "I… was not aware he knew Kat. Or had a dog." Not that they chatted for long. She balances plate and glass of wine, heading for the stairs to join the others on the second floor.

With a nod toward Veruca and Keenan, Mikhale nods his head, "Indeed, and you must be one of the other Max girls." He grins, "And a pleasure to meet you as well Keenan." Mik continues to scratch at Precator's side while the dog lays next to himself. "And this is Precator, my faithful sidekick."

Precator flicks his ears at Rhyeline as she stops scratching him. Giving her sad little puppydog eyes.

Emrys helps Jocunda with the balancing act, as they head upstairs to join the group up there. As they're walking, he murmurs something to her.

Even without Rhyeline's name being said, when they come upstairs and the dog catches his attention, and then the little hand petting the dog, and he sees the woman petting the dog. "Good evening Miss Diderot," he says after the introductions. "It is wonderful to see ye enjoying an evening with friends. Mr. Steele, a pleasure. That is a beautiful dog ye have there." Keenan turns at the sound of his name again, and grins to Katherine. "If what ye've been hearing has been from Miss Max, then I hope it's been good."

Trying to make herself as small as possible, Rhyeline has folded her arm across her belly, while the hand holding the glass of wine, draws closer to her chest. In silence, she watches Keenan with a wary stare.

"I knew about the dog. I suppose I should have expected his acquaintance with Kat." Endira gathers a couple of snacks onto a plate, then makes her way up the stairs last, blue eyes taking in those assembled and how they've arranged themselves. Working, even without quill and parchment.

There's a pause halfway up the stairs for Jocunda to murmur in response to Emrys. She's fair smiles once they crest the top onto the second floor and with the rest of the gathering. "The place does look fantastic, Kat. Very modern, but homey. I love it." There's perhaps a bit of jealousy as well. After all, she's still living at home and expected to stay such until she's wed.

Veruca's dark gaze shifts from Keenan to the littlest witch, with a thoughtful cast. There are very few reasons Rue could think of for someone to be looking at the healer so warily, that occupation being primary, of course. The dog gets something of a cool look; clearly not an over animal lover, this witch, although she doesn't look uncomfortable about it's presence. Katherine's comment is perhaps expected, and is taken with another laugh. "As if there is anything unkind to say in the first place, hm?" She winks to her cousin fondly, smile lingering on the blonde witch for a moment.

Mikhale is unaware of the conversation about him, but he does reach up and scratch his ear… perhaps the myth is true after all. He glances at Rhyeline, "It's bad luck to stop scratching a dog's ear without scratching his chest first." He says to Rhye, attempting to distract her from whatever evil influence is. "Thank you, I'm quite fond of him myself."

Katherine's smirk becomes more pronounced as she responds to Keenan,"Oh, yes… *Definitely* good things." Then she gets to her feet and walks over to stand behind Rhyeline. Putting a gentle hand on her shoulder she leans down and whispers something in her ear before then returning to her seat. "How's the food?"

Emrys merely nods to whatever Jocunda replies, since they're now with the others. "It really is a very lovely home." He agrees with a smile, though none of the hints of jealousy that Jocunda might be showing.

Rhyeline shifts her gaze hesitantly to Mikhale as he tries to encourage her to pet the dog more. Looking to the dog, she lifts her hand, but hesitates. It is then that the hand on her tense shoulder distracts her. Peeking up at Katherine, she listens, before nodding just a bit.

There's a curious look from Keenan at Rhyeline's reaction to his presence. He chuckles and lifts his glass towards her. "I have my own glass, lass. Ye can loosen your hold on yours," he gives her a wink, and then raises his eyebrows at the 'definitely' that Katherine utters. He gives a smirk to Veruca at that, but there's also a glow of pride to the glance.

Mikhale watches Kat as she walks back to her seat, and shakes his head slightly. He'll sit back in his chair, continuing to scratch Precator the dog rolls over, exposing his belly to his master's ministrations. "So Kat… I distinctly remember you telling me that you would never 'give up the life' and yet… here you are. And I've heard rumors of you turning to evil and working for the ministry?"

"Unfortunately the Ministry is one of those necessary evils," Jocunda offers, making her way towards a couch. She settles down in such a way to rest plate upon her knee and leave room for Emrys to join her, if he so wishes. She casts a glance to Rhyeline as she settles in, but merely nods to the mouse.

Katherine thanks people for the compliments on the house then laughs at Mikhale's question, "Well, family comes first. And once Daddy said I had to either go back to my original plans or be disowned the choice really was not all that hard. So here I am, all respectable like and working on becoming an Auror again. At least the job isn't sitting behind a desk all day long and depending on the case I get to play once in a while too. At least I will get to play once in a while when I get to the point where they start assigning me undercover work." Smiling at Rhyeline she adds, "At least the change includes much better neighbors than those I've had since the first time I moved out of Daddy's house."

Emrys joins Jocunda on the couch once she's settled, sipping at his wine as he listens to the conversations going on around them. "I would simply call it necessary, really. Perhaps even a necessary good." Is all he says of the Ministry.

Veruca may share some measure of her sister's tendencies, as her eyes linger on Rhyeline for a few moments. While it isn't exactly a look studying the young witch, there is an interesting curiosity there. Her attention shifts, eyes drifting over those about and the conversations volleying, as she leans slightly closer to Keenan, her attention catching on Kat's words to Mikhale and Rhyeline.

Ordinarily, Endira would be in the midst of conversation in such a gathering, but she takes a few minutes to observe before strolling to a chair and settling gracefully in it. "There's nothing wrong with working for the Ministry. Just because you couldn't manage it, Mik."

Rhyeline's dark gaze lingers on Keenan for a moment before the little mouse gives an apologetic nod, though the instinctive wariness does not fade from her gaze. The girl returns Jocunda's nod. Hearing Katherine's remark about good neighbors, the little one offers her a soft, shy smile. However, it seems that as the room fills with so many people, most of them looking in her direction now and then, the quiet girl's voice vanishes entirely. Lowering her gaze, she hides behind her glass of wine and takes a slow sip. Feeling Veruca's steady gaze upon her, the girl peeks at her from over the brim of the glass.

"Ahh, so it was the fear of getting completely cut off from the money that turned you straight." Mikhale says with a grin. He glances at Endira and Emrys, "And now we know who lacks a sense of humor now… And who would have guessed it'd be the solicitor and the mystery worker."

"Only a barrister could enjoy the utter mess that the Ministry tends to be," Jocunda says, teasing Emrys lightly. She sips at her wine before reaching for a piece of cheese on the plate. The aviatrix is unable to hide a snort of amusement at Mikhale's comment. "To be perfectly honest, I've been putting out feelers to see if any Quidditch teams will be in need of a new Seeker. I'm utterly bored with desk work."

Katherine shakes her head in response to Mik's comment, "Its not about the money dear boy, its about family pride. I enjoyed my play time but now its time to step up and make the family proud." Then she adds her own opinions about the Ministry, "A lot of it really depends on the department you work for. I have actually found Magical Law Enforcement to be rather enjoyable. We could do with less paperwork, but its still enjoyable. Of course, not everyone is cut out for it. It does require a certain degree of discipline." She winks at Mikhale along with her last comment, taking some of the sting out of the words.

"Oh, it's only a mess if you don't know how to navigate it and which forms to file." Emrys takes the teasing with good grace, apparently amused. There's a sip of his wine, as he asks Jocunda "How has that been going, anyway?"

"Discipline, and not winding up in the wrong Ministry official's wife's bed," Endira puts in, glancing sidelong at Katherine as she says this. Presumably Kat, at least, will know she's talking about Mikhale.

Mikhale has never claimed to be disciplined, so it's no skin off his back to be accused of it. "I never found making my family proud to be worth the effort it took, but the bed situation sounds like far more fun." He grins again scratching Precator so that his fur stands on end and the dog's tail wags back and forth against the ground.

There's a new arrival, one that doesn't loiter at the food, but searches through the guests. She wears business robes of forest green with lime green trim marking her as a journeyman healer, the patch is a Spell Damage.
Entering the living room, she finally fixes on the tall ginger who's standing with Veruca on his arm. "Healer O'Shea," she says urgently. "We need you to come to Mungo's, please, healer." Her voice drops as she finally gets to his other side, eyes darting to Veruca as her hands twist in front of her.

"About as expected," Jocunda says to Emrys with a small shrug. She takes another sip of wine. "Nothing except reserve. A few recruiters have told me they'd like to place me in first string, but there's contracts to deal with. So I'm just in a waiting pattern." She looks up as the healer arrives for Keenan. eyebrows raise slightly, but she dips her head to him. A simple gesture, rather than taking up more time with goodbyes.

Veruca glances past Keenan to the little Mungo's worker that bustles up. She only hesitates long enough to hear what she says before releasing Keenan's arm. "Go on, Keen. I'll see you at home later?"

"Take care, Keenan," Endira offers in parting to Keenan. After Katherine returns, she smirks faintly at Katherine's ribbing of Veruca. "Not to worry, Kat. I'm sure you'll have plenty of opportunity to embarrass him."

Keenan nods to the Journeyman as he listens, and his expression as well as posture still remain relaxed, in juxtaposition to the one in green that he talks to. He hands his glass of wine to Veruca and leans down to kiss her on the cheek, "your place?" he asks quietly, then gives her a smile. "Don' wait up, lass. This could be a long night." With that, he nods to the messenger, and follows her down along with Katherine, giving a couple of nods to the farewells along the way.

Katherine accompanies Keenan and the other healer to the front door. When she comes back upstairs she comes with a trail of floating plates behind her, which she motions to the different end tables in the living room with a wave of her wand, "I will get us more wine next time I go down. Its a shame Keenan had to leave so quickly Rue. I didn't have nearly enough time to embarrass him as befits one of your beaus." Giggling to herself she goes back to her original seat. "As for you Mikhale, you need a little bit more taste. You can be so undiscriminating with your fun. Although I guess variety does educate the palate…"

"Well, hopefully you'll hear something soon." Emrys murmurs to Jocunda, at the talk of the recruiters. "I know you really would prefer to get out of the office." There's a nod for Keenan as he departs.

Veruca has plenty of wine, since Keenan only drank about half of his, and Katherine's words bring a soft huff of amusement. "I suppose there is some lost time to make up for," she says lightly, since Keenan is the only beau she's ever been seen with publicly. She gives a nod acknowledging her sister's words. "One can hope so, Endira." One of the wine glasses is poured into the other, and then a sip is taken.

The sight of yet another healer causes Rhyeline to seem tenser than before. But before he leaves, the girl offers him a small nod. Once both depart, she lowers her gaze and relieved, rests back once more as she leans against the side of the chaise lounge. Sipping from her glass of wine slowly, the little one's dark gaze remains downcast for the moment.

"Back home, eh?" Jocunda did not miss that. She looks to Veruca with something of a smirk. With any luck, perhaps she'll distract Endira that-a-ways. "For shame, dear cousin." Living with someone out of wedlock! Le gasp! And surely gossip-fodder enough for the romance-obsessed. The aviatrix does look to Emrys with a small shrug. "Quite so and I fear I'd be bombarded with Howlers by my father if I just quit."

Endira will valiantly speak up on her sister's behalf, though Veruca will probably wish she hadn't. "Oh, I very much doubt there's anything shameful going on there. Not for long, anyway, if I've read the signs correctly." She's not going to explain what any of that means, however, instead turning her attention back to Emrys. "So. Lunch soon, hm?"

Katherine pops out of her chair and moves over to the chaise lounge Veruca and Keenan had been sharing. Sitting next to her cousin she leans against her, shoulder to shoulder, and gives her an imploring look. "Ooooo. Sounds like there's stories behind that. But tell us, are you straightening out even more than me?" Her imploring look switches to one of teasing disapproval as she drains her wine glass, puts it aside and reaches for Keenan's half-drunk one, "That would be *such* a shame!"

"A scandal indeed if all the Sykes and the Maxes were to suddenly grow halo's." Mikhale says with a grin, glancing at Rhyeline, "So, I'm assuming by the earlier statement of good neighbors that you've had the misfortune of having my little card shark move into your neighborhood?"

Veruca looks at her cousin with amusement, well knowing what she's likely thinking. "My home, Jocunda. He stops by for tea after his shift," she explains with her own smirk. Nothing shall ever be admitted, of course. Oh yes, Endira, that's very helpful. At least that's what the raised eyebrow to the younger Max says. Katherine's antics earn her a quick kiss on the cheek and a question in return, "Do you honestly think that's even possible, Kat?" Hardly an answer, and Veruca surrenders Keen's empty glass to her cousin, as she already poured the rest of his wine into her glass.

At last, Rhyeline lifts her gaze and begins to follow the conversation once more. Mikhale's sudden question catches her off guard. The girl parts her lips to speak, but no sound comes. Hesitating, she glances over at Katherine a moment before peeking back up at Mikhale.

"Lunch soon, yes." Emrys agrees with a nod to Endira. He already accepted earlier, after all. "I'm sure we can make all our schedules line up in the next week or two."

Katherine makes a sad face at the empty wine glass and puts it on the same end table she put hers, mumbling something that sounds suspiciously like 'greedy little witch' before giving Rue a beatific smile and looking around the room to check the level of the wine glasses. "And yes Rhyeline, he is talking about me. Mikhale and I met over a game of poker. A game that he /almost/ won." Then her attention shifts to the talk about lunch, "Well, if we're making a Ministry affair of it, does anyone mind if I invite myself along on this lunch too?"

Mikhale laughs, and confides in Rhyeline, "She cheated, besides, we both got what we needed out the situation. She was penniless, I took pity on the poor little waif." He grins at Rhyeline.

Veruca smirks at Katherine's muttering, catching enough of it to suffice, and she brings her glass up to sip the wine in blatant defiance. The witch falls silent for a time, letting her eyes drift among the 'youngsters' remaining, most of whom have the Ministry in common in some form or another.

"Poker? You'll have to let me know the next time you play." Gambling? If liquor is involved, the Spirit of Jocunda is already there! She blinks at Katherine's request and bites at her lip a moment. Seriously considering. Kat's presence could either make things worse… or better. She decides to take the hopeful route: "If we can get all four of our schedules to align, I'd love to have you along."

Emrys just smiles wryly at the talk of gambling, and how much Jocunda perks up at it. Katherine's request is not directly addressed, the man apparently fine with whatever the others decide/

Rhyeline blinks at Mikhale. The girl parts her lips, but then glances to Jocunda as the woman jumps into the conversation. The little witch seems content to remain silent, bringing the glass to her lips. Her glass is starting to get a bit too low for her to hide behind it under the pretext of drinking much longer.

"I certainly have no objections to having you along, Kat." Endira is confident in her ability to pry everyone's secrets out of them, after all. She glances around, notes the empty glasses, and rises. "I'll go bring up the wine, if no one minds? I've nearly finished mine, so I need a refill anyway."

Mikhale will get the mouse to speak, "So… since we're talking about new jobs, I should probably mention that I've started a new one myself. Or at least another one."

Katherine grins and nods at both Jocunda and Endira then shakes her head when Endira offers to get the wine,"No no. I appreciate the offer but it is my party and my honor to play hostess. I'll be right back with the wine." As she gets up she pulls out her wand and its clear she's planning on doing the same little trick she did with the food but this time instead of an hors d'oeuvre parade its going to be a wine parade. As she disappears down the stairs she calls back to Jocunda and Mikhale,"I'll be more than happy to take you out for a night of poker Jocu. I know all the best; and worst place in town. And I do NOT cheat Mikhale. You're just a crummy player."

Rhyeline looks to Endira and nods in thanks at the offer to fetch more wine. After all, when the little mouse spoke earlier, there was a subtle hint of a French accent in her delicate English tones. But then as Katherine takes up the task, the girl offers her a small smile of appreciation. Mikhale's mention of a new job draws a curious blink and then a slight tilt of her head as she inquires without words.

"Ah! Thank you so much, Kat. Both for the wine and the offer of poker. I've not delved into the scene in a while, admittedly." Jocunda finishes off her current glass before awaiting the wine parade to pour a fresh one. She fills the time with eating some more of the finger foods on her plate. And is her shoulder bumping up against Emrys'? Likely, but surely it's just the close quarters of the couch requiring such.

"It's because he's never learned how to bluff properly," Endira observes, regarding Mikhale's prowess — or rather the lack thereof — at poker.

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks." Mikhale calls after Kat's retreating form. He glances over at Rhyeline, and grins, "What? No guesses as to what sort of profession I've picked up? It's far more respectable than hustling immigrants for their weekly bread."

Watching the conversation volley around for a bit, Veruca stands, excusing herself to go down and assist Katherine. Downstairs she'll give her cousin a warm hug. "I'm going to make my way home, Kat, but it was lovely of you to have us. Do give my regards to everyone, I didn't want to interrupt their poker plans." This is said with a grin. She'll collect up her coat and be on her way in short order.

Emrys is mostly sitting quietly, letting the conversation flow over him. He seems very comfortable like that, letting Jocunda's shoulder bump against his.

Katherine returns Veruca's hug,"Thank you for coming. And please make sure you drop by any time you want. No advance warning needed." Once she's walked Veruca to the door she goes back upstairs trailing a little parade of wine bottle behind her which she makes settle within easy reach of her guests. "as she goes back to the chaise she had been sharing with Rue this time she takes full advantage of it and reclines in the way that specific piece of furniture was intended for. "Its probably as a confidence man working with little old ladies, if I know you Mikhale." Once again, what would be an insult with a different delivery is converted into a joke with a change in tone and a smile.

Endira stirs a bit as Veruca takes her leave, and finishes her second glass of wine quickly. "I'm going to head out, too, Kat. I'll have to make an appearance in the office tomorrow, and there are still some papers I need to have collated by this evening." Always working.

"Just send word when you've got some availability," Jocunda calls to her cousin as she prepares to depart. "We'll figure out lunch from there. I'm sure I can drag Emrys away from his current dusty tome of outdated laws on whichever day is needed."

"You're friend actually is the one that got me on the idea. I ran into her in Diagon Alley earlier today." Mikhale says with a nod toward Rhyeline.

"I only read the outdated laws for fun." Emrys protests, as though this somehow makes it better. "For work I deal with laws currently on the books."

Rhyeline hesitates as she listens to Mikhale. When Katherine approaches to perhaps refill her glass with the wine she fetched, the girl pulls her glass away and raises a hand, indicating she doesn't wish more after all. Setting the glass aside, she looks to Mikhale and gives an apologetic nod. Then rising, she approaches Katherine and after a moment of hesitation, she beckons her close, as if hoping to whisper something in her ear.

"My schedule's open, truly. I can always rearrange things if I absolutely have to. Just send me a time and a place, I'll be there." Endira smiles, waves, and sees herself out.

Mikhale watches Endira leave, his expression neutral… for him anyway.

Katherine is about to walk Endira out when Ryhe motions for her so instead she just says,"It was lovely seeing you again Endira. Don't be a stranger. My house is your house and all that." Giving her a kick set of air kisses she then goes to Rhye and, once she's heard what the shy woman has to say she nods and ends up walking both her and Endira to the door.

And then there were four. Jocunda is sipping at a fresh glass of wine, looking across to Mikhale. "So, what is this mysterious job then, Mr. Steele? The same … acquisitions you spoke of at the ball?"

Just before following Katherine down the stairs, Rhyeline pauses and turning to those that remain, she gives a little curtsy. But with that, the girl follows Endira out.

Mikhale watches the three women walk away, and shakes his head, "No, I'm actually going into tours. Miss Taylor reminded me that I have a… unique amount of experience with the world, and people would pay quite a bit to see some of the things I've seen. So I'll take them on little trips and they'll get to see parts of the world that they otherwise wouldn't be able to."

"Tours. That sounds like a very interesting line of work." Emrys observes, sipping at his refreshed wine as he looks around at the greatly diminished company, making note of who is still present.

Katherine comes back in time to hear the tail end of Emry's comment and deduces what Mikhale's new line of work is from there,"That's actually a good idea. Not surprised coming from Rhye, she's a very smart girl, even if its hidden under al that shyness. And you'll probably do well running tours, as long as you can keep yourself from scaring away your shyer customers by flirting to aggressively with them."

"I wasn't even flirting, I was forcing her to pet a dog." Mikhale protests, "If I had been flirting, I'd have left with her."

"Tours," Jocunda echoes, considering thoughtfully as she drinks more of the wine. It's less sipping now and more gulping. "I doubt that," she says to Mikhale, "she's not at all your type. From what I've seen."

"Why exactly were you forcing her to pet the dog, anyway?" Emrys asks curiously, keeping one eye on the way Jocunda drinks her wine. His is enjoyed more leisurely.

Katherine smiles and sips at her wine, quietly waiting for the answer to that particular question since she's curious about it too.

"Well, for one, I don't like it when anyone has ill feelings toward Precator." Mikhale says, his tone one that brooks no contest. "And for two, the girl is too scared for her own good. Forcing her to face one of her fears in a safe environment will help her realize that she can overcome some of the bigger ones on her own." For once the foppish tone of his voice is gone and he seems far more serious than anyone who knows him would guess him capable of.

"I see," Jocunda says, brow furrowing slightly. "Sometimes… people have fears for good reason and need time to recover. You might strengthen other fears by forcing through one like that."

Emrys blinks at that explanation, perhaps not expecting it. "I see." He murmurs with a sip of his wine. "Isn't she entitled not to like your dog? I mean, isn't anyone, really?"

Katherine is about to answer Mik but Jocunda reads her mind and says pretty much the same thing she was about to so instead uses the moment for the next best thing. Taking a sip of her wine and watching Mikhale to see what his answer to both comments is going to be.

"Not the way I see it." Mikhale answers, although who he is answering is anyone's guess. He stands and Precator follows suit. "Well, Kat, it was fun. Congrats on the job, I know I'm jaded but… don't let them take the fun out of it, they're a stuffy lot." He leans over to kiss Kat's cheek and then waves towards the other two.

"I'll take that as a sign to get Emrys home," Jocunda says, humor in her tone. She finishes off her glass of wine and moves to rise. "I'm not sure he'll be able to handle his broom with a few drinks in him. Need to make sure he stays safe." Is that innuendo? Knowing Jocunda, it very well might be.

Emrys blinks over at Jocunda. Apparently she's been rubbing off on him a little, as he declares "I may not be very skilled at flying but I can darn well f…inish my glass." Ahem. Which he then proceeds to do before standing, with a smile to Kat. "Thank you for inviting us into your home."

Katherine grins at Mik and offer her cheek for the kiss then, like she's done with everyone else walks them all to the door, "Thanks for coming everyone. Emrys, it was a pleasure to meet you. I'm sure we'll see each other out and about again, everyone. And Mikhale, you know better than that. No one is going to make me stuffy, at least not outside of work duties."

"Of course." Mikhale says and then shrugs, he walks Precator out the door and then disaparates with just the slightest whisper of a crack.

Mikhale's exits is quickly followed by Emrys and Jocunda looking around to ensure that no Muggles can see them before they take off on their broom, disappearing into the London night as Kat watches for a moment before closing the door and retiring for the night.

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