(1938-03-23) Our Intrepid Reporter Gets a Surprise and Completely Misses Several Hints
Details for Our Intrepid Reporter Gets a Surprise and Completely Misses Several Hints
Summary: Phil seeks out an old school acquaintance to get some help with a possible story. It doesn't go to plan.
Date: March 23 1938
Location: Leaky Cauldron
Related: Plot: To Catch A Thief

This cramped, angular room is the taproom of the Leaky Cauldron. A long bar runs along one side of the room, plain wooden stools set out before it. Smoke from pipes and candles fills the air. The patrons of this curious little bar, many of them elderly, sit hunched over their mugs at the tables. Waitresses sometimes coined 'Wenches' bustle back and forth bearing trays of food and mugs of ale. Many of the people seem strangely out of place, dressed in cloaks and floppy hats, as if they stumbled out of another century. Notably absent is any modern muggle devices or electric lighting, or any sign of electricity at all. Still, the occasional muggle does find their way in here, usually declaring it to be 'quaint' and 'atmospheric'.

Contents: Phil Tristan Fireplace

Never one to let a good tip go to waste Phil is up for the breakfast rush at the Cauldron on a Saturday morning. She has been told that a wizard from the ministry might be here. Dressed fro the interchangeable springtime British weather she shrugs her cloak behind her shoulders and looks around for a face she hopes to recognize from years ago. Ever a determined girl, even at school, the former Ravenclaw got herself something of a reputation for being focused when hunting for the truth about a matter. Those in the know might suspect she is interested in rumors circulating about a new charm that entices victims to loose their inhibitions.

A tall, good looking man enters the room. He is dressed in a black coat, and black pants, and is holding a black cane. He doesn't walk, or stroll in like most though. He limps in, dragging his left leg behind him. He waves at some of the wenches, and takes a seat at a table, one of the smaller ones with only two seats towards the end of the room.

Phil stills as she watches the man slowly, almost painfully pass by her. Surprise drifts across her sweet-looking features and her jaw drops. With a slight shake of the head Phil brings herself back under control and follows the man to his table. Even so her voice is quiet, uncertain and she speaks his name - a name she recalls from the past, "Tristan? Tristan Delacroix? It's Phil, Philomena Rowle."

Tristan looks up, as he hears his name being spoken. " Phil! What a… a Pleasure to see you." Tristan's deep voice says, " Please have a seat. I would stand, but my Leg wouldn't advise it." Tristan waves his hand a bit, as to signal her to sit.

Phil slips into the chair opposite him and smiles kindly, "Do not think of it. It is good to see you. How," she pauses and nervously wets her lips with the tip of her tongue as if she were uncertain of finishing her questions, "have you been since we last met?" To try and cover her nervousness she begins removing things, starting with tugging her gloves off her hands then setting her cloak over the back of the chair.

“I never have gotten a lady to take off her clothes that quickly." Tristan says, with a grin apparent on his face. “I have been doing well, I found a nice position. And yourself? I hear you’re a reporter these days. I guess your newspaper writing in school worked out."

Phil laughs even as heat flushes her cheeks. "I heard you worked for the ministry." She leans forward a bit more, eagerness making her already wide guileless eyes seem even brighter. "I've actually been looking for you, Tristan. I've come here the last three Saturdays hoping to spot you. Someone I know said you frequently are here. But each time I've just missed you, so I came earlier today."

“I am here quite a bit." Tristan replies. “But why are you looking for me so intently? I am good looking, but good looking enough to get you out of your nest that early?" He laughs, as he says this.
Phil looks up as one of the waitresses passes by, "Earl Grey, with milk. Full English breakfast, but no black pudding." She turns back to Tristan allowing him to order anything before continuing. "I was hoping you might be able to help me with a story."

"I'll take a Darjeeling. With some ham and eggs." Tristan says towards the Wench. “What story?" Tristan looks at the girl in a strange manner. Stories never are a good thing.

Phil takes a little notebook and pencil out of one of the pockets in her cloak. "It is all rather hush hush which is why I wanted to speak to someone I know. Someone trustworthy." She glances around to ensure nobody is showing signs of listening to their conversation. "Do you think it would be possible for someone to create a charm that removes a person's inhibitions entirely?"

Tristan looks at the girl. “Well, well." He opens his mouth, but closes it once more, as the wench brings the two teas, and some food for him. “Thanks." He mutters, as the girl leaves. “What will you give me for this info?"

Phil sets the notebook and pencil down as the food and drink arrive. She goes through the ritual of preparing her tea just how she likes it then looks over at Tristan "It depends on what you might be after in return. People usually want money or their name to be kept out of the story. Often both. Some want more personal things. Favors or introductions to others." She takes up her knife and fork; knife in her right hand, fork in her left and turns her fork tines upside down as is the proper British way. "What takes your fancy?" She watches him from beneath her lashes as she cuts into her food and takes a bite.

“Well. What do you offer? My name out of the story will be a given, as I enjoy my work." Tristan drops some sugar into his tea, and takes a bit of his eggs. “It’s a funny thing. Getting a big story. Funny, because it helps one person’s career and can ruin the others. "

Phil hmms her agreement as she eats a little more. After a few minutes of silence on her part she sets her cutlery down and takes up her napkin from her lap. The fabric is brushed across her mouth delicately before being returned to her lap. "This may or may not be true. You, with your experience of experimental charms would know far more than I. The accusations are that so far two witches have woken up to find themselves in a location unknown to them with their money stolen. It is possible the attacker may move on to something more sinister than a mere confidence swindle given the lack of memory the victims retain."

“Interesting very Interesting." Tristan replies thoughtfully. “We at the ministry have looked at the case, closely I can assure you." Tristan says. He munches on more of his breakfast, “But for such high class info. I need something good."

Phil settles back in her chair and picks up her cup of tea. She sips from it and watches him for a few moments before asking. "What would you classify as being something good? I cannot imagine you need funds. You might work for the Ministry but your family name is as old and as wealthy as my own." She cants her head causing her dark hair to briefly fall across her forehead and into her eyes before she brushes it away with her free hand. "Which makes me think it must be something more personal or at least personal to you."

“Indeed. Money is not what I need. But you know me well, can't you guess what I want?" Tristan says, a playful grin on his face. “It would be no fun if I just told you, would it?"

She blinks owlishly her wide eyes giving the impression she isn't quite following his meaning. For Phil the idea that he might want something personal from her hasn't yet entered her head, it isn't what she tends to usually encounter. "Then how am I to know I am giving you the right boon?"

“You won’t know. It’s called taking a risk." Tristan says, as he looks at the girl. “Tell me, how has your life been after school? Anything interesting happen? “Why Tristan steers the conversation away from what he said one sentence ago is unknown, but definitely odd.

If Phil thinks there is anything unusual in the sea change of conversation she doesn't mention it. "Things have been good in one sense. I am getting closer to my goal of a byline, but in another sense frustrating because I have to write fluff pieces still. I am being sent to the Carmichael-Stokely engagement soiree tomorrow evening, for example." She takes another sip of her tea and gives him a conspiratorial grin,
"And of course there is the ever constant pressure to wed another pure-blood. Undoubtedly, much the same as you in that sense." She laughs softly and adopts a sing-song tone similar to her mother's, "But darling you simply must marry someone who is someone. It would be ghastly otherwise and besides you are getting on a bit. You do not want to end up a spinster like Aunt Dotty."

Tristan laughs, “Aye. Marriage is always a big thing for us pure-bloods. “He looks thoughtfully at the girl, “Well, what is your goal? Marrying a handsome big shot? Or defeating Grindelwald himself?"

Phil bursts out with laughter. "Grindelwald? Goodness no. I have not the talent nor the streak of self-destruction required to drive me to such a task. I wish to be a writer, simple as that. To impart truth and do so as eloquently as possible. At some point, yes, I must marry. I shall endeavour to find a potential husband who will let me continue my work after marriage, however. I do not want to give everything up to become yet another society matron." She looks around guiltily as if seeing if someone might be listening. "Not that I do not love my mother and recognise the good her charitable works do. I simply do not wish to follow precisely in her footsteps."

“I think, you should search for a husband not based on if you can write with him or not. But based on if you love him or not." Tristan replies, a true romantic at heart? “Do you get what I’m saying?"

Phil looks down at her tea cup as she asks, "Do you believe it possible? Truly possible? That in the crazy world we live in - with war brewing on the continent and in Asia - that two people, two out of the nearly two billion on the planet could find their opposite, their yin to their yang?" She looks over at Tristan now. "Doesn't it seem unlikely given the statistics if nothing else?"

“ It is." He says, without a second of hesitation. "Oh yes it is. Don’t you believe it?" Tristan looks at the girl, "A pretty girl like you, should have had enough suitors."

Phil shrugs a slender shoulder. "I never really have had time for it. You forget, I also have three older brothers and quite a formidable sister. I doubt many would be daring enough to broach the subject of seeking more than friendship with me." With a faint smile she adds, "And my family, especially, would require vetting anyone first. I imagine that puts all sorts off."

"Well, by now you’re an adult lady. Your brothers will have a harder time putting off your suitors." Tristan smiles, "Being a charms master, never really had problems with a fight."

Phil laughs a little. "Are you volunteering Tristan?" She takes a sip of her tea, but now it is too tepid for her liking. She wrinkles her nose slightly and sets the cup down. "I am, according to my sister, an abomination to live with or even be around for very long. She should know. We share a place."

“Are you offering?" Tristan replies, his mouth forming a grin. “Well, my house is large, and has a lot of space. If you need a place to live for a bit." Tristan says.

Phil blinks and then shakes her head, "No, that is not what I meant at all. I enjoy living with her. We have a good relationship."

“A good relationship? Where she calls you an abomination? Doesn't sound very good to me. Tell me the truth Phil." He says, looking at her.

Phil waves a dismissive hand, "That is what siblings do, Tristan. They make jokes at one another's expense but when it comes down to it they support one another and help one another. My sister loves me. She nags me to be tidier and I nag her to work less. My brothers might try to intimidate men who would seek to court me, but they would do so to test the mettle of the man. Any man who failed to hold his own in front of my family wouldn't be worthy of any affections I might offer."

“Your brothers should be careful, people with unsafe charms in their hand can harm brothers." Tristan says, in a vague manner. “But back to business, what will you offer me for the info?"

Phil bristles, her demeanor changing sharply. "My brothers," she says in a terse tone, "would never stoop to violence. It is beneath them and should be beneath anyone I associate with or call friend or family. If that is what you are implying, that you would use violence to get your way I do not think we have anything left to say to one another." She starts to rise from the table.

" Bye." Is all Tristan states, as he watches the lady stand up

Phil shakes her head and gathers up her things, not quite as quickly as she shrugged them off but with haste. She stops by the bar to leave money paying for both of them before leaving through the back of the public house.

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