(1938-09-08) Silent as a Mouse
Details for Silent as a Mouse
Summary: Graham, Rhyeline, Balthazar, and Sorcha meet in Diagon Alley, after which the ladies take tea.
Date: September 8th, 1938
Location: Diagon Alley
Related: There's Mud in My Stew

Central Diagon Alley Diagon Alley

Diagon Alley is the largest collection of Wizarding businesses in the United Kingdom so it is no wonder that people always come here for their shopping needs. Especially just before school starts this crooked little alleyway is filled to the brink with people, vendors and even a few charlatans.

At this central location of the alley is some of the more important buildings that deserve the central placement. The cobbled street itself continues to crook off to the northeast towards the northeastern area of Diagon Alley, as well as it continues back to the southwest towards the alley entrance and the Leaky Cauldron.

The languid golden glow of sunset fades over Diagon Alley as the evening darkens. An hour or so after the encounter at the Leaky Cauldron, little Rhyeline carries an additiona parcle in her arms and wanders at a slow, thoughtful pace through the emptying streets.

It seems the random street of the alley is the place to be, though it's from the way of the otherside of the street that this other walks. Graham spots the smaller woman and adjusts course to meet up with her "Good Evening Miss Diderot." he smiles "I should ask since it's been brought to my attention that i'm overly formal. Do you mind that greeting or would you rather I say something else?" he chuckles now close enough to stop on conversational range

Rhyeline pauses as she catches sight of Graham's approach. A small smile emerges upon her lips. Having had some time alone, the little mouse seems much calmer, such that Graham's approach doesn't alarm her. At his question, she blinks and tilts her head to the side, curiously. "Mind? No, I don't mind any greeting you choose," she murmurs.

Graham nods and will likely stick to formal at least for a little while at least since they just met a little bit ago properly. "Just thought i'd ask, I dont see it as a fault but since it was pointed out to me." he gives the other a shrug though he's still smiling a look of concern crosses his face "Not sure it's my place to ask, but are you well? I am guessing that you dont like big crowds like back at the pub is all."

"Oh. Em-" Rhyeline hesitates as her cheeks turn a bit pink. "I'm alright. I've always been a bit em- shy around people. But- I'm alright."

The young man nods at her words noticing the pink cheeks which werent his intentions "Ah, that's okay I just wanted to be sure with the argument about mixed up meals and the dinner time crowd it can be overwhelming." Graham gives a small shrug.

Rhyeline nods with another soft smile. "Yes. A bit overwhelming. But I've gotten more used to such things now. I just- well- I find it a bit difficult to speak up, you see. But- it did not reflect on the company. It was good to see you and- and Philomena."

Graham nods "Well dinner time rush at the pub's probably not the place to start really." he says with a shake of his head. The young man nods "Likewise, it was good to see you out and about well and i've not seen Phil that excited in a long time." he says impressed by this.

Still a bit pink, Rhyeline grins and murmurs, "I haven't seen her for some time. She was always very kind to me. Have- have you know her long?"

"Yes and no, we went to school together but she's a few years ahead of myself, we met again quite a few months back and became friends. We both work long hours and so share some stories now and then." Graham chuckles "She likes to pick on me and Sorcha good naturedly of course." he shakes his head.

Rhyeline sways from side to side a little as she hugs her parcels to her chest. With a soft smile, she listens. "A good friend then." Pausing, she hesitates before saying, "Was- was that Sorcha with you before? Healer Keenan's sister?"

Graham must be in bad shape or still frazzled about the scene in the pub as he just notices the parcels properly. "Do you need help carrying those parcels?" he offers not sure if it's proper but seems to be rude at least not to ask. "Yes that was her, she may be along shortly. She had to head to the shop to check on something." he says motioning towards their shop.

Rhyeline shakes her head with a small, warm smile as he offers to help with the parcels. They must not be heavy. She glances towards the shop as he motions and gives a little nod. "I see. Are you heading there now?"

"Probably by side-route." he says grinning. "I needed a bit of a walk after the scene at the pub. It sort of struck a chord." Graham explains about the scene which happened just before than though he won’t go into detail as to what had done it since he usually steers clear of politics unless asked.

Rhyeline bites her lower lip as Graham mentions the incident earlier at the Leaky Cauldron. Giving a little nod, she murmurs, "I understand. I didn't care for it either." Now that she speaks, the little mouse's voice is as soft as one may have expected.

With a haughty expression Balthazar makes his way down the Diagon Alley streets. His keen gazes wanders lazily over the waning crown and he sneers at those few people who dare get to close to his person. He stops near the Apothecary spotting the two nearby his gaze lingering on the dark haired woman curiously. A smirk plays on his lips as he observes her.

Graham shrugs "I guess can’t let it ruin my evening or anything." He says not wishing to drag down the conversation with that previous one "Was good to see some friends whom I can’t always visit with that's the upside." he fades off as another approaches unsure if he's seen them before.

Rhyeline tilts her head to the side as Graham gets distracted. The little mouse follows his gaze. Catching sight of Balthazar's smirk, she blinks and hugs her parcels a bit tighter to her chest.

At said apothecary, the door opens even though it's well past business hours. Out comes Sorcha, her yellow summer dress paired with a white sweater against the cooler evening, an umbrella in hand to help with the showers that keep popping up this evening. When she sees the man stopped near her shop as she's locking the door she smiles at him, tucking her key in her pocket, "May I help you, sir?"

That reaction only causes Balthazar's smirk to grow. He cants his head to one side eyeing her with an almost predatory expression like he is the cat about to play with a mouse. He steps forward approaching the pair but his eyes never leave Rhyeline. He doesn't notice the woman coming out of the shop or perhaps he just doesn't pay her any mind. He inclines his head to her smirk turning into a very charming smile. "Hello my dear lady. I hope the evening finds you well. I was just on my way to see about getting something to drink but I simply could not resist introducing myself to such a lovely vision…I am Balthazar Lestrange." He gives a slight but graceful bow flourishing one hand out in a rather dramatic gesture.

Graham tenses a bit an unknown approaching especially in his line of work. His is still watching when Sorcha steps out from her shop which brings his arms cross either pulling his robes about him or his wand which is hidden though the other breaks his silence. The auror slides to the side now next to Sorcha, though he looks to Rhyeline to get any kind of signal from the way she is looking.

Rhyeline's dark gaze widens as Balthazar's expression turns predatory. The little mouse seems almost frozen on the spot. Would that she could hide behind a nearby lamppost, but alas she doesn't move. The sudden charm draws a look of caution from the girl. The dramatic bow is returned by a curtsy of slow, careful grace. When Rhyeline parts her lips to speak no sound comes. Her gaze flickers to Graham and Sorcha and then quickly back up at Balthazar before closing her lips once more. Hugging the parcels so very tight, she bites her lower lip.

When Balthazar patently ignores her, Sorcha is obviously quite surprised, her mouth open for a moment as if to say something before Graham comes over to her. She leans in and kisses his cheek briefly before the abject terror on Ryeline's face causes her to frown instead. Linking arms with Graham she turns the two of them so that they're not exactly blocking the man that's locked attention on the dark haired girl, but they are very obviously close to stepping between them, saying to Graham's friend, "Hello, there. Lovely to see you again this evening."

Balthazar glances at the red head breifly sending her a copy of that perfectly charming smile before focusing on Rhyeline once more. "Will you not give me your name then? Did my stunning presence render you unable to speak?" He chuckles softly a deep and rich sound and yet the words sounded proud and sincere more than playful. He shakes his head softly. "I did not mean to frighten you bonita ratn. I mean no harm. I simply cannot resist such a pretty face." He raises his hands slowly showing he is unarmed though his wand is within easy reach tucked up one of his sleeves. He smiles that charming smile once more.

Graham can’t help that his lips turn up at this kiss, but he is linked in with the other and moves to adjust where he's standing. The look to Sorcha is noted but he speaks in his normal voice "Good Evening, sir it seems your appearance has startled my friend here." his words are calm as ever. He looks to Rhyeline to judge what she would like to do here.

It seems little Rhyeline grows mute whenever overwhelmed by too many people. Despite Balthazar's snake-like charm which is soon distracted by Sorcha's approach, the girl remains silent, though blushing bright and cautious. Sorcha's greeting is returned by a small, tentative nod. At Graham's words, she glances to him. The man will indeed see her nervous caution, but her gaze holds no plea for help.

When Rhyeline doesn't seem to ask for help, Sorcha gives her an encouraging smile before she turns to assess Balthazar a little without interruption. Giving Graham's arm a squeeze she turns and looks up at him and says, "Fancy meeting you here. How has the rest of your evening gone so far, then?"

Balthazar is about to say something else when an owl flies down landing on his shoulder and sticking its leg out in a demanding fashion. He takes the scroll and the bird takes flight once more while he looks it over. Muttering a soft curse in Spanish and gives the ladies an apologetic look. "It seems I must be on my way. Until next time ladies." He smirks at Rhyeline one last time before aparating away with a crack.

After Graham's quick departure as well, Sorcha smiles and shakes her head to Rhyeline, "Men." She tilts her head towards the shop door she just came out of, "Would you like to come in for a cup of tea? I know it's late but if you'd rather not meander about for a bit I understand wanting to have a seat for a bit."

Rhyeline watches Balthazar go with a lingering look of caution. Peeking up at Sorcha, the girl hesitates, considering the invitation before giving a shy nod in acceptance.

MacDiarmarda Apothecary Diagon Alley

Built in the late 1700s, MacDiarmarda Apothecary has been in business from the building's inception. Windows line the walls facing the street, a fireplace creates a cheery, homey atmosphere within. Shelves line the walls from floor to high ceiling, dusty wooden boxes of who knows what are held there. There is a large library ladder on wheels that helps the proprietress gather ingredients that may be out of her grasp normally. A counter stretches across the back of the store, a door behind it. There are two work areas, one next to the other. One is purely a 'cutting up' and preparing area, the table showing marks from use over the centuries. The other is the actual creating of a potion area- cauldrons, distillery and various sources of heat.

The store's interior is packed full of goods, with barrels of Purple Toad Warts, Flobberworm Mucus, Leech Juice and other large quantities of potion ingredients on the floor. Shelves that line the wall are filled with jars and old wooden boxes that contain Knotgrass, Aconite, Newt Eyes.. and many, many other herbs, roots and powders gathered across the decades, gathered across the continent. Bunches of feathers, fangs and claws hang from the ceiling, and in some cases the unwary customer may knock into them. The combination of smells coming from all these different ingredients PLUS the age of the shop itself, creates an overall.. odour of musty herbs, and 'time' that permeates every corner of the room.

Smiling as she takes the key back out of her pocket and opening the shop, she goes through and holds the door for the other woman, "Please come in." Sorcha locks the door behind them, just in case, taking her wand out and whisking it, "Lumos." The wizard lamps come on, lighting the shop for them and showing off all the jars and potions everywhere. "How do you like your tea?"

Rhyeline slips into the Apothecary and looks around with wide-eyed curiosity. Glancing over at Sorcha, she hesitates a moment before speaking. "A bit of milk. No sugar, please." Her voice is as soft as one might expect.

Sorcha smiles encouragingly with a nod when Rhyeline speaks, going to the back area of the shop to start the kettle going, "I don't think I caught your name earlier? I'm Sorcha, by the by. Sorcha O'Shea. My family runs the shop, as you may have guessed by now."

"Yes, you are Healer Keenan's sister. He has spoken of you before. My name is Rhyeline Diderot." The girl hesitates, watching to see if Sorcha recognizes her name.

Sorcha nods, not seeming at all put out that she's recognized for her brother, "That I am." She comes out with the brown betty and two mismatched cups, setting it on a small table in front of the unlit fireplace for the both of them to sit in chairs on either side, "I'm afraid my brother is much less talkative at home than he is at Mungo's."

Or perhaps it has to do with healer-patient confidentiality. In any case, Rhyeline nods and moves to sit at the small table. "He must be trying to calm my nerves with conversation. He is very kind. And patient."

Which is also very likely. She pours tea for the other woman and prepares it for her as she asked before doing up her own complete with milk and sugar, "He's very good at that and the like. And yes, very patient. Most of the time. Less so with sisters who may be pouncing on his bed on Christmas morning…" She winks and takes a sip of her tea, "But he's a wonderful healer."

Rhyeline can't help but grin at the mention of bouncy sisters, waking the poor healer up. "He is. And- you work here at the Apothecary? Do you mix medicines?"

Sorcha nods, "I do, with my sister, Niamh. It's her shop. Keenan lives on the top floor, she and I live just above. Between the two of us we make the potions, take orders, sell them to customers." She wrinkles her nose a bit and leans in in a confiding tone, "To be honest I thought I'd hate it, but… it grows on you after a bit. And I do like mixing up the potions."

Rhyeline sips her tea before tilting her head to the side. "What would you prefer to do?"

Shrugging, Sorcha says, "I dunno? I thought I'd rather be a singer, but I don't know if I'm really that good. I thought I'd rather be a poet, but again, it'd be difficult to support one self doing that. I did try out being a pub girl, and that I quite liked, though my brothers near had a heart attack at the thought." She smiles, "What do you do?"

"Well- at the moment, I do research for Cassius Malfoy. I try to inform his work in support of the Unity Movement here in London," murmurs Rhyeline before taking another little sip of tea.

Raising her eyebrows at that, Sorcha nods slowly, "Oh… I… see…" She takes a drink of her tea politely, lingering on it a moment before she clears her throat, "That must be very engaging, I'd imagine it takes a great deal of… ah… persistence."

Rhyeline smiles a bit and murmurs, "It is easy to assume that Cassius Malfoy is much like others in his family. But in truth, I have found that his is always the voice of moderation and careful consideration in the debate for Unity. Radical politics are taking hold in both the magical and muggle world in Europe, but I assure you, he does not share such views."

"Mm… I can see how he would be moderate in many circles." Sorcha agrees diplomatically before she takes another sip from her tea cup, "And it's good that he takes a careful approach, it's obviously quite a serious question for many people."

Rhyeline nods, lowering her gaze. "Yes. And- his actions should be as informed as possible. So… I do my best." She takes a small sip of tea, not looking up.

Sorcha smiles again, reaching out to pat Rhyeline on her arm reassuringly before she continues to drink her tea, "I'm sure you do." She considers a moment, "You were a year behind me in school, weren't you? Also Ravenclaw, I remember you being just as quiet then, maybe even a little more so."

At the reassuring pat, Rhyeline peeks back up at Sorcha. Hearing mention of her Hogwars years, Rhyeline smiles a bit and nods. "Yes. I was much more quiet back then. Annie always tried to get me to meet more people."

Nodding, Sorcha says, "Annie's a treasure. I adore her." She grins, "You and Graham have that in common then, certainly? He was rubbish at talking to people in school. Mostly just focusing in on books more than anybody around him."

Rhyeline's smile grows and with another nod, she murmurs, "Yes. We seem to have that in common. The other day, we- we were in a bookstore and we shared with each other our favorite books."

Sorcha can't help but laugh, it comes easily and naturally to the ginger girl as she nods, "That sounds like Graham." She grins, "I'm sure it was a very good discussion, I'm just surprised he could pick favorites."

Hiding her grin behind the teacup as she takes another sip, she murmurs, "Yes, it wasn't easy. But, he settled on a series of stories about spies. Some of my favorite books are muggle written and so weren't in that shop, but I found a book of poems I have always liked for him to see." As the conversation lingers on books and lighter subjects, her dark gaze begins to shine with a soft light. Though her shy manner never quite fades, her words flow more easily bit by bit.

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