(1938-10-01) Birthday Tea
Details for Birthday Tea
Summary: A conversation at Cafe Tasseo
Date: October 1, 1938
Location: Cafe Tasseo, Diagon Alley, London

The cafe is not particularly busy this evening, though a few patrons have seated themselves across the expanse of the room. To one side, near a window where the air is chill, is Astoria. She wears a pair of long, matte black robes. The hems don't seem to be weathered, though they do not look particularly new, either. To her right is a lamp, which sits on a table, and to the left of it is her cup of tea. She holds a small book in her hands, leather bound with worn pages, which she reads quietly.

Coming in from the chill of the evening, is Thomas, his hand quickly moving up and removing his fedora. He can be seen with briefcase in tow, he places his order for tea and takes a seat at his typical table by the window. Sitting the briefcase down on the table he unclasps it and retrieves several file folders out and sits down, unbuttoning the lower button of his jacket. Cracking open a file he adjusts his glasses slowly, his eyes moving across the papers in front of him.

Astoria glances up briefly from her book when Thomas enters, but doesn't track his progress for very long. Her eyes return back to the pages of her book just in time to turn a page as the man orders. When Thomas seats himself, however, she glances up from her text. Intense, determined eyes look the man over. "The hour has gone quite past time for business, don't you think?" she asks, her lips quirking slightly after her question into an expression that is surely practiced. Her speech is precise and clipped in a proper, aristocratic fashion. Her book remains closed, with her index finger used as a mark, and set on her lap.

Thomas' finger moves across the paper in front of him slowly, he listens to the words, but doesn't respond right away he finishes the section of the report he was reading. When he has finished, he turns and looks at Astoria, for a moment, his mind trying to place a name, but coming up empty. "At the I.M.C. we are always busy, Ms.." he says slowly curiously look at her waiting for her to give him his name, "Thomas Greyson Carrow, it is of course a pleasure to meet you." he continues, his one warm and polite as he speaks.

Astoria watches Thomas with slightly narrowed eyes and the smallest of knowing smiles. "Astoria Bletchley," she finishes for him, the word spoken crisply and without a hint of humor. "And of course you are, Mister Carrow. Your office is owed a vast debt of gratitude which, for my part, will impart upon you with a slight, but I assure you measured, amount of gratitude." Her words concluded, she lowers her head and eyes in a slight, but noticeable, nod - her smile, however, does not falter. Her head raises slowly in time with her eyelids. "I believe our families have a history, though I have never made your acquaintance. Perhaps when you were smaller?" she asks, her smile widening a little at the last.

Thomas nod slowly, "Of course, my apologies Ms. Bletchley, for not recognizing you. I am the youngest, just turned twenty today. I would think that perhaps you know my one of my brothers, Tiberius or Mikhale?" he says with a slow nod, "Pleasure is mine, however I assure you." he tea comes and the tanks the server slowly and softly, with a smile. Placing the folder down, he prepares his tea with two sugar cubes and a small bit of cream, the smile still on his face as he takes a small sip, "I hope all is well for you, Ms. Bletchley?" his tone warm and friendly.

"Oh yes, I know them both, but neither as well as I would like. Mikhale and I attended Hogwarts together, though I was four, perhaps five, years his senior." Astoria reclines slightly and answers his second question with a small smile and by saying, "You are too kind." She allows him a moment with his tea, though her attention never wavers. Those hawk-like eyes remain intently upon him while he sips, and then later speaks. "Quite well, thank you. I recently returned to London," she offers. "I have found it a great comfort. And yourself, Mister Carrow?"
Thomas nods slowly, taking a sip of his tea, "All is well, I work and support the Ministry in all I do." he says softly, nodding slowly, "Perhaps I work to much, but one does not climb the ladder of the Ministry by doing otherwise." he says softly, "Though I should perhaps allot a little bit of time, to celebrate my birthday today." he says playfully with a soft chuckle, "Where are you returning from, Ms. Bletchley? Seems a good deal of people are returning from their travels as of late, Russia, Italy and Germany. Those seem to be the points of interest." he says with a small nod.

Astoria listens to Thomas speak, providing her undivided attention. "Ah, today is your birthday?" she says, smile widening just enough to show her teeth. Her lips soon resume their quirk. "I offer you my sincere congratulations, then." Though she makes no mention of worry, her brow does wrinkle for a moment. The wrinkle swiftly vanishes to answer his question. "A tour of the magical world, a venture my mother, bless her, insisted I attend. Most of my time was spent in Germany for it is, as I am sure those good deal of people discovered, a place of much discovery." She reaches for her tea and takes a sip. "Much is happening there, though I focused on studies instead of the political climate."

Thomas takes another sip of his tea, "Thank you, you are too kind Ms. Bletchley." he says softly, raising his tea cup in a small salute to her, "Ah Germany, I hear it is rather nice and that the culture is something to enjoy." he says softly with a small nod, "I completely understand, as a student of both culture and politics, it can become tiresome at times, to focus on both." he says slowly with a soft smile.
"It is," Astoria agrees with a sincere nod. Her focus sharpens on her tea for a moment. "They are a people of strong will and determination, and always with an eye to the past. Traits to be admired, I think," she says gently. A moment later, Astoria returns her attention to Thomas. "Agreed. I find it difficult. To divide, that is." She crosses one leg over the other, offering Thomas another quirked smile. "So, tell me why you have chosen this cafe, though I will say that it is lovely, as the location for your celebrations."

Named for the art of Tasseomancy (Tea Leaf Reading), the posh Cafe Tasseo offers complimentary tea leaf reading to its customers. The cafe has a sort of French elegance to it, but it is much less flagrant, which makes it pure British. The chairs are all padded dining chairs of mahogany and golden embossed fabric one would expect to find in a Louis XIV style without all the pomp of leaves and flanges, just smooth curvaceous lines of mahogany. The use of mahogany, gold and pristine white is throughout the spacious room.

The ceiling is a floral mosaic of white and gold with chandeliers and light fixtures dangling from the mosaic in appropriate places. The gold gilding continues into the walls, accenting raised relief panels on the columns between the windows. The panels share the floral motif of the ceiling, intricately crafted down to the last detail. The windows themselves are just as magnificently turned out; the top quarter is draped in gold shades, the bottom half covered by white sheers, allowing the patrons privacy yet letting ample light through the uncovered section of glass.

Thomas rubs his chin slowly, before sipping his tea, "I am considering a trip to Berlin, here shortly. I have some matters to attend too." he says softly, his brow furrowing slightly as he says it. His gaze moves across the cafe slowly, taking another polite sip of his tea, "Routine." he answers slowly, "I come here every night, Ms. Bletchley, After work I go to the Cauldron for dinner, then come here for tea as I finish up the work of the day." he continues with a small nod, "I admit I am a creature of habit, Ms. Bletchley." with a soft warm smile.

"It is a lovely city, though none compare to London," Astoria answers. Her eyes glint while she raises her teacup and sips from it slowly. A moment later she lowers the beverage and sets it back on the table beside her. "A man of habit - an admirable quality," she continues, smile spreading slightly. "Though I am surprised you were not given holiday. I had no idea the ministry was so strict in its regimens."
Thomas takes another sip of his tea, "It is by choice, Ms. Bletchley." he says slowly with a small nod, "I do not have time for holidays and time off. Just because I can take time, doesn't mean I really should. The world and it's laws keep moving even if I stand still." he says softly with a smile.

Astoria listens to Thomas quietly, one hand moving to rest on her knee. "You must have quite the resolve," she answers solemnly, eyes alight once more. Her hands clasp together with a smooth gesture. "In that regard we are similar," she notes with another grin. A moment passes before she continues, "I should not linger much longer, Mister Carrow, as I have business of my own to attend to."
Thomas smiles softly, "I am a Carrow, Ms. Bletchley. That in itself, speaks of my resolve." he says softly with a smile. As she mentions she should be leaving, Thomas places his teacup on his saucer and stands up, buttoning the bottom button. "Allow me to show you out, Ms. Bletchley, it was a pleasure to meet you and the conversation was a delight." he says softly, his tone still warm that smile still on his face.
"Indeed it does, sir," Astoria answers, the answer crisp and sharp. She stands, taking her book, but leaves her tea. "That would be much appreciated, Mister Carrow," she says with a nod and another smile. "It was, indeed, stimulating - moreso than the tea, but less so than a proper party would have been." She steps forward, robes swishing, and prepares to move at his side towards the door.

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