(1938-10-29) Cake and Cognac
Details for Cake and Cognac
Summary: Graham and Astoria come to surprise Rhyeline with cake, but she counters with some far more surprising news.
Date: Tuesday, October 29, 1938
Location: Rhyeline's Flat
Related: Worth Fighting For

The sun has nearly set, but most of its rays are covered by clouds that linger over the horizon. Outside there is a gentle, cool rain that has managed to form a few small puddles on the pavement. It isn't exactly warm, either. Typical London weather.

In an alleyway near Rhyeline's apartment there is a sharp CRACK. Not many people seem to hear it, of course, as no one in the right mind loiters in a cold rain. Out of the alleyway walk two people. One of them, Astoria, is clothed in a traveling cloak. Graham, the other person, carries a box in his hands. Astoria releases Graham's arm as they near the exit of the alley. "Well, I think it's a marvelous idea. I wish someone would bring me cake." There is a brief pause. "Well, perhaps not. I just bought new robes." The pair make their way to Rhyeline's front door where the rap their hands against the wood paneling.

Graham shrugs slightly "I believe your still able to eat cake all the same." The auror says with a chuckle as he moves out of the alley he turns towards the familiar house. He moves up the steps lightly and than reaches out knocking lightly. He moves the box in his hand behind his back as it's not readily visable.

Curled up in her usual spot by the fireplace, Rhyeline rests her cheek upon the cushioned arm of the chair and has a blanket pulled up over her shoulder and tucked under her chin. A closed book and a lukewarm cup of tea sits on the ground beside her. The knock startles the little one out of her dreams. A bit disoriented, she looks around slowly. It isn't until her visitors knock a second time that she realizes someone's at the door. Rubbing at her eyes with the back of a closed fist, she meanders over to the door. Her dark curls are a bit messy with a few wisps of curls falling across her face or floating in the air. Catching sight of her visitors, the little one's shyness deepens just a bit. But without hesitation, she draws back with the door to let them inside. "Hello…" she murmurs. Head slightly bowed, she peeks up at them with such shyness.

"Good evening," Astoria replies to Rhyeline. She smiles a little, and her keen eyes focus rather intently on the other woman's messy curls. Her attention doesn't linger before she enters, stepping well out of the way of Graham. She pauses on a rug to remove her cloak and boots, however; the first is hung and the other is left upon the rug. She proceeds into the apartment in a pair of black socks and matte black robes.

Graham smiles as the door opens "Good Evening." he says and looks over the other guessing she'd been resting though he still gives a one armed hug before passing through to the inside properly. He pauses though and removes his wet shoes as well but turns back quickly "I brought you something." he says bringing the box around to his front and opening the lid. It appears to be a cake setup in a spring theme. "Thought it might chase away the winter blues." he grins.

Rhyeline's cheeks grow a touch warm under Astoria's intent stare, but when Graham pulls her into the one armed hug, she cant help but smile and nuzzle close. Leading them into the living room, Rhyeline shakes her head and murmurs, "No winter blues… I… I have news… good news. Would… would either of you like… some cognac?"

Astoria looks around for a seat and eventually finds the sofa. She smooths the back of her robes before seating herself and crossing one leg over the other. At the mention of good news her expression softens a little. And then there's cognac. "I would not say no," she admits with a small grin. She adds, "Should I help pour or cut the take?" while looking towards Graham.

The auror "Oh?" Graham smiles and is glad for good news though it's not missed on him that she was distracted. "Hm I will take a warming sip sure." he says though he looks to the other witch a moment "You can help Rhyeline, i'll cut the cake." he still sounds upbeat.

Rhyeline tucks a loose curl behind her ear, looking a bit shy and self-conscious as she peeks over at Astoria. Leaving Graham to cut the cake, the ladies head into the kitchen where they belong and Rhyeline goes to pull a glass bottle of cognac from the cupboard. "Would… would you fetch some glasses? And… and plates for cake?"

Astoria stands and follows Rhyeline into the kitchen. After the questions, Astoria grins and nods. The glasses she finds easily, and she sets each down beside Rhyeline on a counter with a wink. "Have you enjoyed your new robes?" she asks while searching for the plates. Unfortunately, those take her a bit longer to find.

Graham sets the cake down and removes from the side of the box a cake cut-er he moves fairly quickly at his task, and than will wait for the others to return into the room. He moves and sits lightly though he cannot help but wonder what the news is that they'll hear he also looks about the place a moment as well as he waits.

Holding the cognac carefully in both hands, Rhyeline stands in the doorway between the kitchen and dining room so that Graham is still included. "Yes… Thank you so much, Astoria. That was very kind of you to- to help me pick…"

"Oh, you are quite welcome," Astoria replies off-handedly. She eventually finds the plates and removes three. Moments later she carries them over to Graham and finally pulls out three forks from a drawer. "I am just certain they will be perfect for work," she adds with a gentle nod.

The young man turns towards the door way wincing slightly he stands to see if she needs help with the glasses when the other moves back into the room. Graham accepts the plates "Thank you." and with this serves each a piece of cake. He is ready to offer each over to them as they move back to visiting and such.

"Cake and cognac…" murmurs Rhyeline as she follows Graham back into the sitting room where the cake is set out upon the coffee table. "Perfect for my news… good for celebration…" Kneeling at the coffee table, she begins to pour the cognac with great care.

Astoria follows Rhyeline and Graham, plate in hand, before resuming her seat on the sofa. She crosses one leg over the other with a gentle, practiced smile. "Oh, you tease," she replies, practically purring the words in a rather uncharacteristic manner; Astoria usually speaks rather crisply. She takes a glass when Rhyeline is finished, still smiling and doing her best to remain composed. A few moments more and she might burst, as evidenced by the rather intent look Rhyeline receives.

Graham looks between the others settling back on Rhyeline as she speaks. "An interesting combination, though I imagine the sweet will do good and sit well." He moves to sit back though he'll allow the others their choices first before he actually sits down. He is able to keep his concern to himself and just waits patiently.

Rhyeline lifts a glass to hand to Astoria. At the woman's uncharacteristic purr, the little one pauses, eyes widening as she gazes up at Astoria. The subtle warmth in the girl's cheeks deepens as she quickly lowers her gaze. Once Graham has recieved his glass of cognac, Rhyeline takes up hers and retreats to her usual highbacked chair by the fireplace. Taking a piece of cake into her lap, she murmurs at last, "Cassius… he… he has asked to court me… and… and I've said yes…" Her cheeks burning with her blush, she hides behind her glass of cognac for a long, rather slow sip and peeks over at him.

Astoria smiles a little after Rhyeline blushes and retreats, but her expression soon rights itself to its normal narrowedness. She takes a bite of cake and chases it with a small portion of cognac. After Rhyeline speaks she smiles… a little. It is a practiced smile, with only a hint of teeth. "That is wonderful," she replies as a small amount of red blush manages to creep up the side of her neck. "The two of you will make an excellent couple." The smile fades as slowly as it formed.

It's hard to say what the auror had thought the news might be, given he'd showed up with a surprise cake, but he's been one-uped for certain. Graham has taken a drink and luckily had swallowed this his bite of cake is a different story. He swallows rather a bite without chewing it enough and his eyes water slightly with the effort. He is silent only a moment "That is very sudden, but congratulations. His focus moves to the other witch before his chosen sister. He doesn't trust himself in silence "When did this all happen?" he asks finally finding his smile.

"Not so sudden… he… he has considered me for- for some time, I believe… Though… I admit, I- I was surprised." Rhyeline remains half hidden behind her glass of cognac, though she doesn't sip. Her dark gaze seems almost cautious. Peeking over at Graham, she murmurs, "I… I accepted last night. It- it is just a courtship… nothing more… not yet. He understands, and- and I- I am welcome to continue before as his assistant at- at any time…"

Astoria sits quietly, listening to Graham's questions and Rhyeline's answers. She takes another bite of cake and a sip of the drink before gently wiping under her lower lip with a finger. The blush slowly fades from the side of her neck while she chews.

Graham shakes his head "I just meant that I wasn't aware that he had such intentions." The auror says he's trying very hard and is happy for her but likely something nagging in the back of his which is the part he's trying to hide with his smile. He takes another drink and bite and more properly this time. "I admit I dont know what to say, but I am glad you are happy and if it's good news to you than it's great." he comes up lame likely.

Rhyeline's dark, watchful stare flickers from Graham's eyes, to Astoria's and then back again. "It… it's an opportunity… an opportunity for me to emerge from the shadows. He- he trusts me… and I understand him… we could build great things together."

Astoria finishes another bite of cake with a nod. "You could," she agrees. "I'm a little surprised, but don't mind me. This is a time to celebrate, hm? I think the two of you will make an excellent pair." Despite Rhyeline's earlier awareness, Astoria's tone isn't disingenuous. They /will/ make an excellent pair. And the world will be better for it. Maybe. Again, she forces herself to smile before taking another sip of cognac. A moment later she turns to Graham. Her stare is rather flat, and it is accompanied by that same smile.

The auror's face softens a bit catching the look from Rhyeline and her intuition knowing each other fairly well. "I am happy for you truly, just nervous. You understand. I did say I wasn't going anywhere." he smiles Graham wont say too much but he wants the other to understand he fears for her is all not anger or anything else negative.

Rhyeline offers Astoria a warm, appreciative little smile. "Thank you… I truly appreciate your words. I believe that- that at his side… I could do much good." Peeking over at Graham, she adds, "I could help ensure that- that the things you fear would come with unity never come to pass…"

Astoria continues to listen, nodding after Rhyeline replies. She takes another bite of cake before setting the dessert aside and resorting to cognac. She tips the glass back and empties a good portion rather quietly. "Hm?" she asks suddenly. "What fears?" she adds, mostly to herself.

Perhaps Graham might have answered, but just then he recieves an urgent call through the floo network. Auror business. Urgent. He rushes off. Once alone, Rhyeline peeks over at Astoria. Taking a bite of cake at last, she murmurs, "He is cautious of the social turmoil that unity might bring about…"

"Resistance to change is one of Unity's greatest obstacles," Astoria admits with a nod. She swirls her drink quietly for a moment as Graham departs. Afterward, she adds, "So, tell me how he asked," with a gentle grin. "Was it… romantic?"

Rhyeline blinks, not having yet considered the romance of it all. "He… he seeks a partner… an equal to stand with him. He hopes I might love him one day. He does have a romantic side to his nature… but he did not pretend that- that this was something it was not… Though- that is not to say that he does not care for me… and I for him." The clock strikes the hour. The little mouse blinks. There is something she's forgotten in the excitement of Graham and Astoria's unexpected visit.

Continues in Worth Fighting For

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