(1938-11-07) Healer's Suspicions
Details for Healer's Suspicions
Summary: As the small progress Rhyeline had started to make now fades once again, Healer Keenan asks what she might have been doing different that has now ceased.
Date: Thursday, November 7, 1938
Location: Rhyeline's Flat

The whistling can be heard, as usual, today it's a little slower air, rather than the usual jaunty tune. But it's still the same tone that presages the arrival of the ginger Irish Healer as he approaches Rhyeline's flat. After he announces his presence at the door, he reaches up to scratch his fingernails through the scruff underneath his chin. His other hand holds his satchel and hangs easily at his side.

Down the street stands a woman in the strange, old-fashioned garb that witches are want to wear. She is well bundled under a cloak and stands in stoic silence, accustomed to the cold. She seems to make no secret of the surveilance she's keeping Rhyeline's flat under.

Rhyeline has been expecting her visitor and the door opens without delay. With that warm, trusting smile Keenan is the only healer to ever recieve, the little one welcomes him into her flat. "Good evening…"

The green eyes warm a bit at Rhyeline's smile, and Keenan dips his head as he steps in. "Evenin' Rhyeline." Once he's inside, and the door closes, he raises an eyebrow. "Interesting woman down the street, how long has she been there?" His glance is curious as he takes off the coat he wore, revealing his healer robes once the charmed garment is divested.

Rhyeline pauses to peek down the street at her poor guardian standing out in the cold. "I… I suppose since I arrived home." She closes and locks the door securely behind Keenan. "Cassius has been a bit concerned for my safety and- well… she is meant to just keep watch." Taking Keenan's coat, she hangs it with care next to hers by the door. Then, with a soft smile up at him, she leads him into the sitting room.

Keenan tips his head as he waits for the little one to precede him into the sitting room, going automatically towards the settee he usually takes across from her favorite chair. "Does Malfoy have any reason to believe that yer life is in more danger now than it was in before?" Concern edges out the humor in his gaze as he waits for an answer.

"Mm… well… there was- some trouble with a muggle… It made Cassius a bit worried for me… the woman outside is just to be safe," murmurs Rhyeline, looking a touch self-conscious as she tucks a loose strand of hair behind her ear. Curling up in her usual spot by the fireplace, she murmurs, "So… em… do you- do you have the results of- of the most recent test?"

"What kind of trouble with a muggle?" Keenan persists. He waits for the answer, not bothering to open his case, yet. He leans slightly forward, elbows resting on his knees and hands clasped lightly in front of him, a posture he's adopted around Rhyeline that keeps him more at her level rather than trying to loom over her from across the room.

"He's harmless… but Cassius worries for me…" Rhyeline murmurs rather softly. Head slightly bowed, she peeks up at Keenan through her lashes. Her cheeks are turning a bit pink. "It's… it's not important."

The green eyes hold on Rhyeline's for a couple more minutes. Clearly, Keenan's not quite satisfied with the answer, but he reaches towards the case, drawing out a folder without looking. "Have ye been doing anything different, recently, Rhyeline?" he asks curiously.

Rhyeline is a terrible liar, and so she doesn't even try. Keeping her gaze averted, she admits in a rather quiet tone, "I've had a bit of coffee… I missed it…"

Keenan shakes his head once. "No," he muses. "Not a slip or two, but a habit. Anything ye were doing before that ye aren't doing anymore?" He pauses. "Or something new beyond drinking some coffee. To be honest, I've been amazed that ye've gone as long as ye have without coffee. That was," he grins, now, "if I remember, yer biggest shock and sadness when I told ye it was going to near be the death of ye."

Rhyeline's cheeks are rather warm as she peeks over at Keenan. It wasn't easy to get her to give up coffee. For so long she'd felt it was the only thing keeping her heart going. "It has only been recent that I have had a bit of coffee… and… and not much."

Keenan shakes his head once more. "I don't the coffee is the issue, Rhyeline," he reiterates quietly. "Something has loosened the hold ye had on this a bit. Ye've been takin' yer potions, aye?" He pauses. "we figured that something else was at work besides the potions, and whatever it is appears to have run its course? Or is no longer a factor?"

Rhyeline bites her lower lip, looking a touch hesitant. "I… I've been taking my potions. What do you mean? Something else has run its course?"

After a long moment, Keenan lets out a long breath, and rakes a hand through his hair. He leans back on the couch, spreading his arms across the back, the test films hanging loosely from his fingers. He gives a shake to his head and turns his gaze off to the side. "I don't know, Rhyeline. That's why I'm asking ye if there's something I don't know about. I am aware that Mrs. Malfoy had a copy of yer files, and that she didn't consider me a capable enough healer to be taking care of ye." One shoulder lifts in a shrug. "But if she had encouraged ye to try some other treatments, and they were helping, I'm not a conceited enough person to wish ye to stop just because someone else came up with the idea, no matter how unpleasant they may be."

Rhyeline averts her gaze and sinks a bit deeper into her chair at the mention of Madam Malfoy. It's as if he just suggested that one of his less trusted colleagues come visit her next week instead. No doubt Keenan can tell rather easily by now when she'd rather not talk about something.

Keenan watches her for a long minute, then he sets down the tests on the couch next to him, leaning forward again. "Rhyeline," he says quietly, firmly, in that voice he rarely uses, the one that almost compels her to look at him. The humor is gone from his countenace, his expression quite serious. "We should be beyond this. Ye know that I haven't given up on the idea that we can find a cure fer ye, not just learn how to help ye live with this curse, but to get rid of it entirely. And ye know that means I need to know everything, even the unpleasant things that scare ye, in order to do that." He folds his hands in front of him again, looking earnestly into her eyes, the compassion and concern he has for her encouraging her to talk about whatever it is. "Ye know I'm not going to judge ye or get mad at ye. It's a promise I made, and I keep my promises."

Rhyeline can't help but peek over at him when he uses such a tone. He holds her gaze which shines with a quiet vulnerability. "…she asked for my records to see about crafting additional potions that would not clash with what you were already giving me… But… she has withdrawn her interest…"

He watches her quietly, and his hands turn as if he could take hers across the space of the room. "Why did she withdraw her interest, Rhyeline?" Keenan asks, gently continueing to pry to try and find the answer to the mystery of his patient's condition.

Rhyeline doesn't resist as he leands in to take her hands in his. Biting her lower lip, she gives a small shake of her head. "It doesn't matter… Cassius said he'd speak to her… please, Keenan… I'd rather not talk about this…"

Keenan gives a squeeze to her hands. "I know ye'd rather not talk about it lass, but it's rather important. Ye're condition was improving and now it's falling off again. If it's not the potions, and I'm certain it's not the coffee, I need to know. If it's something Mrs. Malfoy or Malfoy helped ye with, and aren't any longer, maybe I can find someone else who can take their place." He doesn't let her hands or her eyes go. "I'm sorry, I know it's hard, but I can't help ye if I don't know the missing pieces of the puzzle."

Rhyeline's cheeks grow rather pink under Keenan's steady gaze. The shyness of her manner deepens more and more when he doesn't let go of her. Shifting in her seat, she murmurs, "She is much like my mother… Madam Malfoy… not gentle, though she means to help me. Her methods would never be yours. Please. You keep the curse from spreading… you keep it from slowing my heart… and- and if the one who cast the curse- created it- is ever caught, you might be able to develop a counter curse that could end it forever…"

"No," Keenan agrees. "I am pretty sure my methods could never be her methods. But it is clear that she was doing something that was having a very favorable affect on yer curse." He gives her hands a final squeeze and leans back to take the vials of her potions for the week out of his bag. "The culprit may never be found, and I'd rather not put all my eggs in a basket that might never even see the light of day. There is more than way to administer a treatment. It may be I can find a different way.. so" he sets his potions down. "I'm going to leave these here for ye. Same doses as always. And this is what I need ye to do." He turns back towards the young woman. "Sometimes, in the next couple of days, I need ye to write down what Madame Malfoy was doing to help ye. Sometimes it's easier to write things down that ye'd rather not talk about. Owl it to me, and I'll see what I can do." He ducks his head a little to make sure he can see her eyes again. "I really need ye tae do this, lass. I know ye're strong enough. Ye can do it."

Rhyeline lowers her eyes, bowing her head a bit, when he asks her to write down what Madame Malfoy has been doing. When he catches her gaze again, she peeks over at him with a quiet reserve. "If you want to know her methods, you should speak to her…" Lowering her gaze once more, she adds, "Please… I wanted to tell you about something… something else. Did you know? Cassius asked if he might court me…"

Keenan gives a bit of a chuckle at that, one without humor. "Somehow I doubt Madame Malfoy keeps charts of her work, and if she does, she is not going to share them with me." He raises an eyebrow. "It's a professional courtesy that I have a feeling is lost on her, which is why…" he pauses as puts together his folder and puts it away," I am not authorizing any more of yer files to be released to her. I will be happy to work with her, but the key word there is 'with'." He's caught in the act of snapping his case shut when she mentions Cassius's request, and he freezes for just a moment, the green eyes flash then close off emotion as he finishes with his task and sets the case flat again. "Aye?"

Rhyeline bites her lower lip, a touch of caution entering her dark gaze when she notices how Keenan freezes. "Yes… his- his affection for me is genuine, Keenan… there's… there's no need to worry." Her warmth of her cheeks grows deeper and deeper.

"And he makes you happy?" Keenan asks, raising his eyebrows as he looks to Rhyeline.

Rhyeline's cheeks burn and the girl looks positively bashful as she averts her gaze. "Yes…"

Keenan nods once. "Then that's all that's important, aye?"

Rhyeline just quietly tucks another loose wisp of a curl behind her ear as she watches Keenan. As devoted as the little one is to her work, to serving a cause she believes in, happiness has never been her most important aim. Averting her gaze, she hesitates a moment before pushing herself up to stand. Sitting beside him, she tries to slip her arms around Keenan's middle so that she might hug him tight. "…thank you for coming, Keenan…I know I'm not the easiest of patients… Thank you for your patience…" It's a little play on words she sometimes makes.

Keenan's eyes crinkle, his expression as he looks straight ahead when she first settles next to him and hugs him almost resembling a wince. But he puts his arm around, a protective hug in return. "Ye're not half so bad as ye think ye are, Rhyeline," he tells her quietly. He stands, and straightens his robes, then picks up his satchel to walk with her to the door, not being so rude as to get his coat himself, he lets her hand it to him before he puts it on. "Good day, Rhyeline. Please consider my request." Then he's out the door, a glance to the watching witch, and he's off down the street. The usual whistling doesn't follow him as he goes this time.

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