(1938-11-14) Of Queens and Goddesses
Details for Of Queens and Goddesses
Summary: Rhyeline and Graham go to visit Laurence for breakfast, and Rhyeline's bodyguard is swept into the encounter.
Date: 14 November, 1938
Location: Flights of Fancy Broomshop, Diagon Alley

Great thing about owning your own shop? The ability to decide when things can and cannot open. With all the recent chaos and rioting and such, Laurence's shop somehow hasn't lost any business but it does make him a tad more careful about leaving doors locked or unlocked during off business hours. He's set up one of the tables with an Chinese painting painted tea set and some good china, along with a vase of flours as he bustles around the shop with a rag, wiping things down and tucking things away.

The early morning is cold the sun is up despite the clouds it is light enough to see where one is going, the weather itself could be worse given the impending winter. It's not covered in snow at least for the moment? The alley is still silent which can be nice without having to push through the crowds of people. It seems that two people at least do make their way through the crowds bundled against the cold Rhyeline and Graham walk towards the shop which seems the destination. "I will admit cake is a good snack beyond for parties." he says chuckling. The auror reaches out and knocks lightly on the door.

Rhyeline peeks up at Graham from under the fur-lined hood of her cloak. A cream-colored scarf wraps around her neck and nose, hiding the smile that at least shines in her eyes. Keeping close to his side, she clings to his arm as she peeks into Laurence's shop. "For breakfast, we always have bacon together…" she murmurs, a bit muffled behind the scarf.

The bacon, and a number of other tasty breakfast foods are all in the basket that Graham is carrying. Not too far behind them follows Bailey, Rhyeline's bodyguard. She is a witch in her mid-thirties with a tight blonde bun. She wears simple, functional robes, the sort favored by many of those in magical law enforcement. However, hers are far better tailored than what most public servants could afford.

The door is opened after the rap, Laurence, leaning out to hold it open as he wears a simple button down white top and his light grey slacks. He brrs softly and gestures for his guests to come in. "Come in, come in…c'mon in, the more the merrier. You're letting all the warm air out, c'mon in." He hesitates and eyes the bodyguard, eyebrows raising a fraction before he looks to Rhyeline. "I can see letting Graham in on the club, but I dun let guests into me shop, who aren't going to be social…people are people, not props. So if she comes in to learn about our secret club, she'll have to smile and /enjoy/ herself."

Graham nods grinning and steps easily inside with the other, but he turns back at the pause for the body guard. He cant seem to remember her smiling or enjoying herself atol not even accepting cake! He looks over to Rhyeline "It'd be a shame to have her outside in the cold, but it's your call sister." he says over after a moment given he's no control of the body guard at all.

Rhyeline shivers as she slips into Laurence's shop. Her guard seems to have every intention of following her little charge. She keeps her steel grey stare fixed on Laurence. The message should be more than clear. He is to keep his distance. The little one bites her lower lip as she looks from Laurence to her guard. "I… I'm not sure if- I mean… I think she is just supposed to be on hand- in case something happens. Especially with the riots…"

Laurence meets Rhyeline's guard's eyes with a hint of a smirk, just chuckling lowly and shaking his head. "Its not often I have a beautiful spy and protector in my shop, but so regal and pulled together that I'd think you were the embodiment of Athena…from the hair to the simmering level of power that radiant just above and beneath your flawless skin…as you're collecting things to report and take note of, please take note of this…" He gestures towards the set table, closing the door behind his guests. "Please, have a seat…" Then back to the guard. "You are a person and I apologize if that offends the sensibilities of your post, position and assignment, so you can tell Cassius that in my shop….little Rhyeline is royalty, a queen, a

Laurence meets Rhyeline's guard'ss eyes with a hint of a smirk, just chuckling lowly and shaking his head. "Its not often I have a beautiful spy and protector in my shop, but so regal and pulled together that I'd think you were the embodiment of Athena…from the hair to the simmering level of power that radiant just above and beneath your flawless skin…as you're collecting things to report and take note of, please take note of this…" He gestures towards the set table, closing the door behind his guests. "Please, have a seat…" Then back to the guard. "You are a person and I apologize if that offends the sensibilities of your post, position and assignment, so you can tell Cassius that in my shop….little Rhyeline is royalty, a queen, and she will be treated no less." He winks and then moves towards Rhyeline, offering to take her coat. "Without the hood, she really is gorgeous…your guard that is." He nods to Graham politely.

The auror looks to each in turn waiting to see what will be done as the guard steps in he watches between the two his hands folded at the wrist near his wand but for who's protection is hard to tell. His eyes find the guards trying to get something across akin to please do this for Rhyeline or something. Graham does move to find a seat pulling out two chairs for the others before he sits lightly at his chosen place.

Upon closer inspection, there is a softness to the bodyguard's features that belies initial sharp and stern impression she gives. Nevertheless, her manner remains crisp, her posture stiff and professional. Her brow lifts at Laurence, and she says flatly, "I trust that your notion of the royal treatment no longer includes applying your lips where they are not asked for."

Rhyeline blinks when her bodyguard speaks. Though not frightened of the witches that watch her, the little one is rather shy of their crisp, professional demeanor and hasn't spoken to them much. Keeping close to Graham's side, her dark gaze flickers from the the guard to Laurence.

Unfortunately, Graham is pulled away quite suddenly when an owl lands outside, screeching and holding an envelope bearing the M.L.E. shield. Work, work, work.

"I would only press my lips to your own, if you asked…and I do hope you will some day." Laurence smiles and shakes his head before looking to Rhyeline with a curious quirk of his eyebrow. "C'mon now, have a seat…can I get you something to drink? Tea? Coffee?" He looks over to the guard. "And for you?"

Rhyeline doesn't know what to make of Laurence, not one bit, as he continues to flirt with her guard. Once invited, Rhyeline moves with a rather slow, careful grace to sit down at the table. "Em… coffee? With- cream and sugar?"

The guardswoman is trained not only in combat and defensive measures, but in keeping her composure at all times. Laurence receives an arched eyebrow at his flirtations, but otherwise no indication that she is affected one way or another. Hands clasped in front of her — undoubtedly within quick reach of her wand — she looks to Rhyeline. "Would you like me to sit with you, ma'am?"

Hands move to place the cream and sugar near where Rhyeline settles down and he holds up a one moment finger. "I'll go and get some coffee started." Laurence rests a hand on the back of Rhyeline's chair and watches the guardswoman for a few minutes, still waiting apparently.

Rhyeline lowers her gaze as Laurence places a hand on the back of her chair. But when addressed, she looks up at the guardswoman. The little one hesitates, caught a bit off guard by the request. Only a moment. Soon she gives a small, appreciative nod.

The bodyguard dips her head appreciatively, then nods curtly to Laurence. "Coffee, please. One sugar, no cream." She carefully selects a seat from which she has the best possible angle to see the entrances and exits. She's all business, this woman.

"Alright, how miraculously Turkish of you both." Laurence gently pats Rhyeline's shoulder before heading off to the back of the shop, returning after a few moments with a tray holding three mugs and a coffee pot, which he sets down with care. "This coffee is a tad stronger than normal, but a gift…from a dear friend. He's always finding something odd to send me, yet always something I can eat, drink, or use as a salve or cream of some sort." He takes his time, preparing each cup of coffee with practiced ease, looking between Rhyeline and the Bodyguard and then back to Rhyeline.

Rhyeline's eyes shine with appreciation at the sight of such strong coffee. Warming her hands against the side of the cup, she brings it close to take a deep breath of its scent. Her eyes drift shut as she savors its magnificent aroma. "It's magnificent," she murmurs, peeking up at Laurence with a soft smile. "And- and also… I wanted to thank you for the flowers… Remembrance… yes?"

A sharp look of warning is given to Laurence when he so much as touches Rhyeline's shoulder. Even upon his return, the bodyguard stares at him coolly. She accepts the coffee wordlessly, merely nodding her thanks. But there is an undeniable tension in her movements and posture.

"They represent…remembrance yes. After all, you did save my life." Laurence works to unpack the breakfast basket, setting out plates and utensils and the like as he speaks. "But they are also a deceptively fragile flower, I love looking at them…as fragile as they may look, they are always controlled and steady. Beautiful to behold, but until you are actually holding them in your hands…you cannot feel exactly how beautiful they really are." He sets a plate down in front of the guard as well before turning to unpack the foodstuffs.

There's bacon. Lots of bacon. Still hot- less than ten minutes out of the pan. Rhyeline and Graham came straight over and the basket is probably enchanted to keep things preserved. There's french toast, maple syrup, fried eggs, fresh sliced strawberries. So much wonderful food.

Rhyeline stares captivated at it from over the brim of her cup. She hasn't eaten yet this morning. Laurence's words lure the little one's attention from the food. Blinking, she hesitates a bit and peeks over at her guard before looking to Laurence once more. Again she seems lost- not quite sure what to think. She sets her cup of coffee back down on the table and adds a splash of cream. "Forgive me for not coming sooner. Once you- once you seemed to be on the mend, I- Well… I've been- I've been rather occupied with- with recent events…"

Even a bodyguard's trained stoicism isn't completely immune to bacon, and the smell splits her attention. Perhaps she hasn't had a proper breakfast yet, either. But she keeps her tongue for the moment. She's here to observe, not to interfere with Rhyeline's socializing, after all.

"I understand, you have a lot to consider. A courtship and…all of the recent events related to things waaaay over my head. That's why you have a charming and womanly handsome suitor who's high…in the ranks of society and politics and I have…" Laurence trails off. "Well alot of wood." He smiles softly. "A lot of wood and my birds, Belisma and Beag…they keep me company." He heaps a healthy amount of bacon on each plate, along with french toast, fried eggs and strawberries but the bacon, it has front and center stage as he whistles softly, a tiny turtle dove fluttering up from behind the front desk, fluffing up as she lands on the floor and /walks/ towards the table with purpose.

Rhyeline doesn't seem to appreciate Laurence's remark regarding Cassius' feminine charms, but she gets distracted by the sudden fluttering of wings. The little one gives a small squeak, but then recognizing the sweet turtledove, she smiles. And then bacon. So much bacon. Rhyeline takes up a strip and nibbles on it, peeking up at her guard and then to Laurence. "Well… I've missed our breakfasts… and I'm sorry if- if you were waiting for me. I came at first because- because I wanted to make sure you were alright. But- as long as- as it doesn't worry Cassius too much, I- I'll try to come more often again…"

Naturally, the appearance of the bird draws the guard's attention, and her eyes go sharply to the little creature. But she doesn't jump or throw herself into the path of "danger". She is quick to assess the lack of a threat, and returns to munching on bacon. Oh, sweet, sweet bacon.

The bird lands on the table, cooing and fluffing up a bit as she notices new people and she pauses near Rhyeline's plate before cooing and making her way across the table to settle down near Laurence's plate, watching the guard closely. Laurence ahhs softly and sets his bacon between two pieces of French toast, stabbing a bit of fried egg and then munching on the combo happily as he listens to Rhyeline and hmms softly, finishing a mouthful. "I did enjoy our breakfasts. It had been a while that I had a friend I could…share a bit of silly fun with." Then he's quiet at the mention of Cassius. "As long as it doesn't worry Cassius? Heh…" He sets his fork down and just takes a sip of his own coffee. "I can see how making sure you don't worry the love of your life is important, so whatever makes Cassius more comfortable." He shrugs a shoulder and takes another sip of his coffee.

Rhyeline strokes the top of the turtledove's head with a delicate fingertip. Her cheeks turn rather pink when Laurence refers to Cassius as the love of her life. She keeps her dark gaze fixed on her plate as she continues to nibble on bacon. "As long as it doesn't worry Cassius," she confirms with a small nod. "He matters to me… and… he has enough to worry about right now… As… as do you… yes? I… I'm sure I heard a rumor… you refused to etch the mark of Grindelwald…"

The guardswoman's attention piques at the mention of the Eye of Truth. Eyes quickly scanning the shop, she notes, "You seem to have made it through the riot relatively unscathed, Mr. Toulson. Nothing a few Mending Charms couldn't fix, I trust?"

"The different between…Cassius and I?" Laurence offers softly. "Is I don't worry." A small smile goes here. "I've been through alot of things in my life…and the fact that I refused to do something ill advised to a broom, and somebody got pissy? That's unfortunately his problem." He waves a hand vaguely. "My shop wasn't…damaged. Inside that is. I also have a very very cranky owl who did /not/ appreciate the noise from the riots. She's like a guard animal of sorts, she let me know to lock things up." He devours another piece of bacon. "I do something…no one else can and outside of a few jealous spouses and people who don't understand the art of what I do…I don't get alot of trouble." He shrugs a shoulder. "Even if they burnt the shop down…I'd just have to start from scratch, and I love what I do…so that wouldn't phase me. I only worry, when innocent people begin getting hurt and there /was/ something I could do about it."

"Then… you might have much to worry about after all. Soon… Cassius will be forced to make a decision about Gridelwald. Though both have argued for an end to secrecy, their similarities have ended there… as Brad Moody was so kind as to make clear… With as much strength as Grindelwald has gained on the continent, secrecy will end. Sooner or later. But- if Grindelwald is- is allowed to move unchecked, untempered by more moderate voices here, he-" Rhyeline bites her lower lip. "His voice will lead to such suffering… such conflict. Cassius has always advocated for education, for helping to lift muggles out of their ignorance and warmongering… But unless- unless enough of us will stand with him in defiance of Grindelwald… he might- he might be forced to find other ways to mitigate the damage Grindelwald might cause…" The coming storm weighs heavy in the girl's mind and she fears for the future. Falling silent, her flushed cheeks grow even warmer. As she spoke, her eyes shone with such fervor. Now, she watches Laurence with a quiet caution.

The stoic blonde sentinel listens intently to Laurence's explanation, nodding along. "So, you don't believe there is any immediate threat to your shop, then?" The implication is clear; Rhyeline's security is her only concern, and since Rhyeline is inside Flights of Fancy, that makes Flights of Fancy's security her present concern.

"No beautiful, I do not believe there is an immediate threat to my shop…and if something were to happen, consider the name of the shop involves 'flight', and there are many possibilities to do just that to keep a person safe here, it was one of the concepts of its conception. A safe place." Then Laurence's attention goes to Rhyeline as he blinks and listens to the young woman speak more at once that he can remember her doing so before and he finishes a forkful of food with a thoughtful expression. "Did you…know that I lived amongst muggles for over 10 years?"

Rhyeline's cheeks burn with warmth, having said so much. Her shyness is powerful- but it seems, not enough to keep her from speaking up for what matters so very much to her. At Laurence's words, the little one blinks, looking a touch surprised. Shaking her head, she murmurs, "No… I didn't know…"

Another blonde eyebrow arches at being dubbed 'beautiful'. But she once again lapses into silence, her question answered, and apparently satisfied with Laurence's assurance.

"Yes, I did. I live and loved as one of them, for many years. Held jobs, seen children born, people married, made many dear friends and traveled not just in Britain but in other countries as well." Laurence continues softly. "Strange at first, because we have this mental image as muggles being…beneath us in a way. Less wise, wilder…like how people look at pets or animals. We're told about everything they are and aren't…but the only difference between a muggle and a wizard…is in the mind." A sad smile. "You see muggles hate and love, discriminate, and accept…hurt and help and constantly learn new things and are responsible for amazing masterpieces…and wizards hate and love, discriminate and accept, hurt and help and constantly learn new things. Sure, we have magic and they do not, but…the world itself is magical, and I think we all see that in a different way. Whether it be through wands or not." He toys with a piece of bacon. "What do we have to teach the muggles, when we riot and behave much in the same way as they do? How many people in your party have…really taken the time to live or walk a mile in the shoes of the people they want to help?" He waves a hand vaguely. "See? That's why I'm not a politician, I'm far to stupid for those matters."

Rhyeline frowns a bit at his last statement which could be nothing except sarcasm- or perhaps at least touch of irony. With a small shake of her head, she says in a rather soft tone, "I've always thought we could learn a great deal from their technology… as much as they might benefit from our magic. Education regarding our ways would not only be for the muggles… Cassius calls for the education of the wizarding community as well. Education to ease the shock of our two worlds uniting… But also- yes- to ease their war mongering. It might be human nature to riot in the streets in a time of chaos and uncertainty. But our government… there has been no call to rain fire down on cities on the continent, have there? We have cooperated in secret for centuries, sharing our resources, ensuring all have access to education, healers, and their freedom to voice their true feelings. Though there might be tensions between purebloods and muggleborn, the muggleborn aren't being rounded up are they?"

The bodyguard pinches her lips tightly. The topic has turned to the potential minefield that is politics, and whatever her beliefs, this is far beyond the scope of her assignment.

Laurence's eyebrow just raises a fraction but he listens, moving to take the time to top back up coffee if people desire it before settling back down in his seat with a slow nod as he just waves a hand a bit. "Well I sincerely hope that it all works out…I play with wood all day and turn people's fantasies into reality so really, I'm not qualified to weigh too heavily into all that. It is good that you and your sweetheart have very similar views."

The shine of Rhyeline's dark gaze fades as Laurence shows such disinterest in averting the coming storm. Taking up her cup of coffee, she arms her hands against its sides once more. "I see…" she murmurs in a rather quiet tone. "I still hope that- that it will be possible to organize opposition… To at least- to bring about Unity as it should be- through mutual education and cooperation… not violence and oppression… but… Cassius is not as- not as optimistic. He believes that… that too many will vacilate… "

Laurence lowers his eyes for a moment and takes a deep breath. "How many people?" He asks softly. "Perhaps Cassius with his flowing golden locks, understands as a politician that actions speak louder than words and once people have been told there is a monster in the cupboard for so many years…they react even more violently to protect themselves from ANYTHING that comes out of that cupboard, just out of fear. Be honest with me Rhyeline, how many people would your party be willing to sacrifice in this opposition. I have learned, that no matter how high you fly, even if you don't feel the storm, you can see it and you're moved in ways you didn't know possible and its just a matter of time between if reaches you or you run out air and you fall into it. I have to be an optimist because I love life and I live to love…and I will always be here, to help people navigate the skies above, the ground below and the place in between to see them safely home. You keep your optimism, and don't ever let it be muddied."

"Willing to sacrifice…" repeats Rhyeline quietly. That caught her notice. "It isn't a question of sacrificing others to acheive aims… It's a question of each of us would be willing to sacrifice to prevent a storm greater than anything we've known." She pauses, her eyes shining with that quiet strength she might have glimpsed when she emerged out from behind the shelves and found him a trustworthy healer. The little fairy queen continues, murmuring, "Your eyes are keen… you know well that the storm will touch us all… and yes- you have your own ways of dealing with it… but- individually we are as fragile as twigs… but… if we stood united… weaving our unique strengths into a coordinated effort… well… you know better than any how difficult to break them all at once would be…"

Laurence mmhms softly and just toys with his fork as he listens to Rhyeline's word with a non-judgemental expression, just nodding from time to time and he takes a sip of his coffee before crunching on a piece of bacon. "What are your plans, Rhyeline…after you've both achieved Unity?" He asks softly. "If you succeed, I do know some beautiful places that you and Cassius could visit in Italy and Greece, and some even in Turkey…I think you'd really like the coffee there."

Rhyeline gives a small nod and lowers her gaze. "One day… very much I would like to visit far off countries. The orient… I'd like to see desserts and- and the gardens of the orient… Phil gave me a charm bracelet… I want to collect charms from all over the world for it…"

Laurence smiles softly and nods slowly. "That would be wonderful…so very wonderful, you'll have to show me when you collect new charms, hm? I have quite a collection of items myself but…I'm pretty sure charms would suit you better than attempting to hang pieces of art from your bracelet."

The bodyguard's glimpses up at Rhyeline at the mention of the Orient, a momentary crack in her irreproachable veneer.

A faint smile touches her lips- though it doesn't quite ease the subtle sadness of her eyes. "Indeed… one day… perhaps… but- I mentioned sacrifice… I worked first from the shadows, from secrecy… trying to prevent the growing storm over Europe… to ease some of the chaos that has made the soil so fertile for Grindelwald's message… And to preserve the negotiations, I took the curse meant for the Ambassador. And… until I no longer carry it- I'm not sure if I'll be able to travel…" Having said this- Rhyeline grows rather still, as if realizing what she's just said. She's said too much and seems almost unsettled. Her dark gaze flickers to her guard and then back to Laurence. "I… I should be going. But- thank you for- for breakfast…"

Laurence watches Rhyeline carefully and just smiles slowly. "Oh…trust me little queen, you'll see the Orient." Then he sighs and gets to his feet, offering a hand to Rhyeline to help her up if allowed. "Very well dear, but you must promise to come visit more often, Bacon Club is not as fun without you." He glances towards the guard and then looks back to Rhyeline. "And your friend was very nice as well, so if you wish to bring Cassius by sometime, to make him more comfortable…please do. Assure him that even if I am an amazing kisser and may send flowers, I never seek to steal a woman's heart…when it has been given to another." A wry smile. "And you obviously have better taste, so you'll always be safe."

The guard rises immediately, ready to leave the moment Rhyeline suggests she is departing. Though Laurence gets a slightly narrowed gaze when he offers his hand, she seems to settle at his reassurances…even giving him a look of mild surprise.

Rhyeline hesitates at the offered hand, but when her guard seems to settle, Rhyeline accepts, slipping a delicate hand into his. She holds onto it- and might even need his other hand to help her rise. The fragile creature's mention of the curse sheds new light on the slow, careful grace of her movements. "Thank you, Laurence… I'll… I'll be sure to mention it. Though I hope that- that if he tries to effect change from within… because no one will stand with him… that- that we will still be welcome…"

"As long as those movements…" Laurence does use both hands to steady her before moving to fetch her cloak and then hold that at the ready for her. "…don't involve lighting my shop on fire somehow, unless its absolutely necessary…" He teases lightly and winks to the guard before looking back to Rhyeline. "And you are welcome, little highness. Know this…you have been a blessing in my life, so I will never see you as cursed…only blessed." He looks to the guard. "Do I get docked housepoints if I kiss her highness on the head?"

The bodyguard arches her eyebrow at Laurence and gives a shrug. "Probably best if you don't." She goes to the door, peeking out to survey the scene outside before allowing Rhyeline to leave. Ever since the riot, she's especially cautious in the Diagon Alley area.

Rhyeline can't help but smile despite how unhumorous the situation is. "Only if it's necessary." His gentle words warm her cheeks and lower her gaze, she bites her lower lip. She peeks over at her guard when Laurence asks to hiss her upon the head. The girl accepts the guard's judgement in this matter and when she goes to investigate the security situation of the street, she looks up at Laurence. "Thank you for breakfast… I'll… I'll see you before long, I hope."

Laurence fakes a pout and offers. "Well can I kiss /you/ on the head instead?" He flashes a grin before looking to Rhyeline and offering a small nod. "Good, stay close to Mistress Athena here, and I'll see you soon." He offers a bow.

The blonde bodyguard's brow crinkles, and at long last, she cracks a smirk, shaking her head. "It's Atalanta, not Athena." Having determined the safety of the street, she holds the door open for Rhyeline. But before she leaves, she pauses to glance back at some of Laurence's wares, and gives an appreciative nod. "Nice brooms."

Rhyeline offers Laurence a soft smile before pulling the fur-lined hood of her cloak up to protect her from the cold of the streets outside. "I will… and- and yes… soon." Pausing, she notices the turtledove has walked up to her upon the table. Her smile warms as she strokes the top of its head. Then, with a glance up at Laurence and then to her body guard, the little one makes her way out of the shop.

The turtledove coos and nuzzles Rhyeline's fingers and then flutters to rest on Laurence's shoulder as they both see their guests out, moving a hand to hold the door open for Atalanta in turn, eyebrows raising a fraction as he just chuckles lowly as he gets the woman's name. "Heh…my mistake…" He thumbs the side of his nose and tips an invisible hat at the compliment before turning to close the door after the two, leaning against it and looking to his bird. "Yeah." A pause. "I like 'em too Belisma." He pushes off the door. "Now, time to open the shop!" And to work he goes.

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