(1938-11-21) Digging at the Root
Details for Digging at the Root
Summary: Keenan supervises as Sabine interrogates Rhyeline about the night she received the curse. Unsatisfied with the information she gathers, Sabine announces her intention to travel to Berlin.
Date: Thursday, November 21, 1938
Location: Rhyeline's Flat
Related: Seeking Permission

A wash of black ink fills the night sky. Thick clouds hover low over London, obscuring both moon and stars. Despite this, the evening is still young. Along the street, most muggles have only just finished dinner. A healer's work never ends. Regardless of the hour, they tend to their patients, both at St. Mungo's and tonight in a little flat in Lambeth.

A tea set sits upon the coffee table awaiting the two guests soon to arrive. Rhyeline sits curled up in the chair closest to the fire hidden behind a newspaper with German headlines and moving photographs. A witch in her mid-thirties stands half hidden in the foyer, watching her. Her black hair is cut in a short, French bob which only emphasizes her angular features.

As he walks along the street with Journeyman Lestrange, Keenan wears a muggle looking trenchcoat over his healer's robes. To muggle eyes, the legs below the coat are encases in trousers and patent leather shoes. To anyone who knows truly, the green can be clearly seen. Hands in his pockets, he's whistling a lilting Irish air as he strolls leisurely up the steps to the flat and knocks on the door.

Sabine isn't dressed in her healer's robes out of the hospital, but instead wears a grey set, over a likewise grey suit. She starts to pull her gloves off her fingers as she and Keenan wait at the front door. She glances sideways at him. "She is expecting us?" It's probably a question she should've asked before they left, but then again, she's likely just filling the silence with talk.

Rhyeline glances up at the knock. The witch standing her foyer is her guard, not her servant. It is for the girl to rise with slow grace to her feet and make her way to open the door. The little one's eyes shine with a quiet caution as she peeks out from behind the door at her visitors. Her dark gaze lingers on Keenan's face before it flickers to Sabine. With a small nod in greeting to them both, she draws back, taking the door with her to allow them entrance. The guard inclines her head to Keenan and watches Sabine like a mongoose.

Rhyeline leads them into the sitting room where she curls up in her usual spot by the fireplace. The two healers have the choice of the small love seat adjacent to her, and the other armchair across from her.

Giving a nod to Sabine, Keenan replies, "Aye. I owled her requesting an audience for ye with our regular visit tonight," he replies. Since they are already waiting for the door to be opened, he doesn't resume his whistling. He does smile easily to Rhyeline as she opens the door, one of his dimples creasing his cheek. "Good evening Miss Diderot," he greets, stepping inside. "I have brought Journeyman Lestrange with me this evening as per the owls we exchanged." Once inside, he takes off his coat and hangs it on the coat rack before he follows to the sitting room and takes his usual seat on the love seat.

At Keenan's reply, Sabine can't resist a brief, amused smirk. "I didn't know we were —" she starts to say, but she quickly (and perhaps a bit guiltily) resists finishing her sentence when the door is opened. Stepping inside, she hangs onto her gloves, for want of something to twist in her hands. "Thank you for having me, Miss Diderot," she says, smiling as she catches Rhyeline watching her. She claims the armchair last, sitting with perfect, rigid posture.

Rhyeline flicks her supple cypress wand and the tea set dances to life. "I appreciate your interest in my case…" murmurs the little one as she plucks her cup of tea out of the air. "But of you… very much. And- and again… thank you for- for coming to see me at my flat…" Falling silent, she brings her tea to her lips.

With an easy smile, and an easy, relaxed posture, Keenan accepts the tea she sends to him, already prepared for him. He crosses an ankle over his knee, making an impromtu table with his leg. Balancing his cup easily on the bent knee, he gives a slight nod, but for now he watches Sabine's actions with Rhyeline.

Sabine gives another sideways glance at Keenan, before turning back to face Rhyeline. "As we discussed before, I believe the only way to have a lasting cure is to find the root of the curse," she begins, reaching forwards for a tea cup of her own. She has a very direct manner. "I will need you to tell me about what happened in Berlin."

Rhyeline's dark, cautious gaze flickers back and forth between the healers. With a small nod she murmurs, "I understand… but… I'm not sure if there is much to tell. I… I was standing off to one side, taking notes while-" She hesitates, peeking over at Keenan. "-while Ambassador Troy was in a- a private meeting…"

Although he knows the name that is coming, Keenan's face still hardens a bit when Magnus is mentioned, but he does lighten enough to give Rhyeline an encouraging nod as he lifts his tea cup to his lips.

Sabine holds her tea cup between her hands. "Context is important," she answers when Rhyeline expresses hesitance. "Who was the Ambassador meeting with, and what was the topic? Were you in the Ambassador's office, or did you meet elsewere?"

Rhyeline bites her lower lip and looks rather small as she hides behind her cup of tea. Taking a long, slow sip, her dark gaze flickers from Keenan to Sabine as the younger healer speaks. She bites her lower lip. "I… I can't give too many details… but… no, not his office… a room in their ministry for meetings… a small room… but- there were windows… I remember the curtains shifted before- before /he/ emerged from the shadows… and… and the Ambassador… he was carrying out secret negotiations to calm the growing storm over Europe…"

Sabine's eyes narrow thoughtfully at Rhyeline. She has the air of someone summoning patience as she asks, "That's helpful, but … vague. Why can't you 'give too many details'?" She frowns down at her tea cup, then decides to take a sip, after all.

Keenan glances over to Sabine mildly, but watches Rhyeline as she struggles.

"Secret negotiations… meant to be confidential… But- I know the motive behind the attack… it was to end them- to prevent an accord from being reached that might have mitigated the growing conflict… but… I cannot give details," murmurs Rhyeline in a rather soft tone. Keenan isn't the only one watching Sabine. Standing in the foyer, Rhyeline's guard shifts her weight from one foot to the other as she watches the younger healer.

Glancing up towards the foyer, to one of the rotating guards that he wishes wasn't there, Keenan's gaze becomes a little more opaque, the green just a little less warm. Looking back to the two women, he lowers his tea back to the saucer. "What about the person himself, Miss Diderot. Can you tell us about the person?"

Sabine doesn't shrink under the weight of all those stares in her direction. In fact, she actually smiles at Keenan when he asks a question of Rhyeline. Her mouth opens, perhaps to add something to it, but then she thinks better of it and drinks tea instead.

"It was dark… the curtains shifted- it caught my attention… and there he was, emerging from the shadows… his wand lifted… there was death in his eyes…" Rhyeline hesitates, clinging tight to the cup in her hands. As she retells the events of that night, her eyes seem haunted. "I tried to cry out, but- but my voice… it wouldn't come… so I stepped forward… I had to protect the negotiations… so much depended on them…"

Sabine listens soberly, her gaze dropping to the poor, strangled tea cup in Rhyeline's hands. "What was his reaction when he realized that he missed his intended target, and hit you instead?" she asks, brow knit.

The little mouse bites her lower lip and slowly shakes her head. "I don't remember that part… it came rushing at me- like a torrent of smoke… it struck me in the chest and… and swallowed me up… I fell and… and then… a haze of voices until I woke up a few months later…"

Sabine shifts in her seat as if to get more comfortable, perhaps with the intent of buying herself a moment to consider Rhyeline's response. She does not look particularly satisfied with it. "Was there anyone else there that witnessed the incident?"

Letting Sabine continue the questioning, Keenan maintains his relaxed position, his expression amiable yet blank Keenan remains in his place, monitoring the conversation.

"The Ambassador witnessed it… but… I'm not sure what happened then… Although- I understand that- that the would be assassin was not apprehended. Thomas Carrow… he travelled to Berlin to find the wand responsible for the curse, but- after a week dealing with the German Ministry of Magic's bureaucratic red tape, he discovered that the assassin had never even been apprehended…" Rhyeline lowers her gaze and takes a small sip of tea.

"Of course he hasn't," Sabine says it all in a sigh, as if to highlight her own disappointment. Sitting a little straighter, she adds, "I should tell you now that I intend to go to Berlin. As I said before, I think we need to go to the source to find a cure."

Rhyeline blinks, looking a touch startled by Sabine's sudden declaration. "Berlin? But- now? It's… it's so dangerous… do- do you speak German?" The little one bites her lower lip.

At Rhyeline's startled expression, Sabine grins. It's probably not the healthiest reaction to someone's concern. "I don't," she says, "which means it will be interesting. Or at least I hope it will be."

Rhyeline's eyes shine with growing apprehension. "The situation in Berlin right now… it wouldn't be wise to go there… and- and even if you went… It- it took Thomas a week to- to simply discover that- that he hadn't been caught… there is- is nothing more to learn in Berlin…"

Sabine watches Rhyeline for a long time. Long enough, in fact, for it to be uncomfortable. She puts her tea cup back on the table. "Then I want you to consider your answers tonight," she says, serious again. "I want you to consider them very carefully. If you can't, or won't, fill in the holes — then I'm going to be forced to find another source. In Berlin, if I have to."

Then, the younger healer stands, reaching for her gloves on the vacated chair's arm. She smiles at Rhyeline. "Thank you for the tea," she says, pleasantly, pulling on her gloves. "I appreciate your time."

Rhyeline parts her lips to speak, to try somehow to dissuade Sabine from travelling to Berlin. However, when the ambitious healer rises, preparing to leave, the little one falls back into silence. She looks to Keenan. There is such apprehension shining in those dark, expressive eyes. Peeking back over at Sabine, she gives a small nod. "Thank you for- for coming…"

"We'll see each other soon," Sabine smiles. It's all sunshine and rainbows and happiness, that smile. With a polite nod to Keenan, she takes her leave.

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