(1938-12-06) Tea and Politics
Details for Tea and Politics
Summary: Cassius invites his newly promoted event planner to Berylwood to discuss the state of affairs…
Date: December 6, 1938
Location: Berylwood

In the evening hours, after the normal working day, the fall rain comes down cold and drizzling, casting a greyish curtain over the bold greens of the Berylwood estate. It is fortunate, then, that when Cassius Malfoy sent for his newly promoted event planner, he also sent his carriage to bring the young man to him. As he waits, Cassius sits in his library, once again perusing the pages of Gellert Grindelwald's manifesto: Fur das Allgemeinwohl. He's still dressed in his work clothes: a crisp, closed-collared suit with a Victorian air, eschewing the typical flowing robes preferred by the vast majority of wizardkind.

Nicolas was quite surprised to find his employer had sent his carriage to bring him. It was quite nice not to have to travel in the rain though and the young man arrives at Berylwood quite dry. Neatly dressed in a dark blue button down shirt and black vest slacks and shoes he is also carrying his work satchel over one shoulder. He is show to the library and his steps are quiet as he approches Cassius. Pushing his nerves down he glances around the room in clear awe of all the books here. He is clearly impressed by the wealth of information and it shows on his face before his gaze is drawn back to Cassius and the nerves return full force. He shifts on his feet and smiles faintly trying to hide how out of his depth he is. "Mr Malfoy….I believe you wanted to see me?"

At the arrival of his guest, Cassius marks his page in the book and sets it side. Rising to his full six feet of height, Cassius straightens his jacket and steps forward, offering his hand and a smile of greeting. "Mr. Benthur, welcome. Do, come sit. I trust the ride over was comfortable?"

Stepping forward Nicolas accepts and shakes the hand of the taller man with a small and only slightly nervous smile. He inclines his head in a nod as he releases the hand. "It was very comfortable yes and thank you for providing it." His expression is grateful as he looks up again and moves to take a seat. He eyes the book Cassius has been reading curiously before looking back to the man himself. There is a hint of uncertainty and curiousity in his eyes as he settles into the chair but he keeps his expression fairly calm all the same.

Cassius doesn't miss much. He's built his career on reading people and being a master of subtlety. His eyes follow Nicolas's glance, and he smirks curiously as he retakes his own seat. "Have you read it?" he asks simply. Meanwhile, the butler appears, levitating a tea tray, and promptly fills their cups — asking for preferences on cream and sugar, of course

Nicolas nods his head slowly at the question. "Yes…I have read it. It has some references to Arithmantic formulae that I will have to look up and check to see if what is stated in the manifesto is accurate as well as other sources I will have to cross reference with it…I always double check the facts on what I read." He lowers his head a moment but looks up slowly as the tea is brought in. He takes his tea with just enough sugar to make it mildly sweet and no cream. Once fixed he lifts the cup in hand to take a small sip studying Cassius cautiously.

Cassius takes one sip of his tea before setting it aside and folding his hands into his lap. "That's good. You were with the research team until now, yes? So far, all reports seem to indicate that the arithmancy is good. What I want to know is the validity of the sources where Grindelwald's arithmancer's got their original data. But that is all very clinical. I'm more interested in what you think of the message. Is the Army of Truth correct? Are we past the point of a diplomatic solution to the impending crisis?"

Taking a sip of his tea Nicolas sets his cup back down considering for a moment. "I have never belived in those who try to fight fire with fire…thats what I think the Army of Truth is trying to do. They may have a good vision and good intentions but thier methods….Well what I think is that as long as people are willing to listen then it is never too late for diplomancy. People are scared. Most of them probably don't want war but when people become scared they often lash out. Give them a bit of hope that peace is still possible that diplomacy will work and they will listen to you and then further progress can be made." Nicolas lowers his head again. "Thats just my opinion…I believe that a people conqured by war and fear will eventually rise up in anger and overthrow thier rulers or try anyway…it would be a constant conflict between the rulers and those beneath them and while fear is a tool for control convincing another that you are right is harder to do at first but more usful in the long run. If we use diplomacy not force there is a good chance we could prove the point that war is not needed for control and a unified peace between our world and the muggles. Besides a willing arangement is much better than force. You can get more use out of a willing ally than a prisoner yes?" He looks up again slowly studying Cassius but not quite making eye contact.

Cassius listens quietly, nodding at the right beats, lifting an eyebrow when called for to show interest in the young man's expressed opinions. "Absolutely. My entire platform is built upon the notion that diplomacy is a far more effective tool than war. But as you say, it is only effective as long as people are willing to listen. But what if we fail? What if the Muggles' bombs begin to drop, and it is too late for talk to defend us? Some strategists might suggest that it would be wiser to take action before it is necessary, in order to prevent greater bloodshed." He picks up his tea again, taking a sip to provide ample time for Nicolas to retort.

Nicolas looks thoughtful for a moment and sighs softly reaching for his cup of tea to take a slow sip. "Yes some people think we should act now….but if we don't make the attempt to use diplomancy now we will never know if we couldn't have prevented the bombs in the first place. There is a time to act but we must be sure that it is what is best for the majority of people and not rush in blindly when there was another less violent option. We must think and consider all our options before deciding on the one that will help us futher our goals the most…often it is not the easiest option that works best in the long run either."

"You're not wrong, Benthur." Cassius sets the cup down again, resting his hand on the arm of his chair, tapping his fingers. "But that is exactly what I've been doing for the last two years. As much as my enemies like to paint me as some wild radical, rushing into madness, I have proceeded with great care, and careful diligence, to ensure the most peaceful transition possible. But time may be catching up with us. If we are to solve this problem diplomatically, we must see results quickly. Legislation must be passed, and soon, or I fear the Army of Truth will take the choice away from us. That is where you come in. We need to rally public support. Help them to see that this is no longer a question of if secrecy is broken, but when, and that Unity is now vital to ensure that the Muggles of Great Britain view us favourably, rather than as an enemy."

There is a serious look in Nicolas's eyes as Cassius speaks and he nods slowly taking another sip of tea and setting the cup down with a determined gaze at his employer. All his previous nerves seem to vanish for the moment as he thinks things over and then nods again. "I will do my best Mr. Malfoy….though I will freely admit dealing with the public is not something I am very familer with. I am a former researcher. I study how things work and what is happening and can explain them to my superiors in a way that can be understood…though perhaps that is just what is needed now? Somone to explain our cause to the public in a concise and understandable manner and why things must go forward now before it is too late?" He looks thoughtful for a moment. "Either way I will do everything I can, just let me know what you expect from me and I will carry it out to the best of my abilities."

"You won't need to deal with the public. Not en masse," Cassius explains. "That will be my role, and that of other spokeswizards, like my sister. What I need from you is to craft these rallies and fund-raisers in such a way that we attract as many people as possible. We need the Wizengamot to see that we are galvanizing the masses. You will work closely with my assistant, Rhyeline Diderot. I believe you are already acquainted. She knows what I need, and can teach you how to anticipate the needs of the party."

There is a hint of relief in Nicolas's eyes as it is mentioned he won't be working with the public directly. He nods in understanding and as Rhyeline is mentioned and it is explained that they will work together. "Very well and yes I have already met Rhyeline…a few times now…" He hestiates and studies Cassius a moment. "Was there anything else you wished to discuss?"

Cassius shakes his head. "That is the gist of it. We can go over some finer details of what your position will entail a bit later. In the meantime, why don't you join me for dinner. Unless you've already eaten?"

Nicolas smiles faintly and inclines his head. "I haven't eaten yet no and would be glad to join you for dinner if you wish." He looks up his shyness returning once again.

Cassius smiles and rises to his feet, gesturing to the door. "Come along, then. I believe the chef has prepared something Italian tonight. He's an absolute genius with sauces…"

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