(1938-12-09) A New Voice
Details for A New Voice
Summary: Having decided to show support for the Unity movement, Rena comes to Berlywood and talks with Rhyeline about how a muggleborn like her might be of use.
Date: Monday, December 12, 1938
Location: Berylwood

Dusk settles earlier over London each night as autumn gradually turns into winter. It's scarecly six o'clock, but the warm hues of sunset have long since faded, leaving only a hint of pale gold on the horizon. Far above, the milky grey clouds obscure the stars.

If poor Rena had found Cafe Tasseo a bit too opulent for her tastes, Berlwyood is sure to overwhelm her. This manor looms three stories high, constructed of brick and stone to look like a castle. Rhyeline stands waiting for her brother's friend in the reception hall beneath a crystal chandelier.

Upon approaching the manor, Rena found herself nearly bent over backward and holding onto her hat as she gazed upward at all of its opulent glory. Even as the door opened to admit her, the young woman let out an awed exclamation under her breath. "Juuuudas…"

Coming back down to earth as her eyes fall upon Rhyeline, Rena walks toward the timid girl with a warm smile and bright eyes: "'Ere, I knew the place would be what they calls palatial," she says with a restrained hint of laughter in her voice. "But what you've got yourself 'ere is a right museum! Looks like a body would get lost without a map or a Sherpa to guide them."

Rhyeline steps forward to meet Rena as the young auror approaches. "Yes, it does take a little bit of getting used to. But… I've always thought Berylwood is so beautiful," murmurs the little one, lifting her gaze to the glittering chandelier high above. Peeking back over at Rena, she adds, "Cassius just sent word that he's been held up at the Ministry… but… if you'd like, you and I could go and- and take tea in the library?"

There is a momentary lapse in Rena's smile when Rhyeline explains that Cassius won't be joining them, after all. However, she quickly regains the spark and begins to unbutton her coat with little flicks of her left hand. "So the man of the 'ouse won't be joining us, then? There's a shame, and no mistake. But…"

Walking forward in such a way that she spins in a few quick circles, the redhead then comes to an abrupt stop and cups one hand to her mouth: "The boy I love is up in the gallery, the boy I love is looking down at meeee!" She sings out the little ditty loudly, letting her voice carry over into the enormous house.

Grinning mischievously, Rena glances at Rhyeline with a wink and tsks: "Bad echo."

Rhyeline gives a soft squeak, almost stumbling back when Rena twirls and sends her shouts echoing through the entrance hall. She gazes at Rena wide-eyed, startled by her sudden mischeif. The little mouse doesn't seem as if she knows what to make of her brother's friend. Not one bit.

Noticing Rhyeline's expression, Rena's own features soften - though she remains amused: "'Ere, luv, don't look so frightened. Used to be a performer, I was. If I find myself in a grand big place like this, I just 'ave to see 'ow well my voice carries."

Giving a shrug of her shoulders, Rena then slips out of her coat and drapes it over one arm. "Still got it in my system, I suppose. Even though that seems like it was all an 'undred years ago." Her voice drifts off slightly, and she glances around her palatial surroundings once more before dropping her gaze to Rhyeline again: "I'm quite sane - I promise. You're brother wouldn't associate with a madwoman, would 'e?"

"I- I was just startled," murmurs Rhyeline with an apologetic nod. Glancing off down the hall, wondering if any of the servants were disturbed, she murmurs, "Berylwood is just usually so quiet. It was unexpected." She peeks back up at Rena and tilts her head to the side. "Shall we?"

"Please - lead on, oh fair one," Rena says with a graceful and fully theatrical bow, complete with a flourishing sweep of her hand." Poor Rhyeline probably had no idea just how playful and mischievous this woman could be. For that matter, Graham probably didn't quite know himself, and hadn't the opportunity to warn his sister as consequence of that. However, theatrics aside, Rena behaves herself now and simply follows Rhyeline's lead in silent awe as she takes in the general grandeur of Berylwood.

Rhyeline's cheeks turn a bit pink and for a moment she looks a touch lost. At last, with a small nod, she clasps her hands behind her back and leads Rena through Berlywood's opulent halls until they step through a magnificent set of double doors leading to the library. An overwhelming number of books fill the shelves. These shelves come equipped with sliding ladders to allow access to all those books.

A tea set waits for the two ladies on a low coffee table before the magnificent fireplace. Sitting upon the edge of the small sofa, Rhyeline begins to pour the tea. "Would you care for sugar? Cream?" asks Rhyeline, peeking up at Rena.

If Rena was overwhelmed by the splendor of the mansion before; she seems to be blown away upon entering the library. She just stops in the doorway and stares for a long, heavy moment, and her lips part slightly. Almost forgetting the coat she is holding, it nearly slides onto the floor. Catching it, she regains her composure and walks into the room: "So many…" she breathes, closing her eyes and almost seems to luxuriate in the scent of books and knowledge.

"Hmm?" Rena comes back to reality and takes a seat: "Oh - sugar please. One lump, and a dribble of cream."

Rhyeline nods and executes Rena's request with careful precision. Once the pair of ladies each have their tea, the little one takes a long, slow sip from her own cup. Silent, the shy crature peeks over its brim at her peculiar guest.

"My dad," Rena says after a moment of silence, now trying to practice her H's more carefully, "He always insisted that I read. Oh sure, got an education at Hogwarts and all - but on breaks, he always sat me down with books and told me to read, and keep on reading. Didn't matter what, so long as I read." Pausing, she motions toward the books around them with a tilted nod of her head. "Some folks wonder why I'm as well spoken and educated as I am when I speaks so poorly… and that's why."

Shifting a little on her part of the sofa, Rena leans back with a sigh and looks at Rhyeline quite pointedly: "I suppose I dilly-dally a lot. I just hate talking shop with people I'd rather be friendly with. I'm more or less signed up with the Unity Movement now, though… and I have a feeling I should have perhaps learned more before saying my yeses."

Rhyeline can't seem to help but smile when Rena mentions how her father would encourage her to read. However, when she mentions the Unity Movement and her lingering reservations, Rhyeline murmurs, "If the Unity Party should ever become something you wouldn't care to support, you will always be free to withdraw."

"Yea… withdraw," Rena murmurs to herself somewhat darkly as she gazes into her teacup. "I'm not the kind who will just withdraw quietly and disappear into the shadows if something happens that gives me reason to leave. You understand that, don't you?" She asks quite seriously, her glance flicking toward Rhyeline. "And you know where I stand on equality for all of us. Equal, though different."

Rhyeline takes a small sip of tea, watching Rena with an unwavering stare before she nods. "Yes… you made it clear before. Should the Unity Party show support to Grindelwald, like Graham you would not stand for that."

"Exactly," Rena replies with a curt nod. However, relaxing again - if only a little - the redhead chuckles and gives a small shrug of her shoulders: "But, my question is: Why would the Unity Party want a Mudblood like me? And for that matter, what is it that they want me to do?" Pausing briefly, she quirks one eyebrow and cants her head slightly: "They can't just want me as a token muggle-born. I don't believe for a moment that they're that small-minded."

A subtle furrow appears between the little one's brows when Rena uses the slur so casually to refer to herself. Lowering her gaze, she takes another small sip of tea before murmuring, "Of course, there are so many pure bloods that assume Cassius is a borderline blood traitor with his talk of educating muggles and lifting them up, bringing about a reunification of our two worlds. And if it were more widely known that the one he is courting is a half-blood, the criticism would be that much more severe."

Rhyeline peeks up at Rena, meeting her gaze. "You are not simply a muggleborn in his eyes. You are one with a passionate voice, pure convictions that affect the hearts of others. He hopes you might lend your voice to help us all to unite. We must unite in time, before events unfold on the continent that forever prejudice the hearts of the muggles here in the United Kingdom against wizard-kind…"

For a time, Rena remains silent. While sipping her tea, she appears to be ruminating over Rhyeline's words very carefully. At length, however, a little half-smile tugs at her lips and she looks up - not at Rhyeline - but at the books surrounding them. "A voice for unity…" she says, almost wistfully. Now, dropping her gaze to meet the other woman's, she smiles fully and speaks again: "I think I could live with that."

A small, wry chuckle seizes Rena quite suddenly, and she shakes her head: "Believe me, I understand about the whole criticism thing. My young man's a pureblood. I hope he's never hurt by the fact that he knows me."

"And… I hope you are never hurt by his family name either," murmurs Rhyeline in a rather soft tone. A bit self-conscious, she tucks a loose strand of her hair behind her ear. "Graham has also made clear… should the Unity Party ever move to support Grindelwald's methods to unite the wizarding and muggle world, he would fight against it."

Rhyeline pauses, taking another sip of tea. She is such a shy creature, but it seems that when it comes to this, the passion of her convictions unlocks her voice. "I hope so much that- that we will unite in time. Time is so short. The veil is sure to fall, and we have so little time to act ahead of it."

"Cassiues worries. If time runs out… there will be little we can do. I fear it will come like a powerful tidal wave of destruction and chaos. The only option will be to mitigate the damage… to try and gain influence in Grindelwald's movement itself to try and alter its course. But…" Rhyeline peeks up at Rena at last. "I hope it never comes to that."

Rena's brow furrows slightly, and she finishes her cup of tea in one last sip. The gears and cogs seem to be spinning in her mind. That much shows plainly in her dark eyes.

Setting the cup down suddenly, the redheaded woman rises to her feet swiftly and begins to walk around the room. One hand is perched on her hip and the other rubs her chin thoughtfully. There is a certain bird-like sharpness in her expression now, not unlike a raven puzzling through a problem. "But that might be the worst thing to do…" She says to herself, narrowing her eyes. "Fighting against from the outside if things go south. Working against from the inside, quietly and with cunning…"

Rhyeline bites her lower lip when Rena hops up and starts to pace. The little mouse seems a touch cautious of the agitated raven. "Not necessarily against… Too easily that might be discovered. But… to get close enough, to gain enough influence to alter its course, at least somewhat, yes. But. Hopefully, with your help, it will not come to that." Lowering her gaze, she moves to refill her cup of tea.

"Right you are at that," Rena admits, letting her hand drop and swing back down to her side. "I don't like any of this. But, that's got nothing to do with anything now. Events are moving too quickly amongst muggles. We've got to stay abreast with them or get left behind and dragged out to sea with the undertow that comes before the tidal wave, as you say."

Returning to the sofa, Rena's expression softens once more, but she still seems to have a question or two left inside of her: "So, if I'm to be a voice for the movement, am I to be given directions from someone higher up? I'm only an Auror Initiate. I haven't the sway and clout to be given venues to speak from, easily. As it is. Brad Moody's got several strikes against me - so radio may be out."

Warming her hands against the sides of her fresh cup of tea, Rhyeline tucks her legs beneath herself and curls up a bit. "Your voice will only affect those who are receptive to it… There are many who have reservations based soley on Cassius' name. They assume he wishes to subjugate muggles just as Grindelwald does. They assume he looks down on half bloods and muggleborn. Cassius' sister, Edwarlinda… She works to persuade the pureblood community that he is not a traitor, but rather working for the ultimate benefit of wizard kind."

Rhyeline pauses to take a small, steadying sip of tea. Speaking so much isn't easy for her, but it matters too much to remain silent. Looking to Rena, she conitnues, "I hope you might do the same as Edwarlinda… but instead… speak to those like Graham who are cautious of the pureblood tyranny."

Lowering her gaze, she adds, "And there are many that are still caught up in the old mindset that the debate is between unity and secrecy. The preservation society is in dissarray and cannot hope to prevent Grindelwald from rending the veil of secrecy on the continent. Bringing about a peaceful sort of unit on our own terms- this is our only real hope."

Rena considers very carefully once more before actually speaking. When she does, she first draws a thoughtful breath and then sighs: "It's all well and good to take your word for it. But…" She hesitates, almost hating to say it. "How do I know? How do I know personally that Cassius is all that you say he is? How do I know that he's not working for his own gain in all of this with a hidden agenda?" Her dark eyes grow very serious as she looks to Rhyeline now. "I'm sure it's offensive to ask things like that, but you understand… these people you want me to talk to will ask the same questions of me. How am I supposed to answer them? I've got it straight from his girl's mouth - but not from the man himself?" Pausing to rub her forehead slightly, Rena adds: "I wouldn't expect anybody to listen to me under those circumstances."

Rhyeline nods, peeking up at Rena with a faint smile. "I had hoped you would meet him tonight. I can provide you with transcripts of his past speeches, but yes, I understand how important it is for you to speak with him directly. I was simply hoping to answer what questions you had until it is possible for you to meet him."

"And you have done, luv," Rena replies with a friendly smile. "Don't get me wrong - I'm with you one hundred percent, heart and soul in this. And mind you," she holds up a hand and points a finger at Rhyeline, "If /you/ ever need me to do anything for you personally in all this, you've only got to ask."

Now that that little remark is off of her chest, she seems determined to add with an outstretched hand: "I do hope you know I'd like to be friends. We all of us need one another right now in this mess. We're all in the same stew pot and need to be there for one another - those of us who want peace."

Rhyeline blinks when a finger is pointed at her. The words that follow seem to deepen the little one's shyness. Looking down into her cup of tea, her cheeks grow rather warm. She peeks up at the outstretched hand, a bit hesitant before meeting Rena's eyes. With tentative caution, she place her warm, delicate hand into hers. "I appreciate your words… very much… and- and I hope that… that if there's anything I might be able to do… you will- will let me know? You are dear to my brother and so- you are dear to me."

Shaking Rhyeline's hand warmly, Rena offers the other girl a bright, encouraging smile: "When I says I'm your friend, I stays your friend through thick and thin. That's just the sort of girl I am. So, you can count on me - even if Graham thinks I'm too big a risk taker." Pausing to release Rhyeline from her firm but gentle grasp, she then remarks jokingly: "The only time I may not be able to come running is if I wind up in hospital. You know… my job and all."

After a moment's thought, Rena seems to remember something else and reaches into her purse: "Nearly forgot - 'here, luv." She says, handing a little pink card over to the other girl. On it, pretty scrolling words appear slowly - along with printed flowers that blossom of their own accord. It reads: Irene Lee - No. 7, East Crook Road, Hogsmeade. "Just in case you ever get the urge to hide out in the country for a bit."

Rhyeline blinks and peers curiously at the pretty little card. Realizing the invitation it implies, she peeks up at Rena with a small, but warm smile. "Thank you. I… I've got a flat as well. Mm- here in London. If you'd ever like, or- or need a place, it has a guest room. And… these days, there will always be a guard downstairs."

"There's lovely for you," Rena replies brightly. "I hope I never need to take you up on your offer though. If I ever need a hide out with an armed guard - I either brought work home with me or else made a serious mistake in the Movement." She jokes with a wink.

At least now, the ice is broken somewhat between the two women - Rena hopes so, anyway.

Rhyeline's laughter is sweet and impish, almost like that of a child. Peeking up at Rena, she grins and says, "What must that say of me? That I am followed everywhere by a guard…" And thus, amidst light-hearted laughter the two petite witches get to know eachother a bit better over tea. Before long, Rhyeline invites Rena to explore the shelves of books. No doubt one or two of them will even be leant out before the night's end.

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