(1938-12-09) Abuse of Power
Details for Abuse of Power
Summary: Tristan shows interest in meeting Rhyeline's employer and suitor, Cassius Malfoy, but ends up in a kerfuffle with a bad-tempered Ministry official, Susan. Dillorous comes down for a fire-whisky and makes Christmas plans with his daughter.
Date: Monday, December 9, 1938
Location: Leaky Cauldron

It is Monday, and in the early evenings quite a few workers can be seen entering the pub, for some well-deserved relaxation. The barkeeper is busy, but not overly so.

One such man is Tristan Urquart, who is seated in his preferred position near the fireplace, enjoying the streaks of warmth it brings. He is dressed in his fine clothes, and is sharp as ever.

Sheets of icy rain pour from the darkening sky, bringing the sort of bitter cold that sinks right into your bones. The moment Rhyeline steps into the leaky cauldron, she makes her way over to the fireplace. Her hands tremble as the girl shivers, reaching out to the flames for warmth. Her fur-lined cloak and the glimpse of the fine silk dress beneath suggest wealth uncommon to most Leaky Cauldron patrons.

An older witch, in her mid thirties, follows the girl in. She's wearing functional robes common to those in magical law enforcement. Except hers are of finer quality and she keeps a careful eye on the girl by the fire. No doubt a personal guard.

" Brought some friends with you?" Tristan asks the lady who sits near him, without taking a moment to look backwards. He takes a sip of his mulled wine, which lies between his legs, and continues staring into the red glaze of heat that is the fire.

Standing at the fireplace, Rhyeline pauses and peeks over her shoulder. With a hushed curiosity she studies the young wizard for a moment before flickering to the witch following her. The guard takes a seat a few tables over. Silent, the little one nods before turning back to the fire. Another shiver of cold runs through her and she leans in closer.

" Don't worry, I'm the only one who noticed." Tristan says, as he takes a sip of his wine. " Take a seat, it'l warm you up." He takes his wand out, and gave it a complicated little wave so that hot air streamed out of the tip, towards the lady. The Charm's master at work?

Rhyeline's breath catches when a warm summer breeze melts the ice she feels in her bones. Folding her arms against her chest, hands clasped beneath her chin, she savors the warmth. With a quiet shyness, she slowly turns once more to Tristan. "Thank you, sir…" she murmurs. Her voice is as soft and sweet as one might have expected from the look of her. She speaks with a clear, delicate English accent with subtle hints of French.

" Sir? No no, I'm Tristan, Tristan Urquart. And who are you?" The man asks, as he puts his wand away once more, another charm successfully cast. He takes another sip of his wine, " Please, sit."

"Rhyeline… Rhyeline Diderot," murmures the girl as she moves to take a seat at the well-dressed man's table. A barwench arrives just then with a warm glass of mulled wine for the girl. "I know ye never order anythin' else, dearie. And ye looked so cold commin' in from that storm. 'Ere, it's on the 'ouse." The little one blinks, looking surprised, but with a soft, appreciative smile, she nods to the barwench. "Thank you…" she murmurs.

" Can't say I have a clue who you are, but judging by your friend over there, you're someone quite important. So what is it you do?" He asks. He looks at the girl as she gets her free drink, " Free drinks ? Want to work your magic for me as well?" He chuckles, and takes off his coat.

Rhyeline blinks, turning a rather pink at Tristan's observations. Biting her lower lip, she peeks after the retreating barwench before looking once more to Tristan. "I don't think it's- it's because I'm important. She- she was just being kind."

Susan shivers as she stomps on in, glaring at anyone who cares to look her way, not in a 'grr, I'm angry' way, but more in a 'I know you're doing something and I'm going to catch you' sort of way. She even gives one patron a pointed look, gesturing to her eyes and then to him, that being enough for the poor lad to finish his pint rapidly and make excuses to leave. Shaking rain from her cloak, she finds a space at the bar, it being relatively easy as people tend to stay clear. "Something warm. And if you overcharge me again, I'll go through your licences until you bleed."

" Being kind?" Tristan murmurs quietly to himself, " I'm sure that is it. But do tell me, what do you do in your day to day life? What's a beautiful Beauxbatons girl doing in london?" He glances as a woman enters and changes the room's mood quite a bit, but says naught.

Rhyeline's blush deepens as she parts her lips to speak. However, she pauses when Susan's sharp words reach from the bar to the fireplace. Sitting a few places over, the little one's guard observes Susan with a careful, assessing look. Peeking back up at Tristan, the girl can't help but smile before shaking her head. "I attended Hogwarts… my family is from France, but- but I was born here. And… I am- I suppose- a researcher… for Cassius Malfoy…"

Susan accepts her mulled wine, passing over a few coins. Very few coins, for anyone watching, but a glare at the bartender is enough that he falters when he begins to query it. She pulls up a stool and settles down on it, one hand holding her drink while the other idly taps her wand across her knees. Seeing a guard watching her, she returns the favour, unblinking. Staring contest.

Tristan smiles at the lady, " Cassius Malfoy aye? Well then you're just the girl iv'e been looking for." He says as he takes another drink of wine, " Which house were you in?" HE takes another look at the lady at the bar, " What's happening over there?" He asks the little semi-foreign girl.

Rhyeline tilts her head to the side when Tristan shows such interest in her employer and suitor. She isn't too surprised. "Ravenclaw," murmurs Rhyeline before following the young man's gaze to the unpleasant woman sitting at the bar. Her guard arches a brow at Susan before glancing away to survey the crowd once more. Her steel-grey eyes occasionally flicker back towards Rhyeline, always keeping an eye on her charge.

Susan wins! She snorts a little, looking pleased with the petty victory, and sips from her wine. Well, less of a sip and more of a drain-half-in-one-go, but who's counting.

" Could you arrange a meeting for me?" Tristan asks the small lady, eyeing her eyes, perhaps trying to gleam the answer out of her. He then looks back to the bar lady, " No comment?"

"With- with Cassius?" murmurs Rhyeline, peeking back up at Tristan. Taking up her glass of mulled wine, she warms her hands against its sides. "I could. But- what is it you wish to speak to him about?" Still watching him, she takes a small, slow sip of wine.

" Oh you know, Politics." Tristan replies, " I assume most of his meetings are about that glorious subject." He smiles as he takes a sip, " Why are you feeling so cold? Went swimming in the snow?"

"The wind," murmurs Rhyeline, half hidden behind her glass of wine. Her dark gaze is steady and thoughtful as she studies the young man. "And… what are your politics?"

" That is what I plan to discuss with Cassius, definitely not in such a open place like this." Tristan looks thoughtfully at the girl, " So, why the guard?"

"You," Susan accuses, pointing a finger at a young wizard who's just ordered at the bar. "Apparition licence. Now." She taps her wand against her leg as she glares at him, eyes narrowing. When he confesses not to have it with him, she snorts. "Underage. As I thought! Serving this boy is a criminal offence," she informs the bartender. "What do you intend to do about it?"

Rhyeline's dark gaze flickers to her guard. In a quiet tone, she murmurs, "The guard is there because… Cassius Malfoy is- is also courting me…" The subtle blush deepens in her cheeks as she lowers her gaze. Just then, she hears the commotion across the bar. Biting her lower lip, she glances over.

Tristan pulls out his wand, and slowly waves it around beneath the table, some fog appears over the young lad's head, and he is gone one second later, he quickly puts his wand back, and takes another sip. " Your boss is also trying to court you? That doesn't sound like a healthy relation." HE says.

Rhyeline remains silent at Tristan's remark. Her dark gaze flickers back and forth from him to the fog allowing the 'underage' wizard to escape.

The incensed rage is almost tangible around Susan as her easy victim disappears without trace, her grip on her wand tightening as she holds it up to threaten an innocent drinker at the bar who happens to have her wand in front of her and a hand resting on it. "Obstructing the cause of justice is a crime. Assisting a criminal is another. I am watching you, young lady! If I catch you so much as opening your mouth, you're going away, mark my words."

Tristan smiles to himself as the woman rages around, " Now Now lady, I am sure you were in here when you weren't supposed to! We all were, am I right?" He asks the other patrons of the Cauldron, and gets quite a few, " Hell yeah's!" Tristan smiles innocently at the woman, " See?"

Rhyeline keeps quiet, hidden behind her own glass. The little one looks as if she has scarecly left Hogwarts. And with Tristan attracting so much attention, his companion would be an easy target indeed.

Susan smiles very slowly, rising to her feet. She pulls back her cloak to reveal her MLE badge with one hand, the other tugging a notebook frm her pocket, which begins writing as she dictates. "One witnessed confession to underage drinking," she enunciates. "Your identification, young man," she demands, hand snapping out for it.

Tristan looks towards her, and takes out his own badge, M.A.C. " I'm a charm's examiner, and am frankly in no mood to answer your questions. Is that a problem for you disturbing the peace in our nice little inn? Then get out. OR take it up with my boss, who will throw you out into the streets." Is he bluffing? Perhaps, but if he is, it isn't apparent.

Rhyeline bows her head when Susan approaches their table. The little mouse seems to be doing her best not to be noticed. Her guard shifts, watching Susan once more with sharp attention.

Susan claims Tristan's badge without preamble, copying down the name, ID and any other pertinent details. "Then you, sir, should certainly know better," she tells him flatly, a brow raising at him, unimpressed. "I imagine your boss would not be pleased to see one of his employees with a criminal record. I suggest you start being more cooperative, as I'm sure neither of us wish to deal with unnecessary paperwork. Your address?"

Tristan looks at the lady, " I seriously doubt anything will happen me for refusing to co-operate, as it is a witnesses right not to. Why don't you go read a law book m'am?" He says, as he takes a sip of his wine, and turns his back to the woman's face.

Rhyeline remains half hidden behind her glass of mulled wine, taking a long, silent sip. With a quiet cautioun, she peeks up at Susan over the brim.

"You, son, are trying my patience," Susan warns, resting one hand on the table and leaning over to get right up into Tristan's face. "Your address."

Tristan finally stands up, of course, not on two legs, but on his right leg and his cane, using it as support. " Come to my office tomorrow morning and I would love to give you all the details, for now I'm quite enjoying my wine." But he seems take a moment to pause, " Clophill, Rose Street, Urquart Mansion." He stays standing though, even after he has splurged the details.

Rhyeline slowly lowers her glass and rests it upon the table when it seems as if Susan has no interest in harrassing her as well. She sneaks a glance over at her guard before looking up at Tristan and Susan once more.

"I'm a reasonable woman," Susan lies, eyeing him as though he just crawled in from the primordial ooze. "I don't want to drag you from your wine. Now, at least, you're old enough to drink it." She tears off a piece of her notepad, slapping it down in front of him. The top line reads 'SUMMARY FINE: 3 sickles'."

" What's the fine for?" Tristan asks, as he waves his wand a tad, bringing his jacket into his hand. He slowly puts it on, " Good to see you officers are keeping the peace in such important ways. This poor little girl had to hire a security guard because she didn't feel safe with people like you on the force."

Rhyeline bites her lower lip when Tristan mentions her. "That's- that's not why…" she murmurs hesitantly.

"If you continue to obstruct justice, sir, we shall have Words," Susan insists, her voice barely above a whisper now. "You pay the fine for underage drinking, to which you confessed in the presence of witnesses, or we take this further and there will be a note on your record and potentially a larger fine, or worse. How stupid do you intend to be today? It's entirely your call, trust me. I would have no objection at all to beating you into an arrest, you crippled old bastard."

" For drinking underage all that time ago? I would gladly take that up in court, as for your foul language, well that I would even gladder take up in court." He moves his wand and some money appears on her hand, " There's your fine." He then takes note of her ID number, " You will get notice shortly, I am contesting both the fine, and your totally out of order actions. Trust to see me at your workplace tomorrow, for now goodnight, you under-educated foul-mouthed beauty of a woman." And with those words, he starts to hobble out, back to the fresh air of the wizarding world.

Rhyeline's eyes widen when foul language begins to fly between the two ministry officials. For a moment it seems almost as if it might escalate further until Tristan turns and heads off. Her hands upon her glass of mulled wine tighten as she is left alone in the presence of such an unpleasant woman. Biting her lower lip, she peeks up at Susan with a quiet caution.

Susan tucks the fine away, narrowing her eyes as the man hobbles off. "No respect for the law, that one. I'd bet you a shiny galleon to a pinch of shit that he's up to something."

"I don't think he means any harm…" murmurs Rhyeline in a rather quiet tone as she peeks up at Susan. Her guard is watching Susan like a hawk, daring her to try and harass her little charge.

"Intent is hardly an excuse!" Susan insists, turning her glare on the poor unfortunate now. "The law is the law, and must be upheld! Otherwise why do we even have it? Answer me that!"

"Laws are meant to serve the peace and bring order… It is important to uphold them, yes. But, with judicious application…" murmurs Rhyeline, peeking up at a rather bad tempered Ministry official. The little one sits at the table closest to the fire, while her guard sits not far away, keeping a careful eye on Susan.

Susan snorts. "As for that young man's attitude… well, I have his address now. I shall keep a close eye on him. I will find what he's up to, and I will stop it." She looks to the bar sharply, "No!" The barman stops dead in the act of going to claim her half-finished drink, slinking away a few paces.

Dillorous stifled a yawn with his knuckle as he descended the stairs from above. The august author did not look like he had gotten a lot of sleep the night before, with circles under his eyes and the slowness of exhaustion tainting his movements. Somehow he still managed to present a certain air of sophisticated dignity, though, even with his shirt a bit rumpled and his tie not too tight about his throat. Oblivious to the world, the man marched up to the bar and demanded: "A double firewhiskey, old chap!"

Rhyeline starts a bit when Susan shouts sharply at the hapless barman. He leaves her drink well alone and instead moves quickly to fill Dillorous order. Catching sight of her dishevelled father, she bites her lower lip before peeking once more up at Susan. "I'm certain he means no harm… he was probably just a Gryffindor…"

"He's a bloody idiot," Susan pronounces, moving back over towards the bar and eyeing Dillorous suspiciously. "It's early to be drinking firewhiskey. You'd better not get rowdy."

Dillorous knocked back the firewhiskey the moment it arrived. One swallow and a toss of his head later, the empty glass slammed back down onto the bar's counter. He let out a happy: "Aaaah.. That helped." Susan got a belated sideways look. "Rowdy? But that is the very essence of life, my dear. Without a bit of rowdy, we'd all wither up and die!" And now that he was paying attention to his surroundings, he spotted Rhyeline as well. An immediate smile appeared on his lips, only to belately be wiped away by a cloud of reservations. "If you'll excuse me, good ma'am." With a nod to Susan he started to approach his daughter.

Rhyeline watches as Susan heads over to harrass her father next. The little one seems to brighten when she catches sight of her father's immediate smile, but when it fades, the girl's reserve seems to deepen. Lowering her gaze, she finishes the last of her mulled wine. Her guard remains ever vigilant, but should Dillorous glance her way, she would incline her head in greeting.

"I'm watching you," Susan warns. It's a lie, as in fact she's more interested in her wine right now, knocking it back and holding out her glass for a refill.

"There's much to watch, so I don't blame you at all, my dear woman," Dillorous told Susan over his shoulder. But then he was there with Rhyeline instead, putting a hand down against the back of a chair and wondering: "Would you mind if I joined you, Rhyeline?" He had nodded at the guard in passing, polite but vaguely disapproving.

Peeking back up at Dillorous, little Rhyeline can't help but smile, cautious but warmed at her father's presence. "Please do," she murmurs with a little nod. "I… I hope you have been well?" Her gaze flickers off in the direction he'd come from- the leaky cauldron's rooms and looking back up at Dillorous, she adds, "Have you just returned to London?"

Susan slurps a good half of her next glass, then sets it down, swishing her cloak around her, and stalks for the door and the rain outside.

"Thank you." With that he settled into the chair opposite of her. "Oh, well as one can be." Though he couldn't help the slightly nervous look he gave over his shoulder at the question. As if expecting someone to be lurking in the shadows. "Ah, yes. I had some business take me to Germany for a jiff. But now I'm back, hopefully to stay. At least until I leave for Paris at New Year's. And you, my dear? How are things treating you?"

Rhyeline blinks, surprised at the news her father will be visiting Paris. That is where her mother lives and it's somewhere she thought he'd tend to avoid. "Oh… I- I've been well…" she murmurs with a small nod. "So… you'll be here for- for Christmas?"

Her mother he would avoid like the plague. Her dreadful family, too! The city he could still enjoy, or at the very least do business in. "Just well?" He tasted the word, as if trying to discern whether the description of her wellbeing was to his satisfaction. "Ah, yes. I should be. I was meaning to send you an owl about it. We, that is, I.. well, I should like at least one evening alone with my daughter. Though I'm sure you've got arrangements for Christmas Eve, and I'm preoccupied on that particular date.." The rest were an option.

"Yes… I- I think that I- I'm expected at the Malfoy family gatherings…" murmurs Rhyeline, her cheeks growing rather warm as she blushes. "But- I'd like very much to- to see you for… for Christmas… Soon?" Though she tries her best to seem calm and reserved, she can't hide the bright look of hope in her expressive eyes.

"I've no doubt being attached to a Malfoy comes with plenty of social demands on your time," Dillorous murmured with understanding. "But at least it all happens in pleasent surroundings, eh? There are worse things than being stuck in marble halls, and fed the finest foods and wines, surrounded by the rich and the beautiful. Trust me. I've experienced a few of those lesser places. But yes, let's make it soon."

Rhyeline nods with a soft smile of such quiet delight. The barwench arrives to ask if the girl would like another glass of mulled wine, but shaking her head, Rhyeline asks for a cup of cocoa. Looking back to her father, she hesitates a moment before murmuring, "I've been feeling a little better lately… my heart, I mean…"

"I'm glad," and he was, for all that he said it with an odd note of resignation. Smiling at his daughter, he reached over to place his palm across the top of her hand. A light little squeeze, before his touch receeded completely an dhe was once more within his own sphere of privacy. He declined anything from the barwench for himself. "The healers making progress?"

Rhyeline pauses at the gentle touch of her father's hand over hers. With a father always so distant, she cherishes even the smallest contact. Lowering her gaze, she murmurs, "The healers are working so hard. But- I think- this might be from- from something else…" It isn't easy to hear the little one over the low din of the tavern's dinner crowd. With such a crowd present, it seems the little one would prefer not to elaborate further as she peeks back up at her father and changes the subject. "Will your new book be published soon, father?" Always the safest subject: books.

"Oh?" And what beyond the healers' efforts had set his daughter straight? He didn't particularly want to accept the one glaringly obviously change in her life of recent time. "It's being edited, and while I'd have liked to have it out in the stores before Christmas.. that seems a rather unlikely timeframe. More likely it will be out for sale around Easter, or there abouts."

Rhyeline nods, accepting the mug of cocoa that the barwench hands her. "In dark times, I think that such a book will be most appealing…" she murmurs. Despite her father's interest in further details regarding her health, she remains silent for the moment.

"I'm not so sure," Dillorous admitted. "My publisher has asked me twice if I can't come up with some lighter fare. To please some of my old fans." He sighed, rubbing his forhead in weary resignation. "I tried, you know. It was rubbish. It's as if that part of me is somehow unreachable now. Ah. What am I saying? Old man lamenting the past. Here, I will come by sometime soon, and we can talk some more." He started to get up to his feet.

Rhyeline takes in her father's words from behind her cup of cocoa with a steady, solemn stare. "I'd like that. Soon," she murmurs with a small nod. "It was good to see you, father…" As her father heads off, the little one lowers her gaze. Under the watchful gaze of her guard, she is able to withdraw into her thoughts, untroubled by the crowd around her. Taking long, slow sips of cocoa, she meditates on her father's words.

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