(1938-12-17) A Trying Patient
Details for A Trying Patient
Summary: Sabine does her best to be patient while dealing with a difficult patient.
Date: Tuesday, December 17, 1938
Location: Berylwood
Related: Digging at the Root

Under a clear December sky, the manor of brick and stone stands tall in forboding opulence. A butler awaits Sabine beneath a crystal chandelier, the light of which is reflected in a gleaming, black marble floor. The butler leads Sabine to the library will the greatest formality. He knocks and announces Sabine's presence before showin her in.

Rhyeline peeks over from where she sits surrounded by towering shelves of books- truly a breathtaking library. The little one sits curled up in a corner of the sofa before a magnificent fireplace. "Good afternoon…" she murmurs to her guest.

A tea set rests upon the low coffee table. Rhyeline shifts closer to it and murmurs, "Would- would you care for tea? Or- or coffee?"

Sabine gives the room a cursory glance, as if it is beneath her notice, before stepping forwards to join Rhyeline. "Whatever you have will be fine, thank you," she says, indicating the tea set. "It's been some time since we've last spoken. What did you think of that introduction?"

Rhyeline nods and pours Sabine a cup of tea, preparing it with a splash of milk and a small spoonful of sugar. "With Keenan? I'm not sure… we had- we'd already met before… You… asked me a number of questions. You expressed interest in going to Berlin…" Peeking up at the healer, the dark-haired girl offers her a cup.

"I did," Sabine answers easily, though she merely takes the teacup from Rhyeline without elaborating further. "I mean — what were your expectations? What were you looking to get out of it? Certainly, I know I had mine, and surely Keenan had his. And don't give me the 'want to get better' line because that's a granted."

Rhyeline gives a small shrug as she prepares her own cup of tea. "I didn't have much in the way of expectations. Although- perhaps… perhaps I was hoping that a fresh perspective might shed new light on things…"

"It is a little hard to shed new light on things when you lie, Rhyeline," Sabine eyes her for a moment, before taking a nonchalant sip of her tea. "And before you get your delicate sensibilities all a dither, please know I mean that in the nicest way possible."

Rhyeline's brows furrow. "I don't lie. Keenan knows I drink coffee. So do you." Watching Sabine with a steady, unwavering stare, she brings her cup of tea to her lips.

Sabine just shakes her head, looking unconcerned by any stares sent her way. "I don't care about the coffee," she says, softly. "Your answers were cagey and unhelpful. I don't know who you think you are protecting, but it's certainly not yourself."

"I didn't lie. Ask me your questions again, if you like," murmurs Rhyeline from behind her cup of tea.

"Do you mind if I sit?" Sabine asks as she does just that. "When we last spoke, you said you understood the motive behind the attack. I have to be honest with you — it's not my job to care who did it, or why, or how. I only care insofar as it speaks to your particular curse. Unusual curses aren't just randomly selected. They're usually chosen with care."

"Yes… The healers have never seen anything like this one… so… I think it might have been made to kill /him/… Magnus Troy. It was the fifth attempt on his life…" murmurs Rhyeline before taking another sip of tea.

Sabine does stare a little at Rhyeline after that bit of news. "Fifth? I had no idea he was so popular," she says, sipping her tea again. "In any case, I still plan on heading to Berlin unless something new comes up. The only other option we have is to throw whatever cures we have at you and see what sticks, which is not strictly speaking an approved method."

"Have you spoken to Thomas Carrow?" murmurs Rhyeline, tilting her head to the side. "What do you hope to find in Berlin that he didn't uncover?"

"From what I hear he didn't uncover very much, save for the fact that the assailant has not been apprehended," Sabine answers, "unless there's something else."

"What more would there be to find? He'd hoped to retrieve the wand… but that isn't possible," murmurs Rhyeline in between sips of tea. Her dark gaze remains ever fixed upon Sabine.

Sabine shrugs her shoulders faintly. "The person who did this has taken great pains to remain unknown," she says. "I figure if I get close enough to learning who it might be, then something useful might be realized."

"Do you have contacts among those who would throw Europe into chaos?" murmurs Rhyeline.

"No," Sabine answers, calm. "If you are about to tell me that is thoroughly stupid and dangerous, you can save yourself the trouble." She gives Rhyeline a considering look. "You're a bright person, Miss Diderot. I heard your speech at the community meeting — and while I don't agree with the content, I do respect the mind behind it. What do you think of all this? Or are you resigned to waiting and hoping for the best?"

"I'm not sure what going to Berlin would accomplish unless you have something to go on… If finding the ones who cast my curse was as simple as hopping off a broom and looking around, do you not thing that my suitor, Cassius Malfoy, would have seen to it already?" Rhyeline lowers her cup at last, resting it in her lap. Head slightly bowed, she peeks up at Sabine with a demure, yet unwavering gaze.

"Yes," Sabine glances sideways at Rhyeline. "He does seem to be taking very good care of you." She lets that sink in for a moment, sipping her tea again, nonchalant. "Yet, do not mistake me, I am not eager to go. Perhaps something better will present itself."

"You should speak to Thomas… Although, at present… the political situation grows more tenuous by the day," murmurs Rhyeline, lowering her gaze.

"That it does," Sabine says, though she doesn't seem nearly as concerned by it. "I'll see if I can get ahold of Mister Carrow. Certainly, it could shed light on things. How have you been feeling as of late?"

"I've been feeling a little better… the curse doesn't feel- quite so close…" murmurs Rhyeline in a rather quiet tone.

Sabine smiles, then. "I am glad to hear it," she says, genuinely. "Perhaps I should take my leave." She moves to stand. "Thank you, for your hospitality."

Rhyeline doesn't rise, but she gives Sabine a deep nod in respectful farewell. "Thank you for coming to see me. I appreciate very much your patience and understanding…"

"And I, yours," Sabine puts her tea cup down on the table, then straightens. She starts to move towards the door, then stops, half-turns. "Oh, one last thing," she says. "How is my aunt? Well, I trust?"

Rhyeline pauses and at last that wariness Sabine is so familiar with enters the little one's gaze. With a small nod, she murmurs, "I believe so…"

"And her treatments? I can see they've been working," Sabine fixes Rhyeline with a steady look.

Rhyeline has grown rather still. Her hands are tight around her cup of tea. For a moment, it seems as if the little one might speak, but in the end, she remains silent.

Sabine takes a deep breath. "Rhyeline," she says, "I hope you know that there's nothing you can say that would surprise me, or make me think less of you."

"The curse draws strength from the latent darkness within me… It was meant to end one far darker than I… But I think… I think that it is Cassius who- who is the reason for- for my recent progress…" murmurs Rhyeline in a rather quiet tone. There is truth in his words, and yet there is a subtle evasiveness to her manner. Her cheeks burn with warmth and her shyness has grown rather deep.

"If it makes you feel better, I already knew that about the curse's nature," Sabine says, gently. "And I assumed so about Cassius Malfoy. But I think there's something else you're not telling me. I think it has something to do with my aunt's treatment."

Rhyeline remains silent at that. On more than once occasion, Keenan has tried to persuade her to reveal details of her aunt's unpleasant, but effective treatment.

Sabine looks about to say something, but closes her mouth, frustrated. She tries again, "I suppose I can infer that my aunt hasn't been having you hug kittens to inspire feelings of happiness. Is it worth it?"

Rhyeline lowers her gaze and stares down into her cup of tea. "It is not something Keenan would be able to- or willing to replicate… it doesn't interfere with what he does… and I don't wish to speak of it…"

"Sympathy is not something that comes easily to me. I am forever being told that I lack the bedside manner of an effective healer," Sabine says rapidly, firing through the sentences. Slowing down, "But, when I say I will do something, I do it. I would like to know what it was — and I will promise not to tell Keenan if you don't wish it, or anyone else."

Rhyeline doesn't look up and remains silent.

Sabine clasps her hands in front of her and waits.

Rhyeline brings her cup to her lips and takes slow, silent sips. Setting aside her empty cup, she peeks over at her healer at last.

When Rhyeline peeks at her, Sabine just gives her a patient smile.

Rhyeline's expression remains solemn. At last, she murmurs, "I can't."

"Can't, or won't?" inquires Sabine, pleasantly. "You don't make this easy, do you, Rhyeline?"

"I can't. And I won't," murmurs Rhyeline, gazing over at Sabine as a mouse watches a cat.

Sabine should be frustrated, and perhaps she is, but she offers Rhyeline the nicest smile. "I'm sure you think making a principled stand and staying silent is brave," she says, "but it takes more courage to speak up." She glances towards the door. "I won't take up any more of your time. It was good to see you, Rhyeline. Let's do this again sometime."

"Thank you for coming," murmurs Rhyeline. There is sincerity in her tone. There is little that frightens her more than going to St. Mungo's.

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