(1938-12-22) Tension Thick Enough to Cut
Details for Tension Thick Enough to Cut
Summary: The Leaky Cauldron is bustling with business on this cold, winter evening. A pair of rogues discuss 'business' while a girl meets her favorite author. New connections and chance encounters abound. An employer arrives and infuriates his employee with a forced apology.
Date: Sunday, December 22, 1938
Location: Leaky Cauldron

The Leaky Cauldron is 'safe'. Moreso with the 'tourists' safely entrenched in Hoxton. At least, he thinks 'Maximillian' is still in Hoxton. Would the man be so bold as to explore the town proper? What anarchy would he be causing? The idea of letting them loose is disturbing. So much so that he's found himself a corner at the Cauldron, and has been drinking. The sixth tumbler finished, he picks it up with one rock-steady hand, turns it over and joins the tower he's been constructing. Four on the base, and now two on the next level. A hand is held up. More whiskey.

Rhyeline scurries into the Leaky Cauldron and out of the sudden snow flurry. The little one shivers and her cheeks and nose are nipped pink with cold. But her eyes shine bright with cheer. She hugs a parcel to her chest- a recently purchased gift. And it seems that after this successful outing, she has come for a warming drink before heading home. She is just in time. A barwench has just finished wiping down the table closest to the fireplace. At once the little one scurries over to put her parcel on the table to claim it.

"I'm curious, darling," a silvery, smooth little voice suddenly draws up beside Tiberius. "What the end goal of your little construction happens to be?"

A gorgeous auburn haired woman dressed in deep red stands beside him with a filled glass in her own hand. Her demeanor is completely languid and relaxed, but her expression as she studies him with those cool green eyes of hers is cunning. Perhaps she just looks that way naturally. Of course the lady is Beryl Crabbe - erstwhile curse-breaker and thrill-seeker. However, the only thrill she appears to be seeking tonight lies in the spirits served at the bar.

Close on Rhyeline's tail is her guardwitch, recognizable to those familiar with the look by the simple, utilitarian robes she wears. Bailey's flaxen hair is pulled into a tight bun in a no-nonsense style. Still, there is a serenity about her that is unlike the fierceness of some of Rhyeline's other guards.

Tiberius is looking for red. Rhyeline doesn't match his criteria - And when something red does drift into view, his hand is stayed rather than glued to his wand. It's the gorgeous Beryl Crabbe, not the creature that's been stalking his thoughts. "Some kind of tower. Otherwise I'm a sad old man drinking away his problems." A chuckle. Dark. "Come. Add to my illusion, Miss Crabbe." Another whiskey is bought over. Double, with ice. Just the way he likes it.
Finally, he notices Rhyeline, out of the corner of his eye. He says nothing to or about her yet.

Rhyeline asks for a warm glass of mulled wine before the barwench heads off. Settling into her chair at the table closest to the fire, she looks over at her guard, Bailey. With a subtle flicker of her gaze to the chair beside her, and a slight hopeful lifting of her brows, the girl asks her silently to join her. The little one has not yet noticed Tiberius or the stunning woman drinking with him in the corner of the room.

Beryl notices the faint glance Tiberius gives Rhyeline, and her own gaze drifts toward the little woman briefly. Through lowered lashes, she calmly regards the other for a mere second. Then, she glides her hand along the seat opposite Tiberius and slides herself onto it in a smooth motion.
"What's the matter, darling?" Beryl asks the tipsy gentleman, forming her soft lips into that trademark pout of hers, probably feigning the sympathetic expression her features take on. "Tell it to Mama." She then adds with a playful wink.

Bailey takes a moment to glance around the tavern, assessing those nearby. The evening crowd is lively, but not raucous. Apparently satisfied, she takes the offered seat with a murmured, "Thank you." She nods to the parcel Rhyeline brought in. "I never did see what you got."

The door leading to the alley opens breifly and the red haired figure of Lilith slips inside her curls bouncing and she heads for the bar her three inch black heels clicking against the floor as she walks. Dressed in a knee length black skirt and an emerald green sweater she looks rather striking though part of that could be her height as well. Sliding onto a barstool she calls out in a clear voice for firewhiskey as her eyes slip around the room observing those here carefully while she waits for the drink.

"I decided on the mobile… the one of all the birds. Their lullaby was so sweet, and- and I thought that they would make her feel as if she was sleeping in a sunlit garden," murmurs Rhyeline to Bailey, looking so pleased. The little one sits at the table closest to the fireplace. A parcel rests upon the table, but they have yet to receive their drinks.

"World on my shoulders, Miss Crabbe. A greater pain than being without you - If that's believable." Tiberius can't manage the charm. Instead, it's dry humour. To match the whiskey. He sips, a decent sized mouthful, his voice nice and low. "Took on two new clients. Like nothing about them, but looks like I'm going to need a few more pairs of hands." He screws up his face. And it's not the smooth whiskey, bought with coin from some poor wretch currently searching for their wallet. "Pays good." He wraps both his hands around the glass. He wouldn't have taken the job, truth be told, were it not for Carrow. If he weren't already back where he had no interest in being.

Bailey lifts her eyebrow curiously. "It sounds lovely. But who is she? A baby, I assume?" There is the briefest moment of wide-eyed wonder as her gaze drifts toward Rhyeline's midsection…but no, that wouldn't make sense.

As the red head enters from the alley the door open a moment later for Euphemia to enter as well. The blonde eyes the red haired woman carefully before she looks about with a clear deep blue gaze searching for an empty table. She spots one near the fire and heads in that direction settling gracefully into the seat and looking about while she waits for a sever to come and see to her order. She is sitting very close to where Rhyeline and Bailey are and the both get a look, a breif nod and a faint smile before she gives her order for black tea with honey to the server who has just approched. She glances around her eyes cool and calm.

Rhyeline blinks and then her eyes widen. "N-no… she- she's Edwarlinda's child," she says quickly, shaking her head no. No, no. No. Her cheeks are as pink as ever, and it has nothing to do with the cold she just came in from. Just then, the little one's warm glass of mulled wine arrives. Quickly, she takes it into her hands and brings it to her lips, hiding behind it. Euphemia's approach catches the girl's attention and for a moment, she watches her with quiet curiosity as she takes a long, slow sip of mulled wine.

The next to seek warm shelter, and a good drink, is Xavier Sykes who removes his hat upon entering. A gloved hand dusts off his bowler and immediately heads for the bar. "Gin." He requests from the barwench while carefully setting his hat upon the bartop.

Beryl continues to regard Tiberius with a calm gaze and almost indolent attitude. Now she perches her arm atop the back of her seat, turning her body halfway so that she can lean lazily with her drink in hand as she talks to Tiberius. Of course, while her demeanor remains just as languid as ever, she has changed her position to ensure that she can glance into the expanse of the bar and keep an eye on the various patrons nearby.
Smirking, Beryl gives Tiberius a sidelong glance and offers: "Just what might you need this extra pair of hands for, precisely? Or better still, I could just ask if it'll be fun…" Since that /is/ the most important thing, after all.

Lilith's firewhiskey arrives and she brushes back a strand of hair before she reaches for the glass. Taking a long drink she looks down the bar to see the man and woman talking a few seat down from where she settled. The blonde woman gets a breif look before the red haired woman spots Rhyeline. Pale blue eyes study the woman intently for a long moment as if considering something. After a moment her eyes drift away back to the man and woman chatting next to her. They look familer somehow but she doesn't seem to recognize from where she knows them.

Tiberius swirls the liquor around his glass. "Corporate espionage." He states, "Maybe some hands on work. Might get distasteful, but pay increases as work does." Distasteful. A word he's come to love. "'Sides, you get to spend all kinds of time with my oh-so-charming self. I might even be sober." He's scowling - Although his gaze softens when it passes over Rhyeline, his friends slight young daughter giving him pause. Her guard seems to be a little less feckless this time to.
It's worth mentioning that his suit has changed - OR at least, it's grey now, for whatever reason.

As Rhyeline studies her Euphemia's eyes study the dark haired woman in turn. The deep blue eyes calmly assess the girl and then she smiles calmly at the other woman. After a moment there is a hint of recognition in her eyes and when her tea arrives she rises cup in hand to take a step over to where Bailey and Rhyeline are sitting. Her tone is as calm as her gaze both cultured and polite. "Forgive me if I am intruding but you look terriblly familier…didn't you work for Unity at one time?" Deep blue eyes are focused on the small figure of Rhyeline with polite curiousity now.

Rhyeline blinks as Euphemia recognizes her. Her hands tighten just a bit upon her glass and her dark gaze flickers briefly to her guardwitch Bailey. But, lowering her glass slowly, she offers a soft, hesitant nod. "Yes… I- My name is Rhyeline Diderot…" She doesn't introduce her guard. It isn't done.

Beryl considers momentarily. What really lies behind those cool green eyes is beyond telling at the moment. Her expression remains just as deviously calm as ever.
A soft index finger is run along the top of her glass thoughtfully, and then a tiny sip is taken. At length, she simply smiles and says: "You'll pardon my saying, but money is never distasteful - if there's enough of it to go around." There is a pause, and she narrows her eyes for a moment before saying: "What happened to your other suit? You looked so nice in it, too"

Tiberius watches Beryl with a careful, considered gaze. Trying to read more into the wonderful, perhaps slightly mad woman he'd been partnered with. "I had an altercation with an MLE constable who seems convinced I'm some kind of criminal mastermind. I'm afraid the suit bore the brunt of it." He seems to have retained the silver tongue, although there's a tiny bit of aslur to it. "You're one driven woman, Miss Crabbe. I could pick you apart for hours, and delight in every moment." His mind catches the comment a moment later, and he chuckles softly.

With a glass of gin set before him Xavier took a few drinks before sweeping over the other inhabitants of the popular tavern. Just before raising his glass again the man was given pause. He caught sight of a familiar figure but something else had gained his attention. Following his nose it brought him closer to Lilith, "Good choice." He compliments.

Lilith's eyes widen as she recoginizes the man sitting not too far from her. She smirks in his direction and then raises her glass to take a drink of her whiskey just as she hears someone speaking next to her. She turns her head and raises a brow at Xavier playful curiousity in her pale blue eyes. "Oh? And which of my choices is good enough to earn me compliments I wonder? Hopefully I haven't been too good. I have a reputation to uphold after all." She grins mischeviously and glances down the bar at Tiberius before looking back to Xavier once again.

One of Euphemia's golden brows raises and she studies Rhyeline curiously. "A pleasure to meet you. I am Euphemia Slughorn. Are you a relation to Dillorous Diderot? He is a colleage of mine…" She studies both women curiously and then looks to Rhyeline once again. "I would very much like to speak with someone directly linked to Unity at some point…but now might not be the best time for that. Would you mind if I joined you? I find sitting alone to be quite dull when I'm not working…"

Beryl's expression becomes quite coy and mildly amused as Tiberius makes his remark about picking her apart for hours. One could almost detect a gratified, tiny little silvery giggle amidst the din of the Leaky Cauldron coming from the woman.
One eyebrow quirks and Beryl can't help but smirk before taking another deliberate drink from her glass. "But the question is:" she speaks at length, keeping her voice low and smooth: "Would you?"

It's hard to say whether that's a question or a dare.

Rhyeline blinks, surprised to hear her father's name. Glancing to another chair at the little table closest to the fireplace, the girl gives a small nod. "Of- of course…" she murmurs. "And- and Dillorous Diderot… he is my father."

Tiberius can only occupy himself with a glance at Lilith for a moment, before he hears the satisfying sound of a giggle. Tiberius can't help but look highly amused at her choice of response. "I don't submit to temptation, Miss Crabbe. I seize it." An element of challenge is issued - The sort that could instigate a duel of words, or something else altogether. "So please. Tempt me."

Xavier tapped his nose, indicating her fragrance. "Good enough to warrant attention." He remarked while using the edge of the bar counter to lean against. Bright green eyes shifted towards the pair conversing not too far away that had garnered the rose scented woman. "Do you know them?" He asked, casually lifting his glass for another drink of gin.

Beryl feigns a look of shock and wide-eyed appall at Tiberius. Placing a hand on her chest, she gasps quietly: "But you forget! Whatever else I may be, I'm always a lady in public. And a lady never tempts gentlemen in a public place." Her voice lowers to a conspiratorial tone as she leans in to smirk devilishly at Tiberius. That matter is settled for now, seemingly, and she shifts her gaze to regard the crowd once more.

Lilith smiles at Xavier letting out a soft laugh. "Until today I have never attracted attention with my perfume alone….I suppose there is a first time for everything. Anyway thank you for the compliment. So who do I have the pleasure of speaking with?" She follows his eyes to the pair and then looks back with a faint smile. "I know of them I haven't actually met either of them though…." She looks at him thoughtfully for a moment.

Euphemia smirks at Rhyeline's shy demeanor as she settles into the offered chair. "Thank you. I work as a writer so I have met your father a few times now." She sips her tea considering the dark haired woman with a intense yet calm expression. She remains quite for now considering the other woman carefully as she sips her tea.

"Was that not your intent?" He asked while setting his glass back down on the bar top. The silent universal signal for another round. A small smile tugged in the corner of his mouth, "It's Xavier. Sykes. And yourself?"

Rhyeline's shyness only seems to deepen under Euphemia's intense observation. However, upon hearing that Euphemia is a writer as well, her familiar name suddenly clicks in the girl's head. Eyes wide, she hesitates a moment before murmuring, "You- you are… /the/ Euphemia Slughorn? The Looming Shadow…?"

Tiberius sighs in lovely sympathy. "Miss Crabbe; you are a cruel mistress. I had such high hopes from the evening, so easily dashed. Perhaps you'll visit my dreams." The rest of his whiskey is down, flipped and then added to his tower. "Unless you'd rather seek a private retreat. But so many witnesses; they'll have no doubt."

Taking another long drink from her glass Lilith smirks. "It was completely unintentional I assure you. I was simply wearing my favorite perfume that it happened to attract such charming company was a complete coincendce." She takes another drink setting her own empty glass back on the bar and waiting for a refill. "Lilith Crowe." She studies Xavier intently tilting her head to the side.

"Crowe… Crowe…" He recites, probing the depths of his memory. "I've heard that name somewhere before." Xavier reclaims his refreshed glass while consdering the woman beside him. "Crowe's Apothecary?"

That golden eyebrow raises again and Euphemia's expression is quite pleased as she nods to Rhyeline "Yes. That was the second book I wrote….have you read it then?" She smiles faintly her curiousity growing even more as she continues to study the girl leaning forward across the table slightly and taking another slow sip of her tea.

Beryl flashes another devilish smile at Tiberius and just begins her little ritual that is so typical of her.
Into her bag she reaches, withdrawing an exotic looking pack of cigarettes. From it, she removes a black cigarette - only this time, she actually places it onto a long-stemmed holder. So very elegant and suave… Then, a silver lighter is produced and flicked to life with a quick brush of her finger, and it releases a milky trail of heavily spiced smoke.

"We could talk business a little better in private," She offers Tiberius calmly. Obviously unmoved by the notion that others might talk behind their backs if they did secret away someplace more private.

Rhyeline gazes up at Euphemia, her dark gaze at once with such profound shyness and avid fascination. Nodding slowly, she murmurs, "Yes… all of your books. Your most recent book… it- it was- inspiring…" In the presence of such an admired writer, the little one's cheeks burn with warmth.

A brow raises and Lilith nods to Xavier as he mentions her shop. "I own and run Crowe's Apothecary yes." She smiles faintly and lifts her now refilled glass to take a slow sip from it. She glances to Rhyeline breifly and notes how focused the dark haired girl is on the woman she is sitting with. Pale blue eyes narrow slightly at the blonde writer but the expression is quite fleeting and Lilith looks back to Xavier and takes another drink of her whiskey.

Bailey sips her drink quietly while Rhyeline and Euphemia talk. Her hazel gaze peruses the crowd, subtly watching for anyone looking their way, and potential hazards in general.

"Ah. To business then." Tiberius smiles, "Despite how ravishing you look. I'm afraid I'll always pick a talented mind over a blessed body." The mock-flirting continues, the man slowly stepping out from behind the table - Relying on a hand to keep him steady, against the table. "And business must always yield to pleasure. The night is young, though, Miss Crabbe - And I can't help but imagine how wonderful you'll look, silhoutted in the moonlight." … Oh yes, alcohol /really/ helps his silver tongue. Or it makes him more inclined to use it for his own amusement. He steadies himself, and offers her a hand.

"All of them? Oh my…that is quite flattering assuming you enjoyed them?" Euphemia's eyes sparkle with delight and she smiles warmly at Rhyeline. "I am glad you enjoyed the last one….I will be publishing another early this coming year." She is focused on Rhyeline but she does notice the stern look the red head gives her she just doesn't acknowlege it prefering to keep her attention on her current company instead.

Xavier drains the remainder of his glass before returning to the bartop. "I'll have to remember to browse through your wares and see what may interest me." To cover his drinks he leaves behind a few coins. "Until next time Miss Crowe." The wizard retrieves his bowler hat and slips it back on while enroute for the door.

Rhyeline nods, holding her glass of mulled wine rather close to her chest as she gazes across the table at Euphemia. She did enjoy the books. Upon hearing of another one soon to be published, the little one can't help but smile with such bright, unguarded eagerness. "You will? Would- would you tell me- What is it about?" Also sitting at the girl's table is her guardwitch Bailey. The table is the one closest to the fireplace.

Beryl works the cigarette holder in her teeth elegantly as she considers the invitation from Tiberius to go discuss plans elsewhere. To any onlooker, no doubt the scene appears dubious as she rises to follow, but business /is/ business after all.

Euphemia smiles brightly and is about to answer Rhyeline when a tall man dressed in a dark suit approches her and speaks. "Madam Slughorn? I need to speak with you for a few moments." Euphemia nods to him and looks to Rhyeline with a look of regret. "I would be happy to tell you about my newest book but it seems I have business to take care of first. Perhaps another time? I still would very much like to speak with someone who is familer with Unity's agenda and stances. Perhaps you cold find time to speak with me at a later date and we could talk books as well?" She smiles so charmingly and then she slides a small card across the table to Rhyeline. "Send an owl to that address if you would like to meet with me at a later date. I hope to see you again." She takes a final sip of tea and rises following the man in the suit out into the alley.

Rhyeline takes up the card and holds it like a precious keepsake. With great care, she tucks it away into a pocket. Hesitating a moment, she peeks up at Bailey with a small, but glowing smile. "She- she is one of my favorite authors…"

Lilith watches as Xavier and then the blonde sitting with Rhyeline take thier leave. She glances to the table where Rhyeline sits and picking up her glass makes her way over with a smirk. "Hello Rhyeline. Its been too long since I've seen you." She looks down at the woman with a crictical gaze making sure she is alright. "I'm afraid I can't stay much longer tonight but I would very much like to see you again soon and much more often than I have lately."

Bailey smirks, arching an eyebrow at Rhyeline. "I picked up on that. What sort of things does she write?" Bailey watches Euphemia go with a kind of clinical curiosity.

Bailey turns that gaze to Lilith now, though in the woman's presence it is less clinical, even offering a restrained smile.

"Stories of political struggle… I read her first books when I was still at Hogwarts… They-" Rhyeline pauses. The little one grows rather still when Lilith comes to stand at her table. It would seem that her arrival has caught the girl rather off guard. With such shy caution, she murmurs, "Hello Lilith… Yes, I- I'd like that…" Although she seems as fragile as ever, there is a warmth to her cheeks and her eyes are especially bright and expressive.

— The cold overcast night air breezes into the room as the main door to Leaky Cauldron opens. Into the establishment walks a tall man wrapped in an expensive looking 3/4 length jacket with a lit cigarette hanging from his lips. His soft bronze eyes scan the patrons and catch the pair he knows as associates begin to walk out of the main area. With a sigh he simply continues to walk in and unbotton his jacket, tossing it on a hook before he finds a seat at the table near where the other three women are sitting in conversation. As he sits he looks in their direction while taking a long draw from hims smoke, letting the acrid smoke trail from his mouth as he reclines. "Good Evening." He remarks to no one in particular.

"Then its settled I will send you an owl later this week so we can arrange a meeting. I have missed talking with you." She glances to the man nearby and her eyes narrow slightly in recognition. She looks back to Rhyeline and smiles softly. Leaning down to place a gentle kiss to the womans cheek she gently touches that dark hair before she straightens up and steps back. "I should go. Take care Rhyeline." With that the red head heads for the door throwing a final soft smile to Rhyeline and a wary glance to the man who she knows is a Carrow.

Bailey's quiet assessment of Lilith is interrupted at the arrival of a more ominous figure. Her gaze finds Hector, and her entire body goes rigid. It's almost imperceptible, save that she is completely unmoving. She never looks directly at him after the first glance, but keeps him deliberately within her field of vision.

Rhyeline's cheeks burn with warmth as she accepts Lilith's affection with a rather self-conscious shyness. "T-take care… Lilith…" murmurs the little one as she watches her old friend go. Sitting at the table closest to the fireplace, she hides behind her glass of mulled wine. Distracted by Lilith's farewell, the girl failed to notice Hector's greeting. But upon noticing her guard's rigid stance, she bites her lower lip. "Is… is everything alright?" Just then, she notices Hector. Silent, the shy creature peeks over the brim of her glass at him.

THe Door swings open at that point, allowing a cold draft of air to enter from the Muggle side of the world. Closing it quickly behind him, Chaucer, bundled in a tweed petticoat and with his cane blinked through his glasses, and then removed them as they fogged out "Hot tea please! Now where is that chair - OW!" he yelps, a bit too loudly as he walks right into a chair without his glasses, sending it scooting forwards an inch. He puffs, the glasses returned to his nose as he wriinkles it, and glances all about, as though daring someone to make a comment!

— The impassive stare that is laid on Bailey is held for a short moment before he smiles in her direction, it's a thin smile that lacks any sort of warmth. As someone walks by who can take his order he finally peels his eyes away and orders a single malt scotch 'neat'.
Settling back in his chair once again he looks back at Bailey and speaks to her directly. His deep baritone voice is relaxed as he says, "It's good to see you are still in the business Ms Potter." The comment is left to hang in silence as he takes another drag from his smoke before putting it out on the table while breathing out through his nose.

Bailey stiffens…more? Apparently it's possible. Her head turns slowly toward Hector, though her expression remains impassive. She gives him a tense nod. "I work for Aegis Security now," she explains unnecessarily. She parts her lips as if to say more, but shuts them quickly, giving him a mirthless smile before looking back to Rhyeline. "It's fine. Everything is fine."

Rhyeline blinks at Hector's words and at once her gaze flits back and forth between the pair like a little robin hops hops from branch to branch. She flinches at Chaucer's sharp yelp, almost even spilling a bit of her mulled wine. Biting her lower lip, she gazes over at the elderly wizard for a moment before peeking over at her guardwitch. With deepening caution, the girl studies Hector.

"My apologies to everyone." remarks Chaucer, noting the stares he got as he straightens himself "I should have waited until the frosting up had dissapated." he guestures to Rhyneline, having recognised her and seeing she almost spilled "May I join you again… what was it, Rhyeline? " he questioned, leaning on his parrot-headed cane.

— A nod is sent back to Bailey before his scotch arrives and a sip is taken. The yelp from the elderly patron draws a short stare from Hector before he once more looks back toward the back rooms of the establishment and where his desire-stricken associates have hidden themselves away from what he can only assume is a 'romp' of some sort.
Upon turning back to look at Bailey the man tilts his head in an inquisitive fashion before he asks, "And is that type of work more to your liking? I suspect it's somewhat more of a relaxed atmosphere?" A look flips to Rhyeline for a moment, studying her concerned reaction a moment. Wondering silently about their business arrangement.

Bailey clenches her fingers around her cup, keeping her usual restrained smile for Hector. "It has it's own tensions. But it's the same sort of work…at it's core." When Hector's gaze goes to Rhyeline, Bailey lifts her chin just slightly, eyes on Hector.

Calm, cool and collected. Beryl returns to the main room of the Leaky Cauldron with the air of the cat who ate the canary about her, but other than slightly mussed auburn curls, nothing seems to be awry. Her hair is /always/ mussed anyhow. It's part of her "look."
Down the stairs she comes, tugging the cuff of her sweater to straighten it nonchalantly. Cooly, her eyes skim the room. It's emptied slightly since she left it before… but now a familiar face has arrived. Hector. Her languid gaze locks upon him as she enters the room and moves to the bar. Another drink is called for.

Rhyeline remains perfectly still and silent as she gazes over at Hector from over the brim of her glass. She has picked up on Bailey's tension. However, when Chaucer approaches and asks to join, the little one blinks. The tension at the table is palpable, and yet Chaucer's obliviousness to it seems to dull its edge, at least a little. Though she doesn't speak, she offers the elder wizard a small nod.

Tiberius does similar, a few minutes later. He alights with slow, deliberate steps, looking exactly the same as how he left - Although like her, he's busy adjusting the cuffs of his outfit. He looks perhaps slightly more sober, although still a little bit tipsy. And a little less anxious, which is always a positive. Private conversations always lift such a weight from the soul. "I'm glad you had time, Miss Crabbe." He mentions to her. Eyes sweeping the room. Ah, shit. Carrow. A nod of his head is all he spares for his 'employer.'

Chaucer glances to Hector as well at that, but only gives him a cordial nod. He was tense under his woolen coverings, but leaning somewhat casuall. At the nod, he slides the chair out and sits with a plotp, hooking the cane over the back of his chair for now as the tea arrives. Hat off, scarf off, jacket still on as he looks at the others "Hmm." he muses, then shrugs at all of them and adds milk and sugar to his tea, watching each one, as though waiting to see who would speak first. His eyes also looks to Tiberius and Beryl, raising his eyebrow at THEM… and smiling a wee bit.

— There is a subtle grunt of confirmation that emits from Hector as he takes another drink before settling the glass on the table. As he does this Beryl and Tiberius are now returning to the main room and both get a glance that speaks to none of his suspisions about what exactly happened in that back room. "I am glad." His tone and expression do nothing to sell that particular emotion, but he says it anyway. "Perhaps you have had the pleasure of meeting my new head of security of Carrow Investment Services. Our new offices have recently opened here in London."

Bailey gives Chaucer a cordial nod when sits at their table, and an apologetic smile as well, as she has been so caught up with Hector. To the latter, she shakes her head. "I haven't. But I'm-…it's fortunate for you that business is going so well."

"How is your father RHyeline? " asks Chaucer, finally impatient of waiting for someone ELSE to speak first as he tinks his spoon against the cup services. A glance again to Hector at the mention of his business "Ah. I heard of that one." he remarks, intending it seems to drag the entire crowd into the discussion somehow, one way or another.

Tiberius looks over at Rhyeline. How he manages not to blush might yet be a miracle. Maybe there was truly nothing untoward that occured between the two. He catches something about himself, and looks to the woman it's spoken to. "… Tiberius Tripe, madame. At your service. And I've met your charge before; the beautiful Miss Diderot." Beryl has moved safely away. So Tiberius walks over, slowly. Much less drunk. Or he's paying way more attention.

Adelphus wanders in from the street, heading towards the bar, and pulling out his pocket watch to check the time. He takes off his hat and, when he gets to the bar, orders himself a drink - butterbeer, probably. He pulls up a stool and rubs his nose idly. "Evening." he says, to those around.

Rhyeline notices the arrival of Tiberius and Berly from one of the upstairs rooms. Having withdrawn into silence, the little one studies them from across the room with that same, quiet caution. She meets Tiberius' gaze briefly, solemn and unwavering, before Chaucer's question captures her attention once more. With a little nod, she parts her lips to speak, but upon hearing Tiberius' mention of her, she hesitates. Silent, she peeks over at Tiberius keeping him on the edge of her field of vision.
However, nothing deepens Rhyeline's apprehension more than catching sight of the healer from across the room. It doesn't matter if he's not wearing his robes, she recognized his voice.

Beryl, for her part, recieves a tiny drink at the bar. It looks to be a green chartreuse. Remarkably, she downs it rather quickly and gives a satisfied smirk before laying it to rest on the bar once more - along with her money. She then turns to walk over to where Hector and Tiberius are making conversation with the others. "Investment Consultant for Carrow Investment Services," She says in a smooth, but mildly friendly way with a smile. But as soon as she's arrived, she then adds a cheerful: "Tah!" And with that, she saunters to the door and out into the night.

Adelphus is, indeed, the guilty healer, but he seems to not notice the presence of anyone familiar right at the moment. Instead, he takes his hat - with its lime green feather - off and puts it on the bar as he accepts his drink and pays. Then he sits and drinks, only at that point turning around on the stool to look at the others.

— The comment from Chaucer brings and thin smile to Hector's face before he nods to the older gentleman. "We are still finding our legs, but we are growing day by day." Tiberius also gets a look as he joins the conversation, however it's one that is slightly more annoyed than inquisitive. Then before he can say anything else Beryl has arrived and left in as much time as it takes to light a cigarette. This brings and somewhat wry look to Hector's face before he looks up at Tiberius and asks, "Were you really that disappointing?" As if her departure was due to an issue with his performance.

Chaucer peers after Beryl "Queer one that is." he comments simply. And then back to Rhyeline. "… Well??" he asked, sharply. But then his attention is finally drawn to Tiberius "All business have to find their legs at first. Be smart about it and you'll do fine." he assures. Sip… And then a bit of a cough at Tiberius' final question

"Carrow;" Tiberius' voice is so curt and to the point it almost cuts. "If your libido is so desperate for exercise it's leapt to the vicarious, I'll /buy/ you some fond company. It is possible for two people to converse in privacy with their clothes /on/." He maintains his composure relatively well, all things considered. "Perhaps a release will keep your eyes from wandering over Miss Crabbe, and she might have considered being your secretary." Retaliation is swift and deadly. His eyes go between Carrow and Rhyeline, the only two he cares for a reaction from.

Bailey lifts her brow in recognition of Tiberius's name. "Mr. Tripe. I'm Bailey Potter," she says flatly. A nearby patron perks up at the sound of her name, but makes no more fuss over it than nudging his table-mate and pointing her way.

Rhyeline gives a little flinch at Chaucer's sharp question. At last, her voice is summoned. "He- he is well," she murmurs, with a small nod. Her accent is crisp and clear, with the slightest hint of French. The innocent creature just stares wide-eyed from employer to employee, almost as apprehensive as she'd been about the healer. Biting her lower lip, she peeks over at Bailey, looking a bit lost.

Adelphus now hears a familiar voice, and turns to look at where Rhyeline sits. He purses his lips for a moment, but says nothing, instead turning away, then pulling his hat back on and bringing it down over his eyes.

— A eyebrown is raised as Tiberius ends his Tirade. For a short moment he simply holds the mans gaze with a narrow look. "I will take that as an affirmative." Hector Carrow lifts his newly lit cigarette to his lips and takes a short puff. "You can leave now Mr Tripe, lest you continue to make a fool of yourself in front of everyone." The man remarks in a stern tone before he turns to the others around them, the elderly and the women who should not be subject to such conversational mire. "I apologize for my employee. I suspect he's had a bit to much to drink." Hector explains to Rhyeline and Bailey. "You apologize too… don't you Mr Tripe." He asks, twisting the knife a bit and knowing that Tiberius has no choice but to accept what he is saying left his bond be broken.

Tiberius locks eyes with Hector when the man begins speaking again. He's about to make his closing argument, when he's cut off by the order to apologise. A dangerous look passes over his face, however briefly. Glaring at Hector for several long seconds. "… This is what you're choosing to do with it?" He sounds almost disbelieving. His right hand curls into a fist, tensing slightly. This is intolerable. He could end it now. Disobey. Punch that son of a bitch in the face, and end it infront of all of them. Instead, the Head of Security speaks through gritted teeth. "Of course. Carrow is wholly correct. What I fool I was. I apologise, everybody." Liar, liar, lest your pants (And person) be on fire. He turns on his heel. Sobered wholly by the encounter, the man stalks out rapidly.

Though Bailey should, perhaps, be settled by Tiberius's exit, the entire scene that played out just puts her even more on edge. "That…wasn't necessary, Mr. Carrow. But thank you for the apology, nonetheless."

Chaucer watches Tiberius depart. He had gotten tense during the altercation, and actually had grasped his cane for some reason. He does not relax once the man had left either, instead setting the cane across his lap as he settled back now, and quietly sips his tea, any earlier entertainment about the innunedo now gone.

Rhyeline brings her glass to her lips, watching Hector as he instructs Tiberius to apologize. The dangerous look Tiberius sends his employer ensnares her attention. And it is with this keen focus that she listens to his words and follows the disbelieving fury in his eyes to Hector's own gaze. Setting down her drink, she glances to Bailey when she thanks him for the apology. She adds a nod of her own in appreciation, but then murmurs in the softest of tones, "It's… it's getting late… I should be going. It was good to meet you, Mr. Carrow…"

Adelphus stands as well, adjusting his hat to a more normal position. He finishes the drink in two long swallows and leaves a tip, and then says, his voice having a gentle Scottish burr, "Thank you. I need to be getting back to the hospital."

Chaucer nods at Rhyeline "Bundle up. Its COLD outside." he remarks to her, and watches as ADelphus, who he hadnt gotten the name of, appears to be leaving too. He looks at those still staying, then gruffs "Well? Have a seat then. We may as well all sit at the same table instead of being antisocial. Just wouldnt be cricket!"

— As the man storms out after his somewhat sarcastic apology Hector turns back to thr groups and sighs, shaking his head. The comment from Bailey is met with a slightly incline of his head and a look toward her. "You know me. Ever the gentleman." The remark carries some sort of weight but it's nothing to anyone buy them. When he looks back at the others he smirks, "Some people can't take a joke."
When the ladies annouce that they mean to leave Hector stands politely and nods. "It was a pleasure to meet you all. Perhaps this is a good time for us all to be on our way." With that Hector makes his way to the coat hooks and plucks his jacket off. As he buttons up he smiles once more in that thin, impassive, way before saying… "Good evening." … and heading out into the winter night.

Bailey is quickly on her feet to clear space for Rhyeline to rise, immediately resuming the role of the stalwart protector. "You're right, it's late," she says, perhaps a touch eager to leave. Hector gets a polite nod, and her eyes follow him out the entire way.

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