(1939-01-02) Hats and Holidays
Details for Hats and Holidays
Summary: A hat gone astray finds its way back home.
Date: 1939-01-02
Location: Auror's Office
Related: Where the Hat Tumbles

Seeing as how the lack of a hat is an impropriety, Rena wears a dark blue knitted beret into the office today - one with a matching scarf. Normally, she'd be wearing her perky little peacock-feather adorned cap, but she's been missing it for the last couple of days. She looked at the Leaky Cauldron and found that it wasn't there. It was a hope in vain that some kind soul might have left it to be picked up at a later date.
The young woman's demeanor is subdued as she comes into the office today, and she has that furtive guilty expression one usually has when they've made a public spectacle of themselves and can only hope that nobody from work happened to see it. Rena light-foots her way to the desk she occupies and begins to hang up her things.

This particular morning just happens to be the first day that Shelley finally returns from the bit of winter holiday she had managed to secure for herself. She strolls through the doors dressed in robes and a waistcoat that she has transfigured to match /precisely/ the shade of the peacock feather decorated fedora perched jauntily on her head. The precise same hat Rena had searched for so achingly. "Morning, everyone," she says in a cheery voice as she strolls in - intent on starting her day with a cup of tea.

Shelley's voice seems to bring a chill over Rena. She stops midway through draping her scarf around the hook and slowly turns her head with a visible cringe. Now it comes back to her that Shelley was there that night in the Leaky Cauldron too… she even tried to be the peacemaker in that altogether ridiculous spat.
Dark eyes flick toward the older Auror and cause Rena to start again. Her lips part in surprise, trying to form the words: "M-my…" Rather than suffer more humiliation, she catches herself and moves to take her seat. "Morning."

A few faces around the office echo the sentiment, but there is also a hint of background whispering between a few of the females behind upraised hands. Lee is pretty well known for that hat. The switch-up is quite amusing.

Shelley takes her time getting her tea - putting in a bit of sugar, a bit of cream… She stirs it, tastes it, then decides to add just a dollop more cream - peeeerfect. Another sip, and then she's on her way to Rena's desk. "Miss Lee, good morning!" she greets her in a bright tone. "Oh, that blue hat is /lovely/, you always do have such wonderful taste. Did you knit it yourself?"

"Yes, I've been learning to work with yarn." Rena answers rather tersely, still trying very hard not to look pointedly at the hat perched so obviously on Shelley's head. No matter what she says, it's going to be an embarrassment. She hasn't got a leg to stand on in this situation, and she appears to have no intention of making it worse by digging a new ditch to fall into.
"Did you enjoy your 'oliday?" She asks, unwilling to crack or budge.

"Oh, I did, in part thanks to you. This hat really was perfect for this outfit, you were right," Shelley remarks brightly, taking the thing off to admire it. "I'm ever so grateful you lent it to me." She smiles at Rena, before setting the hat down on her desk.

Rena has been making herself looks very busy with the paperwork on her desk. Shuffle-shuffle, tap-tap; she's learned this kind of blind from someone very near and dear to her heart. But then, her movements completely cease as Shelley removes the hat and covers for her with that story. For a split second, the younger woman flicks her stunned gaze between the hat and her co-worker, unsure of what to say. Then, after a swallow, she manages to smile. "I… I'm g-glad you enjoyed wearing it." Rena stammers, finding her voice at last. "I should give you the address of the milliner I go to. I'm sure she can make something uniquely you."
The words may be lame by comparison, but the heart-felt gratitude showing in Rena's gaze says it all. For whatever reason, Shelley's gone to the trouble of saving her tail.

"I think I'd like that. I'd be in your debt, Miss Lee," Shelley responds. Yes, she's saving Rena's tail - but she /knows/ she's saving Rena's tail, and she's loving it. "And how were your holidays? I do hope everything went well for you - you know. /After/ you left the hat in my care."

Again, a hint of wary watchfulness enters Rena's dark eye as she tilts her head slightly. One obviously needs to not underestimate the older Auror or let down their guard too much. For a moment only, she hesitates. Then, putting on a more confident smile, she gives a little shrug of her shoulders and replies: "I had a lovely evening, staying at a friend's house." A little pause, "I stayed for breakfast too. It was very nice."

"It's good to have friends like that," Shelley agrees, amusement flickering in her eyes. "I'm glad your holidays went well." She claps Rena on the shoulder, leaning in to add more quietly, "And I've your back, anytime. No worries, okay?"

The kindly (but unlooked for) clap on the shoulder is enough to set Rena off-balance in her chair momentarily and pitch her forward. Fortunately, she catches and rights herself just as quickly. Once more, an uncertain but truly grateful look is cast toward Shelley. She didn't have to do anything in all of this, but she did. "Thank you," she replies quietly, hurriedly adding: "I owe you one. If there's anything I can do… just let me know."

"I'll be sure to let you know, Miss Lee," Shelley agrees brightly. Taking her tea, she turns to make her way back to her own desk to get some work done. That is, typically, why one goes in to the office, isn't it?

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