(1939-01-20) A New Hope
Details for A New Hope
Summary: Having taken the pulse of the wizarding community, Rhyeline comes to Cassius with news that infuses the Unity Party with new life and hope.
Date: Monday, January 20th, 1939
Location: Berylwood
Related: A Most Important Meeting, A Most Important Meeting - Epilogue

Not until Cassius returned to work did Rhyeline begin to venture out of Berylwood for more than brief errands. Meeting with her contacts at the Ministry and listening to the chatter of the Leaky Cauldron and Cafe Tasseo, the little one has been able to retake the pulse of the wizarding community. And her findings have surprised her.

The hour grows late. Cassius has only just arrived home, but his beloved consort is not there waiting for him in the library as she so often is. The servants offer to hold off on serving dinner. Before Cassius can answer, the house elf appears and announces that the young mistress has just arrived. Moments later, she appears in a bit of a rush. Her dark eyes shine bright in earnest urgency.

Cassius turns to face Rhyeline, still a bit bewildered by the change in routine. Not that the man cannot adapt, but he has only just started getting used to "normal" again. He leans upon his cane, which has become more of an affectation than a necessity now. "Rhyeline? Where have you been, love?" He reaches invitingly to her, approaching.

Rhyeline draws at once into his embrace, tucking herself against him. Peeking up at him, she murmurs. "Forgive me, my love. At Cafe Tasseo… I… I had another meeting with- with Eugene Flint, and- and he had much to say. And… and now… I have much news for you…" Her delicate form presses close as she takes hold of the fabric of his shirt on either side of his waist. The subtle gesture has always accompanied a quiet whisper: Mine. In the presence of the servants, wondering if they should serve the light supper the pair tend to take their in the library, the little one lets her gesture speak for itself.

Cassius arches an eyebrow, and there is a flash in his eyes. A fire is lit, that has been smoldering for some time now. "Is that so?" He looks to the staff, "We'll take supper in the study tonight." Glancing back to Rhyeline, he adds, "We may have work to do." He offers his arm, gesturing in readiness to lead her to their office space.

Rhyeline slips her arm into his, tucking herself close against his side and follows him to the study. "I should have done this sooner… taking my own measure of things instead of relying on the papers…" She hadn't wanted to leave his side. "It's true that events have- have polarized the debate… but not as I'd thought. Their silence… it was respect, not a loss of interest. The moment you returned to the Ministry, I received a flood of owls…"

Cassius shuts the doors to the study, indicating that privacy will be necessary. He doesn't yet sit behind his desk, instead taking a seat opposite Rhyeline once he's seen her comfortably seated herself. "You have my complete and undivided attention, dear one. Tell me what you've learned."

Rhyeline tucks her feet beneath herself, curling up a bit in the comfortable chair that he settles her in. Watching him with a dark, unwavering stare, she murmurs, "Through the conversations and owls I've gotten over the last few days, I now have a clear measure of your support at the Ministry… I had been able to contact a quarter of those who hold influence over public policy, those who matter… I sent owls to those I though might be receptive. All have made clear that they are waiting for your declaration of allegiance. They will give an ear to what you have to say. And of those advisors and officials, a fourth of them will give you staunch backing should you choose to forge your own path…"

"Should you align with Grindelwald, that will spell an end to the Unity Party… we knew that. But… I did not realize the true prevailing attitudes in the wizarding community. The Daily Prophet has not quite managed to convey it. Sitting in Cafe Tasseo and the Leaky Cauldron, no one took much notice of /me/, but I listened to the chatter around me.
"Hope that secrecy will last has all but faded… those in favor of preservation now speak against ruling over muggles… instead of living hidden from muggles -they know this will not be possible- they wish for peace and equality with muggles… they are receptive to your message, my love…"

"If you were to take a clear stance /against/ Grindelwald, and emphasize that the end result of your policies will be muggles and wizards living as equals, I am certain you could gain enough backing to ennact them."

Cassius sits back in his chair, letting her words wash over him, fill him. He had already been on a path to recovery, but there was still a drawn, weak pall hanging over the silver-tongued prince. But as he listens, his back straights, his chin lifts, and for the first time since the day he was tortured, a genuine smile touches the corners of his mouth. "The question is, will publicly back us? If we can get them speaking on our behalf, we can use that to garner more support, to better sway the tide by the time we argue this before the Wizengamot."

"Staunch support," murmurs Rhyeline with a nod. A soft, luminous smile of quiet adoration shines in her dark eyes as she gazes at him. "They will speak out in support of the Unity Party should you oppose Grindelwald and take the clear position of unity /and/ equality. With this position, I am certain you would be able to consolodate all those who do not hold with Grindelwald's message."

"This is excellent news." Cassius taps his chin thoughtfully. "It seems we've had more impact than even we realized. In some ways, Grindelwald has actually helped us with that." He takes a deep breath. "We'll lose some support, of course. Jocunda Sykes and the other Grindelwald devotees. But apparently we are no longer as much in the middle as we had imagined."

"Small losses compared to great gains… but… time is of the essence. We must draft a statement. Or… or call a press conference if- if you are feeling well enough for that. It's true. We are not in the middle… we can consolidate all opposition and- and now… there is true hope." Rhyeline's soft smile brightens still. The light of her idealism had begun to fade, but now it has been rekindled. Of course, her faith and devotion to Cassius has never wavered.

Cassius takes a deep, satisfying breath, the blush of health seeming to return to his cheeks right before her eyes. "Edwarlinda will be pleased. As am I. I never truly wished to align ourselves with Grindelwald. Perhaps he could be effective with the right guidance. But I get the sense that the man is too in love with his own legend to see clearly." He rises from his seat, forgetting the cane, and moves behind his desk at last. Taking out a piece of parchment, he unstops an inkwell and takes up his favourite green peacock feather quill. "We should discuss what our key points will be in this address. We must denounce Grindelwald, and call for a united front against his violent methods."

Rhyeline rises as well, following him as a moth follows a candle in the night. Nodding, she murmurs, "Your statement… it should begin by denouncing the violence at the Sykes Gala… but also, perhaps continue by saying that the attack should only be a further lesson against violence. Show how it would be foolish to join Grindelwald's Army of Truth as a result of the attack. Instead, they should turn away from violence and voice their support for Unity. After that, you can explain what the Unity Party stands for, what policies it proposes, but most importantly, that you advocate peaceful methods whereby a divided world will become united. Explain that your policies will be carried out in coordination with muggle authorities. At each step, they will be a part of the process and at the end of it, muggles and wizards will stand united as equals."

Cassius takes down notes on the parchment as Rhyeline speaks. It is merely a collection of ideas, not a true speech yet. But it will form the basis for Unity's own manifesto. "We must be careful about using that word: equals. It may placate some, but it will turn others away. Besides, it isn't realistic. Muggles are not our equals. That is why it is our duty to guide them and help them realize their true destiny. But that could take centuries."

"Those it would turn away have already been lost… secrecy is no longer viable, and so those who fear muggles will have joined the army of truth. But, -and this is what I had not realized- they are a minority… the gains with this stance will be greater than the loss. And… it's true, we will never be the /same/ as them… muggles will never be identical to us… just as women and men will always simply be different. Equality means equal rights and opportunties… And… transition will take time… we must be careful of culture shock… but… though you might be right… I do not think that will take centuries… at the most… a generation or so? And… in the meantime… equality is our vision… no?"

"You are making the mistake of assuming hard lines between modes of thought," Cassius warns softly. "We will lose the extremists. But there are many who think as I do, that Muggles are inferior, but that they can become greater. Perhaps one day, every human being will possess magic, or the Muggles will develop a power all their own. But it will certainly take more than a few generations. The point being that we musn't alienate the cautious ones, who will see the potential of Unity, yet fear that it could lead to the end of their culture."

Rhyeline shakes her head slowly. "Those who support you will not be frightened of the thought of muggles one day being different but equal to us… and those who would support you, will not if you advocate ruling over muggles as Grindelwald does, no matter how peaceful the means…"

"No, not ruling them," Cassius insists, "But guiding them. There will be things that we must take a leadership role in. But I am not so foolish as to think we can simply assume authority. The Muggles would not respond to that any better than they would to Grindelwald's conquest. My point being that we can maintain some support by choosing our words carefully. We do not call Muggles our equals. We say that we stand side-by-side with them. We work together. We learn from each other. But 'equal' is a powerful and evocative word."

Rhyeline nods this time and murmurs, "Of course. The word 'equal' would be a blunt instrument at a time when precision and care is needed. What I meant was the spirit of your message must convey a sense that muggles will live free and unoppressed should they support the Unity Party."

"Of course," Cassius agrees. "I don't wish to oppress anyone. I simply wish to have the power to make this world a better place for my children." He smirks up at Rhyeline, giving her a look of sweet adoration. "A place where my loved ones don't have to hide. For we are the oppressed now."

Rhyeline's cheeks flush with warmth at the smirk and adoring look that follows. Peeking up at him with a quiet, shy smile wherein her innocent naivete shines unguarded and vulnerable, she murmurs, "Your purpose is noble… and the future is a bright one… I…" she hesitates, cheeks burning with warmth. "I love you, Cassius…"

Cassius sets down the quill, pushing back from the desk and opening his arms to her, presenting the lap that seems to be her favourite seat. "I love you, Rhyeline. You've given me hope again, that we can reshape this world without sacrificing our principles."

Rhyeline's young features brighten with such innocent delight when invited into his lap. At once, she rises and hastens into his embrace. Folding her legs and nuzzling close, she tries to press gentle kisses to his neck. "You give me hope as well… you… with your strength… you are powerful enough to bring about your noble vision…" she whispers into his ear.

Cassius inhales sharply, lifting his chin. How Rhyeline puts him on a pedestal, reaffirming his certainty that he is right and deserving of the power he seeks. "I do not believe I could accomplish it with you." He lifts his finger to her chin, turning to look into her eyes. "A king needs his queen."

Rhyeline stare up at him, ensnared in his clear gaze of jade. As ever when he tilts her head so that she might meet his eyes, her breath comes short and faint. "A fragile creature such as I? One who lingers unnoticed in the shadows?" She bites her lower lip, watching him with a vulnerable look of such innocence.

Cassius smiles with wicked glee. "You know very well that it is your subtle ways that make you perfect for me." He brushes his thumb lightly over her lips, playing for a moment with their plush softness. Then they prove too tempting, and he claims them with his own in a tender, but heated kiss.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License