(1939-02-01) Drinking With an Auror and a Werewolf
Details for Drinking With an Auror and a Werewolf
Summary: What do you get when you put an Auror, a Werewolf, and a Blood-Traitor at the same table? An excuse to drink.
Date: 01 February, 1939
Location: The Leaky Cauldron
Related: [Wolves in Strange Places].

This cramped, angular room is the taproom of the Leaky Cauldron. A long bar runs along one side of the room, plain wooden stools set out before it. Smoke from pipes and candles fills the air. The patrons of this curious little bar, many of them elderly, sit hunched over their mugs at the tables. Waitresses, sometimes coined "wenches", bustle back and forth bearing trays of food and mugs of ale. Many of the people seem strangely out of place, dressed in cloaks and floppy hats, as if they stumbled out of another century. Notably absent are any modern Muggle devices or electricity, the lighting all provided by lanterns and chandeliers.

NOTE: This is a partial log. Anyone here before me can feel welcome to prepend any missing parts.

Kyle stares at Shelley as she calls the barmaid over and reprimands her. Does this woman know what he is? He turns to the server and gives her a benign, almost apologetic, smile. "I'll have a firewhiskey, if you'll be so kind," he says to her, trying to keep his voice gentle. The girl refuses to look at him, and instead nods at Shelley and hurries off to fetch the drink. Kyle watches her go and then turns to Shelley, bemused. "Well, that worked," he says. "Thank you."

From afar, Shelley thinks this sets the tone fairly well, as well. This was just before Kyles pose.
"Only one way to find out," Shelley remarks. Despite the fact that this urges the /exact opposite/ of what she just said. "HEY," she adds towards one of the barmaids, who nervously approaches. Aurors in badmoods can be pretty iffy to be around, after all, and add to that the werewolf the next table over…
"Look. Unless he's gone and killed your cousin, or your mother, or something, just get the man a damned drink, huh? If he tries anything, I'll stupefy him and hang him from the rafters. This is a bloody tavern, right? It's your job to serve some bloody drinks." Why does she even have to explain these things?
She finishes her drink, and then refills it.

"I don't have patience for cowards and idiots tonight," Shelley mutters in annoyance. "Or people who can't-" She cuts herself off, frowning, and takes a drink from her glass instead. "Anyways. You're welcome."
A small corner of her mind notes that she just got thanked for threatning to hang him, unconscious, from the rafters. That has got to be a first.

People who can't what, Kyle wonders, still watching Shelley. But he doesn't ask aloud. "Sometimes I find that patience is all I have for them," he remarks with another faint smile. He eases back in his chair and watches the pub as he waits for his drink to arrive. The barmaid all but runs over, throws it on Shelley's table rather than Kyle's, and runs off again before either of them can accost her. Kyle laughs under his breath. "I think that belongs to me," he says, pointing to the drink.

It's been a long day, visiting Hogsmeade. Thankfully, floo made it easy enough to get back to London quickly, and what better place for one to come home to, than the tavern? As such, Cassiel appears in a flash from the fire, stepping out confidently, his cane stabilizing him on that last step.
He looks around the place, at first just looking for a familiar face. And this would likely be where he would see Shelly, whom he's seen around before but hasn't really interacted with. And… Kyle. Two nights in a row. That was uncanny.
And so he stands for a moment, unsure.

Shelley simply gestures towards the cup, not seeming to care if he comes to fetch it - or if he sits with it. What are the odds, after all, that some dark wizard is going to try to kill her in the middle of the Leaky Cauldron, while face to face with her? And if he was going to - would it really matter if he was at her table, or one table over? "Then you must be a better man'n I am," she remarks simply.

"I wouldn't say that." Kyle pushes himself to his feet. It's then that he sees Cassiel, who he met last night, and he lifts his hand in greeting to the man. Then he walks a few steps over to Shelley's table. He puts his hand on the back of a chair, his fingers tapping it lightly as he goes through some internal struggle, but a moment later he relinquishes it. With a regretful smile, he picks his glass up and turns back to his own table.

Cassiel offers the young man a tentative smile, half-raising a hand to return the greeting. Then, seeing his hesitation with Shelly, he considers what Kahren would think. So, he strides forward, "She's being inviting, boyo. Shouldn't be rude." And so he approaches the table, looking at Shelly for a moment with a slight grin on his face, "Prewett, right?" asked after a bit of hesitation as he tries to place her, "Mind if I join you? If he's a better man than you are, that means you still must be a better man than someone out there, and that makes you interesting at the least."

"It is," Shelley confirms. "Doubt I make the most pleasant company today. But who am I to stop you?" She eyes Cassiel, trying to place the man that knows her name. She's seen him about the Cauldron before, certainly, but nothing too specific is springing to mind. And doesn't he work at the Ministry as well…?

Kyle stops halfway back to his table and turns to look at Cassiel. "I was trying not to be rude," he says with a strained smile, well aware of what most people would think if he sat himself at their table. He looks to Shelley, then back to his own table, and back to hers, debating. Finally, he gives his head an agitated shake and walks back to Shelley's, pulling a chair out and sitting down. He keeps his back to the wall as much as he can, giving him a view of most of the pub. There's dry amusement in his voice when he remarks, "Don't worry, I don't make the most pleasant company most days."

Cassiel takes a moment to watch Kyle sit down, before he holds up a hand, walking over to the bar to make an order. He returns a moment later with his customary steaming flagon of apple-laced ale, and of all things, a salad. Too many sweets today. He then sits down, smiling at both for a moment, "The name's Cassiel Umbridge, by the by. But anyone I drink with should call me Cay. I believe there's a law or ordinance out there somewhere." He grins at Shelly, "Accidents and Catastrophes." Assuming that would help her place him.

"Shelley Prewett," the woman offers simply. It sounds a little ridiculous - like two last names. But there you have it. "Aurors," she adds, before taking another drink of her whiskey. She eyes the salad dubiously - as if it might attack at any moment, then shrugs and looks at Kyle with a faint frown. And who was /this/ man who made people so nervous, she wondered? Perhaps he'd lost his temper in the Cauldron recently and caused some sort of a ruccus?

Kyle drinks some of his firewhiskey, looking from Cassiel to Shelley as the two introduce themselves to each other. He already knows who the man is, having just recently met him, but he isn't sure whether or not he should introduce himself to the woman. Her identifying herself as an Auror gives him even further pause. He clears his throat, glances around the pub, and then offers a hoarse, "Kyle Wilson." He hesitates. "Former Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures."

Speaking of a ruccus…at that moment the door flies open banging against the wall as an angry Brei stalks in black skirts swirling as she makes her way to the bar with a young brown haired gentleman following behind trying to keep up. She settles onto a stool and snaps out an order. "Firewhiskey now. Before I loose my temper with this…thing." She gestures to the man who blinks and looks confused. "But Miss Montauge I ony asked to buy you a drink. Surely someone so lovely wouldn't be…" "Silencio!" Brei snaps waves her wand over him with an icy glare. She reaches for her whiskey and downs it in on gulp before rounding on him. "Lets get this straight. I'm not interested in your flimsy charms and I refuse to be another one of your conquests so why don't you go bother an obliviator so that when your done emabressing yourself they can wipe away the memories of your lacking skills at seduction. Now leave me alone!" With that the dark haired witch turns away ignoring the now red faced and fuming man standing beside her.

Cassiel isn't a hard man… and he would never out the man directly, and so instead he just takes a bit of a pull from his overlarge drink, and picks at the rabbit food in front of him with a grunt, looking back up to Shelley "Think I read about you earlier this week, the incident at the Willis manor, right?" Pick, pick, pick.
The ruckus at the bar gets at best a brief glance. This is a pub, after all, and the Cauldron to boot. Instead he looks back at Kyle, "I must have missed that part last night when we were introduced. A noble calling, that. Was rubbish in my Care classes back in school, though, so never really went that route."

Shelley gives Cassiel a look that doesn't exactly /invite/ that particular line of conversation. "Yes," she confirms terseley, before looking back at Kyle. "Ah, isn't this lovely? Cross-department ministry meeting." Even if Kyle was no longer with the ministry. "There should be more ministry meetings with firewhiskey."

Kyle watches the commotion at the bar as he drinks his firewhiskey, recognizing the woman from one of his previous evenings here. That's all the way across the room, though, and it's none of his business, so he turns back to his two uncanny companions. He barks a laugh at Shelley's remark. "I haven't been to a Ministry meeting in years. I must have missed a great deal of memos." He nods at Cassiel. "Creatures was my favorite class. I knew I wanted to work in the Beast Division even before my brother started working there."

Cassiel takes the hint, but at least know knows where he placed her from. "I would have to agree… many departmental meetings would be much better served with some sort of spirits. Although if I know my coworkers well enough, that would be abused far too quickly." A chuckle, and he finally just takes a bit, grimacing at the crunch. No. A salad may have been the right choice, but it's not going to be the best one. He looks back to Kyle, and over his food he grins, "Love critters themselves, but never had the wherewithal to care for anything bigger than a cat, to be honest."

"I stick to cats and owls," Shelley agrees. In fact - perched up in the rafters is an owl right now, just watching Shelley with his big, white feathered eyebrows. Who knew /owls/ could be so damned protective.
Looking to Kyle she adds, "You haven't missed anything. Who /reads/ those things, anyways?"

"Not many people, from what I remember," Kyle says to Shelley, unable to stop himself from smiling. "Especially in some of the less organized departments." He continues to sip at his drink, watching the pub for any further hints of trouble. "Cats and owls are fine, but I find they're not terribly exciting," he continues. "I preferred dealing with the larger creatures in my time there. Unfortunately, these days it's mostly minor pests I encounter."

"You clearly have never become 'daddy' to a Ragamuffin, then." Cassiel responds with a chuckle, "But I'll grant you that point. Best left to those so inclined." A pause, "Have… you ever tried to go back?" A rough question, knowing the context.
He follows Shelley's glance, and grins, "Oh dear. Is he yours, then? I love the brow feathers on him!"

"Because they're a bloody waste of time," Shelley responds. "Though we started a sort of… buzzword-bingo betting game in the Auror's office," Shelley admits with a wry smile. "Skim the memos for the words you'd selected, cross them off your list, win the pot… Makes memos far more entertaining."
She nods her head up towards the owl, adding, "That's Vee. Wasn't really told - when I got the bloody thing - that he's from a tropical climate and hates the cold."

"Hah," Kyle says to Shelley. "What a great idea." He looks up at the owl along with the other two and nods his head to what each of them is saying about the bird. But when he looks back down at Cassiel, he's no longer smiling. He shakes his head. "No," he says, his voice tense. "I think that, under the circumstances, that even if it were possible, it wouldn't be a good idea." He drinks again.

"If you're doing the right thing," Cassiel offers casually, "I don't see why not." He stabs viciously at his evil salad again, taking a bite, and then washing it down with more ale, a long pull. This being nice to someone you're not supposed to like thing takes a bit out of him… and the salad isn't helping.
He then looks back to Shelley, "An owl that hates the cold. And you keep him in London?"

"He spends a good bit of time in my flat," Shelley remarks. "The lazy lout. He's just taking advantage of my kind and generous nature." He's alright when it isn't winter, though.
She finishes off her glass - how many glasses has she had now? Three? She fills it again, picking it up to eye Cassiel and Kyle. Doing the right thing. Can't go back to the Ministry. Folks frightened of him… She watches Kyle with a considering look on her features.

Kyle watches Cassiel over the rim of his glass. His eyes dart sideways to look at Shelley and then return to the man. "It's complicated," he says finally. "But I appreciate the sentiment." He drains the rest of his drink and sets his glass on the table. "I should go," he says, standing. "It was nice to meet you, Miss Prewett. Good evening, Mister Umbridge."

Cassiel looks directly at Kyle, frowning, "For one, you've drank with with me. I've said I should be called Cay from here on out, and I meant it. And two… if I've disturbed you with the suggestion, please don't let that be what makes you leave." He looks over to Shelly for help at this.

"I can punch him for you," Shelley offers Kyle easily. What, was that not the back-up Cassiel was searching for? "Might improve my mood, really."
Yeah, that would go over well in the office. Punching another Ministry employee in the Leaky Cauldron.

Kyle stays where he is, his eyes on Cassiel. "Cay," he says. "My apologies." He glances sideways at Shelley and can't help but smile, although there isn't much humor in it. "No, there's no need. Mist- I mean Cay - was being polite. I'm not leaving because of the conversation." That isn't entirely true, but it mostly is. "I just shouldn't stay too long. People get uneasy."

Cassiel blinks, but mirth dances in his eyes as he responds, "Well, there's a first time for everything, I guess. I knew I couldn't live to see fifty before being threatened in the Cauldron. So close." He laughs as well, taking another good, long pull from his own drink. "They've lasted this long. They could continue to cope, I think." He looks at Kyle again, and simply shakes his head.

"You know. I think I'm insulted," Shelley remarks. "There's an auror, /right here/, and folks are s'pposed to be afraid of you sittin' and drinkin'? Ya know, either the folks 'round here don't think much 'f me, or you've got a self-inflated sense of… of… self-terror. Could be both."

"Perhaps," Kyle admits to Cassiel, "but it isn't right of me to cause them to suffer any longer." He looks at Shelley and then laughs a deep, rich laugh. Several patrons around the pub shoot nervous looks in their direction. "I apologize if that's the way I've come across. I don't try to scare people. Forgive me, but Aurors aren't very frightening. They're supposed to protect us. It's the unknown that people are afraid of."

"As you will," Cassiel notes, with a partial sigh, even as he watches Shelly and the man communicate. He can't respond without simply saying what he knows… and that he feels to be irreparably rude. And so, for the moment, he stays silent, finishing off the decidedly healthy snack he'd opted for. If nothing else, he'd need to do it as penance for whatever artery-clogging food he chose to eat next.

"The implication bein' that I can't protect /them/ from /you/," Shelley points out. "Then again." She stares at her glass for a moment. "I am drunk." Wonderfully, blessedly, deservedly drunk. "Meh," she adds, gesturing with her cup, before taking another drink. She'd be /lousy/ in a fight right now.

Kyle looks troubled. "That wasn't what I meant," he says, frowning at Shelley. Perhaps it's precisely because she is drunk that, after glancing to Cassiel, he adds, "I'm sure Mis- I'm sure Cay can explain it to you, but I really should go." He looks around the pub again, his shoulders tense. "Thank you for the company. Good evening." He starts off across the room, heading for Diagon Alley.

Cassiel frowns again around his own drink actually finishing the damned thing off. He looks at the bottom of the flagon with a bit of disapproval, as if it has offended him by not lasting as long as it normally would.
With Kyle's implied permission, he nods, "I can certainly try, if you consent," he offers, even as the man turns to go. Instead of expounding right at this moment, he instead looks back to Shelley, and smiles, "A drunk Auror." But then again, with all that was happening these days, he found it hard to blame her, "I just bet you and my brother Alaric would get along smashingly."

Shelley lets out a quiet snort. "I don't get on with too many." She frowns at her drink again, then looks after Kyle, her expression thoughtful. "He isn't dark. He didn't infiltrate or turn evidence on dark wizards," she'd know about that. Unless it happened while she was ill…? "So I'm going to guess some sort of lineage or spell effect that makes him dangerous and unpredictable."

"I do consent," Kyle says to Cassiel before he leaves. And then he walks across the room and out the door and is gone.

Cassiel shrugs as Shelley deprecates herself, "I don't know. You seem pleasant enough, even in an inebriated state." As Kyle leaves a server comes up, finally, and takes a few coins before refilling his drink, the steam coming off the new beverage filling the immediate area up with the scent of apples and liquor. "It's actually a bit worse than that. And likely in a memo you ignored" He smiles at the last bit, and looks back where the man had left, "He's a carrier of the lupine curse." Simple. Plain. Explained.
Another long pull on his new drink, before he continues, "I did some research once I discovered my niece had befriended him. Fully registered, submits himself to the very department he used to work for every full moon. But… "

"Well. Dangerous and unpredictable," Shelley remarks with a shrug of her shoulders. She takes another drink, then lets out a snort at the news of his niece. "But of a wild-child, is she? Seems to me, the easiest way to get rid of the lupine curse would be to get rid of the carrier."
Still. He hadn't seemed a bad fellow, had he…?
"Or find a way to permanently contain them."

"Yes, they are." Cassiel replies, nodding into his own drink, "And no… she's more a bleeding heart, much like the rest of her family, but even more so because… well, it's her. You'd have to know all of us a lot better for it to make sense.
At the suggestion of containment, Cassiel frowns. He might have agreed even a few days prior.. but facing a reality always changes things, at least a little, "Or suppress it. Find a way to simply limit or completely reduce its effects, I think."

"Ain't found a way to cure or suppress it yet - you think we're likely to find it now?" Shelley responds a bit dismissively. "No. Lock 'em up or kill 'em off seems the safest thing. For society. Shame, seems a nice enough fellow. And the moon's - what? Weeks away, I think?" Her brow furrows as she tries to remember her last glance of the moment. "Seems a bit silly to be so terrified of him when there ain't even a moon to speak of in the sky."

"So you'd just kill him for daring to have the curse?" Cassiel offers with a blink, "Or lock them up even when they can't pass the curse along?" Okay. So now he can see why Kahren was so upset at that thought, at least. "He lets us lock him up when he /is/ a danger. That's something." He pauses, "If he didn't, believe you me, I'd be on the same line of thought."Another long pull. He already knows he's going to regret this in the morning.
"But you have the right of it. We've not yet found a cure or suppressant. But there are healers I'm sure who are trying." He grins, "And people fear the unknown, as he said. Who cares if experts say the danger is only for a few days? It's a lot easier to hate and fear than it is to try to understand. Merlin's beard, but I know that. I lost a sister-in-law and a nephew to one of the beasts."

"Isn't it better to sacrifice some, for the sake of the many?" Shelley counters, before frowning. …for the greater good? Fuck. She sounds like /Grindelwald/ doesn't she? "I don't know. I don't know. I'm drunk, anyways. What do I know?"
She looks at Cassiel as he mentions his sister-in-law and nephew, her brow furrowing. "You lost a nephew - and yer niece befriends one?" she asks.

There's a moment where Cassiel is silent, and manages to finish off his drink a second time. It's just one of those nights, it seems. And so, being alone at the table with Shelley now, he decide to shift over, and sit closer. It seems appropriate for the conversation anyhow. He also knows that he's going to start showing the effect of the drink soon, especially after he calls for a third, this time asking for a straight bourbon.
"It isn't," he counters, trying to think of the best retort, "because you can't know for certain that the right sacrifice is being made. And part of that sacrifice is of yourself, when you allow yourself to become the ultimate judge of others. And so what if you're drunk? It probably just makes you more honest."
He waits for the bourbon to come, and downs it in a single shot, asking for another. "I'm an Umbridge. And not the good line. Black sheep. Tolerant. Hell… we're practically considered blood traitors, many of us. Definitely me."

Shelley lets out a snort. "I'm an auror. I do that already. That's my job - that's what I'm supposed to do. Ya know? We go out there - we're supposed to bring 'em in alive. We're supposed to try. But if we don't - who cares? Who cries? /Three bodies/. Four, with the hospital. So who's gonna cry if I bring in a corpse, instead? They're monsters."
She stares at her drink. "You make a decision. You do the job. Monster or man? It's all on yer conscience. And if ya decide ta 'play it safe'? Ta do everything you can to bring 'em in /alive/ instead of dead? Then it's on you, again, if they get away and kill some more." And they will. Those two, those two that burned down that house, they're not done killing. She let them get away.

"Some of us would… if the corpse never had a chance to commit the crime." Cassiel frowns, "Just b'cause he's a wolf doesn't mean he's killed. Or spread the disease. He's not the same as someone who's c'mitted a crime." Another glass goes down, "You can't compare one to the other."
He looks at the empty glass again, Damn the thing. "So you should hate yerself for doin' the right thing, is that what yer gettin' at?" Yes, he's definitely feeling a bit of it now. Should slow down. Looks at the glass again, sets it to the side.

"I hate myself the most…" Shelley muses, "When I /don't/ do my job. When I let them get away." Fire - anger - flashes her eyes and her jaw clenches before she adds in a low growl, "When I let them /kill/ little girls." Okay, so the girl was a /teenager/, and an adult by wizarding standards. But that makes little difference to Shelley right now.
"I didn't know she had a partner. If I'd known-" Could she have killed her? Lying there, helpless and stunned? Just got her out of the way? "Damnit," she growls softly.

For a moment, the nurturing part of Cassiel takes over, and he actually moves to place a hand on her shoulder, getting perhaps an inch away before he things the better of it. It looks like she might bite. The hand closes, and moves back to his side. And he just listens, finally turning to face the unfamiliar woman.
"It's no small comfort you be needin', clearly" he says, "an' I don't know you. But I see it this way: yer human. Sure, yer an auror. You're one of the big wands. And sure… yer actions may have consequences a guy like me won't never have to face." And now the hand does reach out, only a few fingers tentatively on the blade of the shoulder, "But I'm thinkin' if you just killed every person you had to go up against, in th'end you'd end up worse n' hatin' yerself."

It's possible Cassiel thinks better of it because of the sharp look she gives him, or the way she twists sharply away from the reaching hand. She doesn't seem to want to be touched, and should he try to put even the lightest touch on her shoulder, she'd smack it away. "Even if that were so - might it not be better?" Shelley asks. She'd give a piece of herself for that girl to still be alive.
"She was /counting/ on me. She was helpless." And Shelley wasn't ready. Shelley wasn't /strong/ enough yet to protect her. She finishes off her glass, and reaches out with clumsy hands to try to refill it again.

Cassiel accepts the snapping resistance, frowning still, and his voice sobers up just a bit, "No. It wouldn't be better. Because that sort of person is a monster who would need to be put down as well. That is the sort of person you are protecting people like me from."
"Failure happens. Failure hurts." Rather than touching her, he then offers to help her refill her glass instead. "And I won't tell you to not feel it. I don't have that right. I don't know you. And I wasn't there. But still… I know what it is to lose. To have that death be one of mine. And I still wouldn't want those losses to create something worse."

Help refilling her glass Shelley accepts, and she holds it cupped in both hands, her elbows on the table, and frowning down into it. She's lost before. Had people killed on her watch before. It was never pleasant - but she'd never wanted to kill 'em first and sort it out later as a result. So why now?
…possibly because Alis wasn't there to smack sense into her.
"I'm not a monster," she says quietly - not entirely sure who she's trying to convince with that statement.

The older man sighs, finally taking of his hat and placing it on the table, the mop underneath only barely starting to then, and a confused mass of curls to boot… although thankfully the same color as his facial hair. "I'm sure yer not, Miss Prewett. A monster wouldn't care. Wouldn't be hurting over her. Wouldn't be trying to make it make sense." Cassiel turns in his chair to just look at her for a moment. He's done with drinking for the night anyhow.

Shelley lets out a sigh, setting down her drink, and reaching up with one hand to run it through her hair. "Sorry. I'm not usually- It's been a /bad/ week, and I'm not myself."

"I've been there," Cassiel says, hands clasped in front of himself, "in a way. I'm saying I totally understand… but I get it." He grins, "And I'm also known for being able to listen. It's actually what I do. For a living." After all… dealing with people who have had their entire worldview shattered does take something of a delicate touch.

"You don't understand as a kid," Shelley remarks quietly. "What yer gettin' into. It's excitin', and romantic. Gonna save the whole world, ya know?" And then friends and co-workers are getting killed. Then you're failing jobs, and innocents are dying.

Cassiel smiles, actually nodding, "Would be hard to capture the hearts of the young, otherwise." He sighs, "It's hard, in the midst of the pain, to remember, though, the truth behind that romance, though. To see just the negative, and forget everyone you've helped. To forget every life you've saved… because of the ones you didn't. To forget every time someone rushed up to you and thanked you, because of the one who couldn't."
He leans back in his chair then, turning back toward the table. "One of the downsides of being a hero are those moments when you really can't see yourself as one."

Shelley looks aside at Cassiel - watching him out of the corner of her eyes. His words stung because they were true. There was that - and there was the loneliness. The lost friends. The grief. She looks forward again, picking up her glass for another drink.
"Yeah," she agrees. But what choice did she have? Give up? "'n what can ya do, but get back to work?"

"Oh, you can give up, too, of course," the words come out with a soft voice, kindly, despite their clear sting… Cassiel can tell that this is not one to mince words with. "But something tells me that's not going to be enough for you. Not going to be acceptable. Because you didn't become an auror without having something within you that was too hard to simply break. Not everyone can do it. But you can."

Shelley shakes her head. "You stand aside - that means someone else, some /kid/ that don't really know what they're in for - they gotta come take your place." You only stand aside when you're dead. "You keep standing." As long as you can.

Cassiel nods, but responds as well. "Or you stand next to that same kid… and you show them the truth. You help them face the reality, and the two of you make an even stronger team."

This suggestion is met with a wary look from Shelley, before she takes another drink. "Maybe," she answers. She's not ready for that. If she got some kid killed, some trainee…

Cassiel looks at Shelley again, and frowns. "I can see it in your eyes. And hear it in your voice. The fear. That's actually a good thing to have. Not to let control you… but it means you're not starry-eyed." He shifts to look at her again, and asks, "Is there nothing about the job that you ca latch on to? Feel joy over, or at least vindication?"

"Of course there is. When you close a case…" Shelley lets out a sigh. "But I'm not even supposed to be on cases. My friend - my /sister/ - got killed, and I was cursed, and it ain't been cured yet. Not completely. I only happened to be passin' by the Willis Manor. If I was 100% - maybe that girl'd still be alive."

"So… walking onto the pitch with a broken broom," Cassiel offers, again kindness being the focus of his tone while he refills her glass again, "you expect to be able to dodge all the bludgers, score with the quaffle, and catch the snitch with a broken arm. Not only that, but also take the blame for the game being lost when you don't manage all of them."
He looks at her, face pointed. "You /tried/. Rather than saying that because of this curse you mention you couldn't be bothered, you clearly jumped in feet first. You didn't think about if you would fail. You did what was right. I think she'd thank you regardless, if she could. Because someone /tried/."

"Slim comfort," Shelley answers, before taking another sip. "But at least we know more about what happened in that house…" because she was there. "I hope it can close the case."

There's a hesitation before he speaks again, but when Cassiel does, it's with a smile, "So not only did you do what was right, and tried… but you also added valuable information that your fellows wouldn't have had, had you not done so. 'Slim' comfort, indeed."

Shelley lets out a quiet snort, a ghost of a smile tugging at her lips, before it fades. Again, she takes a drink. "It's easier to stay when you didn't look into her face. But we'll find justice for her."
That, at least, would be a more substantial comfort.

"You will," Cassiel states with rather simple trust and conviction. "Of that I am certain. Because, like you said, you're not a monster." He then smiles, leaning back in his chair. "I hope… I've helped today. I normally don't get so long-winded or argumentative. Or inebriated, for that matter."

"I don't normally get so…" Shelley gestures vaguely with her glass in her hand - the drink sloshing about, and some splashing on the table. That seems to express all she feels compelled to stay, and she takes another drink.
She is going to be very hung-over in the morning.

And that brings up a question he has. One he doesn't ask often, mostly because so many would take it wrong, or poorly. "Speaking of… will you be able to get yourself home when you're done?" He frowns, "I know I'm a stranger, but, well… call me old-fashioned."

"Home's just a floo away," Shelley says dismissively, gesturing towards the fireplace. Failing that - well. The Cauldron has rooms, and they'd look after a passed out auror.

At this, Cassiel nods, "Well, that is good… but I'd suggest taking a room rather than floo. Trust me, from experience, it's not something you want to do on that." He points to the bottle, chuckling, "I had to be sure, though. Like I said, old-fashioned."

"I might," Shelley agrees. "I might. Goodnight Mister…" What had his name been? A proper wizarding name. A pureblood name. "Umbridge," she remembers. Then she lets out a quiet laugh. "Mind your niece."

There's a laugh, "I told you, anyone who drinks with me has to call me Cay." Cassiel picks himself up, wobbling a bit. "Thankfully for me, home is a mere walk away." There's a grin, "And I will. And you mind yourself, Prewett. We need Aurors like you. Ones that still care."

Shelley smirks at Cassiel, and shakes her head. "That ain't happening. Umbridge at best." But not 'Cay.' There's comfort in formalities - in the distance they impose.
"Most of us do. Dark times are coming. We know it - we mean ta be ready for it. Dark times'll come."

Cassiel waves it off, shaking his head, "Have it your way." Gathering his hat and his cane, the older man just shakes his head. "Dark times indeed… but that will make the light that follows all the brighter." Putting the hat back atop his head, he tilts it at Shelley, smiling, "I'll see you again, I thunk. So, Until the Light, I'll say." And with a wink, he wobbles toward the front door.

Shelley stays and drinks, until she starts to doze - then one of the staff gets the unenviable job of very gently and politely convincing her to retire to a guest room, where she'll pass out until the next day.

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