(1939-02-05) Tea Time Topics
Details for Tea Time Topics
Summary: After the departure of Hugh, Kahren joins Rhyeline at her table, and the pair try to find appropriate conversation topics for two strangers over tea (and coffee).
Date: 1939-02-05
Location: Tasseo Tea

Hugh says, "Oh, across the River? I should perhaps look. I was mostly looking closer to the Ministry, which is probably terribly lazy of me!"

"You could connect your fireplace to the floo network… that- that's what I did…" murmurs Rhyeline peeking up at Hugh who sits across from her at a small table by the window. A pair of guardwitches watch with stern expressions of stone.

The door opens and in steps a woman in unassuming robes, a hat pulled down warmly around her ears, and her hands in warm gloves. She needs something warm to drink - but for once, has decided a bit of tea is in order, instead of her usual favorite of mulled wine. She glances around for a place to sit, her gaze resting on the two guardwitches uncertainly, and glancing to where the majority of their attention seemed centered. Was the man someone horribly important…? She didn't recognize him. Strange.

Still, the table beside the pair is available, and she slips into it, requesting a pot of tea and some biscuits when the server comes by.

Hugh glances at the clock, "Oh… damn. Right, yes. I need to get going. But do drop in and see me at the Cauldron, won't you?"

"Oh- I… Um… yes… it- it was nice to see you… Auror Carruthers. I… I'm glad you're back safe," she murmurs in a rather quiet tone. Though the man withdraws, the two witches dressed in crisp robes of grey don't move. The little one remaining at the table sneaks a hesitant glance over at Kahren once she's alone but then quickly looks back into her cup of coffee. Warming her hands against its sides, she brings it to her lips for a small, slow sip.

An /Auror/? Oh. Well, then he wouldn't need… Kahren watches the man leave, and there the two guardwitches stay. Curious, her gaze returns to Rhyeline - but she doesn't recognize /her/, either. "Good evening," she greets her warmly. "The clouds just don't seem to be letting up today, are they?"

Slowly, Rhyeline peeks back over at the unfamiliar woman. sitting at the table next to hers. Her guards watch /very/ closely. "Yes… but… still cold…"

"Thank goodness for tea! How would we survive the winter without it?" Kahren agrees in a cheery voice, as she starts peeling off her gloves. "I do hate sitting alone - when I could instead be sitting in good company. You're welcome to join me, or I could join you, if you like." An uncertain look is spared to the two guardwitches. If it's even allowed…? They seem quite /stern/, don't they? "But if you prefer solitude…" she adds, "then I wish you a lovely evening just the same."

Rhyeline sneaks a hesitant peek over at her guards, as if she isn't quite sure where it /is/ allowed. But then, looking to Kahren once more, she hesitates a moment before nodding. "You are- are welcome to join me… if you wish…"

"Lovely." Since her tea hasn't arrived yet, all she needs bring with her is her gloves, when she tucks away into a pocket. "I'm Kahren Umbridge," she introduces herself, offering one hand towards Rhyeline.

Rhyeline accepts the offered hand with care. "I'm Rhyeline Diderot…" she murmurs. Even if the healer doesn't recognize the girl by sight, her name is most likely to be familiar. Her particular case at St. Mungo's is rather well known.

"What a charming name," Kahren remarks. "French, isn't it? Though I almost feel as if I ought to recognize it. You know that feeling you get sometimes…?" She spends a moment trying to place it - but she hasn't worked in Spell Damage since the first years of her training.

"Perhaps… em… well, I-" she hesitates, biting her lower lip. "I serve as- as Cassius Malfoy's assistant… in the Unity Party… Perhaps… you have seen it related to that?"

"Oh. That must be it," Kahren agrees. Her tea and biscuits arrive, and she pours herself a glass, lifting it to her lips for a sip. "Do help yourself to a biscuit if you like, Miss Diderot," she invites warmly. Another sip and then she adds, "I must say, I was terribly relieved when Unity decided against Grindelwald. Were you a part of that decision, then?"

"I… I do my best to- to provide Cassius Malfoy with- with what advice I can…" murmurs Rhyelin before taking another sip of coffee. The waitress refilled it when bringing Kahren's tea and biscuits. The little one hides behind it a time, gazing across at Kahren before murmuring, "You… you are a- a supporter of unity?"

"I'm not," Kahren admits wryly. "I prefer Preservation, honestly. But Unity is at least speaking as a voice of reason, and I respect that. They treat everyone - regardless of their blood, or their ability to use magic - with dignity. That's how it seems to me, anyways. And I think that's a very good, and a very important thing."

Rhyeline smiles faintly before offering a small nod. "Thank you…" She lowers her gaze a moment to her cup of coffee before peeking back over at Kahren. "I… I must admit, I- I miss the days when… when the debate was like this…"

"I agree," Kahren answers wryly. "There's just so much… hate, and devisiveness, and vitriol… How are we to get anything /constructive/ accomplished in such an atmosphere?" She shakes her head, then adds quietly, "and to be honest, it frightens me a little - the tone of things, these days."

Rhyeline nods slowly. "So much violence… the methods that- that Grindelwald advocates… the attack at the Sykes Gala… I wish that- that the debate were still about whether or not secrecy will come to an end… but… now… it's just a matter of when… and /how/…"

"I'm not so certain it's a foregone conclusion. I hope it's not, anyways. If Grindelwald has his way, though… It'll be war with the Muggles, and they outnumber us by such a vast degree. And they'll be in the right, to defend themselves from us." Kahren lets out a sigh, her features rather grim. "And the things I have heard about their capabilities… I've been speaking with a squib who serves in their military, flying one of their contraptions - an aeroplane? It's kept me up, some nights. /If/ the Muggles are to learn of us - I hope it's Unity's way."

Rhyeline nods, averting her gaze. "Yes… but… time is short…" she murmurs before taking another sip of coffee.

"It seems that way," Kahren agrees in a regretful tone. She lapses into silence - taking a moment to nibble on a cookie. She takes another sip before adding. "Though, I had thought - if unity is to come, there must be a way to use St. Mungo's to teach the Muggles that we can be useful partners in this shared world of ours. It would have to be cleverly done - we don't want the hospital overwhelmed by Muggle demands. But a few 'miracle' cures… It could put a more positive face on things. You know the Muggles can't offer any treatments for paralysis?" She shakes her head at the thought.

"It isn't the thought of /unity/ I'm opposed to, you see. I think it's a beautiful ideal. It's only… there are so many ways it could go wrong."

Rhyeline blinks, startled when Kahren mentions St. Mungo's. A hesitant caution settles upon her as she continues to listen. Biting her lower lip, she murmurs, "Yes… there- there are many ways… but… I don't think that- that there is any viable alternative. Even if secrecy is maintained here in Britain… on the continent, our efforts to preserve secrecy until the time is right will have no influence… and when violence breaks out between muggles and wizard-kind there, we won't be able to hide here for long…"

"I still hope that's an 'if,' not a 'when.' That there are enough fair-minded witches and wizards out there that tyranny like Grindelwald's wouldn't be allowed to stand…" Kahren offers quietly. And yet - it's gotten this far, hasn't it? "I don't pretend to know which course is best, though."

Rhyeline lowers her gaze. "As I said… I wish the debate were still about 'if'… but… I don't think that is possible anymore…" She sets down her cup of coffee. "Forgive me, Ms. Umbridge… I- I should be going…"

"Oh, I'm sorry - if I've disturbed," Kahren is hasty to say. She does look genuinely apologetic. "Darkening a perfectly pleasant evening with such…" she shakes her head. "And surely, you mean to escape the day's unpleasantries… I do apologize." She stands, reaching for her cup and plate of biscuits. "Don't let me chase you off."

"N-no…it's… it's not that. I… I just… always have much to do. There is so much to do… so… so little time…" murmurs Rhyeline, peeking up at Kahren.

"Time enough for a cup of coffee, at least," Kahren responds quietly. "No one will begrudge you that. And if you don't look after yourself… well." She remains standing, momentarily uncertain if she should move back to her own table.

Rhyeline seems to pause at that. Her cup of coffee is not yet empty. Peeking back up at Kahren, she murmurs, "…would… would you please stay?"

Kahren nods, looking relieved that she didn't chase the poor woman away. She nods, slipping back into her chair before suggesting, "But perhaps a more upbeat topic of conversation? Do you enjoy any music?"

A soft, cautious little smile emerges upon the girl's lips. "Have… have you ever heard of- of muggle jazz?" she asks hesitantly.

"One of my friends - Sarah - is Muggle-born," Kahren confides. "She dragged me off to one of their dance halls, not too long ago. It's horribly exciting - and the way they dance!" She shakes her head slightly. "There was a man asking me to dance with him, but I was too embarrassed even to try."

Rhyeline's cheeks grow rather warm in sympathetic embarrassment. "Oh… yes, I- I can imagine… but… the music is so- so brilliant, no? It's… it's like… the sound of life itself…"

Kahren nods in agreement. "I quite enjoyed just sitting, and listening - having a few drinks and watching the others dance. Including Sarah. She had /no/ qualms about dancing."

"I… I also prefer to- to just watch," murmurs Rhyeline in a rather quiet tone. A soft smile lingers upon her lips before she takes another sip of coffee.

"Do you go to Muggle clubs at times, then?" Kahren asks in a curious voice. With her two guardians in tow? She wonders how that plays out. "Sarah's promised to take me again - perhaps next week. I'm rather looking forward to it."

"Oh… no, no, I- I went just- just once… It was nice, but- but a bit… overwhelming," Rhyeline admits, turning rather pink.

"I can see how it would be," Kahren agrees. "Still. It'd be nice to have some of the music on Diagon Alley, wouldn't it? How long do you think it will take for the music to trickle its way in?"

"Hard to say…" murmurs Rhyeline, lowering her gaze. Of course, with the way things are headed, secrecy isn't likely to remain in place for long and jazz music and many other aspects of muggle culture will flood the wizarding world soon. But, they had agreed not to speak of such things. "I… I also enjoy more- more classical music…"

"That's more like what I usually play," Kahren admits. "I'm not sure it's even /possible/ to play jazz music on a /flute/," she adds thoughtfully. "I wonder if I should try…"

Rhyeline tilts her head with a soft smile. "You play the flute?" She hesitates before adding, "I… I play a bit of piano…"

Kahren is a young woman with a generally cheery disposition, and a little extra meat on her bones. Her features are framed by straight, brown hair, with brown eyes over a small nose. She rarely wears her lime green robes outside of St. Mungos, instead preferring more casual attire that draws less attention.

The second person she's met recently who plays piano! …she's not sure she should mention the first, though. "Do you? It's wonderfully relaxing. Though, when it comes to piano - I can't imagine how you cope. I was at my Uncle's house the other day when I decided I wanted to practice - and I didn't have my flute! I ended up transfiguring a bit of wood into a passable flute. And with a piano - well. Not a lot of options, are there? Certainly not portable."

Rhyeline seems impressed at the other witch's ingenuity. "Mm… well… Berylwood- that's Cassius Malfoy's home…" she hesitates. "I- I spend a fair amount of time there… but… so… they have a rather beautiful piano… an entire room devoted to music. He plays the cello…"

"Oh, that must be /marvelous,/" Kahren agrees warmly. "And with proper acoustics, I imagine? Do you play together, often? I'll admit - I have few music partners. I don't practice nearly as often as I ought to."

Rhyeline's cheeks grow warmer by the moment. "We… we play… sometimes…" she murmurs with a small nod. "His… his niece is- is also quite gifted…"

Amusement flicks briefly in Kahren's gaze at the way Rhyeline blushes - though she's quick to suppress it. She embarrasses easily enough herself, and has been on the receiving end of some rather cruel teasing. "His niece? What does she play?"

"The violin…" murmurs Rhyeline in a rather quiet tone as she peeks up at Kahren.

"That leaves you only one instrument short of a quartet," Kahren remarks thoughtfully. "I don't suppose there's anyone who plays the viola? I imagine that would round things off, nicely."

"I… I don't think so…" murmurs Rhyeline before finishing the last of her coffee. Her gaze lingers upon the empty cup. "It… it was nice to meet you, Ms. Umbridge… I… I really should be going now though…" She peeks up at Kahren with hesitant caution.

"If you must, then I won't detain you, Ms. Diderot," Kahren agrees, giving her a friendly smile. "Though I have very much appreciated the company, and would certainly welcome it longer - if you wished."

"Perhaps a- another time," murmurs Rhyeline with a soft smile. Placing her hands upon the table's surface, she eases herself to stand with a bit too much care. Her guards shift, preparing to follow the girl out.

"I certainly hope so," Kahren agrees. "And good luck in your endeavors." She'll leave it that - a safe enough mention of a rather grim topic.

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