(1939-02-11) Mutual Respect
Details for Mutual Respect
Summary: Beryl Crabbe's flat becomes the unexpected grounds for a peace talk with Susan
Date: 1939-02-11
Location: Beryl Crabbe's Flat

Knock knock, knock. There's something about a policeman's knock that makes it differ from any other knock on the door from any other individual from any other walk of life. The arrogant confidence that it'll be answered, bolstered by the authority of a badge and a number, or in this case, by a wand and a licence. Susan isn't just any policeman, after all, but MLE.

To say that Beryl is surprised by anything like a sharp and unexpected knock on the door might be an overstatement. She is home for the day, and thus not willing to bother with getting dressed up in her working clothes. Lazily, she sighs and lays down the magazine she was reading on the sofa and rises to her feet. She is wearing a deep emerald satin robe and a pair of posh little high-heeled slippers when she answers the door.
Tilting her head slightly, the auburn-haired woman regards Susan with an impassive curiosity: "If you're selling something, I probably already have it," she says in a dry, silvery little voice.

"Law enforcement," Susan tells her flatly, already looking down the hall and into the flat before her attention is back on Beryl. "Miss Crabbe? We've got a few questions for you."

Beryl gives Susan a slightly longer once-over with her venomous green eyes. Her demeanor is placid as a pool slicked over with ice. A little smirk plays softly on her lips, and she asks cutely: "We? Do you have an invisible friend hiding behind your shoulder?" Oh yes, she thinks she's amusing.
The door slides open slowly, and the woman steps back to admit the other with a feigned little bow and sweep of her hand: "Please, make yourself at home."

Which she does, sweeping into the flat with a withering look towards the other woman and stepping right on through to the sitting room uninvited. Susan takes a moment to look around the place, photographs, letters, bills, any sort of detritus is fair game in her world. "Are you aware of why I'm here, Crabbe?" she queries, looking up and back over her shoulder. "For this little… informal chat?"

"I haven't the slightest clue." Languidly, Beryl follows after Susan, acting as though she hasn't a thing to hide in the world - including her shame. Anyone else would have the decency to be embarrassed at receiving a constable in their home, wearing such scant clothing. Susan will see all the posh and plush surroundings befitting a spoiled brat who grew into a spoiled adult. The dcor is lavish Art Deco; the pictures (what few they are) are obviously relations from the Crabbe and Goyle families. But there are signs of two people having been living here, judging by the dishes in the kitchen area, and two used whiskey tumblers on the coffee table. Beryl isn't the most fastidious housekeeper. Also, a pair of men's socks just happens to be lying beside the sofa - which Beryl moves away from quickly, in hopes of not drawing attention by kicking them under. "A drink? You're free to help yourself," she says sweetly, motioning to the lavish little mini-bar cabinet.

As if Susan would turn that down, bending to open the cabinet and select one of the more expensive whiskies. She takes her time to pour, taking in every detail of the flat before she moves over to one of the overstuffed couches and sits down comfortably, leaning back as though she owned the place. "Let me make things quite clear, then. My name is Constable Menzies." A pause to let that sink in - her name's hardly unknown in certain circles, after all. "You are Miss Beryl Crabbe, 'associate' of Mister Tiberius Tripe," the name is almost spat out, eyes narrowing imperceptibly, "and former cursebreaker at Gringott's bank. You have been approached regarding a certain… suggestion of malpractice at that bank. Have I missed anything important?"

Slipping her slender hands down into the pockets of her robe, Beryl again stalks like a cool panther through the room, taking her time as she glides quietly along. When she turns to face Susan, her smile is sweet as a sugary piece of candy, and her voice drips with syrupy charm: "I don't deny that Tiberius Tripe is my associate. He is the chief of security at Carrow Investments. I, myself am an investment consultant there. You see, treasure hunting and freelance work dried up some time ago." She explains, cutely tilting her head so that some of her unruly curls drop across one eye to cover it partially. "All good things must come to an end… And no, I've not been approached about anything to do with Gringott's since I left their employ."

Cute just earns her a scowl from Susan. An altogether not unexpected scowl. She reaches into her inside pocket for her MLE licence, and slides it onto the small table beside her. Next, out comes the wand, and that, too, is placed on top. That done, she dusts off her hands and leans forward a little. "What I would like, Miss Crabbe, is to come to an arrangement which means nobody needs to end up doing paperwork, and nobody ends up in jail. Consider me now off duty." The whisky in her hand helps the consideration, no doubt, as does the thirsty gulp of it she takes. "You have a rather unique set of talents and experience, and all the sorts of contacts that a young lady of impeccable reputation ought to really be wary of."

Beryl watches every movement made by Susan with the keen-eyed awareness of an edgy feline. But her expression remains cool and collected.
Taking a seat on an entirely different couch, the arrogant woman smirks and makes herself very comfortable, now lying down. Lazy as her demeanor is, it's enough to make anyone wonder if she's high on drugs or something.
Finally, her gaze drifts back toward the constable: "You compliment me, my dear. But why such a friendly visit? From what little I've heard of you, you aren't known for being so cordial to all the people you drop in on unexpectedly. What do you want from me?"

"Most of the people I drop in on unexpectedly," Susan insists, locking her gaze, eyes very slightly narrowed, on Beryl, "are criminals of the worst sort, and need a somewhat sharper knock to see sense." She takes another sip of her whisky, savouring the taste for a long moment. "You are not, to my knowledge, a known felon. You just sleep with one, but we've all made mistakes when it comes to men. My ex-husband, for example. But I digress. The question is what we can do for each other, I think. There is an ongoing investigation into certain dark wizards, political activists of the worst sort, murderers, kidnappers and arsonists. You can help me with that, but the question, Miss Crabbe, is what I can do for you?"

For all intents and purposes, Beryl appears to be deeply touched by Susan's apparent esteem and regard for her - and for her reputation. Her eyebrows arch slightly at the mention of Susan having been married before; however, she does not remark anything about it. As the constable says… we all make mistakes.
"I assume that you mean the Sykes Gala massacre," Beryl replies airily, looking away. "At the moment, I am as blind as a duck in a hailstorm about those goings on. If I had something to give you, I'd give it. I have no horse in that race and nothing to gain from it, one way or the other. Let justice be done!" She says with finality, raising a fist into the air before lazily dropping it back down to the couch. "Provided you aren't asking me to do anything that might jeopardize my current employment - because I enjoy earning a paycheck, believe it or not - I'll be glad to help you. And as to you helping me? That's pretty simple: Don't kill Tiberius and don't let whatever personal messes he makes for himself be a reflection on my place of employ. Carrow can't be held responsible for an employee when he's not on duty."

Susan pulls out a quill and a piece of paper, scribbling a quick address, a post office box, on it and offering it over, leaning forward on the couch to reach. "Somebody will, if they have not yet, approach you regarding your work at Gringott's, and how to break in. When they do, give me names, give me dates, and give me details. You have your employment, Miss Crabbe, and I have mine. Don't let Mister Tripe step out of line, and I will have no quarrel with him."

Beryl accepts the sheet of paper, looking at Susan with a newly found regard. This is the woman who has, on several occasions, sent her gentleman friend home with a broken body. And yet, here she is, being completely reasonable and polite.
"If such an eventuality happens," Beryl says smoothly, now sitting up once more, "I will let you know." She can't see any reason NOT to, after all. It's a fair swap. Job security, a living Tiberius - what more could she ask for, logically. "We have an accord, I'd say."

She needn't know the times that her gentleman friend has sent Susan home with a broken body in turn, or the seething hatred that leaps up every time she sees the man, although surely it can't be usual for anyone to glare at a pair of socks the way Susan glared at that pair when she came in. Susan rises to her feet, finishing off the whisky and setting the glass down beside the other empty ones, something for Tiberius to see when he gets in, perhaps, then picks up her wand and licence again to tuck back into her pocket. "I'm so pleased we could come to this arrangement, Miss Crabbe. If you have anything that might be of interest to the forces of justice…" she gestures to the paper. "Let me know. I will be most grateful."

Beryl rises to her feet and glances at the paper in hand once more, narrowly. For her part, she would far rather have an unstable ally under these terms with Susan, than making a certain enemy in her.
"The pleasure is mutual, Constable Menzies," Beryl intones, far more serious and far less flippant than she originally was when they met at the door. Heading back that way, she also remarks: "As I said, if anything along those lines comes up, you'll be hearing from me. It's not in my interest to get enmeshed in the coils of the law."

Cordial she might be, for now, but there's a line between cordial and overly polite. Susan simply nods once and heads for the door, to let herself out.

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