(1939-02-23) Frid Arranges Things
Details for Frid Arranges Things
Summary: Tessa and Frid discuss Tessa's vacation, and she gets some rather unexpected information.
Date: February 23, 1939
Location: Upstairs at the Three Broomsticks
Related: Shall We Dance?

Tessa always brings the post up as soon as it arrives. So this morning she finds herself walking up the stairs, some letters in her hand, though nothing urgent this time. She reaches Fabia's door, stops somewhat hesitantly before it, and gives it a sharp rap of her knuckles. She doesn't -think- Fabia's there. But it's best to be sure.

"Come," Frid calls, in lieu of his employer, who's out visiting for the day and decided that meant he could have at least an afternoon to himself. An afternoon to himself which appears, today, to be being spent in frivolity and joy, as he's got the furniture polish out and is doing an excellent job of restoring the lustre of the small coffee table beside the sofa, which is so often the victim of gin related incidents.

Once she's acknowledged, Tessa opens the door, slipping inside and setting the post on a small table nearby, the usual place to set it, mostly out of the way of any unfortunate accidents that could befall it. Of course, not completely out of the way. Never completely. "Good afternoon, Frid," she says with a smile. She's rid herself of any residual awkwardness; or, at least, apparently she has. "How are you?"

Frid actually gives her a quick smile in return, seeming altogether more confident, more relaxed and less awkward than the last time they spoke. "Tessa," comes the response, following by another quick rub at the table with his cloth. "I'm… yes. I'm well. Have you decided when you want to go to France, yet? I had a word with a friend of mine the other day about it for you. He works on the ferries, so we can get you over there for next to nothing. I'm trying to get word from him about places to stay, too, but he's not yet got back to me."

"Sometime in March, I should think," Tessa replies, moving to the desk and rummaging around until she finds a letter opener, which she puts next to the mail on the table. "As soon as I can get all the plans settled. Thank you so much for your help. I would like to do it cheaply; Billy does go through school uniforms at an alarming rate." And cauldrons, if we're being honest. And, for some reason, school books. Best not to get into precisely why that is. "I shan't need anything much, you know, I can do fine on very little."

"I know a chap who can probably arrange uniforms for you, too," Frid suggests, all of a sudden only too keen to offer the benefit of his many, many contacts, and every advantage he's managed to edge while in one employment or other. This sudden generosity of spirit. Who could possibly surmise the reason for it. He straightens, knees creaking with the effort - he's not as young as he once was, after all - and moves over to claim both the letters and the letter opener. "Don't let Mrs. Fairfax overwhelm you, though. Decide where you want to go, and what you want to see and do, and I'll arrange it. You don't have to go to Paris and spend all evening at the ballet, then all night at the casino. That's her thing, not necessarily yours."

The sudden offers do surprise her; well, perhaps not necessarily -surprise-. In fact, not really surprise at all. But she does seem keen to make sure he doesn't think she expects them, if the rapidity of her answer is any indication. "Oh, that's not necessary, Frid," she says, holding her hands out in front of her as though to stave off any other such heretofore unknown generosity, "What I mean is, I'd thank you for it, of course, but don't feel like you should put yourself out about it. There's really no need."

The last bit brings her into more comfortable waters, and she laughs, because after all, Fabia -is- quite a force of nature. "Well," she admits, "I would like to see a ballet. But a vacation like Mrs. Fairfax would take would probably tire me out so much I'd need another vacation just to recover. I'd like to go to the Louvre, and the catacombs, and see Les Invalides. It seems a shame not to, if I'm going to go."

"I wonder where she gets the energy sometimes," Frid admits, slicing into the first envelope to pull out yet another invoice. It doesn't matter who the letters are addressed to, it's one of the prerogatives of the valet to open them all anyway, and decide which ones are likely just to fluster Fabia so it's better he deals with them himself. "She has to have a good ten or fifteen years on me, but set her off for an evening at the theatre or at the tables and I can't keep up."

"She -does- have so much energy," Tessa replies, perching on the arm of the couch in a position that she'd never assume when Fabia was there. Since it's just Frid, though, she's much more comfortable relaxing a little. "When she was teaching me how to dance, I was tired out after a few quick songs, but her breathing barely even changed." She shakes her head, obviously impressed with the woman's stamina. "I hope I can do that when I'm her age." Perhaps not the most diplomatic thing to say, but again, it's only Frid there.

Frid sets aside the first letter and slices into the next, leaning back casually (as casually as Frid ever does, anyway) against the wall as he reads it over. "I'm sure your Frenchmen won't be quite so unbelievable, so don't forget to give them a break to stop for breath and a drink while you're out there." He lifts the letter in his hand. "New brewery. They want to send us their latest beer to try it out. You want to deal with this?"

"I shan't," Tessa replies with a grin, just a hint of mischief in her expression. She is of a bookish turn of mind, but it would be a rare young woman indeed who's completely immune to the thought of an evening spent dancing with charming and obliging gentlemen. The letter brings her back to the tasks at hand, though, since she's not in Paris yet. "Hmm." She reaches for it, plucking it out of his hand and glancing over the contents. "I suppose we could work out something." After all, what's one more new thing with all the changes that have taken place in the Broomsticks recently? "Thank you, Frid, I'll ring them tomorrow."

Frid nods amiably, then pauses before opening the next letter and just sets it down. "Has Mrs. Fairfax spoken to you?" he queries, turning more serious. "About her plans, I mean. And the plans for this place?"

The letter is quickly tucked away, this new subject being far more interesting than some new beer that's sure to be mediocre at best. "Not specifically," Tessa says, frowning thoughtfully. "I mean, she's altered things here, of course. I like it. But she hasn't shared much more than that." She's obviously curious, though a little hesitant to probe further. Frid did bring it up, though, and so she continues, "What -are- her plans?"

"London," Frid explains succinctly. "She's expressed a desire to move back to London, and the wheels are in motion to buy a jazz club there. A muggle jazz club. Where there might be fewer complaints from the embittered locals about how this used to be a good, wizarding pub before that woman took over, with her muggle ways and her fancy cocktails and… well. Quite."

"London?" This is certainly new information. Tessa leans back, propping her hands on her thighs as she considers. Her frown deepens, and her eyes slide past Frid for a moment as she considers it. "Well," she finally continues, looking back to him, her smile returning, though perhaps not quite as bright as it is normally, "That's very exciting. We'll certainly miss her around here." Maybe 'we'll' is a stretch, but Tessa's obviously sincere. "I must say I do feel she'd like that better. She's much too exciting for Hogsmeade."

Frid half smiles. "I can't imagine she'll stay away completely. Too many friends here, and it's not as though it's difficult to step through the floo. I'll make sure the fireplace is connected at the club - I've this idea that we might like to use the cellars here for storage. But it does mean that somebody will be asked to take over the running of this place here. There's a reason I want to go over the stocks and accounts with you."

"Oh, well, of course," Tessa replies, "There's quite a bit of space here, and we can always make more." The wonders of magic! She appears to be only sort of listening, though, and so the implications of his last words don't immediately register. "I'll be happy to sit down with you and we ca-…oh!" And there it is. Her eyes widen as she finally processes everything he's said. "But…" She must have mistaken his meaning. "Wouldn't it be better to go over them with Madam Tabitha?" Of course, she's noticed that Madam Tabitha has been rather out of things, lately, but that doesn't necessarily mean that a lowly barmaid would suddenly be given the pub to run.

Frid just arches a brow at that. "Mrs. Fairfax doesn't believe that Madam Tabitha has quite the qualities or drive any more to run this place to her liking. I suspect Madam Tabitha may take an early retirement, in fact. I'm sure Mrs. Fairfax'll get round to speaking with you about the whole thing soon, but I rather thought it might be useful to have an idea in advance, so you know to brush up on any areas of the business you don't usually cover."

The whole thing is still just slightly out of Tessa's ability to fully grasp. "I…" she begins, then shakes her head quickly, as though to clear it. "I'm sorry. I just never really expected to…" and trails off again, her usually quick tongue failing her. "Thank you for the notice, Frid. There are a few things I'd like to review before I discuss anything of the sort with Mrs. Fairfax." The longer she speaks, though, the more like herself she becomes, as the opportunity really sinks in. Her smile is back, and it's very genuine as she continues, "I'm sure I don't have to tell you what a difference this would make for us." Frid knows her well enough by now to know to whom the 'us' refers.

Frid nods. "Of course, Miss Tessa. We'll see about making the time." And he lifts the letter-opener to continue his investigation of his employer's correspondence, with the intent, as ever, to shield her from the full weight of her responsibilities, her extravagances, and her sheer bloody daftness.

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