(1939-02-24) Blood, Booze, and a Cuban Cigar
Details for Blood, Booze, and a Cuban Cigar
Summary: The usual ingredients of an evening in Fabia Fairfax's sitting-room.
Date: February 24th, 1939
Location: Upstairs at the Three Broomsticks
Related: Occasional references are made to Pulling The Wings Off Fabia, Driving the Driver, Swinging and Swaying, and I'm Sure Luton Can Be Magical. Possibly others.

Fabia's Rooms

Cooper is sick of London this evening. She's sick of the noise, the smell of the people, the lack of space. She's sick of the politics, the logistics, and the amount of lunatics. So rather than going home to her flat, retreating to Hogsmeade is certainly the more appealing option. It just feels like the place to be tonight. The lumpy sweatered Auror arrives by Floo, and being a regular she skips right past any patrons and workers and straight to the room she always hangs out in when at the Three Broomsticks. Her cloche hat is taken off before she knocks at the door. "It's Cooper."

As ever, the door is opened by Frid. A Frid in shirtsleeves and missing his tie, no less! Does the man have no limits to his depravity?? He does up the top button of his shirt as she steps in, however, and his tie can be seen over on the table, next to a display case of butterflies, an open book and a half finished cup of tea. "Miss Cooper," he greets, raising a brow. "I'm sorry, Mrs. Fairfax won't be back for a few hours yet. I had no idea you were coming."

Perhaps earlier on in their acquaintance this would have surprised Cooper. Only she's seen the man swing and sway for god's sake. She's better equipped to handle casual Frid. So instead she settles upon an apologetic look, one that mixes in with her utterly tired face. "Oh I'm sorry Frid, I didn't send word this time around I-are those butterflies?" The bright, unique colors of the wings catches her attention easily. Okay. This surprises Cooper, tiptoes to get a better peek of the display over Frid's shoulder.

"Ah… it's a hobby," Frid admits, snatching up his tie to loop around his neck, hands knotting it with easy, practiced movements as he makes himself more presentable. "I'll put them away. Can I get you a cup of tea, ma'am? Or something a little stronger? Martini? G&T? Whisky mac?"

Cooper shakes her head, stepping over to the butterflies to get a closer look. "Don't, don't, they're amazing," she says, flicking the glass lightly so that a distinct 'ring' resounds in the room, "Did you collect these yourself?" She's stooped low to peek at them, eyes wide with wonder like a child at a zoo. And she only turns her head to say, "Tea sounds - erm no. Something stronger is needed. In fact, I'll have to bother you for a suggestion since I've actually brought you a treat." There's that tricky impish grin on her face. Only no tricks tonight, just a finely packaged cigar, which she pulls out from the inner pocket of her frumpy jacket. She waggles it in her fingers, "I'm told it's Cuban. Shall we share it and find out?"

Frid straightens his collar, flashing her an awkward smile. "Ah. Yes. I tend to go out on a Sunday morning and see what I can find. There's a few there from France and Spain, too." Because she's clearly massively interested in exactly how he spends his time. It suddenly strikes him that she may possibly not be all that interested about his weekend mornings, and he clears his throat, moving away to the drinks trolley, all business and professionalism. "Cuban cigar, ma'am? Cuba libre to drink with it, then, it seems only right. Please, do sit down, ma'am. Can I arrange some supper for you, also? I believe there's beef casserole with asparagus this evening?"

Cooper tilts her head curiously, "Are there butterflies in this area in early March?" She's nosy. Nosy, Nosy, Nosy. Cooper is massively interested in anyone's anything! Especially if it's a peculiar creature like Frid. "A Cuba libre it is!" she agrees to his suggestion, and by his invitation, resigns herself to her usual spot on the couch, shedding her boots carelessly along the way. The dip in the cushion practically greets her ass in happy familiarity.

"You can get me a cigar clipper if you have one, sir. And that supper sounds quite fine to me, sir. Only I'm really here for some company, sir." If you disregard all the teasing 'sirs' slipped in, what you'll see the truth of the situation - that all the lonely dog lady wants to do is have the right people around her this evening.

Frid eyes her at the excess 'sir'ing, and really, for Frid, any 'sir'ing is excessive, and clears his throat. "Point taken, Miss Cooper. But no, the butterflies won't be out for a few weeks yet. I was just getting my collection in order before the weather gets — look, it's not really very interesting," he admits, topping up the glass from a brown bottle and adding a wedge of lime. "Are we celebrating something?" he queries, nodding to the still unclipped cigar in her hand while he digs around in the various drawers. Clearly Fabia has been 'helpfully tidying' again, and now he can't find anything.

Cooper is really getting in her element now. The socks come off, they're tossed somewhere to the side. She's no better than that Fairfax really. "If it's not interesting, why do it?" she asks plainly, pulling out some Cole Porter from the collection and letting it play. If Cooper notices his reluctance and pushes the envelope anyway, it's certainly not too clear. "Mmm, no we're not. But we can if you'd like. It was a my birthday a couple weeks back and I did nothing for it. We can celebrate that," she settles upon it as if they both agreed.

But on a table nearby Frid, Cooper spots the clipper and waves it around once it's in her hands, "Found it!" If Frid has any degree of competence, his senses may tingle at the peculiar stain on her collar. It's small and dark brown, like old blood.

The socks are noted, and added to the list of things to tidy up when he gets a moment, and there's a moment's pause as he considers whether he'll have time to launder them, dry them, and then return them to her before she's gone. Very probably. It's unlikely, after all, that Fabia won't invite her to stay the night. Frid makes his way over with the drinks, setting one down on the table, then doing a neat switch of glass for clippers. He gives a quick gesture for the cigar itself so he can arrange things to his satisfaction (and let's face it, it's always about arranging things to his satisfaction, and working round his employer's whims). "Well, then happy birthday for two weeks ago, Miss Cooper," he allows. "Old enough to drink at last. Would you like me to find you a dressing gown, so I can take your shirt to launder?" he offers, very briefly nodding towards her collar. "It ought to be done before that stains."

Cooper is so pleased to see drinks that she doesn't even wonder further as to why Frid doesn't answer her question. She may be good at pushing, but he must be good at distracting! "Oh haw haw Frid. Haw haw. Not all of us had a chance to frolic with the dinosaurs," she hands the Cuban over to the valet and takes up her drink instead.

She's mid-sip when he makes his laundry offer, eyes scanning all over her clothing to spot the said stain. But Cooper's bright expression falls a little upon seeing her collar, and with a tone of irritation she says, "Christ I thought I took care of that. I'm sorry. I'm not that great at laundry." News flash of the year! "Yes, another shirt would be good," she says sloppily yanking her lumpy sweater over her head so that she can get to the blouse beneath.

Frid snips the end of the cigar like a tobacco mohel, tucking it between his lips so he can reach into his back pocket for matches, tears one from the book, strikes it, and lights up. He shakes the match out, taking a few puffs to ensure the cigar is lit, then hands it over to Cooper. "There's a dressing gown on the back of the door in the bathroom," he suggests, hurriedly averting his eyes to look at the ceiling. Look at that artexing. Beautiful. And completely not, therefore, a young woman taking her clothes off in front of him. "If you'd be so good as to bring me your shirt when you're changed, Miss Cooper?"

The sweater is unceremoniously tossed over to wherever Cooper discarded her hat and jacket. But her uncharacteristic moodiness and frustrated frown continues when she rubs at the stain with her finger. "No, no, you enjoy it a while. You did all the cutting," she says undoing the top buttons of her blouse. Truth be told Cooper isn't as feeble as her oversized clothing may suggest. And despite her tiny frame there's a slight sense of athleticism in the way she moves. Though this is usually hidden under a stupid amount of terribly cheap material.

"Oh for the love of god Frid, you've washed my underwear," she rolls her eyes at his shy avoidance and disappears into the bathroom only to reemerge in her true form - a maiden swimming in cloth. "Is this Fabia's? Will she be alright with me borrowing this" she quirks a brow at the oversized dressing gown.

"She usually wears the silk," Frid admits. "That one she won't let me throw away, however, in case any of her guests find themselves in need. I'm sure she won't object to you borrowing it. You are a guest, after all, and it's incredibly warm and cosy for the winter months." Once again, now she's back out and not stripping off, he offers the cigar, a longer nub of ash sticking to the end of it by now, to do a swap for the blouse. "From your work?" he queries, nodding to the blouse before disappearing off to wherever it is that Frids put laundry to do. "I worry for you," he admits.

Cooper moves her arms and shoulders around to get a feel for it, but decides it needs further testing. So she does a strange orangutan like dance in it to the tunes of Cole. It's not attractive, but it helps her form an opinion. "You're right, it's rather comfy," she nods, making the trade with him and taking a puff from the cigar. My word, that full flavored goodness. She flops back onto the couch with a glorious haziness to her mind. "Hmm? Oh, yes. It's been quite a messy week. With no end in sight soon, I'm afraid." Cooper exhales with a sigh, and placing her glasses on the coffee table she sits back on the couch to cover her eyes with her arm. "Oh? Why's that?"

"Because," Frid allows, calling back over his shoulder as he sets the blouse away somewhere to soak, "I'm rather an old fashioned, muggle sort of man, and I worry for any woman who deliberately chooses a career fraught with danger, but particularly a charming young lady like yourself." When he returns, he takes up his drink, considers for a moment, then settles at the other end of the sofa to Cooper, at a distance carefully calculated to the nearest half inch to satisfy his need for propriety. "I'm not saying that a woman can't be good at the job, but I am saying that I don't believe a woman should be put in a situation where there might be blood or worse."

Cooper puffs and puffs again, letting herself fall deeper into light headedness. And then she stops, stilling the cigar a moment as she listens to Frid. Her lips purse. "And why's that Frid?" She lifts her arm slightly to peek at him, her blue eyes not as bright as they tend to be. "Afraid that charming young ladies aren't best suited to handle such jeopardizing situations? Or are you afraid that I'd try to charm the pants off my enemies rather than use the education and training I've worked very hard to go through?" Oh my, the hint of sharpness in those words. She passes off the cigar to Frid.

Frid just arches a brow at that. "I assure you, Miss Cooper, I have nothing but respect for your education and training, and I am quite certain you can handle any situation placed in front of you. What I mean to say is that it should be a terrible thing to see you injured, both as a woman, and as a young woman I admire." He clears his throat, accepting the cigar with a nod and leaning back in his seat. "I would challenge you to find any man who wouldn't put themselves at risk in order to prevent any harm coming to you. From a tactical point of view, if nothing more, a woman in danger will always be the priority over a man in danger, and that means that logical strategy might be ignored. What I am saying, Miss Cooper, is that men are weak, and more so when they might see a woman in trouble."

Cooper reaches for her drink, which is the best thing to pair with a light head, an irritating perspective, and a mood swing. "Mmm yes, god forbid I make a man weaker than he already is. It's quite good luck you didn't see me carrying my groceries into my flat earlier. I would have slayed you with all the trouble I was having," she retorts after taking a sip of the Cuba Libre. Damn that's good. Perhaps the only good part about this conversation. "You know. I think you're right Frid. I think perhaps I've been a bit cold, hmm? And inconsiderate of the admiration of men around me, who risk and lower themselves to come to my aid. I think perhaps that I should set aside my dreams of helping the world be a bit safer. Cause goodness, imagine what that would do to men!" Here she is. Reigning Queen of Sarcasm 1939.

Frid takes a long puff of the cigar, enjoying that if nothing else. "Are you suggesting, Miss Cooper, that any gentleman ought to be pleased to see a young lady putting herself in harm's way on a daily basis?" he counters, offering the smoke across once more so he can take up his drink in its place. Drink. Good idea. He needs one. "Should we rather applaud the criminals for endangering you, so you can demonstrate your resolve and training? Would you suggest, in fact, that we ought to put you in more danger, perhaps shoot you in the leg before pushing you into a pool of sharks and forcing you to swim across it to even reach your desk in the morning?"

If given the opportunity, Cooper would undergo Frid's commuting challenge just because can goddamit! Or at least she thinks she's can. She's about 85 to 90 percent sure. "No, I am not suggesting that. But I am suggesting that a gentleman at least respect it, and I don't know, perhaps be a little grateful that she's willing to make a bit of a sacrifice." The cigar is seized from Frid's offering hand and puffed at. She pulls up the dressing robe which is so loose on her it almost slips off her shoulder.

"When men put themselves at risk, they're decorated and celebrated. And thanked. Policemen, fireman, soldiers." She has a particularly venomous way of looking at Frid when she dishes that last word. Yes, drink more. It's making this all the more controlled by the minute. "And what do I get? 'Oh darling, don't strain yourself so. You'll worry me.' As if I wasn't capable. You don't know what I've done Frid. You don't know what my hands have done." She holds her hands up in his face, an unfitting aggressive and threatening look in her eye, like a little girl trying so desperately to prove something. "So don't tell me there's no place for a woman in the face of danger."

Frid shrinks back from her hands, both brows raising as he leans back against the arm of the sofa. "I'm sure you're perfectly capable, Miss Cooper," he attempts, putting his drink aside before he ends up spilling it. "I'm hardly saying you're not capable. I'd imagine you're more capable than many men in the same profession. I just don't agree that women should place themselves in danger! I'd rather celebrate a live woman than a dead one."

Cooper experiences a rush of satisfaction upon seeing Fred back away slightly. And after briefly basking in it, she suddenly feels a wave of shame that deflate back into normal Cooperhood. "I-I am capable, and I will always be in danger. And you'll just have to deal with it," she clears her throat in a half-bitter half-sorry way. But not enough sorry to say it! Fist shake! She's retreated back to sulk into her corner of the couch among the grand fabric that surrounds her. The cigar is held out gingerly for Frid to take. She juuuusttt might be regretting sharing her precious Cuban with the man. The sorry blighter.

Frid clears his throat in kind when Cooper does. It's a British thing. Nobody's going to say anything, but the mutual clearing of throats is a compromise in its own way. He nods his thanks as he accepts the cigar once more from her, taking a long drag from it and just enjoying the incredibly expensive flavour. "Would you like another drink?" he offers after a long moment's awkward silence. It's the equivalent of an apology and a hug, really, without all those pesky displays of emotion which just Won't Do.

Not a thing. Silence is golden. Cooper is tired. And moody. And very much wants to sock Frid in the face, but also hug and apologize as well. Maybe she can do both. There's got to be some sort of maneuver for that. "Yes," she says tersely, downing the rest of her drink and crossing her arms. And after another bout of long awkward silence, she holds her chin up with reluctance and avoids his gaze when she very politely says, "I appreciate your concern."

Frid clears his throat once more, practically leaping to his feet to fulfill the promise of a fresh beverage, and to get away from the whole conversation in general. "I respect your work, Miss Cooper," is his rejoinder, followed by a firm nod to underline the whole thing and move on. "And I certainly appreciate being allowed to share your birthday cigar. Should I open a bottle of something, do you think? I'm sure Mrs. Fairfax would insist." Of course Mrs. Fairfax would insist. She'd insist on a bottle of something being opened to celebrate as mundane a thing as going for a walk, or purchasing new stockings.

Cooper will take the sentence as a 'good enough' and replies with a pointed, "You're welcome." As if he should be honored to share her birthday cigar after all the knives she threw into her little feminist heart. That cad. "Hmmmm sure," Cooper snuggles into the dressing gown material, which is soaked with the essence of the late Bertram Travers. But she need not know that. "What did you drink on your birthday? In fact, when is your birthday?" She doesn't recall any large bonanza for the valet as she expected.

"We had some of my Lagavulin for my birthday, just before Christmas," Frid admits cautiously, eyeing her in case she decides that therefore she also would like some of his very precious Lagavulin. "There's a lovely Bruichladdich here, if you're a whisky fan?" Yep. Distract her with Fabia's whisky instead. "Mrs. Fairfax got me a bottle as a present. And some rather wonderful pens I ought to show you some time. They're fascinating! No nibs, you see?"

A sharper Cooper could sense Frid's hesitation. A recovering grump and light headed with cigar smoke Cooper can't. "Lagavulin? That's what we had in the motorcar when you were teaching me to drive wasn't it? I liked that. Can I have a glass of that?" she says, putting her bare feet onto the coffee table and tapping her toes along to the melody of Cole. But she blinks her blue eyes in confusion, "Pens? Yeah I want to see them." If he's that gleeful over them, they must be a truly spectacular impressive set, right?

The hussy of Hogsmeade bursts upon the sitting-room as an unlooked-for revelation. … Which she's entitled to do, given that it's her sitting-room.

As furs and scarves and parcels flow from her person into a tangled heap upon the floor which Frid shall have a job of work sorting and filing, Fabia's cheerful green gaze takes in the dressing-gowned Cooper, and the pair of glasses on the coffee-table, and Frid at the drinks trolley sorting out another round… And that whiff of cigar smoke, it's as fine as anything she returns from her Thursday night adventures reeking of, and what a moment. How fortunate she feels that she and her friend in London gave up upon chasing down the final items on their shopping lists because all four of their feet hurt so miserably. This is a much better treat. "Why, darlings," she drawls, favouring them with one of her most suggestive glances. "Am I interrupting? Don't mind me, I'll just creep away again and leave you to become better-acquainted…"

Frid immediately turns bright red. Not just a sort of vague shade of pink, no, but the shade which can only really be described as 'Frid-got-caught-serving-drinks-to-a-mostly-naked-woman' red, so far is it on the red scale that Dulux have failed to come up with anything on their otherwise laudable colour chart. It's almost so red that it could be used by astronomers as proof that Frid must be moving away at speed, which, by an odd coincidence, he immediately is. Away from the sofa as far as he can get, as though he weren't anywhere near and gosh, is that Cooper in a dressing gown, how did that get there.

Goody! Cooper flashes a wide, lazy cat grin to the proprietress upon entrance, "Fabbiaaaaaa-" Oh but that suggestive glance and Fabia's suggestive suggestion that the of them could be - erm. Cooper is suddenly aware of how low the monstrously sized dressing gown was falling off her shoulder, which she pulls up with haste. "N-no it's not like that at all. P-please, come in. Sit." There are now two incredulously red people trying desperately to sink themselves far into their respective couch corners as possible, with the aim perhaps of disappearing completely. "W-we just … I brought a - oh what's it called - a cigar! It's a Cuban."

"There was blood on her shirt," Frid protests, hands going up as though that will protect him from Fabia's lascivious glances, and his gaze, well… where to look? Certainly not at Cooper, and with Fabia giving him that look, not at her either. Oh look! Ceiling! "It had to be soaked, or it would stain!"

"Oh, Cooper darling, no need to look so bashful. You may take off your clothes in here and have your pick of my dressing-gowns whenever you like," Fabia assures her blithely. Just then Frid mentions the reason for Cooper's present dishabille; her eyes widen behind her large violet-tinted sun-specs, which she pulls off and drops on top of her discarded sable coat as she flits across to the sofa to give her friend a thorough looking-over. "Darling, what happened?" She slips her hand into Cooper's, and demands to know: "Are you all right? Do you need anything, darling? I mean — apart from your cigar…" She can't really be at death's door if she's sitting here casually smoking with Frid, rather than being tended to in St Mungo's; but even so… even so.

Oh! An explanation for the shirt. "Yes, that's right! A stain, it was merely a stain! I went to the bathroom to change," Cooper makes it a point to make that clear, and she's about to ask for the Lagavulin to continue the conversation only to be whipped into a frenzy of worry. "Dearest, it's alright. It was just something at work, nothing to fret over. I'm not in the least bit hurt, just tired." And drunk. And light headed and embarrassed.

Those wide green eyes continue to study her for another long moment or two. "Well, if you're certain you're all right…" Fabia murmurs doubtfully.

And then, a knock; and Fabia eyes the door, then eyes Cooper, decides perhaps she really is well enough to be left for a few seconds, and leaps up to open it. Oh! It's Tessa. Her very favourite bar wench. And, oh, my, from her vantage point in the doorway Tessa can see all the way into the room — acquaint herself with every piquant detail — from Cooper swathed blushingly in the magnificent dressing-gown of the late B. Travers, Esq., to the half-smoked cigar, to the even less likely shade of Frid's face and let's not forget his ears. "Sweetie, what is it?" she asks brightly. "Oh, Phil Rowle? I haven't seen her in ages!" Her smile falters for an instant, hardly worth noticing, really. "Do show her up, Tessa sweetie. And make sure she has a drink in her hand when you do!"

Fabia turns and kicks shut the door (the elderly wood has, these past months, acquired a number of small scratches, all in roughly the same place, from her heels) and steps out of her navy blue leather shoes (not quite sensible enough, those kitten heels and pointed toes, for the impromptu shopping expedition into which her afternoon tea with her old friend was mystically transformed) and hurries back to Cooper's side to hold her hand again. What else? … "Oh, sweetie," she adds belatedly, "do you mind? I just can't think what she'd want to see me about and when Tessa said she was here I was so curious. She's such a nice girl, she was awfully good to me during that saccharine powder business. You — well, you remember, darling." And Fabia gives her favourite blonde friend a tentative smile. She may have been forgiven, but the sense of her transgression has lingered with her longer even than the withdrawal symptoms.

The bit about the Saccharine power captures Cooper's interest, but she's mostly just recovering from embarrassment, and pulling herself back to propriety, "Yes, by all means. I don't mind."

Having been granted permission to enter the inner sanctum, Phil is happy enough to accept the large gin and tonic. Upon reaching the door to Fabia's rooms she raps her knuckles thrice upon it. Once inside she surveys the damage as it were and sets the parcel and envelope she was carrying in her other hand down on the arm of a chair. "Hello Cooper. I was just talking about you yesterday. Looking…" the brows go up, and the ready grin is easy to see, "well I see." Not one for ceremony she simply perches on a chair. "I've come to seek sanctuary for a few hours if you do not mind. My house is filled with women I don't know discussing my wedding."

Yes. It's easy enough to assume that a pretty woman is lounging on Fabia's sofa in a dressing-gown for reasons having more to do with Fabia's passion for blondes, than Frid's passion for laundry. "Phil, sweetie," Fabia giggles, getting up from the sofa again to dart over to Phil and kiss both her cheeks, "given half a chance I'd be over there with them, and you know it. But by all means! Have a gin and put your feet up," she says congenially, "and then have another gin, just as long as you like." She pats Phil's arm and then retreats to the Cooperian area of the sofa. "Frid, sweetie, how are those drinks coming along?"

For her valet has retreated into professionalism, that last bastion of the embarrassed; and has been very, very busy at the drinks trolley in the last couple of minutes. He turns at her voice and holds aloft a silver tray upon which he has arranged a leaded crystal tumbler of whisky for Cooper, and the usual martini for his employer. Nothing for himself, now that there's an extra guest, who isn't only Cooper. "Madam," he intones, lowering the tray to the coffee-table so smoothly there's hardly a ripple in the glasses. And then he melts away to his usual station against the far wall. Is it a shadow? Is it a distressingly large patch of damp? No! It's Frid.

Cooper indeed looks like damaged goods. There's a half-assed attempt to control that crazy hair of hers back into a bun, and she puts her glasses back on, because she can see well enough with out them, but it's always nice to fully see other company. "Phil, all good things I hope. God knows I could use good things," she grins sheepishly finding the cigar wherever it may be and offering a drag to Phil. "If you're getting married, then you'll definitely need this and a gin. When's the date?"

"Thank you Fabia. I have brought you some chocolates." There was also an envelope but she doesn't mention that now, it wouldn't be polite. Later however, Fabia - through Frid no doubt - will learn that it is her invitation to the wedding. "I met up with Graham Cohen and asked after you," she explains to Cooper. Settling comfortably requires removing her fur cloak but once it is gone and undoubtedly whisked away by Frid during his elegant backwards walking trick she can relax. "The wedding is in September. One of those hideously overly grandiose pureblood things which in all honesty bores me so let's speak of your far more interesting lives."

Never one to be ungracious if she can help it, Phil accepts the cigar from Cooper with a nod of thanks. She has the look of one who has done this before, knowing to take slower more shallow puffs than longer drawn breaths like with a cigarette. When finished she hands it over to Fabia and ever so slowly exhales.

Oh, look! Drinks. All she has to do is ask; and Frid provides. "I love weddings," Fabia sighs, picking up her glass and gulping happily from it (the first martini of the day, always a profound pleasure), "and chocolates, sweetie, I shan't say you shouldn't have because absolutely positively you should have. Do let me open them now and we can all have one or two?" she pleads. And, when Phil has had her turn with the cigar, she accepts it eagerly and brings it to her lips for a moment or two. Then she passes it (with its lovely new red lipstick-stain, going all the way round) back to its ostensible owner, and breathes out that delicious smoke with a sigh of sensual satisfaction. "Very nice," she says admiringly to Cooper, and has a drop more of her martini, "is it in honour of something, or just because? Of course it could be in honour of Phil coming to visit, but I don't see how you could have known about that in time to bring a cigar, when I didn't know myself till the moment Tessa said she was here."

Cooper grimaces at the event's description and agrees while taking a sip of the Bruichladdich (the Lagavulin is safe! for now.) "That sounds horrid. You should just elope," she roughly suck a bit of alcohol off her finger before snaking an arm around Fabia. Wise advise from the sloppy Auror. "There is unfortunately nothing interesting going on in my life other than work, though Frid did teach me basic on how to drive the motorcar a few weeks back. I'm not sure if he told you that Fabia." She takes a long drag of the cigar adding, "And we're celebrating nothing in particular. I'm merely a lonely dog owner who like Phil, has come here seeking refuge. You should really open up a resort." After planting an affection kiss on the proprietress' cheek, she rises from the couch to flip the record to the other side. Cole Porter's music fills the room once more.

Phil, for all her claims to not be bourgeois is in fact quite bourgeois and gives poor Frid barely a thought. This is clear in the way in which she kicks off her heels and dangles her legs over the arm of the chair giving the room a quick flash of silk, garter and stockings before her dress settles against her legs again. "I did suggest elopement but Thomas is far too nice to my mother. Mostly because his is awful. But enough of me, really." She looks at Cooper, "Did you hear that Graham's fiance did a runner? Evidently he's turned to drinking whiskey and blowing things up. Do you know anyone at work who might take him home for some extra-curricular activities?"

Fabia curls comfortably into Cooper's brief embrace; and gives a smug smile at the touch of the young Auror's whisky-fragrant lips upon her powdered cheek. And then, whilst Cooper is turning over Cole Porter (bless her for recollecting not to do that just by whipping out her wand, not in front of Frid) she espies the parcel Phil left upon the arm of a chair, points to it, eagerly awaits confirmation, espies that also, in her friend's eyes, and jumps up (the woman's got some sort of springs in her legs today) to fetch it. It is thus that she, of all those present, happens to be in the right place at the right time to have the best view of Phil's underpinnings; and she's not very discreet, is Fabia. It's easy enough to tell she was looking. She beams as if to say 'why, thank you, sweetie', and quirks an eyebrow at her. "Oh, have you brought me lovely lovely gossip as well as lovely lovely chocolates? Bless you for being a journalist, sweetie. You really must come to see me more often and tell me all the news over a G&T, I like that so much better than reading it."

Of course she can't get the string round the parcel of chocolates undone by herself; of course Frid is there with his pocket-knife open to cut it for her. (He'd never actually give her the knife and let her do it by herself. Not even on the first martini.) He collects the string and brown paper from where, inevitably, she drops them, and melts away again, no doubt to iron the brown paper for future re-use and add the string to his collection.

With Cooper galavanting in the extravagant robe, and Fabia lounging with her martini, Phil seems to fit right in with the three lounging women and the valet who creeps. Where was he anyway, Cooper looks over her shoulder to the check and see if he was still in the far corner lurking. "Oh Thomas, the Books Unbound owner? We were there the other week Fabia, ran into your pale lizardy friend, what's his face Beckly. Nice bloke. Good-looking. Good job there." She swallows back some whiskey and almost spits it out upon hearing the news of Graham. "You're kidding! As if he needed more reason to frown. He comes in with a new gash each week. What on earth happened there?"

As her friends talk on, Cooper lets out a long yawwnn, peering at the clock on the wall for the time. "If you would excuse me dears, I think I'm actually going to take a bath. I've just had one of those days and I could really use it. Enjoy my cigar by all means," she offers. Taking her whiskey with her she heads for the bathroom, stopping only to hold a hand up to the valet. "Frid, I'll uh…I'll take care of my own bath this time. Thanks," she says, faintly red again before disappearing behind the door. Everyone's been given enough misconceptions for today.

"I do like to share a bit of gossip," Phil confesses to Fabia, although it is not exactly a state secret. She waits until Fabia has had some chocolate and then takes one for herself even though it makes the gin taste funny. After they are left alone she moves to sit near the older witch so that she can lower her voice and share with Fabia the latest tidbits she has learned from her coworkers and from her own investigations. "You will never believe…"

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