(1939-02-26) Troublesome Tripe
Details for Troublesome Tripe
Summary: At the request of a jailed Tiberius, Shelley delivers a message to Beryl at her home.
Date: 1939-02-26
Location: Beryl Crabbe's Flat

The neighborhood positively reeks of middle-upper-class snobbery. Not opulent or rich per se, but affluent enough to flaunt itself like a peacock perched atop a pole in the sunlight. The apartment building to which Shelley was directed stands out for its Art Deco beauty and gracefulness of line, and undoubtedly the same will be true of the flat where Beryl Crabbe lives.

Shelley has no doubt. She remembers the woman, now. She remembers /avoiding/ the woman and her friends. She had no time for people like /that/. She slouches casually next to Beryl's door, a thin line of new, pink skin the only sign remaining of her splinching. It still gleams faintly with the salve she continues to apply, meant to help the healing and cut down the chance it'll scar in the end.
She raps on the door and waits, hands shoved into pockets. /This/'ll be interesting, she's certain.

Beryl is 'at home' today. And, for Beryl Crabbe, being at home on a non-work day means that she doesn't give a crap about getting dressed up and going-places ready. When the knock comes on the door, the woman is lounging on her couch, lazily working through some minor jobs she must have brought home from work to deal with over the weekend. With a beleaguered sigh, she rises to her feet and glides slowly to the door to answer it.
The door lock clicks quietly, and the door swings open. The sight that greets Shelley is undoubtedly not unusual, if she remembers the woman well. Beryl is dressed in a soft mint green satin robe, trimmed with some kind of plush animal fur around the edges and cuffs, looking like a queen in her own castle. "Yes?" She asks calmly, looking through partially lowered lashes at the Auror without showing any sign of recognition.

"Miss Crabbe," Shelley greets the woman, flashing her a brief smile. "I hope I'm not interrupting anything…? Shelley Prewett," she offers simply. She pushes herself off from the wall and pulls one hand from her pocket, offering to Beryl in greeting.

Without seeming openly disdainful, Beryl glances down at the offered hand without lowering her delicate chin in the slightest. There is a moment's pause before she actually slips her own hand into Shelley's and shakes it graciously - if briefly - with a light smile: "You're not interrupting a thing, Ms Prewett."
The hand is released now, and she steps back without lingering or giving any indication that she recognizes or remembers Shelley from school. Beryl opens the door more broadly to invite Shelley into the flat. As to be expected, the view past the foyer is one of art deco elegance, from the dark marble fireplace with a tiger skin rug lying on the gleaming mahogany floor; to the streamlined furniture that seems both plush, and yet slightly austere at the same time.

Shelley allows herself a glance around the room as she steps in, hands going back into her pockets. "I can't imagine I'll be staying long, Miss Crabbe. I only came to deliver a message for you - since we were school mates and all." But who in the wizarding world /wasn't/? "Nice place you have here," she adds casually.

"Oh?" Beryl languidly does a half turn, hands lightly resting in her robe pockets and letting her auburn curls fall over a good half of her features. Her lips form into something like a mock pout: "What a pity. You're free to help yourself to a drink, however." She says this while moving over to an elegantly curved, tall cabinet made of warm-toned inlaid wood. With a flick of her fingers, she causes the doors to unlatch and swing outward to reveal a gloriously well stocked little bar tucked away within.
"What kind of message might you be bringing me?" Beryl now asks with wide-eyed curiosity, and in a voice that others might find cute - but likely, it'll bring back memories of annoyance to Shelley. "I really couldn't imagine. You don't work for my employer, so I don't suppose it's something from him."

"Well - I wouldn't wish to impose," Shelley responds, as she follows Beryl to the bar. "But I wouldn't say no to a drink. I'm rather partial to whiskey.
"The message comes from a Mister Tiberius Tripe," she supplies. "He seemed quite anxious that you learn his whereabouts." It's possible she's drawing this out a little, watching Beryl for reactions as she goes.

Beryl nods, flashing one of those well-mannered smiles that upper-class tutors teach their charges for use in social gatherings. She then pours a generous glass of high-grade whiskey for Shelley in slow, deliberate movements that denote nothing but calmness in the face of Tiberius' name being dropped. Since her back is turned to the woman whilst pouring the drink, she can't see the flicker of concern and hesitation in her expression. Upon turning around to slip the glass into Shelley's hand, she has regained control and looks nothing but serene.
"Is that so?" Beryl asks coolly with a demure smile. "And why might he be so anxious?" The MLE already knows that she's in a relationship with Tiberius through Susan. There's no point in denying it or making a show of ignorance.

"Well, I'm afraid he was taking into the custody of the MLE," Shelley confides, her expression conveying polite concern and regret as she takes the offered glass. "Only on an eight hour hold at the moment - he hasn't been charged with anything," yet, "but he was rather insistant that you know he hadn't just disappeared on you. I take it you had plans for later…?" She takes a small sip of the whiskey.
"Oh, this is quite good. Thank you." Hey, at least that part was completely genuine.

Beryl Crabbe only EVER has the best alcohol on hand for herself and guests - that much can be depended upon.
Something in the woman's expression changes slightly as Shelley divulges Tiberius' whereabouts. Her mouth remains neutral, but one eyebrow arches in a sign of genuine annoyance. It takes a moment before she turns to pour herself a drink - not from the whiskey bottle - but from a cocktail shaker she has been working on for some little while now.
"I see. And here I was under the impression that I had a deal with your Constable Menzies," Beryl remarks drily, keeping her voice airy in spite of the underlying tightening of muscles. "Namely, that should I keep him out of her hair and under control, he would no longer be dragged in like a vagrant from the street every time she feels the need to be belligerent to someone and work out her anger." There is a pause before the woman turns around again, this time with an elegant pink-tinted cocktail resting in her equally elegant hand: "What, pray did he do to break the bargain? I believe I'm entitled to know."

Shelley can only offer a shrug of her shoulders, and an open handed gesture. "I'm afraid I don't know the details surrounding the arrest. I only know he and an acquaintance, a fellow named Tyree," Shelley offers the man's full name, though unfortunately the player doesn't know it, "were both arrested together, and that he was most anxious you be informed. He did offer his apologies - so it is possible he did something antagonize the ever… diligent Constable Menzies."

Despite Beryl's utmost control and restraint, there is a glimmer of an instant where her cool green eyes roll upward… ever so slightly. It's an almost imperceptible gesture, but not quite. Afterward, she takes a healthy sip from her cocktail and moves past Shelley to the couch. Perching herself atop the back, she then tilts her head again, saying: "Am I supposed to take any action? With regards to Tiberius and his companion, that is. As you say, it's only an eight hour hold, but if he's managed to raise the Constable's ire enough - and I have no doubt that he has done - he may well be stuck in there a good deal longer without assistance."

"That, I couldn't say," Shelley responds, turning to keep her eyes on Beryl as the woman perches herself on the couch. She enjoys another sip of the whiskey. "I was only asked to make you aware of his circumstances - he didn't make any request of you."

Again, Beryl's only response is a simple: "I see…"
Lowering her gaze, she focuses on the cocktail in her stemmed glass. Languidly, with slow movements of her hand, she causes the delicious nectar to swirl around. "If he is so anxious that I know his whereabouts, I assume that he'll drop by once he is released. However, if he is not here by tomorrow, I suppose I shall have to make plans to visit the ministry and see what the situation is then." If she's his lover (as the rumors indicate,) she's certainly taking things very calmly. One might even get the impression that she's less than pleased with Mister Tripe at the moment… perhaps even before Shelley arrived with news.

"Perhaps he'll even benefit from an evening spent in less than comfortable confines," Shelley agrees. "Teach him to think twice before spoiling a perfectly good arrangement with the indomitable Constable Menzies?" She smirks with amusement at this, taking another sip.

Beryl allows herself a light, musical laugh. It's hard to say whether it's a genuine one or a well-schooled put-on for Shelley's sake, however, it seems real enough. "I wish I shared your optimism, Ms. Prewett. But, I'm afraid that numerous broken bones and just as many nights in prison haven't cured him of his obsessive need to get under the Constable's skin." It is a wry statement, delivered as a laugh - but there is an underlying annoyance all too clear in her tone.
"Is that all?" Beryl asks rather abruptly, her smile managing to be little more than a smirk now. "I rather expected to be hauled in for questioning myself the next time he was bulldogged, due to my close association."

"Certainly not by me. I'm with the Auror's office - and Mister Tripe is not in nearly /that/ much trouble," Shelley remarks in a dry tone. "And as I said - I didn't expect to be staying for long. The message was not a long one." She takes another drink of her whiskey - nearly gone now.
"Perhaps your dear Mister Tripe has been struck in the head once /too/ often," she suggests. "Poor fellow."

A quiet "Hrmph" escapes from Beryl before she downs the remains of her cocktail in one final go. It is a sound that elicits neither agreement nor disagreement. For all she knows, it's entirely possible - and she's still irked enough with the man to not feel particularly bothered at the moment. She's not champing at the bit to jump to his defense, either.
"In any case - if you feel so inclined - do inform Mister Tripe that I will drop by the jail with his belongings, should he not see his way clear to making it out from behind bars this time." A magnanimous gesture to be sure. Sardonic as her remark may be, it's clear by her eyes that something seems to pain Beryl in all of this, deep down inside.

"Of course," Shelley agrees. She finishes the whiskey, setting the glass down near the bar. "Thank you for the drink," she adds. "I won't darken your day any further - I'm sure there are things you would rather be doing."

Like packing up her belongings and leaving the country for someplace less dreary, dull and remorselessly full of problems? Of course, but leaving England isn't feasible at the moment, so Beryl will spend the day slowly drinking her troubles away.
Naturally, the woman doesn't voice these thoughts to Shelley. She merely offers a smile and sets her empty glass aside. Rising to her feet, she leads the way back to the door with feline grace: "So good of you to give me the message, Ms. Prewett. I do appreciate you taking the time." She certainly didn't /have/ to do it, and Beryl isn't obnoxious enough to neglect giving credit where it is due.

"Oh, I was happy to," Shelley answers. Anything to dig a little deeper at Tiberius Tripe. It still bothered her - the look he'd given her when he learned her name, and the way he had so abruptly left.
Only when she's just outside the door does she turn and add in a parting manner. "Oh. He was also quite insistent that I send along his love. But perhaps that was only the cold holding-cell bench talking."

Beryl's frigid attitude becomes slightly fractured by Shelley's offhand parting words. A pang of guilt cuts at her heart and her face changes quite abruptly. However, she looks at the other woman with a scrutinizing frown that indicates she is not wholly convinced that she isn't trying to bait and catch her out in some way.
Proud shoulders slump slightly, and her intense expression begins to fall. Clearly, the hurt shows much more clearly now as she struggles to form some semblance of a reply in her mind. "And you can tell him that I did nothing to be sorry for. If he really feels that way," meaning the 'love,' "Then he should know enough to think twice before jumping to conclusions."
That said, the door is shut quickly on Shelley, just shy of being a rough slam. It's not directed at the Auror, of course… but the man who isn't there to receive it.

"I shall pass it- …along," Shelley remarks as the door is slammed in her face. She turns, amusement mixed with a thoughtful, mulling expression as she puzzles over the woman's words. /She/ did nothing to be sorry for? What part of the message implied that? Still. Unless Miss Crabbe was a remarkable actor - no part of that simple message seemed to be code.
Ah well. That was that - and she got about as much as she expected out of it.

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