(1939-03-11) Take Off Your Shoes
Details for Take Off Your Shoes
Summary: Poor Takeshi. After the almost-riot in Diagon Alley, Rena, Rhyeline, Unetta, Shelley and Kenneth all head to his house, eat his wagashi, drink his tea and wander around his garden. It's a good thing he was at work that night.
Date: Tuesday, March 11, 1939
Location: Takeshi's Home
Related: Immediately follows: Diagonally Challenged

Rena stares at Rhyeline and looks uncertainly around herself. The crowd is almost in mayhem, despite the control of the Hitwizards doing their jobs with precision. Nobody else wants to be caught up in the dragnet, and a lot of people are running helter-skelter. "You're right, luv. Best run for it." But… where? She panics for an instant, looking in every direction quickly.

The way to the Residential alley is relatively open compared to the rest. "Quick! Follow me! My house!" She pants, now really pulling Rhyeline with her, and grabbing Kenneth's hand as well. Whoever decides to follow had best make up their mind quickly. Shelley, however, does know that there are no strong spirits in Rena's home. At All.

Kenneth glances for his liason, but this whole magic people going amok and spells being cast higgledy piggledy is enough to make him see the wisdom in a judicious retreat. "Lead the way, Miss."

Rhyeline squeaks as Rena pulls her along through the crowd. She clings tight to her wand and struggles to keep up as she glances over her shoulder.

The sounds of mayhem gradually fade into the background as Rena hurriedly drags her friends - and one stranger - away from the lamppost where all hell broke loose. She hasn't much to say during the journey; only occasionally does she glance back over her shoulder to check on the others and look to see if anyone else is following. By the time they reach their apparent destination, the overcast sky has begun to cast down large, wet snowflake clumps that stick to everything and slick the ground beneath their feet.
"Ere we are!" Rena calls out, abruptly sliding to a stop outside of an extremely austere black house. Its lines could not be more plain and simple. The only seemingly different thing about its design is the doorframe, which is shaped like an exact and perfect triangle. And, despite the general grimness of the house's appearance, the young woman trots up to the door to unlock it and swing it open for her guests. A flick of her wand causes the interior to become warmly lit, and she steps inside, quickly slipping out of her shoes.

Shelley is still grumbling to herself as she trails after Rena, sparing her own occasional glance at their surroundings, but spotting nothing with overtly alarms her. "Not a drop. Not a drop of liquor in the entire house. No whiskey, no rum - not even mead, or cider, for goodness sake. What sort of way is that to live? No way at all, let me tell you."

Kenneth balks at the entry to the smallish looking black bunker of a home that seems to be distinctly bereft of any windows and the door is an odd triangle shape. "I'm right as rain, actuall

Rhyeline has never sprinted like that before in her life. When Rena comes to such an abrupt stop, the fragile little witch clutches her chest, too out of breath to speak. She takes an unsteady step forward, feeling weakness in her knees.

Kenneth balks at the entry to the smallish looking black bunker of a home that seems to be distinctly bereft of any windows and the door is an odd triangle shape. "I'm right as rain, actually. I can simply return to the more Muggly parts of London with my liason here. I am certain we can evaporate or some such to get past that lot back there." He turns to the fellow in question "Can't we?"

"Yea, but it's safer 'ere than in the Cauldron after that mess," Rena calls back to Shelley from the lighted doorway.
Dark eyes then fall on Rhyeline, and she reaches her hand out to the young woman with a sympathetic expression: "I'm awfully sorry, Luv. I didn't mean to put you through your paces like that -it's just the way things unraveled." She says apologetically.

Noticing Kenneth's hesitance to enter the house, Rena's expression falls even further. Until now, she hung back in the warmth of the house in her stocking feet, but she forgets herself when she hears him say he'd rather go back with his liaison. "Oh, but… please Ken- C-captain. I promise it's not as bad as it looks on the outside," she pleads, tip-toeing onto the frigid, wet paving stones. "Please? Just for a while? I'll see you get 'ome safely afterward even. It's the least I can do after what you did back there."

Rhyeline takes Rena's hand appreciatively, clinging to it as she catches her breath. Her cheeks have grown quite flushed. Silent, she peeks up at Kenneth and watches the muggle with quiet curiosity.

"I could pop off home - fetch a few bottles," Shelley muses thoughtfully. "Maybe fetch Ebony, since he was /such/ a success the last time I was here," there's dry and teasing amusement in her voice at that last suggestion, as she steps into the house and starts slipping out of her own shoes. "Think your young gentleman is in, Rena?" she asks. He's going to have a /fit/, if he is.

Kenneth blinks "I did nothing back there but speak the truth as I know it, Rena. It is nothing special to do that……" His eyes turn to the small squat dark house. "It looks very cozy, your home here. Snug and tight against the weather. No large windows to speak of. Not a lot of air gets in or out, I expect." His fingers curl into fists beside him as he takes a step forward.

"Oh, how lovely!" Unetta says lightly as she enters Rena's home. "What style of home is this? It's not what I'm quite used to seeing." She asks as she looks about. A glance is given to Kenneth. "You've no reason to worry, you know, good…muggle sir? You're a muggle, aren't you?" She asks of Kenneth. She's put the pieces together, from what just happened, as well as his clothing. "Some people are just…shall we say…uptight? They'd be hostile to just about anyone, unfortunately."

Where one man sees a suffocating, airless tomb, Rhyeline sees a shelter from a world that is far too big and bright. Still holding onto Rena's hand, the girl lingers just behind her friend across the threshold of Takeshi's home. She tilts her head, taking in the muggle's apprehension with a continued, hushed curiosity.

Rena bites her lower lip. She's well-used to Takeshi's own troubles with other things seemingly very much the opposite of Kenneth. But she can handle this, surely. "There's more to this place than meets the eye." She says quietly, reaching out with her free hand (as Rhyeline is holding onto the other) and gently taking hold of the Captain's fist. Giving him an encouraging, hopeful smile, she attempts to urge him past the threshold. "The back garden is open and lovely. It's always green and warm - we can go there."

A look is flashed at Shelley; one that isn't angry, but one that doesn't miss a beat. She wrinkles her nose at the other Auror, narrowing her eyes a little as she shakes her head: "I like Ebony a lot, but I'll 'ave a devil of a time straightening things up as it is."
Unetta's remarks cause her attention to drift toward the other woman… to whom she still has inexplicably never actually introduced herself to just yet: "Thank you, it is lovely, isn't it? It's - it's Japanese," she says in a friendly tone.

Shelley responds to Rena's look with a broad smile, then looks out to Kenneth. "Do come in. It's not a bad place - everything in its place and a place for everything. I say we switch things about and see what happens." She won't. Honest. …well. Maybe one or two things.
"Mind you take off your shoes, Unetta. It's a… Japanese thing. I don't pretend to understand."

Kenneth swallows hard then takes another step forward now that she holds his hand. For so large a hand it seems to be sweating and he takes another step, turning a bit more pale as he makes forward progress. Finally, he inhales deeply and takes the last few steps into the house quickly with a purposeful stride. Or is he trying to just make it through the door before his courage totally deserts him? Hard to say…

"Japanese…alright. There we are then. And it really is nice." Unetta smiles, glancing at Shelley. "Shoes…oh! Right. Of course." She nods to her cousin-in-law and plops her shoes off by the door. "Well now, with all that excitement behind us…" She's offer a word of encouragement to Kenneth, but those who seem to know him seem to have taken charge of that. "That's probably one of the most exciting days I've had in a while." She says after a couple moments.

Having noticed Rena remove her shoes, Rhyeline slips out of her ballet flats. She keeps close to Rena's side as they head for the garden, careful not to touch anything. But the curious internal architecture rouses a great deal of curiosity from the girl. She can't seem to drink in the sights fast enough.

"O-oh, yes! Thank you, Shelley," Rena says nervously, blushing a bit as she is forced to reiterate the fact to all of her guests. "I I'm awfully sorry, I 'ave to ask you all to take your shoes off. It's a custom in Japan." The ladies won't have any trouble slipping out of their shoes, of course. But with Kenneth being so unsettled by all of this, Rena's caretaking nature seems to be overtaking her rather quickly. She pauses for the moment, directing the others to the back door of the house with her hand: "It's right through that door. Shelley's been - she'll lead the way." (Of course, unless they wish to go barefoot in the garden, they'll have to take their shoes with them.)
Kneeling down quickly in front of Kenneth on the pristine floor, Rena looks up at him and says kindly: "'Ere, let me 'elp you off with these," already tugging at the laces of his right shoe.

Shelley carries her own shoes with her as she walks - her freehand reaching out to deftly switch the position of two of the origami animals sitting on a shelf. "Here's the garden!" she announces cheerfully - sliding the door open. Yes, most doors slide in a Japanese house.
Her cousin gets a dry look as she mentions that this is one of the most 'exciting' days she's had in a while. "I can't really say the same," she remarks. "But this is the sort of excitement I love." As opposed to the other kind.

Rhyeline steps back, letting Rena tend to the muggle man. At Shelleys' example, she takes up her slippers and follows her through the flat to the garden. Her eyes shine with wonder as she gazes at the pristine Japanese garden. "So beautiful…" she murmurs, speaking for the first time since casting her disarming charm.

"Well, it's hardly my fault that you chose the exciting life of an auror, Shelley!" Unetta chuckles, following toward the back of the home. She doesn't bother to take her own shoes with her. That would involve work…the work of bending over to pick up her shoes. She just doesn't care, really. "Ooo. Look at the pretty garden!"

Kenneth allows thr girl to take his shoes, then heads to see where the others are going. Persperation dampens his brow as he stands just inside and allows her to remove his boots. Those shoes weren't made for running away.. but a good judicious retreat? That sounds fine.

"There's fish. They have names. I don't know them," Shelley remarks, casually, gesturing to the pond where two koi are idly circling. She slips her shoes back on, and makes her way to one of the chairs in the garden, dropping into it with a casual flop. "/This/ is when I need one of those whiskeys," she remarks.

Rhyeline slips her slippers back onto her feet as she steps onto the grass. She follows Shelley, but decides to sit down on the soft, natural carpet of green. She peeks over at Kenneth. Once the muggle seems to have recovered a bit from his unease, the little one speaks up, "Thank you for- for the words you said. They have- have needed to- to hear such things." Her voice comes in a soft, halting murmur.

Having deftly undone the laces and removed Kenneth's boots, Rena carefully holds onto them with one hand and clambers back up and onto her feet. His discomfort is worrying to the young woman, and she hurriedly ushers him on through the house and out into the garden where the others have preceded them. Hopefully, once he is there, he will be able to breathe more easily again. Of course, she relinquishes his boots, as well.

"I'll get some tea going," Rena calls out to the women and Kenneth, slipping back through the doorway and into the kitchen where she busies herself at the stove. Sliding the window that overlooks the garden open, she adds: "I still say everyone was bloody 'eroic back there. Every last one of you."

out under the open sky, he takes a hold of himself, talking himself down from the panic of the closed in house. Noticing Rhyeline, he offers a slight smile. "They were words spoken from the heart. I did love my wife. I love our half blood children. Why others cannot see them the same as I is beyond my knowing."

"It's alright. I dislike your children just as much as any other child I've ever met," Shelley remarks casually, as she flashes the man a teasing smile. Unetta will doubtlessly know the lie of that statement - Shelley's pretty good with her nieces and nephews, who she dotes on.

Rhyeline blinks at Shelley, not quite sure what to make of her humor. But at least, she recognizes at mere jest. Looking to Kenneth, she offers him a soft, shy smile as she murmurs, "There are many who fear a world where muggles and wizardkind live as one… Fear of the past… and an unknown future…"

"Ah, whiskey. Too bad I'm not carrying around a bag of it this time around, eh Shelley?" Unetta smiles and looks around. "But tea is good." She glances at Rhyeline and then Kenneth, and then Shelley again, and then toward the house and Rena. "If there's one thing I've learned in this young life of mine? Love is strong. And so is the strength that comes from the ever difficult work of working together. There will always be difference, but we're stronger when we work as one, instead of opposing each other."
Unetta raises an eyebrow at Shelley and grins. "Oh, you dislike every child you've met, eh? I'll keep that in mind when I have kids. I'll be sure to keep them away from you. Wouldn't want to subject you to them, after all!"

At first, Shelley's remark seems to rile Rena up from the kitchen. Her eyes snap as she darts to the window to peer out at the crowd in the garden: "Captain Benton's children are lovely, I'll 'ave you know. I…" But then, she realizes that Shelley was merely joking, and she makes an exasperated little sound, returning to her work at the stove. Under her breath, she also mutters about having to explain everything to Takeshi when he gets home later. Hopefully she can manage to clean up and straighten everything out before he returns, but there are no guarantees, given how she's promised to see Kenneth home to Muggle London safely when all is said and done.

Kenneth says, "Muggles are not as horrible as your people seem to think we are." his color is almost back to normal, the persperation drying on his skin. "Some of you like us and some of us like you. I hate to say it but we don't need problems with your fellow Gri.. whatever his name is. We have one of our own that is going to be making things difficult for us."

"You've failed me for the last time, Unetta, I swear." Shelley quips, flashing her cousin an amused smile. "And see that you do. Can't have them running about underfoot, frolicking and bursting with uncontrolled magic. It's just untidy."
She smirks as Rena almost misses her joke, still slouched comfortably in her seat. "Yes, I've been hearing," she agrees with Kenneth. "I think, no matter which way we turn, there's little way to avoid bloodshed in the coming years."

"I've failed you for the last time? Ha! Don't make me laugh." Unetta says in a happy voice, more amused than anything. "And my children will burst with as much uncontrolled magic as they like. It will be beautiful, I'm sure!" She giggles softly, though the mood turns serious again. "The world is a mess, it really is. Merlin's Beard, how it's turning darker and darker by the day!"

"Grindlewald," Rena remarks in a clipped way from the window. "That's /our/ thorn in the side. For the Muggles, there's a wretched little man in Germany called Adolf 'Itler who's little better than a bully." She adds, just in case anyone in the group is not acquainted with the situation.
Falling silent again, she rummages around quietly in the kitchen before appearing in the garden with a heavily laden tray that is laid out with enough cups and a large enough pot for everyone. It was a chilly night to be in the alley, and some warm refreshment is called for.

"'Elp yourselves, please, everyone." Rena says, somewhat more cheerfully as she sets the tray down on an outdoor table. Perhaps a bit unlike the rest, she's gone and removed her wet stockings for the moment, content to trample around the mossy yard in her bare feet.

Rhyeline peeks up at the others and nods in quiet agreement. Looking to Kenneth, she hesitates before murmuring, "Your words were powerful… I- I am sure that- that those whose hearts that- that weren't already poisoned… they will remember what you said…" Catching sight of the teacups, Rhyeline smiles with a hint of relief.

Kenneth offers a warm smile to Rhyeline and bows his head "Thank you, Miss, if I have done some good, then I am grateful to have gotten the opportunity to be of help. I think if more of your people met more Muggles who were not a threat to them, the more comfortable they might be. Even in my uniform, they did not percieve me as any sort of a threat."

"I've met plenty of Muggles, and they're perfectly lovely, for the most part," Shelley remarks. "You know - we should bring along some food from a Muggle restaurant next time. Pass out pamphlets - and free samples of Indian food. Integrate, and you can enjoy fabulous restaurants like this!" …what? So eatting at restaurants is Shelley's favorite excuse to go out into Muggle London. So what?

"Oh! The uniform! Are you a…a…" Unetta thinks for a moment. She doesn't really know much of anything about muggles. "Are you like an auror or a hitwizard? Or something similar?" She wants to know about muggles, at least. That's a good sign! "And tea, thank you. It's rather quite fitting." She smiles at Rena and starts to make her own tea. "Muggles do have interesting restaurants and clubs. I met a nice young lady from our world in one. Quite the random happenstance. A Crabbe to boot. Had a pleasant conversation with her. Crabbe's aren't always the nicest, either." But she leaves it at that, for now.

Rhyeline slowly rises and makes her way over to the tea. Now that the girl has said her peace to the muggle military man, she seems content to let the conversation continue on without her.

"It ain't a 'alf bad idea, Shelley!" Rena exclaims, probably taking the other Auror's suggestion too much to heart. She tends to miss out on jokes, so it's hard to say. "Though I think I'll 'ave to try again in a different spot next time. I doubt I'll be welcome back on THAT corner for a while." Sigh…
Attention is drawn to Unetta now, and the young redhead brightens up: "Captain - that's what 'is uniform means. Captain Benton of the Muggle Army. It means that 'e serves our country in the military, and 'e's fairly 'igh up there as ranks go."
All this she says while pouring tea. A cup is carefully handed off to Rhyeline with a warm smile: "Thanks, by the way," Rena offers quietly. "You were marvelous, too."

"I'll take a tea as well," Shelley offers before adding, "Well, I know the best Indian restaurant in the city. I can pick some up."
She glances between Rena and Unetta before adding, "I didn't know you two knew each other."

"A captain…military…Huh. Well there you have it." Unetta smiles, fixing up her tea. "Let me get that for you." She says to Shelley, regarding the tea. "What do you take in your tea, Shelley?" She looks quickly between Shelley and Rena. "Oh, we don't know each other. In fact, this is the first time I think I've everyone here, except for you." She says to her cousin. "I'm Unetta Prewett." She mentions to the others.

Rhyeline peeks up at Rena over the brim of her cup of tea. Lowering it, she offers Rena a soft, shy smile and a nod before glancing to the others.

"Oh! There's lovely!" Rena exclaims when she finally connects the dots (due entirely to Unetta's help with the introduction) and realizes that Shelley and she are relations. "Well then," she begins, pointing around at the group. "This is Captain Benton - a very close friend of mine in the Muggle world. And this is Rhyeline Diderot - another good friend who's deeply involved with the Unity party." Pausing, she puts her hand to her chest briefly and tilts her head back to laughingly add: "And I'm Rena Lee - a co-worker of your cousin, 'ere, and a general all-round troublemaker. This is my fiance's house, I live with him 'ere." Hopefully nobody will be scandalized by this last remark.

"Oh, I'll take it plain, Unetta," Shelley says, before shifting her attention to Rena. "Troublemaker?" she asks dryly. "Well… Maybe sometimes."
Her attention shifts back to Unetta as she adds, "Rena's the one who helped me out of that spot of trouble in the hospital." You know. When Shelley was being tortured to death by a dark witch. That 'spot' of trouble.

"Pleased to meet you," murmurs Rhyeline when Rena introduces her to Unetta. Then, the little mouse of a witch retreats behind her cup of tea once more. As the others chatter, her eyes flit from one to the other with keen attention.

"Ah, well. Pleasure to meet the three of you, certainly. I'm nothing fancy, myself. Bit of a trouble maker sometimes, but nothing doing with the Auror office or the Unity Party. I just find things. I'm a particularly good finder." And she plays tricks on her sisters. "Oh?" She glances quickly at Shelley and then looks to Rena. "Well, we're certainly glad you got her out of that spot. Don't know what us Prewetts would've done without Shelley here!"

Rena blushes slightly as Shelley mentions that horrible night in the hospital. She would almost rather the memory of everything to do with the dark witch and her evil deeds could be obliviated from her mind forever. Not that she begrudges any part she played in saving Shelley's life.
"Well, I… as I keep telling 'er, Unetta, it was a life worth saving." Fleetingly, her glance flicks between the three witches, trying not to be embarrassed. Now, she just hides behind her teacup and takes a quick drink, covering the redness in her face. This must be what it feels like to be Rhyeline.

Is there a paving stone that Rena can crawl under?

Shelley lets out a quiet snort at Rena's reaction, and takes a sip from the tea Unetta gives her. "Do you have any of those little sweets?" she asks Rena, offering her an out. "I didn't get to try them, last time, what with Ebony deciding to play vandal in the house. They looked nice, though."

Rhyeline closes her eyes and takes a long, deep sip of her tea. Placing the empty cup neatly back down on the tray, she looks to the others and murmurs, "I… I think I should be going. Cassius will hear of- of the disturbance and- and I'm sure he- he will be worried."

Walking over to her cousin with tea in hand, Unetta passes tea to Shelley. Taking a seat again, she sips on her own tea. "Well, thank you. We really are appreciative." She smiles to Rena. Turning to Rhyeline, she says, "It was a pleasure meeting you, Miss."

"Oh! Of course - I'll get them right away!" Rena says with a start. Shelley has reminded her that tea can be drab by itself. Already, her cup is set on the table and she is trotting to the kitchen as Rhyeline makes ready to leave. Pausing, she motions with her hand and says: "'Old on for 'alf a tick, luv."
In a minute or two, Rena returns with a beautiful silk cloth that has been neatly folded in such a way as to make for an easily carried parcel. She's places a number of delicate wagashi treats inside for Rhyeline to take home with her: "You can enjoy these later, if you like. Some for Mr. Malfoy too… a peace offering," she adds with a wry smile as she offers the package to her friend.

"Miss Diderot," Shelley says casually as the woman prepares to leave. She continues sipping at her tea, commenting to Unetta while Rena is hurrying about to fetch the sweets, "I do like this garden. I keep thinking I should get Rena's fella to come over to my place and do my garden over for me."

Rhyeline offers Unetta a soft, shy smile and nods. "I… I hope we meet again. More of us need to- to stand strong together against Grindelwald…" She glances to Rena and blinks curiously when asked to wait for a moment. Her head tilts to the side, puzzled, when Rena mentions a peace offering. "What- what do you mean?"

"Your place would look lovely with a garden, I bet!" Unetta nods to Shelley. "I wonder what Coakley would say if I invited someone over to help with plants…" She chuckles and shrugs. "OH! And before I forget. She stands and digs through a hidden pocket in her dress before pulling out some cards. "One for you and one for you." She hands one to Rhyeline and Rena. The cards have her name on them with a little drawing of her, searching a cave. "It has where I'm located, on the back, in case you want to send me an owl at all." She says to them. "And I do agree, Miss." She says to Rhyeline. "Standing strong against Grindelwald is quite important."

"I some'ow doubt that 'e's going to be very 'appy when 'e finally 'ears about everything that went on tonight," Rena replies with a small sigh. Cassius is liable to be displeased, and Takeshi is likely to be worried. One of these days, he's liable to just lock her in a room and prevent her from going out and causing unintentional mayhem. "I'd rather get a jump-start on saying I'm sorry."
Returning briefly to the kitchen, Rena then comes back with a tray of gorgeous little Wagashi sweets for the others to enjoy as well. No sooner as she set it down than she receives the card from Unetta. Pausing to think a moment, she taps the corner of the card on her chin and says: "The Unity party needs strong, independent women like you to support it, you know. For the good of us all, to stand strong and straight."

"Well - it /does/ have a garden - just not a veruy good one," Shelley remarks. "Something like this, though… It's definitely an improvement." She smiles as Rena returns with the sweets, and pushes herself up to retrieve a pair of them, putting them on a little plate.

Rhyeline shakes her head and murmurs, "I'm sure he won't, Rena… Cassius will appreciate your efforts. I'm certain." She smiles encouragingly up at Rena before looking to Unetta. The little mouse of a witch thanks her for the card. But now, she must really be off. She gives Shelley and Kenneth a little nod before slipping away as unobtrusively as possible.

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