(1939-05-05) Dodging A Bullet
Details for Dodging A Bullet
Summary: Beryl is finally well enough to return to work, but nervous about Hector discovering the reason for her recent absence.
Date: (1939-05-05
Location: Carrow Investment Services
Related: Pestering In the Park

It's been a rough road for Beryl this last month, or thereabouts. She's often been absent from the office, and she's certainly not been acting like her usual smart-mouthed self whenever she has made it to work. Although she's finally physically come to grips and recovered from her current situation a little, she still doesn't look one hundred percent. Powder, lipstick and rouge aside, she looks a little paler and frailer than normal as she slips quietly into Carrow Investment Services.
The Boss hasn't seemed to notice anything the matter with Beryl, and she's done her utmost to keep it that way. But she's running out of time before the physical changes show themselves more clearly. All the same, she moves to her desk and sits down in a hurry once she's inside the office, glancing around furtively as she "gets to work" on the stack of paper.

— Hector is already in the office, which should come as no surprise to anyone at this point, and is sitting at his desk with the door open. As such the man is able to see Beryl as she walks in and sits, her expression odd and her glances around the office catching his attention. A moment passes before the man stands and moves to the doorway, his soft bronze eyes holding tightly on the woman as he leans against he doorway to his office. "Nice of you to show up." He remarks with that impassive tone of his as he provides himself with a cigarette and lights it. He takes a slow drag as he regards her and waits for a reply. Not that he really cares that the woman has been gone, however her lover is a very different matter entirely. It could have something to do with a job he's bungled or some woman he's now infatuated with.

"I've been unwell." Is Beryl's clipped reply from her desk. She pauses only momentarily as Hector's voice cuts through the air like a knife. Rather than allowing herself to show a more pointed reaction or let the man know how easily he has her rattled, she simply continues flicking her way through the papers on the desk. "I am doing much better, however. No more absences like that, I assure you."
A file folder is withdrawn from one of the drawers, and a few papers are slipped into the vacant space. Her eyes remain on her work and directed away from Hector Carrow. "Has a coloured gentleman by the name of Nightingale dropped by to bother you? I hope not." Beryl remarks calmly, switching the subject to make things seem more normal. "Some meddlesome Auror wants to question you about your cousin Ilbert. I told him that he was wasting his time, and that you seldom bother with family relations - small wonder with their proclivity to crime. Of course, he's free to drop by whenever he pleases. You have nothing to hide."

— Hector simply shakes his head in reply to the woman, "No one by that name or description." With that taken care of the man takes another drag from his cigarette and turns back into his office. Before long he is seated again and is drowned in the work he has ahead of him. Hector smokes the rest of his cigarette before butting it out and at no point does he look up at Beryl again. Assuming that her assurance of health was in fact truth. Why would he distrust her about something like that?

Uneasy silence passes between Hector and Beryl as the minutes tick by on the office wall clock. She wanted to prove that she was still capable of working, and still capable of being useful to her employer. Jobs have been hard to come by, and information that might lead to some useful employ for people such as themselves… even harder. Never has there been such a drought on the landscape to her recent memory.
Picking up a file that she must necessarily transfer to Hector's office, Beryl moves as quickly as possible to show no slacking in her work. Again, in an attempt at normalcy, she tries her usual lackadaisical way of remarking on things (a habit that Hector undoubtedly finds annoying) and she says: "I've begun to try and ingratiate myself with one particular Auror. It shouldn't be too hard. He strikes me as the type who would be a pain in the ass if suspicious, but easily hoodwinked if properly handled. A non-enemy in the office could prove very useful in future."

— Without looking up Hector asks, "What is his name?" The man seems interested, but not as interested as she might want. This is all very 'business as usual' for him, but he does at least seem to like that she is taking the initiative. "Though…" The man finally looks up, his expression curious as he regards her once again. "I find it very interesting that you seem to be spending so much time around Aurors. Some sort of hobby you've become accustomed to?"

"Graham Cohen." Comes the short reply. Hector's remark causes the woman no little irritation. She has a quick fuse and a flippant personality that can't easily be quelled: "As if…" She says with a faint little frown and slips quickly into that signature pout of hers. "I can't seem to fall over lately without running into them. The MLE seems to have a glut of Aurors." Planting both hands on her hips as a gesture of annoyance, she continues: "I was always under the impression that their careers were short-lived and the members were culled frequently. There must not be enough dark wizards rattling around to do the job properly."
There is a moment of taken-aback horror as she glances down. With her arms akimbo, her unbuttoned suit jacket falls to either side. This wouldn't normally trouble her, but there is a distinct (if still very small) swell in her lower abdomen. To her, it seems painfully obvious and she drops her arms to her sides immediately, turning away. Hopefully Hector doesn't care enough to take notice.

— Hector doesn't care enough to notice. Instead he is more interested in her interactions with the Aurors. His eyes narrow a bit as he looks at her, "They seem to multiply like rats every year." The nod he gives is one of agreement as he looks back down at his work. "Tell me though, how exactly are you bringing this one in particular around to your way of thinking? Or is it that you are instead just befriending him in the hopes of using him later?"

The slip-up goes unnoticed, much to Beryl's relief. However, she does button the middle of the blazer self consciously as a precaution against such a mistake happening again.
"Well, in truth, he's become somewhat enamored or infatuated by my sister. As he puts it - she is very dear to him. As such, he took it upon himself to express his concern to me in private that I was in a relationship with Tiberius Tripe." Here, she folds her arms and gives a tiny roll of her eyes.
"Somehow, in his mind, he made the leap between my sister and I being related to Tiberius somehow molesting the fair maiden and giving Mister Cohen need to concern himself with her safety and well-being. I'm not…even sure how that works, given the fact that they've never met." Pausing, she gives a quizzical expression as she rubs the back of her neck thoughtfully: "At any rate, I already have an "In" with him, as it were because of my sister. And I'm sure I can make myself a target for his concern easily enough if I play my cards right."

— The man appears to be listening as she explains the situation. Though as she mentions the 'molestation' Hector just shakes his head. "Is your sister trustworthy?" The question is fairly point-blank and as such prompts him to look up at the woman once again, his eyes meeting hers in order to drive home the seriousness of the question he asks. "I trust you would know the difference. We can't have her finding a conscience and telling the Auror about us… if she knows anything about us at all that is."

Beryl laughs a tad mirthlessly. Leaning against Hector's desk, her arms remain crossed as she considers the question a moment. Drawing a small breath, she finally replies: "My sister worships the ground I walk on, Mister Carrow. Her situation is complicated. Our family all but rejects her, and if a wish could make her cease to exist, there are many members who would jump at the chance in a heartbeat." Stopping a moment, cool green eyes lock with Hector's: "She's a Squib, you see. I don't hold with their thinking, however. I've always stood up for her and stood by her. As a result, she trusts me implicitly and I can do no wrong in her eyes. Fortunately, she's in the dark about…much of my life and past employment. She believes anything I tell her."
To show guilt in her eyes right now would be a misstep, and so, Beryl holds her expression both serious and steady without faltering.

— Once again the man nods as he hears this. His reaction is apparently to trust the woman once again in this situation. "Good." The reply is casual once more as he looks down at his desk again and begins to shuffle through papers. "Keep me informed as to the situation with the Auror. I don't like having them around, but if you think you can manipulate him further, then please do so." There is another short pause before he looks up again. "Anything else?" It appears that he is not in the mood for too many more distractions today.

"Will do," Beryl responds with a quick little nod. Nothing terse or irritable in her tone - if anything, she manages to adopt Hector's impassivity. She shifts her weight then and moves away from his desk.
As to the "Anything else?" she offers a tiny shrug of her shoulders: "Tiberius has been keeping out of mischief. There's been none for him to get into, for what it's worth. And I don't believe he'll be doing anything risky or ridiculous for a good long time." Possibly a little enigmatic, that last remark. But Hector undoubtedly won't care, as long as whatever she means is genuine and Tiberius won't cause him any undue problems in the near future.

— The reassurance from her on this particular idea does not seem to stick very well to Hector, clearly the man still holds her lover is very low regard. Instead of replying though the man simple turns down to his papers and returns to work without another word. Apparently he doesn't need anything else from her as well.

Beryl returns to her desk with a faint sigh of relief. Despite her outwardly cool and collected demeanor, the woman is shaken. It takes several long moments to steady herself and cease trembling. Fortunately Hector isn't the type to glance up and take notice of her again - not unless he wants something from her. It would seem that she has dodged the proverbial bullet, momentarily at least. He doesn't know about the baby, and if she can help it, she'll prevent his knowing for as long as possible. But… for how long?

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