(1939-09-07) With This Ring
Details for With This Ring
Summary: Veruca and Keenan are finally wed, and conversations and poker ensue.
Date: 9/7/1939
Location: Somewhere in the Cotswolds

It's a clear, beautiful Sunday afternoon, as befitting a day that holds such joy as this. Tucked away in a back room of a small stone church, Veruca Max is preparing to have her name changed. Well, and to take a husband, of course. The day she never aspired to see has finally arrived. She's been calm, of course, how could she be anything but, and has been spending the last minutes of her single status being visited by a few female friends and family. They've been a world of help to her in getting ready, tugging her dress just so, making certain not a hair is out of place.

Her dark hair, usually pulled back, is actually worn down today, hanging in loose curls about her shoulders and down her back. There's a simple veil off to the side, not yet adorning her head, colored to match her wedding dress. Veruca's dress is of a current fashion, simple in cut and form, colored an off-white, champagne shade. She's seated, currently, not worried about wrinkles because of the charms on the otherwise muggle appearing dress. There will be family here that do not know of certain peculiarities, and she has willingly made allowances for what will be her new family.

for visual … http://davisla.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/japanese-knotweed-flower.jpg

The small space in the chapel proper has been lightly swagged in white bunting, as the muggle priest is determined not to let outside woes intrude on the happy occasion he is in charge of officiating. He brought out the decorations and chivvied the two altar boys until it had all been placed just right. Two tall vases at the doors have been filled with sprays of Japanese knotweed, the arching stems having been gathered from the fields that morning by the younger O'Sheas who wanted to do their part for the auspicious occasion. Two more vases are down at the front of the aisle, set slightly lower so as not to obscure the bride and groom from their guests. Above the alter, the stained glass rosette window glows brighter than the crown jewels with the rays of the bright sun.

Off the side of the alter, at the front row, two men of equal height but opposite Irish coloring await the beginning of the ceremony. Sloan has been bullied by his childhood friend to add a formal jacket over his usual 'Sunday best', which consists of a suit vest and slacks, as well as a new white shirt. Keenan didn't push the tie, but with his hair actually trimmed, and a clean shaven face, the black Irish man with the piercing blue eyes appears a little less mad, if no less scary. Next to him, the ginger healer with green eyes has traded in his chartreuse robes for black, muggle formal wear, the full leg trousers somehow making him look even taller. Pinned to his lapel, with the simple, Celtic, tin brooch that was his graduation present to Niamh, a small cluster of greenish white fig blossoms, although gathered by the young O'Shea's, stands out starkly against the dark material.

Graham had a simple job for this day don’t forget the times he'd hidden in his house and he has managed at least this task in full. He is dressed properly for the wedding and the location a suit and the works which looks to have been kept rather neat and tidy. He will help with any last moment items that he is allowed to help with before he's likely moved off to get ready for the actual wedding part. He moves about to get back to the guest side of things in time.

Back with the ladies, Sorcha fusses a bit over the bouquet that the children collected and tucks flowers about here and there so that they're proportionally arranged, "I believe the men are all ready for us… whenever you are?" She turns to her soon to be sister and smiles, offering her the flowers, "You look lovely. Though that's to be expected of course." She's wearing a dress of a seablue and black satin, a lace cap on her head, red curls turned up and pinned in place.

Clover decided to let everyone else fuss over Veruca. Mostly because she has a wiggly Tristan to keep a hold of. He's at the point where he wants to walk and run everywhere and the fact that he has to SIT STILL for FIVE WHOLE MINUTES is just not happening. Clover is in a lovely mint green dress that looks very modern, but light weight enough so she can move around when she needs to. For now she's just waiting in quiet excitement as two dear friends of her get ready to marry.

Katherine goes up to Veruca as the ladies are helping her prepare. Stopping about an inch away from her she smirks, with a twinkle in her eye, then just reaches behind Veruca's neck and pulls her in for a long smooch! Once she lets her cousin go she says, "For luck, dah'ling. Here's hoping your marriage is a long and happy one."

Tucking back a strand of hair that doesn't need to be tucked back, Veruca smiles warmly at Sorcha. "Thank you, dear," she says as she accepts the bouquet of Irish wildflowers. As she stands she turns to take two red roses from a vase, and tucks them into the modest bouquet. One for each heart joining at the altar today.

"You look absolutely lovely, that dress is so perfectly…" She stops in her sentence to Sorcha as Kat comes eye to eye with her, surprised but laughing, letting her free hand raise to rest lightly on her cousin's cheek. There's an affectionate caress as Veruca nods, "Thank you, Kat. I'm so pleased you came." Which, in Veruca speak, means she's a lot happier than that sounds. She's still not so great at letting the emotion show, but she's a lot better at feeling them these days.

"Well, I don't suppose it's very kind to keep Keenan waiting for much longer. Shall we then?" She'll move for the door with the other ladies, stepping up to stand just out of sight at the back of the church while Sorcha can let the priest know that it's time to begin and everyone can find seats.

He's reached where people are meeting for bride and grooms side sort of thing. Graham will nod here and there to those he does know while moving to find a seat which is close and yet still respectful to the family. He doesn’t sit yet as things still haven’t started but keeps looking about at everything for the moment.

"Thank you." Sorcha says with a smile, stepping out of the way so that Clover and Kat can speak to Veruca before they go out into the hall, "He won't mind waiting once he sees you, but I'm sure he's anxious all the same." Once they've moved to the anteroom just out of sight, she steps in and nods to the priest to let him know that the bride is ready before stepping in next to Pad's family, wrapping an arm around her youngest nephew after ruffling his red hair.

When Sorcha enters, Sloan's head swivels around to the back, and Keenan leans slightly to try and see around him, Sorcha, and the door. However, it is not enough to catch a glimpse of his bride, yet, so he settles back down flatly on his feet, and clasps his hands behind his back to look up to the rosette window. Clasps his hands after trying to put them in his pockets, but his crafty mother sewed them shut so that he couldn't slip into his usual slouch on this occasion.

Once the priest is informed the bride is ready, the altar boys are sent to light the candelabras, and then he nods and steps up to the altar. He nods to the church organist, and she begins to play. Per request of the bride and groom, the volume is muted, not the usual clangor that rises over the country voices on Sundays. And the usual march has been replaced with a quiet, Irish air. Keenan steps forward into his place, with Sloan just behind, waiting to perform his duty.

Graham spots as Sorcha enters into the room he'll offer her a warm smile and wave if he can catch it, and should she be one who will sit he's clearly saved a seat. He is watching as the others begin taking seats and what not and will hold his place gladly to watch.

When the music begins, Veruca pauses a moment, her eyes raised to the ceiling. She straightens her shoulders, and steps forward and into sight. Her eyes immediately find her destination, that handsome ginger in the dapper suit. The wedding gown she wears is fairly simple, yet elegant. The light streaming in the windows twinkles in crystals that decorate the v-necked bodice and capped sleeves. Silk hugs her form from the waist down, whispering lightly as she walks, trailing behind her in a short train. Her eyes hold on his face, never wavering as she steps up and takes her place.

Katherine makes her way out to her seat right before Veruca steps out to her music. Wouldn't do to distract attention from the star of the day by sharing her aisle space.

There's no one else in the room once Veruca steps through the doors. It may be a cliche, but even though he knew his bride would be elegant and outshine any bride ever to walk down the aisle, but she surpassed even his expectations. And the glorious raven waves that curl around her shoulders, left unbound like a bride of old for one day complete the vision. He holds out his hand, palm up, for her as soon as she is close enough. He doesn't even notice when Sloan leaves his side to enact the ritual of locking the door and standing guard. As if this groom is going anywhere when his eyes can't leave the woman beside him.

Sorcha gives a smile in Graham's direction at the reserved seat but she sits down with her family when the priest calls them to do so once Keenan's taken Veruca's hand. She watches the ceremony with an eye to her nephew to keep him entertained, smiling as she sees the expression on her brother's face when his bride finally arrives.

Veruca rests her hand in Keenan's, knowing this is the one place, the one person, with which it will be safe for the rest of her life. Unlike her nearly-husband, Veruca notes Sloan's shift of position, knowing it's tradition and smirking beneath her simple veil. The ceremony is a bit of an abbreviated version of strictly traditional, at the wishes of the bride and groom both. Vows are exchanges, promises for love undying, and finally at the end comes the awaited formality as the priest says, "Keenan O'Shea, you may kiss your bride." Veruca, veil turned back earlier in the ceremony, turns her eyes to her husband, shining and clear, and waits for their first kiss as husband and wife.

Katherine sits quietly throughout the ceremony, frequently looking away from the couple and around the chapel, people watching as much as wedding watching.

Sorcha watches the ceremony with a smile, pleased with the proceedings as she glances back to Sloan at the barred door with amusement. And when the priest calls for the sealing of their promises in marriage she gets ready to applaud greatly when the time comes.

Graham returns the smile given by Sorcha and nods as she sits with her family which only makes sense. He is distracted by the ceremony and is quite glad for the two. Something happy going on through all of this mess. He is prepared to cheer as well glad for sight of the two's union.

As in everything else, Keenan is his own man, and his response to the permission to kiss the bride is not immediately taken. He's waited much longer than he ever wanted for this moment, and gone through almost a year of heartache to arrive right here, right now. He is going to savor it. His finger strokes her cheek as he looks into the blue eyes slightly upturned to his, then finally he curls it under her chin to tilt it slightly and brush his lips across hers, before pressing more firmly into the kiss. He lingers, then raises his head enough to lean his forehead to hers. Finally, he straightens, and turns to look out, for the first time, at the family and few close friends gathered to wish them well.

As the guests clap and cheer, and even a few whistle, Sloan leaves his post, walking towards the pair to perform his second duty of the day. Resting a hand on her shoulder, he leans in and speaks quietly to Rue, the Irish Gaelic words barely heard in the first row. Then, with a rarely seen warm glow, he gives a nod to his friend's wife.

Katherine regardless of the fancy dress and the pretty make-up Kat is one of the people whistling as the marriage is completed. Amongst the clapping and cheering she pokes Graham in the shoulder and asks, "So, are you next?"

Veruca is only too happy to bask in the moment of the first kiss shared as husband and wife, but before his lips silence hers she whispers for his ears only, "Mo ghr th." Words she has learned only for him, I love you. His family would likely be surprised if they knew how much of the Irish tongue Veruca already possessed because of Keenan. She turns after the kiss, eyes finding Sloan as he approaches, and she leans in for his low words. Perhaps to his surprise, before he can move away she turns her head and kisses him on the cheek, whispering to him, "Go raibh maith agat." Thank you. The formality of the first congratulations to the bride completed, Veruca takes Keenan's arm, so he can escort his new wife down the aisle to begin the walk back to the cottage.

Sorcha whistles and claps with the rest of them as the wedding is complete, leaning down to tickle her nephew a bit before giving her elder brother a hug next to her as the wedding party starts to walk out. She falls in line to follow behind the bagpipes as they usher the couple to their evening repast.

Graham stands from where he's been seated he'll clap and cheer along with the others as the ceremony comes to its extra sweet end. He looks towards Kat when she speaks to him "If only Kat." he laughs though something not quite right about it but he shakes that quickly enough and will follow the procession and take part in all the after he's able.

With the ceremony safely concluded and the groom not having tried to escape, Sloan leads the way and unlocks the door to the chapel. At the door the bagpiper awaits, to lead them from the church to the cottage on the hill. Keenan blinks as he steps out into the full force of the sun, then looks down to cover the hand that rests on his arm with his other hand.

For this afternoon, troubles across the channel are forgotten as townsfolk look up from their noon tea, or from the beach, and cheer the handsome couple as the walk the streets. Now freed of the confines of the church, the O'Shea nieces and nephews gambol about, dancing and jumping around the adults who walk more decorously behind. The cheers are acknowledged with smiles from all the guests, and the sun seems to shine a bit more brightly than it did moments before.

*missing poses here*

There's a look of mock disappointment for her new husband, but Veruca is caught out with a laugh at Katherine's quick jibe. She looks after the other woman, shaking her head with a fond tilt to her smile. "That one," she murmurs. Graham's hug is accepted, and he is even given a kiss on the cheek. Veruca can afford to be a little demonstrative today. "Thank you, Graham, we're both very happy that you could make it."

"I called in a few favors crime is on hold you see for the day." Graham says smiling to the kiss to the cheek but he gives a wink about his joke. He must have missed what Kat said as she slinks away though he just gives a shrug turning back "I'm very glad I could make it too, suppose I shouldnt steel all your time you'll be meeting and greeting a while.

With his hand lightly resting on the small of Rue's back, Keenan chuckles at Graham's quip of crime taking a break for the day, and gives him a nod. The two make their way towards the table where the sparkling wine is being poured out in glasses. The children are allowed a little flavored soda water in their glasses to join the toast.

As the new O'Shea couple approaches, the trays are passed, and as they go a hush begins to fall as the guests familiar with the Irish ritual crane their necks to search out the bride and groom and then gravitate towards them. Standing tall and proud, with the profusion of white flowers on the pergola behind him and the elegant woman at his side, Keenan appears every inch the smooth aristocrat as he lifts his glass towards those assembled. As he begins to speak, even the rambunctious smaller ones fall quiet, looking up at the beautiful grown-ups.

Glancing down to Rue, he gives a wink, and the two gaze over the small throng to speak the words they've rehearsed together. "Friends and relatives, so fond and dear, 'tis our greatest pleasure to have you here. When many years this day has passed, fondest memories will always last. So we drink a cup of Irish mead and ask God's blessing in your hour of need."

Keenan cleans up well, sure, but Veruca truly fell in love with the scratchy-faced, slightly rumpled, feet on the coffee table man. Still, she's never been prouder to stand beside someone, and it shows in the adoring look as her chin tilts so her eyes can meet his. She's ready when he is, and her voice chimes along with his in the toast, a lovely harmony.

Sorcha doesn't need her card to be able to read back the guests' portion of the toast as she stands off near the front of the group with Sloan. When she sees her brother take his place to start the toast, she wraps up whatever she was picking on him about and finds her glass. Holding her mead high in response she waves her little card at some of the others who may not know that they've got what they need to say right there and gives the second portion of the traditional blessing to the couple, "On this special day, our wish to you, the goodness of the old, the best of the new. God bless you both who drink this mead, may it always fill your every need." All the other O'Sheas and most of the other long time family friends start in with Sorcha or pick up a few words in to return the blessing to the newly married couple.

He doesn't know it though perhaps he's seen the lines somewhere. Graham holds up the card and his drink and is in time enough not to be left out. The auror waiting for everyone else to drink for him to do so himself, but he will approach closer towards the group as he isn't staying off to the side this time it would seem.

As a couple of cameras are pointed towards the happy couple in the wake of the toast, one or two muggles may be fascinated with the old fashioned camera wielded by one of the visitors. After sipping his glass in answer to the toast offered by the guests, Keenan dips his head to find Rue's lips again, to the delight of the O'Shea's and others who whistle and clap. Of course, there's the slightly less audible chorus of 'ewwww' from the youngest crowd.

Veruca lets the kiss linger, purely for the enjoyment of their guests, of course. She pauses a second, making a show of catching her breath, then the brunette witch laughs lightly. "And on that note, just let me say that dinner is ready to be served, so if everyone will find places, please, let's get through the meal and on to the dancing." It's been a while since she and Keenan have enjoyed a nice dance together, and it's just one more thing she's been looking forward to.

Sorcha lets Sloan sneak off into his corner again, making her way to stand next to Graham as people go and get seated, "Thanks for coming, I know they're very happy to have their friends here for such a happy occasion." She nods over to the table next to the one Rue and Keenan are making their way to, "There are some spots over there I think? I was going to go put my glass down to claim one so that the good ones don't all get taken up by cousins."

Graham listens to the words from the couple, but his focus turns to Sorcha as she approaches he smiles "Of course, I'd not miss it, as I told Keenan crime is on hold for the day." He grins though looks the way she points he'll nod "A table would be excellent." he pauses though watching her a moment his warm smile remaining. "You look quite beautiful, Sorcha." he says either on purpose of before he can stop himself, either way he doesn't seem to hesitate with it.

Taking their places at the table, Keenan grins to see Sorcha and Graham join them along with Eamon and Eilidh and a couple of young ones that managed to dash in and grab a seat. Chef Carmichael was probably surprised to make a meal of corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes… but he proved more than up to the task of making such a simple menu deliciously elegant. The groom seems to have a healthy enough appetite as he loads up his plate when the dishes are passed by him.

Veruca shows a bit more restraint when filling her own plate, but it's clear she's not going to starve. She's going to take Keenan on his word that she'll need energy, even though she thinks they'll both be too tired by day's end to do more than fall into each other's arms and sleep right through to morning. There are a couple times through the meal when the pair have to pause in their quest for nourishment in order to kiss to please the crowd.

Sorcha smiles easily in reply to Graham's compliment as she sets down her glass, "Thank you. You look dapper as ever, though that's not surprising in the least." Taking a seat and putting adequate portions on her plate she glances over to her brother and his new bride, "I'm glad everything's gone so well, they've certainly earned a lovely wedding. And thank you for making sure the canapes made it over safely. Unfortunately I doubt they've noticed the addition, but it's a good surprise all the same."

The young man returns the smile "Thank you." Graham does move to sit as well waiting for her to get food first before he will grab a bit on his own plate but he listens to her speak. "They have, and they are so happy it’s nice to see." he agrees taking a bite while he listens but finishing it "It's quite alright, I am still glad I helped even if only in a small way." he grins.

Settling in and taking a few bites, Sorcha smiles again, "Are you having a good time?" She follows with a drink from her mead, directing a young nephew back to his plate when he seems intent on crawling under the table, "It's quite the family event. Soon enough someone will have an argument with someone else. And then they'll be singing some old Irish ballad to make it up."

Graham eats and drinks a bit but turns back as he's spoken to and nods first before answering "I am indeed, I’ve not attended many weddings but I really like this one." He looks back out to the crowd at her words but chuckles "Well if there is to be singing, I should drink up." he says but it’s clearly teasing given the smile and wink he gives.

"You should." Sorcha agrees with a smile as she has more of her corned beef, "I remember you telling me that when we were getting ready for…" She drops off a little and doesn't finish her thought, instead smiling with a bit of force and continuing, "Anyway, this was a more traditional muggle affair, given the circumstances."

He smiles taking a bit more of the food and drink while he listens but arches a brow he'll answer the next words though while thinking if he should indeed ask about her words "I've learned a lot, and really enjoyed it so far promise." Graham takes another drink "What were you going to say Sorcha?" he asks curiously though still relaxed.

Shaking her head a bit, Sorcha smiles and says, "Nothing." She looks over, "I think they're going to start the dancing in a bit. It'll be quite lively, I'm sure. A fair bit of Irish gigs and highstepping. And possibly singing."

The auror will drop it though not wishing to push its been such a lovely day so far he won’t ruin it. Graham smiles glancing back down to where she motions "I'm game, I believe. Though you might have to forgive if I don't always know the words to the songs." he chuckles a bit though wonders what songs there will be and all of that.

"Most of them you'll pick up quickly. A lot of them are call back songs, if tradition holds." Sorcha says with a smile, 'but that’s not until later after people have had quite a bit more to drink." She finishes her dinner and sets her plate aside, "I imagine they'll start off with a bit slower stuff."

Graham nods and relaxes to her assurance "Hm that I can probably manage better though I suppose we'll see." He takes another drink while he listens though that does make sense the couple might have their first dance or so he's heard. "I imagine so, the happy couple must share a dance if I’ve learned anything. I am sure you will need to dance with your brother." he pauses before he smiles warmly again "Might I reserve a dance or two myself?" he asks.

Nodding, Sorcha says, "Keen and Rue will lead us off, and then everyone will start to join in." She nods, "I'd imagine I'll have to dance with all of them. Keenan's not bad, but Pad… I try to wait as long as I can because after he's stomped all over my feet I generally won't be able to keep going for a little while." She may be teasing… or she may be right in her assessment of her brother's skills on the dance floor.

"He can be taught." Graham says with a joking smile coming to his face though at his words to show he's teasing "Well good thing you have your brother to fix you up, or myself of course." He offers though glancing about the party before back. "I've enjoyed getting to meet more of your family." he says conversationally.

"I've considered putting a bubble charm on my toes." Sorcha admits, "But I don't know if it would work really." She grins at the idea before she nods, "They're grand, aren't they? Sometimes it's a little overwhelming to have all of them around, but all in all I wouldn't trade it for anything."

At the conclusion of the meal, as the talking winds down, someone winds up a gramophone on a small table, and music begins to drift the twilight that is starting to descend. The lanterns are finally lit, and in the bobbing, golden glow, Keenan leads Veruca to the dance floor. All those many years ago, his friend Lindy taught him to dance as every pureblood should know how to dance so he would fit into the pureblood society where he would need to move to make it where he needed to be at Mungo's. Those lessons come in handy now, as he turns, looks into those deep blue eyes, then gracefully sweeps her across the smooth grass of the garden dance floor.

With her own lessons taken care of in childhood, Veruca is light on her feet, and their first dance as man and wife is every bit as magical as their first dance ever, at Clover and Zephyr's housewarming party. Despite the grass, Veruca's train never once shows even the slightest hint of green. It's almost immediately after the traditional first cut into the wedding cake that Veruca tugs gently on Keenan's sleeve, jerking her head to the side. Everyone is back on the dance floor, enjoying their evening, and it's the perfect time for the couple to observe one last tradition: the Irish goodbye. Grinning like youngsters, the pair quickly slip off to the side, holding hands as they go around the cottage and make their quiet departure, leaving the rest to continue the party into the night.

The wedded couple is well set off from their fete at the O'Shea house. Food for all the guests, fruit cake for the wedding celebrations, and mead and whiskey for those of inclination to take it. Sorcha seems well involved in the party, making certain that she plays hostess to those from the wizarding community that come from Veruca's side of the family as well as entertaining those from her own family and participating in the different events of the event. She takes aside her nieces and nephews along with Tristan to give them some good high-stepping instruction so as the bagpipes really kick into gear they are dancing around with the other O'Shea's and relatives about the courtyard. After getting a good dance in with Sloan and dropping a solid kiss on her cheek, Sorcha finds herself a large draught of mead and a seat with a light laugh.

Katherine has been sitting with many of the wizards and witches that have been invited to the celebrations. But when she sees Sorcha teaching the younger members of the family how to dance she hops up from her chair and join in the fun. Once people start drifting back to the table she finds herself with a whiskey in hand and sitting next to Sorcha since her own chair has been taken over a while ago, "Capital celebration, isn't it?"

Sorcha's happy to show Kat some steps, giving her a bit more complicated footwork than the younger kids as they go through the dance. "It's lovely, and thanks. I'm so glad it all came together, I know Mum's been fretting over it." She offers a hand over to the auror, "You're Katherine, aren't you? I'm Sorcha, it's grand to finally meet you."

Katherine giggles while she ignores the offered hand and leans over to hugs Sorcha. "It is. But we are practically family now so no handshakes." After a firm, unabashed hug, she settles back into her chair and sips from her glass of whiskey, "Am I right in guessing a good part of this shindig was thanks to your planning?"

Laughing and returning the hug, Sorcha nods, "Practically it's true." She settles back into her seat and shrugs a bit, "Some, though honestly most of it was Mum and Rue. I did bring some of the canapes, got them from a lovely pub in London." She takes another drink from her mead and smiles, "Though the hangover potions that are in several tuck aways I will claim as mine. I'll make sure you have one if you like on your way home."

Katherine's smile turns into a mischievous smirk at the mention of hangover potions, "Oh, honey, if I drink enough to have a hangover we are going to need a bed for me not just a potion, excellent as I am sure they are. But I bet if its needed a bed can be arranged, not that I'm planning on imposing like that." After another sip she asks, "So what stories has cousin 'Rue been telling about me?"

"It could, we've got plenty of room despite being a smaller cottage." She smiles, "But we'll have to see how much whiskey we can scare up if that's the way we end up going." Sorcha shakes her head, "Nothing from Rue, really. Most of the stories I've gotten about you have been from Graham, actually. So, of course, they've been very complimentary." She drinks again, turning to get a plate of sweets and bring it back around for the two of them as they watch the guests dance and eat.

Katherine snorts in a very unladylike manner when she hears that most of the stories have come from Graham, "Poor darling Graham. He knows so little. After all, a girl has to have some mystery, doesn't she?" Reaching out she daintily takes a petit four from the plate of sweets and bites off half of the small confection.

"He does work very hard to see the best in people." Sorcha says, going quiet a moment as she takes another drink and smiles a bit when her niece is hauled up by her brother Pad to be sent home with her siblings, "But, what that sounds like is that there are some much more interesting stories to be had? I should visit with Rue when she gets back to find out it seems."

Katherine's trademark smirk creeps onto her lips followed by a small chuckle, "Or you could get the story from the proverbial horse's mouth. Not that I tell that kind of story to just anyone, but seeing as we're all but family now, I would be willing to entertain you for a while. Do you play poker by any chance?" Another dainty bite makes the rest of the petit four vanish, followed by a healthy sip of whiskey.

"That would be even better." Sorcha says with a smile, taking another drink. At the question about poker she raises her eyebrows a bit, "I haven't, though I've seen it done." She is half-muggle after all, "My Da plays from time to time. I've never really found out the rules, but it sounds like you're well familiar?"

Katherine arches her eyebrows slightly as she watches Sorcha over the edge of her glass, "You could say I am familiar, yes. A lot of my more… interesting stories start with a poker game." Grabbing her clutch from the table she pops it open and pulls out a deck of cards, "The rules are actually simple, if you would like to learn them?" Her hands go through the motions of shuffling the cards with the unthinking dexterity of someone that does a task very frequently.

Sorcha looks at Kat suspiciously, "What would we be playing for?" She turns in her seat, facing the blonde, "And that sounds like it could be quite the start to an exciting evening." She moves some plates aside to give them a bit of table room to play on, "I think I would."

Katherine waves Graham over, "Graham, fancy a game of poker with the ladies?" then she starts flipping cards face up onto the table, organizing them in the various scoring hands for the game.

When Graham doesn't seem to hear Kat or be able to disentangle himself from what he's in the middle of, Sorcha turns back to her again, "I suppose it's just us for now, then." She looks at the cards curiously, "You didn't answer my earlier question, though, what are we playing for?"

Katherine considers the question, her smirk growing more pronounced. A few moments later, once she has the scoring hands laid out on the table, she shakes her head almost imperceptibly and says, "You're just learning. After you learn the game and decide if you like it or not ask me again and I'm sure I can come up with some interesting wagers. For now… Petite fours shall be the currency of the land! So says Queen Kat!"

Nodding, Sorcha says, "I'll get us some currency, then." She grins and goes over to one of the tables, retrieving a tray of tiny cakes for the two of them, coming back with all the cakes they could possibly need. She looks down at the cards and examines them, at least what she can see, "So what do we do next, do we stack them up?"

Katherine takes a moment to explain the basics of the game, including the relative values of each hand, then gathers the cards back up. Starting to shuffle the deck earnestly she adds, "So the dealer gives each player 5 cards, then there is one round of bets and then the people that are still in can discard card and have them replaced. Once each player has replaced the cards they want replaced then the betting continues until someone wins the hand." As she speaks she deals out the cards and then puts down the deck, "Any questions?"

"I think so. Let's give it a go and we'll see for certain?" Sorcha reaches out for her cards and turns them towards her, looking at her hand and getting a serious expression. "How many cakes do we have to start with? Ten each to begin?" She sorts her cards, moving one in front of the other and then back again.

Katherine giggles like a little girl, "Greedy little thing, aren't you? Let’s start with one cake at a time. Save the big bets for when you think you have a hand that can't be beat. And don't forget, don't show your cards when you fold or when you win a hand because all the other players fold. A girl has to have her secrets."

Sorcha says, "But don't we have to start off with a specific number to know how many we want to bet?" She puts one cake in the middle of the playing field for her ante and then puts two cards face down on the table, "I can get two more new ones, right?" She sorts them again, making sure to keep them turned so Kat can't see them. "What do you normally play with?"

Katherine nods, "Yes, but one is enough to start with during a learning game. and yes, you can ask for two new cards. Usually if you think you have to ask for more than three its best to just fold." The other part of the question makes her smirk reappear but she waits to answer until after she's taken a sip from her whiskey, "Well, usually you play for money. Or anything else valuable if you run out of money." And the smirk grows a little more mischievous as she adds, "Or, depending on who your playing with, clothing works too."

"It seems like a game with a lot of variety." Sorcha replies, "I think cakes is a good start, though." She bites her lip a little and puts another cake in the mix. "So we just go back and forth until one person says that they either don't believe the other person or they give up?"

Katherine shrugs, "Rules vary on that. It really depends on the consensus of the group playing as to how many rounds of betting happen before you either have to show or fold. But yes, most people play until your nerve or your bank breaks." She trades out both her own and Sorcha's discarded card and raises Sorcha's bet by two cakes.

Biting her lip a bit, Sorcha adds two cakes and one more cake to the center of the table, keeping the game going, "So you set up the expectation before the game begins and then work from there?" She waits to see what Katherine is going to do, leaving her cards where they are without shuffling them around again.

Katherine covers most of her face with her cards, just looking steadily into Sorcha's eyes, almost as if she was trying to read her mind. After some long moments she reaches out and matches the bet, "I call. Lets see them. And to answer the question, yes, the variable rules are always set before the game begins. But once everyone has accepted the proposed rules they never change again for that game."

Sorcha puts her cards out on the table, a pair of tens. She waits to see what the opposing hand is, looking down and counting the cakes. The lovely tiny iced cakes all stacked neatly there in front of them. And unfortunately… those cakes are all for Kat. Because her three Queens are enough to win the day. "Well… there you have it. Good game?"

Katherine grins, "Well, that a good hand. And thank you for all the deliciousness. But a game would last until someone has everyone else's money, or belonging, or clothing." With a small smirk she deals the cards out again, continuing the game until Sorcha either runs out of petite fours, gets tired, or has to go play hostess again.

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