(1939-09-28) A Game of Chance
Details for A Game of Chance
Summary: Rhyeline and Galen meet each other and chat.
Date: September 28, 1939
Location: Regent's Park, London

In the twilight hours before night truly falls, a deepening quiet settles upon the gardens and sports pitches of the Regent's Park. A small, cloaked figure wanders in utter silence, like a little lost ghost, through the gardens. A shadow in the form of a tall, gaunt looking woman follows at some distance. An emerald surrounded by diamonds glitters upon her left hand, catching even the most dim of light.

The young man is unconcerned by the darkening sky as he wanders through the park. His slacks are simple and with a tear under the knee on the left side, but the material altogether looks worn. His long coat - which is probably in the best condition considering the rest of his clothing and shoes - is thrown over a simple black shirt. His hand lifts a cigarette to his mouth, drawing from it as his eyes scan his surroundings, and sending the smoke back out into the air. The figures are barely noticed, and his greeting is a simple grunt as he especially regards the woman.

The woman following the girl notices the vagabond long before Rhyeline even catches the scent of cigarette smoke. Hidden beneath her cloak, the woman's hand rests on a wand. In contrast, as Rhyeline's young, dark gaze settles upon him, she watches him with shyness, but no trace of suspicion. She follows his gaze to the woman standing not far behind her. Biting her lower lip, she peeks back over at the young man.

Galen isn’t all that interested in the woman as he continues to walk at an easy pace. He takes another draw from the cigarette, releasing out the plume of smoke without any consideration for his surroundings. But his green eyes land on the girl with a little more interest, and he stops to offer her a nod. “You don’t like the type to be out for a jaunt in the park this late.”

Rhyeline returns the nod with only a touch of hesitation. "I… I prefer… the quiet." Her voice is as soft and meek as anyone might expect from looking at her. Her words also hold the most delicate hint of a French accent. She clasps her hands behind her back, beneath the cloak.

Amusement flickers in his eyes when she speaks, and Galen dips his head in a nod twice. “Sure,” he responds unenthusiastically. He shrugs back his shoulders nonchalantly, as if he really didn’t care. “It has gotten quiet.” His eyes lift to glance around the park nearest them as he rolls his shoulders. His gaze sweeps towards the other woman briefly before he shoots a look back to Rhyeline. “Who’s the stiff?” he asks, and brings the cigarette to his lips again. At least he turns his head away from the girl as he exhales this time.

Rhyeline glances over her shoulder with a touch of hesitation before peeking up at the rather tall young man. "She… she is… to keep me safe," she explains in a rather soft tone. Biting her lower lip, she adds, "I… you see, my health is… is a bit… fragile."

His eyes flick over her girl as he steps back, a smirk touching his lips before Gale brings the cigarette up again. “Yea,” he states. “If one were to judge by cover…” He rolls his shoulders, glancing towards the other woman with a smirk. “So what, you can’t go anywhere on your own?” He brings the cigarette to his lips again, and after blowing out a long stream, says, “Names Gale.” He glances towards the guard again.

"I… my name is Rhyeline." The girl pronounces her name with a delicate French accent. "And… no, it- it would not be wise." Lowering her gaze, she looks a bit self-conscious as she tucks a loose, dark curl behind her ear. Peeking back up at him, she murmurs, "You… tell me, do- do you… sleep under the stars tonight?"

Galen takes another draw while his green eyes regard the girl, looking to the side as he exhales. He nods once at the introduction, sliding his shoulders back with a mere shrug. “How frustrating,” the boy decides plainly. A finger taps on the tip of the cigarette and Gale tilts his head back to look up at the sky. His lips twitch as he lowers his gaze and shrugs. “If I fall asleep during the night I sleep where ever I choose,” he answers, once again lifting the cigarette to his lips. “That’s the beauty of freedom.”

Rhyeline nods in respect of his choice. There is no trace of pity in her eyes, only innocent curiosity and shy compassion. Under the watchful eye of her guardian, she stands in the sharpest contrast to the young man. "Tell me… if- if there is- is something I might… be able to do… The nights are- are growing colder."

Galen glances to the other, and back to Rhyeline. There’s a faint twitch of his lips as he regards the girl, sucking from the cigarette. Then with a mild glance at what remains, he flicks it to the ground and crushes it under foot. “You could play a game,” he answers with amusement.

Rhyeline tilts her head slightly, surprised by his answer, while her guardwitch looks on with narrow-eyed suspicion. "A… a game? What sort of game?" asks the little one.

Gale dips his head solemnly, though his lips flick in amusement. He dips his hands into the pockets of his coat, looking towards the guard and to Rhyeline. “A game of chance,” he utters. He pulls out a coin, one that he never spends and is, in fact, not the Muggle currency but a Knut, unknown to him that the two would recognise it. “You choose: heads or tails.”

The knut is too small and far away for Rhyeline to recognize it yet. Perhaps her keen-eyed guardian does, but she remains silent, only watching with careful suspicion. Hands still clasped behind her back, little Rhyeline drifts just a bit closer. "A game of chance… This… this is something that- that I can do? For you?" She peeks up at him with a puzzled look.

The coin is held in his fist, pinched between his fore finger and his thumb as he holds out his hand. His eyes lock on Rhyeline as he looks over her, his lips twitching lightly in amusement. “It’s a bit of fun,” he answers. He plucks the coin from his fingers, grasping it in his hand as he tugs at his coat, revealing the pockets on the inside. ‘I’ve got a gem I’ll put up if you can wager enough pounds for a room.”

A soft, rare little smile emerges upon Rhyeline's lips. Nodding, she murmurs, "Yes. I… I would like to play." Her gaze remains fixed upon his. The gem in his pocket seems to hold no allure to the girl. "I… I do not have- have pounds with me. But… to pay… I would arrange for- for a room…"

“That’ll work,” Gale utters and lets his coat fall back into place. He rolls the coin through his fingers until he has it resting against his finger, thumb ready to flick. “You call it.” He watches her, and then shifts his gaze to the coin as he flicks it skyward.

Rhyeline notices the coin's familiarity just as he launches it into the air. She almost forgets to stammer out, "T-tails!" Once he catches it, she peeks up at him curiously. "That… that coin. It- it isn't a pound…" Lured in by curiosity, the little one is standing a bit closer than her guardwitch would like. But, for now, the tall, gaunt woman keeps a hand on her wand, hidden from sight, and watches close.

Galen’s gaze shifts back onto Rhyeline as his hand swipes out, snatching the coin on its descent, slapping it down onto the back of his hand. He winces and curses when he peers down at the goat depicted on the coin. That’s the thing about a fifty-fifty coin toss; it’s more luck than skill. But the boy smirks, instantly uttering out, “Best out of three?” He locks his green eyes on the girl, watching her for a silent moment before he mutters, “It’s a special coin. Usually my lucky one,” he adds with a touch of annoyance.

Rhyeline scarcely notices whether she has won or lost. She gazes up with intent curiosity into Galen's piercing green eyes. "It's… called a knut," she murmurs in a rather soft tone.

“What do you-“ Gale begins to say, insisting on a ‘best out of three’ match. But his eyes narrow as they focus on Rhyeline. He tosses the coin haphazardly up and catches it simply, fingers curling around it. “Yea.” He glances at the other woman, and then back onto Rhyeline, suddenly seeming a little more nervous. “But how do you know?” he mutters suspiciously.

Rhyeline bites her lower lip, mirroring his own nervousness. "I… I come from where… where such coins are- are used…" Although the girl seems a harmless creature, the figure looming behind her might seem far more menacing, knowing there is likely a wand hidden beneath her cloak.

Galen stares at her with a grumpy, suspicious look. He tightens his fingers around his coin, sliding one foot back. “You’re a wizard?” He glances towards the other woman and back. “And-“ He dips his head towards the guard. “I suppose you want your prize,” he mutters unenthusiastically.

Rhyeline bites her lower lip as Galen watches her with such suspicion. She doesn't answer when he accuses of being a wizard, but her lack of confusion is answer enough. But, when he asks if she will be wanting the jewel, the girl shakes her head. "No, it- it is… two out of three… no?"

Galen lets out a breath as he lifts a hand to rake his fingers through his hair, causing it to spike up a little. One corner of his mouth twitches and he nods. “Right, then,” he states, though his eyes remain warily on Rhyeline. “Sticking with tails?” he utters lowly.

"I… mm… yes?" murmurs Rhyeline with a touch of hesitation as she peeks up at the young vagabond.

“Right,” Gale utters and flicks the coin skyward. A twitch tugs out at his lips, sure that he’ll be lucky this time, sweeping his hand to seize the coin yet again as it begins to fall. Slapping it once again onto his hand, he goggles down at the picture of the goat again. He grunts as he takes the coin, dipping the knut into his pocket as he looks Rhyeline over. “Should never have trusted a wizard,” he mutters. He rolls his shoulders irritably but draws gem, with a thin gold chain attached to it, from his pocket. “Fair play.”

Rhyeline bites her lower lip, almost as disappointed as he is when she wins. Shaking her head, she steps back. "I… I don't need it. I… I just wanted to play. I promise that- that I didn't use magic to- to trick you…”

Galen narrows his eyes as he regards her, the necklace dangling from his fingers. “You agreed to the costs,” he utters, lifting his shoulders. He doesn’t really hold it out to her and force her to take the necklace, but he doesn’t put it away either. “Whatever,” he says indifferently. “If it was a game of cards it would have been different. If you’re a wizard,” he carries on, his voice low as he steps closer to her again, “you go into…” He trails off, his lips curving downward. “You know of the Leaky Cauldron? It’s off of there.”

"I… I am a witch. But, I- I don't… go to the Leaky Cauldron often. Not… not of late. I… I bear a- a curse you see… it- it won't harm you, but- but I… mm… well…" Rhyeline's words drift off as her voice fades. Her young, dark eyes shine with a profound shyness as she peeks up at him, biting her lower lip.

“A witch,” Galen repeats, his eyes locked on her. “You know a ‘witch’ is associated with ill-fates.” He rolls his shoulders carelessly. He glances around the park and decides to tuck the necklace into his coat pocket. He stares at her in silence at the mention of a curse, and he can’t help the extreme curiosity as it stirs in his stomach. “What kind of curse?” He slides a foot closer to her.

The subtle blush in Rhyeline's cheeks deepens as Galen watches her with such intent curiosity. "A… a curse meant for another… But- but I assure you… I am not an omen of ill fate. There- there are those of us with- with darkness in their hearts, but- but so it is in- in your world… We are- are no different. Both the dark and the light…"

Galen continues to keep his green eyes on Rhyeline. “No?” he mutters out sullenly. “I never had to worry about curses before,” he responds. He smirks, rolling his shoulders. “I can’t see you being a bad omen. But indulge my curiosity, what’s this curse about? Are you doomed?”

Despite her profound shyness, little Rhyeline seems a touch reassured when he tells her he can't see her as a bad omen. But, when he inquires further after her curse, she bites her lower lip. "I once thought I was… the healers did. But… it has- has yet to claim my life. And- and now, I- I hope… I might even… be cured."

Galen at least understands what she’s referring to when she mentions ‘healers.’ But beyond that, he doesn’t know much of what is done and can only imagine. Stuffing his hands into his pockets, he keeps his gaze focused on her. “How’d you get cursed?” he asks grimly, but curious.

Rhyeline lowers her gaze, clasping her hands rather tightly behind her back. "It… it was… a curse meant for another. But… it… it struck me instead."

His eyes locked on her, Gale stares at her silently while he thinks. His lips twitch inexpressively and he rolls his shoulders. “Well while you’re waiting on a ‘cure,’” he utters lowly, and a bit amused, “if you ever feel like a game of cards…” He trails off, letting her finish the sentence. Though he does glance towards the guard and slides his foot closer to Rhyeline, uttering lowly, “If you ever feel the need to ditch…” Gale smirks, jerking a thumb in the other woman’s direction. “It can’t be much fun to be tailed around all the time.”

The guard shifts and sends the young man a dangerous look of warning when he draws so close. Rhyeline bites her lower lip, peeking up at him. "My treatments… to end the curse… have side effects. She is- is here to… in case I… I need her help." Even in the dim light, her blush isn't hard to perceive. "But… I would- would like to… to perhaps… play a game of cards."

Galen would never be able to tolerate that, to have someone constantly following him. He almost stares at Rhyeline with a look of admiration, of disbelief, but then grunts as he rolls back his shoulders. “Well,” he mutters, “I can give you a game at least.” He pulls away after glancing towards the guard witch, pulls out a pack of cigarettes and takes one out. He sticks it between his lips before he smacks the pack against his hand, and offers one out to Rhyeline.

Rhyeline may have little choice in the matter, but she seems to have accepted her circumstances. At the offer of a cigarette, the little one accepts. It would seem this is not the first time someone has offered her one. She brings it to her lips and waits for his light.

Galen smirks, tucking the pack away as he draws out his lighter. With a flick of his thumb, and cupping a hand around the flame, he lights hers first. Then he mimics the same motion on his own, stuffs the lighter in his pocket, and draws from the cigarette. After he exhales, he asks lowly and placidly, “Where do you usually end up? Is this a rare occasion that you’re not… in where ever you witches go?”

Rhyeline takes a small draw from her cigarette. Despite the familiarity she seems to show with it, she still ends up coughing, eyes squeezed shut. Peeking up at him with a hint of bashfulness, she murmurs, "Yes, I- I don't… don't go out so often. But… I- I live… not far from here." She pauses, biting her lower lip. "And… and you… you are… sleeping under the stars… yes?"

Well okay, that draws out a laugh from Gale. His green eyes watch her with amusement when she coughs, and unconcernedly sucks from his own cigarette. Releasing the smoke slowly, coolly, Galen rolls his shoulders lightly. His eyes lift, glancing around as she mentions not living too far away, wondering in what direction that might be. “I’m not tired,” he answers. “I’m more interested in a drink.” Gale watches Rhyeline as he takes another pull from his cigarette and lets it out. “You got a place I can crash at?” He’s not really expecting that to work.

"I… If you will permit me… I would- would like to arrange for- for a place where- where you can sleep…" Rhyeline peeks up at him with a quiet caution, biting her lower lip.

Looking down at Rhyeline as regards her quietly, Galen says nothing for a moment. While he considers he lifts the cigarette to his lips and draws, lowers it to his side as he taps the tip, and exhales. “Why would you do that?” he finally asks in a low tone, eyeing her curiously.

"Because I would be lost… so lost… had there not been those who helped me. I have been fortunate… but… but I cannot repay that kindness. I can- can only… be kind to- to others in turn…" Rhyeline pauses, hesitating once more. "If… if you will permit. I… I promise… you will owe me nothing. It- it is a debt I owe.. for my own good fortune."

Galen’s green eyes watch Rhyeline as she speaks. Another drag from his cigarette is taken, released, and the boy nods his head slowly. Oh, he’s not going to turn away a free room to sleep in. “All right,” he states simply, gesturing with the hand the cigarette is in.

A soft, shy smile brightens the girl's features as she peeks up at him. "I… Tomorrow I will- will make the arrangements. And… and I will send someone to- to you… at this same place… tomorrow at dusk." She hesitates, before adding, "It- it might not be much but… but I hope that… that it will help."

“All right,” Gale says again, dipping his head once. He glances towards the other woman briefly, and smirks as he glances back to Rhyeline. “But next time we meet,” he adds in, “we play a game of cards.” He taps the tip of his cigarette and brings it to his lips.

Rhyeline nods, peeking up at him with such a soft, shy smile. "Soon. And… and until tomorrow… please… be well." And with that she takes a small step back before starting to drift off down the garden path. Her guardian watches him a moment longer with obvious distrust before she turns to follow her young, naive charge.

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