(1939-10-16) At the Gilded Lily
Details for At the Gilded Lily
Summary: A team of hit wizards closes in on the mysterious squib Romeo Romero, who might have information on the missing War Office papers. Complications, of course, arise.
Date: 16 October 1939
Location: The Gilded Lily, East End, London
Plot: Tinker, Tailor, Wizard, Spy
Related: A Different Kettle of Fish

It's been a long evening of slogging through the various gin joints and seedy underside of East London for the hit wizards, probably more tiring for Hypatia than Patrick, who at least has something to look at and use his Irish charms on. But so far, the word has been the same - no sight of Romeo Romero for at least the past week. He seems to have gone to ground, and none of his usual contacts have seen him. Finally, they approach one of the last places on the list, the Gilded Lily, a 'night club' of questionable reputation where all sorts of shady deals take place. The sign outside is extinguished in the blackout, and a copy of last month's Times of London is pasted over the exterior doors and windows and splattered with dark paint.

Hypatia leans up against the building and brings a match to her cigarette. Muggle kind. "You know, Patrick," she murmurs. "I've been impressed with your forbearance tonight. Not a wandering hand in sight." She smirks and exhales. "I must be doing something wrong." Dark eyes turn to the Gilded Lily and she shakes her head. "It seems like the we're nearing the end of the list. I hoep he's in there."

Patrick, as it happens, is in fine spirits. As far as "the ol' door-to-door" work goes, the night has been quite pleasant. He has dressed up finely for it, in a splendid coat (with tails!) and a towering top hat and long pointed shoes which were, at the start of the night, glinting in the street-lights (they're now doing whatever the opposite of glinting is). He's had the occasional drink here and there, a little bit of, erm, attempted mingling; nothing too unprofessional, of course. A thoroughly enjoyable investigation, considering they've had no success whatsoever.

As he and his present partner in anti-crime arrive at the the door to the Gilded Lily, he stops and considers Hypatia. " What did I say, darlin'?" He tilts his hat, " I'm a humble man performin' my duty. That said," He winks at her, " If he's not in this one, my official duty ends on that observation." The tall sergeant approaches the door and gives a firm rap, then turns and offers Hypatia his arm. " Shall we enter in style? Play the part, you know."

Apparently, Patrick hasn't quite noticed the sort of clientele that's been surrounding them all night.

"Patty O'Patricksonerry. Pattypattypatty…Patrick. It's a strange name," Elijah remarks rather ramblingly, approaching the two of them as he case swings between every other step. Lovegood tips his fedora to the two of them, loking every bit the Victorian image of a noir detective, uttering a simple, "Good evening."

Nobody answers the door, but it's open. Stepping out of the cold and drizzle, the couple - now, apparently, a trio - passes the reclining bouncer, who collects the tuppence cover and waves them into the red-lit, smoke-filled room beyond. It's filled with velour banquettes around small tables, and a showgirl in a fruity hat sings listelessly into a large microphone on the stage, wriggling her hips delusively. The whole place gives a distinct impression of being the end of the line.

A muggle picture was provided of the swarthy, slightly oily, but usually dapper Romeo Romero, and at first glance he isn't in the room. There is, however, a rather intense man with close-cropped blonde hair sitting in one of the semi-circular banquettes, pointing at someone with his cigarette.

"'Bout time you showed up, Lovegood," Hypatia says with a wry smile as they start in. "Fred Astaire here's been attracting more attention than I'd have hoped." She stops at the sight of the blonde man… "Right. Well, let's see here." She frowns at herself. The bow at her neck is untied, allowing her shirt to hang open just enough to show some cleavage, and she musses her hair as if she'd been drinking all night.

"Oooh! Oi! I kin do tha, innit! Luuvy, lemme 'ave a sing, woncha?" she calls in cheerful slurring as she practically skips down the walkway… and stumbles to the ground right at the blonde man's feet. Giggling, she rolls onto her back.

"Inspector," Patrick tips his top hat, clearly relishing the gesture. He frowns at Hypatia as he follows her in, " Freddy Starey?" But, apparently, no explanation will be offered; the MLE officer is busy liberating her bosom from the oppressive chains of public decency and diving accent-first into what the Irishman thinks can only possibly be A Situation. Realising, perhaps belatedly, that his presence at her side might be more detrimental than progressive, he leans against the bar, takes off his top hat and watches proceedings from a distance.

And what a nice bosom it is too.

Elijah slides out of his coat and hangs it and his fedora on a nearby rack, unbuttoning his crisp white sleeves and rolling them up as he moves to stand next to the bar next to Patrick. It is at this particular moment that those dark eyes of his begin to make their way over every single square inch of the establishment.

Hypatia indeed dives head - or bosom - first into a situation. "Where is she, gypsy? She was supposed to be at the portkey three days ago. Things will go very badly for your family." The blonde man's accent is almost perfect, but there is a bit of a slip, "We want ze papers! Where is Schneider?" He jumps to his feet as Hypatia crashes down, "What is this?" The man sitting across from him - pale as a sheet, but quite recognizable - is Romeo Romero.

And because our hit wizards are so attuned, they will all notice that as the man stands, a handle of a wand is visible inside his jacket.

From her position on the floor, Hypatia just.. gets into it. She bites her lip and levels her best bedroom look on Blondie. "You know.. Your pretty delish." She sort of flop rolls onto her hands and knees… Oh the drunkeness. She plops down and smiles at the Germanic type man. "'Llo."

Out of the corner of the Irishman's eye, he spots the wand poking out of the blond man's jacket; an alarm rings in his head, but he takes a breath, remains relaxed. As Hypatia continues with her first rate deception, he leans back against the bar and orders a drink. A patient hand, however, makes its way inside his jacket, where his own wand resides. He glances to the inspector at his side, " D'you see that, Elijah?" He says lowly.

"I do, Patrick," Elijah responds, placing an order for a double of whiskey with the bartender before he pulls money and a pack of cigarettes from his pocket. He'll tug a smoke out of its place and light it up, taking a few drags of it as he slides the money towards the bartender. A quick glance over his shoulder and he'll say to Patrick, "So, Patty, what do you do for fun, aside from regailing film-goers with your impressive routines?"

The blonde looks down to Hypatia, "Out of the way, woman." Then he reaches across the table and grabs Romero by the collar, "Come with me." He starts to yank him out of the booth.

It'll be hard for him to yank past Hypatia. She kinda makes herself a stumbling block as the men go flying, slowing them down and making things ..awkward. Especially when she tries to 'hug' Blondie's leg, and ends up 'accidentally' hitting him between his legs. "Aww, don't go, Luuvy. Think o' all the fun we kin 'ave." She cuts her eyes towards the boys to see if they're ready to intercept should the target actually get past Hypatia's tangling arms.

Patrick has turned back to the bar, sliding some pennies over the counter as he accepts his pint. He looks at Elijah, " No, nothing else, really. That's pretty much all I do. Seems to get be my, like." He takes a sip, and then looks back over his shoulder at the fiasco developing and, indeed, currently embroiled in their colleague's arms. " Personally," He says quietly, " I think we should let them out and follow them somewhere more secretive…." He glances around, "… More /vacated/ even."

Just then, the barmaid taps him on the shoulder and demands more than a few pennies. He stuffs a twenty in her hand and tells her to keep the change.

Elijah offers a glance to Hypatia and clears his throat, an obvious sign for her to stop making such a scene of the situation before he takes his double shot of whiskey and knocks it back, moving to retake his coat and slide into it. He looks over to Patrick and says, "Well, obviously."

The blonde man kicks Hypatia out of the way, and a few of the muggle sorts rise, offended by that sort of thing even in a dive like this. But his hand brushes his wand, and he shouts, "Fire! Fire!" and one of the curtains starts to smolder and smoke and lick with flames. He grabs Romero and heads for the back door.

Patrick coughs, takes another sip of his beer and then moves quietly to follow them. He gets a few steps before lunging back to collect his top hat, cramming it on his head and tipping it to the barmaid. " Thanks again, love." Then he continues out through the back door in what he hopes is something slightly less conspicuous than Hot Pursuit.

"Bloody hell," Elijah murmurs, plucking his hat up from the rack and moving fluidly through the fleeing crowd on his way after Patrick and Romeo.

Romero is hauled along by his collar and they disappear through a back door as the two hit wizards stagger through the crowd. Someone grabs Hypatia and drags her to safety along with the muggles, out the front door, so there's no need to worry about her at present, but Romero is very much in danger of disappearing. The hit wizards eventually make it through the door only to find an abandoned hallway littered with old tables and chairs - and the blonde man with the sqib held up against him, his wand making a dimple in the man's neck.

Patrick steps up, only a few metres from the blond wizard and the squib. There is a look of severe impatience on his face; it seems, in all the uproar, that his top hat has been lost to the stampeding crowd and his bowtie is knocked squint. Grimacing a little, he pulls his wand from his jacket and lifts it. " Now, now, boys," He announces, " I wouldn't think that now is the time to be makin' enemies, hm?"

"Grab the squib," Elijah remarks coldly as he slips past Patrick, marching towards the man with the wand. A deep breath is taken and he pulls his arm back, before sending an open palm towards the ribs of the assailant.

The Squib is between Elijah and the blonde, so it's a difficult strike, but Elijah is up to the challenge, sliding sideways at just the right time, catching right under the floating rib in a powerful strike that separates the squib from the man holding him. The man bends, hauling in a halting breath, then raises his wand. But there is the sound of sirens outside - the London Fire Brigade approaching to deal with the small conflagration he caused. "This isn't over, gypsy!" he calls out, with melodramatic menace, and then removes a small vial from his pocket and tosses it at Elijah's feet.

There is a brilliant flash, and then the familiar loud *CRACK!* of someone apparating.

The squib is still standing there, looking quite dazed.

As Elijah engages the foreign wizard, Patrick obeys his command and slips forward. With the crack and the apparition, the Irishman slides in to take his place, pointing his wand inches from squib's chest. " Mister Romero?" He says, eyebrow cocked a little, " Magical Law Enforcement. We would like to ask you a few questions regarding…" He shrugs, "… Well, I think you know what. Don't make any sudden moves, now, and head to the door."

If the squib does as told, Patrick will follow directly behind him.

Elijah raises a hand to his eyes as the flashbomb goes off and grimaces, turning around to size up Romeo and lighting another cigarette, as his last one was interrupted by a bar fire. He looks to Patrick and offers the man a nod, straightening his coat and plucking out a pocket watch, giving it a look.

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