(1940-03-06) Long, Cold, Lonely Winter
Details for Long, Cold, Lonely Winter
Summary: Galen and Rena meet while she's on a lead.
Date: March 6, 1940
Location: Parsh Alley

It has been a long, cold, lonely winter. March has already begun, and the country is still being gripped by cold weather and sporadic snow. Rena Lee just happens to be "Lucky" enough to be out and about during one such snowstorm, following a lead in the Parsh Alley district. The young redheaded woman grips her blue-grey overcoat tightly as she moves along, wishing to goodness that Spring would just hurry up and get here. Mud is better than ice any day of the week, in her opinion. But, being an Auror, she must plod through any sort of conditions to chase down a potential lead, even if it turns out to be a false one. At least this isn't Knockturn. Here, she doesn't need to be looking over her shoulder, constantly.

Pausing beside a derelict lamp post, Rena undoes the top button of her coat in order to adjust the scarf tucked around her neck. Unfortunately, a pool of ice is frozen there in a pothole in the pavement, and the young woman finds her feet slipping out from under her. Landing with a thud, she breathes a disgusted sigh and just sits there for a moment.

Never stay in one place. That’s a good rule to go by - so no one can easily find him. It’s nice to be able to alter between the wizarding world and Muggle world, too, even if there’s always a touch more apprehension in the magical world. Not that Galen would let on to feeling the slightest bit uneasy. Cigarette lifted to his mouth, he sucks in and lets out a plume of smoke as he walks unhurriedly. His expression is slightly irritated as his gaze passes over people. Is there no one interested in a good game? His scruffy hair is a mess, sticking up in places as though he had been sleeping on it (though he did run a hand through it briefly, at least). The one nice bit of clothing he wears is his long coat, collar pulled up against the wind and hiding the faded slacks and well-used shirt.

The woman’s slip on the ice is noticed, and it brings out a snort from the young lad. Galen pauses for a moment, tip of his cigarette between his lips as he stares. Letting out another cloud of smoke - tapping the cigarette at his side - a short chuckle escapes him as he approaches. Despite his amusement, he asks in a low, lazy tone, “You okay?” He makes no move to help her up though, instead leaning against the wall the lamp is attached to and observes. At least he’s checking on her. That’s enough, right?

The abrupt nature of the fall on the ice caused the young woman's fedora-like hat to skew on her forehead and largely obscure her ability to see momentarily. Hearing the voice from the sidelines, Rena pushes the hat back with a brush of her hand and blinks. Glancing about, she locates the young man in question and offers a faint smile in return: "I'm fine. Thanks for asking." She says, scooting over to the side of the ice.

Using the lamp post (crooked as it is) to pull herself back up onto her feet, she seems none the worse for wear once she has regained her footing. She then begins to beat the ice and snow from her overcoat. "There ought to be a legal limit to the snow 'ere." She mutters as she attempts to undo whatever damage has been done.

Leaning coolly against the wall, Galen draws on the cigarette again. His shoulders roll back lazily in response to her thanks. Only when the woman is already using the lamp post to help herself up does it occur to him that he could have offered some help. He frowns, eyeing her as that thought - a little too late - buzzes around in his head. Gale is in no real hurry and he simply chills against the wall, letting out a snort to her comment. With a gesture of his hand (cigarette between his fingers) he says in a low, grumble of a tone, “Can’t you just heat up a path for yourself with your wand?” He shakes his head a little, shrugging his shoulders as if the idea was simply just obvious. Of course, Gale would probably use magic for everything if he could. He waits a moment before speaking again, drawing on his cigarette and thinking, before he simply asks with a mild curiosity, “You were headed somewhere in particular?” Studying her, a smirk flicks out. “The name’s Gale,” he offers. And then as an after-thought - cigarette changing hands - he holds out a hand to her.

"I could, yes," Rena answers after a moment, finally doing up the top button of her coat once more. Before doing so, however, a glint of metal flashes from the clothing beneath - an Auror's badge. Until now, she has been wholly preoccupied with straightening herself out. She is clearly a woman who dresses to the nines and prefers to look as much like a well-tailored lady at all times. "But, unlike a lot of Witches, I prefer not to give myself an easy road through everything. Magic doesn't solve every problem in the world. If you can't 'andle a bit of snow and ice, you're in a sorry state. I may grumble, but it makes life more interesting."

Pausing, the redhead adjusts her hat by removing the hat pin and tilting her prim little topper back into place. Sliding the pin back in, she appears to be satisfied. "Lee. Rena Lee - a pleasure, I'm sure." She answers with a smile, shaking Galen's hand in return. "I've got a lead to chase down out 'ere. Merlin knows if I'll find them. Nothing like being told a friend of an acquaintance of a friend may or may not 'ave seen or 'eard something on the night in question." She adds with a light laugh.

Sucking in on the cigarette and releasing out a smoke, Galen watches Rena with some amusement as she rights herself. “You all better now?” It’s clear by his tone that the question is making fun, in a teasing way, of course. But then he could never understand a woman’s need to be so fussy over her appearance. One last draw is taken from his cigarette before he flicks it out onto the ground, crushing it out under foot as he peeks at her. His eyes squint at the glimpse of… was that a badge? His shoulders stiffen a little, especially with the added remark about a lead. “What, are you some kind of police?” Well, he’s not asking her for a game now. Glancing along the alley, Galen stuffs his hands into his coat pockets. “What kind of lead?”

Rena casts a wry glance at Galen. She can read his tone easily enough, and she can't really blame him. But, when one grows up in ill-fitting, patched up clothing and finds oneself in a better situation as an adult, one tends to be overly protective of clothing and fussy about appearance. She IS a lady, after all… at least, she tries to be.

"Yes," she answers in a simple, matter-of-fact tone. "Department of Magical Law Enforcement - Auror's Office." It sounds auspicious by title; but, the young woman doesn't say it in a high-handed tone. In fact, there is a demure hint of humbleness in the way she says it. "I can't really give any specific details on the individuals in question," Rena admits. "A certain individual is suspected of selling controlled potions on the black market. It may seem a small thing, but these situations can turn serious - even deadly if they go unchecked."

‘Law Enforcement’ was pretty much all he needed to know. Galen has, of course, heard ‘Auror’ mentioned about before, but he really doesn’t know much about those specific branches. It’s always good to know who the ‘police’ are, in whatever place you end up in. The lad rolls his shoulders back lazily, snorting as he steps back, and leans back up against the grimy wall of a building. “Can’t say I can be much help there, sorry.” Oh, is that what was in those bottles? “I keep out of other people’s business,” he says lowly in a bored tone. “Good luck to you,” he adds, more teasing than genuine.

The young redheaded woman seems inclined to take her leave of this fellow. Judging by the tone and attitude he takes, he's about as helpful as most people of his ilk are when the law comes sniffing around. She could just say goodnight and go - but, something urges her to stay a moment longer.

"People make the mistake of believing the law is there to ruin everyone's lives, poke its nose into everyone's business and make life a living 'ell." She remarks, a little on the defensive. "Maybe some are - but I'm not. I'm a public servant, and my job is to keep people safe… even if that means keeping them safe from themselves when they make bad decisions." Pausing a moment, Rena shakes her head at herself and smirks: "You seem like the sort of man who 'angs about in places like this - and I'd warrant maybe the East End on the Muggle side. Try and remember what I said? I'm an officer, but my job is to 'elp people." These are pretty dark times that they live in, after all.

Watching the woman, expecting her to leave, Gale gives her a bit of a flat look when she begins to make a little speech. He rolls his eyes, shifting uncomfortably against the wall as he lowers his head so that he can - with an effort to play it cool - button up the buttons of his coat. What he’s more afraid of is her finding out that he might know something, which has unnerved him considerably, pulling out a pack of cigarettes. His voice low and rough, he says as coolly as he can, “I’m sure you’ve ‘helped’ many people.” He tries so hard to keep the sarcasm away as he sticks another smoke between his lips.

She stopped half of London from being burned down by a Fiendfyre - does that count? Not that anyone will ever know that, but still…

"I do everything in my power to," she says flatly, unwilling to budge on the issue of whether she's helped anyone or not. "I want people to know they can ask for Rena if they're in trouble or afraid. I want people to see me as a source of 'ope, not fear." Here, the young woman sighs. "But, I can see I'm probably wasting my breath and your time. Sorry to 'ave troubled you."

Turning away, the redhead glances back over her shoulder and reiterates just one last time: "If you're ever in a jam, though, remember what I said." Goodness knows enough people already do send pleas for help specifically to her desk, knowing that she is a sympathetic soul amongst the Ministry's ranks.

Galen keeps one eye on the woman as he lights the cigarette. As he pockets the lighter and shifts a little against the wall, he draws on the cigarette and lowers his hand, with it between his fingers, to his side. His other hand he returns to his pocket. He seems to relax a bit - whether it’s because of the addiction, or because she’s clearly not ‘reading his mind’ - and lowers his head a bit to the woman. His attitude and demeanor is so carefree and lazy, giving the impression he barely retains two words of what she’s saying. Only his green eyes study her carefully, searchingly, considering. Of course, even if he had something to ask her help for he would never do so here.

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