(1940-06-01) Mind Over Matter
Details for Mind Over Matter
Summary: Preoccupied and worried about Faulkner, Rena goes for a walk in the park and bumps into Shelley rather unexpectedly
Date: 1940/06/01
Location: Kensington Gardens

Shelley has found herself somewhere to sit in a quiet corner of the garden - as you walk through some hedges, and come around a bend, you find a fairly enclosed area with a fountain. It's on the edge of that fountain that Shelley's perched herself, a book open in her hands. She has a muggle pencil in her hand - better to blend in as she marks passages in the book, and takes notes in the margins. She seems fairly absorbed in her reading - but then, there's no one nearby at the moment, and no reason she shouldn't be.

Despite London being such a grand, bustling metropolis teaming with people at all hours of the day, one can often find some measure of seclusion in the great parks within the city itself. Shelley came there to find solitude in order to study; while, on the other hand, Rena came there to just… do something, anything with herself aside from sitting at home, worrying.
Uncharacteristically slow, the young woman walks the pathway at an idle gait, seeming to pay little attention to where she is going. However, the sound of the fountain causes her to raise her head at length. Drawn to the musical water, she stops beside it and fishes around in her jacket pocket. Withdrawing a penny, she presses it to her lips before tossing it into the fountain.
Turning aside, Rena starts a little upon seeing Shelley so nearby. "Blimy, didn't expect to see another wi… didn't expect to see you there, Shelley." She says, offering a half-hearted smile.

"Rena," Shelley greets the woman without looking up. She finishes her sentence - marking her place with a small tick of her pencil, before looking up at the other woman. "I can't say as I expected to see a coworker either," she remarks. She studies the woman's features before asking - perhaps a bit uncertainly - "Is everything alright?" After all - she's not entirely accustomed to showing concern.

"Hm?" Rena's attention drifted momentarily to some obscure bit of nothing in the distance before coming back to Shelley. "Oh, yes… everything is fine. At least, I hope it is." Again, the false smile. She couldn't fail more miserably at lying if she tried. She's just the kind of witness every prosecutor wants on the stand.
"Doing some extra curricular work on the side?" Rena asks with a faint chuckle, motioning at the book resting in Shelley's lap. "Everyone's always telling me I should lighten up and not take work out of the office with me. You shouldn't, either."

"It's… not work. Just some private research. A bit of self-betterment, I suppose you could say," Shelley answers - looking utterly unconvinced by Rena's deflection. She taps her finger on her book, then remarks, "Far be it from me to deny someone the chance to bury their problems, so I will only say this once - I'll listen if you want to talk. Of course, I'll also use the trip jinx on you if I ever find out you revealed I said that."

Rena's expression tenses slightly, and she rubs her hand along her arm self-consciously, unsure of whether she ought to take Shelley up on the offer. Her threat causes her to laugh, however, and she shakes her head: "Only the tripping jinx? I expected something more long-term, like pestering."
Sobering down once more, Rena sighs and gives a small shrug of her shoulders: "You heard about what's going on across the channel now?" She asks quietly. "I mean, with the fighting and all."

"Well. Can't let you know all my plans - it would ruin the surprise," Shelley answers. As for the question - she gets a more serious expression on her features, and nods just barely. "I've seen the headlines on the papers - that the fighting men are trapped?" She wrinkles her brow and adds, "But your man - he flies those… aeroplanes. He can't be trapped."

"No," Rena admits with some reluctance, "He wouldn't be… unless he were…" Her voice tightens, and she can't even bring herself to finish the thought for a long, heavy moment. "If he were shot down." She gets out the words. And even then, would he be trapped? If he were shot down, the likelihood leaned far more toward death.
"They don't 'ave any safety nets like we do, Shelley. When they go up there and fly those monstrous metal birds, the only way out is a safe landing or praying to the powers that be that you've a chance in 'ell that your parachute works and you get a chance to use it in case of an emergency."

"No, I suppose they wouldn't," Shelley agrees. "So he's there, then? In his aeroplane, trying to help save the other men?" Though her tone remains reserved, and she moves no closer to Rena, there is some concern and sympathy reflected on her features. "It's no wonder your troubled." And she can't imagine anything she says will truly help.

"I don't even know that," Rena snaps. Her tone isn't directed at Shelley, of course, but rather her frustration with the whole situation. "After things started over there, I put in a call to the airfield, asking to speak to Birdie and they put me off saying he weren't available. I tried again later, and got the same answer. Then I hear the whole squadron is off flying a mission…" The words come pouring out like a torrential rain before she comes to a stop.
Trying her best to keep herself from crying, Rena pauses and looks up through the green leaves overhead. "God, Shelley - it's only been four bloody days and I feel like it's been a month already."

"The Muggles have their own Statute of Secrecy, then?" Shelley remarks in a quiet voice. She's silent a moment, looking away, towards one of the hedges. She's still looking that direction when she remarks, "You know - I have that guest room. If that would make things easier."

For a long time, Rena appears to be torn, considering Shelley's generous offer. Even when she gives her answer, it is with a good deal of reservation: "Thanks awfully… I really mean that, too." She says gratefully. "But, I'm afraid if I don't keep going home to wait for him, he won't come back." A pathetic and childish form of bargaining with the powers that be, perhaps. But, then again, Rena can be very childish at times.
Briefly, a look of genuine pain crosses Rena's features, and she suddenly blurts out: "I can't just SIT idly by and wait. I… I should fly over and find him. I'll do it, I will…" Irrationality seems to be taking hold.

Shelley nods, still not looking at Rena for the moment. She remains silently, only looking towards Rena when the woman starts vowing to fly over there. "My understanding of those aeroplanes," limited as it may be, "is that they're too fast for your broom - even if your flying has improved. You'd be no help to him. Maybe you could find a way to help the ones on the ground - but not, I think, without breaking the Statute, or the policy of non-interference." She falls silent again, silently debating with herself. But Rena did save her life - unequivocally. What kind of person is she if she doesn't help Rena now?
"Do you have a guest room?"

It isn't fair. NONE of it is fair.
Rena's fists clench abruptly, and she has to force herself to turn away. Right now, she desperately needs something to punch. Not that it would be a good idea. She'd probably break her hand if she tried it.
"Yes, I… we've got rooms." The young woman answers at length, her voice subdued. "Afraid the place smells a bit like new paint and wallpaper paste and the like." She adds, apologetically. "Was all freshly done over before we came. Estate agent took care of all that sort of thing."
Pausing again for a beat, Rena sniffs and looks back toward Shelley: "It's so big that it's quiet there. Good for studying books and the like." Not missing what the other Auror intended by asking.

"I could use a quiet place to study some books," Shelley confirms. Just for a moment, she allows her lips to quirk up into a smile. "I'll pack myself a bag, then. Does your floo work?"

Somberly, Rena shakes her head and looks down at the toe of her shoe: "No. He ain't… isn't vetted. N-not yet anyway." She answers with a discouraged sigh. The process will undoubtedly be lengthy and labor-intensive on the part of everyone involved. Of course, he may never return, and it will have all been for nothing.
"I-it's not so bad, though. The underground is just down the street and it's not 'ard to reach." Glancing around for any prying ears, Rena lowers her voice and adds: "There's some nice high attic windows, too." Naturally referring to broom access.

"That'll come in handy," Shelley agrees - though she's wearing a slight frown at the mention of no floo access. "Would it be a bother if I brought Ebony along?" It would make things simpler - though she could floo home from the ministry, and use that bloody tube to get to Rena's from there

The mention of Ebony is the first thing that seems to peak Rena's interest and bring a tiny smile to her features: "I like Ebony. It's no trouble at all if you bring the kitty along - I'd be glad, actually." The place feels so big and lonely without anyone else around.
"Oh, and no need to worry about anyone else being about. I've not managed to hire a maid on, yet. I should go to one of the employment agencies and ask them to look for a Squib who fits the bill."

"I'll bring him, then," Shelley answers. "And I imagine that would make your life easier. Though until then - there's always cleaning charms. They really are handy," though she'd thank you not to let her mother know she'd said that. "Do you have a wizarding wireless about the place?" she asks.

"Yea, I've got my own den of sorts placed up in the attic. It were the only safe place I could manage it, even in a grand house like that." Rena explains, still being careful to keep her voice low. "Everything from the top floor down is purely Muggle. But, in the attic, I've got the potion making supplies, Wizarding Wireless and my brooms stored for safe keeping." Really, it's a clever plan, regardless of what Faulkner may or may not know, it's best to keep her dangerous paraphernalia out of sight and out of mind.

"Ah, good." Shelley's not sure how many days she could stand living as a complete Muggle - and staying cut off from the wireless would be a definite hardship. "Well then - that's that." She rises to her feet - the book held in her hand showing it's title, 'The Mind, Memories, and Magic: Theory and Practice.' "I should gather up my things. What's the address of your place? …unless, I suppose, you care to tag along?"

"Number Seven, Sloane Square," Rena replies, her voice tinged with a sense of relief that she had not expected to feel in knowing that she won't be alone in the house any longer. To be sure, she has her duties as an air warden for a few nights a week; but that does little to comfort or distract her for long.
Rena's eyes fall upon the book cover for the first time, and she tilts her head to read the title fully. Her brow furrows, and her mind seems to be forming a question… however, she seems to take a step back from it and reconsider her unspoken words. "That looks like a challenging read. You've got a mind for it, I'm sure. It were never my talent in school." The last thing she wants is to blurt out something stupid like: What do you want to read that for? She has an inkling.
"Really though, I should go home. Check the regular wireless for reports and get things ready for you in a spare room."

"Glamers always came to me," Shelley remarks - and leaves it at that. "Number seven, Sloane Square," she repeats. "I'll find it. Should be there by supper time - if that's no bother."

"No trouble at all!" Rena answers cheerfully. Of course, she's not fool enough to try her hand at domesticity by cooking some dinner for them to share. Oh no, begs to be excused. Thank Merlin for chip shops and other such places where one can nab some terribly unhealthy food and bring it home.
"And you can bring as many books as you like. Lor' the place is full of books already as it is, what with Birdie being a teacher and all." Stopping herself before she can ramble on any further, Rena seems to recall her manners and takes a timid step toward Shelley before thinking better of trying to hug her. Instead, she offers an appreciative smile and says: "Thank you, Shelly. You don't know how much it means to me."

"It's the least I can do," Shelley answers quietly. She does move towards Rena - but not to hug her. Instead, she rests her free hand on her fellow Auror's elbow for a few moments, before she starts to stride away. "I'll see you shortly!" she calls without looking back.

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