(1941-07-06) An Affinity for Cats
Details for An Affinity for Cats
Summary: At Cafe Tasseo, Elijah finds Samira's condition intriguing.
Date: July 6, 1941
Location: Cafe Tasseo

Cafe Tasseo; a familiar old haunt for one Inspector Elijah Bartholomew Lovegood. The soothing atmosphere and over-polite waitstaff always did wonders for his disposition, and are doing similarly this evening.

The Good Inspector is seated quietly by himself near a window, the day's copy of The Prophet clutched in his hands and being partially regarded over the rim of the dark-tinted spectacles that are resting near the tip of his nose. Sharp blue eyes scan the pages, only half-way caring what they say. It's clear that his interest in this publication is more routine than anything.

A pale hand reaches away from the pages and plays with the idea of lifting the warm cup of tea on the table, but retreats with the intention of flipping to the next page.

A hooded figure steps into Cafe Tasseo, stepping in out of the rain. Eyes glint in the dim light from under the hood as the small figure takes in the quiet, calm atomsphere. As the host approaches to take her cloak, the figure shies back. She draws back her hood to reveal an enormous pair of kitten ears sprouting from wild dark curls. The ears are a golden-sand color with white tufts sticking out of them. The host recoils in shock. But the young girl lifts her chin, carrying herself with assured grace. "A table please," she requests with the hint of an Arab accent.

Arab accent? How curious. Elijah flips the top of his paper down and regards her. Cat ears. Curiouser. His blue eyes squint and he simply remarks, "Girl." You. Yes, you. "Come." He waves the small girl in his direction, folding the paper with the assistance of his forearm and setting it down on the table.
\The wave of Elijah's hand captures Samira's attention. Fixated on the man, she sets her cloak on a hook and drifts to his table. She comes to stand at it, but does not sit. She has yet to blink, or to look away. "Yes?" The host watches warily as the infected young lady steps further into the establishment. But in the end, he doesn't try to stop her.

The wave of Elijah's hand captures Samira's attention. Fixated on the man, she sets her cloak on a hook and drifts to his table. She comes to stand at it, but does not sit. She has yet to blink, or to look away. "Yes?" The host watches warily as the infected young lady steps further into the establishment. But in the end, he doesn't try to stop her.

"I like your ears," Inspector Lovegood says, sitting up in his chair, straightening his waistcoat, and crossing one leg over the other at the knee. His hands are folded and rested atop his knee as he regards the girl. "Tell me about them," he says warmly, lifting a hand to gesture to the seat across from him. "Are you hungry, child?"

Samira's lips quirk into a broad smile as her huge kitten ears recieve a complement. She regards his offer with a slight tilt of her head. "Yes. Thank you." She slides out the chair and settles across from him. Nodding to the newspaper, she says, "The recent outbreak of transformations. You must have read about them."

"I read about a great many things, dear," Elijah remarks, gesturing to the paper. "With equal parts disinterest and…meh." Words fail the inspector and he offers a lame hand wave. "How did the transformation come about?"

Samira doesn't answer quite yet, pausing to request a cup of tea and something to eat from the waiter. Then returnint her unblinking stare to Elijah, she says, "How. I was infected with the magical bug, I suppose. Though it was unexpected. I was neither bitten nor scratched." She pauses and adds with a small smile, "But as long as I don't touch you, it should be alright."

"Fascinating," Elijah remarks, eyes dacing about the young girl's ears. "And they just appeared overnight after exposure to some magical bug?" He leans forward a bit, propping his head up with his hands as he continues to be affixed to them. "Have they affected your senses at all?"

The left ear flickers. "Yes. As you might expect, I can hear better than before." Samira's eyes shine with a hint of impish mirth. "Though not as well as when I was a cat. And it takes a day or two for the symptoms to appear. When that happens, you turn into a qat arramal. In English, a sand cat. At least, in my case. Others have turned into many different creatures."

"Oh dear," Elijah mutters. "It's a complete transformation, then?" he asks, leaning back in the chair and crossing his arms over his chest. "Does it come and go, or is it a one and done type affair?" He tilts his head, awaiting an answer.

"So far? The transformations last 24 hours, but…" Samira reaches to touch her right kitten-ear. The moment her fingertips so much as brush its edge, it flickers. "Some things remain. It's different for everyone." Folding her arms, the girl settles forward on her elbows to watch Elijah. "It's early still. Hard to say how it truly works." She tilts her head. "Am I the first like this that you've seen?"

"Perhaps not," Elijah says, not answering any question ever. "Cats tend to draw the eye." More specifically, Elijah's eye. "I'm Inspector Elijah Lovegood. And what is your name, child?"

Though the girl's features maintain their expression of calm assurance, her enormous ears betray her caution upon learning that he is an Inspector by lowering slightly. But, she supplies easily, "Samira Prince." Resting back in her chair, she stares up at the man with keen interest. "I don't suppose it's surprising I became a cat. I've been able to speak to them since I was a child. Occasionally, they even reply."

A kindred spirit. "They are remarkably like a diva in that fashion, aren't they?" Elijah asks, mirroring her movements and leaning back in his own chair, lifting his cup of tea and bringing it with him. He lifts it to his lips and takes a short sip of it, offering, "So, apart from occasionally transforming into a cat, what else do you do, young Miss Prince?"

The waiter arrives with a cup of tea for the girl and something to eat. A sandwich, as it happens. Samira has yet to blink as she stares across at Elijah. The waiter's arrival did nothing to distract her. Taking up her cup of tea, she mirrors his short sip. "I do many things. Mm. But at the moment, I intend to assist the healers as they seek a cure. It will be my second summer as an intern. And when I graduate next year, I intend to become an apprentice." Though she could easily pass for a little fourth year, it would seem she will be entering her seventh.

"A very worthwhile profession," Elijah says. "In my time at the Ministry, I've required the services of many healers. Whether it be having them assist me on a case, or put me back together again." He rolls his right arm, the painful memory of losing it in a splinch a few years ago flashing to mind.

Samira's eyes flit to the rolling arm. "Mm. The trauma specialization particularly intrigues me. But so does spell damage. Particularly-" She pauses, having let her words run away with her. She studies Elijah for a moment. At last, she concludes, "Particularly, healing wounds afflicted via dark magic. There still aren't good ways to heal such wounds. I am keen to fill the gaps in our knowledge." Sinking lower in her chair, she draws her cup to her lips for a long, slow sip. All the while, she watches Elijah, trying to gauge his response.

"An admirable goal, indeed," Elijah says. He looks her over for a moment, taking the time to sip another bit of tea. "I've been lucky enough to avoid dark magic in my time. That's more a job for Aurors, you see. I merely contend with your run-of-the-mill ruffians and thieves."

Samira smiles. "An Inspector. So dark magic is so rare here? Where I am from, it is quite different. But then, I don't suppose most ruffians or thieves would be powerful enough to cast complex dark magic." Lowering her gaze, she takes up her sandwich to nibble an edge.

"It's a rarity, yes. There are strict rules against it around here, but that doesn't stop those who are invested in learning about it, you see," Elijah says, setting his cup down and folding his hands back on his knee. A moment's thought and he digs about in the pocket of his waistcoat, saying, "And while I regret it dearly, I'm afraid I must be off for now." From his pocket he produces enough coinage to pay for both of their meals, and sets it down on the table. "However, if you are ever in need of an Inspector, you can always come to me." There's a brief flash of a smile and the man stands, reaching for his coat and hat. The wide-brimmed fedora is placed on his head and tipped to the young woman, before he begins to move towards the door.

Samira peeks up at Elijah as he stands. With a Cheshire cat smile, she lifts a hand and waves her fingers in farewell. "Thank you, Inspector Lovegood. I enjoyed meeting you." Her steady stare lingers on the man as he departs before she returns once more to her dinner.

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