1994-09-24: Rainy Day Run-In


Sechnall_icon.gif Madeline_icon.gif Braeden_icon.gif Zarina_icon.gif

Scene Title Rainy Day Run-In
Synopsis Sechnall and Madeline bump into one another in Hogsmeade, and end up in Madame Puddifoot's.
Location Hogsmeade
Date September 24, 1994
Watch For Baa'ing Cthulhu
Logger Sechnall

High Street

This is High Street, the main thoroughfare of Hogsmeade, lined to either side with interesting shops. The post office is to one side, near Gladrags Wizardwear, with all manner of owls waiting patiently on their perches outside and hundreds more within. A few storefronts down from the post office is Zonko's Joke Shop. Clouds of colored smoke billow forth from its doors with regularity, occasionally accompanied by loud explosions, and loads of laughter. On the other side of the road is a tiny inn with a wooden sign hung over its entry that reads "Three Broomsticks". A windows in the inn's front show's a crowded room with lots of tables. In addition to all the stores, several roads converge here. Two of them look well-traveled, signs proclaiming them to lead to Hogsmeade Station or towards the wrought iron gates of Hogwarts. Up ahead, however, one narrow lane doesn't seem to get much use, grass sprouting in the middle of its path. Farther still, down past Dervish and Banges, another winding track leads off into the wild countryside surrounding the village, towards the rocky foothills of the mountain in whose shadow Hogsmeade lies.

Hogsmeade is fairly quiet this morning, the rain cutting down on the amount of foot traffic out in the High Street. Madeline steps out of Gladrag's and immediately stops, holding out a hand and making a bit of a face as she realizes the precipitation has started to fall while she was inside. She lingers there under their awning, trying to think where she needs to go next, so that she can make the straightest shot at it.

Since he lives in the biggest hub of Wizarding commerce in England, Sechnall seldom finds a reason to take a trip to Hogsmeade. Today, however, is one of the rare exceptions. He exits Scrivenshaft's with a large bag so full of parchment, quills, and other various utensils that its contents are in danger of spilling over the top. Blinking at the droplets of rain that begin to spatter him, he glances up to see an angry, threatening sky and frowns. Apparently he could have picked a better day to go shopping for stationary. With a resigned sigh, he begins to pace down the cobblestone street. He still needs stamps from the post office before he can floo home. His path takes him directly by Gladrag's, but he's so busy plodding forward with his head down that he fails to notice Madeline.

Staring out at the street as she is, Madeline is much more hard-pressed to miss sight of Sechnall heading past. Since he's heading in the right direction, this serves for the impetus to finally get her out from under the awning, ducking her head even more than usual against the steady fall of rain. "Mr. Swancoate," she greets in a quiet call, not wanting to startle him, and looking a little sheepish at being so bold as to call out at all. "I- Hello." That came off a bit lame, but she manages a wan smile to go with it.

The monotonous sound of the rain striking the street is enough to drown out the sound of her approaching footsteps. Sechnall spins on his heel when Madeline calls out to him, his wand quite suddenly in his free hand. A few quills near the top of the bag he's carrying go floating dejectedly to the wet stones below, drifting lazily into a rather large puddle. Momentarily he stares at her in slight incredulity before he seems to realize who she is. "…Miss Sagace! Oh, pardon me.." Obviously embarrassed, he bends down to pick up one of the quills, then decides against it when it becomes clear that it's probably too soggy to be worthwhile. Turning slightly red, he straightens up and manages an awkward bow and a smile. "Ah.. so sorry. You just caught me off guard."

Madeline looks quite surprised to find herself on the business end of a wand, her eyes going wide as she takes a hasty step back - not that it would be likely to do much good if he were feeling more hex-happy. And then she's also going rather red, feeling silly for sneaking up on him inadvertently when perhaps she should have just let him go by uninterrupted. After all, it isn't as though they're friends, is it? "I - I'm sorry, Mr. Swancoate. I didn't mean to - to scare you!" Yes, it's a contest of stammered apologies. "Oh, and you've ruined your quills." She frowns, looking as though she feels rather awful about that.

"No, no, completely my fault," Sechnall stammers, hoisting the bag up a bit better to avoid dropping anything else out of it. "I— I'm just feeling a little out of sorts today, is all." He shakes his head when she glances down at the quills and offers a smile. "No, don't worry about them, I have plenty.. they were on sale. I'm probably better off without them clogging up my desk." He might not win the stammered apologies contest, but he gets a slam dunk in the lame B.S. competition. Blinking more raindrops out of his eyes, he looks around. Since it's warm out, he's only thrown on a light gray jacket, and at this point it's pretty soggy. "Er, Miss Sagace, it's quite wet out here.. perhaps we should.. that is, would you - maybe you'd like to have a cup of tea somewhere?"

"I … suppose it's the rain? It always - makes things a bit … off, doesn't it," Madeline suggests, still rather flustered but trying to go with it. She doesn't seem entirely convinced about the quills either, but then, his bag does seem awfully full. "If you're sure. I would hate to think of you … going without quills because of me." She's also getting a bit damp, but somehow remained largely oblivious to this, thanks to all the other fun things to fret about right now. His offer takes her a bit by surprise, but as she looks around, squinting through the rain, she can't deny the dampness of the day. "I - Yes. Tea would be - That would be good, thank you."

Seemingly grateful for that explanation, Sechnall nods to her. "Yes, that.. could very well be it. And really, don't worry about the quills.." Realizing his wand is still in his right hand, he tucks it back out of sight. "Oh - it would? I mean, yes, it would," He stammers, then looks down the street both ways. He's not terribly familiar with Hogsmeade despite having spent time there as a youth. "Well, there's the Three Broomsticks.. or, erm, Puddifoot's. Can't say I've ever been in there, though." Or knows much about it, except that it's supposed to be very.. maudlin-esque.

Madeline's gaze flickers down just fleetingly enough as he tucks the wand away to suggest she had been aware the whole while that it was out. But certainly didn't want to say anything about it. At his own hesitation as to whether tea would be good or not, she turns a little uncertain herself. "Only if - if you aren't in a rush, of course. I'm sure you're … very busy. I wouldn't want to impose." Never mind that he offered. "I've, ah, never been to Puddifoot's either. We could … try it? Or - or go with the Three Broomsticks. I've been there." Yes, that was helpful to the decision-making process, while they continue to get wetter.

"No, I'm not in a rush," Sechnall is quick to explain, his gaze meeting hers just for an instant after she displays that tiny reaction to his disarming himself. "Just, erm, happily surprised that you accepted." For a few moments more he continues to stand pointlessly in the rain, then finally looks down the street again, this time in the direction of the unfamiliar teashop. "Well.. let's give Puddifoot's a try, then. It can't really hurt, can it?" Saying so, he turns in the correction direction to start off in, although impeccable manners dictate that he'll wait for her to begin before joining. Or maybe it's not manners so much as just, you know, obsessive-cumpulsiveness.

"I suppose you're right." Braeden comments to the other woman as they step out through the doors of the Three Broomsticks with one hand drawn by her own. His other hand raises to shift at the cloak about his form for warmth as they hit the cool air before looking about with a faint hint of interest. "Mm, let's see what the town has to offer beyond this street? I don't believe i've quite gone very far before." A glance is cast to the white-haired woman at his side from the corner of his eye with the quirk of his lips, looking to see how she just might react.

Madeline doesn't look away as he meets her gaze, but she doesn't seem entirely certain what to do with it. Or how to answer that response. "I - I see." That and a nod are about all she can come up with. She glances over at the sound of some younger ones exiting the Three Broomsticks, but her attention is rather promptly back on Sechnall. "All - all right. Pudifoot's then," she agrees with a wan smile, a little awkward in getting started, since she doesn't want to pass him by, but she also gets that he can't start going until she does. But she gets it going in the end.

Zarina lifts a brow as she releases Braeden's hand, turning around smoothly in motion as her cloak flows around her briefly. Her slender hand reaches out between the folds of her cloak, reaching up to brush some snow white hair from her face as she lifts a curious brow at him. Not even a moment passes as a light smirk grows on her full lips, "You stay at the school most of the time, don't you." she asks, though from the way she answers it sounds like she already has her suspicions. "Alright. Let's go ahead and take the street, since you haven't been that way before."

The bag of writing supplies, unfortunately quite sopping wet by now, is re-positioned once more in the hopes that the bottom won't suddenly give out. Sechnall starts towards the tea shop when Madeline does, glancing sidelong at her and noticing the slightly blank look on her face. Worried that he might have said something rude or bothersome, he settles on not saying anything for the time being. His gaze passes over the two people emerging from the inn briefly, but after it's clear that they're students he ignores them, turning to look down the rain-slick road in the opposite direction again.

Braeden eyes that smirk for a moment with a raised brow before continuing onward with the other young woman next to him. "Yes, I do. Either that or I normaly end up with a mug of Butterbeer and a few charms books." He replies, his footsteps carrying him ever onward along the cool street into one of the many roads that lead through Hogsmeade. His gaze would drift this way and that, taking it in with something of interest. "I suppose on one of our trips to Hogsmeade we can always take a look at the Shrieking Shack like you mentioned and see if it really is haunted."

And it's a bit of a downward spiral, since Madeline is, in turn, puzzled by his silence and decides that perhaps silence is her own best course of action, at least while they head in the direction of the tea shop. But then she starts to feel a bit silly being so quiet as they approach on the place, and so falls onto that topic used by Brits everywhere in such hard times as these: the weather. "I … do hope the whole of autumn won't be like this," is noted rather softly, quiet enough that it could get swallowed up by the ambient noise of the street.

Indeed, it does seem to be sort of a positive-feedback loop, doesn't it? Luckily, Madeline provides the much-needed conversational escape route, and Sechnall nods in return. He doesn't seem to have any trouble hearing her despite her lack of volume. "..yes, it's certainly not been a very agreeable season so far. But, well.. at least it's not winter yet," Comes the semi-cheerful reply. He doesn't really seem to know what to add beyond that, so he goes on to the next-easiest subject. "So.. how have things been going at the Ministry, Miss Sagace?"

Zarina falls into step beside Braeden as her feet flick on the brick road in silent echo, her slender fingers pulling the cloak further around her before pulling the hood of the cloak over her snow white head, protecting herself from the wet of the rain. Lifting a curious brow, her sapphire eyes glance to him out of the corner of her eye, the corner of her full lips tugging with apparent amusement. "You sure? I heard it's supposedly the most haunted building in Britain. That's what the rumors are anyway." the smirk grows onto her full lips again, mischievous. "I also heard that the last family that lived there died horrible deaths after undesirable torture at the hands of dark wizards, so they haunt the shack, screaming at those that dare to even approach the property in order to scare them away." Smiling, she giggles to herself, absently reaching up to tuck a lock of silver white hair behind her ear. "But then again, all the first year students are told that story."

Madam Puddifoot's Teahouse

This teahouse attempts to be comfortable and does it in an over the top sort of manner. There is no other word for the decor other than tacky. Most of the tables are set up for pairs, with gaudy white table clothes, lacy napkins and ornate sugar bowls. The decorations set one in mind of a grandmother's house as opposed to any proper shop. The windows are constantly steaming up from all the hormone charged teenagers that meet up here to hold hands and secretly kiss when they think no one is looking. The bell over the door chimes happily to announce the arrival and departure of customers.

"I … don't always mind winter. It's bleak, but … sometimes that's fitting." Madeline gives a faint smile with that, pausing as they come to the entrance of the teahouse. "The Ministry? Oh, it's - ah - very much the same. There was an incident with some … partying ghosts, but that was squared away, thankfully." She tucks a bit of her hair back behind her ear, giving the outside of the shop a curious look. "And how are things in the shop? Busy enough without - without being too busy?"

"No, I don't mind winter myself, actually. Though I do tend to look forward to spring by the time it's almost over with," Sechnall admits, also pausing to examine the building with a slightly puzzled look. Eventually he steps forward to open the door for her. Inadvertently he catches a glimpse of the interior, and is briefly stunned into silence by its.. frilliness. Oh my. "Er.. things have been fairly normal, I suppose. Alexander is still sick, so I've been a little more busy than usual, but nothing too out of sorts.."

"Yes, sometimes the seasons each seem too long. But perhaps that's … just our nature. Wanting to be further along than we are," Madeline muses, this deep thinking almost allowing her to miss the interior of the shop until she's stepped quite inside it. At which point she stops rather abruptly to look about in disbelief. But there's conversation still going on, so she turns back to look at Sechnall again. "I hope that you're not … overworking yourself. I'd, ah, offer to help, but-" She pauses and gives a self-conscious smile. "-I'm not certain how much help I am." It does seem it must take him longer to show her how to do these things. And then glancing back to the shop, she gestures a little uncertainly. "Should we - Should we sit, do you think?" she asks hesitantly.

"A perceptive statement," Sechnall replies thoughtfully, watching her as she enters the shop ahead of him. "But - you seem to be good at making surprisingly perceptive statements when you feel like it, Miss Sagace," He observes, waiting until she's fully inside before closing the door and taking a closer look at his surroundings. He, too, looks to be mildly shocked by the place, though he shakes his head at her question and glances subtly back to his bag. "I, erm.. I don't mind sitting down, unless you do. And you're free to drop by the shop anytime you'd like.. and you needn't feel obliged to do anything. It's.. it's nice to have someone to chat with."

Madeline goes a little pink at that observation, shaking her head. "I just … watch people sometimes. I try to figure them out. They don't tend to make a great deal of sense a lot of the time. It just … leads to thinking about these things, I suppose." She still doesn't seem quite sure about the place, but seeing as they are here now, and he's amenable to sitting down here, well, why not. "I don't mind." In fact, the overdone decor is convenient in that it gives a great number of things to look at when it grows too awkward to look directly at the conversation. "I - Yes, it is nice to - to talk, isn't it. But … thank you. For that … open invitation." Growing too awkward to bear, she opts now to work on finding them a seat instead, going for a nearby table, since they all seem pretty equally awful.

Despite suggesting that they stay, Sechnall continues to look around at the tacky decorations with a pragmatist's distaste for excessiveness before he follows her to the table that she selects. The bag is quickly set down on the floor. "I.. see," He says quietly, looking as if he wants to add more but, for whatever reason, does not. It's true, there are a *lot* of things to stare at in here - like that incredibly cliche painting of a beach sunset on the wall over there. Oh, how interesting. "I remember other Ravenclaws telling me about this place, back in my school days.. it wasn't terribly popular in our House, but I seem to recall that quite a few Hufflepuffs frequented it.." It's not really a derogatory remark, but it would probably seem that way to somebody who /was/ in Hufflepuff. A slightly horrifying thought strikes him, and he stammers, "Er.. you.. weren't, uhm, that is to say, which House were you in?"

Madeline glances up from the cutesy salt and pepper shakers, moulded as Little Bo Peep and her sheep, respectively, to give him a considering look at his seemingly unfinished statement. But when he doesn't go on, she drops her gaze back down to them, picking up the sheep and turning it over in her hands with a look of complete befuddlement. People really do not make sense. She looks up at him once again as he explains about the shop. "Slytherin," is her simple reply, but with just enough wryness to suggest she knows it's not the most likely of guesses. "And no, I … never came here either." Not something she especially regrets now that she's seen it. Carefully, she sets the sheep back down beside the ceramic girl peering about for it.

"Ah…" Sechnall murmurs, a flash of relief passing over his face as he does. There's also a bit of surprise, and he levels his gaze on her curiously at her admission. No, he probably wouldn't have expected that. He seems to sense that she has about the same opinion of the tea shop as he does, at any rate. When she sets the sheep down, he stretches his hand out, withdrawing his wand from his sleeve as he does and tapping the end just slightly on the back of the little figurine. It slowly starts to sprout tentacles out of its back. The alchemist smiles impishly, turning a bit red at the same time - especially when a waitress (or possibly the owner, he's not certain which) finally approaches. Fortunately, she doesn't seem to notice it.. for now. He clears his throat nervously. "Oh, erm.. just a cup of tea for me, thank you."

Madeline isn't oblivious to the curious look, but all she offers in reply is a small shrug of her shoulders. The Sorting Hat must have had its reasons, but she's not about to share what those are. Not yet, anyway. She watches, her eyebrows lifting, as he brings his wand out, and once she sees what he's doing, it gets a rather sincerely amused grin out of the woman. Not it's her turn to look just a little surprised as she glances at him - though the amusement doesn't fade too rapidly. It does turn a little sheepish though as the waitress/owner comes over. "I'll have the same, thank you," she decides quickly, not quite looking the woman in the eye.

When the woman finally leaves, after giving the two of them a somewhat suspicious stare, Sechnall un-transfigures the poor victimized sheep figurine just in time to avoid being noticed when she returns again with the tea. Once she departs he lifts his and takes a hesitant sip, being careful not to burn himself before setting it back down. "Well.. the tea is quite good, anyway." Perhaps that's why people subject themselves to a place like this? His jacket is still soaking wet, so he quickly slips it off and drapes it over the back of his chair in the hopes that it'll dry off a bit.

Madeline continues to avoid the woman's gaze, just staring quite soundly down at the ground until they are left alone again. She's almost disappointed to see the sheep returned as normal, but there's no denying it's probably the more prudent course of action. At his assessment of the tea, she picks up her own cup, blowing lightly across the top a few times before hazarding a sip. "Yes, they … did get that right, at least," she agrees as she sets it back down with a faint smile. As he removes his jacket, she's left to realize her hair is rather soaked as well, but there isn't much for that, save tucking it back out of the way and hoping it doesn't dry into some frizzy nightmare. "I should have … thought to wear a cloak. I didn't think the rain would begin until later."

Several more sips of the tea are gingerly taken. It does help to drive some of the feeling of wet-chill away, and even though it's unusually warm for autumn at the moment, walking around outside for extended periods of time in the rain is bound to make anyone get uncomfortably cool. "I.. was under the same impression, unfortunately. I bought a weather-clock last year but haven't bothered to put it up anywhere.. I suppose this is something of a sign that I need to get around to it, finally." He clasps both hands around the steaming cup, letting the warmth seep into them as he watches her from across the table. Well, when he's not timidly looking away, that is. "So, erm.. tell me more about this ghost party?"

"Perhaps you … need a clock to tell you when to put up the other clocks?" Madeline suggests with a faint smile, still very awkward and not very good at these attempts at humour. But she's trying, at least. She looks down into her cup, swirling the liquid around carefully before she takes another sip. "Oh, it was - it was silly, really," she admits, going a bit pink in the cheeks. "I … opened something I oughtn't have, and these ghosts came out. I suppose their deaths had cut a party, ah, rather prematurely short, and they were … quite set on having another. Though I can't see why anyone would hang about this realm just to - to have a ball. I … never liked them myself," she admits, trailing off as she realizes that's a bit more rambly and lengthy than she meant to say.

It might not be the most eloquent joke in the world, but it still gets Sechnall to crack a wry smile. "Well, er.. if you happen to visit my shop again and find the walls covered in an endless array of clocks, you'll know I took your advice," He muses, chuckling just a bit and quirking a brow at the story about the ghostly ball. "That's.. odd, but interesting, all the same. Do you normally deal with such.. unusual events as a file clerk, Miss Sagace?" He does seem to be relaxing a little now that conversation is proceeding at something approaching a non-crippled pace.. in spite of the fact that they're situated in a flowery vision of hell.

"I … suppose that would be one way to make my mark in the world," Madeline considers with a dry smirk. Even if 'her mark' would be in the action of another. That seems fitting, somehow. Her smile turns self-conscious again, but not painfully so, even as she ducks her head at the question. "No, that … wasn't exactly in the course of my duties, I'll admit. It was, well, curiosity. At least it didn't do me so badly as the cat. Though I was … lucky some others were there to assist. They - the ghosts, that is - are contained once more."

"Well.. I find curiousity to be a rather desirable trait, personally," Sechnall says, lifting his tea to take another sip. And then, of course, realizes that his statement probably sounded a /lot/ more suggestive than he'd intended it to. "Er.. I mean.. it's a very /useful/ trait, you know.. if kept in check.." His pale cheeks are flushing very quickly. He sticks to drinking his tea for quite a while, most just to avoid having to actually say anything. "A-anyway.. it's good that they're contained again, I suppose.."

Madeline might not have even noticed the suggestiveness, but it's hard to miss how flustered it gets Sechnall, which in turn, flusters her and causes her to start thinking about why he's flustered. Hm. "I- Well, yes. It's the … keeping it in check, I suppose, that's the - the trick," she manages in an uncertain tone, as if she's not clear on what exactly she's addressing. The silence is a good chance to regain some composure at least, so by the time he speaks up again, she's a little less flummoxed. "It's … good that they're not floating around my place of employment demanding I - I throw them a party, at least," she notes with a faint smile.

Well, at least /she/ didn't seem to notice how that statement could have been interpreted. Sechnall nods in reply, picking up a teaspoon with its handle molded into the form of a kitten. He stares at it briefly, then sets it back down with a slightly puzzled frown. "..er, yes. Indeed." Another few sips of the hot liquid are taken before he continues. "I imagine that must be something of a relief.. it's funny, though, I met the most interesting fellow the other day - probably would have been fascinated by the idea of a ghostly ball."

Madeline isn't having much better luck with the mooing cow creamer that keeps trying to meander over and chew on her napkin, no matter how many times she nudges it back to the middle of the table. "Oh really?" she asks, giving up and letting the ceramic bovine just have the napkin then, so that she can look back up at him. "Why is that? He's … not a ghost, is he? Because I might still need to find these ones a party. I … wasn't entirely clear on that point." She's slightly puzzled still about what all happened.

"Er, no.. quite human," Sechnall explains, glancing down to look at the grazing creamer-container with a mixture of fascination and disgust. "Just an acquaintance, but the last time we met he was telling me some very interesting stories about.. the dead," He says, realizing that it probably sounds quite strange. Then again, they are discussing a party for former human beings, so hopefully it's not so weird relatively speaking. "Specifically, he told me that the dead prize food based on its unwholesomeness, and that if you're ever invited to eat with the dead you should bring your own."

If discussing the dead sounds strange to Madeline, she doesn't show it. If anything, she seems, well, a bit more interested. "I … will have to keep that in mind. Though I don't know if I was invited to this party or just expect to host it." Though that would probably require having a presence there anyway, wouldn't it. "I … really don't care for parties," she restates with a frown. "I hope it won't come to that." More than the ghosts or the matter of unwholesome food, that troubles her, and she takes a thoughtful sip of tea while mulling it over.

While he doesn't look like he completely comprehends the situation she's describing, Sechnall seems curious nonetheless. Mystified, perhaps, but curious. He nods and reaches back with one hand to check on his coat, which seems to have gone from sopping to merely excessively damp during the time they've been talking. "Really? I would have thought that the Ministry, you know.. holds those sorts of events regularly. Christmas and New Year parties and such, I mean," He clarifies, noting that his tea is depleting quickly. He takes another sip anyhow. "Though I've never been much for parties myself.. gatherings of like-minded individuals can be interesting at times, however."

"I've been to parties before," Madeline clarifies quietly, frowning down into her tea as she swirls it about. "Too many, perhaps. That's why I don't … care for them." Really doesn't care for them. "They … don't really miss me at the Ministry affairs," is added easily. Not many notice to miss her, and those few who know her well enough probably wouldn't expect to see her there anyway. "But - I suppose this is something I'll just … have to take up with the ghosts," is added with a faint smile, as she looks back up, and then takes another sip of her own tea, now quite well-swirled.

"Oh - well, I can see how that would make somebody tired of such events in short order.." Sechnall takes a drink of his tea only to realize it's the last, and sets the cup back down on its plate with an empty-sounding clink. "Ah.. I just remembered that I've left a potion boiling to evaporate out impurities back at the shop. I - I had probably better be going.." Frowning slightly, he pulls his still-wet jacket on, although he doesn't look very enthusiastic about it. "But, er.. allow me to take care of the tea, at least?" Though he frames it as a question, he quickly takes out the necessary amount of money to pay for both of them and sets it on the table.

Madeline just gives a wan smile when it comes to being tired of such events, though she seems to realize she's maybe belabouring the point and doesn't actually say anything further about it. "Oh. Uh, of course. I … I'm sorry, I didn't mean to keep you away so long," she replies hastily as he remembers his potion. "I've seen how busy it can get." As to the matter of paying, she's surprised slightly by the offer, but doesn't have much choice but to nod, since he's already pulling out his money. "If you insist. I - Thank you. It was … good talking to you, Mr. Swancoate." She manages another smile with that, this one a little more sincere.

Sechnall shakes his head at her apology, offering a small smile in return. "No, not at all, it was a pleasant surprise.. I just hope I haven't disturbed any of your plans." Leaning down, he picks up the bag of supplies he'd bought earlier - which is still pretty wet, although it doesn't look to be in danger of falling apart anymore. "It was good talking to you as well, Miss Sagace." He looks uncertain as to how to finish, eventually just bowing slightly. "Good evening, then." And, turning, he starts to walk out of the little tea shop, but stops in the doorway and looks back at her momentarily. "Oh, and Miss Sagace - er, if you'd prefer, that is.. call me Sechnall." With another mildly awkward smile, he nods goodbye at her and departs.

"No, I … didn't have any plans to disturb," Madeline assures him quietly, perhaps not intending it to sound quite as pathetic as it does. Fortunately, she also doesn't seem to realize how sad it sounds, and so doesn't get flustered over it. "Have a good evening as well, yes," she returns, also a little awkward about this whole thing. She's opted to stay put, since leaving at the same time seems like it would just lead to further awkwardness. But now she isn't sure that she wants to stay here drinking tea alone. But her thoughts are at least a little distracted from this dilemma by that unexpected offer. She's a little too flummoxed by that to reply before he heads out, just managing a nod or two to indicate she did understand and catch that.

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