It was the middle of the night but Farren was busy at work at the little antique writing desk in the sitting room that adjoined her bedroom. Hours ago her maid had come into her room to help her undress, let down her hair, and dress for bed but her turned down bed through the ornate double doors across the room was untouched. When Farren had taken up a job after the death of her husband she hadn't quite accounted for how busy it would be. She'd just assumed her little hobby of a job would fill her days from mid-morning to later afternoon but here she was a quarter to two still going through correspondence.
The house was quiet, her servants had gone to bed hours ago at this point, and she knew that by now the newly arranged security wizard the Rosier's had hired was on patrol, watching the house and it's perimeter. When Mr. Rosier had paid her a call three weeks earlier to tell her he'd spoken with her Grandfather and agreed to install such a person at the home she'd been shocked. Of course she was very aware of the state of the world. Very aware of the growing political movement sweeping up people just like her, her mother included, but it seemed extreme to hire a security detail for the house. Mr. Rosier explained that Lord Voldemort, the rising right wing pureblood political leader, was becoming ruthless in his recruitment of witches and wizards. She wasn't quite sure why, purebloods were happy to join him so far as she knew. Nevertheless Mr. Rosier had insisted that as a high value social and political target she needed more watching over. So every night a burly ex-auror or some such person reported to a small closet they'd converted into a security office in the basement off the kitchens. As far as she knew he spend all night looking at dark detectors and reading mystery novels.
She'd not noticed her crups rise from beside the fire where they were sleeping and move to the door of the sitting room that led onto the main hallway of the floor. There was a pop and the dogs turned sharply as did she to see her house elf, Priss, standing next to her desk.
"Good lord, whatever are you doing out of bed at this hour Priss?"
The crups whimpered and scratched at the door as they looked between the elf and the door.
"Ma'am, I beg your pardon but there is an incident. You see, Mr. Stoddart has found someone.....lurking on the stoop."
Scowling Farren sat down her quill and turned to face the elf, "I'm sorry....what?"
"Yes. Just five minutes ago or less. He detected a wizard walking down the street and then he approached our home and is stood on the stoop. Mr. Stoddart aparated to the stoop and seized him immediately. Of course he quickly discovered that he was harmless so far as he could tell and is in fact a caller of Mrs. Rosier's."
"A man has come to the house? At this hour? To call on me?" She scowled still at the elf utterly confused.
"Yes Ma'am. It is verified that he is a Mr. Declan O'Dwyer of Dublin, the friend you hosted in the garden in August and attended that ball with in October. Mr. Stoddart checked his wand and checked to make sure it was not another using polyjuice potion, concealment, or that Mr. O'Dwyer was not under the influence of the Imperious Curse."
"Merlin....was that really necessary? It's Declan, I could identify him immediately...."
"He has him downstairs in the kitchen. Mr. Stoddart wants to know if you want to see him or if he should take him home?"
Farren stood slowly from her desk, brow furrowed, it was extremely odd for Declan to just show up here nevermind it was bizarre hours. She'd not seen him since they attended the ball in October. It had been an odd evening. Their prior meeting had been so fun and full of merriment but the public outing at the ball had somehow felt heavy, far from how she'd expected it to go. She'd assumed at the time that he was just uncomfortable in the public eye or that she was too 'on' during such an event and he found her public face off putting. It wasn't something she'd stewed about too long at the time. It was only when weeks went by without him calling on her again that she had started to realize it'd gone more wrong than she'd thought. What exactly it was she still wasn't sure.
"No, have him brought up to see me," she concluded, reaching for the glass of whiskey sitting on the desk. Her elf looked at her skeptically and she knew why. In her satin and sheer organza dressing gown she was not at all suited to receive a male visitor. Though compared to many of the modern fashions she was well covered, the sheer bodice of the gown left nothing to the imagination so far as her figure and the simple black silk slip she had on under the mauve dressing gown was in fact underwear. If anyone outside of the home were to hear that Farren Abercrombie Rosier had received Declan O'Dwyer in her pajamas in her private sitting room just meters from her turned down bed previously shared with her husband it would be a scandal. A much bigger scandal than her being photographed earlier in the week leaving an atelier with a homosexual, half blood, social climbing fashion designer.
But who would tell? Mr. Stoddart was sworn to secrecy. Her servants as well. Declan despised press and attention. So she saw very little risk here and a great deal of leverage. Declan was formal, proper, and nervous. She assumed when he'd come snooping around hours before dawn he hadn't expected to end up in her private sitting room with her in her underwear and a dressing down. If he truly had wanted to pursue something with her as he said nothing would propel it forward like this.
The elf disappeared, back to the kitchens no doubt where Declan was likely being offered tea and a glare from Mr. Stoddart. With her marching orders he would be marched up the stairs back to the main foyer. Up the sweeping staircase to the third floor and marched to the end of the long marble hall lined with Rosier paintings towards her private chambers. He'd be escorted into the sitting room, the open double doors of her bed room directly across from the doors he would enter making it very clear he was in the most private part of the house. Farren waited for him, standing beside the fire, facing the doors, her glass of whiskey and melted ice in hand. She wasn't sure what she was playing at yet but she could put on a little bit of a show to make him come clean about just what he was doing snooping around her house.
Mr. Stoddard entered the room, Declan trailing behind him in the hall, he announced Declan and waited for Farren to dismiss him which she did immediately. The crups surprisingly sat at attention at her feet, perplexed at the late night interruption and unsure if it was safe to leave their mistress unattended. As they laid eyes on Declan though their tails began to wag, their bums barely sticking to the floor they were so excited.
"Declan," Farren said her tone smooth and confident, "I can honestly say I wasn't expecting an ambush tonight but am intrigued nonetheless as to whatever it is that brought you to my door."