As the warmth of the world tried to claw itself free of the winterland, as the seasons felt ever stuck in the tundra - would the spring ever arrive? - Deitha had been making a few enquiries. The events of her little trip to Azkaban had had results - not all of them good. There was the fallout between that healer and his father - and the Dementors. Far as she was concerned, they'd gotten what was coming to them. Then there had been Odhrán's disappearance and turning up in St. Mangled's, and that woman he was in love with. Some point the two of them would have to have a little chat about what had happened in Azkaban, but there was no time for that.
She'd even had a little chat with the Auror's Office over the fracas that had happened, but nothing was going to happen for the immediate time. She was, for the time being, still somewhat useful to the Office of Magical Law Enforcement, and besides she still had a job to do.
The poor sod she'd met in Azkaban, he'd given her a name, and quite the tale. A family to be taken care of, if only he'd taken the fall - and when it came down to it, he'd given her a name. She'd not mentioned it to the nice young chap at the Auror's Office; it wouldn't do to incriminate allies of the rich and powerful, but after the dust had settled, it was time to go to work.
The man whose name she had was, himself, not particularly important. But even the biggest empires need staff, foot soldiers to carry out the orders of the generals, lieutenants to keep them in line, and this name was such; important enough to be protected, to keep his hands clean, but not important enough for anyone to actually die for whatever cause. She'd learned this from the Unspeakable that had originally procured her services - after returning from Azkaban, she'd reported in as instructed, and learned a little more of the picture than she'd wanted.
Something was rotten in the state of Denmark. Deitha always thought it was a strange phrase but it summed up her feelings well enough. And that morning she'd found out who the name really worked for. It was no good going after the foot soldiers, there were always more of those, and there were always lieutenants. No, the operative that had reached out to her with a job and a wage wanted the general that had orchestrated it. An Unspeakable had orchestrated a recon mission out to Azkaban for her and her Auror minder - Spode, wasn't it? - and all her dealings with the Ministry meant that this had to have been more unpleasant than it had first appeared - and then she'd had confirmation. If it really had just been the name she'd originally been given, the Unspeakable would simply have taken care of it, he even said as much.
And so that morning, she'd been out for her morning walk with Bonehead, met her contact, and returned, staring at her wardrobe, lost deep in thought.
There are people whose homes you can just attend. Those with barely a pot to piss in, and those with a little bit more, there's never any trouble tapping on their door; what did they have to lose? But, she reflected, the more one had to lose, the more one was careful not to lose it... one did not simply arrive on the doorstep of wealthy, powerful people and just start laying about the place with a little Dark-flavoured magic. If nothing else it would be... unseemly.
She'd learned from her family about the proper etiquette of the situation and exactly what that should entail, perhaps a letter first to indicate her intent, but that would only put her target on guard and that would never do. Similarly, she might often choose attire to set the tone of how the conversation should go - bolder, brasher, brimming with confidence - but again that would never do here.
Sighing, she rifled through her wardrobe. Something charming, something disarming, while also being appropriate? It occurred to her that she actually didn't have anything suitable for such an endeavour. All of her outfits were less sophisticated than this situation implied, replete as they were with a little more forthright flair than was apposite for the situation. It also occurred to her that a different seamstress might be called for, different times called for different fashions. Leaving Bonehead with some food and a bowl of water, Deitha made the trip across town to Twilfit and Tattings.
The assistant looked her up and down, gave her a rather pointed stare over the top of her glasses, as if to silently ask what in Merlin's name she was doing, daring to come into the store dressed like that. Deitha, to be fair, was not wearing anything especially outrageous, just something comfortable and suitably 'I do what I please, you are advised not to argue with me', in quite a striking purple.
Deitha had half a mind to open the convevrsation with something combative, but decided not to, and instead appealled to the sense of vanity on display. "Hello, I was wondering if you could help me; while my normal fashion sense is inelegant as you can tell, I have to go visit some very important people and I want to wear something extremely fashionable, extremely elegant and naturally I came here instead of where I usually go because I need to wear the best. Something in a deep blue, if it's in season - unfortunately I don't keep up with such things any more and would be very grateful if you could give me a pointer in the right direction." She smiled and added with a chuckle, "I can burn this dress once I have something more appropriate, if that would help."
It wasn't long before she walked out of the shop with something in a deep blue - not quite her usual colour - flattering, elegant, charming, and above all -- appropriate. A long - but not too long - dress, with propriety, a matching tailored coat, and complete with the one sartorial element she refused to compromise on: a large wide brimmed hat. It cost a small fortune but she concluded she'd have more use out of it, especially on those occasions where dressing to impress, as opposed to fashion-with-her-flair was the right tone to take. It even came with a girdle to ensure the proper posture, something she didn't normally approve of. At least, not quite like this, and not quite in such uninspired colours and fashions.
And so she found herself stood outside a property known as Blandings, home to the Spaulding family, variously known as the familial seat of Ensworth and presently occupied by the 17th Earl of Ensworth, the head of the Spaulding family, by the name of Vincent, and his apparently ravishing half-Italian wife, Carmen. Interestingly despite being wizards, more was known about the family from a more... muggle... perspective than wizarding.
A polite knock at the door from a gloved hand, and a small - almost diminuative man answered, with a very nasal, "Yes, milady?"
She smiled. "Good day, I'm here to speak to Lord Ensworth about a rather pressing matter. Unfortunately I don't have an appointment, but here's my card. I would most obliged if his lordship would be able to see me today." She found she had to lean down slightly to hand over her card.
She might not mix amongst that particular social class, but she certainly had had the opportunity to observe.
The little man peered at it for a moment, and scuttled off with little more than a "Very good, milady." As he did so, Deitha took the opportunity to consider what she had just seen; here was a household that was known in both muggle and magical worlds, employing what appeared to be a human dwarf for a butler, but from the pointiness of his nose - that was a very nasal tone he had. She wondered if the poor sod was in reality part house-elf and in a disguise. It would suit what she had learned about the occupants.