This afternoon, there's a sign up on the door of the cafe, handwritten elegantly:
Closed for Private Function 1pm-5pm. Merry Meet & Merry Part.
Inside the cafe, seating has been rearranged to allow for something of a circular fashion. The table in the center, low enough to not block anyone's view of each other, is covered with sandwiches, cauldrons full of soups, and tea. So. Much. Tea. The proprietor and hostess is currently bringing out yet another tray, this one with baked goodies on it, as she sees to such last-minute details. Her long hair in a braid that coils over her left shoulder, her black dress sweeping quietly against the wooden floors. There's a sense of calm contentedness to the White Witch of Tamarack Falls, this afternoon.
Magdalena walks in after a moment's hesitation at the door, dressed in a grey tunic and a pair of Halloween leggings in purple, with witches' silhouettes and crescent moons on them. Her sense of irony is on point today. She smiles to Avalon. "Thank you," she says softly, and takes a seat.
Beatrice is there. The Miller Giant is hard to miss. She either got here early for the gathering, or was already here and chose not to leave. Who'd ask her to? There is a very small tea cup in front of her and a pungent pitcher of hot caravan tea beside it. Every so often she has a 'sip' from the cup, which empties it entirely, and pours a fresh one from the pitcher.
"Magdalena," Avalon greets with a warm flash of smile. "Please, make yourself welcome." She sets the tray down on the right side of the table, takes a step back, and seems to be doing a bit of mental inventory. "I'm not sure how many of us will be gathering tonight, but it's been a while since we did an open call." That smile extends to the rather tall Beatrice, who the less vertically gifted witch certainly would never try to make leave when the rest of the cafe closed down.
Bony, pale skin thin enough to see the fine tracery of blue veins beneath it, Sianna is somewhat the opposite of calm contentedness when -she- walks in, the clunky clogs on her feet at least keeping her dry in the lingering wet from the rain and light snowfall of the night prior. She walks a bit like someone not entirely sure the floor is solid, each movement carefully considered -- a very human version of a skittish cat, and one who takes a seat in the emptiest part of the circle she can. She greets the others with a somewhat awkward bob of her head, and promptly sits on her hands.
The blue and white kerchief rolled and tied to keep uneven hair out of her face is coming a bit loose, cheeks cold-pinkened from the humid, icy air outdoors, and her eggplant purple leggings are nothing special, though the tiny smiling frogs on black socks afford a smidge of whimsy. It's the cloak-like coat which is the show-stopper for textile nerds, in its own subdued and subtle way, sleeved, thigh-length, not hooded, and woven with a textured pattern simultaneously simple and complex, organic geometry in shades of plum and burgundy and wine.
Vinnie is only a little bit late. By, like, minutes, right? Just shy of fashionable. No one should consider this perfected trainwreck of just-got-out-of-bed, woke-up-this-way dishonesty fashionable in her fuzzy socks (black with white dots), pajama pants (black with jack-o-lanterns and stars) and big old tee shirt (dark orange, wondering ARE WE HAVING FUN YET? across the front). She's already got a drink in hand, something in a big old blue mug probably better for soup than whatever she's got in there. It might be orange juice. It looks like orange juice. She offers not one peep of hello to those gathered, though she does draw up close to Avalon to press a little kiss to the shop-owner's cheek before finding a seat to flop into, slouching like she's been practicing her whole life.
Beatrice gives a respectful nod to Avalon when she smiles in Beatrice's direction. The large woman is relaxed to appearances, eyes passing over Sianna and then Vinnie as if measuring them up. "Is good you put out food. These two should eat."
Magdalena smiles warmly and nods. She settles in and grabs a pot of tea, pouring whatever kind it is into the teacup in front of her. Then, soup. Soup! Delicious soup is ladled into a bowl to be enjoyed. She pipes up, then. "I'm Magdalena Desrochers." And that's that, before she sinks into the bliss of warm food and drink.
Avalon's head tilts, leaning her cheek into that offered kiss from the other woman. Unfamiliar with Beatrice and Sianna, her gaze lingers over them both for a longer moment, before she offers, "I'm Avalon Lefevre, and I'm glad that you came." There's a genuineness to the woman's words, the slight smile that comes with them, before she slides back over to pour herself a cup of tea, the one labeled as River Demon. Chuckling softly at Beatrice's words, she breathes out over her tea, "Everyone should eat. Talking is hungry work."
"Damn right I should eat," Vinnie agrees with Beatrice, angling the stranger a wide, lazy smile over the edge of her mug of OJ brought down from upstairs, a little touch of disruption to the order of the day. In case anyone was uncertain what sort of witch she might be. She doesn't actually bother to reach for any food yet, too set, at the moment, on being lazy, but she's eyeing the sandwiches like maybe she's making a prioritized list of which to tackle when she's got a little more forward momentum again. "Are we at that part?" she asks of Mags, angling a look toward Avalon when she follows suit. "Heather. Hi."
At some point during a break from one of his deep woods ramblings, Levi Lefevre must have heard that one of his kin was putting together a little shindig for the local low magic folks. So after cleaning himself up enough that he doesn't look like some crazy woods hobo, the warlock makes his way to the tea house to mingle. Once he's inside, he ambles around the periphery before deciding to get himself something to eat and drink. Tea, of course. Is there anything else to drink in this place? Probably not. Levi takes a seat, quiet still as he sips whatever random tea he's acquired and takes a bite from his sandwich. Socializing takes a temporary back seat to eating free food.
Beatrice 'sips' up another tiny cup of tea, refilling from her pitcher. The more she speaks, the more obvious her Russian accent. "Beatrice Miller. Kousmichoff is excellent."
There's a slight quirk of lips as Vinnie names herself as 'Heather', though most of that is hidden behind a sip of tea. She doesn't sit just yet, glancing towards the door every so often, as well as the watch on her wrist. When Levi shows himself in, there's a bright flash of smile, and a warmth that suggests familiarity. "Good, you heard. I wasn't sure how far into the woods it would travel." The comment from Beatrice seems to further brighten things up. "I'm glad you enjoy it. I try to make sure that I get good quality, it's good to know that I've succeeded in that one. I don't have too much of an agenda - I just felt like it was good for us to gather. I know we're not as organized as the," and she clears her throat, "The All-Knowing Eye of Truth." Ahem. "But it's good to know who's in the area, and whispers we've picked up."
Attention seemingly lost in the reflection of the grey, pale light outside upon one of the teacups, it takes a moment for the somewhat unhealthily slender Sianna to look up and mumble a distracted, bemusedly polite, "Dr. Sianna Doran. Hello." Those familiar with textiles or museums may know the name; she's locally famous (Fame 1) for curating textile art both ancient and modern. Her accent is local.
She watches the others, but keeps her hands under her thighs and out of trouble. "I'm afraid I'm not much use to The Eye."
Fashionably late, that is the time that Izzy runs on. The wrist watch on her slim arm looks over-sized but it apparently doesn't help her get anywhere on-time. It also doesn't help that she's got... something... obviously stashed in the hoodie she is wearing. Flashing a smile at Avalon, she mouths an apologetic and silent 'sorry' to the other woman before stepping aside so she isn't blocking the entrance. It is about then that the gray face of a small pitbull puppy, floppy ears and all, tosses it's head out between the zipper of her jacket and gives a large, tongue curling yawn. A tattooed arm slipped in her jacket to support the pup, she speaks quietly to Avalon as she reaches for a chair with her free hand, "Tea party?" A wink given before she sits, somewhat on the edge of the gathering.
Vinnie snorts a laugh for Avalon's mention of the eye. No politeness about it, no attempt to hide that mirthful derision, but it at least doesn't seem malicious. With the food getting picked at more and more, she pushes up from her slump to swap out OJ for sandwiches, grabbing a few at once, a bounty to bring back with her as she slouches again. Economy of motion. "All the big names," she quips with a faint grin as she finds herself in a room full of Lefevres, Millers, Desrochers. Sianna gets a look, an arch of her brows as she appends, "And titles. I should've given myself one, yeah?" It takes a second of thought, while peeking at the puppy peeking out of Izzy's jacket before she declares herself, "Heather LLC," then shoves a sandwich in her mouth.
"Hey, Avalon. Little birds told me. They can usually find me." does he mean literal little birds? Figurative? Levi doesn't elaborate. There is a little dog eventually, though, a small Jack Russell terrier that must have wandered in with him at some point because it's eventually curled up and lying under his chair. Doesn't even seem to care about Izzy's puppy. Must be well-trained. Levi settles in, slouching back and comfortably in his chair and leaving most of the talking to the others. "Levi Lefevre." he gets around to introducing himself when the flow of the conversation allows it. "And Bo." he eats his sandwich placidly, sipping tea every now and again.
"Pffeh, birds." More commentary from Beatrice. "Yap and yap with nothing to say." Beatrice offers a polite nod to Bo the terrier. "Dogs are good. Hard working, loyal. Do not shit on everything."
"You know me, Izzy. Every day is a tea party." Avalon gives a little coo to the puppy that pops itself out of the tattooed woman's hoodie, and when she spies Bo present as well, she notes, "There's some fresh-carved chicken in the back from the soup, if they get hungry." Vinnie's winked to, coupled with a quiet, "LLC fits. I like it." Finally, she takes a seat herself, resting her tea cup on her thigh. "The Eye...tolerates me. Mostly. I think I've grown on them, over the years." She grins, adding, "I was hoping to see a Garreau here as well, and really round things out, but alas. I'll open up for other people to talk, though, if there's anything they want to put out there, before I start rambling on."
It's a subtle thing, a faint motion of mousey brows and hazel eyes, but those who pay attention to those subtleties may note that Sianna seems genuinely, honestly confused by Vinnie's reaction to her title. The appearance of canines doesn't help, and, with an air of mild befuddlement and duck-out-of-water uncertainty, she takes the opportunity to perform the age-old 'I have no idea what I have gotten myself into' tactic of cleaning her glasses, delaying, procrastinating, dithering. My, those glasses must have been awfully dirty.
Izzy's introduction is short, "Izzy LeFevre." Ruffling the snoozing head of the pitbull as it playfully noms on her fingers before watching the others with a sleepy gaze. "Mmm, we will have to get you some chicken." She coos to the dog before gazing at each in turn that her cousin has gathered. Brushing back hair and settling into her own seat she smiles warmly. "I should have brought my tiara." She mimes as if to push a pretty crown into place before laughing softly. The worn jacket on the back has an advertisement for some cable television show about parolees and pitbulls, she hardly looks the tiara type.
"Well, that's not very fair to birds, is it? Better not let a crow hear you say that. Crows remember faces. Pass along information generationally." Levi pauses and shrugs, "I won't tell them, though. Don't worry." as Avalon calls the meeting, such as it is, to order he turns his attention lazily in her direction. In time he finishes his sandwich and tea and leans toward the table to get some more of the latter. "I don't have anything to say. I've been out of the loop for a while, though. Not much contact with anyone else. It's been a nice break from the world. So...nothing here. I have no idea what's going on in town." not helpful.
Avalon's look to Sianna is out of the corner of an eye. It's probably less unsettling than being stared at when nervous. Maybe. "We'll get you caught up on the more mundane things, later," she assures Levi. "Welcome back to humanity, such as it is." More tea is sipped, thoughtfully. "I probably have a spare upstairs," is mused to Izzy.
"Bol'shoy Voron would say the same." Beatrice 'sips' another cup of tea. "Work is same as always. Cut trees, grow trees, deal with danger in forest."
A warm laugh comes from Izzy, the pup settled, snoozing in her lap while idle tattooed fingers caress it's wrinkled, gray head. Manicured nails idly move over the floppy ears and she muses, "That doesn't surprise me." She response to Avalon with a grin. The mismatched eyes move over the crowd now and again with a curious gaze of one who likes to people watch. Eyes move to Beatrice glancing as well to Levi at mention of catching him up. In hopes of not disturbing her sleeping friend, she too takes a cup of tea.
Vinnie mutters something about, "Dog people," between sandwiches slowly devoured bite by bite. Her mouth's full when she angles a smile up at Avalon--maybe belatedly--for that approval of her limited liability incorporation. And her mouth's still full when she tells Izzy, "Always bring your tiara." She seems to consider adding something else to that sentiment, but nah, sandwiches. She goes back to eating.
Sianna continues to sit on her hands, quiet and confused, the majority of her attention fixed on Avalon, since no one else seems to be talking. Time for the White Witch to ramble!
Her eyes linger on Vinnie, perhaps the 'dog person' comment garnering Izzy's attention. There is a small, subtle squint from Izzy and then it disappears, poof and she smiles. Once again that slightly disconnected but content look on her face resumes. Maybe she just realized she's seen Vinnie somewhere, scrolling through social media. Raising her tea cup up to her lip, she sips silently, with playful raising of pinkie finger engaged. Full Princess mode enabled. At least for that sip of tea, right?
Avalon's own mis-matched gaze moves from person to person as they speak, giving a quiet laugh at Izzy's display of tea-drinking etiquette. "Any abnormal danger, Beatrice? And speaking of - there's something hungry in the lake, that's not all just tabloid fodder. I saw it myself. I don't think it's, like, a demon or anything. Probably just something hungry and getting a little desperate. But be careful, all the same."
Beatrice grunts in response to Avalon's question. "Always. No more than usual I have seen, but I have not changed my territory in some time. I lack people brave enough to go with me into the other places."
Sianna frowns to herself while listening to Avalon's description of the hungry thing in the lake, thoughtful. It's the kind of thoughtful you get when you're chasing mental sheep around to find a particular beastie which doesn't want to be found.
"Is it happening now?" she asks, tentative. "Did it already occur?" and, fretful, "How many fingers does the green man have? I hope he hasn't lost one yet."
The subject of the hungry monster seems to inspire some small sliver of... empathy from Izzy. In fact, she frowns ever so lightly and looks to the pup, still half hidden in her jacket. Lifting her head, she shifts slightly and crosses her legs to turn herself slightly towards Avalon, "Hungry for?" She inquires, as if pondering perhaps if she can simply quell it's issues with a good meal. While the answer is sought out, she takes another sip of her tea, coughing lightly as Sianna speaks. Putting fist to her lips, she quells the choking sound, looking down for a moment.
"Depending on what other places you're referencing, Beatrice, we'll talk. I know some people. Ones better suited for things than I am." Avalon sips her tea, pondering something over for a minute. "Just meat, I think. Or at least that's what I felt like. Otherwise, why just go after a child? Easy pickings, I imagine." She shrugs. Nature is nature. "Sianna?"
There is a fleeting look of confusion, as if it all seems quite simple to her. The answer, right there. Again, falling thoughtful, the woman strokes the pup, sleeping contently in her lap. A gentle exhale between glossy lips, a sigh escapes. "Well, then we should arrange to feed it." A hungry beast may become temperate when fed. There are millions of watched hours spent watching and clicking that magical like button, on recuse videos that show just this. With a decisive nod of her head, it seems Izzy has decided. Leaning, as if to share a secret to Avalon, there is a decisively impish look on her pretty features as she whispers to her cousin, "Shall we feed it, cousin?" As if making plans for a picnic.
Vinnie might be described as monstrous by some. She was certainly hungry. Her mouth is still full as she's brushing crumbs from her shirt. One might wonder if she's paying any attention. "And this isn't your lake monster?" she asks, not looking at anyone in particular. "River monster? Guy who makes you wetter than wet? Like. With water?" She reclaims her orange juice, only looking about the group again once she's slouching and sipping.
Beatrice nods in acknowledgement to Avalon's words. Another cup sipped away, the pitcher of tea is getting low. "Good." She rises slowly, surveying the room from her full height before zeroing her gaze on Avalon again. "Where is bathroom?"
Clearly, Sianna needs to get out more, because she doesn't seem to notice any potential innuendo in Vinnie's question about wetness.
She does, however, give Avalon a mildly puzzled look when the witch calls her name. "Yes?"
A peal of laughter comes after Vinnie's words, amber-and-green eyes both flashing with her amusement. "No, darling. This is not my Vodyanoy." Despite Avalon's apparent lack of any Russian accent previously, she rolls that name off of her tongue with perfect familiarity. "Through that door, to the left," she offers to Beatrice. Then, with a grin to her cousin, "Yes, we should go feed it." Pause. Tea. Back to Sianna, "The green man?"
Beatrice doesn't say anything else after being pointed in the right direction, making her way through the room and out of sight. Presumably for a tinkle.
Vinnie smiles wide for that laughter, all warm and human-like. It's a nice sound, a fitting response, and the orange-haired OJ-drinker appreciates it, a fond look cast toward Avalon. She offers no further thoughts on the subject of feeding lake monsters, instead falling quiet to hear what Sianna has to say about little green men. Or whatever. Look, she's not a woodsy person, okay?
Sianna frowns again, mousy brows bunching, and closes her eyes a moment while giving Avalon an apologetic shake of the head. "I'm sorry. I don't know what, or when. There was a man, but he was green, or wearing green. I can't be sure. I saw him in the water, and something ate a part of him. A finger. There was a great deal of blood, and peace." Flushing, frustrated, she finally frees a hand from beneath her thighs, rubbing at the bridge of her nose where her glasses sit. "I can't...ah...my visions, I see what I see, but I can't control it. I never know when it happened, or if it's happening now, or hasn't happened yet."
Izzy watches Beatrice rise and depart to the bathroom. Another sip of tea and she too turns her attention towards Sianna and Avalon's question of the green man. It's just about then that the pup in her lap begins to slowly awaken. It begins with a twitching, a dream that awakens the small animal. Ears whip back and the pup turns to nuzzles itself deeper into Izzy's hoodie. Reaching in she draws out the pit puppy and it can be seen why she's been toting the small animal around. It's back leg is in a small cast. Whining softly, she nuzzles it's soft gray face against her cheek, before she begins to rise. "I need to take him for a walk, I will check back when he is done." Pressing a kiss to the top of Avalon's head, she too begins her departure. Her departing words, "Sounds like a body, the fish eat the extremities first. Fingers, toes..."
Avalon beams some affection across the room to Vinnie. When Izzy stands to leave, she leans into her cousin, reaching up with a free hand to squeeze the inked woman's forearm. "Thank you for coming," she murmurs softly. "And yes, it does. Interesting." Her voice lifts to a more conversational tone, then. "It's quite alright, Sianna. I'm unfortunately lacking - or maybe not so - in those types of gifts. It must be difficult." A pause. "I should also note to be careful. There's the possibility of a group targeting the gifted, for experiments. It's been a while since I've heard anything, but maybe...maybe I'll be able to dig my fingers into that a bit more. It became difficult to when a friend...went Away." Yep, that sounds like a capital A.
"Psychics." Dry. Toneless. Quiet. Whatever Vinnie means, it doesn't sound complementary. Someone's awfully judgy. It's not like she's offering up any helpful suggestions of her own. Or volunteering to do anything at all. She is, however, finishing her juice and moving onto soup, poured in right over the lingering pulp clinging to the ceramic. Yum. "Gifted's really non-specific, pretty. Not a targetable quality? I mean, I'm gifted as fuck, but would I be on that list?" She doesn't seem to think so.
Sianna observes Izzy's departure in polite silence, the dog eliciting no particular emotion on her part.
When Avalon mentions gifts, mentions a group targeting the gifted, she shakes her head again, but it doesn't seem like an outright denial as much as a disappointment/regret that people -are- being targeted.
"Did they have a special friend? Your friend," she clarifies, watching Avalon with slight concern. "I did, once. I've seen the special people, the strange ones. There weren't many at all here when I was a child, but now..." Something catches her eye by the windows, and she blinks slowly, then seems to force herself to pay attention to the room again, focus dragged back onto the witch.
Witches? Vinnie, this time. "I'm sorry. I wish I could be more helpful. I've never seen you lose a hand, but there was, or maybe is or will be, a man with hair like yours on television who lobotomizes cows. They, the visions, it's a bit ludicrous really." After a moment of silence, she asks, "Do you enjoy Mayan textiles?"
Beatrice finally returns from the restroom, retaking her seat with some care.
Avalon gives a squint towards Sianna, a thoughtful thing. "He did, I think. But I can't really say." That thoughtfulness carries through into her voice, and the expression on her face, before she rises to her feet. "I apologize, but I have to head into the kitchen for a bit. You're all welcome to stay, and chat, and eat, as you please." She smiles, warm. "Thank you all for coming."
"Oh, honey, no one's got hair like mine," Vinnie croons to Sianna, one hand peeling from her mug to fluff at those obnoxiously orange tresses. Really, this is not a difficult look to achieve. Some bleach, some cheap hair dye. Repeat frequently. Not magic. But, oh, how she sells it, like those waves are something unique, something to be proud of. Briefly. Before she's back to sipping at her soup. With Avalon taking her leave, the pajamaed wonder frowns faintly but just goes back to drinking her slightly orange-flavored soup.