((Entirely my bad, I've been moping about my thesis-work and haven't been productive at all. My apologies dear players, I hope it shan't happen again))
Ellie found, to her delight, that the steaming something was in fact a wine made from apples and cinnamon, heated but far from boiling. It was served in the finest china with silvery patterns of winter along the sides. Snowflakes, trees barren of leaves and other works of beauty.
The orchestra itself was a modest group of enthusiasts, talented but not on the level of mastery she had once seen as a human... or even the vague memories of her time in... in that place. While the conductor was slender and bushy, the people player were a wonderful mix of shapes. One woman of particular ample proportions was playing the harp with fingers as delicate as the claws of a dormouse whilst an impossibly brawny man, not a little similar to Harry, was playing a xylophon with soft, delicate movements you wouldn't think him capable of. A shorter fellow, looking as old as the instrument he was playing, was steadily growing more and more red as he blew hard into something that looked like an overgrown tuba with about five times the usual amount of buttons. Lastly, a young girl, surprisingly normal compared to her bandmates, was playing the clarinette. Despite the odd collection of instruments, the music flowed freely and wonderful, but there was something missing...
And there it was. A piano, covered in a cloth of white silk, looking forgotten and misplaced close to the orchestra...
"It comes to us, it does." Spoke one of the shades as Sorter moved closer, peering out from the darkness. There was a very prominent hiss in its tone, like as if it was spoken by a snake.
"Wot? Who does?" spoke another in a much more plain tone and Sorter could see the one who'd spoken; a short, fellow in a trenchcoat that was much too big for him, sleeves rolled up and a leather belt wrapped around it to keep warm, most likely.
"It you idiot, undeserving of the title Layer to Rest. Go ask what it wants." The hisser lost the hiss, but still sounded like a door creaking silently. While the short man was clearly visible, this one did a much better show of staying in the shadows, the only thing noticeable being a pair of yellow eyes and a crooked nose.
"Why do I have to? He's here anyway." The shorter one pointed to Sorter and a third voice spoke up, female, and sounding somewhat uninterested.
"Sorter, is it? Peculiar name, I suppose it's your profession? Come join your fellow shades in the dark, or are you curious why Bofanne is making such a big deal out of it?"
"I do not! There is a certain touch you need apply, Meredeth, one I would not expect you nor your brother to understand."
"He's here now. Do you want me to speak to him?"
Harry hadn't let Sorters disappearance bother him, or if he had present events served to disrupt. Another man, an ogre to be exact, was giving him the evil eye. This thing hardly looked like the rough and tough street-thug that Harry was (and loved being), but rather looked like some backwater hillbilly that was just born large.
"You took the last one..." he grumbled, pointing accusingly at an empty plate. Harry could recall there being some kind of pie there, it had been a cheese pie. "I was saving that one, I was." there was a bit of a threat in the tone of the man and he turned one lazy eye to Harry, his lips curled in a snarl. "I was saving that one and you took it."
Max, luckily, found himself not the center of anyone's attention at the moment, 'though he was potentially a little bit too close to Harry and the other ogre for his own good. Sorter had snuck away, as he was prone too, and looked like he was being accosted (or was that conversing?) with some rather peculiar people hiding in the shades of the room. Or were they making that part dark? It didn't make any sense that there would be one spot of the room that was much much darker than the rest.