Especially this one. In the end John had found her, all wiry and withered and pinched and completely disinterested in being contradicted by this strange colored girl. Really, what sort of ghost remembered itself in its most wrinkly and desiccated state? And why oh why would any ghost still care about tea?
"Well, I don't know, ma'am, he doesn't have any china. This is all that's here," Zea told her in a hushed voice, trying not to wake Fynn. She'd lied and told the ghost that she was the new staff, and thanks to the unusual tunnel vision of the undead, the woman hadn't questioned that Zea was handling all this in naught but one of Fynn's shirts.
The elderly-seeming shade sniffed in disapproval. But then... this was some kind of imported African savage, and of course she didn't know anything about tea. They would just have to make do with what the little colored girl was able to dig up in the kitchen. "Enough fussing, then. Find the kettle and show me the tea you've picked so that I can tell you whether it's acceptable. You'll be running a proper house in no time, provided you can do as you're told."
"Yes, ma'am," Zea said, inwardly rolling her eyes. Whatever. It would be worth it.
The sun was high enough to be coming through the windows when Zea rapped on the doorframe of Fynn's bedroom and hurried away. Anxiously she waited in the kitchen, leaning over the counter with a teapot under a tea cozy that she'd found... somewhere.
She'd heated the kettle and the mugs and the teapot before doing anything, and she'd taken the water off the heat as soon as it started to boil so that the flavor of the water wouldn't go flat, and then let it rest for a few minutes to get down to the right temperature. She'd let the tea leaves open up in a little bit of hot water which she then drained so that she could steep them properly in the teapot without the initial bitterness. It was black tea, so she'd steeped it for three minutes--she'd counted--and then served it out into cups which already had the milk in them because that was just how it was done.
Zea hoped she'd done it all properly. That stuffy racist old bitch had seemed satisfied enough before Zea sent her on her way with profuse thanks and the requisite lavish piles of attention. Now she had to wait to see what Fynn thought. If there was really a difference between a proper cup of tea and the sort of lazy nonsense they got up to in the colonies--god, that woman--the bjorn would notice.
She hoped she'd done it right.