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Trivial Matters

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Re: Trivial Matters

Post by Robert Lupin on Sun Jun 19, 2016 10:46 pm

(sure! i'm good with it.  we just have to have a wizard gadget master.  lol)

"I don't hire staff that way," Robert said to Rookwood, glancing to Eli to tell him that, no, he wasn't going to give this to him. Nice try, but, no. Well, he had invited him to place his bid. He had expected something outrageous. Surely the man didn't expect to get it. As far as he was concerned, Robert wasn't interested in this first bid. He was going to chuck it completely off the table and see where Rookwood went next.  "Your record, by itself, would preclude you from almost any position here, I'm afraid. There are things I could justify in paying you for your information, but that's not one of them. Its rather standard procedure, but a post? No. That doesn't come that way. If you want a post, then you'll have to earn it the old fashioned way. You'll have to start at a position that you can fit into, given your background, and earn your way up. So long as we're bandying the topic of employment, what sort of a position exactly did you have in mind?"  

He was really wasn't intending to be rude, but merely direct, as he tried to get across that he needed to make a serious offer. This one wasn't one he was going to entertain on the basis of one tip, even if it was a decent tip. At this point, it was a tip that yet needed some verification besides Robert's circumstantial connection that the information fit with what he already knew.

Robert noticed Rookwood's quick upturned expression as Robert mentioned the Department of Mysteries.  Few people were even interested in that department, honestly, but the gesture aroused Robert's suspicions, especially with wizards who were no longer wet behind the ears. It was usually wise to watch one's step. He didn't want to read anything into it, but was Rookwood fishing, either outwardly or with some magical skill, to seek information he had no right to have. No wonder Eli was so guarded.

Rick, meanwhile, had stopped at the secretary's desk and had picked up the pack of Pall Malls she had laying there. She merely looked up at him. He grinned back, pocketed the pack, and then sauntered off to the Quartermaster, feeling immensely self satisfied.  The secretary watched him leave and then got out the pack she intended for Robert from her drawer, grinning even wider. She'd heard too much on her late night shift about men like Rick Cooper not to try to take his ego down a notch or two. It amused her immensely, and she knew Robert could surely use a good laugh tonight.. If Cooper were hungry enough for a cigarette to take her bait, then he deserved the rank smelling muggle smokes.  

Rick found the Quartermaster in his lab working on some odd bits of something that he appeared to be forging together. It looked more like a scrap iron sculpture.

"I'll be needing a new wand," he told the Quartermaster as he filled out the requisition for his go bag.

"Of course you will," the young man sighed dryly, putting down his work. Cooper always needed a new wand. "You lot snap them in two every time you go out."

"Not true. I had this one..."

"Three months, I know," the Quartermaster replied. "A new record for you, isn't it?"

"I'll use my own then."

"Well, now that would be sad, wouldn't it?" the young man said, taking the form, checking it, and then filing it appropriately.

"What do you mean by that?"

"New custom wands, ordered by the minister for Unspeakables. They're brilliant, these are. Wish I had one for myself."  The young man reached up on one of the high shelves and got down a wand box.  "This one's yours--if he ever gives it to you." He opened the box to let Cooper see it.  

Rick's eyes grew wide as he looked at it. If there had been something akin to a hot rod, race car of a wand, this was surely it. It was sleek, ebony black, trimmed in silver that was tooled into a sharp, edgy design. Just at the sight of it, Rick wanted to hold it, wanted to test its energy. Wanted to take her for a spin. If it had been a car, it would have been a Ferrari at least.

"What does it do, exactly?" Rick asked.

"What doesn't it do? Its lightyears faster than your personal wand. Made with some of the hoof bits of a hind from Greece," he replied.  "Made of elder wood for fighting dark magic, ebony for assisting you with fighting spells, ancient oak to lend stability to it and to increase magnification. Oh, and here's the nice bit--won't fire dark arts spells. I wouldn't try it if I were you. Robert hasn't told me what it does in those cases. He merely suggested you be well away from it if someone did use it to cast such a spell."

"Oh, come on. Let me try it out."

"Sorry. I need my paycheck, Cooper." He closed the box and put it back on the shelf. Rick's eyes were still following the wand box when the Quartermaster asked, "Signed it, then?"

"Oh. Yes," Rick replied. The Quartermaster picked up Rick's duffel bag and handed it to him.

"You still have someone to clean and repair clothes?"

"Of course. Put them in the duffle and return the bag here. Those might not be worth keeping."

Rick scowled. He happened to like this particular leather jacket. He shouldered the duffel. "How do I get my wand?"

"That's up to the Minister. I can only issue you a training wand without his consent. Do stop drooling over it. You'll get it when he sees fit to give it to you."

"Bloody hell. Might was well just pick up a stick instead," Rick sighed, heading for the showers. He stopped and looked back at the Quartermaster. "Can you get Pall Malls?"

"The cigarettes? Yes, why?" he frowned.

"I need a case of them."

"Um...okay. Will you be having them deducted out of your paycheck or added to your expense account?"

"My expense account. Thank you," Rick said. He turned back and headed to the showers, a wide mischievous grin growing on his face.

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Re: Trivial Matters

Post by Elijah Krum on Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:18 pm

“Rookwood are you ill?” Elijah asked before he could stop himself, leaning over to set his teacup on the mantelpiece. Rookwood gave him a blithe, clueless look, as though the question was one he was not prepared to dignify with an answer to satisfy the deputy minister. This was by far the strangest situation Elijah had ever found himself in since taking the office some years ago. He had never, ever, hand on heart, had a situation like this one dumped in his lap – or, indeed, a Rookwood dumped in his lap. They had worked their own magic, rooting out their members from the Ministry on the basis of inter-family politics. Only Augustus qualified as an exception to that rule. Everyone else had been pulled back into line by their patriarch. Theodore. His cousins. All of them recalled to the family ranks once more for stepping beyond their allotted bounds. To look for a way back in, independent of the family, was unheard of, unless of course you were Theodore. The rest of them didn’t move an inch lest told…

And then there was Augustus.

It made Elijah wonder what other cards the sienna-eyed man was keeping a little closer to his chest. The Bulgarian clucked his tongue against the roof of his mouth in open dissatisfaction as he turned back to retrieve his tea, wondering, not for the first time that day, whether he could go home and sleep off the nonsense that seemed to purvey the halls of the Ministry. He wanted to go and cuddle his daughter and watch the nonsense cartoons that he was shoving in front of Augustus’ slimy tendrils of magic that were still further wrapping around his mind, probing for a way in. He knew better than to try his luck with the Minister. The young Krum, however, was easy pickings, he imagined. Elijah was proving a harder nut to crack than he’d first thought, though. But he would give, Augustus was confident, in time. Until then, however, he’d bide his time and amuse the men that surrounded him.

“Something in the Department of Mysteries once more should suffice,” he suggested, waving his hand airily.

Elijah’s eyes narrowed a little in thought as he batted away another sliding arm of magic from his mind. Why there? Of all places, why there? It hardly gave the publicity that Rookwood seemed to have wanted. It was his old stomping ground. So, perhaps, he had some unfinished business there … his research? Elijah closed his eyes and turned his head towards the fire, wracking his brains. He focused in on memories of James and the research he’d taken up when he’d entered the department. The heads of the exploratory wing had given him Rookwood’s research to test him, because no one had touched it in decades. It was difficult stuff, a mountain that they had assumed the haphazard addict wouldn’t reach the summit of. But he had. As far as Elijah knew, he had. He took in a breath, weighing his options. Did he let events unfold? Or did he face it head on? Rookwood would tell them nothing if asked. So…perhaps…

Biting the inside of his cheek, Elijah turned away from the fire and looked over to Robert.

“Potter has recently been promoted,” he informed the Minister. “They are in need of an underling in the exploratory unit.” He eyed Augustus, his suspicions almost confirmed by how unmoved by the prospect the man was. He didn’t mind. So it was that that he wanted. It must have been – so what on earth was it. “He can’t do any harm there, Minister,” he added belatedly and though his words said one thing, his tone said another, meaning that none of them could miss: we won’t let him do any harm there. “So why not?”
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Re: Trivial Matters

Post by Robert Lupin on Wed Jun 22, 2016 1:15 am

Why not? Robert could think of a lot of bloody good reasons why not.  He wasn't sure he could think of one good reason why he should. Of all the departments in the Ministry, why that one? Something wasn't right. It wasn't ringing right in his ears. Something dark already was in this and he didn't like it. He wasn't exactly sure why, but he knew it wasn't right. It was like the stories he used to read as a boy--pirate stories about questing and swashbuckling. Adventurous warriors that searched for what they believed in and sometimes ended up fighting off sea serpents in the dark of night.  There was something about this that felt like those dark places in the books--when the krakens rose up from the deep and devoured everything that had any heart and compassion. Why was there something in this that felt the same? Something sinister and crawling about that just didn't feel right.  

Kate would have told him to listen to that voice, the voice within that knew something he didn't.  But that was what seers did, wasn't it? They were in tune with energy all about them, and they saw things he could never quite reach. As long as he'd known her, Kate was rarely wrong about these things. Even if he listened this time, he needed a moment--a moment to breathe, a moment to make sure that he wasn't going to let the bloody kraken in the door here again. He'd let Pierce slip in and destroy lives and hearts, making him destroy the very government itself to get the villain out. He would be damned if he let it happen again.

Right now he had Gideon Pierce on his mind. Along with whatever the devil Rick Cooper had gotten into--and that one bothered him. Cooper was entirely in his element when he was out in the field working alone. He'd never ever had a partner, and he always came back put together. Tonight was anything but. He had worked it out how Cooper had gotten back, but Rick wasn't ready to hear that yet.  What Robert did know, though, was for that to have happened, Rick had to have been all but dead--for real this time.  That meant loose ends, and that meant they had to be tied up quickly before whatever had gone wrong either got Cooper killed or got its way in the door here.

Maybe Rookwood could be useful after all--without getting in the door to the Department of Mysteries--not yet, anyway. That would give Robert time to talk to Eli without Augustus Rookwood in the room.

He went over and sat down rather lazily in his desk chair.  "You're right about one thing, Rookwood. Things have changed since you were here last, and they're liable to keep changing. You want to be in the Department of Mysteries? Its not even an option unless its on my terms. Are you man enough to live with that? Are you able to earn it? If you want even an apprentice level clearance key, you'll have to earn it."

He glanced at Eli. He had an idea. If the man thought he wanted in, then he was going to have to play by the rules. What Rookwood might not have realized was that there were certain things in that department that everyone thought they wanted to have access to and be a part of.  In truth, though, there were few who could actually pass muster to actually follow through. Perhaps that was just the place for Rookwood to cut his teeth on. A little baptism by fire could be good for the soul.

"Are you in or not?" Robert asked Rookwood point blank.

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Re: Trivial Matters

Post by Elijah Krum on Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:11 am

(OOC: This feels like the most enormous phone post ever. Haha. I feel bad for my Eli bee.)

It wasn't wholly unexpected. No, it was entirely expected. Rookwood took a moment, his lip curling in a half-hearted show of distaste. In the end, though, a few heartbeats of a moment elapsed between that and him saying yes. Yes, he'd accept the position on the Minister's terms, yes he'd accept the degradation and anything else that Lupin and Krum had waiting for him. For the latter, it was consent that sat uncomfortably in his gut. He was sure it was the same for Robert but he hoped that the Minister could see through Rookwood.

See through, but not catch.

Death Eaters and former Azkaban residents were like smoke, after all. Tricky to lace your hands through. Tricky to catch. Tricky to kill once given a precious morsel of freedom. Tricky to manipulate but master manipulators themselves. Invaluable if good. And Rookwood wasn't good. The bottom drawer of Elijah's desk was stuffed with files of those who were, who were useful, who helped, and those who no longer wanted a piece of their past. Goyle. Howard. Greyback. All had their roles to play. Somehow, Rookwood just didn't fit. Something was off. But why the Department of Mysteries? Why potentially the research?

Wait and see, lad.

The words rattled in his mind, as clear as if Rookwood has spoken them but Elijah knew he had not. He swallowed back the shot of fear that went through him and with all his might shoved at those slippery tendrils, forcing them from the warmth of his mind, his face draining with colour at the thought that he'd actually gotten in. How? How when he'd put so much into keeping him out? Elijah's hand strayed to his wand as anger flared but he cautioned himself, sense reminding him the merits of playing he long game with Rookwood even if he was starting to feel a bit like the puppet rather than the puppeteer.

Rookwood downed the rest of the fire whisky and chucked his glass unceremoniously on the desk before lifting himself to his feet. He inclined his head to the Minister and declared, in no uncertain terms, that:

"I'll be back on Monday morning. You can introduce me to my departmental role then, Minister. I'll report to HR."

Then, he approached Elijah. His body slid out lithely from around the chairs, one hand reaching absent-mindedly to his middle where the expensive fabric of his jacket was buttoned, and he gave the Bulgarian a sardonic smile as he approached. One hand slid over his cheek, patting the skin roughened by scruff. Elijah's eyes found his and Augustus' mouth arched into a smirk. His hand fell away but the feeling of Augustus' touch, still purveying his mind, did not. Elijah swallowed and those sienna eyes watched the bobble of his Adam's apple.

"It's the Birmingham depot," his lips moved languidly, his voice spending itself liberally over the words. "Don't destroy it, mind. It's a lucrative venture. But there you'll find your master's potions, little minister. I trust you'll find my worth proved there."

Elijah opened his mouth, throwing off Augustus' probing mind once more.

"Give my regards to Kendall, won't you?"

Augustus didn't flinch but Elijah saw the change in his eyes and took it as a small victory. The second of the evening, a scant return for all he knew he must have lost to the Rookwood man.

"She's still alive, Krum," he countered and Elijah felt his heart stop in his chest. It must've. For, he was ground to the spot. Entirely at the mercy of Rookwood for shock and he could only watch as Rookwood pulled old, hidden but replayed memories to the forefront of his mind and showed him the smiling, happy girl with daisies in her hair and then ... that same smile on a grown woman with a man Elijah knew so it had to be, didn't it? She was her sister's double and opposite. She was the better half of him and her both. Her niece's namesake. She was alive.

"Alice," his voice choked out. He knew at that moment that Rookwood had dived in. His brain felt as though it had been doused in the water of the Black Lake in the dead of winter. Ice purveyed every quadrant and he felt entirely, helplessly exposed, his cards spilled out for the amusement of the elder man.

"I'll let you mull that one over," Augustus all but purred as he turned away. "Good evening, Minister."

And with that, he disappeared out of the door and into the night. Smoke. Augustus 5, Elijah 2.

The door clicked shut and Elijah let go of the breath he'd been holding. His legs buckled beneath him and he landed with a bump on the floor before the hearth, the fire's warmth stretching out soothingly over his back. It was no succour, of course, but it somewhat soothed the soul. In that moment, in any case, it helped. But nothing would settle his mind now as he searched for a reason, searched for the how of the matter. He'd beheld her body with his own eyes. She was dead. They'd buried her. And yet... Oliver Connolly. She was with him. Happy. Alive. Alice.

"He wants his research," Elijah's voice sounded hollow and exhausted. "It's the only logical reason why he'd want back down there. I don't know ... I don't know what he found out from me but he was in my head," Elijah shivered, running his fingers through the front of his hair as he drew his long legs up towards his chest, his other arm wrapping around them. "And I ... I kept him out for as long as I could but it was impossible and ..." He closed his mouth as a wave of nausea washed over him. His eyes fluttered shut and he took in coaxing breaths, attempting to regain his countenance. "He said... He knows..." The dark head shook as his fingers rubbed at his eyes. He knew Robert had heard. Whether he believed or not ... he had no idea.

"Humour me, but do we keep tabs on Connolly? You know? The Frenchman who was with the Order for some time? Sister died in the train crash. He knows Millie--"

Elijah broke off, hurt lancing through him at the thought of Millie keeping Alice from him. Surely she didn't know? She wouldn't do it on purpose, would she? He shook his head although to reject his own thought process. Surely not. She couldn't know. Which meant that Alice, though alive, wasn't Alice anymore.

"Is it a misuse of power to drag Greyback and Connolly in and ask?" He asked wryly, chuckling despite himself as he brought his other arm around his knees. "Probably," he conceded. "We should probably focus on Rookwood, shouldn't we? Wading through my personal crises will take too long and he'll probably get what he wants in the meantime. Potter was the one who worked on his stuff when he first joined. We need him, and the files, in here."
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Re: Trivial Matters

Post by Robert Lupin on Wed Jun 22, 2016 4:47 pm

The kraken--legilimens. It cleared for him.  He felt stupid for a moment for not listening. He should have surely figured this out.  He knew the dark energies, felt them, but didn't pay enough attention, didn't trust that what he felt was on point.  

"First things first," Robert said with the calm and steadiness that had been so characteristic of how he coped, at least externally. He opened up a desk drawer and drew out a chocolate bar. He had learned a thing or two from Remus, despite the fact that Remus was younger than Robert. He handed the candy bar down to Eli.  "Remus was right. It does help," he said gently. "Give yourself a moment. We have more than one crisis to deal with, I'm afraid. And I need to read you in."  

He scribbled a note and then opened the door of his office. "Send this by owl straight away," he told Liz.  "And then send an auror out for Potter. I don't care what he's doing, I don't care if he's conscious or not. Root him up, and get him here. Tell him to bring his research--all of it. Immediately.  Then find Cooper and get his arse up here. He's probably in the shower. His break is over." He snatched up the cigarettes he was craving now more than before. "Let me know when my guest arrives."  He returned to the office and closed the door.

"Alright, then, Eli?" he asked. Legilimens could cause immense damage, either by draining or by bringing up painful memories or both. Robert believed it had parasitic qualities, and while most other wizards didn't support that, the evidence of it seemed to always be in front of him when someone who was a victim of it ended up in his care.

"We need to breathe a moment and get ourselves together or we won't be in shape to work. I've sent to Kate to bring some breakfast." He hadn't given Eli an option in this. The truth was that he could have sent out for take out, but it wasn't what he needed.  Kate seemed to put a bit of herself into everything she did, and right now, sleep deprived as he was, he needed to feel her solid, anchoring presence, even it was just in a taste of home. He wanted a morsel of hope in all the madness.

"If Alice is alive, we'll find her," he said quietly to Eli. "We'll figure it out. You can choose to go with me to Birmingham or not, but you might find some satisfaction in seeing some of Rookwood's internal workings more than he seems to be willing to show. Everyone leaves a tell--including him.  We'll learn something. Birmingham appears to be our next lead. And--I will enjoy blowing up a few of his potions just because I can, and, because tip or not, illegal labs are still against the law. I have a certain duty, you know." Temporarily, he was pleased at having justification for busting the lab up a bit, enough to inconvenience Rookwood. He wasn't sure Eli would be so satisfied with revenge, but periodically, Robert did indulge, when it was justifiable, and enjoyed it. "However, we also need to sure to learn whatever we can to help strengthen your defenses against Rookwood. We have wizards here regularly who are skilled in legilimens, but he's got no clue about some of the protections that are here now.  I don't pass them on for just the reason we just saw. Legilimens can make a man's mind an open book, so I never tell all I know. Not even to you--sorry about that. Part of that is to protect you, quite honestly. its not because I don't trust you--because if I didn't trust you, you wouldn't be in this job."

"I do owe you an explanation about Cooper, and that's a story in itself, so I'll tell you the story and give you a chance to get yourself together." he said, getting out a coffee pot and preparing it to set on the hearth to brew some French Roast. He was going to need more of a jolt that what Earl Gray provided. He refilled his firewhiskey glass to drink it while the coffee brewed and then set the firewhiskey bottle beside Eli in case he wanted a drink. He certainly deserved one, that was for sure.

"Robert Cooper is an Unspeakable who, in our records, is listed as being dead," he said, sinking down into his desk chair and taking a sip of the firewhiskey. "Well, few people know him as Rick anyway, so his death is still a presumption on most people's part.  Anyway, when he was a brand new young Unspeakable, he was sent on a suicide mission without being aware that we were selling him out. What he was told was that he was the only one who could do the task and that he could never return to his new bride and new baby daughter. That would be Amelia Cooper and Hallie Cooper, respectively. So, he bought the horse crap they gave him, and did his duty for what he believed was the greater good.

"Against all expectations, he actually survived, but your predecessors and mine preferred to abandon him, not extract him, not bring him home. They declared him dead instead, and he's been just continuing to work in deep cover, outside of England, looking for an administration who would bring him home. I couldn't ignore him--I couldn't leave him behind. I didn't put him there, but I refuse to leave an agent behind and abandon him. I sent Michael to go extract him and bring Rick home. Needless to say, though, rebuilding any sort of relationship with his family has been an enormous challenge. Its also been nigh onto impossible for him to adjust to the fact that he's not alone anymore, that he has not just a family but employers now who honestly do give a damn. I made sure he had a place to stay and all his basic needs met until he could wrap his mind around it. I restored his 20-plus years of back pay that he's owed, which was and he wants to continue to work. He was married to Amelia Cooper, and Hallie is his daughter. They both know he's back, but few others even remember him.  Rick has always worked alone and is very good in deep cover situations. For him to return here tonight without use of his wand or any action on his part meant he was in a life threatening situation where he believed he was truly a dead man.

"Here's how I know. Years ago, they used to put a failsafe enchantment on their lone wolf Unspeakables to make sure they could get back home. It was a questionable little implant that was surgically implanted and contained a return spell in a tiny bubble.  They must have implanted it in him and then obliviated the memory. My guess is that someone forgot to remove it when they sent him on the mission that they never intended him to return from, meaning the bubble remained, all the same. The bubble's enchanted to burst and release the return spell when the body's biochemistry is escalated to excessive levels by an extreme fight or flight response--such as how a well trained agent might react in a moment before anticipated death.  Either he had such an enchantment, or someone helped him get away. Either way, it means something of critical importance is undone. And--so you know, he is not currently on any mission. that I sent him on. He was supposed to be taking short easy reconnaissance missions so he had time to assimilate and adjust from not being 'dead' anymore. He was between assignments, or so I thought.  The information he carries in his head about some of the magical dealings in hostile nations who are not allied with us makes him very valuable to me. I must protect him if I can and help him out of whatever the heck he's fallen into. That means he needs to explain himself to us--immediately if not sooner. That will give Potter a chance to wake up, put some clothes on, find his files and get here--or it had better, anyway."

Robert didn't bring up Gideon Pierce.  If Pierce was connected to the potions problem, they'd find out soon enough. Right now, Gideon could not penetrate the 's new protection spells., but he didn't trust that would last forever. Men like him always had a need to try again, it seemed.  

He took a cigarette from the new pack and lit it before passing the pack to Eli, thinking that perhaps the man deserved a cigarette if he needed one.  Robert needed to get his Deputy Minister together first before they could conquer much of anything else.

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Re: Trivial Matters

Post by Elijah Krum on Sun Jun 26, 2016 12:47 pm

Chocolate. The Lupin way. A smile twitched at Elijah’s lips as he took the bar, breaking off a little segment that he brought immediately to his lips. The spread of sweetness across his dry tongue helped to settle some of the jitteriness of his heart. Alice. Elijah let his eyes close as he tried to draw up the image that Augustus had given him. A happy, laughing young woman. The image of her sister but full of the health and joy that Mira did not possess. That he didn’t, either. She was all that he had hoped for her namesake and for the rest of his children. He was beginning to wonder how far he was doing the right thing by them but … Elijah brought a hand to his face and massaged his brows with his fingers. The chocolate helped but its appeal was negligible when so much was whirling around in his mind.

Dimly, Elijah was aware of Robert speaking to someone other than him. He couldn’t quite focus on the conversation but when he reopened his eyes and dropped his hand he found Robert looking at him, addressing him, assuring him in some way or another that it would be alright. Elijah knew he needed to concentrate. If he didn’t, something else equally terrible might take place in the meantime. He’d heard the mention of Potter. James. James was coming. He only hoped that the Potter was awake. If not, it would be a jammie-clad Jamie who would appear, no doubt with his dog in tow, and his research under his arm. Elijah was yet unaware of how accurate this sardonic image was of the young researcher. James was, for the record, fast asleep, one arm thrown over his dog.

“Breakfast would be good,” Elijah admitted nodding his head. He knew that he wouldn’t have to look far to find Alice. He knew a quick rifle through Connolly’s file and a visit to the man himself would reveal all Elijah wanted to know. At that present moment in time, though, Elijah wasn’t certain that he wanted to know any of it, yet. There was so much blood on his hands because of her … he didn’t want to make good with the idea that all of the misery, all of the death, and all of his guilt was in vain because, ultimately, her life had happened and it had happened in a peaceful, happy way. He was glad for it but already the feeling that he and Mira had been cheated was winding through his gut.

“I’ll go,” Elijah declared, meeting Robert’s gaze. “I … I’m not a bad Occlumens, Robert. He was just … too good. I think I know who to ask about this, though. Athena. She’ll be helpful in regards to him. She knows what he’s like … perhaps we ought to owl her, too. And…” Elijah bit his lip, unsure how far he should press with this point. “Is this something to do with the Death Eaters, do you think, as well as for his own gain?”

Elijah took the firewhisky with thanks and poured himself an inelegant amount before capping the bottle once more and picking up the glass. His eyebrows shot to his hairline as the identity of Rick was revealed to him and then his eyes narrowed as he thought back to the Hallie Cooper he’d met when he’d had the misfortune of marrying her off to Theodore Rookwood. That Hallie. The Hallie who had stumbled through life trying to deal with the death of her father – like he had stumbled through life trying to deal with the death of Alice and then his mother. Elijah swallowed a big gulp of firewhisky, trying to subdue the feelings of betrayal on Hallie’s behalf.

The cigarettes came next and Elijah knew it was that that he’d been waiting for. Four months of being tobacco free were dashed down the drain the minute he brought his wand to the end of the cigarette that he’d taken between his lips. As the old, familiar taste spread through him and he let his shoulders drop, relaxing into his sitting position.

“Do you get the feeling we’ve just opened Pandora’s Box?”
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Re: Trivial Matters

Post by Robert Lupin on Sun Jun 26, 2016 9:00 pm

Eli was going to accompany him to Birmingham. Good. Eli would be very useful, Robert was sure. There surely would be charms on the place, and Robert found it usually wise to take a confederate when one was going to an illegal's lab. Not to mention, as stressed as Eli looked, he might also discover the therapeutic benefit of shattering bottles of illegal potions.

"By the looks of you," Robert said, "you did well against someone like Rookwood.  A lesser wizard would not have fared nearly as well. If this has something to do with the Death Eaters, I'll wager that Lorcan D'Eath has some rebels in his flock.  If it leans that way, I might feed D'Eath that information deliberately because I have a feeling he won't like it. He'll appreciate the information, and he'll want to close his ranks quickly.  An extra hand to keep Rookwood out of places he shouldn't be would definitely be welcome. Now, I think we need to get whatever Potter can tell us, and, we do need to find out what Athena knows. I know you can contact her. Might she be willing to come in and save us a bit of time?" Robert had several tracks of thought running. First, he wanted to find Alice, but he wasn't entirely sure what finding her would do to Eli. If he were in Eli's shoes, he doubted he'd be able to concentrate or multitask very well at all. It would make a man very singularly minded. Second, though, Robert wanted information on the potions. Third, if it were a rebel in the D'Eath Eaters, and if it were Rookwood, he figured Rookwood was more than likely on very limited time. He wouldn't put it past D'Eath to order Zada to go eliminate Rookwood once and for all. It would be very much like Lorcan to assert his dominance in whatever way he saw fit, and Zada Forbes D'Eath did take a certain pride in making sure any contract killing was done without fault. So far, it was what had kept her from being caught by the aurors.

He sighed deeply when Eli asked about Pandora's box. "I fear you might be right," Robert said. "I have a feeling we may have to keep our eyes open in every direction this time." Robert was also concerned that he not let himself and Eli get divided on much of any ministry task because if there were any way for Rookwood to find a chink in the proverbial armor, Robert was quite sure Rookwood would make excellent use of it. That meant he might have to include Eli in more areas where he had not gone before, areas that Robert guessed Eli didn't even know existed.

There was a knock on the door. Robert called for whoever it was to come in. It was Cooper. He was back, showered, clean shaven, and changed into well pressed, clean clothing.

"That looks better. There's tea and coffee both on the hearth if you like," Robert said.  "Help yourself, and then brief me on where the hell you were and what you were doing."

Rick wondered how long he could play with a teapot to avoid answering him. Unfortunately, it wasn't long enough. He filled a tea mug and went over to a chair and sat down.

"You won't like it," Cooper said dryly.

"I didn't ask you to tell me only if it was a happy little yarn," Robert said. "Continue."

"Well," Rick said cautiously, "I was in Istanbul--trying to do a favor for Flynn."

"Istanbul? You had to pick Istanbul, of all places? And Flynn--as in Roper?" Robert asked, frowning. It better damn well be a Flynn he didn't know of. Please not Roper, please not Roper, Robert thought, annoyed.

"Yeah," Rick replied. Robert rolled his eyes incredulously. Nothing good ever came from doing favors for Flynn Roper. Roper was a petty thief always trying to make a name for himself with a big score, but it always went sideways for him--every single bloody time. Nobody had the knack of taking a simple thing and making it impossibly complicated like Flynn Roper.

"I think I'm going to probably want to kill you, won't I?" Robert asked unhappily. "What was he after this time?"

"Most likely," Rick shrugged. "He took a bag of river rocks from the basement of Topkapi Palace, but ever since he took it, everyone has been after him--as in, very seriously out to kill him."

"He should put the bloody things back, then," Robert frowned. And of course it had to involve the biggest, most prestigious museum in Turkey. Fabulous, just bloody fabulous. "What's so special about a bag of river rocks anyway?"

"I don't know, but I took them, hoping to put them back, and I found a scrap of paper at the bottom of the bag--with the signature of Nicolas Flamel."

"What?" Robert frowned deeply, now on high alert. Anything that interested Flamel interested Robert. "Wait a second." He left the office for a moment, got a dossier, and brought it back. The file was the Department of Mysteries file of Flamel. He began to read.  "Minerva McGonnagal donated many of Albus Dumbledore's personal journals to the Ministry for safe keeping when she became headmistress. In one of the journals, we found some additional information that no one's done a lot with because, well, it dead ended. Presumably Dumbledore either considered it inconsequential or just didn't have time to get to it. Back in 1992, when Flamel died, there were some odd bits of things allegedly found in Flamel's lab, a lot of miscellaneous bits and bobs in a space inside his chimney. However, almost the instant they were found, the items mysteriously disappeared. A cloth bag of stones is supposed to have been one of the finds."

"Yep. That's what it was. Old white homespun linen weave," Rick said. "But why the heck are old river rocks significant?"

"Well,here's the thing--if those rocks were important enough for Flamel to hide them, then there's surely more to them than anyone can see with the naked eye. What the hell did you do with them, Cooper?"

"I hid them. I had too many people too hot on my heels..."

"So you left them behind?" Robert asked disbelieving. He wanted to headslap Cooper. "Where?"

"They're sorta hidden--for now anyway," Rick lamely tried to defend himself.  "The place was crawling with local muggle law enforcement and wizards! I had no choice!" Robert groaned.

"Um..there is one more little thing," Rick said slowly. "Flynn got his tip on the stones from a local madam by telling her that he worked for you. The locals on both sides of the law now believe you ordered the theft," Rick braced himself for some wrath from Robert. Robert groaned in frustration and looked at Eli.

"And that, Eli, would be the sound of the arrival of Box Number 2," he sighed, not liking that they now had two Pandora's boxes. "My first thoughts are that we awaken Michael Tremaine or maybe Millie or both. Now we have to get the stones. I don't see that we have another choice--unless you have a better thought?"

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Re: Trivial Matters

Post by James S Potter on Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:13 pm

James Potter was woken with a start. He had, prior to this, been enjoying a rather delightful cheese dream. He and his cousin had sat up that night with red wine and the aforementioned dairy product. She’d enjoyed the wine and he’d filled his boots with crackers and pickle. He’d abandoned himself on her sofa, as he was want to do, and for a few hours he’d snoozed before she declared she was going to bed herself. Then, he went home. He tumbled into bed, warm with the feeling of fullness, and once Archie crawled into bed beside him, they both elapsed into dreams. Then, of course, they woke up. Both of them. Seemingly at once. Both knowing that there was only one reason why they would be roused at … three am? James groaned into his pillow, cursing the Ministry aloud and half hoping Lupin would hear him.

“Get up, Potter. Rise and shine,” a sardonic voice cracked through the silence of the room.

“Expelliarmus!” He exclaimed, whipping his wand out from under his pillow and firing the bright red bolt of magic against the witch who had broken into his house.

A white shield flew from her wand and sent the spell careening out of the window and into the night before it even had the chance to spread its light across her skin and James fell back against his pillows, his chest heaving as he regarded her in the glow of her magic. His eyes narrowed a little, as though in remembrance, but he couldn’t recall her name for the life of him. Someone from the Ministry. It had to be. Wait … no. James sat up again, his head poking forward as he searched through his mind for a name. He’d grown up with her. Of course he knew who it was. How could he be so exasperatingly dense?

“Mara?” He guessed.

“I hope you put that glittering intellect to good use in the Department of Mysteries,” she waxed, rolling her eyes.

“Mara Jordan?” He pressed, hopping out of bed, only momentarily embarrassed by his Quidditch-patterned pyjama bottoms.

“Ding, ding, ding!” She waved her wand through the air. “C’mon James. Get some shoes on. It’s time to go to work.”

“Do I at least get some coffee first?” He asked, patting Archie on the head before leaning down to pull his trainers out from under the bed.

“I’m sure there’ll be coffee waiting. Now, where’s your research?”

He scoffed, rising back up to his full height. “What, you think I keep it here?”

“James. I’m not as stupid as you. I know you don’t keep it here. Where is it?”

A smirk toyed at the lips of the dark-haired man and she raised an impatient eyebrow at him.

“You are as stupid as me, M. I do keep it here. But the where of the matter is not for your eyes. Go and boil the kettle – or your head, I don’t mind – and I’ll get you my research.”

“I swear to Merlin, Potter—”

“Coffee,” he overrode her patiently. “C’mon – off you trot.”

Meanwhile, Elijah was on his second cigarette after the reveal of Pandora’s box number two. He pinched his brows and flicked some of the ash away into the hearth, wondering now for the first time why he couldn’t have just stayed a painter. He was certainly a better painter than a politician, he knew that much. He was also a much better painter than he was a wizard, too, if Augustus had proved anything. Between hiding rocks and finding Rookwood’s research, Elijah was feeling suitably overwhelmed and he was wondering whether there was an option to take up the previously rejected holiday time.  Perhaps he’d go to Fiji. Fiji was nice. Fiji didn’t really have problems, did it? If not, he’d have to mysteriously disappear like those stones.

At that point, James strode in with Mara Jordan on his heels. Archie bounced in behind her, clearly having tagged on for the ride, and, just as forecast, Elijah looked up and laughed. James’ eyes flicked to him and he flashed a toothy grin before bouncing over and sitting himself down next to the Deputy Minister.

“You look like hell, mate,” he told him conversationally, taking his files out of the satchel he had beside of him. “Fancy some chocolate?”

“Already had some, Jim.” Elijah held up the bar he’d not finished. “Thanks though.”

The Potter man frowned at him and looked down at the chocolate before reaching over and pushing down the hand with the cigarette in it.

“Finish the chocolate first,” he instructed firmly. Elijah’s mouth twitched, threatening a smirk.

Elijah turned his gaze from James and focused back in on the room.

“Wake Millie. Wake Michael. Probably, actually, wake Ariel Greyback, too. He was picked up in Istanbul for trafficking. He should know something about the rocks given that he was caught rifling through those archives.”

“Hang on… what?” James frowned, looking between Elijah and Robert.

“Flamel had rocks,” Elijah waved his hand dismissively through the air, bringing the cigarette back to his lips. James’ frown deepened at that.

“Magically important ones,” James deduced. “But … what does this have to do with me and my research? I didn’t look at anything to do with … well, I mean, there was a whetstone involved. Technically a stone.”

“What’s in the research, James? What were you looking at?” Mara asked impatiently. Elijah’s eyes flicked to her, his smirk appearing now.  

“Well, since you asked so nicely,” he winked. “I was looking at the Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain --- y’know the Welsh mythical objects? Well, they’re not Welsh per se but it’s in Welsh myth. Anyway we’ve got the Cauldron of Dyrnwch the Giant but that’s all. It’s important, though, because we know they’re real. What I had when I started were fragmentary bits of papyrus and inscribed stones that implied there was a map and I finished it.”

Mara blinked, shock filling her features.

“Hang on,” Elijah interjected between a mouthful of chocolate. “You finished the map?”

“Yeah,” James nodded, shrugging a shoulder. “Whoever was working on it before me got too stuck in with the mantle of King Arthur and Eluned’s stone and ring. The former is your standard … well, um. It’s an Invisability Cloak. I don’t know whether it was my father’s,” his brows furrowed a little and Elijah reached out to squeeze his shoulder. “Y’know … whether it was my father’s it referred to or whether it was something else but the ring is basically the Ring of Gyges or the One Ring depending on whether or not you like philosophy or Lord of the Rings but, um… the stone, I think … might be the stones you’re looking for. In the scrap of map I had to use there was a picture and it was basically a sodding boulder so if it’s stones as in plural, now, then maybe it got broken up at some point. I don’t know what it does, though, mind you. I have a pretty good idea of what everything else does but I’m not sure about those.”

“Good job, Jim,” Elijah murmured. James smiled, reaching down to take hold of Elijah’s hand, sensing the weariness within the other man. Elijah straightened up as he felt magic rumble down his arm and he looked at James, surprised by the way his magical signature glowed with light. There was not a scrap of darkness left in him, it seemed. A far cry from the man he had known. Elijah felt his stomach turn a little as he looked at the Potter, knowing that at home there was a little girl who should have known him and who should have been able to love him. Then he thought of Alice and sensed the similarities … the betrayals … they were all too much. Too many Pandora’s boxes.
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Re: Trivial Matters

Post by Robert Lupin on Tue Jun 28, 2016 2:54 pm

(ooc--okay, so i've apparently given robert's overnight secretary two names b/c i'm senile or something. she was daisy early on and then she became liz.  *facepalm*  i'll need to pick one. lol)

Robert felt the palpable stress that Eli was feeling.  It was thick enough to cut with a knife. This was difficult for Eli for a number of reasons, he knew, and so far, it wasn't getting better. It was only getting more complicated. He glanced at Cooper who appeared to be more and more relieved at the talk of bringing in others, and Cooper was the only one who appeared relieved at anything in this.

"Do not think this gets you out of going back to Istanbul," Robert said firmly. "You still have to show us where you put the stones. You have to go back." Rick rolled his eyes, sighing. Then Robert looked at Potter.

'They want my head on a pike!" he protested lamely.

"So do I," Robert said abruptly.  "And Roper's too, as long as we're at it."

"Something you should know, Potter," Robert said, turning his attention to James. "There's a new development overnight. For better or for worse, we've hired on Augustus Rookwood for the Department of Mysteries, and I want his permissions strongly restricted. I don't trust him.  I think he's specifically after something--probably related to your research, as near as we can guess.  So, because of that, I'm moving you to a safer office--one he won't have access to. I want you to take the Quartermaster's office and his post. The lad that's working there is a brilliant alchemist, and I really need him to be able to focus on weapons and protections development. Part of your task will be to keep Rookwood the hell out of the armory and the alchemy lab. Of course there's a raise in pay with it, and you'll be able to keep whatever projects you want to keep. I'll help you with some extra protection layers around it.  If Rookwood gets in there, you have every right, because of national security, to fry him. I'm good with it."

He had to get the others coming. He sat back down and wrote owls to Michael and Millie. He didn't know Ariel. He decided his secretary could sent the usual request and wrote her a quick note to send for Grayback. He took the notes to her to send out and saw Kate was there waiting with a basket in hand. He went over and hugged her and gave her a kiss. She was like a breath of fresh air for his sleep deprived soul. She was dressed in crisp white pants and a soft lemon yellow cardigan.  He caught the scent of her perfume when he kissed her. Her perfume smelled like a summer breeze--light florals and summer grasses, summer fruits, and a hint of the freshness that came after an early morning rain. It was blissfully peaceful and fresh--everything that, right now, his work and his mindset was not. It was a reminder for him that there indeed were good things in the world that were still left.  That reminder was the largest thing, for him, that he had counted on her to bring, even though he'd not said so. It was just part of who Kate was. He breathed it in as if he believed he could capture a bit of it and internalize it.

"When are you going to sleep, Robert?" she asked softly, caressing his cheek, clearly concerned.

"Soon, I hope," he said. "I've missed you."

"I miss you too," she said. "But, first things first." She opened the basket and removed a tiny garment bag that she'd obviously shrunken to fit into the basket and then resized it.  "Fresh clothes. I figured you had pretty much gone through what you have here."

"Yes. I have. This is the last clean suit I had here," he said.

"Not anymore. I brought you three more. I'll take your laundry when I go."

"Is there enough food to serve a few people here?"

"Of course," she frowned. "When would I not know that if you were working at this hour, you'd most likely be surrounded in confederates. There's breakfast for 12 hungry people or more not-so-hungry people. Where would you like me to set this up?"

"I'll clear the credenza," he said. "Come in." He opened the door. "Breakfast is here," he announced to them. "For those of you who haven't met her, this is my wife, Kate. Kate, this is Mara Jordan, James Potter, Rick Cooper, and of course, Eli."

"Good morning, Everyone." Kate smiled. Robert flicked his wand at the credenza, and it cleaned up the mess he'd made on it overnight. Kate opened the basket and put out dishes for them to serve themselves. She'd brought a traditional full English, but then she'd included a couple of extras. Khaat's favorite fruit salad with a mimosa dressing--the dressing with champagne and orange juice amongst its other things, and a platter of scones--an assortment of flavors--plain, chocolate chip, blackberry, lemon, and maple brown sugar. She had, of course, clotted cream, and an assortment of her homemade jams. She set out plates and bowls and silverware and napkins. To Robert, it looked like it had Kate's signature all over it--the grace that she embodied and the homemade country farm existence she so loved.

"Do you think that will hold you?" she looked at Robert.

"Yes, indeed it will. Well done," he smiled. "Looks wonderful. Thank you."

"You're welcome. Now, I'm going to get out of here and let you to it." She left her basket for him, opened his closet and picked up his laundry bag. "Nice meeting you all." She stepped out into the outer office just as Michael arrived.  

"Kate?" Michael frowned. He kissed her on the cheek.

"Brought them breakfast," she said. "They've been at it for awhile. You're just in time."

"An all nighter? That can't be good," Michael sighed. "I'd better go in."

"I'd say," she said, leaving for home.

Michael knocked but then went ahead and went in without invitation. He looked at those who were already there. He wasn't surprised to see Robert and Eli, but Potter? Cooper? Jordan?

"'Morning, All," he greeted them.

"Thank you for coming, Michael," Robert said. "Come fix your plates, Everyone. I don't know about you, but I'm starving. This will all look brighter once we've had a chance to take a moment to breathe and eat."

Michael wasn't shy. He went over and began to fill a plate. "So, if I'm here, I'm either extracting someone or stealing something. Which is it?"

"Stealing," Robert said. "And you're taking Cooper with you. Possibly Millie. Possibly more."

"What?" Michael turned and looked at him and at Eli, frowning. Burglaries didn't usually need a team. He usually worked alone on burglaries. "What's the glitch?"

"I was made," Cooper said. "In Istanbul." Michael looked at him, immediately annoyed.

"That's on the top ten places of where not to be made. You know that, right?" Michael scowled. "So, we have to go and steal something while everything with a pulse is trying to kill us. Sounds like buckets of fun. What are we stealing?"

"River rocks," Cooper replied.

"I'm risking life and limb for a box of rocks?"

"Its a bag."

"Oh, and that makes it so much better. Look, I'll go to the creek behind my house and get you a barrel of river rocks if you're hard up."

"No, it has to be these rocks," Robert said, unable to resist being slightly amused at Michael's always present sarcasm.

"Oh? Why? Did they belong to some long dead King or something?"

"No," Robert said. "Flamel."  Michael became immediately serious. If they were Flamel's, Michael was in. It was the first new lead they'd had on anything of Flamel's in decades. Now it was personal for Robert, and that meant Michael was in, no matter what the odds.

"That,' Robert continued, "and we have a cold case that is suddenly cold no more. We need to find a missing person--quickly. We'll need to figure out how to proceed to get her back. And then, sometime this morning, Eli and I are planning on investigating an illegal potions lab."

"So--the missing person presumably owns the lab and stole the rocks and stashed them in Istanbul?" Michael struggled to make the connection.

"Um. No, Not even close," Robert said. "Three unrelated cases."

'Oh, well, that explains everything, doesn't it?" he said.

"How did things go all to hell overnight since I left here last night?" Michael frowned. "Leave you lot for a few hours and its all gone to pot."

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Re: Trivial Matters

Post by Melissa Finnigan on Tue Jun 28, 2016 7:10 pm

(OOC: Robert is tired, bless him!)

A witch and a wizard stopped in the corridor outside of the Minister of Magic’s offices. One had just bout managed to pull a hooded jumper over his head and had belted some jeans around his narrow hips. The other was much more convincingly attired, her wand in a holster at her hip. A half-smile pulled at the lips of the blonde-haired man and he took his hands out of the pockets of his jumper. She clucked her tongue against the roof of her mouth in mock-disapproval and a smile of her own fluttered across her lips, dashing away the austere look that had commanded her features only moments prior.

“Hayes,” he greeted, turning towards the door. She mirrored him, coming to stand beside his right shoulder.

“Greyback,” she intoned, tipping her head in acknowledgement to him.

“Mr Hayes know you’re here?” He asked airily, stepping forward, taking hold of the door handle.

“That’s not your business,” she informed him immediately, striding forward herself.

“And neither is it his,” the werewolf deduced smoothly with a quirked brow, opening the door for her. She scoffed, ducking in past him.

Inside, Melissa Hayes found a mishmash of characters and yet she knew it would all work smoothly. Even with the added individuals, they would operate like a well-oiled machine. She eyed Tremaine before offering him a bright smile and then let her eyes trail over the Auror she recognised from Diagon Alley. Elijah and James hadn’t moved from where the former had taken up residence by the hearth, although by the time Millie had arrived, he’d stopped smoking and he and James were sharing a bar of caramel chocolate. And then there was Robert. And an unknown man. And Kate. And Kate had brought breakfast – which Ariel had immediately headed over to. The Full Moon had only just passed. She couldn’t blame him.

She listened intently to Robert as he briefed them and she frowned a little bit, trying to somehow get the gist of what on earth was going on. Three unrelated. Three equally as important. Her brows furrowed. Theft. Missing person. Potions. Her eyes found Elijah and he met her gaze steadily. Something was behind them, though – something that struck the witch as odd. His eyes strayed to Ariel, too, not a moment later, and his gaze hardened particularly upon settling on the werewolf. Millie opened her mouth as surprise shone on her face. They weren’t there as friends to the Krum. There was something else. She could feel it in the marrow of her bones. She wasn’t just there to steal. She wasn’t there to help Michael. There must’ve been something else.

“They can’t do it without you,” Millie teased, bumping her shoulder playfully against Michael’s.

“Hang on,” Ariel spoke up. “Why the hell am I here?”

“And not in Azkaban,” Mara muttered under her breath, earning a glare from James.

“Touché, darlin’,” Ariel retorted with a chuckle. “But seriously.”

“Istanbul,” Millie reminded him, as though it was a self-evident thing.

“Oh, that’s right. Get the werewolf who may have---” he pointed at Mara warningly with the hand he had clasped around a cup of coffee, “may have, love, not proven. May have run with slightly dubious circles.”

“You escaped the authorities!” Mara burst, fury filling her features. Millie turned a little to look at her, arching a blonde eyebrow at the girl who she faintly remembered from Hogwarts. A couple of years above her, if she recalled correctly.

“They shouldn’t have made it so easy,” Ariel bit back before turning his attention back to Robert. “Can this please contribute to some sort of reprieve of charges, please? If I help you, I’d really enjoy the likes of her,” he gestured to Mara, “off of my back. No offense, love. I’m sure you’re lovely out of your robes.”

“He didn’t mean it!” James exclaimed, leaping to his feet and grabbing hold of Mara’s wrist before she could summon her wand from her boot and hex him. “Not … not like that,” James breathed, his body a little shocked by the sudden movement. “He meant, like … when you’re not an Auror.”

“Wonderful,” she sassed back at him. “And that makes it better?”

“Oh, enough,” Millie rolled her eyes. “Ariel. You need to go and imbed yourself back in the Turkish black market scene to figure out why someone was looking for these rocks in the first place. Yes?” She looked over at Cooper and Robert.

“Spot on,” Elijah nodded, getting to his feet. “While you and Tremaine recover them.”

“And I keep an eye on Augustus,” James re-joined with a slightly fearful smile.

“Of the Rookwood variety?” Millie’s eyebrows quirked upwards again, incredulity filling her eyes.

“That’ll be the one,” James nodded woodenly, sucking in a hesitant breath.

“Then you need to sort out your Occlumency shields,” a new, gravelly voice entered the fray and Millie turned, pleasantly surprised to see Athena stood there, the best dressed of the lot of them after perhaps Kate in a burgundy dress belted around her tiny waist and shiny heels to give her the height she so sorely lacked. “Your brain is a sieve, Potter. It’ll make you easy prey for Augustus.”

“Thena,” Millie greeted, reaching out to squeeze her friend’s hand as the dark-haired woman took up a spot beside her. “You’re up early.”

“I had a Patronus sent my way by Elijah,” she explained. “If it’s my former father-in-law who is making life tricky then you’re going to need to be fully prepared. I don’t mean any disrespect, Jamie, but you’re not.”

James nodded, his mouth set in a line, grimly aware of that fact.

“I can help,” Athena promised. “But what’s first?”
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Re: Trivial Matters

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