Bunker.

Bunker.

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closed Bunker.

Post by Melissa Finnigan on Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:38 pm

The large party of wizards that had gathered on the station platform disappeared in small groups in blinks of white light, zipped away by those of them who knew their destination and could pass their passengers through the wards on the other side.

When her feet reached the floor, their magic settling them just at the foot of the stairs, Millie opened her eyes. She exhaled, the familiarity of their surroundings letting the tension that had coiled within her subside considerably.

Elijah’s vision focused a little and he watched, a small smile on his lips, as something of a changing of the guard happened before him. Millie and Baldric broke from the sides of those they had brought back with them, returning to their husbands. Anchors.

“Daddy?” A little voice called. Elijah’s eyes flicked to the doorway where a little, dark-haired girl was stood, confusion written into her little features.

Theodore didn’t even apologise for barging past the Krum in his haste to get to his daughter. Elijah frowned a little but didn’t utter a word, merely leaning down himself to scoop up his boys as Theodore picked up Esme and hugged her close.

“You’re squishing me!” She giggled.

“It’s because I love you,” he told her gruffly, pressing a kiss to her cheek.

“You need to shave,” she admonished, bringing a little hand to his scruffy cheek.

“You’re probably right, baby,” he murmured, nudging his nose against hers. “Where’s your mum?”

“She’s talking to nanna,” Esme informed him, laying her head down on his shoulder.

“C’mon then,” he murmured, readjusting his hold on her before striding through the doorway she’d appeared in, going in search of his redhead.

Bae’s lips found the soft skin of his husband’s temple and he left a little murmur in Ben’s ear that he wanted to go and see their babies before going to do just that. It seemed that Theodore and Baldric were on the same wavelength in that both wanted reassurance from their family, from what they knew. They wanted to touch base, to take a moment to unburden their souls for just a moment before the world got tricky again.

Oddly, it was Millie who seemed level-headed and unmoved by the turn of events. It could possibly be put down to the fact that as soon as they landed in Bridget’s house, her magic was piqued, sensing the children in the other room. She also knew that they needed to focus, that though some of them needed a moment, they also needed to get back on the job and work out what steps needed to be taken in order to get them all through this and get the students back.

“What’s your plan, maestro?” She asked, looking up at Keiran as she reached out, touching her fingers against his hand. Her jaw was set, determination in her eye. They would fix this. They had to. It was their way, after all – and, of course, the only way.
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closed Re: Bunker.

Post by Mai S. Tierney on Tue Aug 02, 2016 5:45 am

There was something entirely wrong with Theodore, she decided immediately. Something so strange and lost that she could only recognize it because she had been on the receiving end of a less tame version of that look before. At the meeting she had tricked her way into. Apparently Theo had forgiven Ben, perhaps for Baldric's sake, but she understood and was on her feet at once. Connor, thankfully, had slept through the cracks of their arrival, and was burrowed up in his rocking carrier, set moving by a bit of her magic. It slowed to a stop, though, as she pulled her focus away and towards her not-fiancé's face.

He had Esme, which she knew was the agent for calming him more than anything else, but she couldn't fathom why. So after lifting up to her full height, she stepped over and ran her fingers over his sides and chest almost absently, searching his face silently for an explanation. But, because it was her, she couldn't keep quiet for too long.

"I know that expression, Theo. What's the matter?" She asked at a whisper, supposing that maybe the matter was her and the other ladies in the room weren't meant to know. "Whatever it is, I'm sorry. I don't know what-"

"Tim!" Ben let out with relief, making the redhead jump and stare at him. Maybe it wasn't her fault, the matter. He crossed the room, lifting the boy up without warning before seeking out Eva with his gaze. Even thoughBen had realized the same thing Keiran had upon arriving, he still felt his pulse stabilize after locating her next to Mrs. Hudson.

Now, the thing Keiran realized was this: The instant Esme spoke and everyone looked at her, it was clear. Not all children were gone. He knew the very idea was irrational but it had crossed his mind for a breath of two. But Esme. So that meant his lot and Connor and the Bendric babies were safe. Otherwise the chat wouldn't have consisted of gossip until Theodore entered the room.

Keiran's gaze shifted to Eli as Millie spoke, and he knew she was the one being the most sensible. Ministry time or not, her husband was playing through a million options, word orders and ideas at once, failing to find one thing that fixed all of it. Nothing was adding up to one, and that made no sense.

Finally, though, he sighed and settled his hand at her back to lead her into the living room. Everyone else was there, so he let his hand falls way in case Millie needed to be closer to her babies. That night, he would sneak out of their bed and into the kids' room just to be safe, and end up sleeping on the floor there until found or joined by his wife. But for now he could see them and that was enough. Not that he would complain if any of them approached him, looking confused or curious.

Tim was asking questions that Ben couldn't answer, so he turned to Keiran as well. Merlin, the older man thought, what would Oliver be feeling? And what about Liv? He didn't know if he was allowed to wonder. But Millie had been shaken and Keiran knew it was callous to deny that he'd had a flashback of his own to the little he could remember about that time. Now it was about making sure that those kids, wherever they were, ended up safe and very much alive.

"Okay," he began finally, silencing the questioning looks that were being sent his way. Why weren't Theo and Eli prepared for this and throwing out ideas already? Maybe they'd been used to him doing it instead. "We need to keep an eye on the investigation Robert is heading up. I saw him bring in Dyllan and some others, so if they keep things clear we can leak what we want to the Prophet. Most all of you know who I mean by that. Eli, I'll get you in touch with our contact there when the time comes so you can do whatever it is you do to make women help you. And I really, really don't need to know what that is, thanks," he tacked on quickly, doubting it would save any of them the sarcastic remark. Then again, Keiran had no idea about the worries Eli must have been consumed by in that moment. So he drew in a breath and tried to charge onwards.

"I've tried to mull over a few possibilities but so far the most rational idea I have is for you two to put out statements- written ones, to ensure we get them right - and Eli, that's where the Prophet first comes in. But," he added reluctantly, "we'll probably need to hold a press conference in a sort of town hall setting. Let people come in to ask questions, voice their fears. We can let them know, then, that we understand their plight and that we are working on it. We should get as many Ministry representatives as possible on it, I think. Mai, Eli, Robert, Jack, James, Gilbert from the Prophet, anybody who wants to volunteer to talk. As many as we can get, to stand together and all agree to push the same message: we need confidence, coordination and determination." He paused. "Or some variant of that. But that's beside the point. Just let them voice their fears, and we'll assuage them until we find that damn train."
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closed Re: Bunker.

Post by Elijah Krum on Tue Aug 02, 2016 10:24 am

(OOC: They're so bickery. Omg.)

The sight of Mai and the near-presence of their slumbering son, unaware of the turmoil unfolding within his father, did much to further soothe the young Rookwood. His little family was safe, at least, but he couldn’t help but ache for the scores of families he had so totally and completely failed. Closing his eyes, Theodore drew Mai into his embrace, letting his forehead rest against hers as he tried to steady his breathing. He had his girls. At least there was that, in that moment. His eyes flicked back open when Ben called out to his son and Theodore’s hand splayed further across the small of Mai’s back, hoping to settle her.

“Mai,” he breathed. “The train. It’s gone. Someone’s taken it. All those children, those smiling, excited children … I lost them. They were my responsibility and I lost them. After everything. All of the wards we put on the castle. All of the protection spells. Everything we did to make them safe … someone still got at them. Someone could still hurt them. I …” His lips trembled shut and he looked at her, his eyes boring into hers, searching for her opinion, searching for the reassurance that it wasn’t entirely his fault, that there was nothing he could have done to prevent it even though, after everything he had done, it felt as though he should’ve.

Elijah felt like an unwelcome voyeur on the situation. The little families repaired themselves, fusing back together. Baldric crossed the room with Eva in his arms to stand with Ben and their son. As professional as the little blonde he knew so well was attempting to be, at the sight of her own children, she too broke rank and swept to them, hauling them into her arms, rousing giggles and little protestations before releasing them and asking to be included in the game they were playing on the rug. And then there was himself, two of his children gone, three remaining, with Athena, the picture of peace, bouncing her goddaughter on her hip.

Where, Elijah thought miserably, was his waiting other half? Where was the other piece of his cracked soul? These people were like the two halves of wands. When brought back together, they became this homogenous mass, first as a duo, then with their children, and then as a wider family. They were a family. And he … he was alone. He had his boys, of course, and his precious, golden-haired girl … and he had his Fauve. He had his Thierry. But beyond that … merlin, it almost felt as though he could see their magic intermingling, reaching out and joining together, lifting them, making them stronger. He had known he led an odd life, that he led an unsettled and ultimately, quite possibly, unhappy life but … he’d never seen, before, what he didn’t have. And this was it.

“Buck up, Eli,” Athena murmured as she slid past him. “Fix your life another time.”

And, as she moved towards the rug to sit Alice down with Millie and the Hayes babies, Elijah felt the warmth of Athena’s presence slither out of his mind. He frowned a little and set down Cepheus and Caelum – unimpressed and unsettled to find her sitting at the back of his mind. But then, of course, as Augustus had illustrated, he was an open book – his anxieties leaking out of him. He lowered his eyes to the floor, taking a moment in isolation to try and settle himself, filtering out the chatter around him, although somehow Millie’s inquiry, aimed at her mother-in-law no doubt, as to whether or not her children had been good filtered through. He sighed, wondering if it was time to have a cigarette again. And to think, he’d been so good.

Elijah’s head shot up when Keiran spoke and lifted an eyebrow. His lips spread into a smirk without really any leave to do so. Athena shook her head, rolling her eyes affectedly to Millie who laughed a little before offering a block to Alice. It seemed that, regardless of his melancholy, Elijah was on board with that one. It was an easy way to make sure he was doing something productive, at least.

“Is he any good?” Millie whispered with a smirk of her own. Athena took a second to look scandalised before matching the blonde’s expression, giving a firm nod that widened Millie’s smile.

“I ask nicely, Keiran,” Elijah voiced with a chuckle. “Isn’t that what most people do? Women like the word ‘please.’”

“I don’t ever remember please entering into the sentence,” Theo quipped before he could help himself. “It was usually just that look, wasn’t it?” He turned back towards Mai, giving his best impression of the teenage-Elijah seduction face. He could barely last a second before his laugh bubbled up and split the stoic, come hither expression.

“Theo, Theo!” Athena called between her own laughter. “You forgot the chin thing.”

“Oh, yeah,” he inclined his chin upwards with a smirk, his eyes flitting over towards his old housemate in order to see if he’d gotten it right. Elijah’s cheeks were scarlet. Bingo. “Even had her,” he gestured to Athena, “all gooey for him. Although, mind you. If I remember correctly Ms. Goyle, you were just as bad.”

“Water under the bridge,” she waved her hand dismissively through the air, refusing to be teased. Theodore chuckled, leaning in to press his lips to Mai’s temple.

“Alright, alright,” Millie cautioned the three of them, looking up from the game. “C’mon, listen.” Her eyes flicked pointedly in Keiran’s direction before turning back to the three Slytherins who had become suitably attentive once more.

“Yes, Mrs Hayes,” Theodore nodded, setting Esme down so that she could hop over and play with the others. “Apologies.”

“How do we know this isn’t going to end in a bloodbath?” Elijah asked warily. “These are much of the same kids that got hurt last time the train was interfered with.” Theodore shuffled at little closer to Mai, shame tightening his body language. “We told the parents last time that something like that would never happen again, that Hogwarts was safe for their children. How on earth are we going to assuage fears when it’s so blatantly not true?”

“Because you’re there, Eli,” Millie said simply. “And, like them, your children are gone, too. You’re exactly like those parents. You’re going to assuage fears because you’re one of them but unlike them you can and will do something about it. By being just as scared as they are, you can make them feel like they’re heard, that they’re not voiceless, because there’s someone in the Ministry, in a position of power, who actually, personally understands what they’re going through. It’s not a throwaway connection to someone - they’re your children. And by swearing to get the train back, they’ll believe you because it’s not just going to be lip service. You want it back as much as they do, too.”

“That’s all well and good, Mills,” Theo interjected. “But … he’s right. How are they going to forgive … well, me?”

“You didn’t put up the wards, Theo,” Athena reminded him softly. “I did. I made the mistake. I should’ve put more wards on the train than I did. They should have been more closely interlinked. Something should’ve prevented this somewhere. So if you need an explanation for them … tell them it’s my fault.”

“Right,” he scoffed, his sarcasm evident. “And thereby gift you a one-way ticket back to Azkaban by popular vote? Do me a favour, Thea.”

“Well what else can you tell them?” She asked hotly. “Are you going to blame yourself, Theo? Because it’s not your fault.”

“It’s not yours, either,” Elijah pointed out. “It’s not negligence that caused this, it’s the actions of someone else. And martyring yourselves just because you’re feeling guilty doesn’t help those kids on the train. Kieran's right -- we need to approach this together. Otherwise there’s no point in doing it at all.”

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closed Re: Bunker.

Post by Keiran Hayes on Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:08 pm

"Unfortunately, Krum, I doubt it will be that simple with this one," Keiran warned quite seriously. His lips were pulled up with amusement, but he doubted that Adrienne would be so easily convinced to help anyone again without good reason. And sure, she would want to inform the public, but she wouldn't like the fact that she was expected to publish what they wanted her to, word for word. Not that simply. And as bad as Keiran felt about using Adrienne again, he knew that if anyone could figure it out, it was Krum. And his name probably wouldn't even be brought into it.

Ben frowned deeply at Elijah's apparent unwillingness to participate in their attempts to handle the situation. But his frown turned into a shocked, disapproving "No," when Millie replied. It came out quietly enough that he could turn his head towards Tim and pretend he hadn't said it, but Keiran was so intent on taking in the group amassed in front of him that of course he noticed.

Keiran was used to waiting to try and get a word in, so he waited until there was a pause, a question to answer, before stepping in again. "Look," he began slowly, "you're all thinking about this the wrong way. I'm sorry, Mills, but you are too," he told her gently, the corners of his lips turning down as he looked over at her. It was an almost disappointed look that he shared with all of them, but he tempered it as he leaned against the wall behind him and tried to look more relaxed.

"Three years ago, most of us wouldn't have been in a room for a meeting like this. If Eli walks into a room, and says that he's going to help where they can't, that's the worst thing they could possibly hear. One day, he was a kid who could have been on that train. We all were. Now people know us because we did what we thought we couldn't. So no," he concluded, "we can't tell them that. We have to tell them that while we'll do everything we can, we can't do it without them."

He looked over to Ben, who was nodding. Keiran didn't doubt that the man had seen some horrible public relations fiascos, but this one was particularly dangerous if they got it wrong.

"Don't get me wrong. The Ministry, this group here, we'll be doing the most. But if it comes down to it, we'll need help. From information we can't see ourselves if we're too in the spotlight. From the students when we find them. Whoever has done this isn't going to get away with it, I can guarantee that. I refuse to return to that school without those kids. It won't happen. So we need to get the wording right, send Eli to talk to Reynolds, and then find out what the aurors have learned. We'll need that department to keep a running list of things they find, and the Department of Mysteries needs a chance to do what they do. We should get Potter on this, at some point, and have him bring people in to dig around."

As much as Keiran wasn't sure about some of the people they would have to trust in this case, they had no choice.

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closed Re: Bunker.

Post by Elijah Krum on Thu Aug 04, 2016 11:19 pm

The blonde’s eyebrows lifted in surprise, concern turning down the sides of her lips as a little bit of panic shot through her, her mind conjuring the worst images of the public’s attempts to help. She nibbled on the inside of her cheek and turned her eyes briefly back down to the children. Her gaze met Athena’s on the way back up. They knew each other well enough now. The look was stoic and the gentle raise of an eyebrow confirmed what Millie half-suspected the witch was trying to remind her. She pouted a bit and looked down at her hands. You’re a hired wand, not a politician.

“That’s a bit literal. I’m not that stupid,” Elijah scoffed, affront clouding his features as he readjusted his stance and folded his arms over his chest. “And in the vain of literal, we can’t directly call on their help. Setting up an owl office to deal with information from the general public is as much as we should afford them. Any idiot can hold a wand but an idiot with a wand is a liability. Next to Aurors, next to …” he rolled his lips, his eyes flicking in Millie’s direction as he swallowed information that he knew he shouldn’t let go of.

“Simmer down, Eli,” Athena cautioned without looking up, filling the beat that was missing. “Play the game. Use your head.”

“I am using my head, Athena,” he snapped before he could help himself. The dark haired witch rolled her eyes, bouncing Alice a little in her lap before leaning her head down to whisper something in the infant’s ear.

“You’re not…” Millie reopened her eyes and turned towards her husband, focused curiosity pinching at her features. “You’re not proposing something more than just information gathering, are you? If there is an open invitation, explicit or implicit, for more than that then it could be misconstrued as weakness from the Ministry and—”

“The Ministry?” Theodore all but spat out the name. “Why do you give a flying toss about the Ministry? They’re supposed to be hunting the mad bastards that have an inclination for this sort of thing. And they’ve dropped the ball – again! The Ministry is already weak! And besides that, it and he,” a rather accusing finger was shoved in Elijah’s direction, “has never done anything for you – or, for that matter, any of us! So why in the blazes should we be worried about the Ministry?”

Millie’s lips came together, taut with disapproval as she narrowed her eyes at Theodore. Athena, too, turned to look at her cousin, incredulity furrowing her brows. It was Elijah, however, who spoke.

“I’ll remember that next time someone starts digging around looking for evidence for your misdemeanours, Theodore.” His voice was temperate, hollow. Theo’s eyes widened a little bit as he looked at his former housemate, absently aware of the two girls on the floor shaking their heads – one for knowing exactly what the Ministry had done for her, the other for having been on the other side, knowing what Elijah picked and chose to act on. It was corrupt, of course, but it had kept them safe.

“Have someone write it and let me look at it,” he compromised. “But they need to know the Ministry has this in hand, even if we don’t. Whatever trust is left in the government and the school needs to be salvaged otherwise when we get the students back, there won’t be many parents willing to let them go back to Hogwarts. In the meantime, I’ll work on Miss Difficult, as you’ve said. I’ll check in the Aurors first, though. If she’s not going to be as straight forward as we’d all like, perhaps I’ll leave her til last.”

“Let me know when they’re done looking at what’s left,” Athena spoke up. “I want to take my wand to it … figure out how they got in.”

“No problem, Thea,” he nodded. “I can also wake Potter up and send him your way, Hayes.” It was beginning to sound like an errand list but Athena was just proud that Elijah was cooperating at last.

For the record? James wasn't in bed. He was actually having lunch with Lyle in Bournemouth, enjoying the sunshine. Why did Elijah always imagine James wasn't doing anything but laying about in bed? Perhaps it was because the DoM was always so dark. Probably. Odd-bird.







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closed Re: Bunker.

Post by Keiran Hayes on Fri Aug 05, 2016 2:30 pm

If there was one thing that could be said about Keiran and his cousin slash best friend, it was that they were starting to feel the same way about this whole thing. They apparently had done so the whole time, but Keiran was only just starting to register that. It did help that Theodore was far more open and vocal about his disapproval. It didn't mean, necessarily, that Theo was one hundred percent on board with Keiran's points, but the older Rookwood-of-sorts wasn't ready to drop it.

Once he found a gap in the conversation, he jumped in sarcastically. "Right, okay. So the proper channels. That doesn't include me, or Thea or the Piersons. So we'll sit back and watch, shall we? I can do that. How about you write your own bloody statement, Krum? Now Millie, she's in with the Lupins and that's fine. So I'll just sit back," he declared, dropping into a chair to make his point, "and watch my wife run off and risk everything while I read a tome, shall I?"

A disbelieving scowl settled into his features and he crossed his arms. "That's what you're asking of everyone if you tell them to sit back and watch us do this. How many people will start applying for jobs at the Ministry that we can't give because they're filling up? Or they aren't qualified? But hey, they're going through the right channels so let's give it to them. How many people at the Ministry will be affected by what's happening and act stupidly? Or what about the ones that don't care because they don't have kids or ones that age and they don't want to risk their lives?"

When he became too frustrated to sit still, he stood and reached for his wand. "If you lot won't let them, I know who will. And they'll be grateful for the help, rather than afraid they'll look weak. Everyone needs outside help sometimes. Otherwise I wouldn't be involved in this at all."

Elijah made it sound like he was ready to leave, and the Hayes patriarch didn't bother trying to stop him. "Brilliant. Good luck with her, and the aurors and whatever else. I'll write your damned statement, though I don't doubt it will seem different coming from us rather than you. So we'll find a way to handle that, too."

Looking over at Ben, Keiran got the feeling that although he would be helpful at a time like this, the businessman would leave it up to his family, whether they stayed or found their way home instead. So that left Theo, Mai and Thea potentially, though the latter would disappear at some point to poke around at the train, apparently. So they would have to sort it out quickly enough to also write up an announcement about the discussion before Elijah managed to convince Adrienne to publish what they wanted her to.

Shaking his head, Keiran wandered over to his mother's desk, digging around for paper as Bridget herself got up and walked past him to go make tea. As she walked by, she passed him a concerned and confused look, and he promised he would explain later. He located a whole journal and just picked it up, taking a pen with him. "Alright, am I writing this myself? Or what's the plan?"

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