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Old 04-15-2006, 04:15 AM   #210 (permalink)

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Hogwarts RPG Name:
Grant Cornish

x7 x8

Ministry RPG Name:
Genevieve James
Law Enforcement

Ministry RPG Name:
Carrigan Howard
Accidents & Catastrophes
Made of Awesome | Ern-la the Best-wa | TZ's Apogee

Thanks to all of you who have been waiting for me so patiently. Let's throw a party... this post marks the 10,000th word written in this story. That's a lot... for me, at least. Part one of a two-parter

The meeting was set up for noon on the day before the Hogwarts Express arrived. Dumbledore had sent an owl asking that the whole team meet with him, along with a few of his most trusted professor. Tonks knew that meant at least McGonagall and Snape would be there, as they were both considered members of the Order. She didn’t impart that information to the others, but those who Dumbledore trusted were well-known.

“Be good to see Snape out during the day. I always rather thought he was a vampire,” Savage cackled to himself as if he’d just told quite a joke. Dawlish cracked a smile before realizing no one else had laughed. Proudfoot didn’t acknowledge anything had been said.

“Shut up, Savage,” Tonks screwed up her face at the crusted omelette Dawlish had made them for breakfast before retreating to the mountain of toast that was becoming their dietary staple. She felt no particular fondness for Snape, who had been sallow and sour since she’d been his student, but he was a comrade now. They owed him some respect.

Savage scowled like she’d taken away his birthday, and the four of them went their separate ways until the meeting. Tonks made a half-hearted effort to get her desk in order. They’d only been here for a few days. How was it possible her desk was already a mass of paperwork? After filing what seemed to be the fourteenth warrant for the same man, she gave up, wondering if anyone would notice if she just set fire to the whole thing.

At noon, they trooped across the street to the Hog’s Head. It was dark, despite the noon hour, and nearly deserted. A man stared moodily at a swirling bottle, but the bar was otherwise empty, aside from the solemn-faced bartender. Tonks sneezed at the scent of goats and barley, and the sneeze distracted her enough that she bumped into a table and tripped over a chair.

Three of the four Aurors had no idea why Dumbledore would choose a seedy bar as their meeting spot, but Tonks grinned at Aberforth as he slowly closed and opened one eye. A wink, albeit an exaggerated one. He tugged at his great mane of white hair before rounding the bar to join them.

“Can’t picture Dumbledore in a place like this, but I…” Proudfoot trailed off as Aberforth moved ahead of them and thrust open the room to a back room. A long table filled the room, and Dumbledore sat easily at its head. Snape curled in on himself nearby, and McGonagall studied the lot of them, a deep line etched across her brow.

“To the contrary, Mr. Proudfoot, I find that we all can benefit from a respite from time to time. The Hog’s Head serves very fine chips when the proprietor can be bothered to stock the kitchen.” There was an audible sniff from behind them, and the door slammed shut. “I suggest you take a seat so that we may get started.”

Tonks slid into the chair next to Snape, but he made no motion to acknowledge her presence. It didn’t bother her in the least, and she turned her attention to Dumbledore. She recalled some of his longer Headmaster-type speeches, and it appeared he might be winding up for a doozy.

“Minister Scrimgeour has informed me that I should be very cooperative in allowing you to protect the students,” he paused. Proudfoot opened his mouth, unsure about his role at this point. They weren’t in Hogsmeade to fight with the school over whether or not they were necessary. That seemed such a waste of effort when they were merely following orders. Dumbledore’s next words saved Proudfoot from responding. “I’m very much interested in protecting them myself, so it seems we all have something in common. Let’s start with that, shall we?”

He looked at each of them in turn. Tonks watched Savage work hard to keep his ruddy face impassive, and Proudfoot shifted in his chair under the weight of Dumbledore’s gaze. Next to her, Dawlish was practically cowering, but when Dumbledore's eyes swept over her, they were twinkling and bright. She felt like waving and asking after his socks, but perhaps this wasn’t the venue for that sort of thing.

Last edited by Cassirin; 04-15-2006 at 01:41 PM.
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