[identity profile] fatalfrenzy.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] bait_backup
*It’s early Thursday afternoon, lovely and sunny, and Diagon Alley is almost empty. That’s one consequence of not only the war but Crouch’s curfews and posters and floating eyeballs and the rest of it--the increasing insanity of a man leading the country like a drunken Ahab at the tiller in a storm. No one’s talking about it, and the Prophet is predictably silent, but the empty alley is telling enough. Witches and wizards are staying home regardless of curfew, and the empty shops (half of them shuttered) are a clear enough indictment of Crouch’s policies as any.

But Bellatrix has been terribly virtuous today and done her part to shore up the economy. Gloves at Twilfits, a lacy little thing or two for Roddy, a new series of quills, invitations printed for the upcoming weekend affair at Lestrange Manor, and more, she can’t even remember what she’s bought. But she’s done now, her purchases materialized at home in their glossy wrappings to be cooed over later, and she hasn’t followed them quite yet. She’s enjoying the quiet, the way her heels on the cobblestones actually echo off the shop windows. It’s fascinating.

But then she catches sight of a familiar face--her heartbeat first quickens, then drops, low, low, lower, she’s gloriously calm, now, a slow smile spreading across her face. Sirius Black is sitting at a little table outside the Blue Beetle, engrossed in a book. There’s no one that matters around to see them and she’s still so tickled about her little gift, her little errand of the other night, that there isn’t even a moment of deliberation. Before she even knows what she’s doing her high-heeled boots have carried her right over and she’s sitting across from him, peremptorily and very prettily, with a wide and toothy smile that outshines even the Lestrange jewels at her ears and throat.*

Woof.

Date: 2011-11-04 04:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fleasaremurder.livejournal.com
*How is it possible, Sirius is wondering, to skate through school without a care, breeze through Auror training, and then suddenly have all that easy talent come to a screeching halt and be forced to take up studying? But that's what has happened. He has to give Peter some credit; Arithmancy is beastly difficult and the wards he's looking into are increasingly complex. But the Auror office has taken to relying on him for wardbreaking, and now that it's a specialty he has to stay current and keep getting better. He could have been a curse-breaker or an obliviator or even played the market and turned into a moderately affluent layabout, but no: some fit of nobility, and the desire to stick with James, had put him at the Auror office. And now he's a bookworm. He can sense the horror at these bald facts bubbling up inside what's left of his sixteen-year-old self, but there it is.

It's better than thinking about Gideon and Fabian, anyway.

He's so engrossed in this loop of self-pity and grief that he doesn't even notice until Bellatrix is there and, just like that, it's all swept away. His first thought is, Oh, not now, but his second is firmer, more decisive--No, I can use this. Last time they talked, she let things slip. Last time they talked, it led to tricking her. It can happen again.*

I don't have any treats for you. Shoo.

Date: 2011-11-04 04:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fleasaremurder.livejournal.com
*And there it is, in a flood. It only shows on his face for a split second, but that's more than enough for Bellatrix to see it, and now he can't just shrug it off. But he's not going to give her anything to work with, and he doesn't trust his voice, so he just closes his book, puts it in his bag, and takes a sip of his own tea.*

Date: 2011-11-04 05:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fleasaremurder.livejournal.com
*He's mastered it now, at least, but the damage is done.*

How nice of you to take an interest. You must be so brave to even read the paper these days, you being just a sheltered little housewife and all. You must tell me what you use on your hands, my girlfriend hates getting dishpan hands and you barely have them at all.

Date: 2011-11-04 05:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fleasaremurder.livejournal.com
Must be all the muggleborn girls I'm sleeping with. Gives a healthy glow, I'm told.

Date: 2011-11-04 05:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fleasaremurder.livejournal.com
Oh, hanging by a thread. Lost a tooth the other day, too.

*But this is fruitless; he has to get her angry and make her careless. This silly sparring accomplishes nothing.*

How's Reg doing? I assume you must know. You seem awfully alive and well for him to be doing poorly.

Date: 2011-11-04 06:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fleasaremurder.livejournal.com
*Sirius shrugs, smug and careless.*

His foolishness is your problem, not mine.

Date: 2011-11-04 06:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fleasaremurder.livejournal.com
*His voice is childish and singsong.*

I'm not tell-ing.

Date: 2011-11-04 06:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fleasaremurder.livejournal.com
*It's proof. That's all there is to it. It's proof. Even most of the Auror office didn't know, didn't want to see how the Prewett twins ended up, but Sirius made himself look. The chair, the little diorama, there was no way they died that way, there was someone else there and of course it was her, it reeks of her doing, and there's proof, right there, practically a confession, and he's done playing.

He stands and takes out his wand.*

Fuck you, Bellatrix, I'm placing you under arrest for the murders of Gideon and Fabian Prewett--

Date: 2011-11-04 07:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fleasaremurder.livejournal.com
*He bowls right over her. Short of the cursing, it's by the book: his pair of cuffs appears and he snatches her wrist up and snaps one manacle around her wrist before she can get away.*

--under the authority of the Ministry for Magic and the Auror office. If you resist arrest, that's additional charges.

Date: 2011-11-04 07:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fleasaremurder.livejournal.com
No, no--

*With his hand that's not hanging onto her to prevent her disapparating, he fishes in his pocket for a Galleon. He knows he's overpaying for the tea and he doesn't care, but if this is going to work at all it has to be as clean as he can make it. His tea is his, dammit. And then, when they get in--if Alice is on duty--she cracked that other man, maybe she can crack Bella--and the rote words are pouring out of his mouth.*

You don't have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you don't mention when questioned something which you may later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence. I'll side-along you in myself, if that's all right with you.

Date: 2011-11-04 08:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fleasaremurder.livejournal.com
*There's a retort on the tip of his tongue that says far, far too much about himself and his mother than he wants to show to Bellatrix, so instead he does the only thing that will shut her up: he clicks the other manacle around her wrist, not even bothering to pull them around her back, and Disapparates, Death Eater in tow.*

Date: 2011-11-06 01:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gummymummy.livejournal.com
*Alice had been walking out of the filing room next to the interrogation corridor when she saw them. Everyone knows Bellatrix Lestrange, whether from her family or the high class pages, everyone knows. To see Sirius dragging in his own cousin, a confirmed Society Death Eater, was more than a little jarring.

He didn't have to ask her to follow, natural curiosity made Alice follow anyway. And when Sirius came out and told her what she said, and that in few minutes she would probably be bailed, Alice knew the decision had to be made immediately. Only two things were truly stopping her, even though she knew that number should be much greater: Frank and Andromeda. But there was no time to find Frank or to discuss the finer points of her the conflicts of interest, the least of which was her relationship with Bellatrix's sister.

This work ethic is never what Gideon and Fabian wanted, but the office has already changed without them. Every Auror wants to get the people who got their own. More blind and angry than could ever be professional, Alice walks into the room, sits down, and waits for Bellatrix to make the first move.*

Date: 2011-11-06 01:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gummymummy.livejournal.com
*For all the information Alice has on Bellatrix, there's nothing quite like seeing her. Her completely detached demeanor is unsettling, and Alice feels she has to match it. Tucking her hair back, she moves from sitting across from Bellatrix to be closer to her in the seat at the end of the table.*

Alice Longbottom.

*For a moment, she considers her conflicts, but the words "Hello Alice" flash through her mind and suddenly she starts her set up.*

You look so familiar, forgive me, you are...?

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