[identity profile] ocularlunacy.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] bait_backup
*Moody's house looks deserted from the street, the slats of plastic blinds all boasting a layer of grime and dust between which no light seeps out, and the murmur of voices of the ever-thinning Order are silenced by the most effective of charms. No one, no group of hoodlum kids roaming the streets and no spy sent to discover their plans, could even know anyone was at home that night. Inside, the bulbs of lamps are unscrewed under their shades and even the keyhole at the front door has been taped over – Moody has made his home a place to be forgotten, something airtight and impossible to stake out. The only way in is through his guests, and each of them is a chance he must take in times like these.

A pile of parchment is passed hand to hand around the room, updating everyone on Jones' runes; furtively taken photographs of known Death Eaters walking the streets and seen through shop windows; any (mostly fraudulent) copies of medical, financial, and criminal records that they could as a group get their hands on; and newspapers with notes scribbled in margins. Candles light Moody's face like a particularly grotesque jack-o-lantern from the coffee table, and no one comments as a tear of wax rolls down off the base of it's candlestick and turns one half of Fabian Prewett's photographic face a glossy dark grey as it seeps through the paper to mar even more deathtolls beneath the two most devastating to them.*

Date: 2011-11-22 07:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rattrapped.livejournal.com
*Peter thought he would feel less afraid, not more.

In some ways he is less afraid. He is less afraid when he makes his eggs in the morning and eats them at the small table-for-one in his flat. He is less afraid when he walks the near-deserted streets of Diagon Alley. He is less afraid when he goes to sleep at night, now that he can sleep. He is less afraid to read the Prophet, when he reads the Prophet at all--which isn't often.

But here, among his friends and comrades (or the people who had been his friends and comrades, he is quick to remind himself) he is more afraid than he has ever been. As they all gather to mourn the twins, the ones he killed, Peter knows every last one of them would kill him in a heartbeat if they knew. Alastor Moody would have his head on a platter at this sad little coffee table before anyone would blink.

And that is why he's cheesey-pale, why he arrived early and alone as usual and isn't sitting near anyone, his head in his hands. It looks like grief--looks exactly like the other crushed and defeated Order members filling the room--but of course it's anything but. It's shame, and terror, but it isn't grief--and it isn't regret, either.*

Date: 2011-11-24 05:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mindtheplums.livejournal.com
*Xeno's seated in a shadowy corner of the room, not far from Remus but far from the center of things. He's in now, in with the Order, but not that far in. He hasn't lost people the way the others in this room have, hasn't sacrificed a lick of what they have. He's very aware of that, aware of how important it is for him to keep his mouth shut and let them mourn--and that's tamped down even his considerable natural curiosity, the part of him that wants to find out everything, fill in the pieces.

That was enough on its own, but now someone's passed along the creased photographs of the McKinnons, and Xeno bows his head over them, not even really cognizant of what he's murmuring.*

The sky has lost a star.

Date: 2011-11-26 08:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rattrapped.livejournal.com
*Peter twitches, glances up, feeling the sickly-strong pounding of his heart in his throat. Rats inside and out. He could scream. He wants to scream. He's so focused on not-screaming that he's certain now that everyone's looking at him, looking through him as effortlessly as Ollivander did more than a decade ago, scrutinizing the lines of his face and searching for tells. Finding them.

He is so convinced of his own conspicuousness that he has to speak. It's barely more than a croak.*


Date: 2011-12-03 04:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frankly-bamf.livejournal.com
No, fuck that.

*Frank breaks in on the heels of Peter's question, voice gravel-sharp with grief and anger and lack of sleep.*

First off, Alastor, use their goddamned names, it wasn't two Aurors, it was Fabian and Gideon. And who says we have to go in the day? That's what the Death Eaters expect, is us to play by the rules, and it's just going t'get more of us killed if we do that. If they're playing dirty, we've got to step up, attack at night, find loopholes like they are. Fuck the rules, the rules aren't helping anyone.

Date: 2011-12-03 04:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] looneyloopy.livejournal.com
*Remus's posture shifts almost imperceptibly at Frank's outburst; they've lost people, good people, before, and the meetings just after are never smooth or easy. He sees where this is going and straightens slightly in his chair, pressing his knee to Xeno's to catch his attention and giving him a grim warning look, clear code for this is about to get ugly.*

Date: 2011-12-29 10:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scarletskirt.livejournal.com
*She's been told time and time again that sometimes it is best to keep her mouth shut. Anticipation of retaliation claws at her throat, and she almost doesn't say a word until—*

Is that what Fabian and Gideon would want? Would they want us to play dirty in their name?

Date: 2012-01-01 04:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gummymummy.livejournal.com
*Alice almost allows her first instinct to get the better of her. The impulse is terrible and over-bearing, to scream what the hell did Lily know about what Fabian and Gideon would want, and who was she to get in this at all.

As her head jolts up though, Alice looks around the table for the first time and sees the absolute grief and suddenly she's no longer defensive about her feelings. The pain in their community is palpable, and suddenly there's comfort in that.

For the first time since she told Frank, Alice feels herself crying.*

Date: 2012-01-01 04:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frankly-bamf.livejournal.com
*Unlike the others, Frank's sense of when to keep his mouth shut is too broken down, along with the rest of him, for him to consider what he says before it tumbles out in a harsh, angry attack. He likes Lily, he's always liked her, but she has the misfortune of being the first to say what he knows, on a deep level he doesn't want to care about, is true.*

Oh, right, okay. You still don't wanna get your hands dirty. Great. But how's that gonna hold up when James is the one who's been ripped to fucking pieces, or your kid? You find them dead and a threat to your goddamn family on the wall, and then you tell me what you think about 'playing dirty'. Then we'll talk about it. Until then you can shut the fuck up.

Date: 2012-01-01 11:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fleasaremurder.livejournal.com
Then go charge in and kill some Death Eaters, if you're so thrilled by the idea of bringing heads home to your wife, but lay off Lily. Lily killed that Carrow kid in St Mungo's, remember? You want to start murdering them in their beds, I'll take you to Bellatrix's house myself and help. Maybe they'll give us cells next to each other in Azkaban.

Date: 2012-01-02 02:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gummymummy.livejournal.com
*Immediately the defenses are back up. The look Alice gives Sirius and then everyone is direct and sharp: Not now.

She moves to take Frank's hand.*

Date: 2012-01-02 02:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frankly-bamf.livejournal.com
*He squeezes her hand on reflex, a little harder than intended, but his eyes don't waver from Sirius.*

Maybe you should, you sure as hell didn't manage to keep a hold on her the other day.

Date: 2012-01-02 02:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] looneyloopy.livejournal.com
That's enough.

*Remus speaks up sharply and suddenly from across the room. What happened with Bellatrix has been more than enough of an issue in their home the past few days, and the last thing Sirius needs is someone rubbing salt in that particular wound. He'll be damned if he sits by and lets him get attacked for something he's already punishing himself for far too effectively.*

What happened with Bellatrix happened. It's done. Dragging it out won't bring the Prewetts back, Frank, drop it.

Date: 2012-01-02 02:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frankly-bamf.livejournal.com
*Anger darkening his expression, Frank looks between the three. Bloody figures, the Marauders leaping to each others' defense, just like in school. You say a word against one and you get the whole fucking pack at your throat. On reflex, Frank looks to his left for Gid, for the level-headed backup he always chimes in with - and past his left, to Fabian for a smart-arse remark to put the others in their place.

He looks to his left, and for an instant, the sight of red hair promises support, the other two-thirds of a trio solid since childhood. He feels, for the first time in days, secure. But it's only Arthur, drawn and silent and exhausted-looking, and the twist in Frank's chest when he realizes it feels like walking into the twins' flat all over again.

Grief rising with bile in his throat, he swallows down hard and clenches his jaw, looking to Alice miserable and furious and wanting equally to break Lupin's nose and to go home.*

Date: 2012-01-02 02:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fleasaremurder.livejournal.com
*Sirius snorts, scoffing at Frank's insult.*

You know where she lives same as I do, Frank. You've read the file. We've read the files of everyone we suspect. Go on in to any one of their homes flinging curses, see what good it does. Good fucking luck getting anything to stick. Maybe it'll even work, what with Crouch sitting under your window singing the both of you love songs.

Date: 2012-01-02 02:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] looneyloopy.livejournal.com
Sirius, enough.

*He loves him. He does. Madly, and beyond all reason, and with all that he is. But at moments like this, Remus can't help but feel that Sirius is one of the most deeply, stupidly stubborn human beings on the entire planet. The tone he hauls out now isn't one he uses often, but the meaning behind it should be crystal clear to the three others in the room who know the other body Sirius sometimes inhabits. It's the exact tone you use on a dog who's gotten into the garbage, again, and its use now is no accident.*

Date: 2012-01-02 02:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frankly-bamf.livejournal.com
Listen to your boyfriend, Black. I'm not talking about arresting anyone, I'm talking about settling things. Once and for all. I'm done with the proper channels.

Date: 2012-01-02 02:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fleasaremurder.livejournal.com
*Sirius gives Frank a sharp look, but looks to Remus, and puts up both hands.*

Have fun in Azkaban. Send me a postcard.

Date: 2012-01-02 03:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] looneyloopy.livejournal.com
*If he twitches a little, if his expression goes a bit fixed at Frank's comment, it's gone in the next second as Sirius backs off. Remus has always had an excellent poker face, even if that jibe did make him stop breathing for a second.

Shaking it off, he gives Sirius a pointed 'behave-or-else-because-you-are-out-of-line' look before shifting (most of) his attention back to the rest of the meeting, trying to salvage things.*

Alright. Everyone's exhausted and we all miss Fabian and Gideon. I know. But we've got to focus, this is getting us nowhere.

Personally, I'm inclined to agree with Frank, at least at the outside. The legal channels aren't enough, we can't fight an up-front war against guerilla tactics. But there has to be a medium between waiting for them to attack, and trying to go up against them in their beds. That'll only get more of us killed, Sirius is right, but something has to change.

Date: 2012-01-02 04:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rattrapped.livejournal.com
*It's so much worse than the oppressive silence, the way everything's blown up all at once. Of course Lily can't keep her fucking mouth shut and James is just sitting there and Frank's wife is crying and Frank himself is beginning to scare Peter very, very badly and that little jibe about Remus-and-Sirius is so sickeningly accurate he almost bursts into hysterical laughter right there and that'd be as good as suicide--

It's some sharp instinct that moves him to speak, a lightning-quick awareness of how to direct the focus, the anger, the danger somewhere else. His salvation appears, and she's an easy target, pouty and messy and distracting. He mutters it, his eyes on the floor.*

Don't we have a spy.

Date: 2012-01-02 04:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gummymummy.livejournal.com
*The look Frank gave her is the most he's communicated in days, and Alice wasn't going to let it go until his 'boyfriend' comment. It's something she has suspected for a very long time, she had even mentioned it to Frank - but it all takes a backseat to the fact what Frank is advocating they do.

She's grateful to Remus, given what's just been said, and his rationality. She had been about to answer him with the necessary question of "How?", but then Peter interjects, and she stops.*

Peter, you're not helping.

Date: 2012-01-02 05:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rattrapped.livejournal.com
*He seems to back down immediately, his face flushing pink and his eyes still glued to that same patch of floor--but he's suddenly furious. Who is Alice to reprimand him like he's a fucking second year, who died and made her the captain of the fucking debate team or everyone's mother--*

Sure, like she couldn't see this coming? She's fucking them--

Date: 2012-01-02 05:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fleasaremurder.livejournal.com
*There's a second of confusion, and then Sirius understands, and the acidic anger of betrayal bubbles up his his throat again.*

Leave Rose out of this. She's the only inside eye we've got, now. If you want to take up the job and start fucking Alecto Carrow, you're welcome to it.

Date: 2012-01-02 05:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gin-and-smoke.livejournal.com
*Rose had wondered when someone would start in with that shit. Truth be told, Pettigrew's not saying anything she hasn't thought before - she should've known this was coming, should've caught something from Damien, should've listened more closely. She's never been one to throw herself under the bus, but she liked the twins, especially Fabian, and she can't help wondering whether she missed something that let them get killed. Guilt, as it's turning out, doesn't wear well on her, but the anger that flashes up in response is much more familiar.

She's already been thinking it, she's been waiting for someone to say it. But actually hearing it lands like a slap in the face, and when her gaze fixes on Pettigrew there's something a little dangerous and a little haunted in it. She doesn't yell - she never yells, one of the tip-offs to an upbringing involving private tutors and old money - but her drawl is heavily vitriolic.*

Maybe you should spent a little more time on your own assignments and a little less time thinking about who I'm fucking, Pettigrew. Try pinning this on me again. Go ahead.

Date: 2012-01-02 06:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rattrapped.livejournal.com
*That was sloppy, sloppy, now they're all glaring at him--Peter wilts under the two of them, his face closing.*


Date: 2012-01-02 07:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scarletskirt.livejournal.com

This month has been—

*Shit. Awful. Depressing. Shit.*

—rough...for all of us. But we can't let bickering get in the way.

Date: 2012-01-02 05:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] looneyloopy.livejournal.com
I agree. Perhaps we should take it to a vote - show of hands only, for now - to get an idea of where we stand on the question of how to go about things? Playing by the Ministry's rules, fighting in daylight and on the up and up, or investigating...alternate methods. Then we can go from there. Alright?

Date: 2012-01-03 01:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mindtheplums.livejournal.com
The Ministry doesn't play by its own rules, why should we. But--

*But nothing good could come from the way Frank's looking at all of them, how red his eyes are and the tension in his fists that's visible even across the room, or the way everyone seems to be on the verge of turning on one another. And Remus is being diplomatic but terribly, frighteningly vague.*

--how alternate?

Date: 2012-01-03 08:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] heightofcool.livejournal.com
*James, who leaning against the wall with his arms crossed, lets out a humorless snort. After being blackmailed and forced to do terrible things he never thought himself capable of, it disgusts him to think that the Ministry rules are the alternative to playing dirty, as if they were some sort of moral standards. James has always preferred to keep his hands clean, but he's more than fed up with the Ministry, and his voice is full of spite when he speaks.*

If sneaking up on a few Death Eaters after dark means saving lives, I think I could find a way to sleep at night. I mean, we can find a way to restrain them without resorting to cold blooded murder, can't we? We've got the talent for it, and the numbers for it, as long as we stop waiting for them to attack and start being preemptive.

Date: 2012-01-03 05:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] looneyloopy.livejournal.com
Exactly. It doesn't mean resorting to the same spellwork -

*He directs this to Xeno with a subtle half-glance to him, knowing too well his friend's stance on Unforgivables and torture.*

- But if we have to start bringing the fight to them. We've got the numbers to handle this without resorting certain things, yes, but they still outnumber us. If we start going in with targeted, individual attacks we're going to stand a better chance long-term than waiting for large-scale battles where we've got the disadvantage.

As for the curfew, we've got enough Ministry insiders here to skirt around that, I think. If every attack we go in on has at least one Auror or agent or what have you....

*For his own part, Remus knows, he's risking everything every time he breaks curfew, Aurors or not. Even being at this meeting holds higher stakes for him than most of the others; if they get caught, they're all in trouble, yes, but if he's caught out, here or in a fight or so much as jay-walking, they'll execute him without so much as a by-your-leave. He knows it, but it's still a risk he's willing to take.*

Date: 2012-01-03 05:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gin-and-smoke.livejournal.com
*From where she'd been smoking and watching Peter truculently, as though daring him to speak up again, Rose has gone very quiet. She's been at this for months, and it's the first time she's been honestly able to say what she's about to say, and she is, deeply and sharply, afraid. This is where the razor's edge of Damien's trust and fixation has the potential to find her throat if anything goes wrong, and suddenly she wants very, very badly to duck outside for a fix. Instead she takes a long drag on her cig and exhales slowly, and hesitates, and makes herself just say it.*

...I can help. They don't talk about anything official around me but I've got access to everything else. Social plans, sleeping arrangements...wards...just tell me what you need.

Date: 2012-01-15 11:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] looneyloopy.livejournal.com
We go in. Objections?

*He says it calmly, fairly, but there's a set to his jaw as he looks around the room that says he's willing to back up his stance, and that he'll fight for this if he has to.*

Date: 2012-01-16 04:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gummymummy.livejournal.com
I agree, but this isn't a one-front war.

*Alice hasn't publically expressed her disconnect from the Ministry, it's been a slow embarrassment process that only lately she feels comfortable in talking about.

What she's about to say is a new thought, something that had only come to her recently and she had been saving for the next meeting. It's clear there will be no peace under Crouch, and that's the only reason she's fighting this war.*

We need to go after the Ministry. Undermine it, discredit somehow. We have to expose it.
Edited Date: 2012-01-16 04:47 pm (UTC)


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