[identity profile] ocularlunacy.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] bait_backup
*On the day of registration every queue is a cacophony of talk, but not a single person has anything to say. Twenty-six different lines of witches and wizards and families, separated from their neighbours and friends by nothing more than alphabetical order and thick purple velvet ropes, talk amongst themselves about anything but what they are there to do today. From children hardly old enough to own their first wand to the ancient and dusty faces of great-grandparents dressed in equally dusty fine robes for the occasion, it is almost an unspoken agreement among them all that they will wait positively, willingly, and without a word of dissatisfaction until their name is called and they can have their turn at having what's left of their privacy taken from them. Beyond the weather and the weekend and the carefully disguised admission of wartime fears that have become so unremarkable and widespread in the past several months, not a single person Moody's new eye swivels over to watch seems to be able to speak about the reality they are all experiencing.

Fake calm hangs over the twisting maze of roped-off lines like a fog. The few people who do seem to share his feelings on the matter are keeping their heads down - for the moment. Their grim expressions and clenched jaws are more than enough for Moody to spot them, those willing to be unwilling. Just by their faces alone, he knows what their thinking, and what they're all planning to do or not to do when they reach the front of their line. The Weasley's controlled regret speaks volumes, but not as much as the tension of an attack dog in Sirius' shoulders over in B, or the skewed priorities taking over the Potter section of the line, with husband in the Minister's office and wife the patron saint of both muggleborns and stray Death Eaters.

Moody closes his eyes briefly against a looming headache, a wasted effort as his new eye continues to feed visuals into his head though the wall of his skull and skin regardless. It's a dizzying state of constant vigil the Crouch boy's attack has left him to, and his bright blue gaze is impossible to stop using in such a crowd as this, with the entire wizarding population there to study. But his headache doesn't come from the racing of his ocular replacement, but rather from the exertion it takes to merely stand here and participate in the most sickening display of control he's seen come out of the Minister's office since Crouch Sr. had managed to get his ass behind the most important desk in the country.

M-line shuffles forward.

One of the pair of security guards holds up a hand in silent greeting as Moody comes to the head of his line, but the attendant barely looks up as he rattles off his spiel, asking if Moody agrees to the additions and regulations that will be applied to his wand forthwith, and waits for the clatter of Moody's wand being surrendered into the receptacle. Not far behind him in the lines, the eyes of the Order find him through the crowd, and his eye does a loop-the-loop round the back of his head to get a last look at all their faces. The determination has been worried out of some of them, but not all. This is as much a personal decision as it is a tactical one, but even if every last one of them had lost their mustered courage today, Moody would still have cleared his thought as he does now, and given the first real answer the Ministry has heard in quite some time.*

I don't.

Date: 2011-08-07 04:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] monalupin.livejournal.com
*"L" is right next to "M", and Mona happens to be in line nearby when Moody makes his pronouncement. Remus is just behind her and they've discussed this extensively - her and Remus and Xenophilius, brave, dear boys that they are - and there's no time like the present. She's angry about the whole thing, insulted at having to be here at all, but there's a calm regality in her fury. Back straight and chin up, she looks over the shoulder of the people in line in front of her, calling up the few yards to the desk and the Ministry registration worker.*

You can take my name right off that list of yours, too, boy. This is nonsense.

Date: 2011-08-07 04:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] looneyloopy.livejournal.com
*Despite the fact he can't follow in their example - he'd love to, more than anything, but he knows what would happen to him if he did - Remus still smiles ever so slightly at Nana's proclamation of rebellion, proudly. He glances over to Sirius in the "B" line, half waiting for him to follow suit and half keeping an eye on him just in general. He looks ready for a fight, and with all his family in the same line, Remus figures that watching his back is probably not a terrible idea.*

Date: 2011-08-08 10:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mindtheplums.livejournal.com
*All embroidery and soft colors and candyfloss hair in the conservative sea of Sunday-best witches and wizards, Xeno stands out like a sore thumb and feels about as comfortable. The steadily shuffling lines of people, the velvet ropes, the brass coffered ceiling arcing above them--all of it's got him on edge, and if his hands are tight around his biceps where his arms are folded, well, his voice is perfectly steady.*

Lady's right. You'll get no wand from me.

Date: 2011-08-08 05:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fatalfrenzy.livejournal.com
*She's not at all accustomed to waiting in lines, and Bellatrix has already decided she doesn't much care for it. She hasn't exactly been fidgeting, but she's been almost imperceptibly shifting her weight from boot to high-heeled satin boot, and her lips are pressed tight and thin. It's galling, is what it is: that they've called her down here at eight-fucking-thirty in the morning to wait in a line with the teeming masses of god-knows-who, as if her name doesn't even matter apart from bloody alphabetical order--

She can't help a nasty little whisper, but for once the acid in it is pointed nowhere near her husband.*

How much longer can this possibly--

*But then there's a new development: a bit of a disturbance behind them in line. Curiously, she looks back over her shoulder, giving the white-haired woman a brutal once-over.*

Date: 2011-08-08 05:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] le-strangled.livejournal.com
*Rodolphus is functionally a rock that Bella's been tethered to, and she's been swaying and twitching and scowling and all the while, he's been calmly trying to keep her corralled til they can be registered in public--more importantly, so they can be seen Doing The Right Thing. Bella's hobbies are practically an open secret in some circles, but the Ministry needs to know that they can count on the Lestranges to stay firmly in line when the masks are off. They are so, so close to the front of the line and then, of course, everything begins to go downhill.

Roddy looks to his wife, trying not to look desperate, but he's speaking as much to Mona and Xenophilius as he is to Bellatrix.*

There's no need for a fuss. It's not like they're keeping our wands.

Date: 2011-08-08 06:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fatalfrenzy.livejournal.com
I suppose you're right.

*Slightly mollified, Bellatrix sighs, turning back to face the front of the line. Roddy's right--it's not the end of the world or their service to the Dark Lord, it's only an inconvenience. Even now, Twinky is busy going through Roddy's parents' old things in search of a wand or two, and Uncle Dearborn is bound to come up with something from one of those miserable Slavic countries he's always puttering around in. She will smile and hand the thing over and have it Traced and then work around it, and that will be that.

But her fingers tighten around her wand all the same: twelve and three-quarter inches, walnut, dragon heartstring--it's her wand, hers, it chose her when she was eleven and has been doing her violent bidding faithfully and brilliantly since then. The idea of taking up a dusty old antique or a shoddy foreign substitute to do her best work and most brilliant magic doesn't sit well. Not at all.

But if she knows anything, she knows this isn't the time and place for a tantrum--then the whole little dog-and-pony show will have been for nothing. She will have to be seen behaving, for just a little bit longer. It's even with some subtlety that she leans over and breathes it in his ear.*

I don't like it, Roddy.

Date: 2011-08-08 09:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] monalupin.livejournal.com
*Mona knows who the Lestranges are, she's not stupid, but she isn't impressed by money and blood and fear-mongering, and looks the man over coolly.*

Yet, they aren't keeping our wands yet.

Date: 2011-08-08 09:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] le-strangled.livejournal.com
Shh, darling, don't worry. You know as well as I do that everything is going to be all right.

*He spares a skeptical look for the older woman behind him, throwing the words over his own and Bella's shoulders.*

The Ministry wouldn't do that to us.

*The implication is so subtle as to be hidden: Maybe they would do it to you, but never to us.*

Date: 2011-08-08 10:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] monalupin.livejournal.com
*The Lupins have never been well off, nor the McTavishes, Mona's own family. She knows very well what Lestrange means by that, that subtle designation of us, the aristocrats, versus you, everyone else. She is likewise unimpressed by classist bigots.*

Tch! But they'll put the Trace right back on everyone, like we're all bloody children.

Date: 2011-08-08 10:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] looneyloopy.livejournal.com
*This, Remus thinks, should probably be alarming. His grandmother facing off with the Lestranges while simultaneously defying the Ministry of Magic should probably cause some degree of surprise. And yet there's none, as his attention shifts from Sirius back to Nana, keeping an eye on Rodolphus and Bellatrix to boot. (Or Bellatrix and Rodolphus, rather; he's far less worried about him reacting badly than her.) He doesn't bother warning her off - he's told her who to watch out for, she knows who she's dealing with - and he doesn't waste time trying to talk her down. Instead he just stands calmly at her side, watching as though it were a mildly interesting gobstones match, but something in the way he almost smirks at Rodolphus in quiet satisfaction is a bit challenging.*

Date: 2011-08-09 03:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fatalfrenzy.livejournal.com
*She turns around again and peers at the woman with barely disguised annoyance.*

I doubt it. And one must do what one can to support one's government.

*Bellatrix smiles placidly, then, and doesn't say the rest: And I'll have the Minister's throat under my boot by Christmas, if you lot are only mildly unlucky.*

Date: 2011-08-09 03:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] monalupin.livejournal.com
Why? It isn't supporting us. And I daresay that is precisely what they're doing. How would you define the Trace, dear?

*She asks this to Xeno; she's leaving Remus well out of it. If she gets arrested the worst she'll probably get is some questioning and a reprimand; she is, after all, just a little old lady. If Remus gets dragged into it, he's right off to Azkaban, if he's very lucky.*

Date: 2011-08-09 05:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gin-and-smoke.livejournal.com
*The Lestranges aren't the only ones not taken with the goings-on. Rose is aware of the necessity for them. She was at the meeting, she knows what's going to happen, but she still has a blinding headache and just wants to go home. She's registering, for one, because she doesn't want to tangle with the Ministry on top of spying, and two, because she is spying. If Damien and all his little friends are playing the part of the dutiful citizen, she has to, too. Doesn't mean she's happy about it, if not for the reasons Moody isn't happy about it.

Sighing, she nudges her sunglasses back up her nose (the lights in the Ministry are too fucking bright) and lights up a cig, wishing the line would hurry up so she can go home and back to bed.*

Date: 2011-08-10 04:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mindtheplums.livejournal.com
It's treating us like potential criminals instead of citizens.

*There's a bit of a ripple in the crowd now, Xeno is pleased to note--witches and wizards turning their heads curiously at Mona, and now, to a lesser degree, at him. There's now what seem to be little pockets of dissent here-and-there, whether Order folks refusing to register or little mutinous mutters from civilians, it isn't entirely clear.*

Not to mention wasting resources, I reckon. Does the Ministry have the manpower to comb through our every move AND keep us safe?

Date: 2011-08-19 03:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] monalupin.livejournal.com
*Mona listens to this exchange with fierce approval in her thin, lined face, and raises her voice slightly again after Moody (quite rightly) tells off the attendant.*

See? Even Aurors aren't doing this, so why should we? And I rather think not, Xeno, dear. Especially not if their own law enforcement isn't backing them.

Date: 2011-08-21 03:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fleasaremurder.livejournal.com
*The lines are less lines and more swirling messes. B line does an odd little zig-zag that places the front of the line awfully near the little debacle in the L-line, and near Moody as well. The only blessing is that the rest of the Blacks appear to be absent. Backing up Moody's refusal, Sirius straightens up--Mona's almost 20 feet away, but at this point, the more ruckus Sirius can make, the better. Maybe someone else will think twice before handing over their wand if they hear the Aurors aren't either. He calls over the next two people in front of him, toward the Ministry worker--Arnold Peasgood, Sirius has seen him around, even dealt with him in the past--as the line shuffles forward.*

I'm not doing it either, Arnold, better take out your forms and get ready to lecture me or whatever it is you're fucking doing to the people who refuse to do this bullshit.

Date: 2011-08-21 04:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] looneyloopy.livejournal.com
*Smiling is probably wildly inappropriate, but he can't help it; he's never been prouder of Sirius's penchant for colorful language and rash actions. He can't actively refuse, but that doesn't mean he has to just mutely go along, either.

Hands in his pockets, he tilts his head back as though just idly looking up at the ceiling, and if his voice is a bit louder than normal, well. There does seem to be rather a lot of that going around.*

I wonder if they've even accounted for the possibility of noncompliance.

Date: 2011-08-19 02:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dyeforyourart.livejournal.com
Rose!

Oi. Rose!

*Her outfit--clearly from the night before--is drawing a few stares in the F-line, and there's a little man in a lime-green bowler hat just behind her who's visibly and very obviously thirsting to scold her for something--the cigarette, her appearance, the way she's shouting, any of it. But Fiona's happily oblivious. So what if she hasn't even been to bed yet; four cups of black coffee and one enormous pastry from a Muggle cart are almost as good as sleep, as it turns out. Besides, she only has one client today, at four in the afternoon--she can fully devote the rest of her day to sleeping off whatever this is. And party prep, of course.

And it's always good to see a familiar face. She raises her voice to a not-quite-shout.*

Rose, you look like shit.

Date: 2011-08-19 03:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gin-and-smoke.livejournal.com
*It's true. She does. She has the mother of all hangovers, her hair is fixed but the spellwork is sloppy, and she's still in yesterday's makeup except for fresh lipstick. Her sunglasses are hiding dark circles under her eyes (and mascara that's smudged enough to double as eyeliner), and there's a pall to her skin that bespeaks too little sleep and too much fun the night before. She's at least safe in the flux between a crash and a craving - it's the one good thing that can be said of the situation - but she is, actually, going to hit Fiona with something heavy if she doesn't stop shouting. It's like icepicks behind her eyes and it's totally uncalled for.

Looking over bluntly, Rose puffs on her cigarette for a second before answering with her voice only half-heartedly raised a little.*

So do you. Stop yelling.

Date: 2011-08-19 04:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dyeforyourart.livejournal.com
*And that--well. That is true enough: Fiona is in precisely the same boat as Rose, if a more brightly-colored one. But her hair is indecently, impossibly flawless and her own tar-black sunglasses hide the rest. In fact, if her peripherals were any better she might laugh at the man behind her, who is puffed up and staring alternately at her lavender curls and perfectly spherical purse and short, short skirt as if he can't figure out which of it offends him the most.

Obediently, she lowers her voice--but still, it's not nearly discreet enough for the words.*

You're coming to my party, right?

Date: 2011-08-20 03:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gin-and-smoke.livejournal.com
*Rose looks at Fiona again flatly, and again just sucks on her cig at first. She hardly thinks this the time or place to discuss the kind of party she's known for, but making a fuss about shutting up would draw more attention than just answering.*

Yeah. Jesus, how much coffee have you had?

*Because, really, that level of perkiness is just pissing her off at this point.*

Date: 2011-08-20 07:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dyeforyourart.livejournal.com
All of it, I think. Flo's making me a cake big enough to have strippers in.

Rough night?

Date: 2011-09-01 04:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gin-and-smoke.livejournal.com
Tequila.

*It's all the answer that she feels is necessary on that account.*

Date: 2011-09-01 05:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dyeforyourart.livejournal.com
*Fiona makes the sign of the cross with her brightly-taloned fingers, silently and solemnly.*

Date: 2011-08-10 11:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scarletskirt.livejournal.com
*The room is stuffy. Makes sense, really, despite the cool air flowing through the building: sticking hundreds and hundreds of people in a building, all cramped together, in the middle of summer is far from pleasant. It's not that Lily minds crowds, she simply cannot handle obscenely large throngs of witches and wizards in the middle of summer with a palpable level of stress thickening the air even more than the damp humidity.

Lily spots a witch in the "R" line with a squirming baby girl, and she hears the cries of several babies throughout the building. The echo of screams only makes the room feel hotter, leaving Lily wondering whether or not she should have brought Harry along for this crowning example of governmental fuckery. But she knows better than to expect Harry to handle this long, drawn out mess without some sobbing of his own. With a small nod she reassures herself that having her parents look after him was the best decision.

Good decisions aren't being made across the board, however, and Lily can't stop biting her lower lip. It's becoming dry now, her lip. Her red lipstick is slowly fading with every scrape of her teeth, but she can't be arsed about appearances at the moment. She can't be arsed about anything right now. A cold chill of defiance courses through her body as she glares at the Ministry lackeys patrolling the line. She inclines her head towards James, noticing the stubble sprouting along his chin before speaking.*

James, I can't do this. I just can't. I—I refuse to take part in this.

Date: 2011-08-16 03:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] heightofcool.livejournal.com
*James hasn’t made eye contact with Lily since they first took their place on line. He feels her move closer, but his eyes don’t leave the top of the witch’s head in front of them. It makes him uncomfortable, that once again, he’s got an advantage that she doesn’t. He just doesn’t know what to say to her. The decision is easy for him-- he has to register his wand to keep his position with Crouch, and he won’t be nearly as restricted as the others. A part of him hates that he has to oblige so willingly, acting like he doesn’t have an issue with this whole mess, but it’s necessary. What he doesn’t know, if it’s necessary for Lily also. He changes the subject, as if Lily’s comment didn’t require a response.*

This line’s not moving too fast, is it?

Date: 2011-08-17 04:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scarletskirt.livejournal.com
*Lily sighs, fingers lightly brushing against her wand in her right trouser pocket.*

Did you hear what I said? I'm not going to do this. It's complete rubbish, as if we haven't been living in enough of a police state lately.

Date: 2011-08-17 05:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] heightofcool.livejournal.com
*James sees a nearby patrolman glance over at them at Lily's words, though he's not sure how much he heard. He lowers his voice to his mutter.*

Watch yourself, all right? Don't need anyone keeping an eye on you. Have you talked with any other Order members about this? I'm sure you're not the only one with these, uh, sentiments.

*He considers the muffliato charm so they can converse a bit easier, but he hasn't been to keen on using any of Snape's spells since he's left school. It just makes him feel... unclean.*

Date: 2011-08-18 07:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scarletskirt.livejournal.com
I know I'm not the only one thinking of resisting this mess. It's just a matter of getting more people involved. If more of us took a stand then maybe—

Date: 2011-08-19 04:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] treefeller.livejournal.com
*The two of them are near the Potters in line and Gideon's close enough--and attentive enough to his fellow Order members--to overhear the gist of the exchange. It isn't difficult to maneuver backwards in an impatient line, so seconds later he's close enough to murmur softly to Lily, tilting his head at the rising disturbance two lines over.*

Don't speak too soon, Potters. Look.

Date: 2011-08-19 05:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rathercareless.livejournal.com
*Fabian's close behind, as always, and sidles up next to them as well. He keeps his voice down, too.*

Anyway you can be civilly disobedient in excellent company right here, we're not doing it, either.

Date: 2011-08-31 03:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scarletskirt.livejournal.com
*Lily grins.*

Fantastic.

But what do you think they'll do if we say no? It best not be a one way ticket to Azkaban.

Date: 2011-09-01 04:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rathercareless.livejournal.com
Oh, no, nothing like that, we are very shiny important people. Too much of a fuss, if they did that.

*He says it with a blustery nonchalance, idly checking a somewhat battered-looking pocket watch as though bored.*

Might question us, though. I dunno, really, they seem to be assuming we'll be good little Aurors and play along.

Date: 2011-09-01 05:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] treefeller.livejournal.com
--we'll see about that.

What about you, Mr. Potter? Model citizen? Someone's got to uphold the family name. I hear the wife's a dangerous subversive and a redhead to boot, tsk--

Date: 2011-09-07 03:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] heightofcool.livejournal.com
Well, yeah. Reckon you'll be able to handle them without me? I don't fancy feeling like I'm taking the easy way out though. I hate thinking about telling Harry about the day his mum stood up to these Ministry arses, while his dad just stood there.

Date: 2011-09-16 05:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scarletskirt.livejournal.com
*Lily's lips twist into a smile and she ruffles James' hair.*

Don't be silly, Harry doesn't need to hear about that to know which parent is cooler.

So, what's the plan, boys?

Date: 2011-11-18 05:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] treefeller.livejournal.com
*Gideon's eyes pass over James and fix on Lily with a bit of a sparkle in them that belies the very casual way he's speaking.*

The plan, lovely Lily, is to say: thanks but no thanks.

Date: 2011-12-29 07:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scarletskirt.livejournal.com
Sounds easier said than done. Especially when the ones saying it are respected in the Ministry like you two.

In case you've forgotten, I don't have that sort of luxury, mate.

Date: 2011-12-29 11:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] treefeller.livejournal.com
Well you can tag along right with us, see, it'll be perfect: 'I'm Gideon Prewett, famous and strapping Auror, and this extremely gorgeous woman is with me', can't go wrong, that--
Edited Date: 2011-12-29 11:19 pm (UTC)

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