(1938-05-28) Testing Metal
Details for Testing Metal
Summary: Randy and Sloan meet up over a Hogsmeade weekend after Randy's letter to the Auror. Sloan interviews Randy in an effort to see if she's worth sponsoring for an apprenticeship.
Date: Tue May 28, 1938
Location: Hogsmeade

Randy sent an owl telling Sloan where to meet her. It wasn't at one of the pubs, but a meadow that's off the beaten path a little. Some place where any physicality won't draw unwanted attention. It's the weekend following the news on Headmaster Dippet and co in Durmstrang. It's as early as Randy could manage to get away from the castle, and so far, it's brought with it the threat of angry dark storm clouds. She stands in the meadow, looking about for signs of Sloan, though she's not sure who to look for. It was a long time ago since she's visited the MLE office. Her hair is pulled back into a pony tail and a somber, if not serious expression resides on her face.

Sloan was hard to miss. Dressed in a pair of Grey slacks, a White t-shirt with leather suspenders and a Bowler hat, the Irish auror moves quietly. He hasn't changed much since she met him last, maybe a hint of grey at the temples, and a few more scars, but nothing major. Looking around the meadow quietly, Sloan nods as he slips a flask from his pocket and takes a long pull. "Now why would ye want tae be wastin' yer time on such as this instead of enjoying yer weekend of freedom Lass?"

Randy grins when she spots Sloan, but it's kind of subdued. Mixed feelings. She looks, different from the last time he saw her. For one, she doesn't look completely like a little boy. Some extra body developments certainly have-well kind of helped with that. Now that she's older, her mixed Welsh/Irish heritage distinguish her from most of the little runts that have been running around Hogsmeade. "Hey," she says in greeting. To his answer, she shifts her weight to one leg, "It's not a freedom I'm really used to having, so I don't miss it," she starts, but then she folds her arms, "I want to become an Auror…one day, so I want to intern with the office this summer if I can." She sounds rather headstrong and sure of herself…not prideful, just has that presence that usually sixteen year olds, unscathed ones at least, don't have. Like they've had a taste of the world.

Watching her for a moment, SLoan seems to consider something. "Yer da was a good Auror. better than me. Ye knows they call me th' ministry's Attack dog, aye? Still think I'm the person ye want recommendin' ye?"

Randy's eyes focus in, not quite narrowing, at least not with mal intent. She looks the man up and down for a half moment, but save for those movements, she doesn't move, and locks her gaze with Sloan's. "How many kids have you recommended for an apprenticeship since you've been there?"

Raising an eyebrow, Sloan grunts. "None. T'ain't a life most ye jiggits would handle well. aye? What ye learning in school?"

Randy tilts her head to the side in acknowledgement of his statement. "If you're asking me what NEWT classes I'm in Defense, Transfig, Charms, Potions. I'm in the Dueling Club, but only so I can use the Club Room for practice. The duels are rubbish," she says emphatically. "But if you mean what am I really learning? Not anything like during the summers. You know Uncle Brendan still is our armsmaster," she refers to her kin. Her father was an incredibly wealthy man, but no one would know it by the way he acted and was at work. He certainly earned his respect. Of course, it was rather large news that that wealth did not pass on to his family. Her father, however, did pride himself on having his children trained in the arts of combat and war. "I've kept up with my training regimen. Me mum's been teaching me to box and scrap too."

Raising an eyebrow, Sloan pats himself down for a cigarette as he takes in this information. "Has she now then? It's a point for ye then girl, many an Auror I know relies too much on Magic against them as breaks the rules. Ye know the best defense against the forbidden curses?"

"Punch them in the throat?" Randy shrugs, but then just starts rapid firing through different possible defenses, "Or the face. Or slit their throat or cast a silencio. Or…never be seen," in the first place, she implies. She blinks lightly and looks back up at Sloan. "It really depends on the situation. What's around you. Dodge, block, prevent." She shrugs. "You have to be prepared."

There's another long pause as Sloan listens to Randy's reply. finally it seems to pass muster as he takes another swig from the flask. "Ye can think. that I'll give ye. and most of those would work, best way I find though is tae fork their tongue. cannae enunciate properly fwer the castin,. but they can still talk for them as does the askin' o the questions, aye? Why is it ye want tae be an Auror?"
Randy's eyes drift to somewhere beyond the auror for a moment before she says, "There are a couple of reasons why I'm here." Her eyes zero back in on his. "This is what I'm good at…I think. I'm decent at a lot of things. Maybe I could make a job of a dozen other things, but I'd go crazy there. My father did this work for his own reasons. I'm not as good as him. I want to do it because if I don't do it…I'm sure to do something not worth anything. I'm sure to land up behind bars instead of helping others…I'd be lying if I didn't say it wouldn't hurt if I found a little bit more about what happened to him along the way, but I'm not holding my breath….As for why I'm not enjoying Hogsmeade? It's a luxury I'm not quite used to really." She could talk about the family code. She could talk about grand dreams to take down the bad guy and save the day. Merlin knows there are plenty of those 'heroes' in her family, but she clearly doesn't see herself as one of them, for whatever reason that may be.

Nodding slightly, Sloan lets the ghost of a smiel play across his lips. "You know, your da and I worked together on a couple cases aye? I asked him the same question once. you kind of reminded me of him just then." Rolling his shoulders, Sloan grunts. "Right kid. You're up against an apponent you got no hope in hell of beating, yer wand ain't with ye, ye got nowhere tae run. What ye do?"

Randy smirks grimly. Her father isn't an easy subject, but this part of his life, she's not as familiar with, so the new information seems to hit the girl, some warmth of recognition in her eyes. "Funny. I always thought he was…different." Every man has different sides to him. To his family. Big burdens. "If I'm within reach, and I have the angle, a hook to the temple. If he's too tall, I kick him in the family jewels. If there's something I can block a spell with, like wood or something within reach, I grab that to throw at them and bum rush. If there's dirt, I can kick or throw that in the eyes and roll. Also reaching out and trying to wrest or snap their wand wouldn't hurt either. It depends on the context." She's quick to answer, flooded with choices.

Nodding quietly, Sloan grunts. "Well…yer willing tae die fighting at least. Fair warning, ye may find it a hard thing in practice, but ye have the right attitude. ye never back down. Especially when ye know ye'll lose. It's something we don' speak of, but if ye know ye're going tae die. ye fight tae the end, and maybe…just maybe, ye'll weaken the soddin prick enough tha' the next Auror that runs 'im down will live. aye? Bottom line. Ye do the job as is sittin afore ye. Ye does it tae the best of your ability an' ye never quits. Ye does it right, ye does it so's yer conscience doesn't haunt ye, and ye act in a way that brooks no second guessing in the cold nights what follows. ye promise me ye can do that, I'll write ye a letter. I'll even help ye figure out what happened tae yer Da." pausing to relight his cigarette, he adds. "But. if ye makes me this promise child, Ye'll have me tae answer to. I'll no put my name to a second rate Auror. ye do well and to the best of your abilities, I'll be in your corner, and so will Knocker Harry. Ye begs off for even a minute, and it's me that'll be at yer door in the cold of winter lookin for a reckoning. ye understand?"

Randy listens to Sloan carefully. She doesn't nod or anything. "I wouldn't be trying to take this up if I wasn't willing to learn," she reaffirms, no sass, just fact. "I want this more than anything, save for me Da to come back, but that won't happen," so it only leaves this. She straightens up and looks Sloan in the eye, shoulders square, "I promise…" She thinks for a moment and then admits, "I wanted you to recommend me because I didn't think you were the one to recommend anyone. I was right. You may be the Attack Dog, but you're still alive. I wouldn't want anyone else in my corner. Preparing me."

Nodding slightly, Sloan grunts. "I'll put yer recommendation in when I return. I may spend a few days in Hogsmeade. I hear bad things have been happening here that have me interest, aye? and I'm just putting it in the open now. ye intern wi' me, and it's for the duration, ye doan' get tae be quittin halfway through the summer if things get too hard. I don' see tha' being an issue wit' ye though. ye seem made of sterner stuff." Considering for a moment, he adds. "They teach ye tae use a knife ta home does they?"

"Thank you." Randy follows up with a nod, "Aye. There's been some trouble brewing. With the Headmaster…the former Headmaster?" The Macmillan girl frowns, her brow creased. "Who knows who he might have worked with-" and his words snap her out of her thought process. She blinks lightly. "Course. I don't want to waste your time. I want to get the most out of this summer," she says, as if to say, train me as much as you can, as hard as you can. "Aye. Knife, sword, and fists. I'm not really big enough to wield anything else." Traditionally, the Macmillans have used enchanted weapons in their family history, back in the days when the lines were blurred and they fought with Muggles. They still have the children pick a main weapon. "I'm not as good as I could have been. Aren't really good opponents at school. I don't throw though," she mentions at the end, as if she recognized it as a weakness in the moment.

Considering for a moment, Sloan reaches behind his back coming out with a Hawthorne stick as thick as Randy's wrist the striking end ringed in a thick band of riveted iron. Tossing that at her feet, Sloan grunts. "Simplest weapon in the world. It'll break a man's arm, stand up tae the bite of a werewolf, and shatter the kneecap of a giant if ye find yerself daft enough toe be close enough tae reach it." reaching between his belt and his slacks, Sloan comes out with a 3' length of cheese wire. "This'll save yer life in an emergency. take a man's fingers off clean and quick. has a few medical uses as well." a hidden sheath in his suspender divulges a long thin Scalpel. "Stays sharp, can be thrown like a dart, good for a prolonged knife fight, ye don' get tired with it." finally he slips a set of studded brass knuckles from his pocket. "And ye never goes wrong wi' a set of knuckles. Saved me life many a times. fightin' in a melee ain't so much like the lessons they gives ye. it's hardly ever one on one, and there's no such thing as fightin with honor. Ye don' kick 'em when they're stayin' down, unless they has a gun or their wand. anything else is fair game. right?"

Randy steps one foot back as she kneels to retrieve the stick, balancing her weight between her two feet and keeping her eyes on the man. Upright again, she feels its weight in her hand as she wraps her fingers around it, keeping a decently lose grip. Her eyes twitch towards the cheese wire, at which she squints. "Am I strong enough to use that?" she asks, curious. As for the scalpel, she smiles. Yes, this girl likes her weapons, and she's never seen a scalpel before. "I never won a fight because I had honor," Randy says with a smirk. "What if they have a knife? Might be a good idea to step on their hand while they're down?" Pretty please? She tilts her head, trying to find a grey line there in her playfulness, but she seems to be on the whole, alright with all of what he says.

Grunting quietly, Sloan shakes his head. "If th' fecker had a knife when ye put him on the ground and ye're concerned he still has it, ye didnae put him down right." reaching into his pocket, Sloan comes out with a plug of tobacco. tossing that to her, he adds. "and if the fight seems it may be bad enough, ye takes a big bite of that first. ye ever get tobacco spit in yer eye, ye'll remember it. makes ye go blind fer a few hours. I've no doubt ye've got some training tae ye. ye probably even have some finesse, but I've got artful on me side, aye? I've learned from some of the worst teachers the wizarding and the Muggle world could throw at me from across 2 continents. An' that brings me tae the next point. ye follows me in the summer, ye does as yer told, when yer told. I tells ye tae run the opposite direction until ye see yer mam's front door, ye does it. I tells ye tae hide, ye does it. and if ye uses anything ye learns from me on any of yer schoolmates without a REAL good reason, I'll shake the foundations of your world. I know I sounds like a hard ass, but I'm not going tae be teaching ye the bleeding hearts shite like that Bannon Prick did wit' th' duelling classes. I'll be teaching ye shite that'll keep ye alive…which in some cases means some other fecker has tae die."

"Well hours in training doesn't really compare to a real fight," Randy concedes as she catches the tobacco. She lifts it to sniff and pockets it where she can easily get to it. "And fair point on the knife," she nods, thinking of it. "I stopped touching classmates a long time ago. I kind of had some…trouble with that before. I know what will keep me in Hogwarts and what won't. Doing something to someone else would just keep me from getting to serve," she says, eye on the big picture. "It's not worth it." She nods to him talking about doing as she's told. Her eyebrows arch at his words, "Does that mean I follow you into the field?" If so, this is the first thing the girl didn't expect, but there isn't fear in her eyes..nor excitement. She takes a deep breath and nods in a resigned fashion as if she expected to have to see/deal with that prospect, of another person dying. "Has it happened often?"

Shrugging Sloan grunts. "For some things ye'll follow me intae th' field. shaking hand wit' doorknobs an' the quieter stuff. But I've enemies, and my turf is down in the nasty parts o' London. things can and do go bad quick." Rolling himself another cigarette, Sloan shrugs non comittally to he last question. "Often as is strictly necessary. I tries tae bring 'em in alive. tries hard, but there's them out there as refuses tae live and be sensible. Them as thinks they can have at a man with a stevedore's hook, or try tae take him wit one of the curses because he's no wand in his hand and they've no respect for a common kitchen knife."

"I suppose a lot of people don't want to kiss a dementor or end up in Azkaban," the Macmillan girl says in response in afterthought. "Makes sense…I don't want to be a liability," though she knows she is regardless until fully trained. "But, I do want to learn, get some experience," because the more measured experience she can get, the better prepared for the next year, after she graduates. "At home, we spar, we don't duel. I try to use what's around me. It always throws me brothers off," she says with a low chuckle. Her thumb slides along the wood in her hand, familiar to her since her wand is hawthorn. "About what happened at Durmstrang….Everyone is so focused on them. I know we have professors, but the school is more…chaotic. Are you going to investigate his office?" Her curiosity has finally gotten the better of her. It may be official Ministry business, but it's worth a shot at asking.

Shrugging slightly, Sloan grunts. "I think that takes a bit more…diplomacy than the Ministry believes I have. I the thief taker and the hunting dog. They send others to do the proper investigation, though I'm capable, they tend to leave me for the ones that have to be hunted, treed, and if necessary, put down…They consider it an even ground and whatever the outcome, the world is probably a better place for it." offering another slight shrug, Sloan looks around. "I'll no keep ye lass. go enjoy your time. if ye have good friends, visit them, if ye don't have any….make some. they're important."

Randy nods and reaches up to rub the back of her neck a little. "Well maybe if they fail…they'll send you. Maybe there's also something to be found out at Hog's Head," she says and shrugs. "Thank you…uh, what do I call you? Sloan? Mr. MacDubsithe is way too long," she mentions with a little smirk, as if she doesn't feel like it feels right to call him Mr. anything. "Oh, and me Mum says hi by the way. I think she's a little put out that she hasn't invited you to some family gatherings…but, you know. It's been hard." Seeing the man her husband trusted his life to (in most circumstances at least) might be a bit difficult. "You're welcome at Carreg Cennen anytime," that is, the family castle. "It's heavily fortified," as if this were a better feature than a warm hearth.

"You'll probably be wanting this back then too," Randy says, stepping forward to offer the stick back.

Taking the Targ back, Sloan replaces it behind his back, then grunts. "Aye. send yer mother me best. and tell her nae tae be feelin' bad fer not havin' me 'round. best all round should I not be in civilized company. Ye can call me Sloan. It's me name, it works, if ye feel a need tae be formal, then Auror Sloan is fine. Yer owl knows where tae find me should ye need help. I may look into Hog's head."

"Honestly, I think she wants you to know it isn't personal…and I'd hardly call my family civilized," Randy says with a slightly pained smile. "Sloan it is…Aye, she does. Good luck to you then." She then takes her steps towards the barely beaten path back to Hogsmeade, moving quietly through the brush and glancing back over her shoulder once before disappearing. Her small form really lends her well to bending the foliage and not leaving tracks behind which she seems to know, this way of moving almost automatic.

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