(1938-11-18) The Lion, the Eagle, and the Caretaker's Desk Drawer
Details for The Lion, the Eagle, and the Caretaker's Desk Drawer
Summary: Tea and conversation with the Caretaker. Not everything is as it seems.
Date: 1938-11-18
Location: Caretaker Pringle's Office - Hogwarts
Related: The Petition, The Unkindness Circling

Pringle says nothing on the way back to his office, merely keeping Julian moving steadily along. Once the heavy door to the chamber finally shuts with a menacing creak and THUD, he sighs. He doesn't clap Julian in irons or drag him onto the rack. He gestures to a chair facing his desk, and simply says, "Sit."

Well, given the only other time Julian has had dealings with Pringle, and that was with Donovan… Julian is mildly surprised. But if he is surprised at all, he doesn't show it on his face. Once he's in the office and he's asked to sit, he quirks an eyebrow, and looks to the chair, tilting his head and looking at it for a moment… before looking to Pringle, then back to the chair. He finally decides to sit, settling down. "All right," he responds softly.

Pringle makes his way around the desk, taking a seat on the other side, calm as you like. "You're an idiot, Edwards. You've got stones, I'll give you that. But martyrs are only as good as those that carry on their work…and from what I saw today, your 'army' is a sad lot." He reaches down to somewhere unseen behind the desk, and pulls up…a tea tray? He sets it desktop, and taps the teapot with his wand, and it immediately starts steaming. He lifts the pot and pours two cups. "Sugar? I've nae cream. Sorry about that."

This is confusing. Did… first, Pringle is offering tea to a student. Secondly, he's—

He just apologized to Julian for not having any cream.

… What.

"… Ah." Julian eyes the tea tray quietly, mouth slightly agape as he watches Pringle… Of course, naturally, as a Briton, it's rude to decline a cup. "Just a lump," he remarks softly. He's also at a loss for words as to what he just said. Well, for only so long.

"I had no idea they were going t'do all that," he states quite lamely. "To be quite honest with you…"

Wait a second. Is he having a civil conversation with this guy?

A pause. He purses his lips… but he decides to let it continue. "T'be quite honest, Mister Pringle? I didn't expect this to take off like it has thus far. There're names popping up on that master list that I know aren't students, but family outside, and it's only been circulating for a few hours now." A pause, and Julian furrows his eyebrows.

As his eyebrows are furrowed, Julian looks across the desk, past the teapot, at Pringle. "… S'this about? Did Flint really ask you to come take me?" he asks him slowly.

"You're a Ravenclaw," Pringle says flatly. "You should have had the wherewithal to see this coming. You lit a fire. Did you expect it to just fizzle out? Use your head, lad." He plops the sugar cube into Julian's cup and passes it over to him, then picks up his own and leans back in his chair. "Fact is, what I saw tonight is bad news for you and your lot. If even Ravenclaws are ready to pull wands in a fight they cannae win, you don't stand a chance against the Magijugend. They're clever, they're powerful, and they've got backing you dinnae have. Like it or not, you've become a centerpiece to something much bigger than yourself." He takes a sip of tea, savouring it, before finally answers Julian's questions. "And aye, he did tell me to come get you. His exact words were…" He tilts his head, pondering for a moment, "'That Edwards boy needs to learn his place. See that you show it to him, Mister Pringle.'" The Caretaker shrugs and gestures to Julian where he sits. "There it is."

The cup of tea is looked toward, and Julian finally begins to lean forward, taking the cup quietly, and holding it between his hands as he looks into it. He brings it to his lips… but before drinking, he gently smells of the tea.

"Earl Gray?"

He makes a small noise, before taking a short draw on it.

It's excellent tea… keep adding to the oddities going on here. Especially considering the words coming from the Caretaker.

"Something's not adding up on the adding machine," Julian finally speaks, taking another sip of his tea, and he looks up from the mug to the Caretaker. "I— Mister Pringle, this is good tea, by the way— I… don't think I understand what's going on here."

He considers the situation for a moment, furrowing his eyebrows. "I knew that I was getting into a pretty dicey situation when I decided to do this," he finally remarks, "but… as to your question, I suppose I did. Who would think that people would take a petition from what would appear to be an irrate student seriously?" He just shakes his head.

"As for the Magijugend… I've had this sinking feeling in my stomach since I read the translation of 'For The Greater Good.' I knew that when I started dancing with this, that I was probably going to have trouble from at least one or two of their members…"

So the head girl had time to stop and speak with her head of house, before walking down to Pringle's office. Mopsus said to go and see what Pringle wanted with Julian, or he suggested it. Either way there she is knocking on his office door, and entering when she is given permission. "I apologize for interrupting Mr. Pringle, but Professor Mopsus wanted me to come down and check on everything." She's at least calm again, because the walk gave her time to cool off.

Pringle shrugs at Julian. "The way I see it, it was nae exactly you that they took seriously. You just said what's on a lot of minds already." He pauses to beckon Morgana inside, giving her a smug smile from behind his desk, upon which sits a tea tray. He and Julian each hold a cup of Earl Grey. Clearly this must but some truly insidious form of soothing torture. "Come in, Rashley. Cuppa?" He reaches behind his desk, producing a third cup and holding up enticingly for Morgana.

"Which is fine. The idea isn't in the man. The idea should stand on it's own weight. Eventually, someone has to stand up and say what everyone wants to say. Right? Otherwise it's just a bunch of mindless sheep bein' herded into the slaughter house."

Julian looks up when he hears someone knock, and when they enter, he blinks… Morgana. Hah.

He nods toward her, saying nothing in particular… Though there is an odd look of confusion on his face that she's probably seen only when he's studying particularly horrific arithmancy, before he dropped it.

Morgana blinks several times when she is offered tea when this is supposed to be about horrible punishments. Looking to Julian and seeing his confused look, she adopts one of her own. "Sure.." She says, slipping into another chair. "What is going on?" She asks plainly.

Pringle sets down the teacup and filling it before coming around the desk to pull up a spare crate beside Julian's chair. He waves at Julian, shooing. "Move, lad. Give the lady the chair." As he makes his back behind the desk, he offers sugar as well, giving Morgana whatever she likes. "What is going on is exactly what I said in your common room. Flint told me to bring Edwards to my office and show him his place. But you supposedly clever Ravenclaws heard what you expected to hear, instead of what was said. But I think Edwards here is getting the idea that not everything at Hogwarts is always what it seems. Hm?"

"Oh! Of course."

Julian, being tired, had forgotten manners. Which is kind of… well. This whole situation was strange.

As he stands, seemingly… finding an odd respect for Pringle, Julian holds his cup and saucer in hand as he nods toward Morgana to have a seat. As Pringle speaks to Morgana, he is silent, listening… and he furrows his eyebrows, slowly beginning to nod his head.

"… I've seen your handiwork, though. I know what you can do," he remarks softly, "so it wasn't a safe assumption, but rather a calculated one… that I would be in store for being put in my place much like the Spanish Inquisitors would have done."

Morgana waits for the seat to be vacated before she settles into it and takes her tea cup. She doesn't add anything to it, but does politely sip from the cup before she speaks. As they explain, Morgana slowly nods her head and rests the cup and saucer on her lap. "Well, if this is your idea of showing Edwards his place, and not everything is how it seems at Hogwarts." Morgana pauses to sip from her teacup. "Than perhaps it is good that you frightened an entire common room full of Ravenclaws? If you're just keeping up with yoru appearances that is."

"Oh, make no mistake," Pringle warns. "I was nae puttin' on a show in there. Those boys reachin' for their wands were riskin' a lot. I've no love for Flint and his little gang of thugs. But I'm still Caretaker of this school, and I'll nae have it's honour besmirched by whelps thinking they can threaten a faculty member." The fire in his eyes dims a bit as he sips his tea. "But there are also larger problems at hand. Flint is doin' far more harm to the school's honour."

The explosion of Julian's mind is obvious in his eyes as he stops, mid-sip, at 'I've no love for Flint' - and he just stares at the Caretaker. When he lowers his cup, his mouth is slightly ajar.

"Before he was Headmaster," he remarks softly, "Flint… never seemed like this kind of person. The person he is now. I mean… he was always a bit of a grouch, and sometimes it was hard to please him with my translations…"

He pauses, pursing his lips a little… and he slowly nods… "Which, at the end of the day, is what is important. Maintaining the spirit that Hogwarts was founded on." He looks toward Pringle, tilting his head. "Am I right, or wrong?"

The explosion of Julian's mind is obvious in his eyes as he stops, mid-sip, at 'I've no love for Flint' - and he just stares at the Caretaker. When he lowers his cup, his mouth is slightly ajar.

"Before he was Headmaster," he remarks softly, "Flint… never seemed like this kind of person. The person he is now. I mean… he was always a bit of a grouch, and sometimes it was hard to please him with my translations…"

He pauses, pursing his lips a little… and he slowly nods… "Which, at the end of the day, is what is important," he remarks in response to Pringle's mention of the School's honor. "Maintaining the spirit that Hogwarts was founded on." He looks toward Pringle, tilting his head. "Am I right, or wrong?"

"Anyone who had the idea of pulling a wand on a faculty member is a complete fool." Morgana says, and there may be a side glance to Julian before she continues. "But I agree, I believe he has over stepped his bounds with what he is doing. Unfortunately there is little I can do about it, except to just, stay neutral and not bring attention to myself." Looking to Julian she'll shrug. "Power corrupts. All this has gone to his head, which with his little group at his beck and call is only adding to the fire. I just don't have a way to stop him."

Pringle smirks, lifting his cup toward Julian. "Now the eagle learns. That's exactly it, lad. This school is the greatest center of magical education in the world. It's not because we have the best professors, or the best curriculum. It's sure as Hades not for the weather. It's because we have integrity. We have principles that we live by. Even in our differences between houses, we respect that every house has a code to live up to, and we make ourselves stronger by those codes. So you may see me as an Inquisitor. But I've never punished a student that didn't deserve it. But now…now students that do deserve it are getting away clean. And that is somethin' I cannae abide."

Pringle leans forward in his chair setting his cup down. There is a gleam in his eye when he looks at Morgana — something that might look mischievous if it didn't look so downright sinister. "Stopping him…aye, it's goin' to take a lot more than a petition to do that. But what if you had a way to fight him?"

Feeling Morgana's eyes, Julian sips at his tea, going silent, and he nods… Yeah.

As he then listens to Pringle, he furrows his eyebrows a little bit, tilting his head and furrowing his eyebrows again… slowly, he begins to shake his head. "Logically speaking, this is the way to go," he remarks softly, "by approaching the Board of Governors. Making people see the problem." He pauses, and considers his words again.

"… One of the boys who y'were threatening. Actually, both of them… They want to fight, because they know what's going on is wrong. Because they feel that tension we all do. They're tired of it."

A pause. "Myrus' got a more reason t'want to than anything. That Black kid runnin' around with the Magijugend? Alphard? He broke his arm by stompin' it after he stunned 'im. Even for a Slytherin, that's lower than dirt."

A pause. "All over a difference in opinion," he notes softly. "Which brings me to why I spoke up. Why should I be afraid of my own opinions being different from someone else's here, of all places?"

"Because Edwards, this place is no longer the neutral haven it used to be. The one with the most power has the largest opinion, and as you can see, he is abusing it. But do you honestly believe that a pack of Governors for the school would have just dumped Merrythought like that if they too didn't share Flint's belief? We might as well be talking to a wall." Looking at Pringle, there is something a little unselttling about that look. However she'll raise her brow and set her tea cup on the desk. "I'm listening." She says quietly.

"None of it will mean a thing without proof, lad," Pringle says to Julian, shaking his head. "Black will never be punished for that, because Flint will protect anyone wearin' that blasted Eye. But…you Ravenclaws understand the power of knowledge, aye? You need information, and you happen to talking to the man that hears everything in Hogwarts. You've heard that the castle has secret passages, I'm sure. Might have even found one or two in your years here? You've barely scratched the surface. There are hundreds of secret ways in Hogwarts, and I know them all. Through them, you can move without bein' seen…listen in when other dinnae know you're there. I cannae risk givin' this information out freely. But to a few students with enough sense to use it well?" He shrugs.

It takes a moment or two for Julian to listen, and as he processes both of their words, he slowly nods. When Pringle begins to suggest what he suggests, though… Julian's eyes pop a little bit.

Of course, he's not been a stranger to rule-breaking in the last year or so. In fact, he'd even found a couple of those passages. He clears his throat a little, furrowing his eyebrows and watching Pringle, before looking to Morgana… then back to Pringle.

"… You've got my attention." His face is set. He takes to leaning against the wall carefully, cup still in hand as he quietly sips, watching Pringle carefully.

"Of course, I cannae help anyone directly," Pringle says, rising to his feet. "If I lose my position, Hogwarts would fall into complete chaos, and they'd replace me with some lackey of Flint's, just like they're likely to do with Professor Merrythought's position. Ahh…well. What's to be done? I've got to hit the head. You lot had best be gone by the time I get back." He reaches into a pocket, and produces a key, which he sets on the desk. "And don't touch this key. It opens the top right drawer of my desk, and you shouldn't be going in there." With a firm nod, he strides for the door, slipping out of the room, leaving Julian and Morgana alone within.

Looking to the keys, then toward Morgana… Julian purses his lips. "I'm doin' it," he finally tells her, and he reaches, snatching the key up. He would be stupid not to follow Pringle's cue on this.

After all, the man had just shown his Gryffindor colors, essentially.

And so Julian sticks the key into the lock, and opens the drawer specified, beginning to dig into it. Taking his wand out, he gently mutters, "Lumos," so that he has a little more light to see what it is he's looking for inside…

"That would be… Unsavory. I'm a little worried just who they think is going to take Merrythought's place." So far, the day off from the class. When Pringle talks about not doing something, Julian beats her to the key and the drawer. That doesn't mean she isn't hover over it to see just what is inside. "Please don't be a severed body part." She says quietly.

The drawer is almost entirely empty, save for a small, thin notebook. Most of the pages are torn out, but those that remain contain what appear to be hand-drawn maps. It quickly becomes evident that these maps are of Hogwarts Castle, and they include a number of passages that are clearly not the standard halls and corridors. In the margins, in many places, are notes including special instructions, passwords, and so forth.

Taking the small notebook, Julian promptly dispells the lumos from his wand with a quick, "Nox.

Stuffing his wand away… he begins to gently thumb the notebook, looking at the pages. The maps, the diagrams…. instructions.

"… Ruddy brilliant," he finally mutters to himself… and he quietly closes it, slipping it into his trousers pocket. "We— we probably need t'go."

With that, Julian closes the drawer, locking it back, and placing the key back on the desk - attempting to make it look like it was undisturbed.

"C'mon." WIth that, Julian's moving for the door.

A tiny note book, that is how he wants to help fight against Flint? However seeing it's contents, she raises her brow. "Well now… this should make patrolling interesting." When Julian goes to put it in his pocket, she'll grab for it. "There is no way this is staying with you. Come on, we need to get back up there before they start sending out search parties.

Jules may be a Beater, but he's still a little swift. He keeps the book in hand, avoiding the grab - but only just.

"I plan on usin' this like he didn't at all suggest, in the slightest iota, because he did not just essentially hand it over to us." There's a quirk of the brow. "Why take it?" he asks her slowly.

"Because I don't trust you with it." Morgana says flat out as she finishes her tea and heads toward the door. "Besides, which one of us is actually able to leave after curfew to properly investigate the book which you do not have. Let's go before he's done.. doing whatever it is he is doing."

"I pegged you for one of them," Julian remarks softly, "and frankly, I didn't trust you either. You did step up to the occasion tonight, though," Julian remarks quietly. His lips purse. Watching her, he pockets it. "You don't know if I've ever snuck out after curfew or not, Rashley. Which is somethin' I'll take pride to." He pats the pocket. "Trust me on this, and let me learn to trust you more. I'll promise to share it." As they prepare to leave, he offers her his hand. "On my honor. Deal?"

"Trust you? I'm sorry, which one of us nearly got half of our house expelled tonight? You've gotten damn lucky right now and before you start asking people for trust, you better learn how to earn it yourself." With that she'll leave him hanging on the handshake, and on his deal since at the moment, she doesn't really trust in his honour.

Dropping his hand, Julian says nothing. He watches her leave, and he follows soon after. Of course, he'll take an alternate route - though an actual one - back. He'd rather not have to resume that discussion.

"Like Hell I'm handin' it over," he whispers, shaking his head. No, more like find a place to hind the damn thing.

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