(1939-03-14) Bait
Details for Bait
Summary: Hugh suggests an idea to Rhyeline that might lure out her attackers from Berlin. Hugh could insert an article into the Daily Prophet about her, using her as bait to draw them out.
Date: Friday, March 14, 1939
Location: Books Unbound
Plot: The Mouse's Curse

The most likely place to find a Rhyeline on a Friday morning? If she isn't curled up with a book, she is in a book store. Head tilted to read the titles, the girl drifts through the rows of shelves. She pauses in a section of biographies. This section happens to be in view of the street outside. She selects a copy of Vincent Duc de Trefle-Picques' Annotated Biography.

Hugh steps inside. His pipe, unlit, is hanging from his mouth, as he ambles steadily through the shelves. "Siren…. siren….. Hrm. No Sirens. Merfolk, though. Might be worth a read."

Rhyeline leafs through the heavy, leather-bound tomb for a few moments, peering at the seemingly hand-written notes in the margins. But then, a familiar voice reaches her ears and she glances up. Returning the book to its place on the shelf, the little one makes her way over to the source of the voice. He's right there at the end of the row, and Rhyeline peeks up at him from around its corner. "Hello…" she murmurs, at his elbow.

Hugh looks up sharply, and then sees who it is, and he gives a louche grin, "Miss Diderot. A delight to see you!"

A subtle warmth emerges in the girl's cheeks at the sight of such a grin. "It… it is good to see you as well… Auror Carruthers…" she murmurs in a rather quiet, shy tone.

Hugh waves a hand, "Oh, Hugh, please. We've known one another long enough for that, surely! And it's not as if I'm here on official business! Just planning a yachting trip in the Western Isles, if the seas remain open. Just looking for information on the flora and fauna!"

"Then… then you should- should call me Rhyeline," she murmurs. Head tilting to the side slightly, she watches him for a moment with hushed curiosity. "Why are you going to the Western Isles? Just… on holiday?"

Hugh says, "Oh, you know, I've got a little boat. Not like what I grew up on, of course, but rather fun to sail for laughs. But if there's going to be another war, there'll be all sorts of reasons not to do that until hostilities are over."

Rhyeline blinks, a bit surprised to hear Hugh grew up on a boat. At the mention of war, she bites her lower lip. "It… it hasn't happened yet… you should- should go while you can…"

Hugh makes a little face, "When I get the chance. If I get the chance. The way things are at present, there'll be little enough chance!"

Rhyeline lowers her gaze a moment, tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear. Peeking back up at him, she murmurs, "It does seem so… time is so short… But… with luck… the Ministry will take the steps necessary to- to prepare for- for such catastrophes."

Hugh looks pretty unconvinced, "You were in Berlin. Do you believe that? After Kristalnacht?" He tosses down the German term naturally enough. Of course, he speaks it extremely well, as you're aware. "Because I certainly am not."

"Prepare for… not prevent… I- I am speaking of- of the time when Grindelwald tries to ennact the policies he speaks of… tries to enslave the muggles… bringing inevitable rebellion and violence… That is- is what our Ministry must prepare for… to prevent the same violence from happening here," murmurs Rhyeline.

Hugh gives you a thoughtful look. "Yes. You were with Rena Lee, weren't you?"

Rhyeline hesitates before giving a small nod. "Yes… I was."

Hugh pushes back in a book he had half withdrawn, "Care to tell me more?"

"I… I had- had just completed some- some business at Gringotts… I noticed the crowd that Rena was gathering. I… I stood at the back… but… when it started to get dangerous… I was worried for her. And… and the muggle she was with. So… I went to the front… I disarmed the one who tried to silence her…" Rhyeline bites her lower lip, looking a bit self-conscious as she peeks up at Hugh.

Hugh says absently, "Read about it in the Prophet." A pause, "Care to summarise her thoughts and what your opinion is? I found you quite insightful in Berlin."

The subtle warmth in Rhyeline's cheeks deepens. She hadn't realized he'd ever listened to the quiet analysis she gave the ambassador. "Well… she- she wasn't there on- on behalf of the Unity Party. She was… was just handing out the pamphlets that the Dark Force Defence League printed. But… she and- and the muggle… many things they said aligned with- with what the Unity Party advocates. Increased cooperation with muggle authorities… increased unity between wizards and muggles… She was urging the people away from violence- away from ignorance and the fear that comes from that…"

Hugh gives a little nod, "I doubt reasoning will solve it, but good for her for still believing it will."

Rhyeline gives a small nod, staring at his shoes. "Reason won't affect those already consumed by hatred and fear… But I think her words, and especially those of her muggle friend could have an impact on those who were undecided… or wavering. My hope is that- that enough voices will unite and- and demand action from the Ministry to protect us from Grindelwald's supporters… and to take steps to- to cooperate with muggle authorities to prepare for when we are forced to unite too soon…"

Hugh says quietly, "You realise if this goes nasty, the chances of returning to Berlin to find more about your attackers are low? That if you wish to do so, it should be done soon?"

Rhyeline looks up at him, blinking in surprise when he mentions her attackers. Shaking her head, she murmurs, "No… I- I just… want to focus on… on my work here. Someone went once- the owner of this shop, in fact… but he only discovered that- that my attackers hadn't been caught. I… I don't think that- that there is much hope of finding them…"

Hugh says, "Perhaps their curse is known in libraries over there, though. Something to consider, at least."

"Perhaps…" murmurs Rhyeline with a small nod, shifting a bit. "But… I am- am also a bit anxious to- to pursue them… because… perhaps they didn't know that I still live… still carry their curse. What if… what if they… they find out and- and come try to find me?" Biting her lower lip, she peeks up at Hugh with a hesitant, vulnerable look of quiet apprehension.

Hugh gives a faint smile, as though that had already occured to him, "Then we get a jolly good chance to find out who they are, and 'persuade' them to give us more details of the curse."

Rhyeline shifts, looking a bit scared and not nearly as certain that this will be the result should they learn she yet lives. "I… I'll be alright. You… you shouldn't… shouldn't worry over- over such things."

Hugh gives a little nod, "Well, you know, no trouble. Battling dark wizards is my hobby." A pause, "Oh, actually, they _pay_ me for it. It's yachting that's the hobby."

Rhyeline can't help but grin a bit despite her apprehension. "Yes… but… the ones that- that curse me are- are far away… You have- have dark wizards /here/ that- that you need to worry over more…"

Hugh says, "Yes, which _is_ a bit of a snag, admittedly. Assuming they're not related, of course."

Rhyeline gives a small shrug. "I think that- that they were more concerned with- with the politics of Berlin… they did not like the increased cooperation that the Ambassador was attempting to orchestrate…"

Hugh pauses, then nods, "Probably. But then, we've not really got a motive for the ones closer to home yet, either. They may yet be tied up in the same knot."

"It… it is possible. If… if you do find a connection… I… I'd like to know," murmurs Rhyeline, biting her lower lip a bit as she gazes up at him.

Hugh mrms, "Not entirely sure that'd be possible. But my point remains, if you wish to return to Germany, now is the time to plan it."

Rhyeline shifts a bit before shaking her head. "I… I do not wish to return. I… I am needed here."

Hugh's brow lifts, "Needed? Why so? Would you not be more useful with the curse removed?"

"But… I don't think that- that there is much that /I/ could accomplish by going to Berlin… that anyone could accomplish. There aren't any- any leads… and… I am well enough. The curse doesn't stop me from- from what I need to do," murmurs Rhyeline.

Hugh pauses, and then nods, slowly, "Well, if you're sure. That said, you'd make an absolutely smashing bait."

Rhyeline blinks. "Bait…?"

Hugh gives that same lazy smile beneath the 'tache of doom, "We don't know who your attackers are. But they know who you are. So, we trail you before them, and set up a trap or two, and take down whoever comes sniffing around you, and have a 'chat' until we see what they know."

"I'm not so sure they knew… I was just an accident. And… and not even the Ambassador took much notice of me until- until afterwards. And… going to Berlin… I- I can't… but… if… if you… thought it might be possible to- to lure them here…" Rhyeline's voice trails off. The little mouse of a witch watches Hugh with a hesitant apprehension at the thought, but he knows she stepped forward to take that curse. He knows she is stronger than she seems.

Hugh says, "Be easier in Germany. But it's possible, I suppose, to do so here too." He leans back against the bookcase, and says, speculatively, "Breakthrough in Talks: Proposal from disgraced Ambassador Resurrected. Last Best Hope for Peace in hands of Cursed Assistant, Instrumental to Original Negotiation." He seems to be thinking almost in copy print, "Sorry. _Plucky_ Cursed Assistant."

Rhyeline's cheeks glow with the warmth of her blush. She shifts a bit to the side, almost as if trying to hide against the books on the shelves. "I… I don't know if- if there's much hope for /those/ negotiations… That- that battle was lost. Now… we are faced with a new one…"

Hugh puffs at his unlit pipe, and then finally removes it from his mouth to gesticulate with it. "You know that. THEY may not."

"What- oh… I- I see what you mean… to draw their attention…" murmurs Rhyeline, lowering her gaze. The timid creature seems rather uncertain about this idea and folds her arms across her belly. "The story in- in the paper… what would it say? And- and how would- would such a story be printed?"

Hugh says, "Well, not sure what it would say yet. Probably keep it brief, so's not to make mistakes that might let them off. But just enough to pique their interest. As to how it will get there? Well, you have NO idea how cooperative journalists can be if an Auror suggests they really _want_ to cooperate."

"I… I see…" Rhyeline bites her lower lip. "Is it- it alright if I- I think about it for a time?"

Hugh says, "Yes.. yes, of course. It would _not_ be sporting to use you thus if you weren't sure about it"

"Thank you… Hugh. And… and I appreciate your interest in my case. But… but I hope that- that it does not distract you from- from more pressing dangers," murmurs Rhyeline, peeking up at him.

Hugh waves a hand negligently, "Oh, not at all. I mean, what is a second group of Dark Wizards trying to kill me? After the first, one becomes blase."

"If… if you ever- ever need help with- with this matter… Graham… he is as a brother to me. I'm sure that- that he would want to help," murmurs Rhyeline.

Hugh says, "Thank you." He gives a faint smile, "I'm sure he's already got his fingers in. And probably wouldn't approve of me risking you, for closure. But talk it over with him, anyway."

"I… I will," murmurs Rhyeline with a nod. Glancing down at the book-laden shelves to her right, she hesitates a moment before peeking back up at him. "Thank you… "

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License