(1939-04-06) Think First
Details for Think First
Summary: Arthur and Rena have an after hours chat about a troubling letter, among other things.
Date: 1939-04-06
Location: Ministry of Magic - Law Enforcement

The Ministry is in a mild-mannered uproar after a confusing week of dealing with vigilante justice. Although it's likely that the situation is far from over, at least things are slightly quieter now that the week is drawing to a close. The office is relatively empty at the moment, and it's getting dark outside.
For whatever reason, Rena Lee remains at her desk and looking agitated. She's been opening and closing, reading and rereading a message that has sat on her desk all day long. A photograph was included with it, but she's kept these things largely to herself. At the moment, she has fallen into deep thought, and she idly turns her spinning chair in slow half-circles while thinking.

Why is Arthur there still at work, well maybe it is because he is a hard working Auror who only sees Justice being brought to world as his task at hand or he simply wants to mess with Rena's head. Slowly the figure of Auror Nightengale moves between the desks, but he doesn't look like Arthur, no he looks like Rena. Slowly now moving up on her, slowly, sneaking, he moves in closer and closer, til his head is just over her shoulder and says in her voice, "We really should go home and get some sleep." slowly, turning his head so that the first thing Rena is greeted by when she looks, is a mirror image of herself.

Rena pauses her idly turning of the chair and comes to a stop with a tap of her foot against the floor when Arthur comes into view. She stares at the mirror image of herself for a flicker of an instant with wide-eyes, but she quickly gets the surprise under control.
Breathing a slow, beleagured sigh, the young woman peers over the top of her letter at Arthur for about three seconds. "We?" She asks flatly, hiding the smirk that threatens to show on her lips behind the piece of paper. "And since when did you go in for a peaceful night's sleep on a regular, 'ealthy scheduel like a normal person?"

Arthur shifts back to his normal form and leans against Rena's desk, "We, because I was yeh, get it?" he says slowly with a small nod, "Dae yeh get it?" he asks playfully his hand moving up and running through his hair, "What yeh already miss the nights we spent together?" he says with a chuckle, "And I was just concerned about yeh, yeh have been staring at those things like they are going ta' bite you." he syas nodding, "Can't I be concerned about another Auror?" he says looking at her.

Rena really ought not to hold the paper so close to her face. Her cheeks begin to burn so bright red at Arthur's offhand (and fairly innocent) comment about the time they spent together, that they threaten to light the page on fire. "I…" She starts to say, trying not to look flustered. Rather pointedly, her gaze quickly darts away from Arthur, and she lowers the letter, trying to hide the blush: "Thanks for…being concerned and all. It's just that I got an anonymous letter in the mail today about something very upsetting going on in 'Ogwarts. You know 'ow I feel about kids. They shouldn't be in this political crossfire."
Pausing, she just hands the letter over to Arthur to read. It's nothing so confidential that she need hide it from him. She trusts him, anyway.

Auror Lee,

Enclosed you will find a photograph of a member of the Magijugend, that so-called "club" at Hogwarts that has lured in quite a few students. The club appears to be little more than an early indoctrination program for Grindelwald's Army of Truth.

Turn your attention to the iron ring on the Magijunde's wand. This ring exists on the wand of every student in the Magijugend. To outsiders, it might appear to be simply an adornment, or another badge like the Eye of Truth. But it is more sinister than that. This ring is enchanted to contract in the event that a Magijunde ever turns against the club. That's right, Headmaster Flint is breaking the wands of students that displease him.

These students are coerced into signing a magical contract that empowers the ring and binds the student to the Magijugend's ways. Of course, these contracts are possessed only by Headmaster Flint himself. There are a number of legal issues involved with enforcing contracts like this with minors. But without a copy of the contracts themselves, there is no proof, and flimsy legal ground to stand on to take on Flint.

You are associated with Galatea Merrythought and her league. She has openly accused Grindelwald of the Dark Arts. Can you imagine what Flint might be teaching these students? I suspect that you are a woman with the kind of fortitude necessary to do what must be done to end this injustice.

A friend

Arthur reads over the letter and toss it back on Rena's desk, "Yeh have been hanging out with Cohen too much." he says in almost of a scolding tone, his hand moves up and runs over his face for a second and he lets out a small sigh, "I mean…" he starts staring at the ceiling, "Cohen's a good chap, but these are…" he says shaking his head, "Yar job is to catch Dark Wizards, wha' you going da walk onto Hogwarts? Slap down ye badge and demand Flint hand over contracts he may or may not have?" he says looking at her.

Rena rolls her eyes in an exaggerated fashion and rests her elbow on the chair arm for a moment so that she can rub her forehead. "No. That WOULD be the Graham Cohen way to do it. Only 'e would be polite about it and ask with 'is 'at in 'and." Pausing a moment, there's almost a devlish glint in Rena's dark eyes as she glances up at Arthur, quirking one eyebrow: "And since when do I do things the polite, legal and proper way?"
"No, if I'm going to get into 'Ogwarts and uncover (and possibly end) this corruption of young minds, I'm going to 'ave to be a lot cleverer than that."

Something about the way Rena looks at Arthur now should discomfort the man. It's one of those sharpish looks that says: And I MIGHT just enlist you to help me.

Arthur says, "No, Da Headmaster is the responsibility of the Hogwarts Board of Governors." Arthut states with a nod, "The most ya could do is mabbe talk to some students at Hogsmeade. Ye need proof before yeh could do anything. Not like you can pass for a stu…" he stops and his brown eyes move across Rena slowly as she stares at him, pushing off the desk his hands go up in a waving motion, "Oh no no no no." he says shaking his head, "Miss Rena Lee, no way." he says looking at her, "Cause yeh know, they won't notice da random Hufflepuff who just showed up…""

"You're no fun," Rena jokes, sticking her pert little tongue out at Arthur playfully as she sits in her chair with arms folded.
"I need time to think is all. I'll formulate a plan. Like you said, I should try and chat with some students in 'Ogsmeade…" Stopping to think a moment, she pensively brushes her index finger over her lower lip.
"You know, I may 'ave an idea growing already." Rena says slowly, her gaze becoming somewhat intense for a moment. Then, she is up and out of her chair. She needs to have her feet moving in order to think properly. "'Ogsmeade… students… 'Ogsmeade weekends!" she mutters, walking around her desk and into the aisle so that she can pace. "A lecture maybe…impromptu, as they say. The way I like to do on the streets. Defense against the dark arts."

Arthur's eyes narrow on Rena as she paces and talks, then he just shakes his head. "Yeh, need da remember Rena…" he says slowly, "Yeh can only push yer luck so far." he says looking at her sternly, "Yeh are going off hearsay." he says with a deep sigh his head leaning back as he stares up at the ceiling. "Yeh are serious… and yer out of yer mind." he says his gaze moving back to Rena.

"I'll figure something out," Rena replies tersely as she paces. One hand rests on her hip, and the other beneath her chin so that her gaze is cast upon the floor. She has a personality and a code of honour that can only be described as chaotic-good. She always means well, and she gives herself very good advice (at times,) but she seldom seems to follow through on listening to her better side… or anyone else, for that matter.
Glancing up, her dark eyes meet with Arthur's for a moment, and she drops both hands to her sides slowly. Quickly looking away again, Rena says: "Never mind. You're dead set against it, and I'm not going to prod at you or anyone else for 'elp." A small smile is given, and she moves to pick up her hat from the desk. "Forget about it, yea?"

Arthur shakes his head, "No I am dead set against loosen meh badge." he says looking at Rena sharply. "If yeh where thinking straight and not casten just half yeh dice, you would stop and think." he says nodding, "Get some evidance. Take it to Worthington, get his stamp." he says looking at Rena now with a deep sigh. His hand moves and runs through his short hair slowly as he sighs.
"Yeh know as well as I do, Hogwarts is off limit to us." he says in an almost pleading voice. "Yeh need to stop and consider thing, Make a plan, if nothing comes out, it is hearsay." he says with a wave of his hand, "Yeh want too loose yer badge? What good will yeh do without one?" he says trying to talk some form of sense into her.

"Some folks would argue I'm not much good with one," Rena snaps back, snatching the hat into her hands, but not putting it on. She has admittedly dug a good several feet down in her own grave under her own steam during the last few months, but even before that, people generally treated her like the Auror-who-doesn't-belong-there.
Still avoiding Arthur's eyes pointedly, Rena steadies herself with a deep breath and picks up her suit jacket from the back of her chair, draping it over her arm. "I'm worried about the children, is all." She says more calmly, the fire seemingly gone already. "It's just another problem I don't want to leave unresolved when I…" faltering, she hesitates to go on and finish the sentence. "I'll be taking a break from things for a little while, you know." Of course, she is alluding to the fact that she'll be leaving on a honeymoon for a short time and unable to work any cases.

Arthut shakes his head, "I know yeh care about the children…" he starts his hair turning an odd shade of green as his eyes narrow. "We have plenty of cases we need da focus on." he continues as he meets Rena's gaze, "Yeh want a pitty party cause some people think yeh don't deserve it?" he says pushing off the desk, his hand waving dismissivly, "The do yerself right and prove them wrong, not right Rena." he says as he starts to walk away before stopping his hair, shifting back to it's normal color, "We work as a team, we work with what we can prove… because if yeh don't do either, yeh end up dead or screwed." he says to her with a deep sigh, "Yeh can be a good Auror, if yeh just keep yerself from getting tunnel vision." he says.

Rena keeps her gaze fixed on Arthur now, taking on a sudden watchful sharpness. The change of colour (and something of his demeanor) doesn't escape her. Normally, she would get riled up and contradict or defend herself against being accused of wanting a pity party; but instead, she falls back looking rather meek and abashed.
"Arthur!" Rena calls out after him, her tone showing a quiet sort of urgency. "Arthur… I'm sorry. I won't do anything stupid or untoward… promise." She says genuinely. Now, she just looks very small, hanging back from him and holding her hat in both hands contritely.

Arthur turns around and looks her in the eyes, "Then keep yer head on straight." he pointing his finger at Rena, with a deep frustrated sigh. "Yeh need to stop and think." he says, biting his lip clearly fretting about something, "Yeh ever stop and consider it's ah setup?" he asks, tilting his head, "Someone trying to see if you will go in half cocked, someone trying to see if you will do something stupid?" he says shaking his head, "Dae yeh think if this went badly, yeh wouldn't have student's parents sending Owl after Owl, cause word got out yeh thought they where dark wizards in some secret dark wizard training program?" he says shaking his head, "Then if it wasn't a setup, he would have time da hide the evidence better and be more careful?" he says shaking his head, "Gotta play it smart girl." he says looking almost pleadingly at her.

The look in Rena's eyes says quite plainly that she never thought anything of the kind. She hadn't even bothered to consider for a moment that the letter might, in fact, be a setup. Some ploy to catch her out and make her do something incredibly stupid on the spur of the moment. "Oh… I…didn't think…" Is all that she manages to stammer, dropping her gaze to the floor once more.
Clearly unsettled and embarrassed, she shifts a little on her feet and turns the hat in her hands by the brim, slowly. Once again, a blush burns in her cheeks. She couldn't look more apologetic if she tried.

Arthur just sighs, "Rena…" he starts out his hand moving up and running through his hair, "That is the kind of things yeh have da think about." he says slowly closing his eyes for a moment. "It's a dangerous job… yeh know that… we all know it." he says taking a few steps towards her and placing his hand on her shoulder, "Yeh just got to keep yer mind one step ahead of da Darks." he says giving them a squeeze, "Everything… is a trap til it is proven otherwise." he says with a smile, trying to reassure her.

It is a dangerous job. She told her now-fiance that much, months ago… long before he asked if she would marry him. At the time, she thought it would dissuade anyone from wanting to be involved with an Auror. Funnily enough, it didn't work out that way.
Rena glances sidelong at the hand placed on her shoulder and stays silent for another moment that seems to hang heavily between them. At length, she reaches up and places her slim, soft hand on his. She manages to bring out a little smile - a grateful one - and look up at him, finally: "Thanks for always watching my back," she says quietly. "I promise, I'm learning."

Arthur nods his hand giving her shoulder a small squeeze before he removes it. "We are all learning…" he says with a slight smile, "We all gotta have each other's backs, if we don't no one will." he says offering her a small wink, "Just yeh remember, they can't catch yeh off gaurd if yeh are always on yer toes." he says nodding slowly, his hand moving up again and running through his hair.
He has only been out of Initate status for a few months, but he has seen people come and go. Crazy or burnt out. Some grow gold, others just grow crazier. Some have said he is starting to lean towards the ladder, but he likes to think he is just growing more cautioned more prepared, ready to survive.

At least things are still friendly between Arthur and Rena. She'd much rather be his friend than an enemy, despite some of the water that's passed under their mutual bridge in days gone by.
"All the same," Rena says, trying to regain a little balence within herself, "I'd rather be partnered up with you if I do find out something's amiss at school." Carefully perching her pert little peacock-feathered hat atop her red hair, she tilts it to the proper angle and begins to slip into her jacket: "That is, unless you mind playing the senior Auror bit. What with 'aving to be in charge and all." Being in charge of Rena is a bit like holding a wildcat by the tail. If you let go, you're damned - if you hold on, you're damned.

"Y-you want to walk a piece with me?" Rena also asks uncertainly. She should be heading home now, not that she's ever quite sure of her fiance being there when she gets off duty. "Could stop off for a drink, if you liked."

Arthur waves his hand, "Doesn't mean nothing, just means I have managed not to piss Worthington off enough to kick me out of the office yet and that I have managed to keep my head on staight long enough not to end up dead, nothing special." he says with a chuckle. "If you get it cleared with Worthington, I will help." he says with a nod.
And not Rena doesn't know if Takeshi is home yet, because Takeshi is busy saving lives. You know being a Healer.

Rena can't help but chuckle a little: "If that's all it takes to get bumped from Initiate to Auror, I'll be a rookie forever." She quips drily. Poor Mister Worthington has undoubtedly lost a bit of his sanity since the arrival of Miss Lee at the office. She tends to have that effect on people in the long run.
"I guess I'd better 'ead on 'ome then," Rena says after buttoning up her suit jacket, offering a faint smile. "If Takeshi isn't back, I'll need to manage supper for us." She hates to bring up her charmingly sweet domestic life with her fiance, on the one hand… but, on the other, it's nearly impossible to avoid it. She /lives/ with the man, after all.

Arthur nods and lets out a little shrug, "Nah I need to head out, I got a lead I need to follow up on." he says with a small shrugs, in regards to her question earlier. He runs his hand through his hair slowly, "You take it easy Rena." he says slowly offering her a small half-hearted wave before heading back towards his desk.

It's just one of those frustrating parts of being the way that she is. Rena sees Arthur's demeanor sink, and her expression falls. It's in her nature to just want to go over and give him an affectionate hug… but with things the way they are, it wouldn't exactly be proper to follow that instinct.
Rena starts to say something, but falls back. Turning to leave, she runs her fingers along the lapels of her jacket to straighten them as she walks. "I'll see you tomorrow, Arthur. Don't stay out too late." She offers over her shoulder with a smile.

Why does life have to be so damned complicated?

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