(1939-04-09) Evidence and a Tipoff
Details for Evidence and a Tipoff
Summary: Rena and Graham Chief Auror Worthington
Date: April 9, 2014
Location: The Chief's Office
Plot: Forgotten Shadows
Related: Where Shadows Gather

The last time Rena had occasion to enter Worthington's office, she was fairly timid, hanging back behind Graham and following his lead as best as possible. But, that was a long-ish time ago, and a lot of water has passed beneath the proverbial bridge. She may not be older and wiser, but, as an Auror initiate, she's a good deal more confident… A confidence that is probably misplaced.

In her arms, Rena carries a large-ish cardboard box, and she struggles momentarily with the size of the thing when it comes to opening the office door. A sidelong glance is cast toward Graham: "Would you mind? I can't quite manage the 'andle and Melvin, too." She murmurs to the older Auror.

Graham grins "Of course." he says and will nod to the other as he reaches out for the door he twists the handle and pushes the door lightly open motioning so the other can enter first. He will follow in behind once she's through and close the door lightly behind them both. "Hello, sir." he greets the other with a nod though he isnt too uptight for the moment he will see how this whole thing goes.

Within the office, Chief Auror Worthington is standing on his desk, his arms crossed with a finger on his chin. He nods absently as the two Aurors enter, but his gaze is fixed on a map of London spread out on the floor in the middle of the room. "Aha!" he declares, and hops down from his perch. "Never underestimate the value of a new perspective. Depulso!" He flicks his wand at the map, which flies away from him to a table where a case file lays open. He eyes the box in Rena's hands, arching his eyebrow curiously.

Rena's gaze is drawn up to chief Worthington perched atop his desk, and she stares at the man with her lips parted slightly. To say that the young woman looks nonplussed would be the understatement of the year… But, this is the Auror office. She's already come to accept the fact that everyone is just a little unusual around here. Why wouldn't the chief be the most unusual of them all?
"'I 'ope we ain't interrupting anyting too terribly important." She remarks cautiously, moving over to his desk and setting her box down on the ledge. "Never did quite get a chance to make my personal report regarding Mister Cooley and 'is involvement with Auror Abbott. But, if it's a bad time…"

"Of course, step back second set of eyes can do wonders." Graham says with a chcukle he sees the glance towards the box Rena carries and cannot help but but fight the smirk which he wants to wear. He will look to her "I think you should go first." he says though she seems to be taking the lead he will glance about the office a moment before back to the chief to see how he will respond to the words about being too busy.

Worthington steps behind his desk, but remains standing. "Is there ever a good time? It's part of the job. So, I've assumed you've had the investigation in hand. What did you bring me?" He taps the box with a grin and a peaked eyebrow.

"Well… erm…" Rena looks down at the box and runs her hands along the lid timidly for a moment. "As you recall, I was sent down to the Shadow Bazaar to ask Mister Vermillion for the whereabouts of Marvin Cooley. Fortunately, 'e was able to 'elp me and tell me where to find 'im." She pauses briefly and lifts the lid off of the box at last. Carefully - perhaps even a little respectfully - she takes up the skull resting inside of the box and brings it into view. The dark eye sockets stare out at Worthington emptily. "Unfortunately, as they say… Dead men tell no tales."

Allowing this to sink in for a half a tick, the young woman shifts on her feet and manages to bring out a wry half-smile: "It ain't a loss, sir, though. You see, Marvin Cooley (actually Melvin) went and crossed 'imself up with some rogue vampire six years ago. Got 'imself killed and burried in a shallow grave in the forest of Dean."

Graham stands back as she begins to speak of the task they were both set to. He still isn't sure how to tell his side, none of it is good that's for sure it could go many ways, but for now he re-focuses on the conversation as the other auror brings out the shrunken head and shows it as well telling the story that they learned from the vampire informant. He looks now to the chief trying to read what h makes of this news.

Worthington's other brow goes up. "Six years ago? Cooley's been dead for six years?" He sighs, leaning on his desk. "Damn it all, Abbott. Alright, so you have a skull. Were there other remains? How do we know this is Cooley, or that Marvin and Melvin are truly the same person? I've never known Vermilion to give false information, but that doesn't mean the Wizengamot will take his word for it. And, do I even want to know what his price was for this knowledge?"

Again, Rena's gaze drops. Focusing fiercely on the top of Marvin/Melvin's skull, and she shakes her head: "I can go back to get the rest of 'is remains, sir. But there were complications at the time and I was forced to retreat with only /this/. I was injured and didn't really 'ave much choice." A pause, and she looks up with her brow furrowed: "But Mister Vermillion gave 'is word that that was 'is grave. And I found it just where 'e said. It was unmarked as far as names go… I don't know 'ow else to manage identifying a man who's been dead for six years unless you can conjure up a ghost." Not a good idea.

A sharp, furtive glance drifts toward Graham when the price is mentioned. Quickly, her dark eyes dart away once more: "Payment is still pending, sir. It's my problem, though and I'll manage it."

Graham ponders the question a bit. "Unless there are marks left from the vampire attack which would confirm the story but that might not be likely." He will say knowing it wasn't going to be as easy as proof and the deal being done. He looks to Rena and gives a small smile in reassurance to her words. "The events dont add up with how she's reported them alread, with the strange behavior sir.. I mean that wandless.. severing charm?" he shakes his head.

Worthington nods, eyeing the skull as if expecting it to answer a few questions, itself. "We'll need to exhume the rest of the remains. See that it's done. Let's get the M.A.C. involved to make sure this is done right. Cohen's right, a vampire's mark isn't going to remain if there's only a skeleton left." He lifts his eyes to Graham, frowning. "That bloody Severing Charm…she was desperate. I know, it doesn't suggest innocence. Still, I can't order the arrest of one of our own without something a hell of a lot stronger to go on."

Thank goodness. Worthington seems content to not ask any further questions about the payment promised to Cruentus in a moment of desperation. Rena closes her eyes briefly and lets out a little sigh as some of the tension relaxes out of her shoulders. He doesn't even ask why she was unable to retrieve the rest of the body at the time… which is, quite frankly, for the best.

"I'll get right on it, sir," Rena answers quietly. Now that she's done her bit, Graham is free and clear to manage his own side of things. She'll just busy herself with carefully putting the skull back into its box for the moment.

The young man sighs though he nods "Of course, and I wouldn't want to be wrong in this. I don't take it lightly sir, I am not one to believe it of my fellow aurors given how we have to work together." Graham says to both though he isn't wanting to seem overly enthusiastic. He reaches down to his pockets now finding something a decision to make soon here, and not one he wants to have to make. He looks to the Chief. "Sir, I also met up with the informant.. his first price well it wasn't mine to offer." he is uncomfortable and it isn't much like Graham. Rena already knows the price but he'll step closer though regaining his composure. He will borrow a quil quickly and take out a spare piece of parchment from his pocket "A bit of information on Gastley." he says before handing over to him. In reality this is the instructions given to him by the vampire. He will turn back to walk to the front side of the desk and watch the other to read them.

The Chief Auror nods firmly to Rena. "Good. I assume I'll find the rest of the details in your report." So much for not asking.

Turning to Graham, Worthington furrows his brow in concern, plainly reading Graham's discomfort. "I warned you that you wouldn't be prepared for his price. It's never easy with him. It always pays off…but he'll take his pound of flesh." He reaches for the note with a touch of hesitation, but a man doesn't become Chief Auror by lacking an overwhelming need to uncover truth. He reads what is written, and his frown deepens considerably. "You should not have shown this to me." She sighs, looking up at Graham. "He's a vampire, Cohen. He can hear your thoughts. The next time you're in his presence, he'll know that you've told me. Only an Occlumens would have a hope of…" He cuts himself off, narrowing his gaze at Graham. "Are you…?"

Quietly, Rena begins to take her leave of the men. The lid is placed back onto the box, and she turns to go. But then, Worthington's words catch her in the back, causing every muscle to tense again.

For a moment, she just stands there, cringing inwardly and wanting to bang her head into the box in her arms. However, regaining her composure, she simply says: "Yes sir. Thank you, sir," and walks away. It's for the best if she leaves Graham to deal with his side of things, now.

Graham waits to see which way the world will fall in this case. The young man's focus is there but he does answer "It was Sorcha's Blood, he knew a lot about me, I agree. As I said it was not mine to give." he will frown here the topic of course breached but it isn't the time and he shakes it off. "I could not in good standing perform the task as he asked it Sir." he says though the question does get a small smirk but it is gone just as quick "Yes Sir, i've finished the training." he will answer perhaps his bookishness will pay off after all.

Worthington sighs and nods. "That sounds like him. He opened with something he knew you'd never give. It makes whatever he asks for next sound much more reasonable." He takes one more look at the note in his hand before holding it to the open flame of a candle on his desk, letting it burn away in the candle-holder. "I'm betting that he doesn't know you're trained in Occlumency. You might just be able to pull this off. Do you think you can hide from him that you've shared this with me?"

"I agree, but he also told me I wouldn't find Gastley without his help." Graham says with a sigh as some part of him believes what the vampire says like he'd hide him away likely just to prove his point. The next question gets a moments thought. "I am not saying it will be easy, but I do believe I can shield my mind well enough for this task." he will say after the pause as he still leaves his focus on the chief to see the response.

The Chief takes a long, slow breath, and finally nods. "Alright. Ready yourself for it, and make sure you've got an exit strategy in case he does realize it's gone wrong. I'm not saying he'll attack you. Probably not, it isn't his style. But better to be safe." He glances to the charred note. "As for that…we can't just give up a witness to him. Merlin knows what he wants with that name. He's probably acquiring it for another client. You're in a tight spot, Cohen. I can't give you the name, and if you give him a false name, eventually he'll know it. That could put you on Vermilion's bad side."

Graham nods "Of course, i'll stay on my guard and think of a way out ahead of time." He will say to the first part though as he continues he will nod to the Chief "Of course Sir, but I am no thief especially not to this office. I'd sooner turn in my badge." he shakes his head slightly even if this fails he can still look himself in the mirror with this choice at least. "I am willing to take that risk, if it needs to be taken."

Worthington steps around his desk and claps Graham's shoulder. "If it comes to that…when it comes to that, because he will eventually know he was lied to, I'll intervene myself. He'll exact a heavy price, but I won't have you put in perpetual danger from him for doing your job. Just get us through this leg of the journey, Cohen. For now, tell him the name on the witness report is 'Benvolio Harkness'. The man's in Azkaban, which will keep him safe from Vermilion, and the vampire's client will likely assume that Harkness made a deal with us to reduce his sentence. It won't hold water forever, but it should be long enough to get you an audience with Gastley."

"You wont be in danger yourself. Will you?" Graham turns back though he'll stand still as his shoulder is gripped a moment after his return question though he is listening further committing the name to memory so that when he speaks it it is natural and not seeming to oddly. "I can do that, and perhaps with Gastley's information we can bring this thing to a close. I hope at least."

"Me?" Worthington chuckles. "I doubt it. I'm too valuable a resource for him. But you let me worry about that. I need you focused on your own tasks. I feel like we are just around the corner from the Vengals, and these two leads you and Auror Lee are following could be the final two pieces of the puzzle to finding them. So unless there is anything else, you're dismissed."

Graham nods "Yes, sir I of course you can handle yourself." he chuckles having not meant anything to the contrary. "Thank you, and I hope so as well, they need to be stopped." the young man looks about to leave before he pauses though "There is one other thing actually. Prewett." he will say over to him.

Satisfied, the Chief had begun to sit. But the mention of Prewett gives him pause. "Ah…yes. You were in that altercation at the Hoard, weren't you? Don't get too comfortable in that place. I don't want Ogden breathing down my neck about Aurors spending their off hours on Knockturn Alley." He rubs his chin, chuckling. "Don't worry about Prewett. I've got the situation well in hand."

"I wont, first time there actually I followed Prewett there when the altercation happened." Graham knows this must be done delicately though he paces a bit back and forth as if tormented "Despite all that she said and she did nearly sock me a few times." he starts here his gaze looks to the Chief giving a knowing look to him trying to impart something important here "I would like it to be known sir." he pauses deciding how to phrase this "That Shelley." he uses her first name here. "She has my full confidence sir, and I am WILLING." he says the corner of his mouth turning up in a smirk another hint. "To help her anyway you think I am able."

Worthington chuckles, then levels a sharp gaze at Graham. "You can best help Prewett by carrying on as you normally would. She's been suspending pending an investigation, and that is all that you need to know. If she gets out of line, do your duty. That is all."

Graham will stay still as he watches the chief a moment though he isnt sure based on the response if he's gotten through. He will stay focused a moment as if trying to get more out of the words and a little understanding crosses him at least. "Yes Sir, I will continue to do as I have been." he will say raising for a salute and a nod of his head. "I will meet with the contact the I was asked to with the name and will let you know when I get information on Gastley."

"Good. We're counting on you. You and Lee both. Dismissed, Cohen." Worthington nods firmly.

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