(1939-04-10) The Informed Informant
Details for The Informed Informant
Summary: Rena enlists the help of an educator with connections to shed more light on troubling accusations made against Headmaster Flint.
Date: 1939/04/10
Location: Lee Cottage, Hogsmeade
Related: A Super Secret Spy

Everything has been made ready for a guest. Despite the fact that Rena has not been /living/ in her lovely little Hogsmeade cottage on East Crook Road, she's kept the place in readiness for use at any time. It's come in handy for occasions such as this… besides, it's rather special to the city-child, and she doesn't want to give up her own little bit of land and space that belong wholly to her in this world.
Tea is laid out, and plenty of food to eat besides. Now, all Rena has to do is wait for Isobel to arrive on her doorstep. And in the meantime, she simply goes about her business, sweeping up the occasional bit of dust from the floor, or else pulling down a cobweb from a corner.

There's nothing like being called to the home of an Auror Initiate; an Auror Initiate whom Isobel tested at the very least during her NEWT level exams. Usually she examines them, places down the marks, and she's done with that set of students. She doesn't often get invited to their homes, for any reason, after they've graduated. Not that she gets invited to their homes before they graduate either. But still, it's a special occasion, even if it is for a serious matter.
Isobel approaches the home, a bottle of what she thinks is good wine in hand, and she knocks on the door. Yes, she was invited, but she still felt like she should bring a gift, even if it isn't that type of event.

Hearing the knock, Rena nearly drops the broom in her hand. Catching herself, she sets it in the corner nicely, and then hurries over to answer the door. What she does forget is the fact that she's wearing an apron over her clothing. She can't remember /everything/…
"Hullo!" Rena greets the other woman brightly, flashing a very warm and welcoming smile. "I'm so glad you could make it. Please, come in." She then says, stepping back from the open door. One downward glance reminds her of the apron she is wearing, and she blushes. Somewhat flustered, she works on undoing the ties as quickly as possible in order to discard the thing.

"Greetin's, greetin's. I hope I've nae kept ya waitin'!" Isobel says brightly, crossing the threshold and slipping of her small pair of walking shoes. "I brought ya some wine. I hope ya donnae mind. We donnae have ta drink it. I jus' thought I'd come bearin' gifts." She says happily. She glances at Rena and chuckles at the blush and the hurried attempt at taking off the apron. "Lass," she starts, despite not being terribly older than Rena, "ya donnae have ta worry none. I grew up with a mother an' father who ran an Inn in a small village. I've seen m'mother wearin' an apron an' dirtier lookin' than ya are righ' now. Ya've nae a thing ta worry 'bout."

Rena smiles a bit shyly, laughing lightly at her own silliness. Although she continues to work on removing the apron, she's not nearly as hurried about it now: "Sorry, force of 'abit, it is. My fiance is rather troubled by things not being just so at times…" Stopping to lay the apron aside, she brushes back a tendril of red hair from her face, and even in the indoor lighting, the diamond studded engagement ring glints on her left hand. Yet another thing to realize and blush about. This just isn't quite Rena's day.
Reaching over to accept the bottle of wine, the younger woman seems to be truly grateful for the gift: "Oh, thank you! If it's all the same, I'd like to keep the gift for another special occasion… Not that this isn't, of course. But this one is a bit better suited to tea, if you take my meaning." She then motions to the comfortable seating arrangement for Isobel to sit down.

"It's nae ta worry, lass. We've all our ways of takin' things in. An' we get inta a sort o' habit for those we care 'bout." Isobel offers, smiling widely. "Though congratulations on havin' a fiance. I'm sure the two o' ya will be mighty happy tagether." She chirps off. She glances at the living room once the wine has been taken from her hands. "Well, a soberin' discussion it is, then. But tha' was ta be expected from the letter, I suppose. I hope mine wasnae too cryptic. I figured I may as well play it loose an' fancy free, o' sorts." She makes her way to a seat.

Rena chuckles and sets the glossy bottle of wine on a nearby hutch before joining Isobel. "I got your meaning alright. It took me a few minutes, sure as sure, but I got it in the end."
Busying herself with pouring tea for them both, she asks for Isobel's preference and fixes the other woman's cup accordingly. When these formalities are over with, she sits back in her chair with a small sigh. Giving herself a moment to compose her thoughts fully, she finally asks: "If I ain't being too blunt and to the point, may I ask what your feelings are regarding 'eadmaster Flint? As a person, and as an educator. I know there's a difference between the two."

Tea in hand, Isobel sips it as she listens to Rena. It takes a few minutes for her to fully collect her thoughts. "The Headmaster. As an educator…he's certainly competent. I took Ancient Runes from 'im." She states. "He seemed ta know what he was talkin' 'bout." Another sip of tea taken. "As a person, I certainly donnae agree with some o' his beliefs. He has certain…strong dislikes. An' I'd only have issue with 'im as an educator if the educator portion o' the man mixed in any amount with the man on a personal level."

Rena listens and watches Isobel with a level of watchful care. She remains silent, sipping her tea thoughtfully as Isobel finishes her thought; and quiet seems to lapse between them again for a moment.
"What are your opinions about 'is pet project… the Magijugend club for students, then?" Rena then asks, again being very blunt and forthright with her questions. But she came here to be honest and to get honest answers from someone who has close connections with the school… and she's not going to beat around the bush. Especially when the welfare of the school and the children are both at steak. "Mind you, I'm asking you for your opinions on an unofficial level. I ain't investigating anything in my capacity as an Auror - not yet, anyway."

"I believe tha' a group, such as the Magijugend, which would actively seek ta put down or suppress another group o' people…well, tha' has no place in the educational realm." Isobel states, a slight bit of emotion showing in her voice. "Hogwarts is a place ta promote the education of young witches an' wizard, regardless o' where they come from; regardless of ancestry, monetary, or social status." She responds.

"I know…" Rena murmurs a bit darkly. "That's what's worried me all along."
Shifting a bit in her seat, she moves to set her cup down on the table. Taking up a photograph from a small pile of papers lying beside the tea tray, she shows it to Isobel: "I'm told by a reliable source that this is the son of your current Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher - Lestrange?" The picture shows a boy proudly displaying the Eye of Truth symbol as well as his wand, which sports an unusual band that lies just above the handle. "As you know, Magijugend members wear that damned eye as a way to set themselves apart. But, I received a troubling letter - along with this photograph - that claims that the kids in that group are now also sporting bands around their wands. That's bad enough, given 'ow embellishments like that can disrupt the flow of magic… but the letter says that students are sporting these bands as a requirement of the club. They're being forced to sign binding contracts that enchant these rings; and, if they leave the club, the rings constrict and break the wands."

"What?" Isobel sounds sincerely shocked. "Tha's nae right. Tha's nae right at all." She shakes her head, almost seeming sad. "A person shouldnae be punished if they feel they want ta leave a club. This puts fear inta the children's minds. An' it teaches 'em tha' it alrigh' ta destroy somethin' important ta someone when they disappoint ya or do somethin' ya disagree with." She looks up at Rena. "An' what do ya need me ta do?"

"No, it's not right," Rena agrees firmly. However, she breathes a small, tense sigh: "And it may be an absolute false'ood - an outright lie."
Pausing to collect herself again, Rena rubs her forehead with one hand, clearly frustrated by this whole situation: "I 'aven't got a shred of evidence that the contents of this letter is more than just a bunch of gossip put out by someone /seeming/ to mean well, but just out to get Flint because they dislike 'im. A rumour like this could ruin the man's career if it gains traction… So, I've got to proceed with caution and treat every single word on this piece of paper as a lie /unless/ I can prove otherwise."

Still very troubled, the young Auror regards Isobel with her eyebrows furrowed: "I do 'ave it on the word of a student that Magijugend members (at least some) are indeed sporting those bands. But, that's ALL I've got to work with, at the moment. I need more evidence to open an investigation - real evidence - but, I'm also not officially allowed to investigate to find evidence." Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place.

"I still donnae know what ya expect o' me. Granted, I've an in at the school, bein' an official examiner o' the Ministry." Isobel pauses, thinking on that for a moment. "Though I'm also muggle-born. I'm nae exactly the type tha' these people are friendly t'wards. I cannae jus' go up ta one o' them an' say, 'Ya look ta be in the Magijugand.' Though…that'd be a little bit too straight-forward anyway. It's jus', if the Headmaster hears tha' I'm questionin' about the club at all, he'd have me kicked out quite quickly."

"That's just it. I don't want you or anybody else questioning the club or the bands or…anything." Rena replies quickly - perhaps even a little urgently. "I only ask that you keep your ears and your eyes open. If you hear about thus-and-so's wand getting broken and needing to be replaced. Or else that somebody 'ad to sign a contract to get into the Magijugend club… Do you see what I mean?" She asks carefully. "As somebody with an in to the school, and somebody who tends to circulate and move amongst the adults and children associated with 'Ogwarts alike, you're in a good position to keep your eyes and ears open for evidence that I can never 'ope to see."

"Aye. Ears open. I can do tha' no worries, lass. Listenin' for rumours is somethin' I do well! 'Course, spreadin' 'em was somethin' I once did well, too. I regretted tha' one I once spread 'bout Ol' MacDonald an' his farm. 'E was a mean ol' man, though. Nice coos, though. Made friends with one o' 'em. Named 'er Josamoonie." Isobel clears her throat and shakes her head. "Bu' tha's a story for another time." She smiles softly. "I'd be more'n happy ta help ya out with this."

Rena tries not to laugh about old MacDonald, his farm and the 'coo' named 'Josamoonie'… but she fails slightly in her efforts. Recovering quickly with a sip of tea to mask herself, Rena manages to pull it back together. "I can't tell you 'ow much I appreciate you being willing to 'elp and keep this whole thing as quiet as possible. Like I said, I'm not allowed to investigate as things lie now. I've got to know more to lay out a case for my boss - or else it's no more than 'earsay. And some folks would say that that's enough… but the accusations are just too serious for me to ignore." Again, she lets out a small sigh before adding: "I just want to be sure that you don't get yourself in trouble by saying anything compromising."

Looking over the slightly younger lass, Isobel smiles softly. "Ya know somethin', Miss Lee? This is somethin' nae many people know o' me. Bu' I used ta be where ya are. A bright eyed initiate o' the Auror office. Unfortunately, as it turned out, being an auror would nae be my career. Bu' I know what it is ta want ta do the right thing an' ta see tha' people come ta justice. If there's somethin' goin' on, I wanna make sure tha' it gets taken care o'." She looks over at Rena with a gentle gaze. "Accordin' ta the precher for the area I'm from, an Englishman once wrote, 'Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.' The sentiment is the same here."

Rena's eyes widen considerably as she listens to Isobel, now. She had no idea that the other woman had once aspired to be an Auror. Regardless of the fact that her path took her in another direction, her admiration only grows.
Although her lips part to say something, Rena falls into utter silence at the sobering quote from the Englishman. It takes her a moment to mull over the weight of the words before smiling faintly: "I must remember that one from now on. And use it. If only people would always be that sensible and understand that we're all in this mess together and 'ave to live and let live."

"Aye. 'Tis one that has stuck with me for years. I could nae hardly ever sit still whenever I was at Sunday service…the times we went. Bu' tha' certainly stuck." Isobel nods. She does notice the wider eyes, and merely smiles softly, taking another sip of her tea. "Ach, aye. If only people were tha' sensible. Bu' they arenae always, unfortunately."

The ladies spend the remainder of their visit talking about marginally happier things than the deeply troubling matter that brought them together initially. For Rena, it's gratifying to know that she has an ally within the school; and by the time they must part ways, she can at least calm herself with the knowledge that there is a chance of sorting out the situation now. Things looked pretty grim, several days earlier when the letter first arrived. Now, the world is looking a little brighter.

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