(1939-08-18) Badinage and the Badge
Details for Badinage and the Badge
Summary: Madeline is invited to the MLE to receive recognition for assisting Rena - but the event takes an unexpected turn.
Date: August 18th, 1939
Location: MLE Office
Related: Precedes Cop Out

Over the weekend, Rena sent a message to Perry Evans requesting that he bring his niece, Madeline into the office with him on Monday for a special occasion. The girl has probably been bouncing off the walls since she heard the news, and Rena knows that she may have to try to keep the ruckus down to a minimum for the sake of the other M.L.E. employees within the vicinity when they arrive.

Seated at her desk, the young redhead sorts through a stack of papers, moving aside a dark blue velvet-covered box momentarily. It's the sort of box that one expects to find jewelry in - only a bit larger and more substantial than something to hold a necklace or a bracelet. Rena is obviously up to something.

Bouncing off the walls was right - but her mother managed to get the child to hold still long enough to braid her hair neatly, with ribbons tied at the end of each braid. She wears a nice frock, neatly pressed, and her Sunday shoes, freshly polished. At the moment, she's holding to her Uncle's hand and trying to tug him along - while Perry walks at a purposefully slow pace, specifically to mess with his excited niece.

"Oh, we're almost there, come /on/!" the girl exclaims.

"Hrm… was this painting here before?" Perry asks, pausing just outside the office to peer at something on the wall.

Madeline groans. "Yes, it was. We'll see it later. Come ooooooon!"

"Fine, fine. Let's go see what Auror Lee wants," Perry agrees, finally stepping into the MLE with the girl.

If a sigh could speak a thousand words, Alphard's sigh was an epic lament of the futility of dreams. Like the dreams of being an auror's apprentice and still get to do great things. He's buried in front of papers that he has until end of the day to sort through. By hand. There has to be, he figures, some decent spell to detect which of these files need to in the blue box, and which need to go in the black box, and which just do not fit any box at all. In his mind he toys about the magical theory required to construct something like that. It's more interesting by far than actually working. It's not that Alphard is lazy, but there's only so much he can take.

In his hands he holds a steaming cup of lovely coffee. The good kind. Alphard doesn't drink any other. He's just taking a sip when he spots that infernal little mudblood Madeline bouncing about. His whole face twists up with a grimace of dislike.

Sign, Stamp, Slide. Sign, Stamp, Slide. Over and over again day after day for what seems an age. Sure there have been a few chances here and there for Denny to get out of the office, break a few legs, but it just doesn't feel the same when you know you'll just have to come back to yet more mind numbingly dull paperwork. No one really see's that side of police work in film or literature, all the hours spent filling out piles of paper for some pencil-neck to review. The only bright side of this whole situation is that he's finally almost finished with his back catalog of paperwork, which means he's almost ready for a hop to the local pub for a bit of 'reconnaissance', if he's lucky his leads might even bring him to the bottom of a cold one or twenty.

Denny's gotten vary good at filling out paperwork while still keeping command of his surroundings at least. So he's fully aware of the somewhat familiar child running about on cloud nine, and the other disgusting brat who tried to ruin him. He's not fond of that one, but he can see him becoming quite the nice distraction once he starts messing up. Have the hundreds of hours doing nothing but filling out paperwork after the death of his partner made him a bit bitter? Maybe, but he's always hated people talking down to him, like he's not worth their time, people like that need a long, long lesson on how to breath underwater, maybe how to hold their teeth in while they're being kicked out. Either way damn this coffee is good.

The office is rather quiet today. Considering the recent turmoil everyone has been forced to deal with, a little peace in the Law Enforcement offices is a good thing… or would be, if it didn't mean that half the people were out chasing leads on yet another terrorist strike while the rest are filing paperwork.

Rena's dark eyes scan the room with vague apprehension. When Maddie and Perry arrive, there will be a less than friendly type of welcome committee in Alphard and Mister Orwell. She's just going to have to make up for it with as much sunshine and good-humour as she can muster - and that's flat.

"It's so good to see you back to good 'ealth, Mister Evans, and that's a fact," Rena says brightly, starting to her feet as the man and girl enter. "Maddie, been taking good care of your uncle, then?" She asks warmly.

"Not half as nice as it is to /be/ in good health," Perry responds, offering Rena his hand. "So lovely to see you again, Auror Lee." He greets the woman with a warm and friendly smile.

Madeline, on the other hand, is far less formal with her greeting. "Of course I have!" she responds brightly, slipping between her Uncle and the Auror to give Rena an enthusiastic hug in greeting. "Good morning, Rena!"

Perhaps he feels Denny's eyes in the back of his neck, before Alphard's head turns and he gives the Hit Wizard a squint. By now he's blanked his features of the obvious signs of disgust that Madeline's presence (and let's face it, the day's work of sorting papers) has engendered. Instead it's a cooly polite sort of hostility he wears. The kind that bureaucrats all over the world have learned to wear as they deal with people they'd rather stab to death. Alphard really is learning some Ministry lessons.

Rena's cheerfulness and Madeline's enthusiasm brings his attentions back. He sips from his coffee and leans back against overloaded desk with teenage nonchalance. Everything about him says he is very much unimpressed by these public displays. Sip, sip.

Keeping rigorously to the routine of sing stamp slide sip repeat, Denny offers a rather kind and charming sounding "Hey kid," over towards Madeline, using his free hand to pull out one of the generic magical toys he keeps in his desk to keep people busy when he's working, or more accurately pester the hell out of the interns. Though he'd never admit to doing something like that as he's supposed to be the hard ass in charge of interrogation who takes nothing from no body and is always business. With a quick motion he tosses it into the air, the small winged car gliding its way over towards her, there's not much thought into what toy, but hey she's a kid what'll she care, she got something for visiting the ministry.

Rena clasps Perry's hand in one hand and gently places the other over both. The warmth of the gesture shows just how deeply relieved she is to see one of the few from the Ministry who was caught up in that terrible attack back on their feet. Of course, the hug from Madeline very nearly knocks her backward. Laughing, she returns the embrace before saying: "Afraid people are going to 'ave to get used to calling me by a different name around 'ere." She points at her desk, smiling a little sheepishly, where a shiny new nameplate has been installed. One that reads (Auror Init. Irene Odori) instead of Lee.

"Mister Orwell," she then calls out to Denny, ducking as the flying car zips by her head. "Mister Black - would you two be good enough to come over? Just a little official business to take care of. Something that ain't depressing for a chance."

"Huh? A different name? Why?" Madeline asks, pulling away from Rena to peer at it - and only seeing the flying car at the last moment. She squeaks, ducks, out of the way, then turns to watch its trajectory. "Oh hey that's neat!" she exclaims, promptly chasing down and snatching up the toy.

Perry smiles at the warmth of the clasp - though the expression turns to puzzled curiosity as he looks at the name plate, promptly followed by dawning realization. For just a moment a hint of disappointment may even be glimpsed, before he covers for it with a friendly. "Congratulations. When did that happen?"

"When did what happen?" Madeline asks, as she returns with her flying car. A car that flies! A /future/ car! She looks at her uncle, and then Rena, and then the name plate again before she finally gets it. "You got /married/?" the girl squeals. "Ooo, ooo! Can I meet him? The guy? Is he here? I bet he's nice! Is he nice? What official business? Because of me being here?"

"Oh bloody hell," Alphard mutters under his breath, just loud enough that someone with particularly sharp hearing might catch the words. He draws himself up and out of his chair with teenage reluctance written all over him. The rest of his coffee is finished with a quick swig.

Over the years he's found himself suffering through duties like these before. It comes as part of the price of admittance of being from a prominent and wealthy family. There are always events, and one can't wriggle out of them all no matter how good one is at crying, whining, and being a right bloody insufferable and spoiled brat. He runs through his routine: His robes are straightened, his hair is adjusted, his collar is fixed. He touches off his sleeves and makes sure that he looks just perfect, and then he breathes in deep and long, and plasters on his most haughty smile. Like this he drifts over to answer Rena's summons.

"Of course, Mrs Odori. What can I help you with?" He pretends he doesn't know who Madeline is. Just watches the girl with cool dark eyes.

Denny finally sits back down his pen, yes a pen, a muggle pen, with a little blade that he can pop out the side for opening letters. It's really a wonder he hasn't stabbed his own hand on it yet, but it's just so convenient being able to open parcels, and sign for them at the same time. It almost jabs him this time, but he's gotten a bit too quick to fall for its tricks, after the tenth or twelfth time. He makes his way over towards the desk, watching as the flying car continues to flap its way around Madeline's head, before landing right on top of it. That of course doesn't mean he's not got the time to shoot a bit of an 'I'm watching you' glare at Mr.Black along the way, as he places his gloved hands back into his pockets.

The look on Perry's face does not escape Rena's notice, however, she isn't quite sure what to make of it. Still, discerning enough to not dwell on it, she smiles: "I'm afraid it all 'appened rather sudden-like. Takeshi finally came back after a week dealing with the people wounded in the attack, and wanted to get married right away. It was the third, actually." Not a date she's liable to forget in the future. "I'm afraid 'e isn't 'ere, though," she says, turning her gaze to Madeline kindly. "'E works at Saint Mungos. Someday you'll get to meet 'im though, I'm sure." (Poor boy won't know what hit him.) "And yes, the official business 'as to do with you. Just wait and see!"

Smiling at Alphard as sweet as honey, Rena ignores his remark and his attitude entirely - though he can most assuredly tell that she's putting on the act to cover for his rudeness. "Nothing I need help with, but it's nice to 'ave MLE members accounted for when there's going to be a presentation. You know Madeline Evans, yes?" He'd better, or she might "accidentally" kick his leg to remind him. "And Mister Orwell - this makes it nice. We've got Aurors, Hit Wizards and The Office of Misinformation present."

Reaching over to her desk, the redhead picks up the blue velvet case and then bounces back into place: "Gentleman, you can all stand to one side there in front of my desk," she begins arranging things like a chipper stage director. "And Madeline, you stand a pace or two up 'ere with me."

"Oh! He's a Doctor? Err… I mean. Healer? That's nice! It's an important job to have. So he helped save uncle Perry then? He must be a nice man!" Yes - Madeline is young enough to have a very straight forward world view. How can a healer be anything /other/ than nice?

As Rena speaks to Alphard, Madeline turns her gaze towards the older boy, her expression going a bit uncertain. "Oh. Black and I have met, yes," she answers. "Umm… Good morning, Black. I hope you've been having a nice summer?" she asks politely. And by the way thanks for never putting my head in a toilet. She manages a smile for him, and a smile for Denny, before going to stand right where Rena indicates, her expression curious. Her eyes go to the velvet case, previously unnoticed. Is that for /her/?

Perry does his best to pretend that slightly awkward moment of realization never happened. Rena's a nice girl - and she deserves a nice lad. He's /happy/ for her - truly. He watches Madeline as she speaks with Alphard - the awkwardness from from his niece instead of open enthusiasm says a lot, but it's not really a surprise. As Rena directs him to move, he obliges, giving a simple nod of his head in response.

"No, I do not know Madeline Evans," Alphard says. It appears he's going to get kicked. His smile remains, that small little superior thing that doesn't quite become an outright smirk one can call him out on. His gaze is unblinking, cool and dismissive. Airly he asks: "Is there any reason that I should?" Though he's soon after correcting himself when Madeline pipes up in his direction. "Ah- of course. Yes. I suppose we have. Forgive me, you must not have made too much of an impression. Don't feel too bad about it. I don't pay much attention to your kind." A tick passes, after which he slides in a smooth: "Lower classmen, that is." No, that's not at all what he meant.

Because it is sort of expected, he gives Perry a minimal incline of his head. Then he lets himself be directed by Rena.

Graham enters into the office glancing about a moment he's mostly recovered from the previous day though patches are sore on his face and hand, but a small patch remains on his cheek likely the burn cure might take a bit longer another patch on his hand that he uses to hold his wand in though he shouldnt be he is self conscious of them both like they are embarrassing to be seen with but oh well work is work and so he'll move in closer to the group wondering what the gathering is for.

There's a quick flash where for just an instant it looks like Denny's snapped and is about to do something very violent involving blacks face, and the hot coffee on the desk. It's quick, but anyone so inclined might be able to see it in his eyes, or in the motion he was starting to take before he stopped himself. Something about that statement of his is almost enough to drive Denny completely over the edge. Though through will and determination he's able to hold himself back simply saying quite loudly towards him "You should be an example for those younger then you, and respect those older," His voice sounding a bit more vicious and inhuman then intended with all of his repressed anger, and hatred held back behind a thin composure.

"Graham! You've been so quiet, I didn't realize you were there. I'm sorry!" Rena calls out apologetically to the man. Noticing his somewhat battered condition, a look of worry washes over her features, and she easily understands that he must have been caught up in that mess in Diagon Alley last night. However, it's best to hold off discussing that for the moment.

Alphard is thrown a withering look. If she were standing any closer, she would go right ahead and give him a swift kick with the hard toe of her high-heeled shoe. However, she would rather not ruin the moment. There's always later… As for Denny, his tone is not lost, and she casts a warning glance in his direction, too, before directing all of her attention to Madeline.

"Madeline Evans," She announces, standing in front of the girl, facing her. "On this day, August eighteenth, Nineteen Thirty-Nine, I present you with the official Junior Auror badge. For your acts of courage in the face of danger; for living up to the creed of the Auror - for honor and duty." Rena says, keeping her tone as important and formal as possible. Lifting the lid of the velvet box as she speaks, she reveals a gleaming badge emblazoned by an eagle's head and wings at the top, and three crossed wands in the center field. Around the wands are the words "Junior Auror" - just to be sure that the badge is distinguishable from the real deal. However, these are Ministry sanctioned for special occasions.

Alphard's comment is not lost on Madeline, who frowns at him without adding herself - much to her uncle's relief. Nor does Denny's tone go unnoticed. She gives him a worried look, but as Rena starts talking, her eyes go back to the Auror Initiate, her eyes slowly widening along with her smile. "Oh, wow! Oh, really? Because of- the thing?" she asks. She's bouncing on the tips of her toes now, as she reaches out eagerly to accept the velvet case and get a closer look at the badge. "Wow!" she repeats. "Uncle Perry, look, isn't it great?!" she asks, holding it up for him to see, too.

Perry smiles at his nieces reaction, giving Rena a grateful look for making the girl's day. She studies the badge when it's held up to him before adding, "It really is. But do you think there's something you should say to Auror L- Odori?"

"Oh! Right! Thanks! Err- I mean, thank you!" And for the second time, Rena earns a massive hug from the little girl.

He will look over to Rena and shake his head lightly "Nah, just got here, right in time it would seem." Graham sees the worried expression but gives a small rueful smile showing he's mostly okay just a bit beat up. The announcement gets his attention back towards Madeline and he will clap "Congratulations Miss Evans." he says sincerely approaching closer to the crowd glad for the distraction for the moment while he watches the other goings on.

Alphard blinks with shock at Denny's outburst, pure venom that it is. Instinctively he takes a worried half a step away from the hit wizard. The wise course would probably be to say nothing at all, but instead what he whispers is: "Like you are?" Just three words, but they're imbued with a thousand years of pureblood superiority, of contempt, and of course of the viciousness that comes from having briefly feared, and who likes fear?

He applauds Madeline as if he didn't say anything to Denny at all. His smile is completely fake, and it doesn't take any legilimency to know his true feelings about bestowing the likes of her any honor. Still. He claps. He even says a quiet: "Congratulations."

It's interesting really just what the mind can take, and what breaks it. Three words, three simple words is all that it takes, Denny's been verbally abused, forced into desk work, told to identify the corpse of his boyfriend, stunned, stabbed and even shot with magical rounds before, but these three words are what finally breaks his composure.

There's an art in understanding just what's going on through this mans mind, as he calmly sits down his coffee mug, and begins walking over towards Alphard. Denny's expression isn't filled with anger, or with hate, or even any spite, it's just a smile, and that can be more terrifying then any amount of shouting, screaming or blows thrown. Unless stopped he walks right up to Alphard, and holds out a hand for him to shake. "Congratulations" he offers in a kind and friendly voice, that one word of his own sounding more threatening then a dragon stampeding down a cramped hallway while all you're armed with is a toothpick.

Rena smiles and hugs Maddie tightly: "You deserve it. Keep your chin up and keep being just the way you are." She says, giving the girl some well-intended advice in a low voice that turns to a whisper. "The big dogs are working on it now. I'll let you know if anything happens." And that is all the reassurance Rena can rightfully offer to the child, unfortunately.

A glance drifts in Graham's direction, and Rena narrows her eyes suspiciously. Not with regard to Graham, but rather, Denny's actions. Something doesn't smell right… Immediately stepping over to the boy and the man, she says quite plainly: "That's enough. This is the MLE, and we don't duke it out with each other inside the office like a Donnybrook." Her small, slim hand comes to rest on Denny's, interfering with him YET AGAIN. The look on the little lady's face is dead serious, though.

Madeline nods eagerly. If they're working on it - then everything will be alright! Maybe she'll be able to bring her magazines to school, after all. She beams at Rena, then skips over to her uncle, to let him see the badge up close. While he's doing so, Maddie's gaze goes curiously to Rena, Denny and Alphard. Were they… mad about something?

"I fear you're mistaking whom this event is meant to center on, Mister Orwell. I suggest you offer your congratulations instead to young Miss Evans." Alphard murmurs with a sniff. "You're being rather remiss in failing to do so." He is not taking Denny's hand, not at all! He turns away from the shorter man dismissively. He even has the gall to give Madeline and her uncle a (completely fake, again) apologetic smile. Ignore the silly hit-wizard who is all drama and has no sense of propriety, it says! As if the tall Black boy has no idea at all what is provoking such reactions. "For.. whatever it is she did to earn her new badge. I'm sure it was splendid."

It's not that Alphard wants one of those. He intends to get a proper one once he's done at Hogwarts. But still. His gaze can't help but focus on its gleam, and the fact that he never got one. It seems unfair.

Graham will watch as Rena speaks to the young student though his focus shifts slightly watching Denny and Alphard a moment he doesn't have to have been here the whole time to know something is wrong he'll catch the look given by the other auror and will step closer to the group now though he looks quite himself calm and cool he really hopes nothing will happen as he's about at his limit. He doesn't have much to add to what Rena had spoken and so only has her back.

For a short time it almost looks like Rena's gotten through to Denny, made some sort of progress in calming him down. "Maybe yo-" is all he really manages to say in reply before Alphard speaks again. Already in the process of lowering his hand, calming himself back down to normal, that last baiting of the bear stops him from just walking away. It's gone from a matter of anger to a matter of honor, and without another thought up goes the free hand effortlessly slamming the boys head off to the side, and into Rena's desk as if he was little more then a paperweight. Though he's angry he's not quite angry to force him through the desk, and kill the kid, he just wants to give him a bit of a wake up call.

It all happens so fast - too fast for Rena to do anything but stare in shock and abject horror at what Denny has done. "DENNY!" She gasps and cries out, forgetting to even call him by his formal title of "Mister Orwell" as she usually does. Her Birch wand is withdrawn, and she hurls a charm at him to knock him back and push him away from Alphard. Unfortunately, the brute of a man is too tough for it… and frankly, she doesn't even care. Within a matter of about sixty seconds, Denny will be un custody for assault, one way or another.

"Alphard! Oh, Alphard!" She says in dismay, immediately going to the boy's side and reaching out to him: "Let me help!" She pleads, absolutely mortified at what has just transpired.

Madeline stares in shock as the hitwizard pulls back and clocks Alphard hard. Her uncle reaches out, grabbing her tightly by the back of her dress - but it turns out not to be necessary. She's just going to stare, jaw agape, before murmuring in an awed tone, "He just hit Alphard Black."

Graham is watching his arms crossed over each other at his sleeve. He has his wand there and though his wand hand is stiff from yesterday he's not exactly broken. He is hoping that it isn't necessary but his eyes are cautious he watches the hitwizard closely as he turns back but by the time he realizes what he's about to do his wand is flicked out the wince from his injury stops him from preventing it. The young auror's face goes from shock to anger in a split second "Orwell, Worthington's office go!" he says deadly serious his wand is brought to point at at the man watching for him to make any move except towards the office. "I can patch him up Rena, just a moment."

When Alphard's face hits the desk, lip splitting, nose breaking, and his blood splattering all over Rena's papers and various office items in a blossoming shower of crimson, part of him really wants to cry. It hurts, and it's humiliating, and certainly a large part of him is absolutely horrified at the possibility that some kind of permanent damage might turn him ugly. But mostly it hurts and he wants to cry.

Somewhere on the periphery of his consciousness lurks the awareness that he's no longer a child, however, that his mother's skirts aren't close by to which he can run and hide behind. That crying won't actually help right now. There's not even anyone else he feels like he can shelter behind for protection. These people aren't his people, they're a bastard breed of Muggle-borns and Half-Bloods and Blood-Traitors all around. Deep down in the pits of his soul, he knows he's alone.

In his mind he rises up like a glorious phoenix, proud and straight and indomitable! A hero unconquered by petty brutes! To everybody else he's a bleeding and confused boy on wobbly legs. Like a willow caught in a storm, weaving this way and that unsteadily. "I.." he feels the world swirl around him. Spinning. There is something important he intends to say, but he's lost track of it. "You.." there we go. He feels like he's getting closer.

"Bloody.." mumblemumblesomething.. "I'll.." try to fumble for his wand. He actually brings it out with a surprisingly strong grip. (Un)fortunately his legs also gives way again, and he no longer knows which way to aim it. Up is down and down is up to him and everything is a confused blur of colors and nauseating shapes. With Rena's help he might stay on his feet rather than thump face-first onto the floor.

Denny calmly removes his hand from the side of Alphard's face, placing it back down to his side. He doesn't look like he's too distressed by the situation

Maybe Alphard doesn't cry, but Rena sure as hell is fighting tears. She may be little, but she's tough enough to get Alphard's arm over her shoulder so that she can support the poor boy. "Graham! Perry! Please, you've got to deal with this." She cries, pointing at Denny with a jerk of her chin. It's hard for her to manage, but she does bear the burden and "walk" Alphard from the office, heading for the infirmary. One can easily hear her saying: "It's going to be alright, Alphard - I promise…"

"You're all over reacting" Denny says rather calmly, pulling out a single cigarette putting it in the corner of his mouth, over at Rena and the Alphard. Far as he's concerned all he did was put the kid back in his place which no one else seemed keen on doing. Well, and if he's going to get fired for this then dammit he's going to get fired while enjoying a the smooth taste of a Lucky Strike the only cigarette for the discerning man. "Brat's had it coming since he got here," He's done with all the paperwork, done with the screaming, done with people getting in his way all of the time, he's just done. "Congratulations on that award Madeline, don't let people like him push you around,"

The young man is angry this was uncalled for and well he's had too much to deal with. Graham nods to the other aurors words as she takes care of Alphard, his eyes dont move from the other "Hitzard right.. to Shacklebolt's office than Orwell." he motions with his wand that the other should proceed infront of him and straight to the office. "Now." his tone shows there will be no discussion to speak of.

Madeline watches the whole thing with wide eyes, her gaze following Alphard as he's led off by Rena. "He hit Alphard Black," she repeats.

"Madeline," Perry chastises the girl, while keeping his steely gaze on Denny. The man seems to bear no hostility towards the child - but Perry doesn't look like he wants to take any chances.

Denny offers a low nod of his head, and a small smile digging about for his lighter in his pockets as he slowly makes his way for the office. "Someone had to eventually," He finally digs out his lighter looking towards Graham, already an idea in his head of what's going to happen to him. "Bad children need a spanking every once in a while."

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