(1939-09-05) Not So Happy Returns
Details for Not so Happy Returns
Summary: Sloan reappears from whatever great beyond he had taken himself off to, finding that bad news awaits him as well as the good.
Date: 5 September, 1939
Location: Keenan and Veruca's Flat

It's been awhile since Keenan has seen Sloan. After Eddie left him, he kind of retreated on himself until one morning he just wasn't anywhere to be found. The Steel mill workers had no clue where he might be. None of the locals in any of the bars had a clue. even the Ministry offices simply stated he was "Gone" or "On Leave." now. 3 days before Keenan (And presumably Rue's) Wedding, the sun is rising, though still barely a hint on the horizon. Keenan's house is silent. at least it's mostly silent, save for the occasional soft clink of Glass on Glass or the squeak of a cork from the Living room.

Rolling over with a deep sigh, Keenan's eyes light on the raven haired witch whose dark tresses flow over the pillow next to him. It's then that he hears a clink of glass in his own home, and he stiffens, narrowing his eyes. A quick glance assures himself that Veruca still sleeps, and he eases out of bed to make sure she continues to do so. Taking his wand from the night stand, he does pause long enough to pull on a pair of pants before easing out the door and placing a silencing spell on it. Wand at the ready, he pads quietly down the hallway and looks around the corner.'

The figure sitting next to the cold fireplace is a little hard to make out at first. Mainly due to the thick Hide coat he wears, Bear or Buffalo. something Shaggy in any case. The Bowler though, is still present. Not looking up from the hearth, he speaks softly, in a growling bass that while sounding impatient, isn't exactly hostile, just Gruff. "Ar a laghad ghlac t an t-am a chur ar roinnt pants." (At least you took the time to put on some pants.) There was a flask in his hand. Sloan's usual, bottomless one, sitting on a small table next to a nearby chair is a tumbler full of dark amber fluid.

Stowing his wand, and standing more naturally to scrub at the back of his head with one hand, Keenan enters the room completely. "Ni raibh me ag iarraidh a spoil do bricfeasta (I didn't want to spoil your breakfast)," he replies lightly with a half quirked grin. It's not really necessary for him to mention that there is now someone else in the flat as well. Veruca's shoes and outdoor wear are next to the door along with Keenan's, and a few other subtle touches give evidence that the third floor is no longer a bachelor pad.

Sloan motions to the tumbler. "Congratulations by the way. I brought ye a gift. it'll be here in a week." Taking another pull from the flask, he adds. "Ye look good."

"I do," Keenan agrees, picking up the tumbler as he sits down. He takes a good sip, and then tilts his head to the ceiling with a sigh, closing his eyes for a moment. "Ye're goin' teh have teh tell me where ye get this… even if it is Scotch. Just don' tell Gideon I said that." He leans back on the couch and puts his feet up. "So, beidh t faoi Ghlas ar an Doras?" Keenan asks, referring to the Irish Wedding ritual where the door to the church is locked and guarded to keep the groom from leaving before the end of the ceremony.'

Nodding quietly, Sloan grunts as he takes a long pull from his Flask, "Aye. the green will be. and So will I. If ye're insisting on making a bloody Fool decision, I may as well support ye in it. aye?" Looking at the flask, he adds. "I'd no sooner tell ye tha' than I would give ye me wand Boyo."

Keenan chuckles. "We can't always be makin' tha smart decisions, aye? We've all gotta play tha fool at some point." He tsks and shakes his head before he takes another sip. "Good thing I didnae ask fer tha wand, then. An' here I thought we were brothers…"

Waving that last Statement off, Sloan takes another Pull from his flask. "I'm sharing it with ye aren't I? seems brotherly enough o' me." Looking around, he adds. "How's Niamh and her man doing?"

At the question, Keenan freezes, almost dropping his tumbler. A little of the liquid splashes before he is able to set it down on his coffee table, his face pale. "You haven't heard." The statement, rather than question is delivered with pained resignation.

Raising an eyebrow, Sloan Grunts. "I've no' heard anything where I've been Keenan." Stopping up the to pof the Flask, he finally turns those blue eyes to take in his adoptive brother's features. "Wha' Happened?"

"When ye offered yer congratulations I thought ye'd heard…" Keenan groans and lowers his feet to the ground, his elbow coming to his knee so that he can rub at his forhead with his fingers, thumb braced at his jaw. "So much for bad news travelin' fast." He takes a breath and expels it before he turns his eyes to Sloan. There's nothing but to come out and say the painful words that are still raw on his heart. "Niamh's gone, Sloan. There was an attack in Diagon Alley, and she was one of the victims."'

Looking at Keenan for a long moment, Sloan remains quiet. the Emotions playing across his face. Sadness, confusion, all overshadowed by a rage that is almost a tangible force in the room. After a moment, the Irishman stands with slow pops and snaps emitting from his joints. Wherever he's been, it hasn't been kind to him. After a moment, he speaks softly. "I am sorry Keenan. I should have been here. I should have stopped it. I'll make it right be ye, Aye?" As he speaks he moves towards the door. "I start back tae th' ministry this morning."

"Twas nae that kind o'attack, Sloan," Keenan tries to forestall the auror, knowing what the man would say even as he said it, but to no avail. "If ye'd been there an' breathed tha smoke 'fore anyone knew what it was, ye'd have burned alongside her." Tumbler on the table once more, the healer leans his elbows on his knees and leans his face into his cupped hands, fingertips pressing at his temples. "Potions were set off that billowed smoke inta tha alley. It set off a panic, an' people began runnin' around. Then tha people runnin' burst into flames because tha smoke they'd inhaled… well…" he scrubs his hands down his face. "It took Clover'n'another healer in the potions ward an' myself almost three days teh figure it out an' find a cure. Racin' against time as we were keeping anyone else who'd breathed tha smoke sedated so they couldna move an' combust themselves."

Nodding slightly, Sloan grunts. "And did ye find who t'was tha' set th' potions off in th'first place lad?"

"Me? No… although, professionally speakin', they're brilliant. There's someone at Azkaban, Cohen can tell ye his name…" Keenan pulls out what little he knows in straggling thoughts, tossing them towards his dark brother. "I'd rather ye find him than me." The last is a stunning admission, even to himself, as the Healer knows quite well what is likely to happen to the potioner responsible for creating the smoke if Sloan finds him before any other M.L.E. representatives.

watching Kenan for a moment, Sloan nods. "I'll find Cohen, aye? and then I'll find the attacker. Ye're right. ye dinnae want tae be findin' him when I do. S'no going tae be pretty."

"There's… a lot of developements since ye've been gone, Sloan. Not just the Unity movement. Cohen can fill ye in… I imagine tha Ministry's goin'teh be glad teh see ye back. Their hands're already full…" Keenan's fingers rub at his forehead again. "We took Niamh tae tha chapel yard in Cornwall, near tha cottage. The Aul Man can show ye if ye stop at tha cottage." Warm green eyes turn to meet the icy blue of Sloan's. "I am glad teh have ye back, dearthair fola."

Nodding quietly, Sloan grunts. "Aye. 'Tis obviously been too long Brother. a mistake I intend tae rectify.

"Ye're here, now," and Keenan's firm voice clearly states that's all the reparation that's needed.

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