(1939-09-19) People Will Talk
Details for People Will Talk
Summary: Hugh and Shelley attempt a serious discussion about the possible goings on behind the scenes of German Politics, and Rena is just a wee bit disruptive.
Date: 1939-09-19
Location: Ministry of Magic - Law Enforcement

Hugh is sitting, pipe not lit, at his desk, running what looks like cinema film in front of his eyes, 1 frame at a time. Which perhaps explains the lack of fire around celluloid.

Rena has been less than normal around the office of late. If she talks, she's a happy little chatterbox; and if she's quiet, she's… not really quiet. Some of the idle office gossip has been making rounds that she's lost her mind, while other hushed assumptions have been made about her current married state. In any case, she's been a cheerful little bird flitting around the MLE for a week or so, now.
"Oh! Looking at a film, Mister Carruthers?" Rena asks brightly as she stops beside Hugh's desk. She had been on her way to somewhere with an armload of files, but the lack of smoke cloud and the film he seems to be examining have piqued her interest greatly.

Hugh puts it down, "I vaguely remember it was easier than this with the machines, when I was a boy." He sucks on the empty pipe. "I'm trying to look at Hitler's movements. See if he's being puppeted."

Rena shifts around and parks herself on the edge of Hugh's desk. It serves as a decent perch for her to lean on with one leg tucked up slightly with her foot crossed behind her other knee. Although her dark eyed are quite wide with child-like curiosity, she appears to be struggling to keep back an outburst of mirthful laughter. Composing herself with some difficulty, she clears her throat: "You mean you think Mister Hitler is being Imperius-cursed?"

Hugh says, "It's a possibility. No more than that. On my last trip, I really couldn't get as close to events as I wanted to. Which suggests that Wizards are a little tied up in the Nazi regime."

At first, Rena seems incapable of sobering down, but she does manage to hold back a smile after a moment: "So, you couldn't get too close to a bloody dictator surrounded by all kinds of security and troops…" She reasons, quirking one eyebrow slightly. "Doesn't sound altogether abnormal to me." She can scarcely help observing.

Hugh says, "Oh, not to _him_ precisely. But to some negotiations that were going on. With _someone_. Wasn't German. Might have been Russian. And I _was_ in local clothing at the time. Something called Lederhosen."

Now comes the real struggle. Rena pauses and seems to have a sudden spell come over her. Those deep, dark eyes of hers zone out and look into the distance as she envisions the be-whiskered Hugh with his billowing pipe standing all proper and prim in a set of Lederhosen… And she just about loses any trace of composure she ever managed to maintain.
A fit of laughter seizes the woman, and she has to grip the edge of Hugh's desk to stop herself from falling onto the floor. "Oh, lor! I can't..even…"

Hugh chuckles, "You know I _can_ brew the Polyjuice potion…." He puts the film down carefully, "But I have been hearing odd things in Germany. Have you heard of the Thule Society?"

The laughter slowly subsides, and a number of other Aurors in the near vicinity appear to be staring daggers at the young woman perched on Hugh's desk. This is a sober office and a place of decorum… neither of which Rena seems to be able to live up to in recent weeks.
"No, can't say as I 'ave 'eard of them. What's the Thule Society, then?" She asks, dragging herself back down into the conversation.

Hugh sucks at his pipe, "It seems to be a Muggle Society for the study of the Occult. But it's tied in with the Nazi upper ranks, in a way I couldn't penetrate." Oh. What sort of Auror _was_ he, when he was in Berlin, anyway?

"Oh, but… That's all positively superstitious rubbish, Hu- erm, Mister Carruthers!" Rena replies, furrowing her brow slightly and tilting her head to one side, ever so slightly. "If they're dabbling in that nonsense, they can't be all that serious of a threat. You know what a tangled up mess of lies and idiocy that all is." She pauses and gives a little shrug of her shoulders, folding her arms.
Glancing away momentarily, she sees the few Aurors staring at her still for her former outburst, and she glances away quickly before being tempted to laugh again.

Hugh removes the pipe, and says absently, "Probably. But…. but I wasn't able to get close. There was a whole lot of seemingly coincidental interruptions. Disturbances. It all was… Odd." The Auror considers, "And this Thule Society was there in the background."

"Alright then," Rena says in all seriousness - despite the mirth remaining in her eyes - looking squarely at Hugh. "Let's think about it like Arthur does. Pick it apart and figure on the way the evidence points without any emotion." Pausing, she smiles and rocks back on her perch on the desk before dropping forward again and saying: "Grindelwald. You know what? That's all I'm going to say. He's puppeting things from the background as part of the whole evil plan!" Whether or not she is being facetious is hard to say.

Shelley steps into the office, a book in her hand that she's reading as she walks. She's just passing Hugh's desk when she pauses, and glances aside at the man - sniffing at the air. "Someone do something to that pipe of yours finally, Carruthers?" she asks.

Hugh says, "That's conjecture. Lets call it 'X'. Someone. Unknown. Called X is interfering with the normal processes. To what extent is unknown." He looks up as Shelley enters, "Ah… and the gang is all here. We have an analyst, at least."

Hugh shouldn't have said "The Gang's All Here" - not by a long shot. Because Rena instantly takes it as a cue and begins to sing: "Hail! Hail! The gang's all here! What the heck do we care? What the heck do we care now?" Before slipping back into a fit of giggles at her own joke.

Shelley's gaze goes from Hugh, towards Rena, who she studies with a bit of disbelief. "…what have you been putting in your coffee, Odori?" she asks, shaking her head slightly. She directs her attention back to Hugh as she asks, "What're we looking at?"

Hugh gestures to the roll of film, "Hitler. Trying to see if he moves like there's an Imperius Curse going on. The whole situation in Germany is just a little too odd for me to entirely blame Muggle politics."

Rena lifts her chin indignantly and looks down at Shelley with a good deal of feigned disdain: "I don't put nothing in my coffee or anything else. Aside from sugar, that is… and cream." She adds as an afterthought.
"As for the bloody Nazis - Muggle politics 'as done all kinds of rotten things through history. Look at the Romans and their empire. Look at the Vatican in the old days and all the murdering and wars they sanctioned." Rena remarks, giving another shrug of her shoulders. She may be loopy, but she can still play devil's advocate somewhat well.

"Are you sure it was sugar?" Shelley asks in a dry tone.
She turns her attention to Hugh again, her gaze flicking to the roll of film in Rena's hands, then back to Hugh. "You think that could be the case?" she asks in interest. "Well. That would be a hell of a thing if we could prove it. Then wizards could take a direct role in ending this war."

Hugh gives a bit of a shrug, "I can't see anything. At least, not as yet. But the hints are circumstantial. It's not enough, but I can start to feel the edges of it."

Rena quietly hrmphs to herself and mutters about Circumstantial evidence and Hogwarts and Flint under her breath as she glances away from the others and looks over toward the bulletin board. Her attention span isn't the best right now, seemingly. Her eyes trail over the various wanted posters. If she had a pen in hand, she would probably go over and begin doodling comical things onto the peoples' faces.

Shelley glances aside at Rena, before adding, "Or maybe something was in the cream…" She shakes her head, quietly glad she takes her coffee black. Her attention returns to Hugh as she adds, "Circumstantial does us no good, and we're not likely to get permission to go back to look further. I suppose the German Ministry has people on the case as well, though? They're as much at risk as we are, if not more."

Hugh says mildly, "You assume they're not _involved_. I think that's an unwarranted assumption. Things didn't get chased as well in Berlin as they should have, before the war. And even now, they were not too cooperative."

"Well, are you working on making a case to investigate over in Germany under cover again, then, Mister Carruthers?" Rena asks rather point blank. She still seems to be rather zoned out and staring across the room at the wanted posters, oddly. However, her mental capacity seems to be focused on Hugh and Shelley's conversation to some extent, at least.

"…well that's a dreadful thought," Shelley answers Hugh, her eyebrows going up. "Don't suppose you have any evidence to back that particular theory up? Somehow I think the Ministry would be loathe to send its people over without proof - and yet we can't get the proof without sending people over."

Hugh takes a breath, "Right now? No. No, I don't think I can justify it. And as you say, no. No, just the mere circumstances of it all." He gestures to the film, "Hence I'm looking for something that's in public, which we could show the German Ministry not reacting to. But no such luck, so far."

"Why not start looking for people who've gone and immigrated since the whole mess began?" Rena asks lightly. After all, people have evacuated out of Germany in droves - whether due to fear for safety due to the impending violence pressed upon them by the Nazi party, or else the mere terror of war being declared. The wizarding world surely hasn't been unaffected. There must be SOMEONE who has crossed over onto British soil.

"Something of a side project, then," Shelley directs towards Hugh, before nodding to Rena. "Not a bad notion. Could just be they're even afraid to come forward with what they know - if they do know something. And the Ministry should have records of the immigrants. May have some records of British returnees, as well."

Hugh gives a thoughtful nod. "Agreed. We should certainly check." That gets an approving nod. "Well volunteered. I loathe routine policework. "

Hugh takes Shelley's remarks as her volunteering for the job of hunting down ex-patriots of Germany. This finally draws Rena's gaze back to the other Aurors, and the amusement sparkles in her eyes merrily. Of course, the little redhead breaks out into a fit of laughter once again, hugging herself as she does so: "You walked right into that one, sure as sure, Shelley!" Rena exclaims through the giggles.

Shelley's mouth is open to answer Hugh with a scathing remark, when she turns to look at Rena. She studies the woman for a moment, then looks directly at Hugh. "Okay, seriously, what's up with Odori?" she asks. "Has someone been using glamers on her? A cheering charm or something?" Yup. Now she's talking about Rena like she's not even there.

Hugh ponders this, and gives Rena a look, as if for the first time, "Mmmm. A jolly good question. I wonder about potions." He clears his throat, "What's been happening?"

"Oh, can't a girl be happy anymore?" Rena scolds the other two Aurors, completely ignoring the fact that she has disrupted the peace and tranquility of the entire office YET AGAIN with her boisterous laughter. "I was so miserable for so long about everything. Now? It's all just slipped into perspective, I guess. Gone and flitted away!" She makes a motion with her hand like a butterfly skittering off into the distance.

"…yes. I'm sure that's exactly what happened," Shelley answers Rena, giving her a dubious look, before returning her attention to Hugh. "Could be a potion. Though it can't actually be in the cream, or half the office would be giggling like idiots by now."

Hugh considers this, and nods, "Perhaps at her home? Her husband would be the one to check with, either because he's done it, or because he's also affected." A beat. "Unless it's perfectly normal pregnancy, of course."

Rena is still sailing on her own personal cloud, and largely ignoring what the others are saying because it's a load of absurdity. She hasn't been taking /anything/ to make herself act this way. She's just feeling happy, and lighter than air. Why should that be a bad thing?
Then, Hugh just…tears it. "WHAT?" Rena exclaims in utter exasperation, her gaze instantly dropping to the man. Whether she's angry, shocked or just… unsettled, is hard to say.

"I hadn't even considered that," Shelley muses, her gaze studying Rena with a contemplative look. "You may be onto something with that theory. Newly wed and all, it only goes to follow that… there may be mood swings."

Hugh gives a firm nod, and then holds up a pacifying hand, "Merely a theory, Odori! Merely a theory! And time shall be the test of it, eh!"

Hugh's theory and Shelley's approval leaves Rena feeling oddly squeamish all of a sudden. Self-consciously, she slides off the desk and hastily buttons her suit jacket and begins to walk away with a vaguely troubled expression full of mixed feelings painting her features. Swallowing hard, she then picks up the pace and hurries out of the office without another word, leaving those files she was carrying with her earlier, dumped unceremoniously on the desk.

Shelley's response to Rena abruptly walking away is to burst into laughter herself, shaking her head in amusement. "Ahhh… That is something to keep an eye on, isn't it?" she says mirthfully.

Hugh chuckles, "Looks rather that way, doesn't it. Hardly unexpected, as you say." He idly pulls out his tobacco pouch. "I'd appreciate it if you _could_ track down some of the Immigrants. I can talk to 'em. But the file work isn't really my 'thing'."

Shelley groans as he starts filling pipe. "If you smoke that out in the atrium this time - then yes. Otherwise, do your own damned legwork, Carruthers," she responds, before moving on her way.

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