|Scene Title||A face-off of Lioness Women|
|Synopsis||Minerva finds Maura's mother to tell her of recent events|
|Location||Israeli Ambassador's Office - Ministry of Magic|
|Date||Mar 11, 1996|
|Watch For||A staring contest. Fssst!|
|Logger||Vignette - McGonagall|
Led into a spacious circular room, the difference in atmosphere from the rest of the Ministry is obvious. Low tables of glass and hardened sand surrounded by pillows instead of chairs, plates of halvah, rugelach and dates, and symbols of the Israeli Sanhedrin are all prominent in the room rather than any of Britain's trappings. There is, of course, a polished wooden desk with comfortable chairs stuck between a flag of both countries at the back of the office. This is where the Ambassador sits, waiting for Minerva to be shown her seat before she looks up from her paperwork.
"Headmistress. I would suppose cogratulations are in order regarding your appointment." Rachel smiles, polite but brittle, before continuing. "It has been some time since Hogwarts has seen fit to contact me. Why are you here?"
Minerva nods first at the assistant who escorted her in, inclining her head towards the Rachel, next. "Ambassador Zehavi. Yes, I realize it has been too long since the school contacted you. I did not know you were working with the Headmaster, and only discovered this because I was obliged to go through his unopened correspondence." This is probably not something the woman across from her wants to hear, but since when has she shied away from delivering harsh news? "I would have been reaching out to you anyhow as soon as it seemed s…" Her explanation is cut off, abruptly.
… because, blurted out from a notoriously unflappable woman is a shocked exclamation. "Unopened?" She rises, leaning over the desk with her hands curling into parchment that quickly crumples. "-Un-OPENED?" If it were possible, there might perhaps be smoke billowing out of Rachel's ears at the moment, and maybe a few flames licking around the corner of her eyes "I. Worked. With. Dumblefore. Directly! How -dare- he leave my, " A deep shuddering breath is taken, and a diplomat's discipline reins in a lioness' temper, pulling her back down into her chair. "I suggest you continue -quickly-, Headmistress McGonagall."
Watching the woman intently, Hogwarts' Headmistress waits out the display of temper, something akin to sympathy in her expression. Her tone, however, is like steel when she answers. "It is my intention, Ambassador, to be sure such an oversight doesn't happen again. As I began to say, however… I would have reached out to you as soon as it seemed safe anyhow. Maura is alive, and is now safe." There is only the briefest of smiles offered for that ostensibly good news however, as she has to take a deep breath before holding up a hand to allow for more time to speak. "There is more you need to know. It seemed too impersonal to simply bring you a file to read. So please - bear with me. This is will neither be easy to say, or easy to hear."
Stunned into silence, there is first a tremulous smile and misted eyes at the news that her daughter is alive and safe. Both of which quickly disappear while the rest computes. A marked frown replaces those beginnings of a smile, the woman's hands now gripping the sides of her chair until her knuckles turn rather pale. "You did not contact me as soon as my daughter was /found/? You are talking about my only child! Why wasn't I told -IMMEDIATELY-." Indeed, the more she hears, the unhappier she is again. A quietly bubbling fury just simmering there and waiting to be unleashed. "Where is she." The words a little too quiet for comfort, surely.
Definitely a little unused to being spoken to in such a manner, McGonagall's expression stiffens and her head tilts just a wee bit proudly. "There are other factors at play here, Ambassador. I realize it is easy to indulge in an unterstandable anger, but it will do neither of us any good. Now.." Because that's going to go over so well, she's certain, she begins the equally uncomfortable task of telling the woman just what her daughter has been subected to. And she leaves nothing out; all the way from the magical genetic alterations (and amulet), to the live operations, pain curses, and Bellatrix' tender mercies with a whip and salt water. And when it seems that certainly Minerva can't reveal anything worse… the memory. "She remembers no names and no faces at all Ambassador. We have someone familiar with memory issues on staff, and she works with an independant curse breaker - but both would tell you without hesitation that the memories must be restored in a natural manner. For her to see you before she is ready could damage her further. I am… more sorry then I can properly express."
Rachel has sat through the entire recitation without moving, or speaking, or it seems… even breathing. Her face, however, has lost nearly all of its color by the time Minerva is done. Abruptly, she shoves her chair back and stands up stiffly. "You will excuse me a moment." One might even think she's about to be sick. She doesn't wait for any acknowledgement, but instead walks unsteadily towards a panel door that leads to an inner study. And once the door it shut, her howl of outrage is surely heard. Followed by the sound of breaking glass. And then, after a moment of silence - she can be heard speaking in low tones to someone. When she emerges, that temper she displayed earlier is.. well… raging. "Who did this, and is he dead yet?" Her head tilts as she re-takes her seat. "If not, why? You will also tell me where she is."
Well, that could have gone better. But it could certanly have gone worse. One scotch, neat, for Minnie when she gets back to the school. For the moment, however her expression is grave. "We only know the name he has chosen for himself. Not his real identity. When he is found, he will be dealt with." What that means, she's more then willing to allow the Ambassador to think whatever she likes. There is a hesitation though, before she responds to the second question. "Maura works as a Healer for the school. As such, she is provided room and board there. The school is assuredly the safest place in Britain for her. And in addition, there is a security company providing guards for her. The man has an unholy interest in another of my staff and… it seemed prudent to accept the services of the company that is also providing help with the investigation." Vague, without much detail, but it's the most she seems prepared to offer.
"So he is not dead yet. When he is found, I expect his execution Headmistress. If your people are too squeamish to comply, I assure you I can find someone who is not." Rachel decides in clipped tones, lacing her hands together in front of her. "There are some people whose mind and soul simply cannot be healed; and for those, the best course for all involved is to ensure they cause no harm to others. I'm afraid I'm not nearly as kind-hearted as my daughter. Who, I hope, has remained a gentle soul much like her father." Which only makes her more protective obviously, a lioness protecting her cub. "I will see her. I am certain something can be arranged, where all possible precaution will be taken, and she will not see me. Or her father. But we /will/ see her. If you cannot arrange it to your satisfaction I will find a way to do it myself."
There is a moment perhaps where the tension in the room crackles, and Minerva leans over, the hardened stare of a wizened witch meeting the fire of an overwrought parent. "You will do absolutely nothing that puts that girl, or any student, or any staff of mine in danger Ambassador. Nothing." she warns, tightly. "You will get regular updates; either from myself, or from another of the staff who works with her. Perhaps someone from the security team. I can easily arrange for a recent image to be brought to you. But anything else…" and now she leans back. "… we will have to see. I do not believe it would cause any harm to bring the girl to the Ministry on some contrived errand. But, I will be in touch." She doesn't even touch the execution with a 10 foot pole.
Even if she is cowed, Rachel's expression doesn't change. Not an inch; it's the poker face that is often used in negotiations. "I do not seek to put anyone at risk. But I will see for myself that my daughter is… whole. You have no idea what we have done to try and find her. I must have that, and I will." In flat tones, she's not accepting any argument. "I thank you for bringing this news to us. But, I have… I have much to do now. Arrangements to make, and explanations to give, as I clear some of my schedule." She has the presence of mind and manners to ride and open the door herself to lead Minerva out. But she is also rather obviously at the end of her rope, and is ushering the Headmistress out before completely losing it.
Minerva studies the face of the woman across from her, and just inclines her head. Offering neither acceptance or dismissal of the demands. Just acknowledgement of them as she is led out. "It is rather tempting to change into a cat and curl up in a hidden basket somewhere for the rest of the day." she quips to herself, with a quiet snort as she heads back to the school.
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