|Scene Title||A three-pronged plan|
|Synopsis||Oscar outlines his first assignment for his lackeys. Can they fulfill it?|
|Location||Slytherin Common Room|
|Date||Nov 16, 1994|
|Watch For||Something's off.|
It's that post-dinner lull when most of the students are either still finishing up their dessert and trying to get in that last bit of socializing before curfew. But Oscar has returned here to the common room. Merlin knows none of the other houses are worth socializing with, and he's brought a chunk of cake along with him, which he munches on as he sits in that favourite chair by the fire. He trusts that word would get past along to Julian to meet him here, and trusts further that the summons won't be ignored, so he's actually feeling pretty all right just now. Of course, rather than chipper, this just means he isn't being outright surly or menacing. He gently dumped that smaller student out of the chair before sitting down. Progress!
Luckily, the second-year that delivered the message remembered Bean's words, and addressed him as such. Bean steps out from his dormitory and moves to sit on the table right in front of Oscar. He's respectful, but silent. It's kind of a strange mix, even in this quiet boy. His eyes are hard and cold, and he nods quickly.
Oscar looks up from staring into the fire as he realizes the tiny one has come in and sat down. He ponders suggesting a bell, but at the no-nonsense look at the kid's face, he reconsiders. Not to say he isn't amused a little at the lack of greeting. "Good, you made it," he begins, his own tone fairly easy, though a little muffled as he finishes off that cake. "Anyone giving you trouble?" he asks to get that bit of business out of the way.
At this point, most of the kids are givng him a wide berth. He shakes his head slowly, then decides he needs to respond verbally. "No, it seems the words you had with the other students made things much easier. Although, right now…" There's a hint of a smile showing up, but it's a sharp, self-deprecating smile. "It seems they're avoiding me without much help." He snorts. "I take it you have something you'd like for me to do?"
Oscar's eyebrows go up a little as he talks in that news. "Oh yeah? Well, good on you. Showing them who's boss, that it?" Of course he approves of that behaviour. But he doesn't linger on it too long as shop talk is brought up. "Nothing big yet. We'll start you off slowly, see how you do. For now, I just want you to tail the other Champions. We need to figure out something we can use against them. Strengths, weaknesses, anxieties, paranoias, that sort of thing. If there's already some tension there between them and the other ones, we need to know why and how much." He watches the younger boy carefully to see how he reacts to this task.
Julian snorts, leaning back on his hands. "Alright, yeah, that's something simple." He had to trail people all the time before. Usually to wait for an opportune moment to take food or money from them. So, this will be fairly easy. He thinks for a moment. "Wickham for Hufflepuff, right?" He's trying to remember exactly who all the champions are. "Macauley for Gryffindor…" He frowns. "Who for the bird brains?" He snorts again at his own joke.
"Don't worry. It's going to get more exciting from there," Oscar promises with a wry smirk, giving the small boy a quick once-over and then nodding his head. "Reed, I think," he fills in the other blank without a pause. "He might be hardest to fool. Merlin knows neither of the other two houses are capable of rational thought." He rolls his eyes a bit, taking great pleasure in the fact that none of his 'softer' housemates are around to keep him from properly indoctrinating the lad.
Julian really doesn't fall for indoctrination, well, at least not much. He's already been conditioned pretty well, and has learned how to pick out the salient points from conversations quickly. "Right. Reed." He's not sure he's met Reed. He knows he's met Wickham. "'Puffs should be easy. Already met him." He's found an existing relationship can make things easier at times. He snorts. "I think anybody can be fooled with the right…way." He lifts his eyebrows a little, and then looks at Oscar, completely silent for a long moment, seeming to take his measure. Then, he looks away.
"Everything about Hufflepuffs is easy. It's almost not even sporting." That doesn't mean Oscar isn't going to or even feels badly about it though, from his tone and demeanour. "Consider them our warm up. And getting Gryffindors riled up over a perceived wrong isn't usually much of a challenge either." Oh, those silly, silly houses. "But for now, we just watch. Chat with them if you're feeling bold - but don't get caught." It's said lightly, but there is a bit of a threat there.
Julian stops himself from rolling his eyes. He nods quickly, and shifts on the table, undecided for a moment between standing up completely and making himself more comfortable. He chooses the former. Rising, he keeps his gaze on Oscar. "I thought about asking D'Allemange to help… he's pretty good with stuff like this too…" Or could be, probably with the right leads. "If you didn't mind. Unless you've got something else for him to do."
"The one that looks like a girl?" Oscar says a little skeptically, ever the sensitive and diplomatic soul. But he does have a few issues with being a man's man sort of guy. Still, maybe the missions will help to toughen up the little one. "All right, if you vouch for him," he allows after a moment. "As long as he knows the score." Don't get caught seems to be about the extent of it, really. "Bet you two can do a bang up job flying beneath the radar though." All tiny and cute, and in one case at least, girl-like.
Perhaps that name drop served as a subconscious cue, because in the next few seconds, the common room door scrapes its way open to admit mister D'Allemagne himself. MISTER. For certain, despite his looks and the fact he wears a nightgown to bed. Ahem.
He sounds alone, though as he steps through the door, the boy's voice carries a low-volumed tune. Something in Latin, sung almost breathily. He doesn't seem to be trying very hard- must be stuck in his head. But nonetheless, it hints at his talent. Rene turns his head up as he makes sure nobody is trying to catch the door while it is open, mouth closing up when he spots Bean and Oscar across the room. Oh, oops.
Julian gives another half-smile at Oscar's levity. It's as close as he's gotten to grinning when around anyone but Rene. "Yeah. But don't let him hear you say that. He might be small, but he's fierce." He lifts his eyebrows as music, such as it is, comes wafting through from the door. He turns, spotting Rene. "Speak of the devil." That reminds him of something, and he's looking over Oscar again. "Under the radar?" He quirks a brow. This could be interesting. There may be fewer pure purebloods in the house of the Snake than Bean's been led to believe. It's not a look that shows confusion, though, so he may express more in that manner as well. He understands the phrase.
Oscar makes a quick up-and-down gesture with his eyebrows, looking more amused than intimidated by the idea of a fierce first year. What's that, like an angry flobberworm? He's still thus amused as Rene comes in, and its maybe for that reason alone that he doesn't simply abandon all hope when his girly to-be henchman enters, singing. Still, it doesn't keep his expression from going rather abruptly stern and skeptical. The sternness doesn't dissipate as his gaze returns to Julian, realizing too soon that bit of Muggle lingo he tossed in there without meaning to. "Yeah," he replies simply in a tone he hopes conveys any firsties wanting to survive until end of term shouldn't make anything of it.
True that. Mad-Eye would not constantly use him as spell fodder in class if he could not take it on the chin. Flobberworm nothing- Rene's on a fast track! Just try him. The boy hovers there at the entrance for a moment, stepping lightly into the common room and eyeballing the both of them in turn. "What?" As if they both had stood up yelling 'J'accuse!' moments ago.
As Julian is neither stupid nor grown up, he nods once, denoting his willnigness to keep that information to himself. Besides, understanding it, he's shown the other boy that he's not the purest of the pure either. "Frenchie." Bean calls, tilting his head sideways to draw him over. "Houlihan's asked a favor." This is said more like 'given us an order', but since the agreement isn't exactly comomn knowledge, Bean phrases it that way.
Oscar returns Julian's nod in turn, lowering the advanced guard just a little. He doesn't answer that demanding 'what?' from the girly first year, just giving him a look in return as if to say: 'Really?' It's only when Julian goes on to explain that there's something for them to do, Oscar sits back in his chair a bit, watching for Rene's reaction before he offers anything further.
Rene lifts his chin at Bean's reply, blue eyes turning to Oscar in time to get the last second of that look. His eyes narrow for a moment in silence, then: "Ah. What might that favor be?" The boy sidles over to stand beside his friend, leaning back on his heels to look at Houlihan.
"To monitor and …" Bean's brow quirks slightly in amusement, "…learn what we can from the other three champions. Things that might be useful." He shifts his weight, then deciding just to crouch down and sit on his haunches. Short boy is even shorter. "I think that's something we can do." He frowns, giving his little friend a look, and then he returns his attention to Oscar. "Any specific time on this, or just when we get a chance?"
"Sooner is better," Oscar replies, looking between the two carefully. "Don't push it and make them suspicious, but we need the intel in order to go on with the next stage." He tries to make it sound like this really is all resting on the two of them. Might as well let them feel important, right?
Rene looks to Bean when he explains most of it. Intel job? Can do. His fingers twine in front of him, and his eyes settle on Oscar. "Not knowing what to expect of the first task makes it difficult to discern strategy. Would it not make more sense to find out more about the task as well, rather than focusing on the champions?" Oho.
Julian gives an approving nod when Rene speaks. "We could see what we can find out about that too, see if our champion can get a bit of an edge." He's heard all the things about 'no cheating', and also the fact that everybody since the darn thing started has done exactly that. "If it doesn't interfere with the other thing."
Oscar gives a little wave of his hand, tacitly allowing them to look into the tournament if they will. But he's really sure he'll have much more fun sewing discord himself. "See what you can find out then. And see what they think it will be. Especially if they're on the wrong track. We can work with that," he notes, giving a scary little smirk. "Perhaps it would even be prudent to give the rumour mill a little nudge…"
It's not cheating if you pretend you didn't mean to find out! Little people can find little hiding places, you know. "We have got imaginations- I am certain that we can plant some reasonable ideas. Enough to make sure nobody is clear on it." Rene's fingers almost start twiddling in thought. Frankly, he is far more interested in the tasks than the champions. What will they really have to do? Hmm.
Julian can handle that. "Alright. That sounds good." He grabs some sort of scrap of parchment on the floor, and looks at it. It looks like someone's school notes, having a couple letters scribbled on the side, with a cupid drawn around it. "Oh… hey… this is interesting…" He holds it up, and shows it to the other two boys.
"Just be careful no one can track all the rumours back to you." It all comes back to not getting caught, of course. Oscar seems pleased with the eagerness of the little ones though, if just a bit skeptical they can pull off all three tasks at once. But he's quite willing to be surprised on this one. As Julian picks up the piece of paper, Oscar straightens a bit, looking at it, his expression going from curiosity to distaste. "Ugh, tell me someone stole that from a Hufflepuff for a laugh." He doesn't want to suspect a snake could do such a thing.
Rene peers down when Julian picks up a paper from the floor, leaning over to look at it. "Mignonne~, a cupid." The blond boy laughs a little, looking for a name anywhere. "I am sure those in this house fall in love too. Perhaps it is leftover from potions?"
Julian snorts. "That's basic." He rolls his eyes. "Ya just stage a conversation…" He doesn't get into specifics more than that. "I don't know. Just found the thing on the floor. Could have been that, or just some first- or second-year…" Another first year. Not Bean, obviously. He tends to agree that everybody has feelings, but he's not going to show or admit that right now. "Here." He doesn't need it, nor does he want the reminder it brings. "Take it."
"If people from this house must fall in love, I'd hope they could do it more tastefully than that," Oscar remarks, looking at the thing like some people might look at those warning pictures about the effects of smoking. He doesn't particularly want the picture, but reaches rather reluctantly to take it. It might come in handy later as leverage, or at least to keep it from getting around.
Rene watches the mystery go unrested with a small sigh. "To each their own, Houlihan." And that's all he has to say about that, thank you.
Julian quirks an eyebrow at Rene, and then shakes his head slowly, hiding the small smile. He looks back up at Oscar, watching him take the small scrap of parchment like it was cursed. "I think it's in the nature of the thing not to be tasteful." Love, that is. He looks back down to the floor, seeming to be back in the place he had been. "I'm going to go read." He stands up, stretching his legs, and waits for a response before heading off to his dormitory.
Oscar arches an eyebrow at Rene, but merely snorts at the sentiment after a moment of holding that expression. The eyebrow only drops when he turns back to Julian. "Yeah, that's why sensible men won't go tossing their heart about like a quaffle. Women are trouble, lads," he advises, and while he's not overly dour about it, he doesn't seem to be joking. Julian gets a nod, then, as he stands. "All right. Report back soon as you've found anything."
"I was going to fetch something…" Rene comments offsides to Bean, giving a nod to Oscar before he follows after. "Wish us luck, I suppose." He smiles as he says it, but it is not lost on Rene that they may possibly fail miserably, despite valiant attempts. And then, he's off.
Julian nods, tersely, and steps toward the dormitory without another word.
"Good luck," Oscar replies wryly as Rene suggests it. Despite the many ways in which the plan can fail, he's really not too anxious. A final glance is cast after the firsties, a flicker of thought in his expression as if it might have occurred to him that something was a bit off. But he just shrugs it off, too busy feeling pleased with himself for setting the wheels in motion. A smirk on his face, he links his fingers in behind his head and goes back to watching the flames.