1994-12-20: Birds Of A Feather


Alice_icon.gif Rene_icon.gif Siobhan_icon.gif

Scene Title Birds of a Feather
Synopsis Rene gets a package from his father, Alice runs from scheming, and Siobhan wields her Umbridge hate like a metal bat.
Location First Floor Corridor
Date December 20, 1994
Watch For Schemes!
Logger Rene

The first floor still has rows of windows along the hallways, in between the paintings. As today is Tuesday, the usual trotting feet echo in the halls. At the moment, it is that period between classes, and so many of the students are finding time to go off to the library, common rooms, or possibly mill about somewhere else. Rene is one of them, sitting on a stone and wooden bench along the wall, with his History of Magic book open on his lap.

The hallway down from the classrooms on the first floor faces those windows, which are closed for the winter months; there are, however, some things that herald actually opening them, such as owls coming in the nearest opening. Sometimes they open of their own accord, and sometimes a student will. At this particular place in time, the windows pop open to admit a pair of the school owls, though they seem obviously harried in doing so; about three seconds later, a big, black, gangly shape appears in the sky just beyond the edge of the school. It wobbles a bit, adding to the sight for those perhaps looking outside.

Hanging out with friends?! Studying!? These things are not for Alice! No, not when she has such a big order to fulfill! So it is that a very frazzled young blonde Hufflepuff is dashing through the hallway, her arms filled with collections of ingredients. Unfortunately, at that instant, she happens to look out the window at the oncoming shapes and does a double-take — which causes her to trip and go spilling out onto the floor with a sharp yelp. Right in front of the first-year Rene. Smooth, Alice. Smooth. Way to make the other Houses believe Hufflepuff aren't a bunch of hopeless spazzes.

Siobhan is distracted. It's not really hard to see that and - in one place where her hand must have smudged away the makeup hiding her skin - the dark circles show why. She's out of it, most definitely, so it's really no surprise when she misses Alice entirely and trips right over the third year; this sends her into a rather ungainly somersault/tumble combination that culminates with her flat on her back. The wind momentarily knocked from her chest, she misses the oncoming black shape entirely.

He was reading, and so when Alice takes a dive onto the floor, the little Slytherin starts a little and tucks his book back against his chest to look down over it at the Hufflepuff girl. And suddenly, Siobhan trips over Alice, and both girls are pretty much in a pile in front of Rene's dangling feet. "Oh. Goodness. Is there a tripwire I did not notice?" That, or possibly he just has the power to make women collapse at his feet?

Outside, the shape gets closer, and soon, it does take the shape of a bird; a strange bird, at that. Taking his jolly old time, really.

Just as Alice is about to scramble to her feet, Sio comes along looking distracted and trips over her, forcing the younger blonde to the floor again. The wind knocked out of her as well, it takes a moment for Alice to regain her bearings before she sits up, glasses comically askew on her face and blinking several times. She looks over at Rene as he speaks and offers a sheepish grin, blushing vividly. "Um, n-no, I don't think so. At least, I didn't notice any." She peers around the area for a moment suspiciously, "I wouldn't put it past Peeves, though." It is then she notices poor Sio sprawled out on the floor and yelps a bit. Oh no! Customer down! Scrambling to her feet, the shadow outside the window and her supplies momentarily forgotten, Alice hurries over to the sprawled girl and offers a hand, "Sio! Oh dear, are you all right? I'm so, so sorry!"

When Siobhan regains enough air to phonate at all, the first sound out of her lips is a groan. Of course it would be her luck to fall flat on her weak shoulder! Feeling rather like she struck a brand new funnybone, the older girl rolls to her un-injured side and sits up, waving Alice's concern away until she can groggily regain her bearings. " 'm fine, Alice. Really." Her hands scrub at her face, working to help convince her brain that it would not be a good idea to just lie down and sleep where she is now. She blinks up at Rene and offers a tired smile. "Heya Rene… Back to your old self again, huh?" Apparently, fatigue makes her ask stupid questions. The scattered materials catch her eye then and she narrows her gaze for a moment before the lightbulb suddenly goes off. "Oh, Alice; your ingrediants!"

Oh, that Peeves. Rene snorts out some of his breath, though mostly out of general annoyance that he had to stop in midsentence. "Yes. I am. Quite. I am happy for the lack of being followed around- but it was nice to be able to reach everything for a change…" Le sigh. He eyes his book before closing it, leaning down to pick up something of Alice's from the floor.

All of a sudden, a low, throbbing sound comes through the cracked window- MMAAAAHHHHHOOOOOOOooohhhhhhooohhhh…- It's very unsettling, and very much is not something anyone- even students in passing the three by- expected to hear. At least one boy going through jumps in fright, only to look out the open window and be assaulted at that very moment by a big bird suddenly coming inside. Not that it is attacking him- the beast simply knocks into him, sending one more kid sprawling onto the floor.

It lands awkwardly on the floor beside the boy, who is now trying to get away and scamper down the hall. The bird itself is tall, and just as gangly as it seemed; greenish black feathers, speckled with a purplish sheen and cream on its belly; there is also a speckled cream ruff around its lower neck. From that point on, the head is covered in a scruffy layer of dark gray fuzz, all the way up to a single- one is missing- black eye, and a long, semi-curved beak. Some hanging skin below its eye sockets makes the creature look very …sad. Maaoooohhoohh, it says, very puzzled, peering sidelong after the boy that has run from it. Whoops.

"Are you sure, Sio?" Alice asks, still hovering around the older girl worriedly, "You look a little… out of it." Sio's call about her ingredients makes Alice turn her head towards the scattered debis, a faint whimper rising from her. But she puts on a brave face, smiling cheerfully (even if it's a bit strained and forced), "T-that's no big deal, really. Anything which is ruined I can replace." And then it is at that moment that the large, mournful bird decides to make an entrance. Alice's attention is ripped away from her scattered belongings and focused on the colossal avian. Instantly, her hands fumble in her robes for her wand which is out and pointed at the creature shakily. It takes her a moment to realize that the thing is not attacking and she cautiously lowers her wand. "Um," she begins, nonplussed, "What by Merlin's beard is that?"

"Yeah, I'm sure. Just a bit knackered, is all." And then… Then came The Bird. "Sweet Circe…" Siobhan scambles backwards until her shoulders are pressed against the edge of Rene's bench, her skin pale. "What is that?" she demands of no one in particular. Her right wrist has already been smacked against her upraised knee, dropping her tiny wand into her hand and in a position remarkably similar to Alice's.

"Madoc?!" Rene yells, though strangled by surprise, and followed by a stream of something in French- possibly colorful- language. He hops off the bench to stand upright, dropping his book where he was sitting in the process.

The bird is facing the other way, and so has to turn around to look at Rene. As soon as the creature spots him with that one good eye, it puffs up and raises the bends of its wings, lowering its head to pry something off of its leg; a small package, which it picks up in its beak. There is absolutely no other word for it- the tall bird starts galumphing towards Rene, head lowered and shoulders up, nails clickity-clacking as it trots awkwardly across the stone. Rene does meet it halfway, but the bird sees fit to happily gallop around him in a circle before standing still for the boy to take the package from him. Maaaaoohoh, awk awk awk!

"You know this thing?" Alice asks incredulously to Rene, blinking at the first year before turning to regard the giant bird again. "Wha… what is it? A roc or something?" It seems entirely too small to be a Roc, though. "Oh, I wish I had my Care of Magical Creatures book with me…" Cautiously, the blonde third-year approaches, though she doesn't put away her wand, and jerks her chin at the package, "Looks like it brought you some mail, though! I take it it's from home?"

It's… a pet. Still a little unsure about this entire venture, Siobhan shifts her grip on her wand and swallows hard. "Rene… Is that thing safe?" Despite the almost puppy-like display going on just now, she's not entirely inclined to trust this one-eyed, overgrown vulture. Thing. "I've had four years of that class and I still don't know what that is, Alice. I doubt the book'd help." Then again, Sio doesn't place much faith in books to begin with.

Even standing low, the bird is huge compared to Rene. At least, height-wise. It comes plainly about to his collarbone. "Give me that." Rene is tugging on the thing in its beak, and the bird only lets go after a few yanks. Awk. When the package is safely with him, Rene finally turns to look at the two girls, a sigh loud in his chest.

"He belongs to my father." While offering that first moment of explanation, the bird seems to have become keen on reaching up and nibbling on some of Rene's hair. Without batting an eye, the boy lifts a hand to push away its beak.

"It is not a roc, it is an augurey. His name is Madoc-" And there Madoc is, reaching up to touch his beak on Rene's face, which gets directed away once more. Hi, Hi, Hi.

Alice casts a sidelong look at Sio and nods. Hey, if the Slytherin champion doesn't know what the hell that is, why sweat it? Alice has an inflated opinion of what the champion status entails, it would seem. "An… augurey?" Alice asks curiously, finally putting away her wand as its confirmed the avian is a family bird. "I see. Are, er… are they common in France?" She hesitates and takes a step forward, extending a hand cautiously, "May I… um… may I touch it?"

Seeing Rene's easy relationship with…Madoc does much to put Siobhan's mind at ease. With a blown out breath, she sheathes her wand and pushes herself a bit unsteadily to her feet. Now that it's evident there's no danger from the critter, "It's cute… In a ruffle-y sort of way." Alice's got the right idea. "Yeah, is he friendly?" Because seriously? This bird is cool.

"No, actually. They are native here… northern Europe." Rene tucks the package into his inner robe pocket, then reaching out around the bird's shoulders to rub at the bottom of its neck. "He is blind on this side and cannot hunt on his own, so the ministry back in France sent him to live with us…" His hand travels up Madoc's neck and to his skull, scratching softly. The bird sways back and forth, seemingly unbalanced and rather enjoying the touching. "Let him look at you. Say his name so he sees you first, and you may touch him. If he does not see you coming it surprises him."

It's like a family dog! One of them. With wings.

Nodding several times at the instructions given (Alice is good at following directions in regards to magical creatures!), Alice cautiously approaches. "Madoc," she coos softly to the creature, "Madoc. How are you? Oh, who is the pretty bird? Who is the pretty, pretty bird? It's you, Madoc!" Hoping that both ingratiates her to the augurey as well as gets its attention so it won't be surprised, the blonde reaches forward to pat the end of its beak.

Only a step or two behind Alice, Siobhan hangs out in the background for the time being rather than ambushing the poor bird with a lot of attention all at once.

Madoc is the pretty bird! He is, he is! He knows 'pretty bird' means that someone likes him, apparently, because he wobbles a step closer to Alice when she puts her hand out, lifting his beak sideways and opening the end to perhaps get a friendly nibbling in. Something that probably tickles if she isn't startled. Aooohhoh. Nibblenibble. While the big avian is occupied with a sudden girl, Rene pauses to pick up some of Alice's things from the floor.

From the widening of her eyes, Alice is a tad bit surprised at the nibbling, but doesn't jerk her hand away. After all, owls do much the same thing all the time. It's just… disconcerting with a bird as large as Madoc is. Still, though, she calms down soon after and giggles faintly at the tickling. "Aww, he is a cutie, isn't he?" the blonde third-year gushes, a broad grin gracing her features before she looks over at Rene picking up her things. "Oh! Thank you! You don't have to do that, though. I'll get them in a minute. I appreciate the help, nonetheless." She hesitates a moment more then pulls away from the big bird, moving to help Rene with her stuff and jerking her head towards Sio. You're up, Slytherin girl! Go pet the giant bird!

Next batterrrrrup! Siobhan watches Alice and how she handles herself around the bird. Soon enough, the Hufflepuff goes after Rene to gather her things from the floor. Despite knowing she really should help, the augury has a…very distinct draw. It's new, it's fluffy and really, really cute. "Madoc," she calls softly, sure to approach on the sighted side. "Madoc, pretty bird." Her voice is quiet, carrying almost a sing-song quality to it as she moves slowly closer. Only when she's sure she's been noticed does Sio raise a hand to stroke that furry spot under his neck - the one she saw Rene go for earlier. "You are gorgeous…"

Yes, pet him before he turns around and sees stuff on the floor to pick up. Because he will. And Alice may never see something ever again. Rene hands off some of the dropped items to Alice, eyes on Siobhan as she approaches Madoc next. Pretty bird, yes ma'am. He tilts his head back for the scratches on his neck, his one good eye roaming to glance at Rene and Alice as he does so.

"They are usually very shy, but he has been around people since he was a baby." Hence the mannerisms; Rene explains after a few scratches of his own once he is glanced at. "They used to think that augureys predicted death. But it turned out that they wail when it is going to rain. Very noisy in winter, because of the snow." The girls knew nothing when the bird clamored in the window, so it seems the boy is taking the time for at least an outline of What the bird is.

"He's a pretty awesome bird," Alice states with a grin, "It's interesting to know that they can predict rain." She pauses briefly then adds, "And snow, I guess." Having picked up her errant supplies, the blonde looks down at them critically before turning her attention to Rene's package. She nods towards it, "What did you family send? I mean, if they went and sent Madoc all the way here from France, it must be important." Alice will grow one day to be a busybody.

Wha-? Oh yes, the package. Confronted with a New Critter, Siobhan had completely forgotten. Throughout the mini-lesson, she stays with Madoc, fingers running along neck and head and back in search for all the best Scritchy Spots. "How old is he?" she inquires of Rene curiously. Leave the package to Alice; she's got it under control. "That's a really long trip." Even as the bird flies.

Rene can't help but laugh, though it is more amused than mocking, really. "Madoc is around half of my age, I think. We do not live in France anymore." He sounds sad about that, but it only barely leaks through. "We live in North Devon, now. On a piece of preserve in Exmoor Park. That is why I am here at Hogwarts- your ministry needed my father to take over a failing sanctuary…" Well, partly why he is here at the school. What he doesn't know won't hurt him. Nor does he specify a preserve for what. He draws the package out when he says this, making sure that Madoc is not picking anything up by steering his attention to the hands opening the paper. Naturally, the bird wants to see what Rene is doing.

Something shiny! Madoc reaches tentatively out for it, but Rene holds whatever it is up away from him. Eventually, he unwraps a shiny golden ball, etched on the surface and attached to a long chain. "Oh! He finally found one… I wonder why he sent it here?" The ball- well, anyone that knows quidditch knows what a snitch is!

Alice blinks several times at Rene. "Oh. Well, that makes sense. Considering you're going to Hogwarts, you would have to live here in the British Isles, wouldn't you?" Alice smiles sheepishly, "Sorry, it must be fatigue which is ruining my logic." She quiets as the package is unrapped and then instantly pales as she recognizes the little gold ball. "Oh," she says, unable to quite hold off a grimace or keep the trepidation in her voice, "It… it's a Snitch. Um… are you p-planning to go for your House team next year?"

Oh, a Snitch. Siobhan recoils almost instinctively from the little golden thing, but probably for vastly different reasons than Alice. Oh well, she can still pet the nice birdy; pet pet pe - "Hang on, a sanctuary?" Hands still against the fluffy feathers. "Like for endangered animals or somethin'?" If Sio had puppy ears, they would most definitely be perked.

Rene smiles at that first admission, making sure to gather up the chain so that Madoc does not grab onto it. He soon lets out a snort- derisive and very much the sound of irritation. "I would, if I ever thought for a second that Malfoy would budge his pasty-" He stops there, huffing. "Perhaps I will go for back-up. Hmph."

And then, oh, someone is interested! He looks up at the girls, fiddling with the snitch in his hand until it opens fine metallic wings, flexes them, and tucks both back in. "Exactly. Do you know the history of Quidditch? Before these-" Rene collects the golden ball into his palm, rolling it calmly against his fingers. "-they used little golden birds." And he pauses there, gauging what they might know from any facial reactions.

Alice isn't a person who takes delight in the put-downs of others. Normally. But Rene's aborted vendictive against Malfoy causes her to smile wryly. "Well, you could always do what he did and buy your way into the team," she suggests idly, "Just get your parents to buy the team a new set of deluxe brooms and there you go!" The fact that she's saying this in front of two Slytherin seems lost on the poor Hufflepuff. Equally lost on her is the significance of little golden birds. She just blinks with a blank look on her face before going, "Oh." A pause, then an apologetic, "I didn't know that. I, um… I really d-don't watch Quidditch that much." Alice rubs the back of her head with one hand, balancing her retrieved cargo with the other, "My sister is the sporty one, really. She was on the Slytherin team, too! Well. In a backup capacity."

Siobhan, the pureblooded witch raised in wizarding society, is clueless. Eyeing the Snitch as if it may at any moment sprout fangs or shoot poison, she listens with half an ear - the insults against Draco are almost expected by now - until a particular phrase catches her attention. And boy does it catch her. "A bird?" Her slack jaw flails for a moment as the seventh-year searches for the right words. "But…but that game is vicious! A live bird?"

"A bird." He confirms. "The Golden Snidget. Even before it was introduced to Quidditch, the bird's feathers and eyes were prized as reagents, so it was hunted. Barberus Bragge released the first Snidget in a game of Quidditch, and offered 150 Galleons to the first player who caught it. It grew into points, later on." Rene has storytime! Even Madoc seems to be paying attention- but actually he is still watching the golden snitch that Rene has in his hand.

"When it was caught, it would obviously be crushed. If not crushed, mortally wounded. Snidgets never survived the games. With that and hunting, they were labeled as Endangered, and hunting them and using them in Quidditch was made illegal. There are still many penalties attached to capturing or owning one without a sanctuary permit. That is what my father did in France. He is a bird specialist, and managed a sanctuary. The ministry asked him to move here to manage one in Exmoor, as the previous owners passed away."

Storytime, yaaaaaay! This impromptu lesson on the origins of Quidditch is much more interesting than just about anything Professor Binns has ever said. Alice suddenly frowns, though, thoughtfully. "Hold on a tic," she says, "If that's true… then how were Quidditch games ended in the old days? I mean, now you have to catch the Snitch in order to end the game. What did they used to do before there was a Snitch, bird or otherwise?"

"I think he means that Quidditch was invented around Snidget huntin', so it wouldn'ta been there before." Siobhan can grasp concepts when they're presented in such a straightforward manner. One hand resumes scritching Madoc, an idle motion while she thinks. "That…explains a lot, actually." About the game, anyway. "What sort of penalties can they throw at you for a bird?" Sio seems to realize her mistake and backpedals quickly. "I mean, not that birds shouldn't be protected or anythin', but like… I mean, it's not like you've cast Imperio or somethin', right?"

"I suspect that they may have been timed games, much like muggle sports are." Score points before time runs out? Perhaps. Rene does not seem entirely sure. "The snitch was made in the fourteenth century- and the birds are still very endangered, sadly- but before that I imagine that it was simply a game ruled by scoring in hoops, and eventaully the sports of Snidget hunting and Quidditch got mixed together."

"You would be surprised. Fines, mostly, but I have heard of wizards using the bird's parts for magic and getting put into a low-security prison." Prison is prison! "They need protected because while they move just like snitches- fully rotational wings, faster than most eyes- they have minds, and can find themselves in danger like anything else with a brain. It is very easy to trick a snidget, trust me. They are very naive little birds." His familiarity goes to show why he'd go for a Seeker position. He probably knows all of their tricks!

Knowing even less about Muggle sports than the history of Quidditch, Alice just nods dumbly. "Timed games don't sound too bad," Alice says thoughtfully, "At least then they'd end at a good time." Alice smiles wryly at Rene, canting her head to one side, "Wow, you certainly seem to know quite a lot about them. You really should try out for your House team. I mean, even if you're only a backup, with how, ah… accident prone Malfoy is, you might end up getting in the game sooner than you'd think!"

Siobhan hears nothing about Malfoy being accident prone. In fact, she was not even present when such a discussion took place. That's the story and we're sticking to it. "They make good pets?" Sio loves the critters. Evidence of this can be found in the fact that she's still almost completely absorbed in Madoc. At the mention of prison, however, a light goes off in her brain. "Hey Rene… About how big are these Snidgets?"

"Accident prone, but with a very insistent and meddling father." Rene has only been here for less than a year, but somehow he already has figured this out. Maybe his own father is knows what goes on in the Isles more than anyone thinks. There is certainly a hint of knowingness going on here. Madoc seems content to spend some time leaning against Siobhan's leg with his blind side, beak picking idly at some part of her robes, and eventually he tries to stoop down to put his head under the hem, pushing it up to apparently investigate what she might be hiding from him underneath. Maybe he thinks she has food.

"They would, yes, if they were not endangered. How big?" Rene pauses and blinks at Sio as she asks, but doesn't bother asking why she's getting detailed. "They can get as big as a fist, but most of them can fit in your palm. The tiniest females are about this big." He holds up the snitch on the chain.

"Yes, well. There is that," Alice admits about Lucius Malfoy, "Regardless, though, you should still try out. I somehow doubt Professor Snape would be upset if you did and were any good." He wants Slytherin to win the Quidditch Cup just as much as any in the House do, and he's unlikely to be intimidated by Lucius. She cants her head to one side as Rene describes the beasts more in-depth. "Well, it is good that they're being protected now, then."

There's a bird up under her robes! Mildly startled by this, Siobhan jumps a little, staring down at Madoc with a quickly growing smile. She's just got her uniform skirt on underneath, so no food there. He could be smelling the bit of meat pie wrapped up with a napkin in her robe pocket though. "So what would happen if, say, someone discovered a dead Snidget in the offices of a government official?" She turns her smile on Rene, appearing oh-so-innocent. "I suppose it'd cause no small amount of trouble for them, no matter who they were, right?" The idea of Snape being cowed by anyone strikes Siobhan as funny. "Aw, c'mon. Lord Malfoy isn't so bad." Apparently Sio has a different scale of 'bad'. "A bit pretty, yeah, and no end of stuck up, but he's done deals with my Da before, an' Da's said he's a good businessman." Her father's good opinion apparently means the world to her if she'd overlook Lucius' other faults. "If he approves of you, he can even be nice." Ish.

"I think that Professor Snape feels a little bit obligated to treat me fairly." Rene admits, chuckling. "But maybe he really doesn't like anyone that much." Or that. He keeps a smirk aimed at Alice. "Perhaps you are right, though. I doubt that he would want Slytherin to keep losing to Gryffindor- and then I would be up against Potter." Who thinks Rene would leave him in the dust? Harry may have a Firebolt, but Rene has considerably more tactics.

Madoc seems interested in something, and it is quite possibly pie. "Stop that." Rene leans over tug him away from robe investigation. "A dead bird." Now, Rene eyes Sio with a great deal of apprehension. "It would depend on if it was being kept as a pet and died under faulty care, or if they had killed it and planned on harvesting or selling the parts. And how much anyone trusted them, really. But frankly, I would hope that nobody is above the law here."

"I've never met the man, personally," Alice states of Lord Malfoy with a shrug, "All I do know about him is that he got his son on the Slytherin Quidditch team through a bribe of brooms. And that he forced Dumbledore out of the school my first year." She states these facts rather bluntly and neither would appear to ingratiate her to the man. The blonde third-year turns to grin at Rene, bobbing her head, "Indeed you would! Harry is quite good, so I hear, but it's always nice to see a little competition on the field." Well. Theoretically, anyway. Alice would never watch Quidditch if she could help it. Alice also tosses a shrewd look to Siobhan and her rather pointed questions; despite her family (and her own!) claims to the contrary, Alice is no dummy. She can tell the line of questioning is very much in relation to something, though if she knows any specifics, she doesn't say.

"I think that Professor Snape feels a little bit obligated to treat me fairly." Rene admits, chuckling. "But maybe he really doesn't like anyone that much." Or that. He keeps a smirk aimed at Alice. "Perhaps you are right, though. I doubt that he would want Slytherin to keep losing to Gryffindor- and then I would be up against Potter." Who thinks Rene would leave him in the dust? Harry may have a Firebolt, but Rene has considerably more tactics.

Madoc seems interested in something, and it is quite possibly pie. "Stop that." Rene leans over tug him away from robe investigation. "A dead bird." Now, Rene eyes Sio with a great deal of apprehension. "It would depend on if it was being kept as a pet and died under faulty care, or if they had killed it and planned on harvesting or selling the parts. And how much anyone trusted them, really. But frankly, I would hope that nobody is above the law here."

"I've never met the man, personally," Alice states of Lord Malfoy with a shrug, "All I do know about him is that he got his son on the Slytherin Quidditch team through a bribe of brooms. And that he forced Dumbledore out of the school my first year." She states these facts rather bluntly and neither would appear to ingratiate her to the man. The blonde third-year turns to grin at Rene, bobbing her head, "Indeed you would! Harry is quite good, so I hear, but it's always nice to see a little competition on the field." Well. Theoretically, anyway. Alice would never watch Quidditch if she could help it. Alice also tosses a shrewd look to Siobhan and her rather pointed questions; despite her family (and her own!) claims to the contrary, Alice is no dummy. She can tell the line of questioning is very much in relation to something, though if she knows any specifics, she doesn't say.

Seeming to realize what Madoc must want, Siobhan digs around in her pocket and fishes out that meatpie. Small pieces are offered to the bird absently as the older Slytherin leans in closer to Rene. "What if, say… There was an older bird - one very close to a natural death anyway - that just so happened to find it's way into a certain person's office, along with incriminatin' paperwork… If the person was under suspicion anyway, that could…well that could put them in a bit of a tight spot, wouldn't you say?" Oh poor Rene, Siobhan's sly smile is positively wicked.

Madoc is careful in accepting the pieces with his beak- click, clack, nomf, nomf- he hunches and swallows the chunks of pie contentedly, making sure to pick up any pieces from the floor he may have missed. Rene looks back up to Siobhan's face, her wicked expression met with a flatly apprehensive one probably more fit for a Ravenclaw. His lips are pressed together, and his eyes slightly narrowed. "Absolutely. The tricky part would be someone catching a bird in the first place. Not everyone can catch a snidget without so much as rumpling a feather. And most colonies contain wards, guardians…" No easy task, that.

Rene's flat expression causes a softening of Sio's features. The rest of the pie is dropped to the floor for Madoc's perusal, and the youngest Noble moves to rest a hand on her Housemate's shoulder. "I don't want to hurt anythin', Rene. 'specially not any of your birds. But if I can find one what's already died…" Her jaw sets firmly and brown eyes flash. "She's attacked my family twice now, Rene. I won't stand for it; I just won't." She turns pleading eyes on the younger snake. "I think I'd have a way to get it in, but that doesn't mean anythin' if I don't have anythin' to get in." She pauses, searching his face. "Will you help me?"

"Who?" Rene has the feeling that it is a silly question to ask, but if she is going to press, he may as well stall while he thinks. His eyes cast downwards for a moment- what can be taken as nervousness is actually a moment of backtracking over birds in his head. "I'm not promising anything unless you explain all of it."

Nodding once, Siobhan offers a small smile. "That's fair. Hang on…" Tugging at his sleeve, she sits down cross-legged in the floor next to Madoc, pulling her tiny wand to cast a mumbled Silencing Charm around them. It should be more than enough to keep this private. "It's the Acting Minister. She's got no business bein' in office t'begin with, an' she's gone an' made it worse. Rene… She set dementors on my brother. Hundreds of 'em. My Da's been in the Wizengamot longer'n you or me's been alive. Never had a smudge on his record, ever. Da believes in the law and processes like Muggles do religion, an' yet she's got him under review, just because he spoke out for doin' things the right an' proper way…" She shakes her head. "She's gotta be stopped, an' anythin' I can do to push 'er in that direction…"

Rene does not have far to go to sit down opposite Siobhan. Madoc, seeing an opening, jumps into the divvy made by his lap, and the boy has to lean his head back to puch the bird into a sit. "Dementors? How did she get permission?" Oh, wait, she probably didn't. "She is the one that's been… well, my father said she has been hard on half-breeds, magical creatures, muggles, muggleborns…" Rene's small jaw clenches visibly. "My stepmother is muggleborn." And by that, three siblings are mixed blood.

It does seem that Rene knows exactly who she meant. "Should not the law she envoked on Minister Fudge be making her step down as well? If she is sending out dementors and acting unreasonably… should not the Wizengamot bring this to attention?"

Siobhan can't help a grin as Madoc gallumphs right into Rene's lap, but the mirth is short-lived. "She hasn't appointed an Undersecretary for just that reason, I think." Sio shakes her head sadly. "An' she's thought of that. She's been throwin' accusations an' castin' doubt on different members of the Wizengamot. Enough of that an' she could disband it - with full public support."

"Have you talked to Headmaster Dumbledore?" Ah, an age-old question, it seems. "I daresay that he has considerably more influence than an old toad… on a council or not. He is a hero, you know. We would be in the dark ages if it were not for him…and the other heroes- like Professor Moody, and the aurors." Rene rests an arm on the back of the bird in his lap, who nestles down, talons scraping on the floor. "The Wizengamot needs to gather itself and be uniform in a decision to uproot her. Being disjointed and afraid will do nothing." And a glance goes up and down the hall.

"And… advise your father this; he and the council should seek help from foreign neighbors. Europe. I can virtually guarantee you that the French Ministry is likely as displeased as you are. Not to mention the rest. I have no doubts that America is upset with the way Umbridge treated a citizen as well. The best way to cause trouble for her is to outnumber her. She will have no choice but to step aside or go down in flames." Plus, he is giving off a good show of avoiding talking about the birds again.

"Dumbledore?" Siobhan's disdain shows clearly through her voice. "She's already had him removed from the Wizengamot. Fine lot of help he's been." Maybe it's her Slytherin nature, or maybe she's come to her conclusions the hard way, but one thing's for certain; Sio's faith in 'heroes' is seriously depleted. "The Aurors have their hands tied too." She should know. "And the Wizengamot are all afraid of her. She's authorized the use of Cruciatus in questionin's." Yes, Siobhan does believe that tidbit should be made quite public. "I think we've got people tryin' to pull in outside help, but so long as the people in general don't question her, nothin's gonna work." There's a pause as Sio watches Madoc, her lower lip being pulled between her teeth. "We need to discredit her any way we can in the public's eye, an' if we can get her jailed for a little bit, we might actually be able to salvage the Ministry before it goes up in flames."

Rene cringes visibly. Mnnneh! No curses. "Dumbledore is a great man. My father has told me many stories of him. I know he is doing something that we cannot see. Whether or not he has been removed from a council- has little bearing on his ability to lead." It seems like ol'dad taught Rene a lot more than many people seem to realize. "I still think you should see him. Tell him your worries, Siobhan."

"Discredit does not come easily… especially if you aim to do it with a living creature. No matter how old." He pauses, a tiny smirk on his lips. "Now, if you wanted to send her a flaming bag of Abraxan dung, this conversation would be a lot less tense…"

Siobhan rolls her eyes. "Right, cause that conversation'll get me real far. I can just see it now; sittin' down to tea an' lemon candies, he smiles an' nods an' listens, then pats me on the head an' sends me away with some platitude or other that things'll all work out in their own time an' I shouldn't worry my pretty little head about it." She snorts and reaches out to smooth a few of Madoc's ruffled feathers. "An' it's not like I want to kill nothin'. I mean, they die of natural causes, right? I could put a stasis charm on one what's already dead and slip it in that way…" She sighs heavily and scrubs her face with her hands, further removing the makeup that'd been covering her dark circles. "Maybe you're right, Rene…" Even her voice sounds tired. "I'm just grabbin' at straws, y'know? I hate this." Feeling helpless.

"If it makes you feel better, I can send a letter back with Madoc. I cannot guarantee anything, save for my father wishing luck." That, Rene knows. "Though, I do admit, she seems more like the type to try and get a cute pet rather than divvy a creature for selling its parts. Planting one and calling neglect and illegal possession may not send her to prison, but she will not have an easy time living something like that down." He pauses again, peering at the bird in his lap and stroking its face.

"Or, perhaps- plant a badly charmed Fwooper instead. One that still calls, simply not as much." He assumes she knows what a Fwooper is.

Pushing her hands back through her hair, Siobhan's eyes flicker back and forth, flipping through information and thoughts only she can see. "No… If we're not gonna do it for sure, a letter's just too risky." Thus her more frequent use of Patronus. … Blink. Blinkblink. … "A Fwooper?" Her nose wrinkles in confusion. "Isn't that… Oh Rene, you're brilliant!"

Waiting, waiting- there it is. Sort of. "A fwooper. The colorful African bird that causes madness. Plant one in her home. If not that, office. Badly charmed, they will cry less than usual, but not silently." He smiles softly up at her now, patting Madoc's back. "It would be …extremely hard to contest that Fwoopers have no effect- look at old Uric, no? And of course she shall deny possessing one-" Siobhan had that wicked look earlier, and Rene makes his own, though it is not as obvious and more subtle- truly, as if a constrictor could smile. Siobhan is the type of snake to strike- a poison bite- while Rene's method of doing things is far more methodical. "-because it will have obviously driven her mad long ago."

Siobhan can't help it. She laughs. She laughs and flings herself at Rene, hugging the smaller blonde tightly. "That's fantastic!" she whispers excitedly before pulling away. "Where would we get one though?" She thinks on that a moment, her nose once again wrinkling. "I suppose I could ask… But how d'you charm one only to cry a little?"

Madoc seems to see this coming, hopping swiftly out of the way with an 'awk'. Rene lets out a squeak when he is grabbed up, but does not seem to physically protest what she does. He plays the part of squeaktoy for a few moments. When she lets go, he blinks his surprise away. "Oh, um. Yes. They sell them at pet shops- a license is required to keep one, but it is simply putting your name on a list, because the bird itself must be charmed once a month. It is not dreadfully uncommon for the birds to be bought and simply unregistered…" As long as someone kept the charm up to date, nobody would be the wiser. It is easy to hide a bird if it makes no noise. "Just get someone bad at charms to do it." Duh.

"Pet shops, huh?" Siobhan seems to seriously consider this. "That… Could actually work." She looks about to question further when a large snowy owl careens right into her chest. "Oof!" Suppose that window shouldn't have been left open. "Alright, alright… Henrik, y'found me, it's fine it's - when she finally sees who the letter is from, her face pales and she gathers parchment and owl in one arm and slings her bookbag over the other shoulder. "I'm sorry, Rene. I've gotta go." And with that, she runs off towards the Astronomy Tower.

Just before Henrik bowls in the open window, Rene hoists MAdoc up onto his small shoulder, and the bird finds a spot with one foot on either side of the boy's neck. He lets out a warbling noise when the owl does appear, wings lifting and tips flapping at the air. Rene watches the new bird, his hair fluttering about when Madoc fusses. "Mmm?" He barely has a chance to wave, but offers a leaving word anyway. "If you need anything-" -let him know.

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