|Scene Title||Corner Discussions and Decisions|
|Synopsis||Jack goes to get food and supplies, and runs into a couple people. He calls Sirius in to clear the air.|
|Date||Dec 12, 1994|
|Watch For||Groucho glasses?|
For a household of three and a deranged elf, it takes some work and supplies. There are things that the elf can get himself. However, there are things that he can't. Some of these things Jack tends to find in Muggle London much cheaper than at the wizarding places, and so he ventures out into the wide world, hand near his wand and a casual gait. He's changed his features slightly with transfiguration, but not enough that he wouldn't be recognized should someone look closely. This is more for his sister's benefit than anyone elses's. He steps out of Grimmauld Square and walks down the road, wanting to find that little grocery store that sold those … It's up the road and around the corner. That's right. He snaps his fingers and whistles, feeling pretty good about getting out of the dark house for awhile.
From the street corner ahead, a man stands with his back to Jack. He wears a long black jacket, and a dirty baseball cap. Shoulders hunched against the cold, the man lights a cigarette with a match and tosses it aside. He coughs a couple of times and steps into the light of the street lamp.
With no real answer as to why he of all Aurors was put on the 'find the fugitives' squad, other than answers fueled by paranoia and speculation, Alistaire Phoenix finds himself once more on the trail of famed fugitive and newspaper sensation, Sirius Black and his band of merry irregulars. It almost goes without saying that Alistaire never for one second believed the story the Prophet told about the escape. However, he too is in near Muggle clothes, not that his usual wizarding kit looked too weird by their standards anyway. It's been a not-so-merry chase as he's kept up the search, desperately hoping he could find the escapees before the Ministry did… or his own partners. And yet, he still had to make sure the Ministry didn't think he was deliberately leading the chase awry. A fine tightrope to be walking on as he strides down the street on the pavement, eyes scanning the crowd for any familiar faces, or slightly familiar ones. He too has his hand on his wand in the pocket of his long coat, his brows furrowed as he passes the bloke who's smoking.
Jack is paying more attention to the buildings on the street than the people, really. He's on a mission to get the supplies and get back to that house again. He frowns as he scans the area for another small shop he remembered being nearby. He strides confidently down the street, walking toward Alistaire, brushing up against him as he passes. He sees the man in the light, but passes him off as local color. "Where is that…" He murmurs to himself, and keeps walking. He ends up stopping right near Christian, scanning the row across the street. It was right here, wasn't it?
The man continues on the coughing fit, eventually he seems to loose his balance and starts to fall over. "Sorry Gov'nar," He rasps as he catches on to Jack to steady himself. "Just trying to survive the night cold." He looks up to Jack's face, and winks. Its Christian. "You wouldn't happen to know where I can find the 'Dog Star' would ya?" He says, still disguising his voice.
When Jack brushes up against him, Alistaire reacts by focusing his attention on the person who did that, which means now he's using all of his critical senses to pierce the disguise, especially when the smoking dude hangs on Jack in a very odd way. Pretending to turn to help the poor coughing man, Alistaire shoots a /look/ at Jack. "Fancy seeing you here," he says out of the side of his mouth, even as his gaze immediately shifts, understandably suspiciously, toward Christian, whom he doesn't know.
Startled, Jack stops cold. "Dog star, you say?" He looks at the man, not recognizing him at first. "Other than in the night sky, you mean?" And then, it dawns on him who it is. "Faulkner," he whispers happily, then hears another voice recognizing him. This is a voice he knows much better. "Phoenix." There's a relieved sigh. "Teach me to go get food." He rolls his eyes. "I know where the star is. Who's askin?" Not so much 'who are you?' as 'why do you want to know?' He jerks his head toward the corner, and catches each pair of eyes in turn. "C'mon. Out of sight from the wide world." He's got a self-deprecating sarcasm in his voice as he starts to walk that way to the solitude of the space between two nearly-abandoned buildings.
"Love to Gov," Christian rasps. "But there is this other guy see. He man not be so nice to the Star if you know what I mean." He motions toward Alistaire. "There is only so much trust going around, you see?"
"Yeah, especially when some of us are doing our level best to make sure certain people's telescopes are busted and can't find that star," Alistaire remarks, not bothering to keep his voice down. After all, the best way to advertise that you're doing something illicit is either to hold up a neon sign or to start acting shifty. "Who's this?" he asks of Jack, not bothering to give his name, although Jack already blabbed half of it.
"Would it help if I told you I trusted this guy?" Jack turns back when he hears the words. "I mean…" He glances at Alistaire. "He's not going to try to put the star out without good reason." At least that's what he believes Alistaire thinks. "Friend of the family." That's a broad statement, but it does include the truth. "Not really that fond of the more feminine colors, if you know what I mean." He gives a look to Alistaire. "One of the lesser bunch." Jack hopes that's enough of an explanation to mean a hitwizard. "He's probably supposed to be doin' the same thing. But …" He's not certain what Christian wants. "What do you want? You're not acting like you're gonna paint me pink…" He struggles to keep things cryptic, but it's not working. "At least I'm not getting that vibe from you." Apparently, part of this conversation is going to be had out in the middle of things.
"Lets get off the Street," Chris rasps. "You trust'em that's all I need to know." Chris begins to hobble off, motioning for the others to follow. His gait is definitely different than the one he usually has, and he as apparently stooped to take a full half a meter off of it height.
Alistaire keeps up the good Samaritan act with a hand cupped under Christian's elbow, not touching, but near enough to grab if necessary… either by the man's frail-seeming gait or due to any sudden movements. Jack's comment regarding the ladies is taken with an indifferent shrug, as if he really could care less about that. "I'd recommend being careful, even around me. I wouldn't put it past the old hag to have me followed, because even she's not that stupid to have given me this job on the assumption I'd do it the way she wants it done." While his words are terse and cautious, his tone is actually very light and his teeth are grinning, as if their conversation is light and pleasant. Say, the weather.
Jack is glad for the trust in him by both men. He nods, and walks toward the space between the buildings, then surreptitiously casts a silence and privacy bubble. He barely takes the wand out of his pocket and then he turns to face the other two men. The first question out of his mouth for Alistaire is fairly predictable. "Is it gonna get Rosie into trouble?" He figures the auror will do everything in his power to keep his sister safe, but he has to check. Then, having asked that question, he turns to Christian. "What do you want to know, Faulkner?"
Christian stands up straight, and strips off the coat. He drops the cigarette and steps on it. "Bloody Disgusting…" He says coughing once or twice. "I want the truth. I want Justice. Most of all, I want people to get what's coming to them. I don't think Sirius is guilty of the charges against him, but I still think he needs to be found. Before the other members of the task force do." He turns to Alistaire. "I am not Crucioing anyone, so you can relax."
"I'm glad to hear that," Alistaire replies to Christian, although his trust isn't yet given. Still, he's willing not to hex the guy into the next millennium for right now, that's enough for the moment. "Siobhan has more than enough trouble on her hands. Ruddy housemates aren't bothering to help her, so I am." He shrugs once more, leaving that subject for now. "What /I/ want to know," he says, eyeballing Jack with his most intense stare, "is what /really/ happened that night. No reason for you lot to rabbit, not when you had the trial in the bag, practically."
"Damned Dementors. Scores of 'em. If I wouldn't've had Rosie's joy-bites in my pocket, we'd've been screwed." Jack answers Alistaire's question first. His comments about Sio get a nod, though he worries about that part himself. "And, instead of sending other aurors or hitwizards…" Jack looks at each in turn, "we got a group of obliviators as rescuers. What does that tell you?" He turns to Christian. "Justice. Yeah. Well, you heard most of the truth at the trial. It was Peter Pettigrew." He shrugs, and continues. "I'm a bit biased, I'm sure, because I've been friends with these guys since I was a little tyke. Thought they hung the moon, actually." He grins. "But I know Black's good people. His only crime, that I'm aware of, is that he was an unregistered animagus. And that's a fine, right?" He glances between them again. "Well, and that bit with Pettigrew last year…" Ok, that isn't helping the case, but it's honesty. "But it got this whole thing started." He isn't sure what else to say, so he leans up against the building behind him.
"I want to hear that from Black himself," Christian says crossing his arms over his chest. "No courtrooms or judges. Just one man to another. I was on my way to get there, just before the incident happened. I was delayed. The one day my alarm clock decided not to work. Sorry for that." He sighs and paces a bit. "I don't think the trial was in the bag either. The pink demon would have found something. Escaping is the best way for Black to do some good, and if we play our cards right he only needs to be on the run for a limited time…I can't believe I'm saying this."
"I spent 7 years in the same dorm with those guys. The only person I'd've expected them to take out was that slimy git Snape," Alistaire mutters, aware that Siobhan adores said teacher, but there's very little way a fellow Gryffindor would overlook that instinctive loathing. And then Christian speaks, and Alistaire's eyes narrow slightly. "How do you reckon that? It's obvious that the old hag has no respect for the law… at least, none she didn't write herself. Things'd've gone better if she hadn't chucked Dumbledore off the Wizengamot first… the old man shoulda fought to stay on if he knew this was gonna go down," he adds in an accusatory tone of voice, but sighs. "What's done is done. Maybe he reckons he's got bigger fish to fry and we can sort all this out without his help, fine."
"I don't think he's just sitting on his hands, though." Jack shifts his weight, leaning against a different portion of the wall. "He has a tendency to do stuff nobody expects. I think that's what's going on here." He says nothing about Ali's comments about Snape, though he privately watched Snape for an entirely different reason, and still does. He merely listens to the auror's other comments, wanting to hear what Christian will say to them. "I'd have to ask him, really. I know he's wanting to stay safe, but…" He knows they can use every ally they can find. "I don't want to get either him or …" Or Holly. "Either of them in a situation where they can't get out of it." He looks down at his hand. "I mean, I believe you wouldn't…" He hesitates to express what he's thinking that clearly, but he gives Christian a look that will probably do the job. "But, in this situation, they're basically like family, and you know how lions are when their pride is endangered." If you want to talk about House differences.
"You said it," Chris says, gesturing to Alistaire. "What's done is done." He leans his back against the wall, taking his hat off and letting his hair fall. "I can understand that you do not want to endanger anyone, Mr. Noble. If I was in your position, I would do the same. I can help no one if I do not know what the situation is however. No more obfuscation, no more hiding behind smoke and mirrors. Now, I've already alerted my contacts in the Metropolitan Police. They are looking for you guys, but they are reporting to me not Umbridge. I can be the eyes or ears that you need, but I need to know what to look for. To do that, I'm gonna need everyone surrounding this issue to level with me. I'll give up my wand if it will make you feel safer."
There's a look on Alistaire's face that clearly says he's not giving up his wand. Ever. Except maybe to one person, and neither man here is that person. "What we need is to get that old hag outta the way, and get a proper person in place, one who will respect the laws and not change them to suit their narrow-minded views… and who is willing to acknowledge being wrong," he says with a sigh, keeping his gaze shifting around, not looking like he's up to no good, but automatically looking around him to make sure he has a less likely chance of being attacked successfully. "The biggest thing is that we need to get the /truth/ out," he says, glancing from Christian back to Jack. "If the Prophet won't take it, the Quibbler will. People need to be awakened again, to remember to use their sense and not let people play on their fears and prejudices."
"That might actually be helpful." Jack responds to Christian. "We'll see." He risks a bit, casting Junior and sending him bounding away, directly toward Grimmauld Square. It's not too far away, so it may not take that long for a response. "We'll see what he says." He shrugs. When Alistaire speaks, Jack nods. "Yeah. Kind of what I was saying. If there were a way to discredit her…" He frowns. "It's really too bad that Liam's got his wand so far up his…" He rolls his eyes. "He'd be great at this sort of thing. But he's such a prat." This also is old news. "I also thought about the Prophet. Wasn't there someone who did a good story on Holly a while back? Wonder if he or she would print something more sane."
"I like the idea of posting something, anything, to raise the awareness of the public," Christian says, crossing his arms over his chest. "To be perfectly honest, maybe we could leak some of the inter-department memos showing how she's compromised the entire system. Authorizing an unforgivable curse…Honestly…" Christian coughs again, but it seems more of a growl than anything else.
"We /have/ to start discrediting her," Alistaire says with a scowl. "Hell, at this point, we should be /revolting/ like the colonists did a couple of centuries back when they didn't like the crown being in charge. She won't give up power, that's for certain. And she won't see anything beyond her own viewpoint. And with someone like /her/ in charge, it'd be a right laugh for Voldemort to suddenly pop up and go 'oh hi!' and watch us fail to stop him, because she pissed off all the not-fully-human groups. Pretty soon, blood status will actually /matter/ legally if she's not stopped… and she has to be."
"Me too." Jack wholeheartedly concurs with Christian's idea about using the press for a bully pulpit, or at least to get the truth out. "That's actually a good idea, especially if they're still on Ministry parchment with her seal" Pretty hard to deny that. He frowns, deep in thought, and then his expression brightens as a silvery-white hippogiff flies gracefully toward him, Sirius' gravelly voice echoing out. "Good precautions. Where are you at, exactly?" Jack smiles, letting the other two draw their own conclusions about the sound. "Give me a moment." He glances around, and counts something out. Within a moment, Junior is bounding away again, ostensibly with a reply, including how many buildings away from the intersection their little corner is.
"Open rebellion is not called for yet," Christian says quickly. "When it is, I will take my place on the firing line, but not now. We cannot afford open conflict now. I will not condone any course of action that is going to lead us into an open conflict….Not yet anyway. I have the sinking feeling there is more to this than meets the eye. If and when we pull the trigger we've got to make damn sure all of our ducks are in a row. We don't even know who to trust right now, or where the battle lines will be drawn."
Alistaire gives the hippogriff a shrewd gaze, but says nothing about it for right now, especially when Christian speaks. "Who else do you want to see on the run simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time?" he queries with a little bit of heat in his voice. "How many other laws will you tolerate being written to extinguish even the slightest freedom for anyone other than pureblooded wizardkind? How many other groups do you want to see her alienate and therefore make them twice or even three times more susceptible for Voldemort's minions to try and commandeer? Who else gets chucked to the dementors without a fair and proper trial?" His face shows more disappointment than fury, mostly because he's not talking to an enemy, but to a potential friend. "Believe me, if you think that's not going far enough, you'd better imagine that she's thought of it and is already planning on ways to stop it."
"Good plan of action Faulkner," Sirius utters as he approaches the group. Seems he got Jack's last message while en route. The suit he wears is old fashioned, no robes over them. His hair has been cropped short and the beard shaved off. All that's left is a bushy mustache. An old and battered fedora is worn, pulled down and shading his eyes from view. Not the best of disguises, but the one that worked best has been taken from him.. and this will do well enough to distance himself from the well circulated mugshots in the muggle and wizarding community.
Jack must've dispelled the privacy bubble when he saw Sirius coming, but he recast it quickly when the man is closer in. "Thought you'd be using the other means." He shrugs, having expected Padfoot. "But since that's well-known…" He understands. "Usually, our family's not one for going with the grand gestures, Faulkner, especially when it endangers their members. But Da's even getting to the point where he's unsettled. I don't think it'll take much for Rose to encourage him to go full-out against her." Still he keeps her unnamed. "Well, here he is, Faulkner." He looks to Sirius. "Want me to hang on to his wand, or you alright?" He offers to be the neutral party. Alistaire gets a long gaze, as well. This is the moment of truth. They might've been roommates, but they weren't exactly the best of friends.
"Alistaire, I need you to listen to me for a moment," Christian says, his steel gaze falling on the man. "What you are saying right now is exactly what I want to do. I want to charge into the ministry and liberate it. Turn it back over to the people. However, if we go in there guns blazing and take over, then there is no difference between us and Death Eaters. In the public's eyes, we become one in the same no matter what out intentions are. Umbridge has got the entire system twisted around her finger. Right now, our best plan is to change that. Get the word out, and make the public look at their leaders. We all know the power of the masses. Then we can move, not before, not after." He takes a breath when Sirius arrives. He regards the man for a long moment. He quickly draws his wand, and points it toward the man. Taking a breath, he tosses it to Sirius. "You control the power now Mr. Black," He says, nerves on edge. "Tell me the truth. Nothing but the truth. No court room. No safe house. I'm the prisoner now, and its your move."
Alistaire gives Christian a look of mild disgust. "I never said anything about charging into the Ministry," he remarks as he watches the other man hand his wand over to Black. He himself doesn't flinch or freak or anything when Sirius shows up. "That mustache is rubbish, mate," he finally says after one brief examination of the other. "You'd be almost better off with Groucho glasses. Anyway, let's hear it," he adds wearily. His own wand is nowhere in sight, his hands in his pockets, although he continues looking about, just in case. "Either you did it and are being incredibly stupid right now to turn up in front of a former dorm-mate who remembers you from school, or you didn't do it and we need to get that hag deposed so you can get a proper trial."
Sirius shakes his head at Jack. If anything happens, that'll be a real moment of truth for the wizard as to Alistaire and Christian. "I would recommend caution, and fighting for now in ways that are manageable. There are other ways than slinging spells. As for Umbridge's control, she's one in a long list to do similar. She's not alone in being a leader the masses needs to be warned against. The people in general are sheep and she's herding them." He glances aside at Christian, "You wanted to speak with me? I shouldn't be out in the open too long." Plus he snuck out on Holly, and she's not going to be pleased. With a faint smile, he catches the wand as it's tossed his way. "There's a great deal of truth to be told. Care to narrow down what you would like me to share?" Alistaire's comments are met with a shrug. "Been a bit too busy to actually work on a proper disguise. Not like I had any plans to stroll about in daylight." He's a sharp one, but both Alistaire and Christian are asking for a rather vague description of 'it'. So he's not intentionally being obtuse, but he would like it a bit narrowed down. "Are you referring to Pettigrew and the Muggles? The Cup? Escaping several times from custody? No. I did not murder Pettigrew, he's still very much alive. I have yet to actually kill anyone. I never even so much as killed a Death Eater who deserved it."
After Jack's got the men talking, he falls silent, leaning back against the wall again, crossing his arms across his body in a relaxed pose. He's just here as facilitator. He knows a lot of what Sirius might say, and will input when he can, but he's not going to say much at this point. However, he does snicker at Alistaire's comments on Sirius' appearance. "You know he wasn't the brill one at the muggle look, Phoenix." He shakes his head. "That was usually Lupin's thing." The werewolf does much better at Muggle clothing. However, it's totally irrelevant to the conversation at hand. He falls silent again, only snickering a couple more times as he thinks about Sirius wearing 'Groucho glasses'. Thanks, Ali. Thanks, much.
"You've never killed anyone then?" Christian says raising his eyebrow. "Well, there's that. What is your connection to these men? Are the ministry officials who seem to be protecting you only doing it because they are aware of the truth, or are they doing it because of something else, and how do they know said 'truth' about Pettigrew?" Its not hard to tell that he's slipped into interrogation mode.
Alistaire doesn't need the big reveal after the point about Pettigrew was made. He already didn't believe the charges and all this crap trying to deny him a proper trial is just that, s'far as he knows. He doesn't bother talking about the Cup incident, since that was covered to his satisfaction in court. He smirks knowingly over at Jack every time the latter snickers, leaving the other two to it, since he didn't really need much convincing to begin with.
Sirius shrugs his shoulders slightly, "Never was one for disguises anyway. Subtlety, it can be such a waste." Which would be why he charmed a motorbike to fly. A loud, large and heavy motorbike. At the question from Christian, he sighs a bit heavily, "No, I've not killed anyone at all. And if the Ministry had of properly inspected my wand after my arrest, they would have known that as well. Which men are you referring to? Last count I had, there weren't that many people on my side at all. As for Pettigrew, there are only a handful of people who were present when we had him last year." Oh he picked up on the interrogation mode, he would have to be incredibly dense to not have done so. "So there really is no tangible proof on Pettigrew beyond what was given in court, and the testimony of a few people the Ministry is not going to listen to."
Jack starts to answer Chris' questions about why he and Alistaire support Sirius, but then reminds himself that Chris wants to hear it from the dog's mouth, so to speak. So, he clamps his mouth shut, catching Alistaire's smirk as he does. He shakes his head and shifts a little, trying to find a comfortable spot against the uneven wall. He does attempt to clarify, though, unable to stop himself from being completely uninvolved. "Do you mean Phoenix and I?"
"Yes Mr. Noble," Chris says rubbing his eyes. "I want to know why, but apparently, not even Sirius knows why. I'm satisfied that you are not guilty of the crimes you are accused of, Sirius. What I need to know now is what you are planing, and how I can help?"
"I was in the same year as Sirius, Remus, Peter, and not least of all, James Potter." It's the core of why he believes the man's story. There's not much a bunch of guys can hide from one another, living together for 7 years, although their big furry secrets got past him… or he didn't bother asking, and they weren't advertising. "Sirius was the better wizard than Pettigrew, by far. So /that/ part of the story kind of makes sense, until you remember the Muggle axiom that treachery always wins out over skill. To this day, I still wonder why that blasted Hat put Pettigrew in with the rest of us, because he wasn't brave in the slightest, not unless his better-skilled and better-liked… hell, better /looking/ mates were around. I'd always had trouble believing that Sirius had done it, even back then… but then, after Voldemort fell, I had bigger concerns afterwards." He doesn't explain what they were other than with a curt, "And Sirius was in Azkaban by then, so he was out of circulation."
"I didn't say that I did not know why. I just did not know to whom you were referring to as you asked no specifics. Just generalized terms." Sirius says as he holds up a hand placatingly. "I just like to have specific questions if I'm to give you an answer. The only crime I committed was being foolish to have my trust misplaced, along with not exactly acting innocent following breaking out of Azkaban. As to my plans? I do apologize as I'm not going to divulge them right now." Smiling tightly, he looks to Alistaire, giving the man a nod, "Sorting Hat knows what it's doing when it comes to students." Personally? It took a LOT of guts to go up against your friends, even if it was for the wrong reasons. "For the moment I plan to lay low, watch, gather information and strike when I can and how I can. So long as Umbridge has her throne, I can forget about a fair trial."
"And I started school in their fourth year, and the 'Marauders', as they dubbed themselves', were some of the only people to welcome me. They pranked me with a cheering charm and helped me get over my fight with my older brother Liam — who was a year behind them." Jack looks down at his hands, and mutters to himself. "And a complete prat. Still is." He shakes his head. "Anyway, I started sort of following them around. Their nicknames were 'Moony, Padfoot, Wormtail and Prongs'. You can guess who was who, now." Or at least if he has half a brain, he can make the connections. "I was always curious as to why, especially when Lupin showed up with a big black dog named 'Padfoot'." He chuckles. "That was a good one, Sirius." It still cracks him up sometimes. "Peter has his own brand of courage. It just means doing the wrong thing." He shrugs. "There's good ones and bad ones in every House, I think." Living with his sister has convinced him of that much.
Christian listens patiently. "Like I said, I am convinced you are innocent," He says crossing his arms. "So there is a small group of individuals who you trust because they went to school with you? I can see where that comes from. I can keep the ministry off your back as much as possible and I have plenty of contacts with the muggle police force that we could use, but if I supposed to help you, then I need to know what you are planing."
"I need to know that too, mate," Alistaire says to Sirius with a mild shrug, still looking about and keeping his eyes peeled. "Simply because it's my skinny arse on the line right now, doing the dance to keep ahead of the game and still let you get away. If I look too incompetent, I'll get sacked, and you'll get someone after you who can't tip you off…"
Sirius chuckles a bit at Jack, "It needed doing." As his 'disguise' is complimented, he bows with a flourish. "Only two people living knew that form, I use what works. Peter was the sort to need to align himself with the strongest on the playground. In school, it was James, Remus and I. Afterwards? He went to the biggest, baddest and strongest to keep him safe." He shakes his head at Christian, "Just do your job. Act as if you're doing what you're told. Shacklebolt in the Auror office can help point you in certain directions in the search for me, seeing as he's still in charge of the search." And Kingsley might get annoyed if toes get stepped on. Not that anyone would know, the man is like marble at times. "There are more important matters at hand than the situation with myself and Miss Maplewood. The entire Ministry is in Umbridge's hands right now, and the woman just might run unchecked. At least before Fudge had a rein on her."
With a shrug, Jack decides to input a bit here. "Far as I know, guys, we're mainly staying put in one of the old places with enough curses to employ me for about half a year." He rolls his eyes, and grins at Sirius. "Other than that, it's fly-by-the-seat, yet." He stands up straight, the wall starting to make his back sore. "Unless you've got more of a definite plan?" When Sirius brushes them off again, he rolls his eyes. "Guess that's a solid no, then." He snickers, and then turns serious again. "If you have ideas, we should find a way to communicate. I mean, I know how to send Junior 'round. Not sure if you two do…" They saw Buckbeack-specter come and talk, so maybe they get the idea, but he isn't positive. "We're not trying to get anybody else in trouble here. Just wanting to stay safe until we can get him freed properly." And with things getting more dicey, it's getting harder to be safe.
"Alright, I'll do the best to keep the heat off of you," Chris says, holding out his hand to accept his wand back. "You aren't the only one to have his tail end on the line, Alistaire. You and I are both on this task force to find Sirius. Pulling the wool over the eyes of Umbridge's pet isn't going to be easy, but I'll do my best."
"I know how to do that with a Patronus," Alistaire says, focusing his mind on the here and now, not the lost dead past. "But we should still have some kind of plan, because the other people I've got with me aren't the stupidest people on the planet… and sometimes whipping out a Patronus just can't be done given circumstances and company, so a basic plan would be very helpful."
"Owl post will find me, as Faulkner's already found out. Communication should be kept to a minimum however. I'm laying low, and trying to stay out of sight." Until today, obviously. Sirius does shoot a look to Jack as he slips about where they're staying. Say more please, only don't! Black offers Christian his wand back once the man holds out his hand for it. "I'm sure you two can manage. You aren't alone in the lion's den, and the woman doesn't strike me as incredibly bright. She's knowledgeable enough to be bloody dangerous."
Jack intentionally didn't say which Manor, or where, just that they are safe. "What? I didn't …" He cuts off his sentence as they discuss ideas. It's Sirius' show after all. "I don't know if we'd need regular updates, unless you want Rosie to send 'em to me. She's sneaky." And no one would fault a brother and sister corresponding. "She's scary, is what she is." He gives a shudder. "I do need to get those supplies before the places close, Sirius, or we won't have any supper." He gives a smirk. "So, any more quick questions before I go?"
"Of course Sio is sneaky," Alistaire says with a slightly more fond tone of voice for the young witch. "She's a Slytherin… proof that not all of them are bad. Just most of them," he adds darkly. "At any rate, we'll do what we can to keep the hounds at bay… you knew I was gonna say it," he adds quickly to Sirius with a knowing smirk. "But if there's anything we need to know, make sure we know it as soon as possible. Or as Mad-Eye would say, 'CONSTANT VIGILANCE!' He even sticks a finger up in the air in time with his gesture.
"I'll keep an eye on the situation then," Christian says, taking his wand and putting it away. "Promise me you will keep me posted, Sirius. You know how to find me. You two as well." He indicates Jack and Alistaire. He puts the coat back on and pulls his hair back. "You know where to find me, I just hope you aren't too late."
"We've got our ways of getting updates, I do apologize for playing this one close to the vest. Your assistance at this time is very much appreciated," Sirius says as he looks to Alistaire and Christian in turn. He does bark a laugh at Alistaire's choice in words. "If we catch wind of anything, the information will circulate. I've been through this sort of need for secrecy for a good year, and before that? During the first war." He eyes Christian, a bit of a calculated expression on his face, "Just keep safe. Unfortunately at the moment, we're in a sticky position of wanting to act, but not having enough room to do so. Those in greater positions of power, if they're on the side of good, hopefully then can exercise /some/ control and hold up against Umbridge."
Jack shrugs, having nothing more to add to the conversation. "Thanks for coming out, Sirius." He grins, and turns to the two other men. "Thank you." For supporting Sirius, for covering their asses, for bearing the brunt of everything. "If you need anything we can give you, let us know, too." This works both ways. He holds out his hand to one and then the other for a quick shake before he scurries off to get the food and other supplies.
Christian takes Jack's hand and shakes it. "Be careful," he says, with an intense look. "I am not to good at prison breaks, so don't get caught." He turns to leave, but stops like he is about to say something. "Keep your heads down. This is about to get really bad before it gets any better." He heads to the opposite end of the alley and out into the night.
Alistaire gives both Jack and Sirius the handshakes in question, big manly ones involving grasping their arms with the opposite hand. Not anywhere near a manly hug, but definitely more amicable than a simple polite handshake. "I'd say 'stay out of trouble', but I know neither of you would listen," he says to both of them, then nods to Christian. "Nice to have met you," he says before the other departs. And this time, he decides to simply Apparate away, less suspicious than having a bunch of guys leave the same alley at the same time.
"Send an owl, a message can get to me through Tonks as well. My best cover is blown, but I can always work on my disguise. I've got the sneaky bit down pat, and if I need to put my ear to the ground I can. Just say so." Sirius's best method of communication is with Harry, who he leaves out of this. The teen has enough to worry about without additional adult burdens. He too reaches a hand out to shake to the men in turn. "That's the way it's been in my experience, Faulkner. Remember, she's only temporary. There will need to be a full election if she wishes to make an attempt at keeping her position."
Jack is satisfied, and he nods curtly. "Let me leave first. Then you two can go one at a time. He grins, and turns to walk out, dispelling the privacy bubble as he does, heading toward the shops to get the supplies he came out here for in the first place.