1995-07-10: Dark Reassurance


Whitmore_icon.gif Edwin_icon.gif

Scene Title Dark Reassurance
Synopsis Whitmore checks on one of the Death Eaters.
Location Hogsmeade High Street, The three broomsticks (for a moment) then Edwin's house
Date Jul 10, 1995
Watch For Grumbling
Logger Only the Shadow knows (Whitmore)

On a warm summer evening, Whitmore finds himself in Hogsmeade. He stands in the shadow of a building, wearing one of his guises. Perhaps this one is recognized; perhaps not. Either way, he leans back, creating an indolent pose for his personna. His ease is belied by the way in which he continually glances around. He's waiting for someone. Or something.

Whitmore is probably not waiting for something squat and waddling and wrinkly and with a wagging tail, but that is exactly what he will notice first coming 'round the corner of High Street: an aging Basset hound, and one that can be recognized as the companion of a certain Hit Wizard. One usually follows the other, and it should be no surprise when Edwin strides into view behind the animal, the base of his walking stick tapping against the cobbles. Knowing the wizard, he and his four-legged companion are on their way to the Three Broomsticks. Don't judge.

"There you are." The current incarnation of Shadow has a soft, deep voice. Very like his own, yet unlike enough that no one could compare them. It's Psy ops. Or something. "I never thought you to be one to be so … domestic, Gifford."

Edwin comes to a sudden stop and whips his head around when addressed, a hand reaching for his waistcoat as if to draw the wand stowed in one of its pockets - but he's quickly put at his ease by the accusation of domesticity. No one but a select few individuals could say such a thing without expecting fiery retribution. The man turns and slaps his thigh to call the dog back and the animal obeys, shuffling over to sit at his master's heel. "Domestic? I shouldn't think I'd be denied a night of stout, should I?"

Whitmore's quiet laugh breaks the silence after a moment or two. "Oh, dear. I was referring to your fuzzy friend there." He won't mention that he's got his own little raven. Purely practical! No sentiment involved! He steps out into the lit street. "You're off to the 'Sticks, then?" The plain way of speaking sticks in his craw — it's difficult for him to speak that way without correcting himself — but he does it. "Care for a bit of company and conversation, then? You know, about the important things in life."

"He's my daughter's." Technically. But the dog is pretty much Gifford's, all things considered, and the 'daughter' bit probably isn't helping with the charge of being domestic. Edwin nods once and then tips his head towards the pub in question. "After you, good sir. And what might I call you this evening?"

"Riiiight." Whitmore leads the way into the pub, and considers for a long moment. "You can call me Brian tonight, Gifford. Brian Jones." Yes, he's picked a fairly common name. That's rather the point. He slows his pace to keep in personna, and inwardly sighs, the only evidence of his annoyance a roll of his eyes. "Have things been quiet here?" He doesn't specify which kind of quiet. That's for Ed to decide.

A grunt from the Hit Wizard is the only answer that 'Brian' will get for the first few seconds of hangtime after his question, since Edwin takes that time to mull over a proper response. "Quiet enough. I suppose it might just be that I'm starting to grow bored. I may need to go hunting in the country to alleviate the dullness." Hunting Muggles, that is. For funsies. Ed used to be pretty well known for that sort of thing, and the thought of it brings a smile to his face as he steps after Whitmore and shakes off his boots at the door.

"Do let me know. I could use the hunting to relieve the … stress … my current position brings." 'Brian', too loves to hunt Muggles. And then experiment on them. "Well, we have a few things in the works…" He sounds for all the world like he's planning a business meeting, not a series of terrorist attacks. "We wanted to be assured that you would …" He rolls his eyes. This conversation is so inane. He hates random check ups. And having been in the room when his Lord was annoyed, he got assigned to one. "Well, if things go as planned, your input would be most valuable." There is a malicious glint in Whit's eyes at that one. He knows the other man's reputation. It's a good one, to his way of thinking.

Edwin has always been more the type to kill his playthings when he's through with them, but if he had a hunting companion - well, he might be convinced to hold himself back from that last murderous Unforgivable. It's not an impossibility, anyway. He's also not thrilled with the necessity for appearing normal and unguarded, and before Whitmore gets too terribly far into the bar Edwin reaches out to tap his shoulder. "I'd be happy to offer as much input as is requested of me, but now that I think of it a pub might not be the best thing for my stomach right now." Somewhere else, somewhere where things can be spoken of openly - that's more the ticket.

Whitmore is all too happy to comply with that suggestion. "I think that is a capital idea." The plebeian phrase turns his stomach to say, but he says it anyway. He walks toward the door again, not acknowledging anyone else in the room but Edwin. "Where, then? This is your territory."

What. What. What is that there - oh dear. That is Edwin, barely containing a grin at the other man's discomfort. Hahaha. He sees your disdain for the lower classes there. Edwin tips his hat to the bar in apology for the disturbance and then lets Whitmore pass him towards the door, chuckling all the way. "Down Ivy Lane. We'll speak at my place. Brian." PFfttthaha.

Whitmore knows the town well enough — what UK-raised wizard doesn't — so he heads down Ivy lane toward the Gifford home. "Your … daughter. She won't be in evidence, will she?" Now that he's stepped out of the spotlight, so to speak, his normal speech patterns return. "I should think a noisy bar more secure than a home with a child."

Whitmore knows the town well enough — what UK-raised wizard doesn't — so he heads down Ivy lane toward the Gifford home. "Your … daughter. She won't be in evidence, will she?" Now that he's stepped out of the spotlight, so to speak, his normal speech patterns return. "I should think a noisy bar more secure than a home with a child." He continues to glance around, barely flicking his gaze from place to place. "Are there … other like-minded individuals nearby, or are you rather alone here?"

It's not that long a walk from here to there. Edwin steps out onto the street and trails after Whitmore. The dog, recognizing the direction and the walk home, starts to trot on excitedly ahead with his tail wagging, cramped little footsteps and odd pacing putting him a bit past the Whitmore-creature on his way. "She's off with her mother on some absurd vacation. I believe they went to America for the summer." Can you believe it? America. How classless. "It's just me." Which has the benefit of answering more than one question - poor Edwin is all alone.

Whitmore can be mildly sympathetic on that front. With Rookwood in Azkaban, the DOM can be a very light-wizard type place. And he isn't a light wizard by anybody's definition. "Whatever for," he asks, nonplussed. "I've been to America. It's not anything to owl home about." Yes, he's saying that about the whole nation. And he was only there for a short while. For a conference. "Well, perhaps we can change that." He'd like to see some recruitment happen. They near the Gifford house, and Whit gazes at it. Interesting. He files the details away for future reference.

The dog reaches the home first and waddles up the steps before plunking himself down on the front porch, tail thumping behind him as he looks expectantly back at the men he has been escorting. "Recruitment, yes. That would be most beneficial, considering the unfortunate indisposition of many of our number." Edwin sidesteps Whitmore and eases up to the front door, unlocking it and then holding it open for the dog, who cheerfully trots inside. "After you, Jones."

Jones. That'd be him. He steps into the room, and looks around, not impressed, but not fussed, either. He finds a chair to sit in, and does so, waitng for all the little minutiae that comes along with entering one's own home. He leans back in his seat, and when that's finished, he raises his wand, and without a 'by-your-leave', he casts privacy spells. Several. Strong. "Now that we may speak plainly, you may call me 'Shadow', and I may speak as I normally do."

It's a modest home, and the sitting room that Whitmore guides himself to is well-furnished, if rather severe. Straight-backed chairs, a tiny coffee table, a stiff couch, and one larger high-backed armchair that could only belong to the master of the house. The fireplace is lit by a fire that doesn't give off too much heat but offers the room a nice glow. Edwin shuts and locks the door behind him, hanging his coat and jacket and then wandering in to watch Whitmore's spellwork lazily. "A pleasure, I'm sure."

Because of his status as an Unspeakable, and the fact that he's damn good with the disguises, Shadow's been Voldemort's 'hatchet' man. He does things others don't want to, or couldn't get away with. However, the downside is that he is nearly as lonely as his host when it comes to like-minded company. Perhaps more so. Of course, it could be the prickly personality, too. "So, what do you hear from up beyond?" He nods his head in the direction of the school. "It is summer, and perhaps nothing has happened since the Alumni Event, but we must cover all our bases." His chair, one of the straight-backed ones, sits near the "master's chair".

Perhaps Shadow should get a dog. It does help with the loneliness. Edwin loiters in the archway for a few moments more before heading into the room and taking up residence on his chair, the man folding one leg up and over the other as he leans back and allows himself to relax - home is really the only place a Death Eater can do such a thing. "Nothing. I've been kept occupied by my work, and I am unfortunately not tapped into the events of Hogwarts. It honestly doesn't concern me, either. We should be focusing ourselves on real matters and not on children.'

Whitmore snorts. "You know that our Lord's main enemy resides at Hogwarts?" Both of them, really. "It isn't necessarily the bleating of the mindless sheep that concerns me. It is the movements of the surreptitious wolves among them." He does take in the information that Edwin gives him. "Work has picked up, then?" This might be promising.

"Dumbledore is old. He can't possibly survive for very much longer." Yes, Edwin just handwaved Dumbledore. Potter probably isn't even on his radar. "We could be doing more important things like spreading our influence and raining terror and death down upon our enemies - all this watching and waiting is driving me mad." The wizard folds his hands together across his lap and scowls at the reminder of such mundane things. Yes, he's one of the Death Eaters who has been chomping at the bit to start terrorizing Britain again. "The Ministry has me following several cases. Why?"

"Do not underestimate the old man, Gifford." Whitmore does not. He's seen and heard what the guy can do. "I too am looking forward to a more active role. And Our Lord promises us this soon. We will be allowed to 'rain terror and death down on our enemies' as you so cleverly put it." His tone is pedantic and patronizing on the last phrase, at least. "In the meantime, if you do see someone at work, or here around that might… fit in with Our Lord and his goals…" He frowns, wondering how else to put this. "We must vet them well, but new blood would be appreciated." A wry look, and he shifts in his seat.

Underestimating Dumbledore is exactly what Gifford seems to be doing, because it doesn't look as though he's heeding Whitmore's warnings about the aged Headmaster. Instead he shrugs and ignores the rebuke and simply focuses his attentions on the latter ideas of the conversation. "Criminals and thieves; really? I don't think they'd mix very well with most of us, but if we're down to scraping the bottom of the barrel-" The wizard sneers at that. Pfft. "I suppose I can keep my eyes open."

Whitmore is quickly becoming exasperated with this line of conversation. He makes a suggestion, Edwin pooh-poohs it. Rinse, Repeat. He scowls a little, and sighs. "Look, Gifford." His tone sharpens, even as it softens. "Perhaps they will not rise through the ranks to the very top, but I am certain they might be useful for — what's that delightful term? 'Grunt work.' " Let the lesser men run in and die. "Men will do much for a grudge. If we can exploit that…" Now it's his turn to wave his hand in an offhand manner. Y'know.

Edwin is good at frustrating people, it is one of his best qualities. He can't deny the validity of the other man's explanation, however, and after a few reluctant moments offers a nod. "Fair enough. I don't know how I'd manage to throw the Ministry off track of someone I'm supposed to be chasing after without raising suspicions, though. Do you know that Mad-Eye called me out in my own damn office? They're getting awfully brazen."

"That meddling old bastard." There's someone Whitmore really hates. "He's a pain in my side." He inhales quickly, pausing to calm himself. "Well, if you are unable to do much yourself, perhaps find a way to hand the information off…" He wishes he could get it himself. Perhaps there is a way. "I have a small collection box in the Owl Post Office here in Hogsmeade, and one in the one near the Ministry as well. Either will get to me." He's hesitant to even begin a parchment trail, but perhaps it would be worth it. "And for the love of all that's Dark, do be discreet."

Be discreet. Really? "I may not be the most subtle member of our ranks, Shadow, but I am not a simpleton and do not plan on broadcasting myself." Not yet, anyway. When the Dark Lord takes power again, though, it's a fair bet that Ed will be out on the front lines having himself a blast. The man frowns - he too is not terribly keen on the idea of leaving a trail of evidence behind him, but if it's the only way to do it… bah. "And that Auror Tonks did as well. Not retaliating against these impudent wretches is quite against my nature." This may or may not mean that Edwin plans on retaliating. Who knows!

"They will receive their due." Whitmore chomps at the bit, too, but then he goes off and does something like cursing Siobhan Noble into a painting! "Just be patient a short while longer, Gifford. And be ready." He rises. "It shall be… pleasantly diverting." He gives a real smile, though it's not a nice smile, and heads toward the door. Interview over.

Edwin watches Whitmore go, not rising with his guest. The Shadow knows the way out. What the man doesn't say, however, is that his patience has more or less run out - and that it's very, very likely that he'll be paying a couple of unfriendly visits to individuals who have managed to annoy him. "Let's not keep our noble ranks waiting for too long, mm? Do have a good evening, Jones."

"Indeed." The part to which Whitmore is referring isn't quite clear. Perhaps the whole thing. However, he doesn't elaborate, and slips back out into the night, into his element.

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