|Scene Title||Pamphlets and Paperwork|
|Synopsis||Siobhan and Jake enjoy a quiet bit of coffee between classes. Jack interrupts. Discussions ensue.|
|Location||Hogwarts - Noble's Office|
|Date||March 05, 1996|
|Watch For||Sneaky sisters and taunting brothers (and fiances!)|
Tuesday Mornings, Jack recalls, his sister has a free period about now. To be sure, he checks the time. Sure enough, it's close enough that he can head up to her office and meet his sister to make sure she's okay and that there isn't a huge amount of fallout from his meeting yesterday morning. He knocks gently on the door of her office, looking up and down the hallway. He's watching the kids wander past, laughing and talking. It pulls him back, and not all the memories are completely fond.
Siobhan is, to be sure, sitting in her office. With Q quite happily draped around her shoulders, she is curled up in her usual chair, enjoying a cup of coffee with Jake. This time she fixed the chair for him. No need for discomfort. She's dressed in leggings and knee-length boots, topped off with a belted tunic. Teaching robes are slung over the back of her chair and she stifles a giggle with the back of one hand to prevent coffee from coming out her nose. "You're a terrible human being, Jake. Just so you know." But she's grinning pretty brightly, so whatever he said must have been funny.
Jake is moving up in the world; his chair is comfortable instead of rickety. And Siobhan no longer looks like she'd rather let Q eat him. Life is good. "I know." he agrees, sounding far too cheerful about the supposed insult as the door is knocked on. "I'll get it. Just try not to snort that coffee again. I hear it stains, or something." What? One has to know their expensive fabrics and… oh, nevermind. The guards outside wouldn't have bothered letting whoever it is even knock if it weren't safe, so he doesn't hesitate when answering. And oh look who it is! "Hey, Jack!; Good timing, my man. I was going to go hunt you down when I left Siobhan's office." Whether he gets as warm a welcome from his sister is another matter entirely, obviously.
"Rosie I…" Jack begins, and then realizes his sister isn't alone. "Oh, hey, Jake." He glances between the two of them, listening to Jake's explanation about coming to find him, and smiles. "If you want, I can come back later, or you can come find me at the office…" It's possible he's not been there yet today. Switching spells: a wonderful invention.
"Mornin' Cap'n Flash." There's a big smile on baby sister's face, but just a glimmer of danger sparkling in those warm brown eyes. "Heard you got to ride the grounds with Da yesterday." Yup, there's that red flag. She's never this sweet when things are Normal. "Did you have a good visit?" Despite the undercurrent of You and I will talk later, she is quick to swap out the other student chair for a more comfortable armchair and gesture toward the coffee pot. "Nah, sit down. Coffee's fresh." Yeap, she's been spending more time with Jethro of late.
Casting a glance between siblings, there's an eyebrow raise. Yeah, just one. But it still happens "It's the good stuff." Jake encourages, gesturing at the coffee pot. "It's nothing has to be discussed down at the office; here's probably better actually. Thought you might be a good fit to work with the investigative team we're building up. As a consultant; Jethro'd call you in when you're needed." he explains, lounging back in his own seat and picking back up his cup.
That sugary-sweet voice is as much of a worrisome thing as Da's use of his full name and the thinking face. Damn. He runs a hand through his hair, and sighs. "Yeah, I had a great time." He sits down into the chair, then gets up again to get himself a coffee, resisting the urge to check it for extra ingredients. She's mad at him; if she made it, he wouldn't put it past her to put some potion in there to turn his hair green. "You're putting together an investigative team?" Jack is intrigued, and very glad to turn away from his sister's ire. "I could do that, yeah." He sips at his coffee, considering what Jake's said. "Jethro's the older guy? The other American?" He thinks he remembers who's who, but he wants to be sure.
"Special Agent Jethro Gardener, former MBI and US-DOM liaison to the MLE Auror Division." Say what you like about Siobhan's intellect when it comes to theory and abstract concept. When it comes to people, position, protocol? She's untouchable. "He's been working with me for the last five months as a consultant for my elective Defense courses." Read: the MA. She doesn't mention the fact that he's been training her too, but that's not really relevant in this instance. "He's been given field command of the MSEC unit assisting with the protection and surveillance of the school." And all other units as well, but again, she's leaving out more than she doesn't. "European culture doesn't function the same as American culture. If MSEC is going to be a viable force on this continent - " and it sounds like that's exactly what she plans on it being " - then an investiagtive team will be vital." Read: It's not the kind of place one can - metaphorically - simply roll tanks and platoons into. Some Subtlety Required.
Jake points at Siobhan when she rattles all that off with barely a breath taken betwee words. "You can work on a per case fee, or a consultant salary. The first means you're under no obligation to accept a case if you're busy. The latter means you'd have to drop other cases or refer them elsewhere if MSEC asks for you." He gestures towards the curse-breaker with his coffee mug now. "Up to you, of course. Just haveta tell me when you decide and I'll get the paperwork drawn up." Sounds a lot like he's been relegated to desk duties. That eats at him almost ad badly as his treatments do. But there's just not much to be done about it.
"I can't see why I wouldn't just work for you. I mean, I do have stuff to do, but I can work that around other things." Jack frowns. "If my business picked up, could I change from one to the other?" There is something enticing about having a consistent workload, but he wants to be sure that if he's needed for things he sees as more important, he can return to what he knows best: working for himself. Besides, he'd be working with his sister. "Well, you know I'm pants at subtle things. I deal well with the ministry, but …" That's because he's had years of disapproving looks from his father when he said something stupid to the wrong person. Where his sister stepped into the swirling mass of protocol, people and position and kicked ass, Jack was dragged kicking and screaming. "I'm definitely not as good as you are at it." Cue a pointed look at Sio. "I remember him, though. He's a good guy." Jack fought near him at the ministry, and that proved his worth to him.
"The contracts could be revised to periods of one year or six month renewals, right?" Siobhan hazards a glance at Jake. She's comfortable with European laws and customs and contracts. This American legal stuff still kind of makes her head spin. "It would be more of a hassle for you, Jack, but should provide the flexibility you're looking for." She laughs a little at her brother's admission. "Don't worry, your job would focus almost entirely on your field." Curses, wards, ancient spells that make your dearly departed Aunt Sally sit up and do the Hokey Pokey. That stuff. "The political minefield gets left to me." In between classes and detentions, right now. She likes teaching. "Yes, Special Agent Gardener is the best at what he does." Small blonde Probie is loyal, damnit. Leaning back in her chair, she grins over at Jack and reaches one hand up to rub at the skin just behind Q's head. "You in, big brother?"
Jake again, nods at what Siobhan says, and gives her a small smile for how quickly she's picked up and run with the inner workings of the company. "It's going to wind up being the gritty stuff, I'm sure. But all the cases will be picked out by your sister, and Jethro." he admits, still watching curiously how the two siblings interact. Call it 'trying to get a feel for the minefield' that he's dropping his nephew into. He's also a man of few words today. His coffee is -awesome-. But his conversation, alas, is not.
"I'm in." Jack grins widely. "It sounds almost perfect." He will want to make sure that flexibility is written in to the contract, but it sounds good. "Let me know when you want me to sign the contracts." He sips slowly at his coffee, and falls silent, thinking. Then, he comments on the seraph. "Q seems to be doing well." He's glad they're getting along so well.
Hey, when someone explains things in a practical manner, Siobhan is a damn quick study. It's all the highbrow assholes making things purposefully difficult that stump her. "She's better, now. A month living with Sev taught her some manners." The tone is dry and the eyeroll is sincere, but the smile is indulgent and affectionate. She adores her little girl. Well, not so little anymore. "The initial step will be working as government liaisons for the Ministries of Europe. We have money, resources and personnel they can't even dream of. We help them handle the stuff that stumps 'em and we start making friends." Contacts that can give them a foothold into the closed and insular European Wizarding elite. "So the workload will probably be most intense over the summer. With a break for the wedding, of course," she adds hastily. "I spoke to Da about simply taking the whole family and disappearing for a few weeks in the summer. There's a beach resort in Brisbane that supposedly caters to just this kind of an event." Odd mix of family gossip and business talk, but hey. It's their sibling language.
"I'll have them sent to your office." Jake agrees, downing his cup of coffee and setting the cup aside carefully. "I think there's about 50 brochures scattered around here somewhere." he notes, of that beach resort in Brisbane. "I think she may particularly like that one." His dry tone now matches the one she started out with. "I'd suggest reading up on it to see if there's any of those tourist-type events they like to set up. We can book all of it in advance and pay them extra to keep it family only." And thus, without the inevitable photographers. "Been gathering leads for your team to follow up on, too. Once everything's in place for you to get started." he adds, for Siobhan's sake, when she starts talking about the Ministries.
The idea of getting into some of the artifacts from some of those other ministries makes Jack's mouth water. He has heard plenty from friends all over about rare things, just sitting in boxes, waiting for someone with the time to come along and 'break', or at least 'diagnose.' He grins widely, listening to their oddly mixed banter, and then responding to it in kind. "I suppose that would teach anyone manners," and Jack's own tone goes fairly dry. "I have a few friends in some of those places. I can let you know which ones, if you like. Might make things easier. Some of them we both know…" They have spent holidays all over Europe and Jack has contacts from then, as does Sio, "but some of them I've met through work." Those, Sio may not know. "And I'm sure they're as overwhelmed as our own Ministry. A couple of them are even more tolerating of outside help, especially if they can get things done." Jack did spend a little time working in Europe early on. Kind of a tour to get used to different kinds of magics, curses and means of doing things. "That would solve a few problems," Jack admits of totally escaping to Brisbane. "I love Australia. And it'll be cool in the summer. So we won't have to worry about being too overly hot." Like they might in portions of America. "Most of them will do something like that for enough."
Siobhan snorts, lifting her coffee to sip on. "It's still on the equator, Jack. Even in the dead of their winter, it'll be hot." At least by Scottish standards, anyway. She rolls her eyes at Jake's commentary on the pamphlets. "There aren't fifty. There are three. Three, Mister Morgan. One for each of the private beaches available. Jack has a flat is Brisbane, my family has ties there. It only makes sense to use that part of the world. Private, not crowded, but completely within the realm of believable explanation." Meaning that it's a story they can sell.
"At least fifty." Jake returns, deliberately baiting Siobhan now, it seems. And getting a great deal of amusement out of it too! "I agree, it makes perfect sense. And whatever contacts you have, Jack - I'm sure we'd be grateful for their assistance." he adds, with a grin. "Just tell them not to send us anymore pamphlets would you?" He knows he's going to have to duck behind something soon. Really soon. "And yes. Yes, it all has to be believable. Which, it will be."
"It's not Egypt, Rosie. Hot is comparative. It'll be hot enough to enjoy, but not so hot we're turning into small, Scottish bits of ash." Jack grins. He sips at his own coffee and snorts at Jake's deliberate taunting. "Well…" He shrugs. "I think we'll be able to make it believable." It's part of why he spoke to his father. Da needs the time to process so that he can put on the appropriate front. "I can go through my book…" Yeah, Jack has a small book of contacts — stereotypical, really, "and see which ones would be helpful. I'll make a list."
"No need, dear." Uh oh. Jake's never 'dear'. At least not in private. A flick of her wrist sends a pulse of sunshine into the fabric of his trousers and pants. Almost immediately following that pulse? It's the sound of paper products hitting the floor. Pamphlets, ads and brochures falling from Jake's pant legs every time he moves for the rest of the day? Sounds pretty much like a fair price to pay for baiting her. At least in Sio's mind it does. And that's what really counts, right? "All right, then. Jake can send those contracts to your office and you can get me a copy of that list sometime this week." Sounds good to her! "Trust me, you have two of the sneakiest minds in Britain working on making this believable. We'll do fine." Or die trying.
By the end of the day, every person at Hogwarts could own their very own brochure. Jake gets about as much amusement from the trouser-brochure-dispenser as he does from having baited the woman. Which is to say, "Think I'll walk around following Jethro all day." he decides, sharing his suffering of course. "I'm sure it will all go fine. I am." He holds up a hand, then scrubbing at the still-military style hair he's been able to keep. Yay for potions and charms! "Cole's going to need to be seen out with everyone, and I don't like putting him out there like that. But it needs to be done. That's all." He -is- very much the protective papa bear over the kid. Dangerously so.
Now, Jack is openly laughing. He's been on the end of her sense of justice, and will be again. "We can make sure he's seen among family. Like with our cousin." It feels nice to say that. They didn't know about him for so long. "And of course, anybody who even looks sideways at him is gonna get a lot of wands pointed their way." Five 'uncles', two 'dads', a mum and various and sundry other relatives. Oh, yeah. "He didn't seem like the kind of person to appreciate that," Jack laughs, considering what Jethro's face would look like after a few minutes of being pelted by brochures.
"Oh, that reminds me." Turning in her chair, Siobhan reaches back to snag a folder off the shelf behind her. It gets handed off to Jake and no, she doesn't lose the pamphlet charm. It's a personnel file. It matches the usual MSEC ones, but this one has her authorization signature instead of Jake's. "I wanted to know if you'd consider a second adoption when we process the paperwork for Cole." The name in the file is one Julian "Bean" Legume. "He's one of my snakes. A brilliant mind, a perfect memory and lived in a cardboard box until he turned 11. He's … " She falters for the first time, swallowing hard. "There's something wrong with his growth. He needs to see specialists but I can't send him to any while he's a ward of the state." It's all got to be government-run healthcare and those things attract students and washouts. Not the kind of people who can actually help. "He needs a home, and he's right about Cole's age. It could help ease the transition if there's already someone to look out for him."
"Good. That'll be good for him." Family instead of an impersonal crew of bodyguards. They like the kid, but it's really not the same. And as time grows nearer to the point where they WILL be the boy's family, Jake gets antsy. Uncomfortable. So the turn back to humor is grasped. "He won't appreciate it. That's the point. What's he going to do? He can't fire me." is joked, as he picks up the file handed over to him, reading and then flicking his gaze up at Siobhan. Really, when she falters, he doesn't even have to consider reading further. So he just closes it up and sets it on the arm of the chair. "Alright. We can do that." he agrees, without hesitating. "We'll get it all done at the same time. If there's any specialists that will take upfront payment and see him, set it up right away."
"Yeah." Jack feels strongly about this. "That little kid is as sharp as a pick. He's an awesome kid." His eyes mist over and he gazes at Siobhan with unabashed affection. "That's the least we can do for him." With the little help he gave them, he became family in Jack's mind. Or at least 'very strong ally.' Especially when he heard his story. "I want to be a part of what he needs, too." He needs to. It's that conscience thing, again.
There's a moment - just a brief, shining moment - where Siobhan looks at Jake and her expression is nothing but open, honest; grateful. "Thank you," she whispers, reaching over to squeeze his hand once before drawing her own into her lap. Blink, and she's the cunning yet pleasant socialite again. "Good. Jack, call Arty. If he can't get him in, he'll know someone to recommend." She trusts their banshee healer like no other medical professional around. Hey, if big brother wants to help, she'll use him! "However, gentlemen, I have a class to teach in … just about seven minutes. You need anything else before I go wrestle some small animals?"
Since it's the least he can do, considering what he's asked… "You don't need to thank me." Jake points out, sounding gruff almost when he stands up and grabs the thermos that still has some caffeine left in it. "Thanks I'll just go deliver this to Gardener." Swoosh - brochure. Swish - pamphlet. Yep, his good buddy is SO going to appreciate this. "Not a thing, Sio. I'm all set. Jack, I'll be in touch." Poof, he's gone. A trail of glossy paper in his wake.
"No, I'm good." Jack is alright with getting out of the castle before his sister casts some random hex on him. When Jake leaves, he waves goodbye. "Later, Jake!" He looks at his sister for a moment and then steps closer. "Oh, alright. A hug." He opens his arms, willing to give a quick, tight hug to his favorite baby sister. "Have a good day, Rosie, and don't kill too many of the little blighters. Apparently, there's paperwork." He chuckles, and turns, heading out the castle, feeling good about having stopped by.
Any additional notes fall to the bottom.