|Scene Title||Happy Secretary's Day|
|Synopsis||Adelaide is not happy, and lets everyone know it.|
|Date||Oct 17, 1994|
Monday morning, bright and early. The safehouse turned prison is all quiet from the outside, as well as the inside. There are quite a few guards inside who are present around the clock. Some switch shifts and take a bit of a rest in one of the two available bedrooms here. Breakfast is just now being finished up by those here, a couple of those on guard, preparing to end their shift and go home. Seated at the small table near the kitchen area is Sirius. The man's finishing off his tea and some toast in a leisurely fashion. Why rush, it's not as if he's going anywhere. Someone was also kind enough to leave a Daily Prophet, so he's currently going through that as he finishes off breakfast.
Though not really a guard, or anything of the like, Adelaide has shown up at the changing of the guards in order to get some paperwork straight and, really, see what all the fuss is about. How could she pass up working in the ministry and not seeing the Most Wanted Criminal. Of course, she'll stay within her boundaries and far enough away from him that she could hex and run. "Phaorgh, are you serious?" The loud voice of this woman precludes her coming into the dining room. "This place is nicer'n my flat! How's it that a convicted murderer gets better treatment than a hard working employee of the Ministry? That's the real crime here, it is."
There is a quiet knock on the door of the safe house. The two guards flanking the door tense, and open it slightly. They seem to visibly relax, and open it just a bit wider. Christian slips in, and they lock the door behind him. "Sir, I didn't know you were scheduled for today?" One of the Guards asks. "What are you doing here?" Christian looks around then turns to the guard. "Its alright," Christian says, with a disarming smile. "I took Richard's shift." He walks through the house and into the dining room.
Oh look, more gawkers. Sirius glances up from his paper, and says in a mild tone to Adelaide, "Good morning to you too." Whoever you are, because he's right here and can /hear/ you. Don't make him transform and start biting in annoyance. His nerves are stretched a bit thin as it is here. As with every new face that walks in, he's committing them to memory as best he can. So Christian's entrance doesn't go unmissed and the hit wizard is looked over.
The minute he'd transform and try to bite her, well, she'd scream bloody murder and he'd get put right back into Azkaban. And as far as Adelaide is concerned, his nerves deserve to be that stretched. "Sure it is a good morning to you. All posh as you like while us regular folk go on about pushing our pencils and, well, regular." Like she said. As Christian enters behind her, she doesn't exactly jump, but she's a little bit on edge. She's not normally in dangerous situations or anything. There's something like a high pitched squeak and then she puts her back up against a wall. "Oh! Right. Don't go sneaking about. It puts a girl on edge when in a room with a murderer and all."
Christian leans against the door jam, one hand on his wand. "Don't mind me," he says quietly. "Mr. Black, how are you doing?" He withdraws the wand slowly, but leaves it lowered at his side.
Sirius looks more amused than annoyed now about Adelaide and jerks his head in her direction, "She always this jumpy? I feel like I could say 'boo' and she'd run screaming." Or soil her knickers. Which would serve /her/ right. Most of her words just go in one ear, out the other, otherwise he might smart off back to her, and that wouldn't be a good thing. "You forgot the 'mass' part of murderer," he says helpfully. The unorthodox bit of visit has his mood lifted somewhat. Now it's just a countdown to its slow spiral back to the doldrums. In a veritable pit of vipers, he can't help but tense up, watching Christian withdraw his wand. "Fine, thank you for asking. And yourself?"
Of course she's jumpy, she's in the same room with someone who's crazy wanted poster has been hanging up for a year for murdering a dozen or more people. Adelaide glares at Sirius and then rolls her eyes. "I've got papers for you to sign," she tells him, starting to rummage through the briefcase she brought with her. "'Course, I'm sure you don't rightly care about the mounds of paperwork your forcing people like me to do back at the Ministry, but you should know there's a lot of it. Don't see why you don't get stuffed right back into your old cell. People who'll believe Rita Skeeter should have their brains checked out." Eying Christian and his almost pleasant manner toward Sirius, she can't quite help but ask, "What, didn't want to staff out one of your minions to the unpleasant task? Wonders never cease." She's not working as a secretary in his department at the moment, she can be mouthy. Not that she wouldn't be mouthy anyway.
"My minions, as you put it, are quite busy at the moment," Christian says to Adelaide, with a slight grin. "The mountains of paperwork you refer to are their responsibility for the moment. I decided to come visit Mr. Black, because I could still be on duty, while getting out of the office. The way our Madam Undersecretary has been running the show, any chance to get out of the ministry for awhile is welcome." He sighs, and strokes his mustache and beard. "I am doing well, Mr. Black," He says, pleasantly. "I do no believe we've met. My name is Christian Faulkner. I remember you from school, though I doubt you remember me."
Sirius continues looking at Adelaide with a mild expression. He takes a drink of his tea before setting the mug aside, as well as the paper. "Let's see them then. If it's questionable, I want my lawyer to look at them first." Holly's given him explicit instructions, you see. Tonks has also threatened him if he doesn't listen to the American. He does however give Adelaide a teasing glance, "As for the paperwork, I wouldn't dare deprive you of the chance to have something to gossip about and do. Afterall, I'm sure you're paid handsomely to do your job." Watching Adelaide rummage for the papers, he then adds, "Besides, judging by the expressions around here, I'd wager a number of you fine employees are happy to be out of the Ministry for a spell. See, took the words right out of my mouth." A gesture is made Christian's way. Ignoring Addy for the moment, he turns to look at Christian fully again, trying to place the man. "Sorry, it's been awhile. It might come to me eventually. Time can be unkind to the memory." As well as solitude and Dementors.
"I'm sure they are. Foisting off whatever they don't want onto poor Stella while you're out of the office." Adelaide rolls her eyes at the hit wizard and tosses a folder onto the table for Sirius to look over. "Well, your lawyer can look them over all they want, but I'm gonna need them signed if you want to keep staying here under Ministry expense. Unlike criminals, the government needs to keep track of where the money we spend goes. And so far the only thing I see worth repeating is how well you're keeping yourself." Which she's already said how she feels about that. And gives an indignant snort as to how well paid she is. "All that time next to the Dementors has driven him insane. Well paid my left foot. I have to threaten hexes just to get a meeting about a raise." Snapping her briefcase shut, she sticks a thumb in Christian's direction, "Can't think of why he's so glad to be out of the office. Five or six people jumping to do my bidding and I'd never leave the place."
"The Department of Magical Law enforcement works just a bit differently from your part of the world Miss Jones," Christian chuckles. "They are not my minions, or my henchmen or any other term you can think of. They are trainees and junior Hit Wizards. If I didn't give them paper work they would be bored as hell. Plus, no one jumps to do my bidding. I am simply a boss." He turns back to Sirius. "Well, there is no reason you should remember me. We moved in different circles back then." In his face, it is not hard to see a flash of compassion for the other man, but it is quickly replaced with a cold scowl.
The humor disappears from Sirius's face, and the ravages left there from Azkaban are painfully evident. "Lovely little individual aren't you?" Wanting to say something else to Adelaide's face, he thinks about what he's facing here then simply takes the folder and starts going through it. "How well I'm keeping myself? How about instead of running your mouth, you close it and think for five seconds about what's coming out?" Uhoh. Temper rising fast, he's finding it harder and harder to keep quiet. "Have you paid a visit to Azkaban? Walked down the cellblock? Seen the condition of people in there? Spent quality time with the Dementors? Let's see you try it and walk away undamaged." Sorry Christian, you were saying? He's gone a bit off the path here.
"Right. Sorry." Just a boss. Adelaide's heard how hard it is to work for Christian and she's not about to think otherwise. "You're one to talk," she sniffs at Sirius. "Murdered thirteen some people just to get tiffed just by someone talking. Really, I have seen it all." He can yell and scream all he wants, she's got a hit wizard here who she'll annoy the hell out of, but whose duty it is to protect her from the bear she's poking. "Of course I haven't. I haven't done anything warranting a spell in Azkaban."
Christian stands straight up, and crosses his arms over his chest. "Calm down," Christian says, quietly yet forcefully. "Both of you. We are Adults. Act like it." He lowers his arms to his sides in a calculated move to show that he still has a wand in his hand, and to allow the light to glint off his badge.
"Shows what you know," Sirius says in return. "Mindless little drone, believing what she's been told. You know absolutely nothing." The man should be ashamed of himself for letting the secretary get a rise out of him. Then again, for all his intelligence, it doesn't take much to set him off these days. He cares nothing for the badge that Christian wears, or even the wand really. It's more for the courtesy shown earlier than Sirius finally shuts up.
Shows what Sirius knows, too, underestimating the secretaries. People always do and then they find out that it hurts them in the end. "Phht. Like you're a trustworthy source. If I just listened to whatever you said and thought you were right, that'd actually prove your point as opposed to actually keeping my own opinion. You want me to believe you're innocent, then you prove it to me. Don't be some snarly little kid who's got his hand caught in the cookie jar. Acting like that just embarrasses yourself and puts the Ministry out of good money that should be going to the hardworking secretaries forced to come here and make you sign the papers to keep you in this right pretty house." Eyeing Christian, Adelaide just picks up her briefcase. "I'm perfectly calm, Christian. It's Mr. Black that's all riled up."
Christian sighs at Adelaide. "Indeed," Christian says to her, more than a little annoyed. "You calmly got Mr. Black all riled up, just for the purpose of helping to 'prove your point.' Then you calmly used his anger to fuel a point you tried to make, and finally used that anger as a defense. You shouldn't try to use this device on a person trained in interrogation techniques."
Reigning in his temper best he can continue to do so. Sirius lowers his voice and says, "Fine? You want a raise? I get that. You're annoyed with your lot. Take it up with your supervisor and not take it out on me. I get that you're like the majority of the population in believing that I'm guilty. With good reason too, the released evidence is against me and you don't care that I and many others were not given a trial. If money is your concern, I'll give you money from my own vault." Which would have his parents rolling in his grave.. then he's looking at Christian and is laughing for the first time in days. Honest laughter of amusement. "Pull up a seat Faulkner, now you're making me wish we hadn't of run in different circles at school."
"Who said I was trying to interrogate anyone? I'm just talking." Adelaide is genuinely surprised at Christian's response. She didn't mean to get Sirius all riled up, he just gets that way and she can use it to her own defense. She's abrasive, that's just how she is. "My only point is that I'm not seeing how he's helping his case by yelling at defenseless secretaries." Rolling her eyes at the response, she points at the papers. "I don't want your money, Mr. Black. I want the Ministry to recognize what hard work we do without any recompense. You're certainly not winning me over to your case by being an assuming git. I never said people shouldn't get a trial."
Christian sighs and leans back against the door jam again. "Miss Jones you must recognize something important," He says, quiet matter of factly. "Our dear Undersecretary to Minister Fudge *always* recognizes the importance of treating the staff they way you wish to be treated." His attitude is quite easy to divine.
"Then think about what you're saying, as that's the impression I got from your words against me. Jumping to conclusions without the facts. Besides, my emotions are a fragile thing." Sirius says without a trace of a smile or hint of humor. He /could/ be teasing again. "… you've got quite the mouth on you and an attitude. When my name's cleared, want to go on a date?" NOW he's teasing Adelaide openly.
"Fudge? He's a bumbler." Adelaide is still running off her mouth, but this she sounds very serious on. "I'd be surprised if he's around long enough to treat anyone to a good raise." There's a shake of her head. "Plus, he wouldn't even know my own name if it was charmed to my forehead in flashing ink." To Sirius, she gives an incredulous look. "I bet they are. As are your manners." Is she teasing? Maybe. And then she snorts. "When? You're also the optimist. You've got a better chance of Mr. Faulkner agreeing to a date. He's a real catch. I've heard he's a terrific dancer."
"Not Fudge," Christian says, with a sigh. "I mean that toad woman. Fudge is tolerable, but she…" Christian remembers where he is. "She is an able bodied leader who is of course, beyond reproach." He chuckles at Sirius' comment. "I think you are being a bit premature, Mr. Black." He grins slightly. "I like your spirit however."
Sirius barks out a laugh at Adelaide's response. "There, now isn't this better than getting me nice and steamed?" He's not really a bad person, just has some bad habits and personality traits. "She's fun, get her to come around more." Despite the humor returning, he's still tense, and a bit on edge. He doesn't like being locked up and under the Ministry's thumb. Things can change here on a knut. Shrugging, the prisoner glances at Christian, "Would you prefer that I start another row with Miss Disgruntled here? Or sit and go mad? Might as well try and keep my spirits up." One thing that would help.. He gives Christian his full attention, "What are the chances that I'm able to correspond with my godson? I'm sure the Prophet caught him off guard and I'd like to keep appraised of what's going on at Hogwarts with him."
Raising an eyebrow at Sirius' response, Adelaide just shakes her head. "It's Jones, thank you. Miss Jones. And I would think twice about starting another row with me, I'd win." As for Umbridge, she rolls her eyes. "Oh her. I had to deliver papers to her office. I've never seen such pink. Makes the eyes hurt just thinking about it. She's despicable, and conniving." And that's coming from an underling. And as for that row, she adds, "I don't know if that would be wise, as your trial does involve the incident with the Potters. Contact with their son would probably not be allowed. That's something you'd have to talk to your actual Ministry contact about. I'm just here to get you to sign papers."
"I am going to have to agree," Christian sighs with a shrug. "I'd like to help you, but getting you the Daily Prophet is hard enough. For now, you need to focus on yourself and your case. Once the Wizengamot has made a ruling, then we can see what happens."
Sirius shrugs his shoulders, doing his best to look disappointed. If the official line is 'no', he'll skirt around it and sneak notes out. He's good at that. "Thought I'd ask.. and I think my lawyer and I will go over these papers when she comes by later. She'll see that they're delivered to you Miss Jones." He closes up the folder and drums his fingertips atop it. "Fair enough." He doesn't go into what Harry knows, or that his godson believes him. Though, it could be implied just from the question here. "I already know my side of the case and my defense, as well as an alibi." Just finding Peter, that's the hard part.
Adelaide returns the shrug. There's not much she can do if he wants his lawyer to look over the files. "Fine." She glances over at Christian and then back at Sirius. "I should head back to the Ministry." Her little outing is over for the day. It was nice to get out of the office, anyway. "Well, good luck with that, then." Nodding at the hit wizard she adds, "Mr. Faulkner," before moving past the new guards and outside.
Christian nods and crosses his arms. "Good afternoon then, Miss Jones," he says. "I have the rest of a shift to spend here with Mr. Black. I'm sure he wishes the circumstances were different, but its a job." He turns back to Sirius.
Sirius wouldn't doubt it if Adelaide returned to the office to tell everyone what a vicious animal he was and he should stay locked up. "Pleasure meeting you, Miss Jones. Do pop 'round for tea again," he says with a wide grin that doesn't quite reach his eyes that still carry a haunted look. The smile tightens as he turns his attention back to Christian. "Indeed. However, it does beat the alternative of still being in Azkaban." Just saying the prison name makes his skin crawl.
Christian looks concerned as Sirius shudders. He paces around the room a bit, looking for something to say. He comes back to the door, and stands there quietly. His hands are clasped in front of him.
"So, hit wizard then? Done anything else since leaving Hogwarts? Married? Children?" Sirius seems fine to converse with someone who thus far has been courteous, even going so far as to come across as friendly.
Christian shakes his head. "Nope," hey says simply. "Job takes up all my time. I have never wanted to be anything more than a cop. I guess I married the job. I don't complain though." That's a lie.
"Shame, that. But if you enjoy your job well enough and it leaves little time for anything else." Sirius sounds a bit pensive, "I can relate in a manner." He was too busy in the short span of time between Hogwarts and Azkaban to settle down. Being in the Order and acting the rebel took up his time and attention.
"I find that hard to believe," Christian says quickly, then seems to hiccup. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean that." He clears his through, and takes on a more professional demeanor. "If you really are interested, after school I joined the ministry. I've been working there for quite a while now."
Sirius raises a brow, "Of course you meant it, otherwise it wouldn't have been on your mind and you wouldn't have let it escape." He doesn't appear to be hurt any. There are a good number of slings and arrows he'll have to face, a veritable assault of such. "Personally, the Ministry never held any interest for me. I was more freelance, which suited me fine. Too many rules in the Ministry, and it's too ineffective."
"I see your point," Christian says with a nod. "My family is a legacy of police service. I am the first wizard, so I felt a need to carry on the legacy in my own fashion." He doesn't make eye contact, but still acts friendly. "I am not surprised you do not remember me. I spent most of my time in the library rather than down at the quidditch pitch…or getting in trouble."
Sirius smiles fondly at something that Christian can't see as he remembers a distant memory. It's almost a lifetime ago for him. "James and I, we outran some muggle policemen once. Saved their necks too, we did." Shaking his head, and bringing himself back to the ugly presence, "We all had our places in school." And Sirius's was by James's side, through thick and thin.
Christian raises an eyebrow and grins slightly. "What did you do to raise the ire of the muggle Metropolitian police service?" He asks with a playful tone in his voice.
"Speeding," Sirius says with another smile for the recollection. "I had this motorbike you see, and we were in a chase with Death Eaters. Hence the speeding." So, valid reason, no? "Merlin's beard, that had to be back in…" He can't remember the date, and that seems to trouble him. "No matter."
Christian watches Sirius' face fall. "Its hell isn't it," Christian asks quietly. "I can't imagine what you have been through. Though of punishment, there has to be a better way." The last part is said more to himself than anyone else.
It's tempting to proclaim his innocence, but Holly said to keep his mouth shut. Sirius reaches for his abandoned teacup to swirl the contents around, staring down into the liquid that's left. "If you've paid any call to Azkaban, you have an idea of what the place is like." A bitter expression twists his visage, "Punishment.. some of those poor sods there.. Maybe some of them deserve it." He excludes himself, because he's done nothing. Except let Peter get the upper hand.
Christian sighs and looks at Sirius with a flash of sympathy. "Would you like some more tea, Mr. Black?" he asks quietly.
"Hmm? No.. no thank you Mr. Faulkner." Sirius pushes back from the table and rises, "I should go over these papers." Which he'll do in the room he's been assigned. He just feels too exposed all of a sudden.
Christian nods and leans out the door. "Hendrickson," he calls. "Please escort Mr. Black back to his room. Make sure he has everything he needs." A guard comes up and nod. "I will be down stairs if you need me, Mr. Black." Christian steps out and takes up a position nearby the door.
Any additional notes fall to the bottom.