|Scene Title||Tea, Cake or Death!?|
|Synopsis||A setup is afoot, but who is responsible?|
|Date||Dec 03, 1994|
|Watch For||Most Inventive Usage of Candy, both times|
On this chilly December evening, nightfall has closed in upon the area. Black, along with the usual collection of guards are within the safehouse. In the downstairs parlor, Sirius paces in agitation. The gas lamps and fireplace bathe the room in a warm and flickering light. This being cooped up without word of the next trial date is wearing on his already thin nerves. He doesn't like this turn of events.
Sirius isn't without company for long. Holly, who hasn't been seen in a couple weeks due to acquiring and signing proper paperwork to allow any rendered verdict in this trial to stick, is now back in England. She'll be going home again for the holiday with any luck, but for now, she's got a client to take care of. Knocking on Sirius' door, she pushes it open just a crack, allowing a bit of chill from the outside to invade the house. "Sirius? Can I come in? I just wanted to check up on things. See how you were doing."
It's one of those funny feelings. Despite the time, or her work load (which is for some reason /massive/. Who the hell is sending her all of the medial paperwork?), Tonks has decided to show up randomly. For no reason, other than to make sure her cousin's okay. Of course, those random visits just to make sure he's okay usually means she's coming prepared for stuff. The Guard at the front sees nothing out of the ordinary and as far as they an tell, Tonks isn't trying to smuggle anything in. So, she's only a couple of minutes behind Holly, though, initially, she's quiet for now.
Still pacing, Sirius waves a hand at the door, "Come on in Miss Maplewood." His mood is about the same as it was prior to the arraignment. Tense and easily irritated. A few more paces, and he stops. "It's been fairly quiet since you've been gone, I'm sure you've heard what's happened in the meantime." He stands behind the chair he stopped pacing by and rests his hands on the high back of it.
Holly honestly can't be surprised by what's happened. The Ministry delaying things, enacting new werewolf legislation that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever… Among other things. "Well, when we win this case, the settlement is binding," she says. A bit of bittersweet news. "Unfortunately, the one rendering the verdict is Umbridge." …So, there's that problem. Holly rubs the back of her neck, looking back as Tonks enters. There's no smile, and, in fact, Holly just looks tired. "Just got off the plane and apparated the rest of the way here. Lemme tell you. It's hard to apparate inside an airport."
"Always wanted to try that," A Plane, not apparating inside an airport, "Dad's talked about them before." Tonks is at least smiling, which seems to be a weird contrast to Sirius and Holly, though it's hard to keep going while Holly talks about Umbridge. "She hasn't set a date yet for the trial's continuation. Maybe we can, as the expression goes, light a fire under her ass…"
At least one person in the safehouse approves of the legislation that was pushed through overnight and that person is now lurking in the hallway just outside the door of the parlor. Edwin is not within the lines of sight of the people inside and he's in the perfect position to eavesdrop, which is exactly what he does, because all three people in the room are officially suspect as far as he's concerned. In his hands he holds a cup of tea and a saucer, though he isn't using the saucer to eliminate the noise of clattering china. It's freshly brewed and still steaming lightly despite being cool enough to comfortably drink, something Edwin takes advantage of in the form of several short sips while listening in.
"Never been to a muggle airport. Never had the chance to get close enough to one. I was always a bit interested by the planes." Of course, if Sirius ever got his motorbike back, he might be a happy camper. "Umbridge is a dangerous little toad. Fudge should be hiding in shame for that legislation he let them pass that's given her this authority. With her in charge, we could have Pettigrew take the stand and she'd still want to find me guilty." Tonks's arrival earns a half-smile from Sirius, "If this ever gets dropped, you're going for a ride on my motorbike. You don't remember the first time on it I'm sure. Your mother hexed me a new one for it. While not a plane, still, it's fun.. and no Tonks. You've already gotten into enough trouble as it is. I want to say we fight this the right way, but it seems she's changing the rules when she doesn't like the outcome."
"You'd think she'd want to get the trial over with. I can't call her on an unreasonable amount of time between hearings, though. Not yet. She's perfectly within her right to gather her own evidence." Too bad for Umbridge, Holly's evidence is practically incontrovertible. There's too many holes in the Ministry's story, and Holly's yet to bring in her last star witness - Fudge himself. She'd call Umbridge to the stand, but that would be a farce. She'd just lie. And no one has the backbone to call her on it.
"Sometimes I take the plane. I like 'em. And it means I don't have to apparate here by hopping between landmasses. I mean, it's faster, yeah, but there's somethin' about planes…" And it helps to keep herself in the Muggle world from time to time.
Holly takes a seat, resting her elbows on her knees. "At this point, all we can do is wait for Umbridge to make her next move. If she changes the rules, we roll with 'em. The testimony speaks for itself - eventually, she'll figure out she's got more to gain by not fighting it."
Tonks just gives Sirius a look about getting into enough trouble. "I've been good." Read good meaning 'scarce as hell'. Seriously, Tonks sees anything pink and the Auror disappears. It's the only way she can keep on Umbridge's good side, and the only way Tonks can trust her mouth. Especially after the Werewolf stuff. "She's trying to figure out how to fix things in her favor," Tonks mutters quietly, trying not to speak too loud. "She wasn't happy with the trial to begin with, and now that it seems to be gaining support of a verdict other than 'dead guilty'…"
"You're the expert here Miss Maplewood. Can't say I bothered to study the law in depth. There were other things I wanted to study." Charms, transfiguration, anything to use to cause trouble. Sirius folds his arms against the back of the chair and leans forward in a casual stance. "Of course," he says bracingly, "the evidence they've clung to, and now that the information changes, the more open minded are seeing the possibility."
"On this, I'm sort of flying blind," she says. With the rules changing constantly, as Tonks just pointed out, it's hard to follow the game. And now this wait between hearings is hard to endure, even if it's fair. "What I'm afraid of most — and why I brushed up on some of my charms while I was home — is that they'll try to fabricate evidence in their favour. I've got a charm that'll help me tell how old an item is, by rough estimate. Kinda like an aura. Anyway, I plan to contact former Minister Fudge as soon as we get a new trial date. He should be able to shatter their story easily, just by answering yes or no questions for me."
Tonks frowns here for a moment. Would Umbridge go as far as to /fabricate/ evidence? She doesn't know the woman that well, and every dealing with her has been a disaster, all because Umbridge lumps Tonks in the same group as Werewolves and Vampires. Add in the fact her mother's a blood traitor? Yeah, Tonks doesn't register high up on the Pink Radar. "We'll figure it out as we get there. You should pull someone up to testify ont he Wand evidence too, next time," Tonks offers to Holly.
By now Edwin's tea is cooling off in earnest and he's not gotten much of anything interest (save a few curious mentions) out of accidentally-on-purpose overhearing what the accused and his conspirators have to say. So he finally makes his entrance by strolling the remaining step and a half forward to stop in the doorway in full view, lifting his cup for another drink while casually taking stock of the people in the room. "It's so cute how the lot of you enjoy trying to undermine our legal system with your absurd circus of a trial. Pity you're going to be warming your cell again in a couple of months, Black. We could use the entertainment."
Sirius's shoulders raise then slump in a shrug, "He was there on the scene when I was arrested, and visited Azkaban once while I was there. Fudge is easily flustered when cornered." His gaze turns to Holly, "I wouldn't put it past her to come up with /something/. She seems to love the strict and binding nature of laws, but only when it suits her agenda." The rude entrance and interruption of Edwin is met with a rather feral growl, and he hasn't even transformed. "Sod off, Death Eater. You'd know all about undermining the legal system and I'll see you in that cell before I ever go back!"
Holly completely ignores Edwin. Oh, she knows he's there, but she's not going to give him the satisfaction of any sort of response. She doesn't even look in his direction, and instead continues sitting with her elbows on her knees. The only thing she does do is stop talking about the trial itself. "Anyway, the plane ride was nice. Larger plane, but there was a kid next to me. You ever think children can sense magic? She seemed to keep looking at me like she knew something. Kind of weird."
Tonks is reaching out to take Sirius' hand. Hopefully it'll ground him, give him a reminder that he can't lash out, and hopefully if he does lash out it gives Tonks a means to hold on and subdue him, hopefully before Edwin does. "Not going to discuss this, Ed. Find something else to talk about or go back to skulking. At least you were quiet then." OH LOOK! Nice shiny change of subject! Thanks Holly! "I don't know. I didn't have any siblings or anything, and I'm not around muggle children. Who knows." She pauses and randomly, "I want kids."
It's time to check up on Sirius again, Jack thinks. And none too soon, it appears, as he enters the room to see the whole of the defense team there. And also Edwin. Fun. He frowns as he steps into the room, taking note of everyone and the attitudes of each. Jack holds out a paper bag. "They're a little smushed because of overzealous hitwizards…" Jack specifically eyes Edwin as he mentions that, though it wasn't Ed in particular that smushed them, "but I brought pastries." Luckily, there were a lot left over, and Jack's brought them all. "Kids are weird, Holly." Jack moves to sit near the lawyer, to offer what support he can, however much she'd be willing to accept. "Sometimes, they stare at people cuz they've got different color eyes than them." He rolls his eyes. "Howdy, folks. What can I do to help?"
Edwin doesn't particularly mind being ignored, mostly because he's had the desired effect of getting Sirius nice and riled. He steps pleasantly aside as Jack moves on in, letting the other man wander into the room first before following and taking up residence against the wall. Hopefully his mere presence can serve as an annoyance. He has his tea and a group of suspicious persons to watch, which is all the hit wizard ever really wants in life. It's nearly perfect.
Sorry, temper rising and Sirius isn't really going to play the ignore Ed game. He's had just about enough of the baiting in his current state. Once upon a time he would play the game too, but these days? Not so much. "It must burn you inside, having people give me the credit.. let go Tonks," he growls as he shrugs off Tonks's hand, or tries to. There is a little voice inside telling him to step down or he's gonna find himself on the floor again, courtesy Tonks. "We've got a bit of rubbish that needs taking out," he says by way of greeting to Jack. O hai there!
The somewhat out-of-the-blue comment from Tonks does earn an odd look from Holly. She can't really see the Auror as a mom, but then again, she couldn't see her sister as a mother, either. And now Holly has a little niece to take care of, and she's very cute.
She's a bit on edge now, but that doesn't stop her from reaching for the bag that Jack offers. "Got some good news. I'm authorised to finish a case in the UK now," she says as a greeting. "At least where Magical law is concerned." Fishing out the very best sugarpile from the bag for herself, she then searches for another, and hands the bag back to Jack. "Be right back," she says, before standing, and taking the few steps she needs to over to Edwin. "Here. Thought you might like one, too." She offers. TEA AND CAKE, DEATHEATER? OR PERHAPS DEATH!
"Sirius, It won't do Harry any good if you get your ass in trouble because you couldn't control your temper," Tonks says quietly. Hopefully she's played the right card, and Sirius'll behave for now. Edwin gets a positively murderous look (strange that even with the blue hair, it resembles Sirius just enough…). And there's jack and all she hears is pastries. "Oh! Goodie!" Like she needs it.
Rubbish? Where? Jack watches Holly get up to offer Edwin one of the yummy pastries. He reaches into the bag to grab one, then passes the bag to Tonks. "Save a couple for Sirius, wouldya?" He grins at the metamorphmagus. "So, are we discussing the Right Honorable Minister's delay, or are we just here to chat and cheer each other up?" He leans back in his chair. "You know, she's started to put pressure on Da. Little things." He can't think of a specific instance at the moment, but he brings it up. "He's just a…" Jack tries to think how to phrase what he wants to say without giving the man cause for slander. "He'd get along really well with Liam, Sirius. He's just trying to get under your skin the same way." The Marauders watched the two brothers go round and round for just that reason enough times as kids.
"No thank you, Miss Maplewood. I tend not to eat sweets if I can avoid it." No sense in hurrying along a belly gained through age, after all, and so Edwin politely waves off the bag of death pastries in favor of the much sweeter treat of watching Sirius go bananas. "I don't believe you've ever taken credit for anything, Black. I'm afraid your life thus far has been a sad waste." He carefully refuses to notice the looks he's getting from certain people in the room, taking another sip of tea while looking absolutely as pleased as punch. The man's very nearly jovial. "Let the man go. He can make his own choices, he's a big lad."
That seems to be the magic phrase as Sirius immediately seems to calm down. Reluctantly, seeing as he's giving Edwin a look that suggests he'd like to see the man in pieces, prone on the floor. Or spattered on the wall. He's not too choosy. Fortunately, now that Sirius has been made to calm down, ever so slightly, he's doing some mental counting to keep from leaping at Edwin and going for the jugular. A brief look is cast aside at Tonks, as if to say, 'I can behave when I want to.' "Probably," he says grudgingly at Jack.
Holly returns to the couch with two pastries in hand, and leans over the back of it, next to Jack. She hands the extra to him. You can never have enough sugar, honestly. Holly just… doesn't need that much sugar. "We're just chatting," she says, finally offering a sincere smile to the cursebreaker. "Edwin, you're very welcome to join us if you'll keep the conversation civil," she adds, looking over her shoulder. It's like they say… Be kind to your enemies and confuse the hell out of them. Besides, Holly has no reason to hold a grudge. He's on the Ministry's side, and, wrong or not, he's just doing his job.
She's like to see him in a lake tied to a brick, sure, but that's beside the point.
The pastry is calling to her, though, and she takes a large chunk out of it. "Where'd you get these?"
Without a warning, a chill invades the safehouse. The windows ice over and crackle, the gas lamps flicker, threatening to go out. It's decidedly not a normal chill. It's the sort that invades deep to the core, leeching the positive thoughts from all it touches. There seems to be a delayed reaction outside the parlor. Confusion, clamming up, people clearly caught off guard before the sound of wizards rushing to action to find out what is going on, besides the obvious. Commotion soon follows as those closest to the front door find no less than a dozen Dementors surrounding the home. Unauthorized and gliding silently, working on finding their way in.
Sirius is given a smile before YAY PASTRIES! Tonks just gives jack a look and she takes one before…
Before things get pretty damn cold. The pastry bag is dropped back on the table and Tonks is on her feet. She /knows/ that feeling. She didn't get tossed kicking and screaming towards them and /not/ come away with what they feel like. "Patronuses." Hers is already cast, crashing in it's 'take off' at the front door. How /good/ is the front guard? The back guard?
"Janet makes em. She's a real whiz at — " Jack's sentence cuts off, and he closes his eyes. "No. No, Rosie." He whispers, affected by the sudden presence of Dementors. "Don't go, don't go, please!" It takes a few moments for him to inhale, recognize that it's a memory, and to pull his wand out. "EXPECTO PATRONUM," he practically bellows, watching his little rabbit grow. The thing bounds around, looking for trouble. Somebody attack his friends? Not gonna happen.
The smile Holly's offering Jack is immediately dropped as soon as she feels the cold despair brought to her by the Dementors. She's not as good as shaking that off as some. Hell, if it weren't for Jack's and Dumbledore's Patronuses, she would have completely frozen up at Sirius' arraignment.
She's completely not in the right mind for the Patronus this time. Not prepared, not mentally settled, and extremely tired from the plane ride over. So when she casts her charm, she only gets the silvery shield. Adequate, but not quite the same as the sheep she had in the courtroom. Swearing, she asks, "What the hell are they doing here?"
"Oh, I'd love to join you." Edwin just adores a tea party amidst lawbreakers. It was totally in vogue during the last war, even if this kind of lawbreaker isn't really his type - but the sudden commotion stops him short of getting in on the little gathering. The chill is familiar thanks to his infrequent tours at Azkaban to more or less point and laugh at the people he put there under the guise of official inspection, and even though it's not specifically in his job description to protect these crazy kids he's all for protecting himself. He sets his teacup and saucer down almost daintily and then mimics Tonks and Jack, his own patronus soon exploding from the tip of his wand. The silvery sea lion looks quite fierce and swims through the air around its caster, guarding the apparently totally unconcerned hit wizard who is rather entertained by the thought of what will happen to the wandless convict in the room.
That all too familiar feeling of the presence of Dementors has Sirius freezing in fear, and with good reasoning. Going whiter than a sheet and growing clammy, the man understandably feels an invasive sense of panic. However, adrenaline and the desperate instinct to survive kicks in and his hand thrusts out in Tonks's direction. Palm open and face up.
There's a few stuttered attempts at patronuses being cast, but it seems that the guard outside might've been of the generic Red Shirt fair. Only a few putters of silvery light can be seen from the front door. Another sillhouette actually gets up and runs in the opposite direction. Not that anyone'd ask but he doesn't know how to cast a patronus and running away seems like a great idea!
Windows opening, and even the well locked backdoor to the house to boot, Dementors glide in without a sound. The guards are thus far ignored and left alone so long as they don't attack. In their eerie way, the Dementors glide their way through the halls, feeling their way through the home. With the Patronuses not yet attacking, they continue their advance.
Jack instinctively leans closer to Holly, and directs the little rabbit to scamper among himself, Sirius and the lawyer. "It's alright. We'll get rid of them. And then," his focus turns fierce. "I will have a talk with my father. This is bullshit." He uses the fierce love and loyalty he has for his family to empower the little bunny, which grows a little bit as it scampers to and fro.
They need to come up with a plan. Tonks frowns at the collection of Patronuses and the front door. "We need to know how many are out there." The Albatross widens it's impressive wing span, trying to make itself look threatening at the looming dementors from beyond the security of the house. She places her wand in her teeth the moment she reads Sirius' gesture. Hold on, this might look weird. There is the sound of cloth ripping, and Tonks is doing something under that taffeta skirt, but sure enough, a wand get's slapped onto Sirius' open palm. "You owe me a new pair of tights." Wand again in hand, she makes a yanking motion with it, and the Albatross, posturising at the front door, immediately goes to barrel into the first Dementor it sees.
Seems the pair had a faint idea something like this might wind up happening. Wand in hand, Sirius feels that he has a fighting chance now. "You'll have new tights." Wasting no time, he bellows "Expecto Patronum!" The silvery form of a hippogriff erupts from the wandtip, ready to charge at command. "Quite agreed, Jack," is uttered through clenched teeth as he is determined to not let those monsters touch him. A bit at odds between not wanting to think happy thoughts to be taken, but needing them to fuel the Patronus.. the hippogriff wavers before turning corporeal again. "Nice of them to say we were having guests tonight," he growls, even throwing an accusatory look at Ed.
Holly feels completely helpless, honestly, in this situation. She's a lawyer, not an Auror, or a member of the Order of the Phoenix, or - hell - even a Death Eater. Dementors are foreign beasts to her, and she's only dealt with them rarely. She's practically shoulder-to-shoulder with anyone who's within her reach, trying her best not to look absolutely terrified.
For some reason, it was much more comforting when she was surrounded by Ministry personnel. At least they could call off the Dementors. This seems somewhat — okay, very — unprovoked. The more Patronuses are in the house, though, the better she feels. Despite her earlier pleasantries, she can't help throwing an accusing look toward Edwin of her own. "Can you call them off?" she asks. For a moment, with her attention elsewhere, the silvery barrier becomes slightly sheep-like, but that's as far as it gets.
"Unfortunately they're not under my jurisdiction," Edwin murmurs, sending a rather amused glance back over at Holly. "Just sit tight and things will certainly end up clearing up as soon as Mister Black drops that unauthorized wand he's gotten himself." And, just like that, the hit wizard has his own wand aimed directly at the convict. "He's perfectly well protected by all of us being here. There's no purpose for him being armed. He might do something untoward." Which would give Edwin an absolutely perfect excuse to attack the other man! And if Sirius gives up the wand he'll be without the shield of a patronus charm. It's a win-win situation, really.
"Shut up." Jack snarls, his temper starting to get the best of him. "This isn't about him doing something 'untoward.' This is about keeping all of our asses safe. Not letting any of us — including you — be de-souled." He chuckles, which isn't a sound full of humor. "There are plenty of patronuses around that I could let Junior go for a moment or two long enough to stun you. There are what? Four of us? And one of you?" The rest of them are fending for themselves, or already turned into Soulless, so he's not too worried about it. He continues to focus on his family, keeping the bunny going, though the bunny gives Edwin a look, too.
Convenient. "They're going to force us to flee if we don't get them to disperse…" And there goes Edwin, almost as if he… Tonks frowns. Fortunately, Jack's taking care of it. "We need to focus the majority of the patronuses in one direction. We need to get out of this room, it has too many entrances." She has to make sure to protect Sirius without the accusation they're fleeing. "Is there a room that /only/ has the one exit? A shelter? We limit their entrances we can focus the patronuses on it. It's risky, but pushing ourselves out in the open where we don't have a clue how many are out there's suicide." Tonks does stiffen a moment, closing her eyes. Another flick of her wand and the Albatross, which has finally gained flight, soars towards another clump that's managed to make it's way in.
"Get behind us Miss Maplewood," Sirius says as he's on full alert, just waiting to let his patronus run down some Dementors. Okay, so he's not supposed to have a weapon, but he doesn't care. He's not going down without a fight. "Piss off Gifford, I've every right to protect myself and will do just that," he snarls as he sends his patronus charging for Dementors, working with Tonks's albatross in driving back any nearby foul beings. "We're trapped in here, although in the open we're moving targets." He casts a glance to Tonks and to Jack. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? He takes a few steps towards the door, not worried or caring about Edwin's wand aimed at him. If he has to release his Patronus to fight back, bring it on. "I think we could take him if we had to. I'd rather we just get the bloody hell away from the Dementors.. I haven't seen a room in here with just one way in, one way out." Surely he would have been forced to stay there had there been one. One thing is for sure, he doesn't like this feeling of being cornered.
Very briefly, Holly considers de-arming Edwin. Her Patronus is currently nothing special, plus, she doesn't want him to go after Sirius first. But then they'd be without one corporeal Patronus. "Later," Holly says, holding out a hand to Edwin. "Right now— Right now— " She apparently forgets what she's going to say mid-statement, because she trails off without finishing it. Happy thought. Happy thought. She focuses her mind on that, and her own shield grows larger.
"Probably a bathroom," she guesses, looking back at Sirius. "Are there windows in the bathroom?" She doesn't want to be trapped, either, though. "If we could get outside… We could apparate away." They'd have to go some distance, of course, but it might be a better idea than being in the house. A better chance for everyone. It's impossible to get behind everyone, but she manages to keep herself centred among the Patronuses.
So far outside the room, only a few Dementors are inside the house and are successfully being driven back. Outside, looming against the entrances, the remainder stay almost in sentinel fashion. Several Aurors, led by a pale and shaking Dawlish try to help in driving them back further. Despite the few corporeal patronuses and the strength behind them, the Dementors outside are holding their ground and getting angrier by the moment.
"If we can get away, we can use my office," Jack whispers to the 'good guys.' "We're already in this deep. Won't hurt us for you to do that." He smiles, thinking happy thoughts about his own place, watching Junior hopping around. "Let Junior protect you, Holly. He's good at it." He grins, and considers. "I suppose they've got anti-apparition wards here. Could we destabilize them long enough to pop out?" Wards can be broken. Jack does it on a regular basis.
An 'on your head be it' is the hit wizard's only response as far as Sirius with or without a wand goes - just let the man make a wrong move. It'll be spectacular. Edwin instead turns to bring his wand around in a sweep, sending his sea lion straight for the door to barrel into the hallway, where it twists and just stays there as a guard. The man then gestures towards the door with a slight shrug. "Apparating isn't going to happen when you've got a prisoner of the Ministry on hand without a leash. Regardless of your good intentions and the current situation, I assure you the Minister would look very poorly indeed on it. An escape - which is what it'd be called - wouldn't help your flimsy case. Fighting them off seems to be the best course of action." To that effect the man starts after his patronus to take a glance out into the hallway, looking for any signs of oncoming beasties. It might just be that he's raring for some action, but he seems almost happy.
"Oh step off, Gifford," Tonks is already stalking towards the front door. Holing up is no option, so they fight their way out. Tonks really doesn't care about who's escaping, or what's going on. Someone set dementors out,a nd she's going to deal with them. The light of hte albatross has faded somewhere in one of the rooms. Did Tonks just lose her focus? There's a 'get ready' and then the woman flicks her wand once, "REducto!" The door blows off it's hinges! DAWLISH DUCK. Three strides and the wand's already in motion, "Expecto Patronum!" And the re-summoned Albatross goes barreling into the line that the aurors were just barely holding.
There's no warning to the folks on the other side other than the shouted curse. Along with the door, the hinges and the frame, debris flies and poor Dawlish is actually knocked to the ground by the spell. He's not going to be a problem now. Those still conscious move from the door and they all seem to have the same idea. Getting out, souls intact.
"One of the bathrooms has a window," Sirius says. He used it for sneaking messages on the sly. "Not sure, Jack. I do know there are anti-apparition wards.. although together we can either work together to bring them down or run to the edge of the barrier." Getting the heck out of here sounds like a plan and laying low /somewhere/, even long enough to debate where to go next is a plan. After this, if you think he's staying put to be trapped? You've got another thing coming. He reaches to grab Holly by the arm, with him missy. That leaves Tonks and Jack to pair up. As if reading his cousin's mind, or at least knowing how she thinks and acts after who trained her.. he waits for the curse before moving after her.
Holly's temper is juuuuuust about shot. "Who the hell do you think sent the Dementors?" she asks. Umbridge seems to have them eating out of her hand like surreal and really creepy pigeons. It's only fair to assume that she's sent them here, as well, or at least didn't prevent them from coming. After all, it was at her word the the Dementors entered the courtroom!
Admittedly, she's a little frazzled. Umbridge should keep her own creatures on a leash before anyone talks about Sirius being reined in. When the door vanishes, Holly… isn't sure running outside is the best idea. Looking down at the rabbit, though, trying to work up the confidence that it will protect her fails. No offence, Jack… But she's not even sure about the albatross or the Hippogryff. When Sirius takes her arm, she doesn't hesitate to follow.
Jack gestures with his left hand toward the door. "G'wan, Holly." He's worried about the lawyer. Sirius is a big boy, and he's pretty skilled. He frowns at Edwin. "You can find your own way out, or you can get swarmed when we leave. Your choice, mister." He's taking a tone he's heard his parents use a multitude of times. "Okay. That's one way to do it." This to Tonks' blowing the wall out of the way. "Go ahead, Tonks, then Holly, then Sirius. I'll bring up the rear." He's got pretty good situational awareness, and can make sure none of them sneak up on him.
It looks like the only way Edwin is going to be able to keep an eye on his charge is to go along with the crazy escape plan, something that doesn't sit very well with him. On the other hand, doors are getting bashed around and that counts as something exciting. He makes his way to the front door and Tonks, his own Patronus flying forward to join the albatross in giving the Dementors a hard time. Still, he finds the time to mention that "I doubt the Minister would send these things here, Miss Maplewood. Really. Now is not the time for wild theories."
"Less Bickering, More fighting!" Yes, that makes sense! Don't mind Tonks, she's busy trying to keep the dementor line from reforming. One dementor'll get slammed, and immediately the albatross will barrel into another. Most of her attention's focused on the dementors, the Dark creatures her priority. Keep them scattered, keep them confused. "Someone get the rear," because, y'know, the ones in the house are just bound to follow Tonks' exit.
"Fine. Wild theories when we are done!" Sirius is less than thrilled that Edwin seems to be along for the ride. He's just got other worries at the moment and so long as Edwin isn't hampering the survival efforts, all should be well. Holly in tow, he leads out of the room as he advances with caution, his own patronus galloping back so that they have it as a shield. "I'm on it!" Whirling around, making sure Holly stays covered, he directs with his wand, sending his own patronus to cover their backsides. The hippogriff keeps its wings spread wide, flapping and screeching silently at the Dementors who try to come up from behind.
Ok, so Sirius wants to put his hippogriff to work at the back of things, then Jack will send Junior to stay near Holly. He moves forward, stepping quickly. "We can do this, guys." As to whether the Pink Lady sent the things, it is now at the back of his mind, because he's dealing with 'right here, right now' situation. "My place is in Hogsmeade, if we want that…" He's not too keen on Mr.-death-eater-bootlicker coming along, but he'll take whoever. No one really deserves to have their souls sucked out, except after a trial, and Jack's not even sure about that one sometimes. "It's next to Madame Puddifoot's"
"We still have to get half a mile away before we can apparate anywhere," Holly reminds them all. "Unless you know how to get around that." There should be some 'emergency release' spell of some sort that will dissolve the restriction on apparating! In a situation like this, all anyone wants to do it get the hell away, and it's quite justified, as well.
Despite Junior being around, she's starting to falter. The other Patronuses are busy preventing the Dementors from getting too close, and when one nears Holly, it's all she can do to swing her silvery shield around to send it zooming away again. Bolstered by the success - even if it's small - the shield once again becomes slightly brighter.
With some of the guards inside scattered to the winds, others like Dawlish knocked out, that leaves only the Dementors as a barrier to the outside world. So far, none of the trained wizards care much beyond the panic inflicted by the Dementors. Otherwise, there might be a harder time getting out. Although, it's still a bit too early to tell. The Dementors are the first priority and as long as the party doesn't make it beyond the radius limits, they aren't going anywhere fast.
It's a rather curious little scene, almost like a joke. A lawyer, a convict, and - well, you get the drift. Only the punch line seems to be 'and then the Dementors sucked out all their souls', which takes a bit of the humor out of it if you're not the resident Death Eater lying low. Edwin sends his patronus out in another sweep, the sea lion complimenting Tonks' albatross and soon attempting to clear a path. "I don't imagine anyone's got their own brooms on hand," the man mentions. "But there might be some in the closets left by the guards that fled. Some of them prefer a longer commute."
Tonks has to seriously consider letting down the wards to allow the Apparations. "It'll be made into an escape attempt," she says, pointing, without looking, in Edwin's direction as if pointing the finger at the first person who'll go screaming that's exactly what it is. But she won't stop Jack who probably /can/ break down the wards. Another pass of the albatross works on another set of Dementors. "I can't cast another one, not with this many Dementors around," Meaning she can't go summoning /trustworthy/ help. She shakes her head at Edwin. She didn't fly here.
"Hopefully someone did manage to raise an alarm before they bolted," she offers.
"Not taking me without a fight," Sirius growls under his breath, an almost fanatic light gleaming in his eyes. A bit like Edwin in this struggle, it's excitement, a thrill, a fight for one's survival. He's so caught up, that he doesn't even doubletake at Edwin's offer. "They might have, after they finished soiling their nappies," Sirius crows almost in triumph as he sends his Patronus swooping for a Dementor. His whole manner is shall we say, 'bring it on.'
"Surely this is an example of clause seven if there ever was one?" Jack shakes his head and boosts Junior a little, making him hop up and down the row of people. "Is trying to stick together on brooms gonna be the best route, or should we just stay on ground and keep the patronuses working for awhile?" He's uncertain which would be quicker or safer. "Not sure how Junior would do in the air." Two of their patronuses are air creatures, but he's not really had to test his. Should've though.
"Surely we'll all perish if we sit around arguing. Brooms will be a better bet than walking around the streets like idiots with flying Dementors coming at us." Edwin lets his patronus dissolve into a misty smoke thanks to his shift in concentration, and this time when he tries to recast it he has a touch of trouble. All he gets is wisps of silver the first several times he utters the incantation, to his great and obvious frustration, before the sea lion finally pulls itself laboriously together again and resumes its air-swimming. "Tonks, this is supposed to be your area of expertise."
Which is exactly why she's so focused on the damn dementors. "I wasn't given the means to bust the antiapparation wards. Either Jack takes the time to break them or you look for Brooms." She wades a little bit, then flicks her wand. The door she blasted soars over their head, rights itself, and then slams into a Dementor with a satisfying *THUNK*
"They're everywhere, aren't they?" Holly mutters, looking upward through the silver Patronus-shield. Looking back toward Edwin, she voices a valid concern… "Dementors can fly, though. Are they fast enough to outrun a broom?" And one would suppose there could be more waiting for them elsewhere.
Swinging her wand around again to prevent one of them from landing on top of her, Holly watches as it vacates the immediate area, likely to regroup. Still, brooms are more likely to get them away from here than anything else, and she lets her Patronus fade.
Considering one of the front closets and hoping there might be something in there that can help more than her sad excuse for Dementor repellant, she says "Accio brooms!"
Not too much farther to go. The house has never seemed bigger to Sirius. "Keep moving! We're almost there!," Sirius cheers on encouragingly. If he's this triumphant now, just imagine how cocky and reckless he was before. "Nice one Tonks!" He's not worried about a broom, once he's out of here, he's on four legs and sprinting for the boundary.
With a smile that seems strangely out of place, Jack starts to pat the pockets of his pants. "There they are." He grins widely, and pulls out a misshapen paper bag folded over. He opens it up, and takes out a small round candy. "Everybody take one, and use it as need. There should be plenty." He doesn't explain that the candies give the eater a two-second burst of pure joy. "You crazy girl." He jerks a thumb toward Edwin. "Give him one too, can't afford to keep him out of this. Just don't let him get a hold of the bag." See, he'll share, just not trust completely. He pops the 'Flavemotion' into his mouth, and laughs. He lets Junior fizzle out, recasting the charm quickly. The bunny that appears looks like the last one, except if he'd been doused with 'miracle-gro'.
From roughly about half a mile away from the safe house, four forms appear out of nowhere. Leading the pack is Brandon, who quickly scans the area. Nothing out of the ordinary. It's only a moment later that the group is on brooms and headed towards the house. As they near and the air chills, Brandon's face start to turn downward. Something just doesn't feel right. Maybe it's the Dementors hovering around the house. "What in Merlin's beard…." he gasps, bringing the broom to a halt. "Rogers! Jones! Take the right and the back. Dans and I will take the others."
The summoning spell should take care of the broom issue if there are any in the house, so instead of worrying about that Edwin returns his full attention to the mass of dark figures just outside the empty door frame - but only for a moment, because that Jack has suddenly started handing out bon bons is worth giving the other man an incredulous stare. However, any doubt he may have had is dispersed by the sudden appearance of a Grim Reaper Death Rabbit of Monty Python lore, in keeping with good old English tradition. At least it doesn't have big sharp pointy teeth? Edwin shakes his head and steps towards Jack, intending to snap up one of those candies. He wants him some of that Patronus mojo, for lack of a better term. And then it looks as though the reinforcements have arrived, which can only be a good thing.
Waht's this? Trusting Jack, Tonks' hand goes into the bag, and considering he popped it into his mouth she does the same. "Whoa…" SUGAR RUSH AND HAPPY HAPPY! Following Jack's example the zooming Albatross dissipates and she resummons it. Of course, it WOULD have to pick it's 'I'm just going to tumble stupidly about the ground towards the dementors' method of chasing after them as it can't get a take off, despite the size increase. And then, there's Brandon. Having worked with the Obliviator on previous raids, "I could kiss you right now!"
Then there's a pause, and despite HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY… "Why did they send an obliviator..?"
Wasting no time, Sirius grabs a couple of the candies and pops one into his mouth. This is possibly a bad idea to give these to him, as erratic as his moods can go. He lets out a laugh he hasn't made since before James died and recasts his patronus. (Which has taken on the full size of a hippogriff.) The form is sent careening after the Dementor still persisting at the rear, thus chasing it off thoroughly. Sorry, he's riding on a high he's not felt in /years/, what was that cousin?
Fortunately, there are brooms. Unfortunately, Holly only has one hand free to grab them. One of them finds its way into her grip, while the other two come to a stop by running right into her shoulder. Ow, just a bit. However, they now have a handful of brooms they can use to escape.
Candy seems a little illogical at a time like this, but if chocolate helps with Dementors, this must, too! And so as she tries to re-cast her Patronus, she stuffs the candy into her mouth. And on the next try, the giant furry sheep appears. It doesn't run after the Dementors, though… Instead, it stands like a sentinel next to Holly, which allows her to think clearly again. "Got brooms. Where are we going?"
Jack shrugs, feeling the after-effects of the candy. "To the edge of the boundary, right?" He grabs a broom. "Is there enough for all of us?" Because it's his candy, so he could keep on foot and cheating the darkness with the sugar rush, or, they could double up, or … "How do you want to do this? Who all is good on brooms?" That's the other question.
Following suit with the rest of the group Edwin pops the candy into his mouth and takes a couple of steps sideways, swiftly nabbing one of those fallen brooms. There's no way he's going to be without an escape method, oh no. Someone can ride with him, but he will be getting out of this supposedly 'secure' location alive and whole. Once a broom is safely in hand he recasts his own patronus - once again after a pair of false starts - and the sea lion that appears this time is quite a lot bigger. And fiercer! It is a pity it cannot be used to savage Sirius' face into hamburger meat. "Two to a broom, I'd say, though someone's going to ride alone."
"Save it for the honeymoon, Noble!" Brandon retorts at Jack with a grin as his wand pops out of his sleeve. At the words 'Expecto Patronum' from the tip of the wand emerges a solid corporeal form of a cat. Which sets to work immediately climbing the side of the house and onto the roof where it starts hissing and swatting at the Dementors. Several other various silvery animals appear from the rest of the team. The whole situation just screams WRONG at the Obliviator and as such he pulls out the parchment given to him by the Minister before departure with orders to open upon arrival. Task #1 - Dispose of the Dementors. Task #2 - Remove all memory.
Why didn't Brandon read this before arriving? Oh, right. Orders. "Unbelievable. LADS! Change of plans!" Darting his gaze to those he can see at the house, he nods. "Get somewhere safe. Now! You're being set up!" he shouts, turning back to his team. "Keep them occupied! Give the others a chance to escape."
"To the edge," Sirius says, echoing Jack. "Far enough for me, mate!" He's getting out of dodge unless someone tries to stop him. "You three on the brooms, I'll race you to the boundary." Three? Ha ha. He's not counting you Edwin. The silvery hippogriff disappears, "Get ready to bolt," he instructs because once the patronuses weaken or some go away, the Dementors may redouble. Aha, lads from the Ministry are doing what? He can't hear everything, said, but the important bit was audible. He flashes them a thumb's up before transforming and he's taking off with a single bounding leap past the group. Out the door and heading /away/ from here.
"That an offer, O'Conner?" Jack cackles, and then, notices that they're one broom short for going one-to-a-broom. "Up to you, Holly. Want to ride with me, or Tonks?" He waggles his eyebrows, trying to keep the mood light. He hears bits and pieces, including the word set-up, and intentionally files it away, using the extra endorphins in his system to ignore the churning in his stomach that the words bring. "Go for it, Pads!" He gives a feral smile, and directs Junior to hop around him, since it seems that Holly's sheep is back in action.
All Tonks hears is 'get somewhere safe'. "C'mon," A broom's snatched and she's soon chasing right after Sirius. A worried look is tossed at Brandon, but well, she's not looking a gift horse in the mouth!
Since Holly has the broom and Tonks is already running off on the other one with Sirius, Holly says "Hop on," to Jack. She'll wait for another couple moments for Jack to get onto the broom before she, too, takes off after Sirius.
There hasn't been any setup. Brandon's obviously just hit too much wizard weed lately. A look of utter fury crosses Edwin's face when Sirius gets his actual tail in gear. The next couple of seconds sees the hit wizard bounding out of the house and mounting the broom, immediately kicking off as soon as he has an opportune moment in hot pursuit of the large black dog. Who is now an escapee.
"Do I ever joke, Noble?" Brandon shouts back, watching each member of his team in succession to ensure they've got their respective Dementors under control. All except Jones seems to be doing fine. Why does the young Obliviator have his wand leveled at Brandon?
"Expelliar…" is all the younger lad gets out before Brandon has his own wand trained. "Stupefy!" the elder Obliviator shouts, sending the younger one flying backwards. Figures. Never trusted that one. Turning a sharp eye to the other two, he can read by their looks that they're with him. Right, back to the Dementors. "I've got a plan. On my mark, drop the your patronus." Straddling his broom, the elder Obliviator sighs and then brings up memories of the first wizarding war. All the sad and horrible memories he can find. "MARK!" he says, glancing up to the Dementors. "Come and get me you wretched beasts." Here's hoping they take the bait.
Yes, Sirius is an escapee and if Edwin makes a move, he /will/ retaliate and gladly. Relatively safe from Dementors in this form, now he has to focus on dodging any spells thrown his way until he can revert back. He's too busy sprinting for the edge to take note of what's occuring behind him.
With a wolf-whistle directed at Brandon, Jack hops on the back of the broom, and calls Junior to sit behind him precariously. "O'Conner! What do you think you're doing?" He shakes his head, and watches him for a long moment, and then looks down, trying to spot the running dog. "Run, boy," he whispers, more to himself than to anyone else. He tightens his grip around Holly just a little, steadying both of them on the broom.
Okay, Edwin's in pursuit, that's not good. Tonks chews her lip, trying to figure out how to shake him off of Sirius' tail /without/ completely having ten fingers pointing at her that she was the one that helped. A plan comes to fruition, and she's digging into her coat pocket. She veers to the side, casting a disillusionment charm on herself. She waits for Edwin to pass before she's following up on him. She fiddles with what's in her hands, a Chocolate frog. And right before the frog Jumps? "Engorgio…" Hopefully after the frog jumps (and the extra weight causes poor Tonks to veer horribly off course), he'll have a landing towards Ed.
Edwin is all too happy to oblige Sirius with a couple of hoarsely-snarled Stunning spells directed towards the animagus' fleeing, shaggy mongrel form. The very last "Stupefy!" he utters, echoing Brandon, gets cut off by a strangled shout of surprise when he, aboard a damn broom, suddenly finds himself with a spastic and delicious eatable knocking his broom wildly to one side. To put it lightly, Edwin never played quidditch. No, really. He was too busy being a buzz-killing prefect to fly around like a pansy on a twig, and his methods of broom control aren't the greatest. It's a blessing he's not flying very high, because he is soon not actually flying. Though a cliche villain would now be raising his fist in rage, the death eater just sits up after his minor crash, battered but still incensed. At least he's lost sight of Sirius.
What's this? A lovely source of complete sad and horrible memories? Yes, the Dementors can't resist that and as the team drops their patronus charms, they turn for Brandon. "That's right. Let's go for a ride." the Obliviator says, grinning as he kicks his broom up off the ground. Looking back at Rogers and Dans, he nods and shouts down, "Make sure everyone gets out safe. I'll draw them away." The two nod and duck into the house to ensure it's empty as their lead climbs high into the sky with a pack of Dementors on his tail.
In dog form, Sirius is made aware of the stunning spells Edwin throws his way by the bursts of red light that strike all too close. Racing in a serpentine pattern, he narrowly avoids being hit. Well now, this is a familiar feeling from the old days! Behind the large black dog, the safehouse has rapidly emptied of people. Brandon is on his broom, drawing a group of dementors away while Edwin's on a broom, chasing after Sirius. Although it seems he's crashed owing to a rather inventive use of candy. In pursuit is Tonks on a broom, then Jack and Holly together on another.
Jack keeps his arms tight around Holly as she continues to guide them to the border. He's leaning forward a bit, helping her increase the speed on the old broom. This broom wasn't exactly meant to carry two adults this far this fast, but the old Comet seems to be doing a pretty good job. At least it's not a Twigger. "Good job there, Tonks." Jack grins, though keeping his mouth mostly closed. High speed doesn't lend itself well to open mouths. "How much further?" He calls out to those around. Surely they're almost there?
Holly isn't the best flier in the world, but she seems to have at least been on a broom before. With her Patronus gone now, her only priority is getting to the half-mile perimeter so she can apparate away safely. "Not too much longer," she replies, looking back over her shoulder to see Edwin taken out of the picture. Well, that's one problem taken care of, at least.
VROOM! Tonks manages to regain control and passes by Edwin. There's a quick "Finite!" whispered at the enlarged frog shrinking it back to normal size. Of course, in all the whole mess with trying to divert Edwin, she can't quite get a look for Sirius, but just focuses on hitting the anti-apparaition barrier. She does slow up, looking behind her. "It's right around here. Hit the half mile mark already." Either she heard Jack, or she anticipated the question.
Surely he's hit the edge of the Apparation block? In a flash of fur then robes, Sirius transforms back. Wand pulled back out, he's sorely tempted to get into a duel with Edwin. Thankfully the brief burst the candy gave him has worn off, otherwise he surely would have done so. He gives a mock salute to Tonks, Holly and Jack as he disappears with a *POP*. He'll be meeting them at the rendezvous point that Jack recommended and offered. His Hogsmeade office. From there, they'll plan on where to go next to lay low.