A Magical Roleplaying Experience 

"These are dark times, there is no denying..."
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 #23189  by Minerva McGonagall
Location: Muggle London, Amelia's Home • Date: January 1996
Time of Day: 1 am • Weather: Windy

Like stunning spells to the chest, the news had sucked the breath out of her lungs. She had remained seated, her eyes blindly scanning the pictures of the various escapees. His faithfuls were flocking back to him. They were doing so right under Fudge's nose and the incompetent Minister of Magic was not willing to entertain the thought that Albus had been right. Though a surge of anger towards the man clung to her, it is another Ministry official who seemed to colonize her thoughts.

How would Amelia fare with the pressure? How would she navigate these impossible circumstance when the Ministry forbade her from truly acknowledging the problem at hand? Determined to reach out to her friend as soon as she could Minerva had hurried back to her chambers.

For 36 hours, she had flooed and oweled, but each of her attempts had gone unanswered. Finally at midnight, on the day following the mass escape, Minerva had decided to leave the castle and go to the Ministry. Reaching Amelia's office had been rather easy, given that most of the woman's employees were old students of hers and that her glare alone seemed to still instil fear in them. However, convincing the Head of Department that she needed to rest if only for a few hours had been more of a challenge. When finally Minerva had managed to convince her, the woman had given her deputy a slew of orders and had made the younger woman promise that she would be warned if any development were to happen.

Minerva having decided to escort the woman home for fear that she might change her mind and stay at work for another white night, they had left the Ministry in silence. She had linked arms with the woman and had easily made them apparate in front of Amelia's home. The professor had taken a few steps towards the house, when a man in auror robes revealed himself. His wand flaunted a little to close to her nose for her comfort, Minerva scowled. "Can't remember your old Transfiguration Professor, McNulty?"
 #23203  by Amelia Bones
"We have confirmed that ten high-security prisoners, in the early hours of yesterday evening, did escape. And of course, the Muggle Prime Minister has been alerted to the danger. We strongly suspect that the breakout was engineered by a man with personal experience in escaping from Azkaban; notorious mass murderer Sirius Black, cousin of the escapee Bellatrix Lestrange." The paper had read, Fudge's still clear inside her mind, even as the article now lay burnt in the bottom of her waste basket. Still now, three days later they haunted her, just as much as the screaming picture of Bellatrix Lestrange did. It was surreal really, how Fudge was still now denying His return. How not even the break out of His most loyal followers could make him see reason.

The Ministers denial however still hadn’t stopped stories from flying. Every man and his kneezle had their own idea as to what was happening and Amelia had been on damage control ever since it had all begun. Quelling the fears of her own department had been her first priority and then working on recapturing those who had escaped Azkaban had been her second.

Amelia hadn’t slept in nearly three days trying to get a handle on the chaos that was the wizarding world. She struggled with coming up with solutions to it all while her boss did everything he could to keep everyone’s head buried in the sand. People would be better off knowing the truth. They could actually put together a plan that could prevent further disastrous events like the breakout happening again. But instead Amelia had to remain mum, going along with that Fudge said. It was exhausting all this lying and Amelia was beginning to become untethered.

She was taking a few moments to herself to freshen up a little, the past few days starting to really show physical when Minerva had knocked at her office door. Her guilty looking Secretary hadn’t even stayed behind to explain why the girls old professor was currently standing in her bosses door way.

It hadn’t taken much really, Amelia had given in to Minvera’s threats a lot quicker than she usually did. Truthfully she was glad to have someone dragging her from the ministry building because Amelia probably wouldn’t have remained there until she had physically collapsed. It wouldn’t be the first time.

She was leaning on the Hogwarts professor a little too heavily for her liking when they landed on her front door step. Amelia had completely forgotten about the security detail that had been put on her since the breakout and because she hadn’t been home after the fact, the woman was a little stunned to see one of her junior employees waving a wand in her direction. Though it shook a bit in the air as he took in the woman next to her.

“It’s fine Davey. She’s with me.”

“But Madame Bones—“

Amelia shook her head, lifting a hand to silence him. “Unless you want to test whether Professor McGonagall can grant detention after graduating Hogwarts, I suggest you get. out. of. my. way.”

The boy pale, though for a split second it looked as if he was going to protest once again, but after eyeing Minerva one last time, he seemed to think twice of it and stepped to the side. Immediately Amelia pressed her hand to the wood of her front door and it shimmered lightly, a gold glow forming before it melted away as the door swung open.
 #23204  by Minerva McGonagall
Glaring at the boy until he finally deigned to move his wand, she sniffed in contempt as she walked passed him. He was only doing his job and an important one at that, but having a wand pointed at her given the tensed times was not something for which she had patience.

She followed Amelia inside and made sure all of the protective spells were activated once the door closed behind them. Turning back towards her friend, she noticed that the woman had remained immobile. Hesitant she approached Amelia and placed a gentle hand on her shoulder. "Let me take your cloak," she spoke softly. The tone felt foreign even to her.
 #23207  by Amelia Bones
"Oh yes," Jolted out of whatever stupor she had found herself in, Amelia let Minerva remove her cloak and hang it up before she slowly began to move further into the house. She didn't stop until she entered her kitchen and then just...stood in the middle of it. Staring.

Sucking in a breath, she blinked, "Tea? I should--I can put on some tea."
 #23208  by Minerva McGonagall
"Sit," Minerva ordered with a glance not unlike the one she had served McNulty. She waited for Amelia to comply before she sent the kettle on the stove and made a few Scotch eggs appear. She placed the eggs on a plate a put the plate in front of Amelia.

Wishing she could do or say something that would alleviate her friend's concern, her hand remained close to the plate for a few seconds. With her index she tapped on the plate for a few times. "You are doing as much as you can, Amy." The monicker she remembered Edgar using when talking to his sister came naturally to her for the first time since their long friendship had started.
 #23210  by Amelia Bones
Letting herself be guided into one of her kitchen chairs, she faced Minerva as she moved about her kitchen. Then suddenly food was being placed beneath her nose, something Amelia couldn't remember having in the last thirty-eight hours. Her stomach rumbled, though instead of feeling hungry, she only felt nauseous. Reluctantly, she reached for a scotch egg and took a dainty bite, Minerva's words making it very difficult to swallow.

"I'm leading them on a wild goose chase, Minnie." She whispered, head drooping as she stared at her kitchen table.
 #23216  by Minerva McGonagall
Unsatisfied with the feeble bite, her eyes followed the egg that was being abandoned on the plate. Paying no mind to the teapot filling two tea cups in front of them she joined Amelia at the kitchen table.

Was it a wild goose chase? It certainly was when she considered the lead that had been suggested by Fudge, but considering that Black was thought by many to be a Death Eater perhaps Amelia would be able to skirt the line. Certain that Amelia had already come to the same conclusion, but was confronted to the legitimate frustration of being unable to be upfront, she kept her observation to herself. "Not everyone is as blind as Fudge. Aurors are trained to see the signs." More than ever Amelia would have to play with subtlety and innuendo yet by making that mere statement Minerva was being more explicit than ever with her friend.
 #23233  by Amelia Bones
Amelia let out a sigh of frustration, her head dropping down into her hands.

“But is it enough?” She wondered allowed, pressing the heels of her palms harshly into her eyes. “I can’t even acknowledge what’s really happening in the world inside my own home without worrying about the repercussions. Cornelius has everyone fooled, but am I not the fool for going along with it.” Amelia snapped her head up to stare at her friend, her mouth twisting tightly. “People deserve to know the truth.”
 #23370  by Minerva McGonagall
"A replacement would be far worst," Minerva concluded unwaveringly. The courageous Gryffindor was encouraging her friend to remain silent. Not everyone had the privilege Albus did, if Amelia were to speak out she would likely be forced to resign or worst dismissed. Not to mention that she would undoubtedly become a target for Him. The courageous Gryffindor could not bear the thought of losing her friend.

"Have a bite," she ordered eying the egg Amelia had left abandoned on the plate. "I brought a sleeping potion." She added.
 #23372  by Amelia Bones
The blonde laughed tiredly, “I want to say that I won’t need it but I know as soon as I lay down my mind will start going and I’ll never get to sleep.” This was Amelia’s curse. Chronic insomnia that had her relying on the sleep potions McGonagall made for her. She was glad that her friend had thought about it because Amelia just realized as she looked at the older woman that her stock was empty.

“That’s good. That’s good. I believe I have none left. I was going to floo you about not it but forgot.” Amelia looked slightly sheepish, rubbing at the back of her necks as she spoke.

Lifting her head, she reached for her wand that she’d left on the counter in front of her and pointed it at the kettle sitting on her stove to begin boiling. After waving her hand at a kitchen cabinet and two mugs drifted out. She then jerked her wand in the direction of three ceramic containers that held sugar, tea bags and instant coffee, and the mugs began to prepare themselves for two cups of tea.

Amelia then stood and stretched an arm above her head, “come sit in the living room with me.”
 #23406  by Minerva McGonagall
Puzzled she looked at the fuming cups she had already prepared for them. Taking this as a sign of her friend's exhaustion she chose to remain silent. Amelia had enough on her mind, she did not need to apologize for such a small oversight.

Making sure the cups were following them, she joined her friend in the living room. She chose to sit next to her friend rather than in front of her, it seemed that in the circumstance her proximity might bring slight comfort. She knew Amelia's had on quite a few occasions.

"You trust the aurors they have posted outside?" Minerva trusted her friend's judgement in the matter, but she would certainly mention to Albus the idea of sending Nymphadora Tonks.
 #23411  by Amelia Bones
Leaning heavily against the back of her sofa, she let her head rest against the the soft cushion and then closed her eyes.

"Davey McNulty is a good boy. A fast learner and an even faster spell caster. Claire Simmons, you didn't see her but she was in McNulty's year, a Slytherin. She can be quite scary and her defensive magic is one of the best I have seen." She shrugged, "So yes, I trust them. I have to, I trained them." Claire and Davey's class was the last she had ever taught before her promotion to Assistant Department Head and that had been five years go. Now she was Department Head but she still had a soft spot for the two Auror's standing watch outside her home.

Amelia grabbed Minerva's hand and squeezed it, "I'm okay. I'll be okay."
 #23418  by Minerva McGonagall
"Oh well, if you trained them." It reassured her to think of them as Amelia's former students, but she would still mention her idea to Albus.

Looking at the hand on hers she felt as though the true weight of the situation finally dawned on her. Finding that she was not able to speak for fear that her voice might betray her emotions she nodded while her eyes remained on their hands. She gave her friend's hand a gentle squeeze.

"You should go to bed," emotions not quite at bay she swallowed thickly.
 #23421  by Amelia Bones
Amelia nodded, "I know," She agreed, though she made no move to get off the couch. Instead she let out a tired sigh, and seemed to sink further into the couch, soft blue suede gentle and warm against her back.

"I know I shouldn't ask, but we can blame it on the lack of sleep if you'd like. But I do have to ask Minnie, I do." She opened her eyes and stared hard at the coffered ceiling above. "How is Potter, is he--is he coping?"
 #23456  by Minerva McGonagall
"He seems to be rather tormented," she allowed herself to share though they were heading towards a treacherous topic. The attack of Arthur Weasley had done nothing to appease the young man. Not to mention Albus's disconcerting coldness towards the boy. Though Minerva was starting to understand why the man was choosing to keep the boy at arm's length, she could see how much it affected Harry.

"I fear we might be asking too much of him," she sighed. It was not Harry's abilities she was doubting, it was their selfishness in expecting so much of him.