July 27: Morning Who: The Prewett twins What: Plotting, planning, consulting When: Morning of 27 July Where: Fabian's flat Warnings: Discussion of horcruxes, betrayals, and other Death Eater type deeds.
The twins had agreed on a fry-up Saturday morning as a debrief for Friday night, and also so Gideon could reassure himself that Fabian hadn't been replaced or put under the Imperius or any of the other unlikely things that Rabbit might have done in a worst-case scenario. It was also a chance for Fabian to repay Gideon for keeping an ear out for him on the Friday after his birthday, when they might have gone out together but instead Gideon had to do something boring and worry about his twin.
"... and then he says to me, like he doesn't know the bloody answer, 'do you have any contacts in the Order of the Phoenix?'" Fabian continued, as he dished the cheesy sauce over the toasted bread. "The cheek of him." His tone was irritated and amused and vaguely fond, which was par for the course where Rabastan Lestrange was concerned. "And I just looked at him because it's a little late for that game and asked him if he didn't already know. Bacon will be ready in a mo, here--" it was sizzling in the pan "--but the rarebit's ready if you've got the table set. Anyhow, do you want a blow-by-blow of the conversation or just our agreement and my takeaways?"
"Analysis, please. I'll read the details in the libretto of the eventual opera." Gideon used the potholders to move the hot sauce to the table. He didn't want to spill on the carpet. "And I'm sure you'll tell me the best bits in any case." Gideon spooned up a tiny bit of the cheese sauce, unwilling to wait, and blew on it to cool it. "Have you sent word upstairs?"
"Rabastan, Rabastan, does whatever a Rabbit--" Fabian stopped singing abruptly at Gideon's question. "Not yet, wanted your opinion first on how I ought to pitch it. I'm aware that what sounds brilliant to a pair of Slytherins might not make so much sense to a bunch of Gryffindors." He lifted the bacon onto its own serving plate and sent it drifting over toward the dining table.
"Anyroad, what he originally wanted was to hand me the horcrux and have us destroy it. He thinks it's influencing his brother and that they may be lining his brother up as a host body for their boss. I told him flat out no on that and that we don't work that way. I had to have a pitch to sell it. I think he knows me too well to think I'd buy anything but the truth or something closely related to it from him. He can be a selfish twat but he does love his brother." This all as Fabian was cleaning up the stove and putting the pans in the sink. His kitchen might be small--a long wall along the side of the downstairs of the flat--but he didn't have a house-elf to take care of it unless Gideon brought Nelly with to serve. So Fabian cleaned as he cooked.
Gideon snorted. "Yeah, 'look what came in the post!' won't really fly." Gideon made sure that the bread had generous and even amounts of sauce and bacon on it. He liked his brother's bachelor cooking more than formal dinners at the house, honestly. It was tasty and didn't get in the way of discussing important matters.
"We'll definitely want to see what the Order wants to get in exchange for letting him come in from the cold. It sounds like you've confirmed the brothers and Bellatrix as marked Death Eaters. That's a good opening. And Rabbit's price is his brother's life and his own freedom?
"Not only is he going to have to give us more, he should want to give us more. He needs to have us and the DMLE smash their organization so hard that no one who wants revenge on him is around to come looking. Has he gotten that far in his reasoning yet?"
"I got him to the point of 'there's no going back from this' and 'you understand that if they're trying to feed Rodolphus to the horcruxes you're in for all of them' but I'm letting him stew in his own juices on the rest. He didn't confirm that any of the three of them are in in so many words, because he's not an idiot, but he did confirm things that should take a Death Eater to know. Also he was the one who named Pettigrew, not me. Apparently he was involved in that, though we didn't discuss how." Fabian grimaced.
He toweled his hands dry and came to the table to actually eat some of the feast he'd provided. "Anyroad, he wants himself and Rodolphus free and clear, and I think he knows that's not coming cheap. If it weren't for the Pettigrew business, I'd consider asking him to help Sirius. I don't think that broom'll fly, though. I'm thinking for sure access to horcruxes he can get, and knowledge about the ones he can't get. And a lot of names and so on and so forth but that'll come later, after he's in too far to back out. Which will be about the time he hands me the horcrux. Where are we with the dragonfire?"
Gideon took a generous and overly hot portion of the rarebit, risking burns to the roof of his mouth, but he didn't care. It was delicious. "Mercurius has been distracted by his real job, but I'm going to see Florrie soon to see if we can get this back on the front burner. If all goes well, it'll be just the thing for purifying the horcruxes with flame, but if not, we'll need to consult with an Order potioneer to see what we can do. Or do some research in our new private library. Or maybe both.
"Any chance this is a trap? Not like they did a great job with their last ambush, but could they be seeing who they can bring down with you?"
"It's Rabbit. There's always a chance it's a trap." Fabian punctuated that with a big bite of rarebit and chewed on that while he chewed on the actual question. Once he'd swallowed and had a sip of his cuppa, he shrugged. "His concern for his brother is real, so I think the need is real, which isn't to say he won't change his mind if we leave it too long. So we need to get the McGonagalls moving five minutes ago."
Gideon nodded. That agreed with his analysis. "Well, let's get a plan, or at least a sketch of one. First, we go to herself and we tell her what we've got. 'Hello, headmistress, we have another Horcrux, possibly, but it's got a string attached, which is a death eater who wants amnesty for himself and his family. We told him that it'll take more than an horcrux in a box and a see-ya-later, but we need to know how much to demand.'
One we get that, we, having learned to be diplomatic envoys from the cradle, ferry the message back to Rabbit and if he takes the deal, we get his answers to McG's questions.
"And assuming all that goes exactly as smoothly as it promises to, somebody has to figure out how to get Le Bangnolt to cut him a deal. It's not like we can just go to the DMLE and say 'The Order of the Phoenix says he's good to go!'"
"Does that cover the high points?"
"I think that's about it, though I'm hoping the Professor and Moody and maybe Doge have ideas about how to approach the DMLE and the Minister. That's a bit above our pay grade at the moment. Though,"" Fabian mused, "I wouldn't mind it if this stretched our pay grade to that level. Still, I think the upright Gryffindor is the face for that side of the operation and the slimeball Slytherin will handle the Death Eating end."
"I imagine I can pretend to be the slimeball Slytherin. I've had plenty of opportunities to observe the type. Good luck to you with the other." Gideon raised his glass in a mock toast to his brother's acting abilities.
Fabian made a face as he returned the toast. "I can play at upright when I need to. How do you think I managed to make journeyman? We don't have the ethical requirements of being an officer of the court, but there's always the consideration that we might end up there." Fabian chose that as his return volley over the rather obvious point that Rabbit would know in a heartbeat.
"I always preferred playing the concert to an upright. People always want to put uprights against walls." Gideon replied. "But enough about pianos. Do you think we should both go to McGonagall or just you? She might be happier if I was there, taking notes, at whatever questioning you do of him, if he can stand that. Nothing will make Mad-Eye happy."
"Let's not put the carriage before the Thestral, here." Fabian held a hand up to pause Gideon before he got too far ahead of himself. "We talk to McGonagall, find out what's on offer, potentially, and I negotiate the pair of them--Rabbit on the one hand and the Order leadership on the other--down to something that they can all live with. And you get on with the dragonfire and destroying the horcrux that Sirius has a line on so Rabbit is sure what he's buying. That's my plan, anyhow."
Gideon nodded. It's what he thought the plan would be. Still, he worried about his brother. "Is this your way of getting out of playing with dragonfire? Where's your sense of adventure?"
Fabian grinned. "Who needs dragons for adventures when you've got snakes?"