Chapter 3 : The Times They Are A-Changiní
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Emotional breakdowns caused by female companions ½ [wanted to, but couldn’t manage it – still thought that counts]. Insane plots hatched by above: 1. Likelihood of said plot succeeding: high. Cigarettes: 0 [v.g. except dubious, as may have switched to pipe instead]
5.12.pm. Red Lion, St. James’, London. Love having snobby pub as local. Even if said pub is Muggle. Here with Dom, Annah and Sam for a change. Am really going to get this ‘thing’ out of them. Total conspiracy against self. Just mean really. Ooh Dom back with drinks.
Behind Dominique - at bar - was shapely looking Trustafarian-ish type. Couldn’t see face, due to back being turned Still, rather easy on the eye. Until the figure turned, drawing a wince. Checking out one’s cousins is just not good form – even if involuntary and totally not one’s fault.
“Molly!” I called, enjoying the wince on Dom’s face. May have smirked too much as shot death-glare. Wasn’t my fault they were such bitches to each other. One of those weird girl ‘we’re really similar, so we hate each other’ sort of things. Not mine to reason why.
She spun around, all suede Prada pumps and Peruvian Llama Farmer type hat. “Louis!” she beamed, beckoning me over.
Got up from table, squishing past Sam who looked somewhat unimpressed.
“I’ve been meaning to talk to you,” she started. “I’ve got a favour to ask, it’s not a big deal or anything, just yeah – “
Froze inwardly. Favours for Molly were always a big deal.
“Umm we’re kind of in the middle of something here,” I gestured vaguely towards the others seated around the table, who were drumming their fingers rather pointedly. Molly was rather a polarising figure, I didn’t mind her but she was a piece of work. The funny, often fabulous side to her was balanced somewhat by her liberal use of Daddy’s money. Percy switched from politics to business not long after the war, made an absolute stack then met and married Audrey. Molly rather enjoyed the utter lack of responsibility.
“Please,” she whined. “It’ll only take a minute!”
“Fine.” Also happened to be one of those people it was annoyingly difficult to say no to. “This is the last time though, remember what happened with the last one?”
“No.” She looked genuinely confused. Decided to be nice. Was in good mood. Magnanimous you might say. “Anyway, you know the French Ambassador?”
“Umm…I need you to talk to him for me.”
“Well it’s not like I can owl him is it? His security don’t just let randoms write to him do they?”
“You’ve tried haven’t you?”
She chose to ignore that. “Oh please. I know I don’t need it, but I do want it.”
“Because..,.” Wasn’t going to blindly give her what she wanted. Am man of substance, moral fibre and similar.
“Because I want to meet him,” she snapped suddenly. Tends to get slightly nasty when things don’t go entirely her way.
“I know what your meetings are like,” I hissed back. “He is married you know?”
She tossed her long hair disdainfully. “Oh come on Louis, just do it.”
“Fine. I’ve got a meeting with him on Monday, I’ll talk to him then. You owe me though. Big. Majorly big.”
A radiant smile lit up her face. “Knew there was a reason you were my favourite cousin,” she winked before performing some sort of pirouette and waltzing out the door. Yes, may have mixed dancing metaphors. Point stands. Walked back to the girls.
“I feel used,” I moaned, sliding in next to Sam again.
“What did she want?” asked Dom, lip curling.
“The French Ambassador, believe it or not.”
Around the table, three identical grins slowly cracked. Looked around at each nervously.
“Umm, why’s that a good thing? You know what she’s like with guys…”
Said three looked at each other, performing mystical female eye-communication tricks. Sat in stony silence while they sorted their act out. Eventually Sam decided speaking might be worthwhile.
“Okay Louis. Ahh – so you know that thing Dom and Annah were meant to tell you on Monday?” Here she shot them a disdainful look that instantly improved own mood. Deigned to nod my agreement.
“Well, we’re going to explain it properly.”
“About time,” I sniffed, glaring at Domi. Annah much too pretty for such treatment.
She glared right back. Far too much negativity around us. Very bad vibes.
“Anyway,” she continued. “As I was saying –“
“Muffliato!” muttered Annah, flicking her wand under the table. “No point in being careless.”
“Don’t you think that’s a bit paranoid?” I asked dubiously.
She shrugged. “Better safe than sorry, besides – I have a feeling we’re going to need to get used to it sooner or later. Anyway Louis, basically, we’re organising a coup.”
“A coup,” she said calmly. Dom looking on as though not a care in the world, Sam rather tentatively.
“Wait, wait, wait. So you three clowns want to go all Voldemort on the Ministry, is that seriously what you’re saying?”
“What? No, of course not!”
“Well how about you explain it properly then hmm?”
Made expressive facial and body movements suggesting that she hurry up quick-snap.
She in turn made a face that would have made a five-year-old proud. “Well you remember how after the war the entire Ministry got restructured right?”
“Yes, yes,” I replied. Excellent bored tone of voice. “Basically stole off the Muggles. Bi-cameral, bi-partisan system, elections every three years etc. Just so nothing like Thicknesse could happen again.”
“Yep, exactly. So obviously we can’t try and pull something like Voldemort – and frankly, we don’t want to. What we do want to do is replace the Minister before it gets too close to the election. You’ve seen him, he’s going downhill so quickly it’s not even funny. Smoking Dirigible at the Weasley’s? He’s suffering in the opinion polls, we won’t win with him as leader. And so, we need to get rid of him.”
At least now they were getting to the bottom of this, even if they were completely insane. “Right. And how exactly do these two,” I gestured at Sam and Dom, “fit into things? Seeing as Dominique is an Auror and therefore strictly non-partisan, while Sam is a journo who has nothing to do with politics at all.”
Voice may have got slightly heated, though totally not my fault.
“Louis,” said Sam softly, doing her whole moderating thing. “You know things are going backwards, we need a change, a spark.”
“Sure, but are you seriously telling me that one of these two clowns deciding they’re leadership material is going to help anything?”
Stopped, noting that voice was getting rather heated. But really, Dominique Weasley – Minister for Magic. Even though she is sister, idea terrifying
For some reason, Dom found this hilarious. “Is that what you think this is then?” she spluttered, before bursting into hysterics once more.
Turned to the other two. “What was funny about that?”
Both shrugged. “That’s Domi?” was Annah’s best effort.
Realised, with own genius skills that the situation was getting out of hand. “Umm… okay. One of you – no not you Dom - explain to me exactly what you’re trying to do.”
Sam took a deep breath, leaning back and taking a long drink from the pint sitting in front of her. She put it down and drummed her fingers on the table.
“You’ve been biting your nails again.”
“Do you want to hear or not?” she glared. Apparently observations about personal aesthetics not appreciated. Even if said observations are both highly astute and well intentioned.
“Have you heard of Terry Boot?”
“The Finance Minister?” Tuh. They really didn’t give me much credit. Did, after all, work in the Ministry. Stands to reason I would know Cabinet Ministers.
“Yeah that’s him. Young-ish, up and coming etc. He’s not afraid to mess things up a bit though, going right back to school – was part of Dumbledore’s Army apparently, fought at Hogwarts and all. Basically, we’re going to help him overthrow the Minister in a Party Room coup. And to do that we need to destabilise him. That’s where we come in really – I’m the press Louis, can muddy the waters nicely. Dom can start talking to the Aurors; they’re independent but influential. And Annah – well, what can’t she do?”
“Right…I think I’ve got all that. What’s the big deal about Molly and the French Ambassador though?”
“Oh, just one more lever of pressure isn’t it?” Dominique had seemingly recovered from her fit. Also seemingly the nastier side to politics. Looked at her suspiciously. “Well, he’s married isn’t he? So we just let him know, that we know what he’s doing. Then, when he’s in our pocket, we can get him to lean on the French Ministry. A bit of international pressure can’t hurt things can it?”
“You have put way too much thought into this.”
“Brilliant isn’t it?”
Nodded glumly. Hate smart siblings and friends. “Is anyone else in on this, and can I just ask what exactly are you getting out of this?”
“Ahh yep. Victoire. She’s in Gringotts. If you want to hold power, you need the goblins.”
“Victoire’s a Curse Breaker…”
“Yeah, and a ridiculously good one. She’s got influence Louis, that’s what this is all about - Power and influence. Look, we get Terry into power now, then a few years down the track – maybe five, maybe ten – who knows?”
Leant backwards, sudden reality of what they were attempting suddenly crashing down on self. Felt like crying, although obviously didn’t – as would not be dignified and would raise questions. Instead continued asking questions. “That’s why you want Tom Tom talking to me isn’t it?”
“Yep,” nodded Dom gleefully – enjoying herself far too much. Sam and Annah had got rather bored and were nattering on about something. Could have been anything really, girls and talking are just… well – they’re on another level.
“But that’s all you want me to do right? I mean no crazy spy tricks where I steal three Time-Turners and make three versions of myself and break into the Department of Mysteries where I kidnap Albus and –“ voice trailed off as I saw her look.
“No,” she enunciated slowly. Totally mocking me. Definitely uncalled for. “But can you get in touch with Lily? She likes you. And from what I hear she’s doing mega things with student politics at Hogwarts. Right little firebrand.”
“Sounds like her,” I nodded. Lily (daughter of Harry) tended to have a flashing smile and a flashing temper. Rather like Domi. And Annah. And Molly. Clearly surround self with too many females of same type. While exciting and often entertaining, not fantastic for long-term health and/or sanity.
“She’s something else isn’t she? Anyway, that’s all we need out of you for now. Unless. I guess, you really don’t want anything to do with it.”
Looked at her funnily. Dominique and reasonable did not go hand – in – hand.
“No, of course not!” she snapped. “We need you.”
“We need me?” I smirked at her. Am now invaluable member of coup. No abandonment in gutters for Louis.
She groaned. “How long are you going to be like this?”
“When’s the election again?” I asked lightly.
“So we’ll want Terry as leader by what – July at the latest?”
“Yep,” she confirmed.
“Until then, then.”
She glared. Decided in interests of preservation not to push luck any further. Provoking Dom rather like provoking dragon. Fun until suddenly dead.
“Well that was most productive,” announced Annah – rejoining the conversation. “Got it all worked out Louis?”
Nodded. Unfortunate thing is, for all the insanity, actually sounded like rather a lot of fun. “So how do I deal with the French Ambassador?”
Sam laughed at that. “Come on mate, you don’t need us to tell you that. Just introduce him to Molly – she’ll do the rest perfectly. It’s what she does best after all.”
“Pressures foreign Ambassadors into colluding with a coup run by a bunch of 20-somethings?”
“I was going for seducing married men, but I quite like yours though. Has a bit of a ring to it.” With a twinkle in her eye she lifted Annah’s Muffliato – and conversation returned to normal. Well, what passed as normal anyway. Normal among us – not others. Us being different to normal. Mostly.
2.30 p.m. Home of French Ambassdor, Primrose Hill.
Lovely meeting with Ambassador. Very decent type. Best lunch have had in a long time. Starting to realise now why they take those obscenely long lunch breaks. The talks had proved rather fruitful. Minisitry looking to cement our trade relationship with the French. Some of the Eastern-Bloc countries looking rather dubious at present. Therefore old somewhat-allies always appreciated. Sure had been chosen to do this as can speak French, and have the whole Veela cheek-bones thing going on which his wife definitely liked. Bit old for my tastes. And would never consider doing that to another man. V. poor form. Speaking of which.
As walking out the door, I stopped him for a moment. “Oh Ambassador, there is one more thing. A friend of mine, well, she’s my cousin actually – anyway – she would love to meet you. You might have heard her name, moves in high society type circles, Molly Weasley?”
A/N: Lalalalalala. So, things a bit clearer now? Quite relieved this chapters over, plot basically explained – can get back to the humour! Yes, I know, this chapter wasn’t particularly funneh, but not every single one can be right? So what do you think about the plot, the Molly, the peoples, the everything? Thanks for reading and please do let me know. Ooh, and thanks for beta-ing Susan – you’re amazing! ^^
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