[Since I already wrote the immediate aftermath, we'll go up a few years here.]
"He apologized to me, you know," Reg said, sitting down at the plastic folding table that now served for their dining room set (after they'd escaped England, the Death Eaters had destroyed everything they owned, no matter how worthless, in a fit of pique--the only thing that had kept them from burning the flat itself was that it was above a useful cauldron shop). "Harry Potter--said he was sorry, that they hadn't worked things out quite right when they came in, and didn't know about you."
"Probably a good thing for us," Mary said. "Maybe the Granger girl would have been enough, but I think it was really the Weasley boy stuck in your shoes that made them decide to save our skins that day."
"I think so, too. Had a long talk with that one--Weasley, I mean. He said he never felt worse about doing something badly. He didn't know the right spells for Runcorn's office, and he was afraid he'd get you killed by not being able to make it stop raining. I told him my plan was to be at the trial, so he was probably already doing more for you than I'd've been able to, as I didn't care a fig what was happening to that ghoul's paperwork."
Mary smiled. "So, will you be going back to work? Or did you want to leave? Maisie's making her opinion quite clear that she wants to go back to Cape Verde."
"If she still wants to go there when she's of age, she's welcome to it. It's too bloody hot for me. What about you?"
Mary laughed. "I spent the past year sunburned. Besides, I want to do my bit in fixing things up again. Reckon I owe it for that rescue. Lots of others didn't have a chance to be rescued."
Reg tried to smile, but it turned into a sigh. "I never meant you to be living in an empty house, using plastic cutlery. I promised you better than that."
"I'm not in an empty house. You and the children are in it."
Mary bit her lip. The situation with the gold was touchy, but it had to be brought up. "There's a fund," she said. "People set up a fund to help victims of the Death Eater attacks--"
Reg grimaced. "I never took a Knut of charity in my life."
"You never got into a grudge match with murderers before, either."
"An' if it was their gold, I'd think about it. But I don't need to be drinking sweat off the brows of decent folk."
"Would it help that Narcissa Malfoy put in a respectable donation? And I think that Andromeda Tonks wouldn't touch her sister's vault--she just dumped all of it into the fund once the curses were off, so I reckon there's a good chance that it would be their gold, and not decent people's."
Mary got up and went around the table to him, putting her arms around him and kissing the line of his jaw. "There's no shame in getting a bit of help to fix a problem that was never our fault."
"I've got a strong back and apparently I know how to do things that Ron Weasley himself doesn't. I can earn back what we lost."
"We didn't lose it, Reg. You didn't make a bad investment, or bet it on the Canons. It was stolen. Now, maybe, we can get a bit of it back."
"You already put in for it, didn't you?"
"No. Never without talking to you about it. But the children need clothes, and we can't keep sleeping on the floor. The carpets are ruined. We'd both have to work double-shifts for three years to make up the shortfall... and for something that was someone else's fault. I'm not willing to lose the time with the children to pay for damage that Dolores Umbridge did to my things."
Reg nodded. "Yeah. All very logical. I can still just hear my mother ranting in my head about taking charity."
"I remember your mother, Reg. She'd be halfway to Azkaban to personally shake the gold out of Umbridge."
Reg grinned. "Well, when you put it like that..."
your mclaggen is such a Prat, and it's hilarious. something with him trying to climb the ranks, by being an unrepentant womanizer, but picking on the Worst girl to try to flirt with, cause he got his ass handed to him. for ris
The first thing Cormac noticed when he got to the Werewolf Capture Unit was that the woman at the desk fishing for something in a drawer had obviously seen a lot of werewolf action. She looked young; without the scars, he supposed people might figure she was a student.
"Hello," he said, sitting down across from her, and checking the nameplate on the desk. "Miss Culmer, is it?" The woman raised her one good eyebrow. Cormac gave his most charming smile. "You must be quite the veteran here."
"You could say that," she said, in short, clipped tones.
"Must be something to be out there with them, taking them down."
"You must be right good at it, too."
"What makes you say that?"
"You seem pretty young to have been through quite a few battles."
"Do I?" She found what she was looking for and took it out. It was a round, whitish thing--an eye. She popped it into the empty socket on the scarred side of her head.
"Oh, yes. I'll bet you could teach me a lot. I start here today. Wish I could've started last night, but, well--I suppose baptism by fire would be a bit much. Though I'm sure I could have handled it."
"You're starting with the Capture Unit?"
"And you mean to capture quite a lot of werewolves, do you?"
"I plan to round every single one of them up for questioning, after what they did in the war."
"Well, Greyback. We know what he did. And you know he keeps a pack."
"Well, I'm going to find them, and I'm going to bring them all in."
"And how will you know them, Mr...?"
"McLaggen," Cormac said, then winked and added, "Cormac McLaggan. I take it shaken, not stirred."
The woman, apparently not a fan of James Bond, seemed baffled by this, but just reiterated her question. "How will you know a member of Greyback's pack, should you meet one?"
"Well, they're a particularly bloody crew," Cormac said. "Rough in manners and countenance."
"You've done your research quite thoroughly, then?"
"I like to think so." Cormac leaned forward. "He likes to keep people in terror, so he'd want to make sure he had the strongest werewolves, the most vicious ones--"
"If wanted to keep them in terror, wouldn't he choose the smallest and weakest?"
"Not them," Cormac said. "People."
"No, they're fanatically loyal to him. They'll attack on sight. They'll--"
The door opened again, and a middle-aged witch came in, looking at him curiously. "Mr. McLaggan? I'm sorry, I thought you were due this afternoon, not this morning. I'm Edith Culmer."
Cormac sat up straight, and looked at the woman at the desk, who was smirking. "But--"
Edith Culmer said, "Ah, Vivian, good. I see you found your eye. I'm afraid it rolled out of the cage last night."
"I should have taken it out before transforming," the girl, Vivian, said. She stood up and smiled sweetly at Cormac--as sweetly as she could with her malformed mouth--then turned to Edith Culmer again and said, "I'll need to go now. Bobby Alderman and I are going to man the soup kitchen in Ste.-Marthe-sur-Sentinelle as soon as we get the scrapes healed. And the rest of the pack will have dinner waiting." She shot one more look at Cormac, then added, "Oh, and the report I wrote on living with Greyback yesterday is right here"--she tapped a stack of handwritten papers on the corner of the desk. "I hope you find it useful. I can't wait until you bring the son-of-a-bitch in."