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by: Trevor Williams
Monday, March 5, 2012
10:30 p.m.

"Not all rats are bad rats"
"The powder is the key."
"...as much a prisoner as your daughters."
"You're to kill a vampire...."
"Not all rats...."

Memories of the past hour at the seer's house swirled through Trevor's mind as he waited outside Teague's isolated flat. There was nothing else to do, he supposed, aside from stand here or break in. But it would be the same outcome: waiting. Waiting for Teague to come home, to get back from wherever he was, whatever meeting he was in, whatever pub he was visiting.

The final words the seer had uttered before she had passed out weighed heavily on Trevor.


Rats had gotten them into this mess. That, at the very least, was what he had gathered. The Winston girl had been seen with a pet rat before she'd disappeared. His daughter had allegedly mentioned a rat to someone before her disappearance. Rats. Rats were everywhere, and they weren't a good omen--at least not around Hogwarts.

Yet, "Not all rats are bad rats."

Was this supposed to mean something? Of course it was. There was no doubt in Trevor's mind that it did.

Trevor shifted his weight and leaned against the doorway.

His girls were alive, even if the rat was involved. Did that mean the Winston girl was, too? And the boy believed dead? Burgess? Hadn't he heard a report from one of the guards that the two had something going on? Or at least an arrangement of sorts.

Why hadn't he racked his brain for information he knew regarding a rat before leaving? But even then, it would have been too late. The elderly drunk of a seer had passed out almost instantly after her final words to him.

But if Teague really knew something... If Teague really had the cold, hard facts...
Would he know the answer? Would he know about the rat?
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by: Teague MacTail
His "meeting" with his captured Syndicate operative had gone better than expected and the tracker had walked away from it with more than a few tid-bits of information though Teague was still left with more questions that answers. Some of the gleaned info was already known but some of it was new. For instance he now had a name, Jacob Sullivan, and that the man was supposedly a rat animagus..... but he still didn't know how the man played into everything. He learned that the Syndicate was a resistance organization but the captured operative was exceptionally gifted at keeping his mouth shut when it came to answering questions about that particular topic. Eventually the operative had out-lived his usefulness.

Once the target had been effectively dealt with the tracker let out a soft sigh. He now had a few leads to cross check with information he was sure he could dig up at the Ministry. It was late however and the tracker didn't exactly want to show up outside of working hours at the place he was starting to despise the most. Besides, the Ministry didn't need to see their Lord in his current state. Currently he looked like he'd been in a brawl, and considering the night he'd had, shouldn't have been a surprise. So home he'd go for now.

A quick apparation later and he was less than a quarter mile away from his secluded flat, right on the edge of the anti-apparation wards. Slightly inconvenient yes, but the walk was a nice way to clear ones head and it prevented unwelcome visitors from appearing out of no where. As he continued to walk down a well worn path a sense of unease washed over Teague. Was someone here? He stopped in his tracks and mumbled a few quick words to check the wards that normally protected his small sanctuary and was rewarded with a small vibration. So someone really was around.

The tracker drew his wand and a knife and stepped off the trail and into the trees. Was this what the old crone had meant by someone would be meeting him tonight? He moved with all the stealth he could muster and moved toward the thick brush that eventually gave way to the clearing his house was in. Teague peered into the darkness in hopes to make out whoever was out there. He was rewarded with a silhouette of a man leaning against his front door.


The tracker watched silently until he was certain this person was alone before stepping out of cover. This was his home turff and anyone that was going to try anything magic wise would be in for a world of hurt with his wards still active.
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by: Trevor Williams
It was the slightest of sounds that drew Trevor's attention from his nails to Teague's direction, but it was enough to make him realize he had very nearly been snuck up on. If this was anything but an animal or Teague or even if Teague wanted him dead, he would have been before he could have even batted an eye. As it was, Trevor had one of two choices--only one he knew could potentially result in his coming out of this alive and unharmed.

So, Trevor held his wand between his thumb and pointer finger just underneath the handle with the tip pointed down and held his hands out to his sides. "It's me, Teague," he said, hoping it was indeed Teague and not an animal he was talking to. Because he would feel rather silly if it was an animal, and the chance of going back to being lost in thought until if and when Teague returned home would be zero to none.

((Annnnd ya know, after five days when that nodding off evidently was due to coming down with a cold...it's done!))
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by: Teague MacTail
"It's me, Teague,"

The tracker snorted at the unexpected, yet familiar voice. Go figure. Had this been who the crone had been talking about when she mentioned a visitor? Trevor? But why him of all people? The last meeting as Teague recalled had been anything but pleasant with the other man convinced that he'd somehow been in on the kidnapping of his daughters... Accusations were thrown and Teague was convinced that Trevor didn't trust him anymore. And that had little warning bells ringing. Why the hell would he come back? Was Trevor here to kill him?

"Trevor....?" the tracker called out in case his visitor was in the shoot first ask questions later kind of mood. He continued to walk towards the front door and Trevor at a relaxed pace, wand now tucked up his sleeve for easy access, though he simply palmed the blade. He wasn't overly concerned about any spells that could be thrown. From what he could tell his wards were still intact, and unless that changed there was nothing to be overly worried about. But that still didn't mean an attack couldn't come in a more conventional way. You didn't get to be Voldemort's assassin by doing the expected.

Teague stopped a few feet away from the man when he noticed Trevor did indeed have his wand out, though it was in a non-threatening way. The tracker smirked. "What do you want?" He'd wait until Trevor gave a satisfactory answer before even contemplating letting the man inside. The crone had said this would be a worthwhile visit but Teague wasn't really in the mood to take any chances, especially in lite of earlier events and his newly acquired information.
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by: Trevor Williams
Trevor looked at his right foot as it moved forward and looked up as he took a step forward with his other foot. His free hand was in the pocket of his robes, much warmer there than it had been moments before in the open. "Call me looney," he said, fingering his wand, "but a batty old seer told me you'd have answers. And, no surprise, but...I want them."

Teague was wary. The way he greeted him told Trevor as much. He was playing it off well enough, but he was wary. He supposed his sudden disappearance left such a reaction warranted in and of itself. The man would be stupid not to at least be cautious. Trevor did not trust him despite what the seer had told him. Perhaps he wanted to. After all, it had been quite nice to have someone he could trust for once in the many years since his world had been turned upside down. But Trevor wasn't stupid about the sort of crowd he ran with. Even the most seemingly trustworthy person could turn around and stab you in the back on a whim. A higher bidder, and that was it.

But more than Trevor wanted to remain standoffish, he wanted answers. He would do or say what he needed to get them, and if the answers were unsatisfactory, he wouldn't bat an eye at doing what he had been trained to do.
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by: Teague MacTail
"A batty old seer... lass didn't happen to have three cats with her did she?? At the the Teague let out a genuine laugh and ran his left hand (still holding his wand) though his hair. So the old bat had told Trevor that he had information that the man would want....no wonder he was here, and from the sounds of it, the man was looking for something specific and wasn't about to take no for an answer. It would have been nice if the woman had at the very least given him a heads up, since there was no guarantee that he had the answers Trevor wanted. At least there was the small comfort that he might live out the night since the crone had seemed certain they would all be meeting up again in the morning.

"You know mate, this is the second time you've come here wand drawn... should try an owl sometime." Teague moved forward and past Trevor and stood before his door. A quick flick of his wand and a few muttered words and anyone who was standing in the near vicinity would have felt the a release of energy as the wards protecting his flat dispersed. He motioned to Trevor to come in as he pushed the door open. Another muttered phrase and there were lights.

The tracker then moved toward the kitchen area of his flat, shucking off his jacket and tossing it and the knife he still had palmed on the kitchen table in a well practiced motion. Another almost non noticeable motion had his wand tucked safely up his sleeve and the tracker moved to the counter and grabbed two tumblers and an unopened bottle of whiskey. The whole time Teague could feel Trevor's eyes on his back but he chose not to acknowledge the feeling. If Trevor had been watching carefully he would have noticed that Teague was sporting a slight bruise on the left side of his face, near his chin, and that the knuckles of his left hand were split and slightly swollen... signs that Teague had been involved in a recent fight.

Teague moved to the couch and set both tumblers on the coffee table and poured a healthy amount of amber liquid into each, not caring in the least if Trevor ignored the small peace offering. The tracker had every intention of trying to keep the mood as lite as possible. He sat down with a tired sigh and took a sip before setting his eyes on his unexpected visitor, trying to get a read on the man. After a few moments of silence he asked, "So why would our common friend send you here and better yet, why would our friend insist I bring you and a bottle o scotch back to her flat in the morning?"
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by: Trevor Williams
"Too unreliable," Trevor replied. He knew Teague wasn't looking for a conversation, though, with that one. But it was true. When you were gone and wanted, you didn't use an owl for communication. Too likely to be intercepted. He'd seen to that one himself. Not to mention, Lenora had passed shortly after the girls had been taken, and he certainly wasn't in a place to find one to use himself.

Trevor sighed, looking over Teague to get a read on him. He noticed the bruising, the cuts, the swelling, but he said nothing. Perhaps that was the cost for the information that would see his girls returned to him. Not bad, considering.

Trevor's eyes strayed to the table as Teague poured their drinks. A knife. Interesting choice, but he supposed it Must have worked for Teague at some point or he wouldn't have one. Teague's wand was sheathed now, so Trevor allowed himself to do the same. For now, he had no reason to think he might need it. Teague was doing nothing to indicate an intent to harm.

Trevor took the glass Teague gave him, but he set it down on the end table next to him. He preferred to keep his faculties about him, unlike the seer.

Trevor sighed again at Teague's question and shrugged. "Dunno. Ambush, maybe? Though, won't be much of one. What, with her age and the fact she'll have a huge hangover in the morning." Merlin, she'd been sloshed when he'd left. Passed right on out after saying the bit about rats. "But she is rather obsessed with rats," he said, hoping to stir the conversation.
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by: Teague MacTail
Teague let himself visibly relax a bit when Trevor sheathed his wand and took a seat. A small victory that was. He shrugged at Trevor's suggestion that perhaps they were going to walk into a trap. It was plausible. Even if the crone was old and would be as hung over as Trevor stated, Teague couldn't help but think it would be something the Order would do as a front.... lure them in with just enough information to keep them curious and when they returned to the crones flat to find not the crone but the Order.... Nah. He shook that thought from his head. When he chatted with her this morning the tracker felt he had got a good read on her. She definitely wouldn't have gone to all the trouble and besides, it looked like her abilities were ringing true. Trevor was here after all.

Trevor's offhand comment about the crones obsession with rats struck the tracker as odd, and he was certain his face showed it. "Rats?" Teague searched his memory for anything the old woman might have said pertaining to rats and had all but come up blank... but that didn't mean that Trevor's question hadn't sparked something.... but did he share that information openly with Trevor? His 'friend' earlier had given up a fair bit of information on a rat animagus but since Teague hadn't a chance to cross-check the info aside from a few basic things he wasn't sure this was something he wanted to share just yet... then again it wasn't exactly like he had to spill everything right of the bat. What if this was a distraction and Trevor was simply just fishing.

"Don't recall her ever mentioning anything about rats or giving any indication she was obsessed with them...but I did meet a friend tonight," the way the word friends was spoken left no doubt said friend was anything but. "That had a good deal of information on a man named Jacob Sullivan and a certain skill in his possession."

There, hook baited. Now to see what Trevor was really fishing for.
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by: Trevor Williams
Trevor rolled his hand to urge Teague on. His lips formed a thin-lined frown, and his eyes showed annoyance rather than eagerness. He didn't have patience to deal with bits and pieces. He wanted as much information as possible as quickly as possible. His girls had been missing for far too long for comfort. They could have been harmed, killed, brainwashed, or any other horrid outcome could have already occurred. The time for patience had long since passed, and Teague should know better than to withhold and only release small amounts. If he valued his life, he would at least make him feel like he was telling him everything he knew even if he didn't.

"Out with it, MacTail. My girls don't have time."
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by: Teague MacTail
The tracker was hard pressed to to smirk at Trevor's impatience. Of course they didn't have time. It was why Teague had all but killed himself to find out the information he had even when Trevor had threatened him. Instead he steeled his gaze as he decided what he wanted to give away and what the man across from him had to work for.

"Jacob Sullivan is part of a group I've been tracking called the Syndicate. He has the same animagus skill that the both of us have and his animal transformation is a rat. A rat of the same description that was given of the one Katya had been hanging out with when she was taken. I was finally able to get my hands on one of the Syndicates people and he was nice enough to give me more than a few leads to check out before he outlived his usefulness."

Teague didn't see any benefit in expanding on the information he'd just given away freely. If Trevor wanted specifics he could ask and the tracker may or may not decide to expand on what was already said. Even though his mannerisms gave the appearance of the normal aloof tracker, Teague wasn't much in a mood for being threatened, insulted, or anything similar in his own flat and if Trevor thought otherwise they were going to have issues.
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by: Trevor Williams
Was Teague trying to get Trevor to kill him? If so, he was doing a good job of it. Trevor was already on edge. Just one little push, and the former assassin's colors would show. Despite his thoughts, Trevor sat still, though rigid. He squeezed his hands into fists a few times as he stared at the grain of the wooden coffee table. His gaze was piercing.

"I don't have patience," Trevor told Teague as he brought his eyes back to the man he had once called friend--the man he still called friend, if he was honest with himself. Friend or not, however, Trevor was willing to do what he needed. He might not have utilized the training or learned behaviors the Dark Lord had provided him all those years ago in what felt like ages, but he still had it in him. Most recognized this and feared unless they had been near the top or known him more personally during Derrin's uprising. Or were named Callid Warren. He shoved that unpleasant thought away. It would lead down a rabbit hole.

"Tell me what you know. I'll get it one way or another." His daughters' safe return was worth the betrayal and loss of the one friendship he still had.
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by: Teague MacTail
"You can try," the tracker shot back without thinking in response to Trevor's threat. It seem patience was in short supply tonight and that didn't bode well for either party. He understood Trevor's frustration, perhaps more than anyone but it wasn't going to help the man find his girls. The tracker sighed.

"Look mate, ya need to be a bit more specific than 'tell me what you know'. Your girls haven't been the only thing on my plate lately." And it was true. He had been busy as all hell. Damn near running himself to exhaustion trying to track the Syndicate and figure out how the hell Hunt tied into everything, not to mention the whole trying to be lord without having a freaking clue how that was supposed to work. "Thank yerself for that one. Any ways I told ya the basics and I don't know if I'm telling you stuff you already know without some sort of indication from you other than threats. Did that crazy old hag tell you I knew something specific? If you want details tell me what details you want."

Everything was said with as even a tone as he could manage even though Teague wanted nothing more than to scream and yell and go on an outright tirade. Even then there was a slightly dangerous undertone to it.

"I want to help you mate, I really do. I have a million pieces but no idea how they all fit together. Give a place to start at least." It was a gamble. For all Teague knew, Trevor could think he was just fishing for information Trevor had without having to give up anything he knew. In reality though the tracker was almost at a loss. He'd begun piecing things together but they painted a disjointed puzzle and he wasn't about to send his friend on a suicide mission if it could be helped... though with the way the man had been acting it it could still very well be an option.
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by: Trevor Williams
Trevor growled in frustration. His head was muddied, his thoughts swirling and incomprehensible. There were far too many at once to focus long enough on even one to fully fathom it. [i]Who was this Jacob Sullivan? What was the Syndicate? Was it an older group? If so, how did it sneak by unnoticed for however long? Was it new? Where was its headquarters? How many were part of it? What were their plans? What was their purpose?[/i

Trevor scrunched his face and pinched the bridge of his nose then sighed heavily. "What is the Syndicate?" he asked, letting the silence hang about them. He needed clarity, and honestly, inside his head wasn't the place he was going to get it and it was taking all his willpower not to utilize magic to obtain what he wanted. Talking took too long, especially when Teague was insisting he lead conversation. No. He needed to bloody well let it all loose. Wag his tongue. If he was on his side, he surely would.
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by: Teague MacTail
The tracker let out a breath he didn't even realize he was holding. Honestly he hadn't expected Trevor to play ball. In fact he'd be hedging his bets that the man was going to loose it and go on a little mind wrecking mission of his own. Thankfully that wasn't the case. Maybe Trevor still trusted him just enough...

"From what I've been able to piece together the Syndicate is an organization along the same lines as the order, only instead of simply wanting to get rid of the current regime they want to take over and install their own power. My source also indicated that they are made up of just about damn near everyone our crew has persecuted. Vampires, Werewolves, muggle born... to what degree and number I don't know. I have a hunch they've been around a long time and are pretty well established based on how long it took me to find my source."

He took another sip of his drink before setting the tumbler down on the table and leaning forward to rest his elbows on his knees and his chin on his hands and sighed in frustration.

"Ain't got a clue as the where they've been holed up though or who's pullin the strings." While most of that last bit was true, Teague purposely left out the inclusion of the shadow powder and the partial map he'd been able to get out of the operative before the man had lived out his usefulness. He also left out the bit about Hunt but the tracker figured that one was worth playing close to the chest. Last thing he needed was to tip that bastard off. and even with Trevor in as bad a mood as he was, the tracker trusted he could defend himself if his friend pushed the issue.
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by: Trevor Williams
Trevor remained silent after Teague's response, mulling it over for any hint of a lie. At face value, it seemed feasible and truly not something that surprised Trevor. In fact, he was surprised nothing similar had attacked within these past four years since the regime had been set up and taken root. The more freedoms they had taken away in the name of protection and safety of the people, the more groups they had alienated by mere necessity. But many of these prejudices as well as the stereotypes and fears that led to said prejudices had existed for years and the former Ministry had even had laws for regulation of said groups even before they had weaseled their way in via Harold Masters' plant as Walter Crane. No one had viewed this as persecution for years, and if they had, they had chosen to remain silent. Did the roots of this group go that far back or were they newer? Such things mattered in these situations.

Yet despite his desire for more knowledge that might help him and Cora with their plans, he also couldn't ignore the glaring withholding of information, for that's all it could be, right? Teague was a skilled tracker, and while Teague may not have been Voldemort's key player in the torture game, Trevor knew the man could hold his own and obtain whatever information he needed from his target. The beast that lay behind the facade was ever present now in Trevor's mind, the beast that made the pictures so easy to believe. If a man could have two faces as needed, he could not be trusted.

"You mean to tell me," Trevor said at long last as he looked toward Teague, "that you didn't bother to gather that information from your contact?"


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