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Monday, 12 March, 2012
8:00 a.m.

With Trevor and his female companion gearing up to go underground to rescue Teague and the children, Delilah nerves had her on edge. Even though the woman had seemed competent, Delilah couldn't help but think so much could still go wrong. So much. Too much. She wanted to go with them, to send an army, but she'd made it clear they needed to scout first if at all possible and send for back-up if needed. (As though either would listen.) The fact she had felt the need to coach them as though they were children showed just how much confidence she had that nothing about this would go sideways. In fact, she was certain something would. Whether it was that someone was injured or killed in the rescue, Delilah had no clue. But something would happen. She could feel it in her bones. Both had some sort of vested interest in this. She knew what Trevor's was, but she hadn't completely put her finger on the woman's interest. It wasn't Trevor or his well being entirely. No, that was only obvious loyalty and being a good little dog and saying what was needed. No, there had been a hint of something else. A hint, and Delilah had listened to social graces and hadn't pushed despite the fact she now felt she should have.

Blowing her hair from her face as she sighed, Delilah set her quill down. She hadn't been writing, but the feather had been something to fuss at. It now had some parts where the soft fluff of the feather no longer was present, and other places were in varying states of distress. What was once a fairly pretty quill was now anything but, and Delilah set it aside. Fixing that was out of her hands as much as how things went for Teague, the girls, and their rescuers. She had to focus her anxieties elsewhere or else she would quite simply go mad, fall off her rocker. Take your phrase of choice. And the only place she could find to do so would be the other side of the coin she knew had influenced her future: the muggles. She could see now why they had allegedly attacked. If the government of this day and age had cut the previously typical contact, anyone would be batty to not question it and start looking. Given any resistance group of choice's influence, they could be made to believe militant interactions might be necessary and prepare. It could explain so much, including the mutants. There was no way those sorry creatures had been natural. No way in hell. So, she had to break the current regime's stance and at least establish friendly terms in hopes someone hadn't gotten to the muggles first.

Had someone been watching, Delilah's sudden movement from her entirely still state to put her feet on the floor and push herself promptly from her desk chair would have seemed to have come from nowhere. It was determined and purposeful as she moved to the part of the office where she'd spelled a closet to house some closes, pressed the bricks in the proper pattern, and watched as the hidden door emerged from the wall and slid open. Delilah walked in and looked over her clothing, seeking anything that would be appropriate for a meeting with the muggle prime minister. He was high up to them, was he not? Someone to show some respect to for sure, which meant her current attire of black leggings, a black tank top, and black work boots would simply not do. No, she at the least needed these low heels, and...and this black pencil skirt, and the rose-colored top she'd received compliments in. Frankly, she felt like she looked like some sort of news person she had seen in the muggle shows she had watched following the werewolf attack on London, but Delilah paid that no mind. It was simple but nice enough.

Delilah worked quickly to shed her current outfit and change into the one she had picked out then walked over to the vanity and sat down. She quickly brushed her hair then put it into a simple up-do. After, she applied a beautification charm to make her lashes darker, her lips a little redder, and her cheeks a tinge rosier as though she had on a modest amount of rouge. It looked natural enough not to stand out but made a noticeable difference to the woman who had only really just begun to like make-up in her fifth year before her life was turned upside down. It was so much easier not to care and to go unnoticed in her opinion, but she had to make an exception for this and other public events.

Satisfied enough, Delilah stood from the vanity seat and smoothed her skirt out, observed her appearance from the side, and walked out. She spelled her closet shut then walked across the room and through the door that connected her and Teague's offices. His fireplace was the one with the floo network still attached, and she'd ensured that both the connection hadn't been restored at any point between the Minister of Magic's office and the Prime Minister's office (Suspicions had to be researched out, after all, and any chance to catch Hunt red-handed even moreso.) and that it was provided between the Lord's office at Puxley and the Prime Minister's office on Friday after her meeting with Trevor. The link was passworded (common enough practice for anything that connected to the fireplace here) to ensure no one unwanted found out about and utilized the link, and anyone who attempted to have the connection made to their fireplace would have to know it to manage to reconnect it.

Delilah stepped in after throwing on a hooded black crocheted capelet she had grabbed on her way out of the closet. Hopefully it would protect her shirt enough not to show too much soot. She'd requested the fireplaces at both locations be cleaned, but no matter what, some amount of soot always seemed to be present. She grabbed the floo powder, performed a quick fire call to ensure the place only housed the person with whom she wanted to speak, and then flooed to the office.

The man there jumped, startled at the sight. He stood quickly, a little bewildered but not entirely surprised. Perhaps he was good at masking surprise or the one who had held the position before him had warned him of the possibility. "Who are you?" he asked, looking at Delilah as she took off the capelet and draped it over her left arm.

Delilah offered her hand as she walked toward the Prime Minister. "Delilah Chase. I'm here representing a society which...well, I'm not entirely certain you have knowledge of."

"I'm not calling security, am I?"

Delilah chuckled, both embarrassed at and frustrated with herself for not being quite so quick on the uptake. "Right, of course."

"Are you a...a witch?" he asked, motioning her to the seat across from his desk, which she took with a thank you. He sat as well.

Delilah nodded. "I am, and I'm sure you're wondering why I'm here."

"I am, considering all I have heard from my people."

"Heard?" That wasn't exactly a good sign to Delilah. Depending who spoke with her people or who his people had observed, it could be too late for any sort of salvage job.

"Yes. Concerning things. Slavery, power struggles, social disrest."

Wonderful. It was too late, wasn't it? Delilah looked to her hands then to the Prime Minister as she licked her lips. "Well, it's not entirely that bad. The people within our populace seem quite happy."

The Prime Minister grimaced. "Even the slaves?"

Delilah cleared her throat. "Well, I suppose not. Frankly, I have no interest in the establishment and am working with our minister to end the practice. A brief moment of cloudy judgment."

"'A brief moment of cloudy judgment,'" the Prime Minister repeated. "Is it really that unimportant? Human enslavement? I'd call that a gross infringement on personal liberties."

"Well, no. Only, I believe there is no word to describe the extent of that infringement."

"Yet there are stronger words in your vocabulary, I'm sure."

"Not ones appropriate for such company as I now hold."

"Miss...Chase, was it?"

Delilah nodded.

"Miss Chase, I'd like to bring in some people who would be interested in hearing what you have to say, if that would be alright."

"Of course," Delilah replied as she watched the Prime Minister grab the strange black device on his desk and punch a few numbers.

"Miss Jefferson, contact Agent Jones."
Habits kept things sailing smoothly. Jones was in the habit of waking early, exercising, and then arriving promptly at her office at seven. Her staff filtered in by seven thirty. Everyone established their to-dos for the day, and then an informal meeting to preserve morale and keep tabs on the different directions the department was stretching. Typically, her phone was on silent. Programmers had built in an app that allowed certain numbers to bypass the silence and ring through.

"-and I'd like to see if we can get catering in here for Thursday. It's been too long since we've-"


Only two numbers had that privilege on her phone: The Home Office and the Prime Minister's desk. Neither had ever called her, until now. Jones looked at the number. The Minister's secretary, then. Jones answered the phone and waved her people off. The meeting was over, or temporarily adjourned until the boss came back with info.

"Jones speaking, insecure line."

She took the call to her office and closed the door as Miss Jefferson explained in coded phrases that sounded innocuous and polite that she was needed at the Prime Minister's office immediately because of a witch's appearance. A car would be waiting for her and the situation was unknown if the intentions were hostile or not. Whatever the case was, Jones would be prepared.

Witches in the minister's office. Wizards and werewolves in the streets. What was next? Vampires? Goblins? Jones' lips twisted in a wry smile. The likelihood was low that there was an actual threat. If the witch had meant harm, there would have been no call made. In fact, from what Jones understood, she could have taken over and nobody would have known. The fact that she, the head of the MI:5 Paranormal had even been called indicated at least hesitancy on behalf of the witch. Even despite the potentiality of peace, Jones brought her sidearm. Few were allowed to carry, fewer still carried the bespelled bullets that the Burgess boy had made before his disappearance. According to him, the bullets were cursed, killing anything that they touched. Maybe it was poisoned. Either way, they were a guaranteed one-shot-one kill.

The waiting driver was likely the finest in Her Majesty's service. the man said nothing to Jones as she entered the car, favoring instead the expedient and skilled driving of a professional. The government car was easily weaving in and out of traffic twenty kilometers an hour faster than the posted limit, avoiding lights and congested roads. The normally ten minute drive to the Ministry building took half the time, and Jones was walking up to the dark building, smoothing her dove grey skirt and suit in the time that she normally wasted at traffic lights. Ms. Jefferson smiled at her and showed her into the minister's office. A young woman was there with the minister, conservative looking and very well camouflaged as a normal person.

"Hello, then. I am Morgan Jones, specialist in matters of the supernatural as deemed important by the Home Office. You are...?"

Jones extended her hand as a courtesy to the younger woman. The first few minutes of tone could be telling for how the rest of the relationship would go. Hopefully, well.
Muggle transportation left much to be desired, it seemed. Delilah was so used to the near-instantaneous travel magic afforded her kind, so even though the wait was relatively brief, it seemed strange. Not horrible, not unexpected. Just strange. As the door opened, Delilah looked up and watched as the blonde walked toward her and spoke while extending her hand. Delilah stood and offered her own hand in return along with a firm shake. "Delilah Chase, Press Secretary," she replied. "Supernatural" was a queer little word. Was that what muggles considered witches and wizards? How limited and narrow a viewpoint that was. Just because something was simply outside of one's realm of what was real and what was fairytale did not make something supernatural. Yet that was the least of Delilah's worries. The fact of the matter was that more than the prime minister knew of witches and wizards, and she had to wonder how much they knew about their world.

"Agent Jones, I'll leave you two be," the prime minister spoke up. "I have a meeting I must attend to. I trust you'll give me the cliff notes?" The man gave the blonde woman a polite smile as he stood and walked toward the door to leave. "Miss Chase," he said to her in parting, and Delilah gave her own goodbye.

"I suppose you're wondering why I'm here," Delilah said as she sat down, figuring the woman would sit in the other chair this side of the desk. "But I must ask first: what do you know?" This was an important factor. She was not going to play an unknown for a fool, yet if she truly knew nothing, she had no qualms with bending a few little facts.
Jones gave the Minister a raised eyebrow as she watched him leave. The man was trusting. Perhaps too much so, but it suited the department head for the moment. The bulldog turned her attention back to the press secretary. That didn't seem right. Secretaries didn't wield enough authority to reach out like this. Perhaps this Miss Chase was one of the Death Eaters. There were several ways to discover that fact, now weren't there? Jones allowed herself a thin smile as she took the Minister's seat. Wasn't that nice? This witch comes into the Muggle Prime Minister's office and is already orchestrating things how she wants.

Jones thought for a moment, ordering her mind. Before she spoke, she withdrew a small silver disc with a single button on the top. Orion had worked with her engineers. The device was more James Bond than she would have liked, but it blocked any eavesdropping devices...or spells. Jones placed it on the desk and pressed the button, then began.

"Our past ministers were all interviewed. We know about the Death Eaters' rise in the seventies and eighties, the fall at the hands of a boy, the return to power, and then silence. A few refugees have reached out to us, telling us stories of slavery, oppression, torture, and despotism. Then again, the caliber of people we've interviewed have been werewolves and thieves. I assume that, since you are in the upper echelon of the government, you're going to give me a perspective from the Death Eater point of view? I also assume you have a distinct purpose in coming here."

Emotion didn't taint Jones' tone. She recited the bare bones facts as if she was responding to a trivia game or something equally bland. Inside, however, she was on edge. This was big. If their government was finally reaching out, then the resistance group that reached out to them may have had more of an effect than first considered. Jones tented her fingers and prepared to memorize the woman's words.
Delilah watched as the muggle took a seat across from her. It seemed quite strange to her that the woman would take the seat the muggle Prime Minister had previously been seated in. Did this woman have a lust for power, a certain longing for the position? Delilah chose not to muse on the implications Ms. Jones' seating choice provided at the moment, however. Whatever the blonde across from her desired didn't matter in the long run unless it was what it took to get the woman to side with the regime. Therefore, the mental note was made but not explored.

Delilah watched as the blonde placed a silver disc on the desk and pressed a button on it. She rose a brow. What was this for? She knew she had heard the muggle-borns of her year talk about devices which captured voices, but she hadn't a clue what they looked like. The students had mentioned that their singers used them a lot and put them on something they had called a CD. Was this a voice-capturing device? Delilah wasn't sure what to feel about this development and shifted. The movement appeared casual enough. She placed her right leg over her left, fixed the hem of her skirt, and leaned on her left elbow, her chin resting on her hand. Only the second glance she gave the device might have betrayed her discomfort with the unknown.

The second glance was the last Delilah allowed the device for now. She'd address it should she feel it necessary. For now, she listened to the woman, her eyes taking her in. So, it seemed someone had reached out to the muggles, and they had taken care to mention Death Eaters. "Whose point of view colors my words besides my own hardly has any bearing in my decision to come here, Ms. Jones. How much do you know of the extent of magic?" She recalled muggle-born reactions when they found out that time turners existed. It was enough for her to know the muggles at the very least contemplated such an ability and what might happen should they be able to do so, such as what they might change, etc. But did this muggle know time travel was real? Did she even know much about things aside from werewolves and the miscreants she had referenced? Knowing these sorts of things would help her gauge how much time she needed to explain in what she had to say or certainly how many interruptions she might anticipate.
A wry smile twisted on Jones' mouth. How much did she know? Quite a bit, to tell the truth. Where did she begin with the crash course she'd been given since the last full moon?

"As much as any werewolf we've asked. Most are outcasts, but many of them still had their school text books and were willing to give them to us in exchange for their freedom and anonymity. If it's easier for you to just explain your tale without me asking questions, don't worry about that. I'm taking notes and I can hold my questions until the end, if I have any."

As a show of truth, Jones pulled out a notebook and pen. Perhaps relying on memory wasn't going to be enough in this case. Notes, after all, could be filed and analyzed later. The minister had, as a matter of special security, cameras and recording devices in the office. Those too would be gone over with a fine toothed comb. Hopefully this woman was the type to get to the point instead of being too elaborate.
Delilah rose a brow. Much good textbook theory would do for muggles. You were either born with magic or born without it. You couldn't suddenly develop it unless you had suppressed your magic, and that...that was simply dangerous. In fact, there had been no reported cases of that within the century thus far and much of the last few decades of the previous. A few would pop up in the future, but that was a future she was here to avoid. Hogwarts and the Ministry had been good at catching signs of magic and intervening as had other magical communities and schools. They'd had to use careful tactics with the religious sort, but they had developed a system.

All that would only change. As magic came out and people grew fearful, they'd soon be doing anything to keep their children from magic. Perhaps that was the angle she needed to play at: the future. She needed to distance herself from what was going on and make the woman understand where things were headed. Because muggle knowledge was not a good sign. If a few knew, the complete disintegration of the Statute of Secrecy was not far behind, and that very Statute had been put into place for the good of all wizardkind in wake of muggle-based hatred and fear. Back then, muggles had not been the threat they were now.

"The long and short of it is that I am hardly from this time, Ms. Jones," Delilah began. "And current politics within my world are hardly of concern in the long run. What is, is muggle response to our absence and the oversight of the switch in government to remove certain memories from your prime minister for our own protection. Magic may be 'scary,' but by no means do wizards or witches deign to involve themselves in muggle lives aside from amusing escapades, if you will, to your shops and to people watch. Even that is frowned upon currently. We are scared of muggles as a whole, and we wish to keep to ourselves. However, this oversight has led to what appears to be a search of proportions yet unknown to me on the part of muggles, and I can only hope it's not too far down this path to be pulled back for all our sakes."

Delilah paused here to decide precisely where to go. "You see, Ms. Jones, your knowledge of and contact with our kind leaves me to believe I may not have been sent back far enough. We could only guess about when the deterioration of the Statute began to occur, and we had no idea exactly how far our time turners could send me. While we have the devices locked within the depths of our Department of Mysteries, we've seldom used them aside from assisting academic overachievers who needed to circumvent scheduling conflicts between classes. We realized how dangerous they were decades ago, that in the wrong hands, it could have irreversible side effects. But circumstances were dire. Your kind found out, there were...creatures, creatures designed by science and science alone, weapons that set the world on an inevitable path to destruction. I hadn't seen the sun for years, Ms. Jones. Life can only continue so long without sun."
Morgan listened carefully to the unbelievable tale being spread before her. This woman before her claimed to be a time traveler. She claimed that wizards were scared of muggles. That creatures were made as weapons...A guilty twinge pinged across Jones' mind as she thought about the very promising research being done that isolated the magical gene and the mice that were displaying some unusual characteristics. Surely mice weren't a threat to the world, were they? Or perhaps something even more powerful was coming. Jones stifled a shiver as the memory of an approval for human trials flickered across her brain. Of course I'd have a time traveler come and tell me that my most promising work is a mistake...damn the torpedoes or what?

The best politics were not when one side won and the other side lost. As boring and frustrating as it was to the common person, good politics happened when both sides achieved their primary goals. MI:5 was ramping up out of fear of the unknown, the wizards were ramping up out of fear of the...muggles. Still an odd word, she thought. And now supposedly a time traveler was telling her that she needed to go to her supervisors and undo months of preparation. Maybe it would be possible to pause the machine, but reversing it would not be good for the representatives of parliament who stuck their neck out for her. Still, if what Delilah said could be proven true, then it was necessary to try. Jones sighed and opened up her internal dialogue to her guest.

"I don't know what proof I'd ask for that would convince anyone here you're from the future, so I will just have to take your word on this and trust you. The...research of weapons you mentioned strikes very close to a research initiative recently begun. I cannot stop it in the stage it's in, but I can prevent it from moving forward beyond the current trials if I can convince our parliament contacts that escalation is no longer necessary. I need proof of that, however. With one side screaming war and another side screaming peace, give me ammunition to fight for your side."

Maybe the aphorism would be lost on the witch. Jones decided to wait to see if she needed clarification. She seemed smart enough; it was unlikely she'd need help.
"I would love to provide proof, but I have little more than my word as proof and scars. With little sun and the living circumstances, cameras and photos weren't entirely on our agenda." She couldn't remember the last time she'd seen a muggle wandering about with a phone or a wizard with one of the clunky cameras used primarily by reporter types in the future. The photos weren't worth anything when they were grainy, and they certainly were not worth one's life. "I have clippings--not with me but back in my office--of articles. They're a little worse for the wear but they can back some of my statements."

Delilah swallowed and rubbed her leg with the heel of her palm before she continued. "The muggles broke the Statute, found out about us, and we were caught completely off guard. Many of us died in that first fight at ground zero, and it spilled over into London. It was chaos. We had some help from other areas on our wonderful island, and the Americans did what they could as things progressed." She sniffled slightly, her eyes distant as she was brought back to her first experiences. She'd been young, too young to be dealing with the horrors of war, but at the same time, she'd chosen the right alliance to toughen her up and get through it all.

"It was nothing special at first. Just some guns versus our wands, the element of surprise giving muggles the upper hand. But then, as we began to organize to defend ourselves, more and more weapons were cropping up surprisingly fast--devices which rendered an area temporarily magic-less, shields which defended against almost all of our best shots. Creatures, like the werewolves recently seen, began to take up arms as well. After all, muggles didn't seem very open to any peace talks that we heard of. And everyone knew the history of the witch hunts which had led to the placement of the Statute in the first place. Everyone was panicking. I was young, inexperienced at life and so terrified. It forced me to grow up far too fast." Never mind it was only one of the contributing factors.

"All I've known for the past several years is fighting and how to conquer fear, how to fight, how to hide. How to survive." She swallowed. "The monsters were the turning point for everything. They were human once, I think. Or humanoid. They certainly looked it, especially as time went by. Eventually, some of the newer ones were able to infiltrate. We thought they were sympathizers, taking us into their homes to provide us a bed for the night. But we soon learned it was every man for himself. They had powers, powers like ours, but without a wand and so amplified...so amplified in one or two specialties that it was overwhelming. Muggles were disgusted by this but many were willing to overlook it because it was giving an edge, giving them a one-up. But eventually, they grew to fear them, too. One too many turncoat, by my guess. They tried to turn to us for help, but we were afraid to trust anyone anymore. And it was decided we needed to evacuate, to leave so that they could be exterminated. As though they were fleas. For one moment, we were allies, your kind and mine. And then we weren't. The fighting went on and on, and it just never stopped. Until we lost light nearly altogether."

Delilah hadn't meant to reveal this much, but what else could she do? "It's cold... It's so cold there. And empty. It's as though there are thousands of Dementors hovering about, waiting to kill you. You can't see unless you light a fire--or your wand. But then you run the risk of death if you let the light last too long. People crave it, crave the warmth, crave the possible meaning there's food nearby. We kill each other for food, you know? We haven't started eating each other...yet. Well, some of us have, I suppose, but I hadn't dared. I was getting enough to survive but not much more. There aren't any vegetables. Livestock is dying. We are dying. You, me, everyone. It's only a matter of years--if we're lucky."
Morgan tented her hand and braced her index fingers on the bridge of her nose. The gesture morphed into her rubbing her eyes. How, in God's name, had the country come to this insanity? It didn't seem possible that MI:5 would descend to the depths of madness that Delilah was describing. Certainly, they had their enhancement program, but mutants? With powers strong enough to make a wizard flinch in fear? It seemed impossible, and yet...and yet.

There wasn't much that Jones could do at this point. After all, having fought so hard for the funding, she was expected to give results. Her career was tangibly on the line. On the other hand, she had the word of the leadership of the magical world that what she was doing was the exact opposite of the outcome she was trying to achieve.

So what if what Delilah was saying was a lie? Nobody said that the opposition would tell the truth. In fact, according to the resistance members they'd talked to, wasn't how the current political faction gained support in the first place? Lying and making promises that they intended to break from the beginning? Jones looked across the table and found herself wanting to trust the young woman, but doubt in her heart kept that seed from flourishing. There was no way to know that this woman spoke true. There was no way to verify her information. So what should she do?

"What do you want me to do about all of this? You don't have the clippings here...Peace is both of our agendas, but the political faction in control of my government believes in peace through superior firepower. I need firepower of my own to win that argument with them. Even in my own office, there are scientists who answer to powers that I could never dream of reaching through my channels."

It wasn't hopeless to help this woman. If she deserved help. Nonmagical fol had to advocate for themselves, after all. Nobody had advocated for us during the werewolf attack...Maybe Klaus had the right idea of just killing them..
Delilah watched the woman struggle with belief before ultimately questioning her and giving her reasons, excuses not to stop. "Merlin," she breathed. "You've already started testing, haven't you?" She gave a breathy, incredulous breath with a look to match. "Well, what do you think I want? I want you to stop. I want you to do the right thing to save humanity. Aren't the weapons enough? You'll develop things that will give you superior firepower. Anti-magic devices, corridors... Ways to shield yourselves from our spells. Casualties will be lost on both sides, even with that, but humanity doesn't have to lose, does it? The fact I even know about your top-secret research...shouldn't that tell you I'm telling you some semblance of the truth?"

Delilah paused a moment, trying to figure out how to drive the point home. If this woman didn't find some way to stop this project now, humanity would cease to exist. The world would cease to exist. "Your nuclear bombs will be our undoing, and you can't tell me you'll be careful. Of course muggles were careful to begin with. But these mutants were living, breathing weapons with minds of their own. Something was bound to go wrong from the beginning. Even our own form of mind control doesn't work indefinitely or against the strong-willed, so whatever control device your insiders may be trying to help you create? Don't buy it. We will all die, Ms. Jones. We will all die if you do not stop this. I can owl you clippings as soon as I leave. I can be there to answer questions. Hell, I'll take a truth serum, let your contacts use their best Legilimens against me, but I'm telling the truth. If you continue, we will all die. And it won't be fast and painless. It'll be slow and agonizing, living out your last days realizing what you've done, what you've caused. Can you live with that, Ms. Jones?"
It was as if the woman across the desk from her could read her mind. She was right about knowing about the testing...did that obligate Jones to stop it? Maybe so, if the future she was describing indeed came to pass.

"I'll do what I can. It will mean the end of my life and career, but if it's as important as you say to get the testing stopped, I will put every brake on it I can. I'm not in charge of that project, but I can lean on them with quite a bit of weight. I can get an ethics board to examine what's happening...that'll slow it enough that I can try to get it cancelled through some other means."

How much good would that do if men had already been given preliminary doses? Would those doses be enough to actually cause any mutations? Jones wasn't sure. Still, she made a promise to try, so try she would.
It was no surprise that the woman across from her did nothing to deny the conclusion Delilah had reached. It wasn't like the woman would have initially responded if she had if they hadn't started the mutant project or had any knowledge of it. Most people would have said she was out of her mind, that there was no way human trials such as that would go on or could go on. She remembered the early denials by the muggle media, but it had eventually been overwhelmingly proven to be a cover. She was glad this woman hadn't attempted it. She could have, and Delilah would have been none the wiser. At least if the woman hadn't had any visual tells when she lied.

"Thank you," Delilah said with a sincerity she typically lacked. If this woman could accomplish this, it would be worth it. "The sacrifice will be be worth it. Believe me." Delilah sat there a few moments, trying to compose herself back into the typical guarded, no-nonsense woman she liked to be before continuing. "Was there anything you needed to know from me? Anything at all?"
It was easy to thank someone for their sacrifice when they themselves didn't have anything to lose from it. Jones let a wry smile show as she thought of that. What could Delilah give her or answer for her that would make up for the crashing down of everything he built?

"What's the current political scene look like on your side? And is there any way we could help stabilize things so that these rebel dissidents don't keep using us as terrorist targets?"

Perhaps that could be the bait she used to get politicians on their side. Why go to war when we could just enable to local government to put down the rebelling factions in the first place? It was a strategy that had somewhat worked in the Middle East, so why not here and now in their own homeland?
"Nothing you would like, and frankly, nothing I care to be a part of," Delilah replied. It was the truth. She had joined the Death Eaters when she had because she'd felt there was no where else to go, and the man she had been with at the time had been a part of them. The group had seen her through the hardest parts of the beginning part of the war before everything had completely gone to hell, so she felt a sort of loyalty to them, but certain ideals had little real impact on her if she were completely honest. She didn't buy that muggle-borns had stolen magic or that magic equaled might--the prior from the beginning as it had always seemed stupid, the latter for the very fact she'd seen the future and knew what was coming. Magic did not equal might. Science appeared to, and the wizarding world was severely lacking in science.

"I'm sure you've heard the tales from the groups that have come to you of muggle-born slavery and, sometimes, their parents who were caught in the cross-fire. Most people don't seem to care. There's been a long-prevailing theory with our older citizens that muggle-borns steal their magic and cause what we know as a squib--a person of magical blood who fails to show any magical capabilities whatsoever. Our younger generation tends to lean toward that being complete and utter balderdash, of course, yet they lean toward 'magic is might.' Many people fall under neither category but fall under the umbrella of complacency we humans are apt to fall into when it's not us being affected. I've seen evidence Lord Williams made a few attempts to eradicate the establishment early on, but it never made it far. I think he was afraid that pushing it forward anyway would promote the idea we were a dictatorship. The establishment of our government is still in its early years, a toddler stumbling to determine what will and won't work, what will and won't hurt."

Delilah shrugged. "If I might be frank, I personally don't care for the establishment myself, but there has been nothing else existentially wrong with the government. They have responded to the fears of the people following attacks on our commerce centers and taken measures to increase safety. They've given the people what they've wanted. If you can think of a way to help promote the idea that muggles are not to be feared, perhaps you can help end the slavery we have within our society. Lord Williams did accomplish one thing with a bill to ensure we did not continue the import of slaves and to squelch the rise of slave rings. At the very least, muggle-borns are no longer receiving letters to Hogwarts. If our current generation of slaves does not reproduce, who knows where we'll be in thirty, forty years on that position. Then, and only then, might we pose an actual threat. I would recommend that displaying your scientific wonders would not be the way to go."
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