Who: Fleur Delacour, Blaise Zabini
Where: Hogsmeade - Quidditch Pitch
Summary: Fleur and Blaise exchange bonafides and discuss floors
Blaise drew his cloak more tightly about him as he neared the Quidditch Pitch. It wasn't cold, but mist drifted and swirled, concealing the landscape, revealing, and then concealing it again. More seemed to leap from the ground with every step he took. It made him edgy.
Within the coak, his fingers found the edges of a folded bit of parchment -- his invitation to the meeting of the reborn Order of the Phoenix. Remus had suggested it as his own credentials, even as the older wizard had assured him of Fleur's.
Reaching the designated meeting place, he stopped, letting his hand slide down to rest upon his wand.
Fleur cleared the rise that the Quidditch Pitch sat on just in time to see Blaise take his place by the far set of hoops. She shifted Alastor uncomfortably on her hip, where he was almost hidden underneath her layers of cloak. She didn't like bringing him to a meeting with a man she didn't entirely trust, but there was no way she was leaving him alone, not since this morning's news.
She might have preferred to skip the meeting altogether, but she had to admit that the man had some right to learn what she knew, if he was what he claimed to be. And again, since this morning, it seemed entirely likely that the events at Moody End might not be isolated ones.
So she buried her thoughts and greeted Blaise with a slight smile. "Mr. Zabini," she said. "I'm glad to see zat we are bos alive and enjoying our feedom tonight -- it could easily 'ave been ozerwise."
Blaise smiled faintly. "Indeed." He glanced curiously at the baby-shaped lump under her cloak, then away. "I took your advice, and went to see some friends while you were ... away. They spoke quite highly of you."
"Yes?" said Fleur, non-commitally.
"They also said you would be familiar with this." From within his cloak, he produced the parchment, the symbol of the Order of the Phoenix on the front.
"So. Ze phoenix is rising. It is nice to see zat somebody has sense," said Fleur. "And I will say zat I am glad to see you again -- as a friend. But I am afraid zat ze news zat I 'ave on ze subject we were discussing ze last time we met, is not so good, and is not such news."
Briefly, she described what she had found at Moody End. "I cannot even make a good guess at 'oo it was 'oo used ze . . . floor before I did. It is consistent wis what I know of Chase, but zat proves nosing. I find it more disturbing even zan what I saw zere, ze fact zat one or more of our enemies knew of ze existance of such a device. I say one or more because shortly before ze break-in I recieved an offer to buy Moody End from a company called Kishuf and Brozers. I find zat suspicious."
"Alzo, when it comes to what I saw -- can you make more sense out of it zen I can?"
Blaise considered. "A wizard with a sword ... not many of us do that -- ah, or have done. Together with three others, one a woman becoming a raven ... Godric Gryffindor."
"The four founders of Hogwarts. Which might make the book ... " He trailed off, looking to Fleur to see if she was following his line of thought.
"Ze books zat magic schools 'ave, zat record ze birss of magical children . . . Ze one at 'Ogwarts was ze first, wasn't it? Ze founders invented it." Fleur shook her head. "Zat does not make it much clearer."
"Oh," the Slytherin said, "but it does. Hogwarts uses the book to find the children born with the gift and teach them. But there are darker uses to which that knowledge could be put."
Now the undersides of Fleur's fingernails were beginning to itch. She held Alastor a bit tighter, and he yelled. "I do not sink I like what you are suggesting, Mr. Zabini. I am not sure exactly what it is, but I do not like it," she said over the noise. And, breathing slowly until the pressure on her fingers eased -- was it her imagination or had the nails actually gone sharper? -- she continued, "Ze argument -- unless I am much mistaken, niezer of us know what zat was about, alzo we may guess it 'ad somesing to do wiz ze book. Professor McGonagall would know, if anyone did. And ze owls, zey must be ze ones delivering letters of acceptance to 'Ogwarts. But zat does not put us before'and much. It does not tell us what zey are planning to do to _children_."
Blaise's eyes tracked once more to the baby, then back to Fleur's face. He had to keep an image of Katie in mind to keep them from stopping in between. "Harry Potter is called The Boy Who Lived," he answered quietly. "There were others who ... didn't."
"When I asked what would 'appen," said Fleur, "ze answer was Neville Longbottom. 'E is not dead, sank Merlin and Vivien. But what do you suppose it means?"
Blaise shook his head. "I don't know, but I work for Neville. I can put you in touch."
Fleur nodded. "I 'ave told you everysing zat I can sink of. But it may 'elp. And anysing I can do . . ." Fleur lifted her head. "Do not be fooled. I may 'ave a young son, but I am not useless. When ze time comes, I will know best 'ow to protect 'im. And zat is by ridding ze world of zose 'oo would 'urt 'im."
"I would never consider a competitor in the Triwizard Tournament 'useless,' Ms. Delacour," Blaise said. "I will pass what you've told me on to others," his hand touched his chest over his heart, where he'd secreted the parchment once again.
"Sank you, Mr. Zabini," said Fleur. "And will you keep me informed? If you still consider yourself to be in my debt."
"If I am permitted, I will keep you informed, regardless."
"I should be getting back, zen," said Fleur. "Good night, Mr. Zabini. If zere can be any such sing in zese times."
"Good night, Ms. Delacour," Blaise said. And, drawing up his hood, he withdrew into the fog.