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 A Mind of Unease (for Albus)

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PostSubject: A Mind of Unease (for Albus)   Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:52 pm

Standing before the stone gargoyle in her heavy dressing gown and hard-soled slippers, Minerva had to question her own sanity. It was well into the wee hours of the night and the Headmaster was most likely sleeping, yet she cleared her throat and offered the password, tilting her chin politely as the stone figured moved out of her way and the stairs came to life. She felt a bit like she was intruding by not announcing her visit prior to showing up at his door, but this was important and she knew she’d never get back to bed without speaking to him. Her run-in with Miss Granger had ensured that.

The aging Gryffindor was worried about what she might say to her mentor and friend. How did one go about questioning a leader’s motives? It wasn’t as if she wanted to sever ties with Albus, after all. He was someone she cherished as a friend, even more as family! It wasn’t as if she had many others to lean on, and Albus… well, he’d always been there for her. How could Minerva possibly doubt the man she’d come to trust so wholly?

Alas, she knew that doubt was there, as it weighed heavily on her heart and her mind. With a sigh, she lifted her hand and knocked gently upon the door to his office. She knew the portraits would inform him of his guest even if he was in his chambers resting. They were helpful that way. It seemed, however, that Albus always knew what was going on, so she wouldn’t be surprised if he was waiting up for her arrival.

As the door slowly opened, she couldn’t help but think about how much she wanted to believe in him. Albus was the ultimate good. He was the light in this time of such darkness. Somehow, it felt like her world had just gotten a whole lot darker and she looked at the man with a slight desperation in her eyes. “Good evening, Albus,” she croaked, not knowing what more to say.
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PostSubject: Re: A Mind of Unease (for Albus)   Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:48 pm

The portraits of Hogwart's alerted the wizened headmaster to the wanderings of his deputy headmistress and the clever Miss Granger. He sat behind his great oak wood desk, stroking his long silvery beard as one might stroke a pet. It was a shame Minerva was patrolling at this late hour, for while it was a tribute to her character for being so diligent in her duties as a professor and deputy headmistress, it put the brakes on his plot to work his manipulation on the younger female.

For some time Albus had watched the interactions between what was fast becoming known as the Golden Trio, and what he saw he had been able to reinforce with his talent of entering their minds. How easy it was, when they were the blindly trusting fools they were, unknowingly giving him all the strengths and weaknesses they possessed until he could formulate a plot to control them, effectively getting each pawn to the position he wanted on the board.

It was true that Harry was proving difficult these days, but could that not be fixed? Albus needed either Harry or the Riddle girl to be firmly planted on his side, preferably the pair, but that was proving unlikely. The old wizard had developed a plan that would help bait Harry back to his side, however it required the help of one Miss Hermione Granger. Or perhaps Miss Ginerva Weasley, who seemed to have formed an especially close bond with the boy this year. It seemed he would have to ponder further which young witch to approach at a later time because he was alerted to the arrival of his deputy headmistress.

A wave of his wizened hand had the door of his office opening to reveal the woman who had always stood by him, and he quickly school his face into a mask of concern as she stammered out her greeting both looking and sounding desperate. "Good evening Minerva." His voice matched his concerned look, but on the inside he was irritated at the interruption of his musings. "My dear you look like you have much on your mind. I find a cup of tea usually helps put the mind at ease, as well as the company of a old and good friend." Albus smiled in a friendly manner at his long time supporter, his twinkling gaze inviting her in as he stood to fix them both a cup of tea.

This would be a time for answers, because Minerva was too smart not to notice him entering her mind to get the truth behind this late night visit so Albus would employ the use of his veritaserum laced sugar cubes to help loosen her tongue. He held the tea cup out to her and kept one for himself.
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PostSubject: Re: A Mind of Unease (for Albus)   Sat Dec 07, 2013 6:45 pm

It was always strange how Albus knew exactly what brought people to his office, yet Minerva was used to it and welcomed his offer of a chat and some tea. His kind, twinkling eyes soothed her mind and her heart insisted that she was being silly to even doubt him. She followed him into his office and sat before his desk, taking the offered tea with a polite smile and adding two sugars. It would probably keep her up half the night, but seeing as the night was already half over she didn’t figure it mattered much. There would most likely be need for one of Poppy’s pepper-up potions before lessons began for the day anyway.

As she let the tea cool a bit, Minerva looked at her Headmaster and friend with worried eyes. “Thank you, Albus. A good friend is indeed what I need right now, I believe,” she muttered, taking a small sip of the amber liquid and tilting her head slightly. Something seemed a bit off to her, but she wasn’t sure what it was. “Is this a new blend of leaves? It tastes a bit different from your usual.” She sipped it again, just barely avoiding burning her lip. Yes, definitely a new blend. She liked it, though, and used her wand to spell it a bit cooler so she could drink it more easily.

“I have so much on my mind lately,” she sighed heavily, looking at the man over her glasses. Her age was showing much more than seemed natural for magical folk. Her hands shook a bit as she set down her half-empty teacup. “I’m worried about Potter. Are you sure everything he’s been going through is completely necessary?” She wanted to tell the headmaster that she wasn’t doubting him, but she felt her tongue tie at the very thought. Why couldn’t she comfort him?

“I…” it was as if her voice was silenced as she tried to form the word ‘trust’. Her eyes grew wide as she realized what could be the single explanation. A truth serum. Albus had drugged her. “Albus, I’m not daft! How could you?” she demanded, tears welling behind her spectacles as she looked upon the man she’d called her friend. “Did you honestly believe I wouldn’t figure out what you’d done? You give me some tea and then I start spouting off nothing but the truth? All you’ve done is proven my heart a fool and my mind superior. Damn human nature to hell, I thought I could trust you!”

She huffed at the elder wizard and crossed her arms, waiting for his inevitable interrogation. Of course, she knew she wouldn’t be able to leave until he was satisfied, so she simply waited for it to be over. He’d broken her trust, and subsequently her heart. Minerva was a broken soul, and now she knew where she had to go for any real answers.
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PostSubject: Re: A Mind of Unease (for Albus)   Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:48 pm

It did not surprise Albus that she had caught on to his ploy to get the truth from her but he did not need his most trusting and long time follower to turn her back on him and so he mentally grit his teeth against his irritation and put on a false guilty and somber look. "Come, come Minerva, you know me better than that. I realize you may feel betrayed and I cannot blame you."

The old wizard sighed heavily and shook his head seemingly to himself. It was beginning to grate on his nerves how little those who were supposed to trust him blindly were beginning to question that blindness. He had many plans already in place and very little time or patience to have to continuously manipulate the same people over and over again.

However, Minerva was a special case. She was by far his strongest and most trusting supporter, and it would be a huge blow to his plans if he should lose her as such. Which meant he could not let that happen, and which meant he had to proceed with caution because as she pointed out, she was no idiot.

"Do forgive me my dear Minerva," He began in a sad and guilt ridden tone. "I did not mean to betray your trust. I just feared that you would leave here without really stating your thoughts, as you so often do, and only leaving with more questions and worries, as I know you do." Albus knew the best way to turn the situation from bad to good was to play on her own weakness, which was her Gryffindorish tendency to want to trust someone so much that she made herself believe their lies.

That was the thing with people in general. They were frightened by the truth and did everything to hide from it. Ignorance was bliss for them, and Minerva, though one of the cleverest witches he had ever come across, was no different. She proved that by swallowing all his lies over all these years, knowing in the back of her mind something was off about certain things but never questioning them for fear of the answer she would get. No, Minerva did not want the truth anymore than he was ready to provide it.

"If it helps ease your mind, it is only the sugar that had it, which you know counteracts the potency of the serum. It was only to help release some of your inhibition, not to force you to say things you do not want to." This, of course, was a lie, but it was a very sincere one and it would take someone as good with lying and manipulation as Albus was to detect the lie. "Please Minerva, forgive an old friend for making such a mistake. I truly only had the best of intentions."
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PostSubject: Re: A Mind of Unease (for Albus)   Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:00 pm

Minerva was so full of rage she could barely contain herself as Albus continued trying to pull the wool over her eyes. He might think he could use clever words to fool her just as he did with so many others, but he seemed to forget that she’d witnessed his games before. She knew exactly what he was doing and he’d get nowhere with her. She’d already found her answer in the simple act of loosening her lips.

“I’m sorry, old friend,” she murmured with a heavy heart. The truth spilled easily from her aging lips. “You’ve gone too far this time. You slipped up with me it seems. You see,” she took a deep shuddering breath and looked him in those deadly blue eyes, erecting a wall in her mind even as she did. “I know you, Albus. I’m afraid I’ve known you all along.”

Her heart was sinking as Minerva realized how much venom her one-time-confidant hid beneath kind words. It was as if some veil had been lifted and she finally saw the man for what and who he was, and it was terrifying. She only hoped he’d allow her to leave without an interrogation, though she doubted that highly. It would be a miracle if she got out of the office with any secrets still in tact.

Standing on somewhat shaky legs, Minerva strode purposefully toward the office door. “Now, if we’re quite finished, I’d like to take my leave. It is getting late.” She peered back at Albus, one brow raised in both question and warning. Would he push her any further? If he did, she was prepared- at least as much as she could be. He’d have a decent fight on his hands if he made a true enemy of his deputy Headmistress.
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