Seeing the despair on the younger Auror's face, Sara breaks the silence. "I find it much more worrisome how easily Moody has been given the clear on the Gaunt case. That is not a coincidence, but rather the purebloods in power have permitted him to investigate. And I for one shudder to think that Abraxas can enforce his will, and I am certain others have noticed as well."
"Then there is little doubt so has HE," Fabian trailed off. "-But if that is the case, then it is only a matter of time until Riddle attempts to rid himself of his biggest obstacle."
"But surely, they wouldn't be that foolish to attempt to kill, Abraxas Malfoy?" Gideon gaped in disbelief.
"Purebloods are rather fickle creatures, not to mention astonishingly pragmatic when it serves them," Alphard wryly concluded. "But above all else, they only believe in one absolute core truth, power."
The tension in the room is palpable again as Moody unhappily grunts, "Then we will have to keep an eye on Abraxas Malfoy as well. Alphard, you, are best suited for the task." Alphard sighs in understanding as various pity filled gazes are sent his way.
"Anything else to report?" Moody asked as any previous feelings had dissolved into a gloomy atmosphere. Seeing the lack of immediate response, Moody says, "Then let us go and rest for the night."
"Wait!" Fabian finally said after a moment of hesitation. "There is one thing."
They all curiously turn to gaze at Fabian as he confesses, "I had forgotten all about it until yesterday. Some months ago, I'd heard rumors of sleazy wizards searching for a sorcerer by the name of the Rain Man. But soon the inquires ceased to be heard until yesterday when a drunken wizard was brought in from the Leaky Cauldron. The wizard kept murmuring that name over and over again. And, a single phrase in accompaniment, follow the snake. It was rather that last part that caught my attention more than anything else."
"The Rain Man?" Gideon snorted in amus.e.m.e.nt at his brother's tale. "That sounds like something out of a children's fairytale."
Fabian scowls at his brother until he sees the faces of the three oldest Auror's. "He's real, isn't he?"
Alastor, Sara, and Percius share a glance as Alphard gazes with curiosity as well. "I've never heard of this Rain Man, before. Who is he?" Alphard hazard to ask.
With some reluctance, Alastor finally answers the question. "A charlatan."
"The Rain Man is no charlatan, Moody," Sara chided as she made the sign of warding off evil with her fingers.
Grimacing Alastor reluctantly admits, "He is no better."
"He is a powerful devil," Sara murmured.
"Well, I've never heard about the Rain Man, either in the department nor much less any rumors in the pureblood circles," Alphard finally declared as he carefully watched the three eldest Auror's.
After an intense, silent glaring match, Percius forcefully looks away first and is the loser. "The Rain-Man is not well known in pure-blood circles as he is seen as something most dark and unclean as he still practices the best forgotten old ways. Nor is he known to ordinary wizards and witches, but rather more commonly known to those that seek him among the shadows, the lawless of the wizarding world," Percius unwillingly explained.
"A sorcerer then? And if so, what is so special about him?" Alphard asked with a frown. "I've seen many sorcerers in my life whether as criminals or through other means. And though dangerous, I have yet to meet a single sorcerer that even dark wizards speak of with such ill-ease."
The silence grows causing the three men to further furrow their brows. "The Rain Man can answer any question for a price," Sara whispered.
Alphard pales in disbelief at her words as Gideon mutters, "And just what is so strange about that? It's merely divination."
"What that devil does is no mere divination," Sara said in a haunting voice. "No, that monster very much is real."
Sara paused as if lost in thought, before she slowly says, "No, his answers are very much true. And though that can be fearful in itself, that is not what causes such hair-raising terror."
Raising her spooky gaze, Sara continues, "Rather it is the cost of the said answer. For the price is whatever the devil deems priceless. The color of one's eyes, a favorite memory, an unborn child, or something far more precious-."
"Then why is he still allowed to continue?" Gideon naively protested.
"Because there may even come a day when the ministry might have need of his foul services," Alastor bitterly stated as he glanced up warningly at them. "We do need any more unwarranted attention upon us, nor have we grown desperate enough to seek his foul services. Let that devil lie in peace."
"And what of those that seem to be seeking him?" Fabian asked with some concern.
"Let them seek their own deaths," Alastor brusquely answered. "I shan't be the one to save them from their own deeds." Nodding in agreement, everyone rises to their feet as Alastor says, "I will send word when it is time again to meet."
One by one each of them leaves under a cloak and apparate out into the shadows. With only Alastor, Percius, and Sara left at the safehouse. "Is it Sanderson?" Sara whispered in deep thought.
"I saw the wizard that Fabian described in detention," Percius slowly answered. "A mere pawn, but one that belongs to the edge of society, Gittins."
"Do we need to worry?" Alastor barked.
"For the moment, no, but who is to say of the future?" Percius said with a frown. "Rather I worry about the answer that he seems to be seeking."
"Perhaps, it is not a what, but rather a who?" Sara murmured causing both men to look sharply at her. "Now that I think about it, the searching for the Rain Man died down about the same time as the Death Eater's ceased their own activities. It is not too difficult to assume nor hope for that perhaps, just perhaps, the Death Eater's somehow crossed paths with that man and have gained his irk."
"Perhaps," Alastor slowly drawled. "But let us not get our hopes up."
Glancing up at the sky, Alastor adds, "It is late, and we are all tired. There will be plenty of time to ponder on the morrow." Having heard their dismissal, Sara and Percius swiftly depart, before Alastor too departs with a worried furrow on his brow. But no matter how good of Auror's they were there was always a crime being committed on the nearby horizon.