The room is silent contemplation until Dumbledore asks, "Any follow-ups on Antonin Dolohov, Rabastan Lestrange, Albert Runcorn, or Walden Macnair?"
Gideon is gestured by Alastor Moody to answer the question. "As of yet, there have not been any sightings of Dolohov nor Lestrange. They have been keeping their heads low to the ground at the moment. As for Albert Runcorn and Walden Macnair those two have been recently oftentimes in the company of each other. We don't know what for as our best efforts have only found them chatting about nothing of suspicion. If those two are up to something thus far they've been hiding it very well."
"What of you, Doge?" Dumbledore turned to ask his friend sitting across from him.
"Macnair did apply for a position within the Department of Law Enforcement," Elphias Doge smugly replied. "So far, I've managed to turn him away and shuffle him sideways. He'll be the newest executioner for the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures.
Macnair didn't seem to be peeved about his hiring as the brat seems to be quite bloodthirsty and excited at the prospect of murder found within the position. I'd warrant to say that he deserves to have a closer eye be kept on him. He's the type to do something foolish for a kick. I am confident to say, that he's the weaker link when in comparison to Runcorn."
"Good for you, old man," Alastor teased the old Wizengamot member.
Doge turns to glare at Auror Moody. "Of course, I've got it in hand, boy!" A pair of snickers can be heard from the Prewett brothers in response, which is quietly silenced by a glare from Alastor.
"Is that all?" Dumbledore asked glancing around.
"I've got something to say, Professor," Mundungus hesitantly said as he toyed with a button on his grimy coat.
"Yes, Mundungus?" Dumbledore calmly said.
"I heard, er, something about Hydra. None of you 'ave heard anything about dat 'ave you?" Mundungus carefully said as he intently watched their faces for any reactions.
"I'm afraid we don't know what you are talking about, Mundungus," Dumbledore answered as the rest of the members shrugged or nodded in reply.
Mundungus seems to have a trace of disappointment and relief in his eyes. The emotion quickly disappears as if the second presence is gone. "Aye, of course! Sorry, I won't mention it, er, again."
However, Aberforth's angry eyes that were already glued to Mundungus only seemed to glow with that much more of a fire. Mundungus meets Aberforth's eyes and guiltily glances away. He knew perfectly well he was banned from the Hogs Head Inn ever since New Year's failed sale.
He didn't know what had possessed him in the first place to agree to accompany Dumbledore nor much less join Dumbledore's order! It was thought he'd been under the control of another. Nonsense, he'd probably been still under the influence of the opium.
Mundungus's thoughts are interrupted by Dumbledore saying, "Well, if that's all, we all best retire for the night." Mutters of being in agreement are heard all around the room as they all begin to leave. Mundungus skitters away like a creepy lizard, while old Doge uses the fireplace to floo away.
Fabian Prewett happily piped up and offered to accompany Miss Emmaline Vance back to her residence. Miss Emmaline Vance shyly accepted the offered crook of Fabian's arm, who happily took her hand. Gideon on the other hand scowled and merely gave his brother a dirty look, before stomping off with Alastor Moody in tow. They were followed by the softly chuckling figures of the Bones brothers who knew the look of being utterly besotted when they saw it. There might a hint of a pink hue on the horizon for Fabian Prewett and Miss Emmaline Vance.
"A word, Albus," Aberforth growled the minute they were all gone.
"Yes, Aberforth?" Dumbledore replied as he stood up not quite staring at his younger brother.
"Mundungus is never to set afoot here again," Aberforth snapped. "I don't care if he's a member of your order. But he'll never be brought here again or else you'll be holding your meetings elsewhere!"
"And what has Mundungus to merit your wrath, Aberforth?"
"Do you know what I caught that weasel selling in my pub over New Years?! Well, do you?!"
"No, I don't know, Aberforth."
"Poison ingredients!" Aberforth said with great satisfaction at seeing Dumbledore's eyes widen and face pale.
"Not only did I happily kick his scrawny arse into the snow, but I burned them all in the fireplace until they were nothing but ashes and dust! You're lucky I caught him before he even sold a single one of them! Merlin knows what would have happened if anyone unscrupulous got their hands on those. Not to mention that the Auror's would have had my hide along as well!" Aberforth roared in angry.
"I understand, Aberforth," Dumbledore slowly said in understanding. "I'll make sure that Mundungus reports separately and alone with me."
"A word of caution, Albus," Aberforth said as he turned to leave. "Just because you fed the sewer rat that doesn't mean the sewer rat won't ever bite back. For no matter how much a sewer rat rolls on its belly and performs tricks for the hand that feeds it. In the end, it will still bite off the hand that feeds it in order to survive.
Don't make the mistake of trusting him, Albus. I'd have never made him a member of the order as he's far too likely to betray us. But it was your call, I suppose even if it was wrong. But please, don't involve him any further. Feed a tidbit or two if need be but keep him well away from the order. Mark my words, he'll be the weakest link in the order."
Albus Dumbledore quietly found himself revaluating the young man. He'd always thought him a poor young man who'd always made foolish choices not unlike himself in his youth. But perchance, his younger brother was right. It wouldn't do the order any harm to keep Mundungus Fletcher away for most of the ongoings.
"I'll take your words under advice," Dumbledore replied.
"How typical," Aberforth snorts as he turns away to leave.
"Aberforth," Dumbledore warningly said.
"What?" Aberforth scowled as he turned back.
"I have found nothing strange with my apprentice."
"Then you haven't been looking hard enough, Albus."
"Leave the past be, Aberforth. It's done enough as it is."
Aberforth coldly snarled, "Of course, you would say that, Albus. But I suppose then we wouldn't be all here like this if it weren't for the past."
Dumbledore sighs and says, "That is not what I meant, and you know it."
Aberforth coolly turns away and says, "I didn't mean to imply that the girl was evil, Albus. But merely that she shares that bastard's gaze. Think about it, if you will."
Dumbledore sighs and makes his way down the stairs after his brother. Each of them goes their separate ways as one of them heads to the bar, while the other out through the stables. For far too long ago their paths had diverged, but still, even after all these years, they were reconnecting again much to their dismay. Only time would tell if anything more would ever come of it.