Moppet insisted she accompany her witch to the meeting with not-Professor the Wolf. The house elf wasn't sure how the half-Minister would behave so she was going to make certain there was no trouble. She'd do more than say 'bad dog' if he got bitey. Or if anyone else got bitey 'cause there was some looks when Cathal-Hermione walked into the Office of the Minister. No looks at Moppet as Moppet is invisibles and unsmellables. But looks like knives for eyes.
"Lady Rosier." Remus had been conveniently already upright when the blonde girl strode in, so he would not have to rise to greet her. He held the Gryffindor chivalry as an ideal but he wasn't going to stand for Cathal Rosier.
"Minister Lupin." Hermione replied politely. She did not offer her hand and neither did he. Full measure of awkward for this meeting.
"I have meant to speak with you since the battle." He started with what was bothering him the most as the politics would keep. They weren't short of demands, objections, caveats, bloodymindedness, or prejudice. They never were. "I am worried about you. What you are and what you, or others, have done to you."
"My grandmother used blood magic on me, which is illegal. It's in my file." She glanced at the thick manilla file prominent on his desk. The House of Rosier had attracted a great deal of paperwork. "I was cleared of any consent in that magic, which you know."
"A very useful excuse." Remus agreed. "I don't doubt you were uninvolved. I know the feel of Dark Magic quite personally." He paused to allow a snide comment on his lycanthropy. He was relieved but not surprised when Cathal didn't make one. Snape had likely spilled everything to her after the specious excuse of her figuring it out herself. "But there is still something wrong."
"Is it wrong enough to distract from the negotiations?" Hermione asked what she suspected was a rhetorical question.
"For me, yes." He tugged at the cuff of his new suit. His mother-in-law had had it made for him in dark brown wool, well-tailored and understated. Remus felt like he had been gift-wrapped. "Not, I suspect, for the interim Minister. The Office will not waive your censure like it did your house arrest. There is no 'pressing legislative need' for you to be present to vote on administrative minutiae."
"Thus packing me nicely out of the way." She smirked because she thought he would appreciate the irony of being locked up for the good of others. Judging from his frown, he did. Remus's shoulders rolled in what she thought was a hackle then he sagged, world-weary.
"For three months, as is traditional. The Wizengamot has come over all antiquated, which you exploit. Taking Susan and Hannah as your vassals, for instance." He was fond of the Hufflepuffs. Such earnest children they had been. As earnest now but sharper. Particularly when pointed at him. "I would feel much better if I knew what you wanted. What you really wanted."
"When I was younger I wanted recognition." Oh how much she had craved it; hand waving in the air. "Now I want democracy. Wizarding Britain, indeed the whole magical world, will implode if we don't reform and balance. We can't be an enclave and we can't scapegoat the newcomers."
"A very liberal, dare I say, Muggle attitude." This was another of those things he mistrusted. Remus shook his head. "It rings false, coming from you."
"Why does it matter so much who says it? Potter shouted at the storm for years and no one believed him. You can't force-feed people the truth." Hermione would like to, if only to shut them up. "I'm not running for office. I hate politics. But I'm not going to use my Seat just to warm my bum."
"You're not aiming for Minister?" Now that did surprise him.
"Nope. We'll advocate for Susan after you. Might not win the first term but she's a great candidate. She'll get there and if she marries a pure-blood witch, we'll be able to corral the purists behind her." It was slightly playing her hand though Hermione wanted to give Remus something to soothe his fretting.
"That witch won't be you." Lupin couldn't smell any arousal, not even lust for power.
"No. Theo Nott and I have an understanding. We'll do something private to avoid public commentary." A thought occurred to Hermione that perhaps Millicent and Susan might be a good match. She'd try to get them in a room together in a house without Malfoy lurking.
"Will you make an oath to that affect? Kingsley and Augusta are terrified you will make a bid for the Ministership or for Chief Warlock." If Rosier stepped aside, the removal of the spectre of a Death Eater's heir in control of the country would let everyone catch their breath. "Nott too."
"Can we settle this so easily? A list of reforms in exchange for a person vow?" She wasn't against the idea. "I'll need an impartial solicitor with ICW accreditation and witnesses. I cannot speak for Theo but I believe he would be willing. To clean house."
"Not a solicitor. Elf magic. House magic." Moppet interrupted, popping into existence with her wand out of sight. "Bind honest into it."
"Who are you?" Lupin asked courteous, swallowing all instinct to growl at the sudden arrival.
"I is Moppet and Cathal is mine." The house elf declared. "And we wants no more nonsense. So we makes an oath. But you and yours make oaths too. And keeps them." Bound with elf magic, the wanded folk would keep their words. Or they would hurt.
"That's the end of it?" Remus asked hopefully. No sudden reveal of treachery, no villainous cackling? He could endure being obligated so long as it wasn't to bury himself.
"I think so." Hermione said, not averse to this finale.