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Alexis Eversly

[1837/1838][EN] Fog of War

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“I will,” he said and his jaw had set in a way that implicated few good things for everyone trying to stop him as he stopped himself from taking Alexis’s hand (in case she had, whatever, a tiny needle injecting love potion between her fingers or something even though she would have been searched before being allowed to enter and was in any case under house arrest and a pretty close watch so how she could have gotten such an item stretched belief, but on the other hand if Nicholas was on the other side of the equation he knew that he wouldn’t want to be taking any risks either, so he grudgingly had to understand) and could merely look into her eyes and promise her this one thing, this small thing, too little too late as he always was. He would stop this. He didn’t know how, he only knew how he had stopped everything that came before, by dint of luck and lots and lots and lots of hard work... That better work in this scenario too.

 

One thing was certain: chatting with the psychologist was not going to do it. 

 

Again, he didn’t even know if he could blame the woman.

 

He didn’t know if he was, by and large, all that sane. 

 

He chuckled halfheartedly. “Yes, that’s so you, utter co-dependence...” He smiled. “And they’ll be okay, with my parents, really, they only hire competent nannies.”  He hummed. “What can we do, do you think? Go over suspects again... your alibis...” round and round and round we go.

 

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Alexis wasn't so certain that the children would be okay at his parents, Nicholas hadn't been okay, but she smiled nonetheless. It wasn't worth a fight, they had such limited time during these visits and what good was it going to do anyway? It wasn't like they could actually do something, so let him comfort himself with the thought that they would be okay, that they would have a good nanny.

 

Nannies.

 

"What I wonder is how they could've got to you at our home..." Alexis said softly, letting the thought spin around in her head for a moment. She wasn't an auror and if it wasn't something that Nicholas had thought of, was it really a good lead? "Maybe we should have a look at the people we let into our homes. There's Aiden, of course, and the housekeeper, the guards... and Callie. I haven't seen her since your parents took the kids, I'm assuming they've hired her as nanny." It was probably nothing, Nicholas personally would've vetted all those people, no matter how desperate they had been to get a nanny. And Callie had been so perfect for them. With a frown, she leaned back in her chair. "They would've had the best access... Is it possible that someone got to them?" 

 

After this she wasn't ever going to trust anyone ever again. 

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“It’s possible,” Nicholas admitted with a half smile, not mentioning that this train of thought of course was one he’d exhaustively entertained over the past few months - it was his job, just as making the chance of anything like this as small as possible had been when he had vetted those very few people that they regularly allowed into their home. He understood why Alexis was thinking this way and he was just willing to talk about anything rather than Georgia and Christian at Eversly manor. “But the guards change too regularly and too unpredictably for any one of them to have done it, or to have made a good target for an Imperius curse. Plus my Aurors are frequently but irregularly subjected to a Fall, you know, just as a precaution, it’s to stop people from trying to put an Imperius curse on them just as much as it is to detect any that have taken place...” So for the guards, it was incredibly unlikely that they were doing it on their own choosing and had all organized themselves into a roster, and someone else cursing enough of them to make a dent was even more difficult to believe. 

 

He was relieved. He really hadn’t wanted to feel betrayed by his people again. Although of course, what Alexis was experiencing, the feeling of not being able to trust anyone, was something he was as familiar with as he was with his wife.

 

The other three... that was more of a difficult story. Aiden... Well, nowadays Nicholas actually didn’t see much of Aiden, but of course he did have general access to their house. Then again, it would take a lot to jinx Aiden and he was pretty damn sure the guy was resistant enough to the Imperius curse to either be able to shake it off or make life incredibly difficult for the person choosing to employ such a measure against him. And by his own lights... no. He trusted Aiden. 

 

The housekeeper, then. Not impossible, though extremely unlikely. Lizzy was a house-elf, albeit freelance, and as such would be loath, almost incapable, of betraying her master. They could, if they really wanted to they could, but he also could not imagine that she really wanted to. She’d been working for him longer than Alexis had been with him, and she felt she owed him... No, he could barely imagine it. Plus, due to her nature, Imperius curses did not really take hold for her.

 

And Callie... “Remind me how we found Callie again? Any idea where she lives if it’s not with us? And she hasn’t been acting strangely... right?” He had the file, of course, but perhaps there was more, perhaps Alexis remembered a detail or other... 

 

Perhaps he was grasping at straws. 

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So the guards were out. That was a relief, but an easy answer would've been wonderful at this point. They were stretched to the ends of their ability and nothing had happened so far. Couldn't the world work with them for once? Bring Nicholas home and the children and let them live a normal, happy life where the biggest problem was that they were both workaholics and had accidentally left the children at home alone once

 

Although it was them, so if things didn't figuratively blew up once in a while, they were likely to set something on fire themselves.

 

"I don't really know," Alexis said, with a sigh, rubbing her face. "We put an ad out in the newspaper and a lot of people responded, but she just had the best references... And she got along with everyone well." With her, with Nicholas, with the kids, even with Aiden. "I think she lives somewhere in London, but I don't think she ever specifically said where." It didn't matter, at least, they could contact her easily and she always had time to come by. "I don't think she has any family and maybe no friends either." Because she was always able to come, no matter if it was the weekends or the holidays (that had been a bad Christmas) and she never mentioned anything about anyone. "And no, she hasn't been acting strangely." At least, not that Alexis had noticed.

 

But she never really noticed Callie. The woman was just always there.

 

"You know... I don't even remember when the last time was I let her out of the house. She usually leaves on her own, doesn't she? And I think she has a key..."

 

When did they give her a key? 

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