|Scene Title||A Faustian Bargain?|
|Synopsis||Ichabod tries to convince Christian to sign a petition.|
|Location||Ministry of Magic, Atrium|
|Date||October 15, 1994|
|Watch For||Frightened underlings.|
Ministry - Atrium
Nestled beneath the streets of London is the Ministry of Magic. The main atrium of the Ministry sits along the eighth level of the subterranean bureaucratic center of the wizarding world. The peacock blue ceiling above has golden symbols that move across it. The golden symbols and the light reflect off the polished dark wood of the floor. Fireplaces are seen along the lengthy walls of the atrium, used for travel by floo powder. The fireplaces are designated for arrivals and departures. A pair of golden gates are positioned at the end of the Atrium. Next to these gates is a security desk. Beyond the golden gates is a small hallway where there are a series of lifts that take people between the different levels. Halfway down the atrium in a center of prominence is the Fountain of Magical Brethren. It's a group of golden statues in the form of a wizard, witch, centaur, goblin and a house-elf. The statues spout water into the pool they stand in.
Tap. Tap. Tap. The sound echoes down the wide atrium as a figure makes his way towards the lifts, tapping the heel of his walking stick on the hard floor beneath as he goes. He pauses momentarily to look up at the fountain in the center of the room. For whatever reason, Ichabod's thin lips twist into a scowl as he gazes at the countenances depicted there, and then he begins to move on again. For someone so obviously old and frail, he doesn't display any of the usual creakiness one would expect, his footfalls long and surprisingly fluid.
"…and the next time one of you gets the idea that you can just simply take a day off during a crisis, don't bother coming back!" Comes a yell from the lifts. The door slides open to reveal a haggard Christian followed by three very admonished looking junior workers. "I did not go talk to that toad woman on your behalf for my own health," Christian scolds, continuing his rant. People part around him. This is aparently a regular occurance for him.
Glancing up to observe the little scene play out in front of him, Ichabod takes a few steps forward, stopping at the edge of the circle of people shuffling to get out of the Hit Wizard's path. At this point he doesn't say anything since the fellow still appears to be in the process of giving his underlings a lesson in humility, but his eyebrows do perk up a bit at the mention of the 'toad woman'. Evidently he knows exactly who Christian's talking about, and considering the way his pale gray eyes narrow, is not especially fond of her, himself.
Christian stops dead in his tracks and whirls around at the younger wizards. "Any questions?" He says, obviously intoning that there had better not be. The younger trainees shake their heads. "Then why are you wasting time? Go!" He shews them away, and they scatter like mice. Christian places his hands on his hips, and sighs.
"Young people need to be disciplined like that more often," Ichabod drawls from his position near the Hit Wizard, stepping forward to separate himself from the others gathered nearby as they begin to disperse, now that the fun is over. He nods to Christian and glances at the backs of the trainees as they hustle toward the lifts. "Keeps them motivated." The gaunt man chuckles in a voice gravelly with age, and extends a hand covered by a pair of expensive-looking graphorn leather gloves. "I don't believe I've had the pleasure of making your acquaintance. Ichabod Noble."
Christian 's expression turns from his scowl to a soft grin. "I make sure to have the most motivated team in the service," Christian chuckles, turning and accepting the Mr. Noble's hand. "Christian Faulkner." The hitwizard seems to stop and regard the man for a moment. An obvious chill or bristle crosses his face, but is quickly brushed away. "A pleasure to meet you Mr. Noble." The soft grin returns.
Ichabod seems to notice that slight reaction to him, but he doesn't make mention of it aside from a slightly bemused smile. His lips don't part quite enough for his teeth to be visible, but it's still smile-like. "Mr. Faulkner. I may be being nosy, but as you get older you become less ashamed of such behavior, so you'll have to excuse me, but I have to ask: are you having problems with Delores Umbridge?" He doesn't seem to be particularly afraid of anybody hearing him, despite the fact that there are a half-dozen people within earshot going here and there.
Christian chuckles slightly. "Well, I would venture a guess that anyone with half a brain has a complaint about Mrs. Umbridge," Christian says, shoving his hands into his pockets. "Personally, I have absolutely *no* problems. She does work in my department, you know." Its not hard to catch the bile that drips from that sentence.
"Mmhm," Ichabod agrees with a wry smirk, lifting his cane off of the ground and tapping it once more as if to accent the fact. He seems to take the hint about that second bit, and lowers his voice just a little for caution's sake. "Of course, of course. I myself happen to work with sentient Beings, and the legislation she's been supporting as of late would be /quite/ detrimental to our work if it was passed. Years of progress lost. Of course, that's only regarding lycanthropes, but it's - I believe the modern expression is a 'slippery slope'."
Christian nods, crossing his arms over his chest. "Yes, I know all about that," He says in regards to the lycanthropic legislation. "I don't know what to think about it other than the fact that its only going to lead to more harm than good. My family has been in Law Enforcement for years, and it its only thing a Cop hates its when the government gets involved."
Ichabod's lips curl down slightly in obvious distaste for the subject matter. "Understandably, people are afraid of powerful Magical Beings. And I don't argue that some of them are better off dealt with by force. Fenrir Greyback, for instance." The way that he enunciates the infamous werewolf's name makes it obvious that he has no great love for his kind. "But you are correct, Umbridge's legislation does nothing to address the finer points at hand. Mr. Faulkner," The old man croons, producing a sheet of parchment from a pocket of his billious coat and unfolding it. Quite a few signatures have been scrawled on it. "Perhaps you'd consider signing a petition against the aforementioned legislation?" He smiles hopefully - again, showing no teeth.
Christian regards the sheet of parchment for a long moment. "What are the finer points of tis petition?" He asks carefully. "Are you asking for an amendment to the act, a repeal of certain parts, or is it a request for the repeal of the act in its entirety? The knowledge of what I am signing my name too is very important, you understand."
"Of course," Ichabod responds, nodding curtly. He unwravels the top of the parchment a bit more to reveal more text - this containing the information Jack is looking for. Nevertheless, he continues: "As you can see, we are requesting, as per Miss Umbridge's proposed legislation, that the first condition - that werewolves be segregated and prevented from seeking employment - be repealed entirely, since this would only serve to create further ostracization and hostility. The second and third conditions have been amended so that they would only apply to /criminal/ cases - that is, lycanthropes known to have committed hostile acts against Wizardkind who now claim to be reformed. In those cases, living in designated areas and being restricted from using magic is sensible."
Christian listens carefully. "I see," He replies. "SO only those lycanthropes who have been convicted of agressive felonies would be segregated then?"
"Correct," Ichabod confirms, producing another thin smile-esque expression and - seconds later - a quill from the same place he'd got the parchment. His pale gray eyes meet Christian's firmly. "Does that seem reasonable to you, Mr. Faulkner?"
Christian takes a long pause to think, stroking his beard. "Alright," he says finally, looking back into Ichabod's gaze with the same amount of firmness. "I'll sign it." He takes the quill and scrawls his name on the bottom.
Ichabod watches the Hit Wizard sign the document, and then, once he's finished, rolls it back up and nods. "Very good! I appreciate this, Mr. Faulkner. You are obviously a man of foresight." The parchment is placed back into the inner pocket of his coat, and the tall, thin Ministry worker extends his hand once more.
Christian accepts Ichabod's hand, and shakes it firmly. "I'm just a man who wants people to be accepted for who they are," He says in a matter-of-fact tone. "Not what they are. Hopefully, it won't cost me my job in the process. If you will excuse me Mr. Noble, I must find my trainees and figure what they've managered to ruin, and how." He smiles slightly.
Shaking the hand extended to him in turn with a perhaps-surprisingly strong grip, Ichabod glances quickly around the atrium and nods once more. "Naturally, Mr. Faulkner, I shan't keep you from your work. Come see me in the Creatures Department one of these days, if you have the spare time; I could introduce you to a few like-minded.. persons." Returning the smile to a slightly lesser degree, he lifts a hand and tips his hat to the Hit Wizard, then turns and strides in the direction of the one of the elevators.