1995-01-09: A Powerful Weapon

Participants:

Holly_icon.gif Lupin_icon.gif

Scene Title A Powerful Weapon
Synopsis There is no stoop too low for the Ministry of Magic.
Location An abandoned prison cell.
Date 9 Jan 1995
Watch For Nothing particular!
Logger Holly

She never lost consciousness, but Holly didn't fight as they brought both her and Lupin to the abandoned cell. Since they apparated, there's little chance of her being able to pinpoint where this place is, though, if she was even able to get a message out. With no wand, she can't even send a patronus, and she's tried apparating, just in case. It's a no-go.

And she's still feeling pain. It's probably psychological… It's just not something she expected. The smells in the cell are made worse by somewhat fresh vomit, though at least it's in a corner, far away from where Holly is now, lying against a wall, arms pulled through her sleeves and into her robe since there's a bit of a chill in the cell.

"One, two, three…" She counts, going to twenty, then starting over just to hear her own voice. She's not crazy, but definitely shaken by the use of the Unforgivable curse, and she doesn't want it quiet. "Nineteen, twenty, one, two, three, four…" There's a brief silence as she shifts her position, then the counting starts again.

—-

There's a groaning sound from the spot they placed and untied Lupin. "Mmmmm." Groggily he pushes himself up and looks around, rubbing an eye. He gazes around till he sees Holly. "Are you okay?" He manages to get out quietly. "Did they hurt you badly?"

—-

There's something in her expression that wasn't there before. Knowledge and realisation of just how far the Ministry will go, perhaps. Exhaustion beyond anything she can comprehend, pain. The counting stops when Lupin stirs, though she doesn't look at him at first. Instead, her concentration is on the floor. "Cruciatus curse twice," she says. There are no wounds, but the memory of that will last longer than a lot of scars. It's no wonder it was soeasy to push wizards to the side of Voldemort… Even once under that curse, and some people would cave. Of course, Holly has just the smallest hint of pride that she managed keep fighting after the first time, but then, there's also shame that she couldn't go on after the second. After awhile, she says, "I'm okay."

—-

Lupin sighs ever so softly. "I'm sorry that you have to experience that. Welcome to Britain's Ministry of Magic. This has happened once before that the Ministry allowed the use of the Unforgivables." He shakes his head. "Well, I suppose you don't have any idea where we are. They wouldn't want us to know. We're obviously not in Azkaban. They wouldn't put us together in the cell there, and I'm not feeling the effects of the Dementors…" There's a pause for a few moments. "I'm sorry this happened, Holly. I almost had them all…or I thought I had. But…I suppose there was just too many of them."

—-

Pushing herself up into a sitting position takes a bit of effort, and she winces. Following this, she has to reach up and pull some straw out of her hair, which she holds in her hands, idly shredding it for lack of anything better to do. "It's not your fault," she states. Of course, she's wondering why Lupin took them to Hogsmeade now, but that's not exactly important anymore. They're here now. There's no reason to throw blame. "We're not at Azkaban. I didn't see much when we got here, and… Honestly, I don't remember what I did see."

And it's like a crushing weight. She's innocent. Her only crime was defending an innocent man. "Remus… I can't fight this. I don't know how."

—-

Lupin shakes his head. "No, no, no. Of course it's not your fault, Holly. None of this is! The problem is with our Minister. She did not like things not going her way so she created false crimes to place on you." He sighs softly. "But I'm here, I'll help you. Trust me. Certainly that wasn't the greatest place to go, the Shrieking Shack, but really, no place would have been completely safe other than Grimmauld Place…or Hogwarts."

—-

And there it is.

Holly's eyes close and she leans her head back against the cool wall. If she'd just stayed with Sirius, she wouldn't have been caught. Sure, she'd have to come out of hiding eventually, but maybe it wouldn't have been like this. Ambushed, taken prisoner, locked away in some prison cell. "This isn't the way a government is supposed to operate," she says. It's mostly to herself, like she's coming to realise this for the first time - that law doesn't always preside over matters like this, that sometimes, a neutral party just isn't as neutral as they should be.

"They're supposed to protect people. Swallow their own pride and… just… protect people. Instead, they're… Authorising use of the Cruciatus Curse on innocent people. At least Sirius wasn't with us. They'd kill him on sight."

—-

Lupin looks sympathetically at Holly and listens quietly for a few minutes, without interrupting. "The Ministry…it's…well, it's not exactly the more prestigious place. A lot of the high level people are corrupt. Their motto is, pretty much, 'It's My Way or the Fly Way'. And the 'fly way' often means imprisonment without public knowledge and without trial." He realizes that this means, if he isn't out by the time that the full moon is upon them, which is soon, he won't be in control of his actions and he may infect Holly. He'd forgotten his potion. He doesn't want to cause her any fear at the moment, however. At least…no more than she may already be feeling.

—-

Or kill her. She's considered it, but she's also sure that the Ministry can't keep them in here that long. She's starting to learn. She isn't so jaded as to believe the Ministry would let her die in here, or use a man as a tool to do so. In fact, the thought was so fleeting in her head that she just as soon forgot it.

"You know what the worst part is?" She smiles, though her eyes are still dull, surrounded by dark, tired circles. "I can't help thinking how this has just… ruined my career. Completely. I have no credibility left." She chuckles, shrugs one shoulder, and then says, "I'm okay with it. I mean, what a way to sabotage yourself, right? Maybe I'll earn a page in A History of Magic one day." She doesn't seem that excited at the prospect. In fact, despite her effort to disguise her tone, she sounds bitter.

"I came here to defend Sirius Black in a fair trial. I did it for myself, too, you know. I wanted this. I wanted something breakthrough. Maybe that's why I'm here."

—-

Lupin chuckles softly. "I'm sure this will clear up. You know, none of this is ever as bad as it really seems." He rubs his head. "But still…I can't understand why they'd want me. I've not broken any rules, I haven't done anything wrong. Though of course, as we know, that has never stopped out Minister. But still…they've done nothing towards me before, why now? Why would they try now? It just doesn't make any sense."

—-

"You were helping me," she says, face breaking into a grin. It's almost sincere. "That makes you a criminal. Sorry." The apology is as heartfelt as she can make it. Holly never thought that asking Remus to help her would implicate him, and apparently he didn't care either way. The only thing that was on her mind was getting away from Sirius, which essentially makes this all her fault. Still, throwing the blame around right now isn't going to help, and all Remus'll try to do is convince her that it wasn't her fault, even though logic states that it was.

"What I don't understand is… Why they put us together," she says. "And this obviously isn't the Ministry of Magic." She looks up near the grated window, where there are claw marks gouged right into the stone. Nodding to it, she says, "It's like a bunker."

—-

Lupin bows his head ever so slightly. "I suppose so. You've got a point…why would they put us together? That makes absolutely no sense. They'd want to keep us apart so we couldn't collaborate together and have the same story one way or another." He frowns. "This is very much like Ministry behaviour, even in times like these."

—-

She looks right at Remus for the first time since they both awoke. "Look, don't take this the wrong way, but right now, I'm kind of scared. I mean, I think that's the point. Intimidation." She doesn't exactly look away, though her eyes fall off to somewhere around the werewolf's shoulder. It's not like they can plot to get out of the cell, and with no furniture to dismantle and use as weapons, they won't be hitting anyone. Unless they can figure out how to weave swords out of straw. "You took your potion this month, right?"

—-

Remus just stares at Holly. "Look, if you weren't scared, I'd be surprised. I'm kinda scared. But you…have no experience with this at all. You've not been in situations like this before. I have. But every time is ever so slightly different. But no doubt they'll ask us questions. Having lawyers means nothing to them. They'll questions us many, many times no doubt. Try to break us." There's questioning of the potion. He sighs. He didn't want to have to have bring this up yet. He shakes his head. "No, I was going to take it after visiting you."

—-

Even though she's been almost passive so far, the thought that she'll be interrigated, possibly under the Cruciatus Curse again, does cause her to falter, the calm demeanor she's been putting up starts to crack, just a little. Her eyes well up, expression taking on all the signs of a pending good cry. "I don't know if I'll last very long," she says, sniffling. She's too tired to hold back the tears, and the memory of the pain is still fresh. Remus is right - she's never done this before. She fought hard inside a courtroom, with words, not with hurts and curses. "They'll— ah, they'll let us out of here before — before the full moon," she says, and at that moment, she actually believes it.

—-

Lupin moves over to Holly and, if she lets him, wraps an arm around her. "I know this isn't easy, and it won't be, I won't sugar coat it." He smiles softly. "I know the Cruciatus hurts, but you cannot tell them what they want you to. They'll want you to give them information that is false and that incriminates you they way that they want."

—-

And dear God, does it ever hurt. "I gave up at the house," she says. "I couldn't fight anymore." In fact, she remembers pleading with them not to do it again. Would she have told them anything at that point? For some reason, Holly thinks the answer is 'yes,' because she knows she wouldn't be able to take it again.

She doesn't fight the comfort that Lupin provides. In fact, she leans against his shoulder, finding it much more comfortable than the stone, straw-covered floor. What's to keep her from incriminating herself, though? Azkaban, maybe. A fate worse than the Crucio, really. Maybe something as simple as deportation. A solid strike against her career that will ensure that she'll never practice law again. Her family looking at her with shame. "I'll go as long as I can."

—-

"I don't blame you for giving up. They performed the Cruciatus on you!" Lupin say with deep sympathy. "They were trained professionals. They knew what they were doing and there was nothing to be done. Most people don't know how to fight against as highly trained people as they. I'm just glad you did not hit your head."

—-

"Yeah, well, they could do it again," Holly says. A chill - the first of many, most likely - works its way up her spine. Fear, evidently, is painful, and they got Holly with it good. Still, leaning against Lupin's shoulder is about the most comfortable she's been in quite awhile. It's more that she feels safe than anything else, even if she knows it won't last. She yawns, hunkering down between him and the wall. "We should probably try to sleep for a little while."

—-

Lupin squeezes Holly's shoulder. "The problem with the Cruciatus curse is that…it works off of the caster's hatred and anger. Without it, it's the curse will be weak. But, alas, there are not many ways to make somebody's hatred or anger to dissipate so easily. But I wouldn't worry about it just now. Rest, sleep up. You'll need all the energy you can muster. I'm going to see if there are any weaknesses in the cell." Of course they probably thought of everything when finding a place to hold a friend of Sirius who was also a werewolf.

—-

"No." …Not quite the response that one would expect when someone's offering to look for a way out of their prison, but Holly looks absolutely panicked at the thought of Lupin leaving her to sleep on the floor. It's ridiculous, she knows a moment after she says it. But as he said before, she's not used to this. Holly hasn't ever had to endure crap like this.

She's also not a child, and she can certainly deal with this without having someone to lean on all night. Setting her jaw, pressing her lips together, she inches away from Lupin, and then drags a pile of straw together into a scratchy pillow on the floor. "Sorry. Wake me if y'find anything, okay?"

—-

Lupin smiles softly at Holly, keeping his calm demeanour. "I know this isn't easy for you. But trust me. We'll get out of this just fine." He thinks for a few moments. "Are you warm enough?" He asks of her quickly. If she is, he thinks he can manage to warm up the place without a wand. Or at least a little area of it.

—-

Holly does believe that. Maybe because she's naive, or maybe because enough bad has happened that there must be some light at the end of the tunnel. It'll all be a misunderstanding. Holly will get out of here in a day or two, Remus will get his potion and change in peace and quiet. The normalcy of the world will be restored, and Holly can go about conducting her trial. Of course, wrenches will appear to mess up the plans just once in awhile. This is one of the bigger ones. "I'm okay," she says. Her arms are still pulled inside her robe, which is more tightly wrapped around her now.

—-

Lupin bows his head. "Get some sleep. I'll wake you if I do find anything." He smiles softly. "Sleep tight."

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