|Scene Title||Boxed In|
|Synopsis||Still in prison, Holly is interrigated by Umbridge.|
|Location||An abandoned prison cell.|
|Date||10 Jan 1995|
|Watch For||Tonks is Zazu!|
Sometime in the night, the small cell grew bars through the center. A dividing set of bars with a locking door. Remus has been placed on one side, Holly on the other. Of course this makes their accomodations a little more cramped, but the captors really don't care. Only a select handful know of this arrangement and that's how the Pink Demon wants it. Speaking of which, bright and early the morning following their capture, she arrives at the site with a few Aurors in tow for her 'protection'. Among those, oh that's no mistake, she /insisted/ upon Nymphadora Tonks coming along for this trip. Umbridge listens to some gossip and knows the Auror has developed a soft spot for the animal, that is, Remus Lupin.
Leading the small group, Umbridge is in her usual pink cardigan and looking far more smug than usual. The door into the cell is unlocked by Dawlish who walks in first, and oh look, the door opens onto Holly's side. Dawlish has his wand out and at the ready should Holly do anything funny. Another Auror enters and then Umbridge saunters in. She makes a tsking sound as if surprised about Holly's plight. "Oh dear, you did have to meddle now didn't you?" It's the same tone a parent makes after a child has broken their toy after playing roughly with it.
Holly didn't sleep well. In fact, against the hard stone floor, she barely slept at all, and whenever she did, she was awakened by dreams. Mostly the pain, actually… The memory of it kept revisiting her, and she tossed and turned until light came through the small, barred window near the top of the cell. At least the wakefulness gave her time to think - a lot - and when Umbridge appears, her only reaction is… Well, if looks could kill, Umbridge would be dead. "I didn't 'meddle,'" she says, pushing herself to her feet and finding herself sore, though not intolerably so. She eyes the bars separating the two halves of their prison. Being a lawyer, though, she knows that saying anything can be incriminating, and so she silences herself, content - for now - to just glare at the aurors Umbridge brought with her. She's torn that Tonks is here… Either it means she isn't as much of a friend as Holly thought, or she'll have help if things go badly. Either way, brown eyes return to the acting minister. "Did you need something?"
One would have to wonder where Umbridge's brains went. Seriously. As Tonks walks behind the pink monstrosity, flanked by her fellow Aurors as if she were a prisoner, Tonks is picking out everything the woman's doing wrong in taking an untrusted party to a place where said party is going to object to whatever's going on. Sure, there's memory charms, but they're unreliable. Blindfold the person, muffle their ears, skew their sense of smell… Then again, not /everyone/ was trained like she was.
"Look, this isn't right," She whispers to the other Aurors around her. Dawlish Tonks has decided is a lost case. A brainless sheep that just follows whoever's holding office. But perhaps this large…Bubba Redneck type bloke here…might have more of a brain. Bubba, for lack of a better name, or that just Tonks doesn't know it, just tosses a look down to the short witch from his neanderthal-esque gaze. Wow, where'd they dig up this guy?
The moment she can see the cell, see how it's divided, she's pushing her way into the cell. While yes, Holly's a friend, Tonks suddenly had something else spring up to the top unexpectedly, though the sudden hand on her shoulder, pinching sausage fingers into it keeps her from checking up on the werewolf.
"This is inhumane!" Hi, Minister, you've got a freak barking in your ear. When Holly speaks, answering Umbridge, Tonks looks towards Holly. It's an apologetic look, but it's also probably something similar she's seen recently; that is, if she's seen Sirius in a right piss-poor mood that is.
"Oh but you did. You came from America, and got in the Ministry's way." That is, Umbridge's way. "And then you helped orchestrate the escape of a mass murderer once it looked like there was going to be a guilty verdict in the case." Oh what delusions. That tight, tiny smile of fake pity remains fixed upon Umbridge's face as she steps fully into the cell. Her frightfully pink shoes are going to be needing a vigorous cleaning later. She's also careful to not get within arm's reach of the animal Lupin. Just in case. "So you want to get straight to the point, very well. Since you and that monster.." Meaning Lupin. "helped Black escape.. tell me where he is hiding and we might be lenient. You were caught with him, so it stands to reason your little group split up and is on the move. Is Noble with Black?" If there was ever a witch hunt, this is one.
In a sweetly tolerant tone, Umbridge says behind her, "Miss Tonks. Remember your place. You're an Auror, and these two are prisoners, they're in their place, you have yours. Unless you would like to join them as well?" Umbridge doesn't even so much as go for her wand. Good old Dawlish is with her and giving Tonks a look that conveys, 'Don't think about it.'
Tonks gets another glance, but Holly's own eyes currently carry almost no feeling. She's tired, hurt, severely traumatised by having the Cruciatus Curse cast on her twice… But the anger is reserved for Umbridge. If she can only concentrate on one person in the room, it'll be the Minister of Magic. And… Holly is angry. It's amazing how long she's gone without feeling anger like this. Not since before she started school.
The sound she makes is somewhere between the word 'no' and a roar. "You can't just decide that because things aren't going your way, they're wrong!" she says, taking a step closer to Umbridge. "We were attacked by your dementors. We defended ourselves. And I was perfectly ready to return, except you wasted no time printing in the Prophet that we were fugitives."
Holly doesn't do well with Dementors… Or, she didn't in the past. It might be a different story now. It's amazing what a person can be pushed into.
Of course, there's the threat of pain, which was made abundantly clear when they were captured. She hesitates when Umbridge asks her the questions, though it's only to prepare herself for what's coming after the answer she already knows she'll give. "Sirius Black is not guilty of the crimes he's charged with. And the last thing I want to do is drag more people into this. My problems. So, yeah, maybe you're right, and it's my fault. Honestly, though, Minister," she says, and somehow 'Minister' becomes a sort of curse word in that moment, "You can go to hell."
She'll savor that brief moment of victory that she feels. It was mostly for her, anyway, since the monster in the room - not Lupin, notably - probably isn't gonna just throw in the towel and walk away.
If it was Umbridge's point to 'punish' the Auror by showing her the turmoil of her friends, to rub in little harsh words here and there, it's certainly working. Though, Umbridge /really/ needs to learn how to deal with those of Black's blood. "He's not a monster," is growled, and Tonks tries to twist out from under Bubba's grasp. Dawlish's look is just snorted at, "Tool."
Managing to slip finally from the grasp, though before it's quickly placed back on the Auror's shoulder, Tonks' removed her cloak. In a 'think fast' sort of thing, it'll be wadded and tossed towards Holly. At least Bubba isn't quick enough to catch it, so hopefully it'll land. "Don't worry, HOlly," she says to the Lawyer, "I think all that cushion from being in Lucius Malfoy's pocket's gotten to her head. Y'know, you get really comfortable, you think you can do anything. Even when it's completely inhumane, unethical, and just plain wrong and evil bordering Voldemort's level of depravity." Hah! She manage to say it, oivey.
"You know, I /really/ don't think you know what the title 'Auror' means," Tonks will look at Holly. "Hello, do you just happen to be a Dark Wizard, consorting with Death Eaters, and doing all sorts of foul things to Muggles? No? Okay." She turns to Umbridge, "/WE/ don't need to be here. /This/ isn't part of our job. We're not common thugs for you to get your jollies off with." A pause, "Okay, maybe Dawlish and Bucktooth there are, but I'm not."
When Holly steps closer to Umbridge Dawlish steps up to the plate, blocking the prisoner's path. Umbridge smiles at Dawlish as if he were a good pet, "I don't know what you are talking about. Dementors? What a silly story you've concocted." The smile fades just a little as Holly rambles on and doesn't answer her question. "Hmm.. Unable to answer a direct question I see, or perhaps you Americans don't speak English properly." The Minister pulls forth her wand, aiming it at Holly, "Where is Black hiding?" She won't be asking a third time, that's for sure.
Tonks on the other hand, isn't ignored fully. The Minister and Dawlish have their prey in sights, the other two? Not so much. 'Bucktooth' and his partner eye each other, then tag team at Tonks. They really don't want to, but any attempts to control their fellow Auror are for her own good. One attempts to disarm, the other attempts to bind the woman.
"Be sure to silence her too, she's not learning her lesson thus far," Umbridge practically sings, not taking her eyes off Holly. "The Cruciatus was used twice on you last night. Don't make us use it again Miss Maplewood."
She almost misses the cloak, and fumbles with it, though she manages to hold onto it before it hits the floor. Her reaction times are a little slow today, unfortunately. The gesture, at least, lets Holly know exactly which side Tonks is on, which is a relief, because it's nice to have at least one person on her side here. It might just be a friendly gesture… Possibly just for warmth. Probably. Holly can't help hoping there's something in it to help her, though - a wand, or even a heavy rock she could use to crush the vile toad in her cell.
Then, she finds herself staring down a wand. She's not sure if being able to prepare herself for the pain she's about to feel is actually going to help or not; the expression on her face is unreadable. She stares, locked somewhere between her momentary personal triumph and a pressing fear that she's not going to make it out of here alive. These are the moments that really make a person. Holly never would have thought that she'd have such a clear answer when she was speaking to Lupin last night, and, hey, maybe she's already lost a couple marbles. The wide-eyed, almost manic smile she offers to Umbridge is proceeded by "Bring it."
It's /really/ easy to subdue a witch who didn't even ahve her wand drawn. Ropes from Bubba easily bind the Auror, and there's a nice silencing spell. But Dawlish doesn't get away scott-free considering the fact Tonks wand wasn't /drawn/, and nobody thought to get it before she got wrapped up in conjured ropes. Just the barest hint of the man going towards her with a hand (instead of a wand to summon it, which kind of failed do the bind and where her wand was nestled in her clothes), gets a boot to the bludgers.
Okay, that mess dealt with, Bubba laughs a stupid, oafish laugh, also turning his wand on Holly. Ever wonder that he did this field of work to just beat up people? Yeah.
Unfortunately, no, the most Holly'd find would be chocolate frog wrappers in the pockets. Tonks was just trying to give her something marginally more comfortable to sit on. As well as warmth.
Oh, the wand is just for Umbridge's own peace of mind. She's not capable enough to pull off the Cruciatus, neither is Dawlish. When Holly refuses to answer the questions and says 'Bring it,' that's enough to cue in /another/ Ministry drone, the same Harrison from the previous night who wielded the curse against Holly. "Harrison, Miss Maplewood needs encouragement." This is more 'fun' for Umbridge, than forcing Holly to drink veritaserum. Leaving Harrison to deal with Holly, by way of pain, she turns and rolls her eyes. She's surrounded by morons. Dawlish is given a disappointed look as he gets a boot. To 'Bubba', she orders, "Take Nymphadora's wand from her, and she should be grateful we don't throw her into the cell with that animal."
'Bring it' seems like a stupid thing to have said, Holly realises. It's too bad she can't take things back once said, and she very possibly wouldn't, even if given the opportunity. She's not telling Umbridge where Sirius is. She just has to keep telling herself that everything she's fought for would be for nothing if she gives in. There won't be any recovering. Sirius will be dead, and it'll be Holly's fault.
And she's concerned with fault more than some people might realise.
There's some satisfaction as Umbridge turns away, though she's not brazen enough to taunt the woman about the failure to administer the punishment herself. Dark eyes do rest on Harrison, though. Perhaps everyone in the Ministry are Death Eaters. She can't imagine these people are just doing their jobs.
The answer to her previous thought is that, no, preparing oneself for the Cruciatus Curse doesn't make the pain seem any easier to handle. The small cell is filled with her screams as she falls to the floor, all her muscles curling in directions that shouldn't be natural. And she thrashes as if trying to find some position where she can find relief from it, but no matter how she moves, it's always there. Like she's being crushed and pulled apart limb by limb at the same time.
Yes, you get morons, you pink bitch, because you've alienated the good ones. Though, the moment Tonks realizes someone's about to administer the painful Unforgivable, despite being bound, she's pushing up to her feet and attempting to launch herself at Harrison, to hopefully interrupt. That's when ol' Bubba manages to grab hold of her, paw at her rudely, then drop her on the ground in a bound-up lump, his prize in hand. Doesn't stop Tonks from attempting to lob a kick towards Umbridge for /again/ calling her friend an animal.
Umbridge neatly steps away to avoid being kicked by Tonks. Now now dear. "Miss Maplewood, just tell us where the murderer is hiding and we'll stop with the pain." Because she's really bringing it onto herself by being stubborn now. "Harrison," that's all she says to call off her pet before looking down at Holly as if studying a bug. "Miss Maplewood, I do wish you would see things my way. This would be much easier on you if you would just tell us what we want to know. I would hate to see this drawn out longer than necessary.. You do know what time of the month is approaching don't you? Of course you do. You /did/ champion for werewolves back home. Tell me, did you ever actually sit with one during the full moon? Or do you have just a fanciful notion in your head about them?"
It's quite awhile before Holly answers. She's not thinking of what to say… It's more like trying to figure out what Umbridge asked her, because she can't quite grasp the words at the moment. As the white hot pain clears from her vision, she starts to recall, and relax just a little. "He's— not a m—murderer," she manages. Somewhere, in the back of her head, a voice is telling her that it would be so much easier if she'd just tell them where Sirius is.
Easier for who?
Grimacing with the pain, she tries to sit up for a long time before achieving some sort of half-prop up on the cell wall. Umbridge is threatening her, and it has the desired effect, if the panicked eyes looking up at the Minister was what the old toad was going for. Her heart is going a hundred miles an hour. "That— that would be murder," she says. "That's murder, you can't do that."
Umbridge drops that bomb and Tonks' eyes go wide. She wouldn't. She… not even Umbridge would do /that/…A panicked look is tossed to Holly, then back up to the pink monstrosity. She has to get out of here. She has to warn someone. They've got to get them out of there before the moon! She twists her arms against the ropes that bind her, trying to see if Dawlish was at least halfway decent in casting the spell. She only needs her legs free.
"Murder dear? Hardly, there are bars separating you two," Umbridge points this out as if it were obvious to anyone. There's a rather patronizing smile on her face as she watches Holly. Tonks is of no concern still at the moment, her goons are looking after her. As for the Auror's mouth? That can be taken care of later as well. "You're so naive, to believe Black's absurd tale. Now. Where is he?" Dawlish may be a bit slow behind Umbridge, but 'Bubba' is not, "Not so fast Tonks!" A stunning spell is fired at her, besides, she's seen enough to get the idea that Umbridge is serious about this business.
"For how long?!" Holly says, unable to keep that panic out of her voice. She pushes herself to her feet again, fingernails digging into the stone so she can pull - and then hold - herself up, as she stares incredulously at the Minister. She knows a threat when she hears one. "My dad was murdered when I was eight. Y'know what it's like to see those policemen at your door and not completely understand…" Holly pauses to breathe. "…Understand what that means? If— If something had gone different, if I'd — I'm not going to be responsible for Sirius' death, Umbridge. I believe he's innocent. I became a lawyer to protect people like him from people like you— Tonks!"
The stunning spell hasn't gone unnoticed, of course, and Holly's just as worried for the auror as she is for herself. Okay, so she's a little more worried for herself at the moment
Oh look, pretty red lights. Maybe /someone/ finally realized that just because she's the rookie of the bunch, she's not to be taken lightly. Sure enough, the ropes around her feet, with her clever twisting of ankles and the like, had indeed begun to loosen. You think Moody never put her through an escape lesson or three? But bound as she is, she's not able to dodge the stunning spell. A red burst hits her square i the head, and she's hitting the ground in a thud. Having gone unconscious without her prior knowledge, it screws a bit with the morph. At least Umbridge gets the pleasure of seeing Tonks fully revert to 'normal' for the time.
Umbridge's nose turns up at Holly, as if she were just as low as Lupin. "Muggle-born," she says with a good deal of disdain for the woman. Flicking her wand, Umbridge summons the cloak tossed to Holly. "You're going to be stubborn, I see. I must admit, I don't understand why you are so fiercely defending that criminal. What has he promised you? Fame? Fortune? A place in his family? As if his poor mother wasn't already turning in her grave about him.."
"Nothing. I wouldn't take anything. Why won't you listen to reason?" she asks. "Why would it be so bad if Sirius was innocent? You'd be a hero. You'd be a pioneer. You could really make change for the better in the Ministry, and instead, you've got me locked up here with three Unforgivables under my belt, threatening to use a man as a weapon against me. To make me talk. I'm not going to, Umbridge."
She looks at the unconscious Tonks, different now that the ability she naturally has has failed her, then she looks over at Remus across the bars. The reality of all this is… It's just pointless. No matter what she does, someone is going to get hurt, and she stands to hurt the least people if she just lets all the ire come to her.
Not what she wants. All she has to do is say the address. Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place - he's there. That's all she has to do.
Does she believe that's all it'd take? No. But, for a moment, it's tempting.
"You let Remus go, and I'll talk." And in the intirim, Remus can warn Sirius.
Tonks drools. Don't mind her.
Umbridge laughs in a trilling and annoying manner, "Oh no Miss Maplewood, you are in no position to negotiate. I might have been willing if you had only stepped forward, but now? You've forced my hand." Of course it's all Holly's fault. Umbridge turns to leave the room then, her goons following. 'Bubba', and boy is that name sticking, hauls up Tonks over his shoulder. The group exits the room one by one, Harrison bringing up the rear. The door is shut with a dull 'thud' and locked securely. Outside the cell, Umbridge attempts a memory modification on Tonks. She takes it upon herself to make sure the pesky Auror has no memory of where her friends are or how to get here. Sure it was a stupid idea to bring her along, but Umbridge wanted to gloat and rub the freak's nose in a little. Once that's done, the group leaves. There are no further threats, or mention of using things like Veritaserum on Holly or Lupin. This whole setup? It's now about teaching a painful lesson rather than garnering information.