1994-10-03: Break in the Case

Participants:

Holly_icon.gif Lupin_icon.gif

Scene Title Break in the Case
Synopsis Lupin arrives to visit Holly while she's cleaning up the house.
Location Ivy Lane, Hogsmeade
Date Oct 03, 1994
Logger Holly

With the disbanding of the friendly little mob that's been hanging out around Holly's house, things are at least quieting down. She's outside in the garden, pulling weeds out of the freshly-planted flowers in the old-fashioned Muggle way. There's something infinitely more satisfying about getting her hands dirty sometimes. Sure, some of the weeds have faces, but that's beyond the point. They will kill her flowers if she leaves them there.

Besides, she can sell them in Diagon Alley. They make wonderful potions ingredients. Poor little things.

The face of the house still looks a bit messed up. Cracks in the windows are still mending themselves ever-so-carefully, the spider-wib-thin lines in them changing, shining as the surface once more becomes smooth and clean. There are still spots of colour on the siding that shouldn't be there, and the scent of egg still hangs about. Today is a day for cleaning, though, as Mo stalks the grounds for little things like garden gnomes and mice.

—-

Though the mob that once was is now disbanded, there is still one man who, it would seem, has interest in meeting a certain American lawyer. Remus Lupin, a rather haggard looking man, walks leisurely along the path that leads down Ivy Lane. Slowing his pace near Holly's place, he smiles softly at the woman. "Need help with those weeds?" He calls out to her.

—-

Carefully, she works a dandelion out of the ground, placing it in a wooden bucket off to one side for the compost heap. The roots on those things seem to go down a million miles sometimes. Sorry, kilometers. Startling when someone speaks, Holly turns around to look over her shoulder. "Oh, well," she works on another one that looks like a dandelion, but by the way it struggles, it's assuredly not. "If you can pull a plant out and get all the roots, I wouldn't say no. I mean, I'm always good with cutting my time in half."

—-

Plants…never had too much experience with them. Lupin passed herbology, but that was about his extent unless he needed to in the course of his work. When he had work. He makes his approach to the garden and kneels down beside a particularly nasty looking weed. He pulls out his wand quickly, conjuring up a pair of gloves for himself. Pulling said gloves on, he makes his move on the weed, which struggles quite valiantly. It takes him a few minutes, but after a strong fight, he has it pulled out…which then causes him to fall back, not expecting it to come loose quite so quickly in the end.

—-

The weed that Lupin pulls out of the ground isn't going to stay put so easily. It seems to know the unpractised hand when it sees it, and as soon as the werewolf falls backward, it wiggles out of his hand, rolling until it's part-way down Holly's lawn, where it re-roots itself.

The lawyer calmly closes her eyes, sighs, and looks up at the stranger. "Okay, how about if I do this later," she says, setting her spade down, and brushing her hands off on the old black pants she's wearing. She holds hers out to his, even though it's still streaked with dirt and grass-stained. "Holly Maplewood. Just moved in not too long ago. Do you live around here, too?"

—-

Lupin sighs, standing and wiping himself off. With a shake off the head, he says, "No, no. I said I'd help you, and I shall." He takes out his wand, points it at the plant and magically removes it from the ground. He's quick, too. Too quick for the plant, in fact. With speedy movements toned to that of a practised dualist, the plant is stunned and then made to disappear. He nods in satisfaction, putting his wand away and removing the gloves, placing them in another pocket. He accepts Holly's hand, shaking it. "Pleasure to meet you, Miss Maplewood. I'm Remus Lupin." He smiles at her. "You're the one Rita Skeeter wrote about, aren't you?"

—-

"Ah-ha-ha," she laughs after he vanishes the errant weed. Well, that's one way of doing things. The best way, according to some people, and were Holly in a hurry, she'd probably do the same thing. Sure, it's September, but with the garden charmed to grow year-round, she has to get the weeds out of there on a regular basis. They know where their haven is, it seems. "Well, thanks."

Her reputation not only preceeds her, sometimes it comes up from behind and knocks her flat. There's a frown as Lupin mentions the article. Her answer is a rather diplomatically careful, "Is the right answer 'yes' or 'no?'" A moment passes before she adds, "If you plan on throwing things at me, then the answer's no. Otherwise…"

—-

Lupin grins and shakes his head. "It is my pleasure to help with the most troublesome of plants." He says happily. He gives her a soft chuckle and shakes his head. "No. You needn't fear. I'm not going to throw anything at you." He says kindly and softly. "I think it's good what you're trying to do for Sirius Black. Honestly. I commend you for it." He looks intently at Holly for a good moment. "Might I speak with you of the man the world knows as Sirius Black? I am curious all you have found. How far into his case you are going. If, that is, you do not mind my prying."

—-

Holly adores Brits. Their accent is so… proper. Most of them - the ones who aren't throwing rotten eggs at her - are so nice. It brings a smile to her face. "You'd be the first," she sighs. "Doesn't seem like anyone actually approves of what I'm doing. Some people will tolerate it, but, y'know, that's just not good enough for me. Sometimes things are so ass-backwards here that I wonder if this is the same planet the United States is on. I mean, we had the Salem witch trials and all, but that was hundreds of years ago. People are supposed to improve as centuries fly by."

She dusts off her knees now that she's standing. "Are you a reporter?" she asks passively. She's actually had a few people asking for her story now… But none that were quite so sweet as Mister Lupin here. One of them even asked if the rumours that she was half-centaur were true. SERIOUSLY!?

—-

Lupin smiles ever so softly at Holly. She'd be the first American he ever met, but deep down he doubts that they are all too different. "Well, if I must be the first, then I must. I, for one, do believe in his innocence. Unfortunately, they do say there are eye-witness accounts that say it was Black who committed the crimes, as I'm sure you know." He shakes his head. "But I am certain he did not do what it is reported." He chuckles. "Yes, but us wizards and witches were able to make the fire magical fire, if I remember my history correctly, and they were in fact not burned during the witch hunts." He says with a small grin. "No, I can't say I am a reporter. Don't care much to be either. Too nosey in my opinion." He says with a small nod.

—-

"Well, you have to give them some credit," Holly says dryly. "If it weren't for Rita Skeeter, this case wouldn't have been opened up at all." She starts heading toward her door, which is at least fairly clean since the egging. It looks more like a door than a produce depository, at any rate. For a moment, she thinks about inviting the man in, but with her trust in people somewhat shaken as of late, she decides this meeting is better conducted on her porch… So she sits on it. "So, you're not a reporter, and you think Sirius Black might be innocent. That's an odd combination. Especially when you put 'Innocence' and 'Sirius Black' in the same statement. Some people think they're mutually exclusive."

She can't tell Lupin everything, though she's already breached how 'normal' court works. Given that this is an entirely different sort of law, though, it's not as if she has to keep silent. "I can tell you a few things. A lot of the public information was in the documents I let Skeeter see. They were in the Prophet."

—-

Lupin smiles and nods ever so slightly. "An odd combination, perhaps, but I stick to it." He shakes his head and shrugs. "I understand if you cannot tell me everything you're looking into. But…perhaps I can help with some insights as well?" He says, with a small glint in his eye. "Perhaps you are already aware of this, but Peter Pettigrew, the man Sirius Black is said to have confronted on that fateful day, was in fact an old school friend of Black's."

—-

Insight she can use. Something to go on. Some attorneys only want straight fact, but the truth is, sentimental embellishments can put a person on the right track to finding those truths. "I'd known they were in the same year at Hogwarts. I wasn't aware they were friends, though. I still don't have the entire case file." Black's school records, his personal history, family - so she can pull a list of witnesses - and other such things. "The murders just don't add up, if you want honesty. Given the narrow list of spells that could even do something that horrible, and the proximity Mr. Black would have had to have had to Pettigrew and the Muggles…" Holly trails off, shaking her head. "Well, let's just say that there wouldn't have been any remains at all. Accio a brief history of Near-Unforgivables," she says, pulling her wand out of her pocket and giving it a wave. The book arrives through a crack that's still present in one of the windows, and she pages through it. "Actually, I think it was a combination of spells, but without release of witness reports, I don't know for certain. It's hard to piece together."

—-

Insight…something Lupin can give a fair bit of. Black's school records? He can list them off the top of his head, no doubt. Mostly because he was involved in most of Black's same activities. Personal history? Yep, he's got that too. Right down to family as well. "Oh yes, they were friends for all seven years and after. They were a part of a group of four." He says in a tone of voice that sounds confident, like he knows what he's talking about. "And no, thinking about it, none of it really adds up. Why would only a finger be left of Pettigrew when nothing else was left? That's the best question to be asking. Another question you should be asking…why are we all so very sure that Pettigrew died on that day? His remains were never found. What if he some how was able to escape, and then…say, apparate away?"

—-

"That's what I'm trying to determine," Holly says, not seeming at all surprised by this. "See, looking at a case like this, it's kinda like looking at a maze. There are about a million different directions this can go. None of them are necessarily right. Pettigrew could be dead, he could be alive. Black could be innocent or guilty. I personally don't doubt that Pettigrew is dead," she says. After all, it's pretty hard to imagine how his finger would be left behind otherwise. "But it could have been anyone. Someone else at a distance, not necessarily someone that everyone saw." She pauses, brown eyes meeting Lupin's.

This is getting too far into the case that she doesn't yet want to discuss yet. "I'd prefer if you didn't mention any of that to anyone. I'm piecing together a defense for Black."

"If I ever find him, that is. His being absent makes it a lot harder. Essentially, I think there was a murderer. I don't think it was Sirius Black, though."

—-

Lupin lets out a hefty sigh and rubs an eye. "Miss Maplewood, I do believe I am the one person you needn't worry about in regards to this case." He turns to face her directly now. "I may just be the closest link you have to this case as yet." There's a pause. "As I said, I am Remus Lupin. I was part of the group of four students who attended Hogwarts and were friends, which included myself, Peter Pettigrew, Sirius Black, and James Potter. I know more than almost anyone about Sirius Black." He seems quite serious. "It was no chance meeting today, I must say. I wanted to meet you face to face, the one trying to help my friend."

—-

Holly is still surprisingly calm at this revelation, albeit there's the slightest widening of her eyes, a pause laden with questions that are just too many to ask all at once. A moment of excitement, tangible evidence, and a person to speak to Sirius Black's character. And yet she manages to conceal the smile on her face almost expertly. "Then you are very important to my Case, Mister Lupin," she says, unable to control that little tone of glee within the statement. He knows something! Maybe not everything she needs, but enough to continue slowly weaving that web together to get the whole story. "I shouldn't— I shouldn't hear anything now. I don't want it to be off the record. I'll have to schedule a deposition with you and— Jesus, I don't even know." Whomever will be representing the 'People' in this case, most likely. Umbridge? That'll be a picnic. "Can I reach you by owl?"

—-

Lupin shakes his head. "As important as I may be perceived in said case, I am only as important as I am thought of to be. I may know Sirius Black like my own brother, but I was not there when the muggles were murdered. I can, however, give you background information on him. His background, family, school years, all that. I can provide you with as much as I can remember." He takes a deep breath in. "Yes, owls will be able to reach me."

—-

"Mister Lupin, trust me. You'll be important to this case." It's here that she allows herself a smile, standing from her porch step and holding out her hand again. "I'm glad you came buy. Anyone I can use to build this case is a gem, 's'far as I'm concerned." After all, the Wizengamot convicted him based on the fact that he was there. Surely evidence that he was a good person prior to all of this will at least carry some weight?

Then again… This whole trial is like trying to herd cats. "I'll talk to you soon then, as soon as I manage to put a case together." Unfortunately, without the full story, it'll be an educated guess. That's better than what anyone had before, though.

—-

Lupin smiles, nodding and standing. "Miss Maplewood…I just want my friend's name to be cleared if possible. I'm sure he is innocent." Is said with a firm nod and shake of hands. "I look forward to helping you further the case in his favour. And…I have a feeling I might be able to help you more than you realize at the moment."

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