1994-12-13: The Inquisition, What a Show!

Participants:

Silvester_icon.gif MichaelN_icon.gif McKlellan_icon.gif Liam_icon.gif

Scene Title The Inquisition, What a Show!
Synopsis Sir Michael Noble is hauled in for questioning.
Location Ministry - Courtrooms
Date Dec 13, 1994
Watch For N/A
Logger Silvester

The more time passes since the fiasco at the safehouse, the angrier some elements within the Ministry gets. No one has been captured, no one seems to have many leads, or really any clue. While the Pink Demon is doing Merlin knows what in her office, down in the courtrooms, some of her appointees are busy at work. McKlellan, the 'Grand Inquisitor' is set up in one of the lesser used courtrooms. He has clerks working for him, and has even borrowed a few employees from other departments. (Silvester among them. He may be drain bamaged, but he /was/ a darn good Obliviator.)

So here on the thirteenth of December, McKlellan is seated, going over paperwork, much of it highly classified, and frowns. He's been questioning people internally for days now, and the time has come to summon forth one Michael Noble.

One Michael Noble happens to be waiting just outside the doors to one of those 'lesser used courtrooms'. He, himself, is seated in a comfortable - undoubtedly conjured, since the Ministry would hardly provide such a thing outside a courtroom - wingback armchair; reading the Prophet. He seems wholly unconcerned with the current proceedings, in direct contrast to his eldest, who is pacing back and forth outside the doors. The poor man's face is pale and drawn; worried as though it were he about to be questioned by the Minister's goons. What an odd family.

Silvester really should be insulted about being incorporated into this farce, and into tasks beneath him. But it makes him feel important and useful, things that have been lacking in his life. Plus, there's the benefit for the other side in that he's typically not in the here and now mentally. So at McKlellan's gesture, he springs to his feet and looks out the door and stares directly at Michael, "They're ready for you now, Sir."

With a glance up over his paper, Sir Michael manages a kind smile for the absent-minded Obliviator. "Thank you, Silvester." So saying, he takes the time to unhurriedly fold his paper, tuck it into an inside pocket that must be bigger than it looks, banish his chair and return his wand to his pocket before following Sinclair into the courtroom. Liam, for his part, scrambles in afterwards and up to a seat close to the front. Who's on trial again?

"Not at all Sir," Silvester states as he opens the door for the Wizengamot member. While a bit out of touch at times, never let it be said that he's not respectful to those in positions of power. He waits patiently for Noble to get his things together with the door held open. Inside the courtroom, those waiting aren't so generous or kind.

"We haven't got all day Noble, I've got a full docket after you," McKlellan says in an impatient manner. The man surely has gotten full of himself as he's risen from a lowly position within the Magical Law Enforcement ranks.

"Now Nathaniel," Michael addresses his colleague-turned-jackass mildly. "I certainly don't expect to take up much of your time at all." It's a polite, soft-spoken sentence that somehow manages to seem chiding without sounding so at all. Liam winces noticeably at that tone; it's one all the Noble children have become Very Familiar with over their lives. Standing in front of the judge's bench, Sir Michael faces Mcklellan resolutely, seemingly unaware of his son's very presence.

There's a faint noise of disapproval as Michael speaks up. "I'm sure you've been made aware of your son's recent activities, so I will get to the point. Your son, Icarus John Noble," just to clarify which one, "Is wanted in connection with the escape of a known and dangerous fugitive. We've been searching for him, to no avail. Where is the location of the younger Mr. Noble?" He's prepared to be forceful if necessary, should the answers not come as he likes.

Seemingly unaware of the disapproval or the rudeness of the questioning, Michael's answer is as mild as his greeting. "If I knew the answer to that question, rest assured that the Ministry would already have been alerted." This answer seems to surprise Liam, who jerks around to stare at his father - not quite slackjawed, but definitely shaken.

"I have my doubts. Sir Noble, I am obliged to let you know that we are authorized to use the Cruciatus curse in questioning. If you are also found to be harboring or protecting a fugitive or suspect wanted for questioning, we can detain you. Possibly in Azkaban." McKlellan looks down to his notes, and is quiet for a few moments as he goes through them before speaking again, "When was the last time you had contact with Icarus Noble?"

There's a sadness in Michael's eyes at this announcement, but he merely nods, adding only, "If you think it's necessary, Nathan," in a soft voice. The silence that ensues is unbroken by the Noble patriarch; he stands in stoic silence until another question is posed him. "On Sunday, November the twenty-second. He floo'ed my wife and I to let us know that Siobhan - our youngest - had survived and won the first of the Tournament Tasks." Oh yes, there's definite pride there, coloring his characteristic mildness; Michael is a proud father. Even Liam smiles a little at the mention of his sister's triumph, but only a little. He has a reputation to maintain, after all.

"Hmmm.. We'll be questioning her next then, in the event he has contacted her since. Is that the extent of your conversation of Icarus?" McKlellan takes down notes as he talks. He has a scribe for this, but he likes writing his own notes for reference. "Where were you on the evening of December third, 1994?"

"There were questions of his health and well-being and my wife made him promise to attend her Christmas gathering, but yes; that was the extent of our conversation with Jack." The few subtle corrections - to both grammar and name - are so mildly spoken that it would be hard to tell if they were intentional or not. "I came into the Ministry to collect the file of new cases and proposals for Wizengamot review, then returned home to have a quiet evening with my wife." A subtle reminder of his position doesn't hurt, but it's at the mention of Edana that his voice truly softens.

McKlellan doesn't acknowledge the subtle corrections, nor does he show that he realizes they were made. "Who did you converse with in the Ministry that day? We need names." All the better to trace back to the suspected parties. Hopefully. Thus far, the Inquisitor doesn't reach for his wand, but it's sitting there in sight on his podium.

Sir Michael shifts his weight, one hand gripping his wrist behind his back. "Jonathan at security; he checked my wand and person before allowing me inside. April, my secretary, met me on her way out and explained where the folder had been left. Just before I floo'd home, Abraham Lohrens invited Edana and I to dinner with he and his wife the following Wednesday." Mildness - and hinting that everyone had just been doing their jobs - aside, Sir Michael believes whole-heartedly in the due process of law, and it shows in the full completeness of his answers.

"I see here in my documentation on the Black case, you appointed your son Icarus as your liaison to the defense of the accused, Sirius Black. Is that correct?" McKlellan asks, a hard light in his gaze as he looks down at Michael. "Did you have any part in orchestrating the escape of Black, and this outrageous plot to cover it up?"

"That is correct." Michael does not defend or explain his choice; it was not asked of him. The next question, though it causes him to lift his chin in offended pride, is answered just as mildly - if a bit sadly. "No, Nathan. I had no part in the event and I was unaware of any attempt to 'cover up' said event."

"Why did you appoint your son Icarus over Liam, who is a Ministry representative?" So far, McKlellan's not getting the answers he's wanting, or pressured to get. Answers that point at guilty persons and someone to take the fall. "It appears to us that Icarus is more of a loose cannon and not subject to Ministry guidelines for employees. There is also the fact that he was a house-mate of the fugitive's and his judgment is compromised."

"His judgment was not an issue. Jack was not asked to determine innocence or guilt; that is for the courts to decide." Michael's voice remains mild, friendly even. Liam notices though - and anyone close to Noble would notice - that he is guarded and ill at ease. "He was on better terms with Mister Black, whereas Liam had been at odds with him since school. With all due respect to the court, Jack's task was to ensure the prisoner was well-treated and cooperating with the Ministry staff. I felt this job would be undermined by petty bickering and agitating of the prisoner." Liam just stares, a very affronted expression appearing on his face. Later, yes, there will be Words.

"So there was a clear bias in appointing him." Of course McKlellan would see it that way, blinded by his own bias. "The accused was not to be pampered and treated as a guest. He was a prisoner whose defense bullied their way into a posh surrounding so that he may escape again." Now that that is off his chest, he asks, "Have you had any contact with the American, Holly Maplewood?"

"My only bias was in appointing one son to his strengths, in the same way a Captain would not place a Beater as his Seeker." Yay sports analogies! They've finally made their way into this courtroom drama. Posh surrounding… For the first time, Sir Michael's eyes flick briefly towards his son who - aside from looking thunderous - doesn't seem inclined to clarify the confusing statement. "I have not had the pleasure of meeting Miss Maplewood as of yet, nor have I seen her outside of the court proceedings."

"Very well. This information will be delivered to the Minister's office. We may have more questions for you, pending her review." McKlellan looks at his prepared list of names and the 'suggestions' next to each. "You have a long history with the Wizengamot Sir Noble, and it pains me to do this.." Only it doesn't really. "Consider yourself under a performance review of sorts." What this means is there will be more questions, greater scrutiny, further prying into one's life.. "You're dismissed."

All things considered, Sir Michael takes this news rather well. After all, he's not been put under Cruciatus and - as much as he disagrees with that particular tact - he seems satisfied that procedure will out in the end. "My record with the Wizengamot has been spotless. May I inquire as to the reason for this review?" Still, no one likes being told that they'll have someone over their shoulder, so perhaps he will be forgiven for the little bit of ice that slips into his tone.

McKlellan was already told to do this by a higher power, and his nostrils flare just a bit at Noble's request. "It's as a precaution, considering your relationship with someone wanted for questioning." He doesn't explain that not everyone being hauled in before him is placed under review. It's all a big show as the cover-up gets bigger and bigger and more distracting from actual goings on.

"I apologize, Nathan, but just to ensure I understand this properly… I am being placed under a performance review, not because I have failed to perform to standard or because I have committed any wrongdoing, but because you believe my son has done something wrong." So mildly stated; the only change in Michael's voice is a slight heaviness to it. "And you do not trust that - if I were to come upon information - I would follow the processes that I have upheld for thirty years and inform the Ministry unless you set me a watchdog to peer over my shoulder." Liam, off to one side, covers his face with one hand. "Is that an accurate summation?"

Damn. This one's onto the whole procedure. McKlellan's eyebrows raise, "As I stated, this is a precaution. You've been dismissed." He gestures to some of the lower ranked employees in the room, "Show Sir Noble the door please."

"Thank you, Nathan, an escort is unnecessary. Please send my best to Amanda." And with that cordial salutation, Sir Michael turns to leave. His strides are even and sure, carrying him past the other employees and to the door he came in through.


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