|Scene Title||Regime Change|
|Synopsis||Fudge is met on his way home for the night and is ousted from his position by Umbridge.|
|Location||Ministry of Magic - Atrium|
|Date||Oct 31, 1994|
|Watch For||The crowd gathering, and Dawlish narrowly missing a punch. Also, the amazingly flying labels!|
Halloween is always a big time for the Ministry. And the colors around the atrium have changed to reflect just that. Deep earthy orange, black, and yellow tones. The atrium itself is slow for this time of the evening, with not many people still left at work. One of the many heading for the exits is the Minister himself. "Good evening, Ragsdale." he says, to one of the members of Magical Maintenance as he passes by headed towards one of the public floo portals.
Standing out quite loudly from the Halloween colors is Delores Umbridge. She's in her finest pink robes with her cardigan worn over them. The only sign of the holiday is the black velvet bow perched in her hair. Heels clacking against the finely polished floor, she strides off the lift with a contigent of wizards and witches behind her. "Hem, hem," she utters as she approaches Fudge, as she heads directly for him. "Good evening Cornelius," she says in her sweetest voice, with a smile to accompany. There is no greeting of 'minister'. "I am so pleased we caught you at this late hour, and for that I apologize."
Aurors keep weird hours. When they're in the ministry, that is. Two of them seem to be coming back from one of the Floo portals, chatting heavily (well, the pink haired one is anyway, the other is as serene as ever) about something. Unfortunately, /both/ of them notice the eyesore that is Umbridge, especially against such a backdrop as the Halloween decorations. Both have the same thought, and Tonks executes it perfectly by conveniently tripping over something and faceplanting. Well within earshot. Kingsley stoops down to help her up. Silly Tonks, learn how to walk!
"Ah, Delores." Fudge says, smiling as he glances at the others getting off the lift. "I was just about to head out for the evening. Thought I might stop at the pub on the way home. Trust you're doing something fun this holiday?" At the sound of something hitting the floor, he turns and glances at Tonks and Kingsley, though he doesn't say anything.
Continuing to smile, Umbridge then looks regretful, even as her lips remained curved upwards. "I dare say that I'm not, I regret that we have reached this point, but it's for everyone's good," her tone is that of a disapproving parent speaking down to a toddler who just broke a favored toy. "This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you. I'm afraid to say that your services as Minister are no longer needed. Dawlish and O'Connor will escort you from the Ministry."
Tonks grumbles and stands. there's a bit of a shuffle to get her to a seat to make sure her ankle didn't itself. However, it doesn't seem that Kingsley and tonks needed a reason to linger. For some reason, Umbridge's words carry just a little bit, even if she's speaking naturally. Those others that might've been gathered nearby (perhaps even encompanying Fudge on the lift) are now quiet. For some reason there's this now widening circle that appears around Fudge, Umbridge and her two Auror Stoogies.
"Well that's a shame." Fudge starts, obviously not hearing the full extent of Umbridge's words. "You should get our mo….what?" Oh, yeah, now it hits him. "You can't do that. You don't have the authority." he adds, watching as both Dawlish and O'Conner move out from behind Umbridge towards him.
"Oh but Cornelius, I do have the authority. Thank you for providing such authority last year when you passed Regulation Seven, Subsection Two, Paragraph D." Umbridge remains standing there, a solid pink wall even as her flunkies step out from behind her. Again, her words are slow, high pitched, and she's careful to speak so that she's understood in a clear and concise manner. "Under Paragraph E of Regulation Seven, I am now acting Minister until a new one is selected. I do apologize Cornelius, but you have proven inept and incapable of exercising control over this government."
Tonks frowns. "She can't /do/ that, can she? What's her evidence?" She seems to have the presence of mind not to directly interfere. Kingsley shakes his head for a moment. The two Aurors with Umbridge do get a rare disproving look from the quiet Auror before he excuses himself. Loo break, possibly. Only Tonks hears the reason for him ducking away to a private location.
The quiet is also now being slowly filled with a slowly growing buzz of people talking to each other. There are a couple who echo Tonks' statement—a bit louder though.
Fudge's face complete goes slack as Umbridge quotes the legislation. "B….bu…but…that legislation was set up to protect me should I fall under Imperius." The poor man is starting to lose it. "It was never supposed to be used for this. And by you….Delores. Of all the people I trusted…." he's interrupted as Brandon nears.
"Don't make this hard, sir." Brandon says, leaning in close to Fudge's ear. "She wants you to make a scene. Don't play into her hand." he whispers and pulls back as Dawlish comes up on the other side of Fudge.
The growing buzz and the not so quiet protests are cheerfully ignored by Umbridge. From within the folds of her pink robes she produces a rolled up bit of parchment. "Here is your dismissal decree, as well as a list of supporting evidence for your removal as well as a copy of the Regulation citing my authority in this matter," her voice has lost a bit of that sugary edge and is taking a sharper tone. Clearly as a means to exert her power over the situation at hand. Her expression goes positively owlish, "Why then Cornelius, why wasn't that specified in the Regulation? Obviously, you have lost your ability to lead. You have let this American woman interfere, and she is making a mockery of all we stand for. Someone has to step in to clean up the mess you have made since you have been incapable of such." Oblivious to Brandon's words, she is.
Her Ankle 'feeling better' now, Tonks stands and moves a bit closer to hear the buzz. She'll need to fill in Kinglsey for when he returns from his break. Surprisingly, she says nothing.
"Because I didn't expect my own administration to turn on me." Fudge retorts, before nodding a Brandon's words. Yeah, now the ex-Minister is upset. "You have no idea, Delores, what it takes to be Minister. The responsibility. The burden." His face is starting to turn red now.
Before it can get any worse, Brandon nudges Fudge. "Come now, Minister. Best not to make a scene." he says, as Dawlish pushes Fudge rather rudely towards the 'public' floo entrance. The older Obliviator tosses a scowl at Umbridge that could easily be read as 'Bite me you old hag!', before he starts moving towards the floo as well.
"I believe I have more an idea than you Cornelius," Umbridge says in a regretful yet sweetly mourning tone. While she seemingly is ignoring the scowl from Brandon, it does not go unnoticed. He will either remember his place and his loyalties or not. Then suffer the consequences. "Hem, hem," she says to the gathering crowd of those working late or on their way out, "This is a regretful turn of events," she begins as she addresses the crowd, "But one that was rather necessary. These times call for a change, a firmer hand. I firmly believe that I am up to the task and will provide the leadership that we have been lacking."
Having worked with Brandon before on a couple of Raids, his attempts to calm the former minister causes him to rise up a couple of notiches in Tonks' books. There was nor eal love for Fudge, he was a bit of a bumbler, but he'd be Dumbledore compared to his successor. Speaking of which, the old hag speaks and Tonks' arms cross. The scowl she adopts seems taken right out of Sirius' book of I'm Pissed expressions. There's a grumbled, "Yeah right," from the young Auror.
Around her, there's mixed feelings in the crowd. There are Obvious Supporters of Umbridge, and there's Obvious Naysayers. Most of the people though, are just straight out /confused/ and don't know what to think. Slackers.
That 'public' floo terminal that Fudge is currently steering towards flares into life momentarily. The figure that steps out takes a few steps forward out of habit, notices the small spectacle taking place, and halts. Ichabod reaches up to adjust his top-hat and then brushes imaginary dust off of his coat, his lips forming into a thin and slightly disapproving frown. Weaving in between a few of the people who are gathered about to watch, he comes to stand at the inner edge of the circle nearest to Fudge and Umbridge.
As if he had any choice, Fudge allows himself to be steered towards the same floo portal that Ichabod emerged from. It's almost certain that anyone coming or going from that floo would notice the sullen look on his face. Just before he reaches the flames he hears Umbridge's words and turns his head over his shoulder. "You'll regret this, Delores. Trust me. You'll see it's not as easy as it lo…"
His voice is cut off as Dawlish abruptly shoves the former Minister into the floo with the gruff words of 'take him home'. Brandon glares at Dawlish. "Have some respect, man. Or compassion." But the Obliviator has no desire to stick around and listen to Umbridge's propaganda. Stepping into the flames he utters, 'Fudge residence' and is gone. Leaving Dawlish to mix back in with the crowd.
Those naysayers, oh they are quite obvious to Umbridge. However, in her own mind of elevated self-importance, she's certain they will either see things her way or they shall suffer consequences. Things are just that simple in her mind. Her smile turns steely at Fudge's words, and she can only take them as a threat. Her expression turns imperious as she regards the growing gathering. As if addressing a group of unruly children, she states clearly, "I am certain that we will get along and this new administration will be productive."
Think fast, Dawlish! Someone's arm is snapping up in front of you! And no, it's not Tonks. Speaking of which, she continues to just glower at Umbridge darkly. Kingsley has returned to the land away fromt he Loo, his warning having delivered. He doesn't join Tonks, wanting to make sure that things aren't 'too' suspicious. Tonks, herself, of course has worry. Umbridge means things get nearly personal.
The crowd's nattering grows in volume. There's 'I'll support you!' from one person, and there's 'You'll ruin us all!' echoing from somewhere else in the crowd. Clearly, those gathered in the Atrium are…confused.
Well, it would seem that all of the rumors flying about were true. Quite fitting that this should happen on Halloween. Ichabod's expression turns cautiously impassive after Fudge is ushered unceremoniously out of the Ministry. He does notice Tonks, although at this point he, like Kingsley, makes no immediate move to join her. Umbridge's little declaration of productivity causes him to snort derisively, but the sound is likely drowned out by all of the people making noise around him.
Dawlish just barely manages to see the arm coming for him. Or at him. "Hey, watch it!" he says, ducking out of the way. "First person that gets out of line is getting marched right to the holding cells!" And it sounds like he means it.
"Thank you Dawlish, O'Connor, for your assistance this evening," Umbridge says, in the manner of a Queen addressing her subjects. A particularly smug look is thrown at Tonks, Kingsley and Ichabod as she turns to sweep through the crowd. Intent on having her things transferred from her old office. To Dawlish in passing, he gets another fond sounding thank you, as she's intent on heading to tend to business.
"Well, I'll be. He /does/ possess reflexes better than a sloth," Tonks offers, not making any move to conceal her voice, but not exactly saying it loud enough for the world to hear. Tonks just frowns at the smug look is given to her. All it does is make the woman appear more of a bloated toad more than usual. Glancing behind her, she looks for Kingsley, who's standing in the back, a hand resting against his mouth in contemplation, as if trying to figure out how to go about things, whatever those things may be. Ichabod is also noted by the YOung Auror, and she does begin edging in his direction.
Ichabod reaches inconspicuously into the pocket of his frock coat. He happens to have a small stack of several dozen blank labels in there at the moment - typically they get stuck on to the front of Creature reports just before they're filed. His wand also happens to be in his pocket. Narrowing his stony gray eyes for a few seconds, he mutters a semi-silent incantation - again, most likely drowned out by noise - and then, turning towards Tonks, starts to pace slowly in her direction around the edge of the small gathering. Unless someone was specifically observing him, they wouldn't notice him drop the stack of labels on the floor. He continues tip-toeing toward the young auror, eventually reaching her side and coming to rest with both of his hands on his walking stick. "Hello, Miss Tonks," He offers genially.
At about this point, the stack of labels starts flying one-by-one into the air and zipping about like confetti for people to snatch in mid-flight. Each now has a depiction of a large, fat toad with a distinctive pink hat on, and the simple phrase 'Minister for Mayhem?'.
Stepping off the lift and into the atrium, Adam is immediately assaulted by….confetti? "Is there a party I didn't know about?" he asks the nearest person, who is obviously an Umbridge supporter and tells him the news. "Shocking." Reaching up, he plucks one of the pieces of paper and glances at it. Slowly a grin slips over his face and he tucks the tiny piece of paper in his pocket.
Ah check that out,t hey were both ambling to see each other. There's a blink and she reaches up to snatch a label. "Wonder who did this," she asks outloud, "Oh hi, Mr. Noble." It's a friendly enough greeting to the vampire, despite her mood. She's fumbling with the label, and soon enough there's a toady sticker on her forehead. "How's it going?"
"Present circumstances accounted for.. things could be better," Ichabod replies in a rather dry tone of voice. He merely glances up at the pieces of paper flying about everywhere, arching one brow at them. He does not pick one out of mid-air, however, and instead just shakes his head. "But, I personally am quite well. And you?" He glances over in Adam's direction when the lifts open, noting the fact that the fellow takes one of the labels. That's enough of a reason for him to offer a slight nod in his direction.
Working his way through the crowd, Adam passes near Tonks and Ichabod. Hoping to make a clean pass, he totally fails as two people behind him who are arguing over the news shove him forward into Tonks. "My bad, lass." he says, shooting a glare at the person behind him (who shrugs and mixes back into the crowd). "It's a bit crowded in here."
Tonks turns to see who Ichabod's nodding at. People seem to alternatively be grabbing labels or ignoring them depending on thier mood and allegiences. "Oh I'm oka—eek!" Having someone shoved into her, nearly causes her to run into the elder Noble. Years of having to deal with being 'grace challenged' means she barely manages to stop another collission. "Oh s'okay, mate. We had a bit of a show earlier." Back to Ichabod. "Alright, considering the circumstances. How's Remus settling in?"
Well, luckily for Tonks, Ichabod is pretty hard to knock over. He reaches out and sets a steadying hand on the girl as she stumbles - though he's only known her briefly, it doesn't seem to take long for somebody to get the idea that she's, er, not exactly gifted in the elegance department. Adam receives another curious glance at this point, since he's now in their immediate vicinity. Taking his hand off of Tonks's shoulder, he extends it to the fellow. "Ichabod Noble." The auror's inquiry about her friend is met with a friendly chuckle. "Mr. Lupin is adjusting quite nicely, I think. I believe he'll prove himself quite useful."
"I heard." Adam nods, trying to maneuver his way around the two and the crowd. "Shame I missed it. Might have had a word or two to say to the old bat." Not like he's bitter or anything, though she is responsible for a few of his charms not getting the stamp of approval. "Adam Graves. Experimental Charms." The last is added just because he's almost certain when the news gets out about the stickers, his department will be the first under the microscope. Not that he minds. Plenty of excuses as to how it happened.
She doesn't mind the steadying hand and the older man gets a thanks for it. Not very closed minded, this one. She does beam a smile though, hearing that her friend is settling well. "I hope that it continues like that," she shouldn't need to elaborate. There's a chance that both Ichabod and Lupin will be targets under the new regime. Tonks snaps a half salute towards the newly arrived, "Tonks, Auror."
"Good to meet you, Mr. Graves. I've always been fond of your Department - used to know the Head back in, ah.." Ichabod calculates momentarily, then decides it's probably a good idea to be vague. "..well, quite a while ago." It's true that he may well end up in personal danger due to recent events, but he doesn't look especially perturbed. "As do I, Miss Tonks." And he's not just hiring Lupin out of generosity or benevolence, after all. Quite the opposite - he intends to squeeze every ounce of usefulness out of the man that he can. He is, after all, a Slytherin. "You know, I ran into a woman in Hogsmeade last night - an American. Working on the Black case - I wonder if you know her."
Adam grins and tilts his head a bit at Ichabod. His eyes seem to try and gauge the age of the man, but after a moment he rights himself. "Well, I've only been heading it for a few years now, but I know my predecessors did their job well. Though I like to think I bring more to it than just a job well done." Glancing between the two, he gives a small nod. "If you two will excuse me though, I need to step out to Diagon Alley before the shop I need to visit closes."
Tonks grins a bit at Adam as he talks. She can tell there's a bit of pride there. Nodding she lifts her hand in a half wave, "Probably see you around then." Especially if Umbridge goes after his department for the labels. Teehee. Back to Ichabod she nods. "I think work'll be good for him, so… I'm a bit worried." As long as it's not in a malevolent way, Tonks really wouldn't care about the used part. Ha hah. She blinks at the question. "More or less, we've met once or twice. She /is/ my cousin's lawyer, after all."
Ichabod nods to the younger man when it becomes evident he has other business to attend to. "Have a good evening, then." After which he directs his attention back to Tonks, his lips parting in a prim smile. "I wouldn't worry too much. As for Miss Maplewood - she did seem quite a capable sort. If you happen to see her in the near future, do tell her she should stop by my office sometime. I think she and I might have a few things to discuss." Tapping his walking stick on the stone floor, he bows to the auror and glances at the lift. "Unfortunately I have quite a lot of work to get to. Kind of you to humor an old fool such as myself with a spot of conversation, Miss Tonks."
Adam gives a small bow, while at the same time walking backwards into the floo. "Diagon Alley." And in a flash of green flame, he's gone.
Any additional notes fall to the bottom.