1994-11-04: Welcome To Maycomb

Participants:

Umbridge_icon.gif Holly_icon.gif

Scene Title Welcome to Maycomb
Synopsis Holly stops by the Beast's Lair (And I don't mean Sirius) to share information about the trial.
Location Umbridge's Office
Date Nov 04, 1994
Watch For Holly trying to be clever.
Logger Holly

It's a dreary day outside. Perfect for Holly's visit to the Ministry of Magic to meet with opposing counsel. She can't honestly see this going well, and that's why she's come prepared. She has none of her documents with her, though she spent all night previous memorising what she'd need to say, anticipating Umbridge's answers, and hoping to god that she doesn't end up looking like a moron in front of the Minister for Magic.

She's even gotten new robes for the occasion. Word spreads; she learned from some sources that Madam Minister seems to have a thing for pink, and so Holly's robes are a deep coral colour, with a lighter rose trim. Usually fond of black, she feels ridiculous. Hopefully Umbridge sees it as 'good taste' rather than 'ass kissing,' but the lawyer is definitely walking a thin line there.

After the required security checkpoints and growly looks from almost everyone in the place (With some people returning to give her said look twice) she finds herself outside Umbridge's office, and offers a knock on the door.

—-

Cleaning up after Fudge isn't easy, especially when Umbridge is meeting so much resistance from her peers. Some of which have been 'persuaded' to change their tone by forceful means. Others seem to be more difficult than others. No matter. Umbridge is currently the Minister, and believes firmly in the mantra on muggle bumper stickers, 'She Who Must Be Obeyed'. That is, if she knew they were a muggle saying. Then she would have to find another phrase.

The advance notice of Maplewood's arrival was received, and the secretary outside Umbridge's office was given firm instructions to prevent the American from bothering important work. Unfortunately for Umbridge, the time Holly arrives is when the secretary takes her break. Timed accidentally on purpose and the secretary may find herself regretting this little act. So at the knock against the door, Umbridge scowls and sets her dainty teacup down on its saucer. The documents in front of her are ignored, and she calls out, "Come in."

—-

Showtime.

Transferring a small briefcase from one hand to the other, Holly allows herself entrance into the office. She looks for all the world like a professional. Expensive robes, well-kept hair, makeup, a weathered, albeit expensive briefcase. Her father's family were all fairly decent lawyers, and while Holly is hardly rich, she can at least afford a new suit once in awhile, as it were. Offering a small, polite bow that doesn't betray the dislike she has for this woman, she says, "Thank you for seeing me, Minister. I don't plan to take up much of your time. But we have a trial to discuss."

—-

Briefly, there's a tight expression in her eyes as Umbridge watches Holly enter. In a well practiced manner, the lines of her face and her eyes settle back into a more placid look. "It does /seem/ to be an important matter," Umbridge states in a dubious yet sweet tone. The pink that Holly wears is not noted with approval or good taste. There's very little Holly can say or do that will put her in Delores's good graces. "I'm afraid this will have to be a very short meeting. My predecessor left quite a mess that I do need to clean up." Which means, as soon as she can, she's having Holly escorted out.

—-

"Yes, well. I'm here because I believe both sides should be prepared." There will be surprises, without a doubt. Holly's read for them. "And I'm here to tell you who I'm calling as witnesses following the arraignment." Pulling a list out of her pocket, neatly written on parchment, are the names of the people she intends to receive testimony from. "If you'd tell me who the Ministry plans to call as witnesses, I would very much appreciate it, so I can start to prepare a list of questions of my own."

—-

Still smiling, Umbridge peers across at Holly, then at the list she holds. "The Wizengamot does not need to call forth witnesses. That is on the part of the defense. The accused is welcome to present defense and witnesses, while the Wizengamot has their own list of crimes and questions to bring forth." Also, to be honest, Umbridge has been trying to see to it that this doesn't even make it to trial. "You'll find, Miss Maplewood, that we handle our court system just a little differently here. It works quite well for the crimes presented before us." All of this means that the Wizengamot here is a kangaroo court crossed with a lynch mob.

—-

There's almost a look of disappointment on Holly's face. Well-schooled, though, as she's really quite amused. Maybe they're underestimating her. Maybe she's underestimating them. Maybe there's some shred of truth she hasn't happened across yet, and in the end, she'll be laughed out of the country. For some reason, though, she can't help believing that this whole thing won't end well, no matter what the verdict is. All she can do is try.

After a soft "Hm," she sets the briefcase on the desk, leaving it, for the moment, closed. "I think every country owes it to their citizens to put the right person in prison," she says. "And you'd be doing yourself a great service if you did actually hold trial. Wouldn't you like the opportunity to put it on record, once and for all, a verdict that can't be challenged?"

—-

Umbridge picks up her cup, drinking delicately from it, even having her pinky out. It's all so prim, proper and wrong coming from this woman. The cup is set back down with a faint clink of china. Her expression and voice turn sweeter and all the more dangerous. "The initial verdict has been unchallenged until you came along and created an issue where there was none.. and I believe you had a point to this meeting?"

—-

"There can't be a verdict without a trial, Minister," Holly says. It's almost passionate, not condescending or calculated in the least. Just a fact. Careful not to accuse anyone of being in poor judgement, she says, "Rendering a decision on anything should be done with as many facts as possible. There shouldn't even be a shadow of a doubt, and what I have is… quite a lot more than a shadow." Finally, she opens the briefcase. The Ministry could function so well if there were fewer ignorant people in it. "Yes, I've brought you essentially my whole case file. I think it might be a good idea for you to read it." The briefcase is kept turned toward her, though, so Umbridge can't see into it.

—-

"My dear," Umbridge begins as if she were speaking to a very small child, "You weren't here during that time, you can't possibly understand. The evidence weighs heavily against Black." She doesn't even grant him the honorific of 'Mister'. Blood traitor and a criminal to boot. "I have a rather lengthy petition here to have him transferred back to Azkaban, where he belongs." She doesn't, although she would greatly enjoy handing the man back to the Dementors right this moment. "Miss Maplewood.. what could you possibly have in his favor?"

—-

Well, Holly has a lot, but she's not going to be disclosing that. Maybe she would have, out of courtesy, had Umbridge even bothered to show her any common courtesy, but Holly knows when she's being talked down to, and because of that, she plans to smash right through the Ministry defense like a runaway truck. It'll be satisfying. And what's more, it'll be satisfying for Sirius, too, she hopes. After all, he's a pretty nice guy. Impossible, but nice. And certainly not a murderer.

From out of the suitcase comes a paperback book. It's relatively thick, not something anyone could finish reading in a day, but not so long as to be impossible to finish, either. After looking at the cover and realising that such subtle hints will most likely be completely lost on the elder witch, Holly sets the copy of To Kill a Mockingbird down on the desk.

—-

Holly is a foreigner. An interloper who has no solid background. The woman may as well be part animal for all Umbridge knows or cares. Those upstart Americans, no care for class and blood quality. Umbridge looks down her nose at the book that is now tainting her desk. The title means nothing to the woman, and considering paperbacks aren't really a wizard's idea.. "Your time is up Miss Maplewood. Unlike you, I have real work to get back to."

—-

Oh yeah. Holly has this case in the bag. Maybe they won't be so dismissive of her when she brings her story to the table.

Arching her eyebrows, offering the faintest of smiles and taking the insult in stride (Though she'll probably yell to someone about it later, because she wants to tear this woman a new one right now) she turns around with her briefcase and heads for the door. She can see herself out, easily enough.

—-

Umbridge watches Holly's exit with a self-satisfied expression on her fat, flaccid face. Why hasn't she been taken care of yet? It's so hard to find good help these days. Once Holly is out the door, it swings shut automatically and the new Minister sets to work on tending to the matter of the American herself.

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