Chapter 14 - Chaos in the Court

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∞ 14 ∞

CHAOS IN THE COURT


Lucius was on his feet – just barely. His body armour charms had deflected the curses that hit him, but the wind was knocked out of him from the impacts and because of the anti-Magic choker, he not only wasn't able to fight back, he wasn't able to cast a cushioning charm to break his fall. His gluteal and lower back muscles were badly bruised, as were the bones in his elbows. He was lucky not to have cracked his head open (or worse). The Ministry was a flurry over the obvious assassination attempt and by the time the group arrived at the lower levels and the courtroom doors opened, the judge and other committee members had already been informed of the attack on Malfoy's life. Because they were removing a poltergeist that had gotten into the conference room that they usually met in, Lucius's Faith Agreement Progress Review Committee was meeting instead, in the large, central courtroom used for criminal trials. It was the very courtroom he had had his first and second trials in. He hadn't been in there since.

A healer from the infirmary was sent down to evaluate 'Mr Malfoy's' condition. Lucius sat in the centre chair for witnesses and defendants, because it was easier for the healer to assess and treat his thankfully minor injuries. Meanwhile Elliott held counsel with the committee on the court benches. Elliott affirmed the absolute and obvious dangers of the Wizard being left vulnerable to attack without at least some moderate use of his Magic:

"There could have been another murder right here at the Ministry only moments ago. May I remind the committee that five others who were accused of involvement in the same organization as Lord Malfoy, have been assassinated in broad daylight before their trials have completed, including the defendant's wife."

"And I shouldn't have to remind you again, it is now: 'Mr Malfoy,' for the purposes of this meeting and within any other official, or published language – Mr Elliott."

Elliott feigned remorse for his purposeful transgression. "Oh yes that's correct please excuse me Madam Judge, My Lady Witch. Forgive me for momentarily forgetting the defendant was stripped of his title. It's just that so many refer to 'Mr Malfoy' in that way (purely in an 'unofficial' way out of respect of course, since 'Mr Malfoy's' life endangering acts of valour –as well as his continued biological research to benefit Magical beings– have come to the public's attention. And of course, he has always remained with title, in the eyes of those who truly know and love Lucius Malfoy, the ex Lord Malfoy)," Elliott said eloquently, focusing his gaze pointedly on a certain member of the committee who was also titled.

"But I digress. Where was I? Oh yeah: Who will be responsible if Mr Malfoy isn't so lucky the next time and is in fact murdered on his way to dinner, or his next meeting of the Hogwarts Rebuilding Board? He's one of the main benefactors as you all know. It would be a real pain for our little ones if he were struck down dead before that was finished. I suppose taxes could be raised 'slightly' to pay for his part. What was it –you know his part– 71 million G's? The public wouldn't point too many fingers on that one." Elliott glanced over at two of the committee members who were also members of the Wizengamot and would be up for re-election a couple months later. After a composed, measured pause, he suddenly roared: "This committee has in effect, handed this Wizard a death sentence!" startling everyone except himself, Lucius and the Judge. He looked intently at each individual member from time to time, to fortify his theme of accountability.

Elliott talked gravely about the tragedy of Ma Dame Malfoy's assassination and how she had also proved helpful at the end of the war ("although clearly nothing like as much as Mr Malfoy") and what a pity it was, considering her death could have potentially been avoided if she had not been wandless and wearing an anti-Magic choker at the time.

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