Chapter 71 - In Trouble Again

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∞ 71 ∞

IN TROUBLE AGAIN


It was time for Lucius's Faith Agreement Progress Review. As usual he was in trouble for not meeting his quota of contacts with Muggles and for using unnecessary magic that he was not permitted. And as usual Elliott made a point of referring to Lucius preceded by the honorific title of "Lord" and as expected, Judge Hegges made the humiliating point of reminding everyone of how Lucius had lost the privilege of using the title.

There was however a more pressing matter on the schedule to discuss: that was, why a Muggle had spilt blood in Lucius's household and why the Muggle had been treated under his authority without prior Ministry authorisation. Everyone was so dumbfounded by news of the bizarre occurrence, even Arthur Weasley was lost for words.

With Raj's rather vague report coming in only just shortly before they convened, Elliott –perhaps for the first time in his career– was caught in front of a judge completely unprepared as Lucius had infuriatingly neglected to tell him anything about the incident with Valentina. Lucius reacted with looks of tedium and vague, unapologetic answers to his furious solicitor who requested five minutes alone with his client and then continued on in the same fashion with the committee. He simply answered that the woman would likely have died otherwise and maintained his devil-may-care attitude in response to ensuing questions:

'"Her name?" He didn't catch it. Muggle names were always rather innocuous, or terribly odd and rather difficult to pronounce and even harder to remember.

'"How old might she have been?" Well, that was a tough one. Muggles always looked so very aged for their years. She might have been his age, as well as she might have been 17; he really could not be sure. It was likely if he had stayed long enough to notice, he might not have been well enough to attend the committee meeting seeing as she had been stricken with some sort of infection. He was sure it was all in Constantine's report.

'"Her Description?" Hadn't Constantine said?... That too was difficult to say with her swaddled up in a sick bed. And really, again (not wanting to sound racist) he didn't want to get too close due to risk of disease; he was certain they could all understand... And really with so very many French Muggles in France (not that there was anything wrong with French Muggles, of course) it was difficult to tell one from the other... If he was pressed to say, she seemed a bit rotund as far as he noticed, but then again it might have been all the swelling. He supposed the best way to describe her was that she was of medium colouring... with slightly fairer leanings, or quite possibly she could have just been greying. Without wanting to sound unconcerned, he really did not stop long to look and wouldn't like to misspeak.

'She might have been a local person, or she might have been visiting relatives, or even on holiday; how could he know? Wasn't that rather personal even to be asking a Muggle? And anyway –in the nicest possible way– outside of his required weekly contacts, he had better things to do than spend time chatting with a Muggle that he wouldn't be able to think of anything to say to and was (in the nicest possible way) carrying contagious pathogens, as his doctor could well attest.

'"Explain?" He didn't understand the question. Whatever was there to explain? Wasn't he supposed to be making an effort to help people?! This was all really rather ridiculous! If this was the tribulation he was going to have to go through for simply doing a good deed to his fellow man, he suppose he really ought to let the next one die in the field.'

After Hegges had exhausted all the threats in the Ministry's power and neither Lucius nor Elliott had given an explanation plausible enough to satisfy the Judge, Hegges called for a recess and ordered Lucius to meet with her alone her in her private chambers – without Elliott.

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