(1937-11-24) Integrity
Details for Integrity
Summary: Lucian and Bannon have very different ideas about integrity.
Date: November 24, 1937
Location: Castle Corridor
Related: NMitH Round 3 - Christmas vs. Lucian

Castle Corridor, Hogwarts Castle

As in the rest of the ground floor, the ceilings here soar high above the students heads. The corridor is wide, the same flagstones of the entry hall continue here, and the columns that rise and arch over head to meet in the middle form frames for heavy wooden doorways, or embrasures filled with sturdy wooden benches. Despite the length and chill of the gray stone, it is brightly lit from the window that fills the terminating wall. Diamond paned, with gothic arch styling at the top, the window sends occasional rainbows down the hall when the sun shines through the prisms just right.

The hour after dinner is served at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry finds Bannon Bates moving through the hallways with a purpose in mind. He walks through this particular corridor with his briefcase and his walking stick held in his left hand, leaving his wand arm free. He stops for a moment, looking around quickly with a slight frown of his face.

Lucian has spent a lot of time in the Club Room lately — even more so than usual — training for the tournament. But today he found it already in use, configured for the Arts Club, and they wouldn't appreciate him flinging spells over their projects. So he emerges, a bit disappointed, only to spot Bannon in the hall. Just the man he needs to see. "Auror Bates?" He hurries after the man, "Lucian Proudmore, sir. I'd like to talk to you, if you have a moment."

Bannon turns towards Lucian, nodding his head to the Slytherin, "Very well, Mr. Proudmore. I wish to congratulate you on your making the finals of my little tournament. You and Miss Hawker both have the makings of champions. It will be an entertaining match to watch." He then gestures into the club room, "Does the matter require privacy?"

Lucian glances back to the room, "The Arts Club is in there now. But no, it's fine. I just needed to confirm something. I heard a rumour that Christopher Weaver has been reinstated into the tournament. I thought Mr. O'Riley's ruling was upheld." He's doing his best to stay cool and rational about this, but there is definitely tension behind those eyes.

Bannon smiles, musing sardonically, "Oh, how good news travels fast…" He then continues after a moment's reflection, "It has indeed, Mr. Proudmore. The match between yourself and Mr. Weaver is still listed on the tournament record as having been won by yourself as a result of a disqualification. Which is why you should be getting ready to face Ms. Hawker."

Lucian furrows his brow in confusion. "I don't understand. If he's back in, who is he going to duel? Surely, you're not giving him a shot at the Hawker or myself? We're supposed to be the finalists."

Bannon nods his head, "That is correct, we most certainly are not. In this style of tournament, the losers of the semi-finals matches compete against each other for third place. So you will face Miss Hawker, for first place. The loser of your match will have won second place. Meanwhile, Mr. Weaver and Mr. Cavanaugh will be dueling for third place."

Lucian crosses his arms, frowning. "That hardly seems fair to Cavanaugh. He dueled with honour. Weaver disgraced the dueling stage." Aside from his displeasure, there is a certain bafflement on Lucian's face.

Bannon blinks, "Really? The dueling stage has yet to lodge a complaint." He shakes his head, "Nor has Mr. Cavanaugh for that matter."

Lucian actually scowls at that. "The dueling stage is a field of honour. There is a sanctity to the art, and Weaver violated that. Why are there even rules in place, if he can break them so severely and still be allowed to participate? Possibly even taking a position from someone that actually earned it. Does Cavanaugh even know about this to complain?"

Bannon responds, "He will quite soon. I'm just going to find Pringle now to have the next announcement posted." He pauses for a moment, a frown working itself onto his face, "It seems to me that you are missing a key point of this whole endeavor, Mr. Proudmore."

Lucian bites his tongue for a moment, and takes a breath. "Alright. What point am I missing?"

Bannon frowns, "That this is a competition open to the entire school, most of whom have no formal dueling experience. This competition was less of a dueling competition and more of an exercise in a competitor's limits, what he or she is capable of in the field of magic, and also what one is morally capable of. I upheld Mr. Weaver's opportunity to compete in the tournament for third place because he had learned his lesson. His momentary lack of foresight will not be occurring again."

"It is his moral capabilities that are my issue." Lucian shakes his head in frustration. "Sir, I have been an active member of the Dueling Club since my first year. I pride myself on my role as a mentor to other students. I try to teach them not only the skills to be better duelists, but a sense of honour and respect for the art. Christmas demonstrated that he has no such integrity, and seems to believe that he can simply say he is sorry and get a free pass for his violation. This reinstatement only serves to show him that he doesn't have to suffer penalties for his actions. You are showing him that he doesn't have to live up to any kind of ethical standard."

Bannon shakes his head, "Thank you for the history lesson, Mr. Proudmore, but I've certainly deduced that you've been in the dueling club since your first year. Every time you have raised your wand, as a matter of fact." He then continues, "The reinstatement of Mr. Weaver to the tournament stands because it is the best way to ensure that the lesson was learned, which is my top goal in this tournament. Not upholding any sanctimonious notions about dueling. The fact of the matter is that every point you have brought up so far are points which are learned behavior: Integrity. Ethical standards. They are all taught here in Hogwarts. To simply kick him out of the tournament does no teach these values to him, whereas correcting his behavior and then placing him back into the testing grounds does. If you have so much pride in the fact that you mentor your dueling club members, perhaps you should consider inviting him out for the dueling club?"

"He's in the club. He's been in it since his Third Year. These are things he's been taught, but obviously he just doesn't care." Lucian sighs with resignation. "And obviously neither do you, if you think respect for the art is 'sanctimonious.' If this is the sort of tournament that would permit this kind of thing, then I have no place it in. I formally withdraw my entry. There is no worthy victory to be had in a contest that rewards disgrace."

Bannon tilts his head to the side, his eyes not betraying anything as he responds to Lucian's withdraw, "What do you want to do with your life once you leave Hogwarts, Mr. Proudmore?"

Lucian had started to turn to leave, but the question gives him pause. "Lots of things. If you mean vocationally, I intend to compete professionally. Maybe eventually start up a studio to teach self-defense and dueling technique."

Bannon nods his head, "That's wonderful, Mr. Proudmore. I wish you all the best." He then asks, "Is there anything else you would like to discuss?"

Lucian arches an eyebrow. "Just a question. What house were you in when you attended Hogwarts?"

Bannon raises an eyebrow, "I was a Gryffindor while I attended Hogwarts."

Lucian sucks at his teeth, and says flatly, "That's what I thought." He gives a curt nod, and turns to head off down the hall.

Bannon sets his jaw, "Come back here, Mister Proudmore, or I will drag you back here."

Lucian stops and turns, now wearing a smirk on his face. But he doesn't come any closer. "Spoken like a true Gryffindor. You make your house proud."

Bannon walks after Lucian, shaking his head, "Mister Proudmore. You have brought your concerns regarding Mister Weaver to me, and I've heard them out. I've decided to stay my course in the decision I've made, and you withdrew from the tournament like a spoiled brat. Then you have the audacity to underhandedly attempt to either belittle my character on the basis of the House I was in as a student, or perhaps imply that this is some sort of favoritism due to Mr. Weaver being of the same House. Have some class in your future dealings, Mr. Proudmore. Get out of my sight."

Lucian barks out a laugh. "And again you show your colors, sir. Scarlet and gold to the bone. I wasn't belittling your character for being a Gryffindor," he sneers. "I was confirming that you were a Gryffindor based on your lacking character. Or perhaps I'm mistaken, and a grown Auror didn't just threaten to drag a student down the hall. Gryffindors are so very fond of resorting to bravado. I wonder how Headmaster Dippet would feel about your 'character' after that. At least I have integrity, and I stand by my principles. That is why I withdrew from your little games." He lifts his chin, glaring at Bannon in open challenge.

Bannon shakes his head, "Mister Proudmore, you can't insult people and not expect to get a reaction out of them. You think you have integrity, and that you stand by your principles. That's all very well. I feel very sorry for you, because one day you will have to prove it without your various and myriad pretenses. Good day." It's obvious that Lucian is not going to leave, so Bannon takes a step to the left and carries on down the hall about your business, "If you come to your senses, come see me. I won't announce your withdrawal until the day of the event."

"I'll announce it myself," Lucian growls after Bannon. "Hawker deserves that much respect." His eyes bore into the Auror's back, cementing the man as a new icon for Lucian's…issues with Gryffindors. He stalks off in the other direction, if for no other reason than to be as far from Bannon as possible.

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