(1938-10-09) Incident in the Owlery - Alphard's Report
Details for Incident in the Owlery - Alphard's Report
Summary: Professors Slughorn, Dumbledore, and Mopsus continue their investigation into a violent incident involving a prefect.
Date: 9 October, 1938
Location: Staff Room, Hogwarts
Related: Flying Feathers, Incident in the Owlery - Fiona's Report, Incident in the Owlery - Janette's Report

There are certain students that Caretaker Pringle seems to take particular delight in disciplining. One can generally tell by the twinkle in his eye accompanying his cruel grin. This afternoon there is only a hint of that sparkle as he escorts Alphard Black to the staff room. He's given no indication just what this is all about, but at least he's not dragging the young man to the dungeon. When they reach the lounge, he pushes open the door to reveal the head of Alphard's house, Professor Horace Slughorn, seated alongside two other heads of house; Albus Dumbledore of Gryffindor, and Manto Mopsus of Ravenclaw. "In," Pringle commands, gesturing to a plush chair facing the three professors.

Alphard arrived looking pristine in his uniform. His shirt was neatly pressed an fit him like it had been measured and hand tailored (which it had). His tie was a windsor knot he'd taken the time to get proper. There wasn't a speck of dirt anywhere on him. The only part of him not neatly presentable was perhaps his hair, which refused to properly adher to his ministrations. Even so, it wasn't a mess so much as not completely immaculate. He walked besides Pringle exuding confidence and (or so he probably hoped) absolute innocence. This was not the look of a boy who got into trouble! Nope! His only concession to seeing the trio of professors arranged there like a tribunal was a brief pause, a steadying intake of breath, and a subconcious combing back of his fingers through his hair. Trying in vain to get it in order. Then he walked forward, testing the waters by giving Slughorn a small smile. To say he actually looked humble as he waited to hear what it was about, was perhaps an overstatement. But at least he had put a reign on his usual SCREAMING arrogance.

Slughorn returns the smile, but it lacks his usual exuberant joviality. Once the door latch has clicked shut, Mr. Pringle remaining just inside like a gargoyle sentinel, Professor Slughorn takes a deep breath and speaks. "Mr. Black, welcome. You might have guessed why we had you brought here, today. We understand that you were involved in an altercation in the owl tower about a week ago. I'm sure you can understand how this concerns us, so we are investigating the matter. We would like to hear your side of things."

"Oh.." The sound was breathed out with obvious understanding. He gave his best dramatic and woeful-me sigh as he made his seat where Pringle had indicated. For a moment his head hanged low, as if gathering up his courage. Then slowly he lifted his face up so he could look at each of the Professors in succession. "I suppose I had expected this, sort of. Part of me had just hoped it would all go away before things got even -worse-." Sigh again, amateur actor style.

"It started when I came into Owl Tower and found that big Seventh Year MacMillan.." So terribly bigger and older than a wee little Sixth Year Alphard, his voice emphasized.." And Prefect Abbot up in the rafters. Oh, and a first year Ravenclaw girl. Irish. I'm sorry I don't remember her name, I've just been -so- busy with all my studies that I'm taking soooo seriously!" Pause. Just that statement could linger for a moment. "At first I was curious, but then MacMillan kept throwing owl pellets at me.. and the two of them, MacMillan and Abbot, were just so -mean-, I lost interest.."

Though Slughorn nods deeply in concern, Professor Mopsus cannot hide the amused smirk on his face as he chuckles silently. Dumbledore sighs patiently, noting, "Just the facts if you please, Mr. Black. We understand that the event was traumatic without needing to relive it."

Blink, blink. Innocent as if he couldn't understand at all why Professor Dumbledore wasn't captivated by his tale. "I'm sorry, Professor.." With the underlining message that Dumbledore was the one who should be sorry for interrupting him, and so adding to the trauma! A look flicked to Slughorn. — See how I'm being unjustly prosecuted?!—

"Alright." His brow furrowed as he made his way back into the story. "I'd come to check my letters, so I left them to go look at my owl. I had to feed her some snacks to settle her down, because MacMillian and Abbot had been badgering the little owlets, and she was obviously so terribly agitated. She's a very delicate bird, you see. Anyway. Without any warning Abbot suddenly -assaults- me from behind while I'm tending to my owl. I was so scared, and so startled, it was only -luck- that little Merwin wasn't hurt." See these young dark eyes and know horrble -pain- that would've caused him, if something were to have happened to his owl.

Slughorn fusses with his fingers, shaking his head. "Oh dear, oh dear. Now Mr. Black, are you quite certain this is what happened? Accusing a Prefect of instigating violence is quite a serious charge."

Before the boy can answer, Professor Mopsus pipes in, his blind eyes somehow finding Alphard's face with perfect precision. "What happened just prior to Abbott's assault on you? What exactly was said and done? Please try to be accurate."

So perhaps Alphard was rather tall for his age, and broad shouldered, and notoriously vicious on the Quiddich field. The sort of Beater who emphasized settling scores - preferably with kids bleeding and in pain - over necessarily winning the match. If anything he loved trashing older students more than younger ones, just so he could smugly leer down and soak in their humiliation for having been trashed by young'un. Anyone who had watched him play probably knew this. But look at him sitting there, shoulders hunched down, head drooping, one'd think fragile little Janette Abbot had put the true fright in him.

Hislphard was about to answer Slughorn when Mopsus interrupted. He blinked, looked between them. "Is it alright if I answer Professor Slughorn first? Or..?" Obviously he was just trying to be helpful!

Professor Mopsus, on the other hand, has a very different sort of reputation. The Divination professor is a noted Seer, and quite often seems to know the answers to questions before he asks them. "I should think that your answer will satisfy both inquiries, young man," Mopsus says in a clipped tone.

Slughorn blinks with mild surprise at Mopsus, but he seems to defer to the diminutive man's assessment, and gives Alphard an encouraging nod.

"I don't remember exactly. I think at some point I -might- have asked if MacMillan was the prince she'd been singing love songs about lately," Alphard said, shifty-eye for a moment, before he remembered he was supposed to look innocent. "It -might- have made her a bit emotional. She did start to blush and mumble and you know.. betray the fact that it was to everybody without actually saying it. I don't really see what the problem was, though! I mean, do you know how many female students MacMillan has snogged this semester alone? It's ridicilous. He has no standards." Sniff. He scratched at his cheek, once. "Oh.. and right before she hit me she accused me of ruining her robes. Which I don't understand. Alright, perhaps I -did- step on them, but on accident! It's not as if I look at my feet everywhere I go, I sort of expect that the dirty floor of Owl Tower isn't somewhere you throw your clothes at nilly-willy. So I don't know if I did or not, but if I did, then it was her own fault for leaving them lying on the floor and blocking the passage!"

Slughorn lifts his hands in a calming gesture, "Alright, Black. We understand." He sighs and furrows his brow, steepling his fingers in contemplation. "Most distressing, a Prefect behaving this way. Alphard, is there anything else you would like to add?" Just then, Mr. Pringle clears his throat — a reminder of his continued presence.

"Yes, I mean, that wasn't the end of it. And I—" But Alphard paused, glancing in Mr. Pringle's direction. For a brief second his dark eyes glinted with malice at being interrupted by 'Prickle', but then he reformed his expression back into 'humble 'innocence'. No reason to make an enemy out of that little bastard.

Slughorn nods, gesturing encouragingly. "Go on. What else? Has there been further fallout from this unfortunate event?"

Another look in Pringle's direction, before he nodded to Slughorn. "Yes, well.. after a while I got Abbot off me. But MacMillan had misunderstood things - he's really not a bad person - and thought I was going to beat her up when all I wanted was to get free. So he jumped me from behind, too, and I ended up having to defend myself as we fell to the floor. A really -dirty- floor. My clothes got -so- messy. But again.. he's not a -bad- person." With obvious contrast to what he thought about Abbot.

"After a moment he let go of me, while Abbot threatened me that if I tried to fight back she'd use her dock me house points. Then it was sort of over. Or it would have been, if the Ravenclaw hadn't gotten Mr Pringle. Which!" He was quick to add, "was completely the right thing of her to do. But -then-.." and his eyes widened. "Abbot actually -lied- to Mr Pringle, abusing her Prefect authority. She said -I- had attacked her and hurting her just to be mean, trying to get me into trouble when I've worked -so- hard to be a good student. MacMillan seemed as shocked as me, because he immediately said we'd all tripped. I was going to leave it at that, too. I mean, I didn't tell Mr Pringle my version at the time because.." here he sighed again, deeply!

"Because she's a Prefect, and if I said anything at the time then I'd have a Prefect even -more- interested in getting me into trouble any chance she got." His head hung low. He was obviously finished!

"But obviously now.. where.." his eyes took in the room, the seriousness of it all, "I don't really have a choice but to tell it all."

Slughorn looks more and more distressed with every word. Such awful things happening between two of his house! But before Sluggy can fuss verbally some more, Mopsus chimes in again. "You say that Macmillan thought you were going to beat Miss Abbott up. Are you saying he was mistaken? That you were not kicking her after you had pushed her away from you?"

Alphard blinked, as if surprised by even the -suggestion-! "Why, of course he was mistaken. I wasn't going to beat her up.. I'd get in trouble!" Though again he suffered from a brief lapse of shady shifty-eyes. His teeth were worrying on his bottom lip, while he obviously thought real hard and long about what he was going to say next. "I mean.. I my foot -might- have come in contact with her after I'd thrown her off me. But I mean, when things are happening so very fast, and you're confused and off balance, you're not really in complete control of what happens! But I -promise- that I had no intention at all to hurt her. I just wanted her off me."

Mopsus merely smirks, but keeps his silence. It is Dumbledore that speaks next. "Mr. Black, there is no need to overstate your case. You are clearly physically superior to Miss Abbott. While it would not excuse her assaulting you, neither is there any doubt that can easily overpower her."

Slughorn calls attention with a heavy sigh. "I think we have heard all that we need to. Mister Black, you are not to speak of this meeting to anyone else, as we are still in the midst of investigating this matter."

"I don't know what you're talking about, Professor Dumbledore. I apologize if in the midst of being -assaulted- from -behind- in the most cowardly and unexpected fashion, I wasn't completely in control of things." Alphard sniffed in a way that having his story challanged was beyond the pale! He probably wasn't even aware of how thick an aura of aristocratic superiority he was radiating out in every direction. So much for his humility. Too late he caught himself, cleared his vioce, and bobbed his head gratefully to Slughorn. "Thank you for taking the time to hear the truth, Professors. I'll not say anything at all. We Blacks are discretion itself." With that he bowed to Slughorn, nodded to the other two, ready to leave.

"Mind your tone with the Professor, Black," comes Pringle's warning growl.

But Dumbledore lifts a calming hand. "It's alright, Apollyon. The boy has been through some difficulty." The Deputy Headmaster levels a gaze at Alphard that isn't, perhaps, as sympathetic as his words would suggest. "You may go, Mister Black. Do be certain to inform another Prefect if you have any further incident with Miss Abbott."

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