(1939-09-05) Lies, Rubbish, and Slander
Details for Lies, Rubbish, and Slander (Copper's Foiled Scheme)
Summary: Madeline finally speaks with Alphard Black - as requested.
Date: September 5th, 1939
Location: Entry Courtyard, Hogwarts
Plot: Headmaster from Hell
Related: The Trapping of Lions Help with Books Pirates and Junior Aurors

On one of the benches of the pleasant entry courtyard, Alphard is comfortably reclining. His poise combines upper class grace and dignity with relaxed confidence, and there's a book open on his thigh that he's intently leafing through. It's on some advanced Dark Defense, and he's borrowed it out of the library on Annie's suggestion. Occasionally he lifts a hand to brush some of his messy dark hair out of his brow - the only part of him that ever really strays out of neat propriety - but otherwise he's mostly still. There aren't any Magijugend about except for him.

Felix cartwheels into the courtyard ahead of Madeline, landing awkwardly and stumbling for a few steps. When he's steady and looks up, he freezes, eyes going wide. Her turns her head, keeping his gaze fixed on a certain Slytherin. "Maddie," he whispers in her direction, "Alphard Black's 'ere!" Was he even listening when she asked him to escort her?

Apparently not. Madeline gives Felix a look that's slightly put out for just a moment, before settling into amused instead. "That's okay, Felix. I came to talk to him, remember?" she says with forced cheer. Feeling a bit like one walking to the gallows, she makes her way across the courtyard, folding her hands behind her back as she comes to a stop in front of Alphard. "Hello, Black," she greets him simply, rocking uneasily on her feet from her toes to her heels.

While Felix is the big attention getting, look at me I can do cartwheels…. and I'm here to guard Maddie. Colton is the unseen protector, keeping the shaded arched corridor that ensquares the courtyard. He's just there for a stroll and to enjoy the view, hand on his wand within the sleeves of his robe. For all outside witnesses he looks like he doesn't even know this meeting between Alphard and Maddie is even going on.

Alphard's dark eyes pass over Felix without recognition. He's shoved so many firsties out of his way over the years that they honestly don't stick with him anymore. He fixes his attentions on Madeline, since Colton is just background noise. "Evans. Glad you could make the time; I'm sure you're very busy with your S.C.U.M class. Have yourself a seat." He's made his voice neutral, if not pleasant. It can't quite cover up the contempt he feels for his present company, however. "First I feel I should apologize," the boy says without looking the least bit sorry. "Really, it seems the terrible stress that Angelus Eibon has been under as a result of all the cruel bullying, well, it made him lose his temper. This was an invitation, not a demand. I've told him he needs to say sorry next he sees you."

Felix gives a slow nod of recognition when Maddie reminds him why they've come to the courtyard. Right, he's here to look after her! After all, he's a big, strong (skinny, scrawny) Third Year, and she's merely a Second Year. He sticks to Madeline's side, and even gives Alphard a great, beaming smile. The Magijugend Overseer is being so polite!

Madeline looks uncertain, but she does - hesitantly - take the seat Alphard's offered. "Eibon's apologized for stuff before. He never means a word of it. I don't need or want an apology from him. I want him to leave me alone," she says rather flatly. She has a hard time, lately, talking about Angelus without devolving into an emotional outburst. Now would not be a good time for that!

Colton the short distance away that he is mostly just there to keep an eye on things and 'patrol the perimeter' it wouldn't be the first time Alphard's arranged to have back-up himself while setting up those he's arranged a meeting with.

"Now, now, Evans. What's with all the hostility?" Alphard asks her in a bland tone, like he has no idea what sort of recent events might be upsetting to a Muggleborn. "You need to learn to take an olive branch when it's offered. Besides, I strongly doubt you are as innocent as you pretend. After all," and here he leans towards her, and some of that ugly anger she provoked in him at the library is visible in his eyes. Like a great big mad beast clawing at the cage, foaming at the mouth, wanting to be unleashed. His tone remains calm, silken. "We both know how much you relish in watching someone you don't like being hurt. No doubt that extends to Eibon's emotional pain at being cruelly bullied, too." He straightens up again. Felix's smile isn't returned.

"Maddie is so innocent. She's a Junior Auror," Felix chimes in cheerfully. "And she's one of the nicest people at Hogwarts. She doesn't like watching people get hurt. She helps people. She's a Junior Auror," he echoes, as if he hadn't just said so.

Madeline flashes Felix a smile, then looks back to Alphard. "My mum says we should never be happy about someone else's pain," she answers, shifting in her seat. But her mum can't be right about everything! "Why do you want to talk to me? I haven't done nothing to nobody, and I ain't broken any rules neither, you know."

Felix' words draw a flicker of annoyance from Alphard. He says dismissively: "Yes, yes. Junior Auror. I'm very aware that an Auror Initiate gave her a novelty badge. I happened to be there at the time, as an apprentice at the Auror's Office." With a world weary sigh he turns back to Madeline, and closes the book in his lap. He gives her a proper measuring look, one that's designed to let her know he feels doesn't at all measure up. He smiles thinly. "It was pointed out to me how distressed you were at the Feast. You may not be breaking any rules right now, but undoubtedly your Gryffindor sense of entitlement will leave you feeling like you should. Your attitude stinks, Evans. You're here because I'd like to ask you a favor. Stop being a disrespectful little twat, keep your rebellion out of sight, and stop spreading that infernal story. You do that, and in return I won't go looking for excuses to put the screws on you and your friends. As far as I'm concerned, you won't exist." He rubs a pair of fingers against bridge of his nose. "You see, I'm very busy this year. Headmaster Flint has asked me to help keep order, and I will, but mostly I want to study, rather than run around chasing a bunch of Muggleborns and their sympathizers."

Felix's jaw drops melodramatically at Alphard's use of the word "twat". But then his mind shifts gears toward Madeline. "You 'ave a rebellion? Blimey, Maddie. You're do keep busy." He glances up at a passing moth, and lunges in an effort to snatch it from the air. But the insect escapes, fluttering indignantly away.

"I don't have a rebellion, Felix!" Madeline answers - a quiet laugh sneaking out despite the current tension. Well, she doesn't exactly. "I've been following all the rules and I'm gonna keep on following all the rules - exactly like I have been, Black," she adds, trying to keep her voice even while clutching her hands together tightly in lap. She doesn't entirely succeed - her voice squeaks a little. "And I'm not gonna be bullied, neither. And the story - well, of course I told people 'bout my summer. I can't help it if they shared that part of it. Don't think I can stop nobody from talking about what happened to your face."

"Well. You think about it, Evans. And before you feel too special, understand that I intend to have this conversation with more of you lot." Alphard pushes himself to his feet with a nonchalant motion. He looks about to leave when something halts his steps. He pauses, and frowns, and looks down at the Muggleborn girl. "Last winter I watched one of my best friends tortured by an Unforgivable Curse right in front of me, by Muggleborn terrorists. This summer a Muggleborn attacked me without provocation. It's become clearer and clearer to me that our society is under threat. You watch your attitude, Evans. I sense in you the same sort of anti-wizard rage. Careful you don't also turn into a monster that has to be put down. It's all about attitude, you know. Some embrace being witches and wizards, but others just feel the need to destroy the great gift they've been given by acting like the world owes them even more."

Felix has completely lost track of the conversation. Probably because he's busy seeing how long he can balance on one foot on the corner of a nearby bench.

Colton makes a boo-hoo gesture behind Alphard's back. But it's a quick moment and he's continuing his patrol.

"I don't hurt people, Black," Madeline answers, anger and pain leaking into her voice. "I've never drawn my wand. I saw what happened to," and here her voice cracks for a moment, "Inspector Denholm while that symbol," she points her finger at Alphard's chest, "burned in the sweet shop. I ain't the monster here." She glares an accusing look at him as she stands up as well. She's the Auror!

In her mind, anyways.

Alphard doesn't respond to Madeline's words, he just stands there and watches her with cool derision. "Lies and rubbish and slander. Best watch your tongue, Evans. We're a noble organization whose purpose is to defend wizarding culture. Nobody using this symbol would stoop to petty attacks." He sounds like he truly believes that. With an arrogant toss of his head and a pointed and haughty sniff, Alphard turns away from her and walks off.

Colton grunts and finally speaks up, calling after Alphard, "What, you mean like murdering Leander, Slytherin, Pure-Blood and Champion of Hogwarts? You want to talk about lies and rubbish, you might want to stop spewing them yourself Black." He then tips his head towards his fellow Gryffindors, the opposite way Alphard's going, "Pay him no mind. It's the controllable idiots that always get put in charge of things. He's just a stooley."

"I saw what I saw!" Madeline calls after him, before dropping back onto the bench with a frown, and pulling her legs up to her chest, and wrapping her arms around them. "It didn't work," she complains quietly.

She looks up at Colton as he comes over, and gives him a sad smile, as she tries not to work. It was a great plan, and it didn't work! "Thanks for coming," she manages to squeak out.

"Hey, Maddie! Watch this!" Felix balances on the corner of the bench, extending his other leg behind him, and his arms forward as a counterweight. Then he launches himself backward. Just what he was intending to do remains unclear. What he actually accomplishes is a very uncomfortable backward somersault on the paving stones. "Ow. 'Ey, wot? Murder? Oh…Leander…" From the ground, his features droop as he recalls the horrible tragedy from his First Year.

Alphard halts for a second, frowning as he looks back at Colton. When had he gotten close enough to be a part of anything? "You better watch your tone, Higgins. Besides, whatever, that's to say, um, Durmstrang was-" he just shakes his head. "That had nothing at all to do with this." He makes himself sound absolutely certain, and then he's gone.

Colton wanders over to offer Felix a hand up. "Course, that snake can't be trusted to not tie his shoes without causing someone else pains and trouble. Not goin' to let you come face him alone. "Yeah, it's funny how people attack and bully and torture Muggle-Borns and anyone they consider 'lessers' without barely so much as a care in the world. The moment they push some enough to fight back it's of course all their fault. What a bloody tosser." Is commented after Alphards retort. "Riiight, keep telling yourself that while you're threatening a second year. Big man." He's not talking to Alphard anymore but keeping his reply to the hearing range of him and his companions.

Madeline turns to watch Felix, starting to free her arms from around her legs. When Felix yells 'hey watch this!' the next thing that usually happens is a trip to the infirmary! It's a relief when he seems to be okay, and she smiles at him tightly. "That was pretty neat, Felix."

Her arms go around her legs again as she adds quietly, "We'll get him sooner or later. He'll slip up. Or one of his little minions will…"

Felix welcomes the hand from Colton, bouncing to his feet. "Yeah," he says supportively. "'E'll slip up. And then, we'll…do sumfink."

Colton points out some spots Felix needs to dust off, "Well, I'm sure Dumbledore would be quite interested in the fact that he called you a 'Twat' and admitted to plans on bullying others and not just you. Corruption of Power corrupting… whatever… Though you probably should get someone that's got a bit more clout…" that's not notorious rule-breakers and jinxes "…to witness this stuff next time."

That perks Madeline up a good bit, and she nods her head in agreement. She does have something to write up in her report, after all! "Thanks, Colton!" She pops up to her feet abruptly, announcing, "I should get back to the tower!"

Colton nods after Maddie with a big grin, he pumps his fist in the air and roars, "Hogwarts!"

"I'll walk you back!" Felix bounces excitedly beside Madeline, then throws his fist in the air and echoes, "HOGWARTS!"

"Hogwarts!" Madeline can't help but echo. It's a peer-pressure thing.

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