Did you know?

First names were most often used by childhood or school friends. If the friendship was made after school age, first names would only really be used by women. Men were far more likely to refer to their friends by their surnames, a mark of familiarity. — Documentation

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Emilia Wright for Jude Wright. Casually alienating offspring since 18882.
Separating was also not a great idea, though they weren't doing great at staying together anyway. If she were to volunteer to be the human sacrifice.. well... Hogsmeade had plenty of debutantes anyway...

Barnabas Skeeter in CYOA: Group D

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Complete threads set in ten different forum locations. Threads must have at least ten posts, and three must be your own. Character accounts cannot be combined.


The Thing I Was Before
The look on Mr. Scrimgeour's face had August feeling better about this than he had before; there was, perhaps, a defense here. Just not one that could get him off on all charges.

"Priori incantatem doesn't go back that far, I'm afraid," August said. "She went to stay with a friend in the Hebrides. Said friend is a healer, tried to do what she could. Then Miss Scrimgeour contacted the aurors."

August added, "If it comes down to it - if the Wizengamot rules to have veritaserum used - how confident are you that you did not cause this?"

Argus nodded, "A healer? Good," He enquired. It was a relief, in some strange way, to know where she was and that she was relatively safe though his anger toward her actions was still very much there and it burned ferociously.

Whilst he knew checking his wand would be ultimately fruitless, Argus also knew how unreliable veritaserum was. It was a very subjective potion though oftentimes, at least in Argus's experience, it yielded the necessary results.

It was a tricky little potion and made the user spill their secrets - their truths. That aspect, for all intents and purposes, meant the potion worked exactly as intended however it was still somewhat unreliable and why the Wizengamot opted to still use it when there were far more effective means of extracting truth, the former auror would never understand.

Argus nodded once more, "Extremely," He said with conviction, "I do understand that what happened was not how I ought to have responded. And I understand that I likely shall be looked on negatively for what transpired but, Mr. Echelon-Arnost, this situation regarding my daughter - I can assure you - was not something that I caused in any sense. I had been searching for alternatives to meeting with her myself to help with her behavioural issues."

Argus leaned back in his chair once again. He knew he was going to be punished with something one way or another but this was why he hired this defense lawyer - should August take on the case. Argus was expecting punishment (even if he believed it wrongfully given), but he did not want to be imprisoned or similar. He was willing to do everything in his power to ensure that didn't happen and August seemed to be the best defense lawyer Argus was able to locate - his reputation certainly seemed to suggest he was skilled.
August nodded once. He went over the facts in his mind: he did not believe Mr. Scrimgeour had meant to hurt his daughter, but he also did not believe Mr. Scrimgeour to be entirely in his right mind. This meant that he had hurt her - and it meant that August could lean heavily on Mr. Scrimgeour's mental state as a defense. People did not get locked up forever for assault; not non-lethal assault, not assault that wasn't premeditated. They also did not get off completely.

"Due to the facts of the case - you didn't report her missing right away, the scars, your dismissal from the aurors - there's no way to bring this to trial that does not end in a guilty verdict," August said, "If we go to trial, I'll try to argue the sentence down, but I cannot guarantee success."

"In situations like this, the course of action would be to negotiate and accept a plea deal."

[-] The following 1 user Likes August Echelon-Arnost's post:
   Bella Scrimgeour
Argus nodded. He knew he wasn't going to be able to get off scot-free but he wanted to lessen his punishment as much as he could and as he opened his mouth, he stopped himself - arguing the facts with reason was not the best course of action.

He wanted to explain that he wasn't dismissed and that the reason he didn't report her missing immediately was because he thought she was with friends - or as his wife had said to the Daily Prophet - they were using their own resources to avoid a scandal.

"What sort of deal would you suggest? I don't feel Azkaban is necessary though I know the Wizengamot would think otherwise. And I can't speak publicly about what happened - my family has been disgraced enough - I do not wish them to suffer more because of me." Argus exhaled, "And what are the chances of this going to trial, Mr. Echelon-Arnost?"

Really, Argus knew the answer but he wanted confirmation - even if that confirmation wasn't something he wanted to hear.

It was a difficult situation for the retired auror and he knew it wasn't his fault - but he also knew it could have been avoided.

All Argus could do was listen to August, do what he said, and hope his reputation as a lawyer held merit.
"They're going to push for an indictment," August said, "And you will be indicted. If you don't take a plea bargain - and we could try for the Knockturn Asylum, but I'm not sure they'll take it - this will go before the Wizengamot." The rich purist bloc of the Wizengamot would not love questioning one of their own, but the evidence was all over his daughter's skin.

"The likelihood of law enforcement sending subpoenas to your wife and other children is high," August added. He could not force his client to take a plea deal, but he was trying to send home the facts: this would not play out well in the Wizengamot, or in the media.

Argus nodded. He knew they would though the idea of taking a deal to go to the Asylum in Knockturn Alley instead of Azkaban was somewhat appealing though not much could be said for the appeal-factor between a place like hell and literal hell.

He'd heard stories and had visited the Asylum once or twice before and it was never a pleasant experience though the former auror knew that however it was, it was much better than Azkaban. Aside from Dementors, he'd helped put a lot of people inside Azkaban and he didn't want to face their wrath. Not without his wand (which would inevitably be taken during his tenure).

"Is there a way to avoid having them stand in front of the Wizengamot? My children and wife do not need that stress. But if they have to, then I understand. And I.. I'm happy to accept a deal to go to the Asylum if that's what is necessary."

Argus paused for a moment; perhaps that was a viable option. It was no secret that since his own torture, he had been a different person and perhaps, Argus was loathe to admit, he was unhinged due to his past.

"I'm happy to do whatever is necessary and to pay as much as you ask, if you are willing to help with this."
"If a deal is negotiated, no one has to testify," August explained, "The worst case scenario is that the Department of Magical Law Enforcement may ask them some questions." And the DMLE was, in many cases, more conscientious than the Wizengamot itself - August expected that this was one of those cases.

He explained his fees to Mr. Scrimgeour; this would not be one of August's pro-bono cases, and his fees were competitive, and hourly, but reasonable.*

"If that's agreeable to you, then I'll begin working on the case immediately," August said, "I'd hope to get things resolved as soon as possible."

*Beanie refuses to do math
Argus simply nodded at August’s explanation of what was likely to happen and his fees. They were reasonable; not what he was used to when it came to lawyers but definitely something he could work with. Raising his hands as far as his restraints would go, Argus looked down briefly and placed his hands back on the table.

He nodded once more and opened his mouth with a solemn, almost hopeful tone, “It’s more than agreeable. I hope there is a swift resolution also, Mr. Echelon-Arnost. I’ve no doubts in your ability.”

The future, for now, wasn’t so bleak. Pressing for the Asylum was much better than Azkaban or, merlin-forbid, any other punishment the Wizengamot may have planned. If he could get out of any kind of punishment, that would be the best scenario but Argus was a realist: that just wasn't going to happen.

Argus could almost see the metaphorical light at the end of this tunnel and in the coming months, he was sure it would get closer and the light would arrive.

Before then, however, there was the matter of the trial...


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