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Debts and Accounts
February 8th, 1891 - Wizengamot Documents Storage
Sometimes Beth hid in the front of their documents storage; ostensibly this was because she was putting documents away, but she was here often enough that if she wasn't on the Wizengamot floor or in their break room, the scribes still knew where to find her. This would prove unfortunate for Beth when people needed something from her, like when the lawyer Miss Baker opened the door of documents storage and found her sitting at the front desk of documents storage, her wheelchair empty beside her.

Beth was reordering the pages from this morning's trial to make sure things were in order, and she hadn't expected any lawyers to find her. She frowned, but if it had been five seconds and the lawyer hadn't retreated, then there had to be a purpose to this.

"Hello?" Beth said, more of a question than a statement - she couldn't twig why the lawyer was here, of all places, instead of in the Wizengamot itself. The scribes were usually left alone here, after all - that was how she preferred it.

@Gertrude Baker
Gertrude had taken over a new case. This had not been her choice, or what she had wanted, however when it came her way she had dutifully accepted. It was her job after all, she could hardly say no.

Quite frankly, the paperwork was a mess. She could barely string together what the case was, or what evidence the ministry had on it. The date for the Wizengamot hearing was hurtling towards her, and after several days dedicated to deciphering the case - she had absolutely nothing. It was keeping her up at night. Tossing and turning all night long. Gertrude had done her best to look presentable, but the bags under her eyes gave her away.

Gertrude was stressed. Extremely stressed.

In a last ditch effort to find some information that could be useful to her, she headed down to the Wizengamot records. The man on trial had already been in front of the Wizengamot - surely the transcripts had something that could help her. In her rushing, she didn't even notice Miss Vane. Gertrude was far too busy being absorbed in her own issues to notice anyone else. It took Miss Vane speaking for Gertrude to acknowledge her presence.

Without even greeting the other woman, Gertrude merely walked up to her and said, "Do you know where the transcripts are for the [case] hearings are?"
Beth frowned at Miss Baker; she wasn't familiar with [case], but was used to doing whatever the lawyers asked her to do, and did not know how to respond here. "Has the trial started yet?" she asked, not moving from her perch behind the desk.

Gertrude sighed heavily. "Yes obviously," she replied with a sour look on her face, "Otherwise why would I be down here trying to look for the transcripts?"

She hadn't meant it to come out as rude as it had. However, she didn't even notice, never mind acknowledge that she had been so rude. Gertrude did recognise at least she was feeling frustrated, and took a second to catch her breath - only for her own sake, certainly not for Miss Vane's.

"I was assigned to the case last week. The hearings were originally taking place a few weeks ago, but have been postponed. I need to see what happened during the original hearings." she continued, her tone more calm now.
This was why Beth preferred to avoid the lawyers. Miss Baker's tone had Beth stressed, and she made no move to get out from behind the desk, because she was worried that if she did it would look like this was her fault. Or was it more her fault if she remained sitting? She didn't know, and an awkward beat passed before she remembered that she had to answer Miss Baker: "Then they're probably in here. The originals, I mean."

Right, that wasn't helpful. Gertrude sighed heavily and rubbed her forehead with her hand. It seemed Miss Vane did not want to help her out today.

"Can you tell me where they are in here?" she replied curtly.
"Um," Beth said. She glanced towards the filing cabinets. "What were the surnames on the case, again?" she asked after a beat, feeling awkward for having forgotten.

For goodness sake. Gertrude had already gone through all this. After a heavy sigh, she replied with, "The defendant is [name]. The case used to be assigned to [name] if that helps."

Gertrude didn't mean to sound so rude - but the effect was certainly there.
Beth was flushing, and feeling rather flustered. "It should be in the third row of the second shelf," she said, with a vague wave towards the relevant bookshelf. "It'll be under [defendant's name.]"

Right. Brilliant. That was what she was after. Without saying a word, she went to go hunt in the bookshelf. She rummaged round, before she finally found it.

Gertrude could feel the relief rush across her. She immediately felt better.

She wandered back over to Miss Vane. "Thanks," she told her, the only thing she had said so far that hadn't been curt, "Sorry if I'm a bit... erm... frazzled."
Beth remained behind the desk, feeling tightly wound - she did not begin to relax until Miss Baker reappeared and thanked her. "You're alright," she said, although she was certainly afraid of Miss Baker, now. More genuinely, and just because the lawyer had mentioned the word 'sorry' first: "I'm sorry if I became flustered."

Gertrude nodded. Perhaps she had been rather short with the woman. However, she didn't spend too much time to dwell on it, as she still had too much to do at the moment.

"Thanks for the assistance," she said meekly, holding up the scrolls, and pressing her lips together to form an awkward smile. "Have a good day."

And with that, she turned around and headed back to her department.

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