Chapter 1 : pleasantries
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Don Pearson hates cases like this. Getting the information out of the people is like pulling teeth and even when the information is obtained, it is difficult to separate the truth from the lies. Besides, the people he is forced to work with make him sick. They all try and weasel their way into the light, but he knows that they belong in the dark.
He is an older man, old enough that he figures he should be retired but has never been able to. There are unsightly scars scattered across his face and body and he has the stony look of one who has seen it all, done it all, and lost any semblance of compassion along the way. The years have made him impatient, and he isn’t the type to try and hide it.
“Let’s cut to the chase, Weasley,” he says, leaning forward over the rickety table. “You’re looking at a lifetime in Azkaban. If I were you, I’d just confess. Life there will be much more pleasant if you go willingly.”
Pearson sees the tears spring to her eyes as he speaks. Lucy Weasley is young, only in her early twenties, and he knows how terrified she is of going to prison. It is written all over her face. As far as he’s concerned, this terror is what she deserves for doing what she did.
“But…” she stammers, “I’m innocent.”
“Of course you are, sweetheart,” he deadpans before saying seriously, “I’ve been working in this field a long time; I’ve lost my patience for people who claim innocence where there is none.”
“You haven’t even listened to my story,” she says, her voice beginning to quake with anger. “No one has listened to my story. No one knows what really happened.”
“Your friend Harvey Ellis knows,” he retorts and raises an amused eyebrow when her breath catches in reaction to his words.
The effect hearing his name has on her reinforces Pearson’s belief that she is guilty. He takes it as an effect of her being on edge. His mind jumps from piece to piece, linking her agitation with a feeling of shame and her feeling of shame to her being guilty.
He sees her bite down on her lower lip and he knows she is trying to not give anything else away. She looks away from him and instead glances around the room they are in.
The room is in one of the lowest levels of the Ministry; one of the ones reserved for only the most important and dire of reasons. The walls are a shadowy gray stone and the only source of light to be had is the withering flicker of flame atop a diminishing candle. It hardly serves its purpose, leaving Lucy and Pearson in the shadows of darkness.
“Of course, Lysander knows what happened, as well. Or at least he did before you killed him.”
Her gaze snaps back to him, the anger and heartbreak in her heart pouring through her expression. He smiles, knowing that he has gotten to her. His bold statement has had the exact effect he wanted to make on her.
“Struck a nerve, have I?” he goes on.
She swallows thickly. “You’re right. Harvey knows what happened… and so did Lysander.”
“You know what happened, too,” Pearson adds for her.
“Yes,” she answers reluctantly.
“Are you going to tell me? Normally I wouldn’t bother with pleasantries such as asking nicely, but it’s been difficult to get to the truth ever since your uncle banned the use of Veritaserum on suspects without consent from the accused. I assume you do not consent to be put under the influence of Veritaserum?”
The guilty ones always refuse Veritaserum.
“I can tell you the truth without it,” Lucy tells him. “I don’t know where Harvey is or what you people are doing to him or what he is telling you, but I can tell you the truth. I can tell you what really happened, and how I am innocent.”
He leans back in his chair and clasps his hands together behind his head. “Go on then, Weasley. Amuse me with your tale of purity.”
A/N: Hope you enjoyed reading this first little chapter. I'm not sure yet just how many chapters this story will have, but I'm hoping to write it at a decent pace, so updates should be reasonable. :)
A big thank you to Annie, Helena, Ash, Gubby, Gina and probably others that I'm forgetting. You guys are amazing.