Thursday, January 19th ~ Morning
"This is Ezekiel Brunderbluss, breaking into your regular programing to bring you this update. As reported previously by the WWN, investigations continue into conditions at Azkaban. Narcissa Malfoy, wife of imprisoned Death Eater Lucius Malfoy, has stepped forward among rumors of a counter suit filed against the Ministry and Wizengamot that surfaced earlier in the week."
Sounds of a banging door can be heard and an ensuing scuffle. The next voices are muted, as though through a covered microphone. "This should be my story! Do you have any idea who I am?"
"Damn it Rita, you can't do this! We're live! She asked for Lachlan, it was the only way we got the exclusive." More scuffling noises, then a flustered Ezekiel whispering, "Sit down, shut up and don't touch anything!"
"Sorry for the interruption folks, we experienced minor technical difficulties."
"She contacted our own Lachlan Peasegood, contending that her solicitors have advised her to bring the nearly decade long struggle into the public eye. Among the allegations against the Ministry are claims of inhumane treatment and unlawful imprisonment. We go now to Lachlan Peasegood, reporting live from the firm of Mandubracius, Catavignus and Venutius, in an interview with Mrs. Malfoy and the lead counsel on the case. Lachlan?"
"Thank you, Ezekiel. Mrs. Malfoy contacted me in a desperate attempt to bring attention to a matter the Ministry-"
Ezekiel's voice broke over the broadcast, the warning note clear. "Lachlan." Rita's voice could be heard hissing in the background, "See! I told you this should have been my story," followed by more frantic whispering, "Rita! Leave."
"-has striven to keep out of the public view. As our listeners know, the Malfoy family has long been an upstanding one, Narcissa Black Malfoy continuing in that vein. Among various charitable organizations she also holds a seat on the School Board of Governors, attempting to make improvements with the very same Ministry which has for the last ten years denied her the presence of her husband. Mr Malfoy was also a very prominent figure in pressing for reform, one has to wonder why he is being prosecuted-"
"That damn kid." "Shut up Ezekiel, I want to hear him commit career suicide. Teach him to take my stories!"
"-by the very government he supported for so long. Some type of personal vendetta? Or is the fact that he is a prominent figure an easy way for the Ministry to dispense blame without having to delve any further into the matter? Mrs Malfoy, thank you for this opportunity to speak to you today. This must be hard for you, but can you tell us what the past ten years have been like for you?"
"You are most kind, Mr. Peasegood," came the smooth tones of the cultured voice of Narcissa Malfoy over the air, "but there are those that would say that any gratitude should be expressed by myself. I've found that not all news media personnel are as accommodating as yourself.
"The past ten years haven't been at all what some people might imagine. The struggle to bring my husband's plight to the light of day has been difficult, seemingly impossible at times. Being unable to see him, talk to him... "
The rustle of cloth can be heard. "Here Mrs. Malfoy, I know this must be very difficult for you to talk about. Ladies and gentlemen, before me sits a distraught woman. Ten long years - Lucius Malfoy was hauled off and thrown into Azkaban without a chance to defend himself, a chance to see his wife one last time, a chance to make sure his family would be taken care of in his absence. Think of your loved ones, imagine them being taken away. Ten years. Ten years with no word, hearing reports of atrocious conditions, worrying about their health and well being. Ten years of long lonely nights. Of holding your head up in public, despite vicious gossip and open ridicule. All stemming from a society you and your spouse have devoted your life in the service of."
"I think I'm going to be violently ill." "Why are you still here?"
"Mrs. Malfoy, please take all the time you need. You've been through so much, sitting here talking about it must be an emotional hailstorm for you."
"I do wish there were more in the world like you, Mr. Peasegood. It has been difficult. A few letters over the years and the assurances from our wonderful barristers are the only thing that has kept hope alive. I must admit that I've feared at times that they haven't been entirely truthful about his - health or the conditions he's been forced to survive under. They have told me that he is fact, being quite stoic in the face of such unnecessary hardship and the inhumane conditions. My own dear, dear cousin Sirius Black was likewise imprisoned for so many years before the truth in his case was finally revealed after his death. I can't begin to tell you how it distressed me when I realized what that institution did to him."
"Pass the rubbish bin, Rita. I think I'm going to need it."
"Let me try to understand this, please tell me if I've gotten anything wrong. After thirteen years of imprisonment, your cousin managed to escape Azkaban and was hunted as a fugitive. The Ministry finally acknowledges its mistake in convicting an innocent man - he at least was afforded a trial - but it's too late. Sirius, a man who spent his adult life locked away, is dead. At the same time, your husband is caught up in the midst of the chaos, Aurors are coming into a Ministry Department, several schoolchildren have somehow manged to bypass security and enter..."
"Oh Merlin. I can't listen to this anymore. Hey! Watch the booth and come grab me from my office once this farce is over. Rita, would you care to break out a bottle with me?"
Ezekiel's slightly slurred voice once again took over. "We here at the WWN would like to make clear that the views expressed by Lachlan Peasegood are solely his own. For the WWN this has been Ezekiel Brunderbluss.
"As always ladies and gentlemen WWN is always interested in the comments and concerns of our listeners. If you have one, please contact us by owl or floo. We appreciate the interest shown and will respond as soon as possible. The Wizarding Wireless Network now returns you to our regularly scheduled programing."