A Bend In Time Book 1 Chapter 64


Volume 1 Chapter 64 Retrial

On, the first day back after New Year's at the Ministry of Magic, there is a strange and rather unusual review proceeding of a past case. "I violently oppose this decision!" Said, a rather indignant Bartemius Crouch. A middle-aged wizard with short neat unnaturally straight hair neatly parted and a narrow toothbrush mustache. "Morin Gaunt was found guilty on all accounts and is a violent man. His first stint in Azkaban most acutely proved that."

The council of Wizengamot's all stare at each other as an old witch by wizarding standards narrows her sharp eyes and says, "Although the council does understand your fears, Barty Crouch, we have found that the new evidence brought to light is rather compelling."

"I beg your pardon, Madam Marchbanks, but the mere word of Stephen Flint is not one I would trust due to his unsure motives," Barty Crouch argued. "It is a known fact that Flint is friends with Abraxas Malfoy. I fear that this is Flint's attempt to expunge the terrible record of Abraxas and wipe the board clean, so to speak."

The figure of Stephen Flint stiffens at the implications and despite his anger, Stephen remains silent. Adjusting his glass spectacle over his left eye, Stephen Flint calmly does the same with the cuff of his dark robes, before defiantly gazing back at Barty Crouch. Experience had taught Stephen Flint that the best way to irritate an enemy is to act without care.

Seeing Stephen Flint remain silent, Madam Marchbanks her gaze to the present Head of Magical Law Enforcement. "What say you, Ogden?" Asked, Madam Marchbanks. "This does concern you as well as you were the one who took Gaunt's statement at that time."

A short, plump man wearing enormously thick glasses reaches up and adjusts his glasses. Despite his eyes being reduced to molelike specks, Bob Ogden's eyes sparkle with a dangerous light. "Aye, I did take his statement at that point in time nor did I find anything wrong with his statement at the time," said, Ogden, Present Head of Magical Law Enforcement.

Barty Crouch puffs up in triumph, but his triumph is cut short as Ogden slowly says, "But Flint has been a most excellent aide all these years, and never once has he asked for a case to be reviewed unless he felt that there were compelling reasons to do so. And though my pride hates to admit it, I do believe that Morfin Gaunt should be brought to face the council."

Madam Marchbanks nods her head in satisfaction and says, "And so, shall it be. Are there any opposing words?" The council room is silent as Barty Crouch rather sullen glanced around. "Very well, then have the Auror's bring forth the prisoner," Madam March banks instructed.

Five Auror's enter, two help carry the weak, tall lean figure of Morfin Gaunt, while the three remain as guards on standby. With care, the two Auror's seat the filthy figure of Morfin Gaunt in his seat and bind his arms and legs. Morfin's hair is thick and batted with dirt that could be any color. Several of his teeth are missing and his small dark eyes gaze in opposite directions. If Morfin Gaunt had not been mad before, he surely was now.

The five Auror's forcibly hold Morfin down as Morfin weakly struggles as they pry his mouth open. Yellow teeth and a putrid breath, one or two Auror's turn green as another Auror hastily uncorks a small bottle and carefully drops, two drops of the Vertiaserum into his mouth. The Auror's slam his mouth shut and make sure to see Morfin swallow the potion lest he spits it back out. The Auror's forcibly hold his nose shut until Morfin swallows and they release their grip on him. Pulling back in distaste, the Auror's subtly take out handkerchiefs to wipe their hands clean.

Madam Marchbanks gestures for Stephen Flint to approach the witness. Flint's dark hair glistens in the light as his storm clouds turbulently seem to move. With permission, Flint casts an anti-memory charm. For if, Morfin Gaunt truly had his memories tampered with than the charm should render the memory spell obsolete.

Morfin Gaunt lets out a low m.o.a.n as his head slumps over onto his chest to the shock and unease of the wizards. "Morfin Gaunt, can you hear me?" Flint asked.

Morfin Gaunt lets out a groan in reply as Flint continued, "What happened the day that Tom Marvolo Riddle, your nephew came to see you?"

Morfin Gaunt shoulders begin to move until loud roaring laughter can be heard. But just as swiftly the laughter is gone as Morfin Gaunt leers at them. "Da 'ya want to hear, how I told 'em dat my sister was a whore, who ran off with a muggle. Or how, I told dat bastard dat his muggle born father had abandoned her."

"I see," Flint smoothly said. "That is Perfectly understandable given the circ.u.mstances, but what did you do then?"

Morfin Gaunt furrows his brows as he says, "Dat bastard pointed his a'wand at me and. I can't remember." Morfin Gaunt suddenly says, "My ring? Where is my father's ring?!" The council members raise their eyebrows in surprise at finding that the accusations were true.

"Calm yourself, Morfin, I can't help you if you don't explain what ring, you are talking about," Flint persuasively said.

Morfin seemingly calms down and hoarsely says, "The signet ring, the ring of Salazar Slytherin, our ancestor."

"I see," Flint said with a glint in his eyes. "Do you recall, what you testified years ago about the muggle family that you murdered in cold blood?"

"I didn't kill 'em!" Morfin roared. "Dat whore ran off with 'em and the muggle went and left her. I didn't kill 'em cuz dat whore deserved it!"

The council lets out gasps of aghast and shock at the vile words filled with the brutal truth. An old man, but still younger than Madam Marchbanks, cleared his throat. "Ogden did the idea of Gaunt's confession being tampered with ever come up in his original trial?" Tiberius Ogden solemnly asked his distant, much younger cousin.

"No, sir," Bob Ogden replied. "The trial was rather clean cut as Morfin Gaunt confessed, before being sentenced to Azkaban."

"And that did not at all seem strange given his temperate?" Tiberius Ogden suspiciously asked.

"No, sir. At the time, no one protested nor suggested to do so," Bob Ogden steely declared.

A hunched up bald wizard born in 1881, coughed rather loudly. (And despite his great age, he was still younger than Madam Marchbanks.) "We were all present, Tiberius. Not one of us protested," Elphias Doge said. "There is no use in pointing fingers now, what is done is done. The least we can do now is rectify our mistake and ensure that this poor man is freed and that the culprit is brought to justice."

"Yes, that is an excellent point. Thank you, Doge," Madam Marchbanks said. "Auror's please escort Morfin Gaunt out."

"Yes, Madam," the auror's said, before aiding Morfin Gaunt to his feet and escorting him out.

"Madam Marchbanks, if I may," Flint said as he took a step forward.

"Yes, Flint, you may."

"Gaunt does not have much to live and if possible, I would like to provide a rest home for him to spend his final days at the seaside."

"Is this true?" Madam Marchbanks asked.

Elphinstone Urquart, borderline forty with dark hair slicked back and a widow's peak speaks up. "Yes, Madam Marchbanks," Elphinstone said. "The medical staff performed a swift review upon his arrival and found dark, sickly masses within him. At best he has a year to live and at worst only a month or two." Bob Ogden nodded his head in approval at his able-bodied officer, Elphinstone for his swift response.

"In that case, the council will release custody of Morfin Gaunt into your hands, Stephen Flint," Madam Marchbanks said. "Are there any opposed?" The room is silent as Madam Marchbanks solemnly nodded in thanks. "Then this trial is adjourned." The room is filled with sound as wizard and witches began to move and speak in whispers over the topic.