...after a few days, a crowd massed outside City Hall, calling for the mayor's removal from office and the installment, pending a new election, of Deputy Mayor de Kristoff as acting mayor (who would then, with the help of secretly hired hooligans, rogues and rakes, call for emergency powers and martial law).
However, Mayor Agustin Amore stepped outside, smiling, and, after getting the crowd to hear him out, produced charts and graphs to show that local production of widgets, gadgets and even (don't ask) Wadjets
had increased 410% since he began casting spells to extend the supply of rareum, the metal pivotal to their manufacture. Mayor Amore also brought forth local veggie burger and wine cooler farmers to testify under oath that the spells they'd requested from him had increased their yield by 535% and 642%, respectively.
"Three cheers for our wonderful witch mayor!" called someone from the back of the crowd. And everyone responded with three "hip hip hoorays," followed by "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow."
Cynthia, her plans foiled, turned purple in the face and, in an ironic turn of events, pulled a wand out of her dress, aimed it at the mayor, and said, "Avada Keda--
." But at that very moment one Karlotta Symmes, an athletic girl of fourteen, leaped forward and pinched her lips shut before she could fully pronounce the Unforgivable Curse.
De Kristoff attempted to flail herself free. However, the potentially deadly power had already began to build within her wand, and as her flailing caused the wand to point at herself, a sudden blast rendered her permanently mute and paralyzed. Unable to do evil (or good) anymore, she would spend the rest of her days in the "cripple" (sic
) section of the town jail.
To honour Karlotta for saving his life, the mayor introduced a municipal council bill that would exempt lip-pinching from charges of assault and battery, unless the recipient of said action had a cold or otherwise wouldn't be able to breathe. The bill passed 18 to 0 with two abstentions. Now, you'd think the state legislature might have had something to say about a municipal government presuming to amend criminal law. However, this wouldn't be the first time that had happened, and the legislators' general attitude was, "Eh, that Belleville place is weird, but they seem to know what's best for them." And so, to this day, lip-pinching in order to quiet someone is not only legal in Belleville, but socially acceptable as well.
Did I say "to quiet someone?" It's also, in fact, widely practiced as a sport. The two main rules are: no use of magic (as in other sports, except inherently magical ones like Quidditch), and no use of any pinching implements other than bare fingers (not
fingernails). The 2012 city champion was, in fact, Daphne, challenger to the four-time champion...