Well, as I like to keep things lively here (seeing as my exams this week aren't stressful enough), I took it upon myself to have another highly fruitful argument with madame this afternoon. The highlight was HER telling ME that I am "psycho" and/or "nuts," and also that she was a lawyer for 15 years so she knows her rental laws (as Beppe said, "oh yeah right, she was actually a lawyer for 2000 years".
In the heat of the moment, I utterly could not resist telling her that I have an appointment with a lawyer this Friday (true, although I am in fact not going, my roommates are) to talk all about our situation here, and that I have been talking with the neighbor downstairs about helping him with the court case against her. As might be imagined by those who have been following recent events, neither of these phased her much (i.e. she almost completely ignored it, and refuted it with riduculously fabricated stories to the contrary), although she did relent a bit later by saying that *maybe* (MAYBE!) Ryan and I could have money back and move out early IF she could find someone else to take our room... which in my opinion is a very thinly veiled attempt to wash her hands of us so as to avoid legal problems.
I cannot even stress enough how much bullshit ("connerie") she is full of. Edith, the Taiwanese girl, came back today to get something, and madame tried to force her to hand over her key to the padlock she had installed on the door... I was so proud of Edith!! I pulled her away and said she absolutely must NOT give madame the key, so she slipped it to me instead. And then upon Finet's insistence that she give her the key, she refused without even blinking. It was great, in a shitty, miserable, futile kind of way. She then proceeded to tell Finet that she is exploiting us foreigners, to which Finet disagreed with/ didn't give a shit.
After the stress of the whole confrontation (which I don't -and won't- even begin to detail further here), I drank a moderate amount of wine to take the edge off. This resulted in a comensurate amount of kissing ass and flat out lying when she explained maybe she could make an exception just this once and give us our money back if she finds someone else. I bit my tongue so hard it's a wonder I didn't sever it. I played friendly to everything, even though it was all sickeningly ridiculous.
We'll see what the lawyer says. I hope to god it's on our side.