it takes a redheaded woman || hermia & malcolm

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it takes a redheaded woman || hermia & malcolm

Post by thegirlnamedcrow on Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:37 pm

          When Malcolm walked into the department that morning (only fifteen minutes late today, which was as good as early in his book), he was surprised when the sour old receptionist broke her usual pattern of scowling at his tardiness in judgmental silence for long enough to inform him that ‘his girl’ was waiting in his office.
          He didn't say anything in response – he knew better than to engage the shriveled old harpy – but he hadn't the faintest idea what she could be talking about. He didn't have a girl. No, he was too busy loving the single life to be tied down by some harlot who probably was only after his money, thank you very much.
          He wondered idly whether this whole thing was Mulce’s idea of a prank, sending in some whore off the street to pose as his girlfriend, thus humiliating him in front of the entire office.
          Good old Mulce.
          It wasn't until he had nearly reached his office door that he remembered the memo he'd received the evening before. From his supervisor Reginald, one of the many oldies crowding up the Department instead of standing aside and letting younger and more qualified men take their place, and he thought it had something to do with the new intern the man had been promising him since literally forever. He couldn’t quite remember. He hadn’t exactly bothered to do more than skim the letter, but really, what was Reginald expecting writing so late? Malcolm wanted to get home, not get caught up all evening with paperwork. But given that the man had been prattling on for weeks about nothing except the girl and how great it would be once he got approval for her to start working, it was probably about that.
          He couldn’t remember what the girl’s name was (Hannah, or Emma or something like that, probably) or who exactly she was (a granddaughter? niece? next-door neighbour’s girl?), but he did recall with some degree of clarity the conversation in which Reginald had mentioned bringing her into the office and assigning her to Malcolm for the summer. He’d said that it would be good for him to get the opportunity to show off all that he’d learned in the past year, and that he thought the girl could learn a lot from him.
          See, that was why he liked Reginald. Sure, the man was poor and unimportant, but he believed in Malcolm, unlike the other naysayers in the office. He was bright enough to realise that Malcolm totally could do what was required of him, if only it weren’t so far beneath his ability.
          After taking a moment to smooth back his hair, Malcolm fixed his brightest smile on his face and opened the door to the office. 
          As the receptionist had said, there was a girl in his office. Young, by the looks of it, younger even than him, a bit dumpy looking, despite the fact that Malcolm usually rather liked redheads, and far too conservatively dressed for his liking.
          Right. Good. Probably not a prostitute.
         Smiling a bit brighter at the thought of what it would have been like had his friend actually decided to prank him like that, Malcolm held forth a hand in introduction. 
          “Ah, I’m so glad you could make it!” he said. “I’ve heard so much about you.”


          Heard, in that his ears had registered the sounds coming out of Reginald’s mouth, but he very much had not been paying attention. It wasn’t important – she would tell him all the important things he needed to know about her. Like her name. And any horrific food allergies she had, or whatever.
          “It’s a pleasure to meet you at last. I’m Malcolm.” Here he allowed his voice to become lighter, more easygoing. “I know ol’ Reg probably told you to call me Mr Avery, but I don’t want you to think I’m one of those stuffy Sacred Twenty-Eighters – Malcolm will do just fine.”
          As gratifying as it was to be called Mr Avery, given all that the title implied, he didn’t want to start off on the wrong foot. 
          And besides. Mulce would never let him live it down if he found out he was making a girl barely younger than him address him so formally.
          “Please, take a seat. Can I get you anything? Tea, water, coffee?”
          He assumed that the girl would be too polite to ask for anything. And if she did, well, it would be a perfect opportunity send his new intern off on her first task.
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Re: it takes a redheaded woman || hermia & malcolm

Post by lindarkness on Thu May 14, 2015 8:18 pm

It was the first day of the start of her internship, the day she could finally prove her usefulness, not only to her family, but also to herself. The girl had only quite recently graduated and so she had, since then, been trapped in a perpetual state of uselessness. Yes, she had been tirelessly searching for work in order to redeem herself of that quality and yes, she had been helping around and informing herself wherever she could. 

But it was not enough. 

Her new internship was a slight improvement, a single, tiny little step out of the dark cloud of inaction she had trapped herself in. Yet, it was no place for her to be truly useful in the way she was supposed to be, or to prove herself even. It was, instead, an extension of her education. She was there to learn, to be put to work so she would know how to work properly in the future. 

She could not allow herself to fail. 

She had asked her numerous relatives - those who had experience within the institution - to tell her everything they knew about the Ministry and what they thought would be crucial for her to know. With those who were willing to speak to her, she took notes of their conversation. These notes she had studied with great care and filed away in alphabetical order so that she would be able to refer to them when she needed to. 

Additionally, she had taken some of her saved money to purchase two books. The first one explained the history of the British Ministry of Magic, as well as its current internal structure. The second was a simple guide to secretary work and common office conventions. 

The latter she had already worked her way through and as best as she could manage committed to memory. As of now, though, she had reached only the third chapter of the Ministry's history. The girl had not found the time to work through both of these books in her preparation. 

Of course, the girl had realized how all this only connected to her own foolishness - She should have started much earlier with her work for the internship. What if her new boss was going to quiz her on her knowledge? Or worse - what if he decided to put her on a task that required it? 

Hermia could only hope that this wasn't going to happen to her on the first day, but that hope was flimsy at best. She had brought the unfinished book with her instead of a lunch pack and was planning to continue with it, in the case she was granted a small break in the middle of the day. 

She had arrived to the office fifteen minutes earlier than she was expected and though this had not been the first time Hermia ad stepped food in to the Ministry, it was the fist time she had went in to be a part of it. And as such, every step felt much more significant, the walls were much taller and heavier around her, the light so much brighter. 

It was overwhelming.

It was intimidating. 

It was magnificent. 



The office she had been assigned to seemed quite simple to her. The most noticeable thing there was a wooden desk in the center of it. The previous owner of the office, she noted with some distaste, had left it in rather poor condition. Not only were there several black and brown stains in the material, but it appeared that people had also written and drawn on it. Irrelevant or obscene words or pictures splattered all over it. Some, Merlin forbid, were even carved into the wood itself! 

Beside that, it was quite empty, and fairly basic - A chair, a few boxes, and a window. Nothing special. The girl did not feel like it was quite her place to take her new superior's seat, even if it was only to wait for him to arrive. And so, she simply stood in the middle of the office, awkwardly shuffling her feet while she awaited his arrival. 

A quick glance at the clock informed her that he ought to have came in exactly one minute ago. That fact alone was enough to make her queasy. It didn't much help matters when, a few minutes later, the first official letter came flying into his desk, without anyone there to address it. An uneasy feeling settled in her stomach as she placed it as orderly as she could, on to the desk. 

It was now seven minutes past the time. 

Hermia's anxiety was steadily flaring up. Now, she knew that things could become quite tense around the Ministry and its politics, and that, additionally, they did not live in the easiest of climates. But, surely, it was unlikely that Mr. Avery had run into anything that might cause such a drastic delay, was it not? It would not bode well for her if her new boss turned up dead before she even started her first day of work! 

When he finally arrived, her heart rate had gone beyond all reason and the sweat in he palms was practically dripping from her fingertips. For a moment, all she could do was stare at him, almost gaping, let out a gasp, and hold her breath for a long moment. 

To say that he was nothing like she imagined him to be would be quite an understatement. For once, he was much much younger than what she had grown to expect from all the descriptions that she got. Hermia had pictured a wise and experienced figure of competence and professionalism, an older man who knew just what to do in order to get the department he was working in running as smoothly as possible. What was standing in front of her was, instead, a baby-faced youngster, far too casually dressed for his line of work and in desperate need of a haircut, who was addressing her as though they were both still at Hogwarts.

"I don't understand. What happened? Is everything alright? Did you run into much trouble getting here?", she asked, a little hesitantly, though she didn't quite manage to erase all traces of judgement of her voice, no matter how she restrained herself. She needed to remember, she was only an intern there. "I mean... I'm sorry. No thanks. My name is Hermia Bones. There's a letter for you on the desk. It came in before you arrived"
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