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Chapter 9: 9. Smooth Criminal
Chapter 9: Smooth Criminal
I felt someone poke me painfully in the ribs, bringing me back to reality.
“Huh?” I said, blinking.
“You fell asleep,” Em said with a grin. “Against the wall. In the middle of a conversation.”
“Oh, sorry,” I grunted, rubbing my forehead.
“It’s only been a month now,” Em began, and I sighed. “What kind of inhuman force of nature is he? Does he make you do some freaky shit? Oh, wait! Does he force you to do something kinky, like, bend over in a tight skirt, or… or…!”
“Oh, eww, Em!” I groaned, cringing at the thought. “He’s not—“
“This would be the biggest scandal ever!” Em went on, unaware of my horrified look. “Imagine the biggest political persona out there having an affair with a commoner – his assistant, even!”
“Stuff like that never happen in real life, only in your dirty mind, Em,” I said gravely. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to take this blasted coffee to Mr I-Like-It-Hot-But-Without-Steam upstairs!”
“That’s kinda sexy!” Em called after me.
Rousseau’s – or Mr R, as I called him - demands had slowly crept towards the invisible line between ‘highly demanding’ and just ‘borderline OCD’. At first, it had been nothing much. Soon, it had become annoying, even so much that I from time to time found myself plotting his murder. He wanted his coffee to be hot – but with no steam. He liked his lunch to be prepared on his desk a minute before he arrived. His water had to be ice cold – first cooled down with ice, but with no ice in it when he drank it.
This one time, he even owled me in the middle of the night, asking if I had remembered to send all the owls he had asked me to send. Twice.
Of course I had done just that – but even so, he had me go all the way to the Ministry of Magic, check and double-check, and then get back to him after all the checking.
By the time I got back to Em’s place, and crawled under the covers on the sofa, I only got an hour of sleep before I was woken up by a loud Theo who stumbled in from work.
So my sleep deprivation was slowly killing me. Normally, I would quit at once, and exit in a dramatic way, but whenever I thought about the reason I had agreed to take the job in the first place, I knew I couldn’t do that; I simply had to power through.
I also was very much aware of the fact that my try-out period was creeping closer.
“You should totally spit in his coffee,” Em said helpfully.
“Eww, that’s so gross!” I snorted.
“True,” she agreed with a shrug. “But it sure as hell make me feel smug for an entire day, and all the shit my boss gives me suddenly feels all bearable, and shit…”
I shook my head at her, waving lamely, as I walked out. I hurried upstairs, almost practicing to react coolly if Mr R would give me any shit about something.
To my shock, a red-haired woman waited by my desk, looking very annoyed.
“Miss Felicia,” I greeted charmingly, as I struggled to balance all my stuff – and Mr R’s coffee without spilling it – and shook her hand. “So—“
“You’re late,” she said coolly, and narrowed her eyes at me, and my extended hand. “You should be by the desk at all times.”
“I will not tolerate this kind of behaviour,” she cut off, silencing me with one simple hand gesture. She grabbed her tiny purse from my desk, and marched towards Mr R’s office. Without even bothering to knock, she entered the room, and slammed the door shut behind her.
I stood very still, staring after her.
“Bitch,” I muttered, dropping my stuff on the desk.
I hadn’t made it even to the chair, when the double-doors slammed open, and Mr R stormed out, a shocked Felicia right on his heels.
“Quency,” he boomed, walking right up to me. “Where the hell is that coffee!?”
I silently held up the cup to him, and waited for him to grab it – but he didn’t. Instead, he turned slowly to face Felicia, who looked like someone had slapped him.
“See?” he said calmly, gesturing at me. “She has the damn coffee, okay? Now, could you just leave my staff alone, and sod it, woman?”
I didn’t know who was more shocked – me or Felicia.
“I… I… I…” she stammered, gaping like a goldfish.
“I’ll show you out, Miss Felicia,” I said smoothly, feeling so smug that I couldn’t even hide a small victorious grin.
“Don’t bother!” she snapped, and trotted towards the elevator, her high-heels making a sickening sound with each step she took.
“That is one wretched woman, sir,” I said politely, staring after the scornful red-head.
“Yes,” he agreed with a shrug. “You’re right, Quency.”
He glanced at the coffee without saying a word, and sniffed. “Throw it away – I’ll have a nice glass of water, instead.”
I stared after him, my pleasant smile frozen on my face.
“Pronto, Quency!” he called over his shoulder, before the double-doors closed behind him.
Next time he wanted a nice cup of coffee, I would totally spit in it.
Em barged into the living room with her wand drawn. To my surprise, Theo appeared from the bathroom, looking like someone had just woke him up.
I would have to look into that later.
Em and Theo both watched in horror, as I tried to swat off a crazed owl, which was currently chasing me around the living room like a manic monster.
Hence the ‘bloody hell’ line.
“WHAT’S GOING ON!?” Em called.
“MR R’S – OWL – IS – VERY – VERY - VERY - PERSISTENT!” I called back, dodging another attack from the owl.
Theo stepped forward, waved his wand once, and the owl suddenly froze in mid-air, just hovering there.
He carefully leaned closer to me, and plucked a feather from my hair. I glared at his face, which began to spread into a grin.
“Don’t – start,” I warned through gritted teeth.
“Mr R sent you a crazy owl, because…?” Em said, frowning.
“BECAUSE HE WANTS TO MAKE MY LIFE A LIVING HELL!” I roared, frustrated. “He wants me to check that the proposal of banning flying carpet races was sent…”
“I don’t get it,” Em said, leaning against the sofa with a tired look on her face. “He’s such a charming guy…”
“Charm has nothing to do with the fact that he’s an asshole who abuses his power,” Theo pointed out.
“Yes, well apparently charm is just another sign of jackassery,” Em shot back, and for a moment, the two of them just glared at each other.
“Why did you come from the bathroom?” I suddenly asked Theo.
“I was taking a dump,” he said bluntly.
“For two hours?”
“A really big dump,” Theo said.
I looked from Theo to Em, and back at Theo. I narrowed my eyes, as I silently reached for my coat. I then looked at Em, who was avoiding my eyes. “Em, we will talk about this when I get back,” I warned her, jabbing my finger at her.
“Fine, whatever,” she muttered, crossing her arms.
“Now play nicely, kids,” I said with a mock sweet voice, before leaving.
I knew they would probably kill each other, if they were having an argument.
I arrived at the Ministry of Magic grumpy, tired, and wet – of course it had to piss down rain like fuck. I once again reminded myself to threaten Em about that Floo Network package-deal I had heard about. Apparently, Ministry workers got a free-month-trial-period and—
I stopped abruptly, as I saw someone sit in my chair. Was this some sick joke Mr R was playing on me? Owling me to check up on some absurd file, and then check that I would actually do it, and not just say I did, and—
Oh. Holy. Fuck.
It’s Satan, it’s—
Oh, wait. It’s just Felicia.
Well, close enough, right?
Felicia stood up slowly, and crossed her arms. She stared at me across the room, the space between us suddenly feeling like nothing at all.
“I know you’re having an affair with my fiancé,” she said sharply.
I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry.
“What?” I said instead, totally shocked by her comment.
“No, I heard what you said,” I cut her off, cringing at the thought of it. “I just meant that ‘what’ in a ‘what the fuck is going on in your head to say something like that’ kind of way…”
Felicia seemed startled by this. For a moment, she didn’t know what to say, and it was quite hilarious.
“Well, if that was all you had to say,” I said after a moment of silence, and turned quickly around to leave.
I had planned to make my exit gracefully, and with some dignity left. Of course, that never happened with me.
So instead, I walked face first against the enormous double-doors. For a moment, I just saw blurry shapes around me, before I hit the floor with a bang.
I frowned, mumbling darkly under my breath.
“Miss Quency, are you awake? Can you hear me?”
I wanted to answer ‘no’, but I knew this was another fight I would lose. Instead, I slowly opened my hands, my hands immediately flying to my forehead.
I could feel the bandage wrapped safely around my head, and I groaned; I would be the Ministry’s laughing stock!
I peered carefully at the elderly man hovering above me, and then my eyes flew to the younger woman behind him.
“And who the hell are you?” I demanded, my eyes wide.
“I’m Healer McGrim, and this is Mediwizard Rowl, who took care of you on your way here,” the man said, standing straight so that I could slowly sit up.
“Where am I?” I asked, looking around.
“The Ministry’s Hospital Wing,” Mediwizard Rowl answered with a bored, nasal voice, suddenly shoving a paper to Healer McGrim. “Sign, please.”
I watched him scribble something hastily, before Mediwizard Rowl flitted away quickly.
“Mediwizards,” Healer McGrim said with a shrug, as I stared after her. “You’ve been unconscious for a day now – it’s nice to see a sign of life in you, although that snore of yours was a sign, too… a very elaborated one, at that…”
“I don’t snore,” I said at once, feeling slightly hurt.
He totally ignored me.
“So, how are you feeling? Any nausea? Dizzyness? Weariness?”
“Yes,” I said, and he peered at me over his glasses – it reminded me of Dumbledore’s piercing gaze, and I felt myself shrink under his stare. “Yes to all of them, actually.”
“Good,” he said cheerfully, scribbling something on a paper. “Good, good, good.”
“Excuse me,” I said after a moment, while he continued to scribble, deep in thought. “But how is that good?”
Healer McGrim seemed almost surprised that I was there – maybe he had forgotten me already.
“M’dear girl,” he said, giving me a wide smile. “Congratulations – you’re about four weeks pregnant”
“Just because I feel like throwing up, the room is practically spinning and I’m tired as hell!?”
“No, we took some blood tests – normal check-up routine – and they gave us the results.”
“I can’t be pregnant,” I assured him, shaking my head. “I mean, surely you’ve—“
“Yes, I’ve seen your medical record from Hogwarts made by Madam Pomfrey,” he cut off, nodding. “This is just one of those wonderful miracles!”
I stared at him, not sure if I should slap him, or just hit him with a Beater’s bat.
“I’m pregnant,” I said slowly, trying to find some trace of humour in his green eyes.
I found none.
“I’m pregnant,” I repeated more weakly, slumping against the pillows.
Both Healer McGrim and I looked towards the sound coming from the door; there he stood, Theo Blake, with a box of chocolates.
A/N: Lily - making miracles since Susie Q was created!!! xD Also; do not hate me for one pathetic update - think about the DRAMA I put in this one!
- Lily xxx