Chapter 1 : Career Advice
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Humph. Career advice. Do we really need it? We all know what we want to do already. Galinda wants to go into politics, and I want to take over the world with my army of flying monkeys.
That probably won't go over with Slughorn too well. I don't care.
But I'm a nonconformist.
I have to be. Or I'd never survive. And isn't that what Slytherins do best? Keep themselves floating long after the Hufflepuffs and Gryffindors are gone and forgotten?
I will never be able to blend in, so instead I choose to stand out.
Not like it's that difficult.
"Let the green girl through!"
"Are you a Slytherin? Like I really needed to ask!"
"Do you like Herbology? You have a green thumb."
"Elphaba seems bright." "Bright? She glows!"
"Oi, Thropp! Halloween was last week!"
How clever. At least the other Slytherins left me alone after the first few weeks, all but Galinda who somehow thought that having a friend so . . . well known, I suppose, would be better for her social life.
At least I get to skive History of Magic to go meet Slughorn.
"Ah, yes, Miss Thropp," Slughorn says as I flop down into the plush green chair in front of his desk, dropping my overflowing bookbag onto the cold stone floor. "I have here," he states as he leafs through a thick pile of parchment on his cluttered desk, finally digging out the right page. "I have here your current grades from the other teachers. In Potions, you're floating around an Exceeds Expectations. Professor Kettleburn says you are the head of the Care of Magical Creatures class, he said you will most assuredly get an Outstanding O.W.L.. Charms, Transfiguration, Herbology, Ancient Runes, Muggle Studies, no problems, you're averaging an Exceeds Expectations in those as well. History of Magic, well . . . " Slughorn chuckles. "No one has passed that OWL since, well," he stops, and seems to be remembering something unpleasant. I wonder what happened to the last person who passed. "Well, it's been a long time since anyone has passed."
Slughorn clears his throat, picking up a stack of Ministry issued pamphlets and setting them in front of me. I ignore them. "Which means, Miss Thropp, that you can do nearly anything you want."
Good. That was my goal all along. To do whatever I want.
We sit silently for a moment.
"So?" Slughorn looks between me and the job pamphlets a few times. "What do you want to do?"
I've decided already. Take over the world with my army of flying monkeys. I've got seven already, trained and everything. I contemplate the idea of bringing one- Chistery, perhaps- to Hogwarts instead of an owl. Nessa has said that she wants Shell anyway. If Chistery is with me, it would probably be easier to teach him how to speak.
"I want to breed Flying Monkeys," I disclose.
I've managed to surprise him at least. "Whatever for? Flying Monkeys?! Good Lord!"
I shrug, carelessly examining a small grey booklet with bold black letters on the cover. Obliviation. I open it. Requirements: NEWTS: Charms: Outstanding. Muggle Studies: Exceeds Expectations. "Why not?"
Slughorn struggles for a moment. "You could do something so much . . . " He struggles, looking for the right word. "Conventional."
"But I am hardly one for convention, sir," I retort, leaning back in the chair and crossing my legs.
He shrugs, conceding the fact.
"I've also considered politics," I add as an afterthought.
"Now, I could help you there. I've heard that there may be an opening in the Minister's office in about four years or so. I can put in a good word for you. But why politics? Generally, the more, erm, popular students succeed in that particular field. And you . . ."
Will never be popular. Sure, my 'best friend' may be Galinda Upland (of the upper Uplands), and she just may be Sirius Black's girlfriend, may be dating the most popular, gorgeous, sweetest, perfect . . . Anyway, I may have popular friends, but I will never be popular.
And not for lack of effort, on Galinda's part. Over Christmas break last year- I stayed because Nessarose went home, and she stayed because Sirius did- she attempted to make me 'popular'. Humph. Going around, calling me Elphie- the most sickening, pathetic, cutesy nickname possible- accessorizing me, making me buy shoes, doing weird things with my hair.
I 'accidently' burned the purses and scarves that she gave me. She left me well enough alone after that, so far as my appearance and behavior is concerned.
No, I will never be popular.
"I would go into politics," I start, trying to use the most succinct wording possible because I need to get out of this room. "So that I can take over the world with my army of flying monkeys." There. That should end this interview soon enough.
Slughorn merely stares, his jaw dropping quite comically. "Miss Thropp, that is hardly an appropriate career choice. I would suggest that you take Care of Magical Creatures, Muggle Studies and the basic classes: Potions, Charms, Transfiguration . . ." He looked at the grandfather clock in the corner. "Good heavens, is it really twelve thirty already? It really is . . . it is time for . . . I will see you tomorrow, in Potions, Miss Thropp."
Well. I grab my bag and leave, heading up to the Great Hall, where Galinda will be waiting to hear all about what happened. I can hardly contain my excitement.
I am not disappointed. Galinda leaves the Gryffindor Table as soon as she sees me, dragging Sirius Black along with her- I struggle to breathe as his clear grey eyes briefly meet mine. In, out, it's not that complicated, Elphaba. Good. In, out.
"Elphie!" Galinda squeals, sitting across from me and pulling Sirius down beside her. "So what are you doing to do?"
"Breed Flying Monkeys and go into politics," I answer, filling my plate and failing in my attempt to ignore Sirius. In, out, it's not so hard, now, is it, Elphaba?
Galinda giggles, and I dare to glance up at her, and catch Sirius eye. I am so glad I cannot blush. Well, I do, but no one can tell. "Why?"
I roll my eyes. "So that I can take over the world with my army of flying monkeys." She snorts, and Sirius chuckles. Honestly, is that really so strange of a life's goal that no one can accept it for what it is? Apparently.
"You know, Elphie-" Sirius starts, and I interupt.
"Elphaba. Or Elph. Never Elphie."
"Whatever. That doesn't seem like it'll work out too well."
I stand, slinging my bookbag over my shoulder and picking up my plate. "It will."
I can tell they don't believe me. I don't care.
A/N: So. I told you it was random. I did this in about an hour, and I am not entirely sure that my brain was running while I did it. I'm considering turning this into an actually story, but I'm doing a lot of other stuff right now. Reviews would be great.