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Chapter 1 : Prologue
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Disclaimer: I own nothing except the plot
Is it possible to be stunned without someone actually chucking a stunning spell your way? I’m going to assume it is, because I feel like I’ve been battered round the head by a bag of rocks too and that didn’t happen either. I sank down pathetically against the office wall, which got me a few dodgy looks, but being professional didn’t exactly matter any more. The words that my boss had said to me mere minutes earlier whirled around my head, taking particular care to rub in my failure.
Cutbacks…very sorry, Molly… laying off unnecessary workers…department already too full... Italian has too much of an English accent anyway…
What a way to kick someone when they’re down, tell them that the way they speak the language the spent countless hours learning and then speaking constantly for almost eight years is rubbish. That makes me feel loads better. I can now see your justification for sacking me rather than one of the other mindless idiots who work here. What would I say to my boss now if I could? Probably screw you, you bastard. But I was too cowardly for that - I'd probably leave off the emphasis.
‘Are you okay?’
I glanced up and looming over me was one of the aforementioned mindless idiots. She hadn’t talked to me once during my time here and the moment I throw myself on the ground in front of the whole office she comes waltzing over trying to get the dirt. Typical.
‘Ah, yes, brilliant. Everything’s fabulous.’
‘You didn’t get laid off, did you?’ she implores.
I never noticed how much she resembles a vulture. Her nose looks positively gigantic from down here on the floor, and the way she’s looming over me is quite similar to the way a creature such as herself may hover over a carcass. The fact that I’d never have to work with these pricks again was one positive to getting the sack. Now to find the others.
‘Yes, yes I did. Best thing that’s ever happened to me, so if you’ll just excuse me I’ll go and pack up my desk.’
Her apparent inability to move forced me to scramble to my feet right in front of her and, through a cloud of embarrassment, I noticed that I was a good few inches taller than her. Serves her right; her bitchiness probably stunted her growth. They should teach that at Hogwarts.
She offered me some sort of facial expression that she obviously took to be an oh-you-poor-thing smile, but which looked like more of a there’s-a-free-office-now grin, as I smoothed out down my rumpled clothes. Due to the fact that I didn’t have a single shred of dignity left to gather together, I simply marched straight towards my office and banged the door shut as loudly as I possibly could. No doubt the minute I closed the door they were all gossiping about the fact that the stuck up English girl had gone mental and got the sack.
I looked around the room searching for something to pack my things into, the only box lying around was stuffed with sheets of paper containing the research that I had meticulously filed away, and that would be coming with me anyway. I decided to see what I had to take back with me first and sat down behind my desk in order to riffle through the drawers. It was a rather sorry picture; staples and quills and muggle ballpoint pens swamped every drawer along with an empty packet of bon bons shoved in there somewhere, but there was nothing I really needed. My office was ridiculously impersonal. I wouldn’t need any of this stuff at home.
And that’s when it hit me. Home.
I was living in Rome. I had no job, no friends that it would tear me apart to leave (a rather depressing revelation considering the amount of time I had spent here), and no way to pay my rent for more than a couple of months if I did decide to stay. This wasn’t just a case of going home to my flat anymore, this meant going back to England.
Just when I thought I had reached my lowest ebb I was thrust into my own personal hell. I leant forward on the desk, propping myself up by the elbows and scrunching fistfuls of my brown hair ferociously in my hands. The prodigal daughter returns. I had no idea how they would react and no idea how I would cope with it all.
I’d been offered a position here at the Italian Developmental Institute almost immediately after I left Hogwarts, and I had jumped on the chance to come to a country where people didn’t know me as a Weasley. The Weasley name had a lot of preconceived notions attached to it and none of them applied to me.
I was not a Gryffindor, I did want to talk about my fame or my family’s fame, I was not a people person and I certainly didn’t want to get a job because of who I was. It was all a load of crap, so I left. Nobody really understood what I was doing. Teddy and Victoire had already forged careers for themselves, enjoying their stint in the limelight, and when Fred and I made it out of Hogwarts he was just as keen as the other two.
Then there was me. Molly, who broke everyone’s hearts by leaving and then avoiding family gatherings and forgetting to reply to the letters that arrived at her flat. I don’t really know why I did it, I mean, I have seen my family, but only when they come to visit me. I haven’t been back there since I left and it was mid-November now. I was going to be thrown into the thick of the Christmas rush.
I pushed all the drawers back into my desk resignedly, threw my old canvas bag over my shoulder and struggled to pick up the bulky plastic container, in which I had stacked my research. I surveyed the office for one last time, taking in the walls that I had painted a pale lilac, the old wooden desk and the overhead fan that whirred like a lawnmower; it wasn’t so hard to say goodbye to it at least. I stuck out my left elbow to manoeuvre the door open and gave it a bit of a shove, before walking through the large room stuffed with my co-workers and straight into the lift without a single goodbye.
I decided that it would be best to return home the way I had just left my office; without a word. If I told anyone there would be a huge fuss and probably some sort of party. I would go to my flat, pack up my things, talk to the landlord and floo myself home sometime in the next few days. Maybe I could even rope someone into coming over here and helping me haul my things back over there.
And, as I felt my workplace for the last time, I tried to imagine what it would be like to go back home. I didn’t take any pleasure in what I saw.
A/N: So, what did you think of Molly and her lovely co-worker? It looks like her family are in for a bit of a surprise soon ^_^.
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