Chapter 8 : How Do You Speak to An Angel?
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Plots being plotted 6-10 approx, centimeteres added to hair by Annah 10 (her hair obviously) Amount of dislike have for Dominique on scale of 1-10 = 6, hours at work 9
Thursday 1 March
Home, room, 5. 35 p.m:
Sat down on bed in a sulk. Still distinctly unimpressed with Dominique from two days ago. I mean seriously, even for her, pretending to have let Death Eaters escape fairly new low. Went all concerned face and worried sounding, then burst into hysterics when I actually bought it. Bitch. Apparently was trying to teach self some lesson about always going with what she said. Lesson neither well delivered nor received. Flounced then, maintained undignifed silence ever since.
Life however growing rather boring, refused to be bigger man. Left sitting position to find Annah. That would show Dom. Nodded to self. Opportunities to actually hang out with Annah really v.few and far between.
As stood up realised was only 5.30 and while I was home from work, she tended to work rather harder and longer than self. Like self, her exact job title rather vague. While had definitely said at New Years Party that she was the Minister’s Chief of Staff, that was pretty much completely untrue. Had met the Chief of Staff more than once. Angry old man. Leo McGregor or something. Annah probably fairly minor staffer/researcher like self. Only slightly more commited. And probably more senior.
Sat back down. 5.30 possibly a bit earlier for a nap.
Kitchen, 7.50 p.m:
Rudely interrupted by emergence of Dominique and Annah.
“You know, you really just shouldn’t eat that. Do you want me to tell you what they do to the pigs? Do you?”
Vegetarianism unfortunately rather one of Annah’s crusades. Dom not especially troubled however. Then again, Dom not really troubled by much.
“Seriously, Louis. Not impressed, man.”
Paused mid-bite. This was a clear and obvious in. More of an in than being best friends younger brother anyway. Problems with that particuar connection being the younger and friend parts.
“Alright fine. I’ll give it a go. What do you reckon -a month? If I like it, I’ll stick with it.”
Look of slight shock crossed her face. In fairness, it isn’t often the evangalising score a victory. Shocked look shifted to one somewhat between vague amusement and impressed. Before she could say anything, Dom swiped sandwhich from hands.
“Oh for… give me that.”
Took massive bite. While impressive statement, didn’t work so well practically. Did some impressive coughing and spluttering.
“Shurrup ish delicioushh.”
Annah merely looked revolted. Was rather revolted as well, far too much food for any one mouth. Just unnatractive. Unsure what convinced self to declare temporary state of vegetarianism. Surely would lead down the slippery slope to hippy-communist homosexuality. Did get an ‘O’ in Muggle Studies after all. Knew all about this sort of thing. Still, always possible would end up closer to Annah. Clearly a risk worth taking.
Saturday 3 March
Saville Row, London, 11.55 a.m:
“You need a new suit.”
“But why here? They scare me. And I don’t have the money.”
“Because they’re the best. And with your body you need an English tailor. Anything Italian would look ridiculous. And you know Wizard tailors are rubbish. As for the money…” she made a swirling hand gesture.
“What’s that supposed to be?”
“Magic! A wand?”
“Never really liked doing that to be honest, always felt a bit dodgy. Like, morally, you know?”
“Fine, I’ll do it then, probably be more believable if I buy it anyway.”
Looked at her. Looked down at self. This was virtually inarguable. Bloody Annah, so bossy. Really just rude. Was still somewhat unsure as to why was being made to get new suit. Had, however, been decided for self yesterday. Had just given a statement to the press regarding the status of three Egyptian nationals as what had been arrested for smuggling some seriously weird magic lamps in. The status was they'd been arrested. As soon as the briefing was finished, found self accosted by aforementioned Annah. Went something like:
"You need a new suit."
"Do too. Black's a shocking colour on you. We're getting you a new one."
And that was pretty much the end of that particular debate. Because really, as much as tailors and their pins scared self, meant would get to spend good deal of time with Annah. Felt confident could deal with the fear. Also, bespoke suit not entirely the worst idea.
And so found self strolling down Saville Row, only mildly self-consciously. Fortunate to have Veela genes as even if not particularly well dressed, v. pretty. Received sneers and looks of bitter and twisted jealousy in fairly equal measure from the Muggles. Was with Annah and so started casting patronisingly smug looks at all those nearby. Including a woman who started eyeing self up appraisingly. Hid behind Annah, who presumably gave the woman a Bitch, Please Look as said woman scuttled off with alacrity.
Stopped outside a tiny, ancient looking shop.
“Right, this is my guy.”
“You have a guy?”
“Umm, I work in the Ministry too? Pantsuits, Louis.”
“Oh Merlin, he’s not going to make me one of them is he?”
“Did you have a bad experience with a tailor somewhere? Assaulted by a piece of chalk and a tape measure?”
“It was pretty funny.”
“It was a little bit funny. Now can we get this over with?”
“Oh stop complaining, you love it.”
Marched into the shop in grand high dudgeon. Really is the best kind. Was scarily quiet. Not all peaceful and zen, but in way that had one looking over shoulder in fear of attack. Gloomy as well. Mannequins throw intimidating shadows.
Might have jumped. Was prodded forward impatiently. “Alright Barry?”
“He’s called fucking Barry?”
“Ahh Miss Smith, always a pleasure, and who might the young man be?”
Barry emerged from behind a mannequin. He looked mad in the way only the English can. Wild eyes, wild hair, wild most everything. Suit wasn’t bad to be fair. Although really do hate waistcoats. Whoever invented them, well… they’re probably dead. Barry began eyeing self. Was creeper in manner of lady from street. Although scarier as Annah no longer any help at all.
“This is Louis, Dominique’s sister.”
“Ooh is he now? Bit of alright isn’t he? Can definitely work with this. You’re not quite as much work as your sister are you?” Noticed voice had turned slightly worried. Dominique’s lunacy clearly being inflicted on more than just magical world.
“He’s fine Barry, don’t worry about it.”
“That’s alright then. Let’s get started shall we? What is it he’s after?”
“Something for work, he’s pretty much got the same job as me, so it’s got to look good. It’s got to look fierce.”
Barry looked far too excited at this point. Was feeling slightly ridiculous, standing in between these two being played with. “Umm… do I get a say in this?”
Pouted. They carried on as they were.
“Black’s too hard on him –“
“Not a huge fan of grey –“
“It is classic…”
Head started whirling as buttons were fought over, tapering discussed and fabrics bitched about. Eventually they seemed to come to some sort of agreement, finished with a brusque exchange on the cut of the sleeves
“And I swear if they’re not slim through the upper arm I’m never coming back!”
“Fine then! Bloody youngsters thinking they know everything, back in my day we would never…”
“Yeah, yeah, whatever.”
Decided I might try interjecting again. “So, like, can I go now?”
Then the measuring started. Took excessively long time, got stuck with those stupid pins three times and bloody Barry got chalk on my neck. Not impressed in the slightest. Finally though, all was done. Annah did something utterly suspicious with a credit card, then out we strode into the blazing English sunlight. Alright, wasn’t so much blazing as just peeking out from behind a cloud. Closest we’re going to get though.
“See, that wasn’t so bad was it?”
“That was utterly traumatic. In fact, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to look at a suit the same again. Don’t even know if I’m going to be able to wear this one.”
“Just wait until he’s actually finished with it, you’ll want to wear it don’t worry.”
Grumbled to self. In all probability she was utterly correct. Think would like to be right just once. Might be a nice change or similar.
“Well, I’m still officially sulking.”
Unfortunately was times like these when she tended to get all bossy and sensible, like Victoire, only like a billion times better. And hot.
“Do you want to go get lunch while you’re sulking? It’s almost 1.30.”
“Suppose that wouldn’t be the worst thing ever.”
“You love it. Now come on, grab my hand, we’ll Apparate.”
With some people you just… fit. Everything lines up and clicks into place. Me and Annah, we fit. Hands reached out. My left, her right. Fingers intertwined of their own accord. And then of course we had to do the whole stupid spinning and Apparating thing. Crashed to earth in some spectacularly dodgy looking lane. At least managed to stay on feet, which is more than could be said for some. Hauled Annah back up, most definitely not realising we were still holding hands.
Being the gentlemanly and non-presumptuous type, loosened hold. Fully expected her to let her slim little hand slip from own. Which she didn’t at all, only looked at self with quizzical eye. Unexpected. Somewhat troubling. Bloody women.
“Err right. So… where are we?”
“Best dumpring in London!”
Couldn’t help but laugh. Was a truly appalling accent.
“You can’t say that!”
Problem with smiles that are both utterly disarming and completely charming is that they tend to disarm and charm you, plus a little bit of enchantment on the side.
“You are a shocking person.”
“Well sure, but I’m lovable – I’m allowed to be.”
“Whatever. Now are we getting those dumpring or not?”
Home, room, 5.35 p.m:
Okay, so they were definitely the best dumpring have ever had. So good I don’t think will ever be able to call them anything other than dumpring again. Terribly poor form, especially as am techinally-ish part of government. Is still a lovely word.
Mmm time for a nap methinks.. Tonight likely to be fair large. Best to be awake for it.
A/N: Okay, so this was super short I know – even by my standards. Just felt like writing some Louis/Annah fluff-nothingness so out came this! I just love them together, really. Can safely say that some form of plot will possibly re-emerge next chapter. Until then, I hope you enjoyed this! ^^
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by B Wood