Chapter 1 : Department Duties
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He stretched before rising from his chair and casually strolling towards his window. The fact that his office had a window in was something that he prided himself upon. Only the important Ministry employees had windows so to be honest, he deserved the largest. It didn’t matter that the building was deep underground, because where magic was involved, most things were possible.
Today was what one could call a typical day at the office. His day was full of meetings and planning and general organising to keep things running as they should be. This morning however he had to deal with the Muggle-born Registration Committee and its head, a certain Dolores Umbridge.
To be honest Yaxley hadn’t ever really had to deal with Umbridge before now, but it had turned out that they had a lot more in common than he could have imagined. Although she didn’t follow the Dark Lord as such, she shared the same views that his followers did. To both Umbridge and Yaxley, Half-breeds and Muggle-borns belonged at the bottom of the pile. Whereas Purebloods such as himself were at the top.
He decided to leave the window and headed towards the door of his office, pushing it open. He had to admit, life could be much worse than it was. Admittedly he had a headache but a simple potion would cure that. He looked up and down the corridor and then stepped out of his office, letting the door swing shut behind him.
This was his domain now. He had the Ministry in the palm of his hand. Although imperiusing Thickness had proved trickier than he had thought at first, the other department heads followed easily. However, now he had them all under control, it meant that if something went wrong then the Dark Lord would only have him to blame. Nothing major had happened as of yet, and Yaxley intended to keep it that way. His job was far from easy, but it was easier when nothing was going wrong.
Potter was on the run, it was only a matter of time before he came to the Ministry but so far he had yet to appear. Yaxley had to admit, he didn’t really want him appearing. It just meant trouble. He believed that he had covered every possible situation in case he did, so he could be dealt with. However, if Potter slipped through his fingers, all hell would break loose. He just had to hope the moment wouldn’t come and that for now he personally would be safe. He had managed to build up a decent enough reputation with the Dark Lord that he didn’t want shattered. How many of his other followers had control of the Ministry? None. He believed himself to be the most important one; Severus Snape was only headmaster of a school. Yaxley had the Ministry to run, he ran Snape’s institution. That placed him in top spot, or should do anyway.
To be honest he wasn’t sure what the Dark Lord saw in Snape. He had managed to work directly under Dumbledore’s nose for years and keep their side advised on his goings on, but to be honest, Yaxley didn’t consider that enough. As a member of the Order, he had kept them informed but after taking over Draco’s task that had fallen though. Snape was nothing now other than a Headmaster of the school Potter hadn’t gone back to. He was useless. Now was Yaxley’s time.
“Morning Yaxley,” said a voice somewhere to the left of him. He glanced over and noticed that Runcorn was walking towards him.
“Ah Good Morning Albert,” he replied. People like Runcorn made his job just that little bit easier. He treated Yaxley with the respect he commanded and also provided both him and Umbridge with the information on Muggle-borns and blood traitors that they required. “What brings you up here?”
“I was on my way to see Dolores.” Runcorn replied, “I know that you were attended the meeting also and decided to come and speak to you first as I have new information for you.”
“Do you really?” Yaxley asked with interest. He had to admit, Runcorn was a useful ally. He understood the importance of keeping the Death Eater in the know. Yaxley didn’t like to be left in the dark, and nor did he deserve to be. This was his Ministry after all. Nothing should go on without his say so.
“You know a watch has been kept on Grimmauld Place don’t you?” Runcorn asked, pretty sure that Yaxley would know. It had been at his insistence after all. They had set up a watch on anyone with any ties to Harry Potter that they knew of. The Burrow was being watched also, along with any other residences he had been spotted at.
“Of course, what new information do you have?”
“Well it is obvious that the trio are still residing there. Every so often your men capture a glimpse or two. However these glimpses are getting less frequent. We are under the impression that soon they will try and enter the Ministry. If they are finding less of a need to go out, they need to move onto somewhere where they can gain more information on whatever they are seeking.”
“Albert I am pleased with your knowledge on the matter but how do you know all this? You are employed to investigate Muggle-borns.” Yaxley said, slightly suspicious of the fact that he was discussing a matter that wasn’t within his area of work.
“The Granger girl is a Muggle-born is she not?” he queried, “What she does is my business. Plus blood traitors are as bad as they get. That includes Weasley.”
“I understand your point. Thank You for the information Runcorn, you have proved yourself most useful.” He then left the corridor with him and walked towards the golden lifts.
At their arrival the lift doors opened and Arthur Weasley stepped out. He glared at Runcorn before dashing off to his office completely ignoring Yaxley who chuckled as he stepped into the lift with Albert following. “I am glad someone knows his place. I cannot believe I still have men like him in my department.”
Runcorn chose wisely to remain silent on that comment and was luckily spared from having to think of anything else to say by the voice above them announcing that they had arrived on level one.
The golden lift doors then opened to reveal Umbridge. “Ah, Yaxley, Runcorn,” she acknowledged, greeting them both, “I was just coming down to retrieve you. I thought you might have forgotten the meeting.”
Yaxley groaned, “Dolores, you have sent me a memo every five minutes reminding me that I must attend. I am here. I don’t forget meetings, sometimes I am just too busy to attend.”
The important trio of people then made their way to Umbridge’s office, pausing as they reached the open space which housed the Ministry pamphlet makers.
The workers immediately fell silent as Yaxley approached the nearest table and snatched up one of the pamphlets they had been making.
“Pink?” he roared at the terrified Ministry worker before slamming the pamphlet back down on their desk and spinning round to face Umbridge. “I am sick of pink!”
Umbridge was obviously fazed by his reaction however hard she was trying to hide it. “Pink grabs ones attention,” she said simply, but it did nothing to calm his mood.
“Seriously Dolores?” he cried, “Can’t you do something that isn’t pink?”
“This is not your department so I don’t see why you are getting involved.”
Yaxley paused. She had a point, however he knew someone who could help. Thickness, he thought and suddenly the man himself appeared. “What is going on here?” he asked, looking at Umbridge.
“Nothing Minister.” She replied, “The pamphlets are not being changed.” She then nodded to Thickness before glancing at Runcorn and walking to her office with him.
Yaxley sighed, and nodded at Thickness who scurried off to his office. He had to attend Umbridge’s ridiculous Muggle-born meeting anyway and talking to Thickness would be pretty much having a conversation with himself.
“Well?” he commanded the pamphlet makers, “Shouldn’t you be doing something?”
They all murmured an apology before hurrying back to work. Yaxley smiled to himself, the fear factor was something that he enjoyed from holding a position this high in the Ministry. He could get people to do whatever he wanted; they were too scared to defy him. He just needed to conquer Umbridge, and then he’d have complete control.
He strode into her office and shivered slightly as he stepped inside. He hated this room more than any other in the entire building. Why did someone need that many kitten patterned plates anyway?
Umbridge gave an annoying forced cough, causing him to stare at her, “Yes?”
“Could you please sit down?” she asked, gesturing to a chair opposite her desk and beside Runcorn, “This is my committee and I would like to get this meeting started.”
He sighed and sat down and the meeting soon began with Runcorn rattling off a list of Muggle-borns that had yet been subject to questioning. As he listed the various people concerned, Yaxley took his time to study Umbridge. He had to admit, the amount of pink she wore was disgusting but he couldn’t help but like her ideas. Muggle-borns did need to be kept under control.
After Runcorn had gotten to the fifth page of Muggle-borns however, Yaxley had had enough. “That is it!” he cried, standing up. “I’ve had enough. I have inter-departmental inspections to be doing and this is just wasting time.” He looked down at Umbridge; she really was revelling in being in charge of this committee. She like him, seemed to enjoy being in power.
He strode off however before she could tell him otherwise. He really did need to do those inspections, to ensure that his department was running smoothly, or as smoothly as it could do.
He entered the golden lifts once more and pressed the down button so that he could head back to the floor below, his department. Once the lift doors opened once again, he quickly exited and made his way to the Office for the Detection and Confiscation of Counterfeit Spells and Protective Objects. It made sense to begin here as it was one of the few offices that he had a problem with. Arthur Weasley was the biggest waste of time going and if this stupid office really did have to exist, it was at least going to be run his way.
“Weasley,” he said as he entered the office, announcing his presence. It was bigger than that cupboard that Weasley used to sit in previously. He imagined this must have been quite the promotion for him, now he was in charge of twelve people. Yaxley chuckled to himself; the whole situation was quite ridiculous really. Twelve people were nothing compared to being department head.
“Yaxley,” Arthur acknowledged, bowing his head slightly to be polite. He had learnt that it paid to be polite to people like him. “What brings you to my office?”
“Well as your head of department it is my duty to ensure that things are running smoothly. I must eradicate any... problems that I see to be an issue.” He couldn’t help but glance at the shabby man before him as he said the word, “problems.” Arthur Weasley was a problem. He was one of the largest blood traitors going. However, Yaxley had to hold it in. His time would come; the Dark Lord had yet to gain full control. Weasley was living on borrowed time.
“I can assure you Yaxley that there are no problems here,” Arthur attempted to assure him, without taking his eyes off the department head.
“That is for me to judge. Not you.” Yaxley strode around the office, peering into boxes containing various charmed objects and pausing to examine notes that were lying around. He couldn’t help but snort when he read that certain people suspected this to be the work of Death Eaters. As if he would go around cursing meaningless objects in an attempt to harm people. That was what unforgiveables were for.
“Well,” he said, returning back to Arthur. “Get back to doing whatever it is that you actually do.”
Arthur tried to stand up a little straighter, determined not to be belittled by the man but considering the fact that Yaxley was not only in a magnificent set of robes but was also taller than him, meant that his attempts were useless. Compared to the Death Eater he was just a shabby mess. He refused to let his attitude get through to him however. It was only when Arthur Weasley declared himself a useless failure that he was a useless failure. Yaxley would see his downfall one day, he was determined of that.
Yaxley managed to stare him down. It was useless to pick a fight with someone who was much higher in the system than he was, especially in a room full of witnesses. “Of course,” he said, before returning to his paperwork.
Yaxley smiled to himself before leaving the office. It was belittling men like Arthur Weasley that made his day interesting. As he continued down the office towards the Auror offices however a memo struck him in the side of the head. Cursing it, he summoned it into his hand before unfolding it and immediately recognising the pink handwriting.
“Interrogations tomorrow morning at ten o’clock. Do not forget.”
He laughed at Umbridge’s persistence. Only she would have the courage to constantly remind him of such a thing. She was so passionate about the Muggle-born interrogations that he couldn’t help but slightly admire her for it. They both shared the belief that their place was below everyone else in the wizarding world. She also shared a hatred with him for half-breeds also. Why the Dark Lord felt that their side needed creatures as disgusting as werewolves he did not know. However, the more he thought about it, the more he realised that he and Umbridge shared more in common that he had originally thought.
If he could win her round, her assistance would prove highly beneficial. He smiled as he folded the note and placed it inside a pocket in his robes. Today could prove to be an interesting one after all.