Chapter 9 : Chapter 9
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The next Monday morning, Ginny woke up with a feeling of dread. She really didn’t want the day to come, but it had, and she had to deal with it. She slowly rolled out of bed and used the bathroom. After brushing her teeth, she splashed cold water on her face in an effort to wake herself up.
It worked, and after getting dressed, she went downstairs for breakfast.
“Ginny, do eat,” Molly said as she bustled around the kitchen. Ginny sat and stared at her bowl of porridge, only tasting a small spoonful every few minutes.
“I’m not very hungry,” she replied.
Molly sat down at the table next to her daughter. “I know you’re nervous,” she said, patting Ginny’s arm. “But you have to eat. You’ll feel even worse later on.”
Ginny nodded and forced down her breakfast. “Well,” she finally said. “I’m off.”
“Oh, good luck dear,” Molly said, bringing Ginny into a bear hug. “And don’t worry, Ron is going to be there today as well.”
Ginny, whose face was smushed into her mother’s shoulder, grimaced. Ron being there was one of the things she was worried about.
She put on her jacket, grabbed a small bag, and with one last glance at her mother, slipped through the door. She took in a few deep breaths of the cold, wintry air. She glanced at their broom shed and desperately wanted to just grab a broom, hop on, and whiz through the air like she always used to. But she couldn’t, so she swallowed her pride, thought of an empty alley off Charing Cross Road, and Disapparated.
Once she came to, she hurried into The Leaky Cauldron, out the back, and after tapping her wand on the brick wall, passed through into Diagon Alley.
The streets were fairly crowded for a Monday morning, but Ginny supposed it was mostly people, like her, on their way to work.
She still had fifteen minutes before her first shift was supposed to start, so she slowly meandered down the street, peering into windows that interested her. She spent the most time in front of Quality Quidditch Supplies. The newest broomstick in the window, the Nimbus 2005, was supposedly as good as a Firebolt. Ginny wanted more than anything to have one, but at the moment, she didn’t have 65 galleons and 16 sickles. Even if she did, she had no reason to have such a spectacular broomstick.
Sighing, she proceeded on. As she wound her way towards her destination, she found herself hoping there was a fireplace. That way, she could floo to work instead of making the long trek down all of Diagon Alley every day.
When she passed the turn off for Knockturn Alley and rounded a bend by Gambol and Japes, she saw it. It was hard to miss the bright purple storefront. She grimaced and headed towards it, putting her head down once she got close and hurrying inside.
“Is that you, my charming little sister?!” came George’s voice from a door behind the counter where the cash register sat.
Ginny frowned one last time before calling out, “Indeed it is.”
“Come on back!” George shouted.
Ginny went around the counter and through the door into what could only be described as the messiest office in existence. She could make out a chair and a cluttered corkboard hung on the wall, but that was it. She presumed that the three walls were lined with a wrap-around desk, but there were stacks of paper piled so high on top that she couldn’t be sure.
“Sorry about the mess,” George said, attempting to rearrange some of the papers on the desk, and failing. “Fred was always more organized.” He paused for a moment, and he and his sister exchanged comforting looks. Ginny didn’t know what to say, but luckily George spoke first. “So,” he said, rubbing his hands together, “ready for your first day in the real world?!”
“Ugh,” Ginny said, rolling her eyes. She let her bag slide from her shoulder and started to shimmy her arms out of her jacket.
“You can just throw those on the extra chair,” he said, sitting down in the wooden chair that Ginny first noticed. “All the employees leave their stuff in here since we keep it locked all day.”
“Um,” Ginny said, her eyes scanning the room. “What extra chair?”
George shot her a confused look and pointed to a massive heap of spare jackets and partially opened or damaged merchandise. “You’re telling me there’s a chair under there?” Ginny asked. George glared at her, and she smiled and threw her things on top of the pile.
“Ron should be here by now. He’ll be showing you mostly everything,” George said, spinning in his chair and going back to mussing with the papers. “I’m working on something pretty big upstairs,” he said, referencing the makeshift “laboratory” that he and Fred had built upstairs. It was separate from their apartment, but far enough from the store that any rogue inventions wouldn’t harm customers.
It was then that Ron came storming into the store, slightly out of breath. “Speak of the devil,” George said as Ron made his way into the back office.
“Now,” George said, turning towards Ginny. “I know you’re my little sister, but it’s only fair that I start you off at 20 galleons a month.”
“What!?” they heard Ron’s voice yell from inside the store.
“It’s what most employees started out at. I’ll be able to give you raises and what not, probably frequently, but for, you know, legal reasons, I can’t start you off at as much as, say, Verity, who’s been here for years,” George said. “Plus you’re not full-time.”
“Is she the weird blonde?” Ginny asked.
“That’s more than you started me at!” Ron said as he finally huffed through the door.
“She’s not bad once you get to know her,” George said to Ginny, completely ignoring Ron.
“I’m serious,” Ron said, casually throwing his jacket on top of Ginny’s. “We’re both your siblings, so why should she get more than me?” he demanded.
“Because, Ron,” George said, standing up. “I like Ginny so much more than you.” Ginny let out a snort as Ron’s ears turned red.
“That’s prejudice,” Ron said.
“That’s not even close to prejudice,” George said with an air of not caring. “Now,” he said, patting Ginny on the head, “if you two don’t mind, I’ll be upstairs working on the next amazing product that will pay your salary.” He added the last part in a genial tone while staring directly at Ron. “Just show her the ropes, Ron, and I’ll fire you if she complains.”
George walked away laughing while Ginny stood grinning and Ron fumed. “Oh come on, Ron, he’s just joking.”
“I know,” Ron replied, gritting his teeth. “He’s always just joking. Only towards me though!”
“I’m his baby sister, what do you expect?” Ginny said rhetorically. “So what do I do?” she asked.
“Come on,” Ron said, nodding towards the door out into the shop. “We open in an hour and I’ve got a lot to show you.”
a/n: Well I hope you guys enjoyed! Sorry it's pretty short, it's sort of a filler chapter so bigger and better things can happen soon! I also apologize for the grammar or spelling mistakes I'm sure I made. I wrote it quickly and proofread it quickly.
Also, I spent quite some time trying to figure out the US dollar/UK Euro/Magical Currency conversions before I finally just settled on this. I found out the average hourly rage for 18 year olds in England, and it was quite a lot more than people working in Diagon Alley! I got pretty confused, and an Assistant Manager at Flourish and Blotts makes 42 galleons per month, so I figured 20 was appropriate for Ginny to start at WWW. Oh well. This is just one of those things that isn't even that important to the story but I still must perfect!
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