Chapter 1 : The Perks of Being an Obliviator
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Alicia Spinnet had never really thought about what she wanted to do for a full time occupation. Sure, subconsciously, and rather vaguely, she had always assumed it would probably be Quidditch, but after the War she knew she wanted to do more, to somehow be a part of helping, contributing to the world. She’d never thought she’d end up in a Ministry job, but that was exactly where she was now.
“Friday… almost the end of the first week on the job,” Alicia mused, as she walked into her tiny office. Technically, it was only her second day on the job. She’d only started yesterday, spending the day following Arnold Peasegood as he’d briskly explained the procedures to her, although she already knew them from the Obliviating Course she’d had to take a few weeks ago. She’d even done her first obliviating task yesterday, but it had been anything but exciting… all she’d had to deal with was bubotubers in an old muggle lady’s cabbage patch, only a couple streets away from the Ministry.
For some reason (well, thanks to the recruitment brochure) she had imagined herself travelling to more exotic locations… maybe to Reykjavik, Iceland or Vaduz, Liechtenstein or Tallinn, Estonia. All countries had their own Ministry of Magic, but the wizarding communities in some countries were too small to warrant much attention. The Ministry of Magic in these small countries usually consisted of a Minister and a couple twenty or so employees who covered all the departments, with maybe only one, or maximum two, licensed obliviators. So occasionally British obliviators were needed to help cover up any other magical incidents occurring in Europe.
Of course, all this had required Alicia to take an Advanced Apparition Course. It was extremely rare to achieve inter-continental apparition, such as from London to Tokyo, but with the proper training and skill apparating from country to country wasn’t that hard, even between countries as far apart as London and Ukraine. Alicia thought back to the first of the five sessions in the course…
Alicia rushed into the aptly named “Apparating Hall” on Level 6, hoping she wasn’t late. “Ah, our final member joins us,” pronounced Wilkie Twycross loudly.
Alicia groaned inwardly upon seeing the same Apparition Instructor who’d first taught her and all the other Hogwarts students in her year how to apparate. In all the sessions, all she remembered was exasperatedly listening to “Too-cross”, as he was known, repeatedly remarking, “destination, determination and deliberation,” and shaking his head at all the students falling over.
As she looked around the hall that was undeserving of its name (it should have been the “Apparating Room”, she thought), she noticed there were only five others taking the course. Most witches and wizards didn’t need to learn advanced apparition. Although one or two were probably only here for enjoyment and to develop their skills, advanced apparition was also quite handy for those that worked in an International Department and needed to travel between countries quickly.
Alicia focused on the instructor as he droned on about advanced apparition, and she realised that this “Advanced” Apparition Course (which had cost her 20 galleons!) would be no different than the Apparition lessons at Hogwarts. There was no special trick or technique to apparating a further distance, she realised. It just required… “greater focus on the destination, absolute determination and complete deliberation”, as Twycross claimed, making apparating from London to Ukraine sound as easy as apparating from a hoop at the back of a room to a hoop at the front of a room.
Without ado, Twycross held up a sign. It only had a few words written on it, Room 5, Level 4, Ministry of Magic, Dublin, Ireland. “In a few seconds, I want you all to focus on this destination and attempt to apparate there. It will require greater concentration, particularly as you’ll be apparating across some sea, so don’t be surprised if you find that you fail the first few times.”
“Very encouraging,” Alicia thought sarcastically. Having a picture of the room would probably have made it just a little easier, but she knew that as an obliviator, she would need to travel to any destination, and the majority of these destinations would be unknown to her, and given only as an address.
Stepping into her hoop, Alicia focused her mind on the task at hand. She had been fairly decent at apparating at Hogwarts, accomplishing it in the second lesson, but the extent of this task was quite daunting. Settling into the calmness that was required, she closed her eyes and turned on the spot with the address in mind. She felt like she was about to start being transported, but this abruptly ended as she opened her eyes and realised it hadn’t worked.
It had taken a couple more attempts, and although when two others had managed to complete it successfully, she’d gotten a bit discouraged, Alicia finally managed to apparate into the room. As she realised she’d just apparated from London to Dublin, a triumphant grin emerged.
By the end of the course she’d managed to apparate all the way to north Finland and even to the coast of Turkey, although she wasn’t sure if she would be able to do such great distances under pressure.
Alicia sat down at her desk and began filling out the paperwork detailing yesterday’s incident and the actions she’d taken. Just as she was starting to settle into a comfortable rhythm, a memo flew in and Alicia grabbed it. It only had a single address written on it, Salling Beach, Slovenia, and her eyes widened in surprise to see an address that wasn’t in London, let alone in the country.
Alicia wasn’t quite sure how the Ministry was always made instantly aware of any muggle-magic violations and incidents, and how they managed to communicate with the obliviators so rapidly, but what she did know was that as an obliviator, her job was to treat every incident as an emergency, to apparate straightaway to the address and fix up the problem.
Alicia hurriedly stepped out from behind her desk, snatched her wand and focused on the memo in her hand. Salling Beach, Slovenia, Salling Beach, Slovenia, Salling Beach, Slovenia. After the advanced apparition course she had found apparating from country to country almost second nature. She closed her eyes as she felt the familiar twisting, before opening them to see herself standing on sand. Rather than cheer at successfully apparating to Slovenia, Alicia began scrutinising her surroundings.
The beach was pretty much just an isolated cove, and just as Alicia thought there were no people even around, let alone any problems to fix, she heard a shriek behind a group of large rocks. Alicia raced over and yelped as she saw a muggle woman cowering under a growling crup, a magical creature that was similar to a dog but undoubtedly ferocious to muggles.
After stupefying the crup, Alicia made sure the woman was okay before assisting her to a nearby bench away from the scene. Alicia was pretty sure the woman was frozen in shock, and seeing the flash of red light from Alicia’s wand right in front of her eyes probably didn’t help. Murmuring softly, Alicia spoke, “Obliviate”. Just as the woman’s eyes began to refocus, she also cast a light sleeping charm, so that the woman would most likely wake up one or two hours later assuming she’d just taken a morning nap at the beach.
Alicia then turned back to the rocks and to the motionless crup. Whoever owned this crup had needed a license, and proof that they’d be able to keep it away from muggles. Whoever owned this crup would be in a lot of trouble when the Slovenian Ministry of Magic found out about it. Alicia cast another sleeping charm, this time on the crup, levitated it and hid it behind a rock, and finally, she also cast a muggle-repelling charm as an extra safety measure. She probably could apparate to the Slovenian Ministry herself, but it was better to apparate back to her office and send a message to level four: the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, who would pass on the message to its counterpart in Slovenia.
Since Alicia’s job was done here, it was time to apparate back, but as she took one last glance at the beach, she realised she wanted to enjoy a few more minutes at this beach. She’d never really travelled outside of the country before, and apparating to Dublin, to Finland, to Turkey, to France during the course didn’t really count. As part of the Obliviating Course she’d memorised a map of Europe, so she knew where Slovenia was… but she’d certainly never expected to find herself there.
Alicia strolled down to the frothy waves that surged back and forth and relished the wind that was messing up her hair and the faint rays of sun that struggled to be seen behind glum grey clouds. Yesterday, her first day had been rather dull, but she could now see the possible perks of being an obliviator. She’d almost certainly just saved a woman’s life, could add Slovenia to her list of travels and was now admiring an isolated but beautiful beach.
After a moment, she trudged back up the sand, took one last glance at the beach, and disapparated.
Disclaimer: Everything you recognise is from the amazing J.K.Rowling.
The title is also kind of a reference to The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
A/N: Thank you for reading! As usual, it's my first story in awhile, so reviews would be wonderful! Also, constructive criticism is always welcome and greatly appreciated. :)