Chapter 23 : The Final Straw
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“The Final Straw”
The wedding of Sophie Mathieu and Yves Dubois didn’t disappoint, it was a luxurious affair. It brought out all those people that are so fabulous most people can’t identify them. Those so wealthy they control politics and those whose wealth was earned by someone else and they get to reap the benefits.
We at Le Mode got the exclusive invitation, Seeker of the Holyhead Harpies Ginevra Weasley definitely stole the show. She made the black and white requirement chic. In her sequin chevron dress for the rehearsal dinner and an off the shoulder gown for the wedding. Both looks were complemented very well by her greatest accessory Draco Malfoy.
(Right photo: Ginevra outside of the rehearsal dinner. Left photo: Draco and Ginevra at the wedding)
The garden at the burrow was covered in hot pink balloons in celebration of Ginny’s twentieth birthday. Her entire family and all her friends gathered on the sunny Sunday August afternoon to celebrate. The yard was crawling with so many people who Ginny seemed to all know by name. Ron thinking she was too popular for her own good may have been proven to her family today. But she was enjoying the afternoon of barbeque, beer, and fire whiskey
Mrs. Weasley was in a frenzy, she was not expecting a crowd this big. She pulled Ginny out of the mob that was toasting her pink lemonade with their bottles of whisky. “Ginny dear,” she began lowering her voice until they were away from everyone. “You said you were only having a few friends over. Do you even know all these people?”
Ginny may have under exaggerated the number of people she invited to her birthday party. She was trying to keep her mother from overacting. The plan had worked until now.
“Of course I know all these people.”
“Then who’s that,” she pointed to a sunglass clad man sitting on one of the picnic tables.
“That’s Carlos he’s the concessions manager at the stadium.”
“Ok and that person over there.”
“Cher is the concierge at the Seymour Inn,” she walked away from her mother to actually join the party.
“George!” Mrs. Weasley called to her son. When he came over to her she said, “Go to market and get more food.”
“What kind of food,” he asked taking a swig of his whiskey.
“It doesn’t matter, just anything,” she snatched the bottle away from him, “go now!”
Ginny weaved her way through the crowd and found the table that Sara, Ann, and Oliver were sitting at and joined them.
She sighed, “You would think my mother would let me have a peaceful birthday.”
“That’s what mother’s do Gin,” pointed out Sara. “Since your day is already ruined. Allow me to ruin it some more. What’s the deal with the Comet situation?”
Ginny let her shoulders fall, “you know, I’d like to know too.”
“You two should work it out for the sake of the team,” said Ann.
“You’re not even on the team anymore,” retorted Ginny. “Besides this isn’t an after school special where you say for the sake of the team and everything turns out perfect.”
“Of course not. You’re real people with real egos and if you don’t put them aside. There will be no for the sake of the team because you won’t be on one anymore.” Ann shot back.
Ginny hated to admit she was right. She would have to force herself to get along with Comet. Because if she didn’t Dean would never lift the suspension. Which would be terrible for two reasons, she would spend her first season as a starter benched and she would probably hate Dean forever… perhaps not forever but at least a very long time.
“Gin, we all have to do things we don’t want to do. That’s the nature of this business. This fight between you and Comet looks great in the headlines but what’s the point if you’re not going to get to play,” Oliver the Quidditch industry sage said.
“If I have to ride the bench for another season I at least want to see you on the pitch,” said Sara.
“Look you’re all right. Except for you Ann because you’re no longer a Harpy…”
“Hey,” Ann cut off Ginny, “Oliver not’s a Harpy and you listen to him. He and I are now on the same team.”
Ginny rolled her eyes, “whatever… I just have to get it together.”
Ginny turned around when she heard her name. She hoped the look of shock wasn’t noticed as she forced her face into happily surprised. “Harry,” she stood up. “What a surprise.” She didn’t invite him and even if she had she didn’t expect him to show since she missed his birthday party.
“Thank you. Would you like a drink… or some ribs? My dad’s on the grill,” she offered awkwardly.
“Great let’s get you a plate,” she began leading him towards the food.
“So um happy birthday. The big 20.”
Ginny giggled, “thank you again, yeah… I don’t feel a day over 19.”
“So I suppose my invitation got lost in the mail.”
Ginny hoped this wasn’t the start of something, “no it was a word of mouth thing. There weren’t any formal invites… I haven’t seen you but I was sure you would hear about it.”
“Ron mentioned it…”
“See you heard.”
“Ah Harry,” Mr. Weasley cheered from behind the grill. He was wearing his kiss the cook apron. “Nice to see you son! Grab a plate.”
Harry picked up a plate from the table, “Mr. Weasley I had no idea you could cook.”
“Not cook grill,” he corrected, “I’m amazing.”
“He so is,” said a man wearing really short shorts. His face was covered in barbeque sauce.
“Harry this Mick,” Ginny introduced, “He’s the trainer for the Kenmare Krestals.” She handed him a napkin, “you have some sauce on your face.”
“Thanks,” he took the napkin, “nice to meet you Harry. Huge fan,” he said before walking away.
Harry held out his plate and Mr. Weasley filled it up.
“Harry when did you get here,” Ron asked joining them.
“Just a little while ago.”
“I see you found the girl of the hour.”
“Ron how much have you drank,” asked Ginny. He seemed really peppy.
“Not too much… you two are so adorable,” he grinned.
“Hey Draco!” Ginny turned around when she heard Draco’s name. He came through the gate with a large pink box in his arms. She watched as he said hello to the people who acknowledged him and traded kisses with Sara and Ann, and awkwardly shook Oliver’s hand.
“If you’ll excuse me,” Ginny left Ron and Harry. “Hey babe!”
“Happy Birthday,” Draco smiled at her.
“Thanks, that’s a big box.”
“Yeah and you should open it right away,” he put it down on a nearby table.
“Why are there holes in the top,” she asked as she untied the big red bow. She took off the lid and looked inside. “OOO!” She screamed in delight. She reached down into the box and pulled out a black Labrador puppy with a hot pink bow around his neck.
“You like him?”
“It’s a boy! I love him,” Ginny nuzzled the puppy up to her face as he licked her. “What are we going to name him?”
Draco chuckled, “whatever you want love.”
“This is a wonderful gift thank you,” she stood on her tip toes and gave Draco a peck on the lips.
“You’re very welcome,” he tucked her hair behind her ear.
“Alright that’s enough of that you two,” Ron slurred. He may have had one too many but it wasn’t enough to be accosted with the sight of Malfoy putting the moves on his sister.
“Shut up Ronald we’ve just got a new edition to our family,” she was enjoying cuddling with her puppy.
“What are you going to do with that mutt?”
“Train him to only poo on you,” she joked. “I want to call him Herman”
“Herman, honestly love.”
“Deal with it babe.”
“Will you two please stop with all the loving nick names? This whole thing is just sick and needs to end now,” he sneered.
“Ron if you’re going to continue in this manner please leave, whether you like it or not I’m seeing Malfoy I have been for over a year, so obviously something lasting is happening here,” she walked away.
“I don’t want you anywhere near my sister.”
Draco smirked, “you see that’s going to be a bit of a problem because she can’t seem to get enough of me…”
“I’m sure it’s all an act.”
“I’ve seen her naked, she’s hot,” he walked away. He could hear the sick expression mixed with fury forming on Ron’s face. He smiled to himself and joined Sara and Ann. He placed an arm around each of them. “Hello ladies.”
“Where can I get a drink?”
“So we are waiting for the arrival of Ginevra Weasley... She is going to be our cover girl for the Sunday Magazine of the Daily Prophet for the last week of September. Ginevra is someone we were so excited to get the chance to work with. She’s been fearless in her career and always seems willing to take risk. She takes chances not only in business but in her style… She is a beautiful woman and has managed to transform herself into the epitome of glamor but upon her arrival on location today we’ve learned the true glamour of even her simplest looks.” The editor for the Sunday magazine told the freelance writer who was doing the piece. They were waiting for Ginny to finish getting dressed.
“The look we choose was this very southern feel. Its causal a lot of plaid and hats. It’s very rugged, meets edgy and we’re quite certain Ms. Weasley will make it elegant. We’re in an industrial space and we brought in some tumble weeds, we’ve got this duel at dawn thing happening…”
“Alright where do you want me,” Ginny announced as she entered the room. The plaid robe she was wearing had a long train behind it. An assistant was hurrying along behind her carrying it. Only the top few buttons were fastened revealing her perfectly chiseled stomach and the baggy distressed jeans she was wearing. The heels on her boots clacked as she walked across the wooden floor.
“Oh wow,” the editor hopped out of his chair. “It looks better than in the fitting.” He grabbed a hat from the accessory table. “Alright people, look alive let’s go!”
Ginny felt as if she was getting better at this as she had her picture taken. With every photoshoot she did she felt more and more glamourous. She had been told she was beautiful, but she didn’t always believe it. She knew men had this thing for her but that didn’t always make her feel sexy. But she felt beautiful, she felt sexy, as she progress into her career. Well her currently halted career but she felt herself becoming more confident. She felt like she could handle this life… After all she was going to be on the cover of the Sunday insert of the largest newspaper in all of wizarding Britain.
Not to mention, she had her wand in a holster and acting like she was getting ready for a show down. She was feeling kind of badass. She supposed they thought she was up for a fight.
The fate of the Holyhead Harpies new starting seeker is up in the air as the suspension of Ginevra Weasley and other starting seeker Comet Rae was announced. But Ms. Weasley has been using her down time to catch up on her social life. She and her boyfriend Draco Malfoy attended the opening of Towne the new Japanese fusion restaurant dreamed up by Alrick Fulton, the lead singing of the Screaming Banshees.
“The Skeeter Report”
“I am almost ashamed to say that health never really crossed my mind until I began playing Quidditch,” Ginny told the two women from Witch’s Health who were sitting across from her in the Salon at the Seymour Inn. They were having tea as she was being interviewed for the magazine. One of the women was doing the interview the other was photographing her. There were no posed photos or styling. She came camera ready, this may be the first interview she enjoyed. It was really natural and comfortable. “Diving right into the rigorous training I was forced to realize how out of shape I was.”
“So now that you are in full shape, what kind of workouts and diets do you do?”
“I do Harpies training Monday through Friday. Every other day I do strength training and cardio with a personal trainer. I don’t diet, I work out so much it’s not really an issue. I do however cut the carbs four weeks before a photoshoot…”
Women in Sports Luncheon
The back patio of the Hoffman Inn in the English Country side was the backdrop of the Women in sports luncheon. It was a sunny afternoon, or a mildly sunny one it was England after all. This event brought out all the top women in Quidditch, Dueling, Gobstones, Broom and Flying Horse racing.
The rose bushes were in full bloom with white roses, the fountain in the middle of the patio was flowing beautifully. There was a string quartet providing music that complimented the ambiance so well.
Ginny appeared out into the summer air and looked around at all the women in their Sunday best. She spotted a couple of her team mates. Comet was engrossed in conversation with Mary Ryan and just as always she looked picture perfect in her strapless floral dress. Comet however was a bit edger she was in a body conscious dress that showed off her perfect physique, the hem ending just below her knee. Her curls captured in a bun at the top of her head and heels that appeared to make her six feet tall. Ginny hated to admit it but Comet always looked good.
She put it behind her and ventured deeper into the party…
“Ms. Weasley, I’m from Quidditch Daily. I would love to speak with you and Comet Rae about the season.”
Ginny smiled politely at the young man, “I would love to but I don’t think Ms. Rae…”
“Comet,” the young man got her attention. He was certainly an eager journalist. “I was hoping you would join your teammate here and give your opinion on the season.”
Comet sighed, as she joined them. This was an amateur mistake for Ginny to get roped into this but she wasn’t about to let Ginny run her mouth off without supervision. “I suppose I have a moment or two.”
“Great Comet Rae and Ginevra Weasley, you two are the talk of the town. The Quidditch season has started and the Harpies have their first match tomorrow. What are your thoughts?” He asked eagerly his quill at the ready.
What to say, what to say, Ginny thought to herself. “The Harpies to take the league cup.”
“Most certainly,” agreed Comet.
“So Ms. Rae, do you think your stand in can make that happen? Because you are on suspension.”
“I think she was chosen to represents the Holyhead Harpies for a reason but I also know that I’m going to be the one to secure the win for us.”
“The Harpies made it all the way to the finals last year and didn’t take the cup. You made it to the finals in the European cup and didn’t take it. You caught the snitch and ended the match but no win.”
“The competition was stiff I believe that all the right people made it to the finals. There was definitely a lot of talent on the field. Although everyone brought their A game it just pushes you to work that much harder. It makes you hungrier for it and this time I’m ready.
As far as Europe, we knew that Spain had the moves on the field, goals are their strong point. The snitch however, that’s another story. We weren’t going to win that match but I most certainly was going to end it on my terms.” Comet was cool and confident, she had no reason not to be, her record was far better than Ginny’s.
“So Ms. Weasley, how does your promotion work within in the team? Are you expecting to get off the bench?”
Ginny thought for a moment if Darren had something to do with it Ginny would be off the bench. If Madame Dubuffet had something to do with it she would not. “You know I’m wondering the same thing. I haven’t gotten to be a part of the first string training or rituals or what have you so I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see.”
“We’re all waiting and seeing, so what’s the deal. The season has already began, any word on when the suspension will be lifted?”
Ginny and Comet traded looks…
“Get off, get off, get off,” Ginny hissed as she yanked her arm free from Comet who had pulled her into the parlor to talk.
“Stop over reacting,” she said in a low stern voice. “We have to fix this.”
“No duh. You man handling me in public isn’t helping.”
Comet straighten up as a wait person entered the room and walked passed them. She waited for him to leave. “Look I want to play this season and you are ruining it for me…”
“Lower your voice. Yes you, Ginny the only goods you’ve got to back up anything is your desire to act out in front of the press. You don’t have what it takes.”
“I do have what it takes and you’re scared. That’s why you’re ruining your own chances to play this season.” Ginny crossed her arms.
“No you don’t have it because you’re not disciplined. Whatever Jeffery Ramble dresses you in, or whatever Oliver Wood is whispering to you is not discipline. It’s an act, when the curtain closes there is nothing there. I may not have secured a cup in a few years but when the curtain closes on me I still perform. You need to put all of you into the game. That is why I still have a job and your fate is always up in the air…” Comet went back out onto the patio.
Ginny stood there going over everything she just said. She didn’t want Comet to have the last word. She stormed out after her, she had already been swept up in conversation. Ginny marched over to her by the fountain and grabbed her arm.
“Weasley what are you doing,” Comet violently yanked her arm away.
Ginny didn’t really know how it happened. She lost her footing as Comet pulled her arm away. She heard her heel crack as her foot twisted. She grabbed for the thing closest to her and next thing she knew she was under water.
Everyone watched the two women go falling into the fountain. All those close by gasping as the cold water splashed them.
Ginny quickly sat up and pushed her wet hair out of her face. She noticed the older woman sitting in the fountain next to her. She didn’t look happy in her soaked blue suit, her hat floating on the surface next to her.
“Oh my goodness,” Ginny gasped, “I’m terribly sorry. Let me help you.”
“Do not touch me!” She hissed as she put her hands in the air.
“Mrs. Wilford!” The Chair of the women is sports coalition rushed over. “I am so sorry about this,” she helped her up and out of the fountain.
Ginny’s eyes widened in terror. Mrs. Wilford as in Cornelia Wilford wife of Archibald R. Wilford better known to the world as just Wilford. The man who was going to put Ginny’s head on a stick. Ginny jumped to her feet and she picked up the hat that was still floating on the surface.
“Again I am truly sorry, I lost my footing,” Ginny stammered as she climbed out of the fountain. She held the hat out.
Cornelia snatched the hat away from her. She was a slender blonde woman in her late forties although with her makeup running down her face she looked a lot older. The scowl didn’t help either. She rolled her eyes at Ginny and stormed away.
The chair person got close to Ginny and lowered her voice, “Ms. Weasley you have created enough of a scene, I think it’s best if you go home and dry off.” She put on a huge smile and turned to the crowd and photographers that had gathered around, “accidents happen,” she chirped merrily, “let’s all sit down to lunch!” She ushered the crowd towards the tables.
Comet lagged behind, “did you not hear what I just said,” she looked at Ginny as if she lost her mind. She shook her head shamefully as she went to find her seat.
This wasn’t good…
The heavy hand carved door of the Head of Games and Sports flew open. Wilford was red in the face, “NANCY!” He shouted. Everyone who was in the hall scattered and found someplace to take cover.
Nancy the department receptionist came running down the hall towards his office. “Yes sir,” she asked eyes wide.
“I want Conrad Humphrey, Darren Wilkes, Clarke Gaines, and Dean Thomas in my office in fifteen minutes!” He ordered and then slammed his office door shut.
Nancy was terrified she would have to track down these men and get them here. It was no wonder human resources has been having trouble finding him a new secretary. She hurried down the hall to Dean’s office. She knocked and opened the door before he responded.
He looked up at her annoyed but she didn’t care, “Wilford wants you in his office in fifteen minutes.” She closed the door and hurried on to Clarke Gaines office the head of the British and Irish Quidditch League.
About five minutes later Dean knocked on Wilford’s door. He opened it when he heard him call from the other side. “You wanted to see me sir.”
Wilford was red in the face and pacing behind his desk. He was tossing a small ball up and down in the air. “I am not happy…”
There were many things that could possibly upset him but there was only one logical situation that most likely had him miffed. “What did Comet and Ginny do now?”
“Comet hasn’t done a thing. Today was… well is, since it’s still going on as we speak is the Women in Sports Luncheon. Ms. Weasley decided that she was going to pull my wife into a fountain.”
Dean eyes went wide. What was he going to do with Ginny?
“This stops today, we are waiting for a few more people and then…”
Dean stepped out of the way as the door opened. “You beckoned,” Conrad Humphrey owner of the Holyhead Harpies entered. He was wearing shorts and polo shirt. “You interrupted my swivenhodge match.”
“There are more important things at hand than you swatting around a pigs blatter,” Wilford rolled his eyes.
“To you, I’ll have you know I was winning.”
There was a knock on the door, “come in.”
“You wanted to see us sir,” Clarke Gaines the stout man came in with Darren right behind him.
“So,” began Wilford, “Thomas the two women you suspended, which are members of the team you own Conrad, managed by you Darren, in the league you are in charge of Gaines have taken it too far when a little while ago their antics ended with my wife soaked in a fountain.”
Darren and Gaines eyes went wide, both of them scrambling and apologizing over one another for the unfortunate event, “this will never happen again… I am truly sorry…”
“I’m sure Cornelia’s fine,” dismissed Conrad, “it was probably an accident, she use to duel she can take a hit.”
Everyone stared at him as if he lost his mind. He seemed completely unabashed to say such things. Then again he was only one in the room not scared of Wilford. What was he going to do? Kick him out of the league, he was loaded and the Harpies in the grand scheme of things didn’t make him any money.
“The point is, this has gotten out of hand and we are going to fix this right now.” Wilford stated firmly and absolutely.
“The Final Straw”
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