This Side of the Fence
April1, 2005 5:32PM
Hannah was terribly nervous. This was bad. It was all very bad, and while she liked Mr. Giles, she had not seen his irritation directed at her. She did not think that would be a factor after today. She had already made an appoint via Anya and entered his office slowly.
She still could not believe two Aurors had walked right up to Willow in Diagon Alley and arrested her. It was terrible, and not to mention terrible publicity for the Council. Her bosses were telling her that she needed to be more worried about the wizarding world, but these were her friends now. At least she thought they were.
And if anything, Hannah was a Hufflepuff through and through when it came to loyalty to her friends.
"Hello, Miss Abbott. What can I do for you?" Giles was his usual, calm, well-groomed self. He was wearing a tweed suit, which Hannah had not seen very often, and there was an undercurrent of something... rigid in his demeanor.
"I should preface, Mr. Giles, by saying it is becoming an increasing possibility that I shall no longer be the Ministry's liaison for the Council. Not because I don't want to be, but because they are not going to like how I am about to respond."
Hannah took a deep breath and smoothed the skirt on her little pink Chanel suit.
"They want to place a Ministry employee within the Council house to observe more fully. I am, of course, going to polite tell them to stuff it. At which time it is possible I will be fired. Let me also say I am livid about what happened to Willow. Protocol said I should have been informed first, and that I should have been the one to escort Willow in. Peacefully. With dignity. I have already met with Daniel Penshaw. He's lovely. I'm quite pleased he will be representing the Council's interests. That is, if you allow it. He's already representing Willow quite well."
Hannah realized she had just talked a lot, so she paused to let Giles respond.
Giles' jaw was working; Hannah could see it moving under his skin.
Finally, he said, "Thank you. We will hate to see you go. If you are indeed dismissed, please come back by. I believe that we can find you a place here, should you desire it."
Hannah opened her mouth to speak, but Giles held up a hand.
"I have," he continued, "Worked with Daniel Penshaw once before, and it did work out well at that time. We do have a number of things that require a helping hand, legally speaking, and I have the utmost confidence in his abilities as well as those other solicitors working at this firm in other specialties."
"As for stationing a bureaucrat here to 'observe' -- " he bit off that last word sardonically " -- If this is the case, I believe that it will be necessary to take steps in dealing with your current, if perhaps not for long, masters. You and your predecessor were allowed access by us at the request
of your ministry, as you well know. We can, of course, chuck the ministry out on its collective arse, so to speak, should we feel it necessary. We have a special charter with the crown which dates back to the first King of Wessex. We have renewed it with each monarch since, as well as the Cromwells, even though it is said that the Lord Protector believed us to be a necessary nuisance. At least he didn't stable his horses in our buildings."
"But I digress. Needless to say, should the Ministry get too large for its trousers, they will have something else coming to them."
Hannah just smiled.
"I didn't tell my superiors that if Willow was truly not on our side, those Aurors could not have taken her. I've read what she did, what she was trying to do. She could have flattened them like pancakes if she chose to."
"I think the problem here is that the Ministry sees you lot as Muggles and creatures. Wizards? Not the most politically correct beings on the planet. Some of us in positions of power practice very outrageous snobbery. Most everyone's been really lovely to me here, and I know it was to make me on your side, but watching this place? I think I would have been anyhow."
Giles relaxed a little and gave her a small smile. "I'd certainly like to think so. I was warned about the Ministry's 'Department of Magical Creatures' and I think they should keep their noses in their own business. I'm certain that they have enough to be getting on with without making a fuss with us."
He was neglecting to tell her that if properly riled, he himself could flatten an auror like a pancake.
"You would be surprised what people will find time to make a fuss about. I will do what I can because I understand what it is you lot are trying to do here. It's worth something, and I feel a part of it in some way. I even have my own battle scar."
She absently rubbed her neck.
"Don't we all," he commented under his breath. "Thank you. As I said, should you find yourself sacked, please come by. We have all enjoyed working with you."
"As have I. I've also learned a lot."
Hannah turned to leave, but stopped and put her hand on the door frame. She did not turn to face him, just turned her head to the side.
"You were meant for this, you know. Don't let anyone tell you differently."
He chuckled. "I should certainly hope NOT
," he responded. "I'd much rather be out in the field, like I was back in the old days than pushing papers. But, I'm now the most experienced watcher in Europe under the age of eighty, so it falls to me to run things. Perhaps someday I can work my way back out of this quagmire." He indicated the piles on his desk.
"Well, Oz mentioned something about several of us observing a patrol with yourself and Buffy with him, Anya and Willow to assist. Something about showing the younger generation how it's done. I look forward to that."
"Oh good Lord. Now we've an audience?"
"You've had an audience for quite some time, Mr. Giles. The wizarding world is watching intently. Give them a good show. Oh, by the way... favorite bikkies? I bake when worried or upset."
"Oh, I intend to, never fear." He cast about for something witty to say. His mind settled on old Beatles Lyrics. "Having been some days in preparation, a splendid time is guaranteed for all."
Hannah looked a bit lost. Giles changed the subject.
"My Gran used to make these Ginger Snaps that I loved as a boy. They were far too soft to be ginger snaps, but I think it may have been because she didn't leave them in long enough. I always secretly thought that she liked them that way too."
Hannah was already calling them ginger squishes in her head. She nodded at him with a smile and took her leave.
Giles just smiled and returned to his paperwork.