She's a Bad-ass Bitch and She Knows It
Title: Interoffice Stereotypes
Spoilers: Set three years after AU book seven, cannon from OotP
Disclaimer: JK owns all, I am a broke college student. Correction: I own C. More Skeeter and assorted others…
Summary: Plots, allies, a prince in disguise - er, princess
A/N: I’m extremely annoyed right now. My laptop crashed for the final time, taking everything with it. Including seven pages of this story, a nearly finished chapter of Apples, Trees & Roots, a good chunk of Let the Black Waves Roll and pretty much everything else. Pissed off. Finally get decent internet, and then I lose everything. Gargh.
Also, on long hiatus: 1. Niece gave birth a month early to my adorable great-niece who was 5lbs even. Baby & mommy are doing awesome, 2. I bought my first house (yay, 30 year mortgage), 3. Moving stress, and 4. Laptop crash, which means I had to adjust to a new computer with new and unsettling word programs (upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 8 sucks.) She’s a Bad-ass Bitch and She Knows It
Millicent rolled her eyes as she found Fred hunched over his desk, lost completely to whatever design was floating around in that head of his. He’d barely processed the fact that the shop had fallen silent around him. He’d sat there, figuring out the latest whatever-it-was and hadn’t even noticed she’d left.
“Can’t have you starving, now can we?” Millicent huffed, dropping a spelled satchel in front of him.
“What’s that?” Fred glanced up, the dark smudges under his eyes making her realize he hadn’t been sleeping well. When the hell had she become his keeper?
“Cold chicken, a bit of cheese and a good Italian bread.”
“That sounds like the menu of a Victorian picnic,” he frowned. “Managed to find a portal through time on your break did you?”
“No, you dolt. They’re what the sandwiches are made of.” She rolled her eyes as she took up the seat across from him. “I see we’ve taken over the employee table again.”
“Sorry about that,” Fred grimaced. “Need a fresh pair of eyes on the Revolting -”
“Whatever it is, I don’t want to know. I’m about to tuck into a delicious warm sandwich. Revolting is not the word I want rattling around my head.”
“Right. Besides, George was supposed to be here ages ago to tweak anything that needs tweaking -”
“I cannot believe the place my mind went with that word,” Millicent shook her head, trying to dislodge the image. “George’s been away planning the wedding, hasn’t he?”
“Unfortunately, Allie’s panicking and it’s only three more weeks away,” Fred rubbed at his eyes and then reached for his sandwich. “Which means I have no way of figuring out why the Revolting – oof.”
Millicent withdrew her balled fist from his side and gave him a knowing look. She wiggled her sandwich at him and continued eating. He grumbled, but followed her lead. Companionable silence hung in the shop as he chewed slowly, savoring the moment for what it was.
“When did you chuck everyone out?” Fred peeked back around her shoulders to see out to the empty shop floor.
“Same time I do every afternoon. Children are surprisingly like puppies when you train them well. They hear that clock and know I mean business when I clear my throat.”
“Trained a lot of puppies have you?” he grinned.
“Just once,” Millicent smiled. “My mother’s had poodles my whole life, but once between the passing of one toy poodle to the next we had a little spaniel that she was not pleased to find in place of Pipsy the 7th. I got him for two weeks. Had him trained by the first week, too.”
“Just two weeks?” Fred didn’t like the sad look that came over her face.
“Pipsy the 8th replaced him. Sired on six bitches before my mother got his replacement, Pipsy the 9th,” Millicent gave a dismissive toss of her head. “Brawler got caught with one of Pipsy the 7th’s former harem and well, he went the way of the eunuchs.”
“And the harem dog, did she get knocked up?”
“Yes. Mother was livid. The entire litter came out gangly little balls of dark, limp hair. Not a redeeming curl amongst them,” Millicent had to look away. “I think my father ordered them to be drowned.”
“What?” Fred’s sandwich dropped from his hand with a wet thunk.
“Marcus got them to safety, never fear.”
“And you didn’t want to hear about my Revolting –“
“Fred, shut up,” Millicent’s head snapped around to the doorway. “Who’s there?”
“Co-owner extraordinaire,” George stumbled through the door at Alicia’s prodding. “Having a lunch date are we?”
“George,” Ally elbowed him. “It’s not as if she can pop down to the Cauldron and remain discreet with C. Moore poking her nose around, now can she.”
“Well, if she stopped terrifying poor defenseless coat racks, then she wouldn’t need to be discreet,” George rolled his eyes.
“Oi, I thought I told you that in secret?” Fred’s glance flicked to Millicent’s face, but she wasn’t angry. She grinned before taking a final bite of her sandwich.
“It was annoying me, and it had it coming,” she said after swallowing, wiping her fingers on the paper napkin. “Better throw open the doors for the teeming masses of sugar-injected terrors.”
“Actually, we stopped by to talk to you, Millicent,” Ally smiled brightly at her, which had the former Slytherin pulling back in confusion.
She glanced over at Fred, who looked as confused as well. George only sulked, telling them both that whatever it was he was against it. Whatever ‘it’ was. Ally continued to smile idiotically. That couldn’t be good at all.
“You can’t be firing me, because then Thing 2 would be all smiles instead of the other way round,” she said slowly.
“A Dr. Seuss reference?” Ally blinked, but the twins continued to look clueless.
“We’ve Muggles in the family. Go on. Screaming children are in my imminent future,” Millicent gestured for her to continue.
“We heard about the dinner party –“
“Which, why again weren’t we invited?” George leaned against the counter.
“Because we had plans, now stop interrupting me,” Ally shook her head at him. “And we’ve got a proposition to put to you.”
“What kind of proposition?”
“It involves Fred –“
“Are you seriously –“
“I took this job so I wouldn’t have to resort to prostitution,” Millicent cut both Ally and Fred off.
“No. Not prostitution. I was thinking of – well, you both seem to get along well, and Katie said – I’m not saying this right at all,” Ally puffed out a breath of frustration. “Fred needs a date for the wedding functions. And Angelina will be there, which can be painful –“
“We’ve been broken up for years, I think I’ve adjusted,” Fred tossed the rest of his sandwich away, glaring at his future sister-in-law.
“It would be one less thing for Molly and myself to focus on during the preparations. She worries about your happiness, Fred.”
“And Mrs. Weasley hates me,” Millicent added.
“Mum doesn’t hate you,” the twins said in unison. A shared glance between them communicated that there would definitely be a conversation about why both of them were so convinced of the fact.
“Besides, it would be a way to stick it to Blaise,” Ally smiled again, determined for her plan to work. “Plus, you’d be invited to the Hen party and we’d compensate you for your time at the other functions.”
“We never said we’d –“
“Shut it, George,” Ally snapped. “So, will you do it?”
“What?” George and Fred both looked back at her.
“It’ll do wonders for my P.R. comeback that I’m sure Katie has planned for me. Plus, Hen parties almost always lead to an all-male nude revue or so I’ve heard,” she shrugged. “I could use an all-male nude revue and the doubled salary.”
“On top of the free room and board?” George snorted.
“Shut up, George,” Ally and Fred glared at him.
“Fred gives the room, I normally treat for the food. Not that I need to explain anything to you.”
“Good, then I’ve got a whole itinerary ready for you here –“
“How many functions are there?” Millicent’s eyes widened at the pages long list Alicia held out to her.
“Should’ve asked that before you said yes to naked male bodies,” Fred said a little sourly. She frowned at him.
“It’s been a rough couple of weeks for me. I’m not exactly at the top of my game. I don’t have to pull bridesmaid duty as well?”
After that fun little interlude, Millicent reopened the shop and left Fred to keep George and Ally entertained. Part of her was completely unsure why she jumped at the chance to play Fred’s date. Second nature, she supposed. She’d done it for Blaise and she owed Fred a good turn. He’d have done it for her, which was just a damn weird thing to think. ~*~
Blaise waited impatiently in his office for the tiny blonde annoyance to grace him with her presence. Lovegood had dropped her little bomb and then flittered away into the night. The annoying little twit.
“Have you noticed that you tend to speak your thoughts aloud? I’d imagine that was a trait that being a Slytherin during a war had drummed out of you.”
Her wispy voice seemed so damned amused at his shock of seeing her leaning against his desk. A small smile played on her lips and Blaise had to shift uncomfortably in his seat. Damn Ravenclaw coming into his office and acting superior because of his so-called adultery. He greatly disliked being found wanting. That was his job, finding people wanting, that is. She sat down on the corner of his desk.
“What do you suggest we tell Millicent?” Luna asked quietly, uncertainty evident in her voice.
“There’s no ‘we’, Lovegood. Mill’s not talking to me at the moment because of C. Moore’s last treat,” Blaise sneered.
“Then how do I
tell her that her mother is C. Moore’s source of information?” Luna actually curled her fists at him. It was slightly adorable. Dammit.
“Very carefully.” ~*~
Fred was unearthly quiet for the rest of the day and Millicent couldn’t figure out why. She sent off the till with Colin and flipped the closed sign. He was still moping in the back room when she extinguished the lights.
“What the hell crawled up your arse and died, Weasley?” Millicent snapped when he continued to poke at whatever the hell had had him stymied all afternoon.
“Besides the damn embarrassing spot my twin and his bride put us in this morning?” Fred muttered.
what’s been bothering you? The sweet, yet terribly nosy and assuming spot your twin put you in? I’d have thought you’d be used to all that nonsense by now.”
“I’m not that hard up, dammit,” Fred snapped back, a snarl in his words. Oh, hell no. If anyone was going to be snarly it was her. Especially when he said it like that. The right bastard.
“Do you imagine that I
am?” Her eyes narrowed.
“What?” Fred drew back at that, confusion swamping out the annoyance he’d been wearing. “Merlin’s beard, you’re still getting over Zabini’s rubbish. A bloke would be –“
“So it’s that I can’t possibly imagine how painful and annoying the whole damn set-up schemes are to a person who wants nothing to do with it at all?”
“Then shut it, why don’t you, and I’ll give you a kick-back for all of George’s stupidity and Ally’s well-meaning, you idiot?” Millicent smirked at him.
It took a few seconds. His eyes went a bit glazed, his jaw a little more slack. Then the blinking and the returning smirk. The idiot why was she not surprised that he hadn’t thought of this earlier.
“Besides, you did me a good turn. You brave Marcus and Katie’s place with me. I can brave your mother’s rampant dislike of me if you can brave threats to your manhood from Flint.”
“Flint’s been a threat to my manhood since second year when he slammed a bludger at my balls,” Fred snorted. “And my mother doesn’t dislike you. Don’t know why you keep harping on that.”
“Because she doesn’t like me. Haven’t you caught on yet that you’re one of the very few people who do
like me?” She rolled her eyes at him and turned back to face the stairs to the flat. “You coming or what?”
“You’re not unlikeable, Mill,” Fred frowned at her retreating back.
“I stopped caring about that years ago,” came her dismissive reply. “Unfortunately, that’s what makes me the perfect scapegoat for this harassment shite.”
If only all of that little statement was true. But that was something she’d never share.