She Crushes Beer Cans on Her Forehead
Title: Interoffice Stereotypes
Rating: Pg-13 to R
Spoilers: Set three years after book seven
Disclaimer: JK owns all, I am a broke college student.
Summary: What do you do when you have nothing, and have to live day to day? You do things you aren’t proud of, like working for those stupid Muggle-loving Weasels.
A/N: Ok, my second non-crossover of the Potter persuasion. I know, it’s not a common character, but I like it, so there (blame Coming For You, it made me like Millicent. And yes
, it’s Millicent Bulstrode. I like her so there) And yes, I realize that made me sound like a five year old. Interoffice Stereotypes
She Crushes Beer Cans On Her Forehead
She’d been to nearly every shop, pub, inn, and restaurant in Diagon Alley, Godric’s Hollow, and Hogsmeade for the past two weeks trying to find a job. The off season, and Quidditch Union Strike wasn’t helping her pay the bills, and Gringotts was not exactly happy with her. Her father’s debt, solicitors fees, and her mother’s monthly allowance was quickly eating at her finances. She huffed angrily as she stared at the last
shop she wanted to enter, and the only
The door chime quacked as she opened it. Gold and Scarlet covered the walls and the products were lined up rather neatly in their bins along the wall. A red-head popped his shaggy haired head through the door behind the counter. A grin crossed his face as he yanked off the protective dragon-hide gloves on his hands.
“Hullo, did you need some assistance Miss?”
“Actually, I’m here about a job.” She replied, trying to keep her tone level.
“Than you’re just in luck. Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes is hiring.” His grin got wider as he pulled an application out from beneath the counter. “What’s your name?”
“Millicent. Millicent Bulstrode.”
The quill faltered, just like it did at every other shop that had been eager to hire her. Nobody wanted to hire the daughter of a known
Death Eater. Even if she was a pro Quidditch player, even though, she herself had never been a Death Eater. Even though she’d fought
on the right
side in the war.
“Never mind, let me guess. I’m not the ‘right’ person for the job. Or I’m not qualifed to count money? Or is it that you just can’t hire my sort of people?” She snapped. “Forget it. I was thick enough to try.” She turned to leave before he could even respond. In fact, her hand was on the door when she heard him call out to her. “Don’t you want to finish filling out the application, Bulstrode?”
“Are you serious?” She turned back.
“No one else wants to apply. Apparently, we’re in a dangerous trade to get into.” Weasley grinned.
* * *
Fred Weasley had been working on perfecting the newest line of Wheezes when he heard the chime quack the arrival of a new customer. George was out with Alicia, probably tucked up in their flat doing unspeakable things to each other. He grinned as he saw the young woman standing in the doorway, appraising his establishment.
She wasn’t horrible to look at. In fact, she was pretty good looking. Down boy
, he told himself. Her long dark brown hair hung loosely over her shoulders, a dark outer robe covered a knee length black skirt and a beige blouse. Square-toed black heels finished off the ensemble.
When she told him she was Millicent Bulstrode, the Slytherin girl who once put Hermione in a headlock. His pen faltered as it sunk in. Maybe some
Slytherin’s weren’t all evil or smarmy looking. Millicent had actually aged well
. Granted, last time he’d purposely set eyes on her had been in his seventh year and he actually hadn’t been looking.
“I can only work in the Quidditch off season.” She said cautiously.
“I heard you played. What team?” He asked, pushing the application closer to her.
“Falmouth Falcons.” She took up the quill, confusion on her face.
“What?” She seemed shocked.
“You hold yourself defensively, as if expecting a bludger to come slamming into your face.” Fred said simply. “Beater for six years, comes with the territory.”
“That and I was the reserve for four years at Hogwarts, until Crabbe and Goyle got themselves hand picked fifth year.” She said, signing and dating it, half not believing that she was talking easily to a Weasley. “But then, Quidditch really didn’t matter anymore, everyone was concerned with the war my seventh year.”
“And both Crabbe and Goyle were in Azkaban by then.” Fred snickered.
“Yeah.” She straightened her shoulders. “So, do I even have a chance or was this all set up to rub it in my face?”
“Ah, you wound me.” Fred joked. “Well, give me a day to talk it over with my brother, and I’ll get back with you.”
“Wha- um, right.” She swallowed. With that, she turned and left the store.
Fred scribbled out a quick note and sent it off to George. He had a new clerk for their store.
* * *
Millicent walked stiffly down Diagon Alley. Has Weasley actually
offered her a job? Had she stooped so low as to - no, that
kind of thinking had made her abandon her dreams of playing Quidditch for so long. She barely noticed when she ran into someone.
“You stupid cow, watch - Millie?” A voice shrieked. Millicent cringed. She hated that nickname and she didn’t have particularly cozy feelings for the owner of the voice.
“Whatever were you doing down there
?” She tipped her head disdainfully toward Weasley’s shop.
The war may be over, and Pansy’s side had lost, but there were still boundaries, and a good pureblood girl didn’t break them. Clearly going to that shop was on top of the list. But it was a list Millicent was feeling very giving toward today.
“Applying for a job.”
“A - job?” Ah, the another top no-no. Good girls don’t work, they have underlings who do absolutely everything, with the exception of bearing an heir, or at least an heiress.
“Yes, it’s how one is able to pay for the luxuries in life, or even the necessities of life, Parkinson.” Millicent muttered.
“It’s - just - the Weasels? How could you, Millie?”
, they’re the only ones willing to hire
“Well, more respectable shops would hire you if you gave up that hare-brained Quidditch club. No one’s going to hire a girl
athlete.” Pansy sneered disdainfully, which made Millicent ready to strangle the annoying twit.
“No one’s got a problem with the Quidditch bit about me, it’s the stamp of the Death Eater on my father’s forearm that has them all concerned.” Millicent said pointedly. “I know your Daddy got off with five years imprisonment, Pans, but my father was kissed in battle on top of that life sentence. So forgive me if I have to lower myself to work to feed my mother and myself. It’s either work for Weasley or prostitute myself, and you’d know an awful lot about that, wouldn’t you, Pans.”
“Well, we all know you wouldn’t have made much
you’d tried to prostitute yourself.”
“Yeah, well I wouldn’t do it for free, or for baubles.” Millicent pushed past her, “Oh, nice necklace, Pans. Was it Nott, Flint or Malfoy who gave you that?”
“Well, they are your best clients, aren’t they?”
With that, she disapparated home. Well, her mother’s home. Millicent had a tiny flat up in Falmouth that she shared with one of the team’s chasers, Portia Edgerton. Portia lived there all year, but Millicent only shared with her during the season. Portia worked in the local pub and had tried to get Millicent a job, but with the strike in full swing, there were no jobs to be had. The townspeople who worked at the Pitch had quickly latched onto any openings.
Millicent had barely stepped into the family room when her mother’s pitiful shrieks could be heard. She rolled her eyes and sighed. It would be today that she’d run into Parkinson. Today, of all days.
“Millicent! You stupid, wicked girl! We’ve been waiting all this time, and you didn’t even bother to call! No, you were to busy hanging about with that dreadful Hyacinth Parkinson’s girl! Oh, do you like to see your poor, widowed mother all alone? Do you like to see me suffer?” She bawled, banging a withered fist against her bony chest, her dark black hair shaking as her head jerked back and forth.
“No, mother. I don’t. And I told you I was going -”
“Lies, all of it! Isn’t it enough that I let you play your silly little games?” Her dark blue eyes glinted fiercely at her only child.
“Mother, I was in Diagon Alley on business.” She sighed. There was no point in her trying to explain it. Instead, she turned to her mother’s guest and gave a genuine smile. “Hello, Blaise. What did we do to gain your attention?” She asked.
“Nothing, Mil. This is just a casual meeting.” But she saw his eyes skitter toward her mother, and she knew that it wasn’t. “I was quite put off that my favorite girl wasn’t here to greet me, however.”
“Yes, well, had someone told us you’d be dropping by, I would have been here with bells on, Blaise.” She forced her smile to widen. It was one of their things. They’d been friends since before Hogwarts, and both had abandoned many of their housemates in the final battle, choosing to save their own hides instead of saving Voldemort’s. They had an unspoken pact, made late in their fourth year. Neither had been interested in the candidates their fathers had chosen for them, so they pretended to be an item, to save each other. She knew it was really Blaise saving her from Crabbe, but he never admitted that he would have preferred one of the other Slytherin girls over her.
“Mrs. Bulstrode, may I steal Millicent away for a little while?” He gave her mother his dashing smile that never failed to work on the woman.
“Of course, and I shan’t be peeking around corners. There is that lovely little gazebo out in the garden. It’s the perfect environment to speak of, shall we say, delicate matters?” Her mother was about as subtle as a flashing neon light.
“Thank you my dear Mrs. Bulstrode. Mil?”
Her mother’s face brightened considerably. Blaise was as good a catch as she could hope for to marry Millicent. Malfoy had disgraced his family by falling for Weasley in their seventh year, Theodore Nott was far too much for her to even be hoping for, and Crabbe and Goyle had been sloppy and were incarcerated. An older man would have sufficed, but they were much more inclined towards the prettier girls. Blaise Zabini was nearly perfect. He was a well-off solicitor, dashing, and still retained much of his family’s fortune, which was more than could be said of those other boys.
Too bad he’d never marry her. Blaise fostered a crush on one of his co-workers, the much praised Padma Patil. He was using Millicent as a front to make Padma jealous enough to say something and to keep his parents and Pansy Parkinson off his back.
As they made their way through the gardens, Millicent became more and more nervous. Whatever it was, it had to be bad.
“So, what’s wrong?”
“You’re mother’s still in hearing range.”
“Mother’s deaf in one ear from when the chandelier fell onto the piano and Pipsy, her pet poodle five years ago. She can’t hear past the first row of rose bushes.”
“All right. It’s bad, Mil.”
“What is it now?”
“Besides the fact that you’re living in a home you can’t afford, you have no job to pay taxes on it, or the few squib servants you have to compliment your aging house elves Mindy and Morc, and the fact that your one source of income is on strike? Nothing really.”
“Except for the debts my family owes for the upkeep of my clinically brain dead father in Azkaban, and my solicitor’s fees.”
“My fees are the last thing you need to be worrying about. In fact, it’s the last thing you’re going to pay off.”
“Well, there’s a silver lining, Blaise.”
“I might have a job.”
“As what?” He asked curiously. He knew how hard it was to get a job carrying the stigma of their families around their neck like an albatross.
“For what shop, and please tell me it’s not located down Knockturn Alley.”
“No, it’s in Diagon proper.”
“What is it, then?”
“Weasleys’ Wizarding Wheezes.”
* * *
Halfway across the country, George Weasley was having much of the same reaction to his brother’s hastily penned note. Alicia didn’t quite appreciate the sentiment either, but that was for a wholly different reason.
A/N 2: Ok, what do you think? Believable, or not? Likeable or not? Reviewable or not? >*