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Chapter 3: 03
When Luna's alarm woke her the next day, she groaned. Work. She loved it, but today would be all in the office-no field work, and there was no way she could go check the eggs. No, instead, she would have to explain to Rolf exactly what they were doing, since he was new.
She pulled herself out of bed, already resisting what was sure to be a dreadful day. She hated having to spend time in the office, she liked field work much more. She sighed as her feet hit the cold wood floor and she prepared for work. She arrived at her normal time, the latte she always got from the café downstairs in one hand, work pack and purse in the other.
She walked into her office and sat down, waiting for Rolf to show up. His door was closed and there was no light under it, so she didn't know what else to do. Thirty minutes later, she had finished her latte and Rolf still hadn't shown. Had he changed his mind and decided he didn't want to work in this department as her associate after all? She sighed and decided to go talk to Atkins.
He saw her approaching through the window of his office and waved her in before she could knock. "Luna, great you're here."
"I've been here for thirty minutes waiting on Rolf," she said. "He is still working with me, isn't he?"
Atkins grinned. "Of course. When I told him he would be working with you, he practically jumped for joy. I know how you hate being here though, so I had Astron show him around the place. They should be nearly done now, I had him show up early so you two could do whatever it is you need to do." Luna smiled. Atkins was one of the reasons she hadn't simply gone into free lance, like Rolf had done. He was great to work for, and seemed to genuinely care for her.
"Thanks, sir. I really appreciate it."
Atkins laughed. "You just bring me those nargles young lady. Those are all you need to get a promotion. I told Rolf to come here, so you might as well stick around."
She sat in the chair in front of his desk, and the two men walked in just moments later. "I'm telling you Rolf, you need to drop her as quickly as possible, she keeps insisting these things—" Astron stopped talking when he realized Luna was there.
Atkins cleared his throat. "You are dismissed, Astron."
"Thank you sir," he said as he walked away.
Luna wasn't sure where to look, so she just looked at Rolf. Rolf seemed to be about to say something when Atkins stopped him. "I take it he showed you the most important parts of the building?"
"Yes sir," Rolf said with a smile.
"Good," Atkins said. He flicked his wand, causing the doors to shut and the blinds to drop. "I have something to talk to the two of you about."
Luna swallowed. Was it something to do with what they had overheard Astron saying? Hadn't Atkins just told her she was read to be promoted? She glanced over at Rolf, who looked calm. "Okay," he said.
Atkins sighed and looked at Luna. "I really want you to get me those Nargles, okay? I need you to get them. If not, I'll be forced to fire you. I don't want that, and you know I don't, but you've only uncovered one species." Atkins ran his hand down his face and sighed again. "Luna, I think you're a great agent and I want to keep you, so please be right about these Nargles."
Luna nodded. "I am sir, I assure you. They are Nargle eggs." Her stomach still felt weird though. What if they weren't really Nargle eggs? What if her research had been wrong? Her entire career-her life was hanging on this one possibility. Only one, she thought, as if any of the others have done much more. There is a reason this department is so small and underfunded. Still, she didn't see what Rolf had to do with this. It seemed more personal to her, something he didn't have to listen in on.
"And Rolf, you really do have a reputation. I put you through training, with all the other applicants, and your score was the best, so I took you. Only needed one. It seems my bosses aren't too happy about you though. You seem to have caused them some trouble. So they're watching you as well, and the instant you make a claim that doesn't turn out, they'll ship you out too. And you've expressed to everyone about how the eggs are Nargle eggs. Just…be careful guys."
They thanked him and left since there was no use in arguing. Rolf followed Luna into her office and sat in the extra chair. He groaned loudly, so she shut the door. "What are you doing?" she asked him.
It took him a moment to respond. "I can't believe it. I've just started, and already my job has been threatened. I can't help it if I've pointed out things they've done that is unfair. I can't help it if they're all bigoted idiots." He slammed his fist against the wall and yelled, "It's not my fault I'm his grandson!"
Luna wasn't sure what to say. She was frightened by this sudden out-burst of rage. "Maybe you should go out for a walk. I still have to write up some stuff on the field work yesterday and I'll—we'll need to go there soon to check back in."
He turned his glare to her, the look softening when he reached her face. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have done that. I just…it's complicated."
Luna looked at him for a moment. He was so upset, and though it wasn't her fault, she still felt somewhat responsible. She had none of the dreaminess in her voice, only true curiosity and care when she asked him exactly what was wrong. It had to be more than just what Atkins had said, after all.
He swallowed a couple times before getting up and taking a random book off the bookshelf of the small office. "My grandfather practically raised me. I mean, my parents were there and they cared and actually did a great job, but I was at his house whenever I could be. He taught me so much. And then when the Ministry started putting up all these extra rules against werewolves and the like, stuff that was absolute trash that they never had before-he got angry." Luna nodded, not wanting to interrupt what he was saying, but so he would know she was paying attention, if her eyes following him as he paces and fiddled with the book weren't enough. "And well, so did I. With the main heads over this department. But they had to let me apply as a result of that thing Kingsley passed." He sighed. "I'm sorry. I was really hoping this wouldn't come down on you."
Luna gave a small laugh-not one from humor, but irony. "No, they aren't too pleased with me either. I'm the greenest field agent they had, and most of the time, I'm just an annoyance to them. They don't like either of us, I'm afraid."
Rolf smiled slightly. "Well, we'll just have to give them what they want, won't we. The Nargle eggs should hatch soon. They generally take a month to hatch-a very long time, which is why it's hard to catch them. Not to mention they move nest weekly."
Luna's mouth opened slightly. "What?"
"Oh, my grandfather discovered them just before his death three years ago. He never reported it because he said they would think he was just an insane old man reading the quibbler." Rolf shrugged.
Luna couldn't wait to get the creatures, and see what they looked like. She couldn't believe the Nargles were really real.
Later that night as she slipped into bed, she smiled. She had been wrong. She didn't like Rolf-she loved him. He was her favorite person in the department, maybe even over Atkins, and he knew the Nargles were real. She was certain he would become her best friend.
She couldn't wait to tell Ginny.