Stunning Alicia Spinnet CI by Musicbox at tda
That morning, unlike the thousand or so mornings preceding it, Alicia groggily awoke without the help of her rather obnoxious alarm clock. Instead, the decidedly timid rapping of fist on wood signified the start of, what was destined to be, a most unusual day.
The door creaked open quietly. ‘Alicia?’ At the sound of her name, Alicia groaned but obediently roused herself in order to face the tentative burglar who had gained entry to her house. It didn’t even occur to her that she was slumped over a desk, rather than in her bed, as a shower of paperclips dislodged from her hair. ‘There are unconscious Irishmen everywhere
and I don’t know what to do about it.’
‘Wait, what? Ru-Ruby? Why are you here?’ Alicia asked as she scrambled to find her glasses. A nagging at the back of her mind told her that this dress probably wasn’t her normal sleepwear, but the rest of her head pounded with such ferocity that she found it easy to ignore this impertinent little voice.
Ruby, however, seemed vaguely astounded by Alicia’s enquiry. ‘I think the question is actually why are you lot
Alicia glanced around blurrily, attempting to make out exactly where here
was without being all that sure that her eyes were actually open. And then it hit Alicia like a Knight Bus driver who had indulged substances of an illegal nature. Here she was, sitting at a desk at Merlin only knew what time, kitted out in a wrinkled dress, with her best robes trailing over the door behind her as Ruby, her receptionist
, woke her up.
‘Exactly how many… Irishmen are there?’ Alicia cried, hurting her own head even more, but continuing with her quest to find her glasses.
‘Shush! There are two on the floor in here.’ Ruby said in the harshest whisper she could muster and causing Alicia to visibly pale. ‘But, overall, I think you’ve actually managed to scrape together the National quidditch squad - not a bad catch.’
Alicia was rather dubious about Ruby’s last comment but decided to overlook it. ‘Right, we need a plan of action, and as soon as I find my glasses, we’ll be flying.’
‘Oh that’s what you were doing! I thought you were having nervous spasms. They’re beside your keys.’
Ruby looked on jollily, pleased with her own helpfulness, until she realised that Alicia wasn’t moving.
‘Are you alright?’ She asked.
‘Not really, Ruby, considering I have a thumping headache, I can’t actually see
where my keys are without my glasses and I’m going to have clients arriving any moment.’
‘Oh…Yes, quite right,’ Ruby said as she skittered over to Alicia’s desk and handed her the offending pair of glasses. ‘Although, you’ve not got to see anybody today – it’s Thursday 16th.’
‘And what does that mean?’ Alicia said, popping her glasses and regaining her ability to focus on objects and, hopefully, imminent disasters.
‘Well, you’ve got that regulatory meeting at The Ministry, haven’t you?’
, Alicia thought. It was a mystery to her what sort of idiotic Ministry official would set up a trivial, and extremely unnecessary, meeting for the small community of quidditch psychologists the day after an international ball for all quidditch-related people. It was absolute madness, but unfortunately madness which required her to go home and wash and change post-haste, because otherwise it would look unmistakably like the dreaded walk of shame
‘Okay, here’s what we’re going to do,’ Alicia whispered conspiratorially to Ruby as she edged out from behind her desk and the pair crept towards the door, ‘you’re going to wake this lot up and get them out of here ASAP. And maybe book them in for a few sessions if you can persuade them that they need some therapy.’
Ruby nodded wisely and followed Alicia around the corner into the reception area where three more fallen Irishmen lay. ‘And what about you?’
‘Me? I’ll be going home to get ready for my meeting,’ Alicia said hurriedly as she made her escape out the front door and down the stairs.
Ruby probably wasn’t quite ready to direct a fleet of Irish hooligans from Queerditch’s, but Alicia believed that it could be viewed as a rather interesting character-building exercise. Soon Ruby would be able to tolerate customers like Ludo Badgman without so much as threatening to throttle them!
However, Alicia was only half way down the stairs when she paused and ran back up them. She braced herself and swung the door back open, only to be faced with a stunned Ruby standing exactly where she’d left her a few seconds previously.
‘What time’s it?’ Alicia panted.
‘Time?’ Ruby repeated. ‘Oh yes, the time! Nine forty-five.’
And with that, Alicia slammed the door and hurtled down the stairs shouting ‘bloody sodding Bulgarians’ for anyone who cared to listen. Unluckily for her, Gwenog Jones was well placed in a doorway across the road, thriving on such misfortune and disorganisation on Alicia’s part. At best, Gwenog and Alicia had a tempestuous relationship, and it was just Alicia’s luck that today was one of the morning’s where Gwenog had taken it upon herself to hurl rubbish at her with as much force as humanly possible, as she manically made a dash for home.
‘And I think that concludes the meeting of the Board for the Consideration of the Psychological Well-being of International Quidditch Players,’ the meeting’s Chairperson Hermione Granger declared in a rather out of breath fashion.
The announcement was much to the relief of the assembled parties. It had taken a long and arduous morning, followed by a soul-sapping afternoon and the best part of an I’m-going-to-throw-myself-out-a-window-in-a-minute evening to finally conclude their business. And their business was a load of old tosh to begin with. The only remotely
entertaining incident for the handful of world renowned quidditch psychologists in attendance, was the arrival of their peer and founder Alicia Spinnet. She entered the room ten minutes late, cursing The Ministry itself to Hades and back, before brushing her hair behind her ear and taking her place with a professional smile. The day had only gone downhill from there, as they sat burrowed away in The Ministry around a long mahogany table, discussing matters of next to no importance.
A relieved chatter had broken out among the group, and Derek Chaffinch began regaling them all with an in depth account of his evening at the Ball, neglecting to include anything after the scene involving himself and a pitcher of mead. Alicia was rising from her chair to join in when a familiar voice cut short her intention.
‘Miss Spinnet, could I possibly speak to you for a moment?’ Hermione asked, appearing a few steps away from Alicia as if from nowhere.
The formality in Hermione’s manner was greatly off-putting for Alicia, and she looked over her shoulder to see if anyone was nearby. ‘Yes, of course, Hermione,’ Alicia said, managing to cover her confusion well as she followed Hermione even further away from where the others were gathering.
Hermione huddled close to Alicia and her eyebrows drew into an expression indicating concern. ‘I’m sorry to bring this up, Alicia, but I just wanted to privately address an issue which has arisen before it gets out of hand.’
‘And what issue would that be?’ Alicia asked amiably. She then attempted to quash the butterflies careening around in her stomach.
‘It has come to our attention that you may be-’ Hermione glanced around before continuing on in a quieter voice, ‘that you may be dating a client.’
‘Wh-What? That’s absolutely… preposterous!’ Alicia said, steadying herself against such accusation by leaning her arm against the wall for support. It seemed as though Alicia’s whole world was about to come crashing down around her and she was going to fight for it. ‘I’m not sure who this is in reference to, Hermione, but you can’t believe I would take advantage of someone like that.’
‘Actually, the accusations pertain to… Viktor Krum, the Bulgarian seeker, who you were seen accompanying here last night - by numerous people.’ Hermione looked as if she was sucking a lemon.
‘Oh Merlin, that’s what this is about! Rest assured, he’s not a client of mine any more, but there most definitely
isn’t any sort of romantic attachment there,’ Alicia said, as she fought a smile from her lips.
‘Really? Well, that’s brilliant because I did think you had more taste than that,’ Hermione laughed. ‘Sorry to get all official on you, but it’s procedure, even if they do send anyone to these meetings that they can possibly fob off with them.’
‘Don’t worry, I understand,’ Alicia said smiling. ‘But, out of interest, you haven’t got any owls or anything from Viktor lately?’
‘No, not a thing.’
‘Brilliant, he’s been pestering me about you, but as long as he’s not pestering you then there’s not a huge problem. You’re the only one who could file stalking charges anyway.’ The shocked expression on Hermione’s face only caused Alicia more amusement. ‘Honestly, don’t worry about it, he’s a stupid sod but he’s harmless.’
Hermione shook her head from side to side as if clearing it. ‘Oh gosh, yes, I know. Although, when I said not a thing I was probably being a little too generous.’
‘Oh Merlin… I honestly don’t know what he’s playing at. I did tell him that I’d speak to you on his behalf, but I was convinced that he’d dropped the idea altogether.’
‘Well, about a week and a half ago he actually… well, I could barely believe it, he sent me a howler!’ A mild blush, which was probably the product of spending too much time with the Weasleys, crept across Hermione’s cheeks. ‘Ron was livid.’
The grin Alicia had been trying so desperately to fight back finally manifested itself, along with torrents of laughter and a rather astounding impression of Viktor. ‘And was this more of a you-haf-lost-your-chance-vith-me howler or an I-vant-to-kill-you howler?’
‘I’m going to go for a combination of the two – I’d lost my chance, but he was more than willing to bump off Ron and continue from where we left off. You know, when I was fifteen.’
‘That’s the thing about Viktor, he’s a very reasonable man,’ Alicia said dryly as she took the opportunity to look round and see if anyone had been tracking their conversation, but was surprised to see the room emptied of life. ‘Looks like we’ve chased everyone off.’
‘I’m not surprised! You can get going now too, if you’d like; it’s been a bloody long day, and I don’t say that too often.’
‘I probably should,’ Alicia said, walking over to her chair and swinging her handbag over her shoulder. ‘We’ll have to have another chat soon – give Harry and Ron my best,’ Alicia called as she left the claustrophobic room she’d been in all day.
She was just about to breathe a sigh of relief as she saw daylight, (even if it was rather questionable Ministry approved daylight), when she was accosted by the tall, awkward figure of Derek Chaffinch. He came leaping up so eagerly from the floor, where he’d been sitting, that Alicia started slightly, her hand making a leap of its own to her chest.
‘Oh God, Derek! What were you doing on the bloody floor? You’ve only gone and scared the life out of me.’
‘Got yourself in a spot of bother with the big boss, have you?’ Derek asked.
Alicia let a frown mar her face for a second, before setting her jaw in a firm line and continuing her route march out of The Ministry. ‘Not at all. We were just having a chat.’
‘An old reprimand, eh? I must say, I never did like that Hermione Granger – a bit too big for her boots, if I do say so myself.’
‘Hermione’s a friend of mine.’
‘…Yes, quite right! Lovely woman!’ Derek said in a hasty attempt to brush over his mistake. ‘Fancy going for a cup of tea?’
Although she was loathe to admit it, Derek Chaffinch did provide Alicia with some amusement, other than the initial smirk at his unfortunate name. His rapid change of subject hadn’t quite blinded her to his previous misdemeanour, but it had
lightened her spirit somewhat.
‘Where are you proposing we go for this tea?’
‘The Ministry Tea Room - where else?’
‘There is absolutely no way I’m staying here any longer than I have to! I’d throw myself at Ludo flipping Bagman before I spent another minute here.’
‘Oh, go on, we’re already here and I’m parched.’
Alicia looked around in surprise. It appeared as though Derek had led her to the Tea Room without her noticing. How utterly bizarre. Derek was already teetering on the verge of entering the room when Alicia glanced behind her in a moment of hesitation, it didn’t last for long, however, as she soon found herself following Derek into what was really a glorified canteen.
‘A tea room, eh?’
‘Well, that’s what they market it as,’ Derek said chuckling, as he pulled out a seat and much to Alicia’s surprise motioned for her to sit in it.
She muttered her thanks to Derek’s back as he turned to take his own seat across from her at the little round wooden table. They were sitting in the middle of a large, and seemingly empty, room with sun splitting through the partially drawn blinds. Alicia couldn't help questioning the authenticity of the Ministry Tea Room, given that there was absolutely nobody working there or any facilities indicating that she could actually get
a cup of tea.
‘How does a pot of tea for two suit you?’ Derek asked, before going on without waiting for Alicia’s answer. ‘And I’m not sure about you, but I’m absolutely bloody famished, so I think a couple of sandwiches may be in order.’
‘That would be lovely - you know, if they served anything in this place?’
‘Well, of course they do! You just give this table a little tap,’ Derek said as he knocked it with his wand, ‘place your order and you’re good to go.’
Alicia looked on in surprise as the unmistakable voice of a house elf spoke from the table, and Derek responded with an order. Alicia’s first thought was one of shock – she remembered the SPEW club as well as any Hogwarts leaver, so it was very hard for her to believe that Hermione Granger would allow any to work at the Ministry on her watch, but there was always the possibility that she was treating this as a haven for the ones wanting money. Her second thought pertained to Derek and the fact that he was rather in control. It was unbearably easy to see how he managed to have just as many clients as Alicia. No matter how Alicia liked to blame it upon male chauvinism, Derek was a safe pair of hands and everybody knew it. His literal hands seemed very nice too, if she was going to comment on those.
Derek clasped his hands together on the tabletop. ‘So, you seem to have had an interesting night last night!’
‘Oh, you could say that,’ Alicia said evasively.
‘You can’t play coy now, Miss Spinnet! You were flailing round the dance floor with Krum for a goo-’ A lone figure a few tables over rustled their paper noisily. ‘For a good half an hour before you started doing shots of Firewhiskey with the Irish quidditch squad. Not that Viktor was too pleased about that change of plan.’
There was a look of mirth of Derek’s face, and the prospect that she had ruined her good name in front of the whole Ministry was not making Alicia any cheerier. She couldn’t tell whether Derek was trying to be pally, or just being a complete bastard, but if she was being honest, she probably would have preferred him to be acting like a complete bastard.
‘Well, you seem to know more than enough about my night already. I don’t exactly know what more you want from me.’
The tea service popped up in the middle of the table and Alicia flinched. ‘I don’t want anything but a conversation. I’ll even settle for a smile.’
Alicia grimaced, ‘Will that do?’
‘You’re getting there,’ Derek said, laughing as he poured tea into the pair of cups sitting before them.
‘If you’re still interested about my night, you’d probably be amused to hear that I woke up in my office surrounded by the Irish quidditch team.’ The man with the paper coughed loudly and the paper in his hands shook.
‘I’d like to hear all about that in a minute,’ Derek lowered his voice, ‘but… is that man reading his newspaper upside down
Alicia shifted her gaze and squinted over at the man. ‘You know what, I think he is!’
Derek and Alicia laughed and chatted for a little while more, occasionally looking at the possibly insane man who had a newspaper rather than a face. Derek then caught sight of his watch, ‘Oh gosh, I really must be off!’
‘Yes, of course, I’ll see you soon, Derek,’ Alicia said, her mouth inconveniently full of food, and her hand covering the attractive sight.
It wasn’t until Derek headed out the door that the absurd man revealed his identity, and once she realised who it was Alicia was entirely unsurprised.
‘Vot is this about the Irish team being asleep in your office? I am hoping that it vos some sort of very bad English joke.’
‘No, Viktor, no jokes involved,’ Alicia said hauling herself up from her chair in an attempt to be almost eye-level with Viktor. ‘I’m not terribly funny.’
‘Yes, this is something I know, but I cannot believe vot you haf been doing! Do you not realise that it vos the Irish team that stole from us our victory in the vorld cup many years ago.’
‘You do realise I’m not
Bulgarian, don’t you?’
‘Of course I realise this!’ Viktor said, trailing Alicia as she left the Tea Room. ‘But vot I vud really like to know is vot is going on vith you and this man Chaffinch. I was thinking that you ver marrying Vud? But maybe you are making him jealous for going to the Ball vith this Katie. It is a very good idea.’
Alicia had learnt enough by this point to let Viktor ramble on by himself. It never even occurred to her to ask why he had been hiding behind a newspaper in the first place.
I think that wasn't a bad length wait for an update from me? :P This chapter was a little bit of a filler, but necessary to get where we're going! Just to, you know, confuse relationship matters a little bit more. I think the main question is do you think that Alicia will end up with anyone
at all? Thank you all SO much for all your support. Your reviews, reads, favourites and CC all mean the world to me.