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The Language of the Flowers was a popular method to express feelings where words might be improper, but did you know other means of doing so? Some ladies used their parasols, as well as their fans, gloves, and hankies to flirt with a gentleman (or alternatively, tell them to shove it!). — Bree ( Submit your own)
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This boy, then. He wasn't new. Wasn't one of the worst people in the common room, those rotten rich boys - like Mr. Jailkeeper - who could not fathom a world beyond their own farts. Was a good working class lad, so he'd heard. Had a bit of a weird looking face, and a bit of a weird thing for preaching. Still.Aubrey Davis in The Under-Sofa
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Lost and Found
#1
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17th August, 1888 — The Ministry, Department of ???
Of all the things she was delighted by, with the undoing of the fog - Freddie and Miriam coming back from the expedition unscathed topped the list by a mile - getting to come back to work had been almost unreasonably marvellous. She felt almost silly for it: the Ministry might have run as smoothly without her or any of the Welcome Witches at all; they'd hardly have had many visitors during the fog; and probably, no one had so much noticed her absence. Incredible, that days spent at this desk should feel so much a lifeline to her, then - incredible, and verging on the pathetic.

No matter, though: Sarah was in as sunny a mood imaginable two weeks on, beaming at everyone that came in as the Ministry settled back into its usual rhythms, and surveying the Atrium when she had little else to do. In amidst the morning rush, the throngs of people coming in - most of whom she knew by title and by name, and by the way they walked and talked and dressed (and from that, could imagine plenty more) - Sarah caught sight of a wand tumbling from someone's pocket. Her eyes trained on the scene from across the room, she waited for the person behind to tap the wand's owner on the shoulder and alert them to their loss: but no one did, and the owner walked on towards the lifts, the wand unnoticed and unretrieved.

With a quick murmur to her colleague at the desk, Sarah leapt up and wove through the Atrium's traffic until she had scooped up the unfamiliar wand, scanning the place for the person to whom it belonged. They must have already piled into one of the lifts - Sarah slipped into the next one, so that she might return it.

She knew the Ministry from top to bottom, knew who worked where, gave directions all the time, and made a beeline for their department offices almost unthinkingly, only coming to a halt from her quick-march when she saw the door to their office open, and their desk perplexingly deserted. (Perhaps they had not been on their way here after all?)

Sarah had only had the merest second to deliberate on this, before someone cleared their throat behind her, and she nearly jumped out of her skin.


#2
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Being the newly appointed Squad Chief in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, Charles Caulfield had a lot on his plate. There was no shortage of work which was made abundantly clear by the obvious shortage of time; he had barely had a chance to see his new office. It was the former Squad Chief’s office which overlooked the rest of the Hit Wizards. Rather a plush little room, Charles had always thought.

He had just come from a small assignment and his schedule was clear. Finally, and thankfully, he could move his belongings (note; excessive amounts of paperwork) into his new office. As he hastily darted through the Atrium and into the lifts, Charles barely noticed his wand drop from his robe pocket. In fact, he hadn’t noticed it at all until he had stepped out of the lifts on his floor. Sighing, he looked around his immediate vicinity not noticing one of the welcome witches pass him as his body twisted as she passed – his eyes far too interested in the floor and whether or not it contained his wand.

It was just his luck, really. Things had been going awfully well so it was no surprise that something would happen – even if that something was him being absent-minded and losing his wand. Of all the things he could have dropped, it had to be his wand. No matter, he shrugged, someone would recognise it as his, he was certain.

He turned toward his office and noticed a woman standing outside of it. Deliberating on something, it looked like. She was staring right into his office as if expecting him to be there.

Not wanting to startle her, Charles walked up behind her and cleared his throat which naturally startled her. Because of course it did. It always did. One day, he mused, he would learn to announce himself properly and not scare someone half to death.

“Sorry, Miss,” Charles said, “and that’s my office you’re staring at,” his tone was quite light-hearted as he moved past her and into his office, “though I haven’t had much of a chance to settle into it yet,” Charles continued as he walked around the room, his eyes examining every little detail of the space.
His motion then came to a halt and his eyes wandered to hers with a questioning look, “Is there something I might help you with?”

#3
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Sarah's heart thumped for a ludicrous moment or two after the shock, as she tried to settle her nerves by smiling at the newcomer. Conveniently, too, he was exactly the man she'd been looking for, his wand clasped in her hand down at her side. And at last she knew precisely well why she had been momentarily confused - as he said, this had not been Mr. Caulfield's office until especially recently!

This revelation saw her forget the business of his wand and of his question of help as she followed him into the office, surveying the room - oh, she so rarely got to see people's offices up close, as more than squares on a building map that she pointed to for visitors' sakes; only occasionally did she get to escort them there herself! - although, indeed, he was right in that he hadn't settled in yet; the space was still rather spare.

Still, Sarah smiled broadly at him. "Oh, yes, of course! Congratulations, Mr. Caulfield, sir," she declared: he didn't know her, of course not, but she knew of him well enough from his passing by every day. A hitwizard, one whom she thought had once lived in the slums in Hogsmeade. She knew much less of his personal character - only things she guessed at from a distance - but she was always pleased to see a promotion won, no doubt, by merit and nothing else. "Squad chief! That's rather splendid - as is the office! -" she said, her curiosity spilling out into her chatter. "But it must be a great deal of responsibility. I hope you've been faring well so far?"


#4
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The look of bemusement Charles saw as the woman walked into his office, a wide and beaming smile spread across her features, was a look all-too familiar to the Squad Chief. It reminded him of the look his sister gave him a few years ago after he’d manage to save up enough money to buy her a small bag of sweets as a celebration for her entry into Hogwarts. It wasn’t much but it was enough for him to realise he ought to always be thankful for what he had and though the look this woman had on her face was, truthfully, quite different to that – it still reminded him of his place in the world and it was a place he believed he’d never exploit.

“Thank you,” Charles responded politely as his hands traced themselves across the intricacies of his oak desk, his eyes remaining fixed on her. He wasn’t sure entirely what she wanted though he was brought out of his reverie of trying to figure it out when she asked how his job was going. It hadn’t much occurred to him yet that she knew who he was and therefore likely worked in the Ministry. He certainly didn’t recognise her much though the way she was dressed as his eyes examined her assured him that she did indeed work here. In which department, Charles was unsure.

Charles nodded, “A lot more than I’ve been used to though nothing I do not wish for,” he smiled, “Idle hands are Peeves playground, after all.”

The Squad Chief wasn’t entirely sure if that saying went outside of his circle of friends from his time at Hogwarts but he’d stuck with it and found it translated from the original saying quite well. It was a saying he’d learned from his mother and was presumably a muggle saying though it was easy enough to translate and adapt; boredom was bad.

“I do apologise that it’s a bit bare,” Charles chuckled a little and gestured around the room, “Once I find my wand, I have every intention of making this quite a productive worksp—”

It was then that Charles realised how rude and untoward he’d been. Exhaling a little, Charles offered an apologetic smile toward the woman – not noticing the wand (his wand) in her hand, “Oh, Merlin. Forgive me. You know my name and I’ve yet to even ask of yours or properly greet you. It’s a pleasure to see you, Miss….?”

That was how you asked for someone’s name, wasn’t it?

#5
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She nodded in sincere agreement at his saying about idle hands; she wasn't sure about idleness being simply Peeves' playground, necessarily - nor being any boon to the devil - but she, at least in her own life, had certainly subscribed to keeping busy as a mechanism of keeping bad things or thoughts at bay. Not that anything she kept herself busy was nearly as important as she suspected the work of the hitwizard squad was, nor anyone else at the Ministry, but still: her job, keeping house, cleaning and baking and stitching and shopping and talking to people, seeing her siblings, taking care of her husband - well, what more did she need? That was certainly enough to be getting on with. That was enough.

Sarah opened her mouth abruptly when he mentioned his wand, startled from her (idle) curiosity back towards the task at hand, though she barely got a chance to brandish the man's wand in illustration before he interrupted himself and - greeted her. She laughed in light surprise. He must think she was someone much higher-ranking than she was, here on some kind of real official business. (Not that people presumed this of her often. A secretary, perhaps, but little else, and when she was confined to her desk in the Atrium, she was all but invisible.) "Oh no, I -" she shook her head with a sheepish smile. "Sarah Townsend, sir. Welcome Witch. I - I actually brought you your wand. I thought you might be missing it." She presented it to him over the desk with another (slightly less sheepish) smile.


#6
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Arching his eyebrow slightly at her sudden and stifled laugh, Charles offered a polite smile in return. He wasn’t entirely sure what had caused a reaction from her though he felt slightly concerned that she did think his greeting her was strange enough to cause her to audibly laugh – if even for a faint moment.

She then offered a shy sort of expression toward him before introducing herself and – as Merlin would have it – offering his wand back to him.

He nodded gratefully before reaching over his desk and taking it from her, holding it daintily on his palms as he examined it for any blemishes or damages. A brief sigh of relief escaped his lips once he had finished checking over his wand before he placed it on the inside pocket of his robe.

“Thank you,” Charles said, “I’d have likely allowed myself to fall into a crazed paranoia searching for it if you hadn’t found it.” He jested.

His wand meant a lot to him – as it did any witch or wizard. It was a prized possession to which should never be out of sight. He was slightly embarrassed that he had been so careless as to lose it though he tried to hide it; his eyes moving awkwardly across the room before he sat down on the chair at his desk.

“Though it is a pleasure, … Miss? Townsend,” He continued, “and you needn’t be bashful. A welcome witch?” He asked quizzically and gestured toward the small wooden chair opposite him, presumably for guests. He hadn’t quite figured out yet why he needed more than one chair in his office.

“You’re perhaps one of the most important people within this Ministry, then. How long have you worked here?”

#7
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She could tell he was joking, but she knew how attached some witches and wizards were to their wands. She had never felt precisely the same way - it as often felt a looming burden in her pocket as it did a boon - but she noticed it more often than not in others.

"You're very welcome," she said brightly, pleased to have been of some use. "Mrs, actually," she added, trying not to visibly wince at the admission (her husband another thing that often felt a looming burden from time to time - though, oh, she oughtn't think it!) or at his instruction not to be bashful. Her cheeks flushed slightly nevertheless, feeling terribly awkward as she lowered herself onto the seat opposite and listened to his - exaggerated, if kindly meant - words.

"I shouldn't say so, sir," she politely disagreed, "but I do enjoy the work. I've been here a few years now." Eight, in fact. Not so long after he had joined the Ministry as a young man, in fact, though she wouldn't embarrass him by saying so. Indeed, it would be awkward if he thought she was new.


#8
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“Nonsense,” Charles said almost dismissively – though his tone was intended to convey a sort of polite-and-joking demeanour. Charles, having worked his way up the company (though truthfully, not from the point where Mrs. Townsend had found herself) he believed he knew how each employee within the Ministry were important. After all, those at the bottom supported those at the top – did they not?

“If you weren’t here, I’d wager a good proportion of visitors – and staff – would have no idea where to go, how to get to where they’re going, or what exactly they need to do, Mrs Townsend.”

Charles smiled politely then, “and I am glad you do enjoy the work. It’s an exceptional place to be in the employ of, certainly.”

The Squad Chief had elected to ignore her time working for the Ministry – though he was certain his expression indicated his thoughts on that – as, if he were to be entirely honest with himself, she looked quite new.

Charles was nice but didn’t often go out of his own department to know people. They were just kind of… there.
#9
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Well. Sarah was used to mothering people, in her day-to-day life; she had never grown quite so accustomed to being patronised at work (by people even younger than her), although by this point she really should have.

Not that she suspected Mr. Caulfield meant to be treating her like a sort of hapless puppy, who needed a treat or two for doing what it was told, understanding a simple task - Merlin, she had even just been fetching a stick, hadn't she?! - so Sarah did her best not to bristle at it. Bless him, the man meant well. She was sure.

Perhaps he hadn't heard her mention of her years working here. Perhaps he was too preoccupied - nervous? - about his own new position that he had trouble hearing anything at all. She smiled at him encouragingly again, supposing some idle chatter might be just the thing he needed. "And it's always nice to get to see the character of all the different departments, here and there -" Sarah admitted pleasantly - she had escorted visitors about from time to time, and seen most offices at least from the outside (barring the real higher-ups or the Department of Mysteries) - "although I suppose you'll still be spending quite as much time out in the field as you'll ever get to be in your new office here?" Sarah asked, in mild curiosity.

For all the head of the squad must have extra deskwork, from all she knew of Mr. Caulfield (from observation, little more), Sarah's suspicion was that he perhaps too energetic a man to stay shackled to the desk, when he might be leading from the front. Only a hunch, but.




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