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When Will My Life Begin
#1
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And I'll keep wanderin' and wanderin'
And wanderin' and wonderin'
When will my life begin?

April 16th, 1890 — Department of International Magical Cooperation

There had been a hell of a row in the household when Maddie had declared her intention to go into work.  Ana had argued that finishing school – or perhaps another season would be all she needed before she truly loved this life, but Maddie knew better.  She had done what her grandfathers will expected, she had debuted, done the season and had been bored and listless through out! She had gone to Russia and Europe, toured with Ana and her family and had returned – not different, but perhaps more herself.  The girl she had been in school.  The girl who wanted to work, to make something of herself, the girl who interned for the DMLE and for Herschel Dawlish.  The girl who had never seen idly sitting as part of her future.  The last 6 months had done nothing but solidify her resolve. 

She had sent in her letter of introduction, with her school grades a few weeks before.  She had all but despaired of anything coming from it when she had been invited to come for an interview.  She had dressed carefully – nothing fancy or ostentatious, a plainly cut silk dress, in a light shade of grey, tightly corseted.  Her hair was neatly, if simply, pinned with a pale pink ribbon encircling her throat, a small bird charm hanging from it- the pale pinks and greys complimenting her colouring without looking over the top.  Neat and proper. 

The secretary greeted her and after waiting for a few moments in an ante room she was shown down a hallway to an office.  The secretary gave a smart knock and when the voice inside answered she made the introduction, and flashing Maddie a small encouraging smile, closed the door behind her.  Sealing her in with the gentleman, she thought, with any luck, might be her new employer.  ’Good Afternoon sir’ she greeted, trying to keep the nerves from her voice. 


@Aldous Crouch


[Image: 3tPS0x.png]
Kit made a lovely gift! <3
#2
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Interview weeks were, in Aldous' estimation, the most painful of his profession. Though he did wish, of course, to have the final say as to who would represent the department, else he would have passed the task along to Mr. Parkinson, it was a task he had never much relished. That his secretary had long since been trained in deciding whom Aldous would see so that he would not have to did, however, help a great deal, and so by the time Miss Madeleine Backus arrived for her appointment, he had a list of notes the secretary had made on the young witch memorized ("Sound grades" and "speaks Russian" being the two that most recommended her) and a reasonable certainty that this would not be a complete waste of his time.

"Good afternoon—please, sit," he directed, waiting for the applicant to do so before taking his own seat across the large desk. He did not shake her hand as he might have a male applicant, but instead extended her a polite nod of the head. "Miss Backus, I do hope you will forgive me excluding simple pleasantries—I think it far more prudent that I use the time we have together to get a proper measure of you. To that end, I must ask—what makes you see yourself in my department, and in what capacity?"


— Aldous walks with a cane and pronounced limp as the result of a splinching accident. —

— graphics by lady ❤ —
#3
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She didn't know Mister Crouch, their paths had never crossed, not even socially. She had met his brother - the fascinating curse breaker in the library - the one she had promised baked goods in return for information on curses. He had eloped only a week or so later - with the American ambassadors intended wife. That was bound to make things a little awkward for everyone. When he directed her to sit, she took the seat opposite his across the desk.

She was rather gratified that he didn't waste time with the banal small talk she had long come to associate with 'polite' society. It was meaningless and when it came from a gentleman with no social interest in your it was usually shallow and pointless. The fact that he didnt engage in it meant that he was at least interested in hearing the relevant information of her application.

'I am pleased to sir,' she remarked in response to his confirmation of intention, 'I have long sought a life of useful purpose.' she explained, 'I actually met the British liaison to Russia at a ball in St. Petersburg and speaking with him I realised that foreign service would seem to have a good combination of personal satisfaction and service to ones country.' The former hufflepuff explained, 'I would ideally like the role of intern sir, and I believe I have good experience. I spent more than a year travelling in Europe -France and Germany mostly, and I spent last season in St. Petersburg and the Ulkraine.' she explained. She was sure she had more experience abroad than many young people of her age could boast. Most young men hadn't done their grand tour yet and she had more than a year of schmoosing with foreign sorts. Granted it was balls and partys mostly but if being a debutant had taught her nothing it was diplomacy in her speech.

@Aldous Crouch


[Image: 3tPS0x.png]
Kit made a lovely gift! <3
#4
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Aldous was surprised, but was practiced enough to keep it from his expression. Young ladies, in his estimation, were best suited to...well, not working, if they could avoid it, but exclusively desk work (such as translation) if they couldn't.

"There is a great deal of grunt work, Miss Backus, in interning," the wizard explained. "Quite a bit of ferrying documents about—those that require the personal touch—and generally being something of a dogsbody. A young lady of your status—" she was plainly comfortable "—might find herself better suited to a more...contained post, don't you think?"
Sorry for the delay!
— @Madeleine Backus


— Aldous walks with a cane and pronounced limp as the result of a splinching accident. —

— graphics by lady ❤ —
#5
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’I appreciate that sir’ she explained with a small laugh, ’But I am a Hufflepuff to the last and unafraid of hard work, and I’m well used to ferrying things, my father is a man of modest means and I worked for him since girlhood’. Having not been born into wealth she had resigned herself to a life of work from childhood, and found that idleness did not suit her, a life of tea parties and luncheons wasn’t for her at least without something else, although she wasn’t yet sure what the else might be.

’But sir, please do not mistake my intentions, I aim to find gainful employment, somewhere I might contribute to something more than my own pleasures, and while I believe I would be both useful and competent in the intern role I would likely take any role offered where I might be of some use.’ she was probably coming across as somehow desperate, but her desperation was probably reserved for her desire to get out of Ana’s home, out from under the yoke of the terminal boredom that seemed to come with the life of a debutante



[Image: 3tPS0x.png]
Kit made a lovely gift! <3
#6
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The mention that she had ever done any sort of labour (feminine or otherwise) came as such a surprise that Aldous could not school his expressions properly—indeed, it took him a beat longer than he would have liked to resume his typical expression.

"You will pardon my puzzlement, Miss Backus," Aldous offered after a moment. "It is simply that I do not find many young ladies like you interviewing for a position here."

He still was not altogether certain what like her meant.
— @Madeleine Backus


— Aldous walks with a cane and pronounced limp as the result of a splinching accident. —

— graphics by lady ❤ —
#7
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As his expression wavered, Maddie dropped her eyes and gave a small smile.  Her mother had schooled all of the Backus children in manners that were above their station, her own middle class upbringing had made it proper to pass on those manners to her children, and the expectation that all of the children complete their schooling.  Katerina Backus might not have been able to give her children wealth, but she could give them the best start possible. 

’That is quite all right Mister Crouch’ she said with a smile, ’My father is a working man, however my grandfathers passing provided my sister and I with opportunities not usually afforded to ladies of our station and while we might well be comfortable without working we had been raised in expectation that we would need to make our own way in life.’ His questioned wasn’t an odd one, after all to crib lines from Miss Austen, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a young lady in possession of a fortune must be in want of a husband – not a profession. 

’But alas I find my temperament is not suited to the life of a debutante, I have neither the patience for idle gossip nor enough of a fondness for tea to appreciate it.  And what is more I have a need to be useful’ she allowed herself a rye chuckle and looked back to meet his eyes again, ’and with my languages and experience abroad I thought I might be of best use here.  Before my grandfathers passing I had always seen the ministry as my likely future employer, I interned with the wizengemot under the late Minister Dawlish while I was at Hogwarts’ even if  Dawlish had made it clear that his interest in her was not for her intelligence but the favours he thought he might find in her skirts.



@Aldous Crouch


[Image: 3tPS0x.png]
Kit made a lovely gift! <3


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