1994-10-15: Initiation To New Surroundings


Jack_icon.gif Madeline_icon.gif

Scene Title Initiation to New Surroundings
Synopsis Jack employs Madeline as a part-time secretary.
Location Torchwood Offices
Date Oct 15, 1994
Watch For Mutual awkwardness.
Logger Jack

Torchwood Offices

There is a short step down, and then Torchwood's front office has a desk, a Muggle coffee maker and three chairs, one behind the desk, and two in front of it. Behind the chair is the beginnings of a good filing system, with file cabinets which contain more than they appear to be able to. There is a floo fire on the opposite side of the room from the desk, lit and ready to receive visitors or calls during business hours. There is a stuffed dragon on top of the filing cabinet with the a nametag that reads "Myfanwy". He appears to be well-loved, even missing a chunk out of his tail that was fixed by a badly executed 'Reparo'. In the back of the room, there is a small set of stairs up to the crash flat Jack uses when he arrives home late or must leave early, as well as a small room with another desk and chair. This one is fairly plain; a window is the only thing setting it apart from the rest of the office. The whole office is decorated with dark red accents and golden carpet on the floors.

Jack has found himself a small office to set up shop in, and has moved in posthaste. He sits in the chair behind the desk, feet propped on the desk, reading a sheaf of parchment. He shakes his head from time to time, rolling his eyes at other times. "If they would have just…" He chuckles to himself, then goes back to reading.

Madeline has Apparated herself into Hogsmeade, not too far a walk from the office, though it took a bit of guesswork to figure out the exact landing spot. But it's a short stroll, pleasant enough even with the rain, and she arrives at the door a brief while later. There's a momentary pause while she checks to make sure she's found the right place, before she pushes open the door to take a hesitant but curious look inside.

Jack hears the door swing open, and goes into professional mode. He drops his feet from the desk, and frowns. "Hello, welcome to…" He looks up, seeing who it might be coming into his office. "Miss Sagace! I'm glad to see you found the spot. Was it too difficult?" He grins widely at her. "Welcome to Torchwood Offices. Such a pretentious name. Named after my parents' manor. Couldn't think of anything more original." He chuckles self-deprecatingly. "Take a look around, if you like." She'll be here awhile.

Madeline seems relieved to have indeed found the right spot, her own smile considerably more demure but sincere just the same. She steps over the threshold and shuts the door gently behind her. "Hello, Mr. Noble. It was no trouble at all," she assures him, though it perhaps comes off more reflexively. As he explains the name, her light gaze drifts about the room. "It … doesn't seem pretentious," she assures him, a little awkward but only because she's not quite sure what else to say. Or quite what to do with herself at this point, from the way she lingers by the door, looking around only in the most literal sense of the word.

Jack grins widely. "Well, that's good to hear." That it wasn't trouble. He catches the reflexive nature of her words, though he lets it slide. It's what keeps society running, or so Liam might say. He stands up, and gestures to the chair. "Come, try this out. See what you think. It's your seat, after all." He chuckles, moving toward the fireplace quickly.

Madeline, quite possibly just happy to have some direction on what to do, is agreeable to trying out her new chair. She gives up lingering at the door and heads over in that direction, taking a closer gander at a few things as she goes. Upon reaching the chair, she takes a moment to arrange herself and then sits lightly upon it, running her fingertips over the edge of the desk. "Oh yes, I - I quite like it," she decides, speaking first before bringing her gaze back over to him. "Thank you again, Mr. Noble, for the, ah, opportunity."

"Certainly. It's really an opportunity for me, too. I loathe doing this part — " He gestures toward the filing cabinet. "And you seem to excel at it, so I figured it was a good match. It'll give you a chance to do something a little different." He grins. "I do have a flat upstairs, but I don't live there full-time. It's mainly for use as a place to come when I need to leave early or come home late…" Or perhaps entertain, though he may not mention that. "Oh!" He snaps his fingers. "Give me a moment." He steps up the stairs for a moment, leaving her in the office alone.

If Madelin catches the unspoken use of the flat, it doesn't show - which makes it pretty likely she didn't catch it. She swivels in her seat to look at the cabinet as he indicates it, giving it a quick study and then nodding in approval. She's just turning back when he's already moving to head up the stairs, leaving her looking just a little confused. "Er, yes, all right," she agrees maybe a beat or two too late for him to hear. Alone now, she turns to sit properly at the desk, just sitting there primly for a moment before curiosity gets the better of her and she begins quietly pulling open drawers, being slightly surreptitious about it even though she's pretty sure she isn't dong anything wrong.

It only takes a moment or two for Jack to head upstairs, grab something, and return back to the lower portion of the building. He smiles. "Good. You can probably see that it's a mess in there. If you want to reorganize it, I'd really appreciate that.' He moves around to the desk, setting a small box down on the table. It's larger than the one she had in her office at the ministry, but it looks similar. "Here's the box for your incorporeal friends. It's been decorated, and I put a charm on it to change the colors and layout every few years. If they can't find a better home, this'll keep for several decades. It'll help them figure out what they need to do to find their rest, if they can." He taps the top of the box lightly, making a slight knocking noise in the quiet room.

Madeline cranes back around at the sound of Jack reapproaching, starting to push shut the drawer in that half-guilty fashion when his words indicate that there is no need. Still, she's slightly sheepish to have been caught snooping, even if he'd just told her it's her desk. "Oh. Yes, of course, Mr. Noble," she replies with a nod, putting that at the top of her to-do list. For now though, her attention goes to the box, and she listens to the explanation while her eyebrows lift a little. "You … really went to great lengths for this," she notes, sounding just a bit awed. "Thank you. I … very much appreciate it."

Jack shrugs. It wasn't that big of a deal, really. He just had to find his friend and get the box, cast the charm, and give it to her. "It's my pleasure, Madeline. It's up to you if you want us to be formal here or if you don't mind being on a first-name basis. I've never had an employee before." He gives her a wide smile. "Also, we never discussed the matter of salary. Do you have any specific requirements?" He is clueless. "I don't want to underpay you."

Madeline gives a slow blink at the idea of her employer leaving it up to her how formal things will be around here. "I - I don't know, Mr. Noble. Jack. Mr. Noble." She's like a confused boggart, trying everything in rapid succession to see which one works. "Obviously I've been an employee before, but…" But this is quite a different situation. As for salary, she doesn't exactly look any less confused. "No … specific requirements, no." She tries to phrase and emphasize it in such a way to suggest that money isn't exactly a concern - without being so gauche as to come right out and say that. "I'm sure whatever you decide will be more than fair."

As he has no clue, he takes a moment, pacing in front of the fire. He's pretty preoccupied by this, so the nervous boggart-shifting with his name doesn't seem to bother him. He's nearly as nervous himself, though he doesn't show it, except to run an open hand through his hair. "Thank you." He appreciates the trust that shows. "I will ask, just so I'm not shorting either one of us, and I'll let you know." He smiles, deciding that's the best thing to do for the moment. "Now, you said you'd stil be working at the Ministry part time, as well?" He stops pacing, turning toward her again.

Madeline reaches out to absently straighten up something, not even paying any attention to what it is. It's just an excuse to have something to do while Jack paces, since she is in a chair, which tends to make pacing a little more difficult. "I … suppose we don't need to stand on - on ceremony. Though it will be a bit of a, ah, change for me. Still, change isn't always a bad thing, and that … has been the whole idea…" By the end of her rambling, it's questionable whether she's still even talking to him or switched to talking to herself somewhere in there. "Of course. That would be fine, yes. I … don't think either one of us wants to feel as though we are taking any sort of charity," she observes in a quieter tone, not sure she should be so bold as to assume what he does or doesn't want to feel. As to the Ministry, she looks back over at him, nodding a few times. "Yes, there's - Part-time, that's right. I … suppose you should know there has perhaps been a - a change there as well, though it - I don't think it should impact on our own, ah, arrangement."

Arrangement. Jack grins at that, thinking of another conversation he's had recently. "Alright. That makes sense. If you'd let me know when you'd want to be here… I mean, take your normal hours, and then the hours you're working now, and we'll use the difference?" He hopes that's clear. "Then we can put up some sort of office hours…" He frowns. "The floo is open, so you can go back and forth, as long as you close it before you step through when I'm not here." He's trusting her with a lot. "I might be out of the country from time to time, and we can work around that, whether I keep the office open, or whether I just close for those days. I won't …" He hesitates to say what he's thinking before getting the advice he needs. "We'll figure that out, too…" He finishes, somewhat lamely.

"That sounds reasonable," Madeline agrees with a nod, "Though I may need a day or two to sort out when I will be needed at the Ministry. Outside of that obligation, I'm … flexible?" she suggests, not quite sure if that's the right term for what she wants. But she isn't too concerned about increasing her workload, not having much else to do with her time, despite a recent budding social life. She glances over at the fire and nods, making a mental note of that - and not unaware of the trust he's putting in her. "I'll be sure to keep it secure," she promises. At his unfinished thought, her eyebrows go up and she's on the cusp of asking after it. But instead, she just finishes with a small smile, nodding her head slightly as if to grant the point. "Of course."

Jack is relieved, feeling like they've got a few things settled. He chuckles, gesturing to the coffee maker. "This is a muggle device to make coffee. It's been charmed to work without electricity, and I have permission from the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts office to use it." He wants to make that clear. "I'll show you how to make it, and if you want to have some little snacks or whatever out for folks, that'd be alright, let me know, and I'll ask Janet to make them." He starts to head toward the back again, then realizing that he hadn't explained who Janet was. "Janet's Mum's house elf." He chuckles.

Madeline turns again in her chair to look at the funny contraption that Jack is indicating. "Ah yes, I've… I believe I've seen one before," she replies, finishing a little more wanly than that sentence started out. Her half-blood status isn't something the Slytherin alumna tends to toss out proudly - even if their working with Muggles is part of what her parents attribute to their success in business. At the mention of Janet, her eyebrows go up but then lower again as she nods with understanding. "Oh yes. Of course. I'll, ah, I'll give it some thought and let you know."

Jack nods. "Alright." Things seem to be falling into place. "Well, if you want, you can start filing for a while, or you can take your box back. Do you need help with the transfer?" He asks, concern etched on his face. "I might be able to help get them from one to the other." He's done it once or twice. He moves to sit in one of the chairs on the opposite side of the desk from her. "I do have a small office in the back, and I can take people back there to talk to them if I need to." Did he mention this already? "I'll either be there or upstairs when I'm here."

"Perhaps some help wouldn't be the worst thing. Supervision, at least," Madeline notes with a small enough smile to make it murky whether she's joking on that count or not. "I should … learn how to - to control them?" Again, she's not sure if that's the word she wants. There's a glance back over her shoulder as he explains about his office in the back, and then she turns back with a nod of understanding. "Of course. I will try not to disturb you overly much." Because surely he has much important business to attend to.

Jack sees that some of this will take time. "Okay. We can do it together soon. I could help you there, or you could bring the other box here, and we could do the transfer here. Your choice…" He frowns slightly, thinking of which would be safer. "There are fewer innocents here, of course, but if something were to go wrong, there are more people able to help. So, it is a toss up." He shrugs. "Just let me know, alright?" He runs his hand through his hair again.

Madeline glances at the new box with a thoughtful frown, nodding again. "I'll consider it and let you know, yes," she promises, before looking back up at him with another small smile, this one slightly self-conscious. "Thank you, Jack." Using his first name still comes at a bit of an effort, but having made that decision, she's determined to see it through. "I do appreciate you going to all of this trouble." And from the emphatic way that it's said, it could refer to more than just the box.

Jack looks up from where he was examining his hands. "You're very welcome, Madeline." He smiles. "And thank you." He stands, and frowns for a moment. "Well, it's up to you whether you want to work for a while or go on…" He gestures to the floo. "Oh. The floo connection is Torchwood, Hogsmeade." He clarifies this for her. "If you forget, you'll end up at my Mum and Da's house, which probably wouldn't be a huge problem, but it'd be embarrassing." He grins. "And let me know about your schedule via owl, if you wouldn't mind?" He sounds like he's trying to wrap things up.

Madeline ducks her head as he thanks her, but it's with an inward smile: sheepish and flustered but pleased nonetheless. "I'll … not forget," she goes on, looking back up. She doesn't exactly want to end up crashing Jack's family home. The awkwardness would no doubt be a thing of legend. "Of course. I'll get it to you soon," she promises of her schedule. Whether or not she's aware of his social cues or it just coincides nicely, she takes the moment to look around at the desk, now going back to that earlier choice he gave her. "I should probably take a moment now and acquaint myself with the files," she decides, knowing full well it will probably take more than a moment.

Jack nods, satisfied. "Thank you, Madeline. Have a good afternoon." He steps toward the back office, opening the door and then stopping. He moves back over to the desk, grabs the file he'd been reading, and then, with a quick wink, he heads back into the back office to read the file and figure out what he should do on this case.

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