|Scene Title||On Notice|
|Synopsis||There are a few things that need to be said and done..|
|Location||Ministry of Magic - Umbridge's Office|
|Date||Sept 26, 1994|
|Watch For||How to cross Umbridge|
The day after Rita's article appeared in the Prophet, all Hell seems to be breaking loose within the Ministry. Dozens of fires are being put out across the board. Inquiries flooding between departments, Howlers exploding everywhere. Plus one vigilante group already caught red-handed trying to take matters into their own hands. There is even a group in the main atrium demanding to speak with the Minister, everyone under him and around him. Voices from all sides trying to voice their mind at once.
Resplendent in her plum colored robes of the Wizengamot, Delores makes her way to her office, wading through the mess. The emergency session isn't for a few hours yet, but never let it be said that the woman doesn't waste the opportunity to show what power she wields. Her mouth set in grim lines, she orders one of the flunkies outside her office to get that Auror Tonks up here. Now. Once inside her office, she settles herself primly down behind her desk, while her tea set whistles and prepares a pot. The office is done in tasteless shades of pink, white doilies and of course, painted china plates of kittens. The girlishness of it all clashes horribly with the woman's demeanor.
Wouldn't you know it, the ONE TIME she's actually working… then again, despite popular belief, Tonks works a lot. Anyway, needless to say, the Auror is actually really annoyed at getting the summons, Senior Undersecretary or no. To make a point of this whole 'working' thing, when the knock comes to the door of said woman, Tonks is still holding several parchments and scrolls. Her fingers are showing signs of rawness, either from writing, or from something a bit more in line with the line of work. "You wanted to see me?" Tonks offers, her voice schooled in neutrality… as much as she can. She seems to be completely at ease with the chaos going on. Then again, an Auror's career isn't a glamourous life, and often tends to be chaotic. maybe Tonks is just happy that the rest of the ministry's catching up with her department.
While waiting on Tonks to get herself to the office, Umbridge has prepared her tea. Dainty china cup in hand, she trills, "Come in," at the knock upon her door. A smile that doesn't meet her eyes appears as she beckons Tonks to have a seat at the desk, waving a bejeweled hand. Observing propriety, "Would you like a cup of tea?" If Tonks appears as if she were busy, Delores gives no notice. Tonks's position is well beneath hers, therefore her work can wait. This takes precedence in Umbridge's mind. In a sickeningly sweet voice she states, "I am sure that you are aware of a certain predicament that we find ourselves in today." She sets her cup down on its matching saucer with a faint clink. On her desk, faceup, is the Daily Prophet, Rita's article there for the world to see.
Seeing that the obvious workload isn't going to deter Umbridge, Tonks works at trying to make the most of what she's got and put it away. It ends up sticking out of her robes, but it seems that only Kingsley can seem to walk around and look like he's got everything on order. MOody probably looked a lot like this in his hayday, ow well. For the tea, all Tonks can equate is dining in the lion's den, but for the sake of being nice, she'll nod. "Sugars," she holds up four. You're surprised she takes her tea /insanely/ sweet? "Please." It's not an afterthought, she was just waiting until her hand was lowered.
Realizing that the Prophet's the topic she does take a step forward to glance down at whatever Photo might be there, smiling back at her. "Anyone who doesn't has been under a rock." Or busy, HINT. But Tonks was honestly surprised when she read it, though. She hadn't expected Holly to go the ….LOUD route of things. She straightens up and glances around the office. There's just something about being surrounded by so much pink and cute and… Note to self: Run Default Black Template when she gets out of her so she can get rid of the icky.
Umbridge has her agenda, and very little steers her from it. Tapping her wand on her teapot, which has flowers and kittens painted on it, the pot begins to pour itself into a cup for Tonks. The sugar tongs obliging the request of four sugars. Delores keeps herself seated firmly on her side of the desk, as if she were perched on a throne. Also, this keeps her in her own personal bubble, and not in Tonks's. Something flares in Umbridge's eyes at Tonks's attitude and the corners of the witch's mouth turn down. "Considering where it is that you come from, I shouldn't be surprised that you find this amusing." She plucks at the paper with two fingers, pushing it away from her. "The flippant attitude that you possess, it makes me wonder if you had anything to do with this."
Again, she'll be nice. She'll take the tea. Dolores wouldn't poison an Auror in the middle of the ministry, right? Not Mad-Eye's pweshush pwupil right?
oh hell…Umbridge would probably poison her own mother.
If she's not detoured, she does take the tea, and she does drink. She gives a slight nod as if finding it acceptable. After all, the tea gives Tonks something to do while Umbridge … gets to the point. "Didn't say I found it amusing, ma'am," Tonks says seriously, her voice devoid of anything that she'd find 'amusing'. Yes, she DID find it amusing, mainly because of the 'notoriously handsome' part, but not for the reasons that Umbridge seems to think. The next comment though has those brown eyes blinking in honest surprise. "Flippant attitude?" Please, Oh Please…expand us the meaning of 'flippant' as applied to this situation, Professor Umbridge!
It's difficult to say what Delores may or may not deign to do while within the halls of the Ministry. Her boldness knows few boundaries. With a saccharine smile on her face and a tone to match, she says sweetly, "While you did not say it in so many words, your smile, your expression was.. shall I say, loud and clear? Is something wrong with your hearing, dear? Yes, I said flippant. It appears that you are not taking this situation as seriously as you should." Rearranging her robes as she settles back in her chair, she looks imperiously upon the Auror, "You have a personal interest in this situation, a background in it. Do not be surprised if you find your work scrutinized more closely."
The tea cup is set back down after been drained like firewhiskey. Umbridge should keep in mind if she tries any tricks, Tonks /was/ trained by Moody. He probably spiked her three ways from Sunday on a regular basis just so she could get a foot hold on resisting it. Then again, he'd probably yell at her for accepting a drink anyway. The cup is then set back down on the table, not the saucer. There's force behind it. "Fine, yes. I found the article amusing. Rita Skeeter's writing amuses me. I didn't realize it was a crime." Still, Tonks' voice is serious as she speaks. "AS for the…flippancy… We're not entirely on the same page here. There are /other cases/ of Dark Wizardry being investigated /on top/ of the search for Sirius Black. If I seem like I'm not making it a priority, it's because I'm too busy tracking down the contacts of a Mr. Diggles," One parchment is held up, "Finding a suspected book of Dark Potions that got lost in Knockturn Alley during a raid. A …random dead muggle that nobody can figure out how they died," she's looking at her work list. There's also something about Werewolves on here, but she keeps that mum in case it somehow backfires on the /friend/ she has made that unfortunately shares that label. "So, if I seem flippant, my apologies. It's because I've been busy, and this, of course, just makes me even busier."
She pops a smile about as fake as Umbridge's, "As for my personal interest, Last time I saw Sirius Black, I was eight years old. A few weeks later, he was in Azkaban. There's no love lost. Really."
Umbridge's eyes narrow as the cup is set on the table. Flicking her wand, the cup moves to a saucer, where it should have been set. "No one said any crime had been committed." Although there may as well have been one. "However, the article is creating a lot of trouble, as I am certain you've seen. Unless you were too busy with paperwork to notice." The mob in the Atrium for one. "Are you being given too much grunt work or too little as Junior Auror?" A great deal of emphasis is put on the word 'junior', as if to drive home the point of Tonks's place in the scheme of things. She does seem to be moving on at least. In a way. "So you swear that the last time you saw him, you were eight? You or your mother have not had any contact with him since he broke out of Azkaban?" There is a slow rage simmering behind her words. Black's escape has been an embarrassment and a slap in the face of the Ministry's ability to control and keep order.
"My workload is acceptable. It just happens to involve other stuff," Which is her POINT. Her tone's light, just simply stating a fact. See? Aurors are busy people! Umbridge needs to get that through her bow-decked toady head. The Junior part doesn't phase her as much as Umbridge could've anticipated. You think she doesn't hear that every day as an underdog? Heh. For the question Tonks seems to have had a lot of practice answering it because she answers easily without hesitation, but not so quick as to bring up suspense she's trying to cover up something. "Haven't seen him. Mum'd sooner turn him into a dishrag than speak to him. His betrayal was a big blow to our family…I don't think he'd be that stupid to go to people who've nursed a slow boiling hatred for him for the last decade." She rolls her shoulders here. In her mind, if he's smart enough to orchestrate the death of thirteen people, he wouldn't be stupid like that.
"What of this American? Has she contacted you?" Umbridge's glint in a steely fashion as she eyes Tonks with scrutiny. "Or have you sought her out?" The sob story of her mother hating Black is glossed over as unnecessary. The ungrateful members of a fine, upstanding family, choosing to outcast themselves, and produce a child like Nymphadora. A freak of nature, even among wizardkind. Swelling up, she resembles a toad even greater than before. "Information from within the Ministry was leaked to a foreigner, and then to the press. We know have to find the source of this leak, and put out this fire before it grows too large."
Tonks has no reason to lie here. "I ran into her. Said she was nutters." Short sweet and to the point. And it's a good thing that Umbridge is keeping those thoughts to herself because /no one/ insults her mum. No. Freaking. One. And again, Tonks' surprise is genuine. There's just some reactions that can't be faked so easily on the fly — even someone who's as good at it as Tonks has become. Someone, other than her, gave Holly information? Whoa. "A security risk I can understand, ma'am." Haha she is one.
"You… ran into her.. and you /failed/ to mention this to a superior?" Umbridge rises from her seat, controlled anger on her face. "I don't think you do understand," her voice remaining surprisingly sweet yet forceful. "I'm afraid this is for your own good. I will have to recommend to Scrimgeour that you should be put under review. It is obvious to me that while Alastor Moody trained you, he was on his way to retirement. He may have been lax in a few areas." This is something Delores must have been thinking about, for she pulls out a sheet of pink parchment, already filled out. Her auto-signing quill puts her signature at the bottom, the parchment folds itself and flies off to Rufus's office.
There's a loud exhale as she watches the slip get filled out. The bitch was just waiting for a reason to put her on review. "Wait, I'm supposed to report who I speak to now. I would have thought," There's a mental hissing in the back of her head, Kingsley's calm voice saying to shut up, "That considering she is a foreigner, that the Ministry was already aware she existed, and her ambitions. So I didn't think it was my /job/, as an Auror—which by the way, means 'Dark Wizard Catcher' not 'American Tart Babysitter' — to point out something you people already knew about." HULLO EARTH LOGIC USE IT.
Then almost comically, Tonks points to the notice that just zipped by, "By the way, I'm supposed to get a copy of that." And to make it even worse, she spins around on her toe, grabs out the Diggles case, and quite ready to just leave.
"Yes, you are a Dark Wizard Catcher, I'm pleased to see that you do recognize the specifications of your job. Considering that you are unable to contain yourself in the presence of a Senior Ministry Official, I find it doubtful that you were able to watch yourself in the presence of the American." Satisfied with the emotions she's brought about within Tonks, she smiles, this time, one with pleasure. "Not so fast Miss Tonks. Here's your copy of the form, and you may take this copy as well. The next one I am sending to Scrimgeour.. recommending leave without pay while you are under review." The latter will probably be dismissed by Scrimgeour, as Tonks is a valuable pair of hands, and they're needed. He should be able to deflect some, but not entirely ignore Umbridge.
Tonks /barely/ manages to snatch the papers out in a fit of temper. And if there was /any/ question about who's blood ran in those veins, not with that smouldering look in those brown eyes that are probably black — and that's not a metamorphmagus thing going on. She's honestly pissed. "Thank you," is gritted through her teeth, and she's not turning around this time. The door does close with enough force to rattle the plates though. Scrimgeour'll just get on her case about not controlling her temper around Umbridge. Scrimgeour's a hardass, but he's not Umbridge.
Any additional notes fall to the bottom.