|Scene Title||Your Services Are No Longer Required|
|Synopsis||Yet more lovely Ministry reform.. in the way of a few sackings|
|Location||Ministry - Umbridge's Office|
|Date||Jan 24, 1995|
|Watch For||Ichabod's Last Words|
Humming quite happily to herself, Umbridge is busy at work in her office. She's gotten word from St. Mungo's about one of their newest patients, and her state. Sure, there's one more werewolf in the world, but a point has been made. Now, to move onto other matters, such as cleaning house. Her interrogators have been harassing departments since her decree went out, starting with the RCMC. The paperwork has now made it back to her office, and there are some matters she wants to attend to personally. There's a particular thorn in her side that she's summoned to her office, to have a little 'chat' with.
Ichabod had received the summons just a few moments ago. He'd been busy with his work, and the interruption is an unwelcome one - especially considering the source. Of course he's aware of the 'review' bollocks that Umbridge has recently set in motion, so he's not entirely surprised as he arrives at the woman's office. Politely - more politely than she deserves - he knocks on the door once or twice before opening it and offering a very sallow smile. "Acting-Minister, you requested my presence?" He places a bit of emphasis on the 'acting' part.
That, Vampire, was another strike. "You may enter," Umbridge trills. She's not pleased to be in the same room with a monster, but better on her turf than his. Once Ichabod is in the room, she doesn't offer him a seat, or any other visiting courtesies. From her seated position behind the desk, she manages to look down her nose at the Noble. "I've gotten the reviews back from your department, and I'm most displeased at the work being down there." She makes a show of going through parchments on her desk, "Firstly, I've ordered the sacking of Remus J. Lupin.."
Once she 'permits' him to enter, Ichabod strides quickly across the distance between the two of them to stand in front of her desk. 'Quickly', as in 'with unnatural speed'. She /did/ invite him in, after all. His face remains impassive as she begins to speak about the reviews; again, he's hardly surprised by this development. But his lips twist down as soon as she mentions Lupin, his pale gray eyes flickering with irritation. "A most unwise decision, I can assure you, Miss Umbridge. Remus Lupin is a resourceful and dedicated worker."
"Hardly. He now has a criminal record. I've had him sacked." Umbridge says this as if she were presenting Ichabod with a tray of sweets. "I'm also reviewing the Ministry's policy on hiring half-breeds and other creatures." There's just a hint of disdain behind the sugary tone. "I realize it's a policy that has been in effect for quite some time, and one that I'm working on revoking as soon as possible. The special conditions that are necessary interfere with judgment and work schedules." Nevermind that work schedules can be handled around said conditions. "Now. Owing to your, ah, lengthy employment record with the Ministry.. We're prepared to send you off with a retirement package that is generous."
"Have you considered, Acting-Minister, that tampering with a finely-balanced system that has worked for centuries may result in unforeseen consequences?" Ichabod asks nonchalantly in a purposefully-light tone of voice. His expression, carefully trained to indifference as the wretched little woman continues to speak, momentarily reveals a hint of shock when it sinks in that she's firing him /now/. His eyes narrow, and he leans back, the heel of his cane lifting off of the ground and then tapping back down with a clicking noise. "…I see."
"Finely balanced?" Umbridge echoes Ichabod's words slowly before laughing in a rather annoyingly girlish way. "This system is a mess, and would continue to be one if I hadn't of been granted this post. Some of our old ways just won't do. Reform is needed and in the worst ways." She's oblivious to the loaded statement of her own. "This is for the best," she says as she rises to her feet, clasping her hands in front of her, adopting the stance of a parent speaking on what's good for the child. "It won't be necessary for you to finish your work for the day, Vampire. I've already assigned your replacement."
Ichabod's cool look turns into a disgusted sneer. "Well, I will agree with you in one regard, Delores - reform /is/ needed at the moment, and rather badly." He shakes his head, lifting his cane and letting its hooked handle loop over his left wrist so that he can stuff both hands in his pockets. "Very well, then. Please send me the details regarding my retirement package at your earliest convenience. I'd prefer to receive it as a lump sum." Not that he's in dire need of money - heck, he's had two centuries to save up - but he's got an itching suspicion that sooner or later the retirement package will be mysteriously voided if he doesn't snatch it up immediately. And he is a Slytherin - he thinks of these things.
"Of course. My assistants outside will escort you from the building. Standard procedure." Umbridge then waves a pudgy and beringed hand at Ichabod, as if in a shooing motion. She can't see past her own prejudices long enough to realize that it causes more problems than what she claims to want to resolve. "We'll have your retirement package sent to your residence."
Ichabod nods tersely at Umbridge, then turns to face the still-open door. He very casually withdraws his wand just enough to give it a discreet flick, then walks the rest of the way forward and slips out of the door to await what are doubtlessly a pair of Hit Wizard bodyguards ready to remove his 'unclean' presence. Well, he'd anticipated long ago when he first took up this position that some tinpot despot might eventually do something like this. But he's still furious.
The pink-clad Minister might not notice it immediately, but all of the disgustingly cute kittens that are perched in the pictures surrounding her have suddenly grown very elongated fangs.