|Scene Title||Tracking The Monster|
|Synopsis||Tiana approaches Umbridge with an offer she can't refuse.|
|Location||Ministry - Umbridge's Office|
|Date||Dec 28, 1994|
|Watch For||Fake Sympathy|
|Logger||The Pink Demon|
End of the year, and things are busy around the Ministry. The ordinary average worker is trying to wrap up loose ends before the holiday season kicks in. Others aren't in the same sort of rush. Holidays or no, there's work to be done and there's no time for festivities. One of those with that mindset is the acting Minister, Umbridge. No surprise there. Many would be surprised to find out she has actual parents and didn't spawn from a cocoon or such! The only sign she gives that it's Christmas-time is the green bow sported in her tightly curled hair.
Thus far the search for Black and his accomplices has been fruitless, and only rumors of their hiding places are being investigated.. yet she's in a rather cheery mood. Most likely Umbridge is harboring particularly nasty thoughts that has the likes of her in high spirits. Currently, the woman is in her office poring over a recent draft of legislation penned by none other than herself.
The man who penned that it's the season to be jolly most certainly did not have Tiana in mind when he did so. The 'click click' of her heels on the marble floor is swift and precise; she is here on a mission. Even the wizarding folk tend to stare and give her a wide berth - even with her glamours toned down a little and hidden better within her ambient magic. Her robes are a stylish and well-cut hunter green - elegant, but understated. In one hand she carries a thin, black briefcase. When she reaches the section of the Ministry to which she had been directed, she pauses at the desk of the Minister's receiving secretary and clears her throat imperiously. "I have an appointment with the Minister," she informs the secretary smoothly, her Slavic accent heavy, but not unpleasant. "I have come to the correct place?"
The secretary is overworked, under-appreciated, and not happy with her assignment here. Alas, it's a paycheck. So the reception she gives Tiana isn't the most welcoming. She jerks her thumb at the doors leading into Umbridge's office, and says, "She's been expecting you." It's the only appointment the Minister has allowed today, and the secretary is one of those clock-watchers, so she /knows/ it's the appropriate time. The secretary is disgruntled, not stupid. "Go on in."
"Thank you." Just because underlings forget their manners doesn't mean Tiana must. It's the niceties that hold society together, after all. Stepping through the designated door, Tiana knocks softly at the doorframe and stands at quiet attention until she is acknowledged.
"Come in," Delores trills in a sugary sweet manner. She correctly presumes that's her appointment with Miss Moldavia and taps her wand at her teaset. The pink floral china rights itself, and steam starts to issue from the water inside the pot, heating itself to a temperature that's just right for steeping. As she waits for the woman to enter, the more sensitive paperwork upon her desk rolls itself up and out of sight into a waiting drawer.
Now that the invitation has been extended, Tiana steps further into the office, coming to stand in front of the desk. "Good morning, Minister Umbridge," she greets, a small smile softening her pretty face. The paperwork being slipped away is glanced at. "Have I come at a poor time?" The black briefcase is brought around and held in front of her, both hands clasping the handle.
"It is always a bad time," Umbridge states pleasantly as she rises from her seat. She extends a stubby fingered hand, bedecked in gaudy rings towards Tiana. "This is why I have my staff set appointments, so that I can make time for those requesting it." She's nice enough, when she gets her way, and when she's not being crossed. "Won't you have a seat Miss Moldavia?" A violently pink and plush chair across from her desk is gestured to. "I've also taken the liberty of preparing tea for us to share."
When the hand is extended, Tiana shifts her grip on the briefcase and accepts it with a business-like efficiency. Her laugh is soft and light; a musical affair that wouldn't be out of place on a Lady or some other member of the gentry. "I am afraid, Minister, that I understand that all too well. My father used to say very nearly the same thing. Thank you." She perches on the edge of the plush affair. "Tea sounds lovely, yes." Must get the niceties out of the way, of course, before business is discussed.
The tea that's steeping is light, floral and incredibly girly. The teapot takes Tiana's words as its cue to pour its contents into the two waiting cups. Easing herself back into her seat, Umbridge smiles in what should be a cordial manner, or at least it would be on other people. "What is it that I can do for you Miss Moldavia?" The way she settles back into her seat speaks volumes about the self-importance she feels at her newly elevated position.
The fumes from the tea are slightly nauseating; Tiana can feel a headache starting to form behind her sinuses, but smiles anyway. When Umbridge settles into her own chair, however, Tia's demeanor takes a turn for the more serious. The briefcase is settled in her lap and she takes a deep breath. "I have come to speak with you because I sense within you a kindred spirit." There's a deep sadness that resonates in the witch's tone, even though she maintains her poise. "Your pursuit of the werewolf menace is… if I may be so bold, Minister, it is the most intelligent move I have seen from a government official in many, many years." Opening the briefcase with a snap, she pulls a series of type-written documents from inside and sets the case to lean against the leg of her chair. "I would very much like to offer my assistance."
So far, Umbridge is pleased with what she is hearing. A smug look of satisfaction that /someone/ sees things her way appears on her face. Plucking up a delicate china cup of tea, she sweetens the flowery drink before taking a sip. "It is taking some doing, but we are slowly getting the situation under some control. What assistance can you offer?"
"Before he…" Tiana takes a deep and steadying breath. "Before he died, my fiance and I had been doing some research into a ritual that would allow the caster to search an area for the presence of werewolves and to use a surface to map their location." It still hurts to discuss Scott, even in this capacity. "I have here the finished work, Minister, if you'd care to have a look." There's a moment of hesitation as she stares down the the font-face where Scott's handwriting should have been, but she does extend the sheaf towards Umbridge.
For a brief moment, there's a look of faked sympathy on Delores's face. She can't exactly empathize with Tiana, she doesn't really have that in her. She reaches across to look at the offered paperwork. The magic used behind the ritual goes over the woman's head, but she's clearly intrigued. "This would be of immense use to our Werewolf Capture Unit.."
Tiana nods and for a moment there's just a hint of vindictive satisfaction in her voice. "I hope so, Minister. Those monsters stole my fiance and my son from me. I want them extinct." That look of faux sympathy enrages Tiana more than words could describe; it's a rage that she channels into her expression, knowing that it will be misinterpreted. After taking a moment to rein herself in, she continues. "I'm afraid that the ritual is rather complex, but I am confident that any wizard employed by your Ministry can be taught to perform it with precision."
"Of /course/ you do, Miss Moldavia. Anyone with sense would want those filthy beasts kept in their rightful place." Umbridge has found a kindred spirit, and feels that she can speak her mind. "The entire lot should be rounded up and housed away from people." And basically treated like the horrid animals they really are. "Yes, yes, I can see that it is complex. Fortunately, we employ the best here at the Ministry. There shouldn't be a problem in organizing this ritual."
"I can teach the heads of the departments who would be using the charm and they can teach their staff." Tiana hazards a tired sort of smile. "It is much easier to learn in a hands-on manner, I'm afraid." There is a pause then as she allows the Minister time to peruse the documents. "Minister…" she finally ventures. "Is there some other way I might offer my assistance as well?" A tactfully-worded request. "I have found that I can no longer stay in my ancestral home. Too many memories there… I would like to make England my new home; start a new life for myself where I can be of some use to the world." She lowers her eyes to her lap. "To save more wives and mothers my pain."
Umbridge is already devising ways to take the credit for Tiana's offering. There's a spin for every tale. "Yes, yes, that would work. Since this is something you and your.." What was it? Oh yes, "Fiance worked on together, it's fitting that you go over this with the employees I assign to this task." She doesn't fall for the sympathy ploy as a normal person would, "Of course not. I understand, too many memories of what those /animals/ are capable of. They're lower than the common mongrel and should have fewer rights." With this ritual of Tiana's, practically every werewolf in the UK could be rounded up and put into a 'pound' of sorts. "To start with, we can have you work on the ritual and go over it in detail with my staff."
Whether Umbridge falls for the sympathy ploy or not, Tiana now has a job. Umbridge has the charm and she is in just precisely the precarious position she'd aimed for. "Thank you Minister Umbridge." She nods towards the documents. "Those are yours to keep on file. When would be the best time to meet with your staff and teach them?" The briefcase clicks shut.
Umbridge is oblivious to the calender and that they're smack in the middle of holiday season. "I will arrange some of the brighter minds between the Werewolf Capture Unit and Experimental Charms. There can be a meeting as early as tomorrow morning for you." She looks down again at what could be gold in her hands and there's a faint grin of triumph on her face. Oh the usage she will get out of this! Now to stall the Wizengamot on a real election so she can cling to this spot a little longer.. "Thank you for offering this valuable information to us, Miss Moldavia."
"I am glad to have been of service, Minister." Sensing that this meeting is drawing to a close, Tiana stands. "I will wait for your word on the meeting. I can be contacted at the Leaky Cauldron until I can locate a more permanent residence." She nods once towards Umbridge and turns to leave. "Good morning, Minister."
Umbridge doesn't bother to stand as Tiana takes her leave, the paperwork still has her interest. "I will send an owl first thing with with the time and location of the meeting." Oh yes, the woman is leaving. Delores looks up from the papers and forces a smile, "Thank you so much Miss Moldavia."