It was the last straw. She had drawn her wand too, and she wheeled on him, still holding it aloft. Its lit tip illuminated her face, but the rest of her was in shadow. "Why should I?" she asked. "Really, genuinely, please tell me why I should attempt to work collaboratively with a person who has done nothing but shoot down everything I say? Had you considered for a moment that you might show me anything other than blatant disrespect?"
Shit. She hadn't quite yelled, but her voice had definitely gotten louder. Raising her voice at this guy was not a wise move. If he reported her, she had no doubt she would lose her job. The job she had barely started. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad. She could go back to Romania and live with the hermits who raised Longhorns. Sure, she'd never see her family again, but at least she wouldn't have to work at a desk.
Maverick's brows flew up in surprise but a smile still tugged at the corners of his lips. Oh, he knew he could easily put this girl in her place with a quickly jotted memo to her superior. He was her superior and well-respected and tolerated by most heads of department, even those who rather begrudgingly had to admit he was gifted at his trade. It wasn't quite his nature to be a snitch, though.
"Oh, do lighten up," he said once she was done and seemed to be fairly shaking with fury at him. "You should attempt to work collaboratively with me because it's your goddamn job and you want to keep it. But if you can't accept people as they are, you won't make it far in life. This is how I speak, love, and it's not meant as disrespect. I question your theories because they're not very good and it's forcing you to think of better ones. If you'd like, I'll jot up a report that says you figured this was an implosive powder all by yourself like a bright little witch."
Maverick frowned slightly at her deflated response. "So did I," he admitted sympathetically. "Let's make you a deal," he offered. Despite what she might think about him disrespecting her, Maverick had taken an instant liking to her. She was spunky. "If ever I do come across so much as the rumor of a dragon, I'll request you personally to come along and check it out."
It was unlikely that Nadine would be the first on call when the Hitwizards ran into such an obstacle as a dragon, but if Maverick mentioned her with any amount of praise, his colleagues would be inclined to give Nadine a chance - even if she had to be coupled with a higher ranking professional.
"Buck up," he told her with a playful smile. "S'not all that bad, is it? Be a bit worse to have a wild dragon murdering innocent muggles, you'd think. Yeah? So, stop lookin' all down in the mouth, love. You've got time to prove yourself."
She was in a rush, he could see, but she looked quite young and was likely the freshest body in her department. Maverick was all about being relaxed and rolling with the punches, so he'd advise her to do the same.
"Dragons don't murder," Nadine said, but she could hardly work up the energy to be indignant. "You're right though, I wouldn't want anyone to die just so I could get a bit of excitement." She still didn't like Maverick much, but she was calmer now and could at least realize that he wasn't her enemy. "I just haven't seen a dragon in ages. I miss them." Nadine's voice was almost wistful, now. She couldn't help it. She was thinking about those dumb Longhorns she had worked with in Romania. They were quite sweet when you got to know them, Nadine thought.
Maverick outright laughed at her concession. "If that hasn't been my life's motto," he said with a grin. How often had he struggled with the same issue: putting people in danger so that he could have a bit of excitement. On this, he fully understood her.
"Well, I can't scrounge up a dragon on short notice, but if you'd like some tea, I could arrange for that. Keep you out of the office a bit longer, anyway."
Nadine sighed. Maverick was clearly not her favorite person, but he was giving her a good excuse to be out of the office. "Sure," she said. "Why not?" He was slightly less annoying now, but maybe it was just because she had calmed down.
"I know a place," he smiled and gestured to Nadine to follow him back out of the rubble. Maverick hadn't been lying - he would submit a report that said Nadine had determined the cause of the explosion to be nitroglycerin and evidently due to some muggle tampering. He had plenty of accolades and this was a minor matter.
Once they stepped back into the light of day, Maverick smoothed his suit sleeve and put his sunglasses back on as he walked away from the scene with confident strides. He glanced back to ensure that she was still coming along. "We're not a far jot from where me dad works," he explained, "and there's a nice place he used to take me when I was wee and he'd take me to work with him."
Nadine followed Maverick out of the rubble and brushed some dirt off her sweater. It may not be as nice as his suit, but it had at least been clean at the beginning of the day. She was used to getting a bit dirty in her work, but if she was going to a restaurant or teahouse or some other place with civilized people, she wanted to look presentable.
"He's a Deputy Commissioner with the London Fire Brigade," answered Maverick with an evident note of pride. "Funny that," he gave a chuckle. "He puts out the fires that I start. Story of 'is life, poor chap." It was clear just by his tone and smile that Maverick was very proud of his father and likely quite close to him.
"He's a muggle?" Nadine asked, then she realized the question could be seen as rude. "Not that--" she started. "My dad's a muggle, too," she decided on. Hopefully that would tell him she wasn't prejudiced, just curious.
"Yeah," Maverick smiled when she backtracked. He had shown no signs of being offended at her question. "Here we are," he nodded, then reached to open the door to a little diner for her. "Doesn't look much," he admitted the obvious, "but they do a damn good tea."
Nadine smiled. She realized that something about Maverick had given her pureblood vibes. His cockiness reminded her of the pureblood boys she'd known at school, those few who had been raised to believe that being pureblood made them better than her somehow--usually that being male made them better than her, too. She felt a little guilty. Maybe she had judged Maverick too soon, and her assumptions had guided the encounter somehow. In the end, he was much nicer than she had thought, even if he was still a little too cocky for her liking.
She followed him into the diner, which was small and unassuming, but that was exactly the kind of place Nadine liked. "This is nice," she said, genuinely. She wasn't into flashy places, places with white tablecloths and dress codes.
Teegan: For anyone not on the discord, the group thread has been started in the "Other Locations" board
May 23, 2018 2:17:56 GMT -5
Teegan: A year, a month, and three days since the last shout. Still love you all! Hope we could someday find some free time in our crazy lives to get back here. Love this place!
Jun 26, 2019 19:45:26 GMT -5