A/N: This is my two-hour writing challenge which aim is to make me improve as a writer. I'll write for two hours and post the result here.
Afterwards they didn't remember whose idea it had been, but if they had had to give just one name, most of them probably would have written down "Hamsipood" with big red letters – just because it usually was Rodilus Hamsipood, who came up with the most ridiculous of ideas. As it happened, they wouldn't have been wrong since the idea had indeed been Rodilus'. And as Rodilus' usual standards went, the idea was even more ridiculous than his ideas usually were.
"If we do it, Graves is going to kill us!" Elisa Ipston was biting her nails as she always did when she was particularly worried over something. "He'll just take his wand and then he'll just… kill us all."
"Nah, he won't," Rodilus said in his usual carefree manner. He was sitting with his feet up on the conference room table, hands behind his head, and looked just as confident and relaxed as Elisa didn't.
"I'm not comfortable with the idea, either," Almira Bariton admitted, tapping her pen against the table with a frown marring her bland features. She adjusted her round glasses. "We'll get in trouble, even if Graves would miraculously decide to let us live."
"And why the hell would I need to be interested in my boss' love life?" Kilonski demanded in his usual gruff manner, a cigarette dangling from his mouth. "If Graves wants Scamander, he's a grown man and can make his own decisions without us having to get involved, especially in such a mindless way as this."
"But it would be for his own good," insisted Rodilus, never one to give up without fighting. "It'd make Graves all happy and relaxed, and then he wouldn't be riding us nearly as hard as he is – I mean, just this morning I had to rewrite my entire twenty-page report three times because there was a typo on page seven. One tiny typo! I'm sure he's been unnecessarily hard on you, too."
"I will have to attend classes on uniform protocol next week because Graves caught me with one button open yesterday," Kilonski said thoughtfully. "Perhaps if he hadn't been in such a bad mood, he might have just reprimanded me without further repercussions."
"Exactly!" Rodilus exlaimed. "As much as I love and respect our dear bossman, there are things we could do to make our lives with him easier. I'm telling you, if our plan was to work, Graves wouldn't ever again mind a few innocent typos or order anyone to retake classes with Junior Aurors because of a button. Imagine this, if you can: every single morning Graves would come to work after a pleasurable night spent in bed, and he would be relaxed and smiling - and would forgive us a few typos here and there."
"You want us to go through all that trouble just because you can't be bothered to proofread your reports?" Bariton sounded incredulous. "What the hell is wrong with you, Hamsipood? And I say it again: I don't want to die in the hands of Percival Graves."
Rodilus let out a sigh and let his feet drop onto the marble floor. He let his gaze travel around the room, from one skeptical face to another.
"No-one would die," he promised. "Killing us would be against regulations, you see, and we all know that our dear Persephone would rather have his impressively dark and menacing eyebrows charmed into lizards than break the rules."
"Getting a certain kind of a lizard – a newt, to be precise – to sit on his face," Kilonski said, exhaling cigarette smoke out of his nose. "Wouldn't that rather be the point of this whole thing?"
Rodilus sniggered, while Bariton rolled her eyes with a sigh.
"I'm in," said Bartolomeus in his deep rumble of a voice, speaking for the first time since their Specifically Secret Senior Auror Meeting had begun some half an hour before, and four pairs of sharp eyes immediately turned to look at him – the rare times Bartolomeus opened his mouth to speak, he usually had something worth listening to say.
"Grindelwald, that bastard," Bartolomeus grumbled, "abducted Graves while I was on duty. Graves was gone for months and I never once noticed that anything was amiss. It's something that I will never be able to forget and forgive myself for. It's an outright embarrassment!"
A murmur of agreement went through the conference room, as the four other Senior Aurors voiced their own regrets. While Graves was already working again like nothing had ever happened and hadn't even mentioned his long capture, the Senior Aurors had been unable to move on. They were ashamed that Grindelwald, the evilest wizard of their time, had been able to capture their boss from right under their nose and none of them had noticed – that would have been enough to make the most prideful of wizards and witches humble and ashamed.
"If I can help Graves to find some happiness after failing him in such a tremendous manner," John Bartolomeus continued, "I figure I owe it to him. That's why I'm in, no matter what the rest of you decide."
A silence fell in the room. It was broken after several long minutes by Bariton.
"Okay, okay, okay," she said, shaking her head slowly while raising a hand. "Okay, now, hold on a second! We can't start sexually harassing Newt Scamander just because we want Graves to take it a bit easier with us!"
"Not harassing," Rodilus said with an emphasis, "sexually or otherwise. The idea is that we would all need to show some form of interest in him in order to make Graves jealous. A compliment here, a bit of flirting there. That way Graves would finally make his move on Newt – and I mean finally, it's taken him for almost a year already, even though I could bet my annual income that Newt would be more than happy to get deeper involved with Graves, if you catch my drift. If we all began to show interest in Newt, Graves would realize that he can't just keep on waiting, or someone might well take Newt from him. He would make his move, Newt would give his hole to Graves regularly-"
"Must you be so crude."
"-and Graves would be in good moods at work from then on," Rodilus finished, ignoring Bariton's comment and her wrinkled-up nose.
"You do know I'm a lesbian, do you not?"
Rodilus had an answer ready for Elisa's inquiry.
"It's not like you'd have to be actually interested in Newt," he pointed out. "You'd just need to pretend for long enough to make Graves a bit jealous, so he would sweep in to claim his man."
Kilonski leant back in his chair, inhaling cigarette smoke. With a slow exhale, he let it all out.
"I think," he said softly, "that this could actually turn out to be quite a good plan."
"It won't," Bariton said with confidence, crossing her arms on her thin chest. "It's the most ridiculous, foolish plan I have ever heard of! But," she hesitated, "it might just work. Graves has forbidden me from chewing gum at work since he doesn't think it's 'professional' of a Senior Auror to do so. Perhaps if Newt was giving him other things to think about, he wouldn't care about my chewing habits."
Rodilus' smile was triumphant.
"It's decided, then – may the operation begin!"
Newt was sitting in his usual place on the sofa in Graves' office, cross-legged, with parchments scattered on his lean thighs. He was scribbling something furiously on the parchment balanced on his knee, a bottle of ink hovering near his writing hand, and seemed quite unaware of the glances Bariton kept sending his way.
Graves, on the other hand, seemed to be more than aware of the way Bariton would turn her head just slightly to take in the slim man on the sofa. Bariton made sure to look at Newt from head to toe, up and down, slowly, and then she would turn back towards Graves' desk to discuss the case at hand like she hadn't just been pretending to undress Newt with her eyes.
Bariton's aim had been to gently demonstrate to Graves that Newt could catch the eye of many a wizard and witch. She had hoped to give Graves something to think about, she had hoped that it would be enough to prompt Graves to make a move on Newt.
Instead of Graves becoming thoughtful, however, he began to glower at Bariton. For every glance Bariton dared to send Newt's way, she would receive a glare so dark that she began to worry that Graves would accidentally use wandless magic to curse her, as unlikely as that was to happen.
Bariton sighed to herself. She should have known better than to let Hamsipood talk her into his ludicrous plans.
A/N: Feel free to share your thoughts with me!