It had been a rather ordinary February, in the Ministry of Magic Legal Department, home of laws, and books, and dozens of cases of both minor and major import. Theo had been working a tricky one involving the sport of Quiddich and performance enhancing potions. It was the talk of the office, even if it was out of the papers - for now. Theo wasn't exactly a gloryhog, but he enjoyed people knowing his name. He particularly enjoyed the confuddled looks on the Aurors faces' - particularly the ones who had, once upon an age ago, been Gryffindors. It seemed to upset their ever increasingly unstable balance of emotions to find a Slytherin in the Legal Department. Well, perhaps not that, so much as one who was on quite a crusade against corruption. (Oddly enough, Harry Potter was the sole Gryffindor who didn't blink an eye, and just got down to work - it'd take quite a lot to drink for Nott to admit it, but he'd gotten quite a few useful tips out of Potter).

March was turning into a rather different story, as the entire staff of the Daily Prophet had decided their meal ticket was coming out of the Ministry's Legal Department. Theo wouldn't have minded it nearly so much, really, if it had been about a case. Even if it had been black marks across the board, it would have been about work.

No, this was completely preposterous bullshite caused by Hiring Decisions!

Theo had done the Slytherin thing when Mr. Marlow and Mrs. Livingstone decided to scoop up Malfoy and Granger. Now, he was rather regretting that choice. Perhaps if he'd just pointed out that they were hiring two of the most inflammatory people in the entire Wizarding World, this fiasco wouldn't have happened. But no, Theo was certainly not the person to be pointing it out - the Heads of his Department would simply have thought he was being prejudiced. And it was true that Granger and Malfoy had managed to not burst the doors down with shouting or hexing.

So, the bloody paper had decided that was an Issue of Note. By the end of the first week, it had gone from "What will they say?" to "Their dramatic confrontation has led to them avoiding each other" (if only it had ended there, but oh, no, it had said "at work")

By the start of the second week, Granger and Malfoy still hadn't spoken. This wasn't unusual, they weren't assigned together on any projects (Theo had specifically requested Malfoy, and Mrs. Livingstone had taken Granger under her wing. Which just meant that they were the two lowest gophers, and didn't really get to make any decisions at all).

But still, they didn't say a single thing to each other, and by the end of the second week, the papers were publishing rumors of Bondage and Blackmail, all wrapped up in a tidy NotAtWork romance. Which, Theo thought with an aggravated sigh, would have been a sight more interesting if it was actually happening.