DISCLAIMER: ALL OF THE CHARACTERS AND SCENARIOS BELONG TO JKR AND/OR WARNER BROS.
Cecilia Frobisher looked up at the row of terraced Georgian mansions that lined the street. It was growing darker, being just before 10.30pm, and the breeze was rustling the leaves on the sycamore trees that lined the street.
"6, 8, 10…", she counted, as she scanned the house numbers along the row. "..14…". Hang on, where's 12? She briefly scanned back to where 12 would, should have been. She dug back in her bag for her appointment letter, and read the paragraph that detailed the address. She read, "Please arrive at 12 Grimmauld Place, London, on 15th July, at 10.30pm".
Well, here she was, this street was Grimmauld Place. And it was 10.30 now. She turned back, still holding the letter. "If this is Nick Smith, playing a practical joke on me I will kill him", though Cecilia, in frustration. She scanned the numbers and this time, in an old-fashioned script read, "Number Twelve". Blinking in the failing evening light, she approached the steps. "That's funny", she thought, "must have been a trick of the light". She hauled her bag onto her shoulder and said, "Well, here we are then", and rang the bell.
Cecilia had seen the advertisement for a research scientist in the back of a periodical in the local library. "Exciting New Prospects!", read the ad, "Work as Part of A Team with Rewarding Results. Help Towards Saving the World!", had caught her eye. The advert did not go into details, but she cut it out anyway. The job would be in London. Maybe it was what she needed after her last disastrous career move…and after Tim.
She phoned Libby that afternoon. "Cec, you have not got to keep blaming yourself. Your job went pear-shaped after you lost your husband".
"Which was my fault", sighed Cecilia.
"He DIED, chickie, it was not your fault. You had separated, gone your own different ways."
"I know, it all sounds logical, but when I sit down and think, I'll be moving to London with this job, I'll be selling the house, OUR house."
"You sound like you are giving up, heavens above Cec, how long have I known you for? You're twenty eight, you still have a life to lead!"
"I feel old, Libs, I feel like there's nothing left for me".
Libby sighed. She had been there for Cecilia when she and Timothy separated. That had been two years ago, but she doubted her friend had ever stopped loving him. His death had been a blow to her, and her work had gone down hill. The school where Cecilia taught had given her sick leave, but she had never gone back.
"Well, you know what I think, and deep down Cec, I think you know too."
The door opened. A man, taller than herself and an expression of stone looked at her.
"Hello, I'm Cecilia Frobisher. I am here to meet – " but she was cut off mid-sentence.
"Yes dear, come in, come in! Mr., er, White is expecting you. Let me take your bag, dear." She shouldered past the tall man and ushered her inside.
"Oh how impolite of me, Cecilia, do you mind me calling you that? I am Mrs Weasley –"
"Before we get into that", intoned the man who had answered the door, "Perhaps I should escort Mrs Frobisher? Mr. White will want to talk to her immediately."
"Yes, of course, Severus", said the woman who had introduced herself as Mrs Weasley. The door was closed behind her and she followed them into the house. It seemed a cold place, quite colourless and dim. The man whom Mrs Weasley had addressed as Severus led her quickly across the room to a room underneath the stairs, where a bright light shone through the frosted window. "Mr. White" was stencilled on the door. The man called Severus knocked.
She had met Mr. White before, at the interview. It had been curious to say the least, as she had been told to bring nothing with her, no references, certificates of any kind, nothing.
The interview had been held at an office building, and had consisted of simply confirming what she had said in her letter. Thinking back there had been many odd things about the interview.
"I understand your husband is dead", Mr White had said. "Pneumonia, last November"
"That's right, but how did you – " began Cecilia
"There are many things that cannot be explained by science, " said Mr White, smoothing down the lapel on his pinstripe suit. It did not go with the blue and purple polkadot tie. "But sometimes one has to find the direction to use a gift. One should not dismiss that it was never there".
He was quite right, she had begun to doubt that she had been wasting her time all these years. Except for teaching science she had not made a successful career in it, and she was now even doubting her talents as a teacher.
"Mr. White, what will this work involve?"
"You will be working with one of our own…researchers. We are attempting to make many…medicines that will help in times of war to counteract the effects of attacks on the civilians of Great Britain an indeed those of the world. With what you may help to develop, many lives will be saved".
There, he had her. Helping someone else was just what she needed to do to forget about her own troubles.
"But you don't know anything about me", Cecilia rose from her chair. "Don't get me wrong, but how do you know I will be the right person for the job?"
Mr White arched his fingers.
"If you accept this position Mrs Frobisher, you may leave it at any time. If you accept, I will send you confirmation of your appointment to your home address and we will meet further discuss what we wish you to do."
The whispering got louder, as they approached the door.
"Ah, Severus, I see you have brought our newest employee to see me." Mr. White was smiling at her, but what struck her first was the clothes . He seemed to be dressed in a long robe. And a pointy cap. He certainly didn't have a beard at the interview.
"Yes Professor, although if it had been up to Molly Weasley, she would have been made tea and fussed over first"
"Professor?" thought Cecilia, now totally confused.
"Dear Molly", he sighed. "Now, Mrs Frobisher, or may I call you Cecilia?" The professor stepped back into the room, gesturing to a chair
"Yes, of course", replied Cecilia, sitting. It was then occurred to her that she may not entirely be sure what she had let herself in for.
"I think there are few things I need to explain before we continue. You may remember at interview I said that for you to agree to the work was enough? That is because you have accepted work in the Wizarding community".