Disclaimer: As always, I am saddened to say i own nothing. Not even a house!
There were certain rules in the Runway building that were not written down, but that everyone knew of. Certain things that were done a certain way and that yielded certain punishments if not completed. Rules that made people fret and worry because they could never be sure if the components were the same today as they had been yesterday. That's why a glass of still water had the ability to induce a state of paranoia amongst the staff. What if it should be sparkling? It was sparkling yesterday. Occasionally someone would mumble to themselves during the morning frenzy, bloody rules should be written down. But then that was besides the point. They weren't just rules. And so if they were written down, set in stone, they wouldn't be Miranda Law.
Miranda Law. Definition: What Miranda says goes. Never assume, because if she loved handmade Belgian chocolates yesterday and specifically ordered a basket ready in her office for the next morning, it usually meant that the next morning she couldn't stand Belgian chocolates and you were a complete incompetent for ordering them. But then if you didn't order them you were still an incompetent idiot. And even if on the rare occasion she actually still wanted the chocolates and you'd ordered them, you would probably, no doubt, get some element wrong. So whatever Miranda wanted was right, regardless of whether she'd previously said that it was wrong. Miranda Law.
From the moment Miranda Priestly had entered the Runway building as editor in chief of the magazine, she turned the whole place on its head, and even now some ten years later, people were not quite sure where they were supposed to slot back into. People who could normally blend into the background unnoticed were singled out by Miranda for some scathing remark or flippantly uttered criticism, and people who were normally top dogs and confidently walked the corridors with an air of superiority suddenly found themselves on the other side of the coin, unnoticed except for the occasional 'Miranda' glare. Some people found this new phenomenon appealing: the people at the bottom were no longer alone. Everyone joined them, because there was only room for one person at the top, and that was Miranda Priestly. That was the basic foundation of Miranda Law.
Miranda's demands and short temper were notorious. She never shouted, but her mouth would purse; the thinner the mouth got, the more foul tempered she became, and her voice would drop to an almost whisper, but every word was heard as clearly as if she had snapped them in your ear. No one understood how Emily, her first assistant had been able to stick around for so long; she had to put up with Miranda almost 24/7. No wonder she had gone through second assistants like she did Hermes scarves.
Andrea Sachs ploughed into the Runway building and seemed to obliterate the entire Law. She laughed at inappropriate moments, snorted, ate bagels, wore clogs, and worse, when she went completely against Miranda Law, she would try to make excuses for it, something which everyone knew you could never, should never do.
Miranda had interviewed Andy herself, a thing unheard of in Miranda history. Miranda did very few things for herself, especially the menial tasks like interviewing. That was left to Emily, and if Emily2 was found lacking then Miranda would tear her to pieces in due course. That's why Andy was intriguing from the very beginning. Most people knew the second assistant as 'the new Emily', or just 'Emily' when they couldn't be bothered. Not that many had lasted long enough to give their name. But from the beginning, Andy seemed to make an impact. She was 'the new Emily' the first time people met her, but after that, she became Andy, or at the very least Andrea. She was an abnormality, possibly the only employee in the Runway building who had never heard of Miranda Priestly, had never had her life directed by Miranda, directly or through the fashion world. She couldn't keep her mouth shut, corrected Miranda when she was called Emily, and even when Miranda pursed her lips, lowered her voice and glared, Andy still didn't learn. She persisted. It took Miranda years to start calling Emily by her own name rather than that of the woman she had replaced. Andy managed it in six months. Andréa, a French twist. Miranda Law: originality a la Priestly.
After a few near fatal clashes, where even Emily and Nigel, Miranda's long standing, long suffering employee and friend made themselves busy elsewhere, they seemed to have thrashed out a good, some might even have said amicable working arrangement. Andy seemed to have achieved something that most employees, if they hadn't quit or been fired, were still longing for: the ability to achieve the seemingly impossible and, outwardly, appear calm whilst doing it.
Andrea Sachs didn't quite seem to fit into any existing element of Miranda Law. She sometimes managed to escape with just a glare when most employees would have thrown themselves out of a window under the verbal onslaught: she had managed to thrash out a tenuous yet workable relationship with Miranda's twin daughters, when they had double-handedly managed to get rid of at least 30 members of Miranda's staff so far. And she still ate fatty foods. She was somehow, slowly, carving out a whole new section of the Law, one which no one knew how to negotiate, because it seemed it was all about Andrea.
It happened quite subtly, yet was pointedly mentioned when meeting people. Andrea started accompanying Miranda to events, meetings, dinners, more and more instead of Emily. Andy could have subtly blended into the background, as was often required, and people would just assume that Emily had changed style, however Miranda made a point of introducing her as 'Andréa, the new Emily' before dismissing her with a casual flick of her wrist. As a result of this new Miranda behaviour, people began to act even more irrationally around her when Andy was around, earning them some hurricane force glares and on more than one occasion calling for Andy to intervene and rescue a job or even the person. Everyone was taken aback by Andy; they were unsure of her because it was so unusual to have a genuinely nice person working in the fashion magazine building. She knew all of Miranda's suppliers of everything by name, she had sent bunches upon bunches of flowers to people who had offered her discounts, and she always went out of her way to help anyone with anything, without asking for much, if anything, in return. She was a rarity in the Elias-Clarke building, and even more of a phenomenon because even though everyone else had, on some level, noticed her and witnessed her irrepressible charm and smile, everyone had also thought, no, known that Miranda Priestly wouldn't notice. Or at the very least be immune to her. But the longer Andy worked for Miranda, the more it became apparent that Miranda was noticing, had noticed, and the fact that people were noticing that Miranda had noticed was something that nobody could ignore.
All of Miranda's employees were expected to be fashionable. That wasn't Law, that was just sense. Andy turned up dressed like a seventeen year old college student, old before her time, frumpy, wearing clogs. It would have been completely unbelievable that Miranda had even deigned to see her, if people hadn't realised by now that nothing about Miranda ever followed the expected.
Nigel had heard people talking about the new Emily from the moment she arrived in the building. He himself couldn't see why the girl was still stood in the office when he got there, and after her little outburst and the awful onion breath, he had felt almost sorry for the girl as Miranda gave her a slow once over which was usually followed by a terrifying shredding of every aspect of one's life. Much to Nigel's surprise, Miranda didn't open her mouth, just went back to her work. As he thought about it now, he realised that obviously this was more disconcerting, more hurtful to Andy than being whispered at. She was new and she wanted to be someone. She wasn't used to being ignored. Nigel knew that now. He also knew that, somehow, Miranda had known it then. He had seen Miranda's eyes follow Andy out of the office on that first day, giving Andy time that precious few others were afforded. And even more shockingly, he had seen Miranda go to the Closet and pick out a pair of shoes for Andy herself. You will deliver these to that girl.
Miranda had said, and Nigel remembered thinking 'Yes, but you chose them.' And even then he was in no doubt that Miranda hadn't even had to put much effort into memorising Andrea's name. Yes, he heard the gossip about Andy; he loved a gossip, even more so about Miranda , usually with one eye over his shoulder, just in case. But he kept unusually quiet on the subject of Andy when it came to Miranda. People gossiped because they were perplexed. There was only room for Miranda at the top. Everyone else was at the bottom. The basic foundation. So where did Andy fit?
There were certain rules in the Runway building that remained fluid, in order for them to still fit within the basic Miranda Law foundations; what Miranda wanted, she got. No gray area. It could be ascertained one month that to acquire favour with Miranda one would have blonde hair for the foreseeable future. But then before the foreseeable future finished, Miranda would run a certain article and anyone turning up at the office with blonde hair would be ridiculed by the red headed fashionistas. Keeping a finger on the fast paced pulse was a must.
Try as they might, trying to keep a finger on the second assistant Andrea Sachs pulse was proving difficult, tiring and near impossible. She was fluid in motion, sometimes floating calmly past widely known lore's and rules and sometimes crashing into them with all the force of a typhoon and the outward appearance of a quiet ripple. Even Miranda, it seemed, was slightly perplexed by the woman, though nobody would ever have the slightest clue. Nigel, however, noticed the small things about Miranda, especially since that first time she had met Andrea. It was expected that Miranda expected the impossible, and that she fully expected it five minutes ago. That was Law, one that certain people were still struggling with. Emily, the first assistant had become quite adept at handling this, even managing recently to keep her breakdowns and fainting spells to a minimum. But with Andrea Sachs, Miranda seemed to take this to a whole new level. Andrea had seemingly handled one impossible task far too calmly for Miranda, so she would set another. The Harry Potter book episode had the whole office speculating about whether Andrea could really get hold of the unpublished manuscript, and Nigel as to why Miranda had felt the need to demand it in the first place. He could only speculate that it had something to do with Miranda not really believing she had a one in a million working for her, and Andrea not wanting to become Miranda's biggest disappointment. Andrea managed it, anyhow, and many people were relieved enough to still have her around to make their jobs somewhat easier that they didn't notice the subtle shift in dynamics of the relationship between second assistant and Ice Queen.
For Nigel, it was simple enough. Of course Miranda's behaviour was perplexing, it usually was, so this was merely an extension of the Law already in place. What Miranda wants, she gets, what she says or does, goes. She wanted Andrea, so she would get her, no matter which path she took. Simple.
Everyone who knew of Runway, and knew of it's editor, knew that Miranda didn't have a weakness. And so, in Law, Andrea became Miranda, Miranda became Andrea. Certain things weren't written down, but were agreed upon by unspoken arrangement. Never, ever use Andrea to try to soften Miranda; never, ever use Miranda to try to belittle Andrea. The rest of the Law remained fluid, built on one solid definition; what Miranda wanted, she got. It had just been proven.