A/N: Some of you seem to be under the impression that I'm not longer continuing this fic. I would like to take some time out to clear that misconception. I am merely taking a hiatus seeing as how the completion of another story of mine is long overdue. As mentioned in my previous author's note (the one that this chapter has replaced), I appreciate feedback, truly. I wish I knew if my chapters are too short or I really need to get my ass on updating or if my portrayal of a character is awful… Do you catch my drift?
I have been made well-aware that I am probably facing a lack of reviews because my chapters weren't fantastic or deemed review worthy. Nevertheless, I am back with an update and I will return whenever possible. If I came off as arrogant, please know that I didn't mean to. Fanfiction is a hobby that has grown on me and I intend on staying on this website for a long time.
Hopefully now, all misunderstandings have been cleared. A very big thank you to those who have and will stick around to the end of this story, you are loved. :')
Lastly, I should have mentioned, the previous chapters were fillers post Under the Mistletoe. The real plot starts from this chapter. It's a little different from what one would expect but I hope that it receives positive views. I have had this idea in my mind for quite some time now. Happy Reading! xoxo
Better With You
Chapter 4. New Challenges
Ginny gaped at the women sitting before her, appalled. Beside her, her best friend and business partner Nina sat with an equally stunned expression. They were huddled together in Ginny's crowded cabin in the midst of a meeting with their current and right now, fortunately their only client, Parvati Patil who sat before them with her twin sister, Padma.
"You can't be serious, we have a contract!" Nina practically spluttered in reaction to the alarming news they had just received.
It had all started a couple of minutes ago when Parvati and Padma had arrived for their meeting fashionably late of course. The sisters were well dressed in purple and peach robes respectively. There was no surprise about that, having been well-acquainted with Parvati and her flair for the dramatics back in Hogwarts as well as having maintained a client-planner relationship for the last couple of months; Ginny and Nina were well-prepared to receive them.
They however hadn't planned on receiving, abominable, atrocious, appalling news. Parvati and Padma had arrived with tensed looking faces.
Parvati had settled in all her violet glory, raising a dignified, perfectly arched eyebrow at the cluttered mess Ginny's office was in. Knowing that she surely would have something to say, Ginny urged Nina to proceed.
"Stressing over your wedding plans? Perhaps I should move up your appointment with the spa for now and have another scheduled as the day for the wedding nears?" Nina had soothingly asked.
Nina had a way with knowing what to say when. She was a people's person. Although, to her credit, Parvati was a rather easy person to read; she loved being pampered, spoilt and complimented. Despite that, Nina was definitely the better person to put up with Parvati's airs.
"That sounds amazing but no, no. I have enough obligations to fulfil. They seem to be piling up on a daily basis." Parvati had sighed dramatically, her silver bangles clunking together to make a pleasant, musical sound as she moved to adjust her black waves.
Ginny had passed it off as Parvati being her overly dramatic self and she sat there quietly with the updates as to her client's wedding situation waiting in her hands.
"Sounds like you are having quite a time." Nina, the unsurprisingly more patient one of the two partners said sympathetically.
"Don't ask. I don't understand why my relatives are so obsessed with making my wedding a grand affair. At the rate they are going, my wedding is going to be fit for a queen. My relatives from India have been invited!" She sniffed while Padma sat beside her laconically.
Ginny and Nina exchanged a look then. Why was Parvati throwing a tantrum over this issue? They were both wondering. Wasn't it normal for extended family members to be invited when the family tree was going to expand? Not to mention, hadn't Parvati always wanted her wedding to be a grand affair?
Anyone who roomed with the best friends, Drama Queen, Parvati Patil and Gossip Queen, Lavender Brown in the Gryffindor girl's dormitories was well-versed with their wedding plans.
"Isn't that normal?" Ginny had begun rather cautiously –"I mean, for Bill's wedding, I had relatives I didn't know existed attending. Mum bombed me with a list all of a sudden. My family is large enough, imagine the extended family." She had quipped lightly hoping to lighten the awkward atmosphere.
"Yeah!" Bless her soul, Nina had chimed in helpfully –"Extended families are always appearing in events like these. I had to attend a christening in Italy of some niece. I didn't know of her existence till I attended the function. Her name is Angela." She shrugged smiling at her client.
"That's not the point!" Parvati had wailed suddenly looking as though she may dissolve into tears in the next couple of seconds. At that moment, she truly looked like a distressed bride.
Ginny and Nina had turned their gazes to the twin sister who had been quiet till then. She would be able to provide them with an explanation. Padma Patil who had been sitting silently till then merely handed her sister the glass of water that had been resting on the desk before them, she began rather apologetically.
"Now that our relatives have been informed, they are not exactly pleased with the fact that she's having an interracial marriage. It's not like they can do anything about it though. However they want her to follow some Indian customs and they have refused to give their blessings if they are not followed. Blessings of an elder for a joyous occasion are a must amongst the Patil's" She had stopped short looking at the girls meaningfully as though they were supposed to catch the drift.
"What are you trying to say here?" Nina frowned while Ginny sat up listening more attentively.
"The point is that our family now wants us to add in a few ceremonies which have to be made into events of course. They want it planned so that Lee's side has to participate and they want our planner to plan it and for it to be executed a week before the wedding."
Ginny's jaw dropped open as she took in the news. She was sure that if she looked over, Nina's expression would mirror her own.
Maybe they needed to revise their contract, she was sure that there was a condition in there somewhere that stated that In Events Management was to only plan the events that had been decided as per the contract. What was this new condition on planning traditional functions?
"I can understand the shock you-"Padma began but was interrupted by Nina.
"You can't be serious, we have a contract!" Nina practically spluttered bringing them back to the present.
Continuing, she said –"Shock is an understatement."
Nodding her head in acknowledgement, the more rational twin of the two continued, "I understand but you see, before this issue, Parvati was allowed to plan the wedding as she deemed fit however now that this has occurred, they say that if her current planners cannot include this, we terminate this contract and carry on with one of the event companies in Southall."
Ginny felt herself growing livid by the second but she willed herself to keep her mouth shut until the sisters were finished. She heard a gasp of alarm from beside her but was much too focused on containing her fiery temper to pay attention.
She wanted to get it straight, their brat of a client whom she had been putting up with for months now wanted to terminate the contract because of these new conditions. She couldn't believe her luck.
She had tolerated Parvati many times over. The girl threw fits and tantrums if she even gained a kilo. She refused to search for wedding dresses in shops that had fluffy designs claiming that she would look like a marshmallow. She had the girls scour the wizarding world for a gym with a discounted membership just so that she could look like a supermodel for the big day.
They had put up with everything. She had turned down offers for events in February because both she and Nina felt that they owed it to Parvati as fellow Gryffindors and they wanted her wedding to be a beautiful, memorable affair. After putting up with countless nonsense, this was what they were about to receive in return for their services. In fact, in the process of setting up Parvati's fairytale wedding, both girls had neglected their own social and personal lives.
"I don't want to terminate the contract because frankly, I have loved every single thing that you have put forward for my wedding. And after checking out the article on the Christmas Party, my resolve has steeled even further. I know that the both of you can pull this off. It's just going to need extra effort." Parvati looked down at her perfectly manicured pink nails, her voice sombre.
Ginny cooled as she studied Parvati intently, she had been stressing over this issue for quite some time. She looked peaky and tired upon further observation and she had definitely lost some weight. In fact, Parvati looked like she was in desperate need of a trip to the spa.
Feeling Nina's gaze on her, Ginny looked up and they exchanged looks with one another. Much discussion was needed. Maybe they needed to be clear with their contract. Clients and potential clients were asking them for more than they could provide.
Like the Malfoy Christmas Ball though, this could be another opportunity for In Events Management to branch out and earn a name in the events industry. However like the last event, it could be an opportunity under piles of stress.
Both Nina and Ginny really needed to discuss this issue over once the Patil sisters exited the office. They had to contemplate the pros and cons. There was another issue eating Ginny too.
Adding other events into the contract was already meant breaching a condition. Was she so angered that she would suggest that In Events Management would commence legal action against their client?
Casting an uncertain glance at her friend, Nina tucked a jet black strand behind her ear before speaking. "It is too soon to make a decision, Ginny and I need to think about this." She informed the sisters.
Parvati looked hopeful while Padma looked contemplative.
"I understand that our sudden decision has literally dropped a bomb on In Events Management and I completely understand if you are in favour of terminating the contract and recovering damages by commencing a legal suit. However, I wish to say that you will be paid extra if the new conditions are added into the contract. Payment is no issue." Padma assured them, her business-mind coming to life as she voiced Ginny's thoughts aloud.
Parvati looked stunned at the thought of being sued –"You aren't really going to sue me are you?" She looked at both girls for assurance.
"No Parvati, we wouldn't do that. Don't be ridiculous!" Nina assured her kindly.
Ginny in the meantime remained silent as her mind lingered on Padma's statement. She understood what the former Ravenclaw was trying to say. It was like the Malfoy Christmas Ball all over again except with a spicy cultural twist.
Finally choosing to open her mouth, she said "I agree with my partner and friend. We need to discuss this issue. We will inform you of our decision as soon as possible. In the meantime, we take it that our current contract is still on and we will continue with the preparations we were previously required to make. Is that okay?" She finished with a businesslike, brusque tone.
The sisters nodded their heads as they stood up to leave. Ginny and Nina bade them goodbye and Nina escorted them out of their small office as Ginny sat back on her chair, leaning against it while staring at the ceiling.
All of a sudden, she felt exhausted. She closed her eyes as she listened to Nina's heels clicking up the stairs. She was coming back so that they could discuss it now.
"I brought my quill and parchment because goodness knows one can never find any in this pig sty." Nina joked in attempts to lighten up the tensed atmosphere that the twin sisters had left in their wake. Her hair was pulled back into a pony tail which meant that they were in for action. Even though the Italian girl was tired, she looked pretty in her comfy wear consisting of a pea green sweater and leather leggings. Her feet were bare as were Ginny's whenever they lounged around the office.
"I'll clean it soon." Ginny replied grumpily, frowning and pouting at the same time.
"Get up, Grumpylumps. We need to think about this." Nina swatted her head lightly with the parchment as Ginny groaned in response.
"I need coffee for this." Ginny grumbled sounding like her brother Ronald as she stood up and stretched. Like Nina, she too was dressed for comfort. She wore a canary yellow tank top over white shorts.
She made her way down to their pantry to set a pot boiling while she hunted for snacks. The girls were in for a long night ahead. Their head office was toasty and warm.
She picked up the container of homemade cookies that she had brought from home amongst a few other sugary delights. Ginny was a sweet tooth when she was stressed. Nina looked up as Ginny entered carrying the diabetics inducing pile of candy. She had been doodling on the spare bit of parchment in Ginny's absence.
"Looks like Halloween came early." She joked as Ginny dumped the pile onto the desk before retreating for the coffee.
Finally the girls settled down armed with coffee and candy. Nina threw the bit of doodled parchment into the waste paper basket before helping herself to a Chocolate Frog.
The aroma of freshly brewed coffee was therapeutic for Ginny as she felt more awake and less stressed. She, alongside Nina were now women on a mission.
Tying her hair into a messy bun, she took a sip from her mug before opening the proposal of inclusion of traditional functions that Parvati had brought with her.
"I am breaking a New Year's resolution. I blame Parvati Patil." Nina who was on a diet said, her mouth filled with chocolate. She had taken to avoiding anything remotely unhealthy or fattening ever since the New Year's. Evidently, her sugar demon had taken over.
"We're going to lose it anyway. Eat up." Ginny informed her best friend as she studied the contents of the file.
"What does it say?" Nina asked as she popped another Chocolate Frog into her mouth.
"Don't eat all. It says that we have to plan a musical of sorts." Ginny frowned irately at her friend before snatching the Chocolate Frog that Nina was about to take away.
She grinned victoriously as she popped the piece of candy into her mouth. In the meantime, Nina flipped through the contents of the proposal constantly 'hmm-ing'.
"It doesn't sound that difficult." Nina expressed as she looked up at Ginny, her eyes bright.
Ginny stared at her best friend warily. Nina was interested, she could tell. As they were partners, Nina was thankfully not entirely entitled to making decisions for the business. They had yet to think this through.
"What do you think, Ginny?" Nina asked her seriously.
"You are right." Ginny reluctantly agreed. –"It's not difficult. Just a little different from what we would expect to see in weddings."
"Why don't we do it?" Nina suggested. –"The way I see it, this could benefit us in many ways."
Ginny pondered as she sucked on a Sugar Quill, "Let's analyse the pros and cons. Let's start with the pros."
"Well for starters, we're already gaining a name in town thanks to the Malfoy's. The Patil's are pretty influential and if we do this, we could do themed weddings in future." Nina said as she scribbled it down excitedly on the spare bit of parchment on the messy wooden desk before her.
"I see a rising trend." Ginny agreed. –"We will be venturing out with this."
"The marriage market has grown too."
"We could plan weddings for celebrities."
"We could cater to muggles as well."
The girls analysed every detail right down to the percentage of profit that they could gain from this. When it came to In Events Management, the girls were as meticulous and hardworking as Hermione Granger if not more. The company was a dream the two best friends had created together and nothing would make them happier to see it reach greater heights.
"I think that is enough for the pros. Let's look at the cons." Nina said as she threw another spare bit of parchment towards her best friend. Evidently, she was tired of writing. –"Write neatly." She commanded.
"Yes madam!" Ginny saluted her sarcastically as she began by labelling the parchment. The pile of candy had decreased significantly since the start of the discussion between the two partners.
"If executed wrongly, this could kill us." Nina said quietly, her dark eyes solemn as she voiced their greatest fear.
"Bloody hell woman, must you be so negative?" Ginny muttered but she noted it down anyway. It was true, based on their calculations earlier; In Events Management would face a huge loss.
The cons weren't many but the few that were present were as destructive as they could be. The girls sat quietly deep in their own thoughts.
"I just realised something." Ginny broke the comfortable silence with a thought. Nina looked at her questioningly.
"We never contemplated terminating the contract as well as what we will gain if we commence legal action."
"Don't be stupid! We shouldn't take that into consideration. Parvati is our friend. Do you have any idea how many relationships we will destroy because of that? Lee Jordan is Fred and George's best mate. They are the groomsmen!" Nina looked just about appalled for the second time that day.
Ginny raised an eyebrow before countering her best friend –"Relationships or not. A good businessman analyses ALL options before making a decision with regards to his business." She placed emphasis on the 'all'.
Nina couldn't argue with that. In Events Management was their dream and at the end of the day, they wanted what was best for the company. Sighing, she submitted.
"I can't believe we are even doing this. You should have been in Slytherin!"
"Should we seek legal advice or is that too much?" Ginny wondered thoughtfully, choosing to ignore her best friend's comment.
"You can't be serious." Nina gasped.
"If we were to sue for breach, we can only recover damages. As for termination, we can only recover the amount we have spent on executing this project but seeing as how we are using their money for all expenditures. I don't think Quantum Meruit is possible... Hmm..."
"We've been using their money! Isn't it obvious, what we can recover based on the law?" The girls calculated as they peered at the client file where every detail had been neatly recorded.
Closing the file, they came to a conclusion. After spending hours on this, a decision had been made.
It feels good to be back. Leave a comment telling me if I should include Draco in the next chapter. Now on to updating Working for the Dragon – here is to hoping that you guys liked the update. xoxo