(1937-09-23) Good Times at the M.L.E.
Details for Good Times at the M.L.E.
Summary: A simple coffee break at the M.L.E. turns into a circus.
Date: September 23, 1937
Location: MLE

Sometime after lunch, MLE workers can be seen shuffling back into the office at slow reluctant paces. It's common for some of them to return to the communal lounge rather than their desks so as to avoid work. Cooper is among this lot, but instead of slacking in the plushy lounge she's brought her work with her. She's occupying two chairs at the moment: one for her bum and the other to prop her feet upon. A small stack of papers are before her and she shuffles through them with her glasses upon we nose. The steam from a hot cup of coffee and the smoke from her cigarette resting on a ashtray float into the air.

Elijah stands quietly in the center of the communal area, holding a sheet of paper in his hands. It's held up to the light and he's peering quite intently at it. He's dressed pretty much the same as he usually is, minus his coat, hat and shoes. He quirks his lip, sighing slightly as he lowers the paper and rests his hands on his hips, tapping his bare feet against the floor.

Gideon steps into the lounge with his favourite mug in hand, headed straight for the coffee pot. His eyes linger on Elijah, but for the moment he says nothing. Coffee first. Filling his mug, he takes a sip of the piping hot liquid, black. A satisfied sigh escapes his lips. Now he's ready to face the rest of the day.

Good god this fine print. Cooper lifts her glass up into her hair, moves the paper closer and squints her eyes. And still its barely readable. With a sigh, she massages the bridge of her nose and runs a hand over her face. She's not in the mood to deal with this. So she tries squinting at it again. The sound of Elijah's feet tapping doesn't help with her concentration. And with her face still scrunched up to squint she grumbles, "Lovegood, can you do me a favor and perhaps move your feet in silence?" Upon seeing Gideon, she offers the ginger a polite nod and greets, "Inspector Gideon."

Elijah spots Gideon and says, "Ah! There you are!" He rushes over to the man and grabs his arm, holding the paper up in front of the two of them, saying, "What do you see?" His eyes will dart back and forth from the paper to Gideon. He looks over to Cooper and says, "I'm quite sorry."

Gideon gives Elijah an exasperated look, but relents and examines the paper. "I see a sheet of paper. Well done, Inspector. You've solved the Case of the Missing Stationery." He moves to take a seat, nodding in return to Cooper, and gathering up a discard copy of the latest Daily Prophet. Bold type on the front page announces record attendance at a Grindelwald rally in Bulgaria.

Cooper waves her hand at Elijah dismissively in a 'that's fine' motion but continues on with her work. She pauses, scratches her head and then picks up a semi-thick hard cover book, flipping through the pages. Then suddenly a pair of young Auror initiates walk in snickering among themselves as they say things like, "I -know- but did you see the jugs on her. My word, they were like melons!" Apparently they had a double lunch date and are now heading for the coffee machine until they stop to surround their fellow Auror. "Cooper! Did you stay in for lunch again today? It's a shame. You would have really liked this one. A real nice set!" one of them grins, his voice is just reaches the level of obnoxious. He's teetering the line really.

Elijah peers over at Gideon and then back to the sheet of paper, saying, "No, that can't be it. Stationery's very serious business. I would've heard about it before now." He ponders for a bit before something clicks into place, "I'll be right back!" With that he scurries off, though he manages to stroll between the two Aurors, giving them both rough slaps to the forehead before continuing out on his way, saying, "She's a lady. Learn some respect."

Gideon levels the trusty ol' Cruciatus Glare at the young Aurors. Elijah said enough for now. He'll just back up the words (and the smack) with the unspoken threat of barely-repressed rage and a reputation for breaking bones.

"Ow!" Each of them say in turn as they're smacked on the forehead. Frowning, they'd usually retaliate but even as hitwizards Elijah and even Gideon garner some sort of respect. "We're not trying to insult her. She rolls both ways, don't you know that?" one explains to Elijah, rubbing at the point of impact. Cooper however, is hardly paying attention to this scenario. Neither confirming nor denying anything, she remains absorbed in the hard cover book she's holding. Her frames are back down on her face and the pad of her thumb rests on her bottom lip.

"Piss off, laddies," Gideon growls. "People are trying to read in here." He slaps down the newspaper, slowly setting his coffee cup aside. Subtle hints that he is moving to rise.

The twin pair of auror initiates peer at Gideon and one says, "This is the lounge. I'm mean its technically supposed to be used for..well…lounging." Yet the other one chimes in and throws one arm around Cooper's shoulders while he plucks the book out of her hand. "That's right, Coop! That means save your work for the desk!" he beams brightly at the young woman, who with mild irritation groans and says, "Come on now you two monkeys. Hand it back." She holds her palm out expectantly, and the pair looks at each other with glee and say "Monkeys?" Brilliant idea! And to get their little friend to lighten up they play monkey in the middle. One young man tossing the book over Cooper's head to the other young man and then back over. They begin making their way over to the exit, throwing the book a few times just a few inches over Gideon's head.

Elijah returns quite upset as his investigation into the mysterious paper that turned up on his desk only led to further mystery. He grumbles and spots the two Aurors continuing to harass Cooper. He snatches the book out of the air and shoots the two of them a glare that matches Gideon's, or may well exceed it. "Get the hell out of here NOW!" The grey streak along his temples seems to turn stark white as he screams at the pair.

Gideon was doing so well. Really, he was. The coffee was warming him, he was relaxing. Then these two idiots come and start a circus in the lounge. Well, seems its time to break in some more rookies. With the book handles, he whirls up out of his chair and fully slaps one of the young Aurors in the face. "This is nae a damnable playground, you sorry piece of meat," he barks angrily. "I said piss off. Dinnae make me repeat myself."

Well, Eddie's coming back from lunch mostly on time. Mostly. The bombshell waltzes into the office just a few minutes late, her gray robes casually open over the screaming purple suit she's wearing beneath, high heels clipping neatly on the floor. She smells like cigarettes and coffee, warmth in her cheeks from where every she went to get her meal. She also is carrying a somewhat sizable flat paper box in one hand, a chesire cat grin on her face. Only half catching the angry grumbling from multiple sources in the area, she blinks towards Gideon, then Elijah, then back to Gideon with a smirk. "Bloody hell, Cooper… all these men are putting themselves in an early grave. Take a breath and stop a minute, I brought you all sandwiches from that muggle 'Deli'" (as she pronounces it De-Lie') "Thing! They're so bloody good. Come now. Eat."

And suddenly everyone freezes at Elijah's yelling. The book tossing pauses, and the young men pause in position that is until one of them receives the rather harsh slap across the face and he groans falling back a few steps. In rage, the other young auror steps forward to retaliate until Cooper comes up from behind and restrains wrist on the arm that was winding up for a punch. She his is one arm rather painfully twisted behind the mans back and muttering something into his ear, he stops struggling and releases him. "Now get his head checked and take him the bloody hell out of here," she frowns and pushes them in the direction of the exit. And when the two gits have gone Cooper gives a frown in Gideon's direction, one hand in her hip. "Inspector Gideon, I know it's easy to treat men like children when they're acting like them, but was that slap -necessary-?"

Elijah turns and raises an eyebrow at Gideon. Holy hell, that two of them are agreeing on something for once. Elijah walks over to Cooper and hands the book back to her, crumpling the paper he was examining earlier up in his hand with a scowl on his face. He looks over to Gideon and says, "It's him!" before going to storm off.

Gideon's nostrils flare for a moment, but once the misbehaving Aurors depart, he steadies his breathing. "Necessary, and very satisfying. No offense to you or Malfoy here, but rookie Aurors, in particular, have a way of thinking a bit too highly of themselves." He rubs his hand where it stings from the slap. "Just a little lesson in humility." He moves back to his seat, picking up his coffee cup and arching an eyebrow at Elijah. "Him, who?"

Edwarlinda silently stands poised over the general front of the walk way, the box of sandwiches still in her hand. As Gideon finally acknowledges her, and calms his temper a bit, the blonde smirks a hint deeper and shakes her head. "Fine, yes, they certainly need a bit of discipline, but it's not as if they are doing it in the field. Violence isn't necessary. They're going to see a bloody lot of it in the future on the outside if they make it in this department, they don't need it in their own offices." The woman half grumbles, but she's not overly angry. Just unsorted. "For that, you get to pick your de-lie sandwich last. Cooper?" She leans over, offering the box to the other blonde. She then calls down after Elijah, "Inspector? Would you like food before you storm off?"

Cooper nods her thanks to Elijah when the hard cover book is placed in her hands. Yet she adds on in agreement with Edwarlinda. "Oh yes, that's right. And its -your- job to quite literally slap them down. In a professional office. Forgot that they added disciplinary governess to your job description," she frowns at Gideon and then scoops up a wax paper wrapped sandwich. "I'm taking the turkey," she says to Edwarlinda and collects the rest of her stuff to pout off to her desk to eat her food alone. She'll be back. She simply needs to cool her own head.

Bannon steps into the office, walking stick in hand. He seems intent on making it to his desk, weaving around the comings and goings of the M.L.E. office. Cooper storming off catches his eyes, and he looks first towards Gideon, then Elijah, before his eyes settle on Edwarlinda, "What happened to Cooper." He tsks and shakes his head with a smirk, "Have we been poking the rookies again, ladies and gentlemen?"

Elijah stops in his tracks and turns halfway around, glaring at Gideon as he almost growls the name, "The Butcher." The mere utterance of the serial killers name sparks a fire in Eli's eyes. He looks back at Eddie and says, "No." He then barges off somewhere to go slightly more insane.

Gideon watches Elijah go with a resigned sigh. He'll let him blow off some steam before having that conversation. "Not her," he grumbling in reply to Bannon. "Wicks and Burgess," he gives the names of the two rookie Auror that were up to childish antics. Wicks may have been seen leaving the lounge with a hand-shaped red mark on his face, the poor man. He sips his coffee, picking up the Daily Prophet once more to catch up on the Grindelwald rally in Bulgaria.

The selection of a turkey sandwich gets one fresh, heaped paper wrapped sandwich handed over to Cooper, and a briefly sympathetic smile from Eddie. "Go eat." The older woman offers gently, before looking back to the men. Elijah is given a slight shake of her head, but arctic eyes finally settle upon Bannon and Gideon again. She's certainly taking her time getting back to her desk after the lunch hour, but then she never seems to be in much of a rush to go anywhere. "Bates. Hungry? Since I have come to suspect I am the only one that actually takes lunch around here, I've brought back food." She offers him the box of sandwiches before tossing a look in Gideon's direction. "She's right, you know… write up a damned report, don't… Never mind."

Bannon rolls his eyes and Wicks and Burgess are named as the culprits, almost as if Gideon has said 'Dumb and Dumber'. He then clears his throat, "I see." He looks over towards Cooper for a moment and then adds, "Well, at least she didn't jinx him. Though, from the handprint I saw on Wicks, I do believe he wishes he had been." Turning his attention towards Edwarlinda, Bannon shakes his head, "No, but thank you anyway, Malfoy. I took my lunch at the Leaky Cauldron today."

Gideon mumbles at his paper, "Right. A report will certainly do the trick. Then, in three weeks when they are counseled for something they don't even remember doing, surely they'll get the message to stop acting like imbecilic children."

Finally, last but not least, Eddie brings the box of heaping sandwiches over towards Gideon, not really upset with him, but not really agreeing either. "Here, eat, old man." She grumbles fondly to him, even if she's of an age with him, really. There's still plenty of options, she'll probably be going back through the rest of the office. She comments back to Bannon. "That wasn't Cooper. That was Gideon's way here of teaching a lesson."

Bannon hmms rather tragically, shaking his head, "Well, it seems I have no grasp of the situation at all." Edwarlinda is offered a smile, "Thanks for bringing me up to date." He looks towards Gideon now, "What were Wicks and Burgess doing which warranted a slap in the face, Inspector?"

Gideon isn't one to turn down a free sandwich. He reaches into the box, picking one at random with a nod of thanks. He doesn't appear upset either; at least no more upset than he normally is. They've both been at the M.L.E. together long enough not to let such petty concerns come between them. As he unwraps the sandwich, he glances up to Bannon. "Harassing Cooper." A large bite of the 'de-lie' treat delays any further explanation.

In truth, that's the most that Eddie herself knows about the situation. She gives Bannon a small shrug, "I walked in after most of it," are the best words she can offer, not going to be an office gossip. With that, the purple and gray clad woman steps around the hallway and begins offering what sandwiches she has to the others that are still in their cubicles and little spots. She'll keep going about it until the box is emptied. Now, nothing else keeping her from work, she heads over towards one of the filing cabinets. She's not told many about what she's working on, but she's been pulling half a dozen files each day, studying them, replacing them, rinse, repeat.

Bannon has exhibited much patience in the past, and today is no exception as he waits just until Gideon is finished with that particular bite of his sandwich to ask, "And was Cooper attempting to handle the problem herself?" He glances towards Cooper once again, noting her progress through her own lunch before his icy blue eyes come to rest on Gideon, "And was Inspector Lovegood involved?"

Gideon sighs, setting down the newspaper and sandwich once more. He meets Bannon's gaze, his own has a touch of annoyance. "It's settled, Bates. Leave it be."

The blonde gathers the files she needs up in her arms and gives them both a brief nod, "Good luck sorting things out, boys." With that low voiced encouragement, or perhaps it was a bit of joking, Eddie heads off to her own desk and lets the men sort it out among them. She's done with it.

Bannon raises an eyebrow, "Is it? From what I've gathered, you slapped an Auror in the face for harassing a junior. What you've done is tainted the working relationship between the Auror and the junior, not indefinitely, but I do not think it will be easily forgotten, and on top of that, the junior still hasn't learned one of the most valuable things to know. That is how to handle the harassment of any form from a coworker." He then shakes his head, "Don't think I don't appreciate you standing up for Cooper, Inspector. I really do, from a certain point of view, but Cooper is a grown-up. Working with Aurors is not like working with Hit Wizards. She'll need to learn that on her own."

Gideon rises from his seat, and goes to dump out the remainder of his coffee. "Don't pretend Aurors are so different, Bates. You just have a more specific directive. What Cooper was dealing with had nothing to do with the fact that those idiots are Aurors. It had to do with the fact that they're morons who were making a circus of the lounge. I dinnae care which branch they're part of. If they cannae grow up in here, you sure as Hades dinnae want them at your back out there."

Bannon proceeds calmly, "It's precisely that specific directive that makes Aurors different to work with than Hit Wizards. I really don't expect you to understand that, but I do assure I'm not playing one of those silly Aurors are better than Hit Wizards game either." He pauses for a moment, then continues, "Cooper will handle her own affairs from now on, Inspector."

Gideon gives Bannon another irritated glare. "If that's what Cooper wants, Cooper can tell me so, herself. As for you and I — you handle your own affairs, and I'll handle mine." He scoops up his sandwich, giving Bannon a half-hearted nod as he heads out the door and back to the M.L.E.S. office.

Bannon nods his head in return to Gideon, "Very good, Inspector. Good day to you, as well." He turns, moving through the cubicles towards his own working space. As he arrives, he removes the bowler from his head and tosses it on his desk before taking the seat there.

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