Location: The Daily Prophet • Date: mid-September 2002

Fist elevated and primed to pounce, the young writer hovered outside the office of her most respected senior, Evelyn Winters. For some reason she felt chilly, standing there in her nylon stockings and what she judged to be sensibly-heeled working shoes. It had to be the nerves that was upsetting Helena's bodily temperatures. After all, no one just walked into the editor-in-chief's office, not without either an appointment or enough desperation to consider redundancy. But this was important! It was work related, for the Prophet! And quite frankly, Helena was teetering on the edge of indignation over Evelyn's recent interval from the company. She needed advice from her editor-in-chief, no one else. Of course, every woman had the right to their own personal life, but someone who cared as much as Helena did... if not indubitably more.

It was just better to face the woman head on. So when Patricia had been called away for some family emergency, Helena had slithered away from her desk and into depths she wasn't overly fond of treading in. Tiptoeing like a damned school girl past Patricia's empty desk and arriving at Evelyn's office door, Helena raised her fist to know on the door, but something told her that such courtesy may decree Evelyn to avoid exposure in some way or another. With a shallow and lugged breath, Helena enclosed her small palm over the doorknob and pushed. Surprisingly it wasn't locked.

More surprising however, was the company Evelyn had decided to permit herself to. And it was a kind of company Helena didn't even know Evelyn could stand. After all, she had never been one that inspired any filaments for nurture.

Played By: melmaid
"Non Louis, ne mets pas ça dans ta bouche. Non, Louis, ne le jette pas non plus." Evelyn said for the fifth time that day, rising from where she was currently sitting on the leather sofa in her office to move towards her two year old son who was currently playing with her enchanted paper weight, despite having a whole slew of toys surrounding him. Taking the small planetarium from him, causing the boy to let out a noise in protest, she immediately passed him the plush frog and dragged a puzzle towards him.

Moving so that she was crouching, or at least attempting to crouch while dressed in a skirt, she pointed towards one of the puzzle pieces, "Look, pass Maman that piece there." The boy cocked his head and then reached for it, grabbing the small orange pin between his thumb, forefinger and middle finger, he quickly did as he was asked.

"Good. Now, help me find where that piece goes on here," Holding the puzzle, she watched as he attempted to slot the piece into three incorrect spaces before finally finding the correct one and dropping it in. Evelyn beamed with pride, and then leaned forward to kiss the top of his head as he clapped. Obviously happy with himself. "Good job, mon Loulou. What about that one there?"

Louis stood slowly but steadily and crossed the room, picking up another piece of puzzle he had thrown across Evelyn's office earlier.

"Cow! Moo, moo." He said as he moved back to her, only instead of sitting back down, her stopped in front of her and then began to lean against her. "Cow goes moo!"

Evelyn nodded, "Cow says moo, yes you're correct. Now what is cow in French?" She asked him, rubbing her nose in his curls. They were slowly becoming darker and darker. Something he had obviously inherited from his father, not her very blonde wife.

Louis was attempting to answer her question, stuttering around the word when her door opened and both individuals lifted their heads to see someone who was definitely not Patricia standing at the threshold.

She raised her left eyebrow as her lips thinned, so much for keeping Louis' presence here a secret, "Have you forgotten how to knock since I've last seen you, Sun?"
The first thing Helena told herself was not to make assumptions, but it was damned hard not to. The tenderness between woman and child resonated sonorously throughout the spacious office. For a second Helena considered fleeing- but Evelyn wouldn’t have appreciated that, would have probably called her a coward. Above anything else, an innate yearning of approval from her boss was what Helena sorely appreciated.

“I’m sorry for intruding,” Helena started off slowly, her voice tinged with apprehension. “However,” now she spoke a tone louder, “with all due respect a knock is warranted a reply, and I’ve been knocking for weeks now.” It was pretty clear now as to why Evelyn’s dismissive behaviour to her staff had been implemented. Obviously there was much more to her life than just work. Helena couldn’t help but feel a tug of guilt for forgetting this.

Played By: melmaid
“Yes well as you can see—“ She stood, bringing Louis with her as she straightened, the boy immediately adjusting to sit on her hip comfortably. “—I am a little busy.” A hand shot into her hair, a sign that told her Louis was picking up on his mothers sudden change in mood. He always combed his fingers through the fine hair at the back of her neck when he was trying to calm her. Her son had always been a very sensitive boy.

She shot Helena a look, “Come in and close the door behind you. Not a word of this to anyone. You hear?”
Fair call, Helena thought to herself although she didn't dare say it. Instead she silently shut the door behind her, making sure that it was securely closed. She stepped further into the office. It was just as foreboding and just as exhilarating as always, but the presence of a child certainly diminished Helena's judgement in the slightest.

Shifting her weight from one sensible heel to another, Helena dared to choose her words as carefully as she could. She couldn't read the situation well enough to decipher what was appropriate to ask, and what was considered far too personal. "C-can I ask... Ms Winters... is he yours?"

Played By: melmaid
Deciding that he had had enough of being held, Louis let go of his mothers hair and then began to wriggle in her arms. "Down, Mama." He whined, pushing at her chest and frowning. "Down."
"S'il te plait, Maman," Evelyn chastised the boy but let him down anyway. He immediately moved towards his small pile of toys and picked up a stuffed hedgehog. He brought it up and pressed his face into the soft belly of it.

Evelyn watched with a small unguarded smile before remembering they were no longer alone and turned to face Helena, "He is." She replied simply before moving around the back of her desk and taking a seat. The french woman had no interest in discussing her son any further.

Pulling a thick book towards her that held mock ups of the next three Daily Prophet issues, she waved her hand at the young woman, "What do you want, Helena?"
She didn't need to wait for a response, as the young boy confirmed Helena's query through how he addressed Evelyn. She wondered who the father was, what kind of marriage Evelyn had. Did she have more children? Evelyn had never come across as a maternal figure. Her persona hardly insisted any silhouettes of nurture. Helena chewed on her lower lip thoughtfully, peering closely from mother to son in an attempt to scrutinise exactly what sort of relationship the two had.

It was only when Evelyn's voice lulled Helena back to the confinements of the office room did Helena now straighten and extend her hand forwards to offer Evelyn a folder. "I wanted criticism on this piece that I'm going to issue tomorrow," Helena explained slowly, averting her gaze to the ground. She studied her shoes pensively. "You know... your kind of criticism."

Played By: melmaid
Louis sighed contentedly as he pressed the soothing fabric against his cheek.

Looking at the two chatting women he felt compelled to share his discovery with a new friend. A few quick steps and he was standing next to Helena. "Soft!" He explained before he presented her with his hedgehog.
The young witch peered down at the child, her expression saturated with an intrusive curiosity as she observed mother and son. Her attention was then reshuffled back to the young boy when he presented to her what appeared to be a beloved stuffed toy. Feigning an uneasy smile, Helena nodded at the child and held out her hand in cordiality. "Yeah, soft," Helena murmured as she knelt down to meet the boys eye. "Whats its name?"

Played By: melmaid
Evelyn made a small noise that probably would have been a laugh had she not been in the company of an employee.

"Everything is Eyoyoyo, these days," She commented, her gaze flitting from the book before her and the small boy who was communicating with one of her most promising employees. Amused by her son's social skills but wanting to get back to work so she could take her son and head home early today, she turned in her chair and called her son towards her.

The boy looked at Helena, smiled and then toddled towards his mother. Immediately he began to climb up into her lap. Once seated he grinned across at his new friend and then began to tap one hand against the wood of Evelyn's desk.

"Leave whatever it is here and I'll look over it before lunch time. Though if it's not up to my standards, you will not be submitting it. Critiqued or not." Because Evelyn expected a very high standard of articles when submitting them to her paper and if it wasn't good without her critique, it wouldn't have made it into the paper anyway.
Although Helena had never found herself tethered towards the adorable actions of a child, she had to admit that Evelyn's little boy was endearing in a cute, dopey and sticky-handed way. Offering the child a final restive smile, Helena obediently marched towards Evelyn's sizeable (and much more grandiose than any other employees) desk where she then summoned an impressive stack of reports with her wand. "Theres... a few here that I've been meaning to go over with you but as I can now see, you've been understandably preoccupied."

The weighty mound of papers landed on the desk with a satisfying hammer. "Uh please only look through as much as you can though, I tend to be a bit over-zealous sometimes," the reporter then stammered as she took a step back. "Sorry," Helena then said just for good measure.

Played By: melmaid