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Location: Ministry of Magic • Date: December 4, 2002

The windows in the Ministry showed snow falling slowly, but steadily, from the sky. It wasn't real, of course. The windows were enchanted to show the outside weather because the Ministry existed entirely below ground. These type of small spells simply helped make it feel less like a cave.

Marietta Edgecombe sighed as she stared out the window of her department. International Magical Cooperation faced the atrium, so it obviously wasn't snowing there. But it was cold and gray outside. That didn't really bother her, but it was a reminder that the holidays were closer and closer.

For many departments, the holidays meant less work as everyone wound down their duties to spend time with their families. For Marietta's group, however, it could mean a lot more to do, especially for more junior members like her. Magical tourists from all over Europe (and even the world) flocked to London to shop, visit, or just cause trouble. It meant more tours. More misunderstandings to smooth out. More people checking in with the Ministry.

The redhead sighed visibly and then turned away from the window. She had an errand to run with another department. She was charged with smoothing out a disagreement between an Austrian diplomat and the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts. She tried to focus on the facts of the dispute as she entered the elevator, but it was so boring that it couldn't keep her attention. Instead she found herself people watching for the other employees, seeing if she knew anyone.

Played By: Pamela
One person she should know and well was standing inside the very elevator she had just stepped into. Regulus' mouth twitched into an amused smile as it was event Ms Edgecombe hadn't spotted him.

As the golden elevator waited for another person to step in, Regulus took one step to the right so that he would be earshot of the young woman and spoke, "A knut for your thoughts, Ms Edgecombe?"
Marietta felt a shot of surprise at the voice as she instantly placed it. It was the head of the entire department, Sir Regulus himself! The redhead hadn't really interacted with him very much but she definitely wanted to make a great impression.

Blushing just slightly (and hoping that her makeup was doing an excellent job of covering up the remaining pimples from Hermione Granger's curse), Marietta replied, "Hello, sir." She smiled in what she hoped was a pleasing way. "I was just trying to figure out how I'm going to save the assistant to the Austrian ambassador from being fined for enchanting a Father Christmas decoration to sing holiday carols. I'm very hopeful that they will go easy on him." She sighed.

"This time of year is filled with these kind of cases, as you know, sir," Marietta went on, trying not to seem nervous. "But it's usually tourists and not resident diplomats." She looked back at her superior, obviously beaming at his attention.

Played By: Pamela
Regulus glanced upwards for a moment as he briefly contemplated his years of service and the things he had witnessed and the mischief he had caused in his time. His mouth twitched as he thought back to one particularly lively Christmas...

"Oh yes, indeed there are many cases like it. Nothing changes, only in terms of creativity. This time of year brings out the spontaneity. I certainly do not envy the reversal squad or the misuse of muggle artefacts." he said glancing back to Marietta.

"I would perhaps suggest that as it was likely to be a first time offence...that a small amount of discretion can be afforded to our Australian cousins. Failing that, the whole thing can be misconstrued as one of those fancy teck-no-logical things that the Muggles come up with all the time. I'm certain I've seen one or two things that sing and do other things, without any interference from anyone."
Marietta smiled back to Sir Regulus, nodding at his advice. It was true that the Muggles had a number of things at their disposal that were almost like magic, except that they weren't. She wondered how often their teknologie got mistaken for enchantments by eager Magical Law Enforcement agents.

"That's a good point, sir," the redhead said eagerly. "Sometimes the Muggles can do things on their own that seem like magic. It will be a first offense. And there wasn't all that much harm done."

She shrugged. "And foreign wizards are often used to different rules. They are supposed to know our laws, of course, but not everyone is as strict. Flying carpets cause no end of trouble." She sighed, thinking of several cases from the summer. England still couldn't quite stop visitors from using their carpets to get around, even though they were illegal in the British magical community.

Played By: Pamela
"I'd be rather surprised if anyone was truly put out by it, but I can imagine that our lot are a little stressed with the time of year, emotions run high. Might be worth suggesting that the person in question sends an apology."

At last the grills to the golden elevator slid shut, today was evidently a go slow. Perhaps everything and everyone was in need of a rest.

"Don't forget Ms Edgecombe, that is indeed a two-way street. Our own brethren of this fair Kingdom have run afoul of other countries rules. It's just boils down to whether incidents that occur are from pure foolishness, stupidity or blatant disregard or interest in following other countries rules and customs."

“In regard to the carpets, I admit they are a tiresome issue. But I would recommend going to a carpet race sometime. They are truly fascinating. I’d say even more interesting and exciting than Quidditch. Not that you would catch me either on a broom or a carpet.”
Sir Regulus was right about English tourists often running afoul of foreign rules. That wasn't her usual assignment within the department, but her colleagues were full of stories. Being a bit of a patriot, she would never admit this in public, but she conceded to herself that sometimes British wizards could be just as stupid as foreign visitors.

The elevator was finally moving, and it was very crowded, as always. She was quite close to Sir Regulus now. It was kind of necessary to continue talking.

"I'm not a flyer either, sir," she replied, after nodding at his advice. "And I didn't even know there were carpet races. It must be quite a spectacle."

After a pause, Marietta decided to press the conversation. It wasn't often that she got time with someone who could do so much for her career. "How are your holidays going, sir? I hope very well."

Played By: Pamela
"That it is, you should have a word with out counterparts in Egypt or Dubai. They'll be able to give you full understanding of the game. But you know not many realise that some of our Quidditch players have gone on to join the carpet leagues. Some day perhaps we'll get to see a race here. They host them just about every other part of the globe."

While Regulus didn't fly and nor was he physically a sporty type, he did like the odd flutter.

As the conversation switched from work to life beyond the Ministry he smiled, "I've not really been able to give it much thought as one would like. I generally host a gathering at my home so most of the planning has fallen to my House Elf and Goddaughter. As for the day itself, that's a little up in the air. What of yourself, your family?"

Now Regulus liked to make a point of getting to know the employees of his department. He was a people person, but as the ranks grew it became a little harder to keep track of everyone. Still, he at least made it a point to remember their names.
Marietta nodded at Sir Regulus as he talked about carpet races. Sports didn't really interest her that much. She had cheered for her House Quidditch team at Hogwarts, but once she graduated she lost interest quickly.

Edgecombe wasn't sure other parts of Ministry would ever consent to allowing a race of items that were considered illegal, but maybe Sir Regulus could bring it about. No one had thought Barty Crouch could ever revive the Triwizard Tournament either.

"I will probably spend the holidays with my family -- my parents and sister," the redhead said back. "It can be hard to get a restful holiday some years. My mother is the head of the Magical Flue Network, you know. So she isn't always able to get a lot of time off. So many people traveling can overload things." Marietta smiled politely. She liked reminding people that she came from a Ministry family, and she was quite proud of her mother.

Played By: Pamela
The lift shifted sideways as it diverted to another floor, his hand immediately shot up to hold onto one of the hand holds. With years of experience it came as second nature to anticipate the next jolt.

"Christmas with the family, excellent. Yes, it is quite a busy time for your mother, I had a meeting with her only the other day." There was always a need to keep a good relationship with other departments. It didn't always work even for someone like Regulus.

"Yes, I think many forget just how much work there is to maintaining the network, and so few Ministry departments truly are able to shut down for the Christmas period."