What starts out as a birthday party turns into a lot more. Word Count:2116
An Unexpected Shower of Fireworks
Upon noticing, the Arithmacy and Muggle Studies professors enter the Great Hall; Bridge gave the two women a small smile and a wave. Professor Pippin English, Professor Flo Richards, and she were hardly to be defined as “friends”, but as companions. It could be because Bridge had always felt so much closer to Tarik, Sasha, and her daughters. Bridge winced as she recalled her eldest daughter being in St. Mungo’s. Waverly seemed to be hardly recovering from her illness despite what the healers’ deem she is. The many times Bridge had taken a weekend day off for visitation to her eldest child, she had only ever saw the clammy, paleness of Waverly’s skin. The only sight of movement was when Waverly would blink her half-open eyes, but she seemed unable to move the other functions of her body. Whenever Bridge would notice these little simple things, she would begin crying.
Flo had arrived as early as possible to help with the party. When Sasha had broached the subject of a grand birthday party for the Headmaster, she had agreed immediately. When she had first come to the school, she had no prior teaching experience. She had been a Nanny for one of the high-ranking wizards, but that was no guarantee she could work at the school. She was a firm believer things happened for a reason though. When she arrived, she had no idea she would find her deceased husband’s father among the teachers. Flo was extremely happy where she was now in life.
Sasha had decided to do one final check of the Great Hall before having Tarik and Darik unseal the doors. The teachers and some special friends of the Headmaster had sealed the room early that day. Now that the Grand Party was about to begin, Sasha wanted everything to be perfect.
Looking at the beautiful streamers, icicles, party favors and towers of gifts that dawn the Great Hall, the Deputy Headmistress was in awe at it splendor.
The Great Hall was beautiful. All the teachers had worked very hard to make it a special time for the one person who kept them all together. It would take the Headmaster hours to open all the gifts. The students had all tried to outdo each other in coming up with a special gift. Flo smiled to herself because from the talk some of them were very interesting.
At that moment, Pippen walked up with some final things which had been left off one of the tables. Flo smiled at her best friend.
Pippen handed Flo the ribbons of the different school colors, which for some reason had been taken from the table. Pippen was sure they had originally been there because she had carefully tied all the ones on the centerpieces and had helped Flo add one to each table.
Remembering last year, Sasha knew it was all worth it. The man whose birthday they were celebrating had taken a big chance on her. Most had thought that she was too young and inexperienced to be his second in command. Looking over as the teachers were finishing up, Sasha McChey knew that The Headmaster was a wizard that followed his gut and most importantly his heart when it came to hiring his staff.
Sasha looked at the others and noticed that the caretaker Mirabeau was nowhere in sight. Shaking her head, she asked with a bite to her voice, "Has anybody seen Mirabeau?"
Professor Bridgetta Sylvian sighed at the mention of the caretaker’s absence once more. She felt as if she was isolated from all the rest in thinking Tony a harmless man. Yes, he had the wrong intentions of taking the position as caretaker at Hogwarts, but she firmly believed him incapable of harming any of the students. For goodness sakes’, his own daughter was a student! She knew Tarik only believed a half of her beliefs, but his only believing half has a reason. He was protective of both, Tia and his niece, the only living and breathing offspring of his youngest sister Cassandra. His being Egyptian meant that it was his duty to protect the heir to the Egyptian throne, which was Tia.
She smiled in appreciation towards the Great Hall and was about to voice her opinion of how splendid it appeared, when she realized that Tarik’s attentions lay elsewhere. She wondered how long he had been staring wistfully at Hogwart’s Headmistress. Not long, she decided, but it made her smile widen, this time in a fondness for how the Ancient Runes professor was love for the woman of his dreams. “I apologize, Sasha,” Bridge called out, “but, no, I have no seen the caretaker. Besides, I highly doubt he has any motivations of performing evil deeds tonight.”
When Flo heard Sasha ask about the caretaker, she made a quick survey of the part of the room she was in. It had been her assignment to work on the table decorations and make a final check of each table to make sure everything that was needed by the attendees was present.
When Darik heard the Headmistress ask where the caretaker was, he chuckled to himself. He knew exactly where the person was. ‘Well maybe not exactly where, but I knew what the caretaker was doing.’ Darik thought with a sly grin. The caretaker had the personality of the slime worm from the house-elf’s home territory. Darik used the animal as his idea. The slime worm only ate grass and leaves so he was not worried about anyone getting hurt. It had a nasty habit of leaving a trail of phosphorescent purple slime behind it when it slithered along. The wizard would be kept quite busy following the slime trail with a mop and bucket. Since slime worms are really good at keeping ahead of those following them. It would be a while before the animal was caught or seen, but before this Darik would transport the slime worm back to his natural habitat.
“I haven’t seen him at all from the time the room was sealed. We can go look for him if need be. Darik has his ways of looking without being seen.”
“Mistress Flo your idea is excellent. Head Mistress, as soon as I can I will pop out and see if he can be located.” Darik wanted to watch at least a little as the human, cleaned and fumed. He was thinking of adding another slimmer so the trail would split, but did not want to be too carried away. Pippen had heard the Deputy Headmistress’s question as she limped up to the table where Flo was standing. She had carefully surveyed the room. Mirabeau was a sneaky person. Pippen had run into his type when she had worked at the circus. All smiles and teeth, ready to help is they thought they could learn something by helping. Along time ago, she had learned you could not turn your back on that type of person.
She did not trust the man, though Sasha had chosen not to worry the Headmaster. The man had needed the rest so only a select few knew he had even been gone.
“Sasha, I saw him near the teachers’ lounge about 30 or 40 minutes ago. I didn’t pay attention to which way he was heading though, sorry.”
That caretaker had better not be using this time to get into the Headmaster’s office, thought Sasha angrily. Anthony Mirabeau was not going to discover the truth about Joseph, Sasha and the others had seen to that.
Sasha wondered as Tarik and Bridge hang the banner that read "Happy Birthday Headmaster Joseph!" if it would be one.
Willing herself to resist her tears flowing freely, Bridge berated herself that this was the Headmaster’s special day. She should be cheerful, welcoming, and honoring when he walked in. With these motivating thoughts in mind, Bridge laid a hand on Tarik’s arm and pulled him backwards as if to admire and criticize the banner one last time before the celebration would start.
“Do you see anything else we are missing Flo? The Great Hall looks fantastic. My, my look at that banner, it is huge. Reminds me of the ones we used to string across the streets, to announce the circus’s arrival.”, Pippen said smiling.
Flo followed Sasha’s gaze to where Tarik and Bridge were hanging the biggest banner she had ever seen. She knew Sasha was worried about whether this would be a good party. She had really stepped up to the plate with her job. Her young shoulders had born many worries, with the Headmaster being absent for an extended period of time. At first, she had thought she needed to do everything herself, but gradually she had learned to trust the staff. Once this occurred she settled into the job nicely. Looking over towards the Deputy Headmistress, she added. “It’s going to be a great party Sasha.”
So far, the Seven had no clue that he had not been there all term. Sasha just hoped that the party would remove any hint that Hogwarts was defenseless. If not then the Seven was in for the fight of their lives because those at the party had no intention of anything ruining the Headmaster’s return.
Looking over at Tarik, Sasha relaxed. She wondered what Tarik had meant last night. They had been working on the special permission slips for those guests that were not staff or students of Hogwarts. As they had been finishing, Tarik had asked if Sasha had any relations that Tarik had not met. Sasha had reminded him that the party was for Headmaster Witchard, not her. He had smiled and just said that he had been only curious. She had thought a few moments before replying that he should ask Gabriel, as she had not stayed in touch with them. Now as she watched Tarik, Sasha wondered if he was planning a special party for Tia. They both had witnessed how upset Tia had been since her midnight party had been cancelled. Sasha smiled as she decided that Tarik must have planned to ensure that Tia had her special night, even if it was late.
Looking over at William Blakelee, Sasha realized that she would also have Tarik talk to him. Will was not only an Ally but also Tia’s second cousin. The young wizard’s paternal grandmother was the oldest sister of William Andreas, Tia’s real father.
Sasha knew that Tarik had been right. Tia needed her family. The girl needed both sides of her family there. Walking over to Tarik, she realized that Tia’s midnight party would be special.
When she reached Tarik, Sasha said quietly, “Tarik, concerning what we talked about last night; another person you need to ask is Will’s grandmother. She is Tia’s aunt.”
Tarik smiled as he kissed her cheek and nodded. As he walked over to Will, Tarik could only hope that Darik had set up the shower of fireworks correctly. Will handed Tarik the tiny box that Ari had sent. Looking back at Sasha, Tarik smiled as he whispered to Will, “Will, thanks. Sasha still has no clue what Joseph’s present from me is.”
Will winked as he realized that Tarik had planned to do this at Tia’s midnight Birthday party. Thankfully, Joseph had decided to have the girl’s OWL party along with his own. Looking over at the house-elf Darik, Will wondered if Sasha even knew that Joseph had known this whole time about his surprise party. Turning to face Flo, he gave thumbs up. They both knew that Tia only wanted one present and if things went according to plan; then by midnight Tarik and Sasha would be engaged.
Pippen enjoyed working at the school, but over the year she had kept mostly to herself. Flo had worried about her, she knew, but she was feeling a little homesick for the excitement of the circus and helping to take care of all the animals. “They have the pumpkin juice dispenser set up, so I am going to get us something to drink. I think I am really getting excited about this whole thing."
Seeing the Headmaster, who had just aspirated give the signal to unseal the doors, Darik decided this was the best time to visit his wanderer. Before popping out, the house-elf looked at the Headmaster and smiled. Darik knew he had no intention of allowing Anthony Mirabeau to interfere with tonight's parties. Nodding Tarik's way as the shower of surprises started to appear. His gift to the young princess would be the last one, so he had time to deal with any problems that would arise.