|Beth H (bethbethbeth) wrote in hp_beholder,|
@ 2010-05-04 13:19:00
|Entry tags:||argus filch, argus/irma, beholder_2010, fic, het, irma pince, rating:g|
FIC: "Classy" for lash_larue
Pairings: Argus Filch / Irma Pince
Word Count: 2124
Warnings: none needed :D
Summary: When Argus begins working with Umbridge he gains some self confidence and goes after what he wants.
Sometimes he really regretted ever taking the job at Hogwarts, most times he was just happy to be around magic again – even if that meant having to put up with school children. At least, that is what he told himself whenever he had to deal with any of the variety of messes those over privileged brats left in their wake as they went about their day. He would never admit it, except maybe to Mrs. Norris, but he was jealous of them. Yes. He, Argus Filch, was jealous of a bunch of under-age wizards. His jealousy festered just barely under the surface of his gruff exterior; years of abuse at the hands of his magical family and then by the Wizarding World at large produced a man who, for all intents and purposes, nobody wanted to get close enough to to abuse. He was jealous of the children but he was also angry with them. Angry that they didn't appreciate the wonderful gifts they had, angry that the Purebloods – as they called themselves – treated those with any discernible non-magical heritage like filth, angry that even those who were abused by the Purebloods seemed to think they were better than him – Argus Filch, Squib.
He had long given up on any sort of romance in his life, even a one night stand with a blind hag seemed to be something he would never be lucky enough to attain. The ever maddening tangle of relationships that evolved into a more complex web each school year didn't help his outlook – even the students one would think were worse off than he somehow managed to grab a quick snog with someone. Instead he had settled on what he likened to a courtly romance. He had read a book once, one of the many muggle books lost over the years, called Don Quixote – the main character went out into the world and proceeded to complete deeds of epic valour in order to bring honour to his lady Dulcinea. His love was expressed through his selfless devotion to the cause of honouring her name. Argus Filch was in love and he knew the only way to express his love was in the same way. So he would do extra rounds through the library. He would make sure to clean any of the books he came across while he patrolled the castle before returning them to their proper home. He polished the doorhandles and the picture frames and took extra care cleaning the statues that decorated his love's domain. Irma Pince was his own personal goddess and he did everything in his power to bring honour to her name – and she never noticed.
Things began changing when Dolores Umbridge arrived at Hogwarts. Sure, there were whispers among the student population that they were engaged in behaviours that were completely inappropriate but the students always gossiped about the staff. They even thought Dumbledore and McGonagall were secretly married – never mind the fact that the Headmaster was disinclined towards the sexual advances of anything that even remotely resembled a female. No, his attraction to High Inquisitor Umbridge was motivated by power. She had it and she was willing to give him some and that was all that mattered. Now he was on the same level as those snooty Pureblood students who looked down their noses at him all those years. His word meant something; a whisper from him and Madam Umbridge would bring in whomever it was, it didn't matter how well the pupil had ingratiated himself with the professors who always seemed to turn a blind eye to his complaints. Argus was even given the honour of placing the new Educational Decrees at the entrance to the Great Hall so that all the faculty and students were aware of them.
For the first time in his life Argus Filch felt he had something to be proud of; he was doing a great service to the school and the ministry and he had the ear of a very influential woman. Suddenly, his appearance was something to be improved rather than neglected so that it shielded him from the world at large. His hair, though still long and lanky, was trimmed and neatly combed daily. His clothes, though still old and worn, were cleaner and had matching buttons and patches. His teeth, though little could be done to help them, were brushed daily and he carried a small tin of mints with him so that he would not offend the High Inquisitor with bad breath while speaking with her. Argus even began carrying himself as a man of importance rather than as someone living off the detritus of others.
It was when Madam Umbridge took a moment to compliment him on his choice of overcoat that Argus' perception of his place at Hogwarts really changed. If someone as classy and important as the High Inquisitor noticed him in a positive light then maybe he did have a chance of Madam Pince noticing him in a similar way. After all, Madam Pince was just as dedicated to upholding the rules as he was and now he had the privilege of working directly for the High Inquisitor – that surely is something impressive and the fact that he had apparently improved his appearance enough to merit a word from Madam Umbridge spoke volumes to him about the unknown possibilities the future would hold if he continued on this track. Possibilities that might make him more appealing to Madam Pince.
He stopped by the library the next day, not that his presence was unusual but the fact that he made his presence known was. After polishing the last picture frame – and reminding the residents of the painting that he was not doing so for their benefit – he tucked his rag into his jacked pocket and made his way to the desk. Madam Pince was scowling silently to herself as she checked books back in, completely oblivious to the goings on around her as long as everything was silent. Argus knew the slightest noise would focus her attention upon the offender just as a hawk focuses upon its prey. Standing before her, uncertainty pushed out by pride in his new status around the castle, he coughed softly and spoke.
“Excuse me Madam Pince.”
“Yes, what it is, what do you … oh it's you Argus. How can I help you?” she smiled.
“I was wondering if you would do me the honour of accompanying me to lunch in Diagon Alley this weekend,” Argus stiffly recited the words he had memorized in an effort to appear more genteel.
“Isn't it Hogsmeade weekend?”
“It is. Less children for either of us to worry about that way. I don't think the Ravenclaws will die of boredom if the library is closed for a few hours.”
“You make a good point Argus and it has been a while since I have gotten out. When shall I expect you?”
“I will call on you at noon if that is acceptable?” Argus hoped the past week of reading romance novels and eavesdropping on the Slytherins who attempted to talk like their aristocratic parents even as teenagers hadn't led him astray in his manner of response.
“More than acceptable Argus, see you then.” Madam Pince smiled at him and returned to the stack of books in front of her.
Sensing his dismissal Argus nodded his head and left the library, heading directly back to his office and Mrs. Norris.
“I did it love, I asked her and she said yes. Daddy has a big date this weekend! I should get some new robes, yes? Want to impress her, make her feel classy when she's out with me.” Argus went to his desk and pulled out his ledger where he kept track of all his deposits since he began his work at Hogwarts. He was able to squirl away most of his pay check each month because his room and board were included as part of his salary and he never spent much on anything other than Mrs. Norris – and she was never very demanding, even for a cat. “Yes, yes, reservations at Rousseau's will be very impressive and I have more than enough to get dress robes for the both of us. I will owl Madam Malkin and request a catalogue of which styles she currently has in stock ready for fitting.” Argus sent his owl and went about his day and the rest of his week like a third year looking forward to his first Hogsmeade weekend.
“Madam Pince,” Argus bowed awkwardly and held out his arm when Madam Pince opened the door to her chambers after he knocked.
“Mr. Filch,” Madam Pince smiled and took the proffered arm. “Where shall we be dining today?”
“That's a surprise, we have a stop to make first.” He replied as they made their way to the staff floo connection.
“And I presume that is a surprise as well?”
“I would like it to but since we're flooing there it won't be.” Argus grabbed a handful of floo powder and stepped into the fireplace beckoning Madam Pince to join him before dropping the powder and stating “Madam Malkin's,” in a clear – if gravelly – voice.
Stepping out into the waiting area, Madam Malkin's had a special floo connection for customers who had appointments, Madam Pince couldn't help but question Argus' plans.
“What are we doing here?”
“Getting some robes that won't get us tossed from the restaurant I have our reservation at Madam Pince.”
“Please Argus, call me Irma. And really, this is too much for a simple lunch date,” she began to protest.
“No. I want to go some place fancy and I want you to come with me and I will get us robes that would make the Malfoys jealous.”
“But surely this is too ...”
“No, s'not. Just let me do this Irma, I haven't had an excuse to spend money in a long time.”
Irma smiled at Argus and nodded her acquiescence. One of the shop assistants came in and brought samples of the dress robes for each of them. Argus and Irma looked them over and after finding robes to their liking they proceeded to change in the dressing room and were then brought to the front of the shop so Madam Malkin herself could fit them properly. After a little while, a lot of wand work and quite a few alterations the pair looked in the mirror and Irma gasped at their reflection.
“Argus, they're...we're beautiful!”
“I'm happy you like them. Lets go get lunch, yeah?” Argus asked, his voice tinged with pride.
“Lets,” Irma smiled.
They exited Madam Malkin's and made their way down Diagon Alley, Argus refusing to give Irma any hit as to their destination aside from what she could deduce based upon their direction of travel. When he stopped outside Rousseau's she kept walking for a moment, pulling against his stationary arm, before realizing that Argus meant to enter.
“You got us reservations at Rousseau's?”
“You really do go all out on a girl, don't you?”
“No. You're not just a girl, you're a sophisticated, educated witch who deserves to be treated all classy like.” Argus replied, trying not to blush as he held the door open for Irma.
After being seated Irma helped Argus – much to his embarrassment – understand what a few of the dishes were and they placed their orders. Irma seemed genuinely interested in Argus' observations of life at Hogwarts castle and they slipped easily into conversation. Argus found talk of literature interesting, even if he didn't know all of the books or authors she spoke of, and the time passed quickly as they spoke and ate and relaxed away from the castle and their duties.
Their walk back to the floo station was leisurely and Argus was surprised to find Irma's gentle grasp of his arm a calming presence. He had half expected to make a fool of himself and embarrass her simply because she was so intelligent and educated and everything he had always thought a proper witch should be and although he was good at what he did, he could not make up for the fact that he couldn't use magic or that he had never had much in the way of schooling. Irma didn't seem to care and that simple fact had twisted his face into an expression rarely seen – Argus Filch was smiling.