December 8th, 2006
|ate_luna||11:50 pm - Quibbler Special Edition Exclusive!|
There’s not a witch or wizard in Britain who is not familiar with the new household name, Umbridge. To some, the name means injustice and cruelty. To others, it means a conservative mind for old-fashioned values. To us, it means offense and something that casts a large shade…and perhaps that she needs to get a dictionary.
This reporter was pleased to be granted an exclusive interview with Minister Umbridge’s own third cousin’s ex-roommate, one Lillabeth Jergens, an apothecary supplies manufacturer and long-time reader of The Quibbler. Shortly after news on the change of Ministers, she contacted our pressroom, wishing to share with us her exclusive first-hand encounters with the current minister herself.
She’s asked us to meet in a local teahouse. She has very fine taste in brews and china and little tea sandwiches, I note as I sit across from her. She’s a charming older woman of 64 and has been working in the supplies manufacturer for 47 years, a cornerstone in the company ever since her graduation from Hogwarts at the age of 17. Never married, she has had many roommates over the years, but none of these were as forthcoming in her mind as Estuary Umbridge.
“Estuary was an odd bird,” Lillabeth recalls, sipping her finely brewed tea. “She was obsessed with cages, but then I suppose all those Umbridge lot are to some degree. She had a collection of dollhouse birdcages on a table by the window where the most charming little bird used to come and sing to me every morning! Ever since Estie put up her collection, I haven’t seen beak nor feather of my little friend.”
Estuary, that’s an interesting name.
“So is Lillabeth, but you don’t see me complaining.” She laughs. “Estie and I didn’t talk much, but from what I hear, her mother had a thing for rivers.”
A thing for rivers?
“Don’t ask me. That’s just what I heard.”
So you said that the minister paid a visit to your roommate.
Tell us about that.
“Oh, well that was…had to be about two and a half years ago now. I lived up in Scotland at the time and there were a lot of strange things going on around there. That’s why I eventually moved back down here to England, you know. Well, it was about June when she came to visit. Ooooooh, it was quite a visit, I must say.
“Back then, the only thing she was minister of was her own flipping fancy. I hear she was terrorizing children up there in Scotland back then. Must have been why there was so much going on, that’s my guess. Anywinkles, here Estie and I were sitting by the wireless listening to the late hour special when we hear this pecking at the door. That’s what it sounded like to us, at least, pecking. Like some great bloody woodpecker.
“Well, I get up and answer the door to find this great toad of a woman, her robes all in tatters and her hair positively matted. She was crazed, kept blurting out some nonsense about being attacked by a pack of rabid halfbreeds.”
Attacked by halfbreeds, you say?
“Yes, that’s what she said. Estie told me later that she hated any kind of halfbreeds: weres, centaurs, sphinxes, oh all those sort! I myself have many a good halfbreed friend and I’d pick them for minister over that toad lady any day.”
Thank you for that story, Miss Jergens. Was there anything else your roommate—
“Oh, now let me see. Oh, she didn’t see much of Dorie. That’s what she called her, you know. Dorie didn’t go to the family functions. She thought they were all a bit too liberal. Personally, I think she should take that stick out of her arse and hit herself a few good times with it. Do her some good, loosen her up a bit. Maybe she needs more bran in her diet.”
“Eh? OH! Well, that’s right, I was going to tell you about the salad. Dorie came to the family reunion years and years ago, about the time she started at the ministry. She only came for one thing that day and they all knew it; she was out to get dirt on any higher ups in the ministry she could and blackmail them for a better position. She kept rolling over to every bowl of food she could find and pouring out something from a little vial she’d hidden up her sleeve. Didn’t take a genius to know it was Veritaserum.
“She was really careful to get every bowl of food she could find except the salad. Couldn’t go without food herself, I guess, though she could have used a good fast or two if you ask me. Well, wouldn’t you know it, but an olive from one of the casseroles rolled right onto her plate of salad and the next thing they knew, she was telling the whole family her plan to blackmail her way up through the Ministry and become Minister of Magic before the decade was through.”
Thank you for that story. It looks like we’re about out of time. Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
“Never substitute potion ingredients.”
Ah, yes. Well Miss Jergens, thank you very much for the very informative interview. We look forward to your letters, as always.
“Thank you, Marcus.”
Current Location: being read
Current Mood: informative and heroic