“Now, Miss Huntley,” Phillip Parsley, Prudence’s supervisor, continued, “it’s only your first day here at the Ministry, but your cousin sounded quite confident about your abilities, so I suppose you will be alright dealing with this on your own. Just head to Mister Folper, and he’ll give you a hand.” Looking at his watch, he continued, “And when you’re done with that, you can take your lunch break if you want to.”
Prudence nodded and smiled at him. As soon as the man had turned and walked away, however, she started cursing under her breath and running her hands through her hair in panic. What was she supposed to do? She had been so anxious not to mess anything up on her first day of work that she had still been taking some notes on various procedures when Parsley had explained to her what she was supposed to do. If at least she knew who Folper was...
As much as Prudence hated admitting that she was lost, her only option seemed to be asking someone for help. She looked at all the wizards and witches around her, busily hurrying up and down the corridor. Several times she tried to talk to someone, but no one seemed to hear her. Finally, a witch stopped to read a notice board on the opposite wall. Prudence decided to take the chance and approached her.
“Excuse me,” she said, “do you happen to know a Mr. Folper? It’s just that I’m supposed to see him, and I don’t know where his office is”
“Folper? Experimental Charms Department. Just take the elevator down, and when you get out, turn right, and walk down the corridor, it’s the fifth door to the left.”
Prudence thanked the woman and hurried off. Once she was in the Experimental Charms corridors, she felt quite confident again. She knocked at Mr. Flopers door and, not waiting for a reply, entered the room. What she saw there caused Prudence so much shock that she emitted a high pitched scream, but was frozen to the spot and unable to move. At the desk in front of her sat a man, but with the head and feet of a goat.
She felt quite unable to do anything, when suddenly there were footsteps on the corridor and people hurried in the office to see where the scream had come from. Soon, the office was packed with people, and a lot of confusion had risen.
“I... I wanted to see Mr Folper,” Prudence finally stammered.
“Mr. Folper?” A wizard not much older than Prudence herself answered. “But there must have been a mistake... This here is Mr. Floper’s office, Head of the Department for Experimental Charms.”
Prudence turned scarlet. Her first day at work, and she had screamed like a Banshee at the sight of a Head of Department. So far, he hadn’t said anything - probably because he still felt too insulted to speak. No doubt, Floper was going to talk to Prudence’s supervisor, and then she would be fired! And serve me right
, Prudence thought bitterly. I’m supposed to be working at the Department for International Magical Cooperation, but I’m behaving like a bull in a china shop as soon as I see something that's odd!
“Mr. Folper is on the second floor,” the wizard continued, “he’s a mentor for those who just started work. Your supervisor usually takes you there on your first day, because it’s really hard to find. I can show you the way, if you’d like.”
He smiled at Prudence, and she accepted the offer, glad to at least get away from Floper and all those people staring at her.
“He must have been really mad,” Prudence finally voiced her concerns.
“Who, Floper? No, he’s actually very nice, don’t worry about that,” the wizard replied.
“But he didn’t say a word all the time!”
“How do you think he’s supposed to talk with a goat’s head? Now don’t worry, things like that happen all the time. I started in Experimental Charms not too long ago, and during my second week, I gave half the department tails.”
Prudence realised that she had probably overreacted, but her cheeks still felt very hot.