Who: Neville Longbottom, three Hogsmeade town council members
Where: Town Council chambers in Hogsmeade, near the Hogwarts Express station.
Summary: Neville gets confirmation about his new job.
The young wizard entered the Hogsmeade town council room cautiously. Seated inside were three of the senior council members: an elderly purple-robed wizard with enormous ears, a bright-eyed fellow with stars and comets embroidered all over his robes, and the silver-haired witch who had bid Neville farewell at his last interview. Nervously, Neville half-bowed, surreptitiously tugging his robes straight as he came up. "I got your request, ma'am… sirs…"
The silver-haired witch cleared her throat. "Yes, well. Mr. Longbottom, we do appreciate the time you took to come here today. Do let me say we were most impressed with your credentials."
Neville's mind raced rapidly back over anything he had that could possibly be considered 'credentials' other than his O.W.L.'s (none too astonishing) and N.E.W.T.'s (well, he had aced Herbology and done awfully well in Defense Against the Dark Arts). Then it occurred to him that his performance in the war might well have qualified as a credential. Well, that made more sense-
"Hem. Hem." The witch gave him a not unkind look, and took up the parchment that lay in front of her on the table. "Looking over your CV here, Mr. Longbottom, and after interviewing you the tirst time, we are prepared to make you an offer. Specifically, we are prepared to offer you the position of heading the new force for this town."
Neville blinked, doing his best not to rub at the back of his neck as he listened.
The witch continued on. "However, in view of your age and experience, we have decided to have you report to an older, more experienced wuzard, A former Auror, in fact. You will be the Captain of Hogsmeade Security for Dumbledore's Army, reporting to Mr. Kingsley Shacklebolt. I believe you may know him already; he played quite a role in the war himself." The wizard to her left nodded. "Mr. Longbottom, do you have any questions at this point?"
"Um." Neville struggled to come up with the right words; there was something of a ringing in his ears at the thought. "I don't. . . think . . . wait. I would, um. I think I should probably ask about, ah. . .Responsibilities, I think? Will Mr. Shacklebolt be - I mean, what'll he be doing, versus me?" It didnt' sound right, he knew that, but he was having some trouble finding the words just now.
The silver-haired witch gave a faint smile. "Mr. Shacklebolt will be handing the administrative side of things, Mr. Longbottom, whilst you will be doing what I believe is called 'field work.'"
He let out a sigh of relief. Paperwork was not his strong point.
She cleared her throat again. "I am certain Mr. Shacklebolt will be contacting you quite soon and will set up a meeting with you to discuss your duties. In the meantime, we are prepared to have this security force on trial for a year, less if full arms are needed again. If this trial is a success, it will be rolled out nationwide throughout Wizarding Britain, perhaps Muggling Britain."
Nationwide throughout Wizarding Britain. . . Neville suppressed a small shudder as he realised they meant to see this thing all the way through. The idea of being even nominally in charge of something as grand and important as that was an unnerving one. And yet, there was a certain appeal to it, like a voice murmuring Bet I could do that, if I really tried in the back of his head.
The elderly wizard leaned forward, and spoke. "As this is a trial stage effort, and we are a small town council, you do understand, of course, that we cannot offer you the most generous of wages." The man with the comets passed him a sheet of parchment. "We are prepared to offer you a sum of 5,000 galleons per annum. Is that satisfactory, Mr. Longbottom?"
Neville nodded, not quite sure if he'd heard the wizard correctly. "Five thousand..." He thought for a moment, struggling with the maths, and then smiled. "As long as I have a place to stay, I'd ... yes, it's satisfactory."
"Oh, yes, thank you for reminding me of that." It was the witch again. "Yes, Mr. Longbottom, we do have housing for you, in the barracks that have been built for that very purpose. I think that's it, unless you have any questions?" She peered over her glasses at Neville.
Neville's head was spinning with the possibilities of what he'd have to do, and what he'd be saying to his grandmother when he got home. Oh, he'd have to contact the old DA members, too, he'd need their help for sure! "No... no, um, I think that's... that'll do. When do I start, ma'am?"
"Very well, then."
Somewhat to Neville's alarm, the three councilors got up and came over to him, each moving to shake his hand in turn. The comet-clad man grinned. "Off you go, young man," he said cheerfully.
Neville's palms were sweaty, but he managed a respectable shake for each one. "Yes, sir. And ma'am..."
The silver-haired witch beamed at him and opened the door. A bit shocked, Neville did his best to smile, and headed out into the daylight.