You've Got MailAuthor:
This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.Notes:
Created for the "Ginny Loves Draco: Mail Order Bride" Contest. (http://community.livejournal.com/ginnylovesdraco/profile)
By the way, "You've Got Mail" is a movie released a few years ago, with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. Excellent movie, complete with quippy wit and poor-shopgirl meets rich-bookstore-mogul and epistolary correspondence. That said, that particular movie really has nothing to do with the following fanfictitious story.Summary:
Someone finds a "Good Wife For Life" site on the Internet, but Ginny gets to the package first. Who in the wizarding world wants a mail-order-bride, and what'll happen when this ordeal is signed/sealed/delivered? You've Got Mail
Chapter 1: Signed
Ginny Weasley was surrounded by faces. Not live ones, of course, but plenty of two-dimensional figureheads seemed to blink at her from the stamp-sorting room. She sighed. They formed a formidable cavalcade of multiple repeats. Organizing this strange facet of Muggle postage was one of the more tedious aspects of her concentration.
She was finishing up her final semester at the University of Cambridge, studying "anthropology" and utilizing her cross-registered college years to finish a thesis on Muggle studies at the Wizarding Institute in Tadcaster (WIT). Her "research" involved objective immersion in the Muggle world. In particular, she had decided to focus on communication differences between wizards and Muggles. So far, she'd discovered the Internet, telephones, cellular phones, and walkie-talkies. The last major thing to cover was the mail system, and how Muggles survived without owls. Hence, she'd accepted an "internship" at the closest post office in London, and was learning the various intricacies of sorting the daily post.
She scratched idly beneath her collar. One thing that had surprised her about Muggles was an alarming uniformity of dress code. However, 'twas all the better for blending in, and, despite her occasional spoonerisms like "veletision," most of the other workers minded their own business. Actually, one particularly dodgy fellow had leered at her and muttered something about "You put the 'sexy' in 'dyslexia,'" but he had been fired from the post office the next day for sniffing the stamp glue.
Other than that, the overall experience was quite a restful one, but also somewhat boring. She almost yearned for the timble-tumble of home, and then remembered the colorful prank the twins had pulled on her the week before she'd left. They'd turned her hair a bright orange-yellow, but then she'd retaliated, in a classic "fight fire with fire." Only in this case, she had actually set their hair on fire. Not exactly fire, but just enough to be inconvenient, especially while showering. A temporary spell, really, but at least it taught them that she gave as good as she got.
How very distracting. All right, back to her current job. Yes, yes. So far, the artistic stamps and postage were the most varied of the bunch. She was counting through the commemorative queen stamps, when she suddenly heard a sort of rustling, followed by a distinctive thump.
"Oi!" came a call from the cashier line. "Everythin' all fine and dandy back there?"
"Probably," Ginny replied. "I'll just check around to make sure." She scooted up and dusted off her rear end. The sound was probably caused by a package falling, which sometimes happened when an owl lost its way. Some of the wizarding folks had Muggle relatives but no stamps, so they usually directed each letter to a Muggle-Wizard post office hybrid. However, some of the owls had difficulty reading, and those invariably got lost. The more unfortunate ones were found by unwitting teenage interns and sometimes chased away with a broom. The Wizarding Committee on Messaging usually sent staff out in the form of a postal inspection each week, in order to gather up any waylaid letters and get them to where they needed to be.
Ginny arrived in the package room. She could still hear a rustling, but it didn't really sound... well, birdlike. She couldn't hear any telltale hoots of distress from any owls. In fact, the rustling sounded more like fabric brushing against cardboard.
She walked to the back of the room, and, just as she passed by a particularly huge box, she heard a particularly loud "Aiyah!"
After nearly jumping out of her skin, she instead tripped and fell onto the talking box. An "Oomph!" resounded from within. Gathering her Weasley wits about her, Ginny said, "Erm... Hello?"
There was a scrambling and more fabric rustling, and then someone said, "Hel-lo! Hel-lo! I need to... ah... use... eh..."
Ginny was aghast. Did this box contain a person? Feeling around for her keys, she quickly ripped open the tape holding the battered container together. The box was about one and a half meters tall, just barely shorter than her petite frame.
Prying open the flaps, Ginny gazed into the box and was met with some startlingly almond-shaped eyes. With a small yelp, she released the flaps, which fled inward and bonked the person on the head. "Ow!"
Chagrined, Ginny pulled the flaps back again. "Er... sorry."
Rubbing (her? Yes, it had to be a her) head, the girl said, "Oh-kay. Um... toy-let?"
Aha! Ginny understood immediately. "Over here." She helped the girl clamber out of the box, and directed her to the necessary room. Then Ginny inspected the box.
It was fairly standard, made of extra strong cardboard and somewhat cushioned on the inside. There was a thin filmy blanket, and a couple of gummy candy things. They smelled rather sweet, and quite exotic. Then she saw a letter taped to the side of the box.Dear Sir,
it read. We at Dewey, Cheatham, and Hao are pleased to deliver youre verry own MAIL ORDER BRIDE!! Please, keep looking at our WEBPAGE, recommend us to youre VERY RICH friends! If you need any EXXXTRA HELP, please view some of the ads on our website -- masculine PERFORMANCE has never been so easy to increase with these products!! Do not hesitate to ask questions, and we will try to address any inquiries within 24 days! We want you enjoy your "GOOD WIFE FOR LIFE"!!
Have a nice day!!!!
Dewey, Cheatham, and Hao
Ginny grimaced. While not the most grammatically correct letter ever, it certainly seemed quite enthusiastic. Then she noticed three words. "Mail Order Bride"?
The girl had wandered back from the washroom, and Ginny suddenly noticed that she was swathed in a white dress. It looked to be a wedding dress. Was this a poor Muggle on vacation? Why would a girl in a wedding dress be stuck in a box? She kind of looked quite like a disheveled ...bride. Ahem.
Ginny cleared her throat. The girl looked scared. "Oh-kay. Back into box. I go, I go." As the girl started to clamber back into the box, Ginny exclaimed, "No! Ah... no. Don't go back into the box. Stay out here for a bit. Um... Stretch your legs, if you would." She paused. Then she asked, "So... ah... would you explain what a Mail Order Bride is?" The girl looked confused. Ginny sighed. This box girl didn't really seem to speak English too well. "Where are you from?"
The girl suddenly looked relieved. "I born in Chi-na. Cousin talk to me yes-ter-day, say I know English so would I like to go England. I say oh-kay. He buy me pretty dress, tell me I be a good girl for good hub-by. To-day I in box. To-mor-row, I meet hub-by, learn good English."
Ginny could not believe her ears. "You mean that your cousin put you in a box and sent you over here so that you could be someone's wife?"
"Yes. Sound right." The girl looked hopeful. "Are you my hub-by hub-by?"
"No, indeed not." Ginny was suddenly outraged. This girl looked like such a sweet young thing. Who on earth would want a mail-order bride? Someone who couldn't find himself a wife, no doubt. Probably a monster who preyed on young girls via the Internet. She couldn't let this innocent girl meet her fate at the hands of some meanie.
"Listen," she told the girl. "I don't think this Mail Order Bride thing is a good idea."
The girl looked startled. "But I want learn English. My cousin -- he not like."
Ginny sighed. "Tell you what. You can learn English at my home, for now. I'll... ah... I'll send you there. Then I'll talk to your husband-to-be, and give him a piece of my mind."
The girl looked slightly worried, but said, "Oh-kay."
Ginny stuck out her hand. "I'm Ginny. I'll be sending you to my family's house, and you tell them I sent you, and that I'll be along soon to explain, all right?"
The girl nodded, then replied, "Mei."
"I beg your pardon."
"Hel-lo, Gin-ny. My name Mei."
Ginny smiled. "That's quite pretty, Mei. Now, close your eyes." Mei closed her eyes. Ginny whispered, "Hmm... we deliver people much more quickly in London. Welcome to England, Mei. Now, off you go!"
With a swish and flick of Ginny's wand, Mei was off to Ottery St. Catchpole. Ginny, however, signed her timecard, dropped it off, collected her purse, and hopped into the box. "And now, to be a mail order bride," she muttered. "Internet loonie, you've got mail..." -i-Author's Notes
Note 1: The Mail Order Bride firm of "Dewey, Cheatham, and Hao" is actually the name of the alleged "lawyers" on Car Talk, which can be heard via NPR on Saturday mornings. I thought it'd be particularly suitable in this case. ;)
Note 2: I hope ya'll don't mind the accent -- I'm Asian, so I figured an Asian mail-order bride would be entertaining. :)
Note 3: This story can also be found on:
The original entry on GinnyLovesDraco:http://community.livejournal.com/ginnylovesdraco/3237.html
My Livejournal: http://twiddlekinks.livejournal.com/tag/you%27ve+got+mail
Draco and Ginny: (Most edited/updated version)http://www.dracoandginny.com/viewstory.php?sid=4569
(Feedback much appreciated!)