RP: A juicy bit of gossip

Who: Tamara Crumb, Heidi MacDonald
Where: Nazaryan family cottage
When: 28 June 2001, afternoon

Tamara Crumb

Tamara had the house mostly to herself at the moment (aside from the ever-present Adelaide who was curiously fascinated with her stuffed unicorn and thus happy for now) — her dad and living at home siblings were at work and her mam had gone grocery shopping. It was a relief to have them out of the way. Things were always tense with her family around and the sooner Tam could move back to Aberdeen the happier she would be. She was pretty well through with being upset at Gideon, but he was crashing with Herman and Heath and as much as she hated it here, it was a better place for a baby while they worked on getting their house back.

She was glad for the privacy because she was bursting with the news. Who knew that when she looked through the stuff she’d cleared off the table Thursday lunch she would find Stephen Cornfoot’s paternity test? She should probably feel bad for not bringing it to the DMLE right away, but the blokes that had left it grease stained — well, they weren’t Cornfoot, either, she was pretty sure. And Heidi had to know this juicy bit of gossip.

Heidi had been idly flicking through her journal during her lunch break when she’d spotted Tamara’s message. Staggered by her friend’s news (not to mention the implications for the investigation), she’d grabbed her bag and hurried to the fireplaces in the Ministry Atrium.

Turning up at the Nazaryan’s a few minutes later, Heidi carefully brushed ash off her Hit Witch robes before stepping out of the fireplace. “Hi,” she said breathlessly to Tamara. “Let’s see this paternity test then.”

Heidi MacDonald
Tamara Crumb

That was just like her friend, to get right to it. Not that Tamara minded, because she didn’t think she could manage small talk before gushing about this, anyway.

“It’s a little grease-stained,” she warned, picking it up off the table next to her journal and handing it to Heidi. “I got it off a table I was cleaning at the Fryer yesterday at lunch. I’m not sure where those lads got it from, but I’m pretty sure it’s the real deal. It looks like the one we got for Adelaide.”

Heidi barely even noticed the grease stains, she was so busy scanning the document. “It does look legit,” she agreed, drawing out her wand and tapping the piece of paper, checking its authenticity. “It’s not forged. Oh my god.”

She looked up, eyes shining. “Tamara. This is huge. After all the stupid rumours in the paper, you’ve found out who Orpington’s child really is.” And she, Heidi, would be the one to get the credit for it once she took it to Henry Radford.

Heidi MacDonald
Tamara Crumb

“And I wasn’t even looking for it,” Tamara said, proudly. There was a bit of good luck in her life now and again. Not that she’d get any acclaim for cleaning off a table, but Heidi’s admiration almost made her job worth it well, not really, but she was feeling pretty good at the moment).

“What do we do with it?” she asked, “Take it to law enforcement then?” That seemed like the proper channel, although delivering it to the dead man’s assistant did cross her mind seeing as it was, well, his. “They won’t keep it secret, will they?”

She was kind of hoping they wouldn’t. This sort of thing being public would really give it to that Gemma Alderton and her smears on Adelaide.

Heidi nodded, unconsciously drawing the letter closer to her chest at Tamara’s use of the word “we”. This was just what she needed to get back into Radford’s good books — it wouldn’t do to have Tamara tagging along. Heidi needed to shine by herself in order to restore her damaged reputation.

“I’ll take it in to the DMLE,” she said confidently. “They’ll have to notify Cornfoot first, if he doesn’t already know, but word might leak out. Especially if they take Cornfoot in for questioning based on this.”

Heidi MacDonald
Tamara Crumb

Tamara was actually a little bit relieved Heidi offered to do it, truth be told. Going anywhere, even Flooing, would require packing a nappy bag for Adelaide and interrupting her game of toss the unicorn and crawl after it, which was causing peals of laughter to come from the ten month old. Besides, Heidi would know right where it went and not have to deal with the red tape Tamara would. And while it would be nice to get the recognition… it probably wouldn’t be worth the baby moving.

“Okay that sounds good. But you can tell them if they have any questions about how I got it that they can contact me, all right?” That seemed like a safe middle ground.

“Sure, no problem,” Heidi replied, reluctantly realising that she couldn’t lie outright about finding the letter herself in case Radford asked more questions. Oh well.

Tucking the document safely into her bag, she stepped forward and gave Tamara a brief hug. “I’d better get back to the office now, but thanks, yeah? We’ll hang out this weekend, have a proper gossip.” She raised her eyebrows meaningfully. She couldn’t believe her good luck — for Orpington’s child to be Stephen Cornfoot, of all people! Heidi still blamed him for the knicker saga (conveniently ignoring her part in the whole thing) and fervently hoped that this revelation would spell trouble for him. Even if he wasn’t the murderer, it would be nice to see him hauled in for questioning… his personal business splashed across the front page of the Prophet

Heidi MacDonald
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