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Chapter 1: The Mystery of Ms Hope
It was August of 1998; three months had passed since the legendary battle of Hogwarts. The school was still being rebuilt and was due to be ready for September 1st.
The Burrow was full to bursting with people due to several celebrations: Ron Weasley and Harry Potter were about to start their careers as aurors in training, Hermione Granger were preparing to return to Hogwarts along with Ginny Weasley, Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood for their final year and Kingsley Shacklebolt had just been named permanent minister for magic.
“So Kingsley... What’s your first thing you’re going to do as minister?” Hermione asked as the Weasley’s and co all sat at the kitchen table that had been magically stretched to fit everyone.
“Hermione! I love you and everything but please don’t start preaching to Kingsley about elf rights, he’s only just been made minister, there’s plenty of time...” Ron began.
“I was only asking Ronald!”
“Okay okay let’s not start a fight shall we? and just enjoy each other’s company...” Harry piped up. Then returned to looking longingly at Ginny, who was seated opposite him.
The Weasley’s all but Ron began to laugh hysterically at him.
“Ha ha my son it’s bad enough you’ve charmed my wife stop attempting to charm my daughter!” Mr Weasley laughed patting Harry on the shoulder.
“It’s not my fault Mr Weasley. They’re both just so beautiful” He replied with a chuckle.
This comment too was greeted by laughter and caused Mrs Weasley to blush.
“Why thank you Harry dear but now it’s time to eat! You’re thin enough as it is!”
Kingsley woke early the next morning for his first day as the official minister. He entered his new office with a sense of pride, he was now in control and he would make changes.
He had appointed Percy Weasley as his new secretary last night. As expected, eager to please Kingsley, he had already left his mail on his desk. Kingsley sat himself and began to skim through his mail; most were congratulation cards from members of the public and the remainder of the order and some were notices about upcoming death eater court cases. One letter however caught his eye:
Mr K. Shacklebolt,
Minister for Magic, London.
From Ms D.Hope
Kingsley opened the letter and began to read:
Dear Mr Shacklebolt,
I suppose I should start by introducing myself... but I’m sure if I did you would be rather confused so I must bring something to your attention first.
As I understand it you will not be aware that there is a ministry for magic functioning in New Zealand. I know this because it is I that constructed it. So that should explain why I introduce myself as the New Zealand mistress of magic.
Upon hearing your official appointment as minister I decided that maybe it would be worthwhile meeting and seeing if we can be of use to one another.
I have advised my staff to be ready for your arrival if you wish to meet. Please drop by anytime, the address is below.
New Zealand Mistress of Magic
38 Hindmarsh Road
Kingsley re-read the letter in astonishment. It was true he had certainly never heard of there being a separate ministry in New Zealand. He’d never heard that there were wizards or witches permanently living in New Zealand at all, he knew of many to travel there on holiday to get away from the hassles of the wizarding world but never for permanent living.
Kingsley called out to Percy and asked him to tell Gawain Robarbs, head of the auror office to come to his office as soon as possible.
“I don’t know Minister, seems a little fishy if you ask me. I wouldn’t go by yourself that’s for sure.”
“Well then what do you suggest Gawain?” Kingsley huffed.
He was certainly interested in meeting this mystery woman. The ministry’s best aurors had tested the letter with a number of different spells and it seemed legitimate. In his opinion there was no reason why he shouldn’t go and at least investigate.
“I’ll come with you. Potter and Weasley might as well come too.”
“I want to go tomorrow.” He replied confidently.
“Tomorrow!? Minister, we’ll have to organise a portkey and that could take days. We barely know anything about New Zealand, let alone this mysterious Ms Hope.”