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Chapter 26: Chapter 25: Wiggle
Whatever would my mistress think if she saw this house now? Children everywhere, children being noisy, making messes, leaving fingerprints on the glass and spilling things. My mistress would be mortified, she would never have her beloved family house treated this way. But, she’s not the mistress anymore, and she hasn’t been for a very long time. Now I have her.
It’s not that she’s mean, in fact, compared to my mistress, she is kind. She always talks to me nicely, and says please and thank you, which is strange. House Elves know that our lot in life is to be spoken to harshly. They are Wizards, we are Elves, that is the way of things. She told me that I don’t have to clean this house, that they have a staff to do that, but I want to. This is my house, I am the elf of Grimmauld Place, I should be the one to clean it.
But it’s all of these children, everywhere, making such messes; but the house is...
what would I call it? Hum, there’s laughter and bright colors and singing and well...
I guess that you would call it happy. Who would have ever thought of Grimmauld Place as happy?
Oh, another mess up in the ballroom. I wish that they wouldn’t let them fly in there, it only makes more messes for me to clean up.
“As you can see, we utilize all of the available space here. It helps that the house is charmed, we can add space when we need to, but honestly, we seem to have hit a plateau in registrations,” I explained. Behind me I could hear the familiar pop of Kreacher slipping into what was once the ballroom to clean up a slight mess left when two of the ten year olds collided while flying. It was raining outside, so they were having their recreation inside today.
“How many students do you have enrolled now?” a tall woman asked from the back of the small group that I was taking on the tour. They were from the financial disbursements department at the Ministry. These were the people that I needed to impress to get our money from.
“We have seventy-eight students in seven age levels. We’ve kept the three and four year old students together, but all other ages have their own class,” I explained.
“How many staff do you maintain?” a kindly man in the middle of the group asked me.
“Our staff now consists of six full time instructors, eight part time instructors and five people who help with the building and supplies,” I explained, and I knew the next question that would be asked. It was always the next question asked.
“I understand that you have a werewolf and Squibs on your staff?” the tall woman again asked.
“Yes, Ma’am. Mr. Lupin is still our Potions teacher, just as he has been since we opened nearly three years ago. We have several people on staff who do not possess magical ability. They help with moving children between rooms, the care of the building and supplies, meal preparation. We’ve recently promoted one of them to the assistant teacher in the life skills class. We also have the Black family house elf who can often be found working around the house, a centaur who comes in about twice a month to do lessons on Divination with our older students and a Goblin who teaches about banking and financial matters monthly with the same students.” I was proud of the diversity that the children were being exposed to. I thought that in the end, it would help them see the great things that we could all achieve, together.
“Yes, well, Mrs. Hodgson-Black, we thank you so much for your tour, and you truly have grown a remarkable facility here. Grimmauld House is quite a school,” the head of the committee remarked. “We should be returning to the Ministry, so that we can begin our other work for the day.”
“I understand, and I have to be heading over there as well. If you’ll follow me to the Floo?” I said, indicating that we should walk down the flights of stairs. I watched as they each went through and then breathed a sigh of relief when they were all gone.
“That bad?” Lily asked. She must have been in the supply room, because I hadn’t seen her down here.
“It’s just...I really hate doing that part of this job. I’ve never really been good with the whole ‘making nice’ with people thing. Every time they visit, I have to justify that Remus is on the staff. It’s getting rather old,” I explained and Lily nodded.
“Oh, you’d better get going, aren’t you supposed to meet with James and King in a few?”
“Yes, I am. You sure you’ve got everything under control here?” I quickly checked with her, but I was sure that she did. She knew the school as well as I did.
“We’re fine, lunch is in fifteen, and then we move into the afternoon schedule. Hopefully it will stop raining so that we can take the kids outside for a while. We really need to figure out a charm that will repel the rain. Like a huge umbrella over the yard,” she mused.
“Well, that sounds like something for Sirius to be working on. Remind me to ask him about it later. Okay, off to the Ministry, you know how to get hold of me,” I said before I grabbed some floo powder and went through the fire. I was going against protocol today, and not going in through the Atrium, but since I didn’t have a wand to check, I technically didn’t have to register with the desk. If anyone threw a fit about it, I figured that King could smooth it over for me. One of the perks of having the Minister as a very close, personal friend.
I stepped out of the floo in the Minister’s offices, and walked down the short hallway to the main reception area. Percy was waiting for me.
“You do know that proper procedure dictates that you are to enter through the Lobby and register your presence here?”
“Yes, Percy, I do realize that. I also know that the only place that I will be walking through today are these offices, and trust me, neither of the men that I’m meeting with cares that I haven’t registered my presence. It’s nice to see you too,” I replied, and then watched him get flustered at my last comment.
“Oh, um, yes, well, it’s, um nice to see you too,” he stammered out. The poor boy, simple niceties still flustered him. “They’re waiting for you in the conference room.”
“Thank you, Percy. Have a nice day,” I said as I walked across the outer offices and into the conference room. When I pulled open the door, I was surprised to find more than just King and James waiting for me. Lisette and Jagjit were sitting there, as was Tonks and my husband. “You know, this isn’t a room that most people would want to walk into,” I commented. “Head and Deputy Head Aurors, Senior Training Auror, Chief of the Wizengamot, Minister of Magic and...love what are you doing here?”
“Come and sit down, Winnie. We’ll explain everything,” Sirius said, holding his hand out to me. I warily walked over and took the seat next to him, at the end of the table.
“You will understand if this feels a little odd to me?”
“It’s not, these are our friends. There is something that we need to talk with you about,” Sirius again tried to soothe me, but it wasn’t working.
“Who died?” I asked, now getting worried.
“No one died, Anwen. Geesh, lady, you’re jumpier than a kneazle in a room full of rocking chairs. Sit down and listen to us, we have a proposition for you,” Tonks said, and she made me laugh. She was again pregnant, due to have another baby in mid summer. I didn’t envy her that, being pregnant that time of the year was unbearable.
“Really, what would the Auror department be propositioning me about? Want to come and start recruiting the ten year olds at school?” I joked, and everyone chuckled, but I could see their faces get serious again. “Really, what is this about?”
“Anwen,” Lisette started, “I will be resigning as Head Auror in a month. Kingsley and I have decided to get married, and the idea of having my husband as my boss doesn’t sit well with either of us.”
“Oh, that’s wonderful. Congratulations, when is the wedding?” I gushed. I was so very happy when they had started dating two years ago. It was nice that he was finally moving on, after Amelia's death.
“It will be in September, in my native France. We will be living here, but I wanted to get married in my home parish with my remaining family near by,” she explained.
“Please, make sure that we know when the ceremony will be. We’d love to come, if you’ll have us,” I told her.
“Have you, Anwen, you’d better be planning on singing,” King boomed back, half spoken, half laughed.
“Of course, my old friend.”
“Who you calling old?” We both started laughing, we were discussing our newest round of aches and pains a few days ago.
“No one, absolutely no one,” I said with an innocent smile.
“So, we are finding ourselves without a Head Auror. I have every intention of promoting Harry to the position, one day,” King began speaking, “but it’s too soon, he’s too young and he doesn’t know enough about how to work within the department to lead them yet.”
“That makes sense,” I agreed. “He’s never really had to work with such a thing, he was always the one in charge, and the only people he let get close to him were Hermione and Ron, and later Ginny. So who are you promoting?”
“We’re not promoting anyone,” Jagjit started, and I looked at him oddly.
“Well, you’d be the next in line, as the deputy head. Why aren’t you taking it?”
“Anwen, it’s time for me to return to India. Kanta is finished at Hogwart's this summer, it is time for us to return to our home,” he explained, and I smiled at him. I would most definitely miss him.
“Is that why I'm here? Do you need my help brainstorming, because I really don't know what people have done in the last few years, since the war...” I rambled. Sirius reached over with the other hand and held mine between both of his, and pushed some calm and contentment at me.
“Not exactly, Anwen,” King began, “we know who we want.” I looked at him, and then at all of the faces around the room. They couldn't be stupid enough to be suggesting this, could they? Really? I started shaking my head at them.
“No, no way. I haven't been an Auror in eight years. You can't possibly think that this is a good idea!” I questioned my former partner, rather loudly.
“I think that it's a brilliant idea. When they came to me with the plan, I realized that this was exactly what the department needs,” he started and I looked at him like he'd lost his mind.
“I'm not a Auror anymore. I teach at a primary school,” I protested.
“Winnie, love,” Sirius said gently. I turned to face my husband, and his face had such gentle concern on it that it completely disarmed me. “I know that you enjoy your work at the school, but it's not your calling. You excel at what you're working at now, and it does make you happy and leave you with a sense of accomplishment, but its not enough. I know that, I can feel it in you, no matter how you try to hide it. Listen to what they have to say, please. Keep an open mind, and just listen, for me.” With a request like that, how could I refuse? I nodded and he leaned over and kissed me, and then we both turned to look at Lisette.
“We have been friends for over twenty years, Anwen,” she explained, “and in that time, I have always known you to be a forthright and dogged advocate for justice. I have enjoyed my years here, but England is not my home, and it never truly will be. I will always be an outsider, someone who was brought here to help organize the department, but I would never really be one of them. Jagjit will tell you the same thing. We have respect, but not because we are respected as people, we only have the respect that our positions have granted us.”
“The department needs someone homegrown to lead it now,” Jagjit took up the explanation. “We've taken it as far as it can go, but they need one of their own to shepherd them now, someone that they respect as a person and as a leader.”
“Winnie, you're the person that we need,” Tonks told me and I was again shaking my head. “Look, us old guard people, we all worked with you, heck you trained half of us. You were one of the most respected in the department, right up there with Mad–Eye and Kingsley here. When Fudge fired you, there was an uproar, they all felt like they had lost their partner, because they had lost you. The new classes, they had you as a teacher at Hogwarts, and you're the one that saved their lives on the battlefield. There is a level of respect there that none of us can hope to reach.”
“Anwen, we're at a crossroads,” Kingsley continued. “I need the new Aurors, the ones that have joined since the end of the war, to work with the ones who have been around since the beginning. I need them to feel like one team, and it won't happen with a foreigner leading them, and I can't put Harry in right away, he's still too young and far too green. We need you, we need someone who can bridge the gap.”
“Winnie,” I heard James calling me and I turned to look at him. “Harry will eventually wear this mantle too, but unlike some of the others that he's had in life, this is one that he wants. Please, for me, take the job so that you can train Harry to be the kind of department leader that we will need in the future. Winnie, help get him ready, again.”
I looked at James for a long moment. He asked so little of me, never really has. Most of what I had given to him, Lily and Harry had been offered, never asked for, so to have James asking for something, I knew that it must be important. I looked down at the table, studying the intricate swirls in the pattern of the wood. I traced my finger along a lighter band, thinking about what this might mean.
“I haven't dueled anyone in three years, and then it was Sirius, and strictly for educational purposes,” I threw out there.
“And you wiped the floor up with me, love. The only reason it was even a close fight was because you had the Muggle prosthetic at the time. Your current leg would be hard to beat, and you're getting that spiffy top of the line one in a few weeks,” Sirius told me.
“Well, about that, I don't know what kind of recovery time I am going to need from the new leg. What if I'm not physically capable of doing the job right away?”
“It's not like I'm falling off the planet. I can remain to fit your schedule, dear,” Lisette said. “You'll need to finish the school year.” She was right.
“And you're sure that no one would have hard feelings about this?” I asked Tonks.
“Hell, no, they'll probably throw a party to welcome you back,” Tonks said, her hand rubbing over her protruding belly button in the middle of her stomach.
“Since they're both leaving, who would be the deputy?” I asked, just covering all the bases.
“Carl Braudish wants to leave at the end of the next calendar year. He could be your deputy until then, and after that, we could promote Harry. It would give you a few years to really train him. I'd like him in place in five years,” Kingsley filled in the gaps. Darn, they really had come up with everything. I studied all of their faces, and then came to rest on my husbands last.
“You'd be all right if I did this? If I went back? I know that you were happy when I was out of danger the last time.” I asked and he just took his hands and caressed my face.
“It's not like before, we're not headed into a war, Anwen. We're all safe, we're all fine, and any danger encountered will only be temporary. I can see it in your eyes that you want to do this.” He affirmed what my head and heart were already thinking.
“You know, sometimes I hate that you know me so well,” I muttered back, somewhat amused. “Well, I guess then, that you have a new head Auror; but there is one condition.”
“What, Anwen?” King asked, looking a little concerned about what that could be.
“If the new prosthetic doesn't work the way that I am hoping, we can revisit this discussion,” I told them.
“Deal,” Kingsley said, he was never worried about the new leg.
Kingsley requested that the food he'd ordered be brought in, and we spent the next few hours hashing out details and talking about what I would need to do to get back up to code with everything. Once we really reviewed things, there was very little that I needed to do, and I could have the requirements fulfilled by the first of August, when I would rejoin the department, pending the results of my mid-June operation.
We were lying in bed, the windows were open, letting the early summer night breeze flood the room. Anwen had planted lilacs along the edge of the house, just under our windows and the fragrant blooms were giving the air a pleasant odor. I was watching Anwen, her face marveling at the slight movement in her right foot. Very slowly, and not particularly smoothly, she was moving her big toe. It would jerk down and then jerk back up, but she was moving it.
“Ah, did you see that? I have a toe that moves,” she beamed. “Sirius, you have no idea how weird this feels. It's...oh my goodness, I have sensations in the bottom of that foot. Merlin, I never thought that I would feel anything there again,” she rambled on, but I knew that the fancy prosthetic was making her excited.
“What else do you feel?”
“It's not like before, there isn't a complete complement of feeling, but I can feel my toes, and when I had the shoe on earlier, I knew it. There's some responsiveness when I walk, like I know that I'm stepping down on it,” she explained. “It's just...wow.”
I sat up and went to the end of the bed, sitting near her feet. I had a theory that I wanted to test. I lifted the right leg, surprised at how natural feeling it was. The 'skin' on it felt warm and pliable, just like flesh; but I could also feel the metal that was underneath. I could almost feel the magic coursing through it as well. I started rubbing the calf of her right leg, and a pleasant smile and slight blush crept across her face.
“I take it you feel that?”
“Uh, huh,” she uttered in a high, breathy voice. I moved my hands down, and massaged her ankle and heel, and Anwen closed her eyes. Her feet had always been very sensitive and my rubbing them had been a turn on for years. When I found that out, I wondered how she had survived my doing it the years before we got together. She finally explained that the action had only become erogenous for her because I had done it for all those years. My hand gently kneaded the bottom of the foot, and she closed her eyes and let a tiny moan escape. I couldn't help but chuckle at her, she was having way too much enjoyment here, but I also knew where this was headed, so I knew that I would too.
I softly kneaded each of her toes, and then lifted her foot, and kissed the tops of them. She moaned louder, and her breathing was getting ragged. I was quite interested in seeing just how far along I could get her by manipulating the fake foot, but I wasn't given the chance as she sat up, reached down, grabbed my shirt and yanked me to her. I sort of fell down on top of her, one of her hands going under my tee shirt to my chest, the other slipping inside of my shorts to knead my bum. I knew that she could feel just how watching her get turned on, was turning me on.
“Glad to know that you were getting something out of that too,” she mumbled before her lips were on mine and her tongue was in my mouth. “You definitely need to do that more often.”
I was sitting at my desk, looking around the office, and thinking about how nicely things were running now. There didn't seem to be any whispering or gossiping. There certainly wasn't any animosity. Everyone seemed to like being at work, it was a rare and wonderful thing. I knew that it had a great deal to do with our new boss, and it wasn't just that I really liked her, and she was like the sister I never had. Anwen is a good boss, fair and evenhanded, she listens to people and encourages them to try things and supports people doing what they do best. We haven't run this well in decades.
I looked down at my desk, to the picture of my three little angels. Teddy was four and a half, Lara just turned three and my sweet little Andie was just five months old. The picture was taken the day of Andie's christening, and they were all clean and presentable. It was a rare occasion. We had done something unexpected in asking both James and Lily and Draco to be her godparents. The Potters didn't seem to mind, and Draco was thrilled. All three of my children had star names for their middle names, just like Anwen and Sirius had done with their children. I liked that we were building new family legacies. I hope that our children will do the same.
“Aurors Lupin and Potter, can you please come into my office,” Anwen called and Harry and I both got up from our desks and headed toward the back, where Anwen's private office was. Only she and Carl had private offices, I could as the Head Training Auror, but I liked to be out with the squad; anyway, it helped me keep my place clean, knowing that everyone could see if my desk were a complete mess. Harry and I stepped into Anwen's space, and I could see that this wasn't a family social talk we were going to have.
“Close the door,” she asked Harry and he did, and then she indicated that we should sit down. After we were comfortable, she started talking. “We're going to be leaving in a few minutes to go an execute some arrest warrants, and then you're going to be taking the detainees to the Wizarding Prison.” Anwen was cold and detached, and clearly very upset about this.
“Who are we arresting?” Harry asked. I knew where his concern was coming from. She usually wasn't involved with assignments, that would fall to the deputy, and they were generally given based on who was available.
“Harry, you're going to be arresting Delores Umbridge and Tonks, you're going to arrest Greyback.” We both looked at her shocked.
“Winnie,” I called her by her first name, which isn't something I usually did at work. “We can't arrest them, they're on the special ward at St. Mungo's. They're not going anywhere.”
“They won't be for long. We're going together, so that I can reverse the magic on them. I need for them to be arrested and tried and sentenced,” she explained.
“Please tell me this isn't about that stupid article?” Harry asked. Someone had written a rather unflattering article about Anwen when she'd first taken the job, claiming that the department shouldn't be run by someone who could be potentially magically unstable. It also insinuated that the only reason she wasn't charged with any crime was due to her relationship with the Minister and the chief of the Wizengamot.
“It wasn't the article, Harry, well not completely,” she confessed. “I need to do this, I need to reverse whatever I did to them, and I need for justice, societal justice, to be served. I just think that there is an irony to having the two of you be the arresting Aurors. I want this over before the holidays. It's eating away at me, and not just because of that article. I have thicker skin than that.”
“I don't get it, Aunt Winnie. Why worry about it now?”
“Because Ethan was asking questions, and I need to give him better answers than the ones that I've been able to lately,” Anwen answered him, but I knew that Harry was still confused. He wrinkled his brow and pursed his lips when he was trying to figure something out. “Harry, this is something very important that you need to understand for when you're sitting in this chair. Your actions will always speak far more than the language that you use.”
“I know that. Do you think that we don't think you believe in justice, because of what you did to them? You're wrong if you think that. Most of us are convinced that it was really fair what they're going through. The rest just think that they should be dead. We all suffered at Umbridge's hand, we don't feel pity for her,” Harry explained.
“I understand that; but I don't agree. I need to give the power over their punishment back to the people. I need to be able to look my son in the eye, and tell him that it is never the right thing to dole out justice on our own. We should always, always, let society exact its price for wrongs done to others. I can't expect my staff to put their personal feelings aside and to be evenhanded and fair if I am not. Do you understand?” she asked and I could see the wheels turning.
“You don't really have a personal life when you're in charge, do you?” he asked after a very long, contemplative pause.
“While there are certainly parts of my life that are mine and that I have no intention of discussing with any of you, it is also true that anything that I do or say can be looked at in light of the decisions that I make professionally. I need for my personal life to reflect my professional philosophy. This is a place where the two are incongruent with each other, and I have the power to rectify that, and I feel that I must. Also, Harry, it's what I most regret in my life.”
He nodded, almost sorrowfully. There were only a few of us who knew that he would be sitting in her chair in five years, but I could see now that he would be ready, Anwen would make sure of that. I was again impressed by her poise and presence, and wondered how different our lives would be if she weren't in them.
We rose, and she grabbed two parchments from her desk, handing them to each of us. “We're going to Portkey to the hospital so we don’t draw attention to what we're doing. Once they are in prison, I will have a press release issued. We should be able to avoid the evening paper, and then I won't be available for comment until after the first of the year. The Minister and I have already discussed the timing. Their trials have already been set for mid-February, even if they're not on the official calendar yet.”
“How do the politics not drive you crazy?” Harry queried.
“They do, my boy; I just don't let it get to me anymore. I have far bigger things to be consumed with.”
“Exactly.” She grabbed the tattered file folder from her desk, and told us to grab on, and then activated the Portkey. We landed in the reception area outside the restricted section of the long term rehab floor. Anwen quickly talked to the receptionist and then we were walking in. I watched Anwen remove the magical recorder from her pocket, and set it to record. They were housed in the same room, since their mutterings and screams tended to frighten the other patients. A medi-witch followed us in and was standing near by. Harry, the medi-witch and I had all drawn our wands. Anwen lifted her hand and closed her eyes, and I watched as she wiggled her fingers a little and then her hand began to glow yellow.
The pair stopped thrashing, and around them there was a golden light, and then they both began to stir. Greyback opened his eyes first. He saw Anwen and screamed a very unmanly scream, sitting up and then getting off his bed and backing himself into a corner.
“You, you did this to me. Get her away from me!” he screamed at her.
“You took my son, and I was upset. I'm sorry about what I did to you,” Anwen told him quietly. “However, it doesn't negate your responsibility for what happened. Auror Lupin, if you will?”
I walked over to him, and said the binding spell. “Fenir Greyback, you are hereby taken into custody and will be detained by the Ministry of Magic for crimes against the Magical community of Great Britain. Be advised that what you say now could be used against you before the Wizengamot.”
“You're going to arrest me, after what she did to me? How is that fair?” he complained.
“It's not fair, it's just,” I explained, and then activated the Portkeys that all Aurors carry to take him and me to the Wizarding jail.
I was surprised just how quickly Aunt Winnie had released them, but I also had always known that it was only going to be her magic that would let them be free. I looked down at the simpering, stupid look on Umbridge's face and had to stifle a laugh. This was a memory that I wanted to cherish for a very long time. She looked terrified of Aunt Winnie, and I guess if I were her, I would be too. I had immobilized her, so she wasn't going anywhere. Aunt Winnie moved a chair over next to her face, and sat down next to her. This should be good.
“Why? Why did you take my son?”
“You never should have been in the job you were in. That was mine, I had spent all of my career supporting and cleaning up after that stupid moron, only to have him blow it all on that insolent boy,” Umbridge said, her eyes coming to rest on me. “I lost everything when Cornelius lost favor with the people, and then gave up his job. He was never smart enough to be Minister, I was the one pulling the strings. Things were good for a while, Voldemort wasn't what people had made him out to be, he simply wanted order. What a wonderful thing. But then the two of you, you had to ruin everything. A stupid Muggle–born girl and that half-blood do gooder. Anwen, I took your son because you took everything from me.”
Aunt Winnie just shook her head at Umbridge. “How little you know of the world.”
“What, and you do, you Mudblood?”
Aunt Winnie started to chuckle at her. “I'm proud of my Muggle heritage. I'm proud that my parents raised me to judge people on who they are, not what they are. I'm proud that I'm raising all of my children, all seven of them, the same way. I'm sorry that I trapped you in your own mind, but I have a feeling that it might be preferable to spending your life in prison. Goodbye Delores, have a nice life,” Aunt Winnie said, and then she gave me a nod.
I arrested Delores Umbridge, and I felt so very, very good about it.
I returned alone to the Ministry, and went to the MLE offices to tell them to issue a press release that both of them were in custody, and that the trials would be after the first of the year. I then went to my office, cleared off my desk, locked the room and went to the Minister's suite. I could floo home from there. James and Kingsley were waiting for me.
“Feeling better?” James asked.
“Yes, needed to be done, and so it has. Hopefully by the time I return after the holidays, the press will have something else to talk about. James, you're sure that Ethan won't have to testify in open court?”
“I'm sure. We've got his memories, and we allow those to be used when the offended party is so young. Anwen, he won't have to face them, or even know that this is going on. You'll need to testify, and we'll have to ply Sirius with some potions to keep his temper under control, but Ethan will be kept out of it,” James promised and I nodded.
We talked a bit more, and I handed James the recording device from the encounter in the hospital ward. He promised that he would give it to Cedric, who was now one of his lead prosecutors. We talked a while longer, until Harry's hippogriff Patronus landed in the room, telling me that both he and Tonks were done, and that they were in the Auror offices, but leaving before the press release went out. I knew that it would change, that he and Ginny were going to have new Patronuses after the binding ceremony, but the hippogriff for them was still taking some getting used to, even after almost three years. Tonks was on vacation for the week, and Harry didn't have to be in until the twenty-seventh. Hopefully four days was enough to make all of this die down.
“Well then, I'll see you at your house later,” I told James, getting up to floo home.
“Yes,” he affirmed. “I'm going to get Evan from the station and then we'll be home as well. Lily can't wait to see him, she's been missing him.”
“I know she has,” I confirmed. “She's spent long evenings reminding me just how hard it is. Ethan's anxious to hear about Hogwarts as well. What are your holiday plans?” I asked King.
“Lette and I are finally going on our honeymoon. We're going to Martinique for ten days, and I will be happy to be leaving all of this behind for a while,” he explained. I loved his nickname for his wife.
“Good, enjoy yourselves, drink something with some good rum in it for me, and we'll meet when we all return after the first of the year,” I suggested and then I left the office to head to the floo. There was a gentle sense of peace within my soul, and I was glad that I had been able to put things right. I knew that I would be having a very happy Christmas.