Ivy looked over her shoulder at the clock it was nearing one o’clock very steadily. She and Mary were in her office going over the finer points of the speech Ivy had been jotting down whilst listening to the woes of her employees. Ivy was currently strolling around her office dictating the speech, trying to get certain words intoned the right way and such. Eventually she finished and looked at Mary who just smiled.
“So how does that sound for a speech Mary?”
“Sounds great Minister, you’ll knock their socks off” she said grinning as Ivy finished her speech.
“I hope so … we need to do a press release Mary, give them my story before they make up their own so to speak” Ivy said and sat down began writing rapidly a skill she had developed with her feet of paperwork. “I am also going to ask you to do something else for me Mary” Ivy said not once looking up from the parchment.
“I need you to start talking to your friends about Werewolf rights, this is strictly between you and me, but I am manufacturing a movement within the ministry as we speak, it has been ten years in the making getting ready for this eventuality” Ivy said confiding in her assistant one of her greatest secrets.
“Why do you need a movement?” Mary asked suspiciously.
“To scrap anti-werewolf legislation I buckled under the pressure etc. Makes me look less like someone out for their own ends and more like someone who is listening to her employees … which I am Mary but I cant just go about scrapping legislation I wont last a week” she said and Mary laughed.
“I-I’ll see what I can do minister”
“Good … could you go and send this to the Daily Prophet with the instructions to print this letter on the front page nothing more nothing less, no journalists on it no nothing just the letter an address to the magical community directly from me” she said looking at Mary “And make this very clear, nothing but the letter … of course I offer them freedom of press to say what they want in the other pages but front page just the letter, inform them that under my office they will not be stifled they will have a certain amount of freedom of information, some things of course are too dangerous to be public but … you understand what to write don’t you?” Ivy said realising she was procrastinating with her words and finished it this way instead.
“Yes minister” she said and left the room. Ivy busied herself with the tasks she had set for herself until a very small voice spoke from the doorway, it sounded out of breath as well.
“I want to speak to the minister for Magic before my mummy gets here” it said and Ivy looked up to see Adhara Black standing desperately barring the door behind her, her little backpack hanging from her arm.
“What have you done?” Ivy asked looking at her suspiciously, the fact that she had guilt in her eyes and was out of breath didn’t bode well for her.
“I ran away from mummy in the Atrium” she said giggling she ran over to Ivy and jumped in her lap, there was a knock at the door “Minister I thought I saw … oh” the man said worry in his eyes dissipating.
“It’s okay Honeycutt, she’s my niece” Ivy said as Addie looked around the office with keen interest, she was currently touching and picking up everything on Ivys desk.
“Oh sorry minister” he said and just as he was about to shut the door Ivy and Adhara caught a glimpse of Genevieve steam rolling down the corridor towards her office, robes billowing behind her.
“Uh oh” Adhara said biting her lip “I wanted to come first to make sure that you were wearing your badge … but you aren’t and I have to admit myself disappointed” she said looking up at Ivy with disappointed yet playful eyes.
“Sorry sweetie I had-”Ivy said but was interrupted by the door flying open and Genevieve sweeping in and grabbing Addie from Ivy.
“There you are, don’t you ever do that again” she said smacking her hand.
“I was only jumping ahead of you” Addie said making well practised tears come to her eyes.
“You could have ran into anyone Adhara, you know how important it is to be safe, you must stay with mummy and daddy at all times” Genevieve said holding her now tightly and protectively on her hip.
“Daddy?” Ivy asked
“Yeah Daddy thought he’d comedown and have a proper chat with you” Sirius said slipping through the door grinning “So we bumped into Tonks outside the press office with her mate” he said with another grin, he petted Addie’s hair momentarily before sinking down on the green leather sofas in the room below the ‘window’.
“Oh what does this mate look like?” Ivy said smiling.
“A bit gangly, curly brown hair, brown eyes, pretty I suppose” he said looking around him much like his daughter and picking up things that interested him on the small coffee table. He allowed himself a tangerine from the fruit bowl. He showed it to Ivy as if asking if he could have it, she rolled her eyes and he started peeling the tangerine gratefully.
“Well her name’s Mary she’s my new senior assistant, come on have a seat” she said to Genevieve “Make yourselves comfortable” she walked over to the door. Opening it she looked out and listened there wasn’t that much noise just the elevator was rattling as it always did “Weasley!” she called down the corridor, just as three people … well four people she definitely had not been expecting came out of the elevators. They had not been making that rattling noise because people were going up, people were coming down to see her “Ah you don’t have appointments you three” she said with a smirk.
“You called Minister” Percy stuck his head out of his office.
“I have guests could you get us some drinks and things please” Ivy asked him he looked reluctant.
“Would you like sandwiches Minister?” he asked. Addie’s ears pricked and she broke from Viv and jumped in front of Ivy.
“Cheese Savoury Weasley!” Adhara shouted at the perturbed Percy Weasley, Ivy kept her facial expressions stoic as she tried to stop herself from laughing
“Just a few sandwiches Weasley, get the houselves to make it up, you can continue with that task I set you” she said as her guests approached her “Hello” she said hugging them all in turn.
“It be good day Aunty Ivy?” Ella asked, her large grey eyes looked tired as if she were about to fall asleep any minute as she sat in Lily’s arms.
“It has been a most advantageous day” Ivy told her and she smiled sleepily.
“So we hear” Sirius said lounging on the sofa “God its cool down here” he said sighing in relief “It’s so bloody warm upstairs” Sirius said loosening his tie As James sat down next to him on the sofa with Lily and Ella opting to sit on the opposite sofa.
“Language” Genevieve said and Sirius muttered something under his breath, his daughter turned to her mother scandalised.
“Daddy said the B word mummy” she informed Genevieve sanctimoniously.
“Yeah, yeah good for you Dictaphone” Sirius said making a dive for her she shrieked and dived out of the way.
“What are you doing out of work Mr Potter?” Ivy said to James as he relaxed on the sofa rubbing his face tenuously.
“Lunch Hour, Remus came to the hospital with Lily and Ella and we decided we’d take a jaunt down, it seems we weren’t alone” he said looking at Viv.
“Uh, uh unlike you Potter I actually have an appointment with the Minister” Genevieve said waving her hand as she fanned Adhara with a piece of paper.
“I’m cool now mummy” Addie said though a bead of sweat still lay on her brow.
“Hello Mr Lupin” Ivy said to Remus as he was now the last standing so to speak and kissed him gently.
“Mmmm, you are in a good mood” he said grinning at her “I see you got the lilies” Remus whispered into her ear as they hugged.
“Mmmm they’re lovely” she replied with a soft smile.
“Excuse me Minister but you and I have a matter of importance to discuss” Genevieve said as she stroked her daughter’s hair as now she sat happily on her lap.
“And what matter is this?” Ivy asked herself taking a seat in between Sirius and James.
“I want a thank you card for giving you an heirloom” Genevieve said peering at her Addie sniggered as she played with her mothers long gold necklace.
“Shut up, it wasn’t an heirloom I was there when you bought it” Sirius said and she gave him a scathing glare, and Ivy nudged him
“Thank you Ivy … why can’t you just go along with things, you always have to tell the truth” Viv said in annoyance he had ruined her fun.
“If its any consolation, it was quite clear you had been shopping Viv, it had all the trademarks of your shopping sprees” Ivy informed her.
“Oh it did, did it?” she said sulkily
“Mmmm Hmmm, it was lovely thank you, as were the flowers you lot … however Aurora has got more vicious since the last time she wrote in a card” Ivy said pointedly to her friend. Vivs face turned impassive and Sirius gritted his teeth closing his eyes momentarily in what looked like exhaustion but was just exasperation.
“We can’t control her, she’s impossible Ivy. Head of the Auror office and she’s cutting about talking like one of them” he said dismally.
“She’s grounded for the rest of the summer for the card incident and other things besides. She’s very upset because she cant go to the fair with Frankie and Alphie tomorrow” Viv said with a wry smile.
“Dervla was asking why Francis lives with you this morning because his name was on the card” Ivy said and Viv frowned
“Hopefully you didn’t discuss such private matters with her?” she said defensively, and Ivy gave her a simpering look as if saying what she was saying was ridiculous.
“Of course I didn’t Genevieve, I just said his mother wasn’t capable of looking after him because she was ill”
“Is that what we say about junkie’s nowadays” Lily scoffed and Addie furrowed her brow
“What’s a junkie?”
“Nothing it’s nothing and it’s also not true if you say that to Francis he’ll be upset. Lily would you like to watch your mouth” Viv said angrily, Lily rolled her eyes, she was clearly in a bad mood. Probably because Viv had dropped her lot at Lily’s that morning.
“Would you like to watch your own kids … oh maybe not”
“I work, you don’t” Viv said and the room fell quiet.
“Yes I do work I work like a cart horse I look after my children all day everyday” Lily said defensively holding Ella a bit tighter.
“And I don’t because I work?” Viv asked her equally defensively.
“Come on now, not now ladies. Things are difficult for all of us right now, but we need to stick together stop your petty arguments” James said closing his eyes in exasperation.
“Well moving on, I was just giving my speech to Mary she seemed to like it” Ivy said moving the conversation on and feeling thankful Remus was sitting between them.
“Speech?” Sirius asked his brow furrowed.
“Oh yeah I want everyone who works here to know what it’s going to be like to be working for me, there is no department in this ministry which will be independent … apart from mysteries, intelligence will no longer be subject to political influence … ah lunch” she said as several houselves came in to provide luncheon, trays of sandwiches and drinks for everyone “The perks of being minister, thank you Dot, Fili” she said and they ran away no doubt amazed the minister for magic had remembered their names.
“So I heard you were doing a robin hood Ivy” James said as he halved a sandwich for Ella, whom he thought was awake.
“Taking from the rich and giving to the poor” he said as he ate both halves on the discovery of his daughters slumber.
“Ah … that’s not true its called wealth redistribution, and honestly some of these big wigs have been getting paid too much … including the Minister for Magic”
“You reduced your own salary?” Sirius said “You aren’t reducing mine are you?” Genevieve slapped his arm and he looked at her incredulously.
“No Sirius, but my salary was obscene … it was something like 500 thousand galleons a year … what do I do with that money?”
“Put it in Gringotts or a bank account” Genevieve said her eyes popping out of her head.
“I’d rather cut it to three hundred and be comfortable for the rest of my life and be able to do something good with the rest of the money”
“What is this something good then?” Remus said and they laughed
“Trying to make up the money I’m going to be losing from the Malfoy’s and the Lestrange’s” she said.
“Oh man I forgot about that” James said.
“I didn’t that’s what I wanted to talk to you about Ivy” Genevieve said sipping on her drink “Do you have any idea the amount of stuff that runs because of their money?”
“But its dirty money Viv and I wont be able to run the ministry the way I want to with the financial intrusions of those who should be long in Azkaban” she said somewhat bitterly “Don’t worry I’m working on it I’ll find the money from somewhere, we’ve made five hundred already from making a few cuts here and there, we’ll get there eventually”
“How much do you get from them” Genevieve asked
“One and a half million from the Lestrange’s every year, and a million from the Malfoy’s every year. But I could always have a word with the treasury to get more money allocated, I doubt I will manage it but this is something we need to do, we cant move forward if this kind of thing is still going on” she said deadly serious.
“But how are you going to fund this stuff?” Genevieve asked her brow furrowed, Ivy shrugged and they all fell silent. Genevieve chewed her cheek and Sirius was furtively looking at her. Everyone knew that Genevieve Pennyfeather was sitting on more gold than the biggest dragon in Gringotts, and she had one of the dragon guarded vaults. It was also well known that the generations of Pennyfeather overpayment were sitting in an account in Coutts & co. Only Merlin knew how much Genevieve was worth but it was a pretty penny no doubt. Sirius heaved a sigh as if letting Genevieve know he had given in and maybe she should decide to donate something.
“Yeah fine alright … how much is it you are after then Lupin?” she said bringing out her diary from her bag.
“What? I’m not after anything … and really it is more a matter of how much you can afford” Ivy said cringing, feeling she would have preferred to have this conversation somewhere a bit more private
“You and I both know that it is no object to me” she said and it was true, Genevieve’s money was able to fund a world wide charity, a family used to the finer things in life and the monthly spending (shopping) sprees she would go on “What do you say I give you a million galleons from Gringotts and five million from the Coutts account”
“It’s less than half of what I earn in a year, we would get by, of course I would have to look at the charity accounts considering we are starting to take donations for that now as well, it couldn’t go on otherwise. And if we could come to an agreement over a direct debit kind of situation then it would be more manageable … but you also have to go and speak to the Treasury, girl, you don’t get if you don’t ask”
“We ought to discuss this another time I think” Ivy said feeling uncomfortable talking about money.
“Well we were going to discuss it in this meeting of ours, I was worried about the finance of the ministry and the stability between the two communities with your plans … but we will discuss that later, I want to hear all about your new catchphrase” Genevieve said grinning and slipping her diary back into her handbag.
“Catchphrase, I don’t have a catchphrase, I’m not a cartoon character in case you haven’t noticed”
“Yes you are” Remus said and Ivy looked at him tersely.
“Merlin damn that Batman Comic forever” she hissed as Sirius cottoned and grinned widely knowing
“I doubt he will, but you don’t get if you don’t ask Poison Ivy” Remus said managing to duck the swipe from Ivy’s hand.
“Anyway never mind that, who on earth told you I had a catchphrase Viv?” Ivy asked her friend.
“Dora, said you’ve been reiterating something over and over again … what was it again?”
“I’m not a politician I am a business woman” Lily said providing her with it and they all laughed loudly, too loudly as Ella woke up and started crying louder than they were laughing.
“Oh, come here Ella; Ssssshhh” James said as he took her from Lily and got up from the couch, walking her around the room to stop her from crying, whispering things to her.
“She had a really bad sleep last night couldn’t sleep at all poor thing, she’s been falling asleep all day, she can’t survive without sleep … or food, a bit like Harry was”
“Well as long as she isn’t causing natural disasters like Vivien did then that ought to be okay” Ivy said.
“They still talk about the hurricane in the middle of a small welsh village even to this day” Lily said shaking his head.
“She’s got too much magic though, it’s why she found it hard to make friends, well that’s what she told me anyway, she could do things they didn’t even know existed and she freaked them out”
“I thought it was because all the boys fancied her” Sirius said as he played with Adhara’s hair as said daughter produced two dolls from nowhere … well not nowhere her satchel. Sirius turned to find James’ eyes boring into him from the corner.
“Yeah well she isn’t allowed to fancy them back is she” he said and Lily smirked her husband took a ridiculous line on Vivien-Rose’s love life.
“Well at least she isn’t as murderous towards James as Harry used to be” Remus said and Lily peered at him disapprovingly but with mirth in her eyes.
“I don’t think we need reminding of that thank you very much” Lily said with a small smirk.
“Where are the said motley crew?” Ivy asked
“At ours in the swimming pool” Lily said.
“What all of them in that big house on their own with Meissen Pottery on the shelves” Ivy said looking at Lily anxiously.
“Oh it’s only our lot Francis and Harry’s friend” Lily said waving her hand dismissively.
“Eef’s friend, Harry’s girlfriend” James interjected and it was Lily’s turn for a tight lipped response.
“Harry does not a have a girlfriend” Lily said “And I locked the sitting room and the ballroom and the dining room … and the library so Meissen Pottery is safe … Erin is not Harry’s girlfriend as we are all aware”
“Did you lock the pantry as well Nurse Ratchet?” Sirius said earning a glare.
“I don’t want them messing up my house … and anyway they’ll all be out in the pool … won’t they? James won’t they?” Lily asked him seeking reassurance.
“Of course Lily” he said with a secret scared look at Sirius who started to snigger but hid it by turning his head to the window.
“What’s with the weather Lupin?” Sirius said still shaking slightly with his suppressed laughter “Willy was talking about it today as if I had an answer …” he trailed off looking at the window mesmerised by the swirling rain.
“Oh don’t know might have to ask the programmers … are you okay?” Ivy asked him he was acting strangely.
“Oh yeah … I see you’ve been using your gift” Sirius said a grin plastered on his face looking at the writing set on the desk.
“James we’re going home now!” Lily bellowed getting up from her seated position.
“What why? Ssssshhh Ella, its only mummy, Ssssshhh” he bounced her on his hip ever so slightly.
“You know fine why, Sirius cannot help himself from laughing no matter how hard he tries, Remus keeps giving me that I know something you don’t know look and well Viv you are just blatant” she said picking up her hand bag , she went over to James and stared him down.
“I need to go back to work, take Ella home if you must, not that she’ll get much sleep in a house full of screaming children. And honestly I put Jane’s portrait outside Harry’s room she’ll be able to tell you where he is, she always does”
“No offence James, but your sister is the personification of that little voice in your head that tells you to do bad things” she said before turning to Ivy excusing herself and practically flying from the room.
“What’s wrong with Aunty Lily?” Adhara asked looking perplexed.
“Why is it when someone says no offence they say something you are going to take offence to, there is no need for that expression whatsoever” James said frowning.
“Honestly James, you put Jane outside Harry’s room to do what? Tell him which drugs were better?” Sirius said with a grin.
“Which brand of cigarettes was superior?” Genevieve added
“Or where to buy your liquor underage?” Sirius continued.
“No … she is there for my information only, she is on strict instruction not to talk to Harry or Vivien … especially not Jack, and I had to put my mum and dad outside Vivien’s room”
“Oh that’s fair, Harry gets to do what he wants and Vivien can’t leave her room without the Spanish inquisition and cavity search?” Genevieve said laughing slightly.
“Well she’s a girl she needs more protecting … anyway I do need to get back to work” he said standing up from the couch and kissed Ivy on the cheek “Well done Ivy, I’m sure you’ll do well” he said bracingly.
“Say hi to that assistant of yours from me” Sirius said as he absentmindedly peeled a Satsuma … a Satsuma which exploded in his hands two seconds after that statement. James rolled his eyes.
“Yeah sure thing Sirius” he said frowning slightly and left.
“What was that for?” Sirius said indignantly to Genevieve, but she glared at him he knew why but he put up the pretence of not knowing allow her to make up her cover story.
“You, if you can’t flirt face to face you flirt through middlemen, honestly …”
“Aw mummy, I was betting he was going to ask Aunty Ivy to say hi to that pretty senior assistant and you ruined it” Addie said sighing.
“See even your three year old knows you” she said though she was smirking slightly.
“Yeah very good Viv … and when did you get so bloody observant?” he said in annoyance to his daughter who shrugged in reply.
“I just am … can’t help it; Hello Jim do you like my hair” she started voicing her dolls.
“We’d better get out of your hair too Ivy” Sirius said “Got the afternoon off, left Kingsley in charge for the afternoon, got to go and see the in laws” he said with an overly cheery smile.
“Yeah we’re going to see granny and grandpa and they will have ice cream for me so we really must go” Adhara said packing her toys away and made her way to the door with lightning speed.
“Alright you, calm down, we’re going but you have to say good bye to your aunt and uncle properly” Sirius said taunting her childishness.
“Okay … thank you Aunty Ivy I hope you do all the things you say you are going to do …although that badge is absent” she said peering up at her playfully
“I’ll wear the badge on a quieter day baby girl, come here give me a hug” Ivy said picked her up and kissed her on the cheek, marking her ivory cheek with her blood red lipstick
“I consigned to a hug not a kiss” she said and wiped her cheek “Uncle Remus you can kiss me though” she said and pointed to her cheek babyishly, she simply loved the attention.
“What are you like” Remus said before kissing her on the cheek
“I’m pretty and I am funny, and I have a good eye for outfits too” she said and nodded her head.
“Of course you do, Wellington boots with skirts, top hats, trousers on the head she’s at the height of fashion this one, why just yesterday in the blazing heat she had the presence of mind to wear a sowester and a duffel coat … come on or the ice cream will melt” Sirius said as Remus laughed at the ridiculous child “And you know how exciting the ice cream granny and grandpa buy is”
“It is you know all sorts of flavours, raspberry ripple everything … but seeing as mummy only like boring vanilla that’s all there ever is at ours” she said pouting
“Be thankful you get ice cream at all, your Aunt Lily has banned it”
“Oh yeah, poor Potters” she said acting sad.
“Right we’d better be off. Ivy I will make another appointment next week and we can talk about these things again okay?” Genevieve said.
Ivy turned to Remus as soon as they had left, he could hear the terse argument between the two on the other side of the door
“How long until divorce papers are served?” Ivy said seriously. Remus frowned and looked at her funnily.
“Divorce Papers … between who? Sirius and Viv not likely, it’s just an argument” he said waving it off and sitting back down on the green sofas.
“No Lily and James of course, I’m sorry is it just me that picks up that really bad energy when they are in a room together” he said and Ivy thought about it.
“They argue more often than most, but not more than the average couple Remus” he said truthfully.
“I don’t know Ivy it’s just when Lily speaks about anything I can see James just go tense like he doesn’t have time to hear anything she has to say and Lily is clearly fed up with her life. Maybe she didn’t want the life she thought she did after all” she said wisely causing herself to fall into a deep contemplation about life. Lily and James couldn’t split up they are an national institution it just couldn’t happen … it wouldn’t happen, they wouldn’t let it happen, they had seven children together, they would never jeopardise their children’s happiness for any moment. Although Ivy was sure there was more to Sirius asking James to say hi to his assistant and the glare that was issued by Genevieve for such a statement.
“Remus … is James having an affair” she said suddenly and Remus face paled.
“I don’t know where you get that from Ivy” he lied, he knew fine where she was getting that vibe from. Sirius and his big mouth. “Look you know James, he loves Lily no matter what he always will, and I don’t think it is necessary for us to speculate any more on a relationship which isn’t ours don’t you agree” he got up and walked towards her.
“Remus if he’s cheating on Lily you must tell me” she said looking at him seriously.
“Ivy it’s none of our business. Anyway it isn’t the question I would expect of you. I was expecting something along the lines of is their marriage over already” he said “And even then I wouldn’t be able to answer that because it isn’t my relationship” he said and held her tightly “You know I’d never cheat on you though don’t you?” he said softly placing a kiss on her neck.
“Hmm there are plenty who are interested in tempting you” she said sourly, and Remus placated her with a smile.
“Younger women don’t really interest me especially when most of them are no more than four years older than my daughter. I’ll only love you Ivy” he said and she smiled satisfied with this answer and also getting her answer to the James question in Remus reassuring her he never would cheat which meant …
“He is isn’t he?” she said burying her head into the crook of his neck. Remus sighed.
“Lily knows” he said and that was that, no more was going to be said on the matter between them. In a way they had just discussed the Tonks subject even though they’d been dancing around it for quite a while. This was good because it meant it could and would not be dragged up at a later date. That was it, she took his word for it nothing was ever going to happen with Nymphadora no matter how hard she tried to tempt her husband.
Remus would have to agree with Ivy that it was knowledge worth having.
A/N: I am so sorry for this, but do remember that Lily and James married very young, It doesn’t mean there isn’t any hope for them. I love Addie she makes me all warm inside, I hope I have a baby just as mad and cute.
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