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Chapter 2 : The Minister and the wand
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The Minister and the Wand
The sun broke over the small Derbyshire village making the stone cottages glow a wonderful golden colour. The two elderly wizards woke sensing something had changed. This was a remote place, the nearest town was Bakewell famous for it’s market and delicious puddings, they had quickly discovered the locals disliked their town being associated with the more well known tarts. The only other magical folk for a twenty mile radius had lived at nearby Haddon Hall, that family had escaped shortly after Voldemort had taken control, the owners wife was a muggle.
The wizards and the family in their care had heard the reports of a battle and victory on the wireless wizarding network the day before which they had listened to with their charges son whilst his mother pretended not to be interested outside the door and the father ignored them in the room next door. Dedalus and Hestia had kept the family hidden for almost ten months and were not about to break cover on the word of the radio. They had grown fond of Dudley, felt sad for Petunia and simply could not understand Vernon, he had listened as they told the family about Harry’s years at Hogwarts but dismissed it all as claptrap insisting the that the boy was a useless delinquent and the two guards were fantasising weirdo’s. Even the reports on the radio during those months, both official and on Potterwatch, failed to move him. Hestia had however noticed that Petunia was quietly taking more and more of an interest in her nephews welfare although because of Vernon hid her worries from him, she had however confided in the older woman a little. Dudley had grown up during the period of hiding, not just physically but mentally, he had befriended Dedalus, who had taken the boy under his wing, much to his fathers annoyance. Living in such a small cottage though he could hardly keep the pair apart. Dudley had spent much of the time talking and thinking about his own actions towards Harry and desperately wanted to see his cousin and attempt to make amends.
They had, had one close call in those months when Dementors had briefly hovered over the village for a day, Dedalus thought they were searching for something, Dudley’s fear was obvious, he had told the older wizard of his last encounter with the guards of Azkaban and did not relish another. His father had been in an even more foul mood than usual that day as he had left to open the shop they were running in the village. Vernon enjoyed being postmaster, it gave him a position in the community, but he hated dealing with pension day, so the more patient Petunia had become the wrinklies favourite, as Vernon described it.
When the reports of the battle had come through though, Vernon had demanded instantly to be taken home to Little Winging, Dedalus had refused but it took Dudley to stop his father walking out.
“Dad will you stop being an idiot, I am not going anywhere without these two until we know for sure it’s true and safe.” Dudley stood nose to nose with his father.
“How dare you call me an idiot boy” Vernon had fumed.
“Then stop behaving like one then. How do we know it‘s true and even if it is, how do we know our house is safe? I would guess it could even be booby trapped to catch us in case we know where Harry is.”
It was the first time Dudley had stood up to his father, but it took Petunia to calm Vernon down. If Dudley wasn’t leaving neither was she and that meant Vernon was staying.
Hestia was impressed at how the man suddenly deflated then sank into a chair.
“Well done Petunia” she whispered as the two women left the room.
Dedalus grinned at Dudley who motioned that they should leave his father alone, they too left the room to talk more about the magical community and for Dudley to quiz the wizard about how best to contact Harry once they were out of hiding.
In the Great Hall at Hogwarts the Malfoys jumped up in surprise as Kingsley Shacklebolt emerged from the green flames in the fireplace behind them accompanied by four ministry wizards. Recognising the new Minister for magic the family stood respectfully.
“Minister,” said Lucius bowing, “your servant.”
Lucius was clearly hoping that despite his known support for Voldemort his reputation as a friend of previous ministers and benefactor of St Mungo’s Hospital would save him and his family.
Unfortunately for him Kingsley was not impressed by Malfoy trying to ingratiate himself with him. The Minister was a member of the order of the Phoenix and was well aware that Malfoy’s true motive was to gain influence, however Kingsley did not let any emotion show as he spoke.
“Ah, Malfoy, yes. I understood we would find you here. These gentlemen are here to escort you and your family into custody for your actions during the occupation. Your property and wealth are forfeit pending your trial. Do not expect leniency as we have full reports of your activities. You will join the other death eater‘s we have already captured to await a full hearing in due course.”
Kingsley turned on his heel and looked round the room, spotted Harry and the Weasleys He smiled and made his way towards them purposefully. Harry knew Kingsley and trusted the man who had been an auror, he smiled as the new minister approached. He was about to speak when there was a flash of bright light behind Kingsley.
“Take cover” someone shouted as panic ensued amongst most in the hall and everyone dived under the nearest table.
“What’s going on?” asked Harry urgently, he was between Kingsley and Ginny under the table they had been sat at.
“It’s Malfoy,” growled George his face like thunder. “Two of those wizards you brought with you, Kingsley, have attacked the others and joined Malfoy. It looks like an escape attempt.”
“Damn” spat Kingsley “Death eaters we still haven’t cleaned out the ministry, I knew it seemed too easy.”
“Everyone keep your heads down” Lucius Malfoy’s smooth drawl sounded round the room “My family and I are leaving with our friends, if we see so much as a hair above those tables the owner of it will die.”
Flashes of green light scattered across the tables as the group randomly fired killing curses around the room as they edged towards the door, the curses scaring the walls where they hit throwing sparks from the stone. Harry drew his wand, Ginny did the same.
“I suppose it is pointless telling you to stay where you are, but keep your heads down. We can’t afford to lose you now Harry.” Kingsley had a determined look on his face “Follow me.”
Kingsley led the way, crawling under the table others edged out of the way not daring to show themselves, Harry followed. Looking round through the legs of the benches he could see other wizards Including teachers and students doing the same under the other tables. Behind Harry , Ginny was being closely followed by the the remaining Weasleys led by a grim faced George muttering “no more: enough is enough.” under his breath, his eyes focused on the legs of the Malfoys walking slowly towards the doors.
Progress was slow as they passed frightened witches wizards and students sheltering from the spells but eventually they reached the end of the table. At last they could get a clear shot at the Malfoy group who were cautiously edging round the ends of the tables. Kingsley watched as the group drew nearer, when suddenly roaring George leapt up. Whether it was shock or just disbelief they never found out, but, as George emerged firing stunning spells not one of the enemy shot back. Kingsley, Harry, Ginny and the other wizards quickly followed George firing stunners and disarming charms, quickly the escaping group was helpless on the floor. The firing stopped and George seemed to crumple to the floor crying “no more, no more” as he let his grief out.
The Weasleys gathered round George, Kingsley turned to Harry “That was close, Harry come over here where we can’t be overheard, I need to hear what you have been doing for the last few months so we can unravel it all my friend, we need to protect you now and sort out your future. That’s what we will talk about later with the others, you and your friends have saved the wizarding world after all, I‘d say that means a very strange few days coming your way.”
“Oh great Kingsley that’s all I need, more strange days. Come on let’s get this over with.” said Harry smiling.
They went into a corner whilst the Malfoys and the two Death eaters were bound and their wands were taken away.
Harry talked for a long time describing the quest for the Horcruxes and Hallows, he told Kingsley most of what had happened in those months. He, Ron and Hermione had agreed that the biggest thing none of them would mention was that Ron had abandoned them before Christmas, this he withheld, along with some details that Harry felt uncomfortable divulging, as his friend had returned and saved Harry’s life. Kingsley simply listened without interrupting, he knew Harry would not tell him everything but trusted the young mans judgement that nothing held back was vital for him to know.
Harry showed him the fresh raw scar from Voldemort’s killing curse, most of his other wounds being obvious, then described the vision and his return Kingsley uttered his only words throughout the time Harry had spoken,
“Oh my god Harry, you poor sod, I can‘t begin to imagine going to him as you did prepared to die”. The depth of kingsley’s dispair and concern for his friend obvious in his eyes, “how the hell did you have that strength my friend, it's unimaginable.”
Harry shrugged sadly and simply continued his tale.
Outside the school gates being watched closely by Grawp the wizarding press pack was impatiently waiting for something to happen, anything in fact. They could see very little of the school from here but had not been allowed into the grounds since yesterday when they had taken pictures of the aftermath of the Battle. Rita had earlier climbed the gates in an attempt to get an exclusive interview with Harry Potter. The photographers had photographed Rita being carried by Grawp and placed outside the gates to rejoin them, she had obviously failed.
“Like your new boyfriend Rita” one of them had shouted as she picked herself up and straightened her cloak. She was not popular even with her colleagues.
“Sod off” she spat at them as they all burst into laughter.
She was determined to be the one to interview Harry, she felt another of her special biographies in the offing, not that she needed him to cooperate really she could just speak to some students and let her quill fill in the blanks. The rest of the press settled to wait again and Grawp sat watching then like a giant guard, which of course is what he was, they knew Rita had spoiled any chance of getting into the school now.
Harry felt drained after his conversation with Kingsley, the acting Minister had asked no further questions but had sat staring at Harry for a few moments after Harry had finished then gently spoke in his deep tones.
“You are the only man I know, Harry, who could make such bravery seem so normal. Such acts, and in the midst of it such humility, my friend, such generosity towards the Malfoys despite everything. Harry you have my undying gratitude and that of our community, you and your friends.”
“Kingsley I am not a hero, I got it done by luck mostly, as I told you, everything I have said is true. Whatever her motives Narcissa lied to Voldemort and that gave me the opportunity to defeat him, it was luck, nothing more. It's the same with most of it really.” Harry was embarrassed by the Ministers reaction.
“Whatever Harry,” Kingsley grinned. “Look I need to talk to Ron and Hermione then a few others, I will see you later with the others in the headmasters office ok.”
Harry nodded and the minister patted him on the shoulder then left Harry alone. He sat on his own at the end of the house table where they had talked for a few minutes then walked out of the Hall through the entrance and out into the grounds. He hardly noticed the damage around him as he walked down to the lake and sat, his back against the beech tree. He was alone with his thoughts as memories of happier times in this place flooded through his mind he watched the water rippling gently on the bank. He remembered swimming in the lake during the second task of the Triwizard tournament the peace of the depths of the water as he searched for Ron. His fear that he would meet the giant squid, the reassurance of meeting Moaning Myrtle who had given him directions. Then he remembered crossing the lake as a first year nervous of his new life, it seemed an age ago. He was so deep in his thoughts he didn’t notice Ginny approach until she sat next to him and linked her arm with his.
“Knut for them” she said gently.
He turned his head to her as she began to heal his visible wounds with her wand.
“Just remembering better times Ginny, happier at least.” he put an arm, now free of cuts and abrasions round her waist as she healed the other.
“I thought you were. Remember how often we sat here last year before it all? We talked for hours here, I missed that this year.” She put her wand away as the last cuts on his arm and face disapeared and leant against him slipping an arm round him.
Harry smiled at her touch, “I remember love. Did you see me leave the Hall?”
“No. No one knew where you were after you talked with Kingsley, but I did, don’t ask me how, but I knew. Just like I knew you were outside the portrait this morning, typical though, I had sat beside you all day and all night and you pick the time I decide to get changed to wake up.” She grinned. “Kingsley’s talking to Ron then Hermione now, He wants to talk to Neville and Luna later, he spoke to me ages ago about what was going on here while we were hiding at Aunt Muriel’s”
“He is trying to find out what’s been going on, he wants to talk to us all later, I guess he wants to know what our plans are.” Harry told her.
“Where are you going after all this Harry?”
“I don’t know, might stay here.”
Another voice spoke firmly, surprising them both, “No you aren’t Harry you are coming with us tonight.” The couple looked up, Mrs Weasley had found them.
“I couldn’t not now.” Harry said to her.
“Harry, you are coming back to the Burrow and so is Hermione, you think we would abandon you now? That’s not what families do Harry.” The older witch sat with them then spoke more comfortingly. “You need to be with people who care about you right now not on your own dear so after your meeting with Kingsley we are taking you home with us.”
Harry saw George and his Father coming towards them, he felt a pang of guilt at Fred’s death.
“I appreciate it Mrs. Weasley” He said, “but you all need time as a family, to get over it all, if you want me at the funeral I will come but I don’t want to intrude.”
“Intrude on what?” asked George as he and his Dad arrived.
“On us, by coming back to the Burrow with us” Ginny said, “Harry you know I want you to come back with us of course I do I need you to be with me.”
“Besides Harry there are three other reasons” said George.
“Yes one I think should come and two so would Fred and three you are part of the family as far as we are concerned you silly sod.” George grinned.
“Thanks George but really…” Harry never finished his sentence.
George interrupted, pointing to where his ear wasn't anymore “Look its me who should be deaf, we all want you there so drop it right Harry we enjoy having you around even if you aren’t ginger but I know a spell to change that if you like then everyone would know you are just as much my brother as my brothers right.”
Harry looked at the Weasleys, this was the family that meant the most to him, “Ok George” he said, “thanks all of you, I wasn’t looking forward to being totally on my own.”
“Good that’s settled then.” Said Mr. Weasley.
“What about the hair then Harry?” grinned George.
“No you don’t George unless you want to become attached to my friends the bats as in bogey hex.” Said Ginny.
“You wouldn’t.” said George trying to look shocked.
“She would.” replied everyone in chorus laughing.
“Ok his hair is fine the way it is.” conceded George.
“Though it could do with a trim.” commented Mrs. Weasley absently as she stood up. It was true Harry's hair was longer than he usually kept it..
“No it couldn't Mum, I like it how it is.” Ginny said a little sharply.
Molly looked a little deflated “Ok Ginny I won't touch it.”
Harry and Ginny stood and joined the others and they all walked back to the castle, the couple arm in arm.
Their Aunt had been furious, with them. The two children sat in her study at her house where she had left them to recover from the punishment for defying her, at least this time they were not bleeding. The news that Voldemort was dead had meant she was vulnerable and they may need to implement her contingency plan, she had been drilling the plan into them for years. They had lived with her since their mother had died, apart from one year when they had been sent to a distant relatives who lived by the sea. The relatives were kind but elderly they had no children and so did not really know how to keep the sullen youngsters entertained. The twins had not helped matters during their stay there. Aunt had told them not to trust the relatives with the plan or listen to their strange ideas and so they had refused all offers of of things to do with them, as a result they had not let them get close. Aunts work had separated them for that time and that year she had come back even more determined on the plan and had become even more cruel as any misdemeanour was heavily punished.
Their Aunt knew that she may be arrested when she went back to work in a couple of day’s time. The twins had not wanted to be sent back to the seaside town for the summer while they waited until they started at Hogwarts in September, the relatives according to Aunt were not to be trusted with knowledge of the plan. The twins had protested that they could look after themselves and there was no need to be sent to the untrustworthy relatives, Aunts punishment had been severe, she demanded total compliance from them and they feared letting her down.
They knew the plan, Aunt had friends who were not exactly nice people but she had encouraged her followers to fear the children as much as they feared her. If she was arrested the twins and their father were to execute the plan. This in fact meant the twins would have to give the orders.
Whilst their father was devoted to Aunt they rarely saw him as he earned his living and quietly gained followers for his sister in law and occassionally passing on orders to the twins. It was imperative no one linked him with Aunt besides they knew their father had learnt loyalty to her the hard way too.
The children knew timing was everything, the plan would start as soon as possible now, they just needed to locate their first targets for long enough to plan their demise Aunts followers could be in position anywhere in the country within minutes but only a small team would be needed. Aunt had already set the wheels of that in motion, this was after all her plan, her revenge. She had spent two years training the twins and ensuring they were as single minded as she was herself. Through beatings and more subtle cruelties which they had come to accept their Aunt had moulded them, no longer did their own desires or emotion matter, their Aunts ambition was everything.
The Weasley’s and Harry found Hermione with Kingsley in the library where she had been reading,
“What on earth can she be researching at a time like this?” asked Mrs. Weasley under her breath.
They approached tentatively, not wanting to disturb the minister as he talked with her. Hermione saw them and waved them over, Kingsley turned smiling.
“It’s all right we’re done,” said Kingsley, “I will see you three in a couple of hours any way.” this last was addressed to Harry, Ginny and Hermione. “Harry I know it’s awkward but would you visit the injured in the hospital wing this morning, get it over with for one thing and give you and Ginny some time to yourselves before our meeting. I know it’s an imposition my friend but it might help them recover, it’s only minor injuries in there the others are at St Mungo’s. We need to arrange a visit their too I’m afraid. I promise to keep duties down to the minimum after that Harry, ok?”
Ginny squeezed his arm “I‘ll go with you Harry don‘t worry.” she said
“All right Kingsley, it‘s not as if I didn‘t know I would have to, we‘ll go after we have finished here.”
Kingsley left them, as Mrs. Weasley told Hermione she was to stay at the Burrow with them, Hermione took no persuading and was grateful, like Harry she had not known where to go. Harry and Ginny stayed with Hermione as the others followed Kingsley. She slowly looked through the book in front of her which was about very old magic most of which appeared to be all but forgotten.
“Hermione what are you looking for?” asked Harry.
“A way for you to fulfil your promise to Dumbledore” she muttered.
Harry understood but he also knew he would need the ministers help, he would ask at this afternoons meeting. “Ok we’ll leave you to it.”
“Hmm” replied Hermione engrossed in the book she had in front of her.
Ginny and Harry left to go to the hospital wing, where Madam Pomfrey and a small team of healers were caring for the injured. Every bed was full, although these were the ones with relatively minor injuries many looked seriously ill to Harry as they moved from bed to bed offering what words they could. Harry felt he was on show, he had never met half the wizards and witches, some of whom were from Hogsmeade or were parents of students there were some older students amongst them who had remained to fight including some from the group Harry had taught a couple of years before called Dumbledore’s Army. They spoke with everyone and they all seemed pleased to see them.
Eventually Harry and Ginny returned to the Great Hall, Work was going on to restore the castle already, they helped in the hall until lunch, the atmosphere was cheering up as those working had become distracted by their tasks. Lunch was a much happier meal than breakfast had been, they all sat chatting about the work around the building and grounds. There was an enormous amount to do, Harry knew that had it been in the muggle world it would take years to complete, but with the help of magic the talk was of the clear up and collecting of bits being complete by the end of the day, some areas were already being rebuilt. It wasn’t just the building though, numerous statues would need repairing, as the parts of each carving were identified and sorted they were placed ready for repair. The task was laborious even using magic but once sure all the parts had been found the Reparo charm restored the statue in seconds. Some portraits were damaged as well and Professor Flitwick was seeing to them, gathering them in his class room and magically repairing those he could, others were to be sent to specialists in the ministry archives section for work to be completed. Harry was sad to see Sir Cadogan’s painting amongst those to be sent to the ministry the Knight’s armour and face blackened a hole blown from one corner of the picture where it had been hit by a spell.
Harry and Ginny sat at the Gryffindor table in the places they had used a year before, there were enough people there now to fill just two tables so regardless of house or whether they were student, teacher, ministry official, parent or simply an ex pupil, they sat round just two of the house tables sharing stories and laughter. Harry and Ginny were enjoying this time, they were together again in the best sense of the word yet both knew they needed time, time to grow truly close again, time to talk, but now was not that time, it would come soon but now was a time to settle, to just grow comfortable, to celebrate and to mourn. The rest was for later, when it was time to recover, time to live again.
“I have asked you all to meet me to ask for your help.”
The meeting with Kingsley had begun, Neville, Luna, Ron, Hermione, Ginny and Harry were sat with him in the head teachers office, the portraits of past headmasters and mistresses all asleep.
Kingsley continued “The events of this morning have demonstrated how much there is left to do in the ministry alone and I need you, well, Luna and you Ginny still have year seven to do here so I cannot ask this of you yet I’m afraid but I need you others as my advisors and I need you in my Auror department with Harry at it’s head, what do you say? "
Harry looked at Kingsley as the others watched him expectantly; they knew that Harry had only ever wanted to be an Auror.
“I’m sorry Kingsley, but no,” Harry knew they were all shocked, “If I ever become an Auror-and I want to be one-I want to get there by my own effort. First I need get my NEWTs, however, I will help as an advisor if you want me to.”
“Are you sure Harry? You have shown you are more than capable as an Auror and a leader?”
“Yes, I would feel a fraud to do it any other way.”
“What about the rest of you?” Kingsley asked.
The others all told him they wanted to get their NEWTs; none of them wanted to be in the Auror department but Hermione was interested in reform, Neville in studying Herbology further, then Ron Spoke.
“I am sorry but I must help George with the shop, he can’t do it on his own now Fred’s gone. Wheezes is going to be reopened; it does after all help boost moral and that’s important.”
Kingsley was obviously disappointed but had an idea “Ok. Believe it or not you have impressed me, I will speak to Professor McGonagall about you doing your NEWTS but I would like you all to take on the advisory role. If I can wangle it with school will you do that?”
They all agreed.
“Good. Right I will do what I can and let you all know tomorrow at the Wizangamot to which you are all summoned.”
They all looked shocked, the Wizangamot was the wizards court and decided all legal matters, Kingsley laughed.
“Don’t worry,” he reassured them “we want your input. You aren’t in trouble”
“Thank goodness for that.” muttered Ron.
“Right I had better go and give the press a statement at the gate, see if we can ward them off for a while.”
“Erm, Minister, before you go, I need your help with something for Dumbledore if you would?” said Harry.
Harry had given Kingsley another worry but it was one he gladly agree to help with. He walked down the drive to face the press pack, Grawp stood as he approached and the cameras started to flash.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, I have a short statement to make on behalf of the school and Mr. Potter and his friends.” He announced. “As I am sure Miss Skeeter has told you the school is not going to allow you in today, you were able to get pictures yesterday since then the clean up operation has begun. You will have noticed that some students and there families have returned to help with this effort, the school asks that you please leave them to get on with the work so that we can reopen Hogwarts as soon as possible. The school will notify students when that will be but will not be making anymore statements to the press.
Mr. Potter and his friends are recovering and do not wish to give an interview at this time, the next few days will be busy for them, they will carry out official duties tomorrow at the ministry, then they will be attending the funerals of immediate family and friends. They ask that they be given time after the duties of tomorrow to recover and mourn in piece. The last ten months have taken their toll on Mr. Potter and his companions and colleagues, suffice it to say Mr. Potter, as rumours have already guessed, did twice face Voldemort on the night of the battle and on the first occasion was again struck by the killing curse and for the second time in his life he survived. We shall overnight be releasing a full report on the battle to the press including an outline of Mr. Potters part in it along with the roles of others and the sequence of events that led to it and occurred during the fighting. Mr. Potter will be leaving the school tonight to prepare for the next few days, he will not be giving any statements. In fact his words to me are that thanks to his experiences with the only reporter he has had contact with in his life he is unsure if he will ever speak to the press about his experiences, he doesn’t want his words twisting again. He has of course given the ministry a full statement of his activities of the last few months, I shall be briefing the Muggle Prime Minister tonight and we shall discuss how we can help each others citizens recover. That concludes this statement, I will not be taking questions. There will be no more statements given at Hogwarts until the work to complete the castle is complete. In the meantime I hope the press will join with the majority of our community in rejoicing that Voldemort’s reign of terror is over.”
Kingsley turned and ignoring the shouted questions walked back up to the castle. After a few moments he heard the pops of the press apparating away.
An hour later and after much discussion, the wizard who had conducted Dumbledore’s funeral had been summoned, he accompanied Harry, Ginny, Kingsley and, at his own insistence, Hagrid, they made a strange procession across the grounds. The normally neat grass was still strewn with the damage of battle, as well as the stones from the walls of the castle there were craters in the lawn which had been churned to mud by the passage of the giants and other creatures and crowds that had fought here, even some of the trees were damaged. Ministry work wizards and more returning students were now helping repair the castle and the other damage but as the group passed work stopped, resuming only after they had gone by. Word had, as usual at Hogwarts, spread that an important ceremony to secure something Voldemort had stolen was taking place. The five walked on in sombre mood towards their destination , a set determination to complete their grim duty etched on their faces.
The sun continued to shine brightly, on any other day they might be relaxing by the lake feeding the giant squid but today the sunlight was simply making Dumbledore’s tomb glow brilliant white. It didn’t show any sign of having been torn apart by Voldemort a few weeks previously until they were only a few yards away. An ugly black crack threaded its way the length of the white stone. The wizard examined the tomb of Harry‘s flawed mentor closely.
“Still cracked, crudely broken apart but repairable” he muttered, “Minister is this absolutely necessary? It would be far simpler to just effect a repair.”
Kingsley looked at Harry who nodded; he had to fulfil his promise to the portrait of his former Head master.
“Very well minister,” said the wizard
He raised his wand and in one motion described a sweeping arc in the air. The two halves of stone slid apart with a grinding noise revealing Dumbledore’s body. Harry had told them what they would see but still Hagrid burst into tears as Ginny gasped at the sight of the body. Dumbledore appeared unchanged since the vision of Voldemort stealing the wand that Harry had seen, the professor still looked like he simply slept his body preserved magically Harry assumed or perhaps wizards bodies did not deteriorate in the same way as a muggles, he did not know. Harry moved forward and carefully placed the Elder wand back in the Headmaster’s hand then stepped back and, with Ginny, comforted Hagrid as Kingsley and the wizard worked to secure the wand for ever. First they cast spells on the wand, then resealed the Tomb, working silently they cast protective charm after charm on the Tomb. Harry knew that they would use over a hundred charms to complete the repair and ensure the tomb could not be reopened again. Once finished they joined Harry and the small group moved a short distance away.
They looked towards the castle entrance and after less than a minute a second procession appeared. This long line of people made its way across the same battle damaged grounds heading towards them it comprised of all staff, pupils and their families present, each carrying a circular wreath of red flowers. Again those working on the repairs stood back respectfully as they passed, Hermione, Ron and the Weasley’s led the line that stopped when they reached the restored tomb. Hermione stepped forward and performed a charm she had rediscovered, then, one by one each witch and wizard laid their wreath on the tomb in turn which instantly absorbed it. The magic was deep and very old. As the wreath made contact with the tomb it sampled the very essence of the witch, wizard or student who laid it. This created a unique code, as each persons essence is unique and grows and changes with you. Only the combination of wreaths of exactly the right composition containing the essence of each wizard and witch present, in the right order, laid within ten minutes could unlock the protection of the tomb. In ten minutes time the essence of each person would have slightly changed to account for the experiences of the individual even if in that time this protection was lifted, then the secret order in which Kingsley and the wizard had protected the tomb would need to be copied to leave the wand vulnerable to theft. It was the most complex security ever placed on any wizards tomb and over a hundred individuals had taken part and as time passed the tomb would become more secure. Last to lay wreaths were Kingsley, Hagrid, Ginny then Harry the only witnesses to the entire process. Once this was done the whole procession returned to the castle, the task was complete. The only remaining Hallow was Harry’s cloak which was a family heirloom, the resurrection stone was broken and lost in the forest during his lonely walk and now the Elder wand was secure, at last, and when Harry died it’s power would be broken forever.
The Hallows would never be united.
Bakewell Puddings are a local dish to the area and are very different to bakewell tarts. The locals are proud of the rich custard based pudding but are not happy their town is associated with the tart in the minds of many.
Haddon Hall is an old stately home (Tudor I believe). Just the sort of place a wealthy wizard might own.
I hope you are enjoying this Fic, it is my first attempt at creative writing in over 20 years so I would value any feed back, please.
My aim is to have edited each chapter in order to submit it as soon as the previous one is up. The story is complete at this end but I am still editing later chapters.
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