Chapter 7 : Preparations for Diplomacy
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“Thanks to Ana’s quick thinking, the battle was saved,” said Mcgonagall.
“Agreed,” Porter said. “She was a good choice for command.”
The two were walking towards the church in preparation for a session of the council. The invasion was going as planned, though Ana was in a hospital in Berwick.
“Dunlap’s already promoted Ron Weasley to command the upper invasion now,” Mcgonagall told him.
“He’s brave, that’s for sure,” he murmured. “But does he have the patience and control to be effective.”
Bristling, Mcgonagall turned to him severely. “Weasley is a far cry from when he was a student at Hogwarts. I trust him completely.”
Porter backed down immediately and put up his hands. “Apologies. I meant no respect.”
Mcgonagall nodded to him and took a sharp turn into the church. They went to the council chamber, where voices were already raised.
“Quiet!” yelled Mcgonagall over the din. When no one stopped she sighed and shot off a huge bang with her wand. Without delay, everyone stopped and looked at her. She smiled tightly and headed for her seat, Porter following.
“The invasion has been a success,” announced Megan. “Already our northern troops have reached Carlisle. They have encountered little opposition since the Battle of Chestnut Hill, which we thank Ana Lucia for her braveness and tenacity.”
“And we wish her a speedy recovery,” added Hermione swiftly.
“She’ll be back on her feet in no time hopefully,” Megan said, pausing for a second before continuing. “Casualties were not as bad as we originally feared. Besides Ana, only Jennings was injured and it was very mild. He took a stunning spell in the head, moments before the bombardment.”
“A concussion?” called a voice from the back.
“Yes, but it’s healed now,” answered Megan. “As of now, we have formed a border from Berwick to Rothbury to Haltwhistle to Carlisle and then to the border of Scotland.”
“What about Sunderland?” Percy asked.
“Sunderland has fallen as of an hour ago,” revealed Megan proudly. She paused for the cheers and applause. “Our troops are now massing at the border to take over Newcastle. Once again, casualties were not as bad as feared.”
Mcgonagall stood. “When Newcastle falls, we can easily go up the coast and capture Hexham, Blyth, Morpeth, Amble, Alnwick, and Embeton. We can add them too our territory as well.”
“Can we send ambassadors now?” pleaded Hermione. “If the Death Eaters have recruited Italy, we need as much help as we can get.”
Nathaniel Medson cleared his throat. “I’ve just received information that Scotland has announced their intention to cast their lot with us.”
“It’s about time,” snorted Ginny. “Half of their population has already chosen a side already.”
“Truth,” Hermione muttered. “Seamus for one…”
“Declaring independence from England was a bad move,” Mcgonagall said. “But if their government has decided to ally themselves with us we should be grateful. Nathaniel, please contact Scotland’s government and thank them.”
Medson nodded respectfully. “I will as soon as this meeting ends.”
“Is there anymore diplomacy news?” Porter questioned.
Glancing at Medson, Megan nodded. “We have news that the Death Eaters have been contacting Germany and Bulgaria. However, we haven’t intercepted anything.”
Hermione jumped up. “We must go to America now. They are our only hope of survival. We need more allies than just Scotland. Even if Ireland would join us, it still wouldn’t be enough.”
“I am in agreement,” concurred Percy grimly. “This war has become bigger than just a war over Great Britain. This has become a World War.”
Silence met Percy’s grim pronouncement. All of the council members looked at each other in shock, considering what he had just said.
Finally, Mcgonagall nodded her head. “He is correct. This war has gotten out of our hands. We must send ambassadors.”
“I volunteer to go to America,” Hermione announced.
“And I will go to France,” added Percy.
“What about the Spanish? Who’s side are they on?” demanded Porter. He looked at Megan if she knew the answer.
“I’ve heard nothing from the Spanish. It is likely though that they will side with the Death Eaters,” she responded.
“We must send out ambassadors as quick as possible then,” pointed out Ginny.
Mcgonagall looked around her. “Are there any volunteers to take on this task? It will be dangerous.”
“I will do my duty to this council,” Slughorn said solemnly. “I will go.”
“Thank you Horace,” replied Mcgonagall gratefully. “You will be well fit for this assignment, no doubt.”
“It will be my pleasure,” he said heartily. “I haven’t been to Spain for at least ten years. I just hope I remember my Spanish…”
“We’ll need to send more than just the ambassadors,” Luna said slowly.
“That is true,” agreed Percy. “A company of our finest soldiers should also go with each of them.”
“Ana can come with me,” Hermione said thoughtfully. “When she is recovered, it will be good recuperation.”
“And it will make her feel as if she is doing something. She’ll never just lay in a bed for a month,” Ginny pointed out.
“Send her three aides with her too. That way she can have help when she needs them when you’re busy,” Mcgonagall added.
Nodding, Hermione said, “What about our plans after the invasion?”
“I think we should concentrate on defending our territory and bringing order to it. We can’t make anymore progress until we can protect what we have already,” Porter said.
“If Percy’s words come true, the fight will be brought to the rest of this world too. We can’t join in on a global war until we can protect our own borders,” Neville said.
“You are correct, Neville,” said Hermione. “We won’t gain allies until we can prove to them that we know what we’re doing.”
“I think that covers everything for this meeting. Are there any objections to our plans?” pronounced Mcgonagall. Every one shook their heads. “Very well then. Our ambassadors to France and Spain will leave within the week. Hermione will wait for Ana to recover.”
“Anything else?” she continued. More shakes of heads. “Then I declare this session to be ended.”
A/N: What a boring chapter… But it needed to be written, I think.
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