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Chapter 4 : Shaker Hymns
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June 21st 2026
When your warhorse Grandfather had sung the whole damn Song of Solomon, we toasted health in the front room.
- Shaker Hymns
Knox tugged at the collar of his dress robes standing in the corner of the grand hall. He found it hard not to smirk at the fact that this glorious hall was in fact the upper floor of an ancient warehouse in the industrial part of London, where almost all of the gangs came to receive hard drugs. There were candles floating in the air above everyone’s heads with a grand chandelier hanging in the middle. The floor was a polished hardwood and there were tables all along the perimeter with a dance floor in the centre. All of the Wizarding World’s nobles and rich from all over the world were in attendance. It had became a semi annual ball, celebrating the Summer and Winter Solstice’s. Everyone attended to flounce their wealth on an international level, but all the money they spent went towards the cause.
Knox couldn’t help but smirk at the fact that every waiter, waitress and any other help dressed in a white uniform were all Muggles that they had brought under the cause, and no one knew it. Everyone was always so impressed with the high caliber of the food and alcohol that they offered each time. Of course none of it was paid for, the cause had stretched deep into the Muggle pockets across Europe and often received the finest at no cost or a trade for drugs, seemingly their Achilles' heel.
As Knox was musing, everyone in the room turned towards the double doors as a beautiful, young woman walked in. Her long black hair was tied into an elaborate up-do and she wore an extravagant red dress that was reminiscent of the Russian aristocracy in its golden age. Everyone applauded their hostess. They all watched her, enchanted by her beauty, as she walked towards Knox.
He walked to meet her, making sure his hair was slicked back and he led her to the middle of the dance floor. They set up for the waltz, her favourite, and she signalled for the orchestra to start. They danced by themselves for only a few moments, but during that time every eye was on the couple and Knox led them with confidence. Soon others joined the floor and Knox relaxed his shoulders.
Alexandra smiled at her partner and said only loudly enough for him to hear, “You’re getting better with every stride Knox.”
Knox smiled, “I’m sure everyone is wondering where I’m from.” While Alexandra had been attending balls for most of her life and her family had long been part of the aristocracy, Knox had spent his entire life in poverty.
She looked at him seriously, “Knox, you belong here, your family used to be a great one before the Muggles ruined everything.” She had leaned in to whisper into his ear for the last part, adding a flirtatious smile for the crowd.
“I know,” he whispered into her ear, grinning at the shiver he felt along her spine. They danced for a while in silence, both scanning the crowd. Knox saw Henry skulking in the corner with a glass of wine scowling at them. Knox pulled Alexandra a little closer to him and smiled at the further distaste that crossed his face.
When the piece ended and the orchestra struck up another dance, the pair walked towards the long table near the front where Knox pulled out the chair for her and sat down beside her. Henry slid into the chair on her other side signalling for a waiter to bring them drinks.
Alexandra clasped their hands and said happily, “My, when you two work together you can sure pull off a good party. I overheard many people exclaim it to better than the last one.”
Henry smiled at her, puffing out his chest, “There are to be fireworks later from the rooftops of the surrounding roofs. The orchestra will play Music for the Royal Fireworks, composed by Handel.”
Alexandra clasped her hands with excitement, “That’s terrific! What a wonderful Wizard he was, I bet that was your idea.” She said turning to Knox.
He smirked in response to Henry’s glare, “Actually, it was all Henry’s idea.”
“My you are always full of surprises, I didn’t think you knew who Handel was.” She said off-handedly, “Tell me, has the minister and his lovely wife arrived?” She said, scanning the faces.
“No, they won’t be coming, apparently one of the Potter boys is getting married today.” Henry replied.
“How romantic, do you know which one?” Alexandra purred, glancing over to Knox who had leant in with interest.
“The eldest I believe. I haven’t decided which is more annoying.” He remarked.
“Do you know who the bride is?” Knox asked, trying to keep the interest out of his voice.
“I can’t recall.” Henry lied, knowing full well what was going through Knox’s mind.
“Oh I remember reading the announcement in the post the other day. I believe it was that Longbottom girl.” Alexandra remarked, she turned to Knox, “She was in our year in school, do you remember her Knox?”
Knox nodded, letting out the breath he hadn’t known he was holding, “Yes I remember her, she was very sweet, quiet, she was the headmaster’s daughter.”
“Yes, I remember now, didn’t she follow Potter around like a lost puppy? How pathetic!” She laughed.
Henry of course joined her in laughter and soon had her entertained with the latest gossip from the Ministry. Knox remained silent, but neither took notice, as that was usually his fashion. How odd that he should feel relieved after all these years that she wasn’t marrying that git. He thought that he had buried his feelings all those years ago in the forbidden forest. With the help from Alexandra and yes, even Henry, Knox had since focussed his energies towards his hatred for Muggles and had thought he had completely forgotten her. For truly, she was nothing, it was only a year in his life, not even a full year, half a year. Hardly anytime compared to his 20 years of existence.
Alexandra leaned in and whispered into his ear, “Let’s go out on the balcony.”
He felt a shiver go down his spine, stood up and held his hand out for her to follow. She accepted and he nodded towards Henry, who was not clenching his fists. Alexandra led them through the crowds of people effortlessly, he was always amazed by how graceful she managed to be. The reached the double doors leading to the makeshift balcony. Two Muggles opened the doors for them, bowing slightly as they passed, it was hard not to feel a little power. The balcony had been enchanted to look like stone, with pillars meeting a smooth marble railing. They had further added an illusion charm to make the scene look like the gardens back at Alexandra’s family manor.
Alexandra leaned on the railing looking out on the illusion, “I know this was your idea Knox.” She said coyly.
Knox smiled, moving to wrap his arms around her from behind and looked over the panoramic view, resting his chin on her shoulder. “Yes, this was my idea.”
She turned to face him, “You’re my favourite.”
Knox smiled sweetly, brought his hands up to cup her pale skin, he rubbed his thumb softly against her cheek before bringing his face close to hers, he whispered “I know,” against her lips before kissing them.
Brook fiddled with the frills on her pale yellow dress one last time before walking up the stairs that led to 12 Grimould Place. She cursed the length of the dress for probably the hundredth time, but the lady at Twilfit and Tatting’s had promised short was ‘all the rage’ this season. She was late, and was trying to come up with a proper excuse for taking so long to get to the reception.
She entered the door to the home and took time to look at the surroundings. The door opened to a long hallway with a gorgeous, antique chandelier over head shedding enough light that one expected to find a roof made of windows.
She snuck a look to the right of her to see the beautiful dining room painted a midnight blue colour, with a long white table with matching white chairs existed waiting to serve grand dinner parties. The table was set with what Brook imagined was family china, prepared for tonight’s meal.
She walked down the hall glancing at the various moving pictures and frames of the achievements of the Potter, and large extended Weasley family from first drawings to diploma’s a varying kinds. She wondered if they could manage to fit any more, but knew, with magic at least, Ginny Potter would always find away.
She stopped at one picture in particular taken at a Christmas party from their last year at school. She peered closely at the boy with his arm flung over her shoulder casually laughing as she tried to keep him from messing up her perfectly made up hair. She could almost hear his laughter but the fog of time had warped it, and she couldn’t really define if it was his laugh, or anyone else’s.
The creaking of stair startled her and she turned towards the sound at the end of the hall to see the friendly face of James Potter coming down the grand staircase in his penguin robes, beaming just as brightly as the bonding ceremony.
She walked up to meet him, embracing him in a tight hug, “Come on Brook, we’re all waiting for you, what took so long?”
Having failed to come up with an excuse, she told him the truth as she walked up the stairs with him. “I just had to pop into work for a second, I wanted to check the latest wanted list.”
He gave her a side glance, but decided not to hound her about her obsession with checking the list. “You realize how bad it is that you expect him to show up on the list right? You should be over that by now, it’s been three years.” He groaned.
Brook ignored the question, he was a boy, and boys never understood the ways of the heart. “Come on, I’m not in the mood for a reality check today,” she said as they got to the landing, “Besides, this is your day! I can’t believe you’re married!” exclaimed, throwing her arms around him for another hug.
He smiled sheepishly, spinning the ring around his finger. “Yeah, I am, come on.”
She followed him into the brightly painted drawing room to the sound of applause, she really was the last one to arrive, and the family was large, and hungry. She made her way through the crowd greeting everyone till she finally made it to where the large window was facing the street and her best friend Amanda was, sipping a martini.
Brook stood beside her and commented, “I don’t know how you drink those, it’s just straight alcohol.”
Amanda shrugged taking another sip, “I got dumped a week ago, forced to come to a wedding solo, I’ll drink all the alcohol I want,” she said winking.
They both new she wouldn’t, Amanda never drank enough to get drunk, and her best friend’s wedding was definitely not going to be the first time she did. They both looked out the window watching the sun set over the city-scape, each listening to the various conversations going on around them. Mostly gossip about who had come with who, what people wore, and how nice the ceremony was. The favourite topic however seemed to be what was on the menu.
“Well?” Amanda said cocking an eyebrow in Brook’s direction.
“Not on the list yet,” Brook said blushing.
To Brook’s relief, the conversation was interrupted by a silver bell signalling that the meal was ready and for everyone to start herding towards the dining room the floor below. Brook and Amanda waited patiently till they could join the shuffle.
Walking into the dining room Brook couldn’t help but gasp. The room was brightly lit and the silver dishes shimmered brightly like a thousand stars. The long table that could rival the ones at Hogwarts seemed to go on forever and was covered in a delicate lace white cloth. There were bouquets of baby’s breath with a few white roses and lilies at intervals along the table and white little boxes beside each place card. Brook and Amanda made their way to the end where James and Dora were seated. They sat down amongst others from Hogwarts and new friends from work across from James’ and Dora’s parents.
Brook sat back in her chair and observed everyone in the room greeting each other, catching up with old friends. Everyone would look at Dora and James then turn to one another and comment on the happy couple Brook to the opportunity to look for herself. James was wearing a goofy grin while Dora was shyly placing a napkin on his lap. Brook had never seen her friend look so happy, Dora was absolutely glowing. Brook closed her eyes and let herself feel the joy that was emanating from the room.
Following supper after cake had been served and Brook and Amanda were each indulging in a second piece of the sugary goodness, Harry Potter stood up, wine in hand. Everyone hushed and waited to hear what he might say.
He looked lovingly at his son and new daughter in law, then at his wife before clearing his throat. “I got married when I was the same age as James and Dora, and as you know, also met my wife while at Hogwarts. It is precious moments like watch two young lovers join in matrimony without a fear of what lies in their future that help make the sacrifices of many of my loved ones and friends meaningful.” He paused, rubbing his eyes, Ginny took his hand and he could continue. “I wish that you will continue to live in a world free of hatred and fear and will pass on our memories to your children someday,” He winked at Dora. “I’d like to make a toast to love, may it always conquer all.”
Everyone gave a roaring cheer, finishing off their glasses, a few of the older generation dabbing their eyes on the corners of napkins. Brook found herself dabbing at her own eyes, repeating what Harry had said under her breath, “may love conquer all.”
She hoped it was true.
Sorry about the wait.. I hope no one’s confused.. I think I made it fairly clear, anyway if not this chapter takes place just a few years after Howarts. What does every think?? Knox and Alexandra?? As always inspiration comes from the lovely music and lyrics by Dry the River.
Looking forward to hearing from my lovely readers :)
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by Leigh Kelley
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