Chapter 1 : Prologue: Number Twelve Grimmauld Place
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This is a sequel to Harry Potter and the Chinese Book in the sense that the main characters, Harry and Ginny, Ron and Hermione, are simply a few years older than when they left Hogwarts at the end of the earlier novel. Progressing their character, their magic, their relationships, their talents forward was the intent and challenge of the writing.
On the other hand, because Potter fans know the main characters, Harry Potter and the Grand Trine can be read as a stand-alone novel. You will know what you need to know to follow the story. You will know that Ron is a portraitist, but you won't know the back story of why. What need to know in this story is just that he is a portraitist. The same with the Chinese Book. You'll know all you need to know – it has broom and dueling exercises – but you won't know the story of how it came to them.
Prologue: Number Twelve Grimmauld Place
Harry and Ginny moved to Grimmauld Place right after their wedding when Ron and Hermione moved to her childhood home. Her parents, Wendell and Monica, were still in Australia. In early summer Oscar Windemere's friend, Hortensia Brandenburg, began renovations after Ron talked to his mentor about Harry and Ginny's ancient home. When Hortensia finished the week before their weddings, the house was light, bright and airy, the perfect motif for a witch and wizard who like to fly. The entrance was transformed and excluded from the Anti-Apparation Jinx. It was large enough for a family to arrive together without fear of stumbling outside the charm. It had a roof and an elegant lantern that magically lit to welcome guests as tradition required
From the outside Number Twelve was a magical fortress. For those inside it was a familial palace, a house-elf managed wonder of relaxation, peace, love and its making. Harry was secret keeper for the renewed Fideleus Charm. The house was not only unplotable, but all the war-time protections were renewed as well. Since all the welcome visitors arrived by one of the portals, one of the fireplaces, or by apparation to the formal entrance, there was no need to compromise defense for access. None had forgotten the war or the terrible magic of battle.
Rumors about Ron's portrait of Fred were everywhere. Ron was sought after by rich wizards wanting to memorialize an ancestor or themselves. His memory and imagination talents were as useful for portals as portraits. Having learned the spell from Australian Head Auror McKenzie while finding Wendell and Monica in Australia, their magical spaces – Grimmauld Place, the Ministry, and even Hermione's Muggle home – were only steps away through a variety of magical portals.
Number Twelve was a magical reflection of the family. Of all the rooms in Grimmauld Place the drawing room had changed the least; it was elegantly magical and Mrs. Black's domain. Before Kreacher died, he and she repaired the tapestry. Sirius was among those newly restored and a new branch extended from Septimus Weasley, through Arthur and Molly, to Ginny, where it met Harry's line of descent from the Peverells. This made plenty of space for the embroidered images of the family Mrs. Black had already decided it was time for them to begin. Nessie smiled so broadly whenever Mrs. Black made these emphatic suggestions that her opinion was obvious despite her restraint.
To the left of Mrs. Black above the fire Phineas Nigellus' portrait hung above a table of magical photo albums and next to a wall filled by certificates of merit from every wizarding counsel of note. To the right of her portrait was a row of elf heads mounted on brass plaques. Kreacher's brass plaque was prominently placed. The bald spot on his pate shown a bit brighter than the rest, no doubt from Nessie's steady attention with her chamois. If anyone had actually asked Harry and Ginny if they wanted their drawing room to be a decapitated house elf mausoleum, they certainly would have found the notion more than a little macabre. The heads are there nonetheless. In the magical world some things are best left alone.
In fact, Kreacher had managed his own addition to the memorial arrangement. Not a moment after he died, two house elves arrived. They were dressed in matching dark loin cloths and apparated directly next to the drawing room couch where Kreacher lay, attended by Nessie, Harry and Ginny. They immediately disapparated with Kreacher's body, never having said a word.
The next day Kreacher's plaque was at the center of the display. Again, neither Harry nor Ginny had been consulted. The magic was a fait accompli, so they let it be. Mrs. Black was largely mollified by her surroundings. They needn't tempt fate. She renamed her Pure-blood bias “an interest in the genealogies of the ancient families” but the prejudice was still there, just renovated like the room itself. The word “ancient” replaced “pure,” but to a close look the blood prejudice was by no measure gone.
Mrs. Black predictably encouraged motherhood for Ginny, her Pure-blood relative. Harry's descent from the Perverels and Blacks was enough for her to forgive him Lilly, his Muggle-born mother. For Ron and Hermione though, there were neither familial hints nor encouragements. Despite Ron being neither less a Weasley, nor of lesser descent, Mrs. Black could neither forgive Hermione her dentist parents nor fail to unreasonably fear a Muggle-born would birth a Squib. Regardless, given her new circumstances, she could manage being quiet or polite. Even when Ginny let Hermione's parents take-in the room, the wizarding photographs and Mrs. Black's prominent portrait, she accepted their introduction with a sombre bow and silence beyond a perfunctory greeting.
It was a truce more than a meeting of the minds but it was a truce worth preserving, even though it was surely more motivated by Mrs. Black's concern for her position in Harry's household than from any newly-warm feeling toward Muggles. She was prejudiced, not stupid. But, all things considered, the truce was enough to make the drawing room useful.
Other than Wendel and Monica, who preferred Grimmauld Place to their former home, only wizards visited. There were many things about Muggles in magical spaces that no one understood. Although recently Muggle Studies Professor Mullens had been offering the idea that magical space didn't come from Muggle space but was parallel to it. Whether or not his theory was correct, if there was an entrance from the Muggle world, Wendell and Monica could come and go seemingly unaffected by their time in the magical world. Side-along apparation or using the flu network were a step too far and were never attempted. But coming through the kitchen door of The Burrow, or through the portal of their Muggle flat, was uneventful. It seemed they could pass thorough a magical entrance if it connected to the Muggle world.
Because they loved being surrounded by magic, they stayed with Harry and Ginny whenever they were in London. They excused this as not wanting to drive Ron bonkers while he worked, or disrupt Hermione's studies. Hermione's childhood home was in fact smaller but the whole family knew Wendell and Monica simply relished the magical environment. If magic were contagious, they'd already have wands. They would have loved to lounge in the drawing room, to look at the photo albums or talk with Phineas or Mrs. Black.
It was a comfortable room now. Harry and Ginny had replaced the ancient unkempt furniture. The new couch and arm chairs looked old but were large, clean and comfortable. The new, larger lanterns were bright enough to lighten the formal feeling. They could sit and talk comfortably or slouch on the big armchairs when they attended to Nessie's recitation of the week's household business, from spells that needed a touch up to Ginny's fan mail.
The walls were replete with wizarding artifacts, awards and honors the family had earned, including Harry and Ginny's many recognitions. Ginny's ever-larger collection of plaques, cups and other trophies were stored in a gigantic old cabinet that closed the drawing room portal when visitors were in the house. It was such a blatantly-magical room that it was perfect for the social obligations that attached to visitors who required the traditional courtesies. Ginny's Quidditch fame made an invite to the Potters greatly desired. So, now and again, Kingsley or Arthur asked them to entertain guests on Ministry business, or visitors from Europe. The drawing room was where such guests were greeted and entertained before dinner.
The drawing and dinning rooms were accessed through doors on the left side of a corridor that ended at the kitchen door. On the right, across from the entrance door was the staircase leading to the second and third floors. Once again magically protected, the diamond-patterned leaded windows were covered only with light, translucent curtains. Neither Muggles nor Wizards could see the house through he Fidelius Charm; there was no need to hide behind thick drapes.
Friends either apparated to the enlarged front entrance or came through the kitchen fire, depending on how embarrassed they would be to discover the permanent residents in their knickers. Family came through one of the kitchen portals. There were three at the back of the pantry, one each to the Ministry practice room, Ron and Hermione's front closet, and the rear, fire escape door of their Muggle-side flat.
Bill and Fleur apparated to the formal entrance, or came with Molly and Arthur by floo powder from The Burrow. Ron and Hermione had a portal between their front hall closet and the pantry door. As if he could hear them talking through his empty frame, a busy kitchen would bring Fred to tell the family what was up at “three double-u.” Monica and Molly would cook, sometimes with Harry, while the others talked of whatever whim occurred to them, or enjoyed Fred's humor. Often enough, they amused Wendell and Monica with wizarding tales but, being Weasleys, there were always family stories to evoke those feelings wizards and Muggles share.
The drawing room was full of history, some of which was humbling to remember. The framed wizarding image of the Order of the Phoenix from Wizarding War I was centered on a credenza to the side. The photo album Hargrid gave Harry, Colin's posthumous gift of school days photographs, an album Betty made of Wendell and Monica on one of their outings to Dog Town, the Australian Diagon Alley, were always open on the coffee table. Nessie changed the pages every time she cleaned. It was an ancient and magical room in every way and that magic imbued it with a atmosphere of wealth and importance.
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