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Percy Weasley & the Great Cauldron-Bottom Caper, Ch 3, Pt 1 - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
Percy Weasley & the Great Cauldron-Bottom Caper, Ch 3, Pt 1



Chapter Three: The Transformation Scene at the Panto




‘Guvnor says,’ began Dung Fletcher, ‘we start tonight.  Moving it up so’s them nobs as wants in the car with us don’t get in.’


‘We’re not ready!’


‘You was warned to be.  Guvnor says, tonight, and tonight’s what it’ll be.  You Gobble-uns, you can start, right?  Right?  Thought as you could.  And we’ve gold a-plenty to be going on with, pick up the last tomorrow and keep buggering on just as we was going to do.  Now, who’s not ready, really?  Right.  Didn’t think as you weren’t, not really.  Just whinging.  Never trust an elm, even a felled one, bleeding redrobes.


‘So.  Guvnor says, there’s a place we can work undisturbed-like.  Muggle place out Surrey way.  The Muggles what live there are in Majorca for a fortnight, and we can App in and out, no one the wiser.  Guvnor laughed about it, says as it’s perfect for the job.  Dunno why he thought it was so damn’ funny, but, there, it ain’t my place to ask.  So.  Let’s get them crates levitated, then.  Guvnor wants this done.  NOW.’


The old Percy would have hesitated, wavered, perhaps even cowered: of this, the Percy who had survived the Final Battle was certain, although he may have done himself an injustice.


The Percy who had survived the Final Battle was unquestionably made of sterner stuff.  And he had learnt something else at the Final Battle, from his fellow Gryffindors Nev and Harry, whom he had thitherto underestimated: to strike at the head of the snake.  The Wizard who called himself ‘Aurelian’ gave the impression of being younger and faster than the Wizard who called himself ‘Ambrose’, and these two were clearly the leaders of the group.  Ambrose, then: Percy went for his wand with a swiftness that he hoped might surprise them, and shot off a curse at his target.  He had just time to see a Protego of rare power flare into life to counter it, before he glimpsed, in his peripheral vision, an oddly, a heartbreakingly, familiar hex headed his way from the wand of the Witch who dared call herself ‘Gwen’; and then he was falling, and knew no more.






Dolohov whipped his wand out before collecting himself sufficiently not to curse the man.  No one called him ‘Dolly’ and lived – or not for long.


‘Have the fools at the Ministry yet noticed the coining that is going forward?’


‘Well, there’s a raid on, and a nasty surprise awaiting Dung Fletcher and his merry band, laid on for tomorrow night, I’m told, so you may draw your own conclusions, old boy.’


‘And the source of this?’


‘I don’t care to reveal my sources – as a rule.  Don’t wave that thing about, Dolly, it might possibly go off.  Wand safety not really something you ever paid proper attention to, really –’




‘Do get your knickers out of whatever convoluted twist you’ve got them in, Dolly-dear.  If you must know, the purportedly redeemed Draco Malfoy, now doing a turn as a Ministry drone to prove his anything-but-eponymous bona fides with our new masters, isn’t always as discreet as he might be en famille – well, pure blood is thicker than water – and I had what “Honest Willy” Wagstaff should doubtless call “the office” from dear old Lucius.’


‘Let us all hope that your information is correct.’  Dolohov’s air of menace was, he flattered himself, almost equal to the late Dark Lord’s.  ‘So.  Tomorrow at moonrise – the rise of the new moon, occulted yet powerful.  Whilst the Ministry are chasing coiners, we shall begin our great work.’


‘And what’s that, again, when it’s at home?  You’ve been rather less than forthcoming, you know, and whilst the generalities have been not wholly unimpressive, one would rather like to know that you’ve not cocked up the details.’


Dolohov glared, but considered.  ‘I suppose I must brief you all eventually, so that you do not ruin all in your stupid.’  He gestured to the packing crates that surrounded them.  ‘Please take place. 


‘Tomorrow night, we shall make our way through the lumber –’




‘The Forbidden Forest at Hogwarts!’


‘Timber, I think you mean.  Well, more or less; really, your English remains rather poor after all these years.  Do go on.’


‘I do not require your permission.  We shall make our way through this forest –’


‘What about the wards?’


‘I have addressed that.’


‘Er, would details be too much to ask?’


‘SILENCE!  This is not the Phoenix-order!  We do not debate!’


‘We do if you expect anyone to stroll blithely through the bloody Forbidden Forest with you, old man.’


Dolohov spoke haltingly, gaspingly, trying to control his rage.  ‘There … is … a … potion.  The traitor Snape developed it.  I took his notes.  It will create a hole in the wards.’


‘Will it, though?’


‘Used it once,’ said Crabbe.


‘We have, as the estimable Crabbe says, already found it competent, when we set traps and ambushes in this Forest.’


‘How jolly.  Ambushes for whom?  I rather thought that the idea was that the Aurors and that lot would be occupied with Dung and the Goblins.’


‘SILENCIO!  I will say this in my order!  In the event that the … that Potter … him … should he or his little friends turn down as they so inconveniently have a habit of doing, they will from reaching us be prevented.  And the means are non-magical or do not involve combat and wands, which his damnable luck so often manages to defeat.


‘So.  Anyone who attempts to interfere will be stopped cool.  And we shall make our way into the White Tomb.’


Apparently Yaxley wished to share Selwyn’s fate, and was of Selwyn’s mind.  These pig English and their superior airs.  ‘We’re robbing Dumbledore’s grave?’  Yaxley was contemptuous.  ‘In aid of what, precisely?  Bit naff, if you ask me.’


‘I DO NOT ASK YOU!  We shall enter the tomb of the old, Muggle-loving pervert – filthy gol’uboy – and take the Wand of Doom and with it raise our Master, our Lord!’


Take the Wand of Doom?  Don’t know that that will quite work, really.  You want to win it, if half of what one hears is true.’


‘And that is why we shall first raise the old pidar gnoinuj as an Inferius, and then take the Wand from his un-living, filthy hand as we destroy him!  Now do you see, you English dolboj’eb?  You have your orders.  Come.  There is much to do.’


Now, this was a very rash conversation to hold in Q Division, with range of one of the remote recording and listening devices that George had dubbed ‘Tin Ears’, in honour of his own Moody-esque replacement auricle.


‘Mum’s going to be very displeased, Percy.’


Percy looked up, groggily, at the Wizard whom he had known as Aglovale.  Bill?  Bill!’


‘Sorry about the Bat-Bogey Hex,’ said Ginny, somewhere behind him.  ‘But you really mustn’t go about hexing Dad.’


The Round Table members were looking at him with amused concern, stripped now of their glamours and their vocal charms.  Hermione – ‘Coventina’ – was taking a letter from an owl, but everyone else was bustling about his study, fetching in blankets, making him tea, and squiring Penny in. 


‘Hullo, Percy,’ said Arthur.  ‘Don’t fret, son, you didn’t hit me, and Harry of course can shield anything.’


‘Y- you are … you lot are the Round Table lot?’


‘That we are,’ said young ‘Galahad’, the one Wizard whom Percy still could not recognise.


Harry coughed.  ‘Erm.  Teddy?  If you would?’


‘Oh!’  Galahad laughed.  ‘Forgot that I’m not the glamorous type.’  Ginny sniggered.  ‘Hold on.’  And the Wizard who had gone by ‘Galahad’ in the group Metamorphed into young Teddy Lupin.


Penny was dabbing at his wrists and forehead with a cold cloth, and Seamus – lately ‘Dinadan’ – was arguing with Ernie ‘Lucan’ Macmillan that Percy didn’t want th’ tay after a shock, it was whiskey that a man wanted at such a time, it was.


Percy determined to project calm.  ‘I trust that Kingsley knows about this.’


‘Unofficially,’ drawled Malfoy, ‘the Fisher King is fully apprised.  Oh.  I suppose we may as well also set your mind at ease about the Greeks bearing gifts, old bean.  There’s a reason you never met with Mycenæ or Pylos,’ said he, indicating Harry and Nev.  ‘We weren’t certain you mightn’t twig, although Ron-as-“Sparta” managed to baffle you.’


‘Who was Agent Crete, then?’  Percy was determined to show no surprise.


Harry grinned.  ‘Viktor Krum.  We couldn’t quite trust to a vocal charm, with his accent, and besides, he’s been buggering around Europe monitoring the other end of the smuggling trail and keeping an eye on Dolohov’s correspondents.’


‘Dolohov!  That’s right, you said a rump of Death Eaters were up to something for which the counterfeiting was a diversion.’


‘Right, mate,’ said Ron.  ‘Turns out, though, that we can round up the coiners tonight and still have the drop on the Death Nibblers tomorrow, right, Hermione?’


‘That’s what Dung just told us by owl.  The coiners are beginning operations tonight, pursuant to orders.’


‘Wait, though.’  Percy frowned, and not only from the effort of sitting up.  ‘If there’s one thing I did discover about them – Arkie Philpott’s a garrulous drunk – it’s that Dung’s not the actual leader, it’s some mysterious bugger he calls “the Guvnor” who calls the shots.’


‘Precisely,’ grinned Harry.


‘Dung’s yours?’


‘I should hope not, Kreacher’s bad enough.  But just this time, he’s reporting to me, and damn the chain of command.’


‘You are the Chief Auror, Harry.’


‘Yes, but after tonight, I’ll let you know what Dung actually does for a living.  Now.  Do you want Poppy, or are you fit?’


‘With all of you beside me?  I can take on anything.’


‘That’s my Perce,’ said Arthur, smiling.  Percy was too chuffed even to object to his name’s being shortened.


Dolohov and his band of rogue Mortmunchers, as George called them, had much to do before the next night’s new moon.  They would be able to work undisturbed, however, as the enemies they most feared were, as they had intended, dealing with the gang of coiners.


At the edge of the Forbidden Forest, a rather elderly cat was watching them with disgust, and relishing their imminent downfall.  Minerva had never had any patience with criminals, nor yet with fools: when folly and criminality combined, she did not suffer the fools gladly, or at all.


At the empty house on Privet Drive to which their ‘Guvnor’ had directed them, Dung, the Old Firm, and their Goblin allies were unloading the first crate of alchemical gold.  When everything was to the Goblins’s satisfaction, there on the once-pristine floor of Petunia Dursley’s kitchen, the Wizards drew back several anxious paces as Griphook and Hodrod, chanting gutturally in Gobbledegook, conjured a fire and ordered the gold to form itself into Galleons.


‘I wouldn’t say it was a test, Perce,’ said George, as they relaxed in Percy’s study.  ‘Because the only one who still wanted that you prove yourself to ’em was you.  Now, at least, you should know you’ve damned well paid in full for anything in your past.’


‘And,’ added Harry, who was coming through with an armload of parchment – Ministry bumf burdened even the simplest of arrests – ‘you now know in a way we couldn’t ever have convinced you that you can stand with the best, and on your own two feet.  Gin, Floo through to Kingsley with these, will you – at the residence, not the Ministry: still leaks like a bloody sieve – would you?  That’s our girl.’


‘I’m not your secretary, Potter,’ she said, with a feral smile.


‘That would make for interesting lunch hours,’ said he, with a casual slap to her bum.  ‘Off you go, now.’


‘I’ll have you after this is done, Potter,’ she laughed, as she stepped into the Floo.  ‘Number Twelve, Upping Street, Minister’s study.’


Harry called after her as she Flooed away, ‘You’re sounding like Draco, Gin!’


Her reply, if any, was fortunately lost.


The clink of new-minted Galleons, as they fell to the kitchen floor and were instantly cooled, ended.


‘Time for another crate,’ said Hodrod.  ‘You – Wizards.  More gold.’


Dung gestured to the younger members of the Old Firm.  ‘You heard the Goblin.’


The splintering of the first crate – Knockturn criminals were hardly the ones to worry about mess or to pry things open gently – muffled the sounds of Apparition. 


‘Here!’  Warty Harris cried out in alarm as he and Ivor Dillonsby crowded around Dawlish.  ‘Some bleeder’s nicked our gold!  They was full when we brought ’em here, and heavy with it!’


‘And why wouldn’t the gold be gone,’ said an amused an Irish voice from behind them.  ‘Me friends the wee shoe-makers, the leprechauns, provided all but the first crate.’


‘Drop your wands,’ Harry added, casually.  ‘Seamus, you and Percy take Griphook, Hodrod, I have you.  Dawlish, don’t be a fool, man, Ron’s wand is trained on the back of your rather empty head.  Now, the rest of you are old lags, and you know me.  Just come along quietly.  Not you, Fletcher: you are going to be having a long chat with me and Ron in my office.’


Dawlish spat towards Fletcher.  ‘Your bloody omnipotent “Guvnor” ballsed this up!’


‘No, I really don’t think that I did do,’ said Harry.




‘Naturally.  I don’t at all mind telling you this, as you’ll none of you remember it.  May I present the Rt Hon Mundungus Fletcher, the Chief Unspeakable?’


‘Bugger,’ said Willy Widdershins.  It was clearly heartfelt.


‘Hermione?  A round of Obliviations, if you would.  Fiddly work, I’m utter pants at it myself, it wants a woman’s touch.  Thank you.  Now, where were we?  Ah, yes.  Gentlewizards, I arrest you in the Queen’s name in that, on whatever date today is, you did break and enter Muggle premises for the purpose of coining, in contravention of whatever Acts we dig up once we have you down the cells.  Take them away.’


‘What about us, human?  Do you dare arrest us under your Wizard laws?’


‘Come, come, Griphook.  I’m very solicitous of my Concordat, I negotiated the damned thing, after all.  You two of course will be turned over to Ragnok for whatever proceedings he sees fit.  I’ve no idea what he’ll make of you.’


‘Probably a nice lamp and a carpet.’


‘Ron!  Honestly!’


‘Malfoy, if you would supervise the delivery of these two Goblins to their people?  Ta.  All right, we haven’t all night. Come along.’


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2 comments or Leave a comment
tree_and_leaf From: tree_and_leaf Date: December 11th, 2007 10:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
I haven't remarked on this, so I shall now: I very much enjoy the linguistic byplay in this, from the wizarding thieves' cant to Dolly's mangled English. And your Ron's morbid humour, of course.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 12th, 2007 04:41 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you.

I'm honoured.
2 comments or Leave a comment