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My heart is inditing of a good matter - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
My heart is inditing of a good matter



In the Year of Our Lord 1998 and the 46th of the reign of Her Majesty Elizabeth 2d, the Rt Hon Kingsley Shacklebolt being HM Secretary of State for Magical Affairs and Minister for Magic, the Magical Privy Council humbly advised Her Majesty that several and divers ceremonies of crown-wearing might profitably be undertaken to the weal of the realm, as in the olden time.


The fact of the matter was, the Coronation of almost half a century before had, in its magical aspects, been minimised and undercut by the ministry of the day.  The secrecy regime was, by 1953, ossified, and the Ministry as such, effectively in a state of sedition if not of outright rebellion.  On the surface, British Wizard-dom was a nation within the United Kingdom, and participated in the Wizarding coronation ceremonies in strict accordance with the traditions.  And yet there had been something trumpery about it, mere gilt and plaster.  The secrecy regime and the doctrines of blood status and blood purity stained and tainted the loyalty of a substantial faction of Wizard-dom, and nowhere more so than in a Ministry by then thoroughly disaffected towards the Crown and the Sovereign’s person.  Admittedly, the accession occurred in the years of uneasy peace, when Tom Riddle had passed from the ken of men, the Knights of Walpurgis were scattered and scotched, the Death Eaters had not been formed, and the evil of Gellert Grindelwald was beginning to pass into memory.  And yet, the cancer in the Wizarding body politic was then beginning to metastasise, and a diseased Ministry subtly and deliberately made as little of the Wizarding coronation as it could do without positive rebellion.


What the Ministry had ceased to remember was that the secrecy regime antedated the great constitutional developments of the reign of Anne and of the ascendancy of Parliament under the House of Hanover.  The innate conservatism of the Wizarding populace, and the preservation of ancient – if long disused – royal rights and privileges, could be, and were now to be, turned against the blood-purists and the disloyal.


The revivifying of those rights after long desuetude had occurred to certain privy counsellors in the very morn of the Restoration after the crushing of Riddle’s Rebellion.  The Declaration of Bredon had been their first inspiration, when Kingsley, as Her Majesty’s General Monck, had kissed hands and issued writs for the convening of the Convention Moot.


Yet it was, as might have been expected, over a few pints down the Sedulous Ape that inspiration had struck.


The Indemnity and Obliviation Act had been passed by the Restoration Moot, the ‘Phoenix’ Moot, and was doing its leavening work in reconciling many to the new government.  But the restoration of the Crown as the focus, the source and symbol, of loyalty, wanted more. 


‘What,’ wondered Harry, as he returned with the latest round – cider for Ron and Harry, a genteel half of mild for Hermione, stout for Kingsley and an appropriate ‘pint of best bitter’ for Malfoy – ‘what, exactly, did Charles 2d do in Sixteen-whatever?’


‘Had a coronation,’ said Hermione, primly.  ‘He’d not had one in exile.  But the Queen has had hers, in the teeth of the Ministry’s unhelpfulness and dismissive airs.  So, I’m afraid….’


‘Right.  That’s right out.’  Harry took a long pull of his cider.  ‘Some sort of jubilee or anniversary or acclamation, though.  There must be something….’


‘Mediæval monarchs,’ said Draco, in rather a superior tone, ‘had regular crown-wearing ceremonies –’


‘— On feast days,’ said Hermione.  How could I have forgotten that?  And how, come to that, did you know –’


‘Really, Granger – I’m sorry: Mrs Weasley – you cannot imagine that I am unaware of so significant an element in Wizarding history, before the Separation –’


‘That will do.’  Kingsley was politely impatient.  ‘If this seems likely to work as spectacle – and I expect it well may – when, where, and what form shall it take?’


‘Can we do it, though?  Will HM wish to go swanning about, pomping it?’


Kingsley smiled, rather grimly.  ‘HMQ wishes to secure the loyalty of the Wizarding population, because she wishes to secure a democratic government in the Wizarding world.  Don’t you worry what she’s willing to undertake to that end, Ron.  I ask again, therefore: if we advise Her Maj to take this old ceremony out of its wrappings, what sort of thing are we doing and when and where?’


‘I think,’ said Harry, slowly, ‘we can make of it what we will.  Modified coronation or what we like.  As to where … well, aren’t we committed to making Hogsmeade the administrative capital of Wizarding Scotland?’


‘We are, and a Royal Burgh for its loyalty.  There’s one.’


‘The traditional English sites were York, Westminster, Winchester, and Gloucester,’ said Hermione.


‘The traditional Wizarding sites,’ drawled Draco, ‘are Old Sarum, Thornminster, Bredon, Cadbury, Avebury, Caerleon, and Carlisle, and in Scotland, Linlithgow and Iona.’


‘Thornminster can wait,’ said Harry, ‘that’s covered by the State Opening of the Moot and many another London ceremony.  Old Sarum can’t be missed out, the Wizarding Primate has his see there.  Caerleon does for Wales and Carlisle for the North; Hogsmeade has my vote for Scotland and the Isles.  The others can go on the rota.’


Draco sighed.  ‘I’ll start looking out choirs.  Cousin Weasel, you’ve the clergy, I can’t deal with them.  Your lady wife –’


‘I’ll make the assignments, Mr Malfoy.’  Shacklebolt was pleasantly steely.  ‘And I shall do after the Privy Council as a whole have met and obtained the Royal Assent.’


Draco blushed.  ‘Of course, Minister.’


It was many months later – months of furious toil – that the first of the crown-wearings was had, at the Cathedral, like Hogwarts hidden from Muggle eyes beneath the guise of ruination, at Old Sarum, high atop its ancient motte, where the keen winds blew.


The Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary and SS Aldhelm and Osmund, having been thus dedicated since its reconsecration for exclusive Wizarding use, stood foursquare beneath a brilliant sky just deepening towards the eve: cruciform, Norman, basilican, round-arched and chevron-incised, deep-chancelled, its square crossing-tower lifted towards Heaven, its barrel-vaulted ceiling, like that of Carlisle cathedral, a deliberate echo of the coming night sky as seen in the charmed ceiling of Hogwarts Great Hall.


The Bishop of Salisbury, ex officio the Wizarding Archbishop of Wessex and Wizarding Primate of All England, bent a shy and scholarly smile upon his Sovereign.  The Wizarding World was being set to rights.


Orders of Merlin of all classes, civil and military alike, winked out from beneath robes and gleamed upon tunics.  Decorations, stars, crosses, and sashes, ribands and ermine, vied with vestments and mitres in the streaming light from the high windows.  Harry Potter, solemn and composed in his Auror’s No. 1 dress uniform, worn beneath the deep, Byzantine purple robes, trimmed in gold and ermine, of a Wizengamot member ‘by writ’ – in effect, a peer, one of his world’s ‘hereditary legislators’ – stood solemnly, the bearer of HM Wand of State. 


Not far away, defiantly clad in the dusty plum and silver robes of an elected Member of the Moot, having disclaimed the hereditary seat granted her by the Convention Moot, Hermione Weasley surveyed the assemblage with a critical eye, like a sheepdog herding a flock; yet upon her breast also glinted many of the same orders and decorations as adorned Harry’s uniform: the OM; the Victory Medal, with clasp, for she also had been mentioned in despatches; campaign ribbons for the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, awarded to very few, for Aerial Operations over Surrey – and how few were they who had the right to wear that ribbon – and for Wilderness Operations against Death Eaters (a company still more select), for service in the Order of the Phoenix and Dumbledore’s Army, for actions in the Battle of the Tower and the Defence of Hogwarts; the ribbons of a Magical Privy Counsellor and a member of the Wizengamot.


Her husband, tall and flame-haired like a Jubilee beacon raised high above a festive crowd, looked down upon the scene, also in the No. 1 dress uniform of an Auror and the robes of a Moot member by writ, his broad chest adorned with the Boudicca Cross that he shared with Harry and the Godric Gryffindor Cross that even Harry had not been awarded, and all those decorations he shared with his wife.  Flanking him, his fellow hereditary and Privy Counsellor, Neville Longbottom, wore his medals in miniature upon his decent academical subfusc beneath his robes, the GGC foremost in precedence amongst these, valour and wisdom in one man, learning and courage aptly mixed.


Nearby, the once improbable pairing of Draco Malfoy and Ginny Weasley – as she yet was in those days – stood in their appointed places: Ginny, resplendent in satin and pearls and over-robes of apple-green, chief of the ladies of quality who were to bear the monarch’s train; Draco, HM Magical Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire in the robes of that estate, proudly wearing the campaign medal for the Defence of Hogwarts and the Victory Medal that Harry’s insistence had won for him, elated to the core of his Slytherin soul that he and his contemporaries, and those who had fought for the Light and managed however grudgingly to accept him, had conceived and carried through a thing of worth for the ending of the rift in British Wizard-dom, the healing of the realm, and – he admitted quite openly to himself – the beginning of the beginning of the redemption of his name and the reputation of his fellow Slytherins and, as they were now to be called, Wizard-born Wizards and Witches.


Behind him, at once shielding him from venomous looks and watching him with affectionate wariness, were Andromeda Tonks, another hereditary, Deputy Lieutenant of Staffordshire, and Warden of the Five Boroughs, and her counterpart hereditary and Lord Lieutenant of Devon, Arthur Weasley.  Not far away loomed the large and comforting presence of the Verderer Royal, Rubeus Hagrid, and a little way farther the choristers of Hogwarts School were being serried into place by the formidably upright figure of Headmistress McGonagall. 


Equidistant from Harry, Draco, Arthur, and Andromeda, standing stiffly erect and monitoring all events with a gimlet eye, Kreacher waited, determined that the restored House of Black in all its branches should have its due precedence that day.


The new-restored judges of the Restoration, the Moot gowned and grave behind the Speaker, Aurors and the Departments, the Lords Spiritual who had been recalled to the Moot when the secrecy regime they had rejected in a body three centuries before had been reformed, all took their proper places.  The hour was come.


It was not a coronation.  They had made it as much like one as they dared, but they had had the wisdom to know where the line wanted drawing.  It was a service of Te Deum, to give thanks once more for the great victory and the crushing of the Rebellion, to be followed by a banquet beneath the stars in the forecourt of Old Sarum Castle, through all of which Her Majesty would wear her crown and robes of state, seeing and being seen of her magical subjects, not Witches and Wizards only, but all magical beings that dwelt in her realms within the seas.  There were no bands, no Royal Procession to and from the Cathedral.


Simply, suddenly, silently, she appeared, emerging into the nave from the west door, perhaps a trifle more stout than she had been at the Coronation, yet still as instinct with grace and honour and a beauty that had but grown with the years, her greying hair crisply curling beneath the Alchemical State Crown.  Her train was borne by supporters whose very presence and quality gave new hope to the Wizarding World, who almost to a Wizard crowded into the public galleries of the magically-expanded space: borne in amity and reconciliation by Ginny Weasley and Millicent Bulstrode, Winky the House Elf and Narcissa Malfoy, Susan Bones and Luna Lovegood and Fleur Weasley.  And preceding them and the Queen, were Harry, bearing the Wand of State, and Justin Finch-Fletchley bearing the Wizarding Royal Standard.


As Her Majesty entered the nave of the Cathedral, the trumpets rang out and the drums thundered, as drums and trumpets will, and the great organ shook the foundations of the Cathedral as the entrance anthem rose, in the clear children’s voices of the Hogwarts Choir.


I was glad when they said unto me:
We will go into the house of the Lord.
Our feet shall stand in thy gates:
is built as a city:
that is at unity in itself.
O pray for the peace of
they shall prosper that love thee.
Peace be within thy walls:
and plenteousness within thy palaces.


In the places set aside for them, viceroys and high commissioners joined their own heartfelt Vivat!s to the acclamation.


Her Majesty, seated now upon the Chair of Estate upon the steps of the high altar, answered with decided conviction as the Wizarding Primate besought her to renew her Coronation Oath, to ‘govern her magical subjects, of all races and species soever and without distinction of blood, according to their respective laws and customs, and to cause Law and Justice, in Mercy, to be executed in all her judgements’; and in token thereof, Firenze first approached and gravely held out to her his bow and an armillary sphere, which she touched and remitted to him.  He was followed next by the young werewolf who had been visited in hospital by Remus Lupin what time Arthur had been injured by Tom Riddle’s familiar Nagini; he bending the knee and bearing a silver Galleon, which Her Majesty was graciously pleased to accept; Hagrid in his turn approached and did her reverence on behalf of his kin in their fashion. 


It was when Ragnok approached, with part of an ear yet missing since the internal dispute between the Goblin factions that coincided with and outlasted the final battle and the death of Tom Riddle, that something unprecedented occurred.  As was customary, he presented Her Majesty with a fist-sized nugget of gold, which she, as was customary, touched and remitted to him.  What was not customary was what followed, as Ragnok, on behalf of the Goblins of Britain, knelt before her and proffered his clasped hands, which, when she gravely took them between his, did not tremble any more than did his voice as he made his guttural oath:


I, Ragnok, for myself and my kindred, with their free assent, do become your liege servant of life and limb, and of earthly worship; and faith and truth will I and my kith bear unto you, to live and die, against all manner of beings, upon our honour and magic.


HRH the duke of Edinburgh, seated next Kingsley and immediately before the American Ambassador, breathed out slowly.  One problem solved.


It needed no rubric in the Order of Service for all her subjects to rise then as one and make acclamation: ‘God save the Queen!’


And the choir responded, to Handel’s setting:


Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anointed Solomon king;
and all the people rejoic’d and said
God save the king,
Long live the king,
May the king live for ever. Amen. Hallelujah.


It fell next to Tony Goldstein, newly made a Moot hereditary, here as representing his fellows of the Magical Privy Council, to present to the Queen her renewed oath, engrossed gorgeously upon parchment, for her signature, and, receiving it, to transfigure it into a brass tablet and affix it to the cathedral wall.  For Zadok had been kohen and Seer both.


The usual Accession Collects followed.  Even Minerva, wrapped in the rectitude of the Scots Kirk and disdainful of Anglican ritual, gave a sincere and ringing ‘Amen’ to the prayers for the Queen.


Almighty God, who rulest over all the kingdoms of the world, and dost order them according to thy good pleasure: We yield thee unfeignèd thanks, for that thou wast pleased to set thy Servant our Sovereign Lady, Queen ELIZABETH, upon the Throne of this Realm. Let thy wisdom be her guide, and let thine arm strengthen her; let truth and justice, holiness and righteousness, peace and charity, abound in her days; direct all her counsels and endeavours to thy glory, and the welfare of her subjects; give us grace to obey her cheerfully for conscience sake, and let her always possess the hearts of her people; let her reign be long and prosperous, and crown her with everlasting life in the world to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Nor were the late tumults and seditions forgotten in the thanksgivings.  Draco and Harry, Ernie and Seamus and Dean, Morag and Mandy, Andromeda and Molly, Kingsley and Filius, all had been adamant on that point, and had met no opposition.


O Almighty God, who art a strong tower of defence unto thy servants against the face of their enemies; We yield thee praise and thanksgiving for our deliverance from those great and apparent dangers wherewith we were compassed. We acknowledge it thy goodness that we were not delivered over as a prey unto them; beseeching thee still to continue such thy mercies towards us, that all the world may know that thou art our Saviour and mighty Deliverer; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


O Eternal God, our heavenly Father, Who alone makest men to be of one mind in a house, and stillest the outrage of a violent and unruly people; We bless thy holy Name, that it hath pleased thee to appease the seditious tumults which have been lately raised up amongst us; most humbly beseeching thee to grant to all of us grace, that we may henceforth obediently walk in thy holy commandments; and, leading a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty, may continually offer unto thee our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving for these thy mercies towards us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Cathedral and its congregation once again celebrated their great deliverance, again to Handel’s setting, Draco having firmly vetoed Walton’s and having been unexpectedly backed by Filius, Aberforth, and Susan Bones, of the Te Deum:


We praise thee, O God : we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.

 All the earth doth worship thee : the Father everlasting….


Her Majesty, secure in the hearts of her people, then recessed, to the strains of Purcell’s setting of the Jubilate:


O be joyful in the Lord, all ye lands….


It had been a successful service.  Now the banquet feast beckoned, precisely planned by Kreacher as Butler, renewing in the common sharing of cheer the bond between Crown and all magical subjects. 


They had done well.  Their sacrifices were remembered, their deliverance assured, and the realm bound up anew.


Above the hidden ancient castle and cathedral of Old Sarum, in the deepening night, the fireworks blazed.  It was an exorcism, Harry reflected, as he fell in beside Shacklebolt, of the memory of the Dark Mark over the towers of Hogwarts.  All was well.


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8 comments or Leave a comment
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: October 12th, 2008 08:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

Pomp. Circumstance. Fancy robes. How they do set my girlie heart aflutter...
wemyss From: wemyss Date: October 19th, 2008 02:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

One does one's best to please you.

Flutter away.
17catherines From: 17catherines Date: October 12th, 2008 11:00 pm (UTC) (Link)

I speak of the things that I have made unto the king...

And all I can say to this is - hey! I've sung that! I had the alto solo!

(and it was very good, and now it's in my head).

Hmm, perhaps I'd better read the post now...
wemyss From: wemyss Date: October 19th, 2008 02:27 pm (UTC) (Link)

A joyful noise, provided at reasonable cost.

tudorpot From: tudorpot Date: October 13th, 2008 12:05 am (UTC) (Link)
I love the depth of detail and pomp/ceremony in this.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: October 19th, 2008 02:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you.

I'm glad. (Glad when they said unto me....)
wren_chan From: wren_chan Date: October 14th, 2008 04:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh the shiney. ♥ Thank you so much for this little visit with Our Heroes, and yet more for a glimpse at proper UK Wizarding pomp. ^^

--also for giving me something nice to read while trying to relax from all this bally concentrating!
wemyss From: wemyss Date: October 19th, 2008 02:28 pm (UTC) (Link)


You're most kind.
8 comments or Leave a comment