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Another 'right royal Wizardry' one-shot. - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
wemyss
wemyss
Another 'right royal Wizardry' one-shot.

A blessing upon their counsels

 


 

The Palace of Thornminster, towering over the debouchments of the Rivers Westbourne, Tyburn, and Effra, has seen many things in its long history, itself unseen by Muggles.  It remembers – and Wizarding buildings do remember – when the River Westbourne was the River Kilburn, the Cye Bourne, the King’s River; it remembers the days when the Thorn Eyot, Thorney Island, on which it stands, was a stand of Devil’s Snare, long defying the legions as the Roman eagles stood stark against the scudding sky of Albion, when the Roman road from Portus Dubris, which is Dover, was driven through across the Great River Tamesis, through Londinium, to Verulamium, St Albans: Iter III in the Antonine Itinerary. 

 

The Palace of Thornminster remembers, even whilst it was itself for many years forgotten, hidden from Wizards as from Muggles, during the long, drear years of the Secrecy Regime.  It has never forgotten its great days, holding them in memory ever fresh and green, holding memory fast even amidst the dark days when the Ministry arrogated to itself all power and the Moot was corrupted: for it knew, and yet recalls, the fires of Boudicca and the cold steel of the XIV Gemina and the XX Valeria Victrix, and its memory runs to the golden days of Arthur the Dux Bellorum as much as to the blazing valour of Great Alfred.  The stones remember the chanting of monks at Thornminster Abbey, that huddles in their protective shadow, and they remember also the douce, plangent sermons of Bishop Adelphius; they have seen and yet recall the swagger of Hadrian, the treachery of Carausius, and the colourless efficiency of Constantius Chlorus, father of mighty of Constantine. 

 

The Palace of Thornminster preserves the memory of the final breach between Clodius Albinus and the future Emperor Severus.  The magical sentience of its massy masonry has heard many voices, from the Celtic princelings at their boasting to the scholarly stammer of Claudius correcting the slangy grammar of a secretary; in its coolth, inside great walls high-builded, Theodosius has barked out orders, imperative; Vortigern and Ambrosius have quarrelled fatally; Bishop Mellitus has preached in Lenten fasting tide, and Offa has at his feasting laughed.  In the shadow of its walls, the Wizarding merchants of Lundenwic haggled with the commerce of all the seas, and the Saxon fyrd watched from the old Roman walls of Londinium, the walls of Lundenburh: and here, despite all their watchfulness, the Great Heathen Army of Halfdan Ragnarsson and Ivar the Boneless, the Great Danish Army of the Viking Guthrum, came and camped, its longships drawn up upon the Strand, and riding at the mouth of the Fleet.

 

The Palace of Thornminster stands as it has ever stood, adamant upon Great Thorney Island, of which eyot only its lesser twin has passed into the view and memory of Muggles, and is now but part of the banks of the Thames, anchored to the earth, the site of the Palace of Westminster that is no more than the least imitation of the Great Palace of Thornminster.  Before ever the Muggles met to govern themselves, before London was, before Trinovantum, the First London, stood upon the river’s banks, the Palace of Thornminster stood sentinel, a moot-place.  It stood first as a stone circle beneath an ancient sky, in long forgotten years before Brutus came fleeing the wreck of Troy bearing the London Stone, before ever Locrinus immured his lover or Bladud fell ruining from Heaven (for the myths of Muggle England are the sober facts of Wizarding history).  The Palace of Thornminster in its beginnings stood upon its island, in Wizarding space, a rift in the fabric of time and Thames, its great stones carven with the pre-Celtic triple spirals that are dimly and latterly mimicked at far Irish Newgrange: from its beginnings it has been a place of moot and law-deeming, open to the heavens or roofed with barrow-turves in after years, from before ever Cornhill and Ludgate Hill arose, or Tothill Fields were named, in long years now lost before the giant, Gremagot, was severed into Gog and Magog.

 

The Palace of Thornminster holds great events in memory.  It recalls and shall never forget the victories of Alfred and the men of Wessex, the establishment of the new Alfredian Lundenburh and the commercial decay of Lundenwic, the Old Settlement, Ealdwic, Aldwych; it remembers the fortifications of Aethelred of Mercia, Alfred’s daughter’s husband and Royal Governor of London, and the building of the Suthringa Geworc, the Work of the Surrey Men, Southwark.  Aethelstan and Aethelred the Ill-Counselled held moot nearby, and convened the Wizengamot at Thornminster quite as often as at Old Sarum or at Winchester; from one such Moot, Godric the Golden, the Gryphon d’Or, came away with heavy heart, knowing that the days of the House of Wessex were waning, divining a future in which English Wizardry must perforce flee to lands debatable between the Scots and the Norsemen to survive in hiding.

 

The Palace of Thornminster has seen and heard events upon which the history of the world has turned: the peace of exhaustion between Canute and Edmund Ironside, the death of Edward the Confessor, the coming of William the Bastard of Normandy; the castellations of Bayard and Montfichet; the increasing importance of London in the reign of William Rufus; the fecklessness of John and the Barons’s Revolt; the Peasants’s Revolt and the endless blood-feuds, complicated by the doctrine of blood status that the Muggles never glimpsed at the heart of the wars, amongst the princes of the blood royal, from the days of Stephen and the Empress, the Anarchy, to the grim morn of the murder of Good King Richard and the usurpation of the Crown by Henry ap Meredith, called Tudor.  All these things, in all the long years, has the Palace of Thornminster known and remembered, even in the long years in which it was itself forgotten.

 

Yet the Palace of Thornminster was never in truth wholly forgotten, even after the deposition of the rightful Stuart line, even after the Secrecy Regime began to bite and to take hold.  In its chambers and corridors of magical power, Muggles and Wizards charged with the governance of their two peoples of the realm have met in secret.  On this back stair, John Dee, that sprig of the House of Black, and the Cecils, half-Goblin, instructed the Ruthvens of Gowrie in the assassinations of Rizzio and Darnley; in this painted chamber, that distant cadet of the Tudor getting, Thomas Cromwell, conspired first to raise up and then to betray Anne Boleyn, and, after, to plunder Holy Church; in this short corridor, Oliver Cromwell met with three Old Slytherins and an Old Ravenclaw to bolster his support for the judicial murder of Charles 1st, King and Martyr.  Behind this curtain is an alcove where Dr Richard Pyle of Hants, chief royalist agent in the West, met with two Old Gryffindors, five Old Hufflepuffs, and that contemplative angler, Izaak Walton, to spirit the Lesser George – and Colonel Thomas Blague, who had saved it for the King – over the water to Charles 2d.  In this mean room, a Weasley and his Wellesley cousin, the duke of Wellington, worked together to secure the victory that afterwards played out at Quatre Bras and Waterloo.  Beneath this lofty ceiling, like church-mice in a cathedral, Disraeli, rejecting the urging of his friends, made his choice to seek his fortune amongst the Muggles, and, sixty years on, young Wizards queued to serve in the trenches of Flanders alongside their Muggle neighbours.  And in this cramped office, the walls yet hear the rolling thunder of Churchill’s suasive plea to Albus Dumbledore, to take the fight to Grindelwald.

 

The Palace of Thornminster stands now, revealed once more in all its ancient glory, where God and that brilliant Old Slytherin, Sir Joseph Bazalgette, placed it, in Wizarding Space, the hidden and underground capital of a hidden and underground folk.  (Only an Old Slytherin could have made himself a power in the land and gratified his ambitions to restore the glories of Wizarding London in the teeth of the Secrecy Regime, by interesting himself in sewerage; and only an Old Slytherin such as Bazalgette could have signed his name to the achievement by leaving Muggle London with the Serpentine.)

 

The Palace of Thornminster is a staunchly uncompromising building, of dauntless ugliness, gracefully graceless and proudly plain, with more than the unembarrassed unattractiveness of the Albert Memorial.  It is a place that remembers; and it is a place that cannot be forgotten.  It records in its very form the history of British Wizardkind.  Anchored by the Boudicca Tower and Long Tom, its architecture is the stratified record of Wizardry in Britain, rising ponderously from Celtic and pre-Celtic foundations and cellars that recall the barrows of old, gorgeously pavemented in the Roman style, upthrusting through solid Roman courses embellished with the Roman arch, rising further through Anglo-Saxon pilaster strips to the shark’s-tooth incised arches of Norman work, whence the barrel-vaulted Romanesque masonry throws off its shackles and its earthbound weight to surge upward to the Gothic traceries, mounting ever higher through Tudor brick without (and linen-fold panelling within), to the Dutch gables and pargeting and Elizabethan strapwork that next give way to Hawksmoor’s Baroque fantasies, thence mounting ever upwards to the Palladian gravity of Wren, and so rising at the last to the crocketted, Puginesque exuberance of the Gothic revival.

 

The Palace of Thornminster has stood through all these wild and clamorous eras, and seen the great and dread events of each.  But never until now, in the aftermath of Tom Riddle’s Great Rebellion and the Restoration, has it witnessed anything so moving, so mundanely glorious.  For the Great Rebellion is defeated, the Restoration is made perfect, and the Secrecy Regime is in its excesses at last overthrown; and for the first time even in Wizarding memory, the Sovereign has returned to her Palace of Thornminster for the State Opening of the Wizangemot.

 

The Palace of Thornminster has seen innumerable brilliant November days, and still more innumerable drear ones; never has it seen a day so bright.  In the bright, crisp dawn, crisp and tart as apples, bright as a new-minted Galleon, the cursebreakers and wardmasters have done their ancient function, with Aurors and MLE elements attending them, in ritual search of the cellars and ritual renewal of the wards. 

 

The Palace of Thornminster has seen all too often the clash of warfare and the tramp of warriors.  Today, the Aurors – newly the Royal Corps of Aurors, now, in the Restoration after the Great Rebellion – march in, peaceable guardians, under the command of the young heroes of the War.  They line the stairs in the hereditaries’s wing of the Palace, outwith the hereditaries’s chamber, in morion and corslet and rich robes, wands at the salute, contrasting bravely with the clear yellows, the old gold and the amber accents, that are the colour of the hereditaries of the Moot.

 

The Palace of Thornminster has seen all too often the removal of Members of the Moot by force, and by treachery, for good cause or evil.  Today, Arthur Weasley, to much hilarity and his own abiding fascination, has been whisked away to Buckingham Palace, as pledge that the Sovereign will be safe amidst the Wizarding body.  He will be well and carefully watched there, by the Squib Page of the Presence, for his reputation, to the Queen’s carefully dissembled amusement and delight, precedes him, and the thought of Arthur Weasley loose amongst the Muggles and their devices, and indulging his ‘’satiable curtiosity’, is at once worrisome and richly comical.

 

The Palace of Thornminster has seen its share of Thestrals, and perhaps a trifle over.  Today, however, in the gilt November morn, it witnesses at last once more the Thestral-drawn State Coach bearing the Alchemical State Crown, the Wand of State, and the Cap of Puissance, all Tyrian purple in the pouring autumnal light, as rich as bugloss, false alkanet. 

 

The Palace of Thornminster has seen much ceremony, from the uttermost depths of time.  Yet today, ah, today, it sees with all the delight and deep satisfaction that a part-sentient building may enjoy, the ceremony thrice-gorgeous of this day.  The Alchemical State Crown, the Wand of State, and the Cap of Puissance have been received at the Gate of Boudicca Tower by the Queen’s Broom-Master, and passed to the Comptroller of the Lord Chambermage’s Office.  Liveried pages – Hit Wizards seconded from the Ministry for the day – will bear the Regalia in procession before the Sovereign’s arrival, to the Royal Gallery, levitating these before them with wands of white.

 

The Palace of Thornminster has seen, quite literally, a long line of the great and the good, both magical and Muggle, in the innumerable years.  Never so great, never so good, as upon this auspicious day.  Drawn by Thestrals, attended by the Aurorlty on brooms, the Alchemical State Coach has arrived at the Sovereign’s Gate at Boudicca Tower.  Her Majesty descends from her carriage beneath a flawless sky; the Earl Magical and the Lord Great Chambermage do her a truly loyal homage, calling up scenes even the Palace of Thornminster has almost forgotten, as the Wizarding Royal Standard is broken out in the sparkling air.  There, vaunting in the November skies, look down the leopards of England and the Scots lion ramping upon his tressured field of gold, there fly the three crowns of Ireland and the Lilies of France, the Manx triskelion and the Welsh lions, the Red Hand of Ulster and the Galley of the Isles, and over all the griffon argent, guardians of the events below.  The air is shaken by the saluting cannons, yet the guardians do not waver in the clean air.

 

The Palace of Thornminster has known much ceremony; yet today’s, thrice-gorgeous, is the sweeter.  Her Majesty is this day the living symbol of the peace so hardly won, the Restoration and reconciliation made flesh.  She emerges from the Robing Chamber in her Moot robes of imperial purple, the Alchemical State Crown upon her brow; before her are levitated the Wand of State and Cap of Puissance; her train is borne by the youngest of that future generation who will be the last to remember the days of war and horror.  Only the seeing stones of the Palace of Thornminster as yet divine a future in which her attendants, and her successor’s attendants, shall include a Teddy Lupin, grave and solemn, a Rose and a Hugo, the Malfoy scion and the second Potter son in sweet amity, and children of a still more distant future of peace, all yet – save Teddy – unborn and unlooked-for.  Before their Sovereign, the Lord Enchantellor, the Lord President of the Magical Privy Council, and the Lord Privy Spell process, robed in dignity, grave and reverend.

 

The Palace of Thornminster has seen much debate and contention, and rare peace.  Yet today is a day of peaceable debate, the business of good government for the common weal.  Her Majesty takes her seat upon the Throne, and instructs the Chamber: ‘My hereditary members of this Chamber, pray be seated.’  Upon her gesture, the Lord Great Chambermage draws his wand, and summons the Gentlewizard Usher of the Black Wand.

 

The Palace of Thornminster has seen much of dissension and open rebellion.  No longer: for upon this day, the formula of independence and the truth of loyalty are alike undertaken with a will.  Black Wand and a senior officer of the DMLE, with the doorward of the Hereditaries’s Chamber, pass into the cool blues of the elected chamber of the Moot, sapphire and azure and ultramarine.  Upon Black Wand’s approach, the doors of the Lower Chamber are slammed shut, and the Sergeant at Wands casts Colloportus, maintaining the spell until Black Wand has thrice cast Alohomora.  Only then does Black Wand approach the Bar and thence the Dispatch Box, and summon the Moot with the ancient formulation: ‘Madam Speaker, The Queen commands this honourable Moot to attend Her Majesty immediately in the Hereditaries’s Chamber.’  Many times through untold years have the stones of the Palace of Thornminster seen strife between the Moot and the Crown, and within the Moot itself; yet this pageantry of ceremony is an affirmation of principle and no strife at all.  The sun dapples through stained glass and clear, here as red as the archæological layer that marks the burning of the City in the days of Boudicca, here as limpid-clear as the Cloak of the Hallows, as Speaker and Sergeant at Wands lead the elected Moot to attend their Sovereign.  In conformity with long tradition, the Members, Kingsley as Minister at the head of one slovenly crocodile line, the Leader of a truly Loyal Opposition at the other, saunter carelessly, talking loudly and jesting back and forth in dumbshow of independence; yet process they do, and attend they do upon a Sovereign they respect and revere, in all loyalty.  They pass from blue to gold: the furnishings are golden now, and pure, clear yellow, here in the gilt, bronzen domain of the hereditary members.  The elected Moot enter the Other Place, bow to the Throne and their Sovereign Lady, and stand before the Bar.

 

The Palace of Thornminster has heard many voices through the centuries that stand and stack about it; hatred and contention, corruption and defiance of corruption.  To hear now that best-known of voices, carefully unemphatic, imposing order and good governance under law in a realm restored, going steadily about the business of liberty and the common weal, is perhaps the proudest moment the Palace of Thornminster has known.  ‘My hereditary and elected members of the Wizengamot, my government will pursue policies aimed at affirming the Restoration of peace now affected, giving force and substance to the terms of the Declaration of Bredon, and meeting the challenges which the Wizarding populace of the United Kingdom, in all its magical races, faces at home and abroad….’ 

 

The Palace of Thornminster has known an all but infinite number of moments of stillness, when great events were in the balance and poised upon the intake of a breath.  Today, the stillness and the silence of the assembled Wizengamot is pledge unbreakable that peace and order and dignity have at last been restored.  ‘… Legislation will be brought forward to improve the administration of justice by reforming the system whereby justice is done, and by whom it shall be done….’

 

The Palace of Thornminster has heard much news in the millennia since it first was builded in a wilderness.  No news has been so glad as this day’s.  ‘…My government will also continue its programme of reform to reconcile all magical races and beings in Wizarding Britain. It will work to build a consensus on reform of representation and will bring forward proposals….’

 

The Palace of Thornminster remembers any number of insurrections and exiles, depositions and instability, seditions and privy conspiracies.  But stability is now upon the land.  ‘… The Duke of Edinburgh and I look forward to our State Visit to Transylvania in May of next year to celebrate the reintegration of its magical community into the European order.  We also look forward to receiving the Chief Warlock of Bulgaria and Madam Krum….’

 

The Palace of Thornminster has been the site of many heartfelt prayers.  None has been as likely to be granted as today’s.  ‘… My government will work to foster a strong partnership between Wizarding and Muggle leaders in order to meet these objectives.  Other measures will be laid before you.  My hereditary and elected members of the Wizengamot: I pray that the blessing of Almighty God may rest upon your counsels.’

 

The Palace of Thornminster has known much tumult over years without number.  Today is not a day of tumult: it is the crowning day inaugurating years without tumult, golden and peaceful.  Her Majesty has left the Palace, and the Wizarding Royal Standard has been taken down; the Wizarding Union Flag now braves the freshening breeze of a yet brilliant November noontide.  The hereditaries and the elected Members have adjourned; each chamber will proceed, in the clear, bright, bracing afternoon, to consider the legislative agenda for this Moot, each chamber’s Address in Reply to Her Majesty’s Gracious Speech.  First, each will gravely vindicate its legislative independence, the hereditaries taking up the Select Sidesmen’s Bill, and the elected Chamber the Inlawries Bill; then the true business of ordered, free government shall begin, in a realm restored, after a rebellion defeated.

 

The Palace of Thornminster has seen much of protest and reluctance and abject fear.  Before today is out, it will see only loyalty, and the pro forma protests of the re-elected Speaker of the Moot at her re-election.  Fear is behind them now.  Only the stones remember, and keep their eternal watch and guard.

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Comments
tekalynn From: tekalynn Date: November 25th, 2008 08:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Lovely! I particularly like the POV of the building and the lyrical, stately style that is your hallmark.

Re Ivar the Boneless: I like the hypothesis that "boneless" is a clerical misreading of the Latin abbreviation for "cruel". Apparently they're very similar.

wemyss From: wemyss Date: November 25th, 2008 08:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you, my dear.

Of course, there's also the joke that 'boneless' meant 'legless' ... and that of course 'legless' means drunk, pissed as a newt, blotto.

You're really very kind, though, to say such nice things abt the piece. Thank you.
fpb From: fpb Date: November 25th, 2008 09:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
If you haven't read my HISTORY OF BRITAIN 407-597, you ought to. http://www.geocities.com/vortigernstudies/fabio/contents.htm
tree_and_leaf From: tree_and_leaf Date: November 25th, 2008 11:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
As always, most enjoyable and evocative.

I think my favourite bit was this:

It stood first as a stone circle beneath an ancient sky, in long forgotten years before Brutus came fleeing the wreck of Troy bearing the London Stone, before ever Locrinus immured his lover or Bladud fell ruining from Heaven (for the myths of Muggle England are the sober facts of Wizarding history). The Palace of Thornminster in its beginnings stood upon its island, in Wizarding space, a rift in the fabric of time and Thames, its great stones carven with the pre-Celtic triple spirals that are dimly and latterly mimicked at far Irish Newgrange: from its beginnings it has been a place of moot and law-deeming, open to the heavens or roofed with barrow-turves in after years, from before ever Cornhill and Ludgate Hill arose, or Tothill Fields were named, in long years now lost before the giant, Gremagot, was severed into Gog and Magog.

But I was most amused by:

Only an Old Slytherin could have made himself a power in the land and gratified his ambitions to restore the glories of Wizarding London in the teeth of the Secrecy Regime, by interesting himself in sewerage; and only an Old Slytherin such as Bazalgette could have signed his name to the achievement by leaving Muggle London with the Serpentine.

Suddenly, much becomes clear.
4 comments or Leave a comment