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

I should say that I am working away diligently on UaDM, and to an extent on the post-DH sequel.  You will also perhaps have noticed that I have been in a versifying mood of late.







Here, though, I present something new, the start of my Omniocular Challenge: Percy Weasley and the Great Cauldron-Bottom Caper, with ‘Chapter One: Wheels within wheels’, which I hope you will enjoy.

Capers ahoy!



Chapter One: Wheels within wheels




Arthur Weasley’s family represented the last and most junior branch of the Weasleys: at once the cadet branch, and the only surviving branch.  Battle, murder, and sudden death had done for many of them; yet it was the adherence of Arthur’s line to the church by law established, in stark contrast to the faithful recusancy of the elder lines, that had perhaps done most to preserve them.  The Prewetts had, unlike the RC branches of the Weasleys, survived until Catholic Emancipation, although beggared by fines to an extent even greater than that suffered by the Weasleys; yet Molly’s twig of that ancient stock was, like Arthur’s branch of the Weasleys, one that had been nominally C of E for some generations.  (The Blacks and the Cliffords of Chudleigh alike regarded this conformity with considerable disdain.)


Consequently, Percy Weasley, pace the ‘Ignatius’ that had been so cruelly tacked onto his names at the font, was not a member of any organised denomination: he was Church of England.  Accordingly, his theological notions were more than slightly ill-defined.  But he was increasingly certain of this: that the situation in which he now found himself was, simply, Hell.


Was there a conspiracy of some sort now mounting, to destroy the hard-won peace?  There was.


Was there the strong likelihood of corruption, disaffection, and treason within the Ministry?  There was.


Did it centre upon something dodgy regarding cauldron bottoms – something that Percy had yet to determine?  It did.


Was he now, unwillingly and indeed inexplicably, involved inextricably with a group of Unspeakables – at least, he presumed, hoped, they were Unspeakables – nameless and faceless, cloaked and disguised beyond discovery, who were expecting him to somehow break up whatever threat was now upon them?  He was, and he very much wanted not to be.


Were his friends and family – even George, even Ron, even Harry – avoiding him, brushing him off, interposing the most transparent of excuses when he sought them out?  Indeed they were.


Were his suspicions and dreads incommunicable to anyone save the mysterious spymasters – codenamed ‘Mycenæ’, ‘Sparta’, ‘Argos’, ‘Pylos’, and ‘Crete’ – to whom he now reported?  They were.


Was Luna – Luna – the only person, save Penny, who appeared to have time for his whispered allusions: and to believe them?  She was.


Yes.  Assuredly this was Hell.


In the Year of the Great Victory


Bredon Hill broods over the Vale, and is veiled in history: history both magical and Muggle.  The ancient camps and hill-forts of the Britons – and the Legions that overthrew them – stand yet, although time and treason have long brought low the fortifications of the ancient Earls of Warwick.  Old Queen Bess gladly traded certain manors to the See of Worcester that she might obtain Bredon, and antique courts-leet – even the inquest into the death of Maud, Dowager Countess of Warwick, in 1301 – were held before the King and Queen Stones in misty years long gone, the stones lustrated and whitewashed before the law-deemings began.  The Holy Well of St Katherine yet flows with sacredness, and from atop the great summit, England and the Marches unfurl like a tapestry of great price, woven of myth and history, of magic and poetry, warp and woof of Housman and of Archer, spun and threaded by John Moore.  Severn and Avon bow their heads beneath its far, remote, imperious gaze, the nymph Sabrina unwontendly grave, bold Shakespeare’s Avon mute as a swan.  Nonjuring conjurers, Cunning Folk who stayed on to aid their Muggle neighbours, have long lived in Bredon’s shadow.


It was an altogether fit and proper place for the meeting, far from Muggle eyes, of the Sovereign and ‘her General Monck’: the new Minister for Magic, Kingsley Shacklebolt.


It is a testament to the innate contrariness of human nature that, almost before the news of Voldemort’s defeat had reached the Wizarding public, new factions formed, nascent political parties.  Those who wished to preserve the heart of the secrecy regime – although denying, in perhaps not very convincing accents, any prejudice towards the ‘half-blood’ and ‘Muggle-born’ members of the community – first chose to name themselves ‘Ordainers’, and derided their opponents as ‘Levellers’.  What their opponents called them in return, was not generally proper to be repeated.


Harry, like Kingsley, like Minerva, had far too much to do in the first days after the victory, to ‘worrit’ – as Hagrid put it – over party and faction.  The burgeoning quarrel between the two groups that an especially inspired Luna, in print, had labelled the ‘Hedgers’ and the ‘Ditchers’ (names that remained long after the formal creation of the Traditionalist and Moderate Parties as such, the former being proud to regard itself as forming a ‘hedgerow barrier against threats to order’ and the latter glorying in its determination to ‘ditch’ the unsavoury aspects of the old, closed society), hardly impinged upon him.  Somebody, after all, wanted to help Kingsley with the mundanely gory details of disposing of the dead – and in such a fashion as neither to inflame resentments nor to permit later necromancy – and rebuilding the fabric of Hogwarts; and there was, after all, his work on the Magical War Graves Commission.  The fabric of society could wait.


But of course, it could not, not really. 


On the seventh day after the defeat of Voldemort, for the first time in the history of British Wizard-dom, the Wizengamot met to declare its dissolution in favour of an unprecedented Convention Moot.


To his everlasting annoyance, Harry found that this was a duty he could not evade.  He, Ron, Hermione, Arthur, and all the surviving members of the Order, were summoned by writ to attend as members, to shape the new course of the Wizarding world and to enact a new constitutional order.


Kingsley had prepared his ground carefully, with Arthur as his deputy.  The Convention Moot was to be, as the old Moot – now being called the ‘Rump Moot’ – had been, unicameral, more akin to the Three Estates of the auld Scots parliament than to the English model; but the Convention would consider whether the Moots that came after should have an upper and a lower house.  And like the Convention Parliament of 1660, its primary task was to promulgate a Restoration Settlement and call a new Moot in accordance with the new – or restored – polity.


In this battle against the forces of reaction – like snakes, they had been scotched but not slain – Kingsley deployed all his weapons.  The first of course was the popular revulsion against anything that smacked of the Death Eater mindset.  The second was the presence of Harry (under protest) and the other Victors, from Ron to Neville to Andromeda Tonks to Old Sluggers.  The third was the Declaration of Bredon, which he and HMQ had hammered out a few days after the victory.


The Declaration of Bredon 1997

Elizabeth, by the Grace of God, Queen of England, Scotland, and Magical Ireland, Lady of the Isles, Duke of Lancaster and Normandy, Lady of Mann, Empress-Magical of Wizarding and Princely India and of Her other Realms and Territories beyond the seas, Defender of the Faith, &c, to all our loving magical subjects, of what race, status, magic, degree, or quality soever, greeting.


If the general distraction and confusion which is spread over the whole kingdom doth not awaken all peoples-magical to a desire and longing that those wounds, which have so many years together been kept bleeding, may be bound up, all We can say will be to no purpose. However, after this long silence We have thought it Our duty to declare how much We desire to contribute thereunto, and that, as We can never give over the hope in good time to defend the right and ameliorate the sufferings of Our Wizarding and Muggle subjects alike, which God and Nature hath made Our bounden duty, so We do make it our daily suit to the Divine Providence that He will, in compassion to Us and Our subjects, after so long misery and sufferings, remit and put Us into a quiet and peaceable possession of the Light, with as little blood and damage to Our people as is possible. Nor do We desire more to enjoy what is Ours, than that all Our subjects may enjoy what by law is theirs, by a full and entire administration of justice throughout the land, and by extending Our mercy where it is wanted and deserved.

            And to the end that the fear of punishment may not engage any, conscious to themselves of what is passed, to a perseverance in guilt for the future, by opposing the quiet and happiness of their country in the restoration both of Crown and people to their just, ancient and fundamental rights, We do by these presents declare, that We do grant a free and general pardon, which We are ready upon demand to pass under Our Great Seal Magical, to all Our subjects, of what race, status, magic, degree, or quality soever, who within forty days after the publishing hereof shall lay hold upon this Our grace and favour, and shall by any public act declare their doing so, and that they return to the loyalty and obedience of good subjects (excepting only such persons as shall hereafter be excepted by the Wizengamot). Those only excepted, let all Our loving subjects, how faulty soever, rely upon the word of a Queen, solemnly given by this present Declaration, that no crime whatsoever committed against Us before the publication of this shall ever rise in judgement or be brought in question against any of them, to the least endamagement of them either in their lives, liberties or estates, or (as far forth as lies in Our power) so much as to the prejudice of their reputations by any reproach or term of distinction from the rest of Our best magical subjects, We desiring and ordaining that henceforward all notes of discord, separation, and difference of parties be utterly abolished among all Our subjects, Wizarding and Muggle alike, whom We invite and conjure to a perfect union among themselves, under Our protection, for the resettlement of Our just rights and theirs in a free Moot, by which, upon the word of a Queen, we will be advised.

            And because the passion and uncharitableness of the times have produced several opinions of faction, by which magical beings and Muggles are engaged in parties and animosities against each other, which, when they shall hereafter unite in a freedom of conversation, will be composed and better understood, We do declare a liberty to tender consciences, and that no man shall be disquieted or called in question for differences of opinion in matters of faction which do not disturb the peace of the kingdom; and that We shall be ready to consent to such an act of the Moot as, upon mature deliberation, shall be offered to Us, for the full granting that indulgence.

            And because, in the continued distractions of so many years and so many and great revolutions, many losses of estates have been made, for which reparations are most justly due, We are likewise willing that all such reparations, and all things relating to such damages, shall be determined in the Moot, which can best provide for the just satisfaction of all magical beings who are concerned.

            And We do further declare, that We will be ready to consent to any act or acts of the Wizengamot to the purposes aforesaid, and for the full satisfaction of all arrears due to those serving under the command of the late lamented Albus Dumbledore, of the Right Honourable Kingsley Shacklebolt, Our Minister for Magic, and of Our right trusty and well-beloved Harry Potter, and that they shall be received into Our service upon as good pay and conditions as they now enjoy.


Given under Our Sign Manual and Privy Signet-Magical, at Our Court-Magical in Eyre at Bredon-Hill, in the Octave of Roodmas, in the six-and-fortieth year of Our reign.


Elizabeth RI


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4 comments or Leave a comment
eagles_rock From: eagles_rock Date: December 2nd, 2007 12:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am interested in the legal aftermath of the war; Greg Goyle seems to be an interesting case - at first a hostage for his parents, then seemily enjoying his role as torturer, though I've not re-read in months, so that may be dubious. Would your declaration spring him?

I read a rather splendid post-war dystopia the other day, Harry/Lucius, but if that makes you queasy, the first three-quarters of it are purely political and unfortunately believeable. First fic I've seen written from this particular angle too; shades of Heffer, I'd have said. It's been rec'd around, but in case you've not seen it:

wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 2nd, 2007 06:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you, my dear.

I too am interested in working it out. (Watch this space.) Whatever happens, it can't be as bad as Gordon Broooooooon just now, can it? It's been quite twenty years since I awoke every morning wondering whether there was still a government.

And I thank you for the link.
From: tree_and_leaf Date: December 2nd, 2007 09:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's an interesting take on the legal situation post war; I think it's plausible that there would have been some sort of pardon would be given, at least to the fellow travelers and minor offenders: given that the whole ministry seems to have been taken over at every level, I don't see how society could otherwise continue to function. I would personally have expected some sort of equivalent to denazification, though the precedent of the first war suggests that they were so bad at sorting the innocent from the guilty that a general pardon would have been more just and possibly less dangerous in the long run. Of course, presumably the real hardliners would never have signed that on ideological grounds - Bellatrix certainly wouldn't have, but I suspect Lucius might have. Or would he have gone into 'tax exile' (or away for his health) abroad?
wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 2nd, 2007 10:11 pm (UTC) (Link)


Je suis de votre avis. On ALL counts.
4 comments or Leave a comment