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PW & the GCBC, Ch 1, Part B - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
PW & the GCBC, Ch 1, Part B


The Crown and Wizengamot Act 1997, the Claim of Right (Scotland and the Isles) 1997, the Bill of Rights 1997, the Indemnity and Oblivation Act 1997, the Act of Settlement 1997, the Treason Act 1997, the Test Act 1997, the Wizengamot (Constituencies and Elections) Act 1997, the Magical Education Act 1997: all these and more were speedily passed by the Convention Moot and its successor, the ‘Phoenix Moot’ as it came to be called (as much for its character as having risen from the ashes as from the loyalties of its majority).  The Hedgers had held out hope that, at the very least, the Great Rebellion that Tom Riddle had led, and Riddle’s personal history, now revealed, would redound, in the end, to a revulsion against exposure to the Muggles; yet the result was not precisely as they would have wished.  It was true that there was no formal repudiation of what Hermione, cleverly, named ‘the principle of discretion’; yet the worst excesses of the old secrecy regime simply melted away like snow in the sun.  Muggle family members were expected to be discreet about Wizards in the household, of course, and the existence of the Wizarding world was hardly spread across the pages of The Times; still, there was no persisting in blood-prejudice and draconian segregation when Magic itself seemed to reject these follies.

And so it had done.  Even as the Convention Moot was sitting, the near-sentient magical buildings of the ancient Wizarding world had reappeared after centuries of concealment: in the countryside, of course, as at the Royal Wizarding Agricultural Society's HQ at Bubbenhall Abbey; at Hogsmeade, where the ancient Wizarding university of Domdaniel, closed since 1692, re-emerged from the fabric it had ever shared with Hogwarts (and whose fellows, thus entitled to be called ‘professor’, had always staffed the school), in all its ancient pomp; and in London most of all.

Restoration London in all its restored glory: the Duke of Kent’s Steps running down to Merlin Walk, all around the green and ever-flowering glories, charmed and charming, of Mungo’s Park, the grave, chaste, Palladian frontages of Mercia Square and the Classical proportions, trim as a Wren’s nest, of St Cuthbert’s, Mercia Square, the elegant arch of Crutchedfriars Bridge and the mix of Queen Anne and Georgian graces in the houses of Fore Square; the industry of Dye Urn Alley, the crowded shipping of the Isle of Crups and the Fleet Basin, down the docklands; the galleries and the theatres and the concert halls, and the jolly, vulgar music halls as well, all the vibrant culture, high and low alike, of Friary Garden, Dreary Lane, and the West Bar. The ever-flowering glories, charmed and charming, of Chiswick – the Royal Herbologic Garden – and its satellite in the country, Balcombe Court. All the effervescent life of peacetime London, after the vanquishing of the long Dark, sprung anew from long wintering.


Restoration London. The old institutions had, like princesses in an enchanted sleep, been kissed by peace and righteousness, wakened and brought back to life by that kiss. Upping Street was no longer under Fidelius, though properly secure, and its fabled Number Twelve was once more to be the home and office of successive Ministers. The rule of law was being rapidly re-established, in justice and in truth, truth mighty above all things and prevailing, and, once past Plea Inn Bar, all along Ess Street and into Inn-Chancery, the lawyers already hummed and bustled like a hive of happy, golden bees. The RWCJ stood proud and tall again over its fabled gardens, the Stern Street Magistrates Court was again waiting briskly to handle the jollifications and sleeping-it-offs of Boat Race and Fair, and the Old Donjon, built on the relics of earlier minatory structures at Oldgate, by its very presence and the awful majesty of its high halls and sounding courtrooms, where even in Summer there was coolth, stood ready once more to deter the most solemn crimes, the crimes it was built to try and to assess. From Wynd Row, strait ways led to the halls of exercised power, in this Restoration world. Law and liberty, the power and the glory, the arms that secured peace, the knowledge that directed them: all were once again to be deployed honestly and fairly, for the common weal, by the common consent, the people’s will. Liberty under law, force bridled by freedom’s foundation and the ancient laws, in a world made new. The institutional memory of the Wizarding world was in hand to be restored, and the Moot again sat in due pomp and presence, in the Palace of Thornminster, its Dial Tower looming over all and Long George sounding the hours, its answering Boudicca Tower anchoring the other end of the palace, housing the Moot Records Office and all the history and precedent of Wizardry: history that must be learnt from, lest it be repeated. The great ministers of state would return now to their ancient seats, King John’s Gate for the Gnome Office, Kinghorn House for the Scottish Office; Hit Wizards and Hit Wizards Parade; Auroralty House. Daysbridge Barracks and the Ordnance Warren brimmed already with quiet confidence, alert, ever ready, power defensive and defending, leashed by law, the watch-Crups of the Constitution. An honest and accepted excise and scheme of taxation was in hand, represented by Wiltshire House, which also housed as it had ever done the General Records Office alongside the Department of Outlandish Revenue. Its eyes to the heavens, the Nephomantic Office once more watched cloud and weather and sky for the benefit of all, shipper and farmer and all who depended upon these. Severn Street House and Furness House proclaimed, respectively, the sleepless guard of the Unspeakables and the restoration of honest and open government and of relations with the wider world, and foreign Wizard-dom would now once more send its envoys, accredited to the Court of St Aldhelm’s: the American ambassador, openhandedly magnificent at the embassy on Square Nore Grove and at his country seat of Walker House, had already arrived.  The Home Counties now anew concealed the graces and favours of Hawtreys and Thorneygrove and Chivenoaks.


The outward and visible sign of their triumph was to be seen in the reopened Fortescue’s and the refounded Ollivander’s, in Madam Malkin’s shop front and the shelves of Flourish and Blott; to be scented in the flower stalls and fruit stalls and heard in the costermongers’s cries all along Hedge Row; to be breathed-in with the sharp scent of printer’s ink and law calf, the crispness of vellum and parchment, on Polygon Alley, hard by the ancient Church of SS Peter & Paul Agonistes, which, abraded by the vulgar tongue of centuries, had given Polygon Alley its name. One found it all along Boyle Row, at Twillfit and at Peeves & Fawkes, at Peakes & Ravenclaw and Scrimgeour Filch Avebury and Figg & Wimple. One found it in the oysters and the mixed grill at Somerton’s, in the chops at Timson’s in the Mere, in the leather and varnish of Geo Aracobb & Sons, Bootmakers, and in the reverent bustling-about and aromatic lather of a trim and a shave at Jno F Deemster’s palatial tonsorial establishment. And, most of all, in chains of office and casual pomp, one saw these monuments of victory embodied in the pitched roof of Livery Hall and the banquets of Burgage House, in the ealdormen pacing gravely along the halls of Corporation Hall, and in the restoration of the proud and ancient guilds, from The Master and Wardens and Brethren of the Guild or Fraternity of the Blessed Mary the Virgin and of St Catherine of the Mistery of Potters and Crockers and of Basketmakers of the Wizarding Realm of the Three Kingdoms, to the Worshipful and Ancient Company of the Art-magical and Mystery of Navigators and Pilots of the Blessed Fraternity of SS Christopher & Brendan. Even in the swiftly resumed pop concerts of Brentside Stadium: the Weird Sisters, the Rollright Stones (‘You can’t always scry what you’re wanting ... But sometimes, you scry what you need’): one found the daily, common evidence of victory and peace. Of liberty.


And to the Wizarding world, even as the Convention Moot deliberated, the Lords Spiritual returned, and the non-juring folk, and the Cunning Folk who had rejected the secrecy regime of ’92 in favour of remaining with their Muggle neighbours in peace and charity.  New blood, old ways made new again, old prejudices destroyed. 



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7 comments or Leave a comment
l_aqrchard From: l_aqrchard Date: December 2nd, 2007 07:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Square Nore Grove... Absolutely brilliant. Your descriptions of Wizarding London are fantastic.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 2nd, 2007 09:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you. Praise from the master is praise indeed.

I'm very much obliged.
From: tree_and_leaf Date: December 2nd, 2007 09:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's a rather lovely description of wizarding London. One of my biggest regrets with the film is that there's so little beauty in the magi they show - it's all ramshackle and clumsy, when really magical artefacts - at least those made by skilled hands - really ought to be more regular than Muggle products made before the age of machines. I
wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 2nd, 2007 10:10 pm (UTC) (Link)

Oh, yes, quite.

And thank you.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: December 3rd, 2007 03:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I'd be lying if I said a lot of that stuff didn't fly right over my poor Yankee head, but the whole Polygon Alley bit was precious!

Although anything "agonistes" is funny...
wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 3rd, 2007 03:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you.

Samson however dissents from your conclusion. Blame Milton.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: December 3rd, 2007 09:55 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you.

Poor Samson.

But "Agonistes" is a word that has always cried out for teenage satire, and also "Milton" is a funny name. Rest assured that the poet is shuffling around Paradise with an eternal wedgie.

We ain't got no respect.
7 comments or Leave a comment