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Right Royal Wizardry: At a solemn music - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
Right Royal Wizardry: At a solemn music

Right Royal Wizardry: At a solemn music




‘Good morning, Sir.’


‘Ah. Morning, Heneage.’


‘I’ve advised HRH Pr- – HRH the duke of Cambridge, sir.’


The Prince of Wales smiled. ‘Does rather take some getting used to, that. As do – other things. In fact, a weekend of shocks for them both, I rather think, although most of the surprises are happy ones, I trust. I suppose he had questions?’


‘Not really, Sir. The complete young officer at all points, if I may say so. I informed him, as you requested that I do, that the intelligence advice came from a source referred to as Divination.’


‘That must have amused him.’ It clearly amused the Heir Apparent.


His ADC, answering his mood, essayed a discreet jest. ‘You might very well say that, Sir. I couldn’t possibly comment.’


The Prince of Wales laughed outright at that. ‘Naturally not. The Sherston visit is all laid on, I gather, and satisfactorily explains all the personal protection, ah, plodding about? Excellent. My daughter-in-law take it well, did she?’


‘So far as I can gather, Sir. I understand Mr James Middleton is to be of the party?’


‘What? Oh, yes, of course. Necessarily so, really. I make certain he’ll be the most comfortable of the lot, really, being back in robes at last. Who was that old fool at the QWC in – ’94, wasn’t it? Insisted on wearing some sort of sprigged nightdress. Archie Something, wasn’t it? Yes, well. So long as it’s not a French maid’s rig for Master James: there are parishes in the Church of England where that sort of thing’s acceptable, but not, I think, in rural Wilts.’


‘Quite, Sir.’




HRH the new duchess of Cambridge had in fact taken the news rather well. Her brother was discreet in at least this facet of his life, but it really had explained a good deal. Particularly had it explained a good deal about Uncle Gary, and about James and that rather unappetising yellow and black tie he wore from time to time (not to mention why he always seemed never to be where he was meant to be at Marlborough, in his school days).


Disappointing not to be able to go abroad for the honeymoon, and rather an early start to the first Sunday morning of one’s wedded life, but she’d married the job as well as the man, and had sense enough to know it. William had been rather diffident and apologetic when he and his father’s ADC had broken the news to her, but she’d not minded, really.


In fact, it was rather exciting. The idea of a hidden people with their own devolved government – now, apparently after a rebellion had been crushed fifteen years before, once more loyal to the Crown – and with any number of wondrously weird institutions might have daunted a lesser woman; it seemed simply fascinating to Kate. Some of the stories she’d begun to hear from her privately-not-at-all-formidable grandparents-in-law had been grimly cautionary, but others, in HMQ’s droll telling and with the duke of Edinburgh’s sardonic interjections, had had her crying with laughter. The wedding wasn’t half so fairytale as this promised to be.


And it wasn’t as if they’d have to go through the wedding again, as such. Exhilarating, certainly, but rather tiring. No, this was simply to be a Sunday service with a brief special blessing on the newlyweds, although one at which their secret future subjects were to get a good look at them both – and contrariwise. It was, she decided, going to be fun.


Although they did seem to be cutting it fine as to time, unless these Wizards and Witches kept different hours to other people, or had their services at queer times. She said as much; her husband smiled, and shook his head, and answered, a bit huskily, ‘Instantaneous transport. Magic, you know.’


Well, she hadn’t known. And finding her feet, a bit unsteadily, after the very odd experience of her first Portkey, she decided that she’d quite prefer not to make a habit of it. But those reflections – like the impressions that she later recollected in tranquillity, after: how clever it was to make such alarming fact into fiction; how much more interesting the reality was than the novels and films, which she’d never really cared for; the way in which even a half-giant was alarmingly large a presence, and how impressive actual Centaurs actually were; the avidity with which James flirted with anything in trousers – or robes, actually – from Heneage’s cousin Justin to the pallidly aristocratic man who could only be Draco Malfoy to the compact but dead sexy military man who could only be Harry Potter, regardless of the presence of, respectively, Justin’s partner Blaise, Draco’s wife and son, and Harry’s wife and three children – these reflections and impressions were swept aside for the moment by the sheer majesty of the hidden Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary and SS Aldhelm and Osmund at Old Sarum. It stood foursquare beneath a brilliant morning sky: cruciform, Norman, basilican, round-arched and chevron-incised, deep-chancelled, its square crossing-tower lifted towards Heaven; and its barrel-vaulted ceiling, like that of Carlisle cathedral, like the charmed ceiling of Hogwarts Great Hall itself, reflected that matchless sky. Astounding that this should exist where it had seemed but a ruin had stood.


She smiled, and saw her smile – and her affectionate curiosity – returned on all sides by the congregation. This should be fun. And no paparazzi, no idiots going on about her dress as if it were what mattered, no one dragging up Babykins and Big Willie and ‘doors to manual’ and all that rubbish....


Heneage’s cousin and that complete officer-in-mufti who was, impossibly, the celebrated Harry Potter, took TRH in hand, and Harry’s namesake Prince as well – Chelsy had resolutely not come along, which was a pity, but the poor girl loathed crowds and fuss, which was the sticking point, wasn’t it – and saw them to a pew. The two Harrys spoke quietly for a few moments, to one side, and HRH the duchess of Cambridge could just hear some of it: the all too familiar names of Helmand, Sangin, Lashkar Gah, an unfamiliar reference to ‘Abbottabad – I really ought to take Hannah along, the Great Game runs in her genes’. Then Harry Potter – and she really must learn his proper rank, so that she didn’t miscall him – inclined his head, and slipped into a pew next to his wife and sprogs. If the novelisations were at all accurate, the flame-haired vixen was, surely, not a Hannah, but rather Ginny née Weasley, wasn’t she? Her brother-in-law, as ginger as the other Harry’s wife, sat down on the other side of her new – it was still a delicious novelty – her new husband.


But the organist was playing now. She composed herself to the service.




Harry Potter, for his part, was thinking along surprisingly similar lines. Being eight years – and a considerable quantity of wartime experience – older than James Middleton, who was just then gazing with rapture upon Zabini (one couldn’t fault the lad’s taste, although he wanted discretion), he’d not known the man. But that Old Hufflepuff’s sister would make a splendid Queen Consort someday: fine looking woman, and perfectly poised, with a refreshing admixture of dignity and approachability. Bit of a facer if their children, hers and Prince William’s, should be magical rather than Squibs: if the Squib status of the Royal Family had been at first the price of the Protestant Succession, it had long since become a reassurance of the Crown’s ability to unite both worlds whilst belonging to neither – and having not the magical power to interfere in either. There was a reason why the Prince of Wales hadn’t married Camilla on his first go, after all.... Nevertheless, they’d clearly do well. And whilst the service would be reverently broadcast with only the most necessary of commenting – in the old style, the sort of thing the Beeb used to do properly, back in the Thirties and Forties – for those ill in hospital or too infirm to attend, very nearly the whole of the Wizarding world were present today in the cathedral, to see their future Sovereign and Consort in the flesh. Harry liked to see a good turnout for Church Parade, after all: he’d become wholly imbued with the ethos of the Royal Corps of Aurors over the years. And the bishop of Salisbury – the Wizarding primate – would see to it that the service was if anything better to the show poor old Rowan had put on at the Abbey. Nice chap, Cantuar, but woolly. He’d have been a Hufflepuff himself, the Archbish, had he not been a Squib.


His own James, Harry reflected, would be past middle-age what time William’s accession came about – if nothing went wrong. A good, long-lived family (although it had been a shocking risk, really, allowing the then duke of York to marry the then Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon: anyone might have foreseen, without Divination, that the future Edward 8th was unlikely to stay the course. Imagine had the now Princess Royal not been the only descendant of theirs in her generation to be magical rather than a Squib). Pity that James Sirius Potter, who was being surprisingly well-behaved just now – an overmastering curiosity had him too gripped to play up – wasn’t one of the boy trebles in the choir, but Jamie, although just old enough, could no more carry a tune than could Rubeus Hagrid. Albie, like Malfoy’s lad, was musical, but they were too young to be choristers as yet. As for Lily, she was already fast asleep between Harry and Ginny, whuffling very quietly as she dreamt. Well, she’d yet be able to say, when old, that she’d been here on this day.


Harry – Potter, not Wales – exchanged a glance with the grave (if just occasionally twinkling-eyed) Minister of Magic. Kingsley and he, and Prince Harry of Wales, should doubtless have a few further quiet words, after the service, with Malfoy and Ron roped in. He envied Lils’ ability to sleep peaceably: he had a long and dangerous night and early morning ahead. Duty, however, was to be done. He recalled someone’s saying, the other day – it might have been Justin – that it had done no harm had the new duchess’s brother known the discipline of military service, as her new brother-in-law and her husband had known it. Harry had disagreed, then and now: part of the reason Harry Potter and Harry Wales and William Wales and thousands of others in both worlds had put on uniform was to ensure the freedom of everyone else not to do, and to protect them from being forced to choose between service or submission.




The organist – who had apparently won the argument with Canon Precentor – was improvising madly on Taverner’s Dum transisset Sabbatum. At any moment now, the choir would musically attest that all their hope on God was founded, by way of the processional: those having the governance of the day’s ceremony had carefully chosen the hymns so as not to alarm those visitors new to Wizarding churchmanship. A pity, in its way, Kingsley mused: he was specially fond of the Wizarding verses to ‘All creatures of our God and King’, after all. Then again, what he specially liked about being the Minister of Magic, rather than, God forbid, the Muggle PM, poor bugger, was that so long as he didn’t tell the Wizarding Church in Britain what hymns to sing, they didn’t try to tell him how to govern, no matter how stuffing the Moot was with Lords Spiritual. A church was meant to be the house of God for all people; it had been regrettable that it had been for so long the Conservative Party at prayer; as the social outreach wing of New Labour, it was simply intolerable.


At least the service music today was Darke in F: a source of much private jesting between Kingsley, young Zabini (papist though Blaise was), and young Dean Thomas (for all that Dean was chapel). Kingsley was in a conscientiously happy mood today, making certain that the new duchess of Cambridge and her people should enjoy her and their introduction to Wizardom. The fact that its Minister, one Kingsley Shacklebolt, was behind the smile, deeply worried, was not to be mentioned. He had allowed himself only to support, resolutely, the judgement of his Muggle counterpart that the newlyweds not go abroad on honeymoon on this of all days; he refused to dwell openly on the reasons why this must not happen.


He looked over once more to the pew where Harry – Potter, not Wales – sat straight-backed and radiating officer-like calm. (Not that Harry Wales wasn’t doing the same in his pew, mind, reflected the loyal Kingsley.) Ron had been all but insubordinate in seeking to go in his brother-in-law’s place; that fighting Quaker, Nev, had gone to great lengths to get himself put back on the Active List so that Harry needn’t go (and Nev’s attendance here at an Anglican ceremony attested to his determination to make one last attempt at persuading Kingsley, even now, Kingsley rather suspected). One could understand and applaud their motives: there sat Harry Potter with his wife and three children, and even Malfoy, Kingsley knew, was as desirous as any of taking the risk to himself rather than letting Harry once more dare all.


But it was bootless in the extreme, reflected Kingsley, to lobby him; short of a direct order that should overstep even a Minister’s rights and authority, Harry would go, because the only person who could decide that Harry should not go, and another take his place, was Harry himself. And that was simply not on the cards.


One could only hope that the Americans did not bugger this up. They quite commonly didn’t – which, of course, wasn’t news, or indeed known and reported. When they did, however, everyone heard of it, and it was commonly on a scale that could not have been covered over in any event. But that, of course, was the nature of such operations. He didn’t envy the Muggles in dealing with the Pakistan government and the ISI – which tended to act as if it were its own state – and all the Commonwealth implications; not for the first time, he counted himself fortunate in being the First Minister of a polity that had, as to Wizarding government, kept its Empire – and kept it pacified.


Which, now that he thought of it, was another bit of news gently to break to the future Queen-Empress Consort.




The service was over, to general approbation. The recognition and acclamation by Wizardom of the wedding had been made with quiet, moving dignity and no fuss. TRH the duke and duchess of Cambridge had departed in a haze of loyalty, with the rest of the Royal party bar Prince Harry; that young man, with Harry Potter, the Minister, Ron, and – inevitably – that retired captain of Aurors, Professor Longbottom – sat in the quiet cathedral. The tumult and the shouting – or at least the recessional (‘Christ the Lord is risen today’) and the postlude – had died away, even if the captains and the kings had not altogether departed. Recognising an immovable object when they saw one, even Ron and Neville had given up trying to argue Harry out of going on his overnight mission. What little had wanted review had been reviewed, what little that wanted saying, said. Most things – what should happen should Harry not return, who should look after Ginny and the children (as if Ginny couldn’t and shouldn’t do entirely unaided) – hadn’t wanted saying in any case. And it was not as if Harry had not found himself, as always when action was imminent, unavoidably possessed, will he or nil he, of the Cloak, the Ring, and the Wand of Destiny: the Hallows of Britain had a mind and will of their own.


‘Right,’ said Harry James Potter. ‘I’m off, then. May as well take a kip when I yet may. Sir. Minister. Ron; Nev. Do leave off worrying. All is well, and shall be well, and the future’s more secure than ever. She’ll do well, Sir, your new sister-in-law. Shaping very well indeed.’


‘And so you’re off to slay a dragon, upon St George’s Day?’


Harry smiled at his princely namesake. ‘For God’s sake, Sir, don’t tell the Welsh that. Or my brother-in-law Charlie. They’ll fail to see the metaphor, let alone the humour.’


‘Then,’ said HRH, ‘I’ll simply say what’s been said a thousand times before. No, not “good luck”. Rather, “God for Harry, England, and St George”!’


Smiling, the General Auror Commanding bowed his head, shook hands all ’round, and turned to go, as if to the Lamb’s high feast, once more to war. After the Sunday joint and a double helping of mash, and some of his wife’s crumble, of course.









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26 comments or Leave a comment
tudorpot From: tudorpot Date: May 2nd, 2011 10:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Brava- most delightful.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: May 3rd, 2011 04:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you.

Although I must declaim the feminine ending.
femmequixotic From: femmequixotic Date: May 3rd, 2011 12:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Quite lovely, dear. And thought-provoking, there at the end. Dragon-slaying can be a melancholy business sometimes.

Interestingly, I was just telling Noe I want some James Middleton/Draco now. *eyes you*

wemyss From: wemyss Date: May 3rd, 2011 04:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

Eye away.

Thank you. I have committed a sequel.
noeon From: noeon Date: May 3rd, 2011 12:12 am (UTC) (Link)
This is lovely, bright and poignant. The young Duchess POV sparkles and James Middleton as Old Hufflepuff is PERFECT. And at the end of all things, Harry.

Quite moving. And on the anniversary of the end of the Wizarding War as well.

I second the call for James in the Middleton with H/D.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: May 3rd, 2011 04:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

Um, possibly later. See icon.

For now, in some recompense for everyone's kind words, there's an H/G sequel.
noeon From: noeon Date: May 3rd, 2011 04:27 pm (UTC) (Link)

Lovely news

I shall hie me hence. And thither.

wemyss From: wemyss Date: May 3rd, 2011 04:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

Hie away.

But not to a nunnery.
noeon From: noeon Date: May 3rd, 2011 04:50 pm (UTC) (Link)

I have thought of it

But really, I'm not suited, regardless of temporary measures.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: May 3rd, 2011 03:15 am (UTC) (Link)

"Hairy Plotter and the Deathly Hello" (Jon Stewart)

Oh, so that's how it went down!
wemyss From: wemyss Date: May 3rd, 2011 04:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

Odder things have happened.

But see the sequel for details.
From: el_staplador Date: May 3rd, 2011 06:42 am (UTC) (Link)
I am extremely interested in the Wizarding verses of the Canticle of Brother Sun and Sister Moon - and am, consequently, led to wonder about Saint Francis. Or are they a later addition? Also much amused by the Squib Royals, and rather touched by your rebuilding of Old Sarum. Spot on, all of it.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: May 3rd, 2011 04:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you.

And of course Francis knew both worlds.
From: tree_and_leaf Date: May 3rd, 2011 04:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you.

Oddly enough, it was always Dominic I had pegged as the wizard (there's a very suggestive incident in Jordan of Saxony. At least, I think it was Jordan of Saxony).
wemyss From: wemyss Date: May 3rd, 2011 04:39 pm (UTC) (Link)

Why not both?

And Roger Bacon.
From: tree_and_leaf Date: May 3rd, 2011 04:41 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Why not both?

Oh Roger, definitely. And Duns Scotus goes without saying. There's a reason there's no full edition of his works, and it's not lack of research funding....
From: optasia Date: May 3rd, 2011 06:44 am (UTC) (Link)
This was wonderful!! Since the wedding I have been craving some Royal and HP interaction. Thank you so much.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: May 3rd, 2011 04:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

I'm glad you liked it.

Thank you.
germankitty From: germankitty Date: May 3rd, 2011 07:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Absolutely adore this. :) I've read a couple of other fics where the Royals are involved with the Wizarding world (most notably one where, for a brief instance, Justin ended up as Aide to Prince William, and introduced him to Neville and the former DA), and always loved the concept. Also love the idea of "Neville, the fighting Quaker".

Very well done! More! More!
wemyss From: wemyss Date: May 3rd, 2011 04:10 pm (UTC) (Link)

As it happens, there IS a sequel just posted.

I do so enjoy dragging the Royals in.
germankitty From: germankitty Date: May 3rd, 2011 05:05 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: As it happens, there IS a sequel just posted.

Oh, cool!

*runs off to read*
From: tree_and_leaf Date: May 3rd, 2011 09:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Splendid! Like el_staplador, I'm rather curious about the textual history of the wizarding verses (which someone will have to write...)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: May 3rd, 2011 04:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

Don't look at me, I've already done 'Lead, kindly Lumos'....

... And the Wizarding 'Jerusalem' for that matter.

I'm glad you liked it.
From: tree_and_leaf Date: May 3rd, 2011 04:23 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Don't look at me, I've already done 'Lead, kindly Lumos'....

You have? In a form where they can be read by the general public?
wemyss From: wemyss Date: May 3rd, 2011 04:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yonks ago.

Now to remember where.
noeon From: noeon Date: May 4th, 2011 05:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

Harry Potter and the Demon Bowler

See excerpt with lines here.

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