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The fourth plinth - 3b - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
The fourth plinth - 3b
Mousy little Den Creevey had he been in his youth; Colonel Dennis Creevey of the Royal Corps of Aurors was he now, utterly fearless – as attested by the silken ribbons upon his No. 1 Dress uniform: the Order of Merlin; the Godric Gryffindor Cross; the Hogwarts Resistance (DA) and Defence of Hogwarts ribbons; the Victory Medal with clasp; and newer campaign medals, the OSM for the Crimea, the Chagos Medal, the OSM for the Pitcairn Islands, the Gibraltar Star, the OSM for the Baltic, the OSM for Quemoy-Kinmen, the OSM for South Georgia, the Jamaica Medal with clasp, the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands Star, and, above all, the King’s Cross Star….
And as attested by his colonelcy, his decorations, and his insistence upon returning, although Colonel of the Regiment, to act as O/C thereof on operations now – a lieutenant-colonel’s appointment – Dennis Creevey was no more a fool than he was a coward. It was his duty to reassure the young Wizard in the graveyard. It was also his duty, and a matter of operational necessity, that he assure himself that the man was who he claimed to be, and was secured – politely – and disarmed – gently. Magical knowledge having advanced considerably since the war and the subsequent and last insurrection at King’s Cross, there were now spells – closely guarded – to establish beyond peradventure or Polyjuice the identities of Witches and Wizards in the hands of MLE or the Aurors.
The young Wizard – now and swiftly confirmed as being indeed Septimus Rankshaw-Pyke, and free of any enchantment or compulsion – smiled sadly. ‘No Polyjuice, Colonel. Except as a source: I cast everything I could to protect my own exuviæ, but I fear that I couldn’t protect all of us. I really must contact – you are aware of my being on strength with the Department? Yes. M wants to know immediately, before these buggers trap my father.’
‘I regret to have to inform you, it is feared that your father has been killed.’
‘We’ve seen,’ said Harry, ‘what there is to be seen. Get me Tony, immediately. And get Luna: we’ll see what she can See. Sacred sodding landscapes: ruddy balls. Still: horses for courses. Or hearses for cursus. Get them both here, at once.’
The Yondale Mk IV portable Floo chimed.
‘Dennis? Have you indeed. Yes, Seamus is to hand. One moment.’
‘That,’ said Dudley, in a low voice, ‘is the, ah, plainest barmaid I’ve ever seen. Looks like … well. How East German female – well, I say “female” Olympic athletes used to look.’
Greg sniggered. ‘She’s no oil painting.’
Indeed she wasn’t, being a well-fleshed, well-muscled, flatfooted woman with rounded shoulders, a gait like an arthritic duck, and a nose that might have rivalled that of Greg’s late Head of House.
‘You want to take her back to your hotel, though.’
‘What? My wife –’
Greg was forever being underestimated. His putative employers undervalued him not least; they certainly didn’t credit that he could have cast, as he had done, a perfectly acceptable and unnoticed Muffliato.
‘Harry and Millie can explain to Elspeth if needs must. That’s your contact – we won’t manage to meet again, will we, so….’
‘Doing a Barty?’ Draco’s voice was sharp in the silence.
Harry nodded. ‘I really do think they are. You don’t kill a man whose brains you want to pick. You hold him and his family and threaten your way to his cooperation.
‘Seamus. Both Rankshaw-Pyke men are on strength with your lot of bag-snatchers and midnight assassins. I want their records five minutes since, including their magical signatures. As Unspeakables, they’ve waived any rights in the information.
‘Now. As to their families –’
‘Harry.’ Kingsley’s tone was admonitory and alarmed. ‘Tell me you don’t intend a Trace.’
‘Then I’ll not tell you, you can pick up on it as you watch.’
‘That’s illegal.’
‘In peacetime. Up the Threat Assessment Level, execute Queen’s –’
‘Potter –’
‘If you’ll not up the level, Minister, up yours. We’ve treaty obligations to the Danes, that’s enough to be going on with, damn it – and if my counterpart isn’t saying something of the sort to your counterpart just now, I shall be very surprised. We –’
‘Why wait upon the Danish Wizards?’ The snarling, guttural question came from behind Kingsley as a squat figure pushed forward. ‘Wizard Zabini is our liaison, Wizard Shacklebolt. An emissary accredited by us as well as by Wizards has been taken hostage, and you have treaty obligations to us.
‘Hail and honour, Grotgrund. May your gold increase.’
The chief of the Goblins glared.
‘Here,’ said Blaise, cheerily, to Kingsley, ‘is where Harry and I should normally exchange exaggerated winks to clue you in, Minister, but I think we can take that as read.’
Kingsley had no chance to reply, which was just as well, as he was choking upon the various things he might say.
‘Ah,’ grunted Grotgrund. ‘Honoured Wizard-Thief Potter.’ The Goblins had never forgiven Harry for his actions in the late war; yet, granting the long history of internal Goblin raiding and reiving, they also regarded a successful thief as having attained worth, and were grudgingly and angrily respectful of such. ‘I might have known. What are you doing to find our emissary?’
‘We’ve sent a team.’
‘Wizards?’ Grotgrund did not attempt to hide his disdain.
‘Led by Bill Weasley.’
Grotgrund’s mouth twisted down. ‘Acceptable,’ he muttered, sourly. ‘And this other, lesser matter is connected?’
Hermione looked affronted. She never cared to be reminded that other magical beings did not regard Wizards as possessing even equal importance to themselves, and that in consequence her attempts at playing Lady Bountiful and the Great Emancipator were not universally met with glad cries of gratitude. There was a certain tincture of Tony Blair in Hermione.
‘Very much so,’ said Harry, as curtly.
‘Then, Wizard Shacklebolt, I invoke your treaty obligations. Make it as Honoured Wizard-Thief Potter and Honoured Wizard-Thief Weasley and his woman desire.’ Grotgrund really didn’t care at all for Hermione.
Cho was patient. Exquisitely patient. If indeed she had an ally in Goyle, she should wait until the time was auspicious, and then strike.
Dudley refused to watch as the barmaid, grunting, stripped off her clothes. The niggling sense that he knew from being around Wizards – and his Hufflepuff daughter – turned him back ’round, however: there was magic being cast.
The light glamour melted away from the former ‘barmaid’: Dudley had been told, often enough, that minor glamours often sufficed as well as any, and were less trouble to maintain.
Evidently the man now standing in his hotel room with a grim smile was of the same mind.
‘I am, I think, no oil painting even now, eh?’
Dudley was not about to be outfaced or daunted by a Continental Wizard with whom he was on terms of polite acquaintance.
‘Oh, Hermione thought you were fit enough, ages ago, by all accounts. Hullo, Viktor.’

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6 comments or Leave a comment
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: October 15th, 2011 09:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

Before I Even Start Reading...

wemyss From: wemyss Date: October 17th, 2011 07:01 pm (UTC) (Link)

And after?

Still happy, I hope.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: October 16th, 2011 01:02 am (UTC) (Link)

Viktor in Drag?

I'm verklemmt!

I hope we won't have to wait as long for the next installment!
wemyss From: wemyss Date: October 17th, 2011 07:02 pm (UTC) (Link)

Comes with the job.

And lo, you didn't.
absynthedrinker From: absynthedrinker Date: October 16th, 2011 02:25 am (UTC) (Link)
‘Honoured Wizard-Thief Potter.......they also regarded a successful thief as having attained worth, and were grudgingly and angrily respectful of such. Wonderful!

There was a certain tincture of Tony Blair in Hermione Shameless!

‘Oh, Hermione thought you were fit enough, ages ago, by all accounts. Hullo, Viktor.’

Well done my friend!


wemyss From: wemyss Date: October 17th, 2011 07:02 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you.

You are far too obliging.
6 comments or Leave a comment