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The fourth plinth: 4b - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
The fourth plinth: 4b
Op Sibelius was on.
The tumult and the shouting had (ostensibly) died and the captains and the kings had Very Obviously Departed the scene. So far as any watching eyes might have discerned, far-called the Forces had melted away.
In fact, of course, Jamie and his Jocks had immediately returned, undetectably, to take up – with grim hilarity and much whispered ribaldry – the accommodations that the Plinth provided.
The ministerial-and-senior-officers contingent had been put up at Grimmauld Place, at Draco’s insistence, for a hot meal (the same as was being elfinly delivered to Jamie and his lads down the Plinth), further discussion, and a kip. Everyone expressed themselves as obliged for the kindness. Everyone, Harry in particular, knew that a good deal of Draco’s insistence had to do with Draco’s determination to get Harry alone … and give him a rocket for his appallingly bloody-minded behaviour of the past day. For which kindness the others were doubly obliged.
For now, however, it was time to consider and plan, from the grateful and much-needed soup through the long-awaited roast beef of old England to the final savoury and the port for the gentlewizards and the Cox’s Orange Pippins.
Op Sibelius was very firmly under way.
In lightless, comfortless places, a determined diplomat, a mourning family, and a furious captive Squib attached loosely as an Unspeakable, found light and comfort: food and drink, bedding, ewers and towels and lavender soap, a change of clothes, a sudden light in uncomprehending darkness, and Kreacher bearing news that the deaths that they had mourned were not as they had thought, and that Harry – Harry – and all the Ministry and the Aurors, was coming to their rescue. And to Cho, he added, with grim satisfaction, the news that the Goblins were coming to her aid also, and Harry’s advice that she bethink herself of the Swan of Tuonela.
Op Sibelius was very firmly under way. Those charged with its execution were dining at Grimmauld, and planning.
‘Populations,’ said Lils, decisively, ‘shift far less often than does language or culture.’
‘Yes,’ said Harry, discernibly impatient with proem and recapitulation alike. He loved Lils; but his daughter as don was not much to his military taste. ‘And language and culture reassert themselves, as like as not. Bloody Normans were Vikings speaking Frog, after all, and there’s damned little Norman French being spoken nowadays in England, even by, oh, Justin’s posh acquaintance. Do get on with it.’
‘The Danelaw as such was no exception – Father. The Adventus Saxonum was something altogether different.’
‘I know,’ said Tony, rather drily, ‘that Harry cannot forgive, oh, anywhere east of Binsley for being the part of England that contains Surrey – and Little Whinging. Nevertheless, East Anglia as such, and the Danelaw generally, wants to be regarded as being a trove of treasures. The Vikings of course raided and eventually settled particularly on the eastern littoral, from Pentland Firth to Castle Howard, Jórvik to Lundenwic. There is, as the good Lady Lily observes – and still the wonder grew, that one small head could carry all she knew –’
‘Uncle Tony!’
‘All right, my dear. As Lils observes, there is a line, Saxon not Viking in its causes, eastwards of which new land and settlement patterns efface what is not effaced elsewhere: for in the rest of the island, even now, one may trace the fields that the Celtic tribes and the Roman occupiers knew. Now, what is one consequence of the eradication of landmarks and the occupation of land?’
‘Does make it a bit difficult to find where you buried the spoons and the coffee service before the invasion,’ said Justin, languid as ever.
‘Precisely. And Harry has alluded to the East Anglian landscape….’
‘Oh, all right, I apologise for being testy.’
‘You shall,’ said Draco, quietly but implacably.
Tony very obviously and pointedly ignored this, in just such a way as to call attention to it.
Harry sighed. ‘I do, actually, apologise. Go on, Tony.’
‘Even the Muggles have found some hoards in East Anglia – including a small part even of the wealth of the Aurelii.’
‘Hoxne, yes.’
‘And then there are Eye, and Mildenhall, Snettisham and Hallaton…. And that fool John Lackland lost the Crown Jewels at Fosdyke, the glory of Anglo-Saxon work tumbling in the Wash. Grotgrund’s fathers and mine were wise to take the Barons’ part against that useless king.
‘It is more than possible, it is probable, that a hoard was discovered at the Plinth, then.’
‘Yes,’ said Harry, ‘and not declared. The coroner never sat upon it. And Anteros Melling hadn’t any money to speak of: certainly not enough to put up that damned obscene statuary group.’
Hermione, now that she’d some food in her, was now able to keep her countenance and adopt her customary pose of omniscience.
‘We were, then, listening in, as well as the other side, to Teddy’s tale.’
Harry raised a positively Draconian eyebrow. ‘Of course we were.’
Op Sibelius was very firmly under way.
All the cuisine and comforts of Grimmauld were being provided to a kidnapped envoy held in an old cellar of a warded and Muggle-unseen Neuwerk outbuilding, near to the old lighthouse.
All the cuisine and comforts of Grimmauld were being provided to a relieved and comforted wife and children who had feared that they were widow and orphans now, in the bespelled and occulted lodge upon bird-haunted Græsholm.
All the cuisine and comforts of Grimmauld were being provided to a relieved and comforted father seconded to the Unspeakables, who, now knowing that he had not lost his wife, his Unspeakable son, and his other children, was insistent that Elf and Goblin alert Seamus and Harry that he was being held in an abandoned, redundant barracks upon Frederiksø.

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4 comments or Leave a comment
From: tree_and_leaf Date: October 17th, 2011 10:14 am (UTC) (Link)
This had really cheered up a morning spent in bed with a very nasty cold, though I'm afraid my brain is too foggy for intelligent comment!
wemyss From: wemyss Date: October 17th, 2011 06:59 pm (UTC) (Link)

You really must be off-colour.

You are never foggy otherwise.

And I thank you for yr obliging words.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: October 17th, 2011 03:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

Hanging from the Cliff

by my fingernails...
wemyss From: wemyss Date: October 17th, 2011 06:59 pm (UTC) (Link)


... has been at last rewarded.
4 comments or Leave a comment