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One-Shot, Gen: Queen's Weather - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
wemyss
wemyss
One-Shot, Gen: Queen's Weather

It occurred to me – for rather obvious reasons – that, surely, the post-War Wizarding world had its own celebrations of a Certain August Personage’s Birthday.  I could not possibly fail to chronicle that.

Queen’s Weather

‘Ma’am?’

‘Good morning, Jardyne.’ HM quite approved of her Squib Page of the Presence, who most suitably performed the whole of his duties as touching the Wizarding world. One so relied upon one’s Household, and one was very much pleased when the Household were reliable. ‘The others have gone on, then, by Portkey? Thank you. I shall leave now, then.’
 
Jardyne, soberly, handed HM a stuffed, plush corgi, admirably maintaining his dignity. As she felt the rather tiresome sensation associated with Portkeys, she could just hear Jardyne, his voice as respectful as ever, wishing her ‘A very happy birthday, Ma’am, and many happy returns of the day, if I may be so bold.’
 
HM Corps of Aurors do not carry colours. As with the guns of the (Muggle) Royal Regiment of Artillery, the Auror’s wand is to be regarded in the light of a regimental colour. Its loss is a disgrace that can be erased only in blood: that of the enemy from whom it is retrieved, or that of the Auror from whose corse it is taken by an enemy. An Auror who loses or surrenders his wand to an enemy before breath leaves his body is forever reviled.
       Regimental Order of 1708; quoted in current Queen’s Regulations (Aurors & Hit-Wizards) 2002, as amended
 
How lovely. Philip had the Family party properly on parade (although, oh dear, one did rather hopelessly wish Charles would stand up properly and not fidget with his cuffs). A rather odd-looking person – not a House-Elf – swiftly relieved HM of the soft toy Portkey, and vanished with the most discreet of pops.
 
One was always struck by the really quite curious fashion in which the weather – and, indeed, the calendar – in the Wizarding parts of one’s realm, seemed rather different to that in the Muggle. It was certainly what used to be called ‘Queen’s Weather’ today, here, in Upping Street close by Hit Wizards Parade in Wizarding London, outside the Ministerial residence. One was so very gratified by that, and by how very loyal one’s Wizarding subjects were, judging by the quite flattering number of onlookers displaying every visible evidence of loyalty. Wizarding London in the Restoration, that perfectly horrid affair with that Riddle person having been resolved, was most attractive, really. In its own, rather peculiar fashion. 
 
HM had taken all this in, in a single sweep of the eye. There was no one more experienced in gauging all the little formalities, by now, after years of practise, and little escaped her. Her smile, which she now directed upon those to whom had fallen the honour of welcoming the Royal Party, was unaffected. Such dear people: Minerva McGonagall, of course, who always put one in mind of one’s old governess, Crawfie, and who was very much an ornament as an honorary member of one’s Household in Scotland; that nice Mr Longbottom, who in addition to being Lord Moderator of the Council and Leader of the Wizengamot was one’s Herbologist Royal; that exceedingly kind, if exceedingly large, Rubeus Hagrid, the Verderer Royal, always so very pleasant to one.
 
‘Your Grace – to use your style as Queen of Scots – Your Majesty is verra welcome,’ said Mistress McGonagall, her ‘R’s rolling like summer thunder, ‘and I am chargit on behalf of us all to express to you, Ma’am, and to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, how verra saddened we were to hear of Major Shand’s dying so recently. We are fu’ sorry that the Duchess of Cornwall cannot be with us, but we trust, Ma’am, that that will be the sole cloud upon this auspicious occasion.’
 
‘The Minister,’ Neville added, ‘had to be forcibly restrained from being one of the welcoming party, Ma’am, but he’d have gone mad, were he here, fretting over the ceremony if he weren’t there to supervise.’
 
HM laughed, affectionately. It was still quite a young woman’s laugh, if one did say so oneself. ‘I expect, knowing Mr Potter as we all do, that his hair is positively standing on end.’
 
Hagrid snorted, and then looked embarrassed.
 
There was a succession of reports, like a salute from the King’s Troop of the Royal Horse Artillery heard from afar, and a double line of Aurors in dress robes appeared upon either side of the Royal Party. Imposing and resplendent in command, Kingsley Shacklebolt inclined his head to his Sovereign, and discreetly snapped his fingers.  The Aurors acting as the Sovereign’s Escort for the day raised their wands, forming an arch under which the Royal Party passed to enter their carriages, as the Aurors’s wands emitted streams of red, white, and blue sparks.
 
HM and her Consort looked out from the Thestral-drawn phaeton as its tyres began to crunch crisply upon the gravel of the parade ground. As the phaeton entered Hit Wizards Parade, the stone lion crowning one gatepost roared and the stone unicorn crowning the other whinnied, the stone dragon shot flames and clapped its wings and the stone boar tossed its heavy head, the statues saluted, and the cannon atop the Badajoz Memorial shot off dazzling golden sparks. Precisely, at the very instant that the phaeton had entered the wards, the Wizarding Royal Standard had been magically broken out from the flagstaff atop Hit Wizards building. 
 
Numbers one through eleven Aurors and the Hit Wizards companies had marched on and taken their positions at 10.45, with the Sharpcasters, the Hit Wizards, and the Aerial Squadron on their brooms, and the Massed Bands, then taking their respective places. The Royal phaeton had arrived at precisely 11.0 as always, and reached the Saluting Base, as always, at precisely 11.3. 
 
HM and the Duke of Edinburgh dismounted – one remembered the days when it was an actual dismounting, before one decided one might not ride quite so much, although of course one wasn’t at all growing old – at the Saluting Base, and the Corps presented wands in the Royal Salute as the massed bands – which, this being the Wizarding world, carried some very peculiar instruments indeed, including, here and here alone, Exploding Tubas – played the familiar strains of the Wizarding version of ‘God Save the Queen’ (‘Send her most sorcerous, Magically glorious, Long to reign over us: God save the Queen’).
 
HM re-entered the phaeton for the long, steady drive down the lines, her eye keen as ever, inspecting every polished robe-clasp and crisp, velvet magician’s hat. It being the year for the West Country Aurors, the Wessex Aurors, to troop wands, the massed bands played an arrangement of ‘Get Thik Pint Down, Albert’ as the Slow March and ‘The Vly’ as the Quick March as HM carried out her Inspection of the Line.
 
HM returned to the Saluting Base well satisfied with her Aurors and Hit Wizards. She smiled with grandmotherly affection upon the Minister and his Cabinet and officers who stood solicitously behind the Family party. Dear, familiar faces, all. Young Harry Potter, her Minister for Magic, not quite as young as the Younger Pitt had been when he had become First Lord of the Muggle Treasury, and very much more mature, the victor and survivor of a war incomprehensibly great. Nice young Ernie Macmillan, already taking on very much the air of his Muggle relation who had been her PM so long ago, but, like SuperMac, with a vein of humour that relieved his tendency to be the least bit stuffy and the least bit grand: now, already, Deputy Minister for Magic and Lord Enchantellor of Scotland. Such a loyal young gentleman, as well – but then, one must bear in mind that he was a Hufflepuff, after all. That wonderfully, comfortingly reliable young Tony Goldstein, Chancellor of the Tally and Lord Purser of Scotland. Her Secretary for Outlandish Affairs, the Wizarding Foreign Secretary – and how more apt was ‘Outlandish Affairs’ for a Wizarding department of state than its previous, meaningless title of ‘Western Department’ – Hermione Granger-Weasley. One had certainly seen women of dear Hermione’s stamp before: Minerva McGonagall, in the Wizarding world, and one’s late mother’s favourite PM, Mrs Thatcher, in the Muggle world. One might not always agree with such strong and independent women, but one most certainly approved of a world with such strong and independent women in it. Certainly one might rest assured that Hermione would suit as the Secretary whose remit included the Department of International Magical Cooperation, for all that she was no conventional diplomat (to say the least), and one well knew how much there was to be done in restoring those ties now that the war was over.
 
The Massed Bands Troop and Drummer’s Call was progressing properly, HM reflected with great satisfaction. And of course, that the Slow March was ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ was, as ever, sublimely impertinent and perfect for the occasion. How satisfactory it all was, she reflected: as satisfactory as knowing that the former ‘Eastern Department’ that now prided itself, with typically British self-deprecation, on being universally known as the Gnome Office, was in a safe pair of hands, indeed, the safest possible. Young Mr Malfoy was superbly suited to head the department that included Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures and the Department of Elfin Welfare – particularly with that very acceptable young Charles Weasley as Chief Ranger, and dear Mr Hagrid as Verderer Royal – Magical Accidents and Catastrophes (young Augustus Pye was shaping very well as President of the Board of Healers and Chief Medi-Wizard), and Magical Games and Sports, which latter portfolio that charming young Ronald Weasley held in plurality with his charge as Secretary for Magical Warfare, for all that he’d had to be forced to take leave as editor of Wizden’s Quidditchers’s Almanack at wand-point. Equally, one was relieved to find, one’s Lord Enchantellor and Chief Warlock, heading the Department of Mysteries and the DMLE who were on parade before one today, was a seasoned veteran with quite as safe a pair of hands as any, Arthur Valerian Garret Mornington Weasley (and that told one all that one wanted to know, really).
 
The lone drummer had finished the Drum Call, and the Escort For the Wand had formed and had now reached the Wand Party.
 
One imagined that one’s Auror Marischal, that charming young wife to one’s Lord High Warder Remus Lupin: dear old Teddy-Tinker-Tonks’s and Andy’s daughter Nymphadora: was the least bit tense just at the moment, although one could not, of course, turn in one’s seat to look. That remarkable man, Alastor Moody, one’s retiring First Lord of the Auroralty, and his incoming successor, the dapper Mundungus Fletcher – how that poor man had stood his years as an Unspeakable under deep cover as a ragged petty thief, one could not imagine – must likewise be keenly anxious that their troops did not disgrace themselves, but one had seen far too many of these ceremonies to be at all concerned: one could tell from the very start that today’s Trooping of the Wands would be carried off flawlessly.
 
Ah. Everyone was rising for the first eight bars of one’s anthem. The Escort For the Wand had now taken the ceremonial wand of the senior Auror of the company that was Number One today, and become the Escort To the Wand. The Wand would now be Trooped.
 
One must admit, Wizards do square-bash with the best of them: indeed, with a certain added flair. One might almost, HM reflected, suspect it of being magical. ‘Escort to the Wand’ and ‘The Auror’s Slow March’: such suitable tunes. One could hardly resist the urge to pat one’s foot as the intricate manoeuvres were carried out, perfectly executed evolutions, grace and power married in pageantry. That solemn young man who was now one’s Lord Privy Spell and Leader of the Lords of the Articles, Terry Boot, wasn’t it, might just be brought to forget himself and hum along yet. Well, why ever not? One’s eightieth birthday – and dear Philip’s eighty-fifth – did not come along every day, and it was most gratifying that everyone else was enjoying it along with one.
 
It was particularly gratifying that so many of one’s Scots and Irish and Welsh and Manx and Channel and Isles and Norman officers and secretaries were present. Euan Abercrombie was absurdly young to serve as one’s Scottish Secretary and Lord High Commissioner, but, then, the late rebellion had had its effects; for just such reasons, such elders as dear, gruff Alastor, and dear Tinker as Owl-Master General, and one’s Master of Requests for Wizarding Scotland (and Lord Provost of Hogsmeade), Aberforth Dumbledore, had been plucked from retirement to assist in the Restoration, and were still going strong. One could at least be certain, nowadays, that one’s Wizarding government would be untainted by corruption and not tempted by bribes, as well as fiscally sound: that formidably intelligent young Roger Davies made for a most superior Law-Wizard General, as did his equally youthful and equally battle-hardened counterparts, young Kirke as one’s Lord Pursuer for Scotland, one’s Wizarding Lord Advocate, and the deceptively fragile-seeming Natalie Macdonald as Procurator Magical, and the High Shrieve, young Cauldwell. And of course, with Bill Weasley, that very sound young man, as Purser-General and Chief Commissioner of the Department of Outlandish Revenue, and that dangerously charming Blaise Zabini being accepted by the Goblins as Deputy Governor of Gringotts, and the equally charming Dean Thomas as Enchantellor of the Duchy of Normandy, Minister of the Council Office, and Superintendent of HM Parchment Office, one had no fears for one’s Wizarding Budget.
 
And now the Auror Officer in Brigade Waiting would normally see to it that, the Auror and Hit Wizard companies, having – to the solid old tune of ‘The Dashing Light Wizard’ – formed divisions now that the Trooping itself was done, the Slow March element of the March Past would begin. But, then, one did not celebrate one’s eightieth birthday every day, or dear Philip’s eighty-fifth, and HM was looking very much forward to what was to come next. 
 
She heard Philip grunt with approval as the Aerial Squadron, the Broom Squadron, went over, in a breathtakingly aerobatic flying-past, Fred and George Weasley’s best Wizarding fireworks effects trailing from their brooms. One rather imagined, HM thought, suppressing a smile, that young Harry Potter and young Draco Malfoy were very unhappy at not having been allowed to display their undoubted superiority as flyers, but now that one had reliable ministers, one was not inclined to risk them unnecessarily. It rather recalled one’s darling papa’s difficulties in forcing dear Winston not to take a personal part in the Normandy landings.
 
Ah. The Slow March Past. Of course, it was necessary that any Slow March played overall during evolutions not be associated with any one unit on parade, but one was rather inclined to think that the first of these had been chosen by one’s Chief Secretary for Ireland, the irrepressible Mr Finnigan: ‘Fields of Athenry’, indeed. Cheeky, Mr Finnigan, very cheeky indeed.
 
The several elements of the Aurors Corps were now passing the Saluting Base, each in turn to the strains of its own Slow March. The Wessex Aurors, first, to the tune of Hatley Savage’s ‘Wessex Anthem’, then the Isles Aurors (‘The Skye Boat Song’), the Scots Aurors (‘The Fluers o’ the Forest’ – the Wizards regarded one, really, as the tanist of the Stuarts rather than as the descendant of the Hanoverians), the Manx Aurors (‘The Mauthe Dog’), the East Anglians (‘From Fen and Broads’), the Norroys (‘Roses, Roses, Red and White’), the Midlands (‘Common Clay Fired in Battle’), the London and Home Counties Aurors (‘From Tower and Hamlet Upon the Thames’ – and was that Dean Thomas giving a quiet hurrah?), the Southern Aurors (‘Dover Chalk and Channel Gales’), the Channel and Norman Aurors (‘Dieu et Ma Magie’), the Welsh Aurors (‘Suo Gan’, naturally), and the Irish Aurors (‘Danny Boy’, of course).  As the Irish Aurors completed their march past the Saluting Base, the massed bands reverted to a neutral tune, clearly the answer of one’s Secretary at War, the Devon-born Theo Nott, to young Mr Finnigan’s sly choice of earlier: ‘Scrumpy in the Zider Press’, as one might have expected.
 
And now the Quick Marches. Even Roger Davies, even poor dear Amos Diggory, one’s President of the Board of Husbandry, who had suffered so much, even old Horace Slughorn, one’s Albion Principal King of Arms, would surely be compelled to pat a discreet foot to the music now. ‘Merlin’s Jig’ to start things off, and then the appropriate quick marches of the respective Auror elements: the Wessex Aurors, to the tune of ‘The Varmer’s House-Elf’, then the Isles Aurors (‘Wha’ll Be King But Cherlie’), the Scots Aurors (‘The Standard on the Braes o’ Mar’), the Manx Aurors (‘Tower of Refuge’), the East Anglians (‘The Lincolnshire Auror’), the Norroys (‘The Pennine Winds’), the Midlands (‘The British Sorcerers’), the London and Home Counties Aurors (‘London Bridge’), the Southern Aurors (‘Wizards of the Queen’), the Channel and Norman Aurors (‘St Mary and St Michael’), the Welsh Aurors (‘Merlin of Harlech’), and the Irish Aurors (cheeky as ever: a medley of ‘Brian Boru’s March’ and ‘The Wearin’ o’ the Green’). 
 
Young Mr Finnigan – ‘that false, deluded young man’ in the words of the very next tune in question – was having perhaps more fun than was warranted, one thought, indulgently, seeing his fine Irish hand also in the choice of the last, neutral Quick March after the Irish Aurors had gone past: ‘All Around My Hat’, to which one rather hoped the children present did not know quite all the lyrics.
 
And now the Massed Bands, led by the Pipes and Drums of the Scots, Isles, and Irish Aurors, marched away from the Saluting Base, to the tunes of ‘Wi’ a Hundred Wizards’ and ‘Welcome, Royal Cherlie’: Jacobites all, at heart, Wizards. Ah, well: last year one of the Slow Marches had been ‘The Wild Mountain Time-Turner’, and one mustn’t repine.
 
And now it was the turn of the Hit Wizards to perform their Walk Past, followed by the Aerial Squadron (with the Wandwrights, Hansards, and Besomwrights bringing up the rear) at a slow, low, Fly, to the tunes, respectively, of ‘Medley: The British Sorcerers / The Voice of the Wands’, and ‘Diagon Alley’; and then the final Royal Salute and one’s anthem, again, the Wizarding version. Confound their hexèd spells, Their candles, books, and bells, Set them in dungeon cells, God save us all.
 
Under a cloudless sky, in perfect weather, to the ringing cheers of her Wizarding subjects to a man, HM resumed her place in the phaeton to lead her loyal Wizarding forces in the March Off. It had really been quite lovely, and one was very touched and gratified by such loyal devotion and high spirits – and even a bit of affectionate cheek. The Thestrals moved forward and the tyres rattled on the gravel as her Wizarding forces fell in behind her in perfect step.
 
And such lovely weather, as well. Queen’s Weather. Well, one’s eightieth birthday, actual or official, or, indeed, dear Philip’s eighty-fifth, did not come along every day, after all. A very happy birthday, indeed. Most suitable.
 
God save our gracious Queen
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen:
Send her most sorcerous,
Magically glorious,
Long to reign over us:
God save the Queen.
 
O Lord, our God, arise,
Scatter thine enemies,
And make them fall:
Confound their hexèd spells,
Their candles, books, and bells,
Set them in dungeon cells:
God save us all.
 
Thy choicest gifts in store,
On her be pleased to pour;
Long may she reign:
May she defend our way,
And we shall ever pray,
As in Great Merlin’s day:
God save the Queen.

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Comments
wren_chan From: wren_chan Date: June 18th, 2006 02:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think my favourite part (and there are many parts I could choose as favourite!) of this is the observations; I love the little notes made, all of them terribly appropriate and some downright hilarious.

that exceedingly kind, if exceedingly large, Rubeus Hagrid, the Verderer Royal, always so very pleasant to one. Amen. ^^
wemyss From: wemyss Date: June 18th, 2006 02:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you.

I really am quite proud of this one.
From: tree_and_leaf Date: June 18th, 2006 09:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
The Wild Mountain Thyme Turners. Sheer genius.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: June 18th, 2006 09:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

Oh, thank you SO much.

So kind. One QUITE appreciates such a compliment.
eagles_rock From: eagles_rock Date: June 22nd, 2006 05:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
'How lovely' indeed. Never mind the details, you do a splendid HM, Wemyss. Do let her mutter at you when she will; splendidly droll take on events. I had a wee moment of fear about the stuffed corgi, but all was well, and the 'young woman's laugh' was superb.

(I must admit to being a real fan of Trooping the Colour, especially the Massed Bands turning 90 degrees in their own space whilst wielding a trombone; what's not to love?)

And I thought 'Athenry' was a secret Irish thing; sung wherever a few Irish people have had a pint or two; I'm amazed any English people know this song at all.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: June 22nd, 2006 09:37 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you, m'dear.

I'm glad it pleased. You're vy kind to say as much.

Indeed, I'm glad to see that yet a third person has noticed the damned thing. That'll larn me to post fic whilst fandom is transfixed by the Row du Jour.

As for 'Athenry' ... well, never underestimate the cunning of the partly Anglo-Irish.
persephone_kore From: persephone_kore Date: July 30th, 2006 11:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am enchanted. Well, actually I started to be about the time I ran across Helga Whalespout, but I mean with this story independently. *grins* Arthur Weasley's collection of middle names delighted me. So did the joke about Harry's hair standing on end. And the lyrics!
wemyss From: wemyss Date: July 31st, 2006 06:21 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you.

It's a joy to hear you say as much; quite as much as it was sheer fun to write this one. I'm glad it pleased.
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