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A new fragment. - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
A new fragment.

‘Harry?  Oh, Harry serves his turn as Minister whenever he’s up on the rota, from a sense of duty.  And he teaches from a sense of obligation – not only to Albus’s memory, but to his, I mean Harry’s own, particular vision of what our world wants to be.  Besides, there’s more than enough in the way of crisis, risk, danger, and sudden alarms and excursion at Hogwarts and at Domdaniel for Harry to enjoy teaching: it’s not precisely the placid backwater that, say, Eton and Oxford would be.  But of course it’s field work, a chance to return to the great days of the War, that causes the old warhorse to neigh.  Give him the chance to indulge a trick of the old rage and he’s in his element, more gallant than Godric and more cunning than any Slytherin.’


‘And Draco?  And Ron?’


Hermione smiled.  ‘Yes, of course, they’re of the same kidney.  So is Neville.  So am I, at the end of the day.  Draco doesn’t mind teaching and glories in taking his turn as Minister precisely because he approaches both tasks as “warfare by other means’, as intelligence work, as a chance to engage in his vaunted tradecraft.  You couldn’t get Ron to teach a class or give a lecture if you held a wand to his head – I couldn’t, and I do manage my husband rather ruthlessly, you know.  But a chance to get back into the field?  My dear.  For that, he’ll gladly hand off the editorship of Wizden’s to assistants.  I suppose there are scores of old retired colonels in the shires who feel the same way, spending their days running the village cricket and straining at the leash to be called in to consult at the MoD.’




‘What are you playing at, Malfoy?’




‘I understand that you’ve been at yet another of Pansy Nott’s dos.  You and the rest of the so-called heroes of the War.  And a number of middling-grade Ministry workers, who are no doubt properly flattered by the attention.  Including, I may add, members of my department.  I’ve my eye on you, Malfoy.’


‘You read the court-and-social circular, then?  How splendid, I was wondering if you’d conquered your illiteracy, McLaggen.  You can’t surely think that Parkinson-as-was is having old school friends to dinner and serving conspiracy, party political scheming, and a political stitch-up as the soup course.’


‘That’s exactly what I see.’


‘My dear McLaggen!  Pansy is married to Theo, old boy.  And Theo’s a judge, you know.’


‘He’s a damned Slytherin – just as you are.’


‘Oh, do grow up, McLaggen.  This is Britain.  Our judges aren’t political.’


‘Simply because you did good enough service in the War, Potter, doesn’t mean you’re entitled to run the world, you and your friends.’


‘Yes?  I don’t recall seeing you at the sharp end, McLaggen – I assume not, at least, as the only ones wearing masks were on the other side.’


‘You bastard –’


‘As for your suggestion that those of us who won the victory are trying improperly to secure the peace….  My dear Cormac, this isn’t Spain.’


‘Pansy, darling.  Of all your superb soirees, this may be your best to date.’


‘Harry, darling!  You and Draco are growing far too much alike for comfort.  We’re awfully pleased you were able to make it, the both of you.  Draco, my lovely, Theo’s champing at the bit to introduce you to a clever young spark who’s just signing on with the DMLE.  Harry, Penelope was asking after you – she and Percy are I believe over there somewhere where darling Blaise and his Gringotts friends are holding court.


‘Oh, super – Hermione, Ron, I’m so pleased that you came along with Draco and dear Harry: Hermione, you come with me, darling, I want your opinion on my herbaceous borders, Justin will look after Ron, won’t you, Justin, dear, I know that Fleur and Bill and Gabrielle were asking after him, do take him in hand, darling, won’t you?  Ah!  Professor!  Just who I was hoping for, Hermione and I were just stepping outside to examine a very perplexing gardening problem….’


‘’Allo, Rrrron, Justin.’


B’soir, beau-frère.  Justin.’


‘Ronniekins!  Hullo, Flinch.’


‘Fleur.  Gabrielle.  Bill, call me that again and I’ll tell Gred and Forge you’ve volunteered for a test subject.’


‘Gabrielle; Weasleys all.  Lookin’ for us, I gather?’


‘Right you are, Justin, old man.  Ron, if you and Flinch would join us for a spot or two of the good stuff, Fleur and our charming sister-in-law have some news….’


‘Oh, zese English!  Beeell, zat is no way to offer an aperitif –’


‘Justin and Ron are family alike, dear, no need to stand upon ceremony.  Ah, ah, my enchanting wench, none of your Veela eye-batting, come along now, all of you….’


‘Ah.  Mister Zabini.  I understand from the popular press that the social season is in full swing.’


‘Tiberius.  Morning.  Your family distillery should be raking it in, then.  The Season is good for your, ah, “bottom line”, is it not.’


‘I’m rather more concerned with my public duties, Mr Zabini.  Curiously, one hears that more official business is transacted at one of Pansy Parkinson’s – sorry, Nott’s – little gatherings than at the Moot.’


‘One does, I suppose, move in much the same set at both, but I don’t know that I take your point.’


‘I rather think that you do, young Zabini.’


Blaise had long since perfected the literal superciliousness of the raised brow.  ‘Do I?  You cannot, surely, be tortured by visions of some vast conspiracy over the indifferent claret cup.’


‘Can’t I?’


‘My dear Ogden.  This isn’t Spain.’


‘Penny, my dear, you look super.  Percy.  Ragnok, an honour, sir.  Blaise.  Griphook, always good to see you.  Den?  Is that your wife I see with her sister, Bill, Ron, and Flinch, having private converse?  Dennis Creevey, you dog: are you keeping something from us?  A new part-Veela Creevey on order, is there?’




Blaise laughed.  ‘You’ve finally made the fearless Den Creevey blush, Harry.  And no, you ass, I’ve not managed somehow to knock Justin up –’


‘Although not for want of trying,’ said Penny, slyly, causing her prim husband to turn a truly Weasley shade of red.  His blushes only deepened when Harry winked at him and said, ‘Almost Weasley-like, eh, Percy?  Although you two are lagging rather compared to your parents.  Still, as we’ve a quorum of Gringotts directors, it’s never too early to start planning for school fees, is it, Dennis?  And I’m sure Penny and Percy have some parenting tips.  Here: let’s step into Theo’s study and raid his decanter whilst we talk.’


‘A word in your shell-like, young Harry?’




‘There’s a bit of concern, not to say resentment, in certain quarters, my boy, anent the giddy social whirl you young warriors are enjoying.  And the way in which it seems to result in radical changes in the law every time the Wizengamot sits.’


‘Is there?  And why, pray, are my social engagements the business of anyone at all?’


‘Precisely because they lend themselves to, shall we say, alarm.’


‘My dear Gawain.  This isn’t Spain.’


‘Don’t look at me, young Harry.  Just a word to the wise on my part, as between friends.’


‘I make no particular claim to wisdom, Robards, but I’m wise enough to know that any conversation between us is hardly “between friends”.  So you may as well go and tell your master Rufus to sod off.  My social life isn’t his business, and, insofar as I and my friends do happen also to form a portion of the majority in the Moot, and, therefore, of the government of the day, our dining together is hardly a conspiracy against the government, now, is it?  Good day to you, Robards.’


‘Well, Miss Parkinson – Mrs Nott, I should say?  If it were your borders you were truly interested in, you’d hae called upon Pomona, no’ me.  Better still, upon the Rt Hon Neville Longbottom, oor guid Minister.  What is it, then, that you maun turn to me and Hermione?’


‘Why, Headmistress.  With whom else would I discuss pruning and cultivation?’


Hermione snorted.  Slytherins.  They can’t even approach schools reform, save obliquely.


‘And what will you be doing in the Journal Office, er – Nigel, is it?’


‘I was thinking you might tell me that, Mr Malfoy?  Quite unofficially, of course, I do know already how the written word of my duties runs.’


‘My dear Nigel!  I am but a member of the Moot in these quiet days, a humble instrument of my constituency’s will, and quite happily put out to pasture until called upon by the Minister if he should so choose.’


‘With respect, Mr Malfoy, pull the other one.’


‘Ah, I can tell already that I’m going to take a very great interest in your career, my perceptive young friend.’


‘Ah.  Harry.’




‘You were quite rude to poor Gawain, you know.’


‘In light of past precedent, you cannot plausibly claim to be surprised.’


‘And, through him, to me.’


‘I refer the right honourable gentleman to my previous answer.’


‘We could have been your allies, you know – quite valuable ones.’


‘Odd.  That’s much the same thing that Northumberland and the Stanleys swore to Richard 3d before Bosworth.’


‘McLaggen … you really want not to be let abroad without a keeper.’


‘I was a Keeper.’


‘And a very poor one, at that.  Get out, McLaggen.  And do not slam my door in your petulance.’


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14 comments or Leave a comment
tudorpot From: tudorpot Date: June 16th, 2007 06:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is so wonderful, is there more? greedy for more of this brilliantly brit writing, reminiscent of E. Waugh, with a touch of John Mortimer.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: June 17th, 2007 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you. Indeed there is.

This fragment is a teaser for the next chapter of Under a Dragon Moon, which may be begun here:
and which is the sequel to Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn, which may be found here:

I'm very glad to hear you like it, and honoured by your comparisons.
wren_chan From: wren_chan Date: June 16th, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Dear, dear Rufus, the once-and-ever tit. n.n; I did so love this fragment, particularly for the conversations--which is good, as it seemed to consist entirely of such ^^

‘Odd. That’s much the same thing that Northumberland and the Stanleys swore to Richard 3d before Bosworth.’
Explanations and/or keywords for doing my own looking on th'Wiki, if you please?
tekalynn From: tekalynn Date: June 16th, 2007 10:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
IIRC they were sworn to fight on Richard's side, then either turned coat entirely or just sat out the battle and came in late enough to cheer on the other side.
wren_chan From: wren_chan Date: June 17th, 2007 12:31 am (UTC) (Link)
...damn. No wonder that was so cutting. <3
wemyss From: wemyss Date: June 17th, 2007 02:13 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yes, that was it.

Bloody Tudors.
tekalynn From: tekalynn Date: June 18th, 2007 09:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes, that was it.

I can't be the only one who wants to go back and slap Stanley's face. Hard.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: June 19th, 2007 07:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

You are by no means alone.

Although if I had to choose three people to blame for the whole War, they would be Maggie of Anjou, that damned Woodville woman, and the utterly vicious Margaret Beaufort.
(Deleted comment)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: June 17th, 2007 02:14 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you. You're very kind to say so.

And, yes, that is a problem in these snippets. I think it's generally cured once the snippets are put in chapters.
(Deleted comment)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: June 17th, 2007 02:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

And that sort of useful pointing things out is why I post fragments.

For which, again, I must thank you.
From: tree_and_leaf Date: June 16th, 2007 09:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Intriguing - of course, politics in the wizarding world will inevitably be more personal, because it's such a small group of people, many of whom have known each other since childhood. Potentially a rather dangerous situation, but also one with great opportunities.

I particularly liked the final coversation between Harry (I assume) and that wart McLaggen.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: June 17th, 2007 02:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

Quite so - on all counts.

Rather like the days of Pitt and Addison.

And yes, that was Harry, as will be more evident anon.
themolesmother From: themolesmother Date: June 17th, 2007 05:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Oooh, goody!!! Another fragment.

I can imagine the post-War world working this way if Harry and his friends are victorious. And the grumbling and dissent from those who feel they should have had power but who got left out is spot on. Ah, Scrimgeour - I can truly say I hate that man!

‘My dear Nigel! I am but a member of the Moot in these quiet days, a humble instrument of my constituency’s will, and quite happily put out to pasture until called upon by the Minister if he should so choose.’

‘With respect, Mr Malfoy, pull the other one.’

‘Ah, I can tell already that I’m going to take a very great interest in your career, my perceptive young friend.’

Methinks young Nigel is a distant relative of Bernard from Yes Minister.


wemyss From: wemyss Date: June 17th, 2007 02:20 pm (UTC) (Link)

I couldn't possibly comment.

Or, in other words, Yes.

And I can't see the old order surviving a Light viictory any more than it would have done a defeat.
14 comments or Leave a comment