My back to the past story. HP era.
Harry was surprised that Hermione was disappointed at not being there for the experiment, and thought the more dangerous bit had been him trying it alone. She was now reading his initial research notes, with some of the books he read to follow. Harry was reviewing the plans the American wizarding architects had created to convert an abandoned boarding school not far from Hogsmede into a temporary school.
Such a large swath of the forbidden forest had been destroyed by the fighting that a large clearing existed right near the main gates to the grounds, within easy walking distance of Hogsmede. The idea was to move the structure, which was being sold by a developer for 1 pound, and eventually use it for a primary day school. The spells used were largely illusionary for the move, and didn't interest Harry as much as the retrofit spelling did. Americans had discovered lead a test of the water pipes, and priced the replacement of the pipes. "Bloody Hell!"
"Lead poisoning causes squibs."
"What? I've never heard that."
Harry starred the relevant section, and shoved the papers into Hermione's hands, then jumped up and began to pace.
"The Headmaster's library," Hermione said, and went to her room, quickly returning with a hovering stack of crates following her.
Harry took the top half off the pile, and stood in front of them, reading the listing of contents from the face of side of each crate, while Hermione unstacked the remaining crates from the bottom one. "Knew it! Of course we'd have packed the important books first."
As Hermione opened the crate, Harry restacked the rest and moved them to a corner of the room. Hermione pulled out dozens of books, and began going through some of the heritage volumes.
Harry in the mean time got out parchment and quill and began to write the few surviving members of Hogwarts' faculty.
When Harry woke the next morning, he was quite startled to find he wasn't alone. He jumped back from Luna, whose head was next to his on the pillow. "What!"
Harry hit his back against the pile of books, he'd brought to bed with him, and sat up. Luna stood up straight, laughing at Harry. "Just as funny as on the show," she said, as she left the room.
Harry's mind caught up to the fact Luna had been standing next to the bed the whole time, just bent over. He moved off the pile of books, and out of bed, grabbing his robe as Hermione threw it from the open doorway. "Hurry up sleepyhead, Luna's got some options for us."
Harry shrugged on the robe, and heading out to the living room. The room looked like a groups of Ravenclaws had been studying for finals, without fear from Madam Pince. Charts and Maps were on the walls, and sticky notes were attached to everything. Harry cleared himself a seat and tried to figure out what they had been up to.
"The question is Harry, do you want to upset the whole of wizardry in England or just topple the Ministry?" Luna said.
Hermione added another sticky to a map of Ireland, "It's not quite to that yet, Luna." She looked at the other woman, "Unless you see..."
"Just trying for a little humor," Luna pouted, with a sparkle to her eye.
"Imagine I hadn't been sleeping, what would I know now," Harry interjected.
"What Hermione's burnt coffee tastes like."
Hermione glared at Luna, "The lead factor is huge Harry. Half-bloods in particular seem to be affected the most. We could have twice or three times as many wizards in England, if we use the Americans' lead poisoning potion treatment."
"Lead inhibits mental development as well. Isn't that why muggles test for it? I think I remember my Aunt testing some china with a pen."
"That wasn't until we were kids, Harry. Before that it was in automotive fuel, paint, plumbing, all sorts of places that would easily contaminate the environment of a child."
"This is a scandal worse than if Fudge had literally been roasting goblins in his fireplace."
"Why? I mean, I get that it's tragic, but why a scandal?"
Hermione answered, "Because it is in the Ministry's own guidelines for builders, that they knew the danger of lead in the water. It's even in code for building permits, but they did nothing to inform the public, only banned converting muggle homes to wizard dwellings."
Harry sat back, and thunked his head a couple times off the back of the sofa. "So we have thousands of squibs or muggles that aren't.."
"Because the Ministry couldn't tax muggle residences," Luna finished.
Harry stood up, "Anything that needs done now?"
Hermione glanced at Luna, "We need to decide what we'll tell the public, and when."
Harry shook his head, and looked to Luna, "What horrors occur if we delay?"
"I have no indication what will happen, I don't have an article either."
Hermione's eyes opened a bit wider at that, but she didn't say anything.
"We need to meet with the architects and get the new building installed." Harry raised a quelling hand, as Hermione began to protest, "We have to have somewhere to work from. And we need more people to help."
Hermione jumped in, "I don't disagree with that, but I think we need to print something. As soon as we order the treatment potions, it'll create a time point that people can point to, and say we covered things up."
Luna began writing. Harry concentrated on what he would write. Luna and he had been doing a series of progress notes on rebuilding Hogwarts, to counter the Ministry's silence and gossip. They were quite popular with readers, doubling the newsstands sales whenever they appeared. Luna handed the partial column to Hermione. "This might work, Harry. And it also makes it appear as we recognized the danger and announced it immediately, though not the scope."
Harry took the parchment, "Hopefully it will help. Why don't you write the architects and see if they want to have lunch in Hogsmede to finalize the contract? I'll finish this up for Luna." Harry looked at the girl in question, "Can you wait a bit?"
At Luna's nod, Harry sat again and began to write.
Didn't expect this when I sat down to write tonight, but it added another snarl. Feedback and Constructive Criticism welcomed.