Heh, I rather liked that Prof. McGongall came to her realizations on her own, aided by the fact that a distracted Albus failed to renew the compulsions, and was much more open to their discussion; Harry has now gained a most valuable ally.
The whole scene at the Palace was fun. I can see the guards taking to hear what they've learned and revising security procedures and policies to provide better protection against wizards. I suspect it's been quite the learning experience all around. The discussions with Her Majesty were quite enlightening and I suspect Albus' power base has just taken another hit, especially after the Queen verifies that everthing he's told her is the truth.
Finally, we're seeing the training of the first elves to make the crystals and I reckon the advice at the end from Hermione and Winky is going to imporve the process flow nicely.
Finally, I was amused by their visit with her folks and the discussion there. I suspect he's going to have an "interesting" talk with her father in the near future. Probably a good thing that her father is an intelligent man who seems likely to hear him out before taking any action.
Yeah, I felt that if McGonagall found out any other way, Dumbledore would deny the information as being mere Propaganda. As you said, since it was Dumbledore's own damn fault she did discover them she will now, stand firmly behind him. I decided when I began this not to have her in the front ranks, but in a more 'subversive' role...first because most of the Deez were once students of hers. that would cause a conflict within her. Second, she's in her eighties. That might be middle aged for wizards but she's still past the time when she can effectively face multiple opponents with the intention of killing. A mistake in combat would end up with her dead and I'll need her to run the school, when Albie is neutered.
You're right. They're gonna have to come up with something to keep the wizards out. As it is, they have no defense against the Deez...or any other wizard for that matter. Perhaps they should contact a muggleborne or half-blood to help design such a system?
The Queen: Yeah, Queen Elizabeth is one of the very few national leaders I actually respect. She's always listened to her advisers, and as I understand, she will not tolerate lies...even little ones. With this new information coming to light, Albie has lost a great deal of his standing. Once she confirms that Harry is telling the truth, (starting with a quiet investigation of the Dursleys), she'll spread the word to other national leaders. Albie is going to continue to lose prestige until the very last. Then it'll be too late.
Elves: Yepper. Dobby is a little overzealous, but he's competent as all hell. Since they're going to concentrate on making the single stones, (which would still be able to deal with full power) It won't take too long. I did the math and with nine force sensitive elves, not including Dobby, and a half dozen others, the whole batch of focusing crystals can be made in 28 days, and give each primary elf a day off to recover, between each one. I figure it will get easier with practice and so, if they stagger their production, the primary elves can assist others during the process.
The added benefit is that the other elves can also help Harry make the other parts of the lightsabers. The hundred power cells will be delivered in the next chapter, and those elves with appropriate experience can help him grow the 'Organic Connectors', and those with tool fabrication experience can make the shells. The electronics are simple to assemble and since the lightsabers are designed to be used in all kinds of environments, I'd assume Yoda gave him ideas on how to shield them from magical interference.
Discussion: How do you threaten a kid who can use both a wand and a lightsaber. It's a good thing Harry respects Hermione, and that Hermione's mum knows. I have the feeling that both are going to be needed during that discussion.
I'm a dad. When my daughter went to her first homecoming dance with a guy who kept looking at her like a piece of meat, I took him aside and told him: "There are 26 bones in each of your hands. I can break all but eight of them without a hammer." Then I showed him my well-used, 28 oz, Fat Max framing hammer.
He got the picture.
Until next time...