Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Harry Potter and the Aftermath

The Ministry of Magic

by RyanJenkins 0 reviews

After lunch at his house in Grimmauld Place, Harry takes Ryan to the Ministry of Magic for a surprisingly productive conference in Kingsley Shacklebolt's office. Ryan meets Percy Weasley, who's bee...

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: G - Genres: Humor - Characters: Harry,Kingsley,Percy - Published: 2016-07-19 - 4138 words - Complete



I slept in Charlie's room that night. It's a great bedroom, if you like dragons. They were everywhere on the walls and on the ceiling, in pictures and posters, and they all woke up and started roaring and belching flames when Ron showed me in.

“It's all right, mate, the flames aren't hot, just a bit warm, like. Here, watch this now,” he said, putting his hands on his hips. “All right you lot – SIT!”

All the dragons stopped making noise and sat back on their haunches.

“Now this here's Ryan, he's a friend of ours – a friend of Charlie's. He's our guest, and he's going to sleep here tonight. You leave him be, you hear me? And do what he says! All right now, all of you, lay down.” The dragons all started to lay down, except for one big green fellow beside the window, who sneezed. A gout of fire enveloped the curtains. “None of that, now, come on, lay down. That's it.” Ron turned to me. “Charlie can get 'em to roll over, but it's not good for their wings. Will you be OK, d'you think?”

“Sure. This'll be fine. Thanks, Ron!”

“No worries. G'night!”

And it was. I slept like a log from the petrified forest. In the morning I found Molly and Ginny in the kitchen; as we greeted each other, a whisk started up in a copper bowl, and a pan on the stove began to sizzle. I smelled bacon.

“Breakfast in half a tick, dear, sit down, won't you? Here's coffee, and a nice glass of pumpkin juice. Everyone's off to the Ministry, and George and Ron have gone down to the shop.”

“Harry sent an owl,” said Ginny, “asking if you'd care to come to his place this morning and talk. You could go on to the Ministry from there. I can take you over, after you've eaten, but I'll just come right back and leave you to it. Got to help Mum with the laundry.” From the sidelong glance she gave Molly, I guessed that Molly needed companionship more than help. Losing a child must be unbelievably hard. If we're lucky, we all join the Orphans' Club sooner or later.

“That sounds great. I've been hoping for a chance to have a good talk with Harry. Where is his place, exactly? Is he still living with his relatives?”

“Oh, no! Oh, my stars!” Molly put a great steaming plate of bacon and eggs in front of me, and a mound of toast hurtled on to another plate. “Those great lumps? I should say not! He's got his own house now, in town.”

“He inherited it from his Godfather,” said Ginny, “and it's getting to be really nice, now that Kreacher's cleaning it up. It's totally protected, too, unplottable and everything – even Wizards can't find it unless they know exactly how. The Order of the Phoenix used it for their headquarters when they were fighting You-Know-Who.”

Molly wouldn't let me help with the dishes again, so Ginny and I left. Harry's house was so well protected with spells, she said, that it had never been on the floo network at all until just recently, and even now could only be reached from a very few fireplaces. Following her example, I threw my floo powder into the fire, said very clearly “12 Grimmauld Place!” and stepped into the green flame. Before I knew it I had stopped spinning, and was looking out of a big old carved fireplace into an old-fashioned room, crowded with furniture and things, with a huge tapestry covering one wall. Ginny was being greeted by a very old-looking house elf, with a few white hairs and many wrinkles, dressed in full butler costume right out of the movies, striped pants, tailcoat, and spats on his bare feet. I thought he looked like a miniature (but very ugly) Arthur Treacher, and almost got the name right.

“Kreacher, this is Ryan Jenkins. He's a friend of ours from America.”

“Welcome, Ryan Jenkins. Kreacher has never met an American before. Do you speak English?” said the elf in a surprising bullfrog voice.

“Well, there's some debate about that, Kreacher, but I try. Nice outfit!” I added admiringly, and the elf drew himself up.

“Thank you, Ryan Jenkins. Harry Potter gave Kreacher these clothes, and Kreacher is a free elf. But Kreacher knows when he is well situated. He served the Black family a hundred and sixty two years, last August, and now Kreacher serves Harry Potter.”

“Ginny!” Harry swept through the doorway, and called out without stopping, “Hi Ryan! – half a tick – first things first!”

“Always!” I called back, as they kissed. Presently, they surfaced again, and Harry and I shook hands. He turned back to Ginny and asked how Molly was doing.

“All right, I guess, but if she's alone for too long she's liable to start crying again. I really ought to be getting back.”

“Not without proper ceremony.” They looked at me. “Hey, I'm an Undersecretary, I know about this stuff.” They went back into each others' arms as I turned to look at the great tapestry, which seemed to be an elaborate family tree. Presently Ginny said, “Bye, Ryan!” and I turned around and said “Bye!” as she vanished in the fireplace.

Harry showed me around the house, which was even older and odder than I had thought, and told me about Sirius Black and his family. Sirius was his Godfather, having been a close friend of Harry's dad at Hogwarts, and seems to have been the “white sheep” of the family, as the rest of them seem to have been Voldemort sympathizers, if not actual Death Eaters. Then we sat down in the drawing room in front of the fireplace, and Kreacher brought in a pot of coffee and a large plate of sort of biscuit-muffin things they called scones, which were quite wonderful with butter and jam.

We talked for a long time, and I finally started to get a coherent idea of his story, and the story of Lord Voldemort. I'm not going to try and set it down here; it would probably take six or seven books to tell it all. The gist of it was, however, that Voldemort had not merely marked Harry as a baby, he had unwittingly turned him into a Horcrux. That was shocking enough, but he told me Voldemort actually created six more Horcruxes! Never heard of anything even remotely like that; no wonder he thought he was going to live forever. And even more amazingly, except for one that Dumbledore found, Harry – and Ron, and Hermione, and another friend of theirs named Neville – had tracked down and destroyed all of them. Including the one inside Harry – but I didn't understand that part very well. Harry didn't understand it completely either, so we just let it be.

As the tale unfolded, I went from being aghast to amazed to horrified to astonished to completely blown away. At one point he stopped and asked, “Do you know the Tales Of Beadle The Bard, over in the States?”

“I've heard of it, from friends. Even saw a copy once, but I didn't read it. Kids in Wizard families mostly get more modern books these days, like Doctor Sorce – you know, The Cat On The Broom, Purple Eggs And Ham, Horton Hexes A Who, all that stuff? Some of my schoolmates knew the Beadle stories, kind of, the way at least some Muggle kids may have heard of Grimm's Fairy Tales.”

“Careful who you say that to over here, the fairies are starting to say it's a racist expression. But I get what you mean.” He had Kreacher bring his copy and asked me to read the story of the Deathly Hallows. I thought it was a typical allegorical tale, meant to teach children something (like always leaving a trail of something less edible than breadcrumbs when you go into the forest), but no. It turns out the Deathly Hallows were real, and Harry actually had found all three of them. Held them in his hands. Used their magic. One was now lost, and another hidden, but he left the room for a bit, and when he came back, he put the third one into my hands.

It was an invisibility cloak. I'd never seen one. It was incredible. It worked absolutely perfectly, and felt like the finest silk. I couldn't think of anything to say except lame banalities, like “this is the most amazing damn thing I've ever seen in my whole life.”

Kreacher served us lunch, sandwiches and a nice red ale, and then it was time to go to the Ministry. We took some floo powder out of an old snuffbox. Harry courteously let me go first, and I emerged into Buckingham Palace. Or maybe Versailles. Or even Xanadu. So I thought, but it was the right fireplace after all. Our Department of Magic building is truly a beautiful structure, and its ground-floor circular lobby is very impressive, but next to the Ministry of Magic, it's a trailer park down by the freight yards.

The place is beyond my power of description, really, but I'll give it a shot. The Atrium is enormous, with a floor of polished wood and, far above, a peacock-blue ceiling inlaid with golden symbols that moved, shining and sparkling. We emerged in the middle of a whole line of fireplaces, facing another whole line. People were coming out of the ones on our side, and lining up to enter the ones on the other. Innumerable bay windows, mostly lighted, lined the walls, floor after floor of them, going way up. The stonework was superb, and the various woods on the floor and walls fitted like a master cabinetmaker's dream. Harry had explained that the Ministry was deep under London.

“This is unbelievable. Except that it's real, I mean. Wow.” I walked forward, looking up with my mouth hanging open, feeling like a farmboy on his first visit to New York City. Harry stayed by my side, and lots of people waved to him, some bowed in his direction, but nobody approached us. We stopped in front of a large reflecting pool with a stone plinth rising out of it; the flat top of the plinth was empty.

“Used to be a golden statue standing there,” said Harry, “a fountain, but it got destroyed when we fought Voldemort and his Death Eaters here last year.” Harry had told me about that battle, the only time when Voldemort and Dumbledore dueled directly, neither being able to overcome the other. He went on, “When Voldemort took over, he had it replaced with a horrible ugly sculpture of a Wizard and a Witch grinding their power down on every living thing – as you'd expect, that got smashed, pretty much first thing after he went, and the pieces dumped in the ocean. Haven't decided yet what to put there now.”

The bottom of the pool sparkled with galleons, sickles, and knuts, and there was a golden plaque which said all proceeds went to “St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries.” I took out a couple of galleons and tossed them into the water. “I made a wish. Hope that's all right.”

“Can't hurt, anyhow. What'd you wish for?”

“Peace. And healing. And friendship between our countries.”

“That's good. Here...” Harry took out a couple of galleons of his own. He closed his eyes for a moment, and they made a soft double splash. “Come on, we'd best get moving, it's nearly one.”

There was a great big set of golden gates at the far end – solid gold, I think – with a security desk in front. A chunky, middle-aged Wizard with five-o'clock shadow and peacock-blue robes sat there and gave us a broad smile.

“Hallo, Harry, good to see you!”

“Hello, Jimmy. Ryan, this is Jimmy Weston-Boyce. He's got five Death Eaters to his credit.”

“Six now Harry, we finally got Lucretia Ramsbottom last night. Found her hiding in the drains under Battersea.”

“Good on you! Jimmy, this is Ryan Jenkins, Undersecretary for Foreign Wizarding Relations at the United States Department of Magic.”

“Ah, yes of course!” He stood up and bowed. “I've had word from the Minister, he's expecting you. But...” he frowned, “I haven't had instructions, I'll have to see your wand, please.”

“Perfectly all right, don't worry.” I handed him my wand and he measured it, put it on a set of golden scales, fussed with the counterweights for a moment, consulted some tables in a large, leather-bound book, and made a note on a piece of parchment.

“Fourteen and a quarter inches, American elm. Haven't seen one of those before. Very nice, sir!” He handed back my wand and I stowed it in my robe. “Far right lift, Harry, we've held it for you.”

“Thanks, Jimmy.”

The “lift” turned out to be an elevator, again made of gold. He led me down a short corridor with purple carpeting to a large, highly polished door of some fine-grained wood, which had the words “Minister For Magic” inlaid in gold above the round Ministry symbol. Inside, a Witch in shocking pink robes looked up from her desk and smiled. “Hello Harry! And you must be Undersecretary Jenkins, welcome to the Ministry, sir.” She tapped a piece of notepaper with her wand, and it folded itself into a paper airplane and zoomed through the transom over an inner door.

Moments later, Kingsley Shacklebolt opened the door and beckoned us in. “Hello Ryan – Harry! Esmerelda, I really don't want to be disturbed – nothing less than a Class One emergency, and not even that if it can be helped. Think you can hold them off all right?”

Esmerelda grinned and showed dimples. “Don't you worry, Minister, Chuckie and I can sort anyone who barges in.” She stroked a purple, foot-long model dragon on her desk. It reared up on its hind feet and roared, sending a jet of flame across the room which set a lampshade on fire. She quenched it with a wave of her wand as we went into the Minister's office. Harry was chuckling. “Charlie's present turns out to be useful as well as decorative.”

The Minister's office was a large room, with a heavily carved floor-to-ceiling bow window that apparently looked out on Tower Bridge from somewhere in the middle of the Thames. It was raining. On one wall was a large portrait of Benjamin Franklin in full Wizarding robes; he winked at me and said, “Good to see an American! And nice to be out of that damned storage room and back where I can see!” I saluted him, and he returned it with his wand. There was a red leather sofa and a cluster of armchairs in another corner, and Harry and I stood in front of two empty ones.

Hermione, Arthur and Bill were already there, with yet another red-haired young Wizard. Of course I knew who he was, and was not surprised when he leaped to his feet and bowed as we were introduced. “Absolutely delighted to meet you, Mr. Undersecretary,” he said pompously, “and if there is anything – anything at all! – that I can possibly do for you during your stay here, you have only to ask.”

“Yes, there is, actually,” I said gravely. He practically came to attention, looking eager, and I stuck out my hand and grinned. “Put a sock in it, Percy. Please. I slept in your brother Charlie's room last night, your Mum made me breakfast, and Harry here told me all about how you and Arthur took down Pius Thicknesse. You've got to show me that sea urchin hex! Relax, will you? We're going to be good friends.” Percy looked surprised and a little embarrassed, but grinned back as we shook hands and the others laughed. We sat down.

Kingsley was smiling. “Ryan, your diplomatic skills are unerring.”

“I don't do diplomacy, Kingsley, I'm just me, tryna get stuff done.”

“Just so. And I hope you two will be good friends, because Percy here is doing an amazing job of tracing the flow of money during the Fudge, Scrimgeour and Thicknesse Ministries. He's not done yet, by a long chalk, but he's already found several things that need following up, including a series of rather large funds transfers to – and from – the United States.” He looked at me over his reading glasses, and picked up a scroll from his desk. “Right then, let me show you this...”

We got down to brass tacks very quickly. Harry and I summarized the situation for Percy, each of us explaining what had happened in the other one's country. That showed what we each knew (and didn't know) and got everybody on the same page in jig time.

After that, we focused on two main points. First, the fact that there were Death Eaters in other countries, which surprised and worried the British. I set up my computer and sure enough, there was a reply waiting to the Wemail I had sent this morning from Harry's place:

We have so far identified five people, including Parboil, who were seen to have the Dark Mark on their arms, and have suspicions about two or three more. The Research people say they may be able to determine if a Dark Mark was present by examining a corpse, even after the mark has faded out. Will keep you advised of any definite results. So far, I have not seen any hard evidence of Death Eaters, or Voldemort influence, in any countries besides US and UK. But there have been rumors about Mexico and Canada, which we are trying to chase down. Please expedite Wemail contact directly with Ministry people and departments, as the Minister may direct. Blackstone.

“That tears it,” I said, “we've just got to work together on this.” There were noddings and noises of agreement all around. “Percy, I don't have to tell you that we'll be very interested if you find any money connections with Mexico or Canada.”

“No indeed,” said Percy. “Anything outside the country's a red flag, of course, but I'll see that any Mexico and Canada transactions set off one of Weasleys' Wheezes more spectacular fireworks, so to speak.”

“That's the spirit!”

“Voldemort was an extraordinary Wizard,” pointed out Harry, “but his madness was hardly unique. What he started seems to have spread, rather like an infection in a way, and we've got to try and stamp it out. That's going to take international cooperation.”

“Yes,” said Kingsley, nodding, “exactly. And the first requirement for cooperation is communication.” That led us straight to the second main point, the need to get everyone familiar with things like computers, and Wemail.

Percy, of course, had not seen my computer before. The others filled him in, somehow using far fewer words than I probably would have, and I ran through an abbreviated form of the demonstration I'd given last night: sound, pictures, video, and printing a document with my wand. Percy watched with amazement, exchanging looks now and again with his father. At Harry's suggestion (made with a glint in his eye as we talked this morning), I included a brief and rather steamy clip from a BBC television series he knew of, which featured an actress who looked amazingly like Penelope Clearwater, Percy's girlfriend. Percy's eyes went wide, and he turned a remarkable shade of red. Bill's face went wooden. Fortunately, Arthur and Kingsley didn't seem to notice. But Hermione leaned forward, and then looked straight at us. Harry studied the ceiling, and I tried to look like butter wouldn't melt in my mouth. Hermione didn't buy it for a second, and sat back with her arms crossed.

“Ryan,” Harry spoke up, “if there ever was a moment, this is probably it.”

“Right.” He started to explain about the Sniffer program, while I set it up and made the screen bigger, moving it back into the room so everybody could see it. A map of London appeared, centered on Whitehall, with the blue Wizard's hat in the center. I had activated the laserpoint charm on the end of my wand, and sat comfortably as I tapped the hat. “That's where we are right now – it detects its own position using GPS, which is a Muggle system you can tap into with Magic, even far underground like this, where it doesn't work for them. Now, London's a big, busy place, so I'm going to limit our radius to just a mile from the center.”

I entered the limit and touched OK with my wand, then I zoomed in on the Ministry and drew a boundary around it. “Let's leave the Ministry out, for now – way too much magic here, we'd just get a confused sort of lump on the screen.” I hit the DETECT button and a great many colored icons and symbols appeared. Most of them were concentrated in a long, irregular line in the upper portion of the map.

“That's Diagon Alley!” exclaimed Kingsley. I zoomed in on the area, and as it expanded on the screen, everyone's attention focused on a short offshoot which was crowded with ominously-colored icons.

“Knockturn Alley,” said Arthur disapprovingly.

“And look – there's Borgin and Burkes!” Added Hermione in an even more negative tone. “Just look at that. They're simply full of nasty things, aren't they?”

Almost all the icons in Knockturn Alley were showing in warning colors. Most, to be fair, were only yellow. But there was a lot of things with the orange border and red center, and quite a few with red borders and black centers. Most of those seemed to be in Borgin and Burkes, which, I was beginning to think, was much like some of the shadier places you find in New Orleans, Southern California, Montana, New Jersey, and upper Manhattan.

“I should point out that this spell was created with reference to United States Magical laws and statutes,” I said, “so some things may not be classified correctly under your laws here. Another feature, one we didn't see last night, is that you can temporarily ignore an item, and it disappears from the display – like this...” I caused several yellow items in Borgin and Burkes to go onto the Hidden list. Then I stared. “Hello,” I said slowly, “what's this?”

The disappearance of the yellow icons had revealed a cluster of three all-black icons.

“All black, if I got it right, means an object which cannot possibly be used for anything except dark magic, and is dangerous in itself, just sitting there.” Harry was intent. “What are they?”

I used my wand, but dialog boxes came up empty. “Can't tell. Maybe these people have some sort of shielding charm that works a little too well. The research people are really going to want to know about this.” I started typing in notes. “And we could really use better information about architecture and relative spatial locations...”

“They must certainly be well hidden, and well shielded, or they would have been found before now,” observed Arthur, with narrowed eyes.

Kingsley spoke up without taking his eyes off the display. “ I never imagined....we must certainly have this.”

“Well, we don't have it yet,” I admitted. “This is still the beta-test version. What I would rather say is that you must certainly help us develop it, so that we can both have it, as soon as possible.”


“I'm sorry now that I went to bed so early last night,” said Bill. “This is going to revolutionize the Auror department.”

“Eventually, I rather think this sort of thing could revolutionize the entire Ministry,” Arthur put in.

Kingsley was nodding. “Yes....yes, you may well be right, Arthur. But not all at once. What we must do is make a start, and it's clear that the place to begin is with the Aurors.”

“Right.” – “Definitely.” – “Of course.” – “Yes.” – “No question.” We all spoke at once.

“And that means we shall have to have a new Head Auror without delay. I have been putting this off too long. We lost so many people to Voldemort – in one way or another – that seniority has become meaningless.”

“There's Elliott...” began Harry.

“Elliott Witherspoon is a very fine young man,” said Kingsley, “but he is only just back from St. Mungo's. And much as I like him, he is not the man for this job. His name is not widely known, and right now, it is essential that we re-establish confidence in the Aurors. There is only one possible choice.” He turned to face Harry and looked him straight in the eye. “Harry, let me offer you my heartfelt sympathy, as well as congratulations.”
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