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


by RyanJenkins 0 reviews

After great efforts to get ready quickly, friends and family gather for a double wedding.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: G - Genres: Humor - Characters: Arthur Weasley,Ginny,Harry,Hermione,Molly Weasley,Ron - Published: 2016-12-29 - 5002 words - Complete



The next day, I TAPKey'd back to Washington, with four people (two Wizards and two Witches) from the Ministry's financial section bringing along the boxes of money. Percy headed the delegation, and once they got over their astonishment at the amount of the treasure, our Department people welcomed them with open arms. Blackstone came down and supervised as the money was moved to an underground vault, and insisted that the Britishers have a tour of the Department, meet all the financial people, and stay for lunch.

After they left, Blackstone wanted to hear the story of our adventures in Godric's Hollow first hand. Then I had the fun of astonishing the Admiral when I told him about the Kahunas' invitation. He had heard of Halekahuna but never expected to go there or meet anyone who had, except two Hawaiian Wizards he knew from the Navy. I gave him the whole picture and he immediately enlisted in the conspiracy, rubbing his hands and grinning.

“All right, then, let's see: we need to make this as official as possible. You say Kingsley Shacklebolt is in the picture?”

“Yes sir! He got behind it right away and started pushing. He's perfectly fine with having all four of them gone for a couple of months.”
“Good! And – well, I suppose they're waiting to hear from us before they actually set the date?”

“That's right, and Harry asked me to tell you that you and Mrs. Blackstone are invited, if you can get away.”

“Wonderful! That'll make me a hero with Betty. Ever since I got back and told her about these folks, she's been after me to find an excuse to take her over so she can meet them.” He nodded with satisfaction, and pointed his wand at one of the three Kentucky Cardinals perched on a potted tree in the corner. It flew to the desk and he told it, “Lieutenant Braithwaite, come in and take a letter.” It zoomed out through an open transom which hadn't been there when I came in, and in about ten seconds there was a knock on the door.

“Come in!”

A young officer entered with a pad, nodded at me, and sat down, with pen poised. The Admiral began – well, let me just insert a copy of the letter in its final form:

DATE: 17 June 1998

FROM: Alistair Blackstone, Secretary of Magic

TO: Kingsley Shacklebolt, Minister for Magic

SUBJECT: International Cooperation

Dear Kingsley,

After my recent visit to the United Kingdom, I have come to regard the prospects for cooperation and coordination between our two organizations as extremely important, and believe we must take concrete steps to move the process forward as quickly as possible. It is particularly important to begin making real progress in two areas, namely Magical Law Enforcement and Magical Education. In each case, the next step will be to have some of your people visit the United States, meet their opposite numbers, and become familiar with our facilities.

If it meets with your approval, the United States Department of Magic hereby extends an invitation to your new Head Auror, Harry Potter, to come over as soon as can be arranged. It would be a very good idea if he could be accompanied by Hermione Granger and Ronald Weasley, as the three of them have unparalleled experience with the recent struggle against Tom Riddle, the Wizard who called himself Lord Voldemort, and who was the source of so many of our problems here as he was for you and your people. I would anticipate that they would take a month, perhaps more, to complete this initial mission.

In the area of Magical Education, a similar invitation is hereby extended to the Headmistress of Hogwarts, Professor Minerva McGonagall, and any members of the faculty she cares to designate, if they can be spared for at least two or three weeks. In addition, it would be useful if at least one student, from one of the upper classes, could come over. Potter, Granger and Weasley are recent students, but their focus will be in another area, and it will be very valuable to have the student viewpoint when we consider ideas and methods for implementing Educational cooperation.

Just at present, workmen are busy repairing the damage to the upper floors of the Department, and from our point of view it would be best to wait a little, just until they have finished and our top administration has moved into its permanent quarters. This should take no more than a couple of weeks, so the British visitors will be welcome on, or anytime after, August 1st.

That said, I should like to emphasize once again the advantages to both of us if these visits can be made as soon as possible. Admiral Lord Nelson famously said, “lose not an hour,” and he was absolutely right.

I think it would be best if I came over to Britain in a week or so, to confer with you and your people and firm up the arrangements we've discussed.

Please let me know your thoughts as soon as possible.

Sincerely yours,

Alistair Blackstone, SOM, USDOM.

P.S. - When I come over next I'm hoping to bring my wife Betty, who is a Witch of great power and charm, and who consistently comes up with excellent ideas. You'll like her. AB

That went out on Wemail, and a hardcopy followed so there would be a paper trail in the files, on the principle that if it was available, it wouldn't be needed. The short notice meant we all had a lot of preparations to make. Blackstone's letter got a reply the very next day, happily backing the idea of an urgent mission for Harry and adding Ron and Hermione to the team. Blackstone called me in when it arrived, and actually gave me a high-five when he read it! That was reassuring, because although the scheme had been my idea, the four most concerned, and everybody else including the Powers That Be, had instantly jumped on it. I was fervently glad to subside into the background, and was keeping my fingers crossed and hoping real hard it would all work out. I would have crossed my toes too, but that makes it real hard to walk.

I was sitting in Blackstone's temporary office on the 52nd floor of the Secretariat, present both as the guy who started this ball rolling, and in my official capacity, which I was still getting used to. After only about four months in the Department of Magic, it still seemed somewhat unreal that when the workwizards finished rebuilding the top three floors of the cylindrical tower, I would have an office only one floor down from the Secretary's, with a door inscribed:

Ryan Jenkins

Permanent Liaison to the United Kingdom

for Magical Law Enforcement

The Secretary sat back, looked at me, and grinned. “Good for Kingsley! He and I have been working so well together. It's damned lucky that the Brits got him to take over their Ministry...and actually, when you think about it, it's lucky that bomb blew you into sick bay and blew Kingsley and I out of our chairs. Mind you, I'd rather have had that happen without casualties, but getting the two of us together turned out to be one of the best things that's happened since Tom Riddle went down. We could never have pulled this off without that personal relationship. This is going to be fun!” He rubbed his hands and laughed, pointing at me. “And if you ever get tired of being an Auror, you could make a living as a Wedding Planner!”

“Well, I really don't have a yenta do that.” Once in awhile I think of things in time.

Blackstone made a face and clapped a hand to his brow, shaking his head; apparently he did know some Yiddish. “Back in sailing-ship days I could have had you keelhauled for that,” he observed wistfully. “Instead, I'm just going to give you to Betty,” he said with satisfaction, and I wondered what was in store for me. “We're going to need to prepare for the festivities right away, but I can't take time off, and Betty doesn't know these people yet. When we get the word on the actual date, Kingsley and I will schedule a meeting that'll put the three of us over there at the right time, but that might be only a week from now. So you and she will see to it that we're packed and ready. Have you got any ideas on what might make a good wedding present?”

I think he could tell that I didn't, from the way my face went blank and my mouth hung open. I blew out a bunch of air and confirmed that impression. “I hadn't thought about it.”

“Do so. But do it with Betty. You haven't met her yet,” he said with a smile. “She's Navy too. We met when we were serving on the Enterprise, and she retired when our kids started to come along. I think you'll get along fine, as long as you do what I do.” I looked the question, with enough eagerness that he chuckled. “Just remember that she's in charge. Hey, I'm only an Admiral – she was a Bosun!”

Not being a veteran of the United States (Muggle) Navy, I looked that up later. A Bosun (the short form of “Boatswain”) is the highest-ranking crew member who isn't an officer. A high-ranking non-com like that (“warrant officer” in NavSpeak) is someone who's had years to work their way up, knows everything there is to know about the ship (and the Navy), and is vastly more experienced than any wet-behind-the-ears Academy graduate. Even the Captain listens when the Bosun gives advice. The equivalent in other services is a grizzled old sergeant with stripes and hash marks going all the way up both sleeves and down the back, the kind who can induce fear and instant obedience in anyone with just a look, and uses language capable of blistering the paint on a boiler.

But Betty Blackstone is anything but grizzled. She's about five inches shorter than her husband, sort of solid and compact – not svelte, but not fat either. Not at all. She moves like an athlete – which she is; Alistair mentioned that she's won prizes in three different martial arts, and still teaches two of them. If you've ever met a Bosun, this is probably going to sound kind of weird, but she's sweet. When we were introduced, later that afternoon in the Secretary's office, I started to shake hands but she effortlessly pulled me into a hug, looked up and kissed me on the chin, and said “So you're Ryan! Alistair has told me a lot about you!” I tried to grin, and failed so spectacularly they both laughed. And when I called her ma'm, she stopped me with a look. “I appreciate the courtesy, Ryan, but I'm 'Betty' to my friends, and you're going to be one.” It was a simple statement of fact, in the same tone of voice she might have used for “it's starting to rain.”

We talked about wedding presents. I think they ought to be practical things. Who wants a little doodad that'll end up being packed away – or worse, have to be dusted? I had only given one wedding present at that point, to a couple of my classmates who married while I was in Auror training. It was a frying pan – an expensive model, stainless steel, with a real thick bottom, even-heat charm, and a lid that became transparent with a tap of your wand. When I saw them next, months later, they were glad to see me and immediately mentioned it was the most useful gift they'd gotten; it worked great and they used it every day. So I chalked it up as a success. Betty thought that might be a good idea for me, and mentioned a new line of Wizarding cookware with lids that levitated when approached with a spoon. But when we went to a shop that sold magical cookware, we found out they'd stopped carrying those because they had a problem. When you approached it holding a spoon or some other kitchen utensil, the lid lifted about three feet in the air. It hovered there until you took the spoon out, and then came back down. Apparently the spell worked a little too well, or maybe a little too quickly. There were several reports of smashed fingers, broken noses, and bruised chins – at least three people had been knocked cold – and one user complained her pet weasel had been decapitated. I'm not sure I believe that one, though. Maybe a gecko or a ferret, but a weasel?

So I spent most of the next week shopping with Betty. It was a lot like shopping with my Mom, except that Betty treated me like an adult, we were on a first-name basis, and Mom never gave me the impression that she could disassemble me with one hand.

On the first day, Betty liked the new green robes I'd brought back from Britain, but she turned her nose up at the old comfortable ones from school days I wore the second day. She has a real no-nonsense approach to side-along Apparition, and before I knew it we were walking into a very upscale Wizarding tailor shop on K Street I'd never heard of called MacGuiness & Bunter. Mr. Angus MacGuiness, impeccably turned out in dark grey robes with a faint maroon pinstripe, greeted me with an imperious eye and a Scots accent thick enough to spread on scones – but when he saw Betty, the accent disappeared. Seems he and Betty were schoolmates, and he was really from South Carolina. He was also a nice man, once we got past the front he put up for high-powered clients, and a very good tailor indeed. An hour later, after a magical measuring tape had crawled over my entire body and Betty and MacGuiness had discussed fabrics and styles in great detail (asking my opinion when they got down to two choices), I had ordered three new sets of daily-wear robes and a formal outfit as well. When I got the paperwork and looked at the prices, Betty seemed to sense that I was concerned about the cost. Maybe it was my sharp intake of breath, or the faint-voiced stutter when I asked if they took credit cards.

“Don't worry about the bill, dear. The Department will take care of it.”

“Uhh...they didn't say anything about a clothing allowance...”

“Didn't they? Well, what with all the confusion recently, I suppose that's understandable, but I'll just have a word with Alistair. You need these for your work, and after all, the Navy always issued our uniforms. I'm sure it'll be all right.” She was ladylike, and even motherly, but somehow I had no more inclination to doubt her than any Apprentice Seaman on the USS Enterprise would have. I don't know how she does it.

Betty and I had a lot of time to talk, and she quizzed me very efficiently about our British friends. Alistair had told her a lot, of course, but I had more detail on the whole struggle against Tom Riddle, the so-called Lord Voldemort. The first time I heard Betty in full Bosun mode was when I told her what I'd learned about Harry's childhood. She made a comment about his Uncle Vernon Dursley of which I can only print the first two words, “Why, that...”

After thirty or forty seconds she hadn't repeated herself once, and was really getting up to speed, but then she shut herself up by main force, shook her head, and noticed that my eyes had widened to their maximum extent. Her eyes twinkled, and she said “Sorry about the language, Ryan.”

“It's all right, I know all the words, I was a boy scout.” We laughed. “Besides, Shakespeare couldn't have said it better.”

“Oh yes he could. He would have taken ten minutes, and made it rhyme!”

Finding very special wedding gifts for two very special couples was harder than anything I'd done since leaving school. Betty groused about Alistair's attitude, and I have to admit his suggestions (according to her) were not very helpful. Harry and Ron couldn't afford the upkeep on a destroyer, even if they'd had a place to put it. Although on reflection, I wouldn't bet against Alistair's ability to come up with one if it were really wanted. After three days of trudging around to stores (both Wizarding and Muggle), I finally suggested we ask Kingsley via Wemail if he had any ideas about what people were doing for gifts.

Betty stopped in her tracks. “Of course. Sheer genius. Why Alistair couldn't have – well, never mind.” So I sent off the message, and that evening found a reply in my inbox – from Percy Weasley:

“Hello Ryan, Percy here. I have a Wemail account now! The Minister sent your inquiry on to me, and I can well understand your dilemma. We're all having a similar problem. Harry has a house, of course, and it's furnished, but we don't know what is lacking. Ron and Hermione will be looking for a place after they get back, and will probably need most everything, but we don't know what her parents may have stored up for her.

“George said something about hundred-galleon gift certificates for the joke shop, but that's not my idea of a proper wedding present. Charlie sent an owl, and Mum wrote back telling him he was absolutely not to give anyone a dragon, even a baby one. Bill says he and Fleur have picked out gifts, but won't tell me what they are. Mum and Dad are so busy preparing for the event that they've had no time to shop. I haven't either, but more to the point, I haven't a clue.

“As of last night, though, there's been a good deal of talk about holding a sort of 'welcome home' reception when they all return, and giving gifts at that point. Hermione is annoyed that none of the stores in Diagon Alley have something called a 'registry,' which is a Muggle invention. Apparently betrothed couples publicly list things they want or need, and wedding guests choose from that. It does sound rather sensible, but sort of takes some of the fun out of the whole business, don't you think?

“At any rate, the reception idea looks very likely. A definite decision may be taken tonight, and I will let you know. It will have to be decided very soon, because the wedding is set for Tuesday, June 30. Has anyone told you? The date was just agreed last night. Sorry I couldn't offer more help, but at least now you know what I know, and naturally I'll keep you informed if anything should change.

“With expressions of high regard and warm friendship,

“I beg to remain

“Vy sincerely yours,

“Percy Weasley”

I guess pomposity is a habit, like biting your nails. If you want to get me to beg, you'd have to kidnap me first. And even then – but maybe it's just an old form. I shouldn't be too hard on Percy, he's smart, he means well, and most of all he's a Weasley. But of course his reply wasn't much help. After firmly putting the kibosh on Alistair's enthusiasm for the his-and-her submarines in the Hammacher Schlemmer catalog, Betty finally decided it would be best to wait for the welcome-home reception, and I went along with the idea, feeling relieved.

When we got to Britain, we found handwritten invitations waiting for us in our rooms at Claridge's Wizarding. They said that the ceremony had been set for the early evening, to be followed by a meal they called a “wedding breakfast” and dancing, so that the newlyweds wouldn't arrive in Hawaii in the middle of the night. They were going to travel by the Hawiians' special Portkeys, and there was a fourteen-hour difference in time zones.

One thing I was worried about turned out to be absolutely no problem at all. Hermione Weasley's parents are really very nice people. I'm still not sure if it should be “Dr. & Mrs.” or “Dr. & Dr.,” because they're both dentists, but they're kind, intelligent people, and they had a lot of fun with us all, even if they are Muggles and their heads were still spinning from all that had happened recently.

The wedding ceremony was beautiful, and came off without a hitch in spite of the fact that it had been put together in great haste. It was a little unusual, because the grooms were acting as each others' Best Man, the brides were serving as each others' Maids (or Matrons, we never did figure that out) of Honor, and they didn't have any bridesmaids, groomsmen, or ringbearers (because that way nobody got disappointed by not being asked). It's probably just as well that the arrangements were made so quickly, because Arthur Weasley went all out, and if he'd had more time he might have spent himself deep into debt.

It was late in the afternoon on June 30 that the three of us climbed out of the newly-swept and squeaky-clean fireplace at The Burrow. I was very glad I had my new dark-blue formal robes, because Betty was wearing a beautiful, sweeping set of robes in sky blue, and Alistair decided to wear his full-dress uniform, which I hadn't seen before. It was a blinding white outfit with an amazing amount of gold trim here and there, and a chestful of medals and medal ribbons underneath his gold fouled-anchor Navy clasp, with the crossed wands only a Wizard or a Witch can see. I brought up the rear, and found Alistair introducing Betty to Arthur and Molly Weasley, who were also dressed in their best. Molly was looking kinda strained around the edges, somehow, and she and Betty seemed to make an immediate bond.

After warm greetings from both, they told us that the ceremony would be delayed about half an hour. It seems that the four principals had decided to play a quick round of Quidditch after breakfast that morning – just the four of them, boys against the girls – and at the end of a boisterous match (which the girls won, 157-12, after Ginny caught the Snitch) Ron had somehow managed to collide with a tree and break his arm. Fortunately, Madam Pomfrey had arrived with the Hogwarts contingent, and she was upstairs repairing the bone. She came downstairs as we were talking, wearing a rather old-fashioned-looking set of deep blue and chartreuse dress robes and a blue hat covered with gold embroidery, and smiled as she joined us.

“He'll do now, they're getting dressed,” she said, adding “and isn't it a lucky thing that Gilderoy Lockhart isn't here! If I had to regrow his bones like I did Harry's, it'd take all night!” We all laughed, then she looked at Betty. “Oh, I'm sorry, but you wouldn't know about him...”

“Actually, I do,” Betty reassured her. “Alistair told me, he heard the story from Harry. I thought that man sounded like he was born to serve as an object lesson.” That got another laugh, and McGonagall, her eyes twinkling, added,

“You know, my dear, it could be that you're exactly right.”

We went outside, where a great big pastel-purple silk (I think) tent with a very high peak covered most of the backyard, which had been transformed into a lovely sort of chapel, with flowers and greenery everywhere. Most of the guests had already arrived, and it wasn't a large crowd. Alistair went round and introduced Betty to everyone. All of Harry's friends from the Ministry had been quietly tipped off by Kingsley, who had brought his wife, a tall, elegant Witch; he was dressed in purple trimmed with gold, and she was in gold robes trimmed in purple. Everyone from the Auror office was there, including Abner Proudfoot (and his wife, a plump Witch in rose-colored robes), Jenny Killick, Lobelia Murdle, Jimmy Weston-Boyce, and Elliot Witherspoon. I wondered who was holding down the fort, and asked Elliot, a pony-tailed Auror dressed in deep red robes with electric-blue trim.

“No worries,” he told me cheerfully. “We told a couple of fellows from the Misuse of Magic office that we all had to be out on a case, and they're sitting in the office. They've instructions to send an owl or a Patronus if anything really serious should come up.”

Jamie Two-Eagles Cogburn and Caractacus “Cracks” Conway were there from St. Mungo's. Blackstone wanted to keep the American presence small, but after the amazing events at Godric's Hollow, Kenji Sakai was definitely on the list. He's as American as apple pie (or Minnesota lake trout, that being where he's from) but his formal outfit turned out to be Japanese – a beautiful dark-green kimono with a red-and-yellow dragon embroidered all around it – with two exceptions, he told me later: he didn't have the traditional hairdo, and he swapped those odd wooden clogs for shiny black Western-style shoes. Neville Longbottom was there, with a little old Witch wearing pale pink robes, a green hat with a stuffed vulture on it, and carrying a large red handbag, who he introduced as his “Gran,” and who smiled and took our hands. When she came to me, she took my hand in both of hers, squeezed, and said, “So you're the young American who's been such a whirlwind. My grandson told me about you. He says you're a fighter. Good on you.”

Neville also introduced us to two other people we hadn't met before, Luna Lovegood (a very blonde Hogwarts classmate) and her father, Xenophilus Lovegood, both dressed in bright yellow robes. Apparently, they live nearby. They were both very pleasant, but seemed to be carrying around their own Confundus bubble, as they kept making the most matter-of-fact references to things I didn't understand. Had I been on my own I think I might have been out of my depth, but fortunately I just had to smile and nod when Alistair or Betty said something; they obviously had lots of experience with all kinds of Wizards and Witches, and as we all know, there sure are all kinds.

Hogwarts had sent a fair-sized group, led by Headmistress Minerva McGonagall, tall and splendid in deep purple and silver. Hagrid was there, wearing – believe it or not – a Muggle-style suit, a light brown checked affair of some hairy-looking fabric (wool from terrified sheep?), capped off with a pink-polka-dotted bow tie in the most astonishing (not to say atrocious) shade of puce. He was a fair-sized group all by himself. Professors Slughorn, Sprout, and Flitwick were there as heads of Houses, Professor (or should I say Coach?) Sprout had come along, and of course Madam Pomfrey.

Weasleys were everywhere, and I finally met Fleur, Bill's wife. She is an extraordinarily beautiful Witch with silvery-blonde hair and amazing eyes, I think they were dark blue. I was getting drawn into them when I heard Alistair mutter to Betty “...part Veela, you know...” and somehow pulled myself up short. She's very nice, but I've heard about those siren-women. It was only later that I realized she and Bill were entirely into each other, in the nicest way; the attraction I'd felt was just something she did without thinking, like breathing.

Then we were introduced to Walter and Anne Granger, who were clearly having a most memorable time. As the only Muggle guests, they were bemused and amazed by the various Magical touches, like the heatless candles floating above, the self-refilling punchbowl at the back, and the way the spindly little golden chairs didn't collapse into splinters underneath Hagrid. But beyond that, it hadn't been very long since they'd had their memories restored: Hermione had wiped their minds of all traces of her and the Wizarding world, implanted false memories with false identities, and sent them off to Australia for safety when Voldemort took power. So they were still getting used to remembering that they had a daughter, and that Magic is real, as well as coming to grips with the fact that their only daughter was getting married.

“We named her after Anne's grandfather, Herman Gardner,” Walter Granger was saying. “He won the Victoria Cross in the Second World War – posthumously, I'm afraid.” The Blackstones seemed to stiffen to Attention, and so did I – I knew he was referring to the highest British Muggle decoration, their equivalent of our Congressional Medal of Honor (for Muggles) or Franklin Medal of Honor (for Wizards).

“So many V.C.'s were given that way,” said Alistair softly.

“Yes indeed,” agreed Walter solemnly, and then he smiled. “We had the name picked out for a boy, of course, but when we learned Anne couldn't – that is, when we found out our little girl was going to be our one and only child, we gave it to feminine form, that is, as close as we could get.”

“You must be really proud of her,” I couldn't help saying. “She's incredibly smart. I'm told she was the best student in her class.”

“Yes, so we've been hearing from the Headmistress and the other teachers,” agreed Walter, fondly. “We certainly are proud of her, more than I can say.”

“In spite of her tendency to be a little know-it-all,” put in Anne Granger with a smile. “She's been a show-off since she was in her crib. I tried to tell her she'd never have a boyfriend that way. Men do like to feel superior, don't they?”

Betty and Anne grinned at each other, and Betty started to say something, but just at that moment there was a chime, and Arthur's voice, Magically amplified, said,

“Hello everyone, would you please take your seats? We're ready to begin now.”
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