Disclaimer: I own nothing of Harry Potter.
West of Here
Chapter 19: The next day….
"He-He-He…Ha-Ha-Ha-Haw-Haw-Haw….!" What started as an amused chuckle turned into all out howls of knee slapping laughter that had the rest of the room beginning to question his sanity. Jamie Black stood in the middle of the Minister of magic's office howling fit to bust at some of the suggestions a veritable who's who of diplomats and chairman's of industry threw at him to bleed off his prestigious magical power.
All were men and women that new of magic and continued to directly or indirectly experiment with practical applications for the use of magic to improve the human condition.
It was the last suggestion by the American contingent from N.A.S.A. that had put him over the edge.
"Let me get this straight….?" He wheezed as he tried to rein in his guffaws. "You want me to see if I'm capable of apparating all the way to Mars?"
"Not in so many words or as simple a procedure as just that, but essentially-yes." The director of NASA confirmed.
"He-He-He….Ha-Ha-Ha…." His continued amusement was cut short, of course, by Hermione's intervention.
"Alright, Harry,…that's enough. These people came a long way and I for one think the majority of their ideas show a great deal of merit. While unconventional, I must admit, there's some very unigue , 'out of the box' type thinking that I ,for one, believe deserves further investigation for its viability.
"Awe, Comeon, "Mione…. Apparate to Mars? What am I gonna do if'in I even get there in one piece, open a burger joint?"
Hermione's lip began to twitch at the suggestion and despite her best efforts she began to giggle herself at the notion. The picture he painted was definitely a comical one.
"Actually we were envisioning you establishing the ground work for colonization."
Both parties immediately sobered at his suggestion, garnering the rapt attention the NASA director continued.
"I apologize that I didn't make our intentions more clearly in advance of just springing the notion on you. We would, of course, properly outfit you for your continued survival. The first course would be experimentation to try and determine, what, if any are your current limitations for apparition. We also have been apprised by Minister Granger of your Spirit Walking capability and would like to consider that potential avenue as well in our calculations."
Harry shot Hermione a glare that clearly stated he didn't appreciate her having divulged that particular to parties unknown.
She looked suitably abashed, but still defended herself logically. "Full disclosure was necessary to ensure I could find as many potential applications for keeping your magical power safely in check. While some of these ideas are extreme in their conception, we don't really know what, if any, your limitations are and to what degree we could utilize them to the benefit of all concerned. I think the vanishing charm aspects suggested by the environmental agencies have real merit."
"Think of it? Such high powered vanishing spells as you could undoubtedly generate could obliterate landfills overnight, clean oil spills, perhaps even remove space debris from orbit thereby making the world that much safer from fallout, but still removing obstacles to space travel that hinder launch windows." Floyd Patterson of the EPA took the opportunity to press his agenda forward.
Jamie paused and scratched his chin thoughtfully in contemplation. "Could work, I suppose." he mulled.
"How are your levitation charms? Perhaps if space travel is not a viable option could you at least put your substantial power toward assisting with rocket launch. We could save literally millions of dollars in rocket fuel that is wasted on breeching earth's gravity. That same fuel could then be more readily used for shortening travel time in space itself." One of the NASA scientists suggested.
He glanced incredulously toward Hermione seeking her input.
She shrugged, offering.. "You won't know until you try, Harry. Maybe your magic can lift the dman thing right into orbit, who knows?"
He didn't know what he found more reassuring in that statement. That fact that she thought it even possible, or that she was willing to consciously swear to embellish her supportive statement.
He paused quietly in contemplation while the roughly two dozen figure heads waited on tether hooks for his decision regarding their many offers. For him, only one person in the room's opinion mattered.
After much consideration and soul searching he paused in front of Hermione's desk, ignoring the "guests" to either side as he addressed only Hermione.
"So rather than put me down or lock me away, you think a life as a lab rat or space monkey a more appealing alternative?" he assumed darkly, his eyes the dull and lifeless continence of one on Death's row.
Hermione's face fell. Her hope filled eyes now wounded.
She was about to refute his assumption but was saved by the president of the International Confederation of Wizards.
"Certainly not, Mr. Potter, or would you prefer Black?" he asked politely.
"Either will do." Jamie offered grimly.
"We only make these suggestions as potential avenues from relieving you of the burden of your excess magical energy. We do not intend this a full time, life consuming, never ending in-servitude, no matter how beneficial to the public it may prove on the whole. Consider them hobbies at best. Your talents are far more valuable in your present capacity to ever consider them replaceable by any stretch of the imagination. "
"My talents?" Jamie prompted, not sure where this new avenue was going, or just how bumpy the ride might be before choosing a saddle for the trip.
"Your marshaling talents, of course." James Fenmore, the ICW head clarified as he pulled a thick sheaf of documents from his brief case.
"I hold in my hand affidavits from law enforcement personal and eye witness testimonies of a mysterious stranger, who just so happens to fit your description, as having timely intervened, at no little risk to himself, bringing perpetrators of all degree to justice with no loss of life incurred by their victims in the process. Frankly the amount of these incidents and the subsequent degree of human life spared and property restored is absolutely astounding."
The ICW head slapped the thick sheaf of testimonies down on Hermione's desk to accentuate his immense respect for such an undertaking as if admitting evidence before a judge.
"I , er, doubt a lot of those are even attributed to me and even so I didn't do much more than lend a hand here and there."
Hermione crooked an incredulous eyebrow at that and Mr. Fenmore actually rolled his eyes.
"You're quite right, Minister Granger, the man's modest to a fault. Be that as it may, I can arrive at only one concrete conclusion as in what to do about you, Marshal Black." At seeing Jamie about to argue the point as he'd turned in his marshal's badge only yesterday so that perhaps the ICW was not yet apprised of the change.
"And yes, I do mean Marshal." Mr. Fenmore continued overriding Jamie's objection before he could voice it.
He pulled a handsome dark burgundy wooden box from within his briefcase and cleared his throat meaningfully to which every prestigious member within the Minister's office rose from their seats respectively.
"I have been afforded the deepest of honors by the United Nation's Security Council and the unanimous decision of the ICW's entire sitting membership, but ,.. I think that perhaps this should come from you; Minister Granger?" Mr. Fenmore suggested, passing the box expectantly to Hermione's trembling hands.
Hermione nearly glowed as she curtsied before accepting the proffered box which she held reverently in her hands as if it contained a priceless jewel or national treasure, which be all accounts- it did.
Jamie's eyes shifted from Fenmore's to Hermione's warily as if expecting the box to contain the key to his waiting cell at Azkaban.
"Harold 'Jamie' Potter-Black…. It is by decree of the United Nations Security Council with the endorsement of the ICW's unanimous vote that you are henceforth and for all time designated as Marshal Jamie Black…"
Hermione snapped open the box to reveal a gleaming silver starred badge with Marshal Black inlaid in gold.
"Marshal Black is a designated United Nation's legal representative covering in their entirety the territory of all nations across the globe in rendering lawful aid as he sees fit with complete legal authority in all cases under the direction of the United Nations Security Council in dealing with non-magical cases and likewise the ICW in all magically involved incidences. All nations are hereby obligated to render Marshal Black autonomy in the pursuit of his investigation and provide any and all legal assistance as deemed necessary by Marshal Black upon his order to do so, up to and including military aid. This is a lifetime appointment to which I am most honored to present and couldn't be more proud of the man I hereby present it to."
Hermione plucked the badge from its cushioned enclosure and with trembling hands she pinned it to the lapel of his duster, placing her hand gently over it after as she held his eyes trying to relay her deepest affections and respect for his accomplishments.
"The rest will sort itself out, but for now, do what you do best-Jamie,…Kick Arse." she smirked before hastily kissing his cheek as the rest of the room cheered and applauded his appointment.
Many would recall this day fondly to family and friend as the day that justice became more than a fleeting word of hope the world over. Many would also recall this even more poignantly as the day their world became a better place in which anything was possible given the right people with varying talents and the will to see it through.
Some years down the road…
BLAM-BLAM-BLAM-BLAM-Click…. "Jesus, pap-us palomino!" Jamie griped having run out of bullets again.
For what reason he had to complain, Ron couldn't guess as the last of their assailants had fallen after his fourth shot, after the last reload.
Ron's auror detail had been involved in a firefight that was rapidly going sideways until Marshal Jamie Black's timely arrival only moments ago.
POP-POP-POP… Several hit wizards and ministry support personal arrived to find a shaken, but otherwise unharmed detachment of aurors and some dozen or more hooded crimson cloaked sycophants in various states of perishing.
"Ron, thank God!" Hermione gasped upon arrival, clutching worriedly at her fiancé. She was just beginning to give him a look over when a hit wizard called out from the back ground…
"This one over here is still alive!"
This was shortly followed by Hermione realizing why her fiancé was still among the living in the first place.
"What'd ya mean this one's alive?" Jamie shouted out in angry disbelief sending the Hit wizard cringing off to find medical assistance.
"Damn it all to hell! The damn sites must be off too." Jamie complained vehemently spitting down on the paves to show his contempt as he continued to grouse over his empty guns and off sites.
"Those goblin idiots did it on purpose. Gift from the goblin nation in apology for past transgressions" he mimicked in abject distaste before adding, "My arse! They're just trying to get me killed, the little piss ant somes a bitches. Two more rounds then a six gun, but no damned kick and the sites are as crooked as the little bastard's sense of honor. Goblin craftsmanship- my arse!"
Hermione smirked in relief as she watched her dearest friend complain over his supposed lot.
The goblins had sued vehemently for peace after the fall of Voldemort claiming they'd been forced into an untenable situation. Hermione had taken the little traitors to task and did them one better additionally in forcing them to publicly apologize to Jamie Black and forging him more proficient firearms that would bled off his excess magic more safely and effectively whilst giving him more firepower.
Hermione quirked an eyebrow to Ron meaningfully toward the remnants of yet another coven of fools bent on ill got power and corruption.
Ron nodded his head in answer that her assumptions were correct. Jamie had saved the day yet again and in his typical fashion was not only not taking any credit as such, but found something to blame present circumstances on for not making a clean sweep of it.
They both knew that any survivors were by his design and not unfortunate circumstances.
Hermione held her hands out expectantly, offering.. "Why don't you give your firearms to me and I'll see to it that they're weapon smith adjusts them accordingly."
She already knew the answer before she asked, or thought she did.
"You don't see me running around whining for your wand do ya?" he slapped his goblin made colts home possessively in a fashion that clearly stated-hands off.
"I'll take care of it meself so it's done right and proper, thank you very much."
"Hmff, and I suppose you don't want to hear it, but thank you for saving my aurors lives, just the same." She planted her fists are her hips as she sauntered his way with a no nonsense air that always seemed to get a stir out of the infuriatingly wonderful man.
He crossed his arms over his chest taking an unmovable stance."I was in the neighborhood is all, and planning on a quiet drink or three to unwind when Ron and company showed up and ruined my day off." he groused.
Ron rolled his eyes at that, but kept any rebuttal to himself. Hermione and Harry were just breaking the ice in their usual discordant fashion that Merlin help him; Hermione was getting more like Harry every day.
"Well, hmm, at least let us show our appreciation over a home cooked meal? You look like you haven't eaten for a week." Hermione offered in normal lecture fashion.
"You cookin it?" he asked warily.
"Actually I was thinking we'd call on Molly for one of her sumptuous Saturday evening meals."
"Well alright then, something I can not only keep down, but actually enjoy"he smacked his lips in anticipation.
"What?" Hermione growled angrily.
"Awe here we go…" Ron grumbled under his breath, to which Harry just smirked in anticipation.
"Listen mister, there was nothing, and I mean nothing wrong with that steak and potatoes I made you last Friday night you ungrateful clod." She shook her finger at him threateningly to accentuate her words.
"Tough as shoe leather." he barked back. "I was in the shitter half the week trying to pass a rock for my trouble. Ate it just so's not to hurt your feelings and suffered for it in the end, if you catch my meaning?"
"Of all the ungrateful, inconsiderate…."
"Ron, you up for a drink as long as you're here?' he asked, talking over his female friend with a complete disregard.
"Hell yes." Ron immediately accepted with a winning smile.
"Same place as usual and we'll call Remus and the boys over to catch up,'k?"
"You got it." Ron jumped on board in a heart beat.
"Oh no you won't mister." Hermione began to scold turning her ire on Ron. "If you think you're going out to get soused with this backwoods reprobate than you've got another thing comin-hey!" Hermione barked in outrage as they both apparated away without a second thought.
The thing that irritated her the most was that they never asked her along and that neither she nor any other female among their friends and acquaintances had the slightest inkling of where the men got off to on these sometimes weekly, usually monthly sojourns.
They'd tried and exhausted every avenue to deduce said tavern's locale. Even Katie in a moment of passion had tactfully poised the question… and got herself a spanking for her trouble, afterwards-of course.
It was harmless, perhaps irritating, but harmless fun the male contingent engaged in with their treasured friend.
And a treasure was exactly what Harry/Jamie had proven to be. Landfills mysteriously became sweeping fields of wildflowers and thick forests overnight. Even Professor McGonagal was at a loss to understand the mechanics behind such prolific and broad spectrum transfiguration. Magic was obviously the cause, though no one ever claimed responsibility as such.
Everyone knew, but had learned early on not to make a fuss.
Muggle buildings and super structures repaired themselves in the blink of an eye. Stress fractures disappearing, paint turning from cracked and faded to pristine, windows clear and whole, mortar finding its way into refilling joints and on and on it went. The only thing that didn't progress as rapidly as the rest of the world was the space program, apparently one such unnamed scientist had no interest in anything Martian in origin.
The world over wanted to thank the benevolent group or organizations responsible. Unknowingly they were, every time they unthinkingly let said benevolent organization blow off steam with his friends.
Ron said they never talked about such world altering mysterious happenings when they got together. Harry was mainly interested on how their friends were doing and what was new in their lives. Coincidently, anyone currently experiencing any hardships had said hardships righted or disappear entirely overnight.
Again, everyone knew or suspected they knew the miracle behind such things, but they'd learned early on not to make a fuss.
Most just nodded their heads west of here and said a prayer of thanks.