"The International Statute of Magical Secrecy is hereby abolished."
With these words ringing in her head, Andromeda Parkinson hurried to her console to call an emergency meeting of the Systems Alliance Parliament. Only major Chamber heads, the Prime Minister, and the Lord of Chambers (who, oddly enough, wasn't technically a member of Parliament despite being the presiding officer) had the authority to do so. As head of the Chamber of Commerce, Andromeda was the only one of the half dozen magicals on that list, so the duty fell to her-despite the fact that the emergency in question had nothing to do with her official area of authority.
Well, she mused, it probably would impact Commerce. Even if the sudden revelation of the wizarding world –whoops, magical world, have to remember that- didn't throw the market into flux, the sudden addition of so many new magical materials and transport abilities definitely would. Still, Parliament protocol called for the Head of Chamber of the cause of the emergency in question to call the meeting, not the Chamber of the results.
It's not like there was a Chamber of Magic. At least, not yet.
Chuckling slightly at that amusing thought, Andromeda Parkinson, MP Britain, Head of the Chamber of Commerce began walking to the Parliamentary Chambers. Calling an emergency session gave all members of Parliament 15 minutes to get to the Hall, and she intended to be the first there. With her wand.
Across the station, wizards and witches -and the occasional vampire- began acting almost as one. First informed were the squibs, each of whom began their own routines. Everyone cognizant of the magical world who were part of the non-magical was briefed on what to do for many permutations of the revealing of the magical world. Those in government or military were even more thoroughly advised, and those who lived on Arcturus Station were briefed in almost painful detail. Just as Earth was the heart and soul of humanity, Arcturus Station was the brain. It was absolutely vital that revelation of the hidden world go well here, for here was where policy was formed. If there were motions to subjugate magical beings in any way –or even worse, if such measures actually passed- it would be disaster of unmitigated proportions.
No one wanted that. To get the best results -that is, the case where there was the most goodwill towards the magical community- it was decided that approaching people at a personal level would be best. Section chiefs told stories of their families while they worked. Healers opened their potion stores to the station medical centers and worked in shifts so there was always a magical healer on call, lamenting the fact that they weren't allowed to help this way before. Parents told their children that they were allowed to show their friends the cool things they could do.
In many ways the religious upheavals of a few decades previous were a boon to the effort. As a unified entity, religion no longer had a strong influence on government. There would be no pastors with loyal congregations of thousands crying out about the influence of the devil. After all, they had discovered proof of aliens from other planets. At least these people were from Earth, and part of God's Plan-whatever that may be.
On the whole, Arcturus Station was the target of the most detailed high-speed propaganda campaign in history. On Earth, it was fairly simple to show off the massive underground cities of the goblins, or the hauntingly beautiful underwater palaces of the merfolk. It was rather more difficult, however, to smuggle onto- and even moreso, hide- something like a dragon on the self-contained Arcturus Station. Therefore the task fell to those who were merely human- or at least those who could easily pass for such. And, as everyone knows, it is much more difficult to convince with words than by example.
"Here ye, Hear ye, this emergency gathering of the Systems Alliance Parliament, called by the Parliament Member Commerce, is now in session. Madam Parkinson has the floor."
Fifteen minutes wasn't really enough time to prepare for this kind of thing, Andromeda mused as moved to the podium that dominated the center of the floor in the opulent meeting hall.
"Ladies and gentlemen, as you know, we recently received a messenger drone from the Shanxi system, describing an attack by unknown forces, presumably aliens. In response, we have sent a fleet in support, though they will not arrive for some time. However, this is not the direct reason I have called this emergency meeting. This meeting is to reveal a secret that has lasted over 450 years, and is largest secret in the history of Earth." Here, Andromeda paused, gazing over the mass of now-restless representatives. She paused at each person who already knew; three wizards, two witches, and a handful of squibs. Taking heart in their looks of silent support, she gathered herself and continued.
"However, before I do so, I shall relate the events on Shanxi that have led to it, and I shall temporarily hold in confidence the method by which I know, but rest assured that you will know by the end of the meeting today."
"Approximately 14 hours ago, it was determined that the Shanxi Colonial Defense would not be able to hold long enough for our reinforcements to arrive. Ground forces would have been forced to surrender within a week." At this, murmurs spread throughout the room. After a few moments, Andromeda continued over the murmurs in a clear and confident voice.
"Needless to say, this was deemed unacceptable. Shanxi is a colony of Earth. It will not be lost. Therefore, leading elements of the UMF-yes, the group in question is part of that secret I have dangled in front of you- unilaterally decided that keeping the secret was not worth the loss of a colony, and began a plan to decisively end the alien threat at Shanxi. Unfortunately, once begun the preliminary measures have taken over 12 hours to complete, during which a great many more lives have been lost to the enemy. While some of these losses could have been prevented by immediate deployment of combat assets, the decision was made locally that a decisive strike was more important than immediately saving a few more lives."
"I am a politician, not a military strategist. I will not pretend to know if that was the correct decision. I will, however, say that the sacrifice of those who have lost their lives against this unknown and unforeseeable threat will not have been in vain." She paused once more, as if in memory of the fallen. Taking the moment to scan the reactions of those around her, she found expressions of honest grief on some, calculating looks on others, and a wide range of emotions in between; about what she expected.
"Here you may be asking yourself what kind of force could be so sure that they would be decisive, and how such a force could be unknown. A large force could be decisive, but impossible to hide from either side. No known technology could make a small force decisive against the enemies they face. So why would these 1000 people -and yes, UMF forces on Shanxi number approximately that- believe themselves to be decisive? The answer to that question matches that of the centuries-old secret. It is both quite simple and incredibly complex."
"These people wield Magic."
"The International Statute of Magical Secrecy is hereby abolished."
"Well, I guess that ends that debate" Michael Lupin commented off-handedly, causing his fellows to snort in amusement. They were at a meeting of The Magical Races Regent Council, (or just The Council) debating on which plan to use to reveal the magical world to the non-magicals.
The Council had been formed in the results of Harry Potter's crusade to bring equality and unity to all races and factions in the magical world. Officially, it was a regent council because the leaders of each of the previous separate governments had ceded their authority to their representatives on the council; hence, regent council.
Unofficially, it was the Regent Council because they were waiting for Harry to get his head out his arse and realize that the entire magical world wanted him in charge. He had been offered the leadership role several times during and after the Unification Crusade. Each time, he had refused with various 'reasons'; his excuses generally boiled down to something like 'Why would you want me leading you?'. Hence, they were actually his regents, until he took up the role. Not that anyone had bothered telling him this. They knew he would protest it endlessly. It was actually in the founding documents of the council: Should, at any time, the rightful leader of the unified magical world, Harry James Potter, choose to take his role as such, the Magical Races Regent Council shall become the Magical Races Advisory Council. Harry had missed that line when they asked him to look over the treaties.
Since that line hadn't been added until after he had done so, he could be forgiven that oversight.
As a compromise, he had (eventually) agreed to be the leader of the collective military forces. He had tried to refuse, arguing that he didn't any of the necessary training to do so, despite the fact that he was the most combat experienced wizard alive. 'Well', they had replied, 'if that's your only concern, it's easily rectified' and promptly shipped him off to train with the top military minds of each race for a decade.
"Gutslasher" Michael said, turning to one of the goblins in the room, "I take it the goblins won't mind the sudden expansion into the mundane markets?"
"Of course not" the goblin replied with a predatory grin, "We've been waiting to tap into all that money for decades!" Cackling, he left the room.
Continuing on, the de facto leader of the Council turned to the military portion of the council. The goblin Bloodaxe (he had earned his name), the centaur Theia (named for her white coat and bright blue eyes), the vampire Vladislav (he absolutely hated being called Vlad-too cliché), and the wizard Victor Stone (his demeanor fit his name) each represented the military interests of their respective race, while Charlie Ridgebit (he loved his dragons) was in charge of everyone else as well as non-sentient magical animals usable in combat-like dragons. "I take it you lot, with your usual military efficiency, have already figured out who each of you will be contacting and meeting with" Michael drawled out.
"But of course, my dear friend! To do otherwise would be an insult to our profession, and you cut me to the quick for even suggesting otherwise!" cried out Vladislav, dramatically bringing his hand to his chest as if stabbed. Laughter from his comrades was his only response. Pouting slightly, he led the other military representatives out of room. Michael shook his head slightly. Despite his immature antics, the vampire was the oldest and most experienced member of the council.
"Michael." His attention was drawn to Theia, who had stopped just inside the door. "Orion was particularly bright last night" she said whimsically. A moment later, she nodded to him and departed. Michael promptly committed that to memory. Centaurs liked being mysterious, and were always vague, but they were seldom wrong when it came to that sort of thing.
Giving himself a metal shake, he turned to a woman with curly blonde hair. "Suzanne, organize a press conference as soon as you can, but make sure there's major news sources from both sides of the fence." Suzanne Skeeter was the Council's Press Secretary. Like her great-grandaunt, she loved journalism. Unlike Rita, she absolutely despised publishing anything that couldn't be verified as fact or was clearly labeled as opinion. Nodding absently, she headed for the door as she scribbled on her ever-present notebook.
Michael looked over the remaining members of the Council in the room. Those left were the representatives of every magical group imaginable, ranging from the former magical nations to werewolf clans to the lone house-elf representative. "Well, I guess we had better split up to call on our nonmagical counterparts. Those of you who represent an area with a matching mundane government, go there. Everyone else gather 'round, we'll figure it out." Great. He was going to be stuck in political meeting for the forseeable future. He hated politics.
Why did he agree to do this again?
Back to Shanxi next chapter. And stuff will actually happen, I promise.
To those of you wondering about pairings, let's just say that Harry isn't currently looking for a long-term relationship and leave it at that.