Disclaimer: "Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home." —JK Rowling.
A/N: Thank you for joining me on this journey. It's been a long, wild ride. I never expected to put five years into this story, but all good things much come to an end. I encourage anyone who wants it to write a continuation of the Arithmancer-Verse, but for me, it's finally time to let it go. Next week, I'm going to try to have another chapter ready for Animagus at War.
Chapter 24: Twenty-One Years Later
1 September 2019
"You're all ready?" Hermione asked her daughter on the platform at King's Cross.
"Yes, Mum," Emmy said.
"You have your handbag," she took stock. "I expect you to use those things only in an emergency." Hermione had kitted out Emmy with an array of supplies that might have made her look like a doomsday prepper in 1991. Yet call her paranoid, but with the number of times she'd nearly died at Hogwarts, she had good reason. "Your trunk…jumper…wand." Emmy rolled her eyes and held up her wand—maple and dragon heartstring. Gerald Ollivander had said that maple was a wand for travellers and explorers, and especially when paired with dragon heartstring favoured an active, energetic personality, which certainly described Emmy. It was still a chore to get her to sit still.
"Okay, Emmy. Now, I have one more thing to give you. I didn't do it before because both of your grandmothers would've had a fit if they knew, but I think you deserve to have it." She handed over a large, folded piece of parchment, which looked blank.
Emmy's eyes grew wide. "Mum, is this what I think it is?"
"Mm hm. This is the Mathemagician's Map. You know how to open it: Archimedes' password. This will show you everything that goes on in Hogwarts. I'm trusting you to use this power for good, okay?"
"Yes! You're the best, Mum!" She jumped up and hugged Hermione and kissed her on the cheek.
Hermione hugged her back and kissed her on the forehead. Then, George pulled her in for a hug, and Hermione nudged Robin to hug his sister goodbye, too.
"Have fun up there, Emmy," George said.
"We love you," Hermione said.
"Love you too, Mum and Dad." She hopped up onto the train with George helping her push her trunk up.
"Call us on your mirror once in a while," said George. Enchanted mirrors were becoming more common and more in vogue, especially among wizards with muggle connections who knew was a smartphone was.
"And say hello to the elves for me," Hermione added.
"Good luck," George said. "Don't do anything we wouldn't do."
"George!" Hermione said. "Bad example, Emmy. Don't you anything your Uncle…Aunt…Just don't get in trouble, okay?"
"Don't worry, Mum, I won't get caught!"
"Emmy!" But she darted inside the train and vanished from sight. "We've created a monster, haven't we?" Hermione said.
"Yep," George replied.
They passed the Greengrasses as they left the station. Astoria waved to them happily, her baby on her hip.
God, what a difference four years made.
Astoria Greengrass had undergone a miraculous change since she'd begun her current treatment regimen—a wife and mother now, rather than slowly becoming a shut-in. As Hermione predicted, the muggle doctors had a few tricks up their proverbial sleeves; her curse bore many resemblances to sickle cell anaemia (though it was progressive rather than congenital), and similar treatments helped her. With exchange transfusions of blood and regular doses of Hufflepuff's fortifying elixir, she was back to a nearly normal lifestyle for the time being.
Her magic didn't seem to be significantly affected either, which pleased Hermione almost as much as Astoria herself. Astoria was much more relaxed after that first transfusion went well. Even as a non-blood purist, she'd needed a Calming Draught to handle taking muggle blood into her body, but it didn't weaken her at all.
The doctors said Astoria seemed to have something wrong with her bone marrow as well, but she'd refused a transplant thus far. That was a bridge too far for her, even though Hermione said she suspected magical ability came primarily from the nervous system. The Unspeakables were a long way from demonstrating that, so she wasn't taking that step unless she had to.
It was still hard to believe. Astoria was here today to see off her niece, but in another decade, she'd be seeing off her own son. Four years ago, she wasn't sure if she'd be alive today. Now, the muggle doctors said she was likely to see fifty, and Hermione's confidence seemed to have rubbed off on her. Her friend insisted that was plenty of time to find a cure if one was to be had.
And if her recovery was miraculous, Astoria had thought the idea of having children with her condition was delusional. But when the muggles told her what they could do—muggle prenatal care was miles ahead of the magical version except in preventing early labour, which Healers could basically just force to stop. If there was nothing physically wrong with the child, magic usually took care of the rest except in cases like hers, but muggles had had to figure it out the hard way. It was difficult, but she'd got through it. And who knew? Maybe the future had one more miracle in store for her.
Emmy's cousins, Lily Potter and Roxanne Weasley were joining her this year. (Mum was a little worried how Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny, and Uncle Fred and Aunt Angie would fare now that they had empty nests.) But also, Emmy's friends, Russell Whitby and Freya Murphy would be there, too. As the three of them were the oldest siblings in their respective families, they didn't have to deal with older brothers and got a compartment for themselves. Freya, though she had plenty of experience with magic around the Granger-Weasleys, still looked around in awe at the magical train and seemed to be as excited as any muggle-born (and magical-born too) to be going to Hogwarts for the first time.
They were joined in their compartment by another first-year, a couple of second-years, and a fourth-year they didn't kno. They enjoyed their ride up to the castle, talking about classes and houses and general goings-on in the magical world. The Repeal of the Statute of Secrecy was always a hot topic, now less than two years away, and Emmy and Freya could tell the others a lot about muggle technology and culture.
The older students were especially interested in Emmy given her mum's involvement. She also received a few token complaints from purebloods who didn't like her mum, but the only real spot of trouble came when a couple of rowdy upper-year boys bowled her over while she was walking back from the lavatory.
"Hey, watch where you're going!" she shouted at them as she pushed herself up again.
"You watch where you're going, Firstie," one of the boys said.
"Yeah," his friend said. "Better learn your place at Hogwarts, or you'll get run over more than that!"
Emmy brushed off her clothes primly. "I think I'll find my place at Hogwarts just fine, thank you," she said.
"Ha, we'll see about that," the first boy said.
She tilted her head in thought. "You do know my Mum is the one who knocked down the old Astronomy Tower, right?" she asked.
Both boys' eyes widened as they recognised her. "You're…you're Hermione Granger's kid?"
"That's me: Emmy Septima Granger-Weasley, at your service."
"Right…Okay, uh…sorry about that," he said, and they both high-tailed it out of there.
Emmy saw Russell and Freya leaning out the door of their compartment. She followed them back inside.
"What was that about?" Freya asked.
"Just a couple jerks."
"You sure showed them," Russell said excitedly and laughed. "If anyone give us trouble, we can sic your Mum on them."
Emmy grinned: "Oh, yes—within reason, of course."
Freya looked at her in confusion. "But your Mum is so nice, though," she said.
Everyone else in the compartment looked at each other and snickered. Finally, Emmy told her, "You've never seen her angry." Freya flinched a bit at her tone.
"She fought in the war, you know," said one of the older students.
"I heard she beat Bellatrix Lestrange in a duel to the death."
"Yeah, that's true," Emmy agreed. "That's when they destroyed the Astronomy Tower."
"And she discovered the way to kill dementors—those are soul-sucking demons from beyond the Veil," one of them explained to Freya.
"I heard she killed a dementor once just by looking at it," another one said.
"What? No, that was a boggart," Emmy corrected.
"Oh. Well…did your mum really set an eldritch horror on the Death Eaters in the Battle of Hogwarts?"
Emmy frowned and tried to remember her parents' stories. "Er…she called down a flood of living dust down from the top of the Great Tower. Does that count? Or do you mean when she angered the Giant Squid, and it smashed the greenhouses to get to her?"
"The Giant Squid attacked her?" Freya squeaked.
"Yeah. She got away, though."
"The point is, Emmy's mum is a really scary witch," Russell said. "She's probably the most powerful witch in Britain. Some drunk wizard tried to attack us when we were trick-or-treating one year, and Emmy's mum…" He shuddered.
"She killed him?" Freya gasped.
Emmy shook her head: "No. But he didn't look human anymore after she was done with him. She's terrifying when she needs to be. Right after the war, they called Mum the Angel of Death."
Freya flinched again. This was nothing like the nice Mrs. Granger she knew. She knew Emmy's parents had fought in the war, but not like this. The stories kept coming: "I heard Hermione Granger cut off Fenrir Greyback's head with a sword."
"She cut someone's head off?" Freya said weakly.
"Uh huh," said Emmy, "but he was the most evil werewolf in Europe, so he deserved it."
"I heard she's the reason Dolores Umbridge and Barty Crouch are in the permanent ward in St. Mungo's."
"Well, I heard she broke into Gringotts, stole a dragon, and rode it into battle!"
This last came from the other first-year in the compartment. Everyone stopped and turned toward him. Then, Emmy said, "Who told you that?"
"My older brother—aw, dang it!"
Emmy was the first of her group of friends and cousins to walk up to the Sorting Hat. She was a little annoyed because she couldn't ask to be Sorted with any of them, but she walked forward with confidence and sat on the stool for Professor Moonshine to put the Hat on her head.
"Well, well, well," the Hat spoke in her mind, "Emmy Septima Granger-Weasley. It's a pleasure to meet you. Your mother was quite the interesting character. First child in a long time I changed my mind about on the stool, and the first one since the days of the witch hunts I Sorted three times."
"So I've heard," Emmy whispered back. "Things were pretty messed up back then."
"Yes, and I had some very interesting conversations with her when she sat here."
"You kept trying to put her in Slytherin, she told me."
"Not at first. Your mother was a Ravenclaw when she first sat here, but I sent her to Gryffindor because I saw courage in her that needed developing. Later, of course, I said she would do well in Slytherin, and I stand by that."
"On what feet?" Emmy said before she could stop herself.
"Ha ha. I can see your father in you, too, Miss Granger-Weasley. Now, he was an obvious Gryffindor, simple as that. But you are blessed to live in peacetime, so your needs are different from either of theirs. So where to put you? You're not the focused, arithmantic force of nature your mother was, but you still have the intellect to excel in Ravenclaw. You're bold enough for Gryffindor, and it might help you burn off some of that excess energy."
"Hey! I already get that enough from Mum and Dad, Mr. Hat."
The Hat chuckled. "Your mother called me that, too. Now, this is interesting. You seem very sure of your place in the wizarding world. Most children would be intimidated in your shoes, afraid of not being able to live up to the expectations of having such brilliant parents."
Emmy gave the Hat a mental shrug. "It still bothers me a little," she said. "I know I'll never be able to match Mum in Arithmancy, but she always says that's okay, and I need to pursue my own strengths…And Dad says the world couldn't survive someone with Mum's skills and Weasley blood anyway."
The Hat shuddered. "No, Merlin help us," it said. "So what is your place, Miss Granger-Weasley?"
"Honestly…? Something bigger. Mum thinks too small. She has all these ideas about combining magic with technology—making magical computers, going to space. She loves science fiction, but she never does anything with them. I mean, Killing dementors, saving magical creatures, and tearing down the Statute of Secrecy are all important, but she could've been the first witch on the Moon by now if she wanted."
"Oh ho ho, now this is interesting. With ambition like that, I know just where to put you. Your mother refused, but thanks to her and her friends, I can send you there without fear: SLYTHERIN!"
It was the last thing anyone expected. With as long as the conversation had gone, it had built up the anticipation, and when the Hat shouted the last word, some people actually screamed in fear. The allusions she'd made to Mum's great duel on the train probably had something to do with that. Professor Sinistra looked ashen. It was her tower Mum had destroyed, after all. But as she made her way to the Slytherin table, Emmy realised that she was happy about it.
"Letter from Hogwarts," Hermione said as she took the envelope from the owl.
"Already?" George said in surprise. "Emmy didn't get in trouble her first night, did she?"
"She'd better not have. Hm, it's from Professor Toots." She opened the note and read aloud: "Dear Mr. and Mrs. Granger-Weasley. I thought you might like to know that your daughter, Emmy, has been Sorted into my house, Slytherin. We are happy to have her, and we are confident she will go far with our help. Best regards, Tilden Toots, Professor of Herbology."
George and Hermione just stared at each other for a minute, but the silence was broken by Robin: "She's a Slytherin?!"
"Apparently so," she answered.
"Bloody—" George started, then stopped himself.
"I suppose I can see it," Hermione said. "You don't have a problem with it, do you?"
"No! Of course not! I'm just surprised. I thought she'd be Ravenclaw for sure. And…maybe a little nervous."
"I don't think anyone will give her a hard time in Slytherin, George."
"Not that. I'm just thinking, the daughter of Britain's greatest prankster and the woman who kills dementors for fun is in Slytherin."
Hermione's eyes grew wide: "Merlin help us all…"
"We're doomed," Robin quipped.
17 March 2020
It took six months before Hermione was called up to the school for something her daughter did. Longer than it would have taken for her if Dumbledore had been following Professor Flitwick's standards, but that wasn't her fault.
It was telling that Flitwick had specifically requested her and not George. She wasn't sure if that was because he still didn't believe George was sufficiently responsible, or because Emmy had done something that defied explanation. With her luck, it was probably both. So she told George to keep an eye on Robin and Apparated up to Hogwarts, walking inside in a more dignified way than the last time she was here. Several students gasped and ducked out of sight when they saw her. She wasn't sure if that was related to the incident, but it wasn't a good sign.
"Ah, good evening, Professor Granger," called Nearly-Headless Nick as he passed her in the corridors.
"Good evening, Sir Nicholas," she replied. "It's been an eventful day here, I take it."
"Indeed. Your daughter and her friends have certainly made their mark on the school."
"So I've heard," she groaned. "I'm going up to talk to Professor Flitwick about her now."
"Oh? Do try not to be too hard on her, Professor Granger. Emmy is quite a friendly and engaging girl. I don't think she meant to hurt anyone. And I don't remember ever seeing another first-year who was able to scare Peeves."
"Yes, something about a ritual she threatened him with."
Hermione thought back. A decade ago, she had threatened to use the Dementor-Killing Ritual on Peeves. It figured Emmy would pick up on that. She wondered for a moment what that would actually do and shuddered. A thousand years' worth of chaotic energy? It might turn the entire Hogwarts grounds into something out of Dr. Seuss.
"I'll be sure to be fair with her, Sir Nicholas," she assured him. But the exchange had got her thinking about spirits in general. She was at the point of walking away when she stopped and turned back to him. "Nick," she said. "I've just thought—I've never done much with soul magic as it pertains to actual ghosts. Do you think you could make a visit to the Department of Mysteries sometime? I know they don't have a good reputation with ghosts, but if we act more cautiously…I think we might be able to find a way to finish cutting your head off." And that was one for the list of sentences she'd never thought she'd say.
"Oh!" said Nick, looking very touched. "That's…that's very thoughtful of you, Hermione. If you could do that…I think perhaps I could make a visit to London. You know where to find me if anything comes of it." He saluted her, then continued on his way.
Hermione also continued on until she came to the tall gargoyle, and she walked into the Headmaster's Office.
"Slytherin!" the Sorting Hat shouted.
"Oh, shut up!" she said.
Emmy jumped in her seat when she heard her and spun around. When she saw Hermione, she smiled awkwardly and gave her a timid wave. "Hi, Mum," she said.
"Hello, Emmy," Hermione said coolly. "Hello, Professor Flitwick."
"Thank you for coming, Professor Granger. Please have a seat."
"Thank you." She sat down. "So, I suppose this was coming sooner or later. What mischief has Emmy been causing?"
"It seems," Flitwick said, "that a small group of Slytherin students including Miss Granger-Weasley decided that St. Patrick's Day should be celebrated with a reenactment of St. Patrick driving the snakes from Ireland—with the snakes as the heroes."
Hermione closed her eyes and took a deep breath, then turned to her daughter. "What did you do?"
"I swear I didn't know about the Ashwinders!" Emmy said.
"I'm sure you didn't. What did you do, Emmy?"
"It was just a bit of fun, Mum."
"The students released live snakes in the school, Professor Granger," Flitwick said. "Snakes with Engorgement Charms on them to, and I quote, 'make it more dramatic.'"
Emmy folded her arms. "None of them were poisonous," she grumbled. "They were just garden snakes."
"Garden snakes large enough to attack students, Miss Granger-Weasley," he said sharply. "There were injuries."
At that, Hermione gave Emmy her best "Mummy's very cross" stare—not as good as Molly's, but her reputation counted for a lot—and said, "I think you'd better tell me the whole story, Emmy."
Emmy started talking. She certainly hadn't been acting alone. There were three others—older students—plus some informal advice from James Potter and Morgan Lupin. They were planning on releasing some snakes in the school—big, but "Harmless…er, mostly harmless?" she said. Then, "St. Patrick" would come and try to fight them off, and aside from a few other supposedly-minor things, that was it.
Hermione shook her head. "So you wanted the snakes to win? That sounds…culturally insensitive."
"Hey, there are Irish people in Slytherin, too," she said indignantly. "And anyway, they weren't going to win. They were just going to retreat and say, 'We'll be back!' C'mon, Mum, it was fun."
"Until the Ashwinders," Hermione said shrewdly.
"That was Brendan Byrne! I didn't know what he was planning. I think he came up with it on the spot."
"Mr. Byrne was their St. Patrick," Flitwick explained. "He attempted to use a pair of Engorged Ashwinders to stage a final battle against fire-breathing serpents—not knowing that when you use an Engorgement Charm on an Ashwinder, it's more likely to simply explode. He burnt down half the Great Hall and Dungeon Two and is currently in the Hospital Wing."
"And you think he was acting alone on that?" Hermione said.
"He's never done anything that extreme before, but he's always been a bit of a troublemaker. It's plausible."
"Alright. You're off the hook for that part, Emmy. Was there anything else?"
"The reason I called you is that we're still trying to collect all the snakes," Flitwick replied. "Something strange is going on with that, Your daughter numbered them to tell them apart, and we're still looking for Numbers Four and Seven. I don't see how she could have made them disappear—"
"There are no four and seven. It's a standard muggle trick," Hermione said without missing a beat.
"Um…Mum?" Emmy said. "I only left one number out. There is supposed to be a Four. It must have slunk off while we were trying to deal with the Ashwinders."
"Don't worry, Mum! I can find it." She quickly pulled out the Mathemagician's Map.
"Merlin's beard!" Flitwick cried faintly. "You gave her that map, Hermione?"
"Yes, and I told her to use that power for good."
"It was for good! We wouldn't want to release snakes in the castle without being able to track them!" Emmy tapped her wand to the Map. "Dos moi pa sto, kai tan gan kinaso."
Hermione gave her a look that said she wasn't fooled for a second, but Emmy ignored her. With surprising deftness, she tapped through the icons on the map, isolating one symbol and zeroing in on its location. "There it is!" she said cheerfully. Then she frowned and squinted at the Map. No, that can't be right. It looks like it's in the wall.
Flitwick groaned: "The basilisk's tunnels. It got into the plumbing. I'll ask Professor Toots if he can do anything with Slytherin's Locket to draw it out. The last thing we need is it popping up in one of the toilets." He studied the Map to ascertain its location and then rushed over to his Floo to tell Professor Toots where it was.
When he returned, Hermione was still trying to work out what her daughter had done. "Emmy, tracking animals isn't one of the Map's functions," she said. "How did you do this?"
"Easy. I dug into the code and found the part you used to tag Argus Filch's cat when he was here. Then I just wrote in new tags for the snakes."
Hermione stared at Emmy in shock, and then she put her head in her hands: "Oh, God. I've become the muggle parent whose kids know more about computers than I do."
Emmy grinned: "You're the one who gave me root access, Mum."
"Yes, and I have half a mind to revoke your privileges and make you a regular user, young lady. And don't get any ideas about hacking it. I may not be as tech-savvy as you, but I can implement RSA on this thing in the space of an afternoon."
Professor Flitwick cut in: "Forgive me, Professor Granger. Are you two still speaking arithmancy?"
Hermione and Emmy stopped and stared at Professor Flitwick. Then, they both laughed.
17 July 2020
"I don't see why I need to be here for this, Mr. President," Hermione said.
Samuel Quahog spoke curtly to her as they walked. They still didn't get along that well. "This whole thing was your idea, Granger. You probably know the most personally about bridging the gap between the muggle and magical worlds; you're ideally suited to talk to major figures like her."
Hermione was pretty sure she wasn't the only one, especially with MACUSA's great resources, but she went along anyway. It couldn't hurt to take a personal hand in the transition as long as she knew what she was talking about.
They passed through layers of security, men in black suits with sunglasses and earpieces, among others, and check-ins and appointment-wrangling that had to be carefully set up in advance by MACUSA agents. Finally, they were led to a well-furnished, but temporary office where a poised Caribbean-Asian woman rose to meet them.
"Senator Harris," Quahog said. "Congratulations on winning the nomination. My name is Samuel Quahog, and this is my associate from Britain, Hermione Granger. We're here to speak with you about a matter of global importance that will occur early in the next Presidential term…"
1 September 2020
Robin Granger-Weasley was Sorted into Hufflepuff House, to the relief of a number of the denizens of Hogwarts who had feared what might happen if the two Granger-Weasley children could team up in the same house. Hufflepuff was a bit of a surprise, too; he could have made Ravenclaw if he'd wanted, but George and Hermione could agree that it suited him. He was always the quieter and more reserved of their children, but he'd worked hard, played well with others, and he was a truly reliable friend, as much as you could tell with an eleven year old. They were confident he'd do well there, even if Hermione still had to wonder if the Sorting Hat was messing with her a little since her two children were now in the two houses she wasn't.
5 November 2020
Bonfire Night could be raucous, but from the aftermath here, it looked like this one really got out of hand.
"It was a giant flamin' lizard, I tell you! One second, the bonfire's goin' nice. The next, the logs start movin', an' then I blink, an' there's a twenty-foot lizard crawlin' outta the fire! All glowin' red like hot coals!"
Ron Weasley noted the witness's testimony and told him to wait with the others before he joined Hermione in inspecting the scene.
"Salamander?" she asked him.
"Must've been. I've never heard of one that big, though."
"It can happen," she said. "Engorgement Charm or some other spell. How many people were hurt?"
"A couple dozen. None seriously. Lucky the Fire Department was here. They blasted it with water, and that killed it pretty quick. There was an explosion of steam, though. That hurt some more people. We've already collected the body. It was 'only' twelve feet long, but still…I reckoned you'd want to take a look before we decide what to do," Ron said. "The Office of Misinformation wants us to start Obliviating people."
"Ugh. Let me check if it's up…" Hermione pulled out her phone and went to Twitter. That should be the fastest to update, although even it often took a few minutes when minutes counted. But with a few keywords, she found the video of the beast erupting from the heart of the fire. "No good. It's already online," she said. "There's no way we can cover this up by now. We'll have to pass it to the Muggle-Worthy Excuse Committee. Say it was an art piece or a publicity stunt gone wrong. Maybe try to claim it was a fake, but that's tricky."
"Gotcha," Ron said. "Honestly, it's kinda better this way. I feel really awkward doing Memory Charms on muggles now we're getting so close to Repeal."
"Which is precisely our problem," she replied. "It's only going to get harder as we get closer to it, but some people won't be diverted by anything less."
With only six months before Repeal, so many people were uncomfortable using Memory Charms on muggles that they couldn't keep up the policy anymore, in or out of the Ministry. They'd already eliminated the Obliviator Office through attrition and transfers. The Office of Misinformation was set to go too, but they'd still need it up until the announcement. In fact, it seemed like the whole Ministry was atrophying in these last months, given that half its mandate was maintaining the Statute of Secrecy in the first place. One of the less anticipated consequences of the Repeal, although there would surely be a glut of new jobs once muggles were told of the possibilities.
Of course, a few offices were booming. Arthur had been promoted to the head of a whole new division of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement: the Division of Muggle Protection. That was sure to need a lot of support once wizards only had to mask their identities if they wanted to harm muggles, not the existence of magic. Not to mention minor, casual uses of magic on muggles, like a Confundus Charm to pass a driver's test or something.
"Professor Granger," another Auror called her over. He showed her a sample of some kind of residue. "We found something magical in the fire. Do you recognise it, by any chance?"
Hermione did a few diagnostic spells. She couldn't identify exactly what the substance was, but she could see the general shape. "Yes, a little," she said. "It looks like someone added some kind of dry-base potion to the fire along with an awful lot of calcined ash. My alchemy's a bit rusty, but I think that's a procedure designed to cause the elementals to grow to enormous size. Very unstable, of course. We're lucky the explosion wasn't worse."
"Bugger. This is bad," Ron said.
"I know. This was a targeted act, trying to get us to reveal ourselves early. And I'm sure it's only going to get worse. No one would've dared pull a stunt like this ten years ago, but now they know we're going there anyway, and that we'll be reluctant to cover it up. I'd bet a lot of money whoever did this will keep trying."
"It's gonna be a long six months," Ron said.
2 May 2021
By the ruling of the Repeal Committee, the Revelation of the Magical World would occur at the United Nations Headquarters in New York in order to project a neutral position and get as large an international audience as possible. The ICW's arrangements with the UN delegates and staff had been in the works for over a year. Miraculously, they'd held it all together despite troublemakers trying to derail it or blow their cover. They'd finally had to tell ordinary witches and wizards to police each other for those last few weeks—to wait for the announcement and not to let anyone get away with anything.
Everything was planned out for tomorrow. They would go live at eleven o'clock in the morning—eight in the morning in California, eleven at night in Japan. Some people had suggested they delay to Tuesday, but they'd declined; it wasn't like anything would preempt them. Now, representatives from all over the magical world had gathered in New York, under layers of both magical and muggle security such as even Hermione had never seen before.
With input from her and others, the Committee had brought representatives from many (though not all) of the non-human sapient races of the magical world. Goblins, Pukwudgies, house elves, vampires, Sasquatch, and merfolk were all represented, and a couple others with which she was less familiar. A sampling of magical animals were also brought in, including a unicorn, and they'd somehow called in Robert Irwin from Australia to help out. Apparently, the Australian Ministry had been talking to him for months.
Hermione was still going over sections of her speech. As the instigator of the Repeal, she was expected to take an active role in the announcement. Part of it was a summary of her personal story of how she had determined the Statute needed to be repealed and how she had fought for the change. Another part was to try to start bridging the knowledge gap between magic and muggle science and technology, since she was well versed in both.
Good morning. My name is Dr. Hermione Granger, and I am the original sponsor of the motion to repeal the Statute of Secrecy.
That was about as far as she was willing to go. She wanted to downplay her role in the transition and avoid the most awkward questions about it.
By trade, I am an Arithmancer. In non-magic terms, the closest equivalent is probably an applied physicist. I also happen to be the founder and sole proprietor of Archimedes Jewellers.
Only getting it out of the way there so she wouldn't have to worry about it later. She'd have to consult with the Committee on that. She skipped down to the meat of her speech. This was where, even now, she was anticipating the potential problems and trying to address them early.
I know many people will be angry that we kept ourselves hidden for so long. The fact is, we were afraid. The last time wizards went amongst non-magicals openly, we were being hanged and burnt at the stake. In more recent centuries, the growing population and the even faster growth of technology of the non-magical world frightened us. Also, the ripple effects of the Second World War caused us to label all would remove the walls between us a danger. But with time and patience, we have healed; we have learnt, and we have gained the courage to step out of the shadows.
Too much? She wasn't sure. Of course, she'd have to run all of it by the Committee again before she committed to the final version. She looked at another section—something many of the muggles she'd talked to had raised especially loudly once they thought about it.
To those who are wondering why we haven't helped in the larger world: we haven't been entirely idle, but we can't solve all the world's problems with magic. The world never has been nor will it ever be as neat as that. To give you a bit of a perspective, if you're looking for a cure for cancer, we don't have one. Wizards…don't get cancer. We don't know why, and we don't get off easily, either. We have magical diseases that are just as horrifying and deadly, although we have admittedly made more progress in curing them. I will be the first to push for a search for a magical cure for cancer, but at present, we know very little about it.
On the other hand, if you want a cure for the common cold, we do have one, but we can't make enough of it for the general population. We don't have the magical resources, being so small in number, and we don't know what all the effects would be if we tried to multiply them greatly and farm magical plants and animals on an industrial scale.
There was more—a lot more when it came to specific questions that might be asked after, but she hoped that would get the basic perspective across.
If you're wondering whether we can give magic to those who don't have it, personally, I believe it will be possible with modern gene therapy techniques like CRISPR, but that's far from proved.
She really didn't know how much detail to go into here. Should she mention how such a drastic increase in magic in the ecosystem could have unpredictable and dangerous side effects? Should she say how unleashing the huge number of mathematicians in the world on magic could lead to horrible, possibly world-devastating consequences if it fell into the wrong hands? Should she mention that a lot of people were more interested in a way to take magic away before they could give it out for the magical world's own political reasons? For now, she stuck to the basics.
But if we work together, with magic and technology combined, I know we can do amazing things that we could never do separately. What we did at the South Pole was only a sample…My thirteen-year-old daughter wants to be the first witch on the Moon. I don't even know if that's possible; we don't know if magic works the same in space, but at the rate she's going, you might want to tell Elon Musk to hurry it up.
Yeah, it needed a bit of work, but that was what she wanted—something aspirational—something that could give people hope and a reason to look to the future in the chaotic mess that was sure to follow the announcement. She hoped that would make a difference when she knew there would be unrest.
In the end, she was pleased with how far they'd come. After all this time, they were probably as ready as they were ever going to be. Now, it was time for the final phase. The Committee was starting twenty-four hours of controlled leaks to ensure every media platform on the planet would tune in. That had been the hardest part: getting things just right to ensure everyone knew to watch without the story getting away from them, but she was confident they had it pinned down.
The next morning, they walked out onto the stage, and the world changed.