Disclaimer: I do not own anything in this story that is recognisable from the Harry Potter books, movies, etc. Everything else however (eg. story plot, original characters, etc.) stems from my own imagination and belongs to me. No copyright infringement is intended and I am not profiting financially from this story in any way.
Author's Note: If you've the time, PLEASE TAKE MY POLL on my author's page. I'd really like the feedback.
Also, not to get people's hopes up, this story is still on hold. I just realised I had a chapter from ages ago I'd not got around to posting.
Chapter 6 – Making Plans
'Was it really only the day before yesterday I was worried he wouldn't take being a Parselmouth well?' Harry wondered to himself as he divided his attention between eating his breakfast and listening to his brother's excited chatter.
And indeed, it had only been two days since that unexpected revelation. Since then Neville had shocked his younger twin by not only accepting his new ability, but seemingly embracing it wholeheartedly. The reason for this, the blue-eyed brother was currently explaining – well, supposedly at least.
"-could be so useful! I mean, just imagine the possibi-"
"Okay, okay, stop!" Harry finally yelled and Neville's mouth shut abruptly.
"What?" the young man asked, frowning in confusion, "What's wrong?"
"What's wrong Lea, is that you've been jabbering on-"
"I was not 'jabber-"
"Jabbering on," he continued, speaking over the objection, "About the supposed 'usefulness' of you being a Parselmouth for the last hour or so."
"It's hardly been an hour," Neville objected, slumping back into his seat, "Maybe five minutes," he added in a mutter, then even more quietly, "Ten, maximum."
"Fine, the last ten minutes then," he rolled his eyes, before getting to his point, "And, as much as I'm relieved you're not worried about your supposed 'dark' ability, I really wish you'd get to the point."
"The point? I've been 'jabbering on' as you put it for ten minutes about the point: Parseltongue will be really useful."
"Exactly!" Harry dropped his spoon and threw his hands in the air, "Ten minutes of 'it will be useful' and 'it's fascinating' and 'just imagine what I could learn," he sighed in exasperation and dropped his hands, leaning forwards over the table, "But you haven't yet explained why it's so fascinating and useful or what it is you plan to learn."
Neville gaped for a moment – his mouth opening and closing soundlessly – before he paused and began to flush red in embarrassment.
"Oh, right," he said quietly, smiling sheepishly as he rubbed a hand over the back of his neck, "Er, sorry. I guess I was a little overexcited and got carried away."
Harry smiled at his friend's chagrined and contrite expression before picking up his spoon again and returning to his breakfast.
"S'ok," he reassured, after swallowing a spoonful of porridge, "Just – you know – explain it properly to me now."
"Right," Neville said, straightening up in his seat and regaining the excited light in his eyes, "Well, you know how I've been interested in healing lately?"
"Haven't you always been?"
"Well, yes. But lately I've been a bit more serious about it," he clarified and Harry nodded, "Well there's this theory about Parseltongue that the Parselscript book we have might support."
"The Noble Arte of Healing?" he asked, reciting the title and Neville nodded.
"Exactly. The theory is that there is a relation between Parseltongue and healing. You see, throughout history snakes have been know to symbolise a lot of different things but some pretty consistent ones are protectors, fertility, birth, regeneration and healing."
"Really?" the green-eyed twin asked, scepticism clear in his voice, "That doesn't sound quite as Slytherin as I would've expected."
"Well," Neville reluctantly admitted, "They've also been known for intelligence, cunning, lies, deceit, poison and revenge-"
"That sounds more like it."
"-but!" Neville continued loudly, "That doesn't make them any less a symbol for healing. In fact, there was a wizard in ancient Greek times called Asclepius who was known as the demigod of medicine and healing who-"
"Wait," Harry interrupted, blinking in surprise and confusion, "This wizard was a 'demigod'?"
"Well, I say demigod but really he was just a mortal wizard. All the gods in the ancient Greek and Roman pantheons were actually wizards and witches. In those days we used to basically rule over the Muggles as gods. Similar things used to happen in other places – the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt for one."
"So all those gods – Zeus, Poseidon, Cupid, Aphrodite, all of them – were real?"
"But-" he frowned, struggling to understand this new fact, "But how did they live so long? I mean the 'gods' were around for quite a while, right? And you said before that they were mortal, so…"
"Oh, well the position was a hereditary thing. When the original god got too old or died someone else suited to the position took over. They also tended to use the original's name and a basic glamour when with the Muggles to make them believe they were truly immortal," Neville explained and he nodded in understanding.
"Right. Now, back to this clay-pious fellow-"
He snorted, "It's Asclepius, Evan; not clay-pious."
"Aas-kley-pee-us," he sounded it out slowly and Neville nodded that he'd gotten it right, "I was close at least," he muttered but was ignored as his brother continued.
"Now what I was going to say about him was that he was known for having a serpent familiar which he took nearly everywhere with him. It used to curl around his walking staff. In fact, the image of his staff with the serpent entwined around it came to be know as the Rod of Asclepius, and a symbol of medicine," he paused then before adding, "And astrology."
Harry frowned, "Astrology? What does that have to do with healing?"
"Nothing much," Neville admitted.
"Isn't it a bit odd that it symbolised the both of them then?"
"Actually it's not as surprising as you would expect given Asclepius was supposedly raised by the Centaur Chiron. Chiron was – apart from being responsible for Asclepius' education in healing – a great healer in his own right and an astrologer. Asclepius probably learnt some astrology from him as well. Now, where was I up to? Right, the Rod of Asclepius."
"Wait," Harry interrupted yet again, "I think I've actually seen that before. I think it's used in the Muggle world for doctor surgeries and such. It's like a staff with wings and two snakes entwined about it, right?"
He looked up from his bowl at the silence to find a very perturbed look on Neville's fact.
"A winged staff with two snakes?" the blue-eyed twin asked to clarify.
"Yeees…" he said slowly, trailing off, "Is that not it?"
He shook his head, "No, that's the Caduceus. Also known as the Wand of Hermes. Hermes was the wizard-god of commerce, cunning, invention and theft," his lips then quirked in amusement "Not exactly the sort of message a healer's practice should want to give."
Harry snorted in entertained agreement.
"So why do they use it do you suppose?"
Neville shrugged, "Not sure. Probably someone somewhere must have gotten the two mixed up – or else decided the Caduceus was similar enough but prettier – and everybody blindly followed along," he laughed.
"People are sheep," Harry said, the theory making perfect sense to him, "So, as interesting as all this is – and surprisingly it is – what does all this have to do with Asclepius having a serpent staff thingy?"
"Well," Neville said, his expression clearly showing his fascination for the topic, "Even though no definite information still exists, it's widely rumoured and theorised that the 'demigod' was a Parselmouth!"
He nodded eagerly, "Plus, Asclepius had ten children all up. Six were daughters – Hygieia, Meditrina, Panacea, Aceso, Iaso and Aglaea – and four were sons – Machaon, Telesphoros, Podalirius and Aratus. Of those ten, wizarding records show that eight were also associated with both serpents and healing and the other two – Aglaea and Aratus – were associated with neither. From that, it's reasonable to assume that most of his children inherited the talent. And given those who seemingly didn't had nothing to do with healing while the others all did, it's an almost certain indicator that there's a direct link between Parseltongue and medicine.
"Personally," he added excitedly, "I wonder if maybe certain magics in the snake language are for some reason more effective at healing. It wouldn't be the first time a magical language excels at a certain area of magic. History shows that Avistongue – that's bird language – was known to be excellent for air magics, like controlling winds or calling up or dispersing storms. Another one is Arachnidatongue – a spider language – which is suited to handicrafts like sewing, crocheting, knitting – basically anything involving weaving. It's ironically fitting if you think about it. Anyway, now that I'm a Parselmouth myself, I might be able to find out if the snake language has an affinity of its own!"
His positive reaction to his new talent finally explained, Neville finally dug into his breakfast, is mind imagining the possibilities all the while.
After several long minutes of silence he glanced up and paused – toast halfway to his mouth – as he realised Harry was staring at him silently with an odd expression. If he had to guess he would say it was a mixture of surprised, speculative and confused.
"What?" he finally asked, putting his toast back on his plate.
"Nothing it's just-" he paused, his face acquiring a bewildered look, "Where in Merlin's name did all this sudden knowledge of yours come from?"
Neville flushed at the incredulous but undeniably impressed tone to the question.
"Er, well y-you see," he stuttered, "B-before Hogwarts when all my lessons w-were at home, History was- well, it was my second favourite thing to learn."
"Let me guess, Herbology came first?"
"Yeah," he confirmed, "I was really disappointed when we finally had our first History of Magic class. I'd really been looking forward to it and when it finally arrived I found out that the teacher was not only a complete bore but also taught nothing but the Goblin rebellions."
"Why did you never say anything? You could have tried to organise a study group or a history club."
He shrugged, "Well firstly, I was a bit shy back then-"
"A bit?" Harry snorted at the understatement.
"Fine – I was terribly shy back then. And secondly, everyone had pretty much decided that History of Magic was 'uncool' and I suppose didn't want to draw any attention to my interest in it in case people teased me about it," he admitted abashedly.
"Ah," was all Harry said, understanding perfectly.
Conversation over, they both turned back to their meals, eating together in companionable silence. After a few minutes an idea occurred to the younger of the two and green eyes subtly glanced up, taking in the wizard seated opposite. Seeing that Neville was completely engrossed in his sausages, Harry gave a small smirk and glanced back down. He took a deep breath, then – in a smooth movement – dipped his spoon in his porridge, bent it back towards himself with one finger, released the finger and swiftly replaced the spoon in his bowl.
At the surprised squeak that followed he unhurriedly lifted his spoon to his mouth and looked up innocently – before bursting into laughter.
"I- you- it-" Neville spluttered, looking quite dismayed at suddenly being covered with soggy oats.
Seeing a glare beginning to form among the goop, Harry realised he needed to act quickly and convincingly if he was to avoid retaliation.
"How on earth did you manage to do that?" he asked between laughs, setting his spoon down.
He watched as the messy wizard frowned in puzzlement, following Harry's intentionally positioned spoon back to its bowl. It seemed his deception was working as his porridge-faced brother turned his attention away from his twin's seemingly innocent eating utensil and focussed on the ones set before himself instead. Neville stared in bafflement at the spoon buried in his own bowl of porridge, sticking out of the cereal near his left elbow.
"I- I guess I must have knocked my spoon with my elbow…" he trailed of, sounding utterly perplexed, "Or something…"
"Only you Lea, could be that clumsy," Harry laughed loudly, continuing to play along.
Neville just huffed, finally reaching for a tea towel to wipe off his face. When it was finally clean he set it aside, glared once at his porridge, and pushed it to the far end of the table. Then – determinedly ignoring his brother's continuing laughter – he returned to his abandoned sausages, a slight pout on his lips.
Meanwhile Harry smirked and prepared his spoon again, uncaring of the fact that his victim would not be so easily tricked a second time.
Harry sat in the corner of the greenhouse as his twin worked happily away, humming a tune and pruning an odd purple vine that seemed determined to groom his hair. Giving a small smile at the sight he turned back to his book and shifted slightly on his seat. His smile widened further at the memory of just why a chair and bench was set up in the greenhouse in the first place. Neville had eventually installed them both after the fifth time Harry had come in to read, claiming that if he didn't do something soon the green-eyed wizard would either flatten the plants or – if he was particularly careless in seating choice – they would flatten him.
Finding a comfortable position, he flipped the page in his book – 'The Primitive Magic of Magical Creatures' – reading absently about something called Pyromancy which involved divination by fire.
When he had first started reading the tome, his primary interest had been the chapters on song and dance magics that had been brought to his attention by Griphook. They had after all been the topics that provoked him into buying the text in the first place. As expected, he had found the information completely fascinating. Unfortunately however, whilst the grace he had learnt in fighting seemed to translate reasonably well to dancing, the fact remained that his singing voice was far less talented. Neville had compared it to nails on a chalkboard. Harry couldn't reasonably object.
So, given that nearly all the dance magics required accompanying song – or at the least chanting – he had given up on those two particular arts and begun reading about the others the book wrote of. He was currently reading about old Divination methods and, despite his distaste for the subject in his Hogwarts days – not to mention the obvious connections with prophecies – was finding it rather interesting.
He glanced up as his friend gave one last snip with the shears before setting them down and coming over to perch upon the bench on his left. After a few minutes he again flipped the page and once more glanced up, taking in his brother's expression.
"Spit it out," he ordered distractedly, continuing with his reading as he did so.
"What?" Neville turned to face him in surprise, "Spit what out?"
"Whatever it is that's got that look on your face."
Heaving an overdone sigh he tucked his bookmark between the pages and closed the book in his lap. He knew he wouldn't likely be able to continue his reading in peace until this was cleared up.
"That look that says you're thinking about something and want to talk about it."
"I have a look for that?"
"Yes, you do."
"Well?" he demanded after the silence had stretched too long for his tastes, "Explain already."
"Well, it's about the study I've been doing in healing," Neville began, biting nervously at his fingernails.
"What about it?"
"See the thing is, I was thinking that maybe," he paused for a deep breath before finishing in a babble, "MaybeIcouldactuallybecomeaHealerforreal."
There was then quiet for a bit as Harry blinked rapidly, trying to decipher what had been said. Finally he gave up.
"Look, you're going to have to repeat that."
"I said, maybeIcou-"
"Ack!" he interrupted, holding up a hand, "Let me clarify. You're going to have to repeat that slowly."
"Oh! Right, sorry," Neville blushed before obeying, "I was thinking that, maybe I could actually become a Healer for real."
Harry stared for a moment before cocking his head to the side considering.
"You mean apply to St Mungo's or something?"
Seeing that his friend was again biting his fingernails and seemed to be nervously awaiting his reaction, he gave the idea serious thought before quickly coming to a conclusion.
"Go for it then."
"Really?" Neville asked, his expression brightening.
"Sure, why not?" he shrugged, "I mean, you never had any formal training in the war and you managed to keep us all patched up pretty well. I'd imagine with the chance to learn properly you'd be brilliant at it."
"Really?" he repeated.
"Absolutely," Harry said firmly and his friend grinned widely at the approval, "So, how long have you been thinking about this?"
"Well, since shortly after you brought home the Parselscript book," at the cocked eyebrow Neville explained, "I kept having all these thoughts about all the good that could be done by bringing some of the Parseltongue spells back into common knowledge. Even the few actually listed in the book sound to be a lot more effective than the tradition Latin ones that are normally used. Just imagine how many people could be helped."
"That's our Nev, always thinking of others. Any day now you'll start saving the world, one puppy at a time," he smiled and the wizard in question flushed, "Sorry, I shouldn't tease. You've got a good heart Lea. 'S Nothing to be ashamed of."
"Thanks," he mumbled and blushed even more fiercely before clearly deciding to ignore the comments and return to the previous topic, "So, I was thinking up all these 'grand plans' when I realised that even if the spells are superior, people – especially experienced Healers – wouldn't take too well to some newcomer barging in telling them he knows a better way of doing things."
"Not to mention that that better way is Parseltongue," Harry added ominously, "They'd probably sooner lock you up than listen to what you have to say the moment you mention you're a Parselmouth."
A nod, "Exactly. Plus, unlike our original world we don't really know anyone here who would stand up to support our intentions."
"There's the twins," the younger suggested before pausing and shaking his head, "No, ignore that. As much as we might know them well, they don't really know us yet. They've only met us the once so far."
"Plus, they're not exactly the sort most people would trust the opinions of," Neville added and he could not disagree, "Someone like my Gran would have been good. Back when she was alive she was very well respected. Even people who didn't like her-"
"-or were intimidated by her," Harry added, remembering his few meetings with the formidable woman before her death.
A snort, "Yeah, or were intimated by her. Anyway, they all still respected her and held her opinion in high regard."
"So you're thinking you'd need something like a good character witness then?"
"Character witness?" he asked, not recognising the Muggle term.
"Basically someone who could vouch for us not being 'dark, evil wizards' and they'd be listened to."
"Yeah, exactly that. So, knowing that I wouldn't be able to come right out with it, I thought maybe it would be better to just start working at the hospital. I figure that I could work my way up to becoming a certified Healer and then slowly try to introduce the idea of Parseltongue spells. That way, not only would I have qualifications backing me up, I'd also hopefully have made some contacts among the other Healers and trainee Healers and they might consider my suggestions more than they would if I were a stranger."
Finally finished he looked down from his perch on the bench to see his brother's reaction. Harry gave an impressed whistle.
"I have to say that sounds like a brilliant idea. I'm surprised you thought of it-"
"No, no, I don't mean it like that," he rolled his eyes, "You're just not usually very good at the sneaky, manipulating the situation type stuff. Brave? Yes. Honourable? Yes. Loyal? To a fault. But cunning? Never quite been your forte."
"Well actually," Neville admitted embarrassedly, "I got the idea from a plan you made in the war. It was for when we were supposed to try to gather intelligence at that pub in Knockturn. You remember – the one where the Death Eaters visited a lot?"
"Really?" he asked, surprised eyebrow raised.
"Yeah, you said we should make a habit of dropping by for drinks and getting to know the regulars before trying to seriously approach any Death Eaters. That way the regulars would vouch for us being frequent customers ourselves and not just there for information. I figured that could sort of translate to my situation. Get to know the usual Healers and such so they'd not be so suspicious of me."
"Ah," he nodded, now understanding, "Clever. So, do you actually want to work there? I thought at first you did but now… Is it just the only way you can think of to introduce Parselspells?"
"I just made it up. Go with it," he ordered with a shrug and Neville's lips quirked in amusement.
"Okay, 'Parselspells' it is then. Fitting. As to your question," he paused to consider before for replying seriously, "I think it's something I really want to do. I remember in fifth year when we had careers advice with McGonagall there were three things that really interested me. One was an Auror because I wanted to help in the war. I'd never really seriously considered it before that year because I didn't think I'd be good enough."
"Seriously?" Harry snorted, "We've fought together many a time Lea and you could kick most Ministry trained Auror's butts."
"I can now, but back before your training in the DA I was hopeless."
"You just needed a little push and some positive encouragement is all."
"Which you gave."
"Yeah, yeah, I'm wonderful," Harry drawled, "Now get back to those other two options before this gets mushy and you start gushing like a schoolgirl."
A snort, "Of course. So, the other two careers that interested me were either starting my own commercial greenhouse-"
"You'd be brilliant at that," he interrupted to comment, "I take it the last option was becoming a Healer?"
"Yep. But of the three I thought the greenhouse was the only one that I'd be able to do. In fact I'm still not sure if I'd be accepted into Healer training."
"What? Why not?" Harry asked and watched Neville suddenly slump and release a sigh.
"Potions," he said glumly, "You need an Exceeds Expectations N.E.W.T. in Potions to qualify for the Healer training program."
"Ah," was all he could think to say, "So, aside from the fact that we didn't stick around long enough to get N.E.W.T.s in the first place, how were you planning to-"
"Mediwizard training," Neville interrupted, anticipating his question, "The entrance requirements for it are somewhat less demanding than the Healer program. I'd be able to get in with good Herbology marks to make up for the Potions one."
"Okay, I'm confused," Harry frowned, "This is probably another of those things I should know but don't. What's the difference between the two?"
"In Muggle terms a Healer is like a fully qualified physician while a Mediwizard or Mediwitch are more the level of a medic."
"I see," he nodded, "So you were thinking about becoming a Mediwizard, not an actual Healer."
"Actually, there's an allowance where if a Mediwizard has served for five consecutive years and can get a positive reference from a superior they can apply for the Healer's program."
"So you're planning to work your way up then?" he asked and his blue-eyed friend nodded, "Sounds a bit drawn-out to me."
"Well, it's either that or somehow miraculously achieve an E grade in Potions," Neville said, with a sigh.
"I still think most of your problems with the subject were because of Snape. You're way too good at Herbology to be so bad at potions making – not with all the obvious connections between the two. In fact, why don't you just give it a try? Maybe get a tutor who won't spend all his time trying to intimidate you and will actually teach properly. Who knows, you might be able to get the grade."
"I don't know," Neville said, sounding sceptical.
"Come one, what's the worse that could happen? You fail? On the other hand though you could get it and save yourself five years of boring Mediwizard work."
"Five and a half actually."
"Well it's six months training and then the five years as an actual Mediwizard."
"Well, that just makes my point more relevant," he stated.
Seeing that his brother still looked hesitant Harry groaned. He twisted sideways in his chair and looked up at his twin, staring him directly in the eye
"Leander, just trust me and give it a try, alright?"
There was a moment of indecision before the elder twin finally caved and nodded his agreement. He grinned in satisfaction at his success and twisted back around so his was once more seated comfortably. As he contemplated opening his book up again, a complication occurred to him.
"We don't exist," he said simply, drawing a baffled look, "I mean in this world we don't exist anywhere officially – apart from at Gringotts obviously. The Ministry of Magic here doesn't have any record of us and that means no O.W.L. scores. Can you even take N.E.W.T. exams when you supposedly haven't tested for your O.W.L.s yet?"
"Oh," Neville breathed, eyes going wide with realisation, "No, you can't."
"So if you want to get into St Mungo's you'll have to do your O.W.L.s as well as N.E.W.T.s."
A nod, "Yeah but it's bigger than that. Like you said we're not on record at the Ministry at all; not even as students. Getting tested for exams is going to be a lot more complicated than just having to redo the O.W.L.s first."
"Well, most Muggle-borns are registered as magical citizens automatically when they attend Hogwarts, but since we didn't…" he trailed off.
"Wait, so if some child's parents wanted them to finish their Muggle education instead of attending a wizarding school, the kid can't even decide to enter the wizarding world later when they get older?"
"No- I mean yes- I mean," he paused to gather his thoughts, "If the child's guardian hires a Ministry approved tutor for them they also become registered citizens-"
"Which means our 'supposed' tutors can't have been Ministry approved, else we would be official already."
"You're right; they can't have been. But as I was going to say, apart from that someone can be granted citizenship late but there'll be a large fee and a lot of paperwork."
"Paperwork?" Harry pulled a face, "Please tell me you can take care of that for us."
Neville shook his head but before Harry could groan about it he explained.
"No we'll have to hire a Law-wizard or witch to make sure everything goes smoothly."
"What about that? Can you handle that for us? I wouldn't know where to look to find one of those."
"Sure," he nodded, "There will be registers at both the Ministry and Gringotts."
"Best go with Gringotts," the smaller twin suggested, "The Ministry probably only advertises their personal lackeys."
A snort, "True. In fact, I'm pretty much finished in here so I think I'll head over to the bank as soon as I've repotted that Gobbing Fern," Neville declared as he suddenly got to his feet.
"Yeah… you have fun with that," Harry said grimacing at the plant in question and standing up also, "I'm going to head inside before that thing starts spitting everywhere."
Then, ignoring Neville's defence of the disgusting flora, he picked up his book and headed back to the house.
"Sooooo," Harry drawled.
I was later Friday evening and the boys were settled on the rug before the living room fire, playing a game of wizard's chess across the coffee table. Neville had been his favourite chess opponent ever since the first time they had played. This was mainly because the former Longbottom was – despite having grown up with the game – just as bad at it as Harry himself. In fact, the green-eyed wizard had only ever found two others as clueless at wizard's chess as he and Neville were. Those two had been Dobby and Luna. Unfortunately, the pair's playing style, in which they would move their pieces in completely arbitrary directions, used to – for some incomprehensible reason – win them almost as many games as they lost. Matches between the blonde and the house-elf had always been both entertaining and perplexing to watch.
"Sooooo," Harry said once again.
Neville – who had been attempting to concentrate on the game to determine his next move – gave an annoyed sigh. He decided to simply order his remaining rook to move forward and then finally looked up.
"Yes?" he asked, clearly annoyed at having his focus interrupted.
"You never did tell me how it went at Gringotts."
"Oh, that!" he exclaimed, finally paying proper attention to the conversation.
"Yes, that," the younger brother shot back but the other – quite used to the sarcasm – merely ignored the comment.
"Well, I checked out the lists and narrowed it down to a few that I remembered as having good reputations in our world."
"That doesn't necessarily mean they would here as well though," Harry cautioned and his friend nodded.
"I thought of that, which is why I took the list to Griphook and asked him if anyone on the list stood out to him. He recommended two. One was a Law-wizard from a large practice that he described as very discrete and willing to work on any issue. He was also known for going to any lengths to get results – provided they were well compensated of course," he wrinkled his nose, "Sounded a bit questionable if you know what I mean. I swear, I think I remember his alternate from home having served the Malfoy's on quite a few cases."
"Urgh, no. Definitely not the sort we want to be involved with then."
"I didn't think so either. The other was a Law-witch from a small practice with business in both the wizarding and Muggle worlds. She's reasonably priced, though not cheap. He described her as also very discreet, good at what she does, and also morally minded. Griphook indicated that she would probably decline if we were involved in anything questionable, though she'd keep it to herself."
Harry was nodding, "Sounds promising. What's her name?"
"Andromeda Tonks of 'Tonks & Tonks Law Practice'," at his brother's surprised expression Neville nodded, "Yep, she's Nymphadora Tonks' mother I believe. If she's anything like in our world she should be trustworthy enough to hire. Gran used to speak well of her and apparently she and her husband Ted – he's a Muggle-born wizard and handles a Muggle side of the business – are not terribly huge fans of Dumbledore."
"Really? You wouldn't have guessed what with Tonks having been in the Order."
"Well, Mrs Tonks was subtle about it from what I gathered. Probably Tonks didn't know and when she went to Hogwarts she was sucked into the Dumbledore-is-great mindset like most everyone else there is," he guessed with a shrug and Harry nodded.
"So, when are we seeing her?"
"Griphook agreed to send a letter off on our behalf – it's just the more professional way of doing it – and said when he gets a reply he'll forward it along to us."
"Okay," said Harry before looking down at the game board and grinning, "Oh and Lea?"
"What? That's so not fair! You distracted me that last move!"
Mister Leander Philip Franklin,
Enclosed is the reply from Law-witch Andromeda Tonks. Her response was positive and appointment details are in the attached letter.
If there is any other business I can assist you or your brother in, you need only ask.
Yours in business,
Franklin-Evan Account Manager
Franklin-Leander Account Manager
The enclosed letter read:
Tonks & Tonks Law Practice
Messrs Evan and Leander Franklin,
I am writing in response to the letter received from your Account Manager – one Goblin Griphook – to inform you that I would be pleased to meet with you both to discuss what legal business I may assist you in.
I am soonest available this coming Thursday, 13th October, 2005 at precisely ten o'clock. Should this time and/or date be inconvenient for you, please send a reply as soon as possible so that we may reschedule.
Fees and other business will be discussed at the appointment. Street and Floo address as well as Apparition point coordinates of our offices can be found at the bottom of this letter.
Law-witch, Tonks & Tonks Law Practice
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