A Princely Sum, or, You Copyrighted What?
Disclaimer: The Harry Potter Universe belongs to J. K. Rowling.
"Are you serious?" Harry asked incredulously. He and Ginny had been sitting, snuggled up on the sofa, watching the fire burn down. Harry loved Christmas at the Burrow--while Hogwarts' Christmases were impressive, and seeing the school decorated for the season was always enjoyable, there was just so much more at the Burrow. More love, more happiness, and more family. And this year, there was much more Ginny, which, in his opinion, was the best more there could ever be.
But George had seen fit to interrupt their snuggling session with what had to be one of the most ludicrous and least-likely suggestions Harry had ever heard.
"Completely. Would I kid about something like this?" George, uncharacteristically, didn't look like he was kidding. This, more than anything, worried Harry.
"Well, yeah, you would. I mean, that's what you do, right? Joke about money?"
"Harry, Harry, Harry. I think you might have misunderstood our noble mission. Fred, would you enlighten him please?"
Fred adopted a serious look, uncannily similar to the one George had been wearing.
"Harry, we, the Wonder Weasleys, are known for kidding around, right?"
Ginny mumbled something under her breath that sounded like, "No, really?"
Harry just nodded, wondering where this was going, and glad that he could count on having Ginny on his side in whatever debacle the twins were dreaming up now.
"In fact, you could say that if anything of a, shall we say, 'prankish' nature happens, and we're around, we'll probably be blamed for it, right?" Fred continued to look earnestly at Harry.
"Well, of course." Harry was rather hoping that Ginny would speak up and give him some sort of guidance, as he was feeling more and more out of his depth in the conversation.
"So, yes, we do spend a lot of time working on making funny things happen, and nine times out of ten, we really are to blame for anything going on--"
George interjected, "The tenth time it's Ginny. Ow! Ginny, stop hitting me! You know it's true."
"--but, when it comes to making money off of kidding around, we never kid around. And, I'm not kidding." Fred, his declaration finished, turned back to George.
Harry turned to Ginny. "Really? Those numbers seem rather off to me. I would say that--"
"Don't finish that sentence, Potter, or I'll show you just how many pranks I can pull off." She managed a creditable imitation of anger, but her statement lost some of its impact as she snuggled closer into Harry's chest, and let out a little hum of appreciation.
Deciding that he was enjoying his time with her too much to risk having her get up, he turned his attention back to the twins. "But, does the Wizarding World even have copyright laws? I've never seen a copyright notice in our textbooks."
"Of course we do--we wouldn't want anyone to just be able to cast Duplico on something and not have to pay for it. But I'm not sure what you mean by a copyright notice. We use what are called the Copyright Jinxes, and these enforce the rights of the authors."
Yet again Harry wished that Hogwarts would offer a class in How the Magical World Differs from the Muggle World, and How Not to be Thought of As a Muggle-Born.
His curiosity piqued, Harry finally gave in. "Okay, tell me about these jinxes."
Ginny pushed away from him a bit, so as to allow him to concentrate more fully on the twins' explanation, but Harry just pulled her right back into his chest, and slid an arm even farther around her waist, to discourage any other movements. Ginny settled back into her comfortable place in his lap, a small smile the only indication that this was exactly what she had planned on.
"Okay, Harry," George began, "there's some rather interesting spells that can be done with regards to written and spoken communication. For example, a Taboo Jinx is a spell that alerts the caster when anyone says a particular word. Like, if Voldemort really wanted to make sure no-one said his name, he'd cast a Taboo on it, and send his Death Munchers to any place the spell indicated. It'd be kind of stupid, though--we could all start saying it, then apparating, and tie up his minions for hours."
"Well, that really isn't what we want, though, is it? And I don't see how that relates to the Copyright Jinxes." Harry's question somewhat surprised George. While he had been talking, Harry had been planting featherlight kisses on Ginny's hair, with a blissful expression on his face. George had figured that there was no way he'd been paying attention, but apparently The-Boy-Who-Can-Multitask had greater abilities than they'd realized.
"Hold your horses," Fred interjected, "that was just an example. Might I take over, oh handsome one?"
George grinned and nodded, bowing theatrically from the waist and waving Fred forward.
"So, what happens with our textbooks is that the authors take their manuscript to the Ministry, or to Gringotts, depending on whether they'd rather deal with bureaucratic nonsense, or pay more money, and have a Licensed Copyrighter cast the Copyright Jinx on the manuscript. It's important that they do this before any copies are made, otherwise the spells won't be valid. They can then send the manuscript to the publisher, who makes the copies under a Copyright exemption, and sells them to the bookstore, and so on."
"Okay, I understand that. . ." Harry trailed off to lean down and whisper something in Ginny's ear, causing her to giggle and her ears to turn a pretty shade of pink. "But what happens if someone makes an unauthorized copy?"
"See, that's the--" George began.
"--beauty of it." Fred continued. "You can have the Copyrighter attach any penalty you want to the spell. They're bound by certain laws--like they can't attach an Unforgivable, and the attached spell can only affect the one doing the illegal copying, but within those guidelines, they can do anything. We've thought quite hard about copyrighting our Patented Daydream Charms, so that no-one else can copy them without having their, shall we say, delicate areas start flashing magenta so brightly that it shows through their clothing--"
"--but we decided that we'd rather have the free publicity," George finished.
"Well, we also didn't have the money for the Copyrighter when we came up with that idea," Fred added. Turning to George, he continued, "But we could do it now, brother mine. It's not like we need more publicity."
"True, true. All we'd have to do is change the name, and use that other potion we found, so it'd be a different product. And if we posted the notice in the store window, the word would get out pretty quickly. Do you think it'd be a worthwhile investment?"
Fred pondered that for a few seconds, then turned to Harry, probably to ask his opinion, but his question died on his lips. Harry and Ginny were not paying any more attention to the twins--knowing how long Fred and George could continue on a tangent before returning to the original subject, they had found something else to occupy their time with.
"Oy, you two! Give it a rest for a bit!" George said.
Harry ignored him, except for giving him the universal signal for "one more minute, I'm busy." Ginny's reaction was a little less polite, but conveyed the same message.
Finally coming up for air, Ginny turned around in Harry's arms, which tightened around her waist to keep her as close as possible to his chest, and said, "okay, this all sounds good, but what we want to copyright is already being used--how would we be able to cast the spell?"
"You see, that's the great part!" Fred answered. "When we were looking into it, we found some of the older regulations governing the Copyright Jinxes. We didn't pay much attention to them at the time, but the other night I was thinking about your complaint--", everyone nodded grimly, remembering the night in question, "--and I decided to go investigate those old rules again. And there, my dear boy, was the answer, just waiting for someone of uncommon intelligence and business acumen--"
"Or you," Ginny interjected with a smirk.
"Or me," agreed Fred, completely ignoring the intended slight, "to find and bring to light, so that it could be used to cause mayhem, mischief, and money-making."
Harry and Ginny waited for Fred to continue, and waited, and waited. Finally, Ginny spoke, "So, are you going to tell us, or do we have to play Twenty Questions?"
Fred, who had been waiting for George to jump in at this point, since that was their way of doing things, turned to look at his brother.
George was staring at the floor, and talking to himself so quietly that the others had to strain to hear it. ". . . averaging maybe 5 infringements a week, and carrying the 7. . ."
There is a special kind of expectant silence that only happens when the designated speaker has forgotten their cue. Some people call it a 'pregnant silence', although that doesn't really convey the utter quiet and expectanct stares. Maybe 'oppressive waiting quiet' would be a better choice of words. Whatever it was, George finally became aware of it, and the fact that it was directed at him.
"Um, sorry, where were we?"
Harry had always wondered if the twins had any shame--he certainly couldn't remember them blushing from embarrassment in the time that he'd known them. They were far more likely to grin, jump on the table, and start dancing. Ginny knew better, having known them longer, but even she was hard-pressed to remember a time when George had blushed so much.
A little defensive, he blurted out, "I never was much good at maths--Fred always did them for me!"
"George Fabian Weasley! Do you mean to tell me that you had your brother do your homework for you?" Molly had entered right at the most inopportune moment, and heard that last excuse from her son. She must have set some sort of record for the shortest amount of time to go from calm placidity to full-on battle stations. George cringed, got even redder, and did the only thing he could think of to defuse the situation.
"Well, Fred never did a single English paper!"
Fred turned to his brother with an indignant, and rather fearful expression on his face, but never got a chance to say what he was thinking.
"Frederick Gideon Weasley! You get over here right now! You too, George! I never, in all my life, would have expected you to have cheated in primary school. Did you expect to learn those subjects by just putting your textbooks under your pillows?" Fred and George both looked rather sheepish at this, which was as good as a confession, in Molly's eyes. "Up! To your room, now! No, my room--you have too many idiotic inventions in your room. We are going to have a talk with your father about this!"
The trio headed up the stairs, Molly's remonstrances fading off as they ascended, but never really becoming inaudible, such was the power of her voice.
Ginny turned and looked at Harry, and that's all it took. They both snickered, then chuckled, then broke out into full-throated, eye-watering, ribcage-straining laughter. Eventually they calmed down, only to start up again when Harry caught Ginny's eye.
When Ron walked into the room, in the middle of an argument with Hermione--"I don't know why we don't just erect anti-gnome wards, and no, I don't think it hurts them to be thrown that far!"--Harry and Ginny both made a valiant effort, and managed to stifle their chortling. Hermione, being the more observant of the pair, noticed them first.
"Harry, Ginny, what in the world have you been doing?"
At this, Ron turned to look at them, and, being the typical Weasley male, jumped straight to the wrong conclusion. "Harry, what did you say to make Ginny cry? Are you messing her around? Ginny, did he cheat on you? Do I need to explain something to him with my fist?"
Ginny just giggled at this, too caught up in the hilarity of the situation to answer. Her giggles did seem to be enough to bring down Ron from his righteous anger, but didn't help clarify the situation. Ron just stood there, looking between the two in confusion.
At this point, they heard a snatch of Molly's tirade float back down to them. ". . . and if I ever catch you. . ." Hermione got a very intent look on her face, one that indicated she was thinking hard about something.
"Does this have something to do with Fred and George? I thought I heard Molly use their full names."
Harry tried to suppress the giggles, which he felt were rather unmanly, but didn't quite succeed, although they didn't last too long this time.
Finally, the two lovebirds calmed down enough to explain what all the yelling had been about. Ron and Hermione thought it was hilarious, and their laughter set off Ginny and Harry again. Eventually the foursome were able to control their mirth, although they had to be careful not to look at each other too obviously, as that was guaranteed to set off some bouts of snickering.
Ron and Hermione had settled down on the other sofa, looking for all the world like they wanted to spend the rest of the evening talking with Harry and Ginny. The latter two weren't exactly thrilled at having their couple time interrupted like this, but they had been rather ignoring the other two. Of course, the street went both ways, as Ron and Hermione had also taken quite a few opportunities to engage in one-on-one activities. Ginny was sure it would only be a matter of weeks before they finally kissed. Harry was less sanguine about that, and felt that they'd take at least two more months. 2 galleons were riding on the outcome, so they paid a lot more attention than they would have otherwise.
The four students passed the time companionably, engaging in desultory conversation about school, which Hermione enjoyed, end-of-term exams, which nobody except Hermione liked, and Quidditch, which Hermione put up with, until they were called in to enjoy another Molly Weasley feast.
In truth, Molly was really only happy when she had a large number of family under her roof, and the food to feed them with. She enjoyed Christmas greatly because this was the time when she could indulge her proclivities to the fullest. The last three days leading up to Christmas itself were always full of biscuits and puddings and ham and rolls and potatoes and gravy and everything else imaginable, topped off at the end by the magnificent spread she put out on Christmas Day itself. Harry, through a lot of training, pushing himself to his limits, and then beyond, was finally starting to eat enough to satisfy his surrogate mother--this resulted in some side benefits too. Since he had started exercising the previous summer, he had started to put on muscle mass. Added to his better eating habits, he was becoming rather well-formed, and Ginny was extremely appreciative of the new shape of his shoulders, and other areas.
After the dinner had been eaten, the few leftovers put away, and the dishes started washing, Fred and George, wearing penitent expressions, signaled to Harry that they'd like to talk to him some more.
He turned to Ginny, "Do you want to go finish our conversation with the Twins? or what?"
Ginny turned to him with a look of perfect innocence (except for a sly twinkle in her eyes) and said, "What?"
Harry had been hoping for this response. "Sorry, Fred, George, Ginny wants to sno--mmph!"
Ginny's hand now effectively impeding Harry's vocal abilities, she took up the conversation. "Of course, boys, where shall we go? Unless you want to talk down here where Mum and Dad can hear you?" Ginny knew, through long experience, that the twins, if at all possible, preferred to hold any conversation having to do with money, pranks, or girls far away from the alert ears of their parents. Since this one held all the earmarks of being chock full of the first two of those subjects, she knew they'd rather find a quiet, private place. The question was, would they allow the two younger teens into their bedroom? or would she have to accommodate them in hers?
"No, no, that's okay," said Fred, hurriedly. "George, shall we head up to our room?"
George looked at him as if he were suddenly speaking Italian. "We never let others into our room, you know that? And what about the. . . thing in the corner?"
Ginny's ears perked up at this. "What thing in the corner? Is it alive?"
"Shush! You don't have to yell it out like that!" George hissed. "Mum's already pretty upset at us; we don't need her looking more closely into our business. Fred, I think this would be better taken care of somewhere else."
Fred cocked his head to the side, then nodded it. "Ginny, can we talk in your room?"
Ginny blushed slightly, and determinedly not looking at Harry, whispered, "Yeah, let's go now, before anyone sees us."
Harry wondered why she seemed so embarrassed about them going to her room. He'd never really seen it before, but it couldn't be that bad, right?
The foursome trooped up the stairs, casting quick glances behind them every so often to make sure they weren't being spied on. When they arrived at the pink-painted door, replete with peeling stickers of flowers and fairies, they stopped and looked cautiously up and down the hall. Harry, who hadn't really noticed the decorations on the door, was fascinated by the scene. The fairies, he saw, floated slowly around the flowers, occasionally stopping to rest on one. They seemed rather tired, and it was certainly understandable why he hadn't noticed them before since they didn't seem nearly as animated as the paintings and pictures he had grown used to in the Wizarding World. Although it might have been because all the previous summer he had been much more interested in the girl inside the room than the pictures outside.
Ginny noticed him looking at the door intently, and blushed even more. "When I was five, my Auntie Muriel gave me a set of Fantastic Fairies and Fanciful Flowers, and I put most of them here on the door. After ten years I guess they've gotten a little tired of flying around. Now, come inside before someone sees us."
She took his hand and tugged him through the doorway, Fred and George following after. The twins immediately shut the door, and pulled out their wands. Each of them cast several charms around the room, "For privacy", they said, when Harry looked at them quizzically.
Ginny went over and pulled her chair out from the desk that was nestled cosily in one corner, next to the window. Struggling to control her traitorously-blushing cheeks, she said, "Harry, you'd probably better sit here."
Harry wondered where else there was to sit, but when his eyes landed on the bed, he blushed too and sat on the chair quickly. Ginny went to sit on the bed, but Harry snagged her hand, and pulled her to him. "Gin, I'm not sure I'm going to be able to pay attention to Gred and Forge if you're that far away."
Fred snorted at this, but Harry ignored him with dignity, and pulled Ginny down to sit on his lap. "Ah, that's better, now I can listen."
Ginny smiled, and relaxed into his embrace. She figured that even if her mother caught them in her bedroom, the twins' presence would be enough to assure her that the teens hadn't been getting up to anything.
Fred and George took seats on the bed, and leaned towards the younger couple. "Well," George said, "Where were we when we were so rudely interrupted?"
Ginny raised her head from Harry's chest, and said, "You were explaining to us how we could put a Copyright Jinx on something that's not our original invention, or something like that."
"Ah yes," Fred said. "Well, we were looking through the law, and found an interesting story. It seems that back in 1066, which was right around the time the Jinxes were invented, some enterprising young man managed to cast a Taboo Jinx on the name Malfoy, and connected it to a reflected Bunionus Charm."
He was interrupted by twin gasps, and then a burst of giggling from Ginny. "You mean--?"
"Yup, every time anyone in the Malfoy family said their family name, the speaker got a painful growth on their foot." Fred paused, looking up with a beatific smile on his face. "Ah, what a wonderful prank," he commented. Eventually he looked down and continued. "Well, the Malfoys were richer back then than they are now, and decided to use their wealth to buy some legislation. Now, I guess we can't be too upset at them—in fact, this might be the only really good thing they've ever done. They managed to push an amendment to this category of laws saying that if the Head of the Family can pay a certain fee, and prove that their Line has been around since before the Jinx was enacted, they can cancel the Jinx and even protect it from further Jinxes."
Once again, Harry showed that he was able to nuzzle Ginny at the same time as paying attention to the Twins. "Well," he asked, "I can certainly understand that, but how does that affect the Copyright Jinxes?"
George entered the conversation now. "Well, the law I mentioned doesn't explicitly use the words Taboo Jinx. Bureaucratic language is wonderful, isn't it? The actual words are: Jinxes and Hexes that are set to trigger upon repetition, replication, or other use of a specific entity. So it can be applied to Copyright Jinxes too, as those are intended to cover the replication of, what did they call it? Intellectual Property is the term that they used in the law."
Harry was starting to get more interested in the scheme that was being presented to him. "So, what kind of penalties are usually attached to the Jinx?"
Fred answered this one. "Oh, the usual, minor skin ailments, loud noises, glowing messages that follow the thief around. . . normal stuff."
Ginny smiled at Harry's shocked reaction. "Harry, love, you have to understand the use of the word normal when the twins say it."
Harry turned to look into her face. "Did you just call me love?"
Ginny gasped—she hadn't been meaning to say that, it had just slipped out. "Umm. . .", she stalled, trying to figure out what to say. Deciding to let her Gryffindor spirit out, she said, "Yeah, I did. Do you mind?"
The twins very chivalrously turned their heads away from the ensuing scene, as Harry pulled her closer than she already was, and kissed her for all he was worth. The twins found it necessary to engage each other in conversation shortly, as the sounds that Ginny was making were a little more than they really wanted to hear. Eventually the couple came up for air, although they didn't return to full interaction with the twins until Harry was able to wipe his eyes a bit, to clear away the water that had somehow appeared there in response to Ginny's evident feelings for him.
Coughing slightly to clear the air, Harry turned back to Fred and George. "Okay, well, while that all sounds great, couldn't we just attach a monetary fine to the Jinx?"
Fred's face fell, and he reached into his pocket and pulled out a Sickle. Handing it to George, he said, "Yeah, you can do that, too, if you just want to be compensated."
George took a moment to put his winnings in his pocket, then turned back to the couple on the chair. "So, what do you say? Do you want to go forward with this?"
Harry looked down at Ginny and raised an eyebrow. She thought for a moment, and looked back at him with a question in her eyes. Harry thought a bit more, and gave a slight nod. She smiled brilliantly back up at him, and kissed the corner of his mouth before snuggling back into his arms.
"Yeah, let's do it," Harry said. "When can we go to Gringotts?"
Christmas Day, at the Burrow, was everything Harry could have hoped for. With Ginny's advice, he had shopped for presents for all the Weasleys, as well as Remus and Tonks and, of course, Hermione, who had, hopefully, received hers on Christmas Eve in Greece, where she was vacationing with her parents. Ginny had helped him decide how much to spend on each gift, and what would be enjoyed the most. She had also teased him quite a bit about his present to her, trying to get him to tell her what it was. He had held fast, and just told her to wait until Christmas.
The Weasleys had each gotten Harry something too. Most of the gifts were home-made, which, in Harry's eyes, made them even more special. Ginny's gift to him was especially prized. She had, with her father's help, made a beautiful wooden picture frame, and put into it a picture of the two of them, sitting by the lake at Hogwarts. Harry remembered the scene, and the wonderful afternoon, but couldn't figure out who had taken the picture. He supposed it was Colin, but then decided that if Ginny was involved, it wasn't something to worry about. The frame itself was enchanted, as Ginny informed him later, when he was saying a more private thank-you to her. She had mastered the incantation to make a copy of someone's voice, and had recorded herself reading a Shakespearean sonnet. Listening to the words made him realize how much she really did care for him, and a tiny little voice popped into his head and whispered, You couldn't do better than to spend forever with her. He was a little taken aback by this--he hadn't ever really thought of long-term plans, after killing Voldemort, but as those words nestled inside his brain, they took on a warm glow, and quite brightened up his day.
Harry was especially pleased with his gift to Ginny. He had just about given up on his idea, though. He hadn't been able to find what he really wanted in the Magical World, and had finally decided to take some time to visit Muggle jewelry stores in the hopes of having more luck. It had still been a frustrating search, and he had been complaining about the fact when one of the jewelry store owners overheard him.
"What is it you're looking for, young man?" he had inquired.
"Well, I'd really like to get a necklace for my girlfriend, but nothing seems to really match my ideas of what I want."
The older man's face had brightened, and he said, "Well, let's talk about it--I'm a jeweler myself, and purely love creating new items. What did you have in mind?"
Harry had thought for a moment, before trying to describe his mental image. "Well, I'd like to get a pendant in the shape of a lightning-bolt, kind of like this scar on my forehead." He had been a little worried about showing the man his scar, but the man had just looked at it for information, not knowing that he was talking to the Boy-Who-Lived.
"Okay, I can certainly make something like that. What kind of metal would you like it made out of?"
Harry thought back to the times when he could remember seeing Ginny wear jewelry, which, admittedly, was rather rare. "I think she looks best in gold; will that be okay?"
"Certainly, gold is one of the best metals to use. Is there any type of gemstone or engraving or other decoration you'd like?"
Harry hadn't really thought about that; he'd been more interested in just finding something that would work. But now that he had been given the idea, his mind took off. "Can you maybe make a line of emeralds down the center of the pendant? They don't need to be big, or anything, but I'd like to have something there to match my eyes."
The jeweler, who had been slowly getting more and more excited about this commission, smiled at this. "That sounds beautiful. Do you want real emeralds, or created?"
The young man paused. "I'm not sure, what's the difference?"
"Let me show you, and then you'll be able to tell. Over here, we have a ring that has a beautiful real emerald in it. As you can see, the color is opaque, and has inclusions--that's how you can tell it's real."
Harry wasn't very impressed with the emerald--it didn't have nearly the color that he'd been hoping for. "Okay, I can see that. Does the created emerald look different?"
"Very much so. Here is a pendant that has, as you can see, one large emerald in it. Notice that it is a deep, transparent green, with no inclusions. And, if I may say so, the color is a much better match for your eyes."
Harry was very impressed with the pendant--the created stone looked so much better for his purposes than the real emerald that he couldn't understand why anyone would buy the real thing. "What's the price difference? That created one is so much prettier that it must be more expensive, right?"
The man laughed. "You'd think so, wouldn't you? However, the created stones, on a per-carat basis, are about one-tenth the cost of the real emeralds. You see, the real ones are incredibly rare, especially in the larger sizes. They aren't as impressive, but the fact that they're rare drives up the price. My wealthier customers are usually more concerned about being seen to wear expensive jewelry, rather than about the actual beauty of the pieces."
Harry laughed in disbelief. "Well, let me just say that I'm much less impressed about the cost than I am about the beauty. And this'll probably be better anyway; my girlfriend will already be shocked with the gift, and I don't want her hexing--um, yelling at me for the inflated price. Anyway, that would be perfect, I think."
The old man pulled out a piece of paper, and some colored pencils. "Let me sketch out for you what I'm thinking of." With quick, sure strokes, he drew a green lightning-bolt in the middle of the page. Then he drew a rather thick border around the outside in gold. Finishing up by drawing a gold chain to which the pendant attached by a small loop, he turned the paper toward Harry for his approval.
"That's perfect!" Harry was overjoyed at finally seeing what he'd only imagined.
"Did you want something engraved on the back? I could do it with no extra charge, if you'd like."
"Yes, please. Um, can you have it say, um. . . How about, To my Queen, Always, from your Harry?"
"Certainly, I'd be happy to do that for you. Now, how would you like to pay for this?"
Harry's face fell. He hadn't thought about having to pay in the Muggle world. He had some Muggle money, of course, but was sure it wasn't enough. "How much is it?"
The shop owner quoted a price that was much less than Harry had feared, but still more than he had at the time. Noticing his crestfallen expression, the jeweler continued on. "Of course, since I still have to make it, you can pay me half now and half when you pick it up."
Harry's face instantly changed from sad to overjoyed--he had enough money to do that, and would certainly make sure he took out the balance from his vault. "That would be perfect, sir, thank you so much!"
The jeweler just smiled at the happiness emanating from the young man, and Harry left the shop feeling like the king of the world.
When Ginny had opened the small, beautifully wrapped package, she had just stared. Harry had expected some sort of reaction, but it looked as if she'd been stunned, or frozen, or something like that. "Ginny, um, don't you like it?" His nervousness was evident in his hesitant voice.
Ginny looked up at him, and tried to say something, but her mouth just opened and closed. And opened. And closed again. This behavior, of course, attracted the attention of the rest of the Weasley clan, who started a general round of teasing in the background.
"Hey, Harry, was there a delayed-action Silencio on that?" was Ron's contribution.
The twins, of course, were less restrained in their commentary.
"My, my, whatever could Harry have--" Fred started.
"--put in a small box like that to have so utterly--" George continued.
". . . um, bewitched?"
"Good one, Fred," George interjected in a stage whisper, then continued in a normal voice, "our little sister so thoroughly?"
Fred started it up again. "Could it be, perhaps, some sort of round, golden thing that usually resides--"
"--on a specific finger of the left hand?"
At this point, Mrs. Weasley cottoned on to what the twins were suggesting, and let out a little scream of joy, tempered slightly with outrage that she hadn't known about it. "Ginevra! You're too young! Let us see! You can't get married yet! What kind of stone is in it? Oh, my baby!!" And she burst into tears. This didn't stop her, though, from springing up from her chair and engulfing first Ginny, then Harry in her patented smothering embrace.
By this time, Harry had turned a bright red, and had lost his ability to speak too. They were so wrong in their assumptions, but he couldn't seem to come up with the words to tell them--not that he would have had the opportunity to interject more than just an "Um" into the rapid-fire conversations blossoming like wildfire around the room.
Bill and Charlie, who had for once been able to coordinate their vacation schedules, were muttering to each other, and casting evil glares at the Boy-Who-Was-Blushing. Small snatches of their conversation came through to Harry, and served only to make him more flustered. After all, it's hard to stay calm when Egyptian fungal spores are mentioned in the same time-frame as Dragons can draw and quarter ANYONE!
The only denizen of the Burrow that wasn't participating in the verbal free-for-all, was Mr. Weasley. He was seated over in the love seat which had, until recently, also held his wife. His face held a curious sort of wistful look, and his eyes were suspiciously bright. Part of him was looking forward to the ritual Telling of the I-Told-You-So's that was going to happen later that night, when he got to revel in having correctly predicted this particular engagement, but mostly he was contemplating just how grown-up his little girl was.
Given how raucous the Burrow's living room had become, it was almost a miracle how quickly it all shut off when a shriek of "QUIET!" burst out. The gaggle stopped their conversations in mid-sentence, mid-sideshow, or mid-mutter, respectively, and turned as one towards the littlest Weasley. She had gotten past whatever had stunned her into silence, and was now on foot, red-faced, and giving off small sparks of unformed, yet rather excited, magic.
"Harry did NOT give me an engagement ring!" The silence that met this made the previous silence seem like Double-Coupon Day at the market in comparison. Molly sat down, stunned by the quick reversal of emotions. The twins just gaped at Ginny, then turned to stare at the jewelry box that she was holding, which, now that they looked more closely, seemed rather larger than a ring box would be. Charlie and Bill looked at each other, relieved, yet somewhat disappointed, at having to put their plans on hold for awhile. Ron looked up from his package of chocolate frogs, interested in the outcome of the events, but not terribly fussed either way. And Mr. Weasley sat there, with a wistful look on his face, this time thinking of how he was going to have to wait even longer to be able to truly call Harry his son.
"Thank you," Ginny continued. "Now, if you'll let me, I'll show you just what this dear, sweet man has given me." She held up the box, and turned it around so they could all see the lightning-bolt pendant, dangling from a chain of woven gold. A collective sigh of appreciation went through the room, although, to be fair, Ron's was due more to the chocolate he was eating than the jewelry.
Harry, who had hoped that he could have a small break from his state of near-constant blushing, was sorely disappointed, because along with the sigh, the others in the room started to comment on the pendant too. But his embarrassment at this was interrupted by Ginny throwing her arms around him and kissing him for all she was worth. After showing the pendant to her family, she had happened to look at the back of it, and seeing the sentiment engraved there, gave in to the need to show her boyfriend exactly how thrilled she was.
Harry caught on very quickly, and kissed her back with equal passion. While they had been at school he had certainly enjoyed spending time with her, and had, under her tutelage, become less and less concerned with what others thought of him kissing his girlfriend in public. Ron had gotten so used to it by now that he rarely even made a token protest. This nonchalance, however, had never really been tested in front of the rest of the Weasleys, more specifically, the Weasley parents, and the two oldest brothers.
"What does he think he's doing to her?" Charlie demanded, making as if to get up.
"Hold on there, Charlie," Fred responded. "If you didn't notice, she's the one that initiated that kiss. Although, I have to say, they both have pretty good lung power."
"But, he shouldn't be so willing to kiss her back!" was Bill's complaint.
George took care of this one. "Bill, have you ever been able to deny her anything she really wanted? Even if you wanted to? And I'm sure Harry doesn't want to deny her this. Fred, I think I've figured it out! They breathe through their noses!"
Molly, who had gone back to sit by her husband, didn't really know what to think. She was very happy for Ginny's present--it really was beautiful. She was a little perturbed by the enthusiasm with which her only daughter was snogging her boyfriend. And while she was somewhat relieved that it hadn't been an engagement ring, she was also, in all honesty, saddened by that last fact too. She made as if to object to the object lesson in lip contact in front of her, but Arthur put a restraining hand on her. "Molly, I don't think we need to interrupt them. I trust them to not take things too far. Besides, the longer they kiss, the more we'll get to tease them when they finally stop."
Harry didn't like to remember the rest of that morning. The teasing had been legendary, and he still wasn't quite sure how much of Charlie's and Bill's jesting threats were really just jests. He resolved that in the future, he'd be a little more circumspect in his activities with Ginny when they were around. Or else make sure that he didn't leave Ginny's side, so they couldn't get him alone.
The rest of Christmas day was rather more peaceful. After a wonderful lunch the family lounged around in various states of sleepiness, some in the kitchen where they could snack whenever the urge hit them (Ron). Some had gone upstairs for a "nap" (Molly and Arthur), and some had appropriated the rug in front of the fireplace, in order to stretch out and solve the problems of the world (Bill and Charlie). This left Harry and Ginny at the somewhat dubious mercy of the twins, who dragged them back up to Ginny's bedroom to finalize plans.
"Okay, lovebirds, we should nail down all the particulars before we go in to Gringotts tomorrow. Goblins believe that time is gold, and don't appreciate having to waste it waiting for us to make decisions." Fred said this with a rueful smile on his face, as if he had learned this through bitter experience. Ginny opened her mouth, probably to inquire as to what had happened to him that he learned this lesson, but George interrupted.
"So, we need to decided what the penalties for Copyright infringement will be, and whom it will affect. We also should decide how long the Copyright Jinx will last. If we go in with those specifics, then I think we'll be in good shape with the Goblins."
Harry decided that it was silly to allow the presence of a bed to interfere with the happiness he felt around Ginny, and walked straight to it. He sat down, and then scooted back so he was leaning against the wall. He reached out for Ginny, and she climbed up too, then curled up next to him, put her head on his shoulder and pulled his arm around her.
Fred smirked at them. "Comfortable?" Without waiting for a response, he turned to his brother. "Brother mine, it looks to me like this is not a new position for the two lovebirds."
George turned to him and answered, "No, Forge, it does indeed seem to indicate that they've found themselves cuddled up the same way many times before, doesn't it?"
Looking back at George, Fred answered, "Yes, Gred, and while I don't think that this is an issue, I find myself wondering something else."
"And what is that, oh astute one?"
"I find myself wondering, and this is the real crux of the matter, where they've had the opportunity to become this comfortable on a bed?" As he said this last part, both twins turned in unison towards the couple on the bed, only to cringe backwards. "Oh come on, you two, give it a rest, why don't you?"
Ginny slowly pulled herself back from the leisurely kiss that she had been sharing with Harry, and turned lazily towards her brothers. "It's not my fault that you two get so caught up in your marvelous banter that you ignore what's around you. Harry and I don't feel a need to listen to you, and since you're here, acting as wonderful chaperons, we can get away with kissing on my bed, which, for your information, we have never done before. So, thank you for allowing us this opportunity." And with a satisfied smirk, she cuddled back into Harry's side.
Fred gave George a pained look, then turned back to his sister. "Fine, I understand, no need to get snippy. It's a good thing we approve of Harry, though. If we ever caught you with anyone else doing that, well, let's just say that he wouldn't be able to get near you again without having convulsions and flashbacks." Fred tried to say this fiercely, but the two on the bed just smiled at him.
Harry pulled Ginny even closer, and mumbled under his breath, "That'll never happen."
Ginny, who was the only one to have heard him, turned sharply to look at him. He turned beet red, and looked away, but not before Ginny saw something in his eyes that made her face soften, and gave her yet another reason to be grateful for the decision she'd made back on September first.
Harry, desperate to change the subject, looked up at George and blurted, "Money!!"
George giggled at this non sequitur, then blushed bright red at the undignified sound that had escaped his mouth.
Fred took over while George regained his composure. "Okay, so we want to attach a monetary penalty to the Jinx, is that right?"
Harry nodded, while glancing surreptitiously at Ginny to see if she was still looking at him. She had turned her attention back to the twins, though, so didn't see the look in Harry's eyes, which probably boded well for their ability to pay attention to the discussion at hand.
George, having recovered from his bout of little-girly-ness, took up the conversational thread. "So, the normal type of monetary penalty ranges from one sickle up to a maximum of 19 sickles. Well, unless you get a Ministry Authorized Exemption, which I'm assuming you don't want to try for, right?"
"Yeah," Harry answered. "Somehow I don't think they would be willing to allow that."
"No, probably not. Okay, then, what do you think the penalty should be."
Harry thought for a minute, opened his mouth once, but didn't say anything as Ginny pulled his head down so she could whisper in his ear. He listened carefully, then nodded. "Okay, how about something that's more of a nuisance than anything? Let's put the penalty at 3 knuts per infringement, with the stipulation that it must be paid in knuts. That would mean that they couldn't just save up infringements and pay them all with a galleon or two."
Fred looked at George. George looked back at Fred. They turned to Harry, and fell to their knees and started groveling at his feet. Harry looked at them in puzzlement, and turned to Ginny with a questioning look.
"Oh, well, that just means they're impressed with your conniving. They used to bow and chant too, but I threatened them that I'd hex them the next time they did it that way."
Harry nodded, then looked up at her sharply, wondering what kinds of things she'd done that would have made them give her this treatment in such excess that it had started to bother her. But he didn't get a chance to ask, as Fred took that moment to jump back into his chair and resume the discussion.
"Okay, that's the penalty. Whom do you want it to affect? Everyone? Or just certain, shall we say, official organizations?"
Ginny poked Harry in the side and answered for him. "I think you should make it affect two groups of people. First, anyone in the Ministry who breaks the Copyright for official business without having been granted personal permission from the copyright owner." Harry thought about that, and nodded his agreement. Ginny continued, "And second, anyone who uses the copyrighted material in such a way as to get gain. This would include the Daily Prophet printing things, or photographers, or people giving speeches in public forums if they're being paid. Hmm, George, can we make it so that the definition of profit includes those who break the Copyright for indirect gain?"
"What do you mean, Ginners?"
She paused a moment to glare at her brother for the use of her old nick-name, but decided that it wasn't worth hexing him for. "Well, say someone is giving a political speech and uses the Copyrighted material in the hopes that it will help them get elected. . ."
George grinned at her, and nodded his head enthusiastically. "That's a great thought, oh sister mine. I'm sure that can be included too. Is there any other group of people that you want to make sure you target."
Harry thought for a bit, then spoke up. "What about those who use it for malicious intent, even if they aren't profiting from it? Like someone talking badly about it, or condescendingly, or maliciously denigrating it."
Fred looked puzzled for a bit, then turned to George, who just sighed and shook his head. "I guess Mum has a point--you probably should have done your own English homework. It means to speak damagingly of."
Fred's face cleared, and he nodded. "Yeah, we can do that too. Anyone else?"
Ginny looked at Harry, who smiled and shook his head slightly. They turned back to the Twins, and Ginny said, "No, that sounds like it'll cover things."
George agreed, then brought up the time-frame. "Okay, so, Copyright Jinxes cost more the longer they are set for. One of the possibilities is to have it run for a certain number of years with the option to renew later. I would suggest that one, as it's cheaper to start with, and you might find you don't want it to continue forever."
Harry shrugged at that. "Sure, sounds fine to me. Let's say five years, okay?"
"Okay, old bean, sounds like we've got ourselves a plan. Now, we're going to go tomorrow morning around 10:00, if that's okay with you? We've got Lee and Angelina to watch the store--that is, if you don't mind us accompanying you?"
"No, that's fine--we'd like you to come along and make sure we don't forget something."
"Okay then, I think our business here is done," Fred said as the twins got up to leave.
Ginny grabbed Harry's hand as he made to get up too, and said, "Well, ours isn't, so we'll see you later."
Taking the implied dismissal, the twins saluted, and marched out of the room, carefully closing the door behind them.
Ginny turned to Harry with a steely look, and said, "Okay, Harry, what did you mean when you said That'll never happen? Who are you to tell me what I can and can't do in my bedroom?"
Harry grimaced, and faced her. Grabbing his courage, he looked up and said, "Gin, it's just that I really don't like to think of you kissing anyone else. These last four months have been the best of my life, and I can't imagine ever wanting it to change. So, I was just hoping that maybe . . ." Harry trailed off, unsure how to continue.
Ginny waited a bit, to see if he were going to say anything else. When it became evident that he wasn't, she spoke. "Harry, I've loved being your girlfriend, and I don't have plans to change that right now. I'm yours for as long as you want me." Then she whispered, "Your Queen, always."
Harry, at that moment, realized something he hadn't ever thought of before. She really had become His Queen, and he couldn't imagine anyone else ever taking her place in his heart. And even more, he decided that he didn't want anyone to take his place in hers. A determination crystallized in his very soul, and he decided that as soon as it was appropriate, he would take steps to ensure that outcome. As for right this moment. . . He turned to Ginny, and backed up a bit so he could see her clearly. "Ginny, I want to tell you something that is rather hard for me. You've shown me how wonderful life can be. In spite of the stupidities of others, and the stresses we have had to deal with, you've been there for me, and I hope that I've been as good a boyfriend as you deserved, although I'm not sure that's possible." Ginny opened her mouth to interject something, but Harry raised his hand to stop her. "I just want you to know, Ginny Weasley, that . . . that. . . I love you."
Ginny just stared at him. She had hoped he felt that strongly towards her, but knowing how he had grown up, had resigned herself to waiting a very long time to hear him say that. The fact that he had told her this after only being together for a short while gave her hope that he was being able to overcome the awful childhood he had been forced to endure. Tears came to her eyes as she contemplated this wonderful young man in front of her, and how happy he had made her. "Harry, thank you. You make me happier than I can say, and I can tell you, without any doubt, that I love you too. I always will."
Harry slid his arms around her waist and pulled her close to his body. She reached up and wrapped her arms around his neck, and pulled his head down towards hers, where she kissed him with all the love and tenderness that she felt. Harry felt as if he were floating, aware of nothing but the beautiful, vibrant girl in his arms, and convinced that he could die happy now, sure of at least one person in the world who loved him.
Some unmeasured time later, they were brought back to earth by someone knocking on the door. Reluctantly breaking their embrace, and getting off of the bed, in case it was one of her parents, they called "Come in".
The door slowly opened, and Ron looked in. Taking note of Ginny's messy hair, and Harry's goofy grin, he smirked and said, "Just thought I'd warn you that Mum and Dad are done with their nap, so you might want to come down and be seen in public. And comb your hair, Ginny, it's pretty obvious that Harry's been messing it up." Barely avoiding the pillow that she threw at him, he closed the door, and they heard his feet tromping down the stairs.
Harry looked shyly at Ginny, and reached for her hand. "Thanks, Gin, for taking a chance on me. You make me want to be a better person, so that I can one day feel worthy of your love."
Ginny smiled brilliantly, squeezed his hand, and said, "No, Harry, thank you for giving us a chance. But as much as I'd love to stand here and chat, we really need to not be here if my parents know we're missing. Let me grab my brush, and we'll go downstairs."
She went to her nightstand and picked up her brush, and they walked down the stairs together.
Gringotts hadn't gotten any less imposing in the years since Harry had first seen it. The goblin guards looked even more surly, if that were possible, and the inscription over the door still gave him a chill when he walked underneath it. This was the first time he had gone in holding someone's hand, though, and Ginny's warmth helped stabilize him. He was rather nervous at what he was about to do. Sure, it had been fun discussing this with Fred and George, and the humor of the situation had picked him up and carried him thus far, but now that it was really coming to pass, he wasn't sure if he could continue on. Only Ginny's presence--well, and that of the Twins--gave him the strength to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Presenting himself to one of the tellers, he announced, "I'm here to see about a Copyright Jinx that I'd like to place."
The goblin looked up, inspected the small party, and pointed to one of the doors at the side of the hall. "Through there, first hall on the right, and straight on 'til morning." Those seemed like rather inadequate, if not completely incorrect, instructions, but the teller had looked back down and didn't seem inclined to explain. Looking at Ginny, and shrugging, Harry led the way through the door. Taking the first hallway on the right, the small group started walking. As they walked, they noticed doors on each side, with rather strange-sounding names. There was Glamdrop McGroupie, Director of Movie Stars, and Fitzwalladercadnorg the 18th, Head of Bloodline Blending. Ginny got the giggles after reading Heffalump Roo, Director of Poo, and Harry devoutly hoped that the door had just lost one of its letters. Fred gave a shout of surprise at seeing Sparkly Flash, Lead Prankster, and George got an equally big kick out of Transfat Artery, Vice-President of French Fries. It was pure luck that Harry noticed a rather non-descript door that said Morning Edition, Lead Copyrighter. Understanding the instructions now, he stepped to the door and opened it.
Inside the office, he noticed that, far different than what he had expected, there was a silver bookstand, a bar stool, a rather ugly goblin, and deep-pile red carpeting, but no bookcases full of dusty tomes or scrolls. The goblin looked up at them, and grinned, which was a rather disturbing picture. "Hello, Mr. Potter, it's good to see you today."
Harry was rather startled by the goblin's recognition, and his small start made the goblin's grin grow even wider. "We have our ways of knowing things, Mr. Potter. Very sly and devious ways. For example, we are fully aware of certain predictions that concern you, as well as the depth of loathing you feel for your relatives. We are also cognizant of the relationship between you and the three Weasleys you bring with you, both separately and together. However, in this case, as Mr. George Weasley had called ahead, it was rather easier to divine your intentions."
Harry shot a look at George that plainly indicated that they would be talking later, wherein George would explain his failure to inform Harry as to his plans, then turned back to the goblin. "Mr. Edition, perhaps you can tell me what my associate told you, so that we don't have any misconceptions."
"Please, Mr. Potter, take a seat, and we can discuss this and perhaps get started."
Harry turned around, to find a love-seat positioned behind him and Ginny, and two armchairs in the right place for Fred and George to seat themselves. Getting comfortable, with one arm around Ginny, he turned his attention back to the goblin.
"Mr. Potter, Mr. Weasley informed us that you had a rather specific and unusual Copyright Jinx you wanted to place. He also told me that you'd already figured out the details of whom it would affect, and what the penalty would be. Is this correct?"
"Yes, Mr. Edition, we have already worked out everything, and we've written down the specifics here." Harry handed the Copyrighter a parchment that he and Ginny had prepared the previous evening. Curiously, it had taken the couple an hour and a half to finish, although the amount of writing was rather small. Perhaps it would have taken less time had they not tried to prepare it in private, as they might not have had so many, er, distractions. Harry just hoped that there wasn't any way to tell what had happened on top of the parchment the previous evening, as he'd rather the goblins not know it had been sat on during one of their more interesting distractions.
The goblin looked through the list of affected entities, and gave a small chuckle. He then took note of the penalty, and his eyebrows, what little there were, raised in appreciation. "Mr. Potter, I heartily endorse your desire to assert copyright in these matters, and will be honored to assist you, although I would like to suggest one change, if I may?" At Harry's nod, he continued. "I think you would be well served to give Gringotts an exemption from the conditions of the copyright. Strictly speaking, there are times when Gringotts would fall under the restriction on getting gain through use of the copyrighted material, and it might interfere with our ability to adequately protect your business."
Harry looked at Ginny, who smiled back at him and nodded, then turned to the goblin. "Certainly, sir. I can see the benefits of that exemption. Do you have any other suggestions?"
"Yes, Mr. Potter. I would suggest that you also incorporate a Notification Jinx. That will alert any copyright infringers as to their violation, so that they will be aware of their limitations. Otherwise, while you might become much richer, the miscreants will never learn why."
Harry smiled, and said, "That sounds great, Mr. Edition, let's add that. How much will it cost to invoke these Jinxes?"
The goblin looked thoughtful, which was a rather distressing sight, then sighed. "Normally, Mr. Potter, the strictures and details of your Copyright assertion would cost around 579 galleons. However, in this case, I'd like to see if we can strike a bargain. Instead of charging you upfront, I'd really like to charge you one-tenth of one percent of the penalties you collect. If this suits you, then, in addition to placing the Jinxes, we'd provide you representation in any legal actions before the Wizengamot, at no charge."
Fred and George both gasped in shock, and turned to look at Harry. Ginny gave Harry a quick glance, then looked at Fred. Harry looked too, and Fred mouthed, "Take it!" Looking at George, who was nodding his head so fast it was likely to fall off, Harry decided to follow their advice. "Mr. Edition, I accept your offer, and thank you for your willingness to help protect my interests."
The goblin smiled his disturbing smile once again, and snapped his fingers. A parchment appeared in midair, and then floated over to Harry. "Mr. Potter, please read through this document, as it is our binding agreement. It states that we, Gringotts, as represented by me, will perform a Copyright Jinx. This Jinx will last for five years from this date, and will be renewable at your request. The penalties are spelled out, including the Notification Jinx, and the criteria for affected parties is listed too. At the bottom is the legal description of the property to be copyrighted. If it meets with your approval, please sign at the bottom, and place a drop of blood next to your signature."
Harry read through the parchment quickly, Ginny reading over his shoulder, and reached for a quill. After that, he took his wand and, whispering a quick Needlificus spell, poked his finger. He watched as a drop of blood slowly appeared, and fell to the parchment, which then glowed bright white. The goblin summoned the parchment, tapped it once with a long forefinger, making it vanish, then addressed the group. "Congratulations, Mr. Potter, we have successfully placed a Copyright Jinx, and you should start seeing the results any moment now. If there is anything I can ever help you with, please don't hesitate to contact me. It has been a pleasure doing business with you."
Harry rose and gave a short bow to the goblin. "I appreciate your time and interest in these matters, Mr. Edition, and look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship." He turned and took Ginny's hand. She rose from her seat, gave a small curtsy to the goblin, and followed Harry out of the office. The twins came out just afterward, and each took the opportunity to slap Harry on the back, which made him stumble a bit from the combined force.
"Congratulations, Harry!" Fred gushed. "We knew you'd want to follow through with this. And after all, we have the moral responsibility--Ginny, stop snickering--to protect the rights of our chief investor."
George stepped up and said, in a low voice, "Let us know how it turns out, although I'm sure we'll see the changes pretty quickly anyway." He stepped back, and turned to look at Fred. "Well, brother, let us be off--there's no telling what Lee and Angelina have done to the store while we've been gone. Do you think they'll have managed to turn it pink this time?"
"I don't know, Gred, they tried last time and failed. Perhaps we need to leave the Color-Changing Dust out so they can find it more easily." And thus bantering, they headed off down the hall.
"Well, Gin, I think I'd like to celebrate. What do you say?"
Ginny got a rather seductive smile on her face, and slowly moved closer to Harry. "What did you have in mind, sweetheart?" she purred, then kissed him right next to his ear.
Harry's throat immediately dried up, and he lost almost all rational thought. "Um . . . uh. . . l-l-lunch!" he finally managed to blurt out.
Ginny grinned, happy with the effect she had on him, put her arm through his, and, pulling him along, said, "That sounds great, but you're paying!"
Chuckling, the pair headed off up the hall for an early lunch at The Leaky Cauldron.
The offices of the Daily Prophet were normally very chaotic. Reporters rushing here and there, editors yelling, and delivery boys pitching pennies in the corner. This morning was no exception, until a large Bong was heard. Everyone stopped their work, and looked up, recognizing the sound of a Notificaton Jinx. "Uh-oh, someone forgot to check Copyright Jinxes," whispered one veteran reporter. Then another Bong was heard, which presaged a veritable chorus of the loud noises.
Simultaneously, all of the Notification Jinxes sounded off. "You are hereby notified that the name Harry Potter, the phrase The-Boy-Who-Lived, when used in reference to the previously mentioned Harry Potter, and the image of a lightning-bolt scar are copyrighted material. Any use of these properties, without written consent of the owner, for commercial or personal political gain, whether direct or indirect, or malicious intent, will be fined the sum of three knuts per infringement, to be paid at once, disallowing the possibility of aggregation of said fines. You have been warned!"
Silence reigned supreme in the offices of the Daily Prophet that morning, as every single employee of that company realized that business-as-usual was no longer possible.
A/N: Many great thanks go to my betas, rosiekatriona, and sandyrah/sassyfrasskerr for all their wonderful help. Without them this would be much less readable. Extra credit to sassyfrasskerr, who came to me one day and said, "What if Fred and George suggested that Harry copyright his name?", which sparked a great discussion, and almost 11,000 words exploring that plot bunny.
And, I must credit James M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan, for "second star on the right, and straight on 'til morning." Also, A. A. Milne owns the whole Winnie the Pooh universe.