A/N: Happy Friday! Happy Long Weekend! Happy Easter!
Chapter 141: The Ladies Of Rosenshire
Walking back into the sitting room Severus found the numbers greatly diminished from what they were when he'd left. The children had all fled, and aside for Gloria there wasn't a Pairywhether in sight. Although the Beaufreres and Collinses were still in the house, the gentlemen had moved off somewhere else, leaving only Susanna Collins, Molly Weasley, Mary Beaufrere and Gloria in the space.
The ladies, however, conversed in a calm, optimistic manner and hardly noticed that he had stepped into their space until he was right among them, and even then they finished their line of conversation before he spoke.
"Where has everyone gotten off too?" Severus asked as he looked around.
"Arthur, Almonde and the brothers have retreated to the breakfast room to discussed the Order moving forward in Rosenshire," Gloria answered.
"Right, the breakfast room," Mary scoffed.
"And the children have all taken to their play in the nursery," Gloria continued. "You sent away Sirius and Rita, and I do not wholly disapprove of that pairing," she said with a glint of something mischievous in her eyes. "And everyone else has fled back into the fray to gain intelligence, I assume, or to bring around all of their best mates to enjoy our hospitality later this evening."
"Rita and Sirius, what a thought indeed!" Molly said in shocked amusement, "but come to think of it, perhaps you are right. They are shockingly well suited to one another and very similar in their manners, at time, though Sirius has improved greatly since he came into your friendship."
"I will take credit for that, and that alone," Severus said with a laugh. "But he has forbade my from playing match maker when only weeks ago he asked me to find him a wife. He doesn't like my choices I suppose."
"Is it really your choice?" Gloria asked. "I think they are growing on each other."
"Perhaps we should invite her back to Rosenshire just to see what the magic there may do the bind them or pull them apart," He offered and the ladies giggled.
"Well we can't escape the acquaintance now!" Gloria added.
"No indeed," Susanna giggled.
"I feel I have interrupted your conversations, shall I flee as well?" He asked when the laughter had died away.
"You may stay, if you wish to be ignorant of the plans your fellow countrymen are making without you," Gloria said playfully. "I have no qualms with your presence, but I know you well enough Severus and you must be in the thick of things, and they are making big plans I should think."
"Are we to make big plans?" He asked sceptically.
"I believe that there is something to be said for the organization that is the Order of the Phoenix and our ability to protect our communities. Perhaps its not just Rosenshire but the surrounding counties and if we can be an example to others we might be able to model something positive for them," Mary Beaufrere said. "I would hope that is what our men folk are discussing at present."
"Or perhaps they simply ran off to play billiards in the game room and left us ladies to plan for the future," Molly Weasley offered. "Breakfast room; you'll not find them there if I am correct."
"And leave all of the planning and plotting and charity work to us women, that sounds about right," Mary added haughtily.
"Probably for the best. We are much better at organizing such things and, I for one, know all to well that my husband would lose his head if it were not securely attached to his shoulders, and even then, with magic the way it, he may still lose it if he gets too carried away," Susanna spoke with a laugh. "We too are members of the Order, as you know, but there is much to be done outside of the organization for the protection and betterment of the community."
"You wish to set up the Order like a book club?" Severus asked teasingly as he looked to Gloria knowing she wouldn't fight should the time arrive, nor would he have her do such a thing, but that she would do all in her power to protect and guide in the name of the Order of the Phoenix.
"Call it what you like, I prefer a ladies auxiliary, or league, to place safeguards and recruitment in place," Mary said when Gloria didn't respond to the teasing.
"That isn't a bad idea," Severus said after a moment of thought. "You are the most influential of the sexes in my opinion and communities such as ours were, once upon a time, run on organizations such as that. Why shouldn't there be one now?"
"If we gather together all of the ladies of our society, or whomever wishes to participate, we will do great things to build trust within the community. And by doing that, perhaps in the future we will inspire others to do the same," Gloria said. "The Order itself isn't just about fighting through magical battles, though it would make up a substantial army should the need arise. That being said, we could do a lot of good under its banner and possible take our model to other counties, even into other countries, and I don't believe that it should be exclusively magical. The people of Rosenshire, many of them, are already very knowledgable though the ministry would protest. I think it better to open and honest with our neighbours as much as possible."
"I think that is brilliant. But where do you start?" Severus asked.
"We are going to plan a harvest festivities for Rosenshire. It will be the first of our auxiliary's activities and with it, we may recruit others. There will be a live stock competition, awards for best produce, best artisan works, best flowers. We will have high tea, and yes perhaps a book club or exchange which I am sure Mrs Baxter and her family will be very happy to participate in. We will collect for charity and support the local development within Rosenshire," Mary explained.
"We would like to support Doctors Hammond and Dillard in there clinic this first year, and perhaps use this festival as a support for the development of a smaller rural hospital as our community is bound to outgrow the clinic. For now it is the nearest thing to a hospital out of London and everyone in our community benefits from it. We would also like to build a library for the children grammar school. Harry will be attending soon and the school itself is out growing the space," Gloria added. "A library for everyone might be just what we need."
"Five of my seven will inundate that school starting in September. Well four of them for sure, if my twins don't kill each other," Molly added. "But a separate building for a library and learning commons is very posh these days."
"I think that is a very good plan. You will speak with the teachers and the doctors, I assume when we return to Rosenshire?" Severus asked. "You may use Willow House for whatever you need."
"Thank you," Gloria smiled. "I do think it could become an annual event to help support our community, this particular festival, but there will be others. The good works of many may deter the evil of the few and our presence will encourage others to get involved. I think community is very important for holding down a structure of safety."
"I agree, and the community is growing by leaps and bounds, and we need to be in the thick of it," Molly said.
"If only for the sake of a little gossip from time to time," Susanna added with a giggle.
"It will keep us all very involved in everything," Gloria added. "And we must, set the example."
"I think you will do very well," Severus said with a decisive nod. "I'll leave you to your planning and will take myself away to the billiards tables with the gentlemen," he added with a bow. "I'm sure with the large group we are expecting this evening you will be able to find many patrons for your cause."
"Oh yes, recruitment should start tonight," Mary said. "How will we manage it."
"I have ideas," Molly said.
"Go now, before you get dragged into it," Gloria said with a wave. "And stay out of trouble."
"Yes my lady," he said and once again bowed out of the conversation and fled.