Disclaimer; We should all give thanks to J. K. Rowling for providing us with such a wonderful set of characters for our story's; I simply wish that I was capable of making better use of them.
It is Wednesday the fourth of August and the time is 06:30
Very early in the morning Harry had climbed out from between Parvati and Hermione to go to the bathroom before he had quickly showered, dressed himself and gone down to the library.
There were several things he would like to be done so he phoned Jill, the attractive, young secretary in Australia and asked her if Potter Industries already made a computer type thing to play films for young children.
Giggling she teasingly she told him that he could have checked that on his computer; then she reminded him that it was Canada that made that kind of thing.
So he came back and told her that as they all were going to the Wizengamot this morning and he didn't really have a clue but it might take all day and just because it was three in the morning over there, the Canadians were still asleep.
She became serious and asked him if he wanted one for each of the four lovely children she had met the day before, telling him also that as the children grew older the machines could be gradually morphed into proper computers.
Harry admitted that he hadn't thought about all of that so then he decided that they should have five; one for their communal room and one each for their bedrooms.
Jill agreed then told him that they were stock items and she would have the Canadians deliver five to Switzerland sometime this afternoon. He asked for some more Potter generic wands and Jill promised that she would see to getting some to Switzerland herself.
When he had finished with Jill he called Zen and asked if it would be possible for the orphans to have a room each but to still keep the room with their large bed. Zen told him that the room with the large bed had been specially chosen for just this eventuality and all of the rooms would be ready by this evening, if the children wanted them.
Things were about as ready as they could be, the nanny elves could operate the computer well enough to select the next film if the orphans didn't like what they were watching. Hermione had created a play list of thirty children's films and left to its own devices it would run for more than forty five hours, this should be well long enough. The children also had their games machines to keep them occupied and the elves knew how to pop to the Wizengamot chamber if something seriously untoward happened.
Each of the cohort was wearing their finest family robes and they were all wearing their family rings; in addition Harry had a ring box with all of the extra rings he had acquired by conquest finally they were all carrying their staves. Unbeknown to anyone not in the cohort they were each carrying both a portable telephone and a portable portal, if it became necessary they could evacuate their friends very quickly. Although they all thought that most probably the greatest danger would be from the collapsing Ministry building as they blasted some stupid old idiots out of existence.
Amelia had given them a portkey timed for eight fifteen, it would take them directly to her office in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and they were all holding it as it activated.
Their landing in Amelia's office was very gentle and Hermione looked at him, "Did you slow our landing down." He thought that he might well be in trouble so he just nodded; she kissed him and said, "Thank you it was very comfortable, you will have to teach me how to do that." Harry thought that he was never going to understand girls.
What he didn't know was that all eight of his girls had conferred and agreed that he should never be allowed to understand girls, if they could help it, so they were actively working at being inconsistent in their own individual ways.
The office now held seventeen people, five of whom did not have rings entitling them to enter and vote in the Wizengamot, Harry let all five borrow one of his surplus rings, curing both of these problems. The rings would be returned at the end of the day, or as soon as they were given the position of a Departmental Director in the Ministry. As soon as Amelia was elected Minister her intention was to appoint Adrian and Eleanor Greengrass as Senior Undersecretaries and Tonks to be Director of Magical Law Enforcement; these positions were the Minister's to allocate and nobody could seriously challenge the appointments.
The feeling amongst them was that this was when the real fun would start, there might be a small exchange of words when the party first entered the chamber, but without a leader or a Minister of Magic the Wizengamot was toothless, it had no mandate to govern. So there had to be two votes by ring to make the Wizengamot active, there was nobody officially to count a show of hands so voting had to be done using the 'yes', 'no', 'abstain' sockets set in the small table in front of each seat.
In recent years had become common practice to vote by a show of hands, this allowed Malfoy and his ilk to pin point targets for future intimidation; henceforth ring voting, which to all intents and purposes was secret, would become the order of the day. For the day Percy Weasley had been appointed as the Wizengamot recorder, if this promotion was to become permanent he would need to do a good job and it would then need to be confirmed by the new 'Royal Witch'.
The party of seventeen were joined by an escort of eight aurors as they made their way to the Wizengamot chamber, traditionally there was a charm on the door which prevented anyone not carrying a ring, or otherwise authorised, from entering the chamber. At the instigation of Malfoy, Fudge and Dumbledore the charm had been removed, supposedly to allow them entrance when they were late, Fudge particularly liked to make an entrance by arriving a few minutes late.
Today all of the charms were back where they were meant to be and any member arriving late or without their ring would not be able to enter the chamber. The exceptions to the rule, such as; four members of the British and the International Press; Aurors on active duty; also the usual Ministry party of five Amelia being the only one to survive the purge. These people all carried special magical passes which allowed them access, as did the Recorder.
Streaming into the room the group took up seats, almost filling one side of the horseshoe shaped room, there was a fair bit of mumbling from the other side of the room but nobody was brave enough to stand and challenge any of the newcomers. The session was scheduled to commence at nine and at that time the doors would magically close and any member's not present would miss the session.
All of the family Head's Amelia had expected to see were present; although under Fudge they had become lax, today they were all here before time; it did however appear that the eldest member's of several families had handed power over to their heir's. The rumours she had started seemed to have had an effect; it hinted at vast changes to the Ministry and those being wilfully obstructive to progress, would find themselves in trouble. There was no rumour as to what the trouble might take the form of, which in itself was even more worrying for them.
It was nine o'clock so the doors closed.
Amelia stood, "As Director of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement I am the senior member of the Government present; therefore I must first petition you all to establish a Leader for the Wizengamot. The previous 'Royal Wizard' one Albus Percival Brian Wulfric Dumbledore has been declared forfeit by Higher Magic along with many other, mainly supporters of Voldemort some of whom at one time graced this chamber. (This produced a rumbling from those who had already been present.)
"Are there any nominations for the position of 'Royal Witch' or 'Royal Wizard'?"
Eleanor Greengrass stood and said, "I nominate Augusta Longbottom for the position of The Royal Witch." She sat.
The Lady Black stood and said, "Seconded."
Percy had been briefed, so he stood and asked, "I must apologize but I do not know the name of the witch who seconded the motion?"
With great emphasis, Amelia said, "She is the Lady Tracey Merlin Potter Black." This produced another, slightly louder, rumble from the far side of the chamber.
Percy nodded his thanks and after a short pause Amelia continued, "Are there any further nominations?"
There was silence and after about thirty seconds Amelia said, "Then I call the matter to vote."
There were forty one votes in favour of Augusta there were none against, she had won comfortably, so she moved to the position on the floor reserved for the Chief Witch: she stood and said, "First I should thank all of you who voted for me, so thank you.
"Next we move to the matter for which this session was originally convened, I am asking for nominations for the position of Minister for Magic."
Hermione stood and said, "I nominate Amelia Bones currently the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and for the benefit of our Recorder I am the Lady Hermione Jane Galadriel Merlin Potter, the first amongst equals." Those on the far side of the chamber were still stunned as she sat.
Daphne stood she was glowing, she was obviously in her element and enjoying herself, she said, "Seconded and once again for the benefit of our recorder I am the Lady Daphne Ophelia Merlin Potter Slytherin." She sat.
There was silence for about thirty seconds, so Augusta stood and asked, "Are there any more nominations for the position of Minister of Magic?"
All of those they had thought might have provided opposition appeared to be in shock and about six foot out of their depth, nobody had said anything so she continued, "If there are no further nominations, I call the matter to vote."
This time there were forty five votes in favour, everybody had voted for her, so Amelia moved to the position reserved for the Minister for Magic; she stood and said, "I thank everybody for voting for me.
"There are now several things I must do; firstly I appoint Senior Auror Nymphadora Black Tonks to be my replacement as the Director of Magical Law Enforcement."
As Tonks moved to the seat recently vacated by Amelia, a man on the other side of the room stood and the Chief Witch said, "Lord Falmouth, do you have a comment?"
"Well it is just that I thought that Rufus Scrimgeour was the next in line for the Director of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement job and I was wondering whether there was a particular reason he hadn't been appointed?"
Amelia smiled, "A very fair question. He was invited to a meeting yesterday to discuss the available senior staffing positions which would need be to be filled if I were to win this position.
"Well in short order he managed to insult Lady Longbottom, Lady Marchbanks, Lady Greengrass, Lady Slytherin, Lady Black, the betrothed of the Lord Peverell and Croker also myself. We did not think that this was someone who would be an asset as the Director of a major department in the British Ministry of Magic, the job requires that at times he would be called upon to represent all of us and I wouldn't trust him to represent me. I have personally worried for some time that he was not really suitable as the Chief auror and I would be open to the idea of Senior Auror Kingsley Shacklebolt being promoted, were it to be suggested by the new Director of the DMLE."
There was a general muttering to the tune of 'quite right too', nodding his acceptance Lord Falmouth sat back down, Scrimgeour was quite well known for his abrasive and somewhat rude manner. Also it was apparent that nobody seemed to be unduly concerned that Scrimgeour's well known unpleasant attitude might well have cost him more than just the promotion.
Amelia continued, "Under Minister Fudge with prompting, interference and bickering from both Lucius Malfoy and Albus Dumbledore, the British wizarding world has been allowed to become something of a shambles. Now frankly we and the majority of the rest of our European neighbours are a laughing stock in the rest of the magical world and I don't like being laughed at. (She wasn't the least bit worried about borrowing words from Hermione.)
"Currently the only European country with any credibility in the rest of the world is Switzerland and a few days ago I was given a small demonstration of some of the reasons this is so. I travelled first to Switzerland and as soon as I recovered from the trip I was transported Barbados, four thousand miles, instantly, with no ill effects whatsoever, using a portal. (It was the truth and at this time as much of it as the other members needed.)
"Switzerland is the only European country to not have banned portals and now having travelled by one I can fully understand why other Magic World leaders wish to use them and refuse to use portkeys to come this country. So there are going to be some radical changes within our society and to guide us through the morass, for the foreseeable future there will be two Senior Undersecretaries.
"I am appointing Adrian Greengrass as Senior Undersecretary with responsibility for the running and restructuring of the Ministry of Magic and I also appoint Eleanor Greengrass as Senior Undersecretary responsible for matters outside the Ministry." They both moved to the seats that were slightly behind and to the left and right of the Minister, both of them placed some papers on the lectern's in front of their seats.
"Lastly, for the time being I am creating a Department of Education which will have overall authority for the content and standard of all Education in the British Wizarding World."
There was a very irate looking woman standing before Amelia had even finished; Augusta said calmly, "Lady Fitzpatrick, you have a comment?"
"As you well know, I am the chairwoman of the Hogwarts Board of Governors and we have the authority over what is or isn't taught in Hogwarts and how it is taught."
This time it was Harry who was stood before Lady Fitzpatrick had finished, with a small smile Augusta said, "You have something to say, my Lord Merlin?"
"For the benefit of the recorder and Lady Fitzpatrick, I am Lord Harry James Merlin Gryffindor Hufflepuff Ravenclaw Slytherin Black Potter and I declare the Hogwarts school Board of Governors to be forfeit."
There were expressions of outrage all across the far side of the room, Harry stood waiting patiently until the Chief Witch had restored order and then he continued, "You and they can complain about it all you want to, it does not alter the facts; none of the current Board were elected in the manner prescribed by the Hogwarts charter, neither were the candidates accepted by Hogwarts herself as being worthy, ergo they are forfeit.
"Albus 'Greater Good' Dumbledore frequently flouted the law and changed approved rules for his own ends, as it suited him and you acted like a flock of sheep, you couldn't be bothered to engage your brains and allowed him to do whatever he wanted to. He was not able to alter the ancient charter so he stuck it in a drawer and helped you forget about it, the great manipulator then, ignoring those around him, proceeded to do precisely what he wanted to do.
"As the Head of the four founder families I declare you forfeit and Lady Marchbanks I also believe that the sorting hat has been compromised, again by Dumbledore, we will need to check it.
"Please carry on Madam Minister."
There was an embarrassed silence, eventually Amelia said "Well I learned something, I can only imagine how you all feel.
"The Director of the newly formed Department of Education will be Madam Griselda Marchbanks, oh and please make particular note that the new Department is called Education and not Magical Education. We live on a planet where we are outnumbered by something in excess of a thousand to one by non magical people and if we continue to ignore them we will soon cease to exist; I was going to say that our children need to be properly educated; it is all of us who need to be properly educated."
As the other three new appointees had done before her Griselda handed her ring back to the cohort and then, as the newly appointed Director of Education moved to the final Government seat, the Royal Witch said, "We have been in session for nearly an hour and a half so we will break for a few minutes for some light refreshments."
Because the Wizengamot was still in session the entrance doors remained closed, anyone who left would not be able to re-enter the chamber; there were toilet facilities accessible directly from the chamber. The long time members had begun to realise that there were indeed some very big changes in the wind and although changes cost money, there were usually also ways for money to be made.
The break was not for very long and Augusta soon called upon the Minister to continue.
"Having talked to and listened to some of you during the break I believe that I should begin with an announcement.
"Harry Potter, the Lord Merlin, has donated (there was some murmuring) yes donated free and clear with no strings, five hundred million galleons." There was uproar, when the two senior witches eventually quietened them, Amelia continued, "As he said to me, 'Voldemort and the death eaters ruined the magical world, so it is only fitting that some of their money is used to put it to rights again.'
"Also as the Lady Luna Ravenclaw said to me; 'If you employ someone who cannot do the job through some form of cronyism then the job they are employed to do, does not get done, if you employ everyone this way then the system stops working.' The Ministry are not the only ones in our world who are guilty of doing just this and they have all been doing it for many years; there is going to be a tremendous upheaval and all I can say is thank goodness for pure blood snobbery, in its own perverted way it has made everything a lot easier.
"For many years the lowest three grades in the Ministry have been disproportionately poorly paid because no pure blood witches or wizards have ever been employed at these levels; currently this is where most of the work gets done. The vast majority of staff employed in grades four to eight cannot do the job's they were employed to do; the majority of the capable workers are already known to me. The others will, if they wish, be reemployed in the three lowest grades, where work they are capable of doing can be found for them.
"As I said before, the competent people are all in grades one, two and three, they already actually do ninety five percent of the work, so very soon they will be moved into positions where they will be getting paid for the work they have been doing since they started working for the Ministry.
"Being perfectly honest, my first inclination was to sack everyone from the middle five grades, however there are a few competent people in there, as I said, we have lists and believe me when I tell you that there are going to be massive changes.
"Here is another piece of Lady Ravenclaw logic for you to digest, 'The problem with being an incompetent surrounded by other incompetents is that you never get the chance to realise just how incompetent you are.' Believe me within this current Ministry setup that makes perfect sense."
There was some murmuring but it was generally positive, this gave the cohort some hope and Amelia carried on, "Let us change tack slightly.
"Since last Friday I have had my eyes opened with regards to the muggle world, we have spent years being regaled with poppycock and fairy tales of how much worse the mundane world was compared to the magical world; in the main that is a load of bunkum.
"We should have realised that the regaling was being done by people who had no real idea of what was going on in the non magical world. The Malfoy mob sneaked about the muggle world in the dark, murdering people who weren't even aware that they were there or more to the point that they even existed. The cowards never learned about anything that happened there, if they had they would never have gone out wearing white masks and long black robes they stuck out like a sore thumb. If one group had ever been identified as the perpetrators, the others would have been targeted and wiped out, that could easily have spread to all of us.
"Both worlds have their good points and bad, but when you combine the best of both you can really have a good life, some of the things are so simple and some little things would make life so much easier. Mr. Weasley would you mind using this for a minute." The room was all eyes and ears when, after showing them the items, she handed him a reporters note pad and a retractable ball point pen, she then had to reassure him that he didn't need to dip the pen in ink; he could just start writing.
Amelia continued, "I was sitting on a beach in Barbados, drinking an ice cold fruit juice cocktail, I think that it was last Sunday, but it might of been Monday. I had just had my eyes opened several times, so I asked an elf for something to make some notes and he gave me something similar to what I just gave Mr Weasley to use.
"It is so much easier than parchment and a quill, so later I asked my hosts about the things I was using; one of those pen's will fill at least five of those note pads, the pens can be bought for as little as one hundred for a galleon and the pads for twenty or more for a galleon. +
"Thanks to a combination of Fudge, Dumbledore and Malfoy all wanting to make money from shares in companies or from others they own, all of those types of thing are banned in the Ministry and schools of the British wizarding world. By its very nature parchment is expensive to produce and the quantity of quills currently consumed by the British magical community results in a fair degree of cruelty to a large number of birds; this we would like to reduce.
"This bill will remove the prohibition against the use of muggle pens and paper for note taking, both at Hogwarts and at all Ministry facilities this will of course include St Mungo's Hospital, news reporters will be permitted to use them everywhere. Final reports will still have to be submitted on parchment and in ink, again the non magical world gave up using quills round about a hundred years ago. Something called a fountain pen is what they changed to and it gets filled with ink, so it does not have to be constantly dipped into it; personally I still haven't seen or used one, although I have been assured by several first generation magic users that they are considerably more efficient than quills. The bill leaves the option of using a fountain pen open and it will be up to the individual to decide whether or not they wish to try one, there is no reason to ban something just because it is different.
"Mr Weasley, what are your thoughts so far, on the ball point pen and the note pad?"
Percy was about to switch on his pomposity, when he realised that if he did, Luna would probably call him Weaslewobbler again and completely humiliate him in front of everybody, so he said, "They are both excellent for what they are to be used for and if I might be so bold I will undertake to obtain a fountain pen and use it to write the final report, this should give me a good basis for comment on those as well."
The proposition to allow the use of ball pens and notepads for note taking in the Ministry and at Hogwarts, along with allowing the use of fountain pens was put to the floor and approved unanimously.
Amelia started again, "There was a bill in process, to ban the use of telephones; that bill has been scrapped, there will be no unilateral ban on telephones; Lady Potter had me insert the word unilateral into my statement . . ."
A phone started ringing.
Hermione took her phone out of her pocket and answered it, "Hello?"
Harry put his phone to his ear and said, "It's only me and that is enough for a demonstration."
They both put their phones away and Hermione stood, "These are an extremely useful forms of communication, however there are places where their ringing would be annoying . . . such as here, in hospitals, libraries and such places."
As she sat the words, 'uppity mudblood,' came from the midst of a group of five who's families, although not supporters of Voldemort were none the less well known for their extreme pure blood views.
Nobody had moved, but all five shot straight up in the air and stuck to the ceiling.
"Who did that?" came from a somewhat terrified, squeaky voice across the room.
Hermione rose and as she did she put out her right hand and holding her staff the Wizengamot was treated to the sight of Queen Galadriel; the cohort thought that they were lucky, the members were only getting the tinkling bells. "It was I."
There was a bit of a scramble as those who had not known moved to their knees; imperiously Galadriel continued, "You may rise.
"Those who can see will realise that they are completely outmatched.
"The teaching of history at Hogwarts has been appalling for far too many years, however I entreat you to find out what I mean when I say remember Dol Guldur."
The five who had been stuck to the ceiling floated gently down to seats away from everyone else, most of those present thought that it was justifiable that they still looked terrified.
The elven Queen continued, "One of you used a word that I declare to be forbidden, its use at any time within the hearing of any other will result in the deduction of one thousand galleons from your Gringotts account. The money will be distributed as follows: one hundred galleons handling fee for the goblins; two hundred galleons directly to the Department of Magical Law Enforcement; two hundred galleons to Hogwarts funds to subsidise the teaching of non magical studies. The other five hundred galleons will go to Mother Alma's Magical Orphanage, there is no reason that children who have already lost their parents should be treated as second class citizens."
"So I declare . . . so it will be!" A bright light issued from the staff and travelled outwards through the walls.
She turned to the original perpetrators, "I have no wish to delve into your minds to determine which of you it was that actually uttered the despicable word, you are all in a position where you should all be setting a good example; you have each been fined the thousand galleons.
"Some of you have heard me say this before but it doesn't lose validity by being repeated. In your world I am the Lady Hermione Jane Galadriel Merlin Potter; however my parents are both non magical dentists, do you honestly believe the fact that they are not magical has any effect on my being chosen by higher magic to be who I am.
"Minister do you think that I should give them a nature versus nurture talk?"
Amelia thought for a few moments, "I believe that you should, your majesty."
She smiled, "Would the Lady Greengrass and the Lady Slytherin please stand for a moment." They did and Queen Galadriel continued whilst pointing, "Mother and daughter, both are beautiful women, Lady Slytherin takes after her mother nature, Lady Greengrass has assured me that she also takes after her mother but to retain her looks she has to take care of herself, nature and nurture, in its simplest form. (The two sat back down.)
"Voldemort; he was born and registered in Hogwarts as Tom Marvolo Riddle; his mother was Merrop Gaunt, the only daughter of Marvolo Gaunt; the family were the last magical blood heirs of Salazar Slytherin one of the founders of Hogwarts. Merrop Gaunt trapped Voldemort's muggle father with a love potion, his father was Tom Riddle the muggle son of the local wealthy land owner. Unsurprisingly his father left his mother as soon as the love potion wore off; at the time she was pregnant and she died shortly after childbirth, so the baby she had named 'Tom Marvolo Riddle' was placed into a muggle orphanage.
"By all accounts and we have no reason to doubt them, he was not a very pleasant child, however the Ministry had been recording some powerful accidental magic outburst from him. That was why, when he was eleven years old he was granted a scholarship and brought to Hogwarts to learn to control his magic and thereafter to become a wizard.
"Although, as I said, he was never a very nice person, he did not wake up one dismal Monday morning and think, 'I am going to be a Dark Lord called Voldemort and kill everyone who doesn't worship the ground I walk on'.
"As the last magical blood heir of Salazar Slytherin there were no options for the Hogwarts sorting hat, he had to be sorted into the house of his ancient ancestor. He was poor, he was an orphan, to those who cared about such things he was the worst kind of half blood, he was most probably persecuted, but he was also a powerful wizard.
"Probably at first it was for self protection, he learned some not too pleasant spells and some of the older pureblood bigots around him, would most likely have tried to keep him firmly in his place. However others of a similar disposition to his, noticed his power and in addition the fact that he was the last heir of Slytherin, so they started to collect around him.
"I am not trying to say that Tom Riddle would or could ever have been anything much nicer than quite a nasty person which nature started him out as, but it was, almost certainly, the nurturing of the pure blood bigots in Slytherin House that created Voldemort.
"Bigotry is an evil in and of itself, do not succumb to it, if you do you will likely find yourself facing me and you will not find it pleasant.
"I find it somewhat disturbing that Dumbledore was well aware of everything I have just told you and for some reason chose not to do anything about it; I wonder if he has a reasonable explanation for Zeus.
"The more astute amongst you will have realised that we are trying to usher in a new age for magical Britain, a more honest age, a more equal age, a more open age; take advantage of it and live within the laws and rules. If you do you all stand to have a good life, if you flout the rules or abuse the rights of any sentient being, irrespective of their being magical or not, the consequences of getting caught will be dire . . . they might well be terminal."
She sat back down and remained in her regal form.
The Royal Witch stood and said, "We will have a five minute recess."
Mandy leaned across and whispered, "Better lecture than the one you gave me and look at the five of them . . . they are terrified of what you might do to them; anyway what was Dol Guldur?"
The cohort could all hear her quiet reply and she smiled demurely, "It was a dark fortress, somewhat larger than Hogwarts, it was very solidly built and it was designed, as such things are, to be impregnable."
"What did you do to it?" Susan asked.
Still Looking totally innocent she replied, "It was an eyesore so I removed it from the face of the earth."
"I'm glad that she is on our side." All of the cohort agreed with Hannah's sincerely expressed sentiment.
It was not very long before the Queen Galadriel reverted to the Lady Merlin.
It was only a few minutes before Augusta called them all back to their places and said, "I personally agree totally with the sentiments expressed by Queen Galadriel, it is not intended that we lose all of our meaningful traditions, however some of them are outdated and in this day and age are considered by most civilised societies to be barbaric.
"The selling of daughters to advance family status, or for business advantage will be outlawed; betrothals are acceptable selling girls for prostitution is obscene. I will warn you now that all existing marriage contracts are as of now in abeyance, they going to be reviewed . . . and for any that are found to be some form of legalised prostitution the creators of said contract will answer to Queen Galadriel . . . may you rest in peace.
"If it is to the benefit of both sides any contract can be cancelled . . . do it before we have to force you to.
"I hand the floor back to the Minister of Magic."
"First; I agree one hundred percent with the Royal Witch, sort yourselves out quickly or we will do it for you."
(Tonks, the new Director of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, looked like she would be delighted to enforce this new directive.)
"Back to where we were so bare with me please.
"One of the better informed death eaters, most probably Augustus Rookwood, who worked in the Department of Mysteries, discovered what a portal was and carried that information to Voldemort. The paranoid, late, largely unlamented Dark Lord didn't like the idea of them and subsequently told Malfoy to get them banned which, with the application of his magical gold lubricant, he did.
"If you are a dark lord and have a bunch of lunatic death eaters who you send around to people's houses inflicting terror, you don't want the occupants having a means of escape, especially one that your anti Apparation and anti Portkey wards do not affect.
"As I believe I mentioned earlier, I travelled from Switzerland to Barbados using a portal, some three or four thousand miles; it was as easy as walking through an open door and far less disconcerting than the first time I had to walk through that wall to catch the Hogwarts Express. Personally I can see no reason to retain the ban on the use, creation or importation of these devices does anyone have any questions?"
They were fishing for a particular response and going for a biggie, the sheep seemed to be reacting true to form, they wanted to take them by portal to Barbados, give them ten to fifteen minutes there and they would be like putty . . . if they could persuade them to come back.
There was some quiet discussion and Lord Falmouth stood, "We have no reason not to believe the Minister, but none of us have any knowledge of these devices, however, if it were to be possible, we would like the opportunity to experience this means of transportation ourselves, before voting."
Amelia looked at Harry and he stood and checked the time, "I assume that you have all read something about magical technology and things that appear to us to be magic; well I discovered last Sunday that I own most of the major magical technology players in the form of Potter Industries. At the urging of my mother, who had developed the basic power supply rune set, the company was started by my father just after they were married, with the investment of one and a half million galleons, it was a good investment. Voldemort, as has been suggested was adverse to magical technology, we believe that he was being fed information by both Pettigrew and Rookwood, so he had Malfoy organize a blanket ban everything Potter Industries was even thinking of producing.
"So now the Corporate Headquarters are in Geneva and the major manufacturing facilities are in Australia, Japan, Canada and Silicon Valley in the United states of America, just think of all of the lost jobs and the millions in lost tax revenue. With expanded intimidation by the death eaters, Voldemort managed to keep magical technology out of most of Europe, although he did not affect its development in any meaningful way.
"Although that might not be strictly true, we have paid a lot of attention to security, every device that could be a problem, knows magically, who is allowed to operate it and it will not work for anyone else. Portals provide transport anywhere there is another portal, if you try to force someone to transport you somewhere they have permission to go and you do not, you have a problem, they are designed to close down when the person who opens them passes through them. Trust is involved, only the person who opens the gateway actually knows where it leads, have I opened a door in my home, where you were trying to force me to send you, or does it open into a holding cell in the Ministry of Magic in Calcutta?
"I have in my pocket a device that has never been used, these devices are not and will never be on the market, anywhere in the world; it can only be used by a member of the Potter family and it can create a portal to anywhere there is already a fixed one or it has the memory to return to.
"I would like you all to think about that for a minute." The target members whispered together for a few minutes and then Harry continued.
"Right if I am going to activate this portable portal maker I need a unanimous vote in favour; so all those in favour."
They all voted.
Augusta said, "The vote is unanimous."
The cohort with the addition of Mandy and Neville moved down to the central floor; Harry said, "Where shall we go?"
About thirty voices replied, "Barbados."
He smiled and after saving their current location in his portable portal maker he created a portal to Barbados, then said, "Hermione, you and the brave Ladies Gryffindor go through first and one of you telephone Daphne to tell us that everything is all right, then we will send everyone else through and of course I will have to come last."
A voice asked, "My Lord, why do you have to go last?"
"Because when the person who opens the portal passes through it, the portal it will close down." From her tone of voice it was obvious that Luna had decided that thick didn't even begin to describe some people.
Hermione said, "If I make my own portal and then go through it, everyone will see it close down, the Ladies Gryffindor can come through yours." Smirking, she did and she did and it did and they did.
Luna's phone rang and she glared at Harry as she answered it, "This is the Wizengamot Snorkack hunting expedition, chief sexual predator speaking, can I help you?" If they were going to behave like idiots then she was going to have some fun treating them as they deserve.
There was some squeaking from the phone, to the cohort it sounded remarkably like laughter, she closed her phone and said, "There is early success and the Snorkacks have been sighted." With that she walked through the portal; those who did not know Luna looked confused, everyone else simply thought, 'well it's Luna'.
Augusta said, "Come on you lot, you too Mr Weasley." As she headed through the portal closely followed by everyone else.
On their arrival, the uninitiated Wizengamot members were divided between the people who knew something of what they were looking at; the Potter Industry people had obviously been here and quite a few things had been updated.
Tonks had dragged Harry over to the balcony and threatened him first with instant death, but being as she was a woman she told him that she was allowed to change her mind and then she told him that it would be slow painful death, if she wasn't invited back here soon to lay on the beach. Padma had been nearby and quickly told Tonks that she would always be welcome provided she dressed in a similar manner to all of the other girls; she then took Tonks to her bedroom and showed her the string bikinis with thong bottoms all of the girls wore. Tonks agreed that if all of the other girls were going to be wearing the string bikinis then she would as well, after all it was a private beach and there were never many males around, with all of the other girls being so attractive it was bound to divide anyone else's attention.
Padma was rolling on the floor after asking the young metamorphmagus what Luna had said on the phone that had made Hermione crack up and as far as she was concerned Hermione had missed Luna's punch line.
The pair heard someone calling from downstairs it was obviously time to return to what passed for work.
The cohort was surprised to realise that it was not even midday when they were settled back in the Wizengamot chamber, somebody could have forewarned them that morning sessions generally ran from nine until one, afternoon sittings were from one thirty until five thirty.
Unless there was a dire emergency; the chances of there being two sessions in one day were so remote as to be nonexistent; traditionally the membership had always avoided as much work as possible.
It was providence that Percy Weasley had been given a notepad and ball point pen as the next hour saw a whole raft of Voldemort, Malfoy, Dumbledore, Fudge inspired, needless restrictions lifted; a lot of people besides the cohort would soon be very happy.
The Patil twins and Luna were at the back talking quietly on the telephone to Australia, Canada and of course Luna was talking to Silicon Valley; Potter Industries companies were being kept informed of what was becoming Legal.
It was a couple of minutes before one o'clock when the session finally ended and generally speaking all of the cohort were reasonably happy with the outcome. Hardly any of the old guard were still serving and for a first application, the new broom had done a pretty good job of sweeping clean.
"Some dire warnings had been issued, but fundamentally they were to make people behave in a morally more responsible manner, nothing in the least drastic, just what really should already be good manners.
Hermione seemed to be having a silent argument with Galadriel, the upshot of this was that the staff created a mounting for itself above the dais of the Wizengamot leader and set herself in it.
Glancing between her and the staff Harry asked, "What was all of that about?"
"She knows our perception of right from wrong and can easily divine the difference between the good of the magical world and outright self interest. Also she knows that we do not want to be here all of the time but she thinks that things would soon slip back to the way they were if there wasn't a firm hand overseeing proceedings; so she has decided to stay and if necessary be the firm hand.
"We are to tell Myrddin that I am to have Gwenhwyfar's staff, if he will be kind enough to provide it for me; you and he can easily keep the family safe."
A slender black oak staff had appeared before her, it was intricately carved with Celtic runes and as she took it she felt that she was meeting an old friend. It was obvious to the cohort that Gwenhwyfar and Galadriel were communicating; Hermione smiled and said, "It will not matter where we are I will always be able to talk with Galadriel . . . I believe that that is a very good thing."
As the cohort came down to the main floor they were faced by five of the longer serving Wizengamot members; Amelia and Tonks both noticed this and approached. However the five weren't together and it appeared that they wanted to price or buy some of the things that they had seen in Barbados which had now been made legal.
Harry asked Daphne to go and get her laptop computer, so she activated her portal maker, Mandy had decided to go with her to collect the laptop, Daphne returned three minutes later without Mandy.
Neville panicked, "Where's Mandy?"
Daphne smirked, "She is being held hostage . . . (Daphne had had a good day and she was feeling a bit mischievous, so this wasn't designed to help Neville stop panicking,) . . . by Lauren and Emily, the four of them were wanting a reading lesson, they seem to think that it is imperative that they learn to read the titles and the synopsis of the films.
"Ben was complaining that the others kept watching girlie films, out of the goodness of my heart I decided to let someone else explain to him that maybe it was because they were all girls, his elf said that he had spent most of his time playing with his games machine.
"Lauren told me that some of the films were for little children and you could almost taste the emphasis on the word 'little' as if it was something really disgusting; three years old less than three foot tall and more grown up than most people in my year in Slytherin. By the way, Mandy wasn't trying to get away, she went off quite willingly with the girls to read the titles and the blurb for the films for them, Lauren was on about watching Star Wars again and telling Mandy about it, she seemed to want to watch it with her.
"It also seems like the Aussies have been in; they have set up the house portal and delivered some more generic wands and five children's computers, what are children's computers?"
The Ladies Hufflepuff and Gryffindor had decided that they would go and give a reading lesson to any of the orphans who wanted one and they disappeared through a portal Hannah had created, the portal closed behind her.
At the mention of the Australians having set up their portal, which Hermione had been going to set up with him, Harry thought that his life expectancy was decreasing rapidly, so he said, "We are in the middle of the Wizengamot meeting chamber, we should really go somewhere else to conduct our business, where do you think is best darling?" Quite deliberately directing the term of endearment and the question at the first amongst equals.
It was the word 'darling' and those eyes directed at her, that was her instant undoing, she hadn't heard him use a term of endearment to any of the other wives, so with her mind floating away in dreamland, she gave him a huge smile and then pulled herself together and said, "I should think that the Geneva meeting room would be as good as anywhere."
Tracey created their gateway to the Swiss chalet and a whole bunch of them passed through it, she obviously came last; Hermione, Daphne and Luna were immediately on their phones to respectively Canada, Australia and Silicon Valley. More people started arriving and it looked like they had brought a fair proportion of the contents of their warehouses with them.
Harry grinned and winked at Hermione and Daphne as he said, "Ok Neville, you said that you wanted to run the UK corporate office for Potter Industries, so now is the time that you start learning; we will find an office block for you in Diagon Alley, I should think that it would be a good idea if the various franchise holders had an office in the same building; especially at first." Neville had turned slightly green and was looking extremely worried.
Jill had come with the Aussies and after greeting them, with a smirk she said to Neville, "No worries Bruce, we'll soon have you set up fair dinkum."
Sam came up behind her and swiped her on the arm, "Behave yourself, as punishment you can spend the next six months in England helping him."
Jill's eyes lit up, "If I am very cheeky to Harry will you sentence me to six months under him as well? Please? Pretty please?" She received another swipe from Sam and twin glares from Daphne and Hermione, three seconds later all four females burst out laughing.
Neville mumbled, "I'll never understand women." At least four male voices commiserated with, 'Join the club.'
A whole load of stuff was coming through the portal and Sam explained that it was to help refurbish whichever building they decided on also to set up Neville's offices in Diagon Alley. So if Harry would give the go ahead they would get on with the renovations; of course Harry asked what it was he was being asked to give the go ahead for?
Sitting Neville at the table Sam and Joe sat either side of him, the pair had put their laptops on the table in front of him; Hermione, Daphne and Harry were stood behind them, looking over their shoulders.
Now being very serious Jill started, "Harry, I noticed that your property manager is absent, however I have it on good authority that she is giving reading lessons to some delightful young children so I will forgive her this time and do a little bit of her job for her.
"You own this five storied building in the middle of Diagon Alley, the top two floors are the offices of something called 'the Quibbler', the first three floors are empty." The two women were using their laptops to show pictures of the building and also some of what it would look like after renovation.
At the mention of 'the Quibbler' Luna had come over to watch and listen.
Jill continued, "We would want to gut the lower three floors to renovate them; really we want to put in a lift as well; it shouldn't take very long; but we need your permission to use the building and whoever's in charge of 'the Quibbler' to get a time to put in the lift."
Luna asked, "How long will it take to put the lift in?"
Wondering why it was Luna as opposed to Harry asking, Jill answered, "It is not like a lift in a muggle building, we would need no more than six hours."
Harry nodded to her and Luna said, "When you want to do the lift phone me, a little warning will be appreciated." Jill and Sam were looking a bit dubiously at the somewhat strange blond so she continued, "Daddy owns 'the Quibbler' and he has gone on an expedition to Patagonia, before he left he told everyone that I'm in charge."
Sam still looked a little worried, "Won't he complain when he comes back?"
Luna gave one of her crazy smiles, "He might, but if he does I will just tell him that while he was away I married Harry, it will distract him, he doesn't even know that I know Harry and I'm sure that he would like to meet him." She wandered back over to the Silicon Valley people who were talking to Daphne's parents; the two women were looking somewhat gobsmacked.
Hermione smiled, "Don't worry, you do what you have to do, Luna will take care of her father and all of us will take care of Luna, most especially Lauren, mummy Lulu is very special to all of us and Lauren knows it."
Shaking her head Sam called, "Burt, all systems are go for Diagon Alley."
Burt put his thumb up to her and spoke for half a minute on his phone; he opened a portal and Luna asked him something, she disappeared through the portal in front of him.
Twenty minutes later Luna was back and she arrived through the regular portal; she came over to the table and said, "They already have the regular portal working and the Quibbler people weren't too busy so I sent the lot of them home until tomorrow morning, the lift and stairs will be done by then.
"Actually there was quite a crowd gathering in the Alley to watch what Bert and his crew are doing, so he put a sign for Potter Industries European Headquarters on the outside of the building. He's also brought someone from Canada to explain to the crowd what's going on and to answer questions, I think that he said that his name was Chuck, anyway he's very good . . . someone said that his name was a nickname instead of his real name, but who would name a child Throw?" Not really expecting an answer she wandered back over to the Silicon Valley crowd again.
Neville saw his grandmother leave with one of Bert's people and he said, "I wonder where my Gran is going?"
Jill said, "That's Stan, he will probably fit a portal wherever you live, you will need it for work; I will help run the office for you, certainly at first but do you have someone lined up as a personal assistant? I hear that you are betrothed, do you think that your betrothed would like to do it?
"It is usual that there are four franchise holders in each country and the requirements are set out already, we have been doing this for over fifteen years and we have a fairly accurate idea of what is needed. It is good that wizards world wide use galleons, so the retail price for everything is already laid down as are the rates of commission for you and the franchise holder. The installation is mainly magical and the cost is also known; there is money to be made and jobs for a lot of people, but it won't be a free for all.
"There is a huge advertisement come article, in tomorrow's Daily Prophet and several of the mainland European papers as well; it will detail what we do, what we sell and how much it costs including, where appropriate, installation. It will include the fact that we require franchise holders and a general idea of what the franchise holder will have to provide; the rates of commission paid to the franchise holders will not be discussed in the news paper. We included the European papers so that the witches and wizards from France, Germany, Spain etc., know that the British have repealed a shed load of Laws and are moving forwards to join the rest of the world."
Harry interrupted, "I shall leave you to it Neville." Neville instead of looking slightly confused, now looked terrified.
You would have believed that they had been rehearsing it, the four cohort ladies asked in unison, "Just where do you think that you are going?"
He looked innocent, "I have done my bit in the Wizengamot and nothing that is happening here is really anything to do with me, the next appointment I have outside the immediate family, is to go with Hermione to see her parents. However I have currently allocated myself the task of collecting as many of the cohort as want to come, along with four orphans who haven't seen us all day, add in some elves plus anyone else who is free and I am going to the beach in Barbados."
Jill bleated, "I want to come to the beach."
Amelia had the rats, she wanted to go to the beach too and she, Tonks and the elder Greengrass' had to return to the Ministry, they had a lot of work to do.
Luna, Tracey and Daphne were smiling whilst Hermione smirked, "As much as I hate to say this but he's right, the Olympian goddesses ordered him to be happy and so he is going to do what makes him happy. Sam, Jill when you have driven as much into Neville's head as he can take for the day, phone us and we will bring you to the beach, Mandy will no doubt come to the beach with us."
Jill's smile lit up the room, but Sam moaned, "I have a husband at home that I will have to get back to but obviously Jill will be joining you.
"Provisionally Mandy will be his P.A. So she should have a phone, you lot can teach her how to use it." Tracey was the nearest to her so she handed her a phone for Mandy, before saying goodbye as the cohort disappeared through the portal.
She enclosed the three of them in a security bubble and started, "Right Neville, let's first talk about money . . ."
On their return to the Pottery Zen, Harry's elf, handed him a letter from Gringotts, it was marked 'URGENT' so Harry opened it:
An Urgent Personal Message from the Chief of the Goblin Nation.
There is a young Lady currently sitting in my office and she has convinced me that she owes you a life debt from the second task of the ill conceived Tri Wizard Tournament.
The young Lady is a Veela
As both she and I are aware of the insularity within the wizarding world; this is mainly through the pure blood bigotry and arrogance, so you will have very little knowledge of either the Veela physiology or their customs.
In order to preserve her life it is imperative that, at least, both you and 'the first amongst equals', meet with her as soon as possible.
He passed the letter to Hermione and after she had read it she looked thoughtful and started somewhere way out left field, "Please think before you say anything.
"I think that we all agree that prime numbers are good magic, so eleven would be better than nine; the cohort currently stands at nine and Jill, the Australian secretary, has asked me if you would consider adding her to our number. We don't really know her that well and I have not, as yet, answered her, after all we all seem to like her well enough but it is ultimately your decision as to whether we even consider her.
"To the cohort ten is no better than nine so I was still debating the matter.
"Now this letter is basically offering you Gabrielle Delacour and Goldfist seems to think that it is a good idea; we have both found that he is someone whose opinion should be taken seriously. He also intimates that there is some pretty serious or vital information about the Veela, as a race that we through no fault of our own, are missing and . . ."
Harry interrupted, "We need to go and get dressed to go to see Goldfist; at the moment we don't have enough information, we can bring Gabrielle back here and get a much better idea of just what this is all about."
She was trying to give him the same look Professor McGonagall used when she was interrupted but it didn't work on him; Daphne decided that she should go with them and the three went to their rooms to change into clothes more suitable for the Bank.
Before he started to get changed he rounded up everybody in the house and sent everyone who wanted to go, off to the beach house in Barbados; this only left the half dozen elves who's turn it was to look after the house.
Harry discovered that there was a 'Potter Industries European H. Q.' tag now available on their household Portal and this is what they used to get to Diagon Alley, the office portal was just inside the door to the Alley and it was luck that only Bert saw them as they passed through.
The crowd watching the work seemed to have thinned considerably from that described by Luna and the trio managed to pass through it before the crowd realised precisely who they were. By the time the crowd started to give chase the trio were entering Gringotts which was only about fifty yards, or so, from the portal.
Boisterous crowds do not enter the world of the goblins if they know what is good for them and apparently this one did; they waited at the bottom of the white marble steps leading up to the silver doors.
Once inside the bank the trio were lead directly to the Chief's office.
When greetings had been exchanged the trio looked at Gabrielle, who was sitting nervously in front of the goblin leader's desk; for her part the young Vela stood and gave a deep curtsey to the trio; Gabrielle was Veela, she was undeniably beautiful.
Goldfist completed the introductions, then he stood and said, "The Goblin nation has given oath to the Veela nation that the Lady Gabrielle will be kept safe until such times as you either accept or deny her requirement." He sat back down.
Thanks to the vast amount of information afforded him by his Merlin ring Harry understood what was happening he bowed to the goblin leader and replied, "I the Lord Merlin, on behalf of my cohort give oath that the Lady Gabrielle will be kept safe until such times as she is either granted admittance into the cohort, or she is denied the same and returned to the care of our Goblin friends."
Goldfist stood and bowed to Harry then turning to Gabrielle he said, "Young Lady, you have just become the safest person on the planet."
Daphne asked, "What is the panic?"
Gabrielle came and knelt in front of Harry, there was no sign of her Veela power, she said, "We have only just discovered that when you saved me from Hogwarts Lake, the life debt bound my soul to you; this has no effect on you, however it is life or death to me.
"I have just had my tenth birthday; to a Veela this is like a sixteenth birthday to a British girl, this is when we may first have sex and as I just said I have just passed that landmark date." Her smile was enormous.
"Veela only look like human girls and in a lot of ways we are pretty much the same, however in other ways we are quite different, especially sex; quite simply, if the bond is not completed before my twelfth birthday I will die. I have come now so that you might all get to know me and obviously I intend to encourage you to save my life; however because I have voluntarily placed myself in this position, unless it is for defence, I am unable to use my Veela power when I am near you.
"It is known that your honour defines you and because of that I have been permitted to bring three books written by the Veela about the Veela, we ask that you do not copy them or promulgate this information, they should be returned to Veeland within a week."
A short time later their business having been completed it was time for them to leave the bank, however as with many things in Harry's life it wasn't that simple, there was now a huge crowd outside of Gringotts.
The three explained to Goldfist that they could easily leave, but a fair few of the crowd had seen the trio enter the bank and if they didn't see them leave, dispersing the crowd could become a problem for the bank.
Goldfist had told them that he would send some goblins out to explain to the crowd that the trio had left using a goblin made portkey because they disliked being mobbed by a lot of people.
When they had said goodbye to the goblin leader a group of guards led them to the portkey point where Harry created a portal and the four of them went to Barbados.
A small blond missile was immediately heading for Harry, however Lauren slowed down when she saw Gabrielle and she went to Harry and held her arms up, he picked her up and she said, "She be very pretty."
Harry cuddled her tightly then said, "Her name is Gabrielle and she will be staying with us for a bit and I think that if you ask her she would like to be your friend."
He carried Lauren towards Gabrielle, smiling the Veela held her arms out to her; the little girl looked uncertainly at Harry who gave a slight nod and she moved tentatively into the young Veela's arms.
The pair spent about half a minute staring into each other's eyes and then Gabrielle drew Lauren to her and whispered something into her ear causing the little girl to smile, wriggle down to the ground and drag the Veela off to play.
Daphne appeared to be a bit nervous, "Well that bit seems to be working out, but what about Gabrielle and us?"
Harry wasn't sounding too happy either, however it was for a totally different reason, "She's only ten and I have to take her virginity before she is twelve . . . that sounds all wrong."
Of course Hermione was trying to be more practical; she understood Daphne being nervous about just how good looking Gabrielle was, but it didn't seem to affect Harry, so she wouldn't let it affect her. She totally sympathised with Harry's thoughts of the young Veela's age; so she said, "We need to read these books she has given us, it is no good us making decisions without first reviewing all of the information we have available . . . Dumbledore withheld information and we made mistakes, it would be irresponsible of us to do the same thing to ourselves."
Both Daphne and Harry already realised why she was the first amongst equals and all three settled down to read.
It was nearly three hours later and they had just finished reading one book each when Neville called to say that Jill and he were ready to come to the beach; Parvati and Tracey volunteered to go and collect them.
Ten minutes later Neville wandered onto the beach wearing some of the clothes he had bought a few days before, he flopped onto one of the chairs by the table, whereupon Mandy sat on his lap and proceeded to attempt to snog him senseless, luckily for them all she failed in her task.
"Where are the others?" she asked.
Neville grinned, "They took Jill shopping, I was going to say that they would be here soon, but one of them is Parvati . . . so who knows."
A bunch of them sat at the table with the couple and Harry asked, "So how did you get on with Sam and Jill?"
Still smiling Neville Looked at Mandy and said, "I don't think that either of us will be going back to Hogwarts; Harry has offered us the chance to run Potter Industries Europe and it is too good an opportunity to miss, but it needs to be done like now; so will you be my personal assistant?"
Mandy gave him a look, "Your Gran will go loopy and my parents will go bananas; right I will say what they are going to say to us: you need your NEWTS to get a good job, why leave now? Actually I don't really think that my parents will be that polite but the fundamental question will be the same."
Quietly he answered, "We made way over ten thousand galleons commission in two hours this afternoon, this was from the first portal orders for the Ministry, it won't be that much every day, but once their reorganisation is complete the Ministry is going to fund Portals for all of their senior staff.
"We are going to make millions.
"Through the various national wizarding newspapers in the other European countries, Potter Industries is going to start a campaign to stir up the public into getting the various European Ministries to repeal the restrictions on our products; loads more money.
"That's enough, I'm going to play in the water." Having stated his intentions, Neville stood, lifting Mandy in his arms and carrying her playfully kicking and screaming, he charged straight into the sea. Unfortunately for Neville, below a certain age, young people are unable to discern the difference between 'kicking and screaming' and 'playfully kicking and screaming'; he was attacked and dunked by four orphans and a young Veela who were defending their auntie Mandy.
Everyone else, Mandy included, burst out laughing.
Jill, Parvati and Daphne had arrived just as Neville had charged off with Mandy, however as soon as they all had recovered a little from their laughter, the whole bunch of them charged into the sea and joined in with the water fight; Gabrielle was having a wonderful time.
It had taken three quarters of an hour but now the orphans were heading off for another reading lesson with the Ladies Hufflepuff, Parvati and Tracey; the others all spread themselves under the umbrellas shading the table.
Mandy smiled, "I had been kind of forewarned, I knew that there had to be something cooking when Tracey gave me a mobile phone and they all taught me to use it; so seriously, what about our parents?"
Neville for his part looked thoughtful, "I think that my Gran knows already; anyway we are both of age and if you are serious and your parents start making a fuss, we can just bond like this lot and wait for them to come around."
Mandy was looking at him with a mixture of love amazement and lust, "I think that I might just have to keep you Mr Longbottom . . . permanently."
He smiled at her shyly, "I'd like to keep you as well."
Looking to the others he continued, "Apparently what happened today has never happened before, that is the laws being changed and everybody knowing about it and wanting to get hold of our products immediately. So the three main factories are going to send us a load of people to cover the installation of all of the products; whilst we, that is you, Jill and I sort out the British franchise holders and apparently the Diagon Alley offices will be completely finished by about noon tomorrow."
Jill yawned, "I'm going home to bed, I'll come back tomorrow when I wake up, where should I come?"
Hermione suggested, "Why don't you spend the night in the Pottery, Neville can phone you with where and when in the morning?"
Jill obviously wanted to accept, however she said, "I wouldn't want to impose."
Harry smiled at her, "There are over one hundred and twenty spare bedroom suites and usually about thirty house elves looking for something to do; so I don't think that, however hard you try, you will be much of an imposition."
Daphne and Hermione decided to accompany Jill back to the Pottery to help get her settled.
Then they decided that they should also take Gabrielle with them, however when they went to collect her the four orphans wanted to come as well and it resulted in everyone returning to the Pottery.
A week later both Jill and Gabrielle had been admitted to the cohort.
Jill continued to help Neville and Mandy with the company office in Diagon Alley; although the time she spent there was becoming less and less, however Gabrielle seemed to spend most of the day reverted to being five years old and playing with the orphans.
During a friendly discussion one evening it was determined that the young Veela had, previously, never been allowed to play and she was making up for it now. Apart from Jill, who had grown up in Australia, all of the other members of the cohort realised that the same thing applied to them; the girls were all enjoying their new found freedom, Harry insisted that he just liked watching their bits bounce.
The cohort had visited the house in Goa the day after their exploits in the Wizengamot; it was very much an Indian equivalent of the house in Barbados, although the beach was much longer.
All of the cohort loved India, especially Goa and it was just as well that they all had telephones because with the aid of portals it was impossible to know just where anybody was at any given time. It quite quickly reached the point where the family had all but withdrawn from the wizarding world and had started using the whole world as their playground.
Hermione's parents had decided not to become magical, it would totally change what was for them a very comfortable life, they each had a Potter phone and also one of their laptop computers, so daughter and parents could always keep in touch; portals would soon bring them together.
Harry had contracted the Goblins to build him a house with one hundred and fifty bedroom suits on his unplotable Caribbean island, this became, as had been intended, the Potters main residence. He gave away most of the penthouses, keeping only those that were located in parts of the world they might wish to visit sometime in the future, Parvati forced him into her bed for four hours by way of compensation.
None of the cohort went back to study in Hogwarts which in most ways pleased the Headmistress, the thought of a gang of eleven Marauders had caused her several sleepless nights, however she was not looking forward to the eventual arrival of a certain four orphans.
By Halloween four of the girls were pregnant, ergo it would be true to say that the contract was fulfilled and Harry was Happy.
That's all Folks!