Hi everybody, here is chapter 34, the great opening of JWT. Enjoy.
Harry had returned to Hogwarts Sunday evening. He had informed his father that he would agree with him candidating for Minister. After two weeks of thinking things over, he came to the conclusion that there would only be a few things that would change for him. While he would be known as the Minister's son, it wouldn't add that much publicity. He already was more famous than any other wizard in Great Britain anyway. He would be at Hogwarts for nine months of the year and still see his father on the weekends. There would be a few official events he would have to attend, but he would manage that. And with his father leading the Ministry they could start the necessary changes there a lot easier than they had thought before.
While Voldemort had lost a big part of his support base, it was probably only a question of time until he found a way to return. He had had two nearly successful attempts so far and there was no way to say if there were more Death Eaters out there, hidden and waiting for the return of their master. The Ministry needed to be ready for that. His business operations would be coordinated by the goblins and the few meetings with the directors of the companies could be delegated to a barrister if Sirius was too busy with his job. The really important ones were already over. Sirius had told him about the Grunnings meeting and the decision regarding Vernon.
Harry was satisfied that the walrus would get what he deserved. He didn't know yet if he would need to appear at court or if a written statement from him would be enough. But he would arrange himself with it, either way. He was not alone and his father would make sure things would be okay.
Sirius apparated to the Ministry for his appointment with Amelia and Rufus. He had informed them that he would tell them his decision today and wanted to discuss the coming actions. He had to present his wand at the checkpoint then he could proceed. With him being a member of the Wizengamot things were only routine. He took the elevator to the second floor where Amelia's office was located. He was looked at strangely by some of the workers on the floor, but they didn't bother him. Many were still processing that he had been innocent all those years. He knocked at Amelia's door and was called inside.
"Hello, Sirius. Please take a seat." Amelia said.
She and Rufus were sitting on a table in one corner of her room, discussing some charts.
"Good morning, Amelia. Good morning, Rufus." Sirius greeted and sat down on a chair at the same table.
"Tea or coffee?" Amelia asked.
"Coffee please." Sirius answered and Amelia poured some coffee in a cup.
Sirius took the cup and added a spoon of sugar.
"So, you said you have made your decision?" Rufus asked.
"Yes, I will do it." Sirius said.
Both Amelia and Rufus were relieved. Now they had a strong candidate for the position of Minister.
"Thank you, Sirius. We are pretty much done with getting the process for the vote of no confidence for Fudge to the Wizengamot. All the department heads that need to give their vote have been informed already. The meeting of the Wizengamot will be on the twelfth. It went a bit faster than we expected it. I will ask for the vote to be taken as it needs to be requested by the head of a major department. We are sure the vote will leave no doubt of the incompetence of Fudge. After the vote has gone through an interim Minister will be named until the elections are over.
"We need to nominate you as the candidate for Minister after the vote is over. Others will also announce their nominations. But as they didn't have the time to prepare like we did, they will be caught wrong footed. And many of the candidates the traditionalists could have nominated are now reduced to mostly insane squibs and sitting in muggle prison. There won't be much money involved in the elections as well. The wealthy families on the dark side are pretty much powerless, most of the wealthy families of the light side will support you and the neutral ones will only vote for the candidate they think will get them the biggest advantages.
"Except for the department heads none of the Ministry personnel will vote. And most of them will see you as a good candidate. The election is planned for the second of April. We thought having nearly three complete months before the summer holidays at Hogwarts start would be a good base. We have identified all the toadies of Fudge and have enough dirt to get rid of them." Amelia summarized.
"Okay. So the first thing I would have to do is appearing at the Wizengamot on the twelfth and giving my votes against Fudge. Then you will nominate me, I accept the nomination and we wait who else will be nominated. By the way, what if there won't be other candidates?" Sirius asked.
"Well, then we save a few weeks. If no other candidate is nominated, the election will start immediately." Rufus informed him. "But I can't imagine that they wouldn't at least try to get a candidate in position that would help their position more."
"Okay, I guess you have everything under control. I will need the files on the bigots, the incompetents, the corrupts and their transgressions to study them. By the way, you are invited to come to the great opening of JWT's first shop in England on the tenth in Diagon Alley. As I am advertising their products with my name, I will be there the whole day." Sirius told them.
"That's the company Arthur is working for now, isn't it?" Rufus asked.
"Yes, it is. Some of Arthur's new products will also be on sale. He modified some board games which were tested at Hogwarts already. They were a hit from what Harry told me. But what I really had to get was one of their new devices that shows you a recording of certain events. They have developed a method how things, for example Quidditch games, can be recorded in crystals. They will record all games during the Quidditch World Cup and for those that ordered the recordings, owls will transport those recordings to the recipients overnight. So if you don't get tickets for a game at the world cup, you still have a chance to see them the next day with the device.
"They also have other recordings, like theatrical performances, documentations on rare animals and the like. They are still working on expanding their repertoire." Sirius said.
"That sounds interesting." Amelia said. "I will visit for sure."
"As will I. I saw some of the things that Arthur got from work at his home. Some of them look really useful." Rufus agreed.
"Spread the news around, the more people becoming curious the better for the business." Sirius said happily.
It was the tenth and Sirius was busy organizing the last things for the great opening. This would be a long day, but in the end it would be worth it. Harry would come over with the Weasleys, Neville Longbottom and some others from Hogwarts around noon. They had got permission from Professor McGonagall to attend this event. In fact nearly three quarters of Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Gryffindor houses would be here. This opening was after all taking place on a Saturday, had been advertised in the Daily Prophet for two weeks and the games the Weasley siblings had shown around had been taken greatly by the students, so they wanted to see if they could get their own ones.
The production department had really outdone itself to get the first three finished. There was a list in the shop for games that would come out at the beginning of the summer break, like the quiz-game Percy was working on, three card games and two more board games. The advertisement for them was already presented in special areas in the shop. People who wanted to get them as soon as they were available could place their names on the lists and would be sent them as soon as they were for sale.
Then there were all the products that were best-sellers in other countries like a more advanced version of the mirrors James and Sirius had used during their school time. Now it was possible to not only connect two mirrors, but up to thirty with each other. The upper part was still the mirror part to be able to see and talk to the one you wanted to speak to at the same time. Under that there now was a field where you could write messages with a miniature pencil-like quill. The message could then be sent to one of the persons that were connected to your mirror. The whole device was placed in an unbreakable frame, which had been a problem with the mirrors James and Sirius had used.
Then there was the household helper area. Wands that were spelled to produce perfect meals. You only had to state which meal you wanted and it would be prepared as if one of the best cooks had prepared it. Invaluable for the stressed mother. The automatic one-for-all laundry-drying-ironing device. You put the clothes in the device and the device did the rest including folding and sorting the clothes into the members of the family. You only had to place a button for the member of the family the clothes belonged to on the piece of clothes. And there was no limit to how many buttons per family you wanted. The device even recognized the kind of clothes they were and took similar clothes for one go. Like all dark clothes in the first go, all white clothes in the second and so on. Sirius knew Molly loved hers. With seven children, five of them still living at home, it was really handy to just let the device do most of the work. The only thing Molly needed to do was taking the laundry down to the laundry room, place it in the basket and wait for the device to finish sorting everything. Then she only needed to place it back in the right rooms.
Next was the security area. You just needed to place a letter on a glass-plate and it would show you if anything was wrong with your letter by lighting up in different colours. A ribbon you could place on your child and let it run around and you would always know where it had gone. A mirror that would show you who was outside of a door and many others.
For the great opening JWT had organized for a stand where refreshments were handed out for free, only butterbeer, pumpkin juice, chocolate frogs and cauldron cakes, but free drinks and food was always a good way to promote a new enterprise. Then there was a raffle with mostly small prizes like small plushies, then the next better prizes were the new board games, followed by the lesser priced household helpers with the first price being a new TV. Only about five per cent of the tickets were prices in the area above the games, overall there were fifty per cent of winning tickets, forty per cent being small plushies, mostly the mascot of JWT, a white fox. That was the animagus form that Estelle Juneur had had. Five per cent were the new board games.
When Sirius looked out of the shop windows, he saw that there already were a lot of people who wanted to have a look around the new shop. The trick would be to properly advertise the new products as something all wizards and witches would want to have. But Sirius wasn't a marauder for nothing. Presentation of pranks was something he was good at and now making a big spectacle of the opening of a shop for his son would be easily done. Finally it was ten and Sirius stepped out of the shop to give a small welcoming speech.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, I am happy to see that so many of you came to see a new chapter of British wizarding history being written. The great opening of the first JWT shop here in our beloved Diagon Alley. See for yourselves what the ingenuity of witches and wizards can accomplish. I promise especially the ladies that you will love the kind of products that have been created for making the dreaded housework nearly do itself. I know a witch who simply loves her new laundry device. Also single wizards, the times where we have to eat out after moving out from home to get something proper to eat are over. Here you can get wands that will produce spectacular meals on their own with only a verbal command. But don't try to use them for anything else, for that you still should use your normal wands." Sirius said and got some laughs.
"We also are the first to see the new games JWT developed, perhaps some of you have heard about them from your children at Hogwarts, I know my son Harry did like them massively, for sale. All other countries will only get them on Monday morning in one week. For this great opening we got the whole production that could be finished until now. For those that have spent a long time here to look over the products on three floors in the shop, we will have some refreshments ready in half an hour out here. Don't hesitate to ask the shop assistants or me if you want to know anything, though for specifics the assistants would be better suited as they have been informed about more things than I was, I simply am the one running the show today." Sirius said ginning and got some more laughs.
"So without further ado, enjoy the wonders JWT has brought to us today." Sirius ended his speech.
The visitors clapped and behind Sirius the huge double door was opened and people streamed into the shop, wanting to know exactly what this new shop offered.
At one o'clock a big contingent of Hogwarts students entered Diagon Alley through the Leaky Cauldron. They were talking animatedly with each other, all looking forward to exploring the new shop. Some had made dates to meet their parents there and some had come on their own. Those in first and second year that didn't have dates with their parents were kept together by their heads of house. That came up to ten students in Gryffindor, seven in Hufflepuff and eight in Ravenclaw with two Slytherin second years that were accompanied by Daphne Greengrass and Blaize Zabini who had decided to collect information before deciding if this new shop was worthwhile or not. The whole rest of Slytherin that wasn't traditionally dark was waiting for them to report their findings.
Sirius happily greeted Harry and his friends, taking a break from his promoting.
"Hi, Pa. It looks like you are really busy." Harry said.
"Indeed we are. Since ten o'clock we have had many visitors that wanted to have a look around, ask a few questions about the products, having Molly here to tell them about her experiences with the household helpers is really great, she is manning the raffle by the way, and I think a lot of witches want to get at least the laundry device. The games are also going well. I guess we will be sold out this evening. We have already twenty four orders for the TV including subscriptions for the Quidditch World Cup games." Sirius said.
"That sounds great. I will go and have a look around with my friends. I'm curious what they are selling here." Harry said.
"Have fun, Harry." Sirius said and went back to his promotion job.
Reporters that were here to write articles about the event made some photos of Sirius and Harry and then some of the products and the raffle. Sirius had organized that a whole page on the great opening would appear in tomorrow's Daily Prophet. The Weasley siblings were telling their fellow students about some products they knew from their dad and the tour they had been given over the Christmas break.
All the Hogwarts students bought a ticket for the raffle and many won one of the plushies. After all they were about the size of a normal cat and therefore great for cuddling. The first years that did were especially happy. One of the two Slytherin second years won a Monopoly game, Daphne got an auto-meals wand, a third-year Hufflepuff, a fourth-year Ravenclaw and a first-year Gryffindor won a Cluedo game. Two sixth-year Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws got a game of life, a seventh-year Gryffindor won a window cleaning device and Neville got a mirror communication set with two mirror phones.
The stand with the food and drinks was always full and people were talking about the things the shop offered. The Hogwarts students stayed in Diagon Alley for three hours before Professors McGonagall, Flitwick, Sprout and Lupin who had accompanied the group here, called them together to floo back to Hogwarts. All had had fun this afternoon and would tell the few of the students that had stayed back at Hogwarts what they had seen. Many that didn't win a game at the raffle also had bought one. Therefore it was to be expected to see the games being a normal part of evening entertainment in the common rooms soon. Percy had also informed many of his classmates about the new game he had helped develop that would come out shortly before the summer break. Some Ravenclaws had signed up to get the game once it was ready. It sounded like fun.
Dumbledore was not a happy camper. He had wanted to deny the students to visit the JWT opening, but three of his heads of houses had overruled him and with the high number of students that wanted to go it would have looked bad on his part to not allow it when Minerva, Filius, Pomona and Remus were willing to accompany the students to London and have an eye on them. And about seventy per cent of the students had decided to go and see the new shop for themselves. To think that those abominations of wizarding culture would soon be used in the households in Britain. But he hadn't been able to stop this. Sirius Black had become a major problem. The man had used the cowering of the Ministry after the scandal with his illegal imprisonment to gain a license for the shop and was even the leading face for the promotion.
More so, Arthur Weasley's kids had made sure that the majority of students at Hogwarts were already waiting for the games to come out, which led to their parents wanting to know more about the shop that created those games their children wrote about in their letters. Many didn't even realize that most of the ideas had been taken from the muggles and then used with wizarding methods to make them work. Things would change at Hogwarts, which he didn't want. Keeping the students on a low level of education had been the key to amassing his power over the decades. Cuthbert kept them mostly ignorant about history with him sending nearly all students to sleep in his classes, Severus prevented them from becoming good in Potions, Muggle Studies was kept decades after the current situation to make the children believe that muggles were below them. There was no organized studying for subjects going above the current curriculum and with teachers being loaded with as much work as they were; there was no chance any of them could try teaching the students more than what was covered in classes.
His whole power was based on the people of Great Britain seeing him as the overly wise grandfather persona, the one who always knew best. Well, how would they with not getting the best education possible? Oh, the core subjects like Transfiguration and Charms were taught by masters of their craft, Herbology was doing well in giving a thorough knowledge of the basics, but that was it. It would give people enough skill to have no problems going about their everyday life, but students excelling far beyond their peers without an immense amount of self-study? Not possible. And there was no one who could change that. Well there shouldn't be anyone, but as soon as Harry became an adult he would have that power. He already knew about a lot of the political power he had as heir to all those influential houses, especially Ravenclaw and Gryffindor. He really hoped he wouldn't find out about the power those houses gave him over Hogwarts. Harry could force change to happen if he wanted to. But from what he knew so far, Harry while doing a little bit better, wasn't excelling in any class. None of the teachers had informed him about outstanding performances of the boy.
So his mental blocks were seemingly still working. He just couldn't lose control over the boy. He had worked too hard to make the boy his pawn. His other pawns he could lose, but not Harry. With the prophecy making him the only one being able to finish Tom, he was needed. It was already unfortunate that the Weasleys were led astray with Arthur now working for JWT. The man had been in a low respected position at the Ministry and desperate to get enough money to get his children a good education. Reducing the fees for the later Weasley children had been easy, making it look like a personal favour from the headmaster even easier. There simply was no one left to know that the charter of Hogwarts already saw to families with more than two children getting a discount rate for tuition.
Albus had always been good at spotting unwanted influences in his little isolated world of wizarding Britain. In the 1960's and 70's it was that horrible muggle music. Thankfully adjusting the wards to fry anything connected to electricity was easy. It wasn't that magic and electricity couldn't exist next to each other, it was the way it was used. If magic was used to influence anything working on electricity the electric item would be short-circuited. If magic was just used around anything electric, nothing would happen. Otherwise Diagon Alley, the Ministry and St. Mungo's wouldn't be able to be hidden in the middle of London. But thankfully nobody thought about it and believed that wards were keeping the places undiscovered. So he tweaked the wards to directly influence the electric devices the muggleborn students brought with them. Of course he didn't tell them that. He just said that magic and electricity didn't work next to each other.
The new products could thwart his wonderful plans. He didn't know yet what was for sale, but if there were things that replaced the things he didn't want to see at Hogwarts, his reprieve of them would be over.
So, now JWT is working and selling in Great Britain and Dumbles is unhappy. Next time see how the Wizengamot will act.