Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Harry Potter & The Muggles at Hogwarts

This is part two of my re-write of the Harry Potter series with a more active role for the Muggles.  The first installment, set at the beginning of Book Six when the Prime Minister meets the Minister of Magic, is here.  This part takes place at the end of Book Seven during the Battle of Hogwarts.

The Battle of Hogwarts was going very badly.  The defenders were slowly, but surely being driven back.

Suddenly, Death Eaters began collapsing, blood streaming from their heads across the floor.  Large numbers of men, wearing green and brown swarmed into the room.  They were incredibly fast and moved silently, making rapid hand gestures to one another.

“Those are funny shaped wands, and I’ve never heard of a spell like that!” Ron yelled, startled.

“Those are Muggle soldiers!” Hermione said, surprised, “How are they…”

Voldemort’s pale face broke into an enormous grin.  This was even more frightening then his previous expressions of anger.  But as he turned to face the newcomers, his wand ablaze, two jets of flame shot into him.  There was an enormous crashing sound and the building shook.  When the noise and dust cleared there was no sign of Voldemort.

A pair of Muggle soldiers with metal tubes on their shoulders nodded to one another.

The rest of the Death Eeaters surrendered quickly.  The wizards milled about, confused.  But the Muggle soldiers did not.  Still silent, but moving snake-like around the room, the soldiers surrounded the wizards.

The silence was broken when a Muggle soldier spoke, not loudly, but in a voice like cut glass, “Wizards – wands on the ground and hands in the air.  Now!”

The wizards moved as though under a powerful imperius curse.

The Muggle soldiers shifted slightly and a short, stocky man emerged.  His glasses were smudged, his tie was soiled, and his shirt was stained.  He blinked and moistened his lips with the tip of his tongue.  Despite these nervous gestures he had an aspect of preternatural calm.

“I’m Geoffrey Grimace, MI-5,” he began, “Shacklebolt, I assume you are in charge now.  The Prime Minister has authorized me to present you with an updated version of the treaty governing Muggle-Wizard relations.  We are open to amendments to ensure more effective implementation, but the main thrust of our changes are not open to negotiation.”

He handed over the papers and the wizards gathered around and began looking them over.  A voice called out, “Muggles and wizards have been separated for centuries, you can’t change that! We won’t stand for it.”

“Yes we can and yes, you will,” Grimace replied, still calm.  “The government of the United Kingdom can no longer tolerate this separate community with extraordinary powers, operating without proper oversight.  We have demonstrated that you are not immune to our kinetic methods and we are prepared to use them to a far greater extent then what you have just seen.  There are explosives planted throughout the grounds.  Our first move will be to reduce this castle to rubble.”

“You know, electrical devices cannot work at Hogwarts,” Hermione spoke up.

“You must be Ms. Granger.  I had a most revealing interview with your parents,” Grimace said, without a hint of menace.

Hermione gulped audibly.

Grimace continued, “We have encountered a comparable situation before.  In the fighting in Northern Ireland, the terrorists were using radio signals to detonate their explosives.  We developed jammers and they countered with some very innovative non-electrical detonators.  A quick search of our archives presented a number of options.  I am curious as to their efficacy.”

Grimace turned, “Sergeant, let us try the emplacements in sector D.”

“Yes Sir!” one of the soldiers replied.

An instant later, there was a deafening thunderclap and an enormous cloud of smoke and dust appeared out the window.  One of the far turrets had been  pile of rubble.

Shacklebolt’s face was ashen and his voice ragged, “I will visit the Prime Minister as soon as possible.  I have a great deal to do here.”

Grimace retorted, “The Prime Minister is very busy and does not have time to attend to this personally.  At the back is a schedule of meetings between our representatives.  You shall need to appoint your delegation promptly – the Prime Minister will not be pleased if this matter is delayed.”

To be continued!

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