Things Begin Anew
By Mathieu Leader
Chapter One Blood Money
Ginny got into the carriage pulled by the jet black mares for her final year at Hogwarts as the horse drawn carriage galloped through the woods and Ginny gasped as she saw Hogwarts no longer the ancient fantastical castle that countless of generations of practitioners of wizardry and witchcraft had come to know but rather a large stone roundhouse and a large marble tower sitting at the entrance of the Forbidden Forest.
Ginny slipped into the crowd of returning students for their seventh year, as other students went elsewhere due to renovations to the castle and could only take in a limited intake of students. The others either went to foreign schools like Drumstrang or Beauxbations or the lesser known schools of sorcery in England like Wyvern Lodge on Anglesey, Sir John Dee Academy for the Arcane Arts in London.
Ginny saw down at a recreated Great Hall that looked identical to the old one the skyline pictured in the hall was overcast.
A bell rang a set of oak double doors opened the Professor McGonagall and her colleagues filed out and she stood at the golden phoenix podium.
She spoke in a calm reassured voice "The war has taken its toll on many of you including myself, but together in an act of unity. We stood tall in the dark now is the daybreak to many better times, that will come due to the renovations here at Hogwarts your final year will end at the new year once you've completed your NEWTS."
"Many of the staff who fought bravely in the battlefield last year have returned but there are changes." Pointing to the familiar faces of Slughorn, Flitwick, Hagrid Binn's, Trelawney, Pomfrey, Sprout, Sinistra, Filch,
McGonagall suddenly stepped away from the podium now a thin man wearing a tweed jacket with a brown stovepipe hat walking with a dark cane came to the podium.
The man's inky black eyes stared at everyone in the hall he said in a cold stern voice "I will introduce myself. My name is Hector Wilkes interim headmaster at Hogwarts. I will be teaching Transfiguration as only a hundred of you have arrived to finish your education. I have a couple of announcements to make due to the intake of students the housing system will be suspended until the renovations are fixed you will have your own house in the village of Hogsmede. Considering you fought valiantly under the siege the Defence against Dark Arts exam won't be administered. Also the caretaker Mr. Filch not to venture in the forest.
"How come McGonagall is not headmistress?!" shouted an angry Luna Lovegood
McGonagall said quietly "I'm taking time off to spend time with my family for a year I'm to take up the post of headmistress next year."
We then tucked into our feast and I ventured back into the carriage to the cottage thinking about Luna's outburst and Professor Wilkes.
Tomorrow was intensive preparing for the NEWTS but all in all completely normal unlike my other years at Hogwarts however there was an air of excitement as the first Transfiguration lesson began.
I hardly recognised anyone as all the others had taken their exams in the Ministry during the summertime only Luna, Draco Malfoy, and Theo Nott a weedy boy who kept himself to himself.
The Transfiguration classroom was a square room with narrow beams a trapdoor opened and Wilkes sprang out like a jack-in-a-box. He crept to the chalkboard and wrote his name and took off his stovepipe hat revealing a wiry mesh of cropped white hair.
He just stared at the class uneasily as sparks of colour through nonverbal magic was performed
Then he spoke in his croaky Irish accent "Funny how fifty fell last year, and fifty returned this year numerology is a funny thing. But be very weary as you go off into the world of magic as adult's things may not be as safe and sound as they appear. Death Eater remnants are abound, also the goblins are ready to rebel. These times are interesting are they not Malfoy?"
"Yes uncle…" stammered Malfoy displaying an uncharacteristic sense of fear towards Wilkes
"Boy why are you here, I thought you would be on the Isle of Azkaban with your dad?" inquired Wilkes gently
Malfoy sobbed uncontrollably and left the room
"How could you be so hurtful to your own family?" Ginny gasped in alarm
"Fool me once shame on me fool us twice shame on the whole lot them." spat Wilkes angrily
The class applauded at the statement Ginny's face reddened with rage as did Luna "I thought the war was to end prejudices that held us back!"
What an emotive display would we like some counselling ladies?" inquired Wilkes coolly
"No I and Dumbledore's Army fought last year to save the school!" Ginny screamed at Wilkes
Wilkes responded coolly "Do we need counselling Ms. Weasley, just because you fought bravely last year does not mean you have the right to object to my authority?"
After the Transfiguration Class Ginny used the Floo network to return to her cottage which was an exact replica of her family home whereby her pink pygmy puff purred softly being stroked by Draco Malfoy.
"Err Ginny sorry you saw me fall to pieces. There have been with dad have not been good he's been in St. Mungo's dealing with depression. Even though we've been vindicated by the Wizengamot. As for Wilkes the new headmaster well his son Keith was a Death Eater and secretly one of the Dark Lord's deputies he was the one who gave Voldemort's diary to dad and Hector was my nanas brother an unorthodox man he was originally a governor of the school but gave his seat to dad in 1990 as he was the choice to be Governor of Gringott's but Dumbledore stopped him as he led the Conservative Sorcerers Party to victory."
The incoming weeks where boring filling in exams no Quidditch teams although I had received letters from Ron how the business wheezes was going from strength to strength Hermione and his relationship went well but indeed there was news Percy had a girlfriend called Audrey Boot and indeed a surprise was on the cards.
Ginny took the Knight Bus back to the burrow where her family was waiting and a leaner version of Harry sat on the red carpet.
"Hi Harry how are things going?" Ginny asked shyly
"Relentless goblin problems the Magical Banking Exchange Commission forecast is not good severe economic downturn an emerging new currency called Starlings has emerged." Harry grumbled showing Ginny a giant silver pebble with a crow insignia on them.
Mum came in excited "Oh Ginny I have some news the New Generation has started!"
"New Generation!" Ginny exclaimed perplexed
"Fleur is having a baby." Ron explained eating some of his mother's freshly baked shortbread she made in honour of the occasion
"I still don't get it what does the phrase New Generation have to do with Fleur?" Harry asked curiously
"The Daily Prophet has christened the phrase for the children born after the war but with these issues with the goblins things are difficult." Mrs. Weasley explained softly
After a nice stew for dinner we sat in the living room as a head materialised out of the fire it was that of Ginny's eldest brother Bill.
"A killing has taken place?" Bill stammered nervously
Harry Ron and myself went into the flames which now turned emerald we had teleported into a dark dank vault whereby hanging from the ceiling looking emaciated gaunt was the former Head of Magical Games and Sports Ludo Bagman with giant needles sticking out from his body like a big flabby pincushion.
Thick globules of blood oozed from Bagman onto the floor turning a rusty brown and the globules formed into cooper coins.
Then a thickset goblin with a black bowler hat with a gold crescent earring with beige bifocals "Oh look it's the wizards they have not been impressed by Xenophilius's expose in our mutually ethical practices."
"Ethical?" questioned Ron
"Yes of cause its ethical, maybe not to sensibilities but a debt must be repaid blood money has always been the magic folks currency ever since Judas. But Bill's experiment is rather odd blood money similar to life debts is a magical contract that renews the flow of magic to all this Starling currency is sheer lunacy Bill."
"Bombarda!" Bill shouted he raised his wand a clenched fist shot out and winded the goblin as other goblins raised with swords rushed into the vault
A flurry of spells where shot and Bill Ron where knocked out as they disappeared in a dark black cloud.
Ginny apparated herself out of the vault to the Auror Office "There was a brief daybreak in the darkness but this goblin issue could plunge the whole world in a dark age. Muttered Kingsley Shacklebolt looking visibly frightened
"Why are you so scared Kingsley of goblins?" Ginny giggled at seeing England's Minister of Magic quivering like Ron's first DADA Professor Quirrell.
Kingsley sighed "It relates to me brother he too got in debt and went through that nasty ritual that Bagman underwent all of us saw it I was five at the time. Alongside this with Granger's SPEW initiative many elves have allied in the name of Saint Dobby."
Ginny stood shocked and scared at Kinglseys revelation
Do you want me to continue with this story?