… - ...
The Rest of the Story
Monday August 3 1998
Redeye announced, "Wandcrafter Emma, Professor FlitWick is here to see you."
Filius was amazed as he looked around. There were workbenches sized for the humans and identically appointed work benches that were perfectly sized for the elves. There were at least two thousand wands standing in rows in various stages of being shellacked. Harry showed him the various steps as Emma finished with a few customers. After five minutes, he finally led his old professor to the breakroom. Emma was making tea. She saw him, smiled and said, "Professor, welcome to our shop. How may I help you? Would you like a cup?"
"Please, Good afternoon, Wandcrafter Emma."
"Filius. I was wondering how your magical education was advancing?"
She replied, "Hermione and I have been taking lessons from Healer Pomfrey for three semesters. I delight in learning about the similarities and contrasts of methods. How are you?"
"Good. The castle is a far easier place to live with the repairs and inclusion of electricity; especially in the winters when there is so little sunlight. The Introduction to Charms class remains the most popular of the adult education classes. 300 people have attended so far and we're offering it again on Wednesday evenings this September. 150 students registered. Everyone who has completed the course has successfully earned their OWL certification. Cindy, Susan and Hannah have agreed to assist with the classes again along with several alumni of the class who now teach at the primary school. Susan and Hannah will be starting University this September. To be brief, I was wondering if you had made notes on any of the other topics?"
"I've spent more time with Harry on charms. We don't use transfiguration in wandcrafting."
Winky appeared with her collection of notebooks. There were a dozen in total. She made a copy and handed him three. "These are the ones on charms. The others are either wandcrafting techniques or healing. Are many of the unbound students continuing with their studies?"
He was delighted to report, "To a large degree, yes. I've been asked for similar books for transfiguration and potions."
Emma suggested, "You might try Luna and Neville. He's become quite adept at potions. Luna has learned so much about runes from the elves. Perhaps Susan or Hannah would have notes on transfiguration."
"Those are excellent ideas. Thank you so much. I won't keep you."
"Thank you for stopping, Professor."
… - …
Class was ready to start for their second semester at Metro University. Susan and Hannah felt better than ever about their decision to go into teaching. They had done well in their first semester and had met some other students that were also planning on being primary school teachers.
The only difference was that Hannah and Susan had a very good idea of where they would end up teaching.
… - …
Friday September 18
Harry Potter had fought trolls. He'd bested sixty foot snakes. He barely gave a thought to destroying horcruxes. He'd managed to defeat the darkest of the dark lords. He was about to tackle the greatest challenge of his life...
asking Hermione to marry him.
They'd talked about it, discussed children and where that might live. They'd tackled the tricky subject of careers and had even commissioned the perfect ring.
Asking Dan was easy.
As for Hermione, every time he was ready, the phone rang, or Dobby needed something, or he got lost looking into her beautiful brown eyes.
The blue waters of the Bahamas offered a stunning view. They were standing in knee deep water, reef fishing. Harry was summoning sunken treasure with her as Dobby was watching the tropical fish a hundred feet away.
He'd been summoning for a half hour without great success, when the words finally left his lips. "Hermione, will you marry me?"
"Of course I will. Harry, look out!"
… - ...
Back in Britain, Luna gave Neville the news.
"Twins? Are you certain?"
"Of course I am, silly. We're having a boy and a girl."
Neville picked her up and gave her a delightful hug. Gone were the days when he would have fainted at the news. The thought of having family of their own made him smile from ear to ear.
… - …
"Harry look out!"
The largest chest that he'd ever seen was flying towards him. He grabbed his staff and guided it towards their feet, where it landed with a splash.
Hermione couldn't believe her eyes. She'd heard him describe his fishing trips and seen some of the booty but this was a rush! She wanted to make a staff of her own.
Harry struggled to gain her attention and repeated his question, "Will you marry me?" It somehow seemed easier the second time.
"Of course I will. When should we get married? We should tell Mom and Dad."
"I'm pretty sure they already know. Dobby, can you bring these back?"
"Certainly. I'll see you Monday. Thank you for saying yes, Hermione. He must have practiced 500 times last week." A smirking Dobby, the trunk and Harry's wizard staff disappeared.
Hermione observed, "This is nice here. Can we come back sometime?"
He replied, "Certainly. Whatever you'd like. So when should we get married? Next week, next month, next year?"
"Next month. Saturday, October 24."
"Well, we'd best get going. We have a wedding to plan."
… - …
Harry enjoyed visiting with Hagrid. They genuinely enjoyed each other's company. Hagrid had surprised Harry when he mentioned that all of the mares were pregnant. Harry smirked and thought that Old Jim had truly done his job.
Hagrid added, "Maybe we can find someone else with a unicorn to borrow or a few mares to trade?
Harry replied, "I'll ask Luna the next time I see her. She could ask the Bright Moon elves to keep an eye out for a few."
… - …
Saturday October 24
Hermione and Harry's wedding wasn't so very different than Luna and Neville's. They invited a few more people and a dozen from the Nation. In total, there were just over 100 in attendance. Amelia officiated. Hagrid and Olympe were remarkably graceful dancing together. Daryl and Mandy had made the trip. Devlin and a guest, Ragnok, Barchoke a handful of the account managers, the Eye brothers and their mates, Windsong, Maysong, the Creeveys and Macmillans were there. Sirius and Remus, Lovegood, Whitehart, Flitwick, Poppy, Mcgonagall and Sprout also were there. Fortescues and a handful of the Diagon Alley shopkeepers including Fred, George and the three original chasers were at two of the tables. They also invited Roberta, a few from St. Mungo's that Hermione had come to know. The Tonks family including Nym's friend, Herman Wintringham, lute player of the Weird Sisters group were sitting with Sirius and Remus.
It turned out that Amanda Crabtree knew Ben Olifson, Emma's dad. She had worked his mother until the original St. Mungo's had been bombed. They spent the evening catching up. They danced and visited until dawn in the case of the younger people and 11:30 in the case of the more experienced guests. Some stayed in the various beach houses. They had a memorable brunch together the next morning and parted ways.
The newlyweds spent the next two weeks enjoying the pink sand of the island of Bermuda.
… - ...
Monday December 7 1998
The Grangers and Harry were having dinner in Naples. Dan asked Harry, "How comfortable are you with investing with the goblins?"
Harry replied, "Keep going."
"For sake of discussion, we collectively have 40 – 60 million galleons. On the high side, that's more than a half billion dollars. It's deposited/invested in a bank that really isn't a bank, where people who fall out of favor somehow end up missing, or dead."
There, he'd said it. The situation had been on his mind for the better part of two years.
Harry replied, "The thought has occurred to me. That's part of the reason that I cut the deal with Ragnok that I did. What do you recommend?"
"The business doesn't need much cash to operate. My thought is diversification, both away from Gringotts; also away from galleons."
Emma pointed out, "To my knowledge, they aren't offering any interest on our money. The tattoo club people invested on the smaller rental buildings. They generated cash and grew in value. There's land that would increase in value, or be used somehow but probably wouldn't generate any cash. There's the stock market."
Dan asked, "If we go to Amsterdam again for example, can we get paid in Euros?"
Harry replied, "I expect so but what would we do with the money?"
Emma suggested, "What if we take half of the money that the Wand Shop is holding and buy the land across the street from Elf Land and start buying rental properties with the company half that's normally held in savings. You two would still be Gringott's largest depositor and someday the elves might want to buy it from you."
Dan asked, "Are there any other magical banks, aside from Gringotts?" He wasn't suggesting anything, simply discussing options.
Harry replied, "Supposedly there are the gnomes in Switzerland – Zurich, I believe."
Emma asked, "Who could you quietly ask to find out?"
"Sirius or Amelia, I expect."
She asked, "What's Hermione said about it?"
Harry replied, "Aside from when the beach houses were getting bought, I honestly don't think that she's thought about it. She's pretty focused on learning how to be a great healer. That aside, I think we should be pretty careful about who we mention this to."
… - ...
Tuesday December 29
Harry called Sirius and said, "Let's go out for lunch."
"Where and when?"
"The Cork and Cleaver in St. Ebb. I'll see you there in fifteen minutes."
They arrived and were greeted, seated, ordered and served. Harry put up a privacy charm and asked, "So what are you doing with your money these days?"
Sirius was a bit surprised by the question. He'd never discussed money with Harry. He replied, "Aside from donating a few chunks to the Lily Potter school, not much. What do you have in mind?"
Harry persisted, "Tell me about the rental properties."
Sirius explained the basics of the four and six unit properties.
Harry asked, "Why do you suppose that they all got into buying those places?"
Sirius admitted, "I never thought about it. What do you think?"
Harry replied, "Several points. Unless you specifically tell them, the goblins don't do investments. The second is diversification The third is they generate hard cash. Last but not least, to generate currency – non magical currency.
"Non magical currency is far more convenient to use. There's been a fundamental shift in the spending habits within magical Britain since the Wandout. The sales tax revenue that funded the ministry for generations is still only about half of what it was."
Sirius replied, "So what are you suggesting?"
"For sake of easy math, we each have ten million galleons in our vaults. We each do some of our business in galleons, some in pounds, dollars and euros. My suggestion is to take those non magical currencies, find a bank that we like that's not Gringotts, deposit the money in the bank and buy some passive income generating properties."
Sirius said, "I could easily do that with the jewelry or... well most of my sales. Most of what I sell goes into the non-magical side. Gringotts is charging currency conversion fees... I see your point. So what are you doing with your money?"
Harry admitted, "Aside from loaning a fair bit from time to time to help the elves, nothing. I bought the beach houses that I haven't done anything with. Aside from that, I grow trees on the land in Gloucester and have a pile of galleons that I'm doing nothing with, Well, there's the school."
He continued, "All I'm saying is there have been a fair number of people who managed to accumulate a fair bit of money, who've come to a sudden end in the last year. I'm not talking the tattoo club. Fudge had a pile based on that bribe book that Anna showed us. When you dispositioned his estate, I bet it had disappeared. The French wandmaker who probably made twenty-five million galleons reselling my wands died in a strange boating accident after I stopped selling to him. That student from Hogwarts who tried to kill Redeye claimed that he was provoked. Ragnok asked for the entire contents of a specific vault and immediately gave the gold away. Moonshine suddenly acquired the license to produce Fire Whiskey. You did their estate; how much gold was in the vault?"
Sirius thought for a bit and replied, "Not as much as I would have expected, though they held a lot of rental property."
Harry observed, "They were selling several lines of successful whiskey products for generations. There should have been a hundred million. We've all heard the rumors that he was funding the magical toddler killings and bindings. What if he suddenly fell out of favor with the ministry and Gringotts? His warehouse burned down and his distillery disappeared within a week of each other. Cormac popped a bolt and shortly after, they lost their license to sell Fire Whisky. They popped a bolt and got killed in an assassination attempt. Half of their money disappeared; what the hell?"
Sirius observed, "Money is a tool that can easily be turned into a weapon. You've given me a lot to think about. Don't make any big changes. Thanks for lunch." His godson had picked up a bunch of random events and attempted to tie them together. He wasn't certain that he bought into the idea but he didn't dismiss it either.
… - ...
Monday January 4, 1999
In January, Harry invited Barchoke to come to the Wand Shop for a visit. Barchoke accepted a beverage and moved to sit at the table. Harry recognized it as his business posture and joined him. He said, "I have been remiss in the most basic of my responsibilities with you – wealth management. Granted, the income generation aspects have been time consuming, with extraordinary results but the management of accumulated wealth and the accounts themselves should not be neglected.
"In summary, your business account – the 50 percent of revenue that hasn't been needed for unforseen expenses or business growth should be managed as an income generator in-of-itself. As of December, 98 that account has reached twenty nine million galleons. Your personal vaults now total thirty million galleons. Hermione's vault has a balance of nearly fifteen million. In short, unless you are planning on personally loaning the Elvin Nation twenty-five million galleons to purchase another few square miles of property, the uninterested funds are sitting there doing almost nothing."
After the conversations that Harry had separately had with Dan and Sirius on the same topics, Harry was well versed in what Barchoke was saying and had begun to develop some ideas. That said, he wanted to hear him out and replied, "What do you recommend?"
Barchoke observed, "It is likely that the Elvin nation will make another attempt or two at acquiring additional land in Hampshire county. My expectation is that they will ask for assistance. If you were to go and acquire the land on a proactive basis, it would be to their advantage. There is much land for sale on the north side of the road at a far lower cost per acre than the coastal area. On the other hand, they most likely desire the land on the east and west side of their existing holding; though on the east side they would run into developed land sooner than on the west side. Such a purchase would be an act of generosity rather than an income producing event; though their success and your own are somewhat linked."
The conversation wasn't at all going as Harry had envisioned. He remained silent, hoping that Barchoke would continue.
"As for the business account, there simply aren't twenty-nine million galleons of profitable investments to be made within the confines of magical Britain. Acquiring rental property is an investment that would require little effort on a daily basis. It has the advantage of producing both an ongoing revenue stream as well as a long-term appreciation. Given your tax exempt status with the Ministry, investing in property rented by witches and wizards would be advantageous. You may choose to test the scope of that document with Inland Revenue, or elect to avoid those probable expenses. You may choose to invest internationally, or remain within Britain, Should you invest internationally, you would do well to conduct your wandcrafting business in the local currency as much as possible." Again, the conversation was almost exactly the opposite of what he'd anticipated.
Barchoke asked, "How many wands do you expect to sell this year?
Harry replied, "Between 80,000 to as many as 110,000, depending on how many trips we arrange. 65-85,000 in the US, 5,000 in Poland, 5,000 in Amsterdam 3,000 in Italy and 2,000 in Spain. It's likely that we'll get a request for several half day or one day visits as well. The other factors with wands are how much strand Devlin asks for and how much strand is actually produced."
After an hour of questions and answers on both sides, Barchoke concluded, "In summary, I recommend;
* Contacting the elves to see what their plans are and likely requirements for assistance. Keep in mind that the pots of buried treasure are limited and you shouldn't count on being paid back within weeks again.
* Purchasing some real estate; both through the business as well as personally.
* Consider having several heirs as soon as possible.
* Transition to doing more business in quality currencies – Euros and dollars. You should hold the currency until needed.
* Consider offering limited partnerships to the other wandcrafters due to the provisions of your tax exempt agreement with the ministry.
Harry replied, "That sounds like excellent advice, Barchoke. Thank you."
"It was my pleasure. Thank you for inviting me."
… - ...
When Barchoke returned, it wasn't long before Ragnok called. He asked, "What was the outcome of the meeting?"
"I suggested that the wandcrafters contact the Elvin Nation and find their plans and needs with respect to acquiring additional land and that they invest the retained earnings of the Wand Shop. He told me that they intend to sell at least 80,000 wands internationally this year.
Ragnok observed, "His business has made us nearly seventy million galleons. All we had to do was encourage him and remove a few obstacles that were in his way."
"Fortune favors those who are prepared."
… - …
The next day, after talking it over with Hermione, Harry called Sally and asked her to sell the Gloucester property.
She asked, "Are you sure you want to sell the land?"
He replied, "It means nothing to me and the interesting trees have already been moved. The elves want to buy additional land on the east side of the their property. Please make an offer on the 160 acres that's available across the road. If adjacent property is available across the road, or becomes available, please let me know."
She replied, "I'll get to work."
… - …
Monday February 15 1999
With Harry's help, the elves bought the Ogden estate. There were coins buried everywhere. When they were done searching for treasure, they resold it and used the proceeds to double the size of their purchased land; expanding both east and west as well as acquiring land on the other side of the road which they would eventually have rerouted. Sirius didn't need to over negotiate the deal. He received half of the proceeds as it was.
Harry never expanded the area for the spiders or attempted to increase their number. He kept his eyes open for unicorns and continued his attempts to introduce genetic diversity into the growing herd.
… - ...
Thursday June 1 2000
After personally having crafted some 110,000 wands, Harry finally received his ICW Wandmaster accreditation. With Harry's help, Emma, and Dobby eventually received theirs. Dan had sold the dental practice and joined the shop a year earlier. The world price for wands had finally stabilized at 200G in late 1999.
They had produced 16,000 wands in 1995, 90,000 in 96, 144,000 in 97, 140,000 in 98 and 110,000 in 99.
The Wand Shop was on pace to sell 80,000 wands so far this year. Most of the world still used legacy wands and aside from the strand wands, most of them were still poor fits. It would take them another two years to work their way through the US and Canada, all the while making the quarterly day trips through the countries that they'd previously serviced.
… - …
Winky cuddled up next to Emma, who was enjoying a cup of Earl Gray tea on one of the recliners. Emma asked, "Would you like some?"
Winky replied, "Next year. I'm going to have my other twin babies in six months."
"What of the other elves?"
"Two hundred will be having babies."
Emma was very happy for her friend.
… - ...
Monday September 4 2000
The young woman smoothed down her skirt, though there wasn't a thread out of place. She flashed a completely genuine smile and said, "Good morning and welcome to second form. My name is Miss Susan. I'd like to get to know each of you."
The eighteen well scrubbed, smiley faces looked up as she smiled and asked, "Who knows how to spell their name?"
All of the little arms were raised. She asked the boy in the small wheel chair, "What's your name?"
"That's a very nice name, Elton." She made eye contact with the little girl sitting next to Elton and asked, "What's your name?"
"That's a lovely name, Susan." Taking a step to the next group of tables she asked, "What's your name?"
Outside the door, a short statured man felt nothing but pride for his former student. He watched for a few more minutes as she comfortably made her way around the room, connecting with the young students. Then he walked across the hallway to see someone else, who he was equally proud of. He'd see both of them a few evenings from now for the last offering of the Introduction to Charms classes but hadn't wanted to miss the moment. A few minutes later, he was miles away.
… - …
Hermione followed in Roberta's steps, acquiring nursing accreditation, in addition to her healer's license. She and Harry eventually had three children. None of them were named after former Hogwarts Headmasters or Potions Masters. She occasionally substituted for Roberta and Poppy and eventually filled in for Poppy's replacement. She split her time between their wandcrafting business, filling in for the healers, their family and her love of study. She and Harry continued their travels, though with the passage of time, it was far more often for pleasure than the wandcrafting business.
… - …
In the years afterwards...
Mick ran his charm repair business for another year then was offered a position with John Macmillan. They partnered together for twenty years. Mick invested his money in rental property, married the daughter of one of his remodeling customers and never regretted not being an Auror.
… - ...
Luna and Neville had four children. Two eventually went into the Bright Moon business, one managed the transition of the Quibbler to an Internet publication and the other eventually took over Longbottom Acres. A few days after their wedding, the portrait of Frank and Alice woke up. Luna spent hours conversing with Alice. Neville found the original artist and had him add a pint of brown ale into the background. Every week or so, he took the time to have a pint together with his dad.
… - ...
Hagrid initially tried to get Headmistress Maxime to come to England and marry him. Eventually they came to realize that they had two very different lives that they each enjoyed in different locations. With the help of the portkey watches, they saw each other several times every week. He had literally made millions selling unicorn and other varieties of magical tail hair for use as wand cores. He was happy giving half of it away to those in need on a pay it forward basis. In his own way, Rubeus Hagrid had made the world a far better place.
… - ...
Elf Land ended up being about four square miles. With effort, the road was rerouted and it became a true sanctuary for elves and magical animals. The last time Harry and his friends walked the land together, there were some 300 unicorns. Harry knew every one by name.
… - …
Ann Chambers headed Hogwarts for seven years. The changes that she introduced moved wizarding society to fit in within the greater world. In spite of her organizational accomplishments, she was by her own admission, an abject failure at fundraising. Any good deed that she had was always followed by the asterisk – Yes, but she burned down the forest. Her contract wasn't renewed.
She moved back to Salem.
… - ...
The Lily Potter school thrived. With an additional land acquisition, a fourth wing was added. As it became more popular with the magicals, the enrollment grew. It also remained very popular with the nonmagicals. The physiotherapy treatments developed a first rate reputation. Cindy always had a waiting list, though she did her best to accommodate accident victims as they arose. She led the school for 25 years. She never regretted attending Harry's birthday party at the pizza place.
… - …
Senior Healer Poppy Pomfrey spent part of each August as Harry and Hermione's guest at the beach homes. She came to love her time with the elflings and unicorns as well as visiting with two of her favorite people. She retired in 2002 and joined her late husband, the WWII submariner in 2017.
All peoples have their prophets.
Sometimes they're drunks looking to impress.
Sometimes they're thousands of years ahead of their time.
Ragnok returned to the chapel where he last was after his mate had passed away, decades earlier. His eyes turned to the inscription that had been on the wall for thousands of years.
The champion shall turn their weapons into fire.
Family and friends help him free the Nation.
The Nation shall craft him tools of mithril.
The healer shall cast off the bindings.
Unwind the web and make it anew.
The Nation shall call them friends.
The old leader read it a second time and thought to himself, Indeed.
… - …
First, thank you for reading my story. Tom and I had a wonderful time writing it.
As I initially mentioned, this tale could have gone any of fifty different directions – a different set of infrastructure assumptions, magical invasions, discovery by the nonmagicals, utter retaliation by the vampires, people learning wandless, people flying to Argentina to get replacements, rune magic, or scores of other ideas. The ones that I've seen so far all look interesting.
There was a lot of world building involved in this tale. I had a blast with that aspect. Making a batch of shellac and glue from powdered milk was pretty cool, though I freely admit that Dobby was a thousand times better than I was at slicing blocks. Indenting canals in oak, even the 1/16th inch ones referenced for a thread thick core like strand would give a person seriously strong wrists. We also had a lot of fun with Professor Flitwick. I hope that no one minded.
I was amazed by the notes that we received from people who essentially had parents or loved ones in a similar condition as Frank and Alice. To the person, they supported Neville's choice to have a day with vibrant parents over another month or years of watching them suffer. There's such a range of the elderly passing. The lucky ones have a glass of wine, go to bed for the night and don't wake up. The less fortunate spend a decade or more in a nursing home, occasionally losing body parts and any shred of dignity along the way.
Should you decide to take up my story challenge, please leave me a note. I'll be happy to plug it as I'm able and leave a kind note or two along the way.
If I can leave you with a story recommendation, please take a look at Magic of the Goblet of Fire by Roff. It has quite a clever story concept. In addition to his new tale, he has a variety of completed tales.
Tom and I are well along the way on another tale. If you're following me, you should expect a notice by late-March.
In between, I'm mapping out a short story with Vashon Beader that should post in mid March.
Until then, thank you for reading. Have a virtual pint on me.