Harry Potter and The Exodus of Light
Disclaimer: Anything you recognize, I do not own. Probably much of what you do recognize, I do not own. I own a computer, a fairly extensive library, a few other material objects, and a very small bank account. I do not make anything other than personal enjoyment from writing this (or any other) work, nor do I intend to quit my day job and start. Harry Potter and the world he lives in was originally created and is owned by J.K. Rowling and her associates, and I am glad to be allowed to enter this sand box from time to time.
A/N: As you might notice, this chapter is a little longer than the prologue, that is the good news. The bad news is that my original idea for this story was outdated before the prologue was finished. The Wizengamot session that will at least start next chapter needs a new topic as the original concept was one-hundred percent humor… and that doesn't fit with the prologue. the original concept will probably be published as a one shot at some point, but for now I need to further develop the future of this story. I hope to be able to update regularly, but only time will tell… as it is, this chapter was already delayed due to an inability to log in a couple of days ago…
By the way, to those who have read and reviewed and/or added this story to an alert or favorite's list, thank you...
In canon, nothing much changed with the end of the War. The purebloods bought themselves out of trouble, and things went back how they were before... Not really, it's time for the purebloods to see what has changed. AU from last battle, H/HR.
Weasley Update: As those of you who have read the updated prologue (just corrected a typo and added a bit about the Weasley poll) will have noticed, the Weasleys may play a larger part in this story than I had first thought… At the moment I am awaiting any feedback I get, but no Weasleys other than the Twins will be 'good guys', at most they will be ignored, so please feel free to vote in the poll and/or review and/or PM me with your opinions, thanks.
Romance: Um, I don't know. I, personally enjoy a little romance (or some smut, sometimes both) in stories that I read, but I have never tried to write either. The story is almost guaranteed to have no lemons/limes or other varieties of citrus at all. As for other romance, Harry and Hermione are engaged to be married as the story begins, what happens from here... I have no idea, whatsoever, so... I guess we'll find out together.
On the rating: As you might have noticed just above, citrus is extremely unlikely, the rating for this story is to make sure that the concept does not exceed that allowed. There are mentions of prostitution/rape in the prologue, but that is likely to be the worst that happens throughout the story, I will not rule out violence, but there is not anything like that currently planned (although that is not saying much as not much is planned as of yet).
We'll just have to see where this goes, and, I welcome any and all advice, encouragement and ideas that may come my way, thanks.
Now, on with the story...
The Exodus of Light, Chapter 1: Opening Moves
All across England, people were beginning their day.
In Diagon Alley, a young man was just beginning to cook breakfast in the flat that he and his fiancee currently called home, Number 93D Diagon Alley, an address not know to exist outside of a small group of people as the only entrance was through the front doors of the only location of Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes.
Harry carefully broke the eggs into the pan as he called out, "Your breakfast will be ready in two minutes, love. We only have to be in Chambers by ten, so we have a couple of hours."
From the bathroom, a voice could be heard to reply, "OK, Im almost through here, Harry."
After a couple of minutes of carefully watching the eggs, bacon and potatoes on the stove, Harry divided the contents of the pans into fifths and placed two of the just filled plates on the kitchen table. Calling Dobby, Harry asked the elf to please deliver one plate to George, who was working below in the shop, and to take the remaining two and have breakfast himself with Winky before the two elves had to finish the preparations for the final steps of the exodus from Britain, or, the 'Exodus of the Light' as some of those in the know had begun to call it. After thanking Harry for thinking of them and tearing up just a little (Dobby still was not quite used to being treated as an equal), Dobby popped off with the three mentioned plates.
As Harry finished pouring orange juice into two cups and set them on the table, his fiancee walked into the kitchen as she dried her hair with a quick charm of her own design that both dried and styled at once. At the sight of this spell, Harry spoke up, "You know I love your hair anyway, don't you?"
"Of course you do, Harry," come the reply, "that's one of the reasons that I love you. You loved me despite my front teeth also, as you never cease to tell me, I just prefer my hair to be more controllable than the bushy mess that I'm know for."
"And as I always say," Harry came back, "it wasn't bushy, it was kinky and curly, there is a difference, you know."
"As you ever so repeatedly remind me, husband to be," is the huffed rejoinder.
"I just want you to realize that I love you for who you are, despite any problems with self-image you may still have, Hermione, love."
Having finished the nearly morning ritual, both Harry and Hermione sit down to eat. As both peruse the morning papers, they make small talk as they consider the goings-on of non-magical England: Manchester United just tied Chelsea to save their season, the Prime Minister has announced a special event with the Queen to take place in a few months, with more to come on that topic at a later date. The weather is normal for January as Global Warming seems to have been on vacation for several years, and it doesn't seem to be returning anytime soon.
With nothing to amuse them in the non-magical world, Harry picks up the Quibbler and Hermione soon chooses the Daily Prophet. As Harry laughs at the various articles in the Quibbler, which is still published by Luna's father, although Luna does now have a regular article as well, with today's being about how Wrackspurts can be counted upon to skew the results of elections by interference with the counting of ballots. While Hermione does not read the Quibbler often, she now knows that nearly half of the 'odd' articles within this magazine are actually political satire poking fun at the Ministry and pureblood culture.
While Harry is laughing over Luna's article, Hermione is grinning herself, over the headline in the Prophet. Looking over to Harry, she asks, "So what do you think is so important that it requires the: 'Immediate attention of the Wizengamot' today?"
"Oh, you know how Draco has Percy's ear," Harry replied, "he has probably realized that non-magicals can actually enter Diagon Alley when they come with their children, you know how he has been trying to reduce the 'poisoning' of Wizarding culture over the past few years in the name of the unfortunates lost to the 'imperius curse' at Hogwarts."
"Well, I guess we'll see in an hour or so," was the rejoinder from Hermione.
As the clock moved closer to their time of departure for the Ministry, the atmosphere inside 93D became a little more serious. "So, are we sure we're ready to do this today," asked Harry, breaking the silence.
"If not today, when," Hermione responded.
"I don't know, I just know that there is no going back after we do this, the entire group has placed their faith in me doing the right thing, but am I really?"
"It's a little late for these thought now, Harry," Hermione was quick to reply. "But, yes, this is the right thing to do, we have all seen the mess that has again been made of society in just the last three years and none of us want our kids to grow up in this environment. I know we're leaving some we thought of as friends behind, but, are they really worth staying here for? They gave up on us, remember, when it was easiest for them to agree with the cover-up after the Battle, they just gave up, much of this is, indirectly, their fault."
"I know," said Harry, "it's just that I cannot stand the thought that we might be making the wrong choice here, and that I might be pushing people to places they don't want to go."
"You and your bloody noble streak, Harry," Hermione responded, "all of use have made the choice to leave Britain behind, yes, you also choosing has probably influenced some, especially Fred and George, but you know that their family life hasn't been overly pleasant since the Battle. The rest of the family didn't appreciate the Twins standing up to them in public like they did, that alone is the main reason that Ron and Ginny are not with better teams and why Bill is still employed in Britain as a low-level curse-breaker. You know he hasn't been allowed on any digs since Fleur divorced him. Fleur can't even come back in the country, the purebloods would immediately move to take little Victoire from her, for that matter they wouldn't even recognize the divorce, and you know the current stance on 'creatures' and half-breeds. As for Percy, you know that he was only elected Minister after the money became available for the 'Resistance Museum' the day before the election and all the members of the Wizengamot were included in the display about working underground to 'minimized the damage to the Wizarding World'. This is the right thing to do, hopefully we will be able to bring our children back here at some point to vacation, but that is only if the people wake up and push for change, that isn't happening now, and you know that we do not have the power to do that ourselves. This is the right thing to do, and the chance of doing so in an Emergency Session, is the greatest hope for this country to eventually recover, you know more people listen to these than even to most Quidditch matches, and all the news outlets will be there."
After a moment for Harry to absorb what she had already said, Hermione began again, "While you were in the shower earlier, I heard from Fleur and Luna, separately, both have managed to increase attention in today's meeting. Fleur contacted her father last night, and, since he is the Magical Minister in France, he has made sure that the French Ambassador will be there, the French will be officially supporting our statement, Minister Delacour was also able to secure the support of the United States, Canada, Australia and Germany. And Luna's message said that Sweden will also have their Ambassador there today, she mentioned that it was supposed to be their Director of the Department for Magical Creatures, but that she had just had a Snorkack sighting and they had to send the Ambassador in their own places. And before you ask, yes I did wish them luck and I told Luna that we would meet her at home tomorrow."
Harry's back straightened as he looked at his fiancee. "What would I ever do with you, Hermione," he asked, "you always know just what to say."
"Hopefully," returned his intended, "we will never have to find out. You would probably make a royal mess of it."
After a moment of silence, the haughty look on Hermione's face changed as she nearly collapsed in laughter at the look of mock-indignation on Harry's face.
A few miles from Diagon Alley, the Minister of Magic had just finished dictating the bill to his secretary, a girl that would go largely unrecognized by those that had known her only a few short years ago.
Penelope Clearwater was a half-blood. She had been warned by her parents that Percy Weasley was power hungry and cared little for anyone not himself, unfortunately she had not listened. Her family was dead, all had perished in Umbridge's 'Camps' during the war, and she was alone, her friends had lost contact with her as she gradually drew away from them after she had graduated from Hogwarts. Now she could be seen frequently following the Minister around and waiting on his ever whim and pleasure as she had nowhere to go. She would have left long ago, except for a mistake made when she first broke from her family, she had sworn to never betray Percy Weasley and to never leave him unless he released her. At the time, the oath had been to prove her loyalty during a difficult time, it was only later that she realized exactly how badly she had misjudged her then boyfriend.
From girlfriend to secretary took a grand total of sixty days, beginning three days after Barty Crouch Sr. flooed in sick the year after graduation, the year of the Triwizard Tournament. Penelope had been working at the Daily Prophet and had just been asked by the Editor, a Mr. Barnabus Cuffe to act as the primary reporter for the Triwizard Tournament when Percy had contacted her and asked if she could, possibly, help him out for a few days as he was overwhelmed with work and needed a temporary secretary. Penelope had immediately told Mr. Cuffe that she was very sorry, but that she had a family emergency that would not allow her to begin immediately, but she thanked him for thinking of her. Mr. Cuffe's most generous reply, stating that Rita Skeeter would cover the Weighing of the Wands and allow Ms. Clearwater to begin at the First Task, was, unfortunately, never fulfilled.
Over the next two months, more and more of Percy's workload fell upon his volunteer secretary who soon had to take a leave of absence from her desk job at the Daily Prophet as she had no time available and Percy needed the help. It was only temporary, until Mr. Crouch returned to work, but as those sixty days passed, Penelope ceased to even see Percy outside of casual meetings in the mornings and around noon.
Months passed and no end was in sight, Penelope had tried to talk Percy into asking for the funds to hire a secretary, but he claimed that going over-budget would not look good on his resume. Unfortunately, her oath prevented Penelope from actually taking any action.
By the time Voldemort had taken over the Ministry, Penelope had not seen any of her friends or even acquaintances or family for nearly three years. Within the Ministry she was known as 'Weasley's Secretary', fortunately for her (or perhaps not), her blood status was not known, or cared about, and so she was bypassed by the purge.
The lowest point in her life occurred about three months into Voldemort's reign over Magical Britain. Penelope had been transferring the names of those sent to the camps from the records from the Wizengamot to standard Ministry records when she came across three names that she didn't want to see. Her parents and younger sister had been sent to the camp near Manchester. Earlier that same morning, Penelope had read in the Daily Prophet that a camp near Manchester had rioted and the criminals within had all been kissed by Dementors when the aurors had not been able to restore order against the 'subversives' within the camp. Her breakdown at her desk was short, Percy's discovery of her crying and leaving wet patches all over the paperwork strewn across her desk was dealt with swiftly, by a brief application of the Cruciatus, just a quick jolt, followed with a statement that had forever hardened Penelope's opinion of Percy Weasley. Percy's rant over how badly wet paperwork would reflect upon himself went on for nearly ten minutes, during which he alternated glaring at Penelope with glancing furtively about, trying to ensure that no one had seen her actions.
In the time between the death of her family and the present, Penelope had seen a great number of despicable and terrible actions considered and performed by Percy, but the piece of legislation that she had just finished writing easily took first place amongst them all. She supposed, in hindsight, it was not so very surprising that Percy would be willing to author legislation such as this, but this was a disaster of epic proportions waiting to happen, and she couldn't do anything to stop it, or could she?
Penelope decided that she had some hard thinking to do in the lead up to the Emergency Session that was to begin in just a half-hour's time.
End Note: I am trying to make scene breaks and chapter beginning/ending and separation from A/N's easy to see for those who wish to skip them. I would appreciate any feedback on the methods I am using, thanks