Discovering the Future
Discovering the Future
A/N: Disclaimer's in the first chapter. Apologies for the lateness of the update, but losing my dog unexpectedly and then getting sick did not do good things to my ability to write.
October 23, Hogwarts
It was election day. Giles had joined Xander, Faith Wesley and Spike at Hogwarts for the day, so as to reduce the chances of anyone crying foul regarding the elections because a Council member was around the polling place. Not that it would stop anyone particularly determined from crying foul, but it reduced the chances of it somewhat.
Today's election would decide the future of the Wizarding world. Giles and the others weren't too particularly worried, as the vocal minority that supported a blood purity regime had been rather effectively and permanently silenced, but there was always the chance that one of the quieter members of that minority who was up for elections would find their voice if they got elected.
Then again, the odds on Amelia Bones getting the post on a permanent basis were extremely favorable. She'd taken full advantage of the month she'd had in which to make an impression. It was going to be hard for her competition to compete against that. Especially since she'd been common sensible, even-handed, and forthright.
Still, there was a chance someone else would get the job of Minister. Rufus Scrimgeour was the most likely one to get the job of the contenders. None of the Council knew the man well enough to know what sort of job he'd do at it, but from what they'd heard of the man, he was fairly similar to Amelia Bones. Just somewhat more inclined towards political shenaniganry. So if he did beat Amelia, there would hopefully not be a problem. The Council really didn't want to have to try to declare martial law or something and force the wizarding world to get its head out of its butt.
Voting ended at seven, and the tallies were available less than five minutes later. Giles and company were relieved and delighted that Amelia won. Not quite by a landslide, as Rufus had made a good showing, but close enough to make it obvious she'd been the clear favorite.
October 24, Ministry
Well, she'd gotten the job.
Amelia still couldn't quite decide if she was happy about it nor not, but she was practical enough to admit that it was probably for the best that she had. A more political sort in the position would be fine later, but now was not the time to be currying favor and kissing butts. Now was the time to be cleaning house and making their world stronger and better.
To that end, Amelia dragged out the list she'd made a month ago, when she'd anticipated her nomination as emergency Minister. Some of the items on that list had begun to be taken care of already, but now that she had the job long-term, it was time to begin kicking the rest into gear.
First on her list was a complete revamping of the Auror corps, from recruiting practices to training methods to equipment. While she had a number of ideas in that regard, she knew it would be foolhardy of her to make those decisions alone. The more minds, the merrier. With that in mind, she called in Alastor, Kingsley, and Rufus.
The four of them talked until lunchtime, hammering out something they could all live with. Sadly, it would be at least two years before there was a truly measurable change in the Auror corps, largely because of the fact that they were going to have to recruit extensively to replace the old, retired, or injured Aurors who hadn't been replaced over the last decade and a half thanks to Fudge and Bagnold. It'd be a minimum of two years before those recruits would be full Aurors, but that couldn't be helped. At least the problem would be fixed, even if it was going to take some time.
Moody had brought up the idea of asking the Council for a few volunteers to assist if it became needed, an idea that Amelia thought was a good one. Hopefully, the Aurors would not be so busy as to require that assistance in the next two years, but you never knew.
After lunch, it was time for the first Wizengamot meeting of her elected career. Fortunately, the meeting wasn't going to deviate any from what had been going on over the last few weeks. It was ironic that the Wizengamot session was the source of some much-needed levity. But then again, running into a law that said it was illegal to spit, wear heels, walk backwards, or enter Diagon Alley without first notifying the DMLE of your intention to be there among other ridiculousness was always good for a laugh. Or a stunned, disbelieving look. If nothing else, the foray into abolishing those types of laws had opened everyone's eyes to just how completely ridiculous it was possible to get. Hopefully encouraging the Wizengamot to not be morons in future.
Amelia fully planned to move to dealing with more recent laws in addition to abolishing old ones next week. She'd need the rest of this week to conduct her planned audit of every department. Most of the evil and truly incompetent employees had been dismissed by now, of course, but she needed to talk to the department heads to see what sort of staff they needed to handle their workloads, and talk over recruitment and training needs. Fortunately, for most departments, the turnaround time for improvement would be a lot shorter than what it would be for the Auror corps. It would be a year at most before most of the other departments were on a much better footing.
After dinner and the end of the Wizengamot meeting, Amelia pulled the first of the department heads into her office for a talk. In this case, Arthur Weasley. The Misuse of Muggle Artifacts office needed help, badly. Amelia knew it was just Arthur and one other person, which couldn't even begin to be enough. Plus, Amelia planned on expanding that department to include more than misuse of Muggle items. Arthur didn't know it, but he was about to become the head of the Muggle Division, which would include his old office, the Obliviators, and an as-yet not formed Muggle Liason Office, which would be in charge of things like notifying the Prime Minister of escapees from Azkaban, so that the Muggle world could be put on alert, dealing with Muggleborns and their families when they had questions or concerns and didn't know who else to approach, and coordinating efforts for things like the Quidditch World Cup with Muggle officials in the know among other duties.
Arthur returned home that night rather stunned. He'd never expected to be respected or a wizard of consequence. Now, here he was in charge of what would be the second-largest department in the Ministry, behind only the revamped DMLE's projected numbers. With a salary to match. Which meant that, for the first time, his family would not be strapped for cash.
Arthur fully intended to draft Percy's assistance. For one, it would help to bridge the gap that had opened over the summer between Percy and the rest of the family, as Percy had initially supported Crouch and Fudge fully. Fortunately, things had exploded before anything truly unfortunate could said or done on either side, and Percy had returned to the fold. But things were still strained. Hopefully, seeking Percy's advice and assistance would help to bridge the gap.
There was also the simple fact that Percy was a natural at the sort of organization and attention to minutia that would be required in the formation of an effective, organized department. He would doubtlessly know, or know where to find out the various requirements, and have a good idea of how many people would be needed to effectively perform which tasks. Things that Arthur either didn't know, or only knew in theory because he'd been having to handle a ridiculous workload with just two people, and no hope of more to assist. That sort of thing fostered a completely different mindset than a properly staffed department would.
Molly greeted him with a kiss. "You're home late, dear. Lots of celebrating at the office?"
Arthur smiled, realizing that Molly thought his good mood was solely due to Amelia becoming Minister. "Quite a bit, yes. And quite a bit of ducking for cover as well. Amelia's made no bones, pardon the pun, about her desire to completely revamp the entire Ministry. Word has it she was closeted with Alastor, Kinglsey and Rufus most of the morning."
"Well, that bodes well for the DMLE at least." Molly said. "That lot's always been the most common-sensible and level-headed when it comes to that department."
"Very true. And they're evidently still sorting the old laws, as from what I heard, the Wizengamot members came out of meeting snickering again. I must say that if the laws they're dealing with are anything like some of the laws for Muggle artifacts, they've reason to be laughing." Arthur told her with a grin. "And the reason I'm late is that Amelia wanted to speak with me. She knew my department was in bad shape, through no fault of mine, and wanted to talk to me about how to fix it."
"That's wonderful, Arthur. Just getting some more employees will help considerably." Molly said.
Arthur nodded. "That wasn't all she had to discuss, either." He grinned broadly at her. "She's reorganizing some of the departments, and putting everything that deals with Muggles under one department, that she's calling the Muggle Division. The Obliviators, my office, and an entire new department called the Muggle Liason Office, which will be taking over all dealings with the Muggle world that don't involve broken laws in one way or another. That way, everyone's in one place, and there's no need to try to figure out where to go for a specific issue."
Molly nodded. "That does seem a good thing to do. Things were split up between a number of departments before. Has she any idea who she's going to have run it all?"
Arthur's grin stretched across almost his entire face. "Me." He said, and then laughed when Molly actually squealed like she was thirty years younger and hugged him hard.
"Oh, Arthur! That's wonderful!"
Arthur kissed her cheek. "You've no idea, Molly-love. I'm getting an enormous raise as well as being head of the department. My pay's going to be nearly equal to what the head of the DMLE gets."
The Head of that Department was the most well-paid of the department heads, given the job they had to do. Prior to this, Arthur had been the worst-paid department head, earning less than all the other heads, and less than most of the senior members of the other departments to boot, due to the unpopularity of the department in the pureblood elitist circles that had been all but running the Ministry for the last couple decades.
"Do you think Percy would still be up? I'd like to firecall him. He'd left before I was done talking to Amelia. I'm going to need his help building this department and making it work efficiently." Arthur said.
Molly considered. "He probably is, Arthur." Her eyes gleamed in pleasure at bringing Percy fully back into the fold.
Arthur nodded and gave her one last kiss before heading for the fireplace. Fortune smiled on him, in that Percy was not only up, but answered the floo. He looked a touch wary, but also pleased.
"Hello son. I wish I could say I was calling just to chat, but I'm actually calling to ask for your assistance. I've been promoted at work. Put as head to an entirely new department, parts of which are going to have to be built from the ground up. And I could use a hand with it. It's going to be quite the undertaking."
There was no mistaking the surprised, delighted gleam in Percy's eyes. Arthur felt a bit badly. Percy had been, largely, the forgotten son due to his quiet personality. It had been easy for him to get lost in the background when competing against five brothers, all with much louder, flashier temperaments, and a fiery-tempered baby sister.
"It would be my pleasure, father." Percy said. "We should perhaps meet tomorrow, to discuss the details in full?"
Arthur nodded agreement. "That would be ideal. Say, first thing in the morning, as soon as we get in? We're going to have a lot to go over."
Percy nodded. "Your old office, I presume?"
Arthur nodded. "For now. We'll be getting new offices, but that's one of the things we're going to have to figure out. Where, and how many, that sort of thing."
Percy nodded again, and Arthur could swear he could see Percy's mind already turning over the lists of things that might need to be gone over and dealt with already. "I'll see you then, father."
"Goodnight son. And say hello to Penelope for me."
Percy smiled. "I will."
October 24, Hogwarts
Amelia's confirmation as Minister didn't change much at Hogwarts, except to allow people to relax that last little bit now that they were sure an idiot wasn't going to be at the reins.
Minerva had spent most of the day closeted with various potential future teachers for the next year's additional classes, wanting to give them plenty of time to develop a curriculum once they were hired, since many of them would be starting from scratch.
Finding someone qualified to ensure that the incoming students met the minimum requirements for reading and writing was simple, thankfully. There weren't any unusual requirements for that position. Finding a teacher for the new Wizarding Culture class would have been a nightmare if Sirius hadn't pointed her in the direction of Andromeda Tonks, who had been raised steeped in wizarding culture but lived in the muggle world with her husband, and thus would be able to explain and translate for muggle-born and raised wizards far better than someone who'd never been near the muggle world.
The Music and Arts electives, however, were going to take some doing. Mostly because there was so much to cover under those two umbrellas, and they would probably have to split the classes into general groups to get anywhere.
Hooch was making a great deal of progress on the sports end of things, having already consulted with various muggleborn students she knew of that were fans of various sports. Plans to mark the Quidditch pitch and obtain the necessary equipment were well under way, and might well be in place for the sports traditionally played in winter. It helped that word had spread through the grapevine that muggle sports were going to be permitted, as Hooch had shortly been inundated with quite a bit of fairly knowledgeable help.
Filius was having more fun than ought to be legal with the Dueling Club, which had met for the first time, officially anyway, last week. Given what everyone had just lived through, it hadn't surprised Minerva a bit to find practically the entire school wanting in on the club. Interestingly, Severus of all people had stepped up to assist Filius when it became clear there was no way for a single teacher to handle so many students. They were now making plans to split the students between them, in two rough groups, beginners and experienced. Filius planned on taking the beginner's group, which was pobably wise as Severus still had little to no patience with so-called dunderheads. As much as things had changed, it was clear that at least in that regard, some things never would.
Minerva shot a glance over at Fawkes, who'd parked himself on his perch when Dumbledore had been jailed and hadn't moved since. He was starting to look a little ragged around the edges, a sign his burning day was approaching, though Minerva guessed it to still be two weeks away, give or take a few days. She just hoped Fawkes would be freed from Dumbledore's influence. It was painful, seeing such a magnificent creature like this.