I can see for miles and miles
: If you recognize it, it's someone else's. Not for profit.Willow turned to Elizabeth. "You were saying, Your Majesty?"
The Queen nodded and turned back to the audience. "As We have stated, Our agreement with you is that Our hand shall rest very lightly on you. We have in the past, honoured this agreement, even going so far as to not acknowledge your existence to Our senior ministers. However, two instances have been brought to Our attention that require Us to take a direct hand, and a third has come to Our attention.
"The first is actually not why you were all called here. But We have seen how you have treated those among you who, though sentient and able to communicate, do not fit your idea of 'people.' You call them mudbloods, Veela, giants, weres, goblins, and other derogatory names, and you use their differences as an excuse to discriminate against them. That stops now, Lords and Ladies. It stops now or We shall collapse the barriers and you shall see the millions of Britain arrayed against you, eager to prove the truth of your supposed superiority. You will
obey the Equality Act while in Our domains." She looked back at the part- and non-humans at the back of the Hall.
"And you. Giants, goblins, veela, centaurs, and the rest. You have been a participant in handing power over to those who would use it to harm you. It is your responsibility to make your voices heard. You," she glanced down, "Gornuk." The indicated goblin looked up in surprise. "You and your species have known for centuries that your ideas of possession, of sales, do not jibe with the humans that you trade with. Why have you not addressed the issue?"
"Your Majesty, we did not wish to cause strife with-" was all Gornuk got out.
"Nonsense!" the elderly monarch spat out, her face a light red. "You wished to have something to gnaw at and point to, to show how horribly the Wizarding World was treating you. You wanted to have something where 'those horrible wizards' would not do what was right, and return to you those things you had sold them after the person you sold them to had died. All you had to do was to speak, to communicate, that you offer nothing for sale. That what you offer is a lifetime lease on the items." She glared at him. "But it was easier to blame the wizards, as well as bringing you more money. That stops now." Her right hand slapped the podium, and the audience, which had grown silent during her speech, leaned back against the impact. She took a deep breath and let it out. "All of these things, Lords and Ladies, and still others - such as Azkhaban Prison - we need to discuss in the coming days, and we will. But there are more important issues in front of us." She looked at Cornelius Fudge. "What is the issue most affecting the Wizarding World now?"
The Minister of Magic shook himself and looked at the floor. "Well - that is to say - some people," he looked over at Professor Dumbledore, "seem to think that You-know-who is back among us. All right thinking people, of course, know this for a load of hogswallop."
"Who is this You-know-who?" the Queen asked. But Fudge wouldn't say more.
"I believe that he is referring to Lord Voldemort, Your Majesty," Dumbledore spoke up. "I, and many others, feel that he did not die when he attacked Harry Potter as a baby, while many in the Ministry would like to believe that he killed himself in that attack."
Willow chose that moment to stand. "Professor, how pressing is this question? Will it cause problems?"
"Miss Rosenberg, if I and my colleagues are right, it will be the focus of our world for years to come, and if Voldemort's existence remains in doubt, he will soon grow to be a problem that only one person can take care of. Indeed, a prophecy already suggests that this is the case."
Willow sighed. You'd better be able to back me up!
The feeling of a Divine smile was her only answer. "All right, it's obvious that we won't get anywhere unless we show the truth or not of these allegations." She held her hands together in front of her, and the Great Hall suddenly doubled in size and height. She opened her hands, and a circle enclosed everyone in the Hall, including the Queen and her guards, one of who pointed his weapon at her. "Naughty, naughty," she said, and his rifle turn away from her of its own volition. "Guardians of Air, Earth, Fire, and Water, watch over us as we seek answers." As she named each element, a tower appeared at each point of the compass. Seeing this done, she intoned, "Whenever ye have need of any thing, once in the month, and better it be when the moon is full, then shall ye assemble in some secret place.......I will teach things that are as yet unknown...and ye shall be free of slavery.."
While most of the audience was familiar with apparating, the figure that appeared had not apparated in. It appeared in a shower of lights, and as it - she - smiled, the room lit up and warmed everyone in it. "Willow," she said quietly, holding her hands out.
"Goddess!" Willow exclaimed, almost squealing. "Thankyouthankyouthankyou!" she said, running over to hug her Goddess.
"I understand that you need to find the truth?"
"I can help you with that, Willow. But, in doing so, I will use most of the energy I have allocated to save this world.I want to save this world, and I love all of its people. But how could I justify losing five others that I love just as well, because I poured more and more into this one?"
Willow pouted. "I- I guess you couldn't." She took a deep breath. "But you could help us now, and stay within your limits?"
"Yes. And no, your Earth Magic doesn't count, either way. You simply must choose."
"That's easy, then. I don't see another point where I'll need you like this, and we really need the wizards and witches to believe, because they'll be the ones keeping out the First when I'm gone."
The Goddess nodded. "Very well. When I cast, for the next twenty-seven minutes, all illusion within this Hall will be dispelled, though it will return at the end of that time.and only objective truth will be able to be spoken here. That is, not only will you not be able to say, "Delores Umbridge is a toad," if you don't believe it; even your fervent belief will not allow you to say that she's a toad if she is, in fact, not one. However," and her smile became a smirk, "It will allow you to say, 'I believe Delores Umbridge is a toad,' all you wish." She looked around. "Any who do not wish to know the truth, leave. I would not impose this upon my people without their consent." Not a soul moved. "Very well. Willow, I'll be seeing you!"
She smiled as she waved her hand and disappeared, a fact which few noticed, their gazes drawn by the three teenager-sized lumps under what appeared to be a large cloak.