Chapter 19

Construction Work

The events of the following days blurred together, a seamless image of loss and pain. The students were evacuated from Hogsmeade, returned early to their families, given little to no explanation as to the events that had transpired.

There was no explanation to give.

While the Black Wand Society had disappeared, the disaster left behind remained. Hogwarts was a shambles; little was left. It was striped of all magical protection, a black and empty ruin. The Ministry scrambled to cover the mistakes, taking all precautions to keep the press out of the school, to save face. So now, days after Hogwarts was destroyed with one spell, the building crews began to arrive. They had the summer, until September First, to rebuild the school and restore it to its former glory.

It was a daunting task.

A tall, prim woman, well dressed in billowing sky blue robes and a matching hat, Apparated into the centre of what had once been the Great Hall. She could see already that security was lax; any journalist could have been in and out and got enough material to shame the Ministry forever.

She sighed heavily and pulled at her collar. The Department of Magical Catastrophes had sent her to inspect the damage on the Ministry’s reputation. Just by looking, it would be a hard job keeping those reporters from the Daily Prophet out. Of course she would have to give a statement; otherwise they would find an excuse as to why she did not.

She couldn’t see anyone, as of yet, who was also from the Ministry. She was sure the Department of Mysteries would send someone. As much as she hated to admit it, what they needed was an auror. Aurors were useful, although never very social people in her opinion. She drew her wand from her sleeve; this was going to be a long job.

Having managed to find a pair of robes that had not been ruined (Infinity suspected that, thanks to all of the protective charms she had placed on her quarters, they were some of the only rooms still intact in the entire school), Infinity came back down to the Great Hall to oversee the builders that she had sent for.

Deterring the press was another of her priorities. Hogwarts had stood for a thousand years and this was not going to stop them from providing one of the best educations in the world for young wizards and witches.

The students had all been sent home with whatever of their possessions had survived. Truth be told, she had tried very hard not to laugh when she’d had to inform a certain Miss Swales that half of her shoe collection had been incinerated in the flames.

No doubt the new first years would be arriving to a not-quite completed castle, but nevertheless, work was progressing nicely, although she was keeping her eyes on a designer who had been muttering something about fuchsia, art-deco style drapes. Whatever that meant.

Infinity spotted a newcomer, clearly a Ministry official, and headed over to her. “Welcome to Hogwarts,” she said, as brightly as she could muster. “I’m Infinity Gates, deputy headmistress. And you are?”

“Stephanie Starcourt, Department of Magical Catastrophes.” Stephanie shook the deputy headmistress’s hand and raised her eyebrows.

“There’s been a lot of talk about Hogwarts over the last days, Mrs. Gates. I don’t need to tell you to keep statements to a minimum. Being an ex-Auror you should know.” Yes, Stephanie knew that there were already all sorts of rumors flying round, but rumors were not what she was worrying about. If the truth of the matter got into the papers…she lent forward to speak to Infinity.

“I don’t mind telling you this is a very serious matter, Mrs. Gates. If the press gets wind of this, it is not only the Ministry that will suffer. After this and last year’s…attack…it’s not likely we will need to rebuild the school at all.”

“If the press get wind of it?” Infinity repeated in astonishment. “I’m surprise the vultures aren’t already circling the place trying to get their front page story!” She sighed. “Hogwarts will be rebuilt,” she said firmly, “and whether it affects our intake or not the term will begin as scheduled. Hogwarts has seen rough times before and we will not let this get in our way.”

The faculty were either around school helping (hadn’t she seen Mayvero or En’Olin around the greenhouses earlier?) or with their families. New faculty members had been alerted as to the situation and none had withdrawn their position at the school. However…

“The one thing I’m worried about at the moment is the position of the Headteacher.”

Stephanie nodded at the deputy headmistress.

“That position is of course being reviewed very carefully by the Department of Magical Education. We need someone who doesn’t have a history of affiliation with murderers, but you know the board. I believe they’ve found a temporary replacement, but how long it will be until a permanent one is found no one can say.”

Stephanie sighed, looking up at where the ceiling had once been, and then over at the builders sitting down. “Hm.”

She raised her eyebrows at the rather shabby looking collection of builders, but did not say anything. She knew all too well that the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” was true.

In the middle of the Great Hall appeared a woman, followed by her team of workers. All held an assortment of muggle power tools and wands. Their leader, a short, overweight woman in her late forties, scowled at the state of the castle. They had been given a single summer to repair the place, and make it as good as new for the new arrivals. At least with the spells surrounding the castle destroyed, they could apparate.

“You two take that corner,” she barked, pointing at two of her team at random. Her flaming red hair adjusted to her mood and rose in a sweaty frizz.

“You, opposite end.” She brandished her wand threateningly. “Let’s do this!” The summer to completely rebuild Hogwarts- it was impossible! Yet her team was the best, and if anyone could revive the school, they could.

Wands out, several members of her crew began banishing rubble to the large carriers set up to receive it. Others directed the arrival of new supplies, and oversaw the laying of the foundation. All worked efficiently.

“Oh no, no, no, no, no,” said a high pitched masculine voice. A thin man with flowing black hair waved his arms about enthusiastically. He was wearing a long red velvet jacket, a frilly white shirt, and tight leather trousers.

“My dear young lady,” he said tucking his arm into that of the Head Builder herself. “One must have a vision, a dream you know. No, no, one cannot begin until one has…how to say…” More of the arm waving followed. “A scheme, a master plan for the new building design. Let us take this unhappy event and turn it, nay may I say transform it, into something useful and happy. I see,” he put his hand to his head, as if peering in the future. “I see a modern design, ya minimalist, perhaps low slung one storey, oh with a veranda, now wouldn’t that be fine. I see pale pastels shades with perhaps a dash of crimson. Oh divine. Blinds perhaps for the windows and a sliding door entrance. Fantastic,” he exhaled happily.

Shortly after the Head Builder, Karina, spoke, a tall, dirt covered man with hair the color and texture of dried moss Apparated to his corner. Now he Apparated back for supplies only to find a…well, he supposed it was a man, calling the Head Builder “dear young lady” of all things. He pretended to cough. Karina Arthi was many things. Rude, obnoxious, bossy, stubborn, strict…but a lady she wasn’t.

As Lamb waved his arms everywhere, the builder caught his boss’s eye, nodded to the designer and held a power drill a few inches from his own head, suggesting silently where exactly he thought Percival Lamb’s mind had gone.

As Percival was carried away with decorating dreams, Karina focused on overseeing her crew, and Moss stood, there was the sound of tramping hooves. A long line of strange creatures traipsed into what had formerly been the Great Hall, most carrying tool boxes and walking a little crooked. The creature at the front of the line stopped, motioning for the others to disperse around the hall until called.

“Hey! You! Yeah, you,” yelled the leading creature as he looked up at one of the builders. He rolled his eyes as the man looked around, obviously expecting to see someone in front of him. This however, was not the case. In order to be noticed, the creature kicked Moss in the shins.

“What’d ya want us ta do, huh, boss?” He asked, now that he had the man’s attention. At four feet tall, Derr the Satyr often had communication problems, which he easily solved in the same way as he had with Moss. If they dun see ya, give ’em a good kick. It was the Satyr motto.

Derr was naked to the waist, where his torso melded into a pair of furry brown goat legs. He had two spiraled horns that protruded from his curly head, a scruffy beard, and cloven hooves. As Satyrs go he was relatively clean and sober. As the main organizer of Satyr’s Building and Co., Derr had decided that the first day on the job meant lying off the alcohol a little. Unfortunately, the rest of his crew didn’t seem to feel the same way.

Moss glared at the satyr, rubbing his bruised leg. Filthy, drunken beasts. But the company was supposed to be the best there was, besides those who already worked for Karina; that’s why she’d hired them. Somehow Moss thought it was the boss’s own mean streak that did it.

Shouldn’t complain though, he thought, I get paid either way.

He was going to tell them to go talk to Karina, but the Head Builder obviously had her hands full with Percival. Instead, he picked up one of the nearby toolboxes and shoved it into Derr’s human hands.

“Here. Get ta work on one of the corners. And, uh…” here he lowered his voice “see if you can’t get rid of some of the mess while you’re at it, huh?” he said, nodding towards the dramatic Lamb.

Derr grabbed the tool box, nodding to his crew, who were by now milling around and making eyes at most of the females in the room.

“All ‘ight boys, get ta work on the corners. Wait—naw, Smite, Dale, Weg…come with me.” He grinned despite himself as the Satyrs started work on the corners, expertly moving away rubble and leveling the stones left. Another Satyr was already wheeling over a load of fresh blocks that would be magically glued to the others, forming a foundation. It was rough work, admittedly, that human builders with their wands would fix later. The stupid ministry with their stupid regulations about non-human non-wizard wand use certainly limited what Derr and his crew could do…

As three Satyrs gathered around Derr (one so drunk he could barely stand) he jerked his head in the direction of Lamb, as Moss had done.

“Time to clean up the garbage.” He quipped, grabbing a nearby wheel barrel and heading for Lamb. “Come on boys.”

“Yeah, yeah….sure…ya Boss,” muttered Weg and he stumbled over, tripping on a loose rock. He went sprawling at the feet of one of the female Ministry officials. He looked up crossed eyed and grinned.

“Yeah, a Boss, you shouldn’t call the pretty lady trash, uh ya boss, you really shouldn’t,” he grumbled, twisting his beard nervously.

“Idiot.” Derr mumbled, smacking Weg upside the head, and then grabbing his arm and half dragging him away. Once they were away from the woman, he grabbed Weg’s beard turned his head so that Percival was in his line of vision.

That garbage,” he growled. Lamb was getting away, dashing off across the Hall and mumbling about visions and such.

“Gack, jus’ go work on somethin’ Weg.” He muttered finally, shoving him towards a corner, “Or lie down till ya sober up!”

“Right-oo, boss man, course, sober up.” Weg said, stumbling over to one wall where he collapsed, draping himself over the rocks like they were reclining chairs. He took a flask out of the tool belt he wore, taking a long swig of beer.

“Sober up, sober up, sober up.” He chanted inaudibly. “Yah!”

Outside, standing in the heat, was Tai Jacobs. He was an Auror, arriving late to the scene, as he had been halfway across the world at the time of the attack, deeply involved in a plot by the Brazilian guerrillas. With the news of Hogwarts he had arrived back as soon as possible. He was an expert on the Black Wand Society, and well respected for it in the Ministry.

Now his mouth hung agape in shock. What he saw out in front of him wasn’t exactly what he had hoped for. The Ministry had not been very explicit, but he had not expected such a disastrous scene. Hogwarts was nothing but rubble and stones.

Tai took a long walk around the perimeter of the school; at least, what was left of the perimeter. It was quite scary to know some person was out in the world with that much power. There was someone who could destroy the world and create one of his own, all in the saying of a few words.

He needed to find Prince and put a stop to all of this madness. Tai glanced up with a sigh, noticing another man that had just arrived at Hogwarts. Tai watched with interest as the short man sidled up to Hogwarts, knocking on the air where a front door would have been. The man held a bright pink leash in one hand, a worn bag in the other. A beige fishing hat was jammed on his head, with various hooks and baits in it. In all, the man himself made a most peculiar character. Yet no one noticed him, really, not even Tai. It was the being he had on the leash they noticed.

The man, whose name was G.J.,. waited a moment, knocked again, then shrugged and walked through the door. He felt it impolite to just waltz right into Hogwarts, even if it was a burnt down shambles, but at the same time, there was no point in waiting outside when he could just walk in. Decisions, Decisions.

Deciding to investigate the man and the animal on the leash, Tai stuck his hands in his pockets and followed G.J. inside.

“Come on Sue,” G.J. mumbled, oblivious, petting the creature he had on a leash. She purred, rubbing her head against his thigh. “We’ve work to be doing.”

“Sue,” as the creature had been dubbed, was a Lammasu. She had the body of a lion, the wings of an eagle, and the head of a human female. Her coat was golden and well groomed, a testament to G.J.’s doting care, and a shaggy mane of golden locks fell from her head. She had a pouting mouth and big brown eyes that now took in the ruin of Hogwarts.

“Evil hath been here.” She murmured, no longer purring. G.J. only nodded. “Evil hath left here. The evil must be pursued.”

“I know it, Sue baby, but we got to find out what happened first.” He patted her on the head and she retracted her claws, calming down slightly.

“Deaths must be avenged.”

“I know it Sue.”


“I know.”


“All right.”

G.J. sighed. There was no talking to her in this state. By nature, Lammasus were noble creatures that cherished good. Larger than a regular lion, they could also be quite fierce, and would track evil to the ends of the world in order to destroy it. Often times, Lammasus were used by the Ministry as hound dogs to trace the Black Wands, with varying results. So G.J. and Sue were here, to gather information on the case. Turning around, G.J. spotted Tai, and reversed course to speak with him.

“Hullo, Mr. Sir person. Do you happen to be an Auror?” G.J. asked as politely as possible, while Sue gazed up at the man, weighing him up with her big brown eyes.

“He is good,” she judged finally.

“I could’ve told you that Sue.” G.J. muttered, before turning back to the Ministry man. “And sir, I’ve brought the Lammasu. Hope we can help.”

Tai looked at the beast that stood in front of him. It was quite an accomplishment to tame such a great beast. But Tai wasn’t one to communicate with animals, or people at that matter.

“I’m quite sure that at the present moment, there should be no need for a beast that can sense evil. I’m sure that the disturbed few who did this, are long gone by now, and won’t be coming back for quite some time now.” Tai said gruffly.

The school was burned down, and from what he was told at the Ministry, it was abandoned by everyone but teachers and Ministry officials. The press would be here soon enough, annoying the heck out of those trying to get work done.

It was going to be a long time before everything would get done. A long time…

“Are you sure, Mr.?” G.J. questioned, tugging at his rumpled grey shirt. “Sue can track evil too you know. She’s a brilliant gel, she is.” He rubbed the Lammasu’s head fondly, and she began to purr again, though the maniac gleam in her eyes spoke of a cat on the prowl.

G.J. repressed a sigh. Most Aurors recognized the usefulness of Lammasus, yet there were some who preferred to work alone. Despite evidence that Lammasus were quite helpful, they saw them as burdens. It seemed Tai fell into this latter group.

“Sue is right useful, ya know. She’s brought in more dark wizards than I can count.” G.J. conveniently forgot to mention that had been before she was on maternity leave, and that she had only just gotten back…but the Auror didn’t need to know that.

“Yes.” Sue echoed softly, sitting down, though her tail thrashed furiously. “Bring in darkness. Evil and dark must die. Evil must not be allowed in world to harm children.” She placed one clawed paw on the edge of Tai’s robes, growling low in her throat. “Die evil die!”

“Now Sue,” G.J. warned, removing her paw. “Sorry Mr. Sir. We’ll just poke around in here for a while, let Sue get the scent. Then we’ll be on our way.” He tipped his hat to the man, and then directed Sue over to the only untouched bit of the Hall, presumably where Prince had stood as he spread the deadly fires.

“Come on Sue, we’ll find ’em I’m sure.” He consoled her as Sue began to sniff the charred remains, and a few tears welled up in her eyes.

“Evil must die!”

Tai watched as the two, man and beast, walked off through the rubble. They were a strange mix, the two of them were. The beast was right; evil must die. And that is why Tai dedicated had his life to finding and destroying the lives of evildoers.

As a commotion broke out among the Satyrs over who owned a partially full keg of ale, a willowy blonde with sharp eyes and a sharper quill entered the Great Hall. Already she had prowled around the other areas of the school, taking neat and precise notes. Scrawled across the yellow pad were phrases such as, “No security,” and, “Incompetent workers.”

Miriam Waters was trained as a journalist, although she currently worked for the Fashion section of Witch Weekly. It was a demeaning, menial job, Waters felt. She longed for so much more, a high ranking position at the Dailey Prophet, or to at least be an editor somewhere. Tossing her head proudly, she stepped nimbly into the hall and began to prowl around, as unobtrusively as possible.

“No order.” She hissed under her breath, penning the words. An article was already beginning to take shape in her mind. It would curdle the blood of the Ministry, when they realized what had happened, but it was sure to earn her a promotion somewhere. The Ministry fools had paid off the Dailey Prophet, which was why the papers had so far remained mum, but that would not last.


The word caught Miriam off guard. She spun, a hand on her hip, and gasped as she met a set of liquid brown eyes. Sue was staring straight at her.

“No, now Sue, she ain’t evil.” A man near by said, as the Lammasu growled, crouching down into a pounce position.

“Down Sue,” G.J. commanded, laying a hand on her head. “Sorry Miss.”

Miriam sniffed. Clearly the lion, the thing, was out of control.

“She is evil.” Sue insisted.

Miriam finally felt compelled to comment. “Excuse me, you,” she said, voice as condescending as she could make it. Intimidation: it worked on her Fashion assistants.

“No, ‘scuse me ma’am, and sorry,” G.J. said, tipping his hat. Sue paced back and forth beside him, growling, but G.J. held her on a tight leash. He looked at Miriam , observing her pad of paper and her icy glare. “Sue don’t mean nothing by it, ma’am,” he insisted, turning to walk away. “Guess she just hasn’t ever learned that there’s more types of evil than one.”

He was out of earshot before Miriam had time to reply. It was time for Sue and him to leave. Clearly the evil they were looking for had long since vacated Hogwarts, so there was no reason to stay. They had evil to find.

Bang Bang Bang.

Derr pounded a nail into a board, flipping his hammer and pocketing it when he finished. The sign read:


Derr smiled. That was the last nail that he would drive in this infernal place. The final, absolute, end of all nails he would ever drive at Hogwarts. Yippe!

It had been a long, hot, frustrating summer, but his team had finally made good on their contract. Now they would collect the big bucks, buy the big kegs, and get mad and crazy drunk, something they had not been able to do much of at Hogwarts. There were too many aurors, reporters, and Professors patrolling the rebuilt castle for the satyrs to have much fun.

But boy, were they going to have fun now.

Derr dusted off his hands and eyed the welcoming sign he had just erected, his gaze traveling beyond it and to the school itself. Its towers stood out proudly against the blue summer sky, a testament to the skill of his building teams. He could see the large domed windows of the Great Hall, the smiling glass of the greenhouses, and the large front doors. Straw was scattered all around the grounds of the building, encouraging grass to regrow on the grounds, and there were still piles of building materials out on the lawn, but it was passable. Considering they had only had the summer to work with, Derr felt that the progress at Hogwarts was something to be proud of.

Pulling up his belt and heading towards the castle, Derr resolved to round up his crew and find the in-charge lady. Maybe he could get them a bonus if they promised to take their empty beer cans with them. It was a thought. But even if not, it was time for the Satyrs to get out of Hogwarts, and leave it to the students.

Professor Elionwy Mayvero sighed in relief as she watched the last satyr saunter through the Hogwarts gates, finally, finally gone. She was not ungrateful for all of the work they had done at Hogwarts, but she was looking forward to nights where she could sleep without being woken up by their bawdy songs, and days when she would not find them trampling through her flowers and across her delicate, newly sprouting lawn.

Absently Elionwy wondered who would be the headmaster, now that Danuliete was gone. Infinity was the best choice, but then the Ministry was not famous for always making the best choices. Their expertise seemed to lie somewhere in the opposite direction….

Turning, Professor Elionwy headed for her office. She entered the Ravenclaw commonroom, stepping gingerly around piles of sawdust that had yet to be dispelled, and opened her door with a swish and a flick.

Despite the bumbling interference of Percival Lamb, Hogwarts had been rebuilt to its former exact specifications, thanks to blue prints of the school that had miraculously survived the fire. Ministry officials from the Department of Magical Catastrophes had aided the Hogwarts Professors in bewitshing the castle with numerous protection charms, and while there was still a lot to be done, Hogwarts was looking better every day. Elionwy’s office was a prime example of this. The satyrs had blessedly rebuilt the Ravenclaw facilities early in the summer. Since then, Elionwy had imbued her office with protection (including many, many fire-proofing charms), whitewashed it, repainted it, sanded and stained the hardwood, and started construction on a corner bookcase. It no longer bore any mark from Prince, and that was the way Elionwy liked it. She wanted a fresh start.

She had also been working in the greenhouses, readying them to be restocked, and directing parts of the landscaping of the Hogwarts grounds.

With only a few days left before school began, Elionwy had decided to turn her attention to the Ravenclaw common room and dormitories. But first…

“Rosemary,” she asked a sparrow sitting on her window sill, “Would you please take this to the kitchens?” She tied a note, written on a post-it, to the sparrow’s leg. It chirped and disappeared out of the window.

Elionwy smiled. She liked owls, but songbirds were so much more agreeable, especially for short trips. Rolling up her sleeves, she collected her wand, a basket of cleaning supplies, and a bucket. It was time to tackle the Ravenclaw commons.

“Miss requested our help?” asked a house elf when Elionwy stepped out of her office. She smiled. The things were marvelously punctual.

“Yes,” she replied, “I thought we might try to get this cleaned up in here.”

The house elf did not require further instructions. It scurried off to begin, and Elionwy turned her wand on the piles of sawdust and began to vanish them.

As she worked, her mind wandered. In the weeks since the disaster, no word from Prince or his followers had reached Hogwarts. The Ministry kept running into dead ends, and while the press was far from quiet, it had at least never managed to report on the entire truth. It caught parts of it, yes, but the sensationalized stories could hardly be considered “truth” by anyone’s standards.

Still, truth or no truth, it looked as though Hogwarts student intake would be lower this year. Already they had started to receive owls saying that some older students would not be returning. The pall of last year’s events still hung over the school, and it would for years to come. Even the sorting hat, which by some happy stirke of fate had been in Infinity’s office during the attack, and therefore survived the fire, seemed downhearted. It now resided in the empty headteacher’s office, and upon a visit there, Elionwy had heard it practicing its new song, which so far went something along the lines of:

Once there was a brilliant school
Bright with promise, talent, more
Knowledge deep it contained
a history rich and full of lore
But the school was burned, the promise scorned
by those who know no remorse
Now empty rooms echo forlorn
the future no longer glows gold and silver…
Hogwarts is no longer a fortress of learning

Currently the song ended there, as the hat seemed at a loss to find a word that rhymed with “silver.” Elionwy had declined to tell it that the word “silver” had no direct rhyme in English, as she was not entirely sure that she approved of the song so far. The lyrics were rather depressing and the tune the hat sang it to resembled a mermaid singing out of water.

No, she had decided that it was best it the hat was forced to rethink its song.

Swiping her wand at some suspicious stains flung against one of the new walls, Elionwy noticed a paper lying limping in one corner. Curious, she went and picked it up. It was the Dailey Prophet. She had not read the paper in several weeks, tired of reading the same stories hashed out in different, fantastic ways, but now she flipped it open. Written in bold, black letters across the Fashion section was the headline: Hogwarts Set to Reopen Once Again on September First.

Elionwy leaned against the wall and kept reading the article.

Hogwarts will once more open its doors this year on September First, just as it has done for centuries. However, the outlook for Hogwarts is not encouraging. Attendance rates have already dropped, and although it appears that over half of Hogwarts students will be returning, several members of the staff have resigned, leaving many empty teaching positions.

The school has lost its touch for academic learning in past years, under the tenure of former Headmistress Druscilla Danuliete, and it does not appear that this will change in the upcoming term. Concerns over who the next Headteacher will be, how quickly the building could be rebuilt, and whether or not the Black Wands will return still plague the school.. Many parents have expressed concerns, and the Ministry of Magic is maintaining an unprecedented amount of involvement in school affairs.

Also in question is the leadership of deputy headmistress Infinity Gates. While the ministry has never acted on suggestions to begin investigations into her possible involvement in the attacks, many have wondered if Gates is competent enough to hold Hogwarts together in the absence of another leadership figure.

Perhaps it is time for Hogwarts to consider what really is best for the children, because from the secret insights that the Dailey Prophet has gained, it appears that this school may not be it.

For parents interested in seeking alternative learning facilities, please see page five for full profiles of Beauxbatons and Durmstrang, as well as a detailed how-to guide on home schooling.

By: Miriam Waters, Assistant Editor

Elionwy closed the paper and took a deep breath before she methodically began to shred it. “You’re wrong,” she whispered to Miriam Water, throwing the shreds onto the ground and flicking her wand. They disappeared. “You’re dead wrong.”

Hogwarts was suffering, it was true, but it was not finished. Education would continue here, as it always had, and the school would rebound. Bad things happened, but worse things happened when you gave up.

Elionwy truly believed that. She just hoped that sooner or later, everyone else would as well.

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