Jan 23, 2020 3:55 PM
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With all the hubbub, a seventh-year Gryffindor - Hermione Granger, which is rather exciting - takes Miranda aside for a brief chat about how she has some experience with famous eleven-year-olds and also with prodigies, and says that she is willing to be a tutor/supervisor for Miranda's wand experiments. This is much appreciated, and Miranda accepts, but doesn't have time to take her up on that before Easter's on the horizon.

Miranda meets her mum at the train station at the end of Easter hols and is promptly Apparated directly to Charlie's house in Fordwich. She is successfully not-found by reporters there.

But partway through the vacation her Daily Prophet mentions that there is a sort of town hall meeting, open to any British-residing wix, about - the agenda's about forty items long, but it boils down to "there are not enough of us" (and also, "oh no, wild Dementor").

Miranda owls her mum.

Her mum dithers but agrees to take her on the condition that they will Apparate away if anyone shows too much interest in Miranda. (The paper seems, in its small flurry of articles about her after the one she was tricked into giving "quotes" for, to have decided to call her "Silverlight", almost like it's her last name: "Belgian Theoretical Magic Expert Weighs In On Possible Mechanisms for Miranda Swan's "Silverlight" Feat". "Miranda Silverlight: Evidence of New Family Trait Magic?" "The Prophet Investigates The Source of E. Miranda "Silverlight" Swan's Unusual Wand.")

Miranda brings a copy of her agenda, crosses both wands in her hair even though she isn't allowed to do magic over hols, and walks in at her mum's elbow into the Ministry hall being used for the meeting.
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The day before the meeting, Alli sends all her friends (except Jenny, poor Muggleborn soul) an owl. The note just says Mum can't be bothered to go, too lazy to make her. Let me know if I should unlazy, otherwise, tell me what happens, k?

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Emma does not bother telling Alli to 'unlazy'. She can't think of a reason to, and if nothing else, a Slytherin will likely be politely (or less politely) unwelcome.

Her parents, of course, put it on their calendar the minute the notice arrived. They make vague noises about "a space to air their concerns" and "finally a place to make themselves heard". Emma tunes them out mostly; knowing them, they'll be complaining about the neighbor's hedges growing too tall and the cat down the lane that keeps destroying her mother's crocuses.

Emma doesn't bother to mention to her parents that Miranda's planning to come. They still occasionally ask her questions about her friendship with "that Silverlight girl," which Emma mostly answers, unless she thinks her parents are too likely to gossip about it. (How they met: reasonable. Miranda's life story: less reasonable.) She just hopes they don't make a nuisance of themselves if they do run into Miranda at the meeting. She thinks it'll be okay. She made them promise, even before this meeting was announced, to behave themselves if they ever meet Miranda again.

On the day of the meeting, her parents fuss over her until she puts on a nicer pair of robes- "take some care about your appearance, Emma, people treat you better if you take care of yourself you know!"- and then they take the Floo into the Ministry. Seeing the full room, Emma gulps and is ashamed of a moment of pure thank Merlin I'm not the famous one relief; she wouldn't want to be the focus of all these eyes for anything.
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Miranda is self-conscious about the attention, but there's not all that much of it. The photographs the Prophet has of her are not very good and tend to be shy, so most people won't recognize her on sight. She sticks close to her mum and catches Emma's eye and smiles quickly, while the moderator peers at his agenda at the front of the room.

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Miranda gets a quick smile back, carefully timed so her parents won't wonder who she's looking at.

There aren't many people their age present; or at least, not in their year. She supposes that makes sense, given how few students there actually are in their year. Mostly it's older witches and wizards. Many have scars; a few are missing limbs. There's a somber air hanging over the whole gathering- for many, it's the first real Event they've been to since the war ended. Emma squirms uncomfortably. Hogwarts is like this, a little bit, but it's... muted, somehow. Or maybe the children just deal with it differently, and she's adjusted to that? Whatever the case, it's an uncomfortable feeling.

Be grateful you're here and you're alive and you're whole, it whispers. Look what happened, think how recently.

She hopes, fervently, that the meeting is short.
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It's not short.

Various ministry officials give little talks about immigration, about relations with the Muggle prime minister, about clearing out the last of the nasty little blood prejudicial laws that were left behind after Voldemort's control of the ministry was broken, about emigration, about child tax credits and working-class tax burdens and the rumblings of displeased goblins and about house-elves and about imports and about primary schools and Hogwarts and homeschooling and the Auror training program and about the price of beets.

There are not enough people.

Industries are disintegrating, and not all the foreigners eager to fill the gap have British values at heart, and this in a time when it is desperately unclear what British values might be.

Miranda listens solemnly.
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Eventually, someone makes the mistake of mentioning "the safety of the children." Emma misses if it was the actual moderator or someone asking a question or who, precisely, it was, but it happens. And Emma's parents have things to say.

"And what about us, then? What about our daughter? She was almost Kissed by a Dementor right in Hogwarts itself! How can you claim we're protected when something like that happens?"

...Emma wonders, very briefly, if she could somehow learn to Apparate on the spot. Even Splinching sounds preferable to all of these people staring directly at her. She slumps in her seat as she hears murmurs amongst the crowd.

"...was one of the girls with Silverlight?" "Must have been, how many Dementor attacks were there?"
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Miranda's mum stiffens a little. Miranda sits up straighter.

"Sir," says the low-ranking Auror who was saddled with the job of appearing at this meeting, "the Dementor was handled without any lasting injury to anyone -"

"By a child!" scoffs someone else in the audience. "Where were you?"

"The Americans have been offering us loaner Aurors -"

"And, what, you want Americans crawling around Hogwarts? Hogwarts itself?"

Miranda thinks of things to say, and doesn't say any of them, because she's rapidly realizing that this situation is more complicated than she fully grasps and that people are using facts not because they're curious about what actually happened but because facts are weapons. The fact that there was an American crawling around Hogwarts itself with her when she met the Dementor, and he passed out, will be interpreted as an argument, without the least reference to the fact that it might as easily have happened to a native teacher... the fact that even if there were Aurors around Hogwarts it would be unlikely that one would have been called upon at the time when it was so unclear that there was high-level danger about will not be noted...
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Emma's father, after his indignant question, remains standing, but now Emma's mother takes over.

"No lasting injury, that was a Dementor attacking my eleven year old daughter. I don't care about injuries! I want answers! Results! What is being done to prevent this from ever happening again?!"

"Motherrrr!" Emma hisses, horrified and embarrassed beyond belief. Her mother ignores her. Emma slumps even further down, attempting to hide between the two standing adults.
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"We are spread very thin," says the Auror tightly. "However, we are... looking into... the possibility of having Miranda 'Silverlight' conducted on a Dementor hunt in light of their recent... wartime undomestication."

Miranda attempts to sit up even straighter and finds that there is no straighter to sit.
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"Well, you can't very well recruit Americans then, we know how they feel about Dementors."

"Doesn't that make them a good choice, then?"

"Besides, who else would they recruit? The French?"

"Surely the Muggles have something-"

"Muggles? Against Dementors? They can't even see them!"
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"That's your solution?" Emma's mother practically screeches. "Our children are attacked by a Dark creature in one of the safest locations in Britian, and you send one child- no matter how precocious- to protect all of us in the rest of England?"

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"Previous attempts at controlling live Dementors resulted in their being used against the population," says the Auror stiffly. "It is clear that they cannot be safely handled, and now also clear that they cannot be safely left wild. If Silverlight can teach others to destroy them, clearly that will be preferable, but it is the opinion of relevant experts that it may be a power limited to her or possibly a latent family trait of some kind."

Miranda has no idea how she's supposed to have a latent magical family trait with four Muggle grandparents, but she continues not to say anything.
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"Relevant experts thought Dementors were a good idea, too," Emma mutters to herself. Fortunately her parents don't notice.

"So, are you organizing Dementor-control classes for her to teach? Have Aurors been arranging to learning how to, to, 'Silverlight'? Have you in fact done anything at all other than wave your hands and say well the first year can handle it?"
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"Our access to her has been restricted by the Hogwarts administration so far," says the Auror. "It's out of our hands for moment."

I'm right here. I'll tell you how I do it. Professor McGonagall isn't here, Miranda doesn't say.
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Emma can't decide if she's surprised Miranda's staying quiet. She knows how much Miranda hates the publicity, after that awful man 'interviewed' her, but she also knows how very much Miranda wants to kill Dementors. She'll ask her afterwards.

This response- actually manages to quell some of her parents' questions about Miranda. Most of the possible responses involve overriding the Hogwarts administration. The same Hogwarts administration that collectively won the war last year. They will not be suggesting anything of the sort.

However.

"So, if you don't even have access to Silverlight, what are you doing instead?" her father demands. "Does this mean you have done actually nothing?"
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"Our department is spread very thin," says the Auror.

"Which is the entire overarching topic of this meeting," interjects the moderator. "Does anyone else have any questions...?"
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No one else has any questions. Emma is relieved to find the meeting over, but rather dismayed that her parents had to be the last big main event, as it were. Rather than dwell on it, she waits for the hall to progress far enough into its 'people departing' phase for her to go reasonably unnoticed, and darts over to Miranda.

"Aaaah my parents," she splutters when she arrives.
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"Sorry," says Miranda. "I wasn't sure what to say that wouldn't make it worse."

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"It's okay," Emma sighs. "They've done it before. And it would've been way worse for you." She smiles, a little. "Learn to silverlight, heh. Are you a verb now?"

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"Sure. I'm a verb. I should try teaching people to silverlight, I should talk to Aurors about it over summer hols."

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"Have you tried teaching anyone yet?" Emma asks, curious. "I mean, who already can do a Patronus. Karen doesn't really count."

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"I couldn't do a regular Patronus first," Miranda points out. "I was going to try teaching Hermione but then it was hols..."

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Emma shakes her head. "You say that so- you're learning magic from Hermione Granger and Aurors want to learn to kill Dementors from you. Your life is crazy, you know that, right?" She's smiling as she says it- it's crazy in a good way. (Mostly).

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"She's not actually going to teach me magic, or at least that's not the plan, the plan is she will watch me do things with my super-wand and make sure I don't burn Hogwarts down or anything, maybe later she'll teach me things - but yeah my life is pretty weird."

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"Fiiiine, she's supervising your super-wand. Sorry, life still crazy."

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