Mars is Bright Tonight…
A flying washtub involves one
ministry worker in a war that did not concern her.
Disclaimer: I’m only an uninvited guest playing in this
magical world. Everything related to
Harry Potter belongs to the talented J. K. Rowling. The only thing I get out of this is a giddy,
2 beat n 1 a : a single stroke or blow esp. in a series 1 c :
a driving impact or force 3 :
each of the pulsations of amplitude produced by the union of sound or radio waves
or electric currents having different frequencies
- Webster’s New
later a flustered and confused Kay found herself standing in a posh office
before the Minister of Magic.
“Weena Kay Defou,
Space Divison,” the blustering Cornelius Fudge
stated. His attention was focused
on the nodding Ministry worker to Kay’s left, but he managed to direct a benevolent
smile towards Kay. “Weena,
my dear, may I call you that?” He drove on without waiting for a reply,
fiddling with a poison green quill on his desk.
“I hear you are making significant progress on your, er,
trembling alto broke the silence concluding his statement. “Yes sir.
I’m nearly finished with the core, um- the engine, I mean to say, the
power that allows it to fly.”
eyebrows rose to hide beneath the lime green bowler that Fudge had forgotten to
remove. “It can fly soon?” he
questioned, eagerness in his voice.
“Yes. I’ve already done an Artesian Well charm to
provide the passengers with water, a modified bubblehead charm for air…” With a hurried wave of his hand, Minister
Fudge cut off Kay’s explanation. “Weena, we, I mean I, I am greatly pleased with your
work. I want your spaceship to be
working as soon as possible. You may
have whatever resources you need, but I need it flying soon. The sooner we…” Overwhelming shock and the pounding of her
own heart drowned out the Minister’s words.
No one had ever shown any interest in her
project before now, besides Arthur who asked now and then about her progress
during their casual conversations.” Every ounce of funding was tenaciously
fought for and carefully spent. Kay’s
spirit soared and her face glowed with pride.
“…need a distraction. Just
because we are having a few dark days does not mean we shouldn’t do something
grand. It will get people’s minds off
things, give them hope. And you’ll have
my personal thanks for vaulting the Ministry from our current misery into, um,
space. I will announce it straight away, with a proper ceremony and everything… you’re invited
of course.” The newly minted hero of the Ministry did not notice as the aid
beside her smiled sinisterly and nodded in approval.
and stressed Kay dropped into a Ministry issue chair next to a table in the cafeteria. Her eyes drooped, but she finally felt
content. The core had been complete
according to the Minister’s schedule and at last her project was done. A thorough checkout procedure would prelude
the first test flight, which was scheduled to occur a few days from now. Minister Fudge was already trying to
commission the Weird Sisters to write a song to be sung upon the completion of
the first flight. Lost in her thoughts, she
barely noticed Arthur’s arrival.
haven’t seen you in a while. I’ve been
meaning to congratulate you on your project.
I hear the Minister is making a big to do about it.” He pulled up a chair with a screech and set
down his cup of spiced pumpkin cider.
remember the last time I was out of my office,” Kay replied with a wan
smile. “I finally finished it,
though. That wash tub is going to join
the likes of Apollo and Soyuz.”
tub is a rather odd craft. It sounds
like a story my boys would come up with.”
A playful smiled tugged at his face.
yes, but I could have used a pickle barrel or a septic tank and it would have
made no difference. The import part is
the core, and the umbrella of course.”
does this core work?” Arthur’s face was
more serious than usual, and he concentrated intently on her reply.
core is made from a bunch of wand cores I obtained from Mr. Ollivander. A phoenix feather, a
unicorn hair, and a dragon’s heartstring. I’ve even included a
few unusual cores that he was reluctant to let me have. A single strand of Veela hair, werewolf fur, tooth of a vampire…any
type of core I could find.” She paused
as her food arrived, a savory Salisbury steak.
“Each core emits a different frequency of magic, kind of like the
frequencies on a Muggle wireless. When all of the cores are functioning
together, it creates a melody of sorts.
Except this melody is an emission spectrum of a high powered beam of
magic. It bounces off of the sail and is
reflected downward. This pushes the
sail, and by extension the spacecraft, upward.
By conducting and controlling the beam, you can steer the craft. Muggles are trying to
do this with a laser and a light sail, but the laser has to be on the ground to
work. Newton’s third law- or is it the first? I digress, but anyway, it works for magic
because we’re just converting stored energy and directing it, like a battery,
not bouncing off particles and using momentum like a sail.”
At the mention of batteries, Arthur
began talking about the tractor battery that he had just acquired from some
farm near his home. Enjoying her lunch
and Arthur’s company, she was surprised when Arthur’s melodic voice abruptly
stopped. Looking up to find the cause of
the disruption, she found herself gazing into the dark eyes of Walden Macnair, member of the Committee for the Disposal of
“Good day Miss Defou,” his smooth baritone voice was soothing to her ears.
“I have heard of your project and wished to meet the woman of such intelligence
behind it, but no one told me of your beauty.”
He took her hand swiftly into his and kissed it, tickling her skin with
his dark mustache. “Please call me
Sputtering to find a reply to
possibly the most wonderful complement she had ever received, she was grateful
when Arthur took charge. “Macnair, lovely to see you again. I heard you were having problems with your
eye after your heroic rescue attempt when the Death Eaters invaded the
ministry. Quite convenient you were
working so late.” Arthur’s voice was
tight and his hands clenched around the edge of the table. His eyes never released Macnair’s
“Yes, although my eye is well enough
to see Miss Defou’s obvious beauty. I was wondering if you would be kind enough
to accompany me to dinner tonight?” The latter was directed towards Kay as he
softly caressed her fingers.
be honored,” Kay replied at the same time Arthur responded, “She has plans.”
Kay’s head was dizzy with a swirl of
thoughts and emotions. She had just been
asked out by a prosperous pureblood, a rare occasion for anyone of mixed blood,
yet Arthur was reacting rather strangely.
“Very well, I will pick you up at
your home at seven. Please be
ready. Our host would not like it if we
were late to his grand party.” With
another kiss for her hand, and a tweak of his mustache, Walden Macnair left the stunned couple to finish their lunch.
“How could you say yes to
that…that…man!” The outrage in Arthur’s
voice was clear, and stronger than Kay had ever heard it.
“He’s Walden Macnair
and he obviously likes me, how could I not? It’s not like I have a queue of men lined
around the block waiting to take me out,” she added bitterly.
“He’s a Death Eater, Kay!”
“If he was a Death Eater he’d be in
Azkaban! I don’t understand you,
Arthur. Can’t you just be happy for
“Kay, listen to me.” Arthur’s face was calm and serious. “If you get involved with him, you will get
hurt. I don’t know what he wants you
for, but it can only bring evil.” His
sincerity touched her heart, but too much of her was protesting his words. She hurried away from him, out of the
cafeteria where she could safely wipe away the tears that had been threatening
to fall down her cheeks. Her heels made
a clickity-clack sound on the stone floor as she ran. She glanced back once, only to see the look
of sorrow and concern on Arthur’s features and the defeat evident in his
was over an hour away and already Kay’s stomach was turning with a tornado of
butterflies. She had tried to read the
newest addition to her large book collection, To Rise From
Earth, but she was too nervous to
concentrate properly. Instead, she
decided to get ready, choosing her dress and shoes and laying them out. Her dishwater blonde hair was already in a
fancy French braid that had taken her nearly three quarters of an hour. As she chose which pieces of jewelry to wear,
a knock came at her rather weary, well worn door. “A gentleman caller for you, milady,” it
wheezed. Beating down the frantic belief
that every one of her clocks was an hour behind, she nervously opened the
door. Standing outside was Walden Macnair, wearing a simple black robe.
“Oh, dear. I was sure
you said seven. I’m not ready yet, I
need…” Kay’s nervous avalanche of speech was stopped short by Walden.
afraid I must have given you the wrong time.
You look lovely as you are.”
Looking down at her faded jeans and the oversized t-shirt that she often
wore around the house, she made an attempt to object, but was once again
interrupted. “Time is of the essence,
I’m afraid. I would hate to have the
party begin without us.” At this, she
caught a curious glimpse of fear in his eyes
that did not match the circumstances. He
tossed a tacky plastic sculpture at her, which she caught out of reflex.
jerk above the navel and a discordant swirl of color signified the portkey clutched tightly in her hand. With a solid thump she found herself in a
moonlit grove of a dark forest. In the
apathetic light of the waxing gibbous moon she saw shadows approach her from
all sides. Their footsteps and the rustle of their robes created an eerie
whispered cadence as the darkness closed around her. Masked faces chuckled as she clawed at the
ground, trying to drag herself away only to meet another wall of darkness at
every turn. Shakily, she climbed to her
feet, but sank back to the ground upon gazing on the single unmasked face in
Lord Voldemort was hosting a party, and Kay was the guest of
To be concluded in “Resonance”…
A very grateful thanks to sveltskye, and my apologies for my extreme tardiness.