(1939-09-18) Letter to the Editor
Details for Letter to the Editor
Summary: Annie happens upon Elspeth in the Garden at Hogwarts. They have a short talk, and Elspeth asks some advice.
Date: 18 September, 1939
Location: Hogwarts Gardens
Plot: Headmaster from Hell

With the exception of those Slytherins working on their seventh year who visit the gardens to make sure their corner is thriving, the Gardens are usually a snake free haven. It is a haven that one particular eagle has definitely started making use of lately, and she is currently mostly hidden by the profusion of blue that she's nested in, back against the wall and sketchpad on her knees as she draws, head tilted slightly to the side to view her work. The SCUMS classes were early today, so the muggle born are free after lunch while Professor Burke naps… no doubt to drag them out for a late night class. Unfortunately for some, a drizzle has marred the warm day for going outside, which makes the Garden even more deserted, but has only served the red-headed muggleborn's need for solitude even more. Despite the fact that nothing stops the raindrops from falling on her, she and her sketch pad are perfectly dry.

Despite the drizzle, and despite her love of the library, even Annie needs to get out now and then in the middle of the day. It wasn't the most quiet morning, with a lot of whispering and even one instance of raised voices about the newest series of pictures that turned up. It's definitely time for a nature break. With an umbrella open above her, Annie strolls slowly, enjoying the color while she can, before it's covered with a white mantle of snow.

Movement in her sanctuary draws her eye, and Elspeth looks up. With a grin, she raises her hand and gives away her position in the blue blossoms. "Good afternoon, Miss Taylor. Not many are venturing out today." She rests her forearms along the upwards slope of her knees, pinning the sketchbook in place.

If she hadn't been lost in thought Annie might have seen the young girl among the flowers, but it's not until Elspeth speaks that Annie comes out of her reverie. "Miss Rosen, good afternoon. A little damp to be sitting in the flowers t'day, don't yeh think?" There's amusement in her words, and a smile on her face.

"Which is making it a perfect day to be sitting in the flowers," Elspeth counters with an equal smile in return. She tilts her head for a moment, briefly considering. "Would you join me? I am sure you are being able to dry a spot for yourself." Even though her spot isn't dry, per se, the girl doesn't seem to mind at all.

Annie glances around, taking stock of any others about, of which there are none. She doesn't want to be seen to be getting too friendly with any of the students right now, with the way tensions are. It would ruin everything she's trying to do if she were found out. But, with no one around, Annie grins and steps forward, taking out her wand for a quick drying charm on a patch of ground next to Elspeth before she sits. Then she casts a quick charm on her umbrella to hover it over and between them, affording each a measure of protection from the drizzle. "How are things going for you, Elspeth?" In private, formalities can be relaxed.

Understanding Annie's dilemma, Elspeth doesn't do anything further to urge the assistant librarian, ready to bid her good day if she politely refuses. "They are going all right," she replies. "I am actually glad to see you, I was hoping you could look at something for me. I have been thinking of sending this to the Daily Prophet." She opens her book again and flips a couple pages back to a handwritten page for the elder eagle to read.

I have been following the Daily Prophet and the ideas behind Unity and Preservation.

I applaud Mr. Cassius Malfoy, as leader of Unity, and his stance against Grindelwald and against the segregation policies of Headmaster Flint at Hogwarts.

I cannot, however, support his Unity goal of repealing the Statute of Secrecy and uniting muggle and wizard society once more.

While Mr. Malfoy himself wishes to establish a world in which the wizards and witches are benevolent and kind, using their gift to work with the muggles to establish a better world, I look around and see too many wizards that would use their gift to subjugate muggles if given the chance.

Not long before students went back to Hogwarts, I witnessed a boy refer to two muggles who were at the Leaky Cauldron with their witch daughter as slimy creatures. One can only wonder what the boy would do, or his family, as I am sure that his behavior had to be learned somewhere, should he be allowed to move about among muggles openly, and use his wizard gifts in their presence.

Now at Hogwarts, we have an example where someone of power is using their position to put muggle born in their place. How much more so would this person, and others like him, use their power to put muggles themselves in their place?

Also, I wonder if Mr. Malfoy has considered the idea that if the Statute of Secrecy were to be repealed, and wizards and witches allowed to circulate more freely among the muggles, this would encourage not only political relations between muggle and wizard, but would see a rise in romantic relations as well. There would be an increase of half bloods and a further diluting of the pure-blood lines which many purists fear above all.

In conclusion, the dream of a world where muggles and wizards live in unity, is just that. A dream. A wonderful one which this muggleborn witch would love to see happen more than anything, but that I also know is impossible. There are witches and wizards who are no less susceptible to the sins of greed, lust of power, and cruelty, than muggles themselves. These people would do all in their power to destroy the Unity that Mr. Malfoy would wish to establish, and instead, once unleashed, would seek to establish themselves as superior masters over muggles leading to a civil war among wizards even greater than that which we already face.

I wish, with all my heart, Mr. Malfoy, that everything you wish to do were possible. But, I have been too long observing the hate that moves too many people in both worlds to believe that it could ever work.

Annie takes the page from Elspeth, her attention immediately going to the written words. A thoughtful frown settles on her face, and she reads through it completely twice before offering it back to the younger Ravenclaw. "I think yeh've expressed yerself exceptionally well, Elspeth." She doesn't offer her own opinions.

"I think I should be taking out the part about Angelus in the Leaky Cauldron, though. There were being many people there that could be reporting it, but if his father should be reading, or if anyone else there was recognizing Angelus… it could needlessly smear Mr. Eibon," Elspeth chews at her lower lip. "I mean… Headmaster Flint is being enough of an example of the type of wizard or witch that would be grinding muggles down, yes?"

Annie considers this before she speaks. "Yeh didn't use names, but if yeh still feel it would be too easy to identify, then maybe that would be best. If yer havin' second thoughts about it, yeh might need t'listen t'yerself." She doesn't try to tell any of the students what to do or thing, but more to let them work it out with gentle nudges. She might need to use a battering ram on Madeline, however, but so far it's working out well.

After a moment's consideration, Elspeth crosses out the paragraph mentioning the Leaky Cauldron incident with a decisive nod. "It also makes it more concise this way," she adds. She gives a lift to the corner of her mouth. "He's already famous enough." She pulls the page out she just modified, then flips through her book to an empty page and copies as she talks. "I was having a thought… about a place on Hogwarts to practice magic."

Annie smirks at the comment on Angelus' fame. She's not seen the most recent artwork, but she's heard enough about it to know that he was a featured component. "That's a good point," she notes. Her brows lift as Elspeth mentions her idea. "Oh? Where's that then?"

Finishing her sentence before she looks up, Elspeth grins. "The cottage of the Groundskeeper, if he is ammenable. He has to be out and about tending the grounds for hours at a time. If he is willing for us to use his kitchen… we would be most respectful of the fact that it is his home, of course." She looks down to write another sentence, then pauses once more. "I do not think Flint, or his magijugend, would be going down there very often. As long as we are doing small classes, a few people at a time, and they are not all going the same way to the cottage…" she blinks once, and glances around again, even though her voice was barely audible enough to carry past their little flower bed.

There's a nod to Elspeth's logic, and Annie agrees, "I doubt yeh'd ever catch one o'them anywhere near the Groundskeeper's cottage. It's t'far beneath 'em." She pauses, considering telling Elspeth about the pictures she took and gave over to Tim just the night before. But that might be giving the girl information that she doesn't need, implicating her in something that is Annie's to bear, so she decides to keep her mouth shut about it. Instead she moves to stand, taking her umbrella handle back in hand as she pushes to her feet. "I'd best be gettin' back to it."

Elspeth nods as she finishes writing, and tears out the better copy. "It is not good to be seen being chummy with a student, even if you were being in the same house a few years ago." She folds and hands up the copy. "Can you please be mailing this from the Hogsmeade Owl Office for me? If you cannot, that is being okay. I know I am asking a lot of you, lately."

Annie accepts the paper, immediately tucking it into her robe pocket. "Of course I will, Miss Rosen. It's no trouble at all." There's a pleasant smile, back to business as usual, and Annie nods down to the student. "I hope yeh have a productive afternoon." She turns, making her way back out of the garden and up to the library, hopefully to not put out any more squabbles between students for the rest of the day.

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