28 March 20
Hari watched Tom as he sat, very dignified, at his imposing desk replying to a veritable mountain of correspondence.
He was pleased. Very pleased. A lesser man might be described as 'giddy'. His gaze flicked up, caught hers. He grinned at her, eyes dancing with pleasure.
Practically overnight he had went from the most feared Dark Lord in recent history to the brave wizard who was also powerful enough to break Dumbledore's hold over him and hadn't given up fighting to end the true Dark Lord's reign.
She laughed with him. Letters had been pouring in. People had been stepping forward with stories they had either been too afraid to tell against the 'great Albus Dumbledore' or hadn't realized just what the slight manipulation meant until surrounded with the bigger picture. Small favors that had actually given Dumbledore leverage over other people and how gently and benedictionally Dumbledore had acted to make them feel guilty for telling him no so he got his way more often than not.
People were practically begging Tom to become minister and he was more than happy to give them what they wanted as long as they understood he would be progressive; he would root out bigotry and corruption. His responses tailored to what level of society he was writing, but carefully not contradicting another response.
No one realized, of course, that he intended to be the last minister. He had long term plans to bind the British Wizarding Families to his Family. Most of the dark families had already sworn loyalty to him and to never raise wands against Hari and their children. He would have to be subtler with the light families. They would be more likely to swear loyalty to Hari. That was okay as their families were now intertwined. British wizarding society was about to become a monarchy all unawares.
Tom returned to charming the masses with his smooth rhetoric and Hari returned to her book. She was still on bedrest and may be there until she gave birth though she hoped not since that was still months away. She couldn't even walk from their bedroom to the solarium without someone sweeping her up and carrying her especially since she made the walk last week and triggered mild contractions.
She sighed contentedly. Tom loved her. Sirius and Remus was on her side and apparently not as opposed to killing people that needed it as she had assumed. Dumbledore was dead as was the worst of Voldemort's followers. The Cullens, Jacob, Seth and Leah were settling in happily. Life was good.
Tom looked up at her sigh. "Hari?"
"I'm good." She reassured him. "I was thinking of how good everything was right now."
Tom smiled, nodded in agreement and turned back to his letters. The election for the new minister was five weeks away and he was well on his way to a landslide win considering that the only ones running against him were old cronies of Dumbledore and that was not a good thing to be right now. He doubted he would even have to kill or blackmail anyone to win.
Esme looked around the brightly lit building happily. This would be perfect for a small café. There was room for a dozen tables and counter space for those that didn't want a table. The main room could hold around forty-five people at a time depending on how many adults there were. The side room could be set up to play card or board games or chess holding another twenty or so. The kitchen area was well ventilated and the equipment didn't need magic to operate.
She nodded to Carlisle who turned his charm onto the real estate agent and soon they were signing a contract to buy the building. Now she just needed to make menus, find suppliers and employees, and lure customers in.
She spent the next week making up menus. Eggs, sausage, bacon, ham, rolls and fried tomatoes for breakfast along with sides of oatmeal and yoghurt for those wanted something quick or light. A variety of muffins for those on the go. Soups and hearty homemade bread, thick sandwiches loaded with a selection of meats and cheeses, fried chicken with potatoes and gravy, meatloaf with gravy, salads, peas, corn and mixed vegetables. She made a revolving list of cakes, bar cookies and pies purchased from the local bakery. For dinners she would start off with steaks, fish and chips, soups left over from lunch, sandwiches, perhaps lasagna on occasion. A small alcohol selection from the Three Broomsticks. A variety of tea blends bought from Rosa's Teas.
She went around to the local vendors to solicit their wares so they were more accepting of her moving in. She setup to get butterbeer from the Three Broomsticks, her baked goods from Sunburst Bakery, her selection of teas from Rosa Lee's Tea Shoppe. She would let Carlisle help with selecting the teas. She wouldn't really need a lot of help, but she would hire help locally if anyone wanted the job.
Three weeks until opening day and she was excited for the first time in ages. She would have to start very early to get things ready for the day, but that was not an issue as she never slept as a vampire. Everything would be priced just to cover expenses as they didn't need money so it would all be affordable. She would discover where the needy congregated and send the daily leftovers there.
She sat at the dining room table in their new home and watched the children discuss their education. Jacob was finally starting to settle. His temper a little less violate now that things were settling down around him and Renesmee. The were looking at university catalogs while waiting for their paperwork to be straightened out. They were getting tutors to fill in the blanks of their education since American studies differed from English.
Leah was doing quite well at her job at the Three Broomsticks and seemed to really be enjoying herself. She had let go of the chip on her shoulder and had actually been seen smiling and laughing a few times. Seth was getting up to speed for his age and would be joining the local school to get his degree.
Esmee smiled softly. It was all going to work out. A new life in a new home in a place where they did not have to hide what they were. Who cared if it was sunny outside. Everyone knew they were vampires already. Renesmee and Jacob were settling into what relationship their bond was going to be. Seth was happy to be with pack and his best friend was nearby. Leah was away from Sam and her bitter mother and beginning a new adult life of her choosing.
Carlisle thought he would take a break for being a surgeon and study magical medicine for awhile. Perhaps help her in the café and just get to know people in the village. Rosie and Emmett were going to go off on their own for awhile and see Europe. Edward and Bella were off sightseeing England, but wouldn't be gone for too long since their daughter was here. Alice and Jasper hadn't decided yet. Alice mentioned something about staying around to help with everything.
Just a few more weeks and Reese's young man would most likely be minister. He was terrifying to be sure, but he wanted progress. He wanted safety for his people. He wanted to give the downtrodden a fair chance to make something of themselves.
Esme thought that his and Hari's progressive views were just what this world needed at the moment.