Miranda has a lovely summer, some of it spent at Karen's and some in Italy and some at home.
She shows up with Karen at the train platform and they look for Minor.
"That wasn't one of the disputed premises."
"What's the going rate on an inch of parchment?"
"What if Minor just likes writing?"
"I also get more pocket money because I spend it nobly."
"Nobly? You mean on destroying lake ecosystems?"
"Destroying ecosystems is kind of a stupid complaint - not always, but often - they don't have a stable state from which people nastily perturb them, they just change all the time in lots of ways..."
"- that was you?"
"Didn't do it for you."
"But you're welcome, if you like."
"The merfolk would probably thank you too? I just really didn't want to have to decide how many of them I could get away with being sure I had never seen before."
"I kind of hope they wouldn't thank me I kind of hope they'd be like 'what are you doing about the fact that was an acceptable thing to happen at all' and then I'd be like 'uh, nothing, because I'd last three days in politics before challenging some nitwit to a duel' -"
"As a family, though, we're fixing it."
Squeeze. "It's going to be a while and it's going to be complicated, don't congratulate yourselves yet -"
"Is there a specific merfolk-related plan?"
"Minor's talking to them to try to avoid incidents like the one last year and obviously in the long term once everything can be ordered exactly how we like it merfolk can be their own political jurisdiction just like anybody else and they can have treaties with their neighbors and the treaties will actually be enforced so they don't just expect them to be functionally meaningless, and also I kind of want to do Hogwarts discipline differently - do you think you've ever been improved in character by being whipped? I sure haven't - but that's not a very high priority. Medium-term I just want enough people on the board that I can get them to - not do that kind of thing."
"I haven't actually ever gotten in enough trouble to get whipped. I'm not sure I would have been even if I were a boy."
"Not super worth it."
"Didn't think it was."
"I've been late to things enough that I've gotten swatted on the hand but yeah it did not feel character developing."
"I admittedly don't have a replacement in mind."
"So how are you infiltrating the board of directors?"
"- we should get actually on the train."