Master Gunnery Sergeant George Thomas Rotheri Jr. U.S.M.C. (Ret.)
was born 12 July 1943 in North Carolina. I had a huge long lived
family. Momma and Poppa,Pappaw and Mammaw, and GrandDad and a whole
passel of brothers, sisters and cousins. I never noticed that part of
the family had these baton-like sticks and another part didn't. It just
was. That all changed 12 July, 1954.
July, 1954, my eleventh birthday. GrandDad called me to the porch of
his house. I was more than a little frightened of GrandDad. He fought
in what he called "The Yankee War of Agression" and lost a leg to that
conflict. He was a gruff man and hardly ever told stories to us kids.
Not like Pappaw, he told us a lot about the trips into Paris during
"The War to End All Wars". "G.T.", he said, "come into the house with
I was thinking, Oh my, I'm in trouble! But I was wrong.
the next couple of hours, I was shown and told things I never knew
existed. That magic is real and my GrandDad and Pappaw are wizards.
That I'd been invited to "The New Salem School for Witchcraft and
Wizardry". The old barn owl that used to frighten me is named
Stonewall, and he delivers mail. Pappaw, GrandDad and I hopped into the
car and drove to Raleigh right into the downtown region to 'The
we entered the inn, I heard "Moanin' Cuhnel", and "Moanin' Genrul" from
the people as we passed them in the barroom. Pappaw looked down at my
excited face. "Grandson, who was the 'SwampFox'?"
had no idea even if the answer were my own name—I would probably get it
wrong with the excitement I was feeling. I looked up at the kindly mans
face and told him, "I don't know."
Francis Marion fought in The Revolutionary War. They called him 'The
SwampFox' because he was smart as a fox and could hide well in the
swamps. A simple disilusionment spell helped him out. That was the last
conflict on these shores that Wizards and Muggles alike shouldered arms
side by side. Welcome, my grandson, to Marion Square!"
The next seven years went by faster than the speed of light. Laughter and learning.
Potions and Defense Against the Dark Arts were my favorites.
August 1961, I received an owl with my N.E.W.T. scores. A acceptable
number. (No I'm not going to tell you how many. You can look them up,
it is a public record.) I thought continuing my education at a Muggle
University would be a good idea. Looking back at the idea,it wasn't the
best. Since I'm the youngest of my family, plus one of the three
children that were magical, I had less responsibilities than my other
siblings. At the University of North Carolina, I had no head-of-house
to owl my folks if I messed up too bad. There was just me, and I was
supposed to be an adult. Well I enrolled and found out about Muggle
girls and no charmed stairways going to their dormitories. I partied
more than cracking a book and studying. GrandDad was very disappointed
in me when he saw my academic probation. To make the Old Man proud of
me, not to mention Momma and Poppa, I tried my best. I needed a 'B'
average to fully get off of probation and got a 'C' one instead.
about my birthday, 1962, I received 3 letters from the postman. Letter
One: From the University of North Carolina, asking me to re-apply in a
year to continue my education. Letter Two: a letter with the words
"Greetings From Your Friends and Neighbors" instead of Dear, telling me
to report for my induction physical a week from the date on the letter.
I'd been drafted. Letter Three...I ran out behind the smokeshed to read
it; it was from my Denise. I knew she would be accepted into the family
readily; GrandDad said so—we have lots of Muggles in the family. I
loved her a lot. OH MY LORD!! I'm gonna be a Daddy!! My
Denise, red haired, blue-green eyed and the body of a goddess... God,
with whom am I going to share this piece of news?
I sat there stunned, I barely heard the screech-thunk-step of GrandDad
walking. All of a sudden, I saw him and looked at him with a stricken
expression on my face. I hadn't been caught behind the smokeshed by
GrandDad since I was eight years old, and then I was smoking cornsilk.
He drew his wand and said, “Accio Letters” and “Mobillicorpus” at me." I 'floatwalked' down the plantation's square to his house.
We sat at the kitchen table and he asked, "May I read the letters?" I nodded the answer.
picked up the letter from the University of North Carolina, "I should
have expected this. You did so well at the Institute. I should have
hired you tutors, so I must accept a bit of the responsibility. But you
are a man according to society and our family's customs, just not the
Muggle world. You must accept the fate of your actions. He looked at
the Draft Notice. In a tone that brooked no discussion what-so-ever.
Your country calls for your service George, you WILL go! Your
Papa signed up for the Second World War, bless him; he has the heart of
a wizard just not the gift. Your Pappaw volunteered for the one before
that. I gave my services to my State and The Confederacy. You will do
out of three and I survived! Just what will the old man think of the
third, and will I survive? I love my GrandDad dearly, but he is a
formidable man when riled. I could see his brow wrinkle, and his smoky
blue eyes focus on my beloved's letter. "George", the old man
said,"this is an important hallmark day of your young life and a test
of character. We can handle this in one of three ways. One: If your
young lady will marry you, we will welcome her into our family and your
child will know his birthrights. Two: If she doesn't want to marry you
and she wants to keep the baby, the family will provide for it. Three:
I served with the local Magical Governor during 'The War of Yankee
Agression'(God forbid he call it 'The Civil War' like everybody else.)
He can use his office to make it as if it never was. Make your choice
was aghast at the choices, especially number three. "GrandDad, I sewed
some 'wild-oats' while I was at school. Occasionally, I forgot about
contraceptive measures. I just wasn't much of an adult when I made
those choices. The only thing I can think of when I think of my Denise
is growing old with her. Seeing her smile in the morning. Holding her
hand in the afternoon, smelling her scent, hearing her laugh. Yes
GrandDad, if she will have me, she will be my bride."
old man smiled at me, one of the few genuine smiles I think he ever
gave me. He said, "George, you have made your first step into manhood.
Go win your love and I will take care of your Papa and Pappaw. Though
your Mamma probably will want to talk with you loudly for hours, more
than likely." "He drew his wand, and pointed it at Denise's letter. “PORTUS,”
he said. "I would ask you to Apparate to Marion Square, but you would
probably splinch yourself today. Touch the letter and we will be off."
As I felt the pulling behind my navel, my new steps into my life began.
us was the sparkling white edifice of the local branch of Gringotts
Bank. GrandDad walked me through the door as a goblin walked up to us.
"Genrul Rotheri suh, said Alreik, how may we help y'all today?"
Alreik, I wold like to go to my vault number 113, and set up one for my
grandson, George. How does the Lady Alreik fare, kind suh?", GrandDad
replied, "She is very well. She asked me to thank you again for the
silver chafing dish you gave us for our twenty-fifth anniversary."
Alreik let us to the tunnels to the track, we mounted the cart and sped
off to the bowels of the bank. I could remember thinking this was
better than any roller coaster ride I had ever taken. Before we came to
a complete stop, I was wondering if Denise like roller coasters.
Rotheri Family Vault stood before us with the lions and the redking of
the crest prominently displayed. Alreik took GrandDad's key and opened
the door. "Vault 113, gen'lemen.", Alreik said.
the vault appeared to be enormous. Boxes of gold ingots and piles of
Galleons, Sickles and Knuts were everywhere. GrandDad turned to the
right, and from a box at eye level, he took a small velvet box and
handed it to me. Inside the box were two rings; they had the look of
being hand carved with morning glory vines around them. The engagement
ring had a small diamond and the wedding band had three larger diamonds
in it. I slipped them on my pinkie, together they formed a shining star
in the middle.
in a choked voice told me,"I had those made for your GrandMother in
1867. She was my bride for 67 years before they were removed from her
finger. That is the secret of love, George. Treat your wife as if she
were your bride every day you are together with her, and you will
always see her as when you slipped the ring on her finger.
I stared at my GrandDad, not knowing he could be so profound. I mentally began to prepare for my trip to my beloved's house.
I was trying to have a 'hometown bank' feeling. GrandDad is a very
important person in the community. A wise and nice woman, mentioned
about the unified feel of the wizarding community. Two separate
countries, the same bank and currency. Thank you Aggiebell! I would
also like to thank Allie-Kiwi for Alreik's name. Names have always been
a downfall for me. I have a hard time making up original ones.