In which Harry awakens and the truth is revealed.
Chapter Three: Awakening
Nimi sat beside the bed of Lord Azkaban. His name was Harry Potter, as they had found out in the records, and he had been accused of murder and sentenced to the prison. That had been a tad hard for her to swallow; why would a man that was her Lord do something like that? Perhaps the Ministry was wrong. Perhaps he was innocent.
Of course, there was always that nasty "perhaps not".
She started as her Lord stirred.
Harry moaned, blinking open an eye and quickly shutting it. By the gods, it was bright. Wait a minute- bright?
Harry sat up quickly, eyes now fully open despite the brightness. As his eyes adjusted, he caught sight of a girl next to his bed. "So, what, your Master sent you to kidnap me?" he asked sarcastically.
The girl blinked. "What do you mean?"
Harry snorted. "Last thing I knew, I was on my goddamn cell," his voice raised, "because you goddamn bastards framed me! Now, why don't you just go get Moldy-Shorts and we'll have a little talk."
The girl's nose wrinkled. "No one kidnapped you. You're in the Hospital Wing of Azkaban Prison."
Harry raised an eyebrow. "Then who the hell are you?"
She started. "Oh my goodness!" She stood and saluted him. "Captain Nimi Stardreamer, SIR!"
Harry frowned. "Sir? And what the hell am I doing here?"
Nimi started once more. "I'm sorry, I should have realized..."
Harry smiled sarcastically. "Now if you could just answer the questions..."
She blushed. "Right. Sorry. I just really don't know how to say this..." She took a deep breath. "I was on patrol, walking by your cell, when I saw a glowing light. I wasn't sure what to do at first, so I Stunned you and looked to see where the light was coming from. That was when I saw the Rune." Somehow, from the way she said it, Harry could tell it was capitalized. "I suppose that that isn't the best place to start, actually. You see, I called you Sir because you are a Sir to me. You are my Lord Azkaban."
Harry stared at her, and then prodded her mind with his to see if she was lying. She wasn't. "Crap," he muttered. "Another title to add to the bunch."
He could feel the girl fling up her mental shields after he had made sure she wasn't lying. At his quirked eyebrow, she coolly stated, "My business is my own, my Lord."
He grinned. Despite the rather rocky start, this girl was beginning to grow on him. "You were saying?"
"Right. I brought you here, to the Hospital Wing, and then called the Council. They determined that you are, indeed, my Lord Azkaban, all though they aren't quite sure how. They searched the genealogical chart quite thoroughly to try and find any mention of relatives of the last Lord, but found none."
Harry nodded. "That's all well and good, but what is, exactly, the Lord Azkaban?"
Nimi's eyes widened. "I had assumed you would know... All right then, the Isle of Azkaban is an island-"
"No shit Sherlock," Harry said with a smirk.
Nimi rolled her eyes. "Right. Anyways, the Prison is the main reason outsiders come, and not many know of the rest of the Isle. It is rather expansive as Isles go, I suppose; the Prison, although 10,104 square miles, only covers about one-sixteenth of it. the capital city, near the Prison, is that of Kharerre, where most of the population resides.
"The Lord Azkaban's full title if the Lord of Caer Azkaban and the Druid Isles, which are a small chain of tiny islands once inhabited by Druids. The Lord can be recognized by the Rune of Azkaban, inscribed upon their left palm."
Harry interrupted. "Then why did you need the Council to verify me? And what's the Council?"
"You needed to be verified because the Ministry has almost taken over the Isle. We thought that either you were the Lord, which is the truth, or the Rune was some sort of magical tattoo or plot by the Minister."
Harry could feel his blood boil as Captain Stardreamer began to explain the Ministry's control of the Isle. 'Bloody politicians,' he thought angrily. 'Taking over the lives of a whole colony of citizens just to further their own interests. Of course, sending the only person who can kill Voldemort to prison isn't that smart either...'
He turned his full attention back to the speaker as she began to describe the Council. "You wanted to know about the Council. There is a different one for each Lord, so I suppose you'll have to create your own. There are seven members; a Primary Advisor, two Secondary Advisors, a Prison Warden, a Liaison to both the Ministry and the Azkabanians, and a High War Admiral." Harry could tell from the change on the timbre in her voice that she wanted nothing more than to hold this last position.
"The Primary Advisor basically tells you whatever they think you should do when they ask you about it, and you consult their opinion first. Then the Secondary Advisors; they don't hold quite as much weight. The Prison Warden is in charge of the Prison, security, prisoners, punishments, and that sort of thing. The Liaison basically tells you what's going on with your people and at the British Ministry. And then there's the High War Admiral." Her voice was once more filled with longing.
"The High War Admiral is in charge of your personal safety and helping you plan for battle. They're in charge of training regiments for the troops, protection of the Isle, and that sort of thing. And, I suppose, that's really all there is to the Council." She was changing the subject; apparently, she didn't feel like talking about High War Admirals anymore. "What I wanted to ask you though- and I probably shouldn't even be asking you- is why you were arrested?"
His face darkened, and she cringed. "I'm sorry my Lord! I didn't mean to offend you-"
He cut her off with a wave of her hand. "No, no, it's not that. Just... memories." He sighed. "Look, I really don't want to tell this story a lot, and I'm going to have to speak with the last Lord's Council, so why don't you call them down here, and I'll say it all once?"
She looked vaguely surprised at his lack of reprieve, but nodded and got up to do so. When she had gone, Harry thought.
It was certainly a bit much to take in, but hey, as long as he was away from the Dementors, he was happy.
So he was a Lord. He idly wondered if that meant he got to kick Fudge's ass around. He certainly hoped so. That man had just about ruined his life. Besides, Fudge was a complete idiot. Maybe if the man had admitted Voldemort was back in the first place, Sirius would still be alive...
He forced his mind away from his late godfather and instead turned his mind to the girl who had rescued him- Nimi Stardreamer, she had said her name was. Captain Nimi Stardreamer. He wondered if she was very good at her job. He supposed so, if she had been promoted to Captain.
He had read the Ministry Laws the past summer- healing a prisoner was against the law. She had risked much by taking him to the Hospital Wing, and he was grateful. He had practiced Occlumency over the summer, not wanting a repeat of the Department of Mystery event, and from what he could read of her, she seemed like a nice person. The kind of person who, perhaps, would actually believe the truth instead of Voldemort's lies...
His train of thought was interrupted, for which he was grateful, when Nimi entered again, this time with seven people in ceremonial robes behind her. Harry received an immediate impression of intense dislike for the majority.
"My Lord," one man said in a nasally, simpering voice, bowing. Harry impatiently waved for him to stand.
"I asked Captain Stardreamer to bring you here so that I could explain how I ended up in Azkaban once instead of twice. I figured you lot would want to hear; if you don't, leave." No one moved. "Right then. Short version or long version?"
"Long, if you don't mind, my Lord," the man with the nasally voice said.
Harry sighed. "I was walking home from the grocery store. The Dursleys'-my aunt and uncle and cousin- had sent me to buy some noodles for dinner. When I got to the house, the Dark Mark was floating over it." Expressions turned grim, and one woman on the council covered her mouth with her hand. "I ran inside to find my... family still alive and surrounded by Death Eaters.
"I fought, but was overwhelmed and Stunned. When I awoke, I was in a holding cell about five minutes before my trial began. At the trial, I was informed that I had been witnessed killing my relatives. I was administered Veritaserum, and I said things that I never meant to say.
"When I tried to tell them that I was innocent, it came out as guilty. When asked why, instead of saying I didn't do it, I said that I had wanted to kill them, and how glad I was that I had. I was sent here without a second thought, despite my innocence."
The woman who had covered her mouth spoke. "My Lord, if we can do anything to prove your innocence..."
Harry laughed hollowly. "It's not as though anyone would believe you. Besides, I see absolutely no need for it to be known that Harry Potter and the Lord of Azkaban are the same person." He paused, and there was absolute silence for a moment. "I presume I shall need to set up a new Council?" Nods. "Alright, I'll need to speak with the High War Admiral in private then."
Everyone but one of the few people on the Council that had stricken him as likable left. The remaining man bowed. "My Lord, my name is Artur."
Harry nodded. "I am pleased to meet you, Artur. To get straight to the point, I need to find a Council. I was wondering if you had any advice on who would be best as my High War Admiral."
The man didn't look surprised. "Captain Stardreamer, General Azback, and I are really the only people cut out for the job. That's a fact. Another one is that General Azback, while suited, is happier overseeing."
Harry nodded slowly. "You think he would be a good Prison Warden?"
"The best there is."
"I'll talk with him, see if I could get along. So for High War Admiral, that leaves you and Captain Stardreamer."
The man shook his head. "With all due respect my Lord, I'm really not interested in serving again. I wish to retire. Besides, Captain Stardreamer would, in all likelihood, be as good as I."
"Just how good is she? No offense meant, but she is only a Captain."
Artur laughed. "The militia's half and half on that one. Her superiors and others think she's too young, and the rest of them think that she should be promoted more, even if she is only fourteen. She has an inborn talent, my Lord, and of that there's no doubt."
Harry bit his lip, then nodded. "If there's no one better suited to the position, she's hired. She seems like the kind of person I could work with, and I owe her that much for saving me. Please send her in when you leave." The only problem with that was that he had considered making her his Primary Advisor. True, he didn't know her that well, but she seemed very well informed about the Isle, beyond an average citizen, and as though she had the same sorts of ideas that he had.
Artur stood and left, but not without one last comment that made Harry double-check his mental shields- "You know, my Lord, a Primary Advisor can hold other positions. You'd just need an extra Secondary Advisor, or to divide the position of Liaison."
Harry stared at the now closed door and smiled. He liked that man.
Nimi stood as Master Artur exited. "He wants to see you," he said softly to Nimi before he was surrounded by the rest of the Council, all wanting to know what their Lord had said.
She entered, and shut the door behind her. Lord Azkaban looked up and fixed her with his emerald gaze. "Captain Stardreamer."
She inclined her head. "Yes, my Lord?"
"How would you like to be my High War Admiral and Primary Advisor?"
Nimi stared at him as though he had grown an extra head. "My Lord, what..."
"Artur feels that you, he, and General Azback are the only ones that could be considered for the job, and thinks that General Azback would be better suited to the job."
"Well- why doesn't he serve again?"
"He doesn't want to, and even if I think I can trust him, I can trust you more."
She spluttered. "My Lord, you've only just met me-"
He laughed dryly. "You get a sort of sixth sense on these sort of things when there's a madman out for your blood. Now, do you agree?"
Deciding to bring up the "madman" thing later, she nodded, still in shock. "I would be most honored, my Lord."
He grinned at her. "Good. And another thing- when we're in private, call me Harry."
She smiled back, albeit rather uncertainly. "Alright... Harry."
Harry nodded. "Better. What should I call you?"
She shrugged. "Nimi's fine."
"Alight then, Nimi it is." He sighed. "What do you think, should I split up the Liaison position or have three Secondary Advisors?"
Nimi bit her lip. "I would say split up the Liaison, because too many Advisors with conflicting opinions and you get trouble."
Harry nodded slowly. "Alright. Sounds good. I was wondering- can a non-Azkabanian citizen become a part of the Council?"
Nimi wrinkled her brow. "I don't see why not. Why?"
Harry shrugged. "I dunno. I noticed that one of my friends wasn't at the trial, and if she did think me innocent, she gives good advice, and I was thinking about making her a Secondary Advisor."
Nimi shrugged again. "It sounds fine." She frowned. "Out of curiosity, how old are you?"
"Then you won't want the Ministry finding out your age, because legally they can force minors to go to the Magical School of their choosing."
Harry pulled a face. "Yeah, they'd love that, wouldn't they?"
"Probably." She bit her lip. "We need to think of a cover story."
Harry looked confused. "Huh? What?"
She sighed. "About why Harry Potter disappeared, and why the Lord of Azkaban was gone for so long. On the Harry Potter front, I was thinking that, since you had such a strong reaction to the Dementors, we could say that they overwhelmed you and you died in your sleep. What do you think."
"Sounds good. I can't think of anything better. And for the Lord of Azkaban part, how 'bout my parents died when I was young- that's true enough- and I was raised in an orphanage, where the Council just tracked me down. I'm twenty-two years old, and was home-schooled in magic by the matron of the orphanage. I won't need to give a name besides Lord Azkaban, will I?"
Nimi shook her head. "No, you shouldn't, and that sounds good. Now, you'll probably want some sort of hooded cloak... all-black outfits should fit your image. We'll need some sort of charm on the hood so that it will always shadow your eyes, and only you can take it off and only by your own will... What do you think?"
"Sounds good. Black dragonhide boots and gloves, I think. Good for protection and fits the 'big bad Lord' image."
She nodded. "Right then. Transforme Incantatem!" His medical outfit was changed into that which they had described. He looked at the gloves and boots and grinned.
"Perfect." He stood and stretched. "Right then. I have a question. Just how bad is the whole Ministry take-over thing?"
"You want the whole truth? You can't sneeze without them saying you've broken some law or another."
Harry smirked. "Then I think it's time I paid Fudge a little visit."
A/N: Next chapter includes FUDGE-BASHING! Fun! Anyways, please review! (Block: frowns) (Aerin: sighs.) Yes, yes, I realize that means that they'll probably decided not too, but hey, a girl can hope, can't she?