Harry frees Dobby and grabs the diary. Lucy sees the inside of a courtroom, and Dumbledore gets a nasty shock
Anywho, here’s the next chapter of ‘A THOUSAND YEARS’
Part 25: ‘Liberating’ the diary, freeing Dobby.
Harry silently appeared in Malfoy Manor’s opulent lounge. With Lucius and Narcissa both under arrest and Draco in the care of the Tonks family, the place was echoingly empty. That didn’t mean it was defenseless, however, as Dobby…poor beaten, misused Dobby appeared with a sharp crack. Harry looked around to find the little elf glaring at him.
“You is not supposed to be being here. Master and Mistress is being away! Now go, or Dobby will send you to the dungeons!”
“Hold on, Dobby.” Harry sank to his knees. “My name is Harry Potter. I believe you’ve heard of me?”
“Dobby nearly fainted from shock.
“Dobby has. Harry Potter is the greatest of all wizards! Harry Potter has saved us all from the evil Dark lord, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named!”
“Well, he’s not as gone as most people think.”
His face a mask of horrified shock, Dobby wobbled backward on his spindly legs, until Harry helped him to a seat on the priceless Queen Anne settee. Harry sat beside him, turned so he could face the abused house-elf.
“Dobby, I can get rid of him for good, and free you from the Malfoys all at the same time, but I’ll need your help. Would you like that?”
Instantly Dobby was a howling wretch. He fell off the settee and grovelled at Harry’s feet, wailing about how great and wonderful Harry Potter was. Truth be told, Harry found it to be far more embarrassing than the first time he did it.
When Dobby had begun to run out of steam, he asked, “Are you finished?”
“Dobby apologizes, Harry Potter sir. Dobby will close his head in the oven door, tonight.”
“That won’t be necessary, Dobby. What I’d like for you to do is to retrieve the diary under the drawing room floor, the one marked ‘T. M. Riddle’.”
“Dobby is can be trying, but they is being some terrible dark magicks there. Dobby is not being certain Dobby is being able to get through them.”
“Actually, Dobby, other than Lucius Malfoy, you’re the only one who can. However, I think I should mention, Minister Bones has given me authorization to do this; you will be helping to prevent Voldemort…”
“Oh!” Dobby practically shrieked in terror. “The great Harry Potter has spoken the name of the dark one. Harry Potter must not speak the name!”
“Dobby, there is nothing to be feared from a name. Right now, Vol…” At Dobby’s incipient meltdown, Harry stopped himself and reworded his thoughts. “Right now, the dark one is only surviving because of his soul jars. That diary is one. I’ve already found four others, and know where the last ones are. All I need is to take the diary to the goblins and they will banish the soul part. Then it’s just an old book. Do you understand?”
“Dobby does.” The abused elf nodded his head knowingly.
“In return, I’ll make it known that you helped me and force Lucius to give you clothing. That will free you and you can go on as you please. How’s that?”
“Oh, Harry Potter, Dobby has heard many tales of your greatness, but never of your goodness!” Dobby began to howl again; fat tears flooding his face. Harry sighed, took off his glasses and rubbed the bridge of his nose. ~This is gonna take forever!~
It wasn’t quite forever, but to Harry’s strained eardrums it felt that way. At seven that evening, he departed Malfoy Manor with a deadly artifact in his pocket and an overjoyed house elf dancing along behind him. Their first stop would be the detention levels at the ministry.
Gesturing briefly, Harry cast a notice-me-not charm and the guards ignored them completely.
Lucius Malfoy looked up at the odd pair in the corridor. He dared not even touch the bars that imprisoned him, as they were both charmed with an alert to the Aurors…who would take any attempt to escape…badly, and charged with some kind of overpowered shocking hex that would render him unconscious. He knew from his previous effort, that he would wake up, having soiled himself and gained a massive headache.
Instead, he waited. He had the resources; he had the connexions…he could afford to wait.
Or so, he thought.
The pair of small visitors stepped into the light. He instantly recognized both. The dark haired boy could only be the ‘missing-and-presumed-dead’, Boy-Who-Lived. More importantly to Malfoy, standing next to the boy was his own house elf, Dobby!
“Dobby!” He snarled angrily. “You will release me from this cell, and then, you will shut your head in the oven door for making me wait this long!”
Dobby actually took a step forward when Harry touched his shoulder. “Hold your position, Dobby.”
“How dare you give orders to my servant!?!” Malfoy stormed.
“Well seeing as he helped me to locate a certain diary belonging to one Tom Marvolo Riddle, I suppose it’s only right to help him out.” He held up the black journal the dark lord had given him years before, before tucking it back into his pocket. Lucius paled. The dark lord had ordered him to ensure that book’s safety, even if it cost him his life and the lives of his wife and newborn son, and that wretched house-elf had just given it away!
Before Lucius could begin his rant, Harry held up his hand and said; “If you free Dobby, I will see to it that you escape.”
Momentarily speechless, Malfoy gaped. His wife would have chastised him for his boorish behavior, but just then, he knew Narcissa was trying to ‘negotiate’ her own freedom with some ‘understanding’ Aurors. He would have to kill John Dawlish and his ‘associates’ for her infidelity.
“I want an oath on your magic.”
“You are in no position to demand anything.” Harry returned with a sneer. “All I have to do is wait until you’re kissed, and he goes free anyway. By the way, given what Madam Bones has discovered by questioning your ‘friends’; Veritaserum is such a wonderful tool, don’t you agree? Anyway, with what she’d discovered, you will be kissed. The only way to escape that rather gruesome fate is to ‘escape’, and the only way to do that is with my help. Either way, it’s your choice. You have thirty seconds.”
Previously, under that imbecile Fudge’s regime, some gold passing from hand to hand would have prevented any such thing, but with Bones in the Minister’s seat, the rules had changed. Lucius knew she was loathe to kill unless absolutely necessary. On the other hand, when pressed, she could be a vindictive bitch…
Hoping he had the upper hand, Lucius simply sat back and waited. At twenty seconds, Potter took Dobby’s hand, turned and began to walk away.
“Enjoy your date with the dementors. Ta ta.”
He’d just opened the door when Lucius decided his bluff had been called.
“Wait!” He called out in desperation. Harry slowly turned, a victorious smirk on his lips.
“Dobby!” Malfoy called out. He picked up one of his gloves from the narrow cot and handed it through the bars to the abused elf.
“Dobby, you are free. I sever all bonds with you! Now leave and do not trouble me again!”
Dobby squealed in rapture, before popping away with a loud ‘crack!’
He would next be seen in Las Vegas wearing a sequin covered glove while singing and moon-walking across colored squares of light.
Harry grinned and pulled the door open again.
Immediately fearing the worst, Lucius prompted anxiously; “And your part?”
“I lied.” Harry also departed, albeit with considerably less noise. The door bumped softly closed sealing Malfoy’s fate.
Lucius knew then he’d sacrificed everything and gained nothing. He began to scream vile epithets at the now vanished boy-wizard.
The door swung open and an Auror burst in his wand ready.
“Shut the bloody hell up, Malfoy!” He underscored the order by sending a stunner the aristocrat’s way. Lucius fell insensate to the stone flags.
Graswold looked at the diary like a housewife would a dead cockroach. “This is the last?”
“Other than the piece in my head and the dominant part of him in Albania, yes.”
“And you want us to transfer the soul part from this book into the icons, without damage…I’m not so certain we can do that. Not without destroying the book, that is. The book is far more delicate than any of the other soul jars.”
“In this case, I’m not worried about the book. It belonged to a psychopath. If it’s destroyed, it’s destroyed. As far as I’m concerned, the world is better off without it.”
“As you wish.”
An hour later, another soul piece had been added to Harry’s collection in high security vault 1138, and ashes were all that remained of a little black diary. Just to be sure, the ashes were banished into a lava vent on Mount Aetna. They vaporized on contact with the molten rock.
Part 26: Lucius Malfoy’s day in court
January 6th 1986. Courtroom ten, Ministry of Magic:
On the sixth of January, Amelia had Lucius Malfoy brought from his cell to the courtroom where most of the Death Eaters had been tried four years before. Since she was Minister, she could not actively participate in this trial. Connie would do so in her stead. That didn’t mean she wasn’t sitting on pins. Malfoy was a sneaky, slippery bastard and his barrister, one Magnus Grabbitt of the firm Connem, Grabbitt, and Runne, was no less.
“Oyez Oyez!” The bailiff called. “This one thousand seven hundred ninety second session of the Wizengamot is called to order! This special session being called for the purpose of trial. Lucius Annias, of the lesser house of Malfoy, is charged with the crimes of ordering a pogrom of murder against all mugglebornes due to attend Hogwarts School for the next ten years. All visitors, and witnesses please rise for the honorable members of the council. My Lords, My Ladies, please enter and take your seats of authority, and pay heed to the trial before ye!” The members of the press listened raptly, with a certain beetle perched on the rafters, eager for new gossip. The trial of Sirius Black and by association Albus Dumbledore, had made her a wealthy woman. This one, could garner her far more, as this trial was not just about the crimes of one man, but the culture that supported the prevailing attitudes…attitudes that allowed those crimes to go unchecked for so long.
This time, there was no music being played as the plum robed members of the court entered and filed down the steps to disperse to their seats. Madam Longbottom had long thought the ritual was ludicrous, but Albus had insisted upon it. Now that she’d become the head of the council, she’d ordered it abandoned…several of the members of the court had actually thanked her for doing so. As the courtiers were seating themselves, Augusta entered last, and closed and sealed the door behind her, before making her way to the podium, where she simply said; “Be seated please. Scribe, you may call the case.”
“Yes, my lady. Lucius Malfoy is called to answer to the charges of ordering a pogrom of murder against all mugglebornes due to attend Hogwarts for the next ten years, and their families.”
“Is the prosecution ready?”
“We are, madam.” Connie replied.
“Is the defense ready?”
Grabbitt stood. “Defense would like to file for a postponement of six months to establish background information.”
“Your petition is denied, Mister Grabbitt.” Augusta replied. “The accused’s background has already been well established.”
The barrister sagged. Lucius would not be pleased. Worse, he knew how Lucius would ‘demonstrate that displeasure’. Perhaps he could sell his shares of the business and flee the country before the Malfoys were released.
Connie addressed the bench. “Madam Chief Witch, prosecution would like to raise a motion before this becomes a circus.” Amelia raised her eyebrow. Connie hadn’t mentioned anythig of this sort to her. From the raised dais, Augusta looked no less perplexed.
“And that motion would be?”
“I would move to repeal the Pureblood Exemptions either for the duration of these trials, or permanently.”
This of course caused an immediate furor. “Without the Pureblood Exemptions, we’d be as…” one member shouted, before Augusta gestured to an Auror, who cast a silencing charm.
Amelia had nearly choked on her own tongue. She hadn’t been expecting this, but now that it had been brought up, and given who was about to be tried, it made perfect sense. She knew the exemptions could effectively derail any trial, simply because Malfoy was a pureblood and didn’t want to go to prison. She’d never used the exemptions, yet she knew they were there…she’d just forgotten about them. Picking up a quill, she jotted down a note to thank Connie for thinking of it, and to chew her a new arsehole for not letting her know what she’d had in mind.
Connie asked; “Madam Longbottom, may I explain my reasoning to the council at large?”
“Connie faced the council directly. “My Lords and Ladies, the Pureblood Exemption acts would prevent any justice being served in Mister Malfoy’s case. Before you decide that as a pureblood, he should be allowed to do as he pleases, understand this, while he was a Death Eater, he kidnapped, tortured, raped and murdered people. He and his fellow Death Eaters burnt their homes to the ground; they wiped out whole communities. How many of his victims were purebloods, who simply did not agree with his dark lord?”
“He was under Imperius!” Grabbitt shouted. He was worried now. If the exemptions were rescinded, he’d have no way to free his client. He knew that Malfoy was guilty as hell. The blond aristocrat had boasted of his activities as an inner circle Death Eater on more than one occasion and of his gold-lubricated escape from the law nearly as often. Moreover…he hadn’t yet been paid yet, and Lucius Malfoy wasn’t particularly forthcoming with gold when the service he’d ordered, didn’t meet his satisfaction…and ofttimes even when it did.
He was thinking he might have to suffer his first pro-bono case.
“Was he really?” Connie asked him. “Where is the proof? You are a barrister, Mister Grabbitt; you deal in proof. What evidence is there that Lucius Malfoy was not in full control of his actions? If I recall my training correctly, and - I - do…the killing curse cannot be cast accidentally. One must be filled with hatred, power and intent to cast that curse. One must be in full control of one’s magic.
Malfoy’s wand was tested by Priori Incantatem. There are over a hundred fifty instances of the killing curse being cast. To cast the Cruciatus, one must want the victim to suffer! There are more than five hundred instances of that curse being cast from his wand. To place someone else under Imperius, one must have the ability to think clearly about exactly what he wants his victim to do! There are nearly three thousand instances of the Imperius coming from his wand…many of those being for some sort of sexual pleasuring, though the earliest eighteen hundred or so were for things like raping or killing a friend, or a member of the victim’s family, or throwing oneself from a building, a cliff, or a bridge.
Imperius robs the victim of any ability to think, or to control ones actions. It takes away the victim’s drive and conviction. It turns one into a human atomaton. If it does that, then how is it possible that someone under Imperius could use any of those forbidden curses, curses that require intent…on anyone else?” The Unspeakables will support me in saying that those curses must be cast with full awareness of what you are doing.”
The audience was absolutely silent. Not a muscle stirred as each person there understood that those who’d claimed to have been under Imperius, had lied. It was that simple. They had lied, and the wizards had allowed them to go free. The former Minister’s arrest, trial and conviction for corruption had clearly proved to them that she had taken bribes to free killers. That due to the non-violent nature of her crimes, rather than being sent to Azkaban she had had eventually been senteced to exile from Britain for the rest of her life, and a lengthy imprisonment in another, undisclosed country, didn’t change a thing. She had still let murderers walk.
Connie went on. “The Pureblood Exemptions would allow a murderer to escape justice simply because he is a pureblood. If that’s not bad enough, what will happen the next time a dark lord rises? Will Malfoy, or any of his friends join him, knowing that they can escape punishment because of laws put in place to ensure just that? It is time those laws were set aside, not simply for this trial, but for the good of the wizarding world. Our only other choice would be to let Malfoy and his fellow Death Eaters go free…to prey upon us again.”
Carolyn Chapman piped up. “House Potter second’s the motion.” Amelia was startled. She hadn’t known her friend would be present for this trial. Then she mentally smacked herself. ~Of course Carolyn would be here! She’s Harry Potter’s solicitor. She’d be following his orders!~ She made another note to talk to her friend soon. She really would like to have a little chat with Harry Potter!
With the motion made and seconded, deliberation didn’t take long. About three minutes actually. Most members of the council knew what Malfoy had done, his protestations to the contrary, and most wanted to keep their families safe from any reprisals. The temporary rescinding of the exemption laws was a small price to pay. After all, when this was over they could simply vote to place them again.
For the first time in nearly a century, a motion to restrict the rights of the purebloods was passed…with a unanimous vote.
They didn’t understand that by voting it away as they had, getting it back would be nearly impossible.
That unpleasantness done, Augusta called out; “Bring in the prisoner.”
Lucius Malfoy, escorted by no less than four Aurors, walked in, regally unconcerned as to his fate. He sneered in his aristocratic manner, informing everyone in the council that they were somehow, beneath him. His silvery blue eyes washed across all the people there, as if to say, ‘I know who you are.’
He was seated in the heavy wooden chair that faced the council. The chains there, glowed and then wrapped themselves around his arms, legs and chest. He glared at the chains, deeply affronted by the idea that these ‘people’ had dared to bind him.
“Lucius Malfoy…” Augusta began, only to be interrupted by the platinum haired Death Eater.
“So! You do know my name.” He sneered. “You should know I do not recognize your authority over me. Certain families are above the courts. Mine is one. Release me at once, or…”
“Or what, Mister Malfoy. You will have your fellow Death Eaters kill us all?”
“How dare you?” Malfoy snarled, trying mightily to look insulted at the very idea he could be involved in any way, with such dark sorts.
“Mister Malfoy…” Connie continued over his voice. “The dark mark on your forearm shows you to be a Death Eater. As such…” Malfoy began to protest that he was under Imperius, but Hammer gestured to Shack, who cast a silencing spell. Instantly, Malfoy’s voice stilled. Recognizing he would not be permitted to speak, he stopped trying, and sat, fuming.
“That’s much better. Now, as I was saying,” Connie continued. “The dark mark on your forearm identifies you as a Death Eater, and as such you will be questioned under Veritaserum on this sixth day of January, of nineteen eighty six, per the Death Eater act of nineteen eighty two, introduced by then Chief Wizard of the Wizengamot, Albus Dumbledore, and signed into law by then Minister of Magic, Millicent Bagnold, which allows and requires any prisoner bearing the Dark Mark, or any prisoner who is named as a Death Eater or other supporter of Voldemort, to be interrogated under Veritaserum.” She turned to the gathered members of the court.
“Subject Lucius Annias Malfoy, is named as a member of Voldemort’s inner circle per Veritaserum questioning on eighteenth December this past year, of five captured Death Eaters apprehended by persons unknown whilst in the process of attempted murder. In addition, subject Malfoy is identified as a Death Eater by the dark mark on his left forearm. The charges are as follows; conspiracy to commit murder, exploitation of classified information for the purpose of murder, solicitation of others to commit murder, and lastly, being a member of and supporting a terrorist organization intent on the overthrow of the legitimate government of Wizarding Britain. As subject Malfoy has been officially cleared of voluntary association with the Death Eaters by former Minister Millicent Bagnold and former Chief Wizard of the Wizengamot Albus Dumbledore, questioning will be restricted to current events only, unless such questions lead to more in-depth examination.”
While she hated having to have Connie add that codicil, Amelia knew that if she hadn’t, any good barrister could interpret that failure as personal vendetta, and Malfoy would go free. Fortunately the ‘current events’ were enough to hang him, as it stood, and there was a very good change that the questions would lead to further inquiries. Hopefully, the speech Connie had given would lead to someone on the council asking a question that would introduce the necessary deeper investigation. Connie’s stressing the words ‘officially’ and ‘former’ when describing Bagnold and Dumbledore, would also drive into the council’s heads that both of them had been removed because of their past association with the freed Death Eaters.
She almost missed Connie’s next words.
“Interrogators, Constance Irene Hammer, Deputy Minister of Magic and Prosecutor; Augusta Imogene Longbottom, Chief Witch of the Wizengamot; Magnus Ditherin Grabbitt, Barrister for Defense; Rufus Otis Scrimgeour, Department head, Magical Law Enforcement; Official witnesses, Kingsley, no middle Shacklebolt, Senior Auror; Denise Anne Worthing, Senior Auror. Also present, are Auror-healer Michael Bleaksley, to ensure subject viability; court scriveners David, no middle Oleweiller, Marion Roxanna Philips, and Tracy Anne Atkinson. All have sworn to oaths of confidentiality.
Calling for a team of three Aurors to collect a bottle of Veritaserum, she awaited the next objection from Grabbitt.
It never came.
Within minutes, Senior Auror Bertrand, and Aurors Clarin and Joliet, returned with another of the sealed rosewood boxes containing a bottle of Veritaserum, Bertrand held the box, and Joliet held the accountability forms.
She ordered her Aurors to approach one at a time, first Joliet who turned over the parchments, then Bertrand, asking; “Senior Auror Bertrand, do you swear and attest upon your magic, that this box is the same box you were given, by supply officer, Bartleby DeScrivener, number O-75452 V?’
Bertrand had checked and confirmed the serial number of the box as she read the numbers.
“I do.” A golden light flashed from his wand to Connie, and then back to him.
“Sign here, place your blood there.” She indicated the places on the custody form.
Bertrand did so, and turned the parchment over to Connie who signed as witness, before handing it to Joliet who signed and returned the parchment to Bertrand. He handed the completed form to Connie, who signed and blood-stamped it, before saying: “I relieve you of your burden, Auror.”
He passed over the box and retreated.
Grabbitt stood and protested; “Questioning under Veritaserum is a hideous violation of my client’s right to privacy, we believe his position as a very pillar of the wizarding community should make his words incontestable!”
“Mister Grabbitt…” Augusta looked sternly down from her seat. “Your client was implicated by no less than six other ‘pillars of the wizarding community’ why is his unsupported word any better than theirs?”
“I am a Malfoy!” Lucius interjected, adding; “That should be enough for the likes of you! Grabbitt you are fired. You are incompetent in the extreme. You should have been able to prevent this humiliation in the first place as any properly trained barrister could. Pray I do not find you when I am released.”
“As you wish, Mister Malfoy. I will owl you my bill.” Grabbitt bowed first to Augusta, and then to Amelia, as though he knew what was going to happen. Lastly he bowed to Connie and nodded to Malfoy, his eyes sparkling with mirth. ~My first pro bono case!~ He made no secret of his desire to be out of that room and scuttled away as fast as he could…without looking like he was running.
Amelia almost smiled from her desk. She couldn’t imagine a more idiotic move from Lucius Malfoy than to release his barrister. ~Have a long and happy life, Grabbitt! Don’t get caught doing anything stupid.~
“Madam Longbottom?” Connie directed her query to the Chief Witch who was still in a mild shock.
She shook her head to settle her thoughts and answered. “So noted. Scrivener, please enter into the record that defense has protested the questioning under Veritaserum, and that the accused has released the defense barrister.”
“Yes’m.” came that worthy’s immediate reply.
Augusta turned to Lucius and said; “Mister Malfoy, having released your barrister, you are without counsel. Would you like to retain another barrister?” She hated to ask that question, but for a case of this profile, it was absolutely necessary. They could not afford any opportunity for Malfoy to wriggle off the hook they’d hung him on.
“I am quite capable of defending myself.” Malfoy sneered in his haughty, overly patrician tones.
Amelia amended her previous thought. Malfoy had just done something even more idiotic!
“Very well.” Connie addressed her the Chief Witch. “Madam Chief Witch, are you ready to witness the authentication?”
“I am. Carry on.”
As Amelia had done before, Connie carefully broke the seals on the box and then the bottle of Veritaserum, having Augusta countersign and blood-stamp in the appropriate places. She carefully tested the sample while remaining clearly visible to every member of the council.
When she was done, Augusta announced; “Madam Prosecutor. I am satisfied with the Veritaserum sample.”
“Thank you, Madam Longbottom. May I proceed?”
“I object!” Lucius finally seemed to understand what kind to fool he’d made of himself.
“On what grounds?” Augusta asked, sweetly.
“I do not agree with this procedure, and therefore due to the Pureblood Exemption laws, I cannot be held for trial.” ~There, you worthless bitch, let us see of you can beat that hand!~
“Mister Malfoy…” Augusta was having a hard time keeping herself from snickering. Amelia was little better off, but fortunately for the sake of decorum…if nothing else, they kept their lips from curving. It was a very near thing though. “Due to the nature of these trials, the Pureblood Exemptions have been rescinded for the duration.”
Instantly Lucius was horrified. “You cannot do that!” He blurted.
“Oh, really. And why not? Because it would prove impossible to prosecute you for your crimes, perhaps? No, Mister Malfoy, those laws have been repealed, by unanimous vote, for the betterment of our society.”
Several members of the press snickered. Shushes from around them prevented their being removed from the court by Aurors who stood ready to do just that.
“Mister Malfoy, please tip your head back and open your mouth. I shall place three drops on your tongue.”
Lucius paled. Unlike Snape, Malfoy didn’t know there was a way to get around Veritaserum. If he were to be questioned under the powerful truth drug, he’d hang himself! As Pettigrew had done in May, he struggled to prevent the serum from taking him, clamping his jaws shut, and violently twisting his head.
A questioning glance, a nod, and like Pettigrew, Lucius was stunned. His slack jaws were pulled apart, and three drops of the potent stuff were deposited in his tongue. His mouth was closed, the liquid was absorbed, and the stunning and silencing hexes were lifted; and he now sat, staring vacantly at the council.
“What is your full name?” Connie asked.
“Lucius Annias Malfoy.” Malfoy’s voice was toneless.
“Where do you live?”
“Malfoy Manor, Wiltshire.
“Were you a Death Eater?” Amelia knew Connie was taking a chance, asking this question, as he’d already been ‘officially’ cleared, but as it was relevant to the ongoing murder investigations, it skated just on the edge of what was allowable.
Connie turned to the council and asked; “Is there anyone here who is in doubt as to the Veritaserum or the subject’s influence?”
“Very well.” Connie turned back to the Death Eater seated before them.
“How long have you been a Death Eater?” This question could easily be construed as entrapment, as she asked as if he were still actively involved. That it was true, was absolutely immaterial.
“Sixteen years.” And that was all it took. His ‘official’ excuse had just flown out the window. Amelia smiled a vicious smile. Now they could ask the questions she’d been pondering for years…questions Dumbledore had long since prohibited, as being far too provocative. He’d stated officially that such questions would no doubt incite violence and the Wizarding World would be better off without that kind of conflict, and added; “The past should remain in the past.”
Now they would be digging into the past as fast as they could shovel.
Connie asked; “Is it possible to take the dark mark while under Imperius?” That was a question that had long tormented not only Amelia, but most of her Aurors as well. So many of the Deeters, just coincidentally the wealthiest of them, had gotten off with the Imperius excuse. Cheatham’s trial months before had broken that particular myth right open. She knew her friend and now former Minister, Millicent had allowed it, and Dumbledore had countersigned it. Now it was time for the Wizarding World to hear the truth.
And the truth came from Malfoy’s own lips. “No.”
And with that one short syllable, the elaborate excuses of nearly thirty ‘ex’ Death Eaters also took flight. Scrimgeour was actually smiling, and had Alastor Moody been present, he would have been dancing!
“Are you a mere Death Eater, or do you have a more important position in Voldemort’s group?”
“I am a member of the dark lord’s inner council.”
“What do you do in that position? Specifically and completely.”
“I help to decide what actions are to be taken, and against whom. I also arrange for logistics, including financial support, security, safe housing and, when necessary…disposal. Additionally, I deal with media related aspects, specifically, informing The Daily Prophet, of what is and is not to be published. Other duties include the diversion of funds from the Ministry treasury to the dark lord’s coffers, and public relations with the higher level members of the Ministry.”
Nobody missed the present tenses he used.
During the hours-long interrogation, Malfoy had confessed, amongst other things, that he’d ordered the murder of all the mudbloods scheduled to attend Hogwarts in the next ten years, and their families; that the intake book at Hogwarts, had been the source of the mugglebornes’ names; and that Severus Snape had provided access to the book.
Deliberation didn’t take long. Malfoy was sentenced to life in Azkaban.
As Narcissa was marked, and she could potentially claim the protection of House Black, her trial was set for the middle of March
A motion to set aside Narcissa’s trial until a suitable fosterer for Draco could be found, was denied, as Andromeda had already taken on that duty.
Once they returned to her office the Minister turned on her Deputy.
“I almost swallowed my tongue when you introduced that motion!” Amelia growled.
Somewhat less than properly concerned, Connie grinned. “I’d give a sack of gold to see that!”
MALFOY A DEATH EATER, ORDERS MURDER OF FIVE HUNDRED CHILDREN!
Dear readers, writes Rita Skeeter. This elegant seeker of truth witnessed the trial of long-thought pillar of the wizarding community, Lucius Annias Malfoy…Death Eater. Despite long protestations of innocence by means of Imperius, today, Lucius Malfoy was convicted by the Wizengamot of being a Death Eater. Not, as one might hope, a former Death Eater but an active and avid one.
(Editor’s note: It has been conclusively proved that one cannot cast the three unforgivables while under Imperius. One must have the intent and desire and control of one’s magic. The Imperius defense is, simply put…a lie.)
One might ask why this comes now instead of during the now-famous Death Eater trials of four years ago. The answer begins on the first of June, when during the trial of Peter Pettigrew, thought to have been killed by Sirius Black, Malfoy drew his wand in council. A misdemeanor crime, but one that led to his arrest that day. According to Malfoy himself, while speaking under the influence of Veritaserum, this minor humiliation at the hands of Amelia Bones, then head of the Department of Magical Law, and now Minister of Magic, called for an answer.
His answer was far more than any reasonable person might desire. Using the resoures available to him as one of the chief lieutenants of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named; yes, dear readers, Lucius was more than a Death Eater. He was in fact, a member of the dark lord’s inner circle. Using those resources, he called for a pogrom against all the mugglebornes due to attend Hogwarts School for the next ten years. Five hundred and fourty children were marked for death by this madman…because he suffered some embarrassment in the Wizengamot chambers. As noted on twenty third December, Severus Snape, now in Azkaban, awaiting his formal trial before the Wizengamot, provided access to Hogwarts School’s student intake book, which contained the names of all registered students from the moments of their births. Malfoy used these names to form a list of targets. Though the Death Eaters were caught early, due to the actions of a brave and as yet unknown witch or wizard in Cambridge, eleven muggleborn children and their entire families were slaughtered. As a result of Snape’s questioning, all the Death Eaters involved, were arrested and are awaiting trial. Hopefully justice for those eleven families will be served to these monsters.
This brings us back to the question of why he drew his wand in chambers, knowing it might result in his arrest. The answer to that is two-fold. He drew his wand to cast a heart-stopping curse to prevent Pettigrew from naming other Death Eaters, including Malfoy, himself. As to the other part, Malfoy had no fear of arrest other than the minor inconvenience it would bring, due to the now-rescinded Pureblood Exemption acts…laws enacted centuries ago to exempt Purebloods from any law they disagreed with. It’s that simple. Malfoy could legally get away with murder, by calling upon those laws. Well, no more! Those laws have been stricken, and it is not likely we will ever see them again…
Skeeter’s lengthy article had been eye-opening. It addresed questions not only to the Ministry, but also as to Dumbledore’s involvement. Questions Amelia had no answers for. Once again, Amelia wondered how Rita had gotten her information. She hadn’t seen the noisome reporter in the room and yet everything she’d reported was factual and accurate, even with Rita’s particular slant on it.
Part 27: Dumbledore’s folly.
Amelia sighed, as she set aside yet another flowery missive from Dumbledore that said absolutely nothing useful. This was the seventh attempt in less than a month to release that bastard Snape into his ‘custody’. Like that would ever happen. The last time Snape had been given into Dumbledore’s custory he’d destroyed the dreams of nearly a thousand potential Aurors and Healers!
Amelia decided to prove to Dumbledore that Snape was a purely evil bastard, so she stood, unlocked her office safe and withdrew the transcript of Snape’s testimony under Vertaserum. Making a copy of the transcript and resealing her safe, she stepped into Connie’s office, explained the situation and told the Deputy Minister that she was headed to Dumbledore’s estate in Northallerton to show the old man that his pet Death Eater was in fact, an unredeemable piece of shite, and asked her to look after the shop for a bit. Hammer agreed, of course, but Amelia could see she was disappointed that she’d not been asked to come along and watch the old man’s inevitable meltdown.
“Don’t worry, Connie. I’ll cast some monitoring spells. We’ll get a first hand view, and we won’t even have to be there.”
Suddenly Connie was a lot happier.
Amelia spun to a halt in Dumbledore’s fireplace. She immediatey flicked her wand three times, casting monitoring charms on three distince places in the room.
“Hello, Amelia.” Dumbledore greeted her serenely as he stepped into the room. That was a trick of his. He could pretend to be comepletely unruffled by anything that happened. It caused his enemies to underestimate him. Then he could cut straight to the heart, shocking them into either confessing some wrongdoing or giving him what he wanted; or conversely, he could ‘baffle them with bullshit’ as the Americans were wont to say. Today would be no different. While Amelia was a skilled opponent, he had the distinct advantage of having lived three times as long as she had. He had already dismissed his humiliating defeat in the council chambers as mere chance.
“Why have you cast monitoring charms in my home?” He seemed to be genuinely curious, as though the very idea of monitoring a prisoner was foreign to him.
“Because you have clearly disabled the ones cast as part of your sentence. Leave these ones intact Dumbledore, or the next place you call home will have bars on the door.”
“Surely there is no need for such constant monitoring, Amelia.” He twinkled sadly. Another trick of his, using his opponent’s first name implied a level of intimacy that often threw them off. Amelia was well familiar with this ploy. She’d used it herself.
“Your bedroom and your bath are unmonitored. That is all the privacy you’re going to get.”
Dumbledore sighed a great sigh, as if he were a parent who’d realized he’d done her a great disservice by not raising her properly. To tell the truth, Amelia was becoming annoyed. She brought his wordless manipulation to a screeching halt by saying: “Your man Snape is due for trial next week. I’m pushing for him to be sentenced to the Kiss.”
“No!” He gasped. “You cannot!”
“Why not?” She shot back. “He is compicit in the murder and worse of three of my Aurors. He was a willing Death Eater and helped that monster murder nearly a thousand other people. He killed nearly a hundred, himself; and that doesn’t even begin to describe his crimes in that school while you were headmaster. He confessed to raping at least five dozen witches and Obliviating them. He as single-handedly prevented the Ministry from effectively facing the next dark lord to rise because we don’t have enough Aurors to fight, nor enough healers to tend to the wounded. What makes Snape so important to you that you’d completely ignore the fact that he ruined an entire generation’s schooling? And that doesn’t even include the current charge of providing the names of five hundred children between the age of one and ten, so his fellow Death Eaters can murder them!”
“I have my reasons for trusting Severus, but I cannot and will not disclose them just now. You must trust my judgment.” He threw a bit of his magic into his words. Unfortunately for him, Amelia was a well skilled Occlumens. She not only felt the compulsion but deflected it automatically.”
“That’s the whole problem isn’t it, Dumbledore. I don’t trust your judgement! Of late, your judgment has been badly flawed…and the next time you try to use a compulsion on me, I’ll have you in Azkaban!”
For once, Dumbeldore had the decency of not trying to lie his way out of the charge.
“As for why I’m here…” She went on; “I’m getting tired of your attempts to get me to release Snape to you, so I thought you might like to have a look over the transcripts of our first session with him. It should provide you with some interesting reading.”
Amelia handed Dumbledore the sheaf of parchments, and threw a pinch of floo powder into the fire. When the flames turned green she stepped in wth a knowing smile and called out; “Ministry of Magic!” ~Let’s see how the old man likes learning he’s been played like a bloody trout.~
Amelia had just arrived in the Ministry atrium, and was walking past that offensive ‘Fountain of Magical Brotherhood’, when she saw an interdepartmental message owl fluttering her way. Stretching out her hand, she allowed the bird to alight. She took the message, thanked the little scops, and sent him off again, before opening the folded piece of parchemnt. In Connie’s preciese handwriting, were the words;
Amelia, get back to Dumbledore’s place. It looks like he’s had a heart attack! Connie.
She swore; “Oh FUCK!” which turned several of the nearer heads. Unheeding, she turned toward the floos again.
Nearing the fireplace, she heard a shouted; “Minister! Hold up!” She turned, her wand ready and her head swinging to locate an escape route; as people had been assassinated in the past, using just this sort of distraction. Instead, she found Alastor and three of her Auror Healers running her way.
“Stop there!” She ordered. They all skidded to a halt, Alastor smiling his frightening smile. Wisely, he kept his hands away from his body, fingers spread widely to show he was unarmed. She cast a ‘cone of silence’ charm to prevent his answer to her security question from being heard by unauthorised ears.
“Why do you tell recruits not to put their wands in their back pockets?” She held her wand on the paranoid head of the Auror Corps.
“You know damn well I blew a hole in my arse!”
“Yes, I do. I still have the memory in my pensieve for when I need a laugh!”
“Smart arsed recruit!” He growled. Amelia laughed.
Moody vouchesafed the three healers with him and so, they spun through the Floo system together.
They found Dumboledore curled on the floor, his face a rictus of pain, the sheets of parchement Amelia had brought, scattered all around him. She gathered the parchment up and rolled them into a thick tube, before stuffing it into a pocket.
“Madam Bones, he needs St. Mungo’s.”
“Very well. Bring him there…but take his wand.”
The healers levitated him to conjured stretcher and one of them handed her a wand. Just to make sure, she scanned him for more. She found three. Summoning the illegal weapons and handing them to Alastor, she raised her eyebrow at the healers who looked justifiabley embarrassed. From the glower he wore, they knew that Moody would be having a little one-sided chat with them as soon as they returned from the hospital!
Neeedless to say, all three wanted to take an extended lunch.
A/N: I think Rowling left a plothole open with Harry freeing Dobby. If merely having clothing passed from the master’s hand to the elf’s is enough to free the elf, how would the elf do laundry, or take the master’s cloak when he returned form a rousing night of muggle torture…erm…‘work’. Magic is based for the most part on intent, and so, I feel the master has to intend to release the elf, before the elf is freed.
It would also explain Hermione’s failure to free the Hogwarts’ elves. She didn’t own them, so she couldn’t free them.
Connie’s motion: A good cop is able to think on the run. Connie thought of something that would ruin her chances of conviction and though her boss was right there, acted to ensure that door was locked to Malfoy before he could turn the knob. As I’ve mentioned before, it would never have been allowed in a modern court without months of legalistic haggling…but then, Rowling has showed us a court system that is anything but modern.
Incontestatable is an archaec version of incontestable. Reference the book ‘The Canterbury Tales’ subsection ‘The Knight’s Tale’ by Geoffrey Chaucer. (But only if you have a lot of coffee!)
Despite the ramblings in books six and seven, I don’t believe a Death Eater can be forced to take the mark under Imperius. Under coercion, absolutely! It happens all the time, but according to Crouch/Moody in book four and Bellatrix in book five, to cast the unforgivables, one has to ‘mean it’. If, as I believe, (and is intimated in canon) one must use the unforgivables to earn the mark, how can they ‘mean it’ when the Imperius robs one of free will? I can see how they can use other routine curses such as cutters, bludgeoners, reductors and binding curses, but not the ones that require specific intent.
I got the idea of the lesser houses from ‘Harry Potter; Junior Inquisitor’ by Sprinter1988
Yeah, I know you saw it before in this fic, but to maintain consistency (and I’ve screwed up far too many times as it is) it’s necessary to include the retrieval and authentication process.
First names: It’s a psychological ploy used by the police to put people at a disadvantage, usually during a traffic stop. They don’t know the officer’s name and the officer has their license in his/her hand.
Illegal wands: There’s a cop’s rule. ‘When you find a weapon, assume another.’ That rule has saved my life more than once.