Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
Cornelius Fudge grimly walked towards his office, he noted the Ministry was almost empty compared to any other day but he wasn't surprised. He had two Auror's with him, they had come to his home early this morning and were under orders from Amelia to stick to like they cast a sticking charm to him. "Minister, glad to see you're alright." He looked over to see his secretary smiling at him. "Madam Bones is waiting for you in your office."
"Thank you." He tried to muster a smile but didn't have much luck. "Please don't let anyone disturb us unless there is an emergency."
"Of course sir."
He walked into the office, Amelia was sitting in front of his desk with a cup in her hands. Rufus Scrimgeour was standing to the side, looking at his bookcase and wore a grim look as he looked over at him. "Good morning Cornelius, I hope you slept well." Amelia said as she sat her cup down.
"Took a dreamless sleep potion but thank you Amelia." Cornelius sighed. "Good morning Rufus."
"Minister." Rufus gave him a nod. "Glad you made it out alright, also we found the young man who helped you. New lad, Warren Taylor, from among the new lot." He smirked. "Fathers a muggle Auror and he's always wanted to follow in his steps, coolest head among the new boys so no wonder he got you to safety so quickly."
"I'm glad he made it, please let him know how grateful I am for his quick action." Fudge said as he walked to his desk and sat down, Rufus took the empty seat. "Do we have a list of who was taken?"
"We do." Amelia replied and nodded to Rufus, who pulled out a roll of parchment.
"Here is the list of everyone reported missing from the ball." Rufus handed it to Cornelius. "Plenty reported seeing Greyback and a few known others of his pack so we know it was him."
"We believed it was a retaliation for the Anti-werewolf Legislation that is being brought forward to the Wizengamont." Rufus replied. "But after looking the list over we think it's more than that."
"More?" Fudge asked with a frown.
"Look at the list Cornelius." Amelia said. "Notice then names taken are not the Heads of the Family, all wives or relatives of them."
"If this just a retaliation they would have killed or taken indiscriminately, they moved with purpose and I personally say them shove Lord Parkinson out of the way to grab his wife." Rufus commented.
"After I calmed down and reviewed my memories I realized as well they knocked out Lord Ogden to grab his son." Amelia said. "This means they had a plan in mind, and it involved family members not the one who can cast the vote."
"But..why?" Fudge asked. "If they were upset about the laws wouldn't it make sense to harm the people involved?"
"Unless you want to stop it." Amelia said before taking a sip of her drink. "We think this isn't just an assault but a prelude to blackmail." She pointed to the list. "Most of those names are from families who would have voted for the legislation."
"Well we wont stand for that." Cornelius blustered. "We need to get these people home so no one is pressured into voting against their wishes."
"Of course Minister." Rufus said but Amelia caught his eye roll. "Will do our best but Greyback has been hiding from us for years, it won't be easy."
"Well he's got more people to worry about now." Fudge pointed out. "And against their will so they won't make it easy for him to move around."
"While true this is still not going to be easy." Amelia sighed out. "We just wanted you to be ready, others may come to this conclusion and there is a chance they may ransom the hostages. If you notice anyone acting differently please let us know, while paying a ransom could led to their release it could also be a ploy."
"Yes, yes of course I will keep my eyes and ears open." Fudge nodded. "But put everyone on these hostages, the Wizengamont members will be demanding answers and progress reports."
"Of course though we are stretched thin with hunting Bellatrix and dealing with the Scilly islands issue." Amelia reminded him.
"Bellatrix!" Fudge shouted. "Surely she must be behind this!"
"Possibly, though it doesn't make anything easier." Rufus said. "If she can hid from us and plot this out well." He shrugged.
"Rufus is right, if she is behind this I think she has help." Amelia didn't like to think that but it was to plausible. "Everyone I thought would help her was there last night, and so far the memories we've gathered don't show anyone was unsurprised by the attack."
Cornelius shrank at that. "Right, well that is good to know." He sighed. "Perhaps then we should move some of the men from the Scilly island group?"
"I would agree." Amelia nodded to him. "Nothing violent has happened there and some of the residents have family taken, I think they could live with the idea."
"Excellent, you have control of this Amelia but I would hope you keep me updated." Cornelius was happy to pass this off because it was her head on the block if she couldn't find anyone.
"I'll make sure you are aware of everything as soon as possible." Amelia replied to him, glad she had a bit of freedom in this with his blessing. "The press are going to want statements though, from both of us."
"Of course they will." Cornelius muttered. "I'll take a few minutes to prepare my part and send it over, we need to show were on the same page about everything."
"I agree, I'll send an owl out scheduling a conference for later this afternoon." Amelia stood up. "Plenty of time for you to get me your speech and me to prepare something to back you up." She turned and Scrimgeour followed after her.
Werewolves at Large
By know many of you have heard that the Annual Ministry Summer Ball was attacked by the vicious Werewolf Greyback and his pack. During the attack several family members of prominent wizarding families were kidnapped, Madam Bones of the DMLE has not given out names at the behest of the families. We at the Prophet want to let all those affected by this tragedy that our hearts and minds are with you. There is a great deal of speculation as to how the vicious pack learned the location of the event but at this time the DMLE has no clues, instead focusing their energy to finding those taken.
Fenrir Greyback was a noted follower of The Dark Lord and the DMLE warns anyone who spots him to not engage and instead inform the Auror's as soon as possible. Greyback has been a culprit in many murders and is known to bite children when in werewolf form so he can later steal them to join his pack.
The attack itself is believed to have stemmed from the news of Anti-Werewolf Legislation that is being introduced to the Wizengamont by Undersecretary Delores Umbridge. While nothing is confirmed many in the Wizengamont seemed willing to pass the legislation though it did have opponents, led mostly by Lord Harry Potter-Black. I had the pleasure of speaking to both about how this current event affected their views.
"This attacks simply shows why the legislation needs to be passed." Dolores Umbridge claimed. "More monitoring and restriction will keep events like this from happening. Wizards and Witches should be able to walk the streets without fear of assault from these beasts."
"If this legislation passes werewolves will have more difficulties then they already do." Lord Potter-black stated. "Thus becoming more desperate or enraged, if this passes I believe it will only incite more violence and people like Greyback will only gain more followers."
Both statements could be true and we at the Prophet do not want to take a side, we hope that whatever happens the Wizarding World becomes a safer place.
Harry knew there was going to be some difficulties after the kidnapping but he hadn't planned for it as well as he had hoped. The pub, which employed werewolves, was mostly empty for a week and those that did come in refused to be waited on by the werewolf staff. Harry needed to keep up appearances so he couldn't just fire the staff, he had plenty of money so he paid the werewolves and mostly had them come in to clean up at night and open the pub. Remus took everything in stride, staying in the back or at Grimmauld Place and working on the books there.
The werewolves were extremely grateful for his help and didn't complain when he rearranged their job requirements. He made sure to bring Rita around to write up and article, despite the appearance she claimed to get several letters supporting his thoughts and his actions. "Of course, the popular view is anti-werewolf so they won't be outspoken." Harry thought with a frown
The Wizengamont had met in an emergency meeting, which consisted of some wanting to hunt down the werewolves and others wanting to take no action in fear for their loved ones. Harry was surprised though as it was the more neutral and light side that wanted to hunt them down, to arrest not kill of course, and the dark wanted to wait. Harry thought the dark members were more likely to divorce their wives or disown their lost relatives but it seemed they wanted them back, he didn't believe it was sentiment.
A bit of digging told him why, most marriage contracts are usual in favor of the more predominant house, be it the male or female. As such the husbands who's wives were from larger houses stand to lose greatly, mostly financially, if they divorced. If the wife was from a lesser house they didn't stand to lose but the safety net for them was they could only be divorced if the wife was unfaithful, the husband could do what he wanted though. Either way their firm pureblood traditions had screwed them in this case, Harry wondered if any had a clause for them becoming werewolves. Overall though they ruled in favor of allowing the Auror's to carry on and if found to arrest the werewolves but no extra money was being put forward for the effort. Harry didn't mind that answer, Umbridge looked like she was going to erupt but had to live with their decision and that made him, among others, happy.
Currently Harry was walking around Diagon Alley doing his Hogwarts shopping, most of the items were easy enough to get and he was a bit excited about starting his new classes as a third year. One item, or rather items, caused some curiosity between him and Sirius. "Must be a fan of his or something." Harry muttered as he walked into Flourish and Blotts.
"Welcome Lord Potter-Black." One of the workers, Jessica he thought, welcomed him. "Are you here for you new Hogwarts books?"
"Yes, though I had wondered why we have so many books by Gilderoy Lockhart." Harry said to her. "Any idea?"
"No but you will love them." She gushed. "He is a dream and so brave, I've read all of them and each one is a great read."
"Well, that's good." Harry doubted that, to him they seemed more like adventure books not something for a class lesson. "Perhaps you could gather them while I grab the other books?"
"I would be happy to help." She said with a smile and moved to gather the books, Harry rolled his eyes at her back and then moved to gather his own part of the list. Though having to buy almost a dozen books for one class was ridiculous and he wondered what someone like the Weasleys would do about this. Shaking it out of his mind Harry gathered his books, had the woman shrink it and paid to gather the rest of his things. On the way out he noticed that there was a poster for Gilderoy Lockhart coming to do a signing, he was making a mental note to avoid Diagon Alley on that day.
"This is ridiculous." Harry muttered as he skimmed through another of Lockhart's books, so far nothing he found had much ground under it. He had looked through Tom's memories and not seen anything to back up the spells Lockhart claimed to use, and he never mentioned the movements so Harry couldn't attempt it himself. "One spell, maybe but three." He sighed and tossed the book to the side. "Great, probably got some love struck witch as a teacher and will learn nothing."
Walking over to his desk Harry took a calming breath and looked over some paperwork, the goblins had found him a good deal with some houses on the Scilly islands and he was almost done with negotiations. Once he was he could start working on clearing the land and reworking the wards so they were covered all the land. "I'll contact Stone Warding for the removal and re-warding." Harry commented as he made a note. "Need to get more Polyjuice so I can call off the group I have harassing the land, though not until a month after the sale or it will look suspicious."
He made a few more notes and then moved onto a new werewolf legislation, which if his plan went well would be voted in instead of the anti-werewolf. He couldn't go to crazy, that wouldn't sit well with anyone but a simple return of wands to anyone who has graduated from a school and no discrimination rules for businesses. "Though no special rule for hiring the werewolf's or rules on giving them time off." It wasn't perfect but a large reason werewolves couldn't find work wasn't that they couldn't work the day after a full moon, or on it's night, but the fees for hiring and taxes on business with werewolves.
"I'm sure a few businesses will hire after this passes." Harry thought as he wrote. "Any werewolf would take a job with reduced pay; the smart businesses will figure that out."
No plan was perfect, Harry never forgot his meeting with the Flamel's and how they got the stone back from him, so he had to plan for the worst. He added several things to the legislation that many would not want, that way they could fight for them to be removed and when Harry catered to them, they would feel like they won. Of course he had to come up with something for the Anti-Werewolf legislation as well, if enough members got out of their marriages or simply didn't care about their infected party it would he wouldn't win. It was unlikely but with how the dark families acted during the war he wouldn't put it past them to toss their loved ones, or family members, to the side and carry on without a care in the world. "If only we had gotten a hold of Narcissa or Draco, Bellatrix could have gone to Lucius and promised they would be unharmed if enough toed the line for the legislation."
He would give Lucius the credit he deserved this time around, not only having the emergency portkeys but also creating a conversation with his wife about why they were needed. Harry wasn't privy to all the details but when families were questioned about what happened during the ball Lucius answered happily and provided memories to show having the portkeys was not because he knew something was going to happen but a precaution with Bellatrix on the loose. That kind of thinking was how Lucius made it into the inner circle of the Death Eaters and Harry had wondered if the man had lost all guile with their interactions. "I must have stoked the coals with our interactions." Harry surmised. "Afterall, there hasn't been any reason for him to really use his cunning and guile after he escaped Azkaban."
"Master it's be dinners time." Harry paused and looked over at Ra.
"Really?" Harry asked, the elf nodding his head rapidly. "Wow, time really does fly when your caught up in a project." He laid his quil down and followed Ra towards the kitchen. "I've done enough planning, I think I've covered all the bases of what could happen this year."
Albus Dumbledore smiled as he carefully sipped his tea and looked over the requests from the professors for extra needs. With the call for new Auror's they had been given quite the windfall in funding from the Ministry, he of course realized it was at the cost of many kidnapped souls but had to find the light in the darkness. He was also confident they people would be found, Greyback was crafty but with so many hostages he couldn't move as easily or carefully as usual. Amelia was of the same mind and that put some ease in the families, a little hope their loved ones would be found before to long. Though both he and Amelia feared what would happen if they were not found by the full moon, bitten or mauled were the two logical conclusions but there was a small possibility the captives could escape at the time. His musings were broken as the floo lite up and a body stumbled out, he rose an eyebrow as curses were muttered. "Lord Potter-Black how may I help you this morning?"
"Are you serious?" The teen asked while holding up the morning's issue of the Prophet.
"No I am Albus Dumbledore." Albus answered and chuckled as Harry closed his eyes and took a deep breath. "Forgive me Lord Potter-Black but I could not help myself."
"I assumed he was the only one childish enough to use that joke." Harry muttered.
"Ah then I would avoid such setups with he Weasley twins." Albus said hearing the mutter. "I do believe they would be happy to us the joke to their advantage."
"Point well taken Headmaster." Harry said with a nod. "Now, first I apologize for both my outburst and sudden arrival. I hope I have not interrupted anything and if you have nothing planned a few minutes of your time."
Albus set his tea down. "Accepted, I have nothing important planned so you may take a seat." He pulled his wand out and floated a more comfortable chair in front of his desk. "I must say I am intrigued what could cause such a reaction in you to come in the manner you did."
"This Headmaster." Harry placed the paper down with the front page up.
"Ah yes Mr. Lockhart." Dumbledore smiled as he looked at the grinning man on the front-page waving.
"Sir have you actually read his books because I looked them over and I have serious doubts about his competency to teach us." Harry stated. "I can find no mention of any of the spells he claims to know and use on these adventures. As you know I care greatly about our education here and I can't, no will not, put up with another usless or incompatible professor."
"And I am very proud of this fact." Albus replied honestly. "While I did not much care for it at the time the changes you have brought to the staff has increased not only the education but overall morale of Hogwarts." Harry looked a bit surprised by this answer. "Now, no I do not believe Gilderoy Lockhart is going to make a competent professor for Defense and I know he has not done some, if not all, of the things he has written about."
Harry stared at the Headmaster, not believing what he was hearing. "Then….what is he coming here for?"
"Gilderoy has a loyal following, excellent reputation and friends within the Ministry." Albus answered. "And I have no evidence against him except for my word, which while strong might not be as effective on people against a man who is seen to fight the dark arts." He sighed. "I do believe that two of his books are based around events acquaintances of mine actually achieved. They cannot verify though as their minds are completely wiped of all events surrounding the time periods."
"Are you saying he took the information, wiped their minds and wrote the stories as his own?" Harry asked but he already believed it.
"Yes, if you were to note the dates and lengths of time he mentions being somewhere a few events overlap." Dumbledore informed him. "I also was aware of my acquaintances going to those places around the time periods and when I found they didn't remember I grew suspicious of him." He grinned. "I am also glad you are already prepared to remove him, I planned to speak with you after the year had begun and you saw him in class. I do not believe he will be up to teaching even first years, I got him this position just so I could unveil his abilities and unweave his lies."
"And just like with Lucius I underestimated someone." Harry thought as he nodded. "You wanted me to become suspicious and come to you with complaints, then help remove him just like I did Snape."
"Quite right." Albus chuckled with a nod. "And with the more competent staff I find myself with more time so I would handle Defense Against the Dark Arts this year." Harry perked up at that. "I felt it would be a proper compensation for dealing with Lockhart for a few weeks as we gained evidence, I believe by October we could remove him and it will give me plenty of time to catch the students up."
"I agree." Harry replied. "In fact I bet if you put the right whisper in certain students ears you might get more then me working on this."
"Possibly." Albus said as he stroked his beard. "Yes Ms. Granger might be able to figure out the date correlation with the right push, Ms. Clearwater as well if you bring up the fact you couldn't find any writings of the spells he used."
"I'll get all of Ravenclaw on the case that way." Harry chuckled out as he stood. "Well Headmaster I will again apologize for blindsiding you this morning but I am happy you are not hiring bad choices without a good reason."
"Again, you are forgiven Lord Potter-Black." Albus answered with a smile. "Keep the staff on their toes just as you have these years, I do believe Minerva has taken it as a goal in her life to find you breaking a rule." Harry had to chuckle as he made his way to the floo and headed home, ready to plan for another teacher replacement.
On August fifteenth the Witches and Wizards who staffed St. Mungo's were surprised by several portkeys dropping people at their doorstep. When they got over the surprise they turned to shock as a few recognized the weary looking people as the ones kidnapped from the Ministry ball. While they were moved as quickly as possible to be treated and looked over they Auror's were immediately called and Amelia Bones herself led every available Auror to the hospital and had every entrance and exit covered in seconds. While she wanted to question them immediately she knew the Healers needed time to check them over.
"There what?" After an hour Amelia had meet with the Head Healer and he had delivered distressing news.
"Werewolves." Healer Gregory Pearson replied quietly, not wanting to draw attention. "Everyone was treated for bites and not just one but a few." He sighed and shook his head. "They wanted to be sure they were all infected before bringing them here."
"Dear Merlin." Amelia muttered.
"Bastards." Rufus spat out.
"We are healing the bites but…well I'm sure you know there is nothing we can do about the lycanthropy." Gregory added sadly.
"Yes, well thank you Healer Pearson we will let you get back to managing them." Amelia replied. "We are already taking care of contacting the families and will direct them to your staff as they arrive."
"Thank you." Pearson's said with a sad smile and walked towards one of the staff members.
"Fucking worst case scenario ma'am." Rufus said quietly but with some heat. "Purebloods just got added in surplus to the werewolf population."
"And while some will be tossed to the side or disowned more then enough will have to be brought back into the families." Amelia replied. "This is a mess and I don't know how its going to go, keep everyone alert and ready for when the families show up."
"Going to be quite a few homeless and disowned people tonight." Rufus stated but Amelia sighed.
"Maybe, purebloods may not like them but most never think their families would be infected." She informed him. "They may be locked into magical contracts with no clause for this scenario."
"Heh, that actually makes a lot of sense for that uppity lot." Rufus smirked out. "Well, time will tell ma'am, you go report to the Minister and I'll hold this down." Amelia gave him a nod before she headed to the floo, not looking forward to the meeting she was about to have the storm brewing from this event.
"Fucking Greyback and Lestrange."