The Games They Play
The thirty-four-year old Blake Slytherin or better known as Harry Potter stalked down the halls of the Ministry of Magic as if he owned the place. His magic flaring every time he felt the stomach twisting fury when he thought about what was happening at this precise moment. The farce of a trial they were putting Harry through, now that thought did make his magic flare in annoyance once more: round about now his younger self would be sitting down, facing the intimidating presence of the Wizengamot for a simple usage of underage magic. They were not going to know what hit them, thought Harry viciously. He felt a familiar-feeling magic coming down the corridor: Dumbledore. Great, he had hoped to get there well before the old fool showed his face. He hastened his pace, ignoring everyone who was looking at him as he rushed along, pureblood's didn't do that after all, and he did have the pureblood look down to a T. Long dark hair that reached down passed his shoulder blades, sharp aristocratic features, clearly showing his green eyes and pursed lips. On the name badge he wore it said Blake Slytherin, a name he had adopted when he ended up back in time. He had been too weak to move for a week; whatever had happened had taken everything out of him.
Just as he opened the door he heard Fudge finishing stating his address. He'd never thought of it then, but his address must have been a matter of public record. How he had not been attacked was anyone's guess, not that they would have been able to get in... not until he turned seventeen. He did idly wonder what exactly would have happened to anyone that tried, would they have suffered the same fate as those who tried to get through Hogwarts' wards before they were torn down? Or worse, end up like Quirrell? Either fate wasn't nice at all, both had been disintegrated into naught but ash.
Blake opened the door letting it bang - not caring to make an unobtrusive entrance. He observed that Dumbledore had yet to make his entrance, and he felt a smidgen of relief that he could get everything done before he showed.
"Who are you?" Fudge demanded, glaring at the intruder― he was trying to run a courtroom here.
"Do not mind me, I am simply a witness for the defence; name's Blake Slytherin," 'Blake' smirked smoothly at them, just begging them to accuse him of lying.
'Hem-hem' coughed Dolores, sitting forward with a sugary sweet smile on her face, gazing up at the extremely tall, impeccably dressed, powerful wizard before her. If only he had not been trying to help Harry Potter, she thought to herself, he was very handsome and she wouldn't have minded someone like him around. "Do you really expect us to believe you―"
"Ah, Dolores, nice to see you," Blake said, eyes twinkling deviously, "How are your mother and brother? Well, I hope?" He watched her inhale sharply, disbelief crossing her face. Yes, being from the future was fantastic, he knew things that nobody could understand how he did. He'd found out, due to the fact her nephew had come to Hogwarts, that Umbridge's brother had a magical child, Robert Umbridge, quite a powerful boy too…at least for the time he'd been alive. Umbridge had come under fire for the death, and her entire sordid past unravelled quickly.
"Yes, yes, very well indeed," Dolores murmured, sitting back without so much as another word, looking as though she wasn't interested any longer. She couldn't believe this person knew that much about her. It was a thinly veiled warning, that much she knew and if she wanted to keep her secrets she would have to do what it took until she got some dirt on Blake Slytherin as well to level the scales. She inwardly shuddered at those eyes, it was as if he knew what she was thinking and it amused him.
"Indeed," Blake echoed, moving towards Harry, standing in front of his younger self. Fucking hell, had he really been that terrified? Knowing he couldn't actually say what he needed to, he crouched down; fuck, he was bloody tiny too. He definitely needed fattening up, and quickly. "Look at me," he demanded, ignoring the suspicion on Harry's face. It was understandable, since they both knew Voldemort was the only Slytherin left. Well, they thought he was at this point; he was really giving himself a headache. Once familiar green eyes met his, he expanded his magic and thrust a memory into Harry's mind, one of him talking to a mirror in case he needed to do this. After a few seconds, ignoring the irritation behind him, he watched Harry's eyes widen in disbelief.
"Impossible!" Harry muttered, gaping; was he truly expected to believe this was him from the future? But they had the same eyes, the same hair; other than that, though, they were nothing alike... well, not really. This man was tall, imposing, and well, scary; more intimidating than the Wizengamot, and that was saying something.
Blake showed off his arms, showing both the scarring from where the basilisk had bit him and the one Pettigrew had sliced into him. Once he saw realization dawning on Harry, he nodded grimly, pressing his fingers to his lips telling Harry to keep quiet if he knew what was good for him without saying a word.
"Give me the memory of the graveyard, and the one with the attack," Blake whispered, two vials waiting already. "Just think about them and I will do the rest." Pressing his wand to Harry's temple, he removed both memories in a timely fashion. Luckily there was nobody in front of him; they were all at the back of him, and unable to see or hear what they were doing. Slipping the vials into his pocket he winked at Harry before standing up; having done his piece, he moved over to the side. He would intervene only when necessary; he actually wanted to make them feel like shit.
"Interrogators: Cornelius Oswald Fudge, Minister for Magic; Amelia Susan Bones, Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement; Dolores Jane Umbridge, Senior Undersecretary to the Minster. Court Scribe, Percy Ignatius Weasley―"
"Witness for the defence, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore," added a voice, as he entered the courtroom as well.
Blake watched everyone. The Wizengamot were quite divided; a lot of them were annoyed at Dumbledore's appearance, others appeared quite apprehensive, and a few even waved in welcome. They were supposed to be the peace keepers of their world? Yet they believed everything they heard and acted with their bloody hearts, not their minds. How was it they could be so damn idiotic? Really, there was no other word for it. They were all old; it meant they should know better, but apparently that was asking for too much.
"Ah," Fudge uttered, "Dumbledore. Yes. You― er ― got our ― er message that the time and er― place of the hearing had been changed, then?"
Had the meeting truly been this boring? thought Blake as he glanced at the time. If he remembered correctly, and he knew he did, the list of his so-called crimes had to be detailed as well. Sitting through this once had been enough, he belatedly realized. Still, this had to be done; there was no alternative. He was brought out of his thoughts by Fudge's incessant whining. Belatedly he realized he had been so lost in thought, he'd actually missed quite a bit of the trial.
"It's not a question of how impressive the magic was," Fudge said testily, "In fact, the more impressive, the worst it is, I would have thought, given that the boy did it in plain view of a Muggle!"
"True," Blake mused, rubbing his chin thoughtfully as he stared at them all, they were nodding and agreeing with the Minister. "You are aware that the Muggle was in fact his cousin, are you not? And he had seen Harry use accidental magic in the past? As far as I am aware, the decree of underage sorcery does not in fact apply to family." He ignored Harry's confused and betrayed look, but Harry turned back to face everyone. He knew it was coming... oh this was going to be so much fun. He could see why Dumbledore liked letting everyone talk before actually speaking himself.
"I did it because of the Dementors!" Harry yelled loudly.
"Dementors?" asked Madam Bones, "What do you mean, boy?"
"I mean there were two Dementors down that alleyway and they went for me and my cousin!"
"Ah," Fudge said again, "Yes. Yes. I thought we would be hearing something like this."
"Dementors in Little Whinging?" Madam Bones said in surprise. "I don't understand―"
"Don't you, Amelia?" Fudge said smirking. "Let me explain. He's been thinking it through and decided Dementors would make a very nice little cover story, very nice indeed. Muggles can't see Dementors, can they, boy? Highly convenient, highly convenient…so it's just your word and no witnesses…"
"I'm not lying!" Harry protested angrily.
"We, do, in fact, have a witness to the presence of the Dementors in that alleyway," Albus said, "Other than Dudley Dursley, I mean."
"We haven't got time to listen to more tarradiddles, I'm afraid, Dumbledore. I want this dealt with quickly," Fudge said dismissively.
"Then you will make time, Cornelius Fudge, or are you saying you are above the law? A law that states that a suspect is allowed to give evidence which proves their innocence?" boomed Blake, stalking forward. "After convening a full hearing of the Wizengamot to deal with an instance of underage magic? The fact all of you went ahead with it is quite frankly disgusting. Is this what the wizarding world resorts to now? Presuming everyone guilty? Even when they have proof of their innocence?"
"I ― er ― very well," Fudge said clearly flustered.
"Since you are so keen on getting this farce over with," Blake stated calmly, not rising to Fudge's incoherent indignant spluttering. "Then let it be so." Turning around, he removed the vial from his pocket and muttered above it "Pensieve Maximus!" watching as the memory was projected over the vial he was holding. The white wall now projected the images within, starting with the argument between Harry and Dudley. Blake had the light in the room dimmed so they could properly see, although it would be pretty much completely dark in the alley with the Dementors.
As soon as the image appeared every single person in the room quieted completely, Fudge had gone pasty white. Umbridge looked green, as she sunk into her seat unseen.
Harry watched with them, his neck protesting at the moment but he didn't want to miss out on anything. Watching the scene as a bystander was seriously weird. Seeing himself and Dudley fighting, then it getting cold, the lights going out, hearing Dudley freaking out about it... thinking it was him using magic. Then the attack, how the Dementor was leaning over his cousin to administer the Dementor's kiss, and then his stag glowing brightly in the room charging against the Dementors. In awe, Harry heard everyone gasp in shock, but he wasn't sure why ― the Dementors? No, it was his patronus, he realized, they were going on about his fully-fledged patronus ... but they already knew... Harry's heart sank; they thought he was lying about everything, even being able to cast a Patronus.
Everyone was still speaking so loudly that they missed hearing Blake muttering the spell yet again at the other vial, causing the projection to light up again; this time it was during the third task. Blake watched as himself and Cedric stumbled, thinking and asking if it was part of the tournament.
"Kill the spare!" was hissed. "Avada Kedavra!" The green light sped towards the screen causing everyone to scream.
"What is this?" Fudge protested loudly.
"No!" cried a few voices when Pettigrew was put in full view of the projection. Apparently he was still recognisable, even after all the years he'd been living as a rat.
"It can't be!" they muttered, horrified by what they were seeing.
Then they sat and watched the most terrifying thing they'd ever seen for ten minutes as the Dark Lord Voldemort was returned to human form using a ritual to achieve his goals, the conversation he had with the fourteen-year-old… then of course when he called his Death Eaters using Pettigrew.
Bones' lips had disappeared, her monocle had fallen off, as she watched Death Eaters who had been let off after the last war bow and scrape to the evil wizard. Including one that they did not even need to hear to know: Lucius Malfoy. His hair gave him away like a shining white beacon.
Fudge stared at the screen, realizing he was ruined, utterly ruined, at the image of Minerva McGonagall indignantly telling Albus Dumbledore about Crouch Junior being kissed before being questioned. He might as well go and pack his things; that office would not be his come tomorrow. His head fell into his hands; it had all backfired so spectacularly. He was back, You-Know-Who was truly back; he could scarcely believe it. Part of him had known it was true but he hadn't wanted it to be. He could feel the eyes boring into him as he slumped further down.
He hadn't wanted it to be true, not after last time… and back then he had been on the front lines as an Auror.
Blake turned to look at them as he lights came back on, momentarily blinding them; it was the wake-up call they all needed. Perhaps now they would have an actual chance of defeating Voldemort before his grip became so strong that the next generation was just as damaged. "You were saying something about it being highly convenient? Minister Fudge?" Blake enquired harshly, gazing at him in disgust before his face moved to the ashamed yet horrified looks the Wizengamot were still supporting. "When was that? Was it when you had a wizard kissed without first getting permission to do so? A wizard you had no idea was out of Azkaban… a wizard who had long been since declared dead? Instead of investigating HOW he got out of Azkaban, you decided to cover it up. If it happened to save your own ass and allowed you to bury your head in the sand at the same time, who's to argue?" He could just see Fudge's heartbeat shooting through the roof.
"And you, Albus Dumbledore, shame on you. You could have had this done years ago; you could have had Sirius Black freed and Pettigrew wanted all over the world. If you had just acted, Voldemort might not have had the opportunity to come back," Blake spat bitterly, turning his ire on the old fool.
Harry froze in his seat, watching his older self… and Dumbledore, who hadn't spoken other than to say that he had a witness. He had been wondering why nobody had asked him to do it… in three separate instances that he could think of. When he had realized his godfather Sirius Black was innocent, then after the tournament, and of course after the Dementor attack. Could Dumbledore have done this? If that was the case, why hadn't he? Why had he allowed his name to be besmirched and him to go through everything he had? He didn't understand it at all, and he felt the anger beginning to build up in him again.
"Who might you be?" Albus enquired, his twinkle absent as he gazed at this powerful wizard. He knew too much, and that concerned him a great deal. He stood up facing the wizard, not intimidated and determined to show it.
"Blake Slytherin," he stated calmly, watching dread and suspicion flash on Albus' face. He'd known his name would cause everyone to have suspicions, but he couldn't care less. He'd had to use a surname from his line; Potter and Peverell were too well known, so Slytherin had been his choice. "Harry Potter's magical guardian."
"We must speak privately," Albus stated immediately. Harry couldn't be removed from his family; the Dursleys were the only real protection Harry had against the Death Eaters and Voldemort. He couldn't believe Slytherin had successfully gotten custody of him under his nose; it had to be a ruse, otherwise he didn't know what he would do. He must get to the Dursleys as soon as possible and find out what had happened; if they were dead, well, the protection was already gone, and he had failed.
"I assume this power play is now over with, and that Harry is free to go with all charges dropped?" Blake said expectantly, scorn dripping from each word. Oh, he knew very well what this trial was all about. Power games; Fudge had liked to think he was winning for quite a while, until the end of the year and he saw Voldemort's presence himself. He'd been surrounded by people so that he had no possible way of denying it or playing the 'you've been confounded' part.
"Yes ― er ― yes, of course," Fudge croaked brokenly. The silence was extremely daunting... especially with fifty wizards and witches surrounding him on all sides.
"Harry, come," Blake stated sharply. This was the moment of truth: whether Harry would think for himself or continue to rely on Dumbledore, despite knowing only a margin of the truth. It didn't matter whether he came willingly or not, the boy would be going with him.
"You cannot take him," Dumbledore said, his voice dangerously low, almost threateningly but not quite. It was as if he was trying to contain himself and not outright alienate Blake.
"You'll find it has absolutely nothing to do with you, Albus Dumbledore. You are his headmaster, nothing more. I do not want to see you trying to be more, otherwise I will involve the authorities and have you arrested for kidnapping." Blake made no attempt to lower his voice as he pulled Harry close, not wanting to risk any sudden attempts to stymie him. Dumbledore would do anything it took; he above all others knew that. As would Harry, as soon as he gained his trust, but the fact he had come to him spoke volumes ― he knew himself better than anyone else, after all.
Albus stared stunned, his blue eyes without their customary twinkle. Hearing the voices of various Wizengamot members, he belatedly realizing where it was they were; he would have to tread lightly. They were all listening in curiosity, wanting to know exactly what was going on. How did he do this? Albus wondered; he'd never been in this tight a position for such a long time. Harry couldn't leave with this wizard. Then he realized what he could do, nobody could blame him for being concerned, after all.
"I am merely concerned, how do we know that you are not a Death Eater? I cannot let my pupils be harmed; as a Headmaster I would be failing in my duties if I did so," Albus told Blake, his tone condescending.
"And of course, anyone that doesn't agree with you right away is considered evil or a Death Eater, right?" Blake quipped, sneering at the wizard in his pathetic attempt at trying to make it sound like the entire Wizengamot was agreeing with him. As far as he remembered, Dumbledore had already been removed as Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot. He was barely retaining his position as Headmaster as it was.
"Of course not," Albus said, his eyes wide in a feigned display of shock.
Blake snorted in derision, not buying anything the old fool said. In one swift movement he had both his arms bared for the old fool, showing his tanned, unmarked arms for all to see. "Does this satisfy your concern?" Blake asked, scorn dripping from the word concern. Dumbledore didn't do that word - unless it was on a grander scale, such as the worry about the entire magical population.
"Harry is protected by his family; you must understand that, as long as he calls it home, he's safe," Albus told him. It didn't pacify him for even a second that the man wasn't a Death Eater. Not all Death Eaters were branded with the Dark Mark, Fenrir Greyback and his ilk were proof of that.
"That is irrelevant, it's already been done," Blake spoke harshly, "Now move aside, I have other things to do - and none of them are speaking to you, Dumbledore."
Harry felt like he was being torn in two. What had happened to make him hate Headmaster Dumbledore so much? Sure, he had done things wrong, but was he so bad? What had happened in the future to make himself so… Snape-like? It was the only way he could explain it; he was so impassive, angry even and sarcastic. He wasn't dressed fully in black, though... maybe it was just Dumbledore that brought it out in him? The thought of learning everything excited him; he couldn't wait until he could ask his questions and finally get answers.
Albus froze for a few seconds, not wanting Harry out of his reach for even a moment ― yet he couldn't stop him. Not in front of the entire Wizengamot at any rate; he would need to play this carefully. With great reluctance he stepped aside. For the first time he looked at Harry, but the boy wasn't looking at him at all. He was staring at the floor, unable to meet his gaze. Gritting his teeth in frustration, he watched them step past him ― Blake Slytherin was a little too smug about that ― he had chosen his choice of confrontation well, he belatedly realized. He would need to be extremely cautious, yes, he would indeed.
Blake didn't even spare Dumbledore a second glance. He headed for the door before stopping short; turning to face Umbridge he stalked forward, keeping his grip on Harry meanwhile. He leaned down until he was choked on the disgusting woman's perfume and hideous pink jumper. "Try anything further with my ward…and you'll find out just why you do not want to make an enemy of me. Stay out of Hogwarts, otherwise your past will pale in comparison to what I reveal… it will no doubt lead to the Dementor's kiss. Now that would be justice, since that's what you tried to wish upon a fifteen-year-old boy," Blake whispered coldly into her ear. He didn't even need to withdraw completely to know she had paled drastically. "Is that understood?" he added, his icicle green eyes boring into her terrified ones.
"Yes," Umbridge managed to squeak softly, swallowing thickly; he knew! Blake Slytherin knew what she'd done! How the hell did he know what she had done? How could he? Nobody else did, yet the evidence was irrefutable: somehow he knew she had sent the Dementors after Potter. It was as if he could see into her soul, even she hadn't suggested planting herself into Hogwarts with Cornelius yet. She shivered in fear of this wizard; those eyes told her suffer no delusions… that he would kill her. Even as he backed away her heart thumped painfully in her ribcage as she tried to contain her fear not wanting others to see her so…vulnerable. How could she not be? When this wizard had laid her bare? Threatened her with exposure? She had spent so long climbing up the ministry, hiding her dirty secret ― with one word from Blake Slytherin, it would all crumble to dust.
"It was nice seeing you again, Dolores," Blake said, a small smirk playing across his face, before he swiftly exited the courtroom, not waiting on her reply. That small smirk turned full once he was in the Atrium; he had done it. Despite the fact he had not planned on coming here, or wanted to be here, he was beginning to realize the extent of the things he could change. Plans were already in motion, with 'sheer dumb luck' he would succeed in all ways. He wasn't a child anymore after all and he knew how to play the games better than most.