The only relief the wizard felt was when the goblins, who'd at least keep him alive, showed up, but that was short lived for the goblins just sneered, "First come, first serve." The goblin offered politely and the wizard paled as the creatures closed in on him …
Several hours passed as the ministry went through the entire lockdown process. It took so long that people had to transfigure their desks into beds for a rest. To be precise, it wasn't the process of removing the potions that took so long, but actually the process of finding everyone still in the field and making them come in. Also going through each person who was potioned and figuring out what each specific potion was doing to them.
Dumbledore had nothing to do with most of it, but at the same time it may have been all his fault. Most of the potionings were like Arthur's case meaning it was a spouse or family member who did it, but in the end if Dumbledore hadn't dumbed down Cornelius, these things may not have gone unnoticed. So much had to be unraveled before the ministry could go back to functioning like it should.
Arthur glanced up after changing his bed back into a desk and saw a goblin talking to an amazingly different Minister who was freed from the potions that kept him under control. It was such a personality difference that there that it almost made a physical change and this new stronger and confident Fudge was taking control of everything. The bag he handed over to the goblins was only the start.
Afterwards, Lucius Malfoy said something to the minister and they went into the office for awhile, while Arthur found it curious, he was too busy jotting down the letters he'd send to his eldest kids informing them of what was going to change in their family to care ...
Cornelius Fudge suddenly came out of his office, stood on a desk and placed his wand at his throat to amplify his voice,"Starting today, Gringotts is working with us and it is now mandatory for all ministry workers to go in to have a potion scan. This takes effect now. Please hang tight until the last people that need the exams are finished or mental evaluations are complete . There is some great news though! It seems Gringotts has found Albus Dumbledore-" he waited for the cheers to go down before continuing, "Dumbledore has been attacked it seems. The goblins who found him said it was most likely some creature who held a grudge, but there's no way to know for sure. He is at St. Mungo's Janus Thickey Ward in a medically induced coma. His trial will start when he wakes up, but despite the goblins having rights to his trial they are going to allow the ministry to put their two knuts in so be ready if you're called to say something. Also, Arthur Weasley!"
"Right here, sir!" A startled Arthur exclaimed as he stood up.
Cornelius motioned for him to follow him and they went to his office where a goblin and Lucius Malfoy were seated, "I'm going to need you to remain calm, Arthur."
Arthur looked confused and a nervous chill began twisting in his gut, but he nodded, "Yes, sir."
The minister seemed to take a second to analyze Arthur silently before carefully wording his next statement, "Lucius Malloy just admitted to me what was really going on with his family back when Voldemort was around and what has been happening after. Apparently, despite being dark, they didn't side with Voldemort … at least, not willingly. He says he can't tell the entire story due to a vow, but for reasons that vow protects he feels it's safe enough to talk about the Death Eaters he knows of. One of them he mentioned worries me … you mentioned Scabbers a number of times. Tell me, how old is Scabbers and what features does he have?"
"Errr … features?" Arthur blinked at the strange wording pertaining to his family's pet rat, but was happy that at least Lucius was confused too, "He's missing a toe and is about-..." Arthur looked stunned for a second, "umm … he is … we had him for eleven years …" Arthur answered in disbelief and started realizing something wasn't right for even a magical rat shouldn't live that long.
Cornelius took a deep breath and signaled to Arthur to have a seat. This time it was more of an order. Once the Weasley was seated he sighed, "Arthur, one of the Death Eaters the Lord Malloy mentioned was Peter Pettigrew-" he held up his hand demanding silence when he saw Arthur about to freak out, "I already filed the paperwork regarding Sirius Black and his release, but there's something far more urgent to be handled right now and it has to do with your family's safety. According to Lucius, Peter Pettigrew was a rat animagus." After a second the information sank in and all the color drained from Arthur's face, "Arthur, stop!" The minister ordered as Arthur leapt out of his chair.
"But my son is with a Death Eater! I have to go!" Arthur pleaded. Lucius, for his part, looked calm, but being a father himself he could not only understand the feelings of worry Arthur must be feeling he was feeling them right now as well. After all, Draco was in the same place as Ron, who apparently has a cowardly rat he knew would do anything save his own tail, even kill.
Lucius wanted to race to his son too, but he knew rushing could make things worse and they can't risk their son's lives, "I know you're worried about your kids, Arthur. I am as well, but you need to calm down or you'll make a mistake you'll regret.
"But I-..." Arthur clenched his fists in desperation, but after a second he forced himself to sit back down.
"Thank you, Arthur. I know this news isn't easy for either of you." Cornelius remarked calmly before smirking, "I assure you both that we have a way to get our target out of Hogwarts. Now I know you were just freed from a potion, correct?"
"Yes, sir." Arthur said taking a chance on this minister who he never would've trusted before.
The minister nodded as he tapped his chin, "You most likely learned some things that your son Ron should know … and perhaps you should explain at Gringotts." He said, making the goblin present smirk.
"We have a special room. Pettigrew won't escape once he's inside and the Aurors waiting there can make the arrest there." The goblin said with a dangerous sneer. Perhaps he was enjoying this situation more than he thought.
The Weasley took a deep breath as the hint sank in and nodded, "Ron was close with his mother … I should make sure to explain what's going on in person so he understands." Arthur said as he stood up, making it clear he could use that excuse to easily get Ron and the rat to come without suspicion.
"There will be a team waiting and will take action the second you step into the chosen room and shut the door. You keep your son out of it once Pettigrew is separated." The minister said.
"Yes … that will be no problem … I wish I knew sooner." Arthur said bitterly before he could stop himself.
The minister nodded understandingly, "Yes, but there's no point in dwelling now that we can see all the pieces and do something about it without … interference." He said trying to remind Arthur that the fault was not his own, but in the potions they were slipped. "What?" Cornelius blinked at the looks he was getting from Lucius and Arthur.
"You're just … very different now. It's fascinating." Lucius admitted to the man who was no longer a bumbling fool.
When Harry and Severus returned from Hogwarts, Poppy was with them. Most of the creatures stayed out of the way as the healer checked the three patients. Even those who went 'wizard hunting' just went into hiding until Poppy left and Harry got some much needed sleep. Very early the next morning, the creatures convened downstairs as Severus helped Harry check on one of their cutest tiny patients and caught Trocar up on the news ...
"You didn't have to do this Harry!" Trocar exclaimed nearly in tears, which surprised Harry and Severus a little, "It has been so long since I taught a full class … what should I wear? What should I do to better my chances of being allowed to teach? Something more like robes perhaps?"
Harry opened his mouth to say something, but Trocar disappeared before a single word could leave his mouth, "You saw that too, right?" He asked as he cradled the baby girl who was fussy and was apparently causing trouble for her parents both of whom were fast asleep.
Sanguini actually had to let them in, because Greyback and Mike couldn't wake up to get to the door they were sleeping so deeply. The same happened with Jenny, which, of course, worried Harry at first. He was scared someone suffered a complication so was damn relieved they were just exhausted.
"Yes." Severus said as he looked at the door that Trocar left through to leave Harry's apartment, "I don't know what you stumbled on, but we should study it further." Severus said, deeply intrigued by very real tears that were brimming the vampire's eyes. There wasn't a lot or even enough to make a tear fall, but it was much more than the odd shimmer that happens when vampires are normally sad.
"We?" Harry asked with a playful smile.
"Indeed, we should study this." Severus grumbled, "This could be a huge advancement for creatures. The potential benefits for vampires are astronomical. It's worth the attention of the both of us. Preferably sooner rather than later."
"I agree … it will be hard to experiment with school going on, so should Sanguini help keep you relaxed-" Harry shut up the second Severus glared, but he couldn't stop the smile from coming to his lips. He couldn't help but be amused by Severus' embarrassment about the obvious he was so motivated to start testing so quickly. "Ready to go?" Harry asked as the shutters closed assuming it was Trocar, but it wasn't. It was Armel.
Armel frowned, "I was taking account of everyone's symptoms after they returned … they tried to turn Dumbledore."
The green eyes widened, "Tried?" Harry stared confusedly as Severus looked very curious at the wording.
"Yes. Sadly, he remains alive in every aspect and was given to the goblins ... though he won't be conscious or walking any time soon." Armel said with a smirk, but that smirk faded right after, "I can only imagine your potion did something to the venom we inject through our bites."
Harry blinked, "It stopped the venom, not just the symptoms?"
"That's a poor way to word it. The venom went through and he clearly felt the pain, but we couldn't smell the usual scent in the venom that transfers into the final scent of a vampire. Dumbledore felt the searing pain of the venom, but didn't turn. The goblins, apparently, even waited a few minutes to see if he would before they took him in, but he didn't." Armel clarified and finally the full weight of what he said started to sink in …
Only the cooing of the baby could be heard as everyone went silent as they contemplated what that meant. After all, why shouldn't they be awestruck at the accidental discovery. Severus and Harry thought a temporary treatment might've been found, but this news implies that the very source of what made a human become a vampire in the first place could be removed. If that's the case then this may not be a question of treatment, but a cure! This revelation was quickly put in the back of their minds though as the baby girl cried out effectively shifting everyone's focus.
"I'm here!" Trocar called softly as he appeared out of nowhere scooping up the baby right out of Harry's arms before anyone could stop him. "Awww who's hungry?" Trocar cooed softly. Severus rolled his eyes at the vampire's mothering.
"Um … Trocar, we should go." Harry said as his kneazles came in to remind him of the time.
Trocar rocked the baby, "but-"
"I'll handle her!" They heard Mike call out from his bedroom.
"Fine." Trocar pouted and zipped over to Mike for feeding as Harry put the potion in his eyes to turn them blue before giving Mike and Greyback a selection of potions including a Pepper up and nutrition potion to help the new parents.
"Right … let's go." Cache said as he shrank his potion bag and put it in the bottomless bag in his pocket. Soon he and a reluctant Trocar left the room, but as they headed for Cache's apartment to floo to Hogwarts Remus and Moody were spotted waiting in front of Cache's door.
Remus smiled nervously, "Harry I-"
"You should go, Cache." Severus said as he went passed them and to his own apartment giving Remus a warning glare as he did so. "With Dumbledore in custody you can, if you want to, give Minerva some peace of mind. Her memories and testimony under the truth serum were already taken so they won't ask anything further, therefore, she can't reveal you." He said revealing why he wanted to leave the witch out of the loop until now.
Cache nodded, "I'll keep that in mind." He said before looking at Remus, "I can't say I blame you for anything especially knowing that Dumbledore was involved. That bastard has a talent for twisting everything his way. At least, he did." Cache said with a smirk getting amused chuckles, "As for us and whatever relationship we may have will have to wait to be discussed when things calm down."
"I know … thank you." Remus smiled, so happy that he was being given a chance. He realized how foolish he was for trying to drag Harry away when the boy did whatever he could to survive. Harry made it this far and he had no clue about anything until he actually tried looking for the truth. It all clicked when he saw Dumbledore's true cowardly nature. The wizard was in hiding! The image of the strong brave trustworthy wizard was blurred when he found the muggle newspaper, but seeing that the man tried to avoid the consequences is what shattered that image. All of this revealed how weak minded he has been.
Remus watched Harry walk away knowing he was a strong young wizard who could handle himself, "I dread to think what else I've been wrong about?" He pondered sadly as a ministry owl landed in the coop downstairs with a letter addressed to him …
"What are these bites? The venom and marks resemble vampire and werewolf attacks, but three are so many and he's still human …" A healer specializing in venoms pondered aw she looked over the badly damaged Dumbledore. No healing spells and potions could be used on an area until the venom was drained from it so on the bed laid a badly mangled Dumbledore, who had many gashes and broken bones, in a frozen comatose state. Of course, even if the venom was drained the wounds if infected, they may have a much slower rate of healing.
Another healer preparing a small amount of a potion huffed, "After what he put Harry Potter through he deserves to suffer."
"You're a healer! Act like it!" The first healer scolded as she carefully drained a portion of venom from the old man's leg so she could use a spell to stitch up the worst gash.
"Do you really disagree?" She asked as she gently nudged Alice Longbottom awake, "Potion time, Alice! … on dear Merlin! You sat up by yourself!" The healer yelped happily as the woman who has been bedridden for so long showed more control of her motion in years. Alice was still twitching and wasn't focused, but it was something. The healer helped keep her head still and poured the potion in, "All done! Ready, Frank?" She asked as she helped Alice lay back before going over to Frank Longbottom's bed to ready his dose.
The healer in charge of Dumbledore drained some more venom and sighed, "I hate the man, but we heal. We have to do our best to do our job … getting his ass on the stand should be our main priority even if letting him suffer would, admittedly, be nice, but you didn't hear me say that!"
The younger healer rolled her eyes as she helped Frank take his experimental potion called Nerve Tonic, "Right whatever … alright! All done!" She exclaimed and beamed as Frank laid back all by himself. "This potion is great! It's helping and we've only been using three drops a day for a week! I'm putting in a request to up it!"
As the healer tucked in Dumbledore she huffed, "it was already set higher because the brewer was testing on himself and other willing people and all having success. You can't make a request until you check for side effects-"
"There aren't any that a spoonful of a nutrition potion can't fix. I scan both before tucking them in for bed!" The younger healer grinned cheekily.
"Well I guess it can't hurt then. I finished draining the venom so let's go tell everyone to get to healing Dumbles, while we go get Alice and Frank some food. Since they're showing improvement let's get them something special … pancakes, perhaps?" The older healer suggested as they left.
Once the door shut leaving the patients alone, Frank and Alice focused their eyes right on Dumbledore's bed ...