Title: Who Did It?
Pairing: none really, but Susan Bones makes an appearance :)
Summary: When his name comes out of the Goblet of Fire, Harry wants to know who put his name in. The professors aren't cooperating, so he takes matters into his own hands.
A/N: Here's a short little something I've had in my head for a while and after I outlined it I decided to go ahead and write it. Something else that JKR couldn't write because then she would have had only a 4 book series instead a 7 book series.
Disclaimer: I'm still not JKR and I don't own Harry Potter, no money is being made here … these are not the droids you're looking for, move along.
Who Did It?
"Harry Potter!" Dumbledore called out, silencing the room and causing all eyes to turn to the fourth year Gryffindor.
Harry sat up a little straighter, startled slightly because he'd zoned out after the third Triwizard champion had been announced. He'd been thinking about how he'd actually have a nice boring year at school, but his name being announced and the Headmaster looking at him just changed his dream.
Hermione nudged him and motioned for him to go. At least she wasn't looking at him accusingly as many were doing, especially Ron. She looked like she was trying to figure out what was going on - just as he was.
"Harry!" the Headmaster called again.
Deciding his course then and there because he knew he was going to have to respond, he finally stood. "Shouldn't that be Mr Potter, just like everyone else, sir?" he asked coolly. Before the man could respond, Harry continued on. "Respectfully, I decline. I did not enter my name nor did I ask anyone else to do so."
The mutterings of the other students rose to deafening levels before the Headmaster sent a Cannon Blast charm into the air, quieting everyone.
"Mr Potter," the Headmaster looked at him disapprovingly, "it was not a request. You should come along so we can discuss this."
Harry could still see a fair number of angry looks directed at him, causing him to stay his course. "Cedric Diggory is the rightful Hogwarts Champion, not me; therefore I will not. For all I know stepping into the meeting will force me to participate. No, Headmaster, I will not go."
He noticed some thoughtful looks from a few of the Ravenclaws, grateful looks from at least a few of the Hufflepuffs, and exasperated looks from the Gryffindors; he didn't bother looking at the Slytherins or visitors from the other schools.
Bagman whispered to Crouch, who nodded and said, "You must, it's a binding magical contract."
That made the teenager in him rebel. "Prove it!" That made every adult he could see blink and look at him with varying degrees of disapproval, as if they couldn't imagine anyone questioning them. "Cast the spell that shows I'm connected to it along with the other three whose names came out."
After a long moment of stunned silence, Crouch finally said, "There is no such spell; take my word for it boy, you're obligated to compete."
The "boy" riled him as if his uncle had uttered it. "If you can't prove it then I don't believe I'm obligated as you say. I'd suggest you find a way to cancel this and start over; either way, you'll be having it without me." Harry looked at his Headmaster. "How soon will you have finished the investigation as to how this happened?"
Dumbledore sighed ever so slightly. "I will look into it immediate after this meeting. Again, I implore you to come along and join the rest of the champions."
All heads swiveled to him. "Again, I say that I did not do anything to enter myself, I am not a champion, and I will not participate." With that declaration, he turned and stalked out of the Great Hall, head held high.
As soon as he was beyond the Entrance Hall, he started to jog towards the Gryffindor Tower. He was almost certain the "investigation" would find nothing of value yet he really wanted to know who put his name in the Goblet of Fire and why. He was completely certain that it wasn't for a good reason, although he couldn't fathom any reason for it being done.
By the time he arrived at his dorm room, he had the words in his mind and searched for quill, ink, and parchment to write a hasty letter. Satisfied with his letter, he grabbed his Invisibility Cloak and Marauder's Map and hid them on himself before going back down - just in case he might need them.
Harry was not surprised to see the rest of the Gryffindors in the common room, many of whom were frowning at him - including Ron - while the rest looked like they weren't sure what to think. He was surprised to see his head of house who turned towards him as everyone else quieted and looked at him.
"Mr Potter," she called out to him, "please come with me. The Headmaster would like to speak with you in his office."
He sighed as he really didn't want to do this, but understood he probably didn't have a choice. "Just him and yourself?" he clarified.
"As far as I'm aware and I don't believe I'm needed," McGonagall answered him as they left the tower.
"I would appreciate your presence, since you're my Head of House," he told her. After thinking about the meeting for a few moments more, he asked, "Has the investigation been finished already?"
"It has," she replied. "The Headmaster will share the results with you."
"Why can't you tell me and then we don't have to go all the way there?" he asked curiously, hoping to get the answer now.
She glanced at him for a moment. "It is the Headmaster's desire and prerogative; I see no harm in it."
Keeping his expression a mask, he hid how he really felt. He thought she was a good teacher, but she was just too much in the Headmaster's pocket. He knew he didn't know a lot about her, but he wasn't aware of her ever standing up and doing anything contrary to the Headmaster's desires. He wanted to confront her about it, but now really wasn't the time - there was no need to make an enemy of her as he knew her strict outlook would see his questions as him being disrespectful.
When they arrived, Harry stopped in the doorway as McGonagall continued into the room; his eyes narrowed in anger. Doing his best to keep his voice level, he said, "I thought it was going to be only the three of us." Snape looked as unhappy as he felt and Moody just stared at him.
"They helped in the investigation," Dumbledore said neutrally. "Please come in and have a seat."
Harry considered his options carefully before throwing his cares to the wind. "I only need to know what you found; I'll stand here."
Snape muttered something causing Dumbledore to give the dour man a quelling glance before he returned his attention to Harry. "Mr Potter, please do come in at least."
"I'm fine right here, thank you," Harry told him firmly. While he didn't believe he would be locked in the room, he strongly preferred the doorway he was standing in to stay open, feeling as paranoid as Professor Moody was reported to be. "What did you find, sir?"
Dumbledore looked very disappointed and stared at him, while the rest followed his lead.
After a long moment of silence, Harry tired of the game he'd seen the older students use sometimes and finally broke the silence with, "I see, since we're done then I'll leave." He started to turn.
"Mr Potter!" Dumbledore called out immediately.
"Yes, Headmaster?" Harry turned back. The man still looked disappointed and now McGonagall looked upset with him.
"Our investigation was mixed. Someone placed a strong, or more likely several, Confundus Charms on the Goblet of Fire so that your name would be accepted; however we don't know who put your name in it."
"What more do you plan to do about it?" he asked.
"There is little we can do," Dumbledore told him matter-of-factly.
"I see. Thank you for letting me know." Harry was sure now that his plan was needed.
Dumbledore looked at him seriously. "That being said, you need to know that first task-"
"Sorry to interrupt, sir, but I don't need to know about any of the tasks as I won't be a part of them. Good evening to all." Harry turned and left quickly, ignoring his name being called behind him by Dumbledore and McGonagall.
As soon as he was down the stairs, he hurried to the nearest secret passage that he could find for a little privacy. There, he pulled out the Marauder's Map and searched for the person he needed. When he found her he put his special cloak on and headed towards the kitchens.
A few minutes later and being plainly visible again, he knocked on what looked like the end of a very big barrel and waited. It didn't take long before the door was opened by a glowering boy, a seventh year Harry thought.
"I need to speak to Susan Bones please; it's quite urgent." Harry watched him blink several times while he noticed that the 'Puff wore a Prefect badge.
"I'll find out if she'll see you or not," he said and closed the door.
And probably not come back if she won't, if you even ask her, Harry thought unkindly. He was honestly a little surprised to see the door open a few minutes later and Susan Bones step out, as did Cedric Diggory.
"What do you want?" Diggory said, not completely rude, but certainly with hints of rudeness in his demanding tone.
Given the way Bones glared at the champion, Harry suspected Diggory had forced his way into this conversation, so he decided to be formal. "Miss Bones, I would like to talk with you for a few minutes about a family matter. Would it be possible for us to have a private conversation or do you feel a chaperone is required?"
Susan gave him a surprised look before she threw a short frosty one at Diggory. "A chaperone is not required, Mr Potter," she replied, matching him, "however, I'm afraid it will be difficult to be totally alone at this time." Another frosty look was given to Diggory who now was starting to look a little embarrassed but refused to leave. "Perhaps if we walk to the end of the corridor and speak quietly we can have a private conversation?"
"I would appreciate it," Harry said and started to turn, only to be surprised as Susan put a hand on his arm and stepped forward so she was next to him and smiled. Harry looked up and saw Diggory give him a look that implied he wanted to hurt Harry. Harry just grinned and started walking towards the window at the end of the corridor. Susan matched him step for step still holding his arm.
When then reached the end, Susan released his arm but continued to stand within arm's reach. Both glanced back quickly to ensure they were alone and found Diggory was still standing by the Hufflepuff door, though he was glaring daggers at both of them.
"Susan," she countered.
She smiled at him and nodded.
"Susan, I need a small favor and I'm hoping you'll help me. In return, I'll be happy help you with anything reasonable that you request."
She looked at him quizzically, as if trying to figure something out. "I thought you said it was a family matter?"
Harry looked down for a moment and pulled up his Gryffindor courage before looking into her pale blue eyes. "As I told everyone tonight, I have no plans to be in this…", he censored his description in the interest making a good impression, "tournament. I have just been told that they don't know who put my name in nor do they plan to do more to find out. Despite that, I want to know who put my name in and to make sure I'm not forced to participate.
"I have a plan, but I need help." Harry reached into his pocket slowly and pulled out a small letter. "I would very much like for the Director of Magical Law Enforcement to read this and hopefully help me; but I'm afraid that if I sent it on my own that it might never find its way to the Director or that it would take weeks. I'm hoping that you'll find it in your heart to help me stay out of the tournament by getting this to her quickly." He held the letter up so she could see the name.
Susan blinked at him in surprise and looked a little disappointed, but not too much. "I see," she said evenly.
Harry sighed. "Look, I know this doesn't look good on my part, that I'm using you to get to her. I wouldn't normally do this, but I'm a little desperate … perhaps more than a little," he admitted to try to win her over. "While I have no plans to be in the tournament, I am a little worried that I won't know if anything is wrong until I'm sitting in the stands at the first task and something bad happens to me. I don't know how magical contracts work and especially how something like the Goblet could enforce it, but why chance it.
"Please help me," he begged quietly. "I'll help you in any way you want to pay you back. I'll tutor you in Defense since that's my best subject; I'll buy you lunch or even several lunches in Hogsmeade; whatever you like. Please Susan…" he ended in a whisper.
After a long moment of silence that he didn't even contemplate breaking or walking away from, she told him, "I understand, and you're probably correct; it's not easy to send a letter to my aunt directly. I'll do it if you'll take me to Hogsmeade on our public outings for the rest of this term - that's probably twice. You can walk around and spend the day with me, including buying me lunch."
Now Harry blinked in surprise. Really, he questioned in his mind. While not the most beautiful girl in his year, Susan was still quite pleasant to look at. "Deal," he agreed readily and heartily. "You'll send it tonight so she'll get it in the morning?"
Susan chuckled lightly. "My, in a hurry, aren't we? Yes, I'll send it tonight and she'll have it tonight, in fact." She swiped the letter from his hand deftly before telling him very innocently, "If you renege on your part, I'll sic Diggory on you."
"Don't worry," he told her with a smile, "I have every intention of upholding my part; it will be a pleasure to escort a lovely lady around Hogsmeade."
With a smile and slight blush, she leaned forward and kissed him lightly on the cheek. "If you'll walk me back, I'll send this on."
"Of course." Since she seemed to expect the same treatment as before, he held out his arm which she took.
"I'm curious, why do you believe she'll do anything?"
"Because at least one crime has been committed. You'll leave that sealed?" he asked hopefully.
"Really?" she protested in surprise before a thoughtful look came over her and she said, "Don't worry, I won't read it."
Diggory was still glaring at them, though mostly at Harry, when they returned to the door to the Hufflepuff area.
Harry shook his head. "Didn't you listen to anything I said?" he asked the older boy. "I won't be in the tournament; you can have it to yourself."
"That's not what the Headmaster and the rest said, including Mr Crouch and he should know," Diggory practically spat back.
"Well, they can't really make me unless they plan to use the Imperious Curse on me," Harry told him, shocking the other boy before he looked at Susan. "Thank you for your help. I look forward to returning the favor, Miss Bones." He gave her a small nod with his head before he turned and left. He wondered how she'd get the note to her aunt tonight, but he didn't really care as long as she did it.
Returning to the Gryffindor common room, he was not surprised to see most of his house still there and apparently waiting for him. "What?" he asked as they all looked at him.
"You have the chance to be in the tournament and you're not going to take it?" one of the Weasley twins asked incredulously.
"I believe it was our own Hermione," he looked at his friend who was looking at him thoughtfully and then surprised her name was mentioned, "that said that many of the participants have been gravely injured or killed. I want none of that. In fact, I don't want even the possibility of that."
"But the money and the fame!" Ron shouted.
Harry noticed that no one he could see was nodding although some seemed to be considering the idea, so he assumed this was just a "Ron thing". "Can you name any former winners?" he asked his friend.
After a moment, Ron shook his head.
"Yeah, I can't either," Harry answered his own question, "so there's not any real fame. As for the money, it's worthless if you're not alive to spend it and I don't really need it."
Ron looked upset at the last part, but Harry didn't really care at the moment and walked through the crowd that parted enough for him to leave for his dorm room. As Harry was going to bed, he noticed that Ron was still giving him dirty looks, but didn't say anything for which Harry was grateful. He was sure Ron would get over it in time.
The next morning, most of the other students from Gryffindor and Ravenclaw were giving him strange looks, which he interpreted as not knowing what to do with him. Slytherin, the Beauxbatons students, and the Durmstrang students were generally ignoring him, which he was fine with. About half of the Hufflepuffs (led by Diggory) looked displeased with him, while the other half (which included Susan Bones) seemed fine with him.
Hermione sat next to him, but Ron sat several seats away - apparently still undecided about how he felt. That made Harry consider how he might extend his circle of friends if Ron was going to be so fickle.
At the end of breakfast, Susan Bones caught his attention and nodded to him before walking to the side of the Great Hall. Harry rose and joined her.
"Auntie said to give you this." Susan held out a note with his name in heavy but flowing script.
Harry opened it and read the short note. As Susan continued to stand there and looked at him curiously, he decided that he owed her enough for her help to give an answer to what she was silently asking. "She agrees that something is wrong, but doesn't agree with my proposed solution. Still, you'll see her this evening. Thank you, Susan," he told her sincerely, "and I really do look forward to taking you to Hogsmeade."
"You're welcome," she replied with a bright smile before she left.
"What was that about?" Hermione asked when he joined her as they left the Great Hall for their first class of the day.
Harry noticed once again that Ron wasn't joining them. "I asked Susan for a favor and she was giving me the answer."
Harry grinned at her, "You'll see this evening."
Hermione looked put out at the non-answer, but Harry kept smiling and kept the answer to himself.
— — —
Harry sat in the kitchens finishing a quick dinner while the rest of the students and professors were just sitting down to dinner in the Great Hall. He wanted to be able to meet Director Bones when she arrived without drawing attention to himself. He could also have the Marauder's Map out and sitting on the table without anyone else the wiser here, as the house-elves didn't care. He was also able to talk to Dobby a little, which made the little guy's day.
As he looked the Map over, he discovered a couple of interesting things, which made him think about the fact that he hadn't had the Map out this year before now.
A few minutes later, he noticed a group of people lead by "Amelia Bones" (according to the Map) walking towards the direction of the castle on the path from the front gates. Examining the rest of the party, there were the two names he was expecting along with some others who were unknown to him but were probably Aurors. He shook his head at the new problem, but he hoped there would be a quick solution.
Harry put the Map away as he left the kitchens and walked towards the front doors, pausing to take a quick look into the Great Hall. Spying the person he wanted, he left through the front doors to wait for the Director and her company thinking carefully about what he'd seen.
"Mr Potter," called out the woman who was leading the group as she walked up a few minutes later. "I'm Amelia Bones, Director of the Magical Law Enforcement. This is Rufus Scrimgeour, Head Auror," she introduced the older man next to her.
Harry shook the hand of the no-nonsense looking woman and the Head Auror's as well. "It's good to meet each of you."
"As you can see," she told him with a glance at those behind her, "I brought the others you requested for questioning, but I'm afraid I can't go along with your idea for how to question them. Forcing all the adults to give a magical oath or take Veritaserum to find out who put your name in seems over the top for attempted murder, and you're on shaky ground with that, no matter how much I agree with you that you shouldn't have been entered into this tournament."
"I understand, Director," Harry replied as he looked over her shoulder and noticed that Bagman and Crouch didn't look pleased to be here, "but it was the only idea I could come up with at the time. Fortunately, I don't believe that's needed any longer as I have new information that points us directly to the suspect."
"Yes." Harry reached into his pocket and stopped, his hand inside. "Can I have your promise that what I'm about to show you remains between us? This is one of the few things I have of my father's and I don't want to lose it."
Bones and Scrimgeour looked at each other in amusement before Bones said, "We agree; your family's possessions are yours to keep."
"Thank you," Harry said as he pulled the still functioning Map out and showed it to them. "As you can see, this is a map of the school that shows those here. For example, here we are." He pointed to the front steps and everyone's name was beside little footprints.
"Impressive," Scrimgeour said. "Your father made this?"
"He and some friends," Harry replied. "As you can also see, it can even give the names of those who aren't students, such as Mr Crouch." He pointed to the man who was a little ways behind them.
"And the purpose of this is what?" Bones asked a little impatiently.
Harry unfolded it again and pointed to the head table in the Great Hall. "You can see all the professors are known too, including a man who looks like Professor Alastor Moody." He pointed at the name that said, "Bartimus Crouch". He unfolded the Map again and pointed to a fourth floor room. "You can also see this on the map." This time he pointed to a name that read "Alastor Moody".
Bones looked over her shoulder and back to the Map. "Can it be fooled?"
"Not that I'm aware of," Harry told her. "There's a lot I don't know, but I can think of one way to explain this, assuming he bought a potion or can brew it."
"It shouldn't be possible," Scrimgeour said as he looked at his superior. "The boy is supposed to be dead."
The woman's look became severe as she pulled out her wand. Turning, she shot a silent spell that hit Crouch and turned him stiff and slightly bluish. "Aurors, take his wand and anything else magical from him and put manacles on him." She and the Head Auror walked over slowly as the commands were followed.
Harry watched in fascination as he followed them. The Body Bind was removed and manacles were put on him.
"Barty," Amelia Bones said very seriously, "you have one chance to tell me why it appears that your son is still alive before I start pouring Veritaserum down your throat."
Bartemius Crouch hung his head and looked like he was about to lose all composure. "My wife couldn't stand the thought of little Barty dying in prison, so she convinced me to take her to Azkaban where she took Polyjuice to turn into my son and stayed in his place while he took Polyjuice to look like her and leave with me. She was very sick and died soon after I was told; she might even have killed herself in prison. I've tried to keep him under control with the Imperious because I didn't have the heart to kill him either, but he escaped a few months ago. I've been searching for him ever since." He looked like the broken man he sounded like during the confession.
Bones looked at Scrimgeour and growled something angrily; the man snorted and looked angry himself.
"You two," she pointed at a pair of Aurors, "you're in charge of Crouch and will follow us in and stay in the Entrance Hall; keep Bagman with you."
"Mr Potter," she turned back to him, "I'd like to see the Map again, please."
When she had taken another look at it, she turned to the others. "The rest of you, you'll follow Rufus and myself inside and fan out in front of the head table. We're going to pretend, and I'm going to say, we're here to take Karkaroff in. So look like you're keeping an eye on him, but be ready to take the man that looks like Moody down. He's an imposter that's probably on Polyjuice and he will be willing to use the Killing Curse. You must protect the students at all costs, even if it means your life as you step in front of a curse. Are we clear on that?" She looked each of them in the eyes.
They all nodded but didn't look happy.
"I will approach Moody and talk to him like he is the real Moody and hopefully I will take him down with everyone staying safe." She stopped and took a deep breath. "I know this will be an uncomfortable assignment and it's why I'm taking the lead on this."
The Aurors, including the Head Auror, nodded and looked to be breathing a little easier.
"Mr Potter," Bones turned to him now. "I want you to go inside and sit at your usual place and act like normal. I would like you to leave the Map with me and I promise it will be returned to you without anyone else knowing."
Reluctantly, Harry handed it over. "Please keep it safe."
"I will," she promised solemnly. "Head on in and we'll be a few minutes behind you."
Harry nodded and left, hoping this turned out well.
Entering the Great Hall, Harry found an empty spot next to Hermione and took a seat, putting some pie on his plate.
"Where have you been?" she asked, "And why are you starting with dessert?"
Harry considered what to tell her. "I had most of my dinner earlier since I knew I'd be talking to someone about the Tournament." He picked at the pie, eating tiny bites and playing with it since he was nervous about what was to happen.
"Who?" she asked.
"I was getting some legal advice," he answered vaguely. He looked at her to see her looking thoughtfully at him and also like she wasn't satisfied with his answer. "You'll find out in a few minutes."
Hermione still didn't look happy, but she returned to her meal. The others around him let him be, for which he was thankful. He also found it difficult not to look at the head table.
Just as he was beginning to wonder if the plan had been changed, the main doors opened and Director Bones entered with the Aurors following her.
Dumbledore rose, his look of surprise vanishing quickly. "Madam Bones, I didn't expect you this evening. Would you like to join us for dinner or shall we head to my office?"
"I'm afraid neither, Albus," she replied as everyone stared at the new arrivals. "I need everyone to stay where they are and no wands will be pulled out or we'll consider you hostile. Karkaroff, I need you to not move at all."
The Durmstrang Headmaster looked outraged and muttered something Harry couldn't hear, but the man didn't move.
"Alastor, I need your help with this," Bones said as she walked in his direction and up the two steps near him to the raised area where the head table sat.
"Of course, Amelia, how can I help with this Death Eater scum?" Moody growled as he rose.
"We're going to handle this just like we did the case we worked in Leads," she told him. "First, I'll…" Bones was almost next to him when her wand came up and without words a beam of red magic jumped the length of her arm and hit Moody in the body with him never having a chance to move before he crumpled.
"Amelia!" Dumbledore protested and started to move in her direction before she pointed her wand at him and he stopped.
"I'll explain in a moment," she told him before she looked beyond him. "Headmaster Karkaroff, I apologize for the implied insult, but I needed this man," she pointed to the unconscious man at her feet, "to let me get close to him to stun him to protect all the innocents from getting hurt. You may continue your business at the Tournament as normal and I again apologize for the ruse I had to use."
Karkaroff gave her a stiff nod and "Thank you."
"Amelia," Dumbledore said with some insistence not to be ignored, but he was to be disappointed.
"Rufus, pick another and come up here and put him in manacles and search him." Bones turned. "Professor McGonagall, would you please go with one of my Aurors and search this man's room on the fourth floor for the real Alastor Moody; he's confined somewhere up there … and have the school nurse meet you there." She pointed to an Auror, "Go with her and send the others in when you pass them."
McGonagall nodded before she called a house-elf and spoke for a moment before the little guy popped away; she then left with the Auror. Bagman, Crouch the elder, and the two Aurors walked in almost immediately.
"Albus," Bones turned to Dumbledore and glared at him. "I know you and Mad-Eye have been friends for years, so why didn't you realize this man," she pointed to the new prisoner, "is an imposter?"
Dumbledore blinked. "Are you sure? He's answered all my questions correctly and spoke as he should have, although I will admit he's avoided a few of the meetings I've invited him too but we are all very busy."
"Quite sure. He didn't protest my using his first name and he didn't protest the fact that we have never worked a case in Leads," she explained.
"How did you know to suspect him?" Dumbledore asked as he looked closely at the fallen man.
"Polyjuice for sure," Scrimgeour said while holding up Moody's flask.
"We investigated what's been happening at the school for more than five minutes," she said with a scathing look.
"Amelia…" Dumbledore's protest halted as the man on the ground started changing.
When the change was complete, Scrimgeour lifted the sleeve of the man's left arm to show a Dark Mark. "Barty Crouch the younger, I'm positive."
They all looked at the younger man with the straw colored hair who looked a lot like the older Crouch.
"I, uh … I see," Dumbledore finally said, his shock plainly visible.
Bones looked down the Head Table. "Professor Snape, as a licensed Potions Master, you can brew Veritaserum. Please bring some here from your stores. I will send payment to you for it."
Snape looked to Dumbledore, but the man was still looking at the imposter, so Snape followed the order and left.
"I believe we should take this to my office now," Dumbledore said as he recovered.
"I believe not as I'm in charge of this investigation," Bones countered. "The students have been lied to and they have the right to see the truth and the problem corrected." That led to various murmurs amongst the students.
Dumbledore didn't look pleased to have his "suggestion" ignored, but he didn't protest either.
Snape returned a few minutes later, accompanied by McGonagall.
"We found him," McGonagall proclaimed. "He's not in good shape but Madam Pomfrey says he'll recover. Moody says that Crouch the younger is still alive and ambushed him just before the term started."
"Thank you for the verification, Professor," Bones said and pointed to their prisoner, which caused McGonagall's eyes to widen as she saw the unexpected man for the first time.
Snape came forward and offered a small phial to her. Bones administered a dose of the potion and handed the phial back before waking the prisoner up.
"What is your name?" Bones asked as everyone waited without making a sound and straining to hear.
"Bartemius Crouch Jr."
"Are you a willing Death Eater?"
"How did you escape Azkaban?"
"My father gave me Polyjuice to look like my mother and took me out while leaving her there as me."
"Did you enter Harry Potter's name into the Tournament?"
"Because the Dark Lord ordered me to."
Bones looked taken aback but continued on after a brief moment. "Where is the Dark Lord now?"
"At his father's house in Little Haggleton."
"What is his condition?"
"He's in a baby's body to hold his soul until he can get a real body using Potter's blood."
"Who is with him?"
"Only Peter Pettigrew and his snake."
"Can he get away easily?"
"I don't believe so."
Bones shot a red spell at him and he slumped over stunned. "Rufus, take everyone else back to the Ministry through the Floo System and send out an Emergency Muster to all Aurors; I'll be along shortly. Also, contact the Unspeakables to join us.
"Dumbledore, every student and professor will stay in this room until I return. I don't want any chance of this information leaving for the next few hours. It's still early, but conjure bedding should we take longer than I think we will."
"I can guess what you're about to do. May I be of assistance and leave Professor McGonagall in charge?" Dumbledore asked.
Bones looked at him for a moment and then nodded. "That would be appreciated." She turned to the other prisoner. "Barty, is there really no way to stop this Tournament now that it has been proven Mr Potter did not enter himself and has no wish to compete?"
"There is one way-"
"No!" Bagman's shout interrupted Crouch before he realized what he'd done; then he looked embarrassed as everyone looked at him in surprise.
"Do you really want to be known as the man who got Harry Potter killed when you could have prevented it?" Harry asked angrily as he stood and stared at the man, willing to use his fame to save himself.
When no one said anything for a moment, Bones asked, "Crouch, what is the way to stop it?"
"All five of the judges have to agree to cancel it before the first task," Crouch the elder explained.
"Why didn't you say that last night?" Harry asked, still angry.
"Bagman asked me not to and offered me a few things to keep quiet," Crouch said with a shrug. At Harry's continued angry look, Crouch said, "There is now a motion to cancel the current Triwizard Tournament. I vote Yea." He looked at Potter, "I'm sorry for the mess you're in."
When no one else said anything, Harry called out, "Mr Bagman do you still want to be known as the man who allowed me to be killed in one of the tasks or will you vote to cancel it?"
Bagman wouldn't look at Harry, but he said grudgingly, "I vote Yea."
Harry turned to the head table.
"I vote Yea," Headmistress Maxime said without hesitation, as did Karkaroff; each eager to remove the Hogwarts' advantage of two entries.
Harry turned to Dumbledore, who looked at him thoughtfully for a moment before he said, I vote Yea and the current tournament is cancelled. We shall relight the Goblet of Fire in two days in order to have time to find a replacement judge and submit only the other three winning names." He looked at the other two school heads and received a nod.
"Yes! I'm not competing!" Harry shouted happily, causing many shaking heads and some laughter. For a little revenge, he said innocently, "Hogwarts, please support the honorable Cedric Diggory, I will be." The Hufflepuff table cheered and Diggory looked embarrassed.
"Mr Potter, a moment please before I go," Bones called out as she started walking his way.
She led him to the side of the Great Hall and turned them so their backs were to the others before she carefully handed the Marauder's Map back to him. "Here it is, safe and sound."
"Thank you, Director," he said cheerfully as he tucked it quickly into his robes. "May I also ask one more thing before you go?"
"You may ask," she told him with a slight smile.
"If Pettigrew really is there, please capture him alive. You see, he betrayed my parents and Sirius Black. Pettigrew was really my parent secret keeper to hide them and he was the one that killed all the Muggles, not Black."
"I'll try," she told him, "but why do you care and how do you know that?"
"Because he's my godfather and he never had a trial - he's innocent even if he had to spend twelve years in Azkaban. I heard Pettigrew confess a few months ago." He looked at her steadily, hoping she'd help.
"Are you sure he never had a trial?" she asked very surprised.
"Yes, and Minister Fudge knew about this over four months ago and hasn't done anything to fix the injustice either," he told her.
"Sadly, that's not too hard to believe," she told him with some exasperation. "I'll do my best to bring Pettigrew in alive if we find him. I will promise to look into if Black never had a trial or not, no matter what."
"Thank you," he told her very gratefully. He thought she just might be the only truly helpful adult he'd ever talked too.
She patted him on the shoulder and then walked to the door where Dumbledore was waiting for her and the two left together.
He looked over to the Hufflepuff table and wasn't surprised to see Susan looking at him. He gave her a big grin, which she returned, before he rejoined his house-mates.
As everyone settled in for a wait, with a few students pulling out packs of Exploding Snap cards they'd had in their pockets, Cedric Diggory walked over and motioned to Harry to follow him.
At the side of the Great Hall away from the others, Diggory said quietly, "Potter, I'm sorry for what I said to you and how I acted last night. I hope you can understand that I was trusting what the Headmaster told us, but I was completely over the line and rude. I hope you'll accept this apology."
Harry looked at the Puff's sincerity and the hand that was held out. He reached out and shook it, causing Diggory to smile.
"Thanks for this and for what you said about me being the champion," Diggory said with a smile.
"I meant it. I'm glad you're the champion and not me," Harry returned with his own smile.
"Before I go, I do want to ask you to be good to Bones. She's a sweet girl."
Harry understood it as a request from a friend, as he wasn't threatening or anything. "I will be a good friend to her, don't worry." With a nod Diggory left and Harry returned to his friends to talk and wait.
— — —
It was nearly two and half hours later that the main doors to the Great Hall opened and Dumbledore and Amelia Bones returned looking none the worse for their adventure.
Dumbledore spoke loudly, though everyone was looking at him expectantly and waiting for any news. "Thank you for your attention. We have been successful and apprehended the spirit of Voldemort and it has been taken into custody. You have nothing to fear. You may leave for your house common rooms. And because you lost a few hours of studying this evening, all classes will start at ten tomorrow morning - those that start before that are canceled; breakfast will start an hour later than usual. Have a good evening."
As everyone started talking excitedly, Director Bones walked over to him and pulled him to the side again and then into the trophy room. "Mr Potter, I wanted you to know that we did capture Peter Pettigrew alive and I can assure you he will be questioned closely this evening with Veritaserum. The Unspeakables have the … the thing that is You-Know-Who and he will be questioned most closely as well.
"I also was intrigued by what you told me before I left about the Minister being aware of Black's status four months ago. We have a way to look at memories of a person and I wanted to ask you if I could have that memory." She looked at him with a hopeful look.
"Certainly, Director," Harry replied. "I can give you a few other memories about Voldemort that could be helpful too."
"By all means," she said as she pulled a very small box out of her pocket and then enlarged it before opening it. "If you'll think of the memories, I can pull out a copy of each and take them with me to study. Please tell me when you're thinking of the memory and ready for me to copy it."
"All right," Harry told her as he thought of his detention in the forbidden forest in his first year. She pulled out a glowing mass of something that almost looked like worms or moving strings on the end of her wand when she put it to his temple. She dropped the mass into a small bottle in her collection box.
"I'm ready again," he said. They repeated the process for his adventure at the end of his first year, his experience with the enchanted diary, the adventure at the end of his second year, and his adventure with Pettigrew from Ron being taken until Sirius protected them and the rat escaped, as well as the conversation with Fudge and Dumbledore saying he could do nothing after Fudge had left.
"That's it," Harry told her.
"Thank you, Mr Potter," she told him as she closed it all up and put the collection box back in her pocket. "I can assure you that if Sirius Black is really innocent, he will be declared free and you can visit him at Christmas or perhaps on a Hogsmeade visit before."
"I appreciate all of your help, Director."
Bones smiled at him and put a hand on his shoulder. "On another topic, I do hope you'll treat my niece well on your dates?" She gave him a look as if there was only one answer.
"Of course, Director," he answered, only a little scared of her. "We're only friends, but I'll still treat her well when I escort her around."
"Very good," she told him and clapped him on the shoulder. "I appreciate your help tonight and I'm glad you received your desire not to be in the tournament. I wish you a good evening."
Harry watched her leave and started walking to his dorm room slowly as he considered how many people Susan Bones had watching out for her. He hadn't missed her best friend, Hannah Abbott, also giving him the eye earlier as if judging him.
It was three evenings later that the Goblet of Fire was relit and only the three other champions: Delacour, Diggory, and Krum, placed their names in before Dumbledore placed a ward around the Goblet that prevented all others from getting close to it for twenty-four hours. The new judge to replace Crouch was Head Auror Rufus Scrimgeour.
Harry had also noticed that the others were friendly to him again, especially the Hufflepuffs.
Well, Ron still seemed a little piqued that Harry had had a chance to be in the Tournament and turned it down, but Ron was starting to act like his old self again. On the other hand, Harry was still treating him like Dean or Seamus and would continue to do so until Ron truly apologized for being such a prat to him. In the meantime, Harry thought he would start trying to partner with people from the other houses in his classes to get to know them, at least when he could.
Harry was escorting Susan to the first task. She was beaming as she held onto his arm, as she'd had to teach him what was proper when being escorted in public. He thought he knew all the normal common courtesies to be polite, but time with Susan was being very educational because she was teaching him many things about the Wizarding World that he didn't know. Still, even with his social deficiencies, Harry thought their first date had gone well and he believed she thought that too.
"Still having a good time?" he asked her as they sat with Hannah Abbott and some of the other Hufflepuffs in their year.
"Yes," she replied brightly and then sighed, some of her happiness leaving her.
Harry wondered what had changed when he felt someone sit next to him and saw it was Hermione, who said hi to him in a cheery tone, which he returned.
He couldn't help his amused smile as he realized what the problem probably was. He leaned over and whispered in his date's ear, "You were fine with her walking around with us and talking to Hannah for most of the day on Saturday in Hogsmeade." Susan looked at him and it was obvious she knew what Harry was talking about.
Susan sighed again before she leaned over and whispered in Harry's ear. "She's your friend and I'm all right with her around, but I was hoping it could be just us today."
He had guessed wrong about her reaction, but he still chuckled and whispered back, "Not likely since your friend is here too."
She bobbed her head as if in indecision for a moment before she whispered, "I'll send Hannah away after this so we can walk around the lake alone if you'll send Hermione away."
Since they had just walked around as friends yesterday, Harry wondered if just maybe Susan wanted to do more than hold hands and walk and talk. Hoping he was guessing her motives correctly, he told her, "Agreed" with a smile. When she smiled back happily he thought he'd guessed correctly and some kissing was in his near future.
One thing that was definitely in his future, according to the letter he'd received this morning, was that with his godfather freed last week, he'd be spending Christmas break with the man. Harry had no idea what it'd be like, but there was no chance it couldn't help but be better than being with the Dursleys. Knowing what little he did about the man, he expected it to be very interesting and hopefully a time full of stories about his parents.
The first task was announced and Susan's eyes bugged out and she clamped down on his arm in obvious fear as the first dragon was brought out. Unbeknownst to her, Hermione had grabbed his other arm and looked as frightened for him as Susan did.
"Good thing I'm not in this Tournament!" Harry swore fervently, extremely glad he'd pushed to find out who'd put his name in the Goblet of Fire.
(A/N: There you go, just a little something that hit me and I had fun with. If you didn't figure it out, Susan called the family house-elf to her and sent the note to her aunt that way, guaranteeing it would be seen that evening. Did Harry end up with Susan? You can decide. :) I hope you enjoyed it. - Kevin)