When Harry actually thought before speaking, when he didn't just sit back and take his punishment in some misplaced case of teenaged stubbornness and pride. When he couldn't sit back and watch her torture other students.

Sadly, I don't own the characters. I wish I did.

"And who could possibly want to harm children, such as yourselves?" Umbridge asked in the sweetest voice she could manage.

Harry was about to reply with the most sarcasm he could muster, 'Voldemort, of course', when he saw the look in her eyes. She knew exactly what he was about to say, and she wanted him to say it. He didn't know what she was going to do afterwards, but from the look in her eye, it wouldn't be good.

Quickly, he switched tactics. It wouldn't do any good if he proved people's opinions about him right, that he was crazy, either. Getting into a shouting match with somebody from the Ministry would not help that. He decided that he would get the truth out, but it wouldn't be by satisfying her. "Fenrir Greyback." He said instead, visibly throwing her off. "Murderers, thieves, pedophiles, child molesters. Giant man-eating spiders," He shrugged calmly while Ron shuddered at the reminder of Aragog and his children. "Death eaters that were either never caught to begin with, or they bribed and lied their way out of a prison sentence." He finished. "I could go on."

Knowing that Lucius Malfoy was capable of releasing a Basilisk (whether he knew what Slytherin's monster was or not, was kind of irrelevant, he gave Ginny that diary with the intention of releasing the monster, he was sure of it) on a school full of children, including his own son, he wasn't sure he wanted to know what else the man or his colleagues was capable of.

Everyone gaped at Harry, including Ron and Hermione. The two of them had obviously been expecting him to start yelling about Voldemort, which would do nothing to disprove current rumors about him being crazy.

Umbridge took a moment to recover. "Lucius Malfoy is an upstanding citizen..." She started, but Harry interrupted.

"I didn't name anybody, Professor. The fact that you immediately assume I was talking about him is rather telling, though, don't you think?" Harry tilted his head to the side. Yeah... he was pretty sure the only name he gave was Fenrir Greyback, a werewolf who was known to like attacking and biting children. (Although, he took that one with a grain of salt, considering what he knew from Remus, and how biased and prejudiced he knew the wizarding world as a whole was).

Even more telling, at least to some of the students, was that she didn't say anything to deny that bribes were taken back then before those Death Eaters walked free.

There was silence while Umbridge tried to recover and calm herself down after being interrupted by this child! "You will continue reading. You will not question the authority of the Ministry." She decided that ignoring the whelp, and not giving him any more fuel, would be the best course of action, at least for now.

"How is reading and theory going to prepare us for what is out there?" Hermione demanded again, realizing that Umbridge had never really answered the question. "And what about our OWL practical's?"

"If you read the material, and know the theory well enough, you will do just fine on the exams." She gritted out, glaring around before visibly reining herself in and putting that sickly sweet smile back on her face.

"You know, I don't pay to go to school so I can sit in class and read a chapter that I should have already read to prepare for that class period." Harry said after a moment. "I pay to go to school to learn magic. All you want us to do is read a chapter?" He asked. When her glare deepened, he shook his head and started gathering his things. "Alright then, I will hand in a chapter summary on Monday to prove that I've read it. I have an essay for McGonagall to start in the meantime." He said and walked out, followed by the rest of the class who decided that getting started on what homework they'd already been given was a much better idea than reading a chapter, which really should be homework itself.

"My father will hear about how much you're not teaching us." Draco sneered on his way out, intent on finishing that essay Snape asked for at their last tutoring session.

While he hated Potter and his merry band of Gryffindorks, he knew that Potter also had a point when he said that the Dark Lord wasn't the only thing out there that they had to be wary of, not that Wizarding Britain was even acknowledging the Dark Lords return anyway... just the way the Dark Lord wanted it, really. He also knew that, while the Dark Lord would be thrilled to sit back and let the 'Light-side' weaken themselves by not properly teaching their children how to even defend themselves, plenty of his own followers' children happened to be sharing classes with the Light-side children. And the Dark Lord valued education, his father had told him once that the Dark Lord had wanted to teach, before he really became the 'Dark Lord', but Dumbledore turned him away.

(And the Dark Lord was a very good teacher from what he'd seen of a few training sessions between him and some of the Inner Circle that Draco had seen that summer, if slightly impatient and very demanding of perfection.)

No, the Dark Lord would be angry that so many children's educations were being sabotaged like this. Private tutors could only do so much when the children could only hire them during the summer holidays since Dumbledore didn't allow them in the school.

That, and Potter had a point when he said that their families were paying good money for them to learn magic, to learn how to control their abilities properly. Sitting in a classroom reading about the theory without being able to practice it, would not teach them that. Especially when the book didn't even mention spells, incantations, or even proper wand-safety.

Plus, from what little he'd read of the book so far, he was amazed that the author found anybody to even publish it, it was full of meaningless drivel! Honestly, he would have probably been better off staying home and letting his mother teach him this year, but she didn't want him around the Dark Lord more than necessary.

Perhaps his father could use this to get some classes returned, or get a review of the school or something, since clearly neither Dumbledore nor the Ministry knew what a competent teacher was.

As the last student left her room, all she could do was stand there, staring at the door, wondering what just happened. After a moment, she growled. "We'll just see about this." She hissed, and proceeded to write every single fifth year in the Slytherin-Gryffindor class up for a detention and took fifty points from each student. She then started a letter to the Minister, along with the first of her many, many educational decrees that she had planned. "The little monsters think they can walk out of my class, think they can question the authority of the Ministry of Magic. There will be punishment." She glared at her door before marching to the Owlery with her letters and notes clutched in her hand.

"I'm very proud of you, Harry. I was honestly expecting you to start yelling at her about You-Know-Who being back." Hermione praised her best friend, smiling.

Harry flushed. "I was going to... but then I saw the look in her eyes... she wanted me to start yelling about Voldemort... I didn't think anything good would come of that." He admitted.

Hermione shivered. "No, it probably wouldn't have. It would have also helped prove the papers right concerning your mental stability." She sighed. "I'm not happy with walking out of class." She warned, but sighed again. "But you were right, that wasn't teaching. And I think that only the fact that everybody left, and not just us will be helpful in... lessening the backlash on us."

"Yeah..." Harry sat down and pulled his books towards him to start that essay he'd told Umbridge he needed to start.

"She's not going to like this, though... her job is to interfere at Hogwarts. She's not going to like that so many students just walked out... you can bet she's already doing something about it." Ron warned, surprising the other two. "What?" He asked, slightly offended.

"Nothing, just wish you would use your brain more often." Hermione teased lightly. Ron scowled and reluctantly opened his own books. Hermione wouldn't let him get away with not doing anything, she was always on them for leaving homework to the last minute.

Hermione was right. The next morning, the students' breakfast was interrupted by somebody noticing the Hourglasses. "Why are Gryffindor and Slytherin in the negatives?" Colin Creevy yelled in horror.

"What?" Harry asked, confused. How could that have happened overnight? Did somebody do something that nobody had heard about yet?

"Hem-hem." Everybody's attention snapped towards the Head Table at the now familiar fake-cough. "The Gryffindor and Slytherin fifth years lost all those points yesterday, by walking out of my classroom. If you do not wish your Houses to remain in the negative... well, I suggest that the rest of their Houses step up and keep them in line." She announced, smiling around.

Hermione sucked in a breath. "That... she just turned the whole of Slytherin and Gryffindor against the fifth year class." She said in horror. She remembered back in first year, when the House had turned on her, Harry, and Neville. Already, some of the other students were turning to glare at said fifth years.

Harry snorted. "So, what else is new?" He muttered. "They'll back off when they experience her teaching methods for themselves. Especially the seventh years. This is OWL and NEWT years, we can't afford nothing but theory." He pointed out.

"Fifth years, come with me." McGonagall was suddenly at the table, mouth said in a thin, grim line. Snape was doing the same thing at the Slytherin table.

Quietly, the two groups followed the two irate teachers to an abandoned classroom, where Snape warded the door specifically against pink toa- er... any outside interference during the discussion.

"While I am glad to see that Slytherin and Gryffindor can actually agree on something and do something together... walking out of class is not acceptable." McGonagall hissed, sounding very much like her cat-form.

"She wasn't teaching us anything. All she did was put a course description on the board that had nothing to do with actually learning magic, told us how important OWL year was, and then told us we weren't using magic at all over the year before instructing us to start reading our text book." Daphne Greengrass complained.

"That may be, Miss Greengrass, but walking out of the classroom is not the way of doing this. You all heard her speech at the Welcoming Feast, she is here on behalf of the Minister, keeping you from learning what the Minister doesn't want you to learn, is exactly why she is here in the first place. I suggest you all keep your heads down and behave." She warned.

"She has issued each of you with a detention. Gryffindors, you are tomorrow night, at eight o'clock. Slytherins, you are the next night." Severus intoned, glaring at his Slytherins, silently warning them that her punishment would be nothing compared to what he would do if they didn't shape up now.

"I don't think we need to tell any of you that this is not the way to start a year." Minerva hissed, glaring at the students before leaving. Severus sneered and followed her out. "It's a good thing it's so close to the beginning of the year, it won't be so difficult for the points to be earned back at least, especially if we're liberal with the point giving." She sighed.

"That might negate some of the punishment, though." Severus commented.

"We just need to make sure that their actions don't spread through the rest of the students, especially the rest of the fifth years, and the seventh years. I've already had a lot of complaints about her." And it was only the second day of classes...

By Order of the Minister of Magic

All students will attend all classes at all times

The only exception in the event of injury or illness followed a stay in the Hospital Wing, and must be proven

Educational Decree number Twenty-four

"She's kidding, right? She went running to the Minister because she can't control her class?" Ron asked in disbelief after Hermione read out the decree from the paper. Not only that, but she did realize that this was already a mandatory rule, right?

"She's just lost what little respect she might have had." Harry snorted.

"You know, George?" Fred asked as he read over Harry and Ron's shoulders (Ron jumped in surprise.)

"Yes, Freddie?"

"I think we need to... properly welcome our newest staff member." Fred said with a glint in his eye that George mirrored a moment later.

"Yes, brother, I think we should." And with that, the Twins walked out without eating anything. They would call Dizzy if they really wanted something.

Hermione looked torn between warning them off, really not wanting to know, and wanting to (maybe) join them.

"At any rate," Harry continued their conversation as if the Twins never interrupted. "I highly doubt that the other teachers will really enforce this. Well... beyond how they already enforced a student skipping classes anyway." He held up the newspaper page with the new educational decree written. He shrugged, not quite sure what Umbridge had been hoping to accomplish with this.

Ron snorted. "If she annoys them enough, they might just mark everyone as present even if they're all absent."

"But what's she going to do? Go around to every class, every class period, and do a headcount herself? She has classes of her own to 'teach'." The word 'teach' was said as sarcastically as possible.

"She might get other students to spy for her." Hermione suggested, eyeing the Slytherin table. The fifth year Snakes might have walked out of class with the rest of them, but that didn't mean they were going to continue to agree with them on anything involving her. "I wrote to Remus right after the welcoming feast. She has a lot of pull at the Ministry. An almost disturbing amount despite her position." Hermione eyed the others.

"She could also be blackmailing kids whose parents work at the Ministry... threatening their parents jobs and stuff. If she really has that much pull, then she must have a lot of blackmail piled up somewhere." Ron muttered thoughtfully. Mentally, he was moving pieces around on a chess board, half the pieces were shaped to look like Umbridge and a bunch of faceless Ministry workers, while the rest were all students at Hogwarts.

"We need to do something about her." Harry summed up. "Quietly." He glanced around. He just wasn't sure what they could do that wouldn't result in them getting caught eventually, he didn't want anymore trouble with the Ministry right now, not when they were already up in arms against him.

"Nothing we can do right now, we still have that detention with her tonight, though." Hermione reminded them with a sigh.

"Maybe we can prank her out of here." Ron mumbled around a mouthful of food, causing Hermione to sigh and berate him lightly about manners again.

That night, at seven, the Gryffindor fifth years turned up at her classroom to serve her detention, but they already knew this would change nothing. For some reason, though, the Slytherin's had their detention the next night, which was odd, but they brushed it off as her not having enough work for the entire group to do at once.

That flew out the window when they entered and saw the desks set up with parchment and quills.

The line each of them was supposed to write was at the top of the page, along with their name so they knew who was supposed to be writing what.

"Well? Find your seats and begin writing." She smiled at them all as they slowly moved to do as she said.

"You haven't given us any ink." Dean realized as he picked up the quill to write. Everyone else was wondering the same thing.

"You won't need any." She smiled again, and they glanced at each other, worried about what this was about. Something about this didn't sit right with them, but Dean and Hermione dismissed it as nothing. After all, she was (technically) a teacher, and a high-up Ministry official. She couldn't hurt them... they were probably just Muggle fountain-pens or something, or maybe there was a spell on them to negate the need for ink-bottles. Hermione had been researching ways to charm her own quills just for that, after all.

At the first sign of pain, they knew that something was wrong with this. Hermione was the first to realize just what happened, as everyone else eyed their now bleeding hands in horror. "You can't do this, this is abuse!" She cried, standing up and facing Umbridge, who still had a sweet smile on her face.

"I assure you, that I can. There is nothing any of you can do about it. I have the full weight of the Ministry behind me." Her sweet smile changed into a smug smirk. "Now, I do believe you have lines to write."

"I'm not going to sit here and cut open my own hand for your sick pleasure." Dean announced and got up to leave, determined to send off a few letters.

"Yes, you will." Umbridge announced, and the door slammed shut in his face.

It didn't open again until five hours later, when the group left to stumble back to their dorms, dizzy from blood loss and in pain, clutching their injured hands to their chests, with instructions to return again in two nights, the day after the Slytherin's had their detention with her.

The next week, the Slytherins were startled when Harry Potter suddenly sat down across from Draco Malfoy.

"What are you doing here, Scar-face?" Draco sneered, caught off guard by his sudden appearance. He glanced towards the staff table, but none of them seemed to notice anything odd.

"What is His Darkness' general view on people who hurt kids?" Harry asked, catching everyone off guard.

"What?" Draco asked, dumbfounded by the question and not able to hide it. Harry didn't say anything, merely looked at him expectantly. After a moment, he answered hesitantly. "I don't know for sure... I would have to ask father. But according to my Grandfather's portrait, torturing children has never been tolerated by Him. If He'd seen what happened at the World Cup... Children are the future of our society. They are to be spared whenever possible, and if they can't, then they're to be finished quickly and painlessly." That was what his grandfather's portrait had told him one time, but he didn't know how true that still was. "Why?" Why was the Gryffindor Golden Boy asking about some of the Dark Lord's policies? He didn't even bother trying to deny the Dark Lords return, everyone here, in hearing range, knew he was back.

Harry nodded slowly in thought, while his hands absently tore apart a dinner roll. "Do you know of a quill that uses the writer's own blood as ink, and cuts into their hand as they write?" He asked suddenly.

"Um." Draco was thrown by the sudden change in topic, and would forever deny using such plebeian phrasing. "That sounds like a blood-quill. Illegal to possess outside the Ministry or Gringotts, and only used to sign the most important of documents or contracts. They don't just use the writer's blood, but also their magic. Repeated or prolonged use can permanently damage the magical core." He said slowly. Shouldn't Potter already know that? How to recognize one was one of the first things any Heir learned, that way they couldn't be tricked into signing anything with it that they probably wouldn't want to have signed. And why hadn't Longbottom said anything to him? "Not to mention causing permanent damage to the hand itself, like scarring and severe nerve damage." And nerves were so delicate and difficult to heal...

Harry perked up in delight. "Which would make repeated use of one on minor's...?" He trailed off leadingly, looking hopeful.

"Highly illegal, almost Unforgivable." Draco felt like a Bludger hit him between the eyes as he realized where these questions must be stemming from. His hand shot out and snatched Harry's, turning them over to inspect the backs of them.

His left hand was red, slightly swollen, and very irritated looking. The faint outline of the words 'I must not tell lies or disrespect authority' were visible. Just how many times did you have to write something for the words to start scarring? He glanced toward the Gryffindor table, where he saw the other fifth years, and even some first and second years. The younger kids were huddled in the middle of the fifth years own huddle around the table, and the entire group was sending subtle glances towards him and Harry.

"Even the first years?" He whispered, and the Slytherin's around him shifted (in that moment completely forgetting about all the times they picked on or hexed first year Lions). But to use a blood-quill like this... and on eleven year olds who were just leaving home for the first time...

Harry took his hands back and nodded slowly, picking his mangled dinner roll back up and studying it. "Little Evan over there was apparently too fidgety during class." He revealed darkly. "Dennis was evidently walking too fast, and Miranda was just in time for class, but was deemed late, even though she's a first year and is still learning her way around, first years are allowed two weeks leeway to let them learn where their classes are before they are expected to be on time, you know? We've asked around the other Houses, and the only ones that have had detention with her are Muggleborn, half-bloods, or their families don't have any kind of influence. Either that, or they simply don't have anyone to turn to. With the exception of Slytherin fifth years, of course." Harry nodded at them.

And, of course, none of the Slytherin's had used a blood-quill in their detention with her. Just like none of them were told to come back so they could be sure the message would 'sink in'.

"A lot of us are supposed to go back tonight, apparently the message hasn't sunk in enough by now." Harry said mildly.

"That's torture." Daphne breathed, looking disgusted. Harry glanced at her and nodded with an eyebrow raised.

"I'll write to my father. Maybe He'll be able to do something, and if He doesn't, Father can at least get something started." Draco said. "If you can have Creevy take pictures of everyone's hands, that would..." He trailed off when Harry produced a stack of pictures, clearly showing everyone's hands and the words carved into them. They must have been taken the night before as everyone came back from detention. They hadn't started to heal yet in the pictures, but Harry's hand showed some healing.

"I don't care how it happens, as long as she's gone." Harry said bluntly before he left to go back to his table.

"Potter." Draco called before he could leave. He stopped and glanced back, a question written on his face. "Why not go to McGonagall, why come to us?" He asked.

Harry was quiet for a moment before sighing in frustration. "Because, like usual when I go to her with a problem, I'm told that everything is fine, told to keep my head down, and sent on my way." He said bitterly and walked away. "Adults can't be trusted." They heard him mutter before he was completely out of earshot.

When he reached the Gryffindor table again, one of the first year girls plastered herself to his side, and they could see him speaking quietly with the rest of the group. The whole of Gryffindor were eyeing them, clearly trying to figure out what was going on, but nobody did anything. The fifth years were still more or less persona non-grata with the Lions, while the Slytherins had made their displeasure clear in the common room, and moved on after everything was explained.

Draco quickly wrote a short letter to his father, conjured a small box for the pictures, and sealed it all inside, before emblazoning his family crest on the box. "I'll take this up to the owlery during lunch." He mentioned and put it in his bag. "Right now, we better get to class." He stood up just as the warning bell rang, signaling that students had ten minutes to be in class (twenty if you were a first year).

It took two days for Lucius Malfoy to respond, in those two days he was in meetings with both the Dark Lord and the Board of Governors.

To say Augusta Longbottom was not happy that she was hearing about this from Lucius Malfoy of all people and not from her grandson, was an understatement.

They were disgusted with how busy Umbridge was with those detentions of hers, as well, and for all the reasons she gave in the detention reports. Reading her reports, the reasons seemed genuine, but what the reports said and what Harry Potter told Draco were two very different things, especially when they had the pictures of everybody's hands to go with the Potter boys statement. The students' names were written on the backs of the individual pictures, and the words carved into their hands made no sense when paired with the official detention report.

The first and second years had only one detention with her, and that was it. But even that one detention was five hours long, just like the older years were. Five hours with a blood-quill... they would have to keep a close eye on those students. A blood-quill at their ages... The older years she had in detention were asked to come back again at least one more night.

Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger had already been in detention with her almost the entire week. While Lucius Malfoy and the Dark Lord weren't too bothered about the Potter boy, it was the principle of the thing.

The Dark Lord wanted Potter for himself, whole and undamaged, so he could prove with Potter's death who was the stronger wizard, once and for all. If Potter's magic were damaged by a blood-quill, any victory would be hollow, because the boy wouldn't have been able to fight at his full potential. (Ignoring the fact that Potter was just a teenager while the Dark Lord had decades more experience than him...)

The Dark Lord had decided to put her in Azkaban for now, they could fully deal with her later on during the raid to release his Most Loyal. Lucius almost sneered.

What had they been able to do while in prison? They may be the ones who refused to deny their Lord even when faced with life in Azkaban, but what did they do to further the cause? What did they do to lay groundwork within the government so that when their Lord returned, they could just take the Ministry?


Instead, they were going to be less than useless while time, resources, and money were spent trying to get them back to some semblance of their old selves, and not the insane husks they no doubt were at the moment. If that were even possible with some of them.

Not that he dared voice these opinions to the Dark Lord's face... He quite liked living.

"Let's call the Aurors, and have her removed." Augusta finally said decisively, breaking up the ongoing argument. "I don't care whose backing she has, she could be backed up by Merlin himself, it doesn't excuse the fact she is harming children! Using a blood-quill on children! Even just a legal contract without parental consent is a one-way ticket to Azkaban, let alone as a tool for detention!" She exclaimed, incredulous that they were really debating whether or not to even do anything to stop her. "You want to just sit back and let her!?"

"I agree." Lucius said smoothly, causing more than a few double-takes as he and Augusta were in clear agreement over something. "We should take Healers from St. Mungoes with us as well, as an impartial party to examine the children and for the official report." He didn't trust Madam Pomphrey not to try and cover it up on Dumbledore's orders for some reason, neither would some of the Wizengamot.

Besides, he could ensure that both the Aurors and Healers were some of theirs, in fact, if he wasn't mistaken, the Dark Lord had already alerted the right people to be ready to go to Hogwarts. None of the Aurors or Healers taken along for this would be part of the Order of the Phoenix.

Ted Tonks suddenly snorted and eyed the two of them. "Well, now I've seen everything." He muttered. "I don't know why there was a debate about this in the first place. These are children we're talking about." He eyed the ones who were the most vocal about not being able to do anything about it, as Umbridge was appointed by the Minister himself. "If anything, the only debate we should have been having was over who we should be getting to replace her after her arrest. We wouldn't want the Minister trying to stick his nose in again where it doesn't belong." Especially after the way this time turned out, with students being subjected to hours of abuse by blood-quill, of all things.

None of them had been at all happy when the Minister decided that it was the Ministries right to interfere at Hogwarts, and appoint a teacher when Dumbledore failed. That was their job, that was the Board of Governor's job. And they did not appreciate Fudge sticking his nose in their business, especially since the Ministry didn't pay any tuition or anything, Hogwarts was completely financially independent, they were a private institution. The only thing the Ministry did was provide standards, and examiners for OWL and NEWT students.

In fact, Lucius was beginning to think that Cornelius Fudge had overstayed his welcome.

He frowned. "All of us think of somebody that is qualified, on Monday we will meet again to go over them and decide who would be best." Of course, convincing them to come teach would probably be the hard part. "Until then, I will see if Madam Bones will lend an Academy Instructor for a week or two until they are ready to start." Everyone else nodded in agreement, cowed by both Ted's and Augusta's rebukes.

"Here are the forms. We need to all sign for her removal." Ted sent the parchments around the table, he'd already signed them, then went to request the Auror's and Healers, asking that they meet the Governor's outside the school gates in one hour.

The students and Professors would be sitting down to dinner about then, perfect time for an Auror, or two, to split off from the group to search her rooms. That way she didn't have a chance at hiding or destroying evidence. Like the blood-quills...

He sent a discreet Patronus off to the Dark Lord to let him know that they were moving soon, and then sat back to wait for the rest of them to finish signing and discussing a few last details among themselves. There were a few that still looked a little too uneasy, they would need to be watched... especially since they were the ones who were the most in Dumbledore's pocket.

Everybody was sitting down to dinner, the fifth year Gryffindor's and a few others dreading what came after, as they were expected in Umbridge's office right afterward. They all knew that to not go would only make her worse, so they went, got it over with, and hoped she didn't order them back again.

Fred and George had been viciously pranking her for the past week, while making sure there was absolutely no possible way she could ever pin it on any of the students, let alone them despite their reputation. Their pranks had only increased in number and viciousness since they themselves had been under the blood-quill the day before for trumped up charges.

They'd also been providing Essence of Dittany soaked bandages to those who didn't go to Pomphrey, not that she was really any good for actually trying to stop it, she just healed them and sent them on their way. The entire staff seemed to be ignoring everything in hopes that it would eventually go away on it's own. Any student who tried to go to a Head of House was just told to keep their heads down and behave themselves. They seemed to be under the opinion that if they just let her do what she wanted, then eventually she would go away.

The students knew better.

The Gryffindor's were starting to get impatient, those that had already been in detention with her were starting to wonder if approaching the Slytherin's had been a mistake, were wondering if they hadn't just handed the Snakes ammunition to use against them. Hermione tried to keep their spirits up by saying that owls took time to travel, and then a decision would need to be made on just what to do, after reviewing all the facts.

Privately, though, she'd admitted that she was thinking the same thing, she'd been expecting a response by now... they were a bunch of students after all... what she was doing was illegal, according to Malfoy, it was on the level of casting an Unforgivable on somebody! They were probably going to have to deal with it themselves, like usual.

They'd learned a long time ago that the adults wouldn't help them, no matter how much Hermione respected them as the authority in their lives.

That was why they were all surprised and relieved when the doors burst open ten minutes into dinner, and in walked the Board of Governors, four Aurors, and a small team of Healers. Instantly, the students burst into excited whispers, wondering what was going on. Those who had been under the Quill, though, were hopeful. There were Aurors, and Healers... did that mean...?

At the Head Table, the Headmaster and his deputy stood up, confused about what they were doing here, but not too concerned yet. "Governor's, what can we do for you?" Minerva asked, knowing Albus would probably say something insulting, he did have a tendency to completely ignore or dismiss other people's well-earned titles or positions, while insisting that they acknowledge and respect his own. And she also knew that the governors had been losing all patience and respect for Albus for years now.

None of the visitors said anything to her, though, instead they all turned their attention to the pink-clad witch, who had also stood up with Albus and Minerva, pretending that she was as important as them in this school.

"Delores Umbridge? You are under arrest for abuse of position and children, possession of a Class A forbidden object, and the use of said object on children." The lead Auror announced, stepping forward and summoning her wand to him without fanfare, turning her around and slapping a pair of magic-restricting handcuffs on her, all before she could protest. The students who had suffered under her burst into cheers, some started sobbing with relief (especially the younger students).

"Now- Wait just a minute here! I am the Senior Undersecretary to the Minister, on who's authority do you presume to arrest me?" She sputtered, wondering how on earth they'd found out she had blood-quills, and what abuse? She was disciplining a bunch of brats, there was no abuse there.

"Ours." Lucius Malfoy finally spoke, flanked by Augusta Longbottom and Theodore Nott Sr., three of the Board of Governor's most prominent members, two of whom sat on the Wizengamot itself. "Here is the paperwork for your dismissal from the Defense Against the Dark Arts position, as well." Handing it over to the Auror holding her in place, not even bothering to hand anything to her since her hands were cuffed behind her back.

"You can't dismiss me! I was appointed here by-" She kept protesting, starting to struggle now as the Auror started leading her towards the door. His eyes wandered to the Ravenclaw table, took in the relief on his son and daughter's faces, the way they each held their hand, and growled. She squealed when he jerked her around to get her to move and stop dragging her feet.

From the reports, he knew that the only children who'd suffered under her were those who's parents or guardians were not prominent figures in society, well... with the exception of Neville Longbottom and Harry Potter. Those two were very prominent. He was grateful his Lord gave him this chance to personally arrest the wom- no, thing that harmed his children. He, along with Augusta Longbottom, wondered why his children never wrote to him and told him what was going on.

Why did they go through the Slytherin's to let anybody outside the school know what was going on?

Albus and Minerva were shocked, what was going on here? "Perhaps we can move this to my office?" Albus suggested, wanting to know what was going on, but also not wanting the students to hear. He could control the flow of information that way.

"I don't think so." Lucius said flatly, eyeing the man that everyone claimed his Lord to be afraid of. Personally, he couldn't see it. Was Albus Dumbledore powerful? Yes. Did he hold more knowledge about magic itself than most wizards alive? Yes. Was he in his prime?


He was an old man, and, like everything else in the human body, the magical strength of a person declined as they aged. Dumbledore was in his hundreds, nearing retirement, no matter how much he seemed to have aged well, and no matter how spry he still seemed. The fact of the matter was that Albus Dumbledore simply wasn't as powerful anymore as he'd been just fifteen years ago, and he'd been old even then. Besides that, he just hated Dumbledore almost on principle.

"Excuse me, students. Could all students who have suffered under the blood-quill with Miss Umbridge please go see our Healers in the antechamber just through here?" He gestured towards the door used by the Tournament Champions the year before. "A couple of Aurors will be in to take your statements, so please don't leave until they have done so."

Minerva gasped in shock and collapsed onto her seat. A blood-quill... why hadn't anybody come to her, said anything to her? Suddenly, she remembered all the students she had come up to her in the last two weeks, trying to complain about Umbridge, only for her to give them platitudes and send them on their way. The other Heads of House weren't any better than her right now, except for Severus. She hadn't dared touch any of his Slytherins, and not just because of their family names, either. Severus' reputation had served his Snakes well the last two weeks.

That didn't mean he wasn't angry with himself for not noticing something was wrong, though. He may not treat most of them the best, but he never did anything that would physically harm them, and protected them as best he could. He should have noticed something was wrong... Not the least because of the potential danger that could have been caused by a hand shaky from pain and damage, or if a students blood had dripped into the cauldron. Either of those events could have caused the death of everybody in the room depending on the potion being worked on. But somebody was hurting his students right under his nose...

Albus breathed sharply. "All students, to your Common Rooms, now." He ordered, and turned back to Lucius, determined to contain this. If this got out, parents would not be happy with him...

Lucius ignored him, though, and addressed the students again. "Those that were affected by the blood-quill, please go to the antechamber to see our Healers. Everybody else, you can remain here and enjoy your dinner." He instructed again.

The students stayed where they were, torn between whose orders to follow. In the end, though, Harry and his group were the first to stand and make their way towards the Healers, with Miranda attaching herself to Harry's side and clutching at his hand.

Inside the room, Harry was directed to a seat, while the Auror tried to pry Miranda off of him, without much success. Harry finally had to sit her down by her Healer himself while he took a seat nearby.

"Alright, then. Let's see the damage." The Healer said briskly, holding out his left hand, and pulling his wand out with the other so he could cast his diagnostic spells. Harry held out the affected hand, causing the Healer to gasp in shock when he saw the damage. "Merlin. How many detentions did you have with her?" He asked in shock, grabbing the hand and waving his wand over it.

"Almost every night since classes began." Harry said dryly, causing the Healer to look up sharply.

"How long was a detention?" He asked. They hadn't seen detention reports or anything, they just knew they were here to treat students for blood-quill exposure. Although judging from the boys hand, the detentions were long.

"She never let us out before five hours passed." Harry said. "None of us." He glanced around at the first and second years, hoping the Healer got his point.

"Minimal exposure time is five hours, for all of them." He called to the rest of his team, who looked even more angry, especially those who were seeing a first or second year. Those not being seen by a Healer were giving their statements to the Aurors. "Have you been feeling irritable lately, has it been more difficult than normal to practice spells in class, to concentrate, or to feel and use your magic in general?" He asked.

Harry blinked. "Er, I have been more angry lately, but that started before we came back to Hogwarts." Especially after the Dementor attack and the trial he was put under... He thought back to the last two weeks. "Yeah... my magic has felt... sluggish when I went to use it." He said slowly, thoughtfully.

The Healer hummed as he scanned the results of his diagnostic, frowning. Standing, he went to the small cabinet the team had brought with them, and started taking out potion vials, putting them in a small expanded pouch, along with a jar of salve. When he came back, he started rubbing the salve into Harry's hand. "This is to reduce scarring. You will need to apply it every night until the jar is empty, although I'm afraid that scars of this nature won't ever disappear completely. I see you have been using Essence of Dittany?" He asked.

"Yeah... the Weasley Twins got hold of some, they've been soaking bandages in them and handing them out to students when we come back from detention. I think they told somebody from Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw about it and supplied them with some, too." Harry frowned, honestly not sure.

"That's good, that will have lessened the damage to your hand itself considerably, but the damage has still been done. Now," With the salve applied, he tapped his wand to Harry's hand, causing bandages to wrap around it snugly. He quickly wrote out on a piece of parchment. "I am putting you on restrictions. No magic for two weeks, let your magical core rest, and heal. The blood-quill is so highly restricted for a reason. It does damage to the person's magic, as well as their hands. I've also prescribed potions, here are the instructions and what they are. A nerve-regenerative draught for the nerve damage, and a magic booster to aid your core in healing itself." He paused then and looked at Harry long and hard. "According to my scans, you also show signs of early childhood malnutrition, bordering on starvation, and some... mis-healed injuries." He said carefully. It also showed Basilisk venom, and phoenix tears in his system, along with lingering Acromantula venom, that was being counteracted by the still-present phoenix tears.

He wasn't sure he wanted to know.

However, the mere fact that the two venoms were still in his system meant he'd never been treated for the poison in the first place. Or at least, not quickly enough. Although where the boy came into contact with a Basilisk... the phoenix tears were the only reason the boy was still alive.

Harry swallowed, and couldn't look at the Healer. The Healer sighed after a moment and raised a privacy ward around them. He noticed the Auror's nearby glance over in concern, wondering what was wrong. "Mr. Potter. My scans show signs of abuse, starting back to the time just after that Halloween. If you say something now, I will do whatever I can to get you somewhere safe." He may be a Dark sympathizer, but he was still a Healer, and he had an Oath and an obligation to fulfill towards his patients, of whom Harry Potter could now be counted.

Harry looked away, before finally shaking his head. "There's nothing you can do. Dumbledore will never let me leave there." He said bitterly, even though his godfather was perfectly ready and willing to let him stay with him, nobody would ever have to know! "The only way that might happen is if..." Harry suddenly clammed up, darting his eyes towards the Aurors. He didn't want to blurt out with them nearby that he was in contact with Sirius Black, let alone that he knew where the man was.

He frowned at the mention of Dumbledore, but didn't say anything. Unfortunately, if the patient in question didn't ask for or want help, there was absolutely nothing he could do but heal the injuries as best as he could and let him know that he only needed to owl him if he ever wanted help. Heal the past injuries is exactly what he did. He hated that he couldn't do more.

"Alright. I've included nutrient potions, some bone-strengthening, and muscle-growth potions to help fix some of the damage caused over the years from the lack of proper nutrition. There is also a stomach-soother and an appetite stimulator so that you can start eating proper meals again without getting sick. The instructions are in the pouch, as well as the prescription details. Once you run out, go to Potions Master Snape, he will be able to brew more as needed." Harry made a face, making the Healer laugh softly. "As part of the Potions Mastery, he is required to go through medi-wizardry training, and re-certify regularly. He will be able to accurately diagnose and adjust the prescription to suit your changing needs as your body heals." He assured the teen, who clearly wasn't sure about Snape.

He scanned the diagnostic sheet again, making sure he didn't miss anything. "It says here, you haven't had any of your vaccinations since shortly before your first birthday." He looked questioningly at Harry, who frowned.

"I had my shots. They were required for primary school." He informed the Healer. That, and they were completely paid for by health insurance through the government, so... Petunia couldn't really refuse to take him without arousing suspicion.

"Those were for Muggle diseases?" He questioned. When Harry nodded, he sighed. "The wizarding community has it's own set of diseases we vaccinate for, things like Dragon Pox, wizarding flu, and a bunch of others. We don't catch Muggle diseases that often, our magic will usually just burn them right out of our systems. Frankly, it's amazing you haven't caught something by now, considering you had no contact with wizards during your younger years when your immune system was still developing, and then never had any vaccinations to prevent it..."

"Oh." Harry sat back, stumped. He briefly wondered just what made Muggle and wizarding diseases so different that wizards couldn't catch Muggle diseases. But... he'd seen students with a cold, or even pneumonia! What made those different that they were seemingly universal among Muggles and Magicals alike? Now he was curious.

"Not to mention, you should have been vaccinated by Madam Pomphrey within the first few weeks of your first year, or your relatives should have been informed when you received your letter of where to go and who to see." He frowned, then sighed. "If you like, I can schedule you to come to the hospital next week to get them done." He prompted, watching Harry, who bit his lip in thought.

"I've never gotten sick, ever, but... I probably should." Harry said slowly. Hagrid hadn't said anything about going somewhere to get that stuff taken care of...

"Excellent, would next Saturday work?" He asked, aware that the boy would most likely have homework to do, or Quidditch practice on Saturday.

Harry nodded slowly, thinking. "Yeah... yeah that would work. Morning at ten?" Harry asked, and he made a note of it.

"Any questions for me?" The Healer asked before Harry could get up and leave. He quickly made a copy of the diagnostic sheet, one for Harry's medical file, the other for the Aurors, and blacked out the sections of it that weren't pertinent for the Aurors' investigation.

Harry pursed his lips for a moment, seeming to come to a decision. "Do you know where I could go to get new glasses? And have my eyes checked?" He asked.

His new Healer looked startled by the question. "Sure, I can examine your eyes now, if you like? And get you in touch with somebody to purchase new glasses through." Harry nodded. "Take off your glasses, and hold still." He smirked when Harry had to visibly work at not going cross-eyed to see the wand shoved between his eyes. The wand was moved back and forth between his eyes, making sure that both of them were included in the diagnostic spells. "Read for me the smallest letters you can." He conjured a sign with letters and numbers, much like what Muggle eye-doctors used to test their patients' vision.

Harry stumbled and stammered his way through the top line, while he cast the diagnostics again. With a frown, he cast the same spell on the lenses of his current glasses. His frown deepened when he saw that the boys eyesight, and his prescription, did not match up at all. Again, two copies of the diagnostic sheet were made. One went to Harry, while the other would be kept for his file. "Owl that, along with your letter, to this clinic." He instructed, writing the name of the small clinic, as well as their address. "They will send you a catalogue of what they offer, and send you your new glasses once you decide what you want. Until then..." He placed his wand against the lens of his current pair and mumbled a few words. "There. That should last until you get your new glasses." He handed them back to Harry, who looked around in amazement at how clear the world had suddenly become.

"Alright, your free to go, then, if there's nothing else?" He questioned, and Harry shook his head. "Alright. Give this to the Auror who takes your statement. And remember, absolutely no magic for two weeks. The teachers will be informed of who is on restriction, they will make sure you do not... forget." He said the last bit so sarcastically, Harry wondered for a moment if he was related to Snape. Harry scowled briefly, but didn't bother to argue, having learned that it was useless to argue against Healers, Pomphrey had taught him that.

"Thank you." Harry said, standing up and ensuring his potions and information for new glasses were tucked away safely.

"You're welcome, Mr. Potter."

"Ah, Mr. Potter. I am Auror Simmons. I just need to ask a few questions." He informed the boy, who nodded silently. "Alright." He set up the dicta-quill and silenced their little area so that the low murmurs of conversations from around the room weren't picked up by the quill as well. "This is September tenth, location, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. This is the official statement of Mr. Harry James Potter, fifth year Gryffindor student, regarding allegations of blood-quill use on students by Madam Delores Umbridge. Interviewer, Auror Jason Simmons." He said, and watched as the quill wrote out the details in the official format.

"Mr. Potter." He prompted when the quill was done. "Describe for me the events that led to the first detention you had with Madam Umbridge." He asked, and listened as Harry described that first class he had with the Ministry official turned teacher. He smirked when Harry repeated what he had told the class when Umbridge demanded to know what could possibly want to harm children. "When you walked into the room for the detention, what happened? What was the assignment for that period?" He asked.

"We were writing lines. She had parchment and quills already on the desks, with the statement we were to write and our names at the top. She told us to find our seats and start writing our lines, but there was no ink. We asked her if she was going to give us any, I think a couple of us reached for our bags to pull out our own bottles, but she said we wouldn't need any. I don't know about anybody else, but I didn't like that. The way she said it, I don't know, it just didn't feel right to me. But, I couldn't do anything about it, I didn't want to get anybody else into any more trouble. When I started writing, pain started shooting through my hand. When I looked, it was bleeding, and the words I'd just written were carved into it. They healed after a moment, but it still hurt. We protested, Dean started to leave, refusing to sit there and carve his own hand open, but she locked us in. There were some arguments, and threats, but eventually we all wrote our lines. I'm not sure, but I think she Compulsed a few of the others into it, because they gave in pretty quick and started writing."

"And you, did she Compulse you?"

"I don't think so..." Harry looked uncomfortable for a moment. "Even if she did, it wouldn't have worked. I was able to throw off Voldemort's Imperius last year in the graveyard... I've been able to do it since the fake-Moody started putting the students under it so we would know what it was like and could maybe fight it off." He dismissed. Despite being a Death Eater, and crazy, they had learned a lot from Barty Jr.

Simmons didn't say anything about the Voldemort comment, knowing it was true, having heard about it from McNair. Ironically, his silence and lack of reaction on the matter told Harry that he was a Dark sympathizer at best, and a marked Death Eater at worst. He saw Harry's eyes dart towards his left arm, and allowed a brief smirk to appear before he continued his questions. He knew Harry had seen his smirk, but the boy didn't say anything, just let the interview continue.

Afterward, he handed over the diagnostic report from the Healer and Simmons let him go after glancing over the report with a frown over just how much was on it. He hadn't expected there to be all that extra stuff, even if it was blacked out to protect the patient's (Harry Potter's) privacy, in accordance with patient-Healer confidentiality agreements.

"Thank you Mr. Potter, that is all. You may return to your dinner, and do you consent to being called in to testify at her trial if needed?" He asked, unsure of who the boys guardian was, since he lived with Muggles.

Harry was silent for a moment. "What exactly would that entail?" He asked cautiously. The 'trial' he'd been put through during the summer had made him wary of the wizarding legal system.

"Basically, you would just be asked questions based off your statement. You might have to clarify a few parts, her attorney, should she have one, will probably try to make you perjure yourself, that is, admit that you maybe misunderstood or exaggerated something, that kind of thing." Simmons explained.

Harry bit his lip, then nodded. "If I'm needed, than sure. Just let me know when and where." Hopefully he would actually get the owl in time. It wouldn't surprise him if he went back to Privet Drive this summer and got yelled at for them getting owls from his Ministry even while he wasn't there. He highly doubted if the letter would still exist, though, Vernon probably burned it in the backyard since they'd bricked up the fireplace after the whole thing with getting his first Hogwarts letter.

"Very well, you will be sent an owl should you be needed to testify." Simmons made a note of it, and dismissed Harry.

Harry wasn't surprised when Miranda latched onto him again, having waited outside the room for him. He resolved to make sure she wrote her parents tonight, he thought Hedwig would be back by then from Sirius' house.

"I found them!" Came the triumphant shout from the direction of the night-stand within Delores Umbridge's bedroom. "How in Merlin's name did she get so many? And where?" He asked his colleagues, disturbed by the number of the highly restricted and carefully monitored items in the drawer.

"We're going to have to go through all the requisition forms for the Ministry from the past month at least. We're also going to need to make sure that all the ones already within the Ministry are accounted for, and check with Gringotts to make sure none of there's mysteriously went missing. She should probably be questioned under Veritaserum, too, just to make sure." Of course, considering the charges she was under, that last bit was a given.

"Merlin!" Came another exclamation, this one from the sitting room. Quickly, the two gathered up everything they needed from the bedroom, especially the quills, and joined their third member.

"What is it?" In answer, the parchments were shoved in his direction.

"... It's a good thing those kids didn't try to fight her themselves. Not if she was planning on something like this." All three of them were disgusted by what they were reading, and what Delores Umbridge planned on doing with the futures of their world.

"Miss... Granger, correct?"

"Yes, ma'am." Hermione said, sitting down across from the Auror, clutching the diagnostic results, the pouch of potions was resting in her bag.

Just like Simmons, the Auror set up the dicta-quill and then silenced their area to ensure the quill wasn't 'bothered' by any other noise. "The date is September tenth, we are at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. This is the official statement of Miss Hermione Jean Granger, fifth year Gryffindor student, regarding allegations of blood-quill use on students by Madam Delores Umbridge. Interviewer, Auror Jessica Thompson. Miss Granger, please describe for me the events leading up to the first detention assigned to you by Madam Delores Umbridge." She asked, and Hermione launched into her telling of what happened during that class.

When she described the detention itself, she ended up having to explain a Muggle fountain pen (since that was what she thought the Quill was at first), which fascinated the Auror, although she knew that wizards could achieve the same thing with a spell. But still, to have the ink inside the pen, and not have to sharpen it all the time? Hmm...

"Alright, Miss Granger, I think that will be all. I will take that." She reached out for the diagnostic sheet, that Hermione hadn't realized she was still holding, and put it together with the official statement, rolling the documents up and sealing them with the official Auror stamp. "Now, do you consent to testifying if needed?" She asked, and Hermione agreed right away. Of course, her parents would need to be notified, and would have to give their consent, but it didn't hurt to make sure the student in question knew it might be needed. Besides, if the student said no, then they wouldn't need to bother contacting their parents or guardians.

"Very well, an owl will be sent with details if your testimony ends up being needed. You may return to your dinner unless you have questions for me?"

Hermione bit her lip, but shook her head. Surprisingly, she didn't have questions, she just wanted to get back to her dinner and forget this ever happened, to be honest. Umbridge's actions had deeply shaken her faith and belief in adults, and she desperately needed to be with her friends right now, and try to make sense of all this.

Nodding, the Auror dismissed her, and she gladly went back to the Gryffindor table.

"Hello." Dennis greeted the Auror nervously, handing over the diagnostic results from the Healer, still holding onto the pouch given to him with his potions in it. He'd been instructed to give it to his Head of House, she would ensure that he took them appropriately. Students fifth year and older were expected to be able to manage their own medications (unless they had proven themselves untrustworthy in that regard), but the Head of House was in charge of making sure the younger years remembered to take them, and took them correctly. Madam Pomphrey was in charge of the entire school, while the Heads of House were only responsible for a quarter of it, respectively, after all.

"Hello Mr. Creevy." The Auror checked his name on the diagnostic paperwork. "I just need to ask a few questions, and then you will be free to return to your dinner." He smiled reassuringly at the second year. He, unlike many Death Eaters or sympathizers, didn't hate Muggleborn. In fact, his Lord had been very careful when assigning who he wanted here, by ordering those of his Aurors that he knew weren't as prejudiced as some of his other followers, or were at least able to remain professional despite their personal feelings on the matter. Some of his associates just could not remain professional like that, they let their personal bias cloud their judgement.

"Sure." Dennis nodded his agreement and shifted.

"Would you like your Head of House here?" He asked next, aware of the boys age.

"No, can my brother come over though? He's right there." He pointed at Colin, who was still waiting to see either a Healer or an Auror.

"Of course he can. Wait one moment." He got up and approached Colin, who immediately left his place in line to be with his younger brother. He'd honestly had to be held back by his dorm-mates when he saw the scars on his little brother's hand, his own hands had been shaking so badly when he tried to take the picture as evidence that one of the other kids had needed to do it instead. He honestly didn't know how he was going to explain to his parents how he let his little brother be hurt like this.

"Alright. Just let me set up the quill... The date is September tenth, the location is Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. This is the official statement of Mr. Dennis Creevy, second year Gryffindor student, regarding allegations of blood-quill use on students by Madam Delores Umbridge. Interviewer, Auror Victor Selwyn. Now, Mr. Creevy, can you describe what happened that made Madam Umbridge assign you detention?" He asked. Unfortunately, he had to call her madam, he'd rather not, if there was anybody he hated, it was his cousin, Delores.

Dennis looked at his brother, who nodded reassuringly and tightened his hold on his brother's shoulder. "I was walking to dinner, but I lost track of time reading, so dinner was almost over. I was just hurrying before all the food was gone. She came and yelled at me for running in the hallways. I wasn't though! I was just walking a little faster than normal!"

"So, she assigned detention because you were walking faster than she preferred?" He clarified.

Dennis nodded, and Colin nudged him, gesturing towards his mouth, and then the quill. "Oh, yes."

"Alright." The interview continued and was quickly ended. Colin was released back to waiting for his turn to be seen by the Healer while Dennis went back to the Great Hall, making a small detour towards McGonagall as instructed. She quickly made sure the bag was labelled, so she didn't get it mixed up with everybody else's prescriptions she'd been handed in the last hour, and spoke with him briefly before letting go back to his meal, she watched him go with sorrow.

Every pouch full of potions handed to her was another twist to the knife she felt like she'd been stabbed with when it was announced Umbridge had been using blood-quills on her students.

After a moment, she called up a house-elf and instructed them to leave the food on the tables even after dinner officially ended, that way those still being seen to the Healers could still eat. After finishing their own dinner, the Heads of House gathered just inside the antechamber. The Aurors weren't allowing them to speak with their students, occasionally Pomona or Filius would be asked by a younger student to sit with them during their interview, but the younger Lions had already gone through by that point, having been some of the first to enter the room since they followed Harry's lead, and he was the first one to move.

"Excuse me, Professors?" One of the Healers called after the last student had left. He quickly gathered up the lists made of students, their year and House, and how long they were on magic restriction for. A couple, the older ones that had only been in detention for one night, just had a few days. Others like the Golden Trio (as they were often called) were on restrictions for two weeks, minimum. Madam Pomphrey would have to examine each student at the end of their restriction to see if it needed to be extended or if they could start using magic again.

"These students are all under magic restriction, to let their cores heal. Here are the details, as you can see, some are restricted longer than others. Once this time is up, they are to report to Madam Pomphrey, she will determine if their restriction can be lifted. During this time, they can use absolutely no magic. They must let their cores rest, otherwise they will never fully heal." He gazed at them, impressing upon them the seriousness of this. "Even in Potions or Ancient Runes, they cannot do anything that would require magic." Especially the older students, since the more complicated potions required the use of magic while stirring. Runes also took magic to activate, the NEWT students would be at that point.

"I will make copies, and inform all the teachers." Minerva said, sounding shaken as she took the lists, she would consolidate them tonight, and organize the names so they went by House and year, before passing copies on first thing in the morning to the other teachers. Tutoring would have to be arranged for those who were on longer restrictions, so that they didn't fall behind in their practical work. That could wait until they were allowed to use magic again, though.

"Madam Pomphrey will, of course, be informed of all this. Master Snape, several students have been instructed to come see you for a re-evaluation on their prescriptions when needed. Several physical issues were discovered besides the blood-quill exposure, and there was one case of early childhood malnutrition." He handed over the list of which students he could expect to see, so that he could brew their potions as needed.

He knew, without anything being said, that these students came from possibly abusive homes, and he frowned down at the names, especially when he spotted Harry Potter's. "Is anything being done?" He asked tightly.

"Most of them, yes. Something will be done. A couple of the older ones..." He trailed off and sighed. "You know how it can be. They just don't want to admit to anything, or they think they can handle it... don't want people knowing. You know how it is." Severus grimaced, he did. He kept an eye out for these students in his House, and he always had a struggle on his hands to get them to admit to anything going on so he could help them. It was for those students that he'd actually taken his medi-wizardry courses for his Potions Mastery a step further and also went for a Healing Mastery, which he'd just finished recently, actually, working it in between teaching and (more recently) spying.

Severus hummed, and resolved to pull each of these students aside over the next several days to speak with them, and to see their prescriptions so he could ensure he had the necessary ingredients on hand should it be needed.

"Now, all the students are on magic-boosters and nerve-regenerative potions, you will have been given the younger students to keep track of. Of course, some of the students had more exposure than others, so the damage was more severe for them. And, of course, some have been given a salve to reduce the scarring as much as possible, if you could keep an eye on that." The Healer checked through his notes again, making sure he'd covered everything, "Oh, two students made appointments to come to the hospital to get their vaccinations, here is that. I think that is all I had for you..." He nodded in satisfaction when he realized he'd covered everything he needed to. "Any questions for me?" He asked. All four teachers shook their heads, and he nodded. "Then in that case, Professors." He nodded his farewell and joined his colleagues at the door.

They would report to the Hospital, do the parchmentwork, make sure the diagnostic reports were filed correctly, and then head straight to Malfoy Manor where the Dark Lord was waiting for them.

He wanted to know what happened, and how badly the students were damaged, especially Harry Potter.

"Well, most of the students have agreed to come and testify, pending parental permission, of course." Simmons handed over his own compiled list. "Now, Madam Bones voluntold me be the new temporary Defense teacher before I left to come here, if I could have my class schedule so I can come up with a lesson plan tonight?" He questioned bluntly.

"Voluntold?" Severus asked, amusement shining in his eyes, something that only the Auror (and fellow Death Eater) in front of him noticed.

Simmons grimaced. "Yeah... when the boss asks for volunteers, but stares at you so that you know she expects you to be the one to volunteer? Voluntold."

Minerva snorted briefly. "I will get you that before you leave, if you could come up to my office?" She requested. He nodded, and continued filling them in on everything that would happen from a legal standpoint, especially how it affected them since, according to all the students, the three of them had essentially ignored what was happening. Now, since they hadn't actually let the students tell them just what was going on, they couldn't be charged as accomplices, since they honestly hadn't known about the blood-quill, but... well, to say their professional reputations would take a hit from this would be an understatement.

"Will you be staying in the castle, or traveling back and forth?" She asked as she led Simmons to her office.

"I should probably stay here until a permanent replacement is found, that way I can be on hand should a student need help." That, and he knew it was what the Dark Lord would want him to do, especially since staying here would let him interact with Dumbledore more often. (He didn't know that that was exactly why Amelia had picked him, because she knew that he wouldn't be taken in by Dumbledore, so Fudge couldn't complain about the students actually learning now, while she also trusted one of her part-time Academy instructors to properly teach.)

"Alright, I will arrange for quarters for you tonight, then. They should be ready for you to move in by lunch tomorrow. Are your people done in her office, or do I need to arrange a different one?" She asked, hopeful that maybe the students would learn something with him, and wondering where Albus was.

"A different one, if you please. A larger one would be helpful, and closer to the classroom." He requested, and she nodded in assent. When they reached her office, she let him in before starting to rummage through her desk for the Defense schedule.

"Where is, ah, here it is. Do you want to assign a different book?" She asked after glancing over it.

He shook his head. "Probably shouldn't, since I'm temporary. I'm sure the permanent teacher will. I'll just make sure anything I reference or want them to reference is available in the library." He informed her.

"Then you will need to speak with Madam Pince, and ensure she knows that those books either can't be checked out for the time being, or that they can only be checked out for the day before being brought back immediately, otherwise we have students who will try to hog them all, leaving the rest of the school to struggle without." She informed him with a grimace. The Ravenclaws and Miss Granger came to mind... He furrowed his brows and hummed.

"In that case, perhaps it would be best to copy out sections of the books as needed, that way all the students have what they need available to them at all times. The more studious ones can still check out the books as they please." He muttered, reading over the schedule. He had the seventh, first Gryffindor/Slytherin, and third Ravenclaw/Hufflepuff year classes tomorrow. Hmm... "The students can get rid of the Slinkhard book if they wish, I will not be teaching from it." He said. From everything the students had said tonight, the book was useless. That, and he'd read it. The minister had tried to stick his nose in a few years ago and make it mandatory reading for all Auror cadets, lets just say it didn't end well for him.

She snorted. "You might just instigate a book burning if you announce it like that." She muttered.

"I will have a lesson plan for at least tomorrow's classes drawn up and handed to you at breakfast." He offered.

"That will be fine." She nodded her agreement. "Here is the patrol schedule, the Hogsmeade schedule, and the assignments for those weekends." She handed over the parchments. "You can just take Delores' spots, not that she had many..." And that irked all the professors, that she thought she was special enough to not patrol the hallways or Hogsmeade with the rest of them. Luckily, Minerva had been able to ensure she didn't get out of it completely.

He glanced it over, then used his wand to add his name and take a few teachers' names off, dividing up the duties more evenly among all of them. Minerva smiled gratefully, since she had tried not to make the other teachers suffer for Delores' superiority mindset, she'd mostly been the one picking up the slack.

"I think that was everything I had for you... if you will follow me." She said, and swept out of her office to show him to his classroom, and then to the quarters and office she planned on assigning him. "I trust you remember the meal schedule at least?" It hadn't changed in centuries, she doubted it would any time soon.

"Of course." He said. He was looking forward to it, he hadn't had a Hogwarts meal in a long time.

"Alright, I had best go, I will see you in the morning." He finally said, after being shown where his quarters and such would be. He still had to report back to the Dark Lord tonight, along with Madam Bones, and he needed to write up a lesson plan to begin with. It shouldn't be too hard, though, but then again, he'd never taught anybody so young. He only occasionally taught in the Auror Academy, and they were all graduates, with all the NEWTs required to be there in the first place.

This should be interesting.

The Gryffindor's huddled around each other in the Common Room, for once completely silent. Those who hadn't had detention with her were shocked by what they'd learned, while those that had been in detention with her just didn't want to discuss it. The first years were in the middle of the room, with the fifth years sitting around them and the second and third years being surrounded by the other years. Miranda had, of course, latched onto Harry and refused to let go.

"She's finally gone?" Dennis asked tentatively, almost afraid to break the silence.

"Yeah. She's not coming back. Malfoy told me that misuse of a Blood-quill was an Unforgivable offense, which means she's headed straight for Azkaban." Harry assured the younger years. "Even if Fudge manages to cover the whole thing up, and keep her out of prison, the Board of Governors voted her out, she's never coming back here."

"Good." Miranda murmured, half asleep on his lap. She'd been terrified when she started using that quill, and it hurt. It hurt so much, she'd wanted to go home right then, but Harry told her to stick with it, that the older students would deal with it, that Umbridge would never hurt her again. The older years would figure something out, until then she just had to avoid getting another detention with Umbridge. She didn't care what the other kids or the newspapers said about him, he was nice, and he took the time to check on the younger kids. Not even the Prefects really took time for them.

"With all the evidence against her, Fudge would be an even bigger fool than I thought to even try to get her off." Ron scoffed, shaking his head. "That would be career suicide at the least." He'd be voted out of office so quick, his head would spin.

"My gran wouldn't let that happen." Neville murmured. She'd been waiting for him when he was done seeing the Healers and giving his statement, and she had not been pleased that she had to learn about the blood-quill from Lucius Malfoy of all people, and not from her own grandson.

"The trial should only be a formality, to figure out anything else she might have done. If she was willing to use blood-quills on school children, well... who knows what else she had hidden away in her past." Hermione murmured, thinking about what Remus had told her about Umbridge, and how much power she had within the Ministry.

"Ah, there you are Minerva." Minerva narrowed her eyes when she entered her office after seeing Auror Simmons out the front door, to find Albus standing by her desk, having just come through the Floo.

"Where have you been for the last several hours?" She asked suspiciously. He hadn't even gone into the side-room to see how the students were doing through their exams and interviews.

"I was dealing with the Board of Governors. They, however, refused to tell me which students contacted them." Albus' eyes twinkled away, despite the growing irritation evident on her face. "I have also been attempting to learn what the Board is planning for a new Defense professor, as they mentioned that they had it covered, but wouldn't tell me who they had in mind." Which wouldn't do, no, he would have to find somebody else now... he doubted that they would find anybody. After all, if he had such 'difficulties', then surely they wouldn't have any easier time. Plus, he didn't want to risk anybody coming into his school that he did not approve of, who knew what they might teach the students.

"I see." No, she didn't. "And aren't you going to ask how the students are doing? They were being forced to use a blood-quill after all." And after he assured her that nothing was going on in those detentions, that the students were surely exaggerating any claims they attempted to make. That's why she brushed them off, because he said he was keeping an eye on her and she wouldn't be able to do anything to harm the children.

She'd never felt more like a fool.

Albus blinked for a moment. "I trust the students will be alright?" He asked, and watched her nostrils flare in indignation.

"Yes, they will be. After fending for themselves for the past two weeks, because we did nothing when they tried to come to us!" She hissed, then closed her eyes in a visible attempt to calm down. "Until the Board finds a permanent professor for the Defense position, Madam Bones has lent us one of her Aurors. He will give me a lesson plan for tomorrow when he arrives for breakfast, and arrangements have been made for quarters and an office for while he is here." She said simply, and sank down into her chair.

Albus stiffened minutely, wondering just who they'd assigned. It hadn't escaped his notice, after all, that all the Aurors brought by the Board were suspected (by the Order) Death Eaters or sympathizers to the Dark. He didn't know about the Healers loyalties, though, since the only Healer the Order ever used was Madam Pomphrey, they didn't have anybody in St. Mungoes. He didn't really see the use they could be when fighting a war. "Who?" He demanded. Did she even know yet?

"Auror Jason Simmons." Minerva informed him. "At least now the children will get a proper education in Defense, we will have to see who the Board finds, and see if they last the year or want to come back next year." She sighed. There was no doubt in her mind that the Board would ensure that whoever they pick was actually qualified and capable of teaching. They'd been growing more and more annoyed with Albus over the years with his near constant stream of completely incompetent teachers, only broken up here and there by a semi-competent teacher that the students all liked and saw as perfectly capable simply because compared to his predecessors... Remus Lupin was the most qualified professor they'd had in at least a decade, he could actually teach and he actually had a Defense Mastery, even if it was from another country. And Albus had let him leave the second students found out he had a monthly problem, instead of fighting for him to stay.

Albus hummed, already making plans to have him watched constantly. He would Floo Kingsley tonight and ask about Simmons, even though he already knew the man was on their watch list. He was disappointed that none of his people managed to get in on this, and clearly didn't even know anything was happening, because otherwise they would have warned him.

"Well... I leave you to your grading." He said, walking to the door. "Good night, Minerva."

"Night." She said simply, already sitting down at her desk and pulling the first year assignments closer to her. These were the simplest topics, so she could grade them quickly without having to ponder their answers too much for if it was something related. Sometimes the older years would go off on tangents that, while vaguely related to the topic, made no sense for what they were talking about, or they would accidentally stumble across some obscure theory that she had to look up to double-check her own facts.

"Hey, does anybody know who Potter's Guardian is?" Somebody asked, looking up from the generic letters that were being written and addressed to parents and guardians of affected students, informing them of what happened, and asking for permission to call their child up to testify if needed, in the case where the child in question had agreed to it, pending parental permission.

All work stopped, as everybody else looked up, and looked around as they all realized that no, they didn't.

"Wouldn't it be the Headmaster? I think he lives with Muggles, doesn't he?" Somebody finally answered.

"Yeah, but they're not listed here." The first person said.

"I'll figure it out. In the meantime, just address it to the 'Guardian of Harry Potter.' The owls are smart, they'll figure it out." The shift supervisor finally said, sighing. He dragged himself out of his seat, distributed the letters he was working on as evenly as he could among the rest of them (to much grumbled complaints, they should just be grateful he didn't dump the whole lot on one person), and went to the Records to try and figure out who Harry Potter's Magical Guardian was.

It took nearly three hours of searching, but when he found it, he re-read it several times, confusion and horror mounting as he realized what this must mean. "Oh, Merlin..." He ran out of the room, he had to show this to Madam Bones.

Simmons looked up and frowned when he saw how the first year Gryffindor students were behaving. Some of them were skittish, and eyed him with fear. He remembered seeing most of them last night, had even questioned them. He supposed there was a difference between him as their teacher, and him as an Auror asking questions for an investigation, especially when the last teacher hurt them so much.

Then again, the third year class he'd had earlier had been just as skittish with him. How had none of the teachers questioned the first year Lions behavior? Unless they'd brushed it off as nerves from being away from home for the first time?

"Good afternoon, I am Auror Simmons. Now, I'm only here until the Board of Governors finds a more permanent replacement for Umbridge." He looked around and nodded once to himself. "Alright, we will not be using the text assigned by Umbridge, so you can do whatever you want with it. Because I am temporary, I'm not going to assign a book, but I will still assign readings and essays." He held up the stack of copied text and passed them out. "This is the text you will need for your essay tonight. I would just tell you to check it out of the library, but I have been informed that not all the students will be able to access it, because other students will have already checked it out."

He picked up his wand and twirled it between his fingers. "We are going to start with basic defense. Note, that not all defenses use magic. Can anybody tell me a good defensive move?" He asked.

The students looked around at each other for a few moments before one raised her hand tentatively. "Yes?"

"Um. Make as much noise as you can to attract attention?" She asked.

"Good. That's a good idea. What if there's nobody nearby?" He asked, he wanted them to learn how to think and plan ahead. He didn't want them to just roll over and let it happen, completely forgetting that they were armed.

"Run and hide?" Another suggested, forgetting his hand, he instantly looked terrified.

He nodded his head. "Yes, that's good. This Saturday, we will have a... game day. We will cover that then." While they were still so young, he wasn't going to expect them to be able to use much magic to defend themselves, not that he wouldn't be teaching them magic, but he was going to teach them how to escape, too, and how to use their small sizes to their advantage. Therefore, hide and seek, his way.

"Anybody else?" He asked.

"Um..." A small first year said, raising her hand hesitantly. If he remembered right, this was the one who latched onto young Mr. Potter.


"If it's a guy... mommy always says to kick him as hard as I can, right between his legs." She said hesitantly, and he thanked Merlin that they were too young to really know the significance of that. As it was, he had to work not to cringe at the suggestion.

"Ah, ah-hem. That is a very good suggestion. You would have to get away quick after that though, because that will make them mad when they recover enough." He smiled at her. It would certainly be effective, too, assuming she was free and in a position where she could do that.

"Those are some basic ways you can keep yourselves safe if you don't have your wand, or, for now, since you don't know any real spells yet. Now... can anybody guess at a way we can use magic to defend ourselves?" He asked.

"My parents told me about shielding charms."

"Yes. Those will block most hexes and curses." He emphasized that. One thing he'd noticed with his Auror cadets, was they relied on shield charms far too much, and it left them wide open for the things that it didn't block. Oh, they worked just fine for the types of hexes and curses used in school, but because they never even touched on anything nastier even existing, they walked away grossly unprepared for the outside world. He was going to make sure these kids knew not to rely on them.


"Hm-mm. Which is why, it is never a good idea to stay in one place. You have to move, but we will cover that later." He had something planned for that. "Anything else?"

"We could blind them!" Somebody called out. They were finally starting to relax with him.

He nodded thoughtfully. "Yes, you can do that, too. The spell for that is Lumos, and you will cover that with Professor Flitwick. Those are some good, basic ways of defending yourself, or catching them off guard long enough for you to get away." They were too young right now to cover going on the offense. That would (should) be covered in later years. "Now, those are all good ideas. Today, we are-" And he started his lecture, showing them the different kinds of spells using the dummy he'd set up. He wanted to teach them how to recognize what kind of spell was being used based on wand-movement and color.

"Harry!" Harry turned just in time to catch the small first year that launched herself at him.

"Oomph. Hello. Did you have a good class?" He asked after settling the small first year on his hip. She was just small enough that he should be able to manage for a bit.

"Uh-huh." She nodded eagerly. "He asked us about things we could do to stay safe, or scare anybody off, and then he showed us how to tell what kind of spell is being cast at us!" She said happily. Harry relaxed as he listened to her recount her first class with the new teacher.

Just listening to her talk, he couldn't wait until his own class with the man, he wanted to see what he had planned for the older years.

"Are you sure this is accurate?" Amelia asked, sitting down heavily and studying the parchment in her hand wearily.

"Yes, ma'am. He was never officially convicted, so his Magical Guardianship status was never overturned or revoked. Legally, Potter's Guardian is listed as Albus Dumbledore, but I couldn't find any paperwork for that. But magic still recognized Sirius Black as Harry Potter's Guardian." He said nervously. "Plus, with Black listed as having Blood-adopted the boy when he was a few months old..."

She drummed her fingers against her desk. "Find me the transcripts from Black's trial." She instructed, and sat back, deep in thought as he scurried out. Legally, Black was in charge of Harry Potter, regardless of his own current status as a wanted fugitive and convicted murderer. Now, he couldn't just walk into the Ministry, or Hogwarts, to speak with anybody about him, but... She sighed and pulled out a stack of parchments, and started drafting a letter to the most wanted criminal in Magical UK, asking to speak with him about his son and heir, unable to believe she was doing this. It would have to be a neutral location, of course, one where he couldn't just be arrested straight out. Gringotts, probably.

He wouldn't come otherwise. But she had to speak with him about Harry Potter...

"Auror Simmons." Jason turned around to see Albus Dumbledore standing in his doorway.

"Headmaster. Is there anything I can help you with?" He asked politely. Dumbledore gave him a long, hard look before he moved further into the office.

"I missed you at breakfast this morning, I was going to introduce you to the students." Albus started.

"Ah, my apologies. I had to turn in some last minute paperwork early this morning, and got roped into helping restrain a suspect for transport. I arrived just in time to give my lesson plan to Professor McGonagall, and set up my classroom."

"Yes, I spoke with some of the seventh years, they had good things to say." An understatement. They'd said that if the permanent teacher was as good as Auror Simmons was, they might actually pass their NEWTs this year.

"Good." Jason smiled, he liked hearing that, it meant he was doing his job. "Is there anything you needed, Headmaster?" He asked after a moment.

"I just wanted to ask how you felt your first day was going." Albus said after a moment.

'Liar.' Jason thought, but didn't say anything. "It's been good. The students are attentive, although the first and third years took a bit to realize I wasn't going to hurt them." He gave him a reproachful look, knowing that Albus could have stopped it if he'd bothered to.

"That's good. Well, I will allow you to finish the rest of your lesson plans." Albus said, and left.

The next morning, letters arrived from parents.

The Auror's and Healers had written to all the parents of the affected students the night they came to examine and question the students, and now that the owls had had time to go back and forth...

Harry wasn't expecting to get anything, the Headmaster was his magical guardian, so he was surprised when he got a letter from Sirius and Remus.


Kingsley told us what happened, why didn't you say anything to us?

I realize that there's not a whole lot a werewolf and an escaped convict can do to help, but we would have figured out something! Escaped convict or not, Sirius is Lord Black, he could have done something, even if maybe not in person.

Kingsley also told us that you, Ron, and Hermione had the most detentions? Harry... a blood-quill is serious.

What did the Healer say? How bad was it, are you alright?

Use the mirror Sirius gave you to call us tonight, we need to see you. There's just too much that we want to say, that we can't really cover in writing.


"Huh." Harry muttered, reading the letter again. So that's what Sirius gave him. A mirror? But how was he supposed to communicate with that?

"What is it?" Ron asked, glancing up from his own letter from his parents.

"Remus wants me to call them on a mirror." Harry had a strange look on his face while reading it again.

"Probably a communication mirror." Ron said, looking interested. "I've heard about them, but nobody really knows how they're made. They've only been out for a few years." He tilted his head.

"Really?" Hermione asked, looking up from her own letter from home. Ron nodded.

"Wonder how Sirius got hold of one." Harry muttered, looking it over again. "Hermione, alright?" He asked after a moment when he looked up and saw Hermione frowning at the letter in her hands.

"Oh, yes. Yes, it's alright. Mom and dad just... weren't happy, is all, that one of my professors was hurting me." She put the letter in her bag and turned to her food, not noticing the concerned looks Ron and Harry shared.

Not for the first time, Harry wondered just how much (or little) she told her parents about their school years here.

Sirius paced, he couldn't help it. And if it weren't for Remus drugging him with Calming Draughts, he would already be on his way to tear the thing apart for hurting his pup. (Later, when he was calmer again, he would probably thank Remus for that... probably.)

Even with the Calming Draughts, though, he was still pacing, still frustrated. His emotions were running too high for even a Potion to try and suppress.

"Why didn't he call us sooner, why didn't he tell somebody at that school, why go to Lucius Malfoy of all people?" That was what really had him bewildered. Why had they gone through the Slytherins to alert the proper authorities?

"I don't know, Siri, but we can ask him when we speak to him later tonight." Remus said. He was curled up on the couch, unseeing, glowing amber eyes staring at the book in his hands. Remus himself was currently under the influence of several Calming Draughts, even a low-level sleeping draught.

Even so, his wolf was still barely contained right now.

It wanted to rip into, and tear apart the one that dared harm their cub, that dared even look at their cub wrong.

Sirius was startled to realize that he'd never quite appreciated just how strong a werewolf truly was, and just how strong Remmy was for not breaking all those years ago.

Tonks was sitting in the room with them, glancing nervously between the two older men, ready to intervene should either of them make a lunge for either the front door or Floo, but not really sure how she was supposed to stop them if they did.

"When do you think that will be?" Sirius grumbled, glancing longingly at the Mirror sitting on the table, wishing it would hurry up and light up already.

"I don't know, I only said for it to be tonight." Remus answered, again.

"Why couldn't you have demanded it for earlier?" Sirius whined, he wanted to talk to his pup! He wanted to make sure he was alright!

"Because they have class today, and it is OWL year." Remus said with a calm he wasn't really feeling.

On the coffee table in front of them, was an innocent looking letter. It had arrived this morning, addressed simply to 'the Guardian of Harry Potter'. It didn't have anyone's name in particular, which they were all grateful for, because if anybody at the Ministry had seen Sirius' name on the paperwork, they likely would have had a team of Auror's following the bird to see where it went, but it didn't have a name, and no Auror's came to the street.

"Why don't you at least reply to that?" Tonks asked, gesturing to it, trying to give Sirius something else to focus on for at least a little bit. Hopefully, the brief distraction would calm him down enough that the Potions in his system could take care of the rest.

Sirius looked at her for a moment before he picked the letter back up from where Remus had put it after Sirius threw it earlier and it almost landed in the fire. He read it again, but the words didn't change. The usual emotionless explanation of what happened, (a teacher was arrested for use of a Blood-quill on students, with Harry being one of those students, and a brief description of what a Blood-quill was and the laws regarding its use (for those parents that wouldn't know), and that the student had already seen a Healer, and a brief summary of the Healer's findings), and that Harry had agreed to testify pending parental approval.

He read it through again, and thoughts started swirling in his mind. Dangerous thoughts, thoughts he knew Dumbledore would not approve of... but then again, when did Dumbledore ever approve of anything he did?

Abruptly, he disappeared upstairs. He had several letters to write, it seemed. If Umbridge knew just who she was messing with, she never would have dared harm his pup, he was going to ensure she knew just how badly she messed up.

It was time he got in touch with the Black Account Manager.

"Wait, there's something on the back." Hermione said, stopping them from their inspections of the mirror.

This is a two-way mirror, I've got the other one. If you need to speak with me, just say my name into it. James and I used to use them when we were in separate detentions.

"Of course they would use these in detentions." Hermione huffed, rolling her eyes. Harry just grinned.

Ron, however, was frowning. "But... communication mirrors have only come out in stores about five years ago. How did they have one?" He asked, confused.

Harry and Hermione looked at each other. "Maybe... maybe the four of them created them, and Remus finally sold the designs to somebody that could produce them?" Hermione suggested.

"But then why doesn't he bother to at least buy new robes?" Harry huffed. He'd heard enough arguments between Sirius and Remus to know it was a point of contention that Remus wouldn't let Sirius do something as 'simple' as pay for new robes. Harry understood though, having not had anything growing up. It became a matter of pride that you could or couldn't afford to pay for things yourself.

"Well... with the Werewolf restrictions, he might not be able to collect royalties under his own name, and if he were to start appearing well-dressed and such, he might get attention from the people who would take exception to that." Hermione said simply. She knew for a fact that Remus had even written a few books and journal articles under a pseudonym.

"That's true... we really need to do something about that." Harry grumbled, angry that his uncle couldn't even buy robes for himself without getting in trouble.

"Anyway... Sirius Black." Harry said clearly to the Mirror, feeling slightly foolish.

After a few moments of silence, the mirror's surface changed, and revealed the anxious expression of Sirius Black. "Pup!" He exclaimed, relieved. "Are you alright, show me your hand, now!" He demanded, he wanted to see the damage.

Harry blinked, before he slowly raised his left hand and held it in front of the mirror. "I was going to put more scar salve on it and change the bandage after this..." He said carefully.

Sirius eyed the bandaged hand carefully with a scowl. "What did the Healer say?" He asked instead. The letter from the DMLE had only provided a short summary.

Harry sighed and related everything, leaving off the bit about the abuse. He mentioned the childhood malnutrition, though, not really thinking too much of it. If he remembered right, the Dursley's used to tell the few teachers that were concerned enough to ask why he always seemed hungry, or why he didn't have a lunch, that it was very difficult for them to get him to eat. Sirius was silent for a few moments before he finally glanced off to the side, moments later, Remus appeared in the mirror beside him.

"Harry, why didn't you tell somebody in the castle?" Remus asked, trying to stay calm, but the three of them could see the dangerous amber glow in his eyes that indicated the opposite was actually true.

Harry looked away and muttered something. "What was that?" Sirius asked, giving him the Look.

"Who was I supposed to go to?" He asked bitterly, loud enough for them to hear him.

Hermione sighed and explained what happened every time a student tried to go to a professor. "Malfoy's dad is on the Board of Governors. He's the only one we know about, anyway... We all know he's a Death Eater, but he also has responsibilities towards the students, towards our safety. I didn't know that use of Blood-quills is so highly restricted, but we did know that what she was doing wasn't right." She explained, defending her actions on going to Malfoy with it, instead of somebody else.

"What about Neville's gran? She's on the Board, too. Neville would have known about the Quills, he's a Heir." Sirius said, confused.

The Trio looked at each other, with only Ron knowing what he was talking about by calling Neville an Heir. "I... don't know. Why didn't Neville just write to her?" Harry asked himself.

"It might not have even gotten out, anyway. For all we know, she was watching our mail. At least, those she deems to be 'undesirable'." Hermione rolled her eyes. The entire school knew by now how Umbridge felt about everyone not from a highly influential Pureblood family like those in Slytherin. Under that logic, Malfoy's mail was guaranteed to not be watched by her.

"Hmm... probably." Sirius muttered, thinking darkly that he was going to need to have a little chat with Minerva McGonagall. How dare she ignore his Pup?! How dare she ignore the rest of her students when they came to her with honest concerns? Remus glanced at Sirius and sighed before steering the conversation into more pleasant territory.

Now that he'd seen with his own eyes that Harry was alright, he'd heard from his own mouth that he was going to be alright and the measures being taken as well as the steps the Healer had taken to heal him, his wolf was starting to calm down. It was still howling for the blood of the one who dared harm his cub, but it was easier to push those instincts down. it wouldn't be any better until he could actually touch and smell his cub, though. "How has the rest of the school year been so far?" He asked, hoping to get good news on that at least.

Harry brightened up slightly, relieved at the change in topic, and started sharing how the last few weeks had been going otherwise.

Was this what it felt like to have a father?

Simmons sighed and leaned back in his chair, thinking. He wasn't too worried about the younger years, the first years were unaffected by the poor standards of Defense instruction over the years while the second and third years still had plenty of time to catch up to OWL standards. It was the fourth and older that he was worried about. Of the last decade, Remus Lupin was the only qualified instructor they'd had, while Crouch Jr. did an admirable job at introducing his students to Dark curses and what they could do along with how to defend and counter them. Unfortunately this meant that Remus Lupin was the only instructor of the past decade to actually teach up to OWL and NEWT standards.

No... the biggest problem with the younger years was getting them over their fear of Defense instructors, Umbridge hadn't half done a number on them. They were getting there, but it was going to take a bit for them to truly calm down, and he doubted that they would truly retain all that he wanted to teach them until they did. For the older years, though, he was going to have to condense what should have been years worth of instruction, into just a couple years, or less then a year (depending on if they were a fourth/sixth, or fifth/seventh year).

The test he'd given the fourth years and up, a compilation of everything they should already know, had already shown him where the gaps were. It showed that Remus Lupin had followed the standard 'teaching plan' recommended to leave the teacher plenty of time to cover everything that needed to be covered before their OWL year, while still leaving plenty of time for each topic without overwhelming the students. The fifth years had a remarkable understanding, as a result, of Dark Creatures and how to avoid, recognize, or fight them. They all showed a good understanding of Dark curses. Other then that, Umbridge had one thing right. Their education was very spotty and uneven.

That was the only thing he was ever agreeing with that Toad on.


And he would deny that it ever happened... preferably with his wand and a creative curse or two. Just to make sure his denial stuck in their minds, of course.

Finishing his reports, both to Madam Bones and the Dark Lord, he contemplated Harry Potter and his friends.

They watched him closely, and he had to fight not to laugh every time he caught them at it, especially when he realized that they thought they were being subtle. Potter seemed to have caught his wordless hint that he was a Death Eater, but other then watching with his two friends, he didn't seem to be doing anything about it. He didn't seem to have told anybody, either.

(He seemed to have won points with them in how he handled the first-years, especially that girl that seemed to have attached herself to Potter.)

He decided not to worry about them too much, sure that three students (even these three students) couldn't do too much, not when even Dumbledore was trying and failing to get rid of him. (A few of his fellow Auror's had already informed him that Dumbledore was sniffing around for any kind of dirt on him).

Severus had already informed him of everything he knew regarding those three. He found it humorous, and alarming, what they'd gotten up to over the years, what Dumbledore had sat back and allowed to happen.

He'd already reported his concerns to the Dark Lord, who was suitably concerned about what Dumbledore might be planning with the Potter boy, and had stepped up his efforts to get that prophecy. He had to know what Dumbledore knew, and he needed to know just how it affected him.

Simmons didn't know why the Dark Lord didn't just disguise himself and go get it. It wasn't like security at the Ministry was very tight, and the Unspeakables were growing restless with Dumbledore constantly stationing his Order members to guard it, as if the Ancient protections set up around the Department weren't enough.

Hmm... maybe that was where the Trio learned their skills of subtlety, from the Order. Because they were neither subtle, nor sneaky. No matter how much they liked to pretend they were.

"Come in!" He called when he heard a knock on the door. "Ah, yes. Come, sit." He gestured to the front desks, and watched as the Weasley Twins slouched towards them, watching.

Well, he amended. Maybe there was somebody else the Trio had told he was a Death Eater.

"Now... you know why you are here?" He questioned. At their shifts and 'innocent' looks, he continued. "You are here because you've been caught testing untried and new products on other students, without properly informing them of what might happen or having somebody properly trained in Healing nearby."

"All our products are tested on ourselves, first." Fred protested the point that their products were untested.

Simmons paused and blinked at them. "Do you know how much worse that is?" He questioned them, incredulous and thinking that they were lucky to be alive.

They looked at each other, uncertain, before he sighed. "Do you have any idea what could have happened to either of you if you had not been able to counter the effects if it went wrong? You are both lucky that you are here, unharmed. As soon as we are done here, the two of you are going straight to the Hospital Wing for a complete check-up." He eyed them in warning, daring them to protest.

When they didn't say anything, he sighed and sat back. "For your punishment, you will write lines, three hundred times of 'We will not test on younger students again', each. And then you will each write me an essay on the dangers that could have happened. You will write, in detail, everything that could have happened to those other students had you been unable to counter something that went wrong, or if they had an adverse reaction. You will then spend the next two weeks aiding Madam Pomphrey in the Hospital Wing, treating the students that come through."

They glanced at each other warily. Lines? He understood it, the last teacher that set them lines ended up torturing them with it.

Which was why, when he placed the parchments in front of them, already spelled to keep count of their lines, he left them to gather their own quills out of their bags without comment. While they started writing, he returned to his grading, only looking up once in a while to make sure they were doing their work. After they finished their lines, he placed the books that he wanted them to reference in their essays down wordlessly, and let them start.

He'd heard from other teachers that they had a habit of writing one essay between them sometimes and handing it in with both their names on it. Sometimes the other professors accepted it, if the boys could verbally explain the concepts afterward that showed that they'd both done the work, and not just one of them while the other did something else. He wasn't about to accept that, though

A half-hour before their detention was supposed to end, he cleared his throat. "You can complete those on your own time, but I expect them on my desk next week. You two have an appointment with Madam Pomphrey, now." He gave them no room to protest, and instead herded them towards the Hospital Wing. The Healers that came to examine the students hadn't caught anything, but they were mostly there for the Blood-quill exposure. Quite a few abuse cases were caught, even in unexpected places (Potter...) but a few other problems could have just as easily slipped through the cracks and gone undetected, depending on the Healer that saw them. Some of them treated for Blood-quill exposure and nothing else, they didn't even bother to look for anything else.

They didn't protest, though. They'd gotten far enough in the books he'd provided to be subdued at the new information of just what could have gone wrong, and they'd never even considered it. They just wanted to test their products. Fred decided that they were going to have to put allergy labels on their products, just to warn people that they had certain ingredients in them that were common for people to have reactions of some kind to. He was not going to let one of their products be the reason somebody had a health scare. And to think, they hadn't even finished those books or started to really get into the essays, yet.

Sirius stared at the letter numbly. So, they had looked through Harry's files and found him as the Magical Guardian.

He was pleased with her offer to meet somewhere neutral to discuss his godson, but he wasn't too sure about what might come after, or even how she would treat him. Some of the things she had to say would hurt, he knew. She still believed him to be a mass-murderer. She probably still thought he was out to kill Harry, at that.

But... this might be the only chance he had of clearing his name. He didn't even bother taking this to Dumbledore, he knew what the man would say.

'It's too dangerous. You must remain here...' 'I'm sorry dear boy, but it's for the Greater Good.'

He snorted. How was it for the Greater Good that he be on the run? If he were cleared he could take his family seat on the Wizengamot for himself, and handle Harry's estate more openly.

It had been in terrible disarray when he got the statements and account information from the Goblins. Sure, he could handle getting the finances in order, but he couldn't visit his or Harry's properties to see if the elves were still there, couldn't meet with contractors to hire them to fix up said properties to make them habitable, couldn't meet up with the business managers in person, couldn't go and inspect the businesses...

He couldn't even fix this place up properly! Although to keep it or sell it was still a question.

He pursed his lips and finally wrote a letter to Gringotts requesting use of a meeting room the next day at 10AM, as well as use of a Pensieve.

He explained that he was meeting Amelia Bones and needed somewhere secure, and the Goblin nation was as neutral territory as they were going to get.

When he got the reply stating that yes, he could use a meeting room and Pensieve for a standard fee at ten the next day, he took a deep breath and wrote back to Amelia.

10 AM at Gringotts Bank. Private meeting room
arranged. Bring only one Auror if you wish,
but know he will have to stay outside.

Sirius Orion Black
Lord of the Ancient and Most Noble House of Black
Regent of the Ancient and Most Noble House of Potter

He just couldn't resist adding his titles.

Let her think on why he had those... once somebody was convicted, they were automatically stripped of their titles, or were made ineligible to claim them.

"Sirius? Lunch is rea- what are you up to?" Remus asked after poking his head in the door following his single knock. He took one look at his best friends face and immediately knew Albus would not like whatever it was.

He couldn't really find it in himself to care, either. Especially when Sirius held out the letter from Amelia Bones. His breath caught. This was... "What time?" He asked hoarsely.

"Tomorrow at 10AM." Sirius sighed.

"Good... this is perfect. The Minister is too busy scrambling from Umbridge being arrested to even try and stick his nose in your case. Not like he did at the end of Harry's third year." Remus said, excited while his brain whirled with thoughts and strategy.

Sirius paused. "I hadn't even thought of that." He grinned. "Once I'm cleared, I can make sure nothing gets swept under the rug with Umbridge and the Quills." He added, determined.

Fudge was scrambling to save himself right now, he just might manage it, too. Not if Sirius had anything to say about it... After tomorrow, that just might be a possibility.

"I can do something about the stupid Prophet, too." He decided. Teach them to drag his godson through the mud... they were going to regret ever hearing the name 'Harry Potter'.

Remus grinned at the vindictive gleam in the Black Lord's eyes. Sirius was going to remind the world why you didn't mess with somebody claimed by a Black.

His grin disappeared when Sirius turned a grin onto him next. "And you won't have any more excuses not to buy proper clothes." He informed his wolfy friend gleefully. He'd tried offering Moony money to buy new clothes, only to be told Remus had money; he'd patented their two-way mirrors and a few other things the Marauder's invented during school under a pseudonym, and wrote a few books under a pen-name. He had royalties coming in from all those, making quite the little fortune for himself that he rarely used, unless it was to transfer money into his Muggle bank account, which he rarely had to do because he'd built up quite the fortune there, as well. (He had a pretty nice house.)

The problem was, he was a werewolf. And there were enough people in power that knew that, especially after his status was revealed after his year of teaching. With the way the werewolf laws currently were, and with how prejudiced people were against werewolves... if he suddenly started walking around in nice clothes, they'd have him arrested for theft or something before he could blink. The next thing he knew, there would be all kinds of laws passed stating that werewolves wouldn't be allowed to have money, and they would find a way to confiscate his money.

"After all, why would the Lord of House Black let his best friend continue to walk around in rags?" Sirius continued. Remus groaned, but had to admit he had a point. And it would be nice to be able to walk around freely while wearing decent clothes more often... "Besides, I'm going to need to go clothes shopping, you can come with me!" Remus groaned louder and chased his laughing friend out of the room with hexes flying.

Amelia sighed as she read the letter, and blinked at the titles listed below. If that was true... coupled with the fact they couldn't find a trial transcript or even any record of there having been a trial... she groaned and downed a Headache potion.

This coupled with Harry Potter, the wrongfully convicted (maybe) Lord of the Ancient and Most Noble House's godson/son, being so badly mistreated on numerous occasions by the Ministry as a whole...

If he were innocent, the Ministry was not going to come out of this well at all.

Not that she really cared about that... she just cared about doing her job, enforcing the law and protecting people. She did her job, and she liked to think that she did her job well.

Nodding, she looked out at who was currently there, wondering who she could trust to take with her. Some of them, she knew were Dumbledore's people, no matter how much they tried to hide it. They thought they were sneaky and subtle with how they interacted, but she'd seen Kingsley and Arthur talking quietly when they thought nobody was around. Others were related to, or were members of 'Dark' families. If there was anybody that didn't want a Light-minded (possibly) Lord of the Black family, it would be the Dark families. Politically, it was to those families benefit if the Black seat remained dormant right now, in their minds, it wouldn't be long until Draco Malfoy came of age and would be able to claim the seats for himself.

Having Sirius Black back would not be to their advantage.

Although... even if Sirius Black were truly guilty, she could now safely say that Draco Malfoy was never getting the Black Lordship, not if Sirius Black blood-adopted Harry Potter.

Who to take with her...?

Well... Alastor Moody may be officially retired, but men like him never retired. And he was the one to train Sirius Black when he graduated the Auror academy. He may be one of Dumbledore's, but she knew that he would keep quiet if she asked him to. "Moody!" She called, making her decision. He grunted and started moving towards her, his magical eye drifted lazily over the letter in her hands before it stopped and zoomed back towards it, where it stopped and stayed there. He stared at the letter with an intensity that would have worried her, had she not been able to see the thoughts spinning in his head.

"How much do you know about this?" She asked, waving him to a seat and laying the letter in front of her, not even bothering with handing it to him to read, he'd already read it.

"I know he's innocent, was sent off without trial or even being questioned." His eyes focused on her. "I know I already failed that boy once, and I'm not about to again." He answered steadily.

She studied him for a few minutes. "What really happened?" She asked, choosing to give him the benefit of the doubt right now. And so he explained what Sirius had told him, how Pettigrew was the secret-keeper with Sirius himself playing the decoy. He wasn't sure if Albus was aware of the plan at the time, but he knew for a fact that Albus knew the truth now. She pursed her lips. "Why has Albus not done anything? He was the Chief Warlock, it was his job to make sure things like this don't happen." She muttered darkly. "And don't think you're completely off the hook, either. You could have come forward with this the moment you found out." She pointed at Moody, who nodded slowly after a moment.

He frowned. Why hadn't he brought this to her attention sooner? He'd meant to...

"I bet the other Aurors in your little group know about this too? And none of them came forward, either." She pinned him with a glare, to which he blinked and grimaced. He should have guessed she would have noticed something. She sighed. "Not a word of this to anybody for now. I want you to go with me to the bank, he should feel comfortable enough with you there at least." She muttered.

He nodded and stood back up. "I don't know about the others, but I meant to come speak with you. Not sure why I didn't." He frowned again and ambled away, leaving her frowning after him. She added having the annual health checks done by Gringotts this time around to her list. Her Aurors were routinely and randomly checked for controlling spells or potions, but who was to say the checkers weren't on somebody else's payroll or control?

"Amelia?" She blinked, surprised.

"Simmons? What are you doing here? Shouldn't you be at Hogwarts?" She asked, confused.

He shrugged. "Classes are over for the day. I figured I'd drop in, get a few things, and make a report." He held up the stack of parchments in his hand and stepped in.

"Alright. What's the situation?" She asked, sitting up and giving him her full attention. The parchments looked like Auror recruitment/information brochures, another one looked like a training guide they handed out to the public.

"Well... the younger years aren't going to have it too rough. The first years only had a few classes with her, while the teacher last year did a fairly good job at covering curses and the like, and Lupin was easily the best Defense teacher Hogwarts has seen in quite a while. It's the fourth years and older that are going to have to really work to catch up in time for their exams." He explained. "As far as the students' response to me, the younger years are... wary. Especially those who were in detention with her. I'm working on gaining their trust that I'm not going to hurt them at least, but..." He shrugged helplessly. "The older years are taking a 'wait-and-see' approach to what kind of teacher I'll be, especially since I'm just the fill-in." The older years were used to the constantly changing professors, they knew the drill.

She scowled. "Do you think we should make arrangements for a Mind Healer for them? Even those who only had one or two detentions... they're children. They should never have been in that situation." She eyed him.

He scratched the back of his head. "Couldn't hurt. So far, the Gryffindor and Hufflepuff first years seem to be adjusting the best, but I think that's more because the older students of those houses have closed ranks around them." Especially the Gryffindor fifth years. "The younger Ravenclaws seem to have been left hanging by their housemates, but I know Filius is trying to do what he can for them."

She shook her head. Even in her school years, the Ravenclaws were never the closest knit group, they were too interested in their studies and projects to care about what was happening to each other. Not all of them, mind, but... She wasn't surprised to hear that the Hufflepuffs were supporting each other, though she was pleased that this group of Gryffindors seemed interested in looking out for each other. It always seemed to be a hit-and-miss with that group, whether or not they would rally behind you or cast you out. It usually depended on who 'took charge' of the older years, whether or not it was a pride of lions, or a lion pit. If it was a pride, they were a family that looked out for each other. If it was a pit, you always had to watch your step or you would be 'eaten'.

"Do what you can. What are those for?" She asked, pointing at the bundle in his hand.

"Some of the second and third years asked me about being an Auror and what they needed to do to get in, and a few older students are currently taking their NEWT's for the Auror academy." He shrugged. "And, that's another thing. One of the fourth years said they wished they'd known what classes they'd need for a career path they would enjoy before picking electives." Well, it was a conversation he'd overheard, but still. The student in question wanted to be a Curse-breaker, but he hadn't taken Arithmancy or Ancient Runes, so now his options were either hiring private tutors to try and catch up, or pick another career to aim for.

"Really? Us Hufflepuffs had a career day with Professor Sprout at the end of our second year so we would know what the different career paths required, what house was this student in?" She was confused. She thought all the houses did that.

"Gryffindor." He was going to hand the recruitment brochures out to his second and third years, they could at least look them over in preparation for choosing their electives, and it wasn't too late for the third years to change classes if they wanted to. They had a few more weeks until it became too late.

"Hmm. I'll mention it to Minerva." She promised.

He nodded and got up. "I should get back, I have work to do."

"Have fun." She smirked, imagining him grading all those essays. He chose to teach part-time at the academy to get away from the paperwork, and now he was going to be stuck grading papers and the like. He grimaced, but walked out, wondering what she and Mad-eye had been discussing and if he should mention it to his Lord or not. So far she was protected because of her neutral, unbiased stance on things. He didn't want to see that change because she started getting drawn in by Dumbledore.

Sirius breathed deep, held it, and breathed out again, trying to stay calm.

Glancing at the time, he grimaced and picked up the port-key he'd been sent so he didn't cause a panic in the middle of Gringotts.

Let's hope this worked.

Amelia stopped outside the door to the conference room she'd just been shown to. "Remus Lupin. I should have guessed you would be wherever he was." The Marauder's were near inseparable in school, why should it be any different outside of it? Although, it did cast even more doubts on Sirius Black's guilt, no matter what she now believed based on Moody's testimony the day before.

Remus cleared his throat, uncomfortable, and glanced at Moody, who nodded. "Yes, well. He's inside."

"Auror Moody, you will remain outside. If what you say is indeed correct, then I'm sure I have nothing to worry about." Amelia said after a moment. That, and that was part of the agreement with her bringing somebody with her at all.

Remus knocked on the door once and opened it without another word.

"Sirius? She's here." He said, poking his head in and then withdrawing, gesturing her in, hiding his own nerves.

"Lord Black." She greeted warily, stopping just inside.

"Madam Bones, it's been a while." The last time he saw her was during her last inspection of Azkaban before his escape.

"It has. You look much better then last time I saw you." She said wryly.

"Yeah, well. A few years out of that place, a good Healer abroad, some sunshine." He shrugged, gesturing for her to take a seat. "You wanted to talk about Harry?" He asked, getting right to the point. He relaxed slightly. He wasn't being sneered at or treated as dangerous or anything like that, which pleased him.

"Yes. First of all, his paperwork lists Albus Dumbledore as being his legal guardian, but there is no paperwork granting him that guardianship, and all the paperwork still lists you as the Magical Guardian. And then there is the Blood-adoption on record. Without any record of a trial or an official conviction, the magical guardianship was never overturned, and custody as his father was never removed, either." She laid it all out. "I can get you a trial, and if found innocent, you would have a case for kidnapping, both for yourself and your heir. And then there is the issue with Umbridge and the Blood-quill."

"Fudge would never allow a trial." Sirius shook his head. "He refused to listen when I was caught at Hogwarts at the end of Harry's third year. I tried to tell him, Harry tried to tell him, Harry's friends tried to tell him... I won't tell you how I escaped, but if I'd stayed for even ten more minutes I wouldn't be here right now." Fudge had the Dementor's coming to Kiss him then and there.

"He doesn't have the authority to do that!" She read between the lines to figure out what he was saying, and to say she was not happy was an understatement, it didn't take her much to realize where he was going with it. Sirius shrugged. She shook her head and decided to deal with that later. "I need you to sign this, officially granting Heir Potter-Black permission to testify at her trial." She had his written permission, but she wasn't going to take any risks, not with the current smear campaign the Ministry was trying to run against the boy. A campaign that had sped up and become even more malicious after Umbridge's arrest.

According to her niece, the Hogwarts students were about to revolt against the Ministry, not liking that they were continuing the smear campaign or basically calling all of them liars. Her Aurors had almost revolted yesterday when Fudge tried to get Umbridge quietly released, especially since he'd stopped the paper from printing anything about her arrest. Some of those Auror's children had been tortured by her, after all.

He read through it carefully before signing on the bottom line, already knowing that Harry had agreed to be there.

"Alright. Now, I would like to discuss some things we have on file for your heir from the past few years. In the summer of 1992, we have a case of underage magic on file performed by Heir Potter-Black, then the following summer there is the incident with his Uncle's sister being blown up like a balloon. Then, of course, this past summer there was the Patronus Charm. I have already started a quiet investigation into how two Dementor's could have been there, so that has been taken off his records and marked as a case of self-defense. Do you know anything about the incident in '92?" She asked.

He nodded. "That was a House-elf. That wasn't Harry."

She stopped and looked at him, blinking. "A House-elf? Was it one of the Potter or Black elves?" She asked.

"No... the Black family elves have mostly died with the rest of my family, and I haven't had a chance to look into what happened to the Potter elves. The elf in question is named Dobby, I believe Harry said, and at the time he belonged to Lucius Malfoy. He now works at Hogwarts, if you wish to question him further. According to Harry, the elf witnessed his master's plans for the school that year and was trying to keep Harry safe by keeping him from going to school."

"That was the year students were being petrified." Amelia said slowly, thoughtfully. Lucius Malfoy was behind those attacks? Something else for her to look into.

"I will look further into that, and clear his record if needed. Now, about the incident in the summer of '93. It was marked as an emotional outburst, accidental magic, no punishment needed. However, it is concerning for me that he had one at all, especially at his age and with two years of training behind him. I was stopped from looking into it any further, but it points to a less then satisfactory home life." Accidental magic at Harry's age (at the time) was rare, and always cause for concern, because accidental outbursts like that usually happened during stressful situations, at the very least. It never boded well for the child in question.

"I asked Harry about that last year. I was in the area that night, I wanted to see him before making my way towards Hogwarts." He admitted. "I saw that woman come flying out of the house, blown up. Harry wouldn't tell me what was said or done to make him lose control. He wouldn't even tell me who that woman was." He wasn't concerned with admitted that Harry was in contact with him, not with Amelia.

She frowned. "She was Vernon Dursley's sister, visiting for the week, that was the last night of her visit." She said, consulting the notes from the investigating Auror that night.

"Vernon is a nasty piece of work. I met him at James and Lily's wedding. I was surprised they'd come, they wouldn't stop calling everybody Freaks, or unnatural. At some point, Lily ran away from her sister, crying. Remus and I asked them to leave after that." Sirius remembered, scowling. "I can't imagine that his sister is much better then he is."

"That certainly requires more investigation." Amelia said quietly, making a note of it. "In the health report submitted as part of the investigation into the Blood-quills, your heir's report was almost triple the length of the other students his age or older. Do you know anything about that? The parts not pertinent to our investigation were blacked out, of course." She admitted, finding that annoying right now, but understanding patient confidentiality.

"Unfortunately, with me still a wanted fugitive, I can't take Harry in officially, I can't even take him to a Healer or have a proper conversation with him." Not with how Molly Weasley ruled his house this past summer while the kids were there. "That place is the only one he can go to, for as long as Dumbledore keeps interfering." Sirius shook his head, resisting the urge to hunt the old man down and give them a reason to put him in prison.

"Dumbledore?" She asked.

He was silent for a few minutes. "Before this past summer, I was staying in caves, temporarily empty homes- I cleaned up after myself and left money for any food I ate, or other... places. After Voldemort's return, Dumbledore demanded I open up a Black Family home for his Order to use, and practically put me on house-arrest. If I get 'too out of line' or too vocal about Harry living with me, he pulls his 'Greater Good' routine or says how much of a shame it would be for the Auror's to find me by following Harry to and from my house. I'm no good to Harry in prison or Kissed. I'm barely any good to him now, but at least we can talk to each other and he knows I'm there." He said quietly.

"He knows you're innocent." She said, it wasn't a question. "And he is threatening you with the Auror's finding you." She frowned, especially when he nodded his agreement. "I will most certainly be looking into that." She muttered and made a note of it.

They talked for another half hour about Harry and Sirius' case, before she glanced at the time and stood. "I will send you a date and time for your trial, I expect you to be there." She informed him, bade him a good day, and left, taking Moody with her. Alastor peeked in the room, raised his eyebrow in question at the Black Lord, and followed his boss out. He'd had a nice conversation with Remus while he waited, so he supposed it wasn't too much of a waste of time.

"Well?" Remus asked, anxious.

"She's going to get me a trial. And, according to her, since I was never officially convicted, Harry never actually left my custody, on paper or in the eyes of magic. I could file kidnapping charges against the Headmaster and everybody else involved in sending me to prison." Sirius shook his head in disbelief.

"That's good... why don't we finish up some business here, get back, and you can call up Harry. It should be lunch time by then." Remus glanced at the clock. He didn't think Sirius would have much business to finish at the bank, so it shouldn't take long, and it only took a few moments to Floo back and forth somewhere.

"We have two high-profile trials scheduled for tomorrow, I want security to be tight. Wards on the courtrooms to suppress magic, anti-animagus wards, wards against House-elves, if it can be used as a means of escape, I want it warded against." Amelia instructed her Auror's, standing outside her office.

"Yes, ma'am." Her main warders said before they left to carry out their instructions. If they were just warding the room, they didn't necessarily need to be present for the postings. They had a room to ward, and a potentially meddling Minister to deal with.

"Boss? Why wards to suppress magic?" Tonks asked, confused. She didn't know about Sirius' meeting with Amelia. Moody, Sirius, and Remus had spoken and the three of them had agreed to keep it to themselves until after the trial Amelia promised him.

"Because Umbridge has blackmail information that some would not want her potentially releasing, so we need to make sure she cannot be silenced, compulsed, or killed while on the stand. The other Defendant has a lot of enemies among the factions of the Wizengamot who would love to see him dead rather then take his rightful place in society." She explained. The Dark sect especially. Right now, Lucius Malfoy was voting the Black Family seats in his sons place, with Sirius being Lord Black, it was clear that Lucius didn't actually have the authority to be using those seats. She already knew Sirius had plans to name his seats Neutral, which would take a lot of power away from the Dark.

"Who is the other Defendant?" Somebody else asked, confused. And why were they doing two high-profile cases back to back? They usually did them on separate days for a reason.

"Because his case has some... interest from high up, and there have been concerns expressed that the Minister has tried to have him killed in the past rather then let him have a trial, I would rather the Minister not get another chance." She admitted after a few moments of thought. She wanted them to understand how serious this was, but she also didn't want them to know quite yet. They would find out the next day when Sirius arrived.

Because of all the witnesses, and the charges against her, they were anticipating Umbridge's trial to take all day, so they were putting Sirius up first, she wasn't expecting him to take long. He'd already sent her the official request for Veritaserum to be used, and the use of a Pensieve if she thought it was really needed. Since the only witnesses that they knew of from back then were dead, were currently thought dead, or had been Obliviated at the scene, they wouldn't take up much time. Although she most certainly would be calling Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Remus to explain what happened that night at the end of Harry's third year when Sirius escaped again.

"Excuse me?" She heard from the doorway, and barely suppressed her groan. "Did I just hear you accuse me of attempted murder, Madam Bones?" The blundering Minister asked icily.

"You heard me right." She said calmly, knowing that she was in the right here. That, and he was much more manageable without his Senior Undersecretary simpering along behind him.

He puffed up. "I am the Minister for Magic! How dare you accuse me of attempted murder!" He yelled, turning red.

"I have the memories to back up my claims, Minister. Furthermore, I've done some digging through the records." She said, watching him curiously. "Now, this individual is on trial tomorrow morning, you will just have to wait until then to find out who it is." She interrupted his attempts to demand to know who it was.

"You can't... I am the Minister and I deserve to know who is being tried!" He blustered.

"No you do not. You have no legal right to be in that courtroom at all tomorrow, as you said, you are the Minister. Presiding over trials is not in your job description." She reminded him. "Now, why are you down here? And if it's to demand Delores Umbridge's release, save it. She's not going free."

"She is my Senior Undersecretary! Why is she not being released?" He demanded again. "I ordered her released two days ago!"

"And I countermanded those orders because you don't have the authority to make them." She once again reminded him of what he could or could not do. "She is being charged with using a Class A forbidden object on children. Using that object at all outside of the Ministry and Gringotts is an instant Azkaban sentence, you know that. With all the evidence I have against her, I don't even need to be giving her a trial. I could just throw her in Azkaban here and now." She stared at the Minister while he blustered some more before he finally left.

"What an idiot." Amelia said quietly, but not quietly enough that her Auror's didn't have to hide their grins.

"You know your orders for the day. Get to work." She called out, and sighed before going into her office. She flopped gracelessly into her chair with a groan before pulling the small pile of paperwork towards her, already wishing the week was over.

Harry looked around at the crowd of students in the courtroom, half surprised that they'd had a courtroom large enough for them all, until he reminded himself that they probably had expansion charms on it. They were only allowed to sit in here for the first trial, and then they would be taken to a side-room where they would wait to be called, that way none of the witnesses could change their testimony based on what somebody else said.

The Headmaster had tried to protest so many students leaving school grounds, or taking part in the trial at all, but he'd been firmly shot down by Madam Bones, who Harry was really coming to like, not least because Sirius told him about how she was handling his case. Since this was a court matter, he really had no say in it (especially since Fudge had kicked him off the Wizengamot), not since the students in question had permission from their parents to be here today.

"Alright. Bring out the defendant." Amelia called after all the formalities were over with. Kingsley nodded and disappeared through a door that led straight to the holding cells, where Sirius had secretly been placed early this morning, and emerged two minutes later with Sirius in tow, cuffs on.

The crowd erupted into screams, chatter, and general chaos. Fudge could be heard screaming for a Dementor, while Bones just sat there, rolling her eyes and letting them get it out of their systems. It was a good thing her Aurors already knew that there were to be no Dementors anywhere near the courtroom until the end of Umbridge's trial, or somebody would have followed the Minister's order to fetch one.

Five minutes later, she had enough. BANG.

"Could we have some decorum, please?" She asked, struggling to stay polite sounding instead of sarcastic. "As you can see, he's clearly escorted and cuffed." She stared at them drolly, noticing quite a few sheepish looks from the worse of those to panic.

"Where are the Dementors?" Fudge demanded, glaring at Sirius in fear.

"Not coming." Amelia stated, glaring at the Minister. "And you attempt to summon them one more time, I will have you charged with attempted murder." She warned him, then turned to the scribe, ignoring his sputtering. "We are here for the trial of Sirius Orion Black, on the 30th of September 1996. On the charge of thirteen counts of murder, two counts of accessory murder, escape from prison, and belonging to the terrorist organization known as the Death Eaters." She announced. "Interrogators, Madam Amelia Bones Head of the DMLE and Lord Daniel Greengrass Interim Chief Warlock."

She motioned for her departments Potions Master to come forward with the Veritaserum, and made sure a medi-witch was nearby just in case. "Veritaserum has been requested, and granted, as well as the use of Pensieve memories, all of which have been authenticated by an outside, unbiased third party as well as an Unspeakable."

There were some whispers at that, especially among the older students who remembered Harry's third year, when the school thought Sirius was after Harry. Why would a guilty man request Veritaserum (he was Pureblood, even with the charges being leveled at him he could not be given Veritaserum unless he requested it's use) and provide Pensieve memories? When they looked at Harry, they were surprised to find him glaring at the Minister.

Finally, the Potions Master stepped back and nodded while the medi-witch stepped forward, looked Sirius over briefly, and nodded as well. "What is your name?" She had to ask for the record.

"Sirius Orion Black"

"Date of birth?"

"November 3, 1959."

"Were you ever a Death Eater?" She asked suddenly, not giving anybody time to protest *coughMinisterFudgecough*.

"Never." The vehemence somehow managed to be heard through the apathy effects Veritaserum had on people. There were some confused murmurs from the watching students and spectators, but the Aurors stationed around the crowd, watching everybody, kept them quiet for now.

They were confused, though. Everybody knew Sirius Black was You-Know-Who's right hand. How could he sit here and deny being a Death Eater?

"Have you ever, in any capacity, supported the Dark Lord Voldemort, also known as You-Know-You, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, and several other monikers over the years?" Amelia asked the next question, knowing that you had to be precise with asking these questions. After all, the answer depended on what the person being questioned considered to be the truth. So if he never truly considered himself a Death Eater, but still followed the man... Some Slytherin in the crowd or Wizengamot was bound to point out that very fact afterward.

"I've never supported that mad man." Sirius declared strongly.

"Have you ever supported his cause?"


Now that it was established that he wasn't a Death Eater... "Were you the Potter's Secret Keeper at any point?" She asked. She already knew that he was until they switched, and she would be getting to that, right now she was establishing a time-line.

"Yes." The murmurs in the crowd increased, everybody confused on what was going on. If he wasn't a Death Eater and refused to support the Dark Lord, then why did he give the Potters up to them?

"Were you the Potters Secret Keeper on October 31, 1981?"

"No." Now the crowd was really confused. Glances towards Harry from his friends revealed that he wasn't surprised by any of this information. He was staring intently at the Minister, still glaring. Ron and Hermione were smirking, to show that they themselves already knew what was going on. Slowly the Hogwarts students started to realize that the Trio had been in contact with Sirius Black, at the very least.

Fudge crumpled in his seat, staring at Sirius stupidly.

"Who was the Secret Keeper?" The murmurs quieted, everybody was leaning forward in their seats, eager to learn who really betrayed their beloved heroes parents to their murderer.

"Peter Pettigrew." The crowd exploded in disbelief and shouts of outrage, many momentarily forgetting that he was under Veritaserum and couldn't lie, a straightforward question like that didn't leave many loopholes. How dare he accuse a national hero?! Peter Pettigrew stood up to him at the cost of his life! The Hogwarts students who were still watching the Trio noticed that Hermione looked particularly vindictive, while Ron and Harry were smirking like the cat that caught two canaries and a particularly juicy mouse.

"Silence!" Amelia Bones called, letting out bangs from her wand, and glaring at the crowd. "No more outbursts!" She glared harder. She spun on her heel and glared at the Minister when he made a noise like he was going to say something. Taking a deep breath, she turned back to Sirius.

"Why was he the Secret Keeper and not you?"

"We switched. I thought they would be safer... I was the obvious choice. We let everybody think it was me, when it was really him. That way all three of them would be safe." The crowd murmured again, not quite as outraged anymore, especially as more people noticed the lack of surprise or anger on Harry's face (at least, no anger directed at Sirius Black). No, he looked hopeful, even though he was glaring at Minister Fudge.

"You were not the Secret Keeper who betrayed the Potter families' location to the Dark Lord Voldemort?" Amelia asked again, just to clarify.

"No, I was not."

"I move to drop the charges of accessory to murder and belonging to the terrorist organization known as the Death Eaters." Amelia said quickly, moving the files around in front of her.

"Seconded." Lord Greengrass said, and it was quickly put to a vote, with the charges being dropped before Fudge could speak up.

"Now then. What happened that night? The night of October 31, 1981." And the story unfolded, leaving the crowd stunned as everything they 'knew' was destroyed. Peter Pettigrew was the real traitor, Peter Pettigrew was the one who killed those twelve Muggles before disappearing into the sewers, still very much alive. Peter Pettigrew was the reason Sirius broke out of prison two years ago, it was to protect his godson after he learned where Pettigrew was hiding. She's even made sure to ask about events at the end of Harry's third year, when Pettigrew escaped and both Sirius and Harry were almost Kissed.

The Minister was not going to be Minister much longer, needless to say.

"Why did none of this come out at your first trial fourteen years ago?" Amelia finally asked, even though she knew the answer. She wanted it to be made as public as possible, though, so nothing could be swept under the rug. She didn't care about the Minister's public image, or even the Ministries for that matter, she was doing her job, and righting a wrong. A public image could be recovered over time, and with the right course of action.

"I never received a trial." If the public hadn't been shocked speechless before, they were now.

She watched him for a moment before nodding. "Administer the antidote." She instructed. "Motion to drop the charge of thirteen counts of murder, and the escape from prison." She said once Sirius was lucid again.

"Seconded." Dowager Longbottom was the one to speak up this time.

Another quick vote, and Amelia smiled. It would seem that even those who had the most to lose from Sirius gaining his freedom didn't dare try to vote him guilty of anything, not with the crowd they had watching their every move, and especially not with the ramifications of the Son of an Ancient and Most Noble House being thrown in Azkaban without even being questioned by Aurors, let alone without a trial.

"Lord Sirius Black, you are free to go." She said with a grin, handing over a small box (with expansion charms) that contained all of Sirius' personal belongings that were on his person at the time of his arrest, including his original wand. "Come to my office after this next trial and we will discuss compensation, and any other actions you might wish to take." She hadn't been kidding when she said she could probably make a case for kidnapping and attempted murder on his and his Heir's behalf.

"I will." He agreed, and turned around, only to take a step back with a grunt. "Hey, pup." He said with a grin.

"You're finally free." Harry grinned ecstatically.

"You bet. And my offer still stands." Sirius suggested, referring to his original offer at the end of Harry's third year, before the mess with the Dementors and the time-turner happened. While they talked, Sirius steered the two of them towards the other two members of the Trio, while the Hogwarts students watched, wide-eyed.

Harry's grin disappeared and he scowled. "You know Dumbledore will never allow it." He muttered.

Sirius sighed. "Let me deal with Albus Dumbledore." He said simply. "He's just the Headmaster, he has no authority in his students' housing situations outside of Hogwarts. And he has no legal authority over issues of guardianship, especially not yours, and especially not now that I'm free." There was also that issue of kidnapping charges Madam Bones thought she could lay.

He couldn't believe that she'd actually done it. He'd never imagined that this could happen, never.

"Could all students and other witnesses follow the Aurors into the other room?" Amelia requested, turning to the seating area filled with Hogwarts students, with a few other individuals sitting a little away from all the teenagers. Sirius looked down at Harry, smiled, and gently pushed him towards his friends, settling himself down on a bench to watch the trial and hear the verdict. Since he'd only just been freed today, he couldn't participate as a member of the Wizengamot, but he was certainly claiming his seats at the next scheduled session, which should leave his seats empty right now...

His eyes narrowed when he saw a familiar head of hair sitting roughly where he remembered the Black seat to be located, and somebody else sitting in the Potter seat.

"Amelia." He said quietly, approaching her. "Can we get a recount of the seats? Legally, I am and always was Harry's guardian, which would make me Regent to the Potter seats until he's of age, and as Lord Black I never appointed a proxy, so the seat should have been empty these last few years. I don't know what other seats Harry might be eligible for." He explained quickly.

"Oh, dear." She looked at Lucius Malfoy, who she knew had been voting the Black seats as Regent until his son was of age, and Elphias Doge, who had been voting the Potter seats since in proxy of Albus Dumbledore since that Halloween night. "Very well. A motion has been called for a seat count, to make sure everybody in them is supposed to be." She announced, and nodded to the scribe, who had access to the official list, which was self-updating and automatic once a new Lord passed, they didn't even need to have official paperwork from Gringotts. It was rarely looked at unless somebody called for it, which was almost never since Gringotts kept such meticulous records.

Perhaps they should pay more attention to the register in future...

Lucius glared down at Sirius, but didn't dare protest, knowing what was about to happen and not wanting to make things harder on himself. Doge didn't react at all, Albus Dumbledore made him the proxy for these seats, so of course he was supposed to be here.

"... In the Black seat, Lord Sirius Black as of 1991 at the death of Lord Arcturus Black, no proxy assigned." The members of the Wizengamot shifted and murmured.

Lucius held onto his masks and stood up stoically. "My apologies, Lord Black. I will of course step down now that you are free once more." He said graciously, hiding his rage and trying to portray that it was a misunderstanding. It would not do to be arrested now for this. Especially not when he'd honestly thought Draco would get the seat when he was old enough, and Sirius was a prisoner in Azkaban, no matter how illegal that imprisonment was (of course he knew Sirius Black was innocent, he was there when Pettigrew told the Dark Lord where to find the Potters).

"Hmm..." Was all Sirius had to say on the matter, eyeing him while making mental plans to review every single law the Black seat voted for or against in the last few years Lucius sat it. "Thanks for keeping it warm." He finally said out loud with a quick, sharp smile. And the scribe continued reading the seat count without incident, so far it was just the Black seat, it seemed, with a few turning out to belong to Heir Harry Potter either through inheritance or because they were willed to him because the previous Lord didn't have any Heirs of their own.

"... In the Potter seat, Regent Sirius Black in place of Heir Harry Potter as of 1981 with the death of Lord James Potter, no proxy assigned." Now the crowd burst out into chatter and disbelief. If there was no proxy assigned during a time when the legal holder of the seat was unable to fulfil his duties, then the seat was to remain empty, simple as that.

Elphias Doge had not been quiet in his sitting that seat in proxy of the Great Albus Dumbledore.

"Silence!" Amelia shouted with a Sonorous and shot blasts from her wand to get their attention. She glared around at the room before turning her glare at Elphias Doge, who stubbornly remained seated. "Mr. Doge. You have no inherited seat, and clearly you have no legal authority to be sitting there. Please remove yourself." She said simply. "Before I have you removed." She added after a moment of him stubbornly not moving.

"You can't do that! I was assigned here by Albus in his capacity as the boys guardian and Regent!" He blustered. Amelia mentally added a few other charges she could potentially lay against Albus Dumbledore.

"Clearly the official register says otherwise. Get out of my godsons chair." Sirius growled, narrowing his eyes. Dumbledore, huh? He was going to have to go through the laws of the last fourteen years with a fine-toothed comb it seems.

Doge sneered at him, but left in a huff when the Aurors started walking towards him, intent on following their orders. "Did James assign...?"

"No. James didn't assign any proxy when they went into hiding, he chose to let the seat stay empty until the danger passed, or Harry came of age and was able to claim it." He hadn't trusted anybody to use the seats as befitting the Legacy of the Potter Family, not even Albus Dumbledore.

"Are you claiming your seats today?" Amelia asked him when the recount was finished without any more surprises. She knew that he was mentally sound enough, she'd made him take a full health scan the day before this trial.

"No. Now that I'm officially free, I have some stuff to clear up first. I wouldn't be able to stay objective in the upcoming trial, anyway." He shook his head and went back to his seat in the spectator stands. She merely nodded her understanding and called for the prisoner to be brought in.

Harry looked around, amazed. In the few months since Sirius was declared free and Umbridge was sentenced to be Kissed for her crimes (use of a Blood Quill on minors, abuse of authority and position, blackmail, extortion, bribery, use of the Unforgiveables, murder, etc), Grimmauld Place had been transformed. It was no longer the dark and gloomy ruin of a house, it was now the beautiful and elegant manor (expansion charms were amazing things) that it used to be.

The elf heads had been taken down and buried at the main Black estate, the green and silver had been removed and replaced with more cheerful colors, everything had been polished until it gleamed, and that stupid portrait of Walburga Black had finally been taken down.

(According to Sirius, the Curse-breaking team he'd hired to go through the place had taken offense to her constant abuse of their persons, parentage, and (probably most importantly of all) their eardrums. It hadn't taken the determined and skilled team long to get rid of her, no matter what Kreacher had to say on the subject.)

The discovery of the Horcrux by them had sparked a hunt across the country for any more of the things, with one having already been found in the vault of Bellatrix LeStrange. Since she hadn't had a proper trial either, the Goblins didn't consider that farce she went through with her husband, brother-in-law, and Crouch Jr. to be a proper trial, her vault had never been frozen. Now, however, due to breach of contract every single vault she'd had access to had been frozen, searched, and split between Sirius as Lord of her birth House, and the Longbottom estate as Frank and Alice Longbottom were her last, and only, confirmed victims. (There were plenty of people that she was suspected of killing or torturing, but the Longbottom's were the only ones known for a fact, since she was caught in the act.)

(As a result, Sirius had hired another team of Curse-breakers to check the contents of every vault attached to the Black family, just in case. Because he'd only just recently come into the Lordship (legally and officially) and was asking for the search himself, any vault that did contain something would merely be fined, and the contraband item removed for disposal.)

Dumbledore had been investigated for his lack of action when students were being injured in his school, despite the wards of the ancient castle supposedly being able to report just that occurrence to him. They certainly should have registered the presence of such an artifact, and especially one such as the diary, which had also ended up being the remains of a Horcrux. He'd been suspended for the rest of the year for his negligence, and there would be a review during the summer to determine if he could come back. Until then, the Board of Governors had posted somebody from America to take over as Head until everything with Dumbledore was settled, since the rest of the staff were under suspicion as well for being so complacent with their students' safety.

With Dumbledore out of the castle, Snape's attitude had taken an almost complete 180, but nobody was sure how much of that was because the temporary Headmistress had said something to him, or because Dumbledore wasn't around. Either way, the Slytherin's had been much better behaved.

Like Sirius said, Dumbledore had no right to dictate where Harry lived outside of school, and the Dursley's were under investigation for the way they treated him over the years, while Amelia was still looking into just what kind of charges she could lay on everybody involved with Sirius' imprisonment and Harry being left with the Dursley's, despite James and Lily's wishes as stated in their Wills. Absently, he started rubbing at the faint scars on the back of his hand, and wondered what would have happened if he hadn't said anything.