A Witch with a Righteous Anger
This Harry Potter story was written for fun. All rights belong to the wonderful lady (JK Rowling) who gave the world Harry Potter to read and enjoy. Voldemort and his Death Eaters disappear during the summer between Harry's fifth and sixth years at Hogwarts. Dumbledore stumbles in his many roles and must reassess his position. Harry sees Susan Bones in new light, and the Sparklemaggots get bashed… a lot.
Printed Word in letters and newspapers.
* (Scene Break) *Part 6: Another Class with Homework
The first two weeks of the term passed quickly and brilliantly in Harry's opinion. He made time to talk with Susan Bones every day and they also spent time together in the class for the 'heirs' as they styled it. He felt his heart beating faster whenever 'Susie' smiled at him.
Augusta Longbottom was the first tutor for the class, and she concentrated on Harry's manners and decorum, while Lord Ogden arranged to attend the classes and educated the three heirs on the rules of the Wizengamot. Headmaster Dumbledore tried twice to cancel the class, but Deputy Headmistress and Professor Sprout raised the proverbial roof about his attempts to interfere. Then Lady Longbottom railed against the Chief Warlock while on the floor of the Wizengamot at the next meeting for drifting into the evils of line theft and the members shut down Dumbledore's protests.
Professor Tonks spent several hours with the three heirs, planning a series of classes with accountants from Gringotts and business planners from muggleborn banks to introduce them to the concepts they would learn in 'university' after graduating from Hogwarts.
Neville Longbottom's outlook changed the most because he began to see the possibilities of bringing muggle practices into his magical greenhouses. Hannah Abbot, who had long hoped to begin a courtship with the Longbottom heir this year despaired because 'Loony Lovegood' was invited to attend the classes as the Lovegood heiress.
During those first weeks, Susan Bones discovered that she wanted nothing more than to spend time with Harry. They studied together for their regular classes as well as for the 'heir' class. Still a loyal friend, she recognized Hannah's unhappiness and sat her friend down for a serious talk. Immediately, Hannah began castigating the Ravenclaw, "Loony…"
Moving close to her friend, Susan shut down the argument before it began! "Hannah! If you can't stop the name calling, there's nothing to talk about! You know Luna's a good friend to Harry and Neville. She was their friend when no one else would even speak to them!"
"That's because no one else would speak to her!" Hannah argued. "She's after Neville! You'd be on my side if she tried to get too close to Prince Potter. Watch how you feel when Ginny Weasley makes a move on Harry at Halloween!"
Susan sat back and stared for a moment and then asked, "Hannah, are you serious about building a relationship with Neville?"
"What do you mean? Girls have to catch the attention of the best wizard they can while we're at Hogwarts."
"That's Grandmother Abbot pushing you to be a pureblood princess and 'catching' a wizard. If you remember her other stories, she was miserable with your grandfather. Now, what does your mother say? What does your father say?"
* (Scene Break) *
Hermione was upset when she was not allowed to attend the classes for the heirs. She harangued Harry and Neville for a week before Professor McGonagall called her into her office to discuss the situation with the sixth-year witch.
"Miss Granger, I am disturbed by the scene you made in the Great Hall at lunch today."
"Professor, I want to attend the class that Harry started with Susan Bones," Hermione replied confidently. "I heard that Luna Lovegood, Daphne Greengrass and Theodore Nott were invited to join."
"And they are all heirs to Ancient and Noble Houses," McGonagall replied.
"So?" Hermione replied with a great deal of cheek in her tone, very close to disrespecting to her head of house for the first time during her years at Hogwarts.
Sighing, Professor McGonagall pursed her lips and attempted to explain. "Miss Granger, you are a sponge for knowledge. Generally, that is an admirable quality at school. However, this class is for specific knowledge for the heirs of those houses. They will have to work together in the Wizengamot as soon as they are adults and must build relationships."
"Headmaster Dumbledore says this is a waste of time for them," argued Hermione.
"Then why do you want to attend?"
"They are discussing how the banking system works and how deals are made at the ministry. I need to know this!" the girl insisted.
"Are you going to work as Heir Potter's secretary then?"
"His secretary?" Hermione asked, scandalized by the notion. "Work 'for' Harry?"
"Heir Potter will inherit a fortune, houses, and many responsibilities when he turns seventeen. He'll need a trusted steward to manage businesses and his calendar."
Rolling her eyes, Hermione frowned and began again, "But why can't I go to the class?"
"You will slow the class down, Miss Granger. They are discussing banking accounts and you'll have no frame of reference for the vault system, the house alliances, or family connections. If they must teach you everything, they won't accomplish their goals."
"No! No!" Hermione objected. "Give me some books to read and I will catch up!"
"Stop!" Professor McGonagall demanded. "Miss Granger, I couldn't attend these classes. Your friends Ron, Lavendar, and Seamus will not be invited to attend."
"It's still wrong! You told me I could be anything I wanted in this world when you recruited me to attend Hogwarts. And every year – every day – since I started classes, people have told me all the things I couldn't do because I am a mudblood."
"Miss Granger! You can't speak like that!"
"Why not? It is the truth! Do you remember Missy Hallowell who graduated last year, near the top of the class across all four houses? She can't find an apprenticeship at Saint Mungo's despite having 'O's in all her NEWTS. She went back to the muggle world in September when the last positions were given to Jeremy Thorpe from Slytherin and Myra Foster from Ravenclaw. Neither of them was in the upper half of the graduating class!"
Minerva confessed "I had heard that Miss Hallowell was not made welcome at the hospital."
Hermione smirked and added, "And you'll be sorry someday when you need a healer and all you get are Foster and Thorpe who can't transfigure an apple from a toad."
While Minerva tried to compose a reply, Hermione rose and left the office of the deputy headmistress to wander the halls until time for supper.
* (Scene Break) *
'Dad and Mom are correct. I don't have a future in this culture that's lost in the eighteenth century. I miss the radio, telly…' Hermione mused. 'I can leave at Christmas – yes, I'll call it 'Christmas' from now on.'
When she entered the Great Hall, sad but beginning to reconcile her feelings, Hermione was surprised to be approached by Neville, Luna, Harry, and Susan.
"Miss Granger, I am sorry you are distressed about the class we're holding," Susan said.
Harry laid his hand on his friend's shoulder and said, "Hermione, it is a class that's preparing us to run our House after graduation. The goblins are insistent that we reach specific goals to avoid penalties at the bank."
"How can the goblins do that? That's not fair," Hermione insisted and then realized what she'd said.
"If you were there and asked a million questions like that, everyone would leave," Neville admitted. "We'd fail to reach the goals and we'd all be charged those penalties."
Luna stepped closer and confided, "Magical Britain isn't the fairy tale 'Sleeping Beauty', Hermione. It's a dark and scary version of 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'."
"Come and sit with us at the Hufflepuff table," Susan said. "We can talk about some general things like silly rules for who walks into the room in what order."
As they approached the table with Luna as part of the group, Hannah Abbot frowned and moved to a vacant seat much further down the bench. Susan sighed and Hermione noticed that Harry gently squeezed Susan's hand.
Luna turned to Hermione and asked, "Will you do me a great favour, Miss Granger?"
Harry whispered, "Say, 'Yes, Miss Lovegood,' if you will, or say, 'I am not able to at this time, Miss Lovegood' if you're not willing to help Luna."
Again, Hermione wanted to argue but stopped herself, turned to Luna and replied, "Yes, Miss Lovegood."
"Excellent. You and I will sit with Miss Abbot and discuss the future. Are you interested in your future, Miss Granger?"
"I don't believe in Divination!" insisted the muggleborn witch while Luna merely smiled.
"Neither do I, Miss Granger… Neither do I," Luna insisted as she led Hermione down the table.
"What was that about?" Neville asked quietly as Luna and Hermione surprized Hannah and sat on either side of the girl. There were some heated words between Hannah and Luna at the beginning of the conversation and then Hermione jumped in with a dozen questions that quieted the entire section of the Hufflepuff table.
"Wonder if this will help?" Harry asked Susan.
"Merlin, I hope so. Hannah's been my best friend for a long time, and she's got to get her head on straight. I'm about ready to write to her mother and father."
"Scamander!" shouted Hannah and everyone in the Great Hall turned their heads in wonder that a quiet girl from Hufflepuff would speak so loudly and out of place.
Neville frowned and was glad his grandmother was not attending this meal. He noticed the frowns on the faces of Professor Sprout and Professor Tonks following Hannah's outburst. Then he noticed the tired look on Professor McGonagall's face and brought it to Harry's attention.
* (Scene Break) *Potion Ingredients
After one particularly productive class wherein the heirs and heiresses talked about reforming Hogwarts to fulfil the educational needs of a modern Britain, Andromeda Tonks took time to inventory and secure the potion ingredients used in the new classrooms for potions. Her first week at Hogwarts, she moved the entire operation to deserted classrooms in the Ravenclaw tower. There was a classroom for instruction and a separate rooms for brewing that offered ventilation with multiple sinks and workstations. One mystery remained that only Professor Tonks knew where the potion ingredients were located – a pair of house elves she trained independent of classes were responsible for setting out the required ingredients for each brewing class.
Headmaster Dumbledore attempted to force the location of the 'warehouse' from Professor Tonks on two occasions but there was nothing in the contract she'd signed about revealing the ingredients storage to him.
"But I must make certain it is safe," he insisted.
Leaning in close, Andromeda asked, "Did you ever check the state of the ingredients when they were stored in the dungeons?"
"No, I knew Professor Snape was the consummate Potions Master and all the stores were kept perfectly."
Andromeda threw her muggle pen on the table and shouted, "You lout! When I arrived here, just weeks after Snape vanished, I found every single ingredient with mould or simply missing. Snape was brewing potions with Hogwarts ingredients to sell on the side. I've had fourteen letters from potion shops insisting that Snape took payment for a a score of proscribed potions but never delivered them. I found several cauldrons with the ruins of these potions spoiled and thankfully inert."
"No, Professor Snape had my full trust! He would not…" Dumbledore attempted to deflect the argument but ceased when Andromeda passed him copies of the letters she'd received.
"I suggested to each potion shop that they apply to the courts for relief from Snape's estate if they have proof of payment," Andromeda said. "If you're quick, you can prevent any hint of scandal attaching itself to Hogwarts."
In all the years that Andromeda Tonks remained at Hogwarts, only the two elves knew that the potions mistress kept all ingredients in a bottomless trunk that she shrunk and carried in her pocket of her robes everywhere she went. There were no thefts of any ingredients for illicit brewing while she was Potions Professor.
* (Scene Break) *
Ron Weasley didn't care that he couldn't go to the extra class that his friends attended twice each week. He certainly was glad not to have the extra homework to complete and to avoid meeting with goblins, Wizengamot and ministry officials who seemed to always appear on Saturday mornings. When pressed by Professor McGonagall about his homework and following a visit by his father on a Sunday (without his mother), he applied himself more diligently to the work in his Transfiguration and Charms classes.
Mr. Weasley told his youngest son, "If you don't have Acceptable grades in both classes at Winter Break, you'll stay home and go to work in January. If you're just going to sit around and play, there's no sense in spending galleons for Hogwarts now that you've got three Owls."
"What? No, all my friends are here."
"Hogwarts isn't just about friends, Ron. You're supposed to be preparing to get a job after school."
"Oh, I'll get something at the ministry, or I'll play quidditch as a keeper."
"That's not going to work, Ron. The ministry is changing rapidly since all the Death Eaters vanished. Purebloods don't get an automatic pass anymore."
* (Scene Break) *Weasley Conundrums
The youngest Weasley was having a miserable beginning to her fifth year at Hogwarts. No matter how much she flirted with Harry, he ignored her and mooned over Susan Bones. Ginny hated the other redhead because the young woman had a 'robust' chest that attracted the attention of many of the young wizards.
'Only way I get boobs that big is if I have a mob of babies and that's not going to happen!' she swore to herself. 'Harry wants kids, let him pop 'em out!'
Ginerva grinned thinking about the absurdity of a pregnant boy-who-lived. And then she remembered the screaming match between her mother and the twins when they told their parents they intended to bond with Oliver Wood at Yule. Molly spent an hour screaming about not allowing it, the unnatural acts…
'Merlin, mother put the banshees to shame that night,' Ginny remembered.
Then Aunt Muriel came through the floo and exploded everyone's cauldron. Her mother's twin brothers, Gideon and Fabion had been 'bent' and planned to bond with some wizard before they were all killed by the Dark Lord.
"No! You're lying!" Molly screamed. "My brothers weren't perverts!"
Finally, her father had sent the twins away, and because her mother continued to yell and scream, disowned them from the family. In a letter from Bill a few days later, the family learned that Aunt Muriel had adopted Fred and George into the Prewitt family and then disowned Molly. The shop previously named Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes became Prewitt's Perfect Puffs and enjoyed a growing number of clients.
(In the future, when Oliver retired from playing professional quidditch, he worked in financial services and helped his husbands to grow their business into an international concern. The twins and Oliver blood-adopted four children, sent them all to Hogwarts and never spoke to Mr. or Mrs. Weasley again, though they maintained family ties with Bill, Fleur and their children, and with Percy and Penny and their children.)
* (Scene Break) *
Realizing that Ron was depressed, Ginny avoided her brother and plotted how to get Harry's attention. In mid-October, she even attempted to way-lay Bones once but the Hufflepuff merely glanced at Ginerva before the younger girl flew across the hallway to slam against a stone wall before blacking out. Ginny awoke in the infirmary a full day later and refused to explain what had happened. Ron didn't come to check on her and eventually she asked for her mother. Shortly after hearing from Madam Pomphrey, Molly arrived through the floo, bellowed for a time, and then took Ginny home for the weekend.
On Saturday, while Arthur piddled in his shop with his muggle devices, Ginny had a heart-to-heart with her mother. Hearing her only daughter's problem with getting Harry's attention, Molly encouraged Ginny, "The simplest solution is to become pregnant with Harry's child. Your father and Dumbledore will force him to marry you then and you'll be Lady Potter."
"I don't want to have a baby–not yet," Ginny replied. "In a few years, but not now."
"If you sleep with Harry and get pregnant, he will be forced to marry you."
"It'll be difficult to get him alone long enough to get pregnant. He's always with Princess Bones and she's very protective of her claim to him," Ginny explained.
"Boys were simpler in my day… show 'em your breasts and they'd do whatever you wanted…" Molly sighed as if remembering her adventures at Hogwarts.
"Do I have to really 'be' pregnant or just say that I am? One of the girls in Ravenclaw made a boy in seventh year marry her by saying she was pregnant, but the other girls all said she wasn't…"
"That might work with a boy without a title or money, but Harry's Princess would demand a test to prove you're really pregnant and that it was his child," Molly replied.
"So, it's hopeless," Ginny sighed.
Molly sat back for a minute and then went to her small library of brewing recipes and searched through a book titled, 'Don't Do It! Potions You Should Never Brew or Use'.
"There's a potion I remember reading about. It was created by a desperate witch looking for the right husband. You will test positive for being pregnant and most tests will report the boy as the father… especially if you use a pureblood healer to perform the test against a half-blood. And all you need is a hair from the boy's head," Molly confided to her daughter as she read the recipe. "Yes, this is it. 'Bride's Shotgun' is just the potion."
"What's a shotgun?" asked Ginny.
"It's something muggles use at their weddings, but don't ask your father about it!" Molly instructed Ginny. "The potion was invented by a muggleborn witch who trapped a pureblood into marriage fifty years ago."
"But if I'm not pregnant…"
"Tragically, you'll suffer a miscarriage. It happens frequently with witches that are too young to marry," Molly said. "Or ones who are as skinny as you are!"
"Mother, I am not skinny," Ginny whined. "Besides, how am I supposed to get hair from Harry's head?"
Molly sighed and wondered if her daughter had any true craftiness.
"Darling, I collected hair from Harry's pillow when he stayed with us each summer."
Her eyes bright and shiny now, Ginny asked, "How long does it take to brew this 'shotgun'?"
"A month… I must begin with the dark of the moon, next week. So, you'll have it for the Hogsmeade weekend at the end of November. Then just before you are to come home for the holiday, you go to Madam Pomphrey and she'll have to bring in a healer from Saint Mungo's to verify everything. We can have a wedding before the new year and you can go back to Hogwarts as Mrs. Potter," Molly assured her daughter. "In fact, as soon as Pomphrey completes the test, send for me and your father. We'll come to Hogwarts and the headmaster can marry the two of you between classes."
* (Scene Break) *
During the Hogsmeade weekend in November,Molly met her daughter outside Rosemerta's tavern in the village and passed the potion to her along with a package containing a new jumper. Ron just happened along at the same time and he whined that his mum didn't have anything for him. To appease her son, Molly apparated home and then returned with half of an apple pie for him to eat. That her son ate the pie standing the street didn't surprise or concern her though several students as well as Professor Tonks and her husband left the area.
* (Scene Break) *
The week before they were to travel back to London for the winter holidays, an excited house elf appeared in Professor Tonks class to summon Harry Potter to the infirmary. He and the other Gryffindors were to brew a potion the next day and Professor Tonks had reviewed the ingredients, preparations, and complete steps for brewing twice that day with the sixth-year students.
"My class isn't over," Professor Tonks informed the elf. "Why do you need Mr. Potter now?"
In a squeaky voice, the elf explained, "Professor Kitty says he comes now! He's going to be the daddy and must marry the mommy today!"
"What?" exclaimed Harry, Susan, Neville, Hermione, Justin, and Andromeda in disbelief.
"That's ridiculous!" Susan insisted.
The elf persisted though and shouted, "Professor Kitty is mad as a wet kitty-cat and says to come now!"
Andromeda studied the shocked look on the young wizard's face and the wide-eyed look he shared with Susan Bones before beginning to collect his books.
"Harry, we need your attorney here," Neville stated sternly.
"And an Auror," Susan said coldly.
"Why an Auror?" Hermione asked.
"Otherwise, I'll kill some witch in the next hour," Susan explained.
"Miss Bones and Mr. Longbottom are correct," Professor Tonks said. "Mr. Potter send to Gringotts for a lawyer. And I'd also like my husband here as Mr. Potter's healer of record. He'll perform the paternity test."
Harry sent his Patronus to Ragnok at Gringotts begging for a knowledgeable attorney to come to Hogwarts and advise him. Professor Tonks conjured her Patronus, a large dog that reminded Harry of the Grim Animagus form Sirius took, and sent it to 'Dr. Ted'.
* (Scene Break) *
There were just a few people waiting when the door opened, and Professor Tonks led half of her class into the infirmary. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Ginerva, Headmaster Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall and Madam Pomphrey waited with varying degrees of impatience for the arrival of the boy-who-lived.
Arthur Weasley spoke first, "Harry Potter! How dare you take advantage of my little girl! She's pregnant with your child! Get over here and marry her this instant!"
"Yes, Harry," Dumbledore said with as much gravitas as he could summon. "I shall conduct…"
"No one is getting married today!" Professor Tonks shouted, with her wand out and pointed at the crowd. "Or tomorrow! There'll be a contract in place before Harry marries any witch!"
Dumbledore attempted to silence the woman, saying, "Now Professor Tonks, this doesn't concern you. It is a private family matter."
"Harry Potter is my cousin!" Andromeda declared. "If Miss Weasley is pregnant, that certainly is a Weasley family matter. We must wait for a healer to verify that it is Harry's baby and then it is my concern!"
"I never slept… I have never touched Miss Weasley!" Harry stated plainly and firmly, the ward that surrounded him and his friends was comforting and strong. "I shall not marry her!"
"You most certainly will!" McGonagall insisted. "You can't take advantage of some innocent girl and not pay the price!"
"Ginny is not innocent!" Neville shouted. "She's been in the broom closets with Dean Thomas and with Andrew Pringle from Ravenclaw. Then she bragged about it to the girls in the common room!"
Wands came out and spells began flying but Madam Pomphrey's control of the wards in the infirmary let her stun everyone with a careful medical spell. While they were all silent, she summoned everyone's wand and hid them before opening the floo to allow Healer Theodore Tonks to enter Hogwarts from his medical office outside London.
Pomphrey explained the situation to the man who helped her raise a strong shield between the two groups and then 'wake them up' one after the other. Molly Weasley was the last person to be awakened and not finding her wand anywhere, she began to yell but quickly found herself stuck to a chair and silenced by Madam Pomphrey.
The infirmary door opened again as a goblin ran into the room, "Mr. Potter, your Patronus said that you needed my advice urgently. Gringotts appreciates your trust in using our legal department."
Once he was made aware of Arthur Weasley's demands, Healer Ted Tonks agreed to cast the pregnancy spell on Ginerva. As a 'test' he cast the spell on Madam Pomphrey and handed her the confidential parchment that resulted. When she verified that the parchment did accurately list all pregnancies in her past, Molly broke the silencing spell and declared, "It's fake! He's not a pureblood healer and can't be trusted."
Andromeda growled and her eyes narrowed as she quickly thought of any solution. Glancing at Susan Bones who was furious and Harry who looked sick, she remembered the girl's suggestion of calling for the Aurors.
The potions professor asked, "Madam Pomphrey, will you call the Aurors?"
The goblin agreed and added, "Yes, we need the Aurors for certain. Their memories can be used in court cases, and they are sworn to secrecy in private medical matters."
"No, I won't have Aurors involved with a small matter such as this," the headmaster said.
"Small matter!" shouted Harry. "This is my life you're playing with again Whiskers!"
"Mr. Potter, that'll be detention for a month," McGonagall declared but Harry only stared daggers at the witch who suddenly feared for her life.
"This is not a 'small matter' Grand Warlock Dumbledore. This affects multiple seats in the Wizengamot, major vaults in Gringotts, and certainly headlines in the Daily Prophet for as long as it takes to make you see the error of your ways," the goblin said coldly now that he'd recovered his breath. (In September, Edwardo Blackson directed the goblins to invest some of his funds in the Daily Prophet and he encouraged Harry to do the same. When they controlled 57% of the voting stock, the new owners directed the goblins to revamp the paper.)
"There's an Auror on the staff now," Susan reminded everyone. "Auror Michael Proudfoot is here in the castle."
Arthur nodded his head and said, "Proudfoot's a good man. I trust him to do right by my daughter."
Ginny moved to sit on an infirmary bed, thinking these discussions were taking too long. In her mind, Harry was supposed to simply cave, and say 'I do' before going back to class.
Auror Proudfoot, Professor McGonagall, and Professor Tonks stood as witnesses for the test that Healer Tonks cast on Ginerva Weasley with her father and mother standing beside her. The healer immediately duplicated the parchment that was created and handed copies to each of the witnesses, the goblin, and Mr. Weasley.
After a moment, Arthur Weasley asked, "What is a Bride's Shotgun potion?"
Ginny fainted and fell backwards on the bed behind her.
Molly wailed, McGonagall denied the validity of the test, Madam Pomphrey went to her medical library to look up the spell to check the results that Healer Tonks had found. Dumbledore frowned, appeared to study Molly Weasley for a few minutes briefly before he fled the infirmary as if his purple and black robes were on fire.
"Why can't I see a copy of the report?" Harry asked the goblin.
"You're not the father of any child. Ginerva Weasley is not now, nor has she ever been pregnant. She used a potion to fake being pregnant to force you into a marriage."
Susan glanced at Arthur Weasley who looked as though someone had smacked him with a muggle baseball bat and then introduced him to a hungry vampire who drained his blood away. The wizard was too easily led by his wife – his older sons left home, the twins disowned, and now a stupid attempt to trap 'her' Harry.
"Line theft," she whispered to the goblin. "We want to charge all of them with attempted line theft."
"They'll all go to Azkaban," the goblin remarked. "Once you make the charge, it can't go away."
"They wanted to sentence my Harry to a life shackled to Ginny Weasley with Hallower Molly as his mother-in-law. I want them buried underneath Azkaban," Susan said coldly.
Listening to his beautiful girl and to the medallion around his neck, Harry took a deep breath and said, "I agree. Miss Bones is correct."
Molly seemed to scream without taking a breath for the twenty minutes it took for more Aurors to arrive and arrest Arthur, Molly and Ginny. The Aurors spoke sharply with Professor McGonagall but decided she had been duped by the girl's first claims of pregnancy.
Dumbledore did not appear again within the castle for two days and was absent from the Wizengamot on the day of the trials. Arthur Weasley was found innocent of line theft but was still fired from his job at the ministry. Because she brewed the potion, corrupted her daughter, and lied to her husband, Molly Weasley was sentenced to life in Azkaban where she stayed until she died in 2007.
Ginerva Weasley was found guilty of attempted line theft, expelled from Hogwarts, had her magic bound, and was sentenced to three years in a muggle correctional facility for girls. Upon her release, Ginny moved first to Romania where Charlie arranged to have her magic unbound and then forced her to return to schooling to complete her OWLS.
Making the most of her notorious reputation, Ginny played quidditch with the Italian team and then the Argentine team. She was fearless and became known as the deadliest seeker in the history of the game. But Ginny Weasley died as the result of a mid-air collision with a speeding bludger, and two beaters during the 2014 World Cup in Sydney, Australia.
At Yule, Ron Weasley withdrew from Hogwarts. With the family situation as bad as it was, he was failing all his classes, and felt alone. In spring, he found himself working with the Chutney Cannons in the equipment office. After a year with the team, he played reserve keeper for ten years. He lived at home with his father and discovered that he was an excellent cook. Eventually, he went to work at the Leaky Cauldron in the kitchen.
* (Scene Break) *Part 7: Resolutions Hermione Granger
In November, Harry and Susan (they always did things together now), sought out Hermione to discuss universities and education in the 'real' world.
"Why do you care about university?" she asked immediately after the request.
"The one thing I know for certain is that we need the knowledge on banking and business in the mundane world," Harry confessed. "Gringotts wants to send bright muggleborn, half-blood or even purebloods wizards and witches to university to learn accounting, government regulations, and things like that."
"So, Magical Britain needs the muggleborn?" Hermione asked, smugly.
"I have always said so," Susan replied. "Talk to Justin in Hufflepuff, Hermione. He has built good relationships with Ernie, me and other purebloods. He intends to attend Oxford I think when he finishes here."
"He does?" Granger asked, the surprize evident in her voice.
"Come on, let's find Justin and talk to him," Harry said as he led the two young witches toward the Hufflepuff dormitory.
Before the end of November, Hermione altered her view of the role of muggleborn in Magical Britain. During his years at Hogwarts, Jason's father and mother required him to continue with many of his mundane studies to qualify for university. He planned to complete his studies at Hogwarts and then enter Oxford that fall.
"I'm beating up Harry and Susan now about taking their English and Math classes," he confessed. "Are you going to go with us?"
"I… I think… I plan to leave Hogwarts at Christmas and spend the next eighteen months preparing for university. I haven't cracked a mundane textbook since I was eleven," Hermione confessed.
Justin smiled, "But you're the brightest witch in your generation and will catch up and pass all the tests. Let me get you an internship with my Dad next summer to make your CV look more attractive to the university."
Harry was sad for his best friend to leave Hogwarts, but he understood her reasoning and with Susan, he agreed to support Hermione's decision against any of the professors or other students. Hermione did join Justin, Harry and Susan at Oxford when the others graduated from Hogwarts. She worked very hard on her studies (and her magic) to become a respected historian. After their second graduation, Hermione married Justin and they lived in London where she worked in research at the British Museum while raising three boys. Justin's career in banking secured their future and their children did attend Hogwarts through fifth year with the new curriculum that balanced mundane and magical subjects.
* (Scene Break) *Albus Dumbledore
As the Yule holidays grew closer, Headmaster Dumbledore attempted to regain some contact with Harry Potter. The young lord would listen to the headmaster's platitudes and then nod his head and express a neutral comment such as 'Is that so, Headmaster? Imagine that!' and then walk away gracefully, usually with Lady Susan Bones on his arm, discussing something completely unrelated to the headmaster's statements such as the colour of the thistle seed that they used in potions class that day. In the Wizengamot, Dumbledore was forced to allow the newly revealed Lord Potter and Lady Bones to attend every session now. Without the two youngsters there were insufficient numbers of voting members to form a quorum and vote on any new bills. The youngsters refused, politely in front of witnesses, to allow Dumbledore to vote their seats for any reason.
The governors of the school continued to make noises about Dumbledore alienating the young couple when he supported the Weasleys and their attempted line theft, the Grand Warlock's ineffective response to the disappearances of so many purebloods during the summer, and the tense relations with the goblins caused by Dumbledore's manipulations with Harry Potter's estate and placement with muggle guardians back in 1981.
Hopeful to regain Harry's attention, Dumbledore decided to spend the winter holiday investigating different locations where he suspected that Tom Riddle had hidden special treasures like the one that Potter destroyed at the end of his second year. Viewing the many memories stored in the pensieve in his office, Dumbledore determined that he should investigate the manor house of the Riddle family and the crumbling shack of the Gaunt family – the dark lord's parents had practically grown up together in the English town of Little Hangleton. It being December, Dumbledore determined it best to take someone with him – warming charms worked better when cast on another individual, rather than on oneself.
'Minerva is still upset about the Weasley girl being convicted… Pomona would laugh in my face… Hagrid can't cast charms worth spit… Filius… Madam Tonks? No, she'd cast ice charms on me for spite.' Dumbledore considered each member of his staff and realized he missed the obedient though resentful Severus Snape. Finally, Dumbledore thought of and wrote to the perfect travelling companion for his excursion into the world of the muggles.
Remus Lupin was always in need of some cash money, and Dumbledore promised the werewolf five galleons to help him search through Riddle Manor and the Gaunt homeplace on the morning of 23 December 1996. Joining Dumbledore just outside the Hogwarts gates, Remus was dressed warmly in a new coat with a muffler and gloves. They apparated into the gardens of the deserted house, casting warming charms on each other to drive off the chill.
"Who is this Riddle family?" Remus asked.
"A muggle family with a connection to the Dark Lord," Dumbledore replied. "Tom… the Dark Lord has been so quiet since July that I wonder if he is planning something spectacular and deadly for the New Year."
"Surely, we'd be better off telling this to the Aurors and allow them to investigate?"
"No, we must collect information so that they will listen when we go to them with the truth," Albus insisted. Remus Lupin remained grateful to the headmaster for allowing him to attend Hogwarts despite being a werewolf but there were moments when the wizard doubted the elderly wizard's mental state.
'And I have Dora to consider now,' Remus remembered. 'We're visiting her parents for the first time tonight and telling 'em about our engagement.'
"Alright, headmaster. What do you want me to do first?"
* (Scene Break) *
The monitors in the Ministry that tracked magic being used in non-magical areas of Britain blared loudly and the Aurors on duty for such calls were dispatched to a small town in the north of England called Little Hangleton. Upon arrival in a wooded area, the Aurors either transfigured their robes into muggle winter wear or cast disillusionment charms on themselves before spreading out.
"Here!" called one Auror after ten minutes of searching. In a clearing, near a shack that appeared about to collapse, they found a wizard lying against a tree, his arms and legs shattered, and his wand burned out. His left arm was blacked by some curse that advanced up his broken arm even as the Aurors watched.
"Anyone know him?" asked their commander, Senior Auror Maxwell. "It may be too late to get him to Saint Mungo's…"
"I know him," Auror Shacklebolt replied. "His name was Remus Lupin and Saint Mungo's wouldn't treat him in any case. He's a werewolf."
"Wonder what he was doing here abouts?" asked Maxwell. He motioned for Shacklebolt to step closer, and the dark-skinned wizard knelt beside Remus and cast a spell to wake him up for a moment.
"MERLIN!" screamed the werewolf as his consciousness returned. "My arm is on fire!"
"What happened, Lupin?" asked Shacklebolt with the other Aurors listening closely.
"Dumbledore… he was searching for signs of Dark Lord… Guant shack home of his mother… found cursed ring hidden inside… summoned his sister."
"Lupin, give me the memory of Dumbledore," Shacklebolt demanded urgently as the werewolf's breathing became even more laboured.
"Take it… Take it and let me die," Remus begged.
Shacklebolt's wand drew the memory from Lupin's head before he took his last breath. Quickly depositing the memory strand into a small bottle and capping the lid, the Auror quickly searched the dead wizard's pockets and found the galleons and a note from Headmaster Dumbledore about helping him search for signs of the Dark Lord.
He handed everything to Maxwell who read the note and then exclaimed, "Merlin's Toad Stools!"
The man looked about the area and then said, "Let's finish our check. In pairs – no one works alone! Look for anything hidden or cloaked. Fire stunners if anyone runs out of the ruins or from behind trees. If they fire back, use the killing curse."
After five minutes, the Aurors had found a broken wand that resembled the funny wand that Dumbledore was known to use.
"He can't have gone far if his wand was broken," one Auror said and so the team spent another thirty minutes searching the area, finding clues that Lupin and Dumbledore had been in the deserted manor house earlier but there was no sign of habitation there. Finally, Maxwell ordered them to gather to return to the ministry.
Without hesitating, Shacklebolt asked, "What do we do with the body?"
"With the curse still alive, we can't take it back to the ministry. Banish or immolate it," the commander ordered.
"The wood from the shack will burn. Place the body in there, pile the wood on top and use a smokeless, quick flame spell," he ordered. "It'll be done in five minutes and we can banish all the ashes… none of the muggles will know we were here."
Auror Shacklebolt levitated the corpse into the shack. He was careful not to touch anything because the curse continued to spread after Remus's death and now his entire left arm and shoulder were blackened. The Auror quickly piled the collapsing shack on top of the body and then cast a charm to ignite a fast, smokeless flame that leapt through the wood to consume the body and the curse. The intense heat drove the Aurors back but five minutes after the first flicker of flames, the fire, corpse and ruins were gone.
"Everyone back to the ministry," Maxwell ordered.
* (Scene Break) *
As soon as they were back in the DMLE offices, Maxwell began issuing orders, "Jones and Cavendish, apparate up to Hogwarts and see if the headmaster returned there. Do not antagonise or attempt to arrest him…"
Then the wizard appeared to reconsider his options, shook his head and continued, "Belay that order."
"Everyone into conference room four. Jones get the pensieve… the one that projects the memory. Cavendish, ask Alistair Moody and Director Thicknesse to join us urgently," the taciturn Auror ordered.
With the arrival of Thicknesse and Moody, Maxwell briefly explained his team's findings outside the muggle town of Little Hangleton. He withdrew the memory taken from the dying werewolf from the bottle, placed it in the pensieve, and tapped the rim to broadcast the memory for everyone to view.
Remus Lupin's memory began with arriving at the deserted manor house and finding Dumbledore already there. Following a short discussion with Dumbledore about the Dark Lord, the two wizards carefully cast detection spells around the house and while there was residual magic from past occupation, there'd been no wizards in the home in several months.
"If Dumbledore and Lupin paid attention to the news, they'd know that was about the time all the Death Eaters disappeared," Moody said angrily, as Maxwell stopped the memory to hear any discussion. Director Thicknesse remained silent and motioned Maxwell to continue.
In the memory, the two wizards walked away from the deserted manor, and Dumbledore led Lupin into the woods, and the old wizard used his wand to forge a trail through underbrush without regard to any muggle discovering it later. Lupin remained silent, his wand out and casting notice-me-not charms interspersed with warming charms on the older wizard and himself.
After fifteen minutes walking, Dumbledore cleared an area in the woods and Remus noticed a shack in the centre of the clearing. The walls and roofs looked ready to collapse in on themselves and there was a skeleton of snake nailed to the door that hung on a single hinge.
"I don't think anyone is home," Remus said, not trying to hide his sarcasm.
"No," Dumbledore agreed. "No one has lived here since the 40's. But someone came back and hid a treasure here."
The old wizard kept casting spells with his wand, detecting wards, traps, and hexes. At Dumbledore's direction, Remus joined him to dispel several wards to repel animals, muggles and wizards. Dumbledore's strange wand seemed to leap forward several times while casting and the headmaster frowned, using both hands to keep the wand in his possession.
Finally, the broken door opened, and Dumbledore strode forward, confident that he'd removed the dangers. Once again, the old wizard cast detection spells that Remus duplicated. A piece of the floor was levitated out of the way, and Dumbledore levitated a box from the floor and guided it outside the confines of the shack.
"What have you got there, Headmaster?" Remus asked.
Dumbledore paused and replied, "I'm not entirely certain, but I think it is a treasure that the Dark Lord hid here many years ago."
"The Dark Lord?" Remus asked. "There's bound to be lots of traps! Be careful!"
"We are fully capable of handling any traps…" Dumbledore was saying as he levitated the lid off the box. To the old wizard's surprize, there was an explosion that threw him back fifteen feet or more. Remus was thrown back as well but not as far because he was not as close. The moment he cleared his head and sat up once again, Remus heard the voice calling him.
"We can master the wolf! Join me and I shall make you the most powerful wolf in the world… I can give you back the dead… Sirius Black, James Potter… You shall talk to them every day!"
Disoriented slightly by the explosion, Remus/Moony succumbed to the voice. The wizard stepped forward and reached into the box, finding the ring that promised so much that his heart desired, Remus slid it onto the ring finger of his left hand.
PAIN! PAIN! FIRE RACING UP HIS ARM!
"No, that's mine!" thundered Dumbledore as he scurried back up and cast a spell to stupefy Remus. Befuddled and then petrified by the second spell, the werewolf could only stand there as the headmaster lifted Lupin's hand and took the ring. Removing the ring didn't lessen the pain racing up his arm, but the powerful spells from Dumbledore kept him from moving or screaming in agony.
"Yes, I shall finally…" Dumbledore mumbled as he placed the ring on his hand. "Now… let's see how this works."
Remus watched Dumbledore twist the stone mounted onto of the ring causing a glimmer of light to appear instantly. After another moment, the image of a young woman stepped through, as if stepping from a magical portrait. She was transparent and twinkled brightly as lights flashed about her form.
"Arriana! You heard me!" Dumbledore called to welcome the young witch. "You came!"
"Brother, I have watched you these many years since you killed me," she replied.
"What? No, I didn't kill you! It was Geller that cast…"
Shaking her head, the spirit smiled and explained, "Once you're dead, you see everything much more clearly. It was your old wand what cast the spell that killed me. It wasn't my fault that I couldn't control the magic anymore! You and Geller wanted me to work with you… to give my wild magic to you."
"No, Arriana, that's not so!" Dumbledore insisted. "And I didn't kill you."
Remus felt his arm twitch as the petrification spell began to dispel but he remained silent despite the fire racing up his arm. He stared at the girl, ignoring the headmaster, and saw her face grow dark, an angry expression appearing as she reached out her arms for her brother.
"You summoned me and now we must depart!" Arriana declared as she lunged for Dumbledore.
"What? No! Let me go!" the headmaster demanded as the spirit of his sister grew denser, waves of magic flowing off her, allowing the spirit to pull the old wizard into her grasp.
"But brother, you promised me that you'd always take care of me," Arriana pouted before she plucked Dumbledore's wand from his shaking hands, broke it in half with one hand while the other hand pulled Dumbledore back toward the light where they were pulled inside, vanishing in the same instant that the light vanished.
Dumbledore's last spells ended when he disappeared with the spirit of his sister and Lupin dropped to his knees for only a moment before falling over as the pain of the curse from the ring continued to burn his arm. Thankfully, the werewolf fell unconscious and the memory ended.
* (Scene Break) *
"What was that?" asked Auror Maxwell. "What happened?"
"How could a ghost appear and then carry off a powerful wizard like Dumbledore?" the director asked.
"The Unspeakables'll want to view the memory but they'll tell you the same thing – Dumbledore summoned up the spirit of his sister and she must have been an obscurus," Alistair Moody said firmly. "Always knew there was something hidden in that family history. Albus's brother spits on the ground whenever they're together, sure sign of unresolved anger."
How did an obscurus escape the ministry's notice? The monitors are fine tuned to watch for the wild magic?" asked Maxwell.
"They are now, and even as a spirit, Arianna Dumbledore still possessed great magic. She died almost a hundred years ago and back then, there'd never been one in Britain. Just a records of a couple in India and one in Africa that we knew existed."
"And what was that ring he used to summon the spirit?" asked Shacklebolt.
Moody smirked and asked, "When you figure out how to summon Dumbledore's spirit or ghost or shade…whatever you want to call it, you can ask him. Just make certain his sister doesn't come along for the visit."
The Ministry for Magic announced the disappearance of Grand Warlock Albus Dumbledore on 29 December 1996. The next day, the Daily Prophet reported the disappearance and the official confirmation from Gringotts that the Last Will and Testament of one Albus Percival Brian Wulfric Dumbledore was active. His brother, Abe Dumbledore was the only family member and he took the whole of the inheritance (a very few galleons, his Order of Merlin, and books) and burned everything in a deserted forest glade before the end of 31 December.
* (Scene Break) *Minerva McGonagall
In the aftermath of the attempted line theft by the Weasleys, followed by Dumbledore's disappearance and presumed death, Minerva McGonagall was passed over for the role of headmistress. The governors were anxious to bring real change to Hogwarts and they feared that the Deputy Headmistress would continue too many of the existing policies (rightly). Lord Potter and Lady Bones as well as Heir Longbottom endorsed an outsider for new leadership.
Lady Susan Bones told the Daily Prophet that 'any outsider would be better than McGonagall', but cooler heads on the editorial staff suggested to edit the statement to be 'an outsider would be better'. Rumours in the staff room were that Lord Potter repeated the original quote to Professor McGonagall before the spring break. None of the students present in the infirmary during the incident ever returned to the transfiguration classroom and they each completed their Transfiguration NEWTs through independent study.
Minerva was angry at the 'betrayal' by Potter and being denied the role of headmistress. A second shock awaited her at the end of the year when the new headmaster, a wizard from the colonies, spoke to her with his concerns about the many roles she held at Hogwarts. After a loud discussion in which she was confronted with the facts that the demands of three jobs stretched her too thin (even with the new headmaster completing his responsibilities without Minerva's assistance). Given choices, Minerva chose to remain as the Transfiguration professor and gave up the positions of deputy and head of Gryffindor. In the following year, she found herself leading three students into apprenticeships with Masters of Transfiguration and published her first article on transfiguration in twenty years in magical journals.
However, Harry Potter and Susan Bones never reconciled with Professor McGonagall. In 2010, the pair brought pressure on the school to 'retire' Professor McGonagall before their eldest son began his education at Hogwarts. The whole of Magical Britain gossiped about the blatant use of power and prestige to force out the veteran professor and Harry admitted in an interview that he and his wife felt no sorrow at using their positions for something personal after so many years.
"We simply told the governors that if she wasn't 'retired' at least one full year before our son starts, then none of our children will attend Hogwarts. We'll just continue with private tutors and study at the magical school outside Boston in America."
McGonagall did retire after the school year ended in June 2010. She returned to her family home in Scotland where she sat down in a very uncomfortable chair and seldom moved again. In September 2011, she was found dead, seated in the same chair.
* (Scene Break) *Part 7: Meat Sacks
(These events occurred in July and August 1996.)
That first night alone in Bones Manor, the most difficult task for Susan Bones had been to watch the recording of her aunt's murder. Runes carved into the staircase of the entrance hall recorded the betrayal of Auror Corban Yaxley as the man left his post on Aunt Amelia's security detail for the day to return through the floo. He sabotaged the wards and allowed the Dark Lord and his Death Eaters onto the grounds. Then the Auror closed the floo as he left, trapping her aunt and her two guards against impossible odds of Voldemort and eighteen of his followers including Lucius Malfoy, Bellatrix, Rodolphus, and Rabastan Lestrange, Greg Avery, Thomas Mulciber, Evan Rosier, Stanley Goyle, William Crabbe, Paul Selwyn, and Robert Travers. Alecto Carrow, Amycus Carrow, Antonin Dolohov, and Fenrir Greyback the werewolf, among her aunt's murderers. The young witch was disheartened to find Unspeakable Augustus Rookwood, and Ministry Executioner Walden MacNair, as well as Severus Snape, her potions professor, in the party that attacked her home.
Susan made certain to record the name of each Death Eater and every spell they cast against her aunt and the two honest Aurors in twenty minutes of torture. Malfoy, Goyle, Crabbe, Avery and Rosier all joked about 'ending the Bones line' as soon as they could locate Susan.
"We killed Edgar and his family… Once you're dead, that just leaves your niece for our entertainment before we remove her head!" Lucius taunted Amelia. "We'll end the Bones line before the year is over!"
The Dark Lord himself only entered the house once the defenders were down. A giant snake accompanied the evil wizard, and her elves were petrified of the memory of that snake. After a long-winded speech glorifying his power and magical knowledge, Voldemort cast the killing curse that ended Amelia Bones' torment.
Susan ended the recording and sat back, tears in her eyes again. With the long list of names – prominent members of the Wizengamot, Aurors, Department heads from across the ministry, the young witch knew no one could help her.
'If I were stupid, I would declare blood feud and I'd be dead before I left the ministry building. But if I tell anyone, it will just get them killed,' she realized. 'But I can't let them get away with killing my aunt! They want to kill me and destroy the Bones family and I won't let them get away with it!'
After a moment, she called aloud, "Daffy. Bring me the grimoire."
The elf popped into the bedchamber with the large tome, an old book with handwritten pages of spells, history, charms, hexes, and everyday housekeeping spells. Family secrets were contained within the grimoire, including the proprietary spells used by the house elves in the family business.
The primary source of revenue for the family was Bones Abattoir; an enterprise that provided half and whole carcasses of cattle, pork, and chicken to the different grocers in the magical communities, as well as several expensive muggle establishments. The firm was well known for providing fresh meats, often completely deboned and ready for carving. Some cuts of meats required bone-in, but other times, a completely deboned chicken was perfect for quick cooking into a soup, or chicken salad. In her family's grimoire, a carcass without any bones was referred to as a 'meat sack'.
Frustrated to not find some great spell that would strike down her enemies across the whole of Britain in a single night, Susan sat and thought. Once again, she put pen to paper and listed all the spells in her family grimoire. Nothing was particularly strong, nothing dark, and nothing that would kill outright. Then she considered the business spells and imaged Lucius Malfoy lying on the floor of her manor without any bones in his body, watching Susan as she threw each of his bones into the compost pile. With a smile, Susan went to the kitchen where she asked the elves for a chicken carcass.
After practicing one of her family's proprietary spell on several chicken carcasses, she called for Daffy again. When the head elf popped into the room, Susan asked him several questions about passing through wards, stunning wizards, and transporting them some distance. Surprized to learn that house elves used the 'owl windows' left in all wards to bypass the wards around a house completely, Susan smiled and praised her elf.
"Missy Susan, elves can put any wizard into deep sleep they can't fight," the elf reminded her. "Nanny elves make babies sleep sometimes when they cry too much. Sometimes the baby needs to cry and sometimes they need to sleep."
Then she pulled out several maps of Britain with magical homes pinpointed for the Director of the DMLE and compared her list of names against the map.
'Auntie would understand,' Susan assured herself as she plotted her vengeance. It took much of the night, but as dawn ended the darkness on 15 July, Susan had decided on her method of justice for the Dark Lord and his stooges.
"Daffy, I need to speak to the elves who work in the abattoir," the new Lady Bones declared. Her house elves would capture the evil wizards and their families for her. And her family spell would give them the death they deserved.
* (Scene Break) *
The Bones family was thrifty and did not indulge in lavish living or entertaining. Supplying meats to grocers kept a dozen house elves busy with purchasing animals from farmers across Britain, Ireland, and France. A secondary business was the use of blood and other offal from the carcasses, as well as the ground-up bones as fertilizer that was packaged and sold in wizarding and muggle gardening centres. Bones Abattoir provided the meat sacks fed to the dragons located underneath Gringotts every week to dispose of underweight or sick animals.
* (Scene Break) *
Unlike the farm animals in the abattoir that were dead before their bones were extracted, Corbin Yaxley suffocated to death. It took twenty minutes for the wizard to die as his lungs were unable to expand and the weight of his head and shoulders pressed down on his chest once his bones were removed magically. With his head magically stuck to the wall behind him and his eyes forced to remain open, he stared at the enlarged magical photograph of a laughing and smiling Director Amelia Bones.
Susan watched carefully, noting that the death of the Auror who betrayed his boss lasted as long as her aunt's torture. One affectation of the Bones family was a collection of skulls of long-dead enemies. These skulls were mounted in the eaves of the hallway and entrance hall of the manor. On 18 July, the first new skull in a century was mounted in a prominent location where Susan could view it each morning as she descended the stairs to begin her day.
* (Scene Break) *
The next day, the elves from Bones Abattoir 'procured' more Death Eaters from the supposed safety of Malfoy Manor that sat underneath the fidelius charm. Using the owl windows, the elves popped into the manor and departed with three sleeping Death Eaters, without awakening anyone. The two Malfoy elves remained in their nest, desperate to heal themselves enough to provide service in the morning, and they would not report the 'invasion' to their master or mistress. The Death Eaters came and went at all hours, so it was not unusual for some to 'vanish' during the night.
Upon wakening in the dungeons of Bones Manor, Bellatrix stared at the photo of Amelia Bones on the opposite wall and teenaged Susan Bones seated calmly in an ordinary chair. The crazy witch began screaming and promising to kill Susan slowly like her aunt. However, before she could pronounce more threats, a small house elf snapped its fingers and Bellatrix found herself slipping down the wall, the full weight of her body held up only by the width of the muscles in her arms but no longer able to wiggle her fingers or stand on her feet. Her head was propped up with a sticking spell and her lungs struggled to draw breath.
A moment later, when Bellatrix saw an elf hand a human skull to the girl, the crazy witch tried to laugh but her lungs could not pull in enough air to make the sound and her brain pushed down on her optic nerves, making her eyesight fuzzy. Moving close to the witch who no longer had a single bone in her body, Susan Bones said, "I shall look upon your skull for many years and remember that you suffered a terrible death for daring to attack my family."
Pleased that she would be remembered for something, the crazy witch smiled as she suffocated.
* (Scene Break) *
Susan Bones was present for each death to ensure that the Death Eater knew who their executioner was – a house elf acting at the command of his mistress – as well as the reason for their death – their participation in the murder of Amelia Bones.
Upon awaking, Severus Snape began to curse before a sock was conjured in his mouth by the elf that banished his bones. His eyes widened when he saw his own skull in the girl's hands, before she added it to a collection on the wall behind her.
For the Death Eater family members, Susan told each one that they were about to die because of their father or husband's part in the death of her aunt, her parents, and brothers. The spouses and teenage children did cry, beg, and threaten, and their deaths were faster as the elves broke their spinal cords before the bones were removed. Their skulls were not added to the collection, just simply crushed along with all the bones from their bodies and added to the fertilizer mixture curing for a time before being packaged and sold to gardeners.
The one exception to the more humane executions was Draco Malfoy. As the teenager suffocated to death, Susan stepped close enough to whisper in his ear, "So much for your superior blood line!"
* (Scene Break) *
Tom Riddle was forced to flee Malfoy Manor when the wards began to fall. Cursing Lucius Malfoy for fleeing, the Dark Lord promised to find Malfoy someday and remove each of his limbs and leave him exposed to the summer sun for a month so the crows would feast on him until he died. He fled from the Aurors because he knew that his power was less than before his first death at the hands of Harry Potter. Snape, another Death Eater who fled into the world of the muggles, had promised many strengthening potions in the months to come. Now, there was no one to brew the simplest headache relief potion!
"All my those who deserted me! I shall have my revenge on them!" he swore as he moved from one deserted house to another. Every Death Eater home was closed and sealed with Auror wards that would notify the ministry instantly of an intruder. Wards and their manipulation had never been a skill Tom Riddle developed – he'd always depended on his followers to corrupt the wards from inside or through the ministry's control of the floo system.
On 21 August, the final execution that occurred was the Dark Lord Voldemort who wasn't allowed to speak. The night before had been cooler and the serpentine characteristics that had pleased the wizard at first, meant he had to seek some place warm to rest and sleep. Finding an empty muggle barn with a large pile of hay in the loft, the Dark Lord and Nagini climbed the ladder to burrow under the dried grass and fall asleep.
In the middle of the night, elven magic first petrified, and then deboned the snake. The snake was immediately transported to a dragon underneath Gringotts where she was incinerated while still breathing and then eaten whole. Other elves cast the sleeping spell to deepen the Dark Lord's dreams before they trussed him tightly and transported him to the dungeon underneath Bones Manor.
When he woke, his arms bound tightly to his side, Tom Riddle realized his mouth was taped shut. His eyes widened in disbelief as a teenage girl told him she hoped he enjoyed hell before calling for a house elf.
'What does she think an elf can do to me?' he wondered for a moment.
"Sharpie, turn this snake into a meat sack," she commanded.
"I can't die girl," he gurgled behind the tape before suddenly all his bones vanished from his body. Immediately noticing that it was hard to breath, and panicking, Voldemort reached out to draw on the magic of his Death Eaters – but there were none of his marked followers left in England. Struggling to catch his breath, the Dark Lord pulled at the magic of his soul jars and discovered they were gone as well.
Focusing on the girl once again, Tom Riddle stared as his skull appeared in her hand. She smiled, a satisfied smirk fitting a pure blood princess, as she once again called for the elf. The Dark Lord was upended, his feet stuck to the wall where his head had been a moment before. Then the same elf appeared beside his head and with a large, blood-stained knife slit the Dark Lord's throat from ear to ear, draining his blood into a large metal tub filled with his bones. Voldemort choked on his own blood and suffocated rather swiftly.
Once he was dead and the corpse drained of all the blood, the tub and contents were banished into nothingness. A last meat sack was delivered to the dragon dens underneath Gringotts for their supper.
Her mission complete, Susan Bones turned away from death and vengeance, determined to live again. The Hogwarts Express left for the school in just under two weeks. She would visit with Hannah and they would go shopping in muggle London as often as they wished before packing their trunks for their sixth year at Hogwarts.
* (Scene Break) *EpilogueDate: 17 September 2018
It began as a regular day while the large Potter-Bones family lived in Bones Manor after sending the older children off to Hogwarts in the autumn. They would remain here until spring returned when they would move to Potter Hall. The children missed their three eldest siblings; Edgar Bones (17) would graduate from Hogwarts this year and then attend Oxford. Charles Potter (15) studied for his OWLs this year with English and Maths added to his exams for Potions, Transfiguration, Runes, and Charms. Luna Bones (13) was a Quidditch fanatic like her father and on her house's team as Seeker. Charles and Edgar were in different houses from their sister but still cheered for her at the Quidditch matches.
Susan and Harry didn't care which of the four houses any of their kids were sorted into. Each of the children were technically Bones-Potter or Potter-Bones, but Harry and Susan agreed to let them ultimately decide their names when they turned seventeen. Edgar would become 'Edgar Potter' as Heir Potter, while Luna would remain Heiress Bones. Charles laughed and reminded everyone he got off easy not being named 'heir of anything' except the brains in the family.
Today, while searching for eleven-year-old Nathan Potter, and nine-year-old Marius Bones, Harry Potter stopped his seven-year-old and five-year-old daughters from playing football with one of the skulls from Susan's family collection. Harry wanted to spend time with Nathan who had been disappointed to miss the Hogwarts start Date by a week since his birthday was 8 September 2007. A special letter from Aunt Hermione explaining how advanced Nathan would be over all his classmates when he started next year helped… and the new broom for his birthday had also helped.
"Amelia Potter! Lily Bones!" Harry gently chided his daughters. "We don't play with Mommie's skulls! Now, let's put that back."
"It was Sirius got it down… His magic lifted it off wall. And Nathan kicked it first!" insisted Amelia while Lily nodded in agreement.
"Sirius is only three years old, and his magic can't summon skulls from the wall," Harry gently chided his two little girls. "Let me put it back. Now, watch me do it."
Both girls watched closely as Daddy used wandless magic to lift the ivory-coloured skull back into its place. While he slowly levitated the relic back into place, his daughters giggled and imitated his hand motions. Each of the Bones-Potter children went to Hogwarts proficient in wandless magic and creating a storm that resulted in the addition of a class in the subject for all the other students.
Not seeing her husband, Susan walked into the hallway, with three-year-old Sirius on her hip, and asked, "Girls were Nathan and Marius playing with 'Severus' again?"
"Severus?" asked Harry, his face mirroring his surprise. Grimacing, but not worried at his reaction, Susan looked slightly embarrassed to have a secret revealed after all these years. Harry merely grinned before bowing before his wife, and saying, "Lady Bones, I remain in awe of your power and magic."
"Kandy, will you take the little ones for their afternoon snack?" called Susan. Instantly three elves popped into the hallway to lead the children toward the nursery. Rather than pop the children everywhere, once a child could walk, the elves usually escorted the little one among the rooms in use in the household. Harry and Susan were determined that their children would each be physically fit as well as well trained with their magic.
While the elves and three smallest children tumbled along the hallway toward the sunny nursery, Harry stared intently at the collection of skulls and noticed one that was certainly a combination of human and serpent among the skulls of the wizards and witches that threatened his wife's family in the past. At that moment, Harry Potter realized that somehow, Susan Bones had ended Tom Riddle and his closest minions that summer in 1996.
'That was the summer her aunt was murdered by Tom and his fellows,' he remembered. His face solemn for a moment, his thoughts continued remembering the prophecy that the long-dead headmaster had shared after Sirius died.
'The 'power he knows not was a witch with a righteous anger.'
Now he grinned and hoped with all his might that somewhere in hell, Albus Dumbledore hid his face with shame. Turning toward his wife of over eighteen years, Harry lifted one of her hand to his lips and declared, "I love you, Susie! Every day I thank Merlin and my magic that you smiled at me that day on the Hogwarts Express."
At just that moment, there were shouts from above stairs as the previously missing Nathan and Marius appeared in a race down the stairs with animated sheets chasing them as they played 'Aurors and Dark Wizards'.
"Outside boys! The weather is still warm so take the battle into the garden please," Susan said sternly. "And no more soccer games with the skulls!"
Watching the two boys run out the door under the gaze of family portraits, with invisible elves following to make certain they came to no harm, Harry Potter smiled before he took his wife into his arms and kissed her like he had at their wedding. The passion and promises in the kiss were familiar and heated between the couple, like many other days even though they were raising eight children, handling demanding estates, and helping to guide a reformed ministry. In his mind, Harry swore to express his admiration for the formidable witch he loved still after being married for many years. He would shower her with flowers, kisses, and agree with her request for another baby – eight children weren't enough.
* (Scene Break) *