Title: Elves
Rating: G
Pairings: None
Summary: The Potters have a house-elf Dumbledore didn't know about, who will take care of Harry no matter what ... and possibly take care of other things too. (Oneshot. Spoof or crack, you decide.)

Mippy the house elf carefully popped into a Muggle neighborhood a short distance away in the darkness and crept from bush to bush as she watched what happened as Little Master was talked about and then put on a doorstep. After the witch and wizards left, it was the first time in two days Little Master was left alone; before he was always with someone, usually the big gentle one.

With yet another check that no one was out, Mippy turned herself invisible anyway and hurried across the street to the little house and more importantly to the basket on the doorstep. Little Master was mostly all right, but there were things that concerned her. Her primary duty was as a nanny elf, so she knew how to take care of human children as well as the usual household duties. She now understood why Master James had said she needed to stay hidden from all visitors and was Little Master's last protection.

She waved her hand over the baby and used a little elven magic; she could feel the magics on him but wasn't sure what all of them were. She kept that going as she picked up the basket and started walk away. There, she noticed a tendril of magic from the baby to the surroundings. Mippy stopped and thought that through. Could she hurt the baby if he left the area?

She gave that some thought and decided humans would leave the house eventually, so no. Grasping that thread of magic with her magic, she cut it and was pleased to notice the baby slept on peacefully. But there was all of the other magics she didn't know about beyond the sleeping and warming magics. She needed help and there was really only one place to go: the largest collection of elves in the country. With barely a thought, she snapped her fingers and she was standing in the kitchens of Hogwarts.

Her arrival garnered attention of the few elves that were present and preparing bread for tomorrow, included was the head elf who walked over.

"I is Mippy and I need help. Little Master had unknown magic placed on him when he was taken away by others I was not allowed to stop."

Barly reached out a hand. "You can not stop warming and sleeping magic?"

Mippy glared at him and snapped her fingers. "Warming magic gone; sleeping magic good for now. Lots of other magic. Some of it seems wrong - maybe bad."

Barly reached out with his hand again, studying what was in front of him. "Right. Looking deeper I see magic that is not his. Toppy!"

A medium aged elf popped in.

"You have best feel for magic. Look at baby. Mippy not like what she sees and she is right to not like it."

Toppy levitated little Harry out of the basket with his blanket and placed him gently on a work table. He then started holding both of his hands over the baby with his closed eyes. The other elves came over to look. A few minutes later he opened his eyes and pulled his hands back. "Furl!"

Another elf popped in. "I was cleaning!" she complained.

"Baby needs us. Look, I think I feel White Beard's magic. Check and remove but leaving sleeping magic."

Furl gave him a strange look but now held her hand over the baby. "Tracking and monitoring. I give his magic back to him." Her other hand grasped something over the baby and she popped away and returned a moment later. "He was sleeping but now has his magic back."

Toppy nodded and returned to the baby. "I sense baby's magic, family magic, and one more. One more is the strange magic. I not sure about it."

The oldest of the elves - Marl - pushed her way through the crowd and walked up to the table. "Push good magic back and let me feel other magic."

Toppy reached out and looked like he was trying to strangle the child with his hands lightly around the child's neck. "It is his head."

Marl reached out and placed her hand on the baby's head for a moment. When she pulled back so did Toppy. "I think..." she paused and all watched her. "I think I have felt this human magic before. Yes, I was cleaning very long ago, some place unusual but I do not have memory."

"Old part of castle?"

"Outside, maybe greenhouses?"

"Potion rooms we can not clean?"


"Come and Go room?"

Marl's head twisted around on that suggestion. "Yes, Come and Go room." She faded out with a quiet pop and all waited patiently.

A full minute later Marl faded in with a quiet pop and held a slightly tarnished tiara with a large blue jewel in it. "This has the same magic and more. We put the two magics together; that takes it from baby." There were nods all around, especially from Mippy.

Toppy reached out and touched the tiara. "Yes, same magic is here. I do not like this magic as it is more than magic. It is like a human was pushed into this."

Marl nodded slowly. "Like Mippy say, bad magic. I am old, help me."

Toppy reached out and with Marl, each touched Harry on the forehead and held the tiara near. There was a flash of light from the elven magic and the tiara was set down. Toppy checked the baby. "Bad magic is gone. Only a little blood."

Mippy reached out for her own check. "I can fix small wound." She rubbed the split scar on the baby's forehead and it healed to a pink line. "No scar now. Good. Thank you. Mippy grateful." Grabbing the baby that was nearly half of her size, she popped away and landed in the old Potter Manor.

"Masters never should have left here, but Mippy will raise Little Master right." She took the baby to the nursery and placed him in the crib. She almost removed the sleeping magic but decided she needed to sleep a little in order to help the baby later. Seeing a blanket on the back of the rocker, she walked over and curled up under the blanket. She'd wake if the baby woke first.

— — —

Barly banished the basket Mippy had left behind into the fireplace so they'd get a little heat out of it; he never noticed the letter in it. He then pointed at the tiara. "Bad magic is in there?"

Toppy nodded.

"So, really, two bad magics."

Toppy nodded again.

"If two bad magics, could there be more?"

Everyone looked around and there was a collective shrug.

Barly continued to stare at the tiara and they all waited. "I think we need to search." He did a quick double clap of his hands and the large kitchen instantly filled with elves. "Touch jewelry and feel bad magic. Search the castle for more things with it."

A half dozen elves at a time would touch the tiara for a moment and then pop away to their normally assigned area. A few others went to search all of the Come and Go room. Barly and Marl continued to stand there and contemplate the tiara and what was in it.

"You have to call the other elves," Marl finally said.

Barly nodded. "I was thinking too. Most are here, but the family elves may know where more are."

As the last of the Hogwarts elves left so it was just the two, Barly stretched out his hands so they glowed for a moment before he clapped once. When he stopped, other elves started popping in and the kitchen was full again.

Barly looked around and waited until the popping stopped. "We have found bad magic. We did not worry for it on its own, but we found some in a human baby. We need to know all is gone. Come touch jewelry and feel the magic. Tell me if you have any where you live."

Elves approached and did as he said since all elves helped each other out. Most touched and then shook their head and left. However, two stepped to the side and waited. As most of the other elves left, the Hogwarts elves started returning; none of them found anything.

Barly pointed to the older one. "I am Kreacher. My old master gave me jewelry with that magic in it. I was told to destroy it, but I have not; it was too hard." Kreacher hung his head.

"I am Dobby. My master has a book that is like that but worse."

"Bring them here. Toppy will take bad magic from them then you can take things back," Barly commanded. The two elves left.

Kreacher was back first and held out a heavy gold locket. Toppy took it and placed it next to the tiara. With Marl's help he did the transfer and handed the locket back.

Kreacher was ecstatic. "Master would be happy!" He popped away as Dobby returned and placed a book on the table.

Toppy and Marl did the transfer again, but this time the magic moved from tiara into the book. Toppy looked at Marl. "More magic was in the book?"

Marl nodded. "I think bigger magic won."

"I must have book back! Master must not miss it!" Dobby complained.

Barly looked around. "Furl, go to Come and Go room. Find book like this and bring it back." Furl popped away.

"Look at magic in book now," Toppy said. "This is enough it reaches out. There are more parts."

Marl reached out her hand over the book. "Yes, four more parts after this one. We can use this to find them."

Furl returned with a book that looked very much like the "bad diary". Barly took it and did magic on it until it looked just like the original, even down to thickness and page color and the gold writing on the binding. He handed it to Dobby. "Take this and return it to your master's hiding place and say nothing even if he asks. I call this Elf Secret."

Dobby took the mimic book and nodded vigorously. "Elf Secret," he parroted before he popped away.

Barly looked at the two elves who understood magic so well. "Take book and find other parts."

Toppy picked up the book. "Follow me." He left with Furl right behind him.

Barly looked at Marl then back to the tiara. "We must destroy the book when they are done. Maybe ask White Beard for help?"

Marl considered it for a long moment. "No, Short Professor. He has statue with a copy of this on it. He will help and say nothing if you ask right."

— — —

While Toppy held the other magics back, Furl transferred more bad magic from a ring into the book. They left after resetting the rest of the magics here back as they were before.

Not too far away they found the next piece but it was in a big snake. Some elf magic killed the snake and to their surprise the bad magic leapt from the snake into the book. They looked at each other and shrugged before they went further south.

It didn't take them long while standing in a narrow alley to realize they had a problem. Toppy quietly called out "Tul!" with a push of elven magic.

The Gringotts head elf appeared. "I looked. We have seen no magic like that here."

Toppy did magic and it showed a tendril of magic from the book going behind them to the south, plus one heading almost straight down. "It is in place you do not clean. Barly says Elf Secret so others here do not have to know."

Tul considered that. "It is in a vault. This is a problem." He considered that more and the other two waited. "Come; we all work together." Tul grabbed an arm of each and popped them deep into the vault area.

Again Tobby did the spell and one tendril of magic was almost level with them, down only slightly. Tul continued to pop them through the vault area - including around a dragon - until the tendril went into the vault in front of them.

"I must copy Goblin magic to open the door and you must hurry. Touch nothing," Tul commanded.

Furl looked at Toppy. "I hold you up and you transfer the magic." Tobby nodded at her and at Tul.

With brightly glowing hands, Tul touched the door and opened it. Furl levitated Toppy into the air and sent him floating into the vault. Toppy did the revealing spell on the book again. "To the top shelf in the back." When Furl moved him up there, Toppy quickly transferred the magic from a cup into the book. "Done." Furl pulled him out quickly.

Tul shoved the door closed quickly. "Come, we must be hasty." He grabbed the two and popped them back to the alley. "Elf Secret," he acknowledged and left.

A moment later the two elves were standing on the southern shore of England with the last tendril of magic going further south.

"We have failed," Toppy said despondently.

"We have recovered many parts," Furl said, trying to be encouraging as they contemplated what could be done for the one tendril of magic that was left. "Look, magic line is changing."

"It is, but what does that mean?" Toppy looked at his companion.

"Do not know," Furl said before she looked back out. "Aii!" Knocking the book from Toppy's hand she pulled her friend back as they watched a ghostly head slam into the book that was now lying on the ground.

"Oh, like book and jewelry and snake," Tobby said as they each looked at the book on the ground, "bigger magic piece wins." He did a revealing spell and no tendrils of magic came out of the book. "We have all of the pieces," he said brightly as he picked up the book and the two popped back to the kitchens of Hogwarts.

Toppy put the book on the table in front of Barly. "All pieces are in the book."

Barly smiled as did Marl. "Good. In time too, the sun is about to come up. Help with breakfast; I take this to Short Professor for help soon."

— — —

Albus was up early and checked his little instruments. It looked like Harry's protective wards were working; they were low but he was sure they would get better in time. As for his health, Harry looked to be as healthy as Albus felt. Smiling, Albus left for breakfast early happy that all was going according to plan.

— — —

Filius Flitwick was having his morning cup of tea as he looked over his lesson planner for the day while he waited on it to be time for breakfast. He liked this time of day in the quiet of his office. A quiet that was disturbed by an elf - the head elf he realized quickly - popping in with a box.

"May I help you..." Flitwick struggled for a fraction of a second until he remembered, "Barly."

"Yes." Barly opened the box and pulled out a small black leather book. "We need this destroyed. It has bad magic and we can not destroy it."

Flitwick was intrigued. "May I?" When the elf placed the book on his desk, the professor did several spells on the book. He frowned as he came to the conclusion that while he didn't know what kind of magic was in the book it was most likely very dark as he'd have recognized it otherwise. "You found this in the school?" he asked with great concern.

Barly held his hand out towards the book as if to say, `There it is.`

When he touched it to open the book, a strong compulsion to write in it hit him, causing the professor to jerk his hand back as if there had been fire. He looked at the elf in amazement for handling it earlier with his bare hand. "Perhaps I should take this to Dumbledore to see what he makes of it."

"We would prefer it to be destroyed now, in secret."

"Why?" Flitwick asked intrigued again.

Barly reached back into the box. "If you destroy it and promise to keep it secret, we will give you this." He held up the tiara.

Flitwick sucked his breath in and his eyes went wide. He knew Ravenclaw history and what that was. "Where did you find that?" he breathed, barely audible.

"In secret place."

Flitwick just looked at him, trying to compel an answer with his expression.

"If you do not wish to keep the secret of book, I will return this to its secret hiding place."

Filius Flitwick blinked. A house elf bribing him? Blackmailing? Manipulating? Whatever word his mind produced he had trouble comprehending it. Most witches and wizards considered house elves as second class people, much like the Goblins in his ancestry. They were considered simple and slow and beneath notice - unless they encountered something they liked, which was usually cleaning. Oh, it was also known they could be very protective and reacted quickly there too, but otherwise they were considered slow and dim-witted. This was eye-opening for the professor as he realized he'd fallen into the same mode of thinking - shame on him!

His quick and brief thoughts on house elves aside, which the elf seemed to be very patient in letting him have, how did he feel about this? Looking at the tiara again, he realized there was really only one answer he could give. "You have my word on my honor that the book will remain a secret. As for the tiara, I think I shall say you found it while cleaning an unused portion of the castle. Will that be acceptable?"

"Yes," was all that was said before the tiara was placed on the desk.

Flitwick nodded and levitated the book over into the fireplace and dropped it into the small fire that was burning.

"Fire will not burn it," Barly told him.

"I'm not surprised normal fire won't, but there are other kinds of fire." With care, Flitwick started conjuring firebricks and stacking them in front of the fireplace. A larger single piece was conjured and placed on top. The last spell fused it all together as if it was a single piece with a small hole in the front.

Gathering his magic and concentrating mightily, Flitwick cast with a snarl, "Fiendfyre!" White, yellow, and blue shot from his wand and through the small hole into the firebox. He consciously fought the magic to hold it in the firebox for several minutes until he started pulling the magic, but not the fire, back out. By the time he was done and it was safe again, he flopped back into his desk chair, beads of sweat on his brow. "I am not as young as I used to be." A quick conjure produced a flannel that he used to mop his brow and face.

To ensure he'd been successful, the professor vanished the firebox he'd created and found it empty. Even the ash from earlier was gone. "It worked as I'd hoped."

"Thank you for destroying that and for keeping the secret." The elf popped away.

"I do wish I knew what that book was, but I do suspect we're better off without it." Looking at the clock he noticed he should have left five minutes ago for breakfast. Well, he wasn't that late. Hmm, maybe he'd be a little later still as he hoped to find someone first.

Heading to area he knew she preferred, he looked around for a few minutes. He was about to give up when he finally saw her. Walking halfway then as gently as he could he called out, "My Lady, may I ask you a question?"

The ghost of the Gray Lady turned from her contemplation out of the window and looked at him.

He took that as a good sign. "An item was found and I'd like to put it on display for all to see. However, I wanted to ask if you'd authenticate it for me, please?" He'd spoken with her only once before, when he was made head of house, and it had been an exceedingly short and one-sided conversation then too.

She glided over to be in front of him. Opening the box, he pulled out the diadem and held it in front of him. Only his experience on the dueling circuit over the years enabled him to maintain his position and stance as her expression turned stormy and she seemed to rush at him until she almost touched the artifact.

"It is cursed now, a vile and wretched thing!" she hissed.

Flitwick was surprised at her reaction but that told him it was the real Diadem. "If it was cursed then those curses have been removed. The only magic on it now is in the jewel and while I don't know what that magic does or is I don't judge it to be problem for any who were to try and wear it. However, I don't believe that to be useful except to a small number of people as the history books say only one of Ravenclaw's line could make use of it. Is that true?"

While she had calmed down, she still didn't look happy. "I was the last that could." With that said she glided away.

Surprised at the long (for her) and actually useful conversation with the castle's oldest ghost, Flitwick put the tiara back into the box and headed for breakfast, happy at finding the item was authentic.

Walking into the Great Hall with a box under his arm, he grinned to himself that this was going to be so much fun. It looked like all of his Ravenclaws were here and they'd be glad for this. He set the box on the table in front of him and climbed up in his seat.

"What's in the box?" Albus asked curiously. "Normally we receive packages at this time not bring them in."

"An excellent question which I shall answer for everyone, if you don't mind." At Albus's nod, Filius pushed his plate back and stood on the table, which gathered most people's attention.

He pointed his wand at his throat and then cleared it. The loud sound caused everyone else to look at him. "A most wonderful gift was given to me this morning that I had to share it with everyone. It seems the house elves were cleaning an older part of the castle and found this." He lifted the tiara out of the box and held it out so everyone could see, causing gasps from many of the Ravenclaws.

"For those that don't recognize it, it is the lost Diadem of Lady Ravenclaw, one of our school's founders. I'm sorry to say that while it still has its magic, it is of no use to anyone as you'd have to be a direct descendent of Lady Ravenclaw and there are none left. After you've finished breakfast, you may come up and look at it. I'll have it with me at all three meals today. Eventually, I'll build a display case in the Trophy Room for it." Flitwick stepped down from the table to his chair before placing the tiara on the table in front of him and then started on his own breakfast.

"Are you really sure?" Albus asked as he gazed at the artifact.

"The Gray Lady authenticated it for me," Filius replied.

"A marvelous find," Minerva told him. "I do wish we knew where the Sword of Gryffindor was."

"Or Hufflepuff's Cup," Sprout added.

McGonagall looked down the table. "Severus, did Slytherin have an artifact he was known for?"

Snape patted his mouth before he said, "There are records of a magical locket, but it's whereabouts are unknown."

A few of the older Ravenclaws walked up and looked at the famous Diadem and started to discuss how it might have been made. Flitwick watched and listened with pleasure. He was also thinking about what kind of display case to make and what kind of magic would be required so it couldn't be stolen.

Mippy watched her Little Master play with the toys. He was growing quickly. He also concerned her a little; he was picking up too many of her ways and it wasn't right. Well, there was really only one thing to do, get help.

When Harry went down for his afternoon nap, she laid an elven sleep spell over him to ensure he stayed put for the short time she was gone. With a snap and pop she was in the Hogwarts kitchens again. As she'd intended, lunch was over and clean up was almost done.

Approaching Barly who eyed her a little warily from the encounter a year earlier, she said, "I need help. Little Master is growing up and needs more of his kind but I know not where to look as it needs to be done in secret. I think other Little Masters and Mistresses would be best and should be two or three years. I think those without mother and father to be best." Few could send messages to all elves, but Barly was one she knew.

He looked at her for a moment. "At least you ask something that is not difficult this time. I will send word. Come back tomorrow night when called."

Mippy bowed and left.

— — —

Mippy felt the call the next evening and returned to Hogwarts. Little Master was asleep for the evening already with another spell to ensure he stayed that way while she was gone. She found two other elves with Barly. "I is Mippy, Potter family elf."

"I is Honni, Bones family elf."

"I is Stolli, Longbottom family elf." He was the only male elf of the three.

"No others were willing to discuss this," Barly added.

"My Little Master is two. I is looking for young Masters and Mistresses to play with so he not grow up like Elf," Mippy told them.

"My Little Master is also two," Stolli said. "Playmates would be good, but old Mistress would not like going to another house. I might have to not tell her."

"My little Mistress is also two," Honni said. "Old Aunt would not like me taking Little Mistress to other places but I have same worries. Little Mistress needs other humans." She sighed. "I am not sure what to do."

Mippy hadn't considered the other elves not wanting to come to Potter Manor. She looked at Barly. "Could we come here? Lots of elves to keep us safe."

Barly considered it for a long moment. "The Come and Go room. We can change it to playroom. No one else uses it."

Mippy and Stolli nodded, then looked at Honni. "I try at three. Little one is up from nap then. I must leave after two hours."

"I think three days a week," Stolli said. "I can not disappear with Little Master too often."

Mippy nodded. "There be days we can not come sometimes." All nodded at that. "We start tomorrow. Thank you, Barly." She popped away as did the other two.

Barly shook his head and was glad he didn't have little masters and mistresses to watch over. The older ones at the school were hard enough.

Just after Christmas and before the new year, Amelia Bones left work early. She had actually taken the day off for Christmas a few day earlier, but the MLE couldn't ever shut down, so sometimes she left a little early for a little time off.

She'd Apparated to near her home and walked in the cool air to have a few minutes to think instead of taking the Floo directly into the house. When she quietly let herself in the front door, it was to hear a tantrum from little Suzzie. She briefly wondered if she should return to work but immediately squashed that idea and headed in.

"I want Neville. I want Harry. I want play," Suzzie screamed, repeating the same three phrases and bouncing in a way no normal child should be able to, indicating minor accidental magic was happening.

Amelia stood in the doorway, watching and listening in shock. Honni was doing her best to quiet the child but it wasn't working. Finally Amelia bellowed, "Stop!" The other two looked at her in shock and froze. "Now," she said quietly, "what is going on and who are Neville and Harry?"

Honni and Suzzie looked at each other before Suzzie burst into a giggles; she tried to put her little hands over her mouth to stop but that didn't help at all.

"Honni?" Amelia asked, still calm as she knew that would work best.

The elf looked and Suzzie and then back to her. "Little Miss only wanted to play with friends. She is sad she could not. I go change her."

Amelia could only conclude something else was going on. "I'll change her diaper and you will come and answer my questions." She scooped up her little niece, who laughed at the motion, and headed for the girl's room.

As she changed the girl, who did have a wet diaper, Amelia kept tabs on the house-elf who looked very guilty. Letting the questioning wait, Amelia finished with Suzzie and set her down in front of her toy box, where the girl immediately reached out and grabbed her favorite soft fuzzy dragon that she hugged.

While Suzzie played, Amelia squatted down and looked at the elf. "Honni, who are Neville and Harry?" She spent the time changing the girl considering the names and an answer did come to mind, but that should have been impossible.

The elf looked down and seemed to scuffle her feet. "Honni is not supposed to say to keep everyone safe. We is very safe. Lots of others to protect us in secret playroom."

"Are you bringing others here?" Amelia asked a little confused at the 'secret playroom' part.

"Oh no, Mistress, no one comes here. We would not go to another house either. Little Miss must be safe." Honni looked down again and said quietly. "Little Miss need to be little miss and not be little elf."

Amelia blinked in shock. While she was sure the elf had meant no insult as house-elves didn't do that, she took the statement as indictment on her not being here enough. Forcing herself up, she noted that Suzzie had grabbed her plush troll and was making the two toys play together, perhaps taking a stroll together, and making little noises for the action. With a shake of her head she walked out of the room for a moment.

In fact, she walked to the back door and went out into the back garden as the sun was sitting just above the horizon. She lost herself in contemplation for a few minutes, considering how well – or really not well – she was raising Susan.

Then she considered 'Harry' and 'Neville'. In a way, she didn't have to ask for last names because of her line of work. Two boys about her Suzzie's age with those names and who also didn't have parents could only be Harry Potter and Neville Longbottom.

She had absolutely no idea where the Potter boy was as Albus Dumbledore had hushed that up, but if the boy had a house-elf watching over him he almost certainly wasn't with Muggles. She could easily see Augusta Longbottom not giving her grandson much time and letting a house-elf raise him.

But where did they play? Not here and as she thought more, not at any other manor home either; therefore, a secret playroom at a neutral location. With lots of others for protection? Lot of others for pro...

Amelia froze. Merlin's staff! Was it a conspiracy or were house-elves a lot smarter and organized than she'd ever suspected? Turning, she marched back into the house and found Honni in the kitchen. If a certain someone was behind this she would pluck his beard out one hair at a time!

Forcing herself into her calm investigative manner, the new Director of Magical Law Enforcement asked, "Honni, what other human adults know of this playtime for the children?"

Honni shook her head vigorously. "None! Is supposed to be secret! Please do not tell and get Honni in trouble!"

"The children are safe and there are other elves to protect them?" she asked to be sure.

Honni nodded as vigorously as before. "Yes, Mistress. Very safe. Only elves knew we are there and none can find room."

"How often do you do this?"

"Two, sometimes three times a week. Sometimes Little Miss does not sleep well and can not go."

Amelia nodded. Suzzie wasn't the most consistent nap taker. "The two boys also have elves watching over them too?"

"Yes, Mistress."

"Very well, as long as it stays as secret and safe you may continue doing this," Amelia granted finally, not able to really see any downside to this.

"Thank you, Mistress." Honni looked very relieved.

"Continue with dinner, I'll go play with Suzzie." Amelia used this a wakeup call to spend more time with her niece. She also considered a few other things.

The next day, Amelia left for work a little early and went to the Hall of Records. There was no need to check on the Longbottoms, but she searched the file on the Potter family. It showed only one living member and that was Harry. It also did not say where he was, but did say it was at an undisclosed location with relatives. She knew of no close relatives to James Potter, so it must have been some relative of Lily, who had been a Muggle-born. She had very few prejudices against Muggles, but to have a Muggle family raise Harry Potter seemed wrong to her. But was that truly happening because Honni said the Potter boy had a house-elf? This looked like a contradiction.

She also found that the Potters had taken the time to fill out official godfather and godmother forms and had them filed. Alice Longbottom – such a tragedy. Sirius Black as godfather?! While the man could have turned on them as there was no magical vow or anything to prevent it, this still put a new spin on things to her.

Putting that file up she went to the file on the Blacks and found Sirius's. In it she found the other half of the godfather form. There was the report write-up on his arrest and then nothing else. That sent a chill through her and she hoped this was a only a clerical error.

She shelved the file and headed to the Wizengamot office and grabbed their book of records, ignoring the frosty look that clerk gave her for invading the woman's domain. Flipping to November of 1981, a little over a year ago, she started going forward looking for trials. When she reached the end, with the last trial being last week, she still had not found anything on Sirius Black. He should have had one within six months, war or not.

Amelia closed the book and left for her office. She told her admin, "Reschedule all of my morning appointments. I'll be back after lunch." She headed for the main Auror room with long strides on a mission.

"Moody!" she barked. "Let's go." She headed for the room of restricted items and checked out a Portkey to Azkaban. Holding it out to the man, he looked at her but placed a hand on the silver coated baton and the two were sent to the docks at the prison island.

"What is this about?" Moody asked and pulled out his wand, holding it by his side.

Amelia pulled hers out too in case she had to do a Patronus as she turned and started marching towards the door. "I have a suspicion about a breach of justice, a man being here for over a year and no trial."

"Merlin's bloody staff," Moody growled as he walked with her.

Being the Director of MLE made it easy for her to have access to a prisoner. Soon, all three were in a visitor's room. She was surprised to find him quite lucid considering he had been in the high security wing for over a year.

"Mr Black, tell me about your trial," she started with that to see what he'd say.

The young man barked a bitter laugh. "They didn't give me one. I was stunned on the scene and woke up here and I've been here ever since." He looked at the two of them and then pulled up the sleeves on both arms to show they were clean. "I'm innocent of everything except probably stupidity and yet they treat me like I'm guilty."

"Would you be willing to take Veritaserum?"

"To get out of here?" Black laughed once before he was suddenly serious. "In a heartbeat."

There was one last Wizengamot meeting for the year day after tomorrow. Making a decision she looked at Moody. "Get some manacles; he's coming with us to a Ministry holding cell."

When she returned to the office she was going to have someone check every prisoner in Azkaban to ensure they'd had a trial while hoping to Merlin that Sirius Black was the only exception.

Amelia Bones readied herself for her first major confrontation with the Wizengamot since becoming Director of MLE. She'd tacked on a "Trial for S.B." at the end of the agenda and no one had protested so far. Another bright spot was that morning she'd received the report that there were no other prisoners who hadn't had a trial.

Albus Dumbledore started the session. Amelia didn't know if she wanted him here or not but he was, probably because Hogwarts wasn't in session.

The first three trials were fairly short and all were complete by the end of the first hour. When Black was brought in, now looking more like a normal person with clean clothes and after a bath, there were murmurs from the Wizengamot because the young man was recognized and Dumbledore looked surprised as he looked at her. She took the lead on this case as she had on the others today.

"To answer the question I'm sure many of you are asking about why he's here," she had heard a few voiced already from those near her, "Sirius Black never had his trial and so we will be having it now."

"What's the point?" someone asked. "We already know he's guilty."

"Would you like to spend the rest of your life in Azkaban without the chance to defend yourself?" she returned. As the silence dragged on, she said, "I thought not. Everyone is entitled to a trial within six months of arrest. Mr Black has been in prison for almost fourteen months. According to the law I could release him right now, but I thought it would be better to clear up the matter." She saw several people nodding to that.

"The charges for are the murder of twelve Muggles and one Wizard on the first of November in 1981. Mr Black, how do you plead?"

"Not guilty to all," Black said strongly, causing murmurs to arise for a moment.

"He should be charged with being a Death Eater too," Minister Bagnold said.

"There is no evidence of him ever participating in Death Eater activities," Bones said, "but Mr Black, please roll up your sleeves."

Black did so and showed clean arms causing a few comments of disbelief. "May I make a statement?" Bones let him so he said, "I believe you're confusing me with my brother who did become a Death Eater. In fact, I was kicked out of my family home at sixteen because I did not support the Death Eater ideals."

"He also led You-Know-Who to the Potters, so he's an accessory to those murders," old Samuel Nott claimed.

"I have no evidence for that. Does anyone have any evidence and hearsay doesn't count?" Bones looked around, but no one said anything not even Dumbledore. "Right, no charges there either."

Bones descended to the floor and stood near Black and looked at her notes. "According to the evidence collected you were found at the scene of the murders of twelve Muggles and one Wizard, laughing. That seems very damning, Mr Black. How do you explain that away?"

"It was Peter Pettigrew, the one Wizard who was supposedly killed, that gave information to You-Know-Who that led him to the Potters to kill them," Black started. "When I realized what had happened I started tracking him down and caught up with him in London. We had a short duel where he shouted some non-sense and then cast a Blasting hex while I cast a Stunning spell. The blast knocked me against a wall and I was a bit confused. I started to laugh because Peter, who was the weakest member of a former group of friends, was able to get one over on me. Then before I could get up to give him chase again the Aurors arrived and stunned me. When I awake I was in Azkaban and I've been there ever since without a trial until today."

"Sounds like a lie to me," Bagnold commented and many voiced agreement.

Bones shifted to a new form in the Black file. "According to the report, the Aurors who arrested him did a check on his wand and the last spell cast was a Stunning spell."

"That's not what Crouch told me!" Bagnold objected strenuously.

Bones closed the file. "The only other evidence are statements from Muggles who said two people were throwing lights at each other. That is so vague as to be worthless and Muggles aren't allowed to testify in this court anyway, so that evidence is doubly useless. Honestly, an evidence review should have released him after he was arrested so he didn't require a trial."

"He's still guilty!" Nott shouted.

"Provide the evidence for the accused crimes," Bones said calmly, "I have none."

"He killed the other wizard," Nott continued. "I remember reading that all they found was a finger."

"Stunning spells do not cut off fingers nor do blasts," Bones returned. "I've seen many Blasting hexes used on people. It tears limbs off, not cuts cleanly. I have a picture of the cleanly cut finger if you'd like to look," she offered and held up the photo. No one took her up on having a closer look.

"Chief Warlock," she looked at Dumbledore who was looking very contemplative and even a little guilty, making her wonder why. "I move that all charges be dropped against Sirius Black and the Wizengamot declare him not guilty."

Dumbledore looked over the body. "All for dropping the charges, light your wand." He counted and it was clearly the majority. "All for continuing the trial?" He counted only a handful, led by Nott, making her wonder why Nott wanted this or more likely who was paying him for this.

"The Ayes have it." Dum banged his gavel. "All charges are dropped against Sirius Black and you may go free. This session of the Wizengamot is closed." He banged the gavel again and murmurs arose as people started to talk as they filed out.

Bones looked at for the former prisoner. "Mr Black, I'm sorry you had to wait so long for this, but at least it's over and you even avoided Veritaserum. If you'll follow me to my office I'll return your possessions that were taken from you. If I may make a suggestion, go have a checkup at St Mungo's. I'll send a note over to have them bill the Ministry."

She noticed Dumbledore coming over as well.

"Thank you, Director, for the apology and the help." Sirius stuck out his hand and they shook before heading out of the courtroom. "I do have another question or two for you."

When Dumbledore followed them as they left the courtroom, Bones asked, "Is there something I can do for you, Chief Warlock?"

"I thought I'd accompany you as I'm sure Sirius would have a few questions that perhaps I can answer," he said kindly.

"You can start with why you left me in that hellhole," Black said angrily. "I was part of your group. I stood with you and fought with you. So why in the hell didn't you ever try to find out why I was in prison or try to get me out? Why did it take the Director here to find me languishing in prison and she told me it was an accident she even found out I wasn't supposed to be there."

Dum raised his eyebrows. "Amelia, how did you discover his trial was overlooked?"

"Answer my questions first, Dumbledore," Black insisted.

Bones stayed silent and kept walking, finding this somewhat interesting.

"A terrible oversight, I assure you," Dumbledore said calmly. "I was very busy and I trusted the system. There was no evil intention or attempt to hurt you, my boy."

Black snorted, clearly not believing him.

When they reached her office, Bones stopped outside of her door where her admin was and could overhear as well. "Chief Warlock, there is one last thing you could do. I couldn't help but notice that Sirius Black is the registered godfather of Harry Potter, but we have no address on him and your name is marked as knowing where he is. I'm sure Mr Black would like to take up his godfather duties as soon as he has a clean bill of health."

Dumbledore's guilty look returned and he stepped back a half step.

"Where is he?" Black demanded.

"He's in a very safe place, Sirius," Dum prevaricated. "Why don't you get well and then we can talk about it. He's just fine and you probably won't want to take care of a very young child anyway."

Black started to get very upset so Bones put a hand on his shoulder. When he looked at her she smiled. "Mr Black, why don't you come get your things first. While I don't know where your godson is, we can discuss a few things that might help you, such as the process to have the Chief Warlock unseal the records on your godson. You might also wish to make a statement or two to the Press on your way out also."

Again Black started to get upset and then his mouth closed suddenly and he smiled, a smile that promised something no good for someone. "You're correct, Director, I need to calm down and retrieve my things. A little time to take care of some personal things might be useful too. Shall we?"

Bones smiled innocently at Dumbledore before she directed Black into her office and shut the door on a very worried looking Dumbledore.

"Thank you for stopping me," Black told her as he dropped into a chair.

Bones grabbed a small box. "I retrieved this earlier in anticipation of your release. Your wand is in it, but I have a couple of things to say before I hand it to you. Will you listen to me?"

He nodded and did look attentive.

"I understand your need for revenge after one of your best friends was killed. However, that is what got you into this mess. Now that I've pulled you out of prison, please don't go do something stupid and get yourself thrown back in. Also, I'm sure you must realize that a number of people are going to believe this was some trick where you cheated the law and will be watching for any slip-up at all, no matter how tiny, right?"

"Yes you definitely have a point. Old man Nott certainly proved that," Black said in a bit of a sulk.

"Good, I'm glad you agree. Also, I really think you need to go to St Mungo's and get checked up and probably treated for long term exposure to Dementors. I won't be surprised if they have you stay for a week or so. The Ministry will pay for it. If you have any special friends or family you'd like to reconnect with, that would be a good time to write letters and start that process. I also highly encourage you to find someone to stay with for the first few months, and by that I mean another adult who can help you readjust to life on a longer term."

"A good idea but I still want my godson back," Black said a little belligerently.

"I understand," she told him sympathetically. "If it helps, I have an idea where Dumbledore placed him but I also think he's no longer there and is somewhere far safer."

"Where?" He demanded.

"Strangely, I can't say for certain, but I am certain I know how to get a message to those who are caring for him so I think that ultimately you won't have to deal with Dumbledore," she told him with a smile.

"Really?" he asked hopefully.

"Really," she answered with a smile. "On your way out, you also might want to actually give a statement to the press who are undoubtedly in the lobby. Do try to not pour oil on a fire though."

"But it would be all right to mention that I'm looking for my godson and I'm sure Dumbledore will tell me since he knows?" he asked mischievously.

"I don't see anything wrong with that," she answered with the same look. "Good luck, Mr Black and again, please don't do anything that makes my department come look for you."

"I'll do my best and I'll come see you about my godson when St Mungo's lets me go. Thank you again!"

She watched him go and felt pleased at the outcome. Then her smile dropped at she considered what Bagnold had said in the trial. It seemed she needed to investigate her former manager, Barty Crouch.

A week later Amelia Bones received a note from Sirius Black saying he'd be leaving St Mungo's day after tomorrow and he wanted to talk to her about his godson. She returned a note asking him to come to her house that evening for dinner and to bring the friend he'd be staying with.

When she arrived home, she called house-elf to her. "Honni, do house-elves know how to read?"

"Most do."

Amelia handed her a short letter. "Can you read and understand that?"

Honni looked at it for a moment. "Yes."

"Good." Amelia was glad as this simplified things. "Please see that gets to the elf that is watching Harry from the play time and if he or she can't read it then you explain it, all right?"

"Yes, Mistress."

Sirius Black arrived with a friend who looked to be about the same age as he was. "Good evening, Director. This is my friend Remus Lupin. We went to Hogwarts together."

"Director, thank you for having us over," Lupin told her as they shook hands.

"I think Amelia would be appropriate for the evening," she told them.

"Then please call me Sirius."

"And Remus for me."

"Excellent, please come take a seat." In the dining room she said, "This little one is my niece Susan." Susan was already eating and messily at that as she used her fingers for everything still.

After the food was served and they started to eat, Amelia said, "If I can pry a little, how was your stay in St Mungo's?"

Sirius smiled. "Physically I wasn't too bad and some potions helped with that. Mentally, I'm mostly all right. They want me to return once a week to talk to someone and that doesn't seem too bad. Remus here has volunteered his place for me to stay with him, assuming we don't need more room and need to find somewhere a little bigger." He ended on a hopeful note.

Amelia smiled. "I'm sure you know better than I do, but I'm unaware of any close relatives of James Potter who are still alive."

"There are none," Sirius confirmed. "Surprisingly, the closest relative I'm aware of is my great aunt Cassiopeia, who would probably be a great-great-Aunt twice removed or something like that. I am also related but not as closely as she is."

"Interesting," Amelia remarked. "Anyway, the Ministry records indicate he is with relatives, so if not on James's side, it must from on Lily's side, but we have no records for them."

"That would be because they are Muggles," Sirius said slowly and took another bite to think that one through. Shaking his head he looked at his friend.

Remus nodded. "The only one I can think of is Lily's sister, who wouldn't even come to her wedding … Petunia, but I don't know her last name. I think Lily mentioned her getting married not too long after James and Lily did, but Lily didn't get an invitation to that if I remember right."

Sirius looked alarmed. "Harry is going to be a mess if he went there."

"Hold on," Amelia told him. "While I don't know this Petunia, I thought it improper that he would have been sent there to be raised by Muggles, but this is Albus Dumbledore we're talking about, so who really knows. Anyway, it was purely by accident that I came home early one day and found out that little Suzzie was going to playtime without my knowledge and that she was playing with a Neville and a Harry."

"My Harry and Neville Longbottom!" Sirius cried out.

"Yes, my conclusion as well," Amelia said with a light laugh. "Three children who don't really have their parents anymore and it seems their nanny house-elves thought they needed more time with other children and so got them together." She looked at her watch. "If my plan works, they should be here in about half an hour."

"I would like to caution you though," she told them sternly. "Make no mention of how this happened. Apparently this playtime was supposed to be a secret with the elves and it would be best not to upset them since no real harm was done. Agreed?"

Sirius looked like he wanted to protest.

Remus laid a hand on his friend's arm. "Sirius, keep your eye on the goal and ignore this bit of strangeness."

Eventually Sirius nodded. "You're right. How we got here isn't important. What is important is getting Harry back and raising him well."

"Well said," Amelia smiled. "Let's go to the living room to wait."

Susan was cleaned up and joined them too. She stayed near her aunt but played quietly on the floor with her stuffed animals while the adults talked.

A pop was heard and there stood a female house-elf with a two year old dark haired boy.

"Harry!" "Sue!" The toddlers went to each other and sat down together with the toys and ignored the adults.

Sirius gasped and watched for a moment before he slid out of his chair and crawled over to his godson. "Harry, do you remember me?"

Harry may not have understood all of the words, but he understood the sentiment and looked at the man carefully not saying anything.

"My name is Sirius," he said slowly. "Or do you know Padfoot?"

Harry lit up and giggled. "Pa'foo'!"

"Oh, Harry..." Sirius grabbed him and snuggled him in close and Harry laughed while the others watched, Mippy the closest. "I'm so sorry I left you, Harry," he said with tears in his eyes; "I'm so sorry and I'll never do that again."

Sirius played with both children on the floor for a few minutes while Amelia and Remus looked on in wonder.

"Where doggy?" Harry asked suddenly.

Sirius got off of stomach and sat up on the floor. Looking at their host he asked, "What is the fine for being an unregistered Animagus?"

Amelia went wide-eyed and her hand twitched before she stilled herself. "That's how you survived so well in prison, wasn't it? I wouldn't have thought of that."

Sirius nodded. "A few of us learned in school and it was useful in prison."

After a moment of thought, Amelia said, "It's a 1000 Galleons, but if you'll come in and register in the next few days, we'll consider your fourteen months in Azkaban as good as the fine."

Sirius smiled. "Thank you. There is one more thing you should know. Peter Pettigrew was an unregistered Animagus too, so you should put out notice to look for him. He's a rat and now will have a missing toe on a front paw."

"I did mean to talk to you about him," she told him. "Thank you for the information and I'll see to it."

Realizing there was yet another thing he needed to take care of, Sirius turned to the house-elf who still was watching him, recalling the very short conversation with Honni earlier. "I was told you're Mippy?" She nodded. "Thank you for taking care of Harry. I didn't even know James had an elf."

"Master told me to stay hidden that I was a secret in case something bad happened. Mistress didn't like having me. Said I was slave but she didn't understand," Mippy explained.

Sirius nodded. "No, she probably never learned about house-elves and how they attach to families." He looked at Remus. "That's sort of strange when you think about it considering how smart Lily was."

"I'm not sure she found out about them until after Hogwarts and then she didn't have the school library and I can see James dismissing the question as unimportant," Remus said.

"A point." Sirius looked back to the elf. "Are you staying at Potter Manor and if so, can we come stay there too? We'll help you take care of Harry."

The elf looked at each for them for a moment, her gaze setting on Remus, who squirmed uncomfortably. "Do not worry about me," Remus said. "I will not always be there but I will protect Harry when I am."

Amelia wondered what that was about.

Mippy took a long time to nod. "I can take everyone there."

Sirius stood and shook Amelia's hand. "I can't thank you enough for all you've done for me." He looked at the kids together. "If it's all right with you, let's try to work out playtime for the kids. Perhaps we can rotate it between the houses. It might be best if both of us contact Madam Longbottom."

Amelia chuckled. "Let me work on her and I'll get back with you. I'm sure Harry and Suzzie can continue to play at our houses until I convince Augusta. Now that I know who everyone is and that an adult will be there, I don't mind her going to Potter Manor or for Harry to come here."

Mippy took Harry and Sirius to Potter Manor. Remus said he'd come the next day with this things.

Amelia Bones was surprised to get a visit from Arthur Weasley with a rat in a cage the day after she put out the memo about Peter Pettigrew. Sure enough it was him. A conversation with the Unspeakables produced a collar that prohibited a person from changing into an Animagus. He was found guilty at his trial and sentenced to life in Azkaban and was put into Sirius's old cell.

Albus was a little surprised Sirius Black had never come to see him about Harry Potter. He was even more surprised when he checked with his watcher, Arrabella Figg, and found that Petunia Dursley rarely left the house and when she did she only had one child.

Prompted by Albus, Mrs Figg asked Petunia about her family including nieces and nephews. Mrs Figg reported back to Albus that Petunia said she thought her sister had a child but she'd never seen him and never wanted to as she'd had a falling out with her sister years ago and they hadn't spoken since.

Albus's plan for Harry had failed before he even realized it. Since Sirius had never contacted him then Albus could only assume Sirius had him somehow. Well, Harry would eventually come to Hogwarts and Albus had to hope Harry would turn out all right; but if he was raised by Sirius then Albus suspected he better be prepared for pranks.

As the school year ended in June of 1982, about six months after Sirius was freed, Severus Snape surprised everyone on staff and all of the students as he walked into the Great Hall the morning all of the students were to leave. A large trunk floating behind him as he strode towards the head table wasn't the real issue; it was him with clean hair in a dark green polo shirt and smart black trousers with stylish black boots.

Everyone in the Great Hall stared and went totally silent so only Snape's boots were heard until he stopped in front of the Headmaster. Dropping a sheet of parchment on the table Snape said, "I resign. I've found I don't like teaching and I've found a job that will allow me to research potions in peace and quiet."

"But-" No one ever heard what Dumbledore was going to object to as Snape raised his bare left arm and pointed to his resignation again, holding his normal looking arm up for a moment.

"Thank you for the help. I believe my debt has been repaid." Snape turned and walked out, his trunk still following him. Only Albus Dumbledore knew what the debt was and he wouldn't say when asked.

Albus also never saw or heard about any evidence for Voldemort still being alive ever again.

(A/N: A fun little something that struck me. I hope you enjoyed it. - Kevin)