The Family Name—Third Year
By Elbereth in April
Dumbledore gathered them into his office again while they waited to hear back. "The lot of you do tend to involve yourselves wherever there is trouble," the Headmaster remarked.
"We knew Mr. Butler would protect us." Draco smiled in what he hoped was a winning manner, wanting to avoid detention from being out where they weren't supposed to be.
But Dumbledore did not seem angry. "I understand. As you said, Harry, this is a matter that you have to see through. However, I wish you would avoid danger as much as possible. So we'll sit here until Professor Snape returns." He did a spell and a tea pot and cups materialized on the table. "Have some tea. It was chilly out there." Everyone took a cup. "Lemon drop?" Ron took two. The rest politely declined.
"But, Professor, what about Black and Lupin?" Harry demanded.
"They are deep in the Forest by now. Sirius will keep Professor Lupin away from anyone until morning, when he will transform back again. By then, word should have been given to the Ministry of Sirius' innocence, and it will be safe for him to show himself. He will have to report to the Minister and have his name officially cleared."
Dumbledore turned to Artemis. "Now, about that Patronus Charm…"
"It's my own invention," Artemis confirmed. Draco could detect a hint of pride, but mostly the boy genius was simply matter-of-fact.
"What do you intend to do with it?"
Artemis blinked. "It's for Butler."
"It's wonderful!" Hermione exclaimed. "It could save people's lives! You could give one to the other students, and Muggles, and Squibs…"
Artemis shook his head. "Most people will not be coming into contact with dementors."
"Except criminals." Draco smirked. "Just think if it was smuggled into Azkaban…"
The three Gryffindors' eyes widened and they exchanged glances.
"I daresay the Ministry will want to talk to you about it," Dumbledore said before sipping his tea calmly.
Butler frowned. "Artemis has no criminal plans for its use."
"Oh, don't worry, they can't arrest you for creating an extraordinary, life-saving device." Dumbledore's eyes twinkled. "Do you suppose you could make one for Mr. Filch?"
Artemis considered this, then finally nodded. It would look good to the Ministry, and couldn't hurt with Dumbledore, either.
The subject was changed to things they were learning in their classes, which carried them through the next half-hour until Snape and the aurors returned.
"He got away," Shacklebolt reported dejectedly. Bledstoe looked tired and frustrated, and Snape looked almost livid.
"What about Sirius Black?" Harry immediately demanded, worried. "The evidence to clear him is gone."
"The aurors documented his identity and existence already, and we have his confession under Veritaserum eyewitnessed. It will be enough," Dumbledore assured them. "Right, Mr. Shacklebolt?"
The auror nodded. "Yes, the poor man. Just think, all these years, he's been innocent… this matter must be resolved, for the sake of justice. I'll see to it personally."
'Then I can go live with my godfather,' Harry thought joyfully.
Bledstoe just grimaced. "We want to talk to you about that Patronus Charm," he said to Fowl as predicted.
Artemis, Butler, and Snape stayed behind to deal with the aurors. The others were sent back to bed.
"Well?" Draco demanded when Artemis walked into the boys' dorm.
"It's fine. I convinced them my intentions were pure and I agreed not to make any more, except one for Filch. As that was my plan anyway, I didn't mind."
"So now what?"
"Now Black will be exonerated in the public eye. And he'll owe us a favor."
"OK. That's good. Will –"
"Malfoy. This doesn't change anything. We're not friends." Artemis walked to the bathroom and closed the door.
"Did I say anything about that? Can you not hold a civilized conversation?" Malfoy called angrily through the door.
It opened. "Fine. You're right. We should be able to talk to each other. Was there anything else?"
Malfoy glared at him. "Yes. You might do a better job of planning next time. The rat got away, after all."
"There was nothing wrong with my plan. There were too many outside variables that, unfortunately, were simply beyond my control." Artemis frowned back at him. "That was hardly a statement one would make in a polite conversation, Malfoy."
Blaise sat up in bed. "If all you two can do is argue, be quiet and let me sleep!"
The door closed. Draco spun around and flounced onto his bed, snapping the curtains shut. He lay down and shut his eyes, trying to push down and ignore the anger and pain.
Hermione and Artemis met outside the Great Hall before breakfast in an out of the way nook. "Sirius Black came to see Harry right after dawn to tell him that he and Lupin were OK," she told him. "Scratched and banged up, but OK."
Artemis met her gaze seriously. "Butler went to see Lupin in the infirmary. The aurors are forcing him to resign."
"Bledstoe said he's a danger to the students and wanted to have him arrested. Dumbledore managed to talk him out of that, but he can't over-rule the decision to have him fired."
A dozen emotions ran over Hermione's face at once: dismay, indignation, anger, sorrow, worry. "But that's so unfair!"
"He did forget his potion. He could have endangered the students."
"But only because of the circumstances—"
"That would not have seemed like a good excuse to anyone he bit."
Hermione frowned. "Try to show some compassion."
Artemis blinked. "I am. I'm thinking of the students."
Hermione started to speak, then stopped and sighed, her shoulders slumping. Artemis did make sense from one point of view. "All right. Whatever."
"I know you'll miss him. I'm sorry about that."
Hermione's face lit up again. There was too much potential in Artemis Fowl for her to give up hope. "Thank you."
"Butler said Black is staying at the castle until everything is worked out. Black has his old family home that he intends to move into. He offered to let Lupin stay with him while he looks for another job. Does that news make you feel better?"
"Yes. Lupin obviously doesn't have much money. It's good he'll be provided lodgings."
Artemis nodded, then turned as if to go.
"Artemis, why are you and Malfoy fighting?"
The question took the Slytherin by surprise. "It's a private matter."
"But you two got on so well together. You enjoyed each other's company. Can't you work it out?" Hermione looked so concerned and earnest. Artemis was both pleased by that concern and annoyed by her interrogations.
"I'm afraid that's out of the question. Our differences are irreconcilable. You don't like Malfoy anyway, you should be happy."
Hermione sighed. "But you aren't."
"I'm perfectly fine. Thank you. We'd best go to breakfast now."
Hermione sighed again. The Artemis who talked about feelings was gone now it seemed.
Harry was summoned to Dumbledore's office mid-day. When he arrived, he found Sirius sitting in the office. He grinned when he saw his godfather and sat down next to him. Sirius grinned back.
After the customary offering of lemon drops, Dumbledore looked at them seriously. "I regret to tell you it will not be possible for the two of you to live together."
Harry blinked, stunned. Sirius' eyes went wide, then dimmed. "But my name's been cleared," he burst out.
"That's not the issue." Dumbledore sighed and stroked his beard. "Harry has to live with his aunt, Lily's sister. He has to consider that as his home. It's what keeps him safe."
Harry stared at him. "Safe?"
"Voldemort can't get to you as long as you live with your mother's blood-kin. It's blood magic," Dumbledore explained.
Sirius shook his head desperately. "I can keep him safe."
"I can! We can live in my old family home at Grimauld Place. It's unplottable and hidden by a Fidelius Charm."
"We can't take that risk. He can visit you, of course…"
"No!" Harry shouted, taking the adults by surprise. "I don't care about the risks! I don't care about any blood magic! I want to live with Sirius!"
"You'd be putting him in danger, as well, Harry."
Sirius scowled. "Don't say that to him. As if I would care about that. I've lived with danger all this time anyway. At least this time it would be for something worthwhile."
"But what about Harry? Now that Peter has escaped, and with that prophecy you told us about, Harry, I'm afraid Peter will find his way to Voldemort. If the Dark
Lord returns, Harry will need as much protection as he can get. Think, Sirius. Think about the consequences."
Sirius' face took on a sorrowing, resigned expression.
"No!" Harry cried again. "You don't know what it's like, living with the Dursleys! They hate all wizards, especially me. I can't stand it there."
Sirius looked even more sorrowful. "Harry… I can't put your life in danger deliberately. James and Lily would never forgive me if I let something happen to you."
"Don't listen to him." Harry waved his arm in the direction of Dumbledore. "I'll be fine with you."
"I'm afraid I must insist, Harry," Dumbledore said. "We know what's best for you. You have managed well in your encounters with Voldemort so far, but you must realize those were only shadows of him, and you are just a child. If he were to come after you himself, backed by his Death Eaters, you and Sirius alone could not hold him off. Our first priority must be to keep you safe."
Harry glared at them both, not sure which feeling was stronger, anger or despair. His dreams of leaving the Dursleys at last were turned to ash, and his godfather wouldn't even fight to keep him. And Dumbledore—looking so sad and solemn, but so—so—arrogant and self-righteous. The headmaster simply refused to listen to him.
And there was nothing he could do.
The iron had entered Draco Malfoy's soul. So Artemis Fowl would not be his friend anymore. So what? He didn't need him. He'd gotten along perfectly fine before him, and he would continue to do so. In fact, if Fowl came crawling back to him now, he'd just laugh at him!
He walked to supper, calm and arrogant, with Crabbe and Goyle at either shoulder. From now on, he would be his own man. He sneered his best sneer at a timid Ravenclaw, who flinched away.
His smirk came naturally as he turned. "Yes, Weasley-girl?"
Ginny glanced at his companions briefly. "Hi, guys."
"Hi," they chorused.
To Malfoy she said, "Ron told me about your adventures last night. I was disappointed to have missed it."
His smirk softened somewhat. He imagined she would have enjoyed it, at that. "Maybe next time. So have you come to praise my daring exploits?"
Ginny snorted, although in a feminine way. "As if. Actually, I wanted to ask you—are you and Artemis Fowl not speaking?"
His expression iced over. "We are not. And I'm glad. He was too high-maintenance. Plus, he never shared his secrets, and he always acts like he is smarter than everyone else."
Crabbe and Goyle fidgeted. "Draco…" Crabbe tried.
"He is smarter than everyone else," Ginny pointed out.
"That doesn't mean he has to show off all the time!"
Crabbe and Goyle looked at each other. What could they say? That Fowl was a good guy? That would just be rubbing in that Draco had lost a good guy as a friend.
"You are complaining about someone showing off? You, who wants everyone's attention all the time? You, melodrama king?"
"Just because I don't cower in the shadows and only communicate through bad poetry of the singing Valentine variety…"
"Oh, you would bring that up. First of all, I no longer have a doomed crush on Harry Potter. Second, I am not so shy now. That was then. And third, I've never been the cowering sort, Malfoy. And I've never screamed like a baby over shadows in the Forbidden Forest…"
"That was Voldemort's shade, drinking dead unicorn blood in the dark, and I didn't scream like a baby. I may have made a slight expression of alarm, but I was well within my rights!"
Ginny smiled. "You screamed like a little girl." Her words were harsh, but her smile was friendly.
Draco suddenly relaxed. "You would know about that, little girl."
Ginny stepped closer. "I'm not a little girl."
They were nose to nose. Draco smiled. "No, I guess not."
A throat cleared behind him and they quickly stepped apart, Draco returning to the side of his bodyguards.
"Excuse me, but the four of you were blocking the hallway."
Ginny smoothed back her hair self-consciously. "Stormbrew, right?"
"Yes. Paulinus Stormbrew. You're Ginny Weasley."
"Well, don't let us keep you," Draco drawled. "Step right along."
Stormbrew cocked an eyebrow at him. "I hear you and Artemis Fowl are on the outs."
Did everyone know about that? And why did they all keep bringing it up? His eyes narrowed at the Gryffindor. "Hear a lot, do you?"
"You'd be surprised."
Why did that prat look so self-satisfied? "You shouldn't gossip…like an old fish-wife."
Stormbrew just smiled at him in a superior way, like Malfoy was a sad child. A Gryffindor shouldn't be able to smile like that! If he weren't a couple years older, he wouldn't be able to get by with it.
Still, nobody could out-arrogant a Malfoy. He adopted his haughtiest expression and tone. "I don't need Artemis Fowl. I am a Malfoy. Besides which, it is none of your business. Don't involve yourself in the affairs of your betters."
Ginny stepped in between, cutting off their staring contest. She addressed Vince and Greg. "Crabbe, Goyle, let's go to dinner and leave these two alone."
Goyle smiled at her, but shook his head. "We stay with him."
"I've been detained here long enough," Draco cut in. "Let's go."
"Ginny." Stormbrew stepped around to face her and smiled his charming smile. "Allow me to escort you."
Draco scowled and swept away, Crabbe and Goyle in his wake. Not knowing what else to do, Ginny fell in with Stormbrew and walked to the Great Hall.
Just outside the doors to the Great Hall, Draco spied Harry Potter, waiting for Ron and Hermione. He was leaning against the wall, looking very upset.
"What's your problem, Potter?" he snarked in just the manner guaranteed to rub the brunette the wrong way.
Harry was disturbed enough with his situation, now he had to deal with Malfoy? He frowned stormily. "What's it to you?"
Ginny and Stormbrew caught up to them. "Malfoy, can you not walk down a hallway without getting into multiple fights?" Ginny demanded. Then she took a closer look at Harry. "What's wrong?"
Harry looked pointedly at Stormbrew, who knew when he wasn't wanted. "Well, I need to meet my friend David to talk about a study schedule for Herbology. See you, Ginny."
He entered the Hall. Then Harry turned to glare at Malfoy and company. Draco motioned Crabbe and Goyle on. They went reluctantly. Then Draco smirked back at Potter, immovable. "You haven't answered, Potter. What's your deal?"
Unable to hold it in any longer, Harry burst out, "Dumbledore won't let me live with Sirius as my guardian! He told me I had to stay with the Dursleys to be safe!"
"Safe?" Draco raised his eyebrows incredulously. "Is he overlooking your run-ins with Voldemort and his followers every year in his own castle? You haven't been safe yet."
Harry looked at him, the point hitting hard.
"What did Sirius say?" Ginny asked.
"He's going along with it. He doesn't care." Harry crossed his arms and looked down.
"Sirius Black doesn't seem like the kind to blindly obey authority," Draco said thoughtfully. "He was really excited about you moving in with him, too. What reasons did Dumbledore give for his orders?"
In the mood he was in, it didn't even cross Harry's mind that it might be bad to tell Malfoy, the Death Eater's son. Not until after he spoke. "He said it was blood magic. Because of Petunia Dursley being the same blood as my mother who gave her life for me, it would prevent him from harming me as long as I lived with her."
Ginny and Draco, raised in wizarding families, had heard of blood magic. They nodded, glancing at each other.
Now Harry was panicking at revealing all this to Malfoy. Yet Malfoy had been involved in almost all of his Voldemort encounters and had never helped the dark side yet. "Malfoy… you won't…"
"Don't worry, Harry, we won't tell anyone," Ginny assured him. "But it wouldn't matter because that's not a protection Voldemort could break."
"Blood magic is old and powerful, Potter," Draco said. "You really need to read up on stuff like this. It's your wizarding heritage, and you're shockingly clueless about it all."
"That's because of the Dursleys! I hate them! I'm willing to risk not being protected ! It should be my choice!"
Malfoy shrugged. "Difficult as it is to believe, I agree with you. Dumbledore's sticking his nose into what's not his business. Black is your guardian. He could take you away, no matter what Dumbledore says. The headmaster's always been an interfering busybody. My dad told me so."
Ginny sighed softly. "Sirius does care about you, Harry," she reasoned with him gently. "He just wants to keep you safe, same as Dumbledore. Stay with your aunt and uncle for a little while, then you can go visit Sirius the rest of the summer. It'll be okay."
Harry shook his head. "Dumbledore has never spent any time with the Dursleys. He doesn't know what it's like to live with them. It's not fair, and it won't be okay!"
Draco noticed Ron and Hermione coming down the hallway. He didn't feel like dealing with that many Gryffindors, and besides, this conversation was getting boring. "Too bad, Potter. You can always run away. Now, I'm hungry." He flounced off through the doors.
"Don't run away, Harry," Ginny said hastily, patting his arm, worried that he would actually follow Draco's suggestion. "Visit Sirius, visit us. You won't have to actually spend long with your relatives."
Harry continued to frown moodily. Ginny was not reassured.
The last couple weeks of school coasted by. Snape and Dumbledore took turns teaching Lupin's lessons. Everyone was sorry that he was gone.
"Wonder what they'll give us next year," Seamus sighed gloomily.
"Maybe a vampire." Dean looked hopeful.
Remus and Black moved into Grimmauld Place. Harry had been distant and acting aggrieved around Sirius before he left, but Remus assured him the boy would come around. At least Harry wasn't scowling and freezing him out, like he was doing to Dumbledore.
Black had had to dodge reporters outside the castle gates, shouting questions at him. One or two had asked about being wrongfully accused, but the Daily Prophet reporter shouted, "Is it true that you a hand in the events of the murders? That your supposed innocence has been
manufactured by Albus Dumbledore as part of a cover-up of spies for You-Know-Who?"
The conspiracy theory and Sirius' actual guilt in it was their article the next day. Sirius was naturally quite upset over it.
Artemis was closing himself off more and more from everyone but Butler. He and Draco had a conversation in the common room consisting entirely of insults that made Pansy cry. After that, they agreed to simply ignore each other for the sake of their fellow Yearmates.
Snape had taken each one aside separately to talk to them, Butler managed a private discussion with Draco, and Madam Hooch cornered Artemis, but nothing had satisfactory results. "They're both entirely too stubborn," Snape complained to Butler.
Butler sighed. "We'll have to wait it out. Something will happen to change their minds—but it might not happen before summer holidays."
"Do you know what this is all about? I can slip them some Veritaserum," Severus offered.
"I do know, but I can't betray Artemis' confidence to tell you," Butler replied.
"No, that's fine, as long as someone knows. It could turn out to be important." Snape would rather not resort to Legilimancy on his favorite students; he did have some standards.
Exams were taken. The Slytherin Third Years all passed.
Draco had one last meeting with Charity Cobalt regarding her final report to his father. It was his first meeting with the spy without Fowl, which made him irritable. Cobalt didn't seem to feel it made a difference, at any rate; she was still being blackmailed, after all. That made Malfoy calmer.
Trunks were packed. Cats, rats, owls, and toads were gathered. The students boarded the train. And that was that.
But when Draco saw his father waiting for him at the station, he knew he was in trouble.
End of Year Three