STOP & READ: If you are here because you've read Delenda Est or Para Bellum, I seriously suggest that you proceed no further. This story is not comparable to Delenda Est and Para Bellum. The stuff you may have liked about those stories will not be found here. If you proceed, don't send me a review saying how awful it is. I warned you. Additionally, if you want to harangue me about various plot points or anything else in this story, it is a waste of time. I cannot even remember the plot of this story very well. If you cuss me out for doing this or that with this or that character, I likely won't even know what you're talking about, and I won't bother to find out.
Earl of the North
A Work of Fan-Fiction
Disclaimer: If you recognize it, it's JKR's, if you don't, it's mine. This is a non-profit story.
North's heir shall be taken to his dominion
Where his heritage will manifest itself.
The long forgotten power will wake
And Ice's armies will flock to him.
Traitors will quail before the betrayed
And will be reckoned with.
Voldemort's fate will be decided
by he who holds the Black Rod.
Lucius Malfoy picked Harry Potter's wand up from the wet street as its owner took deep breaths to prevent himself from collapsing from magical exhaustion. He then muttered a long winded incantation and waved it at the Muggle households that surrounded them. They all burst into uncontrollable flames.
Malfoy smirked as Harry collapsed and then dropped the wand in front of the teenage boy. He then drew his own wand and cast a Charm that erased any presence of his own magical signature. Hopefully his Master's signature would be mistaken for Potter's.
His malicious work done, Malfoy went to the fallen form of Voldemort and prepared a Portkey. The Dark Lord would survive, but it had been close. He then said the word to activate the Portkey as he grasped his Master's cloak. "Impossible."
Harry James Potter was left lying in the street as Privet Drive burned and countless Muggles perished in flames and smoke that had been caused by his wand.
"I didn't do it." Harry said, his voice showing how close he was to tears. "There's no reason for me to kill innocent Muggles." He was bound to a hard chair in an office deep beneath the Ministry of Magic.
"That's why it's illegal." the Ministry agent said snidely. She had wasted no time in letting Harry know that she and everyone else despised him.
Dumbledore looked at Harry sadly. "We tested your wand, you were the one who cast that spell, Harry." He held up his hand to prevent Harry from interrupting. "There are witnesses that say you had a big fight with the late Dursleys on that same day."
"I've always fought with them!" Harry yelled. "I've never hurt them! I swear that it was Voldemort and Malfoy! They appeared out of nowhere and I nearly killed Voldemort. Malfoy must have done it!"
"Tests indicate that you were the only magical person to even be in the vicinity of Privet Drive since you came home for the Holidays." the woman said.
"I and the rest of the Order suspected that you may have allied with the Dark. Even Snape. You knew about attacks long before he did." Dumbledore said morosely. "How else would you have gotten all that information without having your dreams?"
Harry was now getting angry. Why wouldn't they listen? "I told you! After I got home for the summer after fifth year, I kept getting short letters telling me where attacks would be. I simply passed on the information to you."
"Who where they from?"
"I don't know!"
"Why didn't you warn us about the attack on Hogsmeade? Hundreds died." Dumbledore questioned.
"The person stopped writing letters to me." Harry explained desperately.
The woman who had not even identified herself shook her head grimly as she made some notations in what Harry assumed to be his permanent record. "I think you were trying to give everyone a false sense of security. Your warning prevented minor attacks and filled Azkaban with rookie Death Eaters, but they were hardly significant."
"As if Voldemort did anything significant since June." Harry muttered.
The woman flipped the folder shut. "All of the evidence is against you. You had a fight with the Dursley's. These mysterious letters. Your wand initiated the spell. You are the only wizard or witch to have stepped foot on that street."
Instead of trying to defend himself, Harry looked at the situation logically. The evidence was more than damning. He couldn't prove any of it wrong unless . . . "Veritaserum! I'll take a dose and tell you that I'm innocent."
"Too expensive and pointless. This is an open shut case, Potter. I hope you enjoy rotting in Azkaban." The woman sneered at him. "Traitor."
"But . . . a trial!"
"No time." She appealed to Dumbledore. "You can see that this is solid. He obviously did it. There's not much point of making more trouble over this."
"Yes, Whitney. I have to agree." He gave Harry an extremely disappointed look. "Normally I wouldn't dare put him in Azkaban, not matter what he did, what with Voldemort about. Things have changed though . . . there's a new prophecy."
"That settles it then. Life in Azkaban. No parole."
This silenced Harry and he watched Dumbledore snap his wand. What would happen to the rest of his possessions? 'Stupid thing to be wondering about.' Harry concluded.
The boat ride across the channel to Azkaban was extremely depressing for Harry. He couldn't stop thinking about what Dumbledore said. 'Did they really think I had gone to the Dark? All that time?' Harry thought. They must have. Ron and Hermione had been acting strange the whole year. Harry thought that he had been mistaken, but they had appeared relieved when he announced he would be spending the holidays alone.
As the fortress loomed closer through the dark fog, Harry came to the conclusion that he couldn't really blame the people who had turned against him based on the facts. But the Ministry could have given him a proper trial with Veritaserum and those who had known him for so long should have believed in him. He gathered his resolve for the hardship he would soon face. Getting mad about it wouldn't solve anything though.
Harry looked at Azkaban as the boat came to rest next to the stone pillared dock. Harry noted absently that it had been artfully carved from solid rock. The figures that were on the pillar were faded with age, but Harry thought that some of them looked vaguely like birds.
One of the Aurors roughly grabbed him and led him towards the dock. The other Auror, who had a much nicer disposition, had noticed Harry looking at the pillars. "Some say that those were carved long before there was a prison here." He said informatively.
'Like it matters to me.' Harry thought with apathy. When he stepped onto the island, Harry felt a jolt of power shake him slightly. He quickly looked at his escort to see if they had noticed it. They did not appear to have noticed anything strange. 'Must be the wards.' Harry decided.
They led him into the prison where the Dementors were. It was amazing that any of them remained now that Voldemort was out and about. Not many though, their effects weren't bothering Harry very much at all. His thoughts on this subject were interrupted when they stopped walking and the friendly auror unlocked a cell door. The hostile one shoved Harry into the cell and sneered. "Merry Christmas Potter!"
Because his hands were shackled, Harry was unable to break his fall and he scraped an arm on the ground as the door slammed shut. "And a Happy New Year." he muttered sarcastically. He stood up to survey his surroundings.
The cell was quite small and was windowless. The only opening other than the closed door was a small hole in the corner which Harry assumed served as a toilet. The thing that startled him was that he was not alone. Another inmate was huddled in a dark corner that the light from the barred cell door opening didn't touch.
Harry decided to be social, even though the other inmate was quite likely insane. He stepped towards his cell mate and took a good look that left him reeling in shock. "Bellatrix Lestrange!"
Bellatrix raised her head and her moist and slightly-dead violet eyes met his. "Black actually. My husband divorced me." She sighed and returned to gazing at nothing in particular on the floor.
"Because I betrayed V-V-Voldemort." she whispered. "I wasn't killed because they thought it would be amusing for me to rot in this hell-hole. Didn't stop them from torturing me though."
To say that Harry was stunned would be an understatement. Why would she betray Voldemort and how had she ended up here without it being all over the newspapers? The second answer was actually quite easy really. Fudge would not want to admit that she had escaped in the first place. Any reports that she had escaped could now be dismissed as false.
Harry elected to sit down next to her. He was itching to know how she had betrayed the Dark Lord, but decided that a little sympathy might get him further in the long run. "Crucio?"
A weak snort answered Harry. "That's nothing." Bellatrix turned towards him and pulled the neck of her ratty dress down a bit further to reveal a mass a red-welted lines all over the skin of her upper chest. After Harry had gaped a moment she let go and sat back against the wall. Now that he looked closer, he realized that the numerous stains on her dress must be blood.
"I'm sorry." Harry said sincerely. She may have been a Death Eater who had tortured and killed many, but he couldn't help but feel sympathetic towards her. Besides, if she had betrayed Voldemort, she couldn't be all that bad. "How was it that you betrayed him?"
She looked at Harry with a bit of a smile. "I sent you all those letters."
"Why did you do that?"
Bellatrix sighed deeply. "I was trying to make up for my crimes. Fifteen years in Azkaban changed my outlook on life. I rue the day that I decided to become a Death Eater. When V-Voldemort broke me out I had no choice to but to follow." She stopped and looked away from Harry. "I'm sorry about Sirius." she said quietly. "I tried to stun him. I didn't know that he would fall through that thing."
Harry nodded. There was no use in getting angry about it anymore. Sirius was dead and that was that. Besides, it was mostly his fault after all.
Taking Harry's silence as encouragement, Bellatrix turned her head towards Harry continued. "After Sirius died, I realized that I couldn't pretend anymore. I already suffered from too much guilt. There was no way I could stand by and do nothing. So I started writing you those letters. He caught on after a while though. After being tortured for days, I was turned over discreetly to the Ministry and here I am."
Putting his weak Legillimency skills to the test, Harry looked into Bellatrix's eyes intensely. He was able to feel her emotions for a single moment. He found crushing guilt for her crimes, sorrow, depression, and best of all- no regrets for turning on Voldemort. "I believe you." he said quietly.
This single statement seemed to overjoy her. Perhaps there was hope for her if the Boy-Who-Lived could at least understand her.
There was a long pause before she asked the inevitable question. "What are you doing here?"