Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.

A Dragon's Treasure

Chapter 16

The Applicant

Harry stared back at Professor Dumbledore in disbelief. He had just learned the truth about why Voldemort had tried to kill him when he was a child. It was all because a prophecy, a prophecy made by Professor Trelawney months before he was born. Dumbledore explained the part Kreacher had played in luring Harry to the Department of mysteries. Harry tried to explain himself for not giving Occlumency his all; that Snape had thrown him out of his office. Harry blamed himself for getting Moody killed in the Department of Mysteries.

Dumbledore shook his head. "None of this is your fault, Harry. Alastor Moody has been an auror for decades. He knew the risks he was taking when he went to the Department of Mysteries. Everyone did."

"How Sirius find out what Voldemort was after?" Harry inquired.

"I told you that Kreacher was visiting Narcissa," Dumbledore explained. "And you knew that Regulus was once a Death Eater?"

"And the others finished him off," said Harry.

"Well, after Kreacher had injured Buckbeak in order to keep Sirius at Headquarters," Dumbledore said. "Kreacher told Narcissa how Regulus truly died. Narcissa had second thoughts about luring you to the Department of Mysteries, and she wrote to Sirius."

"So that is where Sirius got the fake prophecy?" said Harry.

Dumbledore nodded. Harry felt heavy. He was in the debt of Narcissa Malfoy? She's the reason why Voldemort didn't' get what he wanted? Hagrid had told Harry that nothing matters to anyone once they go to the dark side. Harry couldn't get his head around it.

"I don't understand why she would help me," said Harry. "She's married to a Death Eater."

"Yes, that's true," said Dumbledore. "Sirius had difficulty believing it too. He thought it was a trick. But he took a great risk in going to the Department of Mysteries. It had worked out."

"But what did the prophecy say?" Harry asked. "The fake?"

"Narcissa did not say," Dumbledore answered. "Only Voldemort would know."

Harry couldn't help but what wonder what would happen to the Malfoys now. Not that he cared about the Malfoys, but he had to ask:

"What's going to happen to the Malfoys?" inquired Harry. "Won't Voldemort figure out that Narcissa got the fake to him?"

"Voldemort will intterogate his Death Eaters for information, I am sure," said Dumbledore. "I need to do what I can to ensure the Malfoy's safety."

"You think that they changed loyalty…?"

"I think anyone can change," said Dumbledore. Harry sighed. He couldn't believe it, but he began to feel gratitude for Narcissa, mixed with sympathy.

While Dumbledore was discussing the incident with Harry; Snape was doing the same with Draco.

"Your father was to keep Dumbledore occupied while the rest of the Death Eaters were to retrieve something for the Dark Lord in the department of mysteries," Snape explained.

"What was it?" Draco inquired.

"Something about Potter and The Dark Lord," said Snape. "Your mother found out of the plan, apparently had second thoughts and trifled with the plan. She fashioned a fake to give to the Dark Lord."

"Why would she do that?" Draco exclaimed. "If the Dark Lord finds out, he'll kill us!"

"I am not sure. But it is true. The Dark Lord will not be happy if you found out your mother intervened. "said Snape. "And that is why Dumbledore is going to find away to keep you and your family safe."
"But my father always supported The Dark Lord," Draco said in surprise. "We don't support Dumbledore in anything. He's a muggle lover and…with him in charge…"
"You'd rather be at the mercy of The Dark Lord?" Snape demanded. "Then go ahead. I'm sure he would love to have new blood in his circle. But I promise you, being a Death Eater is no easy task, Draco. He will have you do unmentionable things, and if you don't, unmentionable things will happen to you."
"N-no,' murmured Draco. "I just…don't like Dumbledore. My parents haven't either."

"I myself do not agree with everything the headmaster does or says," Snape admitted, "but unlike The Dark Lord, he will not put underage wizards in any harm."

"What's going to happen to my Dad?" asked Draco. "Will he go to Azkaban?"
"We do not know," said Snape. "But he will defiantly not teach her again. What happens to him lies with the Wizengamont."

Draco sighed. "So does this mean my mother and I go into hiding?"

"Don't forget your sister too," said Snape.

Draco groaned. He forgot about Gemma. "Oh, right. My sister too."

"No," said Snape. "I don't think you would have to leave. The Order of Phoenix will be on hand to help you."

"I have to stay at their headquarters?" inquired Draco. "Isn't that where Potter is now? I'm not living with Potter!"

"No," Snape said again. "Not unless Dumbledore feels it is necessary. We will not be sure what to do until after your father's trial."

On the last day of Hogwarts, The Daily Prophet had an article about the Death Eaters' attack on the Ministry of Magic. Harry knew it wouldn't be quiet for long. What he was happy with, however, was that now the whole wizarding world knew that his godfather had been innocent all along. Harry wondered if he would be able to live him now or if he had to remain with the Dursleys. Dumbledore didn't tell him. The article didn't mention the hand Lucius played at Hogwarts. With the public not knowing, then it must be a good sign for the Malfoys. Draco put down the article and breathed a sigh of relief. No one had to know what he did. That was at least good news. However, what would everyone say? All the students were saying that Fudge wasn't handling things properly. He didn't follow Dumbledore's advice and Voldemort attacked the Ministry. With Fudge no longer in Lucius' pocket, how would the new ministry react?

Draco left the table and saw Harry leaving the Great Hall. He hurried to catch up with him.

"Hey, Potter!" he shouted.

"What do you want, Malfoy?" Harry demanded.

"You're going to pay for what you did to my father," Draco said with narrowed eyes.

"What I did?" Harry's eyebrows lifted. "I didn't do anything."

"You're the reason why he's in ministry custody!" Draco exclaimed.

"Your father's a Death Eater, Malfoy," said Harry. "He had Dumbledore occupied when other Death Eaters attacked the Ministry. Dumbledore found out what he did. You want to blame someone, blame your dad."

Draco pulled out his wand and Harry did the same. But before either of them could utter an incantation, a tall black woman with cropped hair stepped between them.

"An odd place for a duel, don't you think?" she asked. Her English had an American accent.

"Who're you?" inquired Draco.

"I'm the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher," she said coolly. "Now put those wands down."

"This isn't over, Potter," Draco muttered, glaring at him. "I'll get you for what you did to my father."

Draco walked away.

"Professor Dumbledore found a new teacher already?" Harry asked the woman.

"Well, I'm not the teacher yet," she answered with a grin. "Had to say something to make that little punk leave. I'm just here to apply."

"You sure you want the Defense job?" Harry queried. "It's jinxed. None of the teachers lasted a whole year."

"I'm aware," the woman folded her arms.

"Do you need to see Professor Dumbledore?" Harry said, gesturing down the hall. "I can take you to him."

"Thanks, sugar."

"I'm Harry Potter," said Harry, believing that if he gave her his name she wouldn't call him "sugar" again.

"Charlotte Keene," she smiled and Harry began leading the way. "I've heard about you."

"Everyone has," sighed Harry. "About how I look just like my dad except I've got my mum's eyes. How Voldemort tried to kill me…"

"Well yes," the future Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor said. "But I was referring to your recent heroics in the Ministry of Magic. I'm impressed."

"Oh, thanks," answered Harry.

"Too bad about Moody, though," said Keene. "Kooky old man, but I've always liked him."

They stopped at the stone Gargoyle. "Chocolate Frog," said Harry and the gargoyle moved, allowing Keene and Harry step onto the spiral staircase.

"What made you decide to try for the job?" Harry asked.

"Well, it's a little personal," Keene admitted. "But I'm looking for somebody. It's family related."

"I see," said Harry.

They reached the top of the stairs and Harry knocked the door.

"Come in," announced Dumbledore.

Harry pushed open the door.

"Ah, hello Harry."

"Miss Keene's here apply for the Defense job," Harry said.

"Of course. Nymphadora told me you were coming."

"Nymphadora…Tonks?" asked Harry.

"Yes, we're old friends," Keene explained. "Thank you for showing me to the Headmaster, Harry."

Harry nodded at the prospective Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher and showed himself out of the Headmaster's office.

A week after Hogwarts let out for the summer, the Malfoy family went to the Ministry magic for Lucius' trial. They were on the tenth floor, standing outside courtroom ten. Lucius did not want his family present during the trial but Narcissa was persistent.

"Very well, Narcissa," Lucius was saying, "I suppose you could sit in but Draco must stay out here with Gemma."

"What?" Draco gasped and his mother looked at him sternly. "Oh all right."

His mother handed him his baby sister. She was quiet until they went inside. Whenever Gemma cried, Narcissa would walk with her. Draco felt odd doing it, but he relented into doing so.

He wandered about the floor, bouncing his sister up and down. "Be quiet," he hissed to her.

The dungeon like corridors made him feel uneasy, making him believe the reason for his sister's wailing. He hadn't been to the Ministry of Magic in ages, and it was only to the first floor. He always wanted to explore the building. Gemma in tow, he walked down the stairs to the ninth floor and saw the door to the Department of Mysteries. He almost dropped his sister in surprise.

Professor Snape had told him he had the qualifications of an Unspeakable. Here was the Department of Mysteries, waiting for him to enter. Harry and his friends were able to enter it so easily a month ago. Draco scowled. Harry got to see the inside of it before Draco did. It was so unfair. How much did Harry see? Well, Draco was going to see more than Harry did.

Draco pushed open the door and found himself in a circular room with twelve doors. When the door shut, all the doors started rotating rapidly. He and his sister stared, amazed at the rotating doors. Once the door stopped, it was impossible for him to find the door he had just come out of. He was already here. He was going to see how much of the department he could.

His sister pointed to a random door to his right.

"You want to see what's in that one?" he whispered. "Okay."

He tried the door and it didn't open. The doors started spinning and he glared at his sister.

"I'm picking the next one," he muttered.

When the doors stopped, he tried another door. To his relief, it opened and revealed a large room with

He walked to the door and opened it, finding a room filled with sparkling light. The shelves were laden with clocks and time turners. He walked on by until he reached a desk with an enormous bell jar on top of it. Within the bell jar was hummingbird floating on a glittering wind. It was changing to an egg and back to a bird.

What is all this junk?" he murmured.

Gemma reached for the bell jar and Draco put her hand down. "No, Gemma!"

His sister started crying. "Gemma!"

He heard one of the office doors open. "What's going on in here?"

"I—I'm sorry," Draco muttered, turning around. "I—be quiet, Gemma!"

The Unspeakable stepped closer to Draco. He was dressed in deep purple robes. "I know you; you're Lucius Malfoy's son."

"Yes, sir," said Draco. "His trial today and I…"

"Thought you could just wander around the Department of Mysteres, could you?" the Unspeakable demanded. "Did he tell you to come in here? What'd you take?"

"Nothing!" Draco cried. "You see sir, I was thinking of becoming an Unspeakable after Hogwarts. My Head of House said I could be good for it. Severus Snape…I can have him write a letter…"

The Unspeakable folded his arms, raising an eyebrow. "Really?" He was a tall, cranky looking old man.

"It's true!" Draco insisted. "I was just hoping I could see what you guys do down here. Maybe if you can tell me a little bit then I know what to focus on at school."

"I don't have time to tell you what we do," said the Unspeakable. "And even if I did, I wouldn't tell you. I know what your father did, son, and I'm not going to give you a handout."

"But my fa-,"

"I don't care who your father is!" shouted the Unspeakable. "Now get out!"

"But…I don't know how," murmured Draco.

The old Unspeakable groaned. "Dotson!"

A younger unspeakable came out of the office in the middle. "Yes sir?"

"Escort this thief out of the Department!"

"I'm not a thief," said Draco.

"This way, boy," the Unspeakable called Dotson said.

Draco sighed and followed Dotson out of the strange clock room.
"I didn't mean to trespass," said Draco. "I was just curious."

"Curiosity killed the cat," said Dotson cooly. "You're lucky you only stumbled into the Time Room and not any of the others. You could've gotten hurt."

"You see, Head of House suggested I become an Unspeakable," said Draco. "I just wanted to see what you do here. Can't you just show me around?"

"Sorry, can't give you a tour," Dotson answered. "You're not the first Hogwarts student to trespass here giving me the 'I want to be an Unspeakable' excuse."

The made it to the circular room with all the doors.

"Then how am I supposed to get ready?" Draco demanded. "Can't you help me out just a little bit?"

Dotson furrowed his eyebrow and paused. "Did you receive your OWL results yet?"

Draco shook his head.

"Well, if you have anything over an Acceptable in Potions, Charms, Transfiguration, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Astronomy, Runes and Arithmancy, you might have a chance. Some knowledge in Divination wouldn't hurt."

He pushed the main door open for him. "Good luck."

"That's it?" Draco asked.

"Trust me, it's enough," Dotson insisted and closed the door behind him.