Disclaimer: I do not nor will I ever own the Harry Potter story, characters, villains, heroes, and creatures. I also sadly do not make any money off this story. Trust me; my bank account cannot lie about that.
A/N: I thank you for all your reviews! Thanks to Nancy in Chicago for her help as always!
Thanks to to this archive's ('the archive that shall not be named) inablity to actually read any of the stories or e-mail anyone about their accounts, my previous account, under the name Marietsy, was deleted. I think it was because of Two Worlds (Stargate/Harry Potter crossover). Someone must've been incapable of reading the Author Notes and didn't realize the story was actually mine, though under a different name. I believe that they informed this archive of plagarism and therefore my account was deleted.
Given the stupidity of 'the archive that shall not be named',I will not be posting Two Worlds here since I don't want my account deleted again. I will therefore be posting it on my Yahoo group, my personal webpage and FicWad. For those of you who have found me again, (grumbles), I'm sorry for the inconvience that 'the archive that shall not be named' has put you through. I also would like to thank those of you who e-mailed to let me know that my account was deleted. It was a hell of a Christmas present.
I have decided to treat this as an opportunity. All my stories need to be re-edited and as such, I am taking the time to look them over and re-post them. So, I will start with Flames of Betrayal since that seems to be the number one story right now.
It pains me that along with all my stories, all my reviews were deleted as well. I thank all of you reviewed for me. I hope to make them up some day, but you can only review so much on a story that you read over and over again.
Thanks again for all of you!
Summary: Harry was sent to Azkaban and was later found to be innocent. With the help of Ron, he will find out who his true friends are. Will he forgive those who betrayed him? Will he be able to let the world know what kind of man Dumbledore really is? Who are the Watchers and what do they have to do with Dumbledore?
Warnings: Hermione bashing, Evil Dumbledore, Slytherin Ron and Harry, language and violence. Very mild sexual situations.
Rating: Ror M for violence, adult language and slight sexual situations.
FLAMES OF BETRAYAL
Albus Dumbledore walked down the hallway of Hogwarts, lost in his thoughts. His face was grim, and there was no twinkle in his eyes. He had just come from a meeting with the Minister of Magic. Things had not gone well. He stopped in front of the stone gargoyle that led to his office and muttered the password.
After entering his office, he walked over to the floo and threw in some powder. "The Burrow," he called out. He stuck his head into the fire and called for Molly Weasley. She came rushing into the room, and looked at Dumbledore in surprise.
"Albus, is there a problem?" she asked worriedly.
"No, nothing serious. I need your family to come to Hogwarts for a meeting. I will be calling the others of the Order. They need to be here to hear what I have to say. It's very important," Dumbledore replied, his face serious.
"What's wrong, Albus?" she asked, concerned.
"I'll tell you when you arrive. Is Hermione visiting your family?" Dumbledore asked.
"Yes, she arrived here a couple of days ago. Do you want her there as well?" Molly inquired.
"Yes, please, if you would, bring her along. I'll see you all when you arrive." He watched as Molly nodded in agreement and pulled his head out of the fire. He ran his hand down his face wearily, the burden he now felt was heavy.
He heard the door to his office open and a voice called out in concern, "Albus, are you all right? What has happened?" Minerva McGonagall asked.
"I'm calling a meeting for the Order. I have important news I must share with everyone. Is Severus still here?" he asked.
"Yes, he just got back from being summoned. He was on his way up to see you," she answered as she gazed at the Headmaster's tired expression.
Severus Snape stalked into the room, his robe flowing out behind him. He was a formidable presence with his dark lanky hair, black eyes and a glower that was a permanent fixture on his face. He got joy out of scaring the children of Hogwarts. He was not a happy man, so he took what little joy it gave him to watch people cower before him in fear.
"Headmaster, I came to give you my report. Apparently, the Malfoys were captured this morning and taken to the Ministry for interrogation. There was apparently a plan of some sort that the Malfoys were involved with and Voldemort doesn't want it to get out. Judging by the way he tortured and killed some of the Death Eaters tonight, he is quite livid," Snape reported with a cold smirk.
Dumbledore sat as his desk, sighing heavily. "Thank you, Severus. I already knew about the Malfoys. I was called to the Ministry to hear some disturbing news. I will share it with you when the other members of the Order arrive. They should be here within the hour," he said grimly.
Snape stared at the Headmaster with a thoughtful look. He could tell by the look on Dumbledore's face that whatever it was, it would not be good news. He looked over at McGonagall and noticed her face was showing worry for the Headmaster. Their eyes met in silent concern for the situation. Snape sighed; it looks like its going to be a long night.
An hour later, the members of the Order were sitting in the Headmaster's office. The Weasleys were sitting on one side of the office. Hermione sat next to Ron, who was ignoring her. She had a bad feeling about the meeting. Whatever it was though, she had confidence in the Headmaster to see the Order through it.
Ron glared around the room, looking sullen. He hadn't wanted to come, but his family had forced him. He grumbled to himself, his face showing his anger. The war with Voldemort wasn't going well, and he had a feeling whatever this meeting was about would change everything. Still, it wasn't enough for him to want to be here.
The twins were snickering to each other about something prank related. Bill and Charlie had been home for a visit when the Headmaster called. They decided that they would join the meeting. Percy was not there since he still had nothing to do with his family, not that it seemed to bother the rest of the Weasleys. Molly Weasley was glaring at the twins, who were ignoring their mother and Arthur looked at his family fondly.
Tonks, Kingsley and Lupin sat close to each other, talking to each other in low voices. They each mentioned how tense the Headmaster had seemed when he fire called them earlier. It did not bode well for this meeting.
Mad-Eye Moody sat near Minerva, talking to her in a low voice while glaring at Snape, who was sneering at anyone who looked at him. Moody still didn't trust the man and he never would. Minerva rolled her eyes in exasperation at Moody's antics. The other members of the Order sat around talking, waiting for the Headmaster to appear.
The Headmaster came into his office and smiled grimly at everyone. There was no sign of a twinkle in his eyes. The people in the room shifted uneasily. The last time they saw the Headmaster this serious was eighteen months ago.
"I was called to the Ministry today by Minister Fudge. Apparently the Aurors had captured two Death Eaters and they were disturbed by what the two gentlemen had confessed under Veritaserum," the Headmaster said.
"Who were the Death Eaters?" Moody growled.
"Lucius and Draco Malfoy," Dumbledore stated solemnly.
The people in the room muttered in surprise and amazement. Lucius was well known for being a Death Eater, but he had escaped Azkaban when the Dementors had sided with Voldemort. The Ministry had quickly set up spells and wards around Azkaban that imitated the effects of the Dementors. They didn't want the chance that any of the prisoners might be coherent enough to try to escape. Hearing that Draco was a Death Eater was not a major surprise to those in the room.
"What have they confessed, Albus?" Minerva asked curiously.
"Apparently Draco was involved in a plan to frame a student for murder. He was to steal the student's wand, kill another student and place the blame on the framed student," he reported grimly. "Harry Potter is innocent of murder," he said quietly. The appearance of grief on his face made him look older.
The room erupted in shouts of denial and shock. "How could that be? He confessed to the murders under Veritaserum," Remus said, shocked.
"Lucius confessed that Voldemort had been working on the link via the scar weeks before the murders. Voldemort slowly worked it open so that he could possess Harry at the right moment. That would have explained Harry's bizarre behavior the weeks before the murders. The right moment came when Harry was to testify. Lucius was in the crowd, under the polyjuice potion, and when Harry was put under the Veritaserum, he cast a spell to make Harry more susceptible to Voldemort's possession. The boy had no chance, no chance at all," the Headmaster said in a low voice.
The rest of the room were stunned. Harry was accused of killing Cho Chang, Colin Creevey and Ginny Weasley during his sixth year at Hogwarts. Harry had claimed himself to be innocent of the crime, stating that it had to be a plan of Voldemort, but no one had tried to help him. They hadn't believed him and the Wizarding World had helped throw a sixteen-year-old boy into Azkaban. All the evidence had shown that he was guilty and the Wizarding World turned their backs on the Boy Who Lived.
Ron had tears in his eyes and Hermione was sobbing hysterically. Hermione had been the first to turn on Harry. She allowed the proof to overcome any doubts she might have had. When Harry had begged her to help him, she had smacked him, spat in his face and told him to burn in hell. Following the example of one of Harry's best friends, the rest of his friends had turned on him like rabid dogs. They had cursed his name, destroyed his property and shunned anyone who had thought he might've been innocent.
Ron had believed in his friend's innocence. He fought for Harry, yelling at anyone who dared say otherwise to his face. He knew Harry and he knew there was no way that he would've killed anyone, let alone the one person he had thought of as a sister.
He'd felt betrayed at the trial when Harry had confessed to the murders. He'd broken down and sobbed, glaring at Harry in anger and pain. He had believed in the power of the Veritaserum, never realizing that it could somehow be overcome. Everyone had told him that they had been right, but Ron had punched anyone who said a thing about Harry. People had learned not to talk about Harry around Ron.
Ron bowed his head, relief, shame, and pain filling his body. He felt relief that he'd been right and shame that he had doubted Harry in the end. He knew that Harry would probably forgive him for his lapse, but it still pained him to know that he hadn't kept his faith in Harry. He heard Hermione crying next to him and shifted away from her. His friendship with her had not been the same since she turned her back on Harry. She had been smug; her superior attitude had grated on Ron's nerves. She threw Harry's guilt in Ron's face so many times that Ron had almost slapped her. At that moment, she had seen the rage in his eyes and had felt fear. They agreed never bring Harry's name up again, but things had irrevocably changed between them. They had lost the closeness that they once had.
"What happens now?" Arthur Weasley asked faintly. The boy, who he had once thought of as a son, the one he had turned his back on, the one he had believed had killed his only daughter, was innocent. He felt overwhelmed with shame and guilt. He bowed his head and closed his eyes, trying to stop the tears from falling. He took a deep shuddering breath, opened his eyes and looked over at his sobbing wife. Her hands were over her face and she was sobbing hysterically. He put his arms around her and pulled her close. She buried her face into his chest and started to wail. He knew she felt the same sense of guilt and shame that he did.
Arthur looked at the rest of his family. The twins were subdued, their cheerful faces were somber and their eyes filled with shame. They were glancing at the floor with a small frown on their faces. Arthur shook his head, knowing that they didn't know how to handle this. He looked at Bill and Charlie, who also looked somber. Their faces also showed the guilt that they were feeling.
He glanced at his last son and his heart clenched in pain. The family had not been kind to Ron since Harry's arrest. He'd been the only one to believe in Harry and his family had ridiculed and belittled him for it. When Harry had confessed under Veritaserum, the family had proudly thrown it in Ron's face with bitter glee and something in Ron seemed to die. He never smiled anymore and he hardly spoke to the family. Even now, the family had very little to do with him and when they did; they still showed their disapproval of his actions.
Arthur watched as his son glanced up at him, feeling his father's guilty gaze upon him. The brown eyes looked at his father coldly and Ron sneered at him. Ron turned his gaze towards his sobbing mother and smirked coldly. Arthur could feel the vindication in Ron's gaze. He lowered his eyes in shame and cried. There was more than one boy's forgiveness he would have to earn.
Ron looked at his family, disdain filling him. Now that they believe Harry is innocent, I am no longer a pariah to my family. How sweet, he thought with a sneer. He'd been surprised at how his family had treated him at first, but soon realized that they were treating him as he'd treated Percy. For the first time in his life, he'd sympathized with his older brother and felt ashamed. If he'd been able, he would've followed Percy's example and left the Burrow and his family behind. Unfortunately, he hadn't been of age at the time, and now he had no money. He found it ironic that now that Harry was innocent, so apparently was Ron. He sneered at the thought. If his family thought that treating him right from now on was going to earn his forgiveness, they were in for a big surprise.
"We are in the process of getting Harry out of Azkaban. I'll bring him here where he can recover. Madame Pomfrey will examine him and he will have his own room. He has missed the last eighteen months of his education. If he's able, he will have to finish it. With hard work, he should be able to graduate next year," the Headmaster said softly.
Ron snorted with contempt and sneered at the Headmaster. "What makes you think that Harry is going to want to complete his education? What makes you think that Harry is going to want to have anything to do with those who betrayed him? Those who turned their backs, hit him, and burned his possessions? Those possessions were the last link to his parents and his godfather. He'll never be able to get them back!" Ron questioned venomously to the shamed crowd. "I have my own guilt to deal with, but I never turned my back on him. Even when he confessed, I still had my doubts, but I allowed myself to be swayed by popular opinion and my loving family," he sneered. "I shall never forgive myself, but luckily I know that Harry will because when it counted the most, I STOOD BY HIM!" he roared.
"Where were any of you? Where were his mentor, his Head of House, his adopted family, and one of his supposedly best friends? You were all so eager to crucify him and now you expect him to come back with open arms and forgiveness in his heart?" Ron asked with a sneer. "There is no chance in hell that's ever going to happen. You all know what trusting someone meant to him and you showed him how little he could trust you. Oh no, Harry won't be forgiving any of you. He's going to want to get as far away from all of you as fast as he can. I'll tell you this; when he decides to leave, I'll be going with him and I'll never return. I have nothing left to keep me here," he said coldly staring down the downcast crowd.
"Ron, you have your family!" Molly Weasley cried out, guilty tears rolling down her face.
Ron sneered at his mother then glanced at his guilty looking family. "You mean the loving embrace of my family, who belittled me and scorned me for standing up for a friend, the one I thought of as a brother? The very same family who killed the very owl that Harry had bought me weeks before because he bought it for me? The very same family who destroyed my property and ignored me when I walked into the room, except to make cutting, hurtful remarks? You mean the very same family who told me repeatedly that I should be in Azkaban with Harry? The same one that said I should leave my home to join the rest of the Death Eaters to serve You Know Who? Or is it the very same family who told me I should've died before betraying them? Oh yes, I can see why I would have to stay for my family," he hissed venomously, the bitterness flowing from his mouth as he glared hatefully at his cowering, crying family.
"When Harry returns to Hogwarts, I'll be staying with him, regardless of what condition he is in. He'll need someone he trusts to take care of him. That leaves all of you out. As for my beloved family, you're all dead to me. I want nothing to do with any of you any longer. I no longer wish to be a Weasley and I want to be released from this family," he said coldly "I would like to invoke the Ritus Emancipo," he requested icily to the shocked Headmaster.
"Ron, no! This is your family. You can possibly think about leaving them. I can't let you do that," Hermione cried out.
Ron turned and looked at Hermione scornfully. "What makes you think that you have the right to tell me what to do? You're not my family, by blood or by choice. You're not even my friend. We haven't been friends since your betrayal. You're someone who comes to my home and berates me for my supposed stupidity. You're the one who joyfully throws out her knowledge about Harry's supposed guilt in that smug, superior attitude and scorns anyone who would say otherwise. Well, guess what Hermione, you were wrong. How does that make you feel? Do you honestly think that Harry's going to forgive you? You were the first to turn on him, Hermione. You turned on him before any of his classmates, his teachers, his adopted family or the Wizarding World. You! So don't hold any hopes of reconciliation, you pompous, self-important, feeble-minded half-wit. And to think, you think I'm the stupid one," Ron said scornfully, shaking his head in disbelief.
Ron looked away from the shocked woman and glanced at the Headmaster. "Now, you can either perform the Rite, or I'll take it up with the Ministry and when they ask me why, I won't hesitate to sling the Weasley name through the mud. This is a one time opportunity to do this without the press, but trust me I have no problem making sure the world knows what kind of people my loving family are."
"Mr. Weasley, perhaps…" the Headmaster began gently.
"No, Headmaster. There is not talking me out of this. It's your choice whether or not I do it quietly or publicly. After all, I'm well known for defending the Boy Who Lived, and I'm very sure that our hypocritical society will suddenly turn their backs on the very family who they had pitied not so long ago. Now that Harry is once again our Savior, the Wizarding World will be feeling guilty for their betrayal; do you really think that the Weasleys good name will last very long by the time I get through with them? Trust me when I say that I would have the support of Harry and I'll be sure to include your name in my little smear campaign as well. That wouldn't look good right now would it?" Ron asked with contempt.
The Headmaster sighed heavily. "Very well, I'll start the proceedings. Would you like to wait for Harry before proceeding with the Rite?"
Ron thought a moment before nodding. "Yes, actually I would. However, don't think that you can use this time to talk me out of my decision because that won't happen. Nothing you say or do will help me get over the last eighteen months of my family's loving care."
Dumbledore nodded slowly, looking shocked by all that had happened. He had no idea that the Weasleys had turned on Ron as they had, but it would explain Ron's behavior over the last several months.
"As for Harry's education, if he wants to be a wizard in the Wizarding World then he'll have to finish it," Dumbledore stated.
Ron snorted again. "Again, what makes you think he cares enough about this world to stay? He is of age and you can't force him. Push him far enough, Headmaster, and you won't have to worry about him killing off You Know Who. You'll have to worry about him joining him. You know that as well as I do."
"Harry would never join Voldemort," Hermione cried out.
"Really? You sure changed your tune then, didn't you? What were the first words you told him after you turned on him? 'I always knew you would join Voldemort. I always knew that you would betray us all. You're just as evil as he is and I hope you burn in hell.' Wasn't that what you told him?" Ron asked scornfully, looking at the shamed face of his former friend. "Harry has been betrayed, manipulated, lied to, and belittled by those who were supposed to care for him. Do you really think that it's outside the realm of possibility that if he found nothing to live for, that he wouldn't join the one person who has never lied to him?"
"What do you mean never lied to him? You Know Who has always lied to Harry," Molly protested.
"No, actually he hasn't. He's never lied about his hate for Harry, nor about his disgust and hate for this Wizarding World and Muggles. He may have used, manipulated and killed because of Harry, but he has never lied to him and that is the one thing that Harry can count on," Ron said firmly.
Dumbledore looked thoughtful and a little wary. What Ron said had merit. If Harry was pushed too far, he would push back, and at the way things stood now, the results wouldn't be good. "Very well, we shall have to see what Harry wants to do. If he stays, then he will need to finish his education…" voices of protest were heard and Dumbledore raised his hands to quiet the room, "…but arrangements can be made so that he doesn't necessarily need to do them at Hogwarts. Harry may not be in the state of mind to make those decisions for a while, and until he can, I will be making his decisions for him."
"Actually, Headmaster, you won't," Ron retorted with a smirk.
"What do you mean?" Dumbledore asked curiously. He knew that the Ministry would listen to him when it came to Harry. Ron could try to fight it, but in the end, he would win when it came to who was in charge of Harry. Nobody would argue against the strongest and wisest wizard in the Wizarding World taking care of the Boy Who Lived.
"You forget Headmaster, the sorting hat wanted to put Harry into Slytherin. He didn't trust you anymore after Sirius was killed. He realized that you were just manipulating him. He knew that you only thought of him as a weapon for your war with You Know Who. He filed some documents with the Ministry that gave the person, appointed by Harry, Power of Attorney. I believe that is what Harry called it," Ron said with a smirk at the confused Headmaster.
"Power of Attorney?" Remus asked, confused.
"It's a Muggle term for a document that gives one person power over another. For instance, if Harry is unable to make decisions for himself for whatever reason, the document states that a designated person may make his decisions for him. In all things, such as financial, health, legal contracts, where to live, etc. You get the idea. Now, since this is a Muggle document, it has no standing in the Wizarding World so Harry contacted a solicitor, who looked over the Muggle document, and realized that he could make it into something that the Ministry would have to recognize. He filed it with the Ministry and made it very hush-hush so that no one was the wiser."
"Harry also realized that the Headmaster would try to fight the document even though it's legally binding. He realized that Dumbledore would ignore it or try to overturn it so Harry came up with another brilliant plan. He took a contract and filled it out. He cast a couple of spells on it to alter the appearance of the contract then had the Headmaster sign it. Dumbledore never knew what he'd signed and Harry had the document filed with the Ministry, therefore blocking any attempts that the Headmaster may take to get Harry's Power of Attorney overruled," Ron explained with a smirk towards the Headmaster.
"What was it that I signed?" Dumbledore asked warily.
"Simple, if you try in anyway to block, dismiss or ignore the document, you will loose your magic and your standing in the Wizarding World. It's a Wizard Contract and everyone knows those are binding and enforced by magic. Therefore, you have no say in what Harry will do when he gets here. Try and force it old man, and you'll lose everything you have," Ron said with a mocking smile.
The Headmaster's eyes widened, hid expression shocked. They narrowed in anger at Ron's statement. "Harry would dare do this? He would make sure I would lose my magic?" he questioned angrily.
"I told you Headmaster, he didn't trust you. He knew you were a manipulative old man and that you didn't care about his best interest, only yours. Face it Dumbledore, you have no power over your weapon any more. Anyone in their right mind can see how that grates on you. What's the matter, old man? Did your weapon outsmart you?" Ron asked with a sneer.
Dumbledore looked at the young man in front of him, hiding his rage. He may have lost power of making Harry's decision, but he was sure whoever Harry had designated would be grateful to be guided by Albus Dumbledore. He was sure he knew whom Harry had designated as his caretaker and Remus Lupin would be grateful for his guidance.
"Very well then, Remus, could you make sure to talk to Harry about his decisions? Be sure to let him know that he needs to stay and finish his education. We will keep him here in the mean time if that is alright with you?" the Headmaster asked the tired looking man.
Ron started to laugh. "Why are you asking him?"
"Isn't Remus the one designated to take care of Harry?" Dumbledore asked, surprised.
"Oh, hell no! When I said he didn't trust you Headmaster, I meant you and anyone in your Order. See, Harry isn't dumb enough to think that you won't try to influence whoever he had chosen, which you did. Taking that into consideration, he appointed someone he trusted that wouldn't be influenced by you," he explained, a wicked smile on his face. "I knew I shouldn't have taken that bet," he muttered.
"Then who is it?" Dumbledore asked angrily.
Ron smirked at the Headmaster. "Me."