Thank you, Ms. Bones

Old-Crow, scribe


Immediately after the events of the MOM, Harry is angry and ready to lash out at anyone who crosses him. His life takes an unexpected turn when Professor Dumbledore provides Harry with a means of having mobility combined with a reasonable level of protection. Three points of view are presented – Harry's, the light side adults and everyone's favorite, the dark side group.

Ships – See story title. I have no plans for golf games in this story. If you have read my other stories, that should give you enough hints. There are occasional references of nudity described later on in this story. Either read on or look at a different story.

Book compliancy - The majority of the story takes place during July of 1996, the summer between 5th and 6th year. Some aspects of book six are incorporated into the story, but overall compliance should not be assumed. I went back to the post OoTP platform for this story because I think it offers more options to a storywriter than a post HBP story. Besides I needed Amelia Bones alive and well to help me tell this story. Forget book seven.

Please note – No Weasley students were knowingly killed or damaged in this story.

Disclaimer - JKR's sandbox, not mine. I'm just having fun pushing some of the piles around a bit and rearranging them.

Wizarding etiquette – This and most fanfiction stories are written strictly on a hobby basis. I make no claim that it is error free. Another volunteer has agreed to look it over once for me before I post it. If you enjoy my little stories and are willing to accept the quality level, please read on and leave a review every few chapters. If you can't accept the occasional typo or choose to nit-pick sentence structure based on new information that your parents just paid your college to drill into you, please find a different story.


Chapter One – The Investigation

Friday 28 June, 1996

Amelia Bones looked on as Professor Dumbledore picked up the broken statue head and handed it to Harry Potter after changing it into a portkey. The Ministry of Magic lobby was in complete disarray having been the scene of the first public reappearance of Voldemort since the story of his rebirth had been published. She had received a frantic call moments before from one of the evening shift Aurors who had returned to find Dumbledore battling the evil wizard Voldemort in the lobby of the Ministry of magic.

The events of the evening were shocking to say the least. Apparently a group of Hogwarts students had entered the building after hours and somehow made their way down to the hall of prophecies where they were attacked by at least a dozen Death Eaters.

"Wait a tic," cried Bones, but before she could stop him the Potter boy disappeared.

She watched with increasing frustration as the integrity of the largest crime scene in years became increasingly contaminated. A reporter and photographer from the Daily Prophet had somehow made their way in and she saw a flash from the photographers cameras.

"Straighthand," she commanded. "Get them out of here for at least the next hour." The young Auror quickly complied. The Director of Magical Law Enforcement did not take kindly to her instructions being disregarded.

The building was in chaos. Lead crime scene investigator Connie Hammer was taking photographs with a wizarding camera. She took a photograph of each of the students who were there as well as each of the injured. Hammer was surprised to have seen retired Master Auror Moody, Shacklebolt and Nymphadora Tonks among the injured. Neither of them had been on duty to receive a call, and Moody hadn't been back at the Auror office in almost a year. Apparently the main battle had taken place down in the ninth level section of the Department of Mysteries. She documented the damage done within the room containing the time turners, the brain room, offices, and finally the Death Chamber.

The stories were conflicting, but she had heard that he who-must-not-be-named as well as his rumored second in charge, Sirius Black had both been seen in the building.

Hammer took a photo for each of the captured men wearing Death Eater robes. Among those there she was shocked to see one of Fudge's top supporters, Lucius Malfoy and one of the department heads, Walden McNair. Beside them were several of the escaped Death Eaters – Rabaston and Rudolphus Lestrange, Antonin Dolohov and the former supervisor of the Department of Mysteries research group, Augustus Rookwood.

Hammer continued taking photographs of the injured. She wasn't surprised to see Moody, or the other Aurors among the wounded, but was thankful that they'd only been injured while fighting such a dangerous bunch of Death Eaters. Given their horrible reputation she wondered how there had even been any survivors.

Meanwhile, Mediwitches were looking over the injured. Bones walked over to the area where the other students were being treated. They each appeared to have fight related injuries of varying degrees of seriousness. Upon closer inspection, she was both surprised and pleased to note that none of them looked to be life threatening. The worst appeared to be a girl about fifteen with a nasty looking burn mark running diagonally from her left clavicle down to her right hip. She looked at the others for a moment and saw a young girl sitting on a chair. Her injuries appeared to be the least severe. Looking at her auburn hair Bones hazarded a guess.

"Hello, Miss. I'm Amelia Bones. What's your name? Has a mediwitch had a chance to look at that leg yet?"

"A minute ago. She told me to wait here Ma'am. My name is Ginny Weasley," the young girl replied. She was obviously scared.

In as gentle a voice as she could muster, the seventy year old witch asked, "While we wait for her, can we talk for a few minutes?"

The girl nodded.

Bones knelt down on the floor so they were more or less at eye level. She asked, "Can you tell me what happened?"

Ginny replied, "We followed Harry from school here to rescue his godfather and we were ambushed by a bunch of Death Eaters. They tried to get a glass ball from Harry. He wouldn't give it to them. He tipped a shelf of them over onto the Death Eaters and we tried to run away. We ran in different directions and they chased after us. We met up in a room. Neville and Harry were carrying Hermione who had gotten hurt. Ron was acting weird. Harry told Luna to lock the doors, but they followed us so we ran into this big room. Mr. Malfoy kept trying to get the ball from Harry but Neville had accidentally broken it." She stopped and looked over as she heard Hermione whimpering from pain.

Bones encouraged her to continue saying, "Your friend is in good hands. Then what happened?"

Ginny continued, "Professor Dumbledore and the others came and helped us. He tied up the Death Eaters that Harry and Neville had stunned and helped capture the others. Then that Lestrange women did something to Sirius. He fell back through that curtain and disappeared. Harry tried to go after him, but Professor Lupin stopped him. Harry chased after her. Professor Dumbledore tied up the others and went after him. That's all I know, I swear." She was shaking with fright.

Bones saw a young mediwitch waiting to treat the Weasley girl and said, "Thank you, Miss Weasley. You've been very helpful. We can talk more another day." She shuddered at what she had heard and made her way back to Straighthand. She said, "Auror Straighthand, get a detail of aurors and hitwizards to process this bunch of prisoners. Be certain to restun each of them and carefully search them. They might have portkeys on them. Do not allow anyone outside the immediate detail to talk with them or interfere. None of them are to be moved from the holding cells for any reason. Do not let any of their property get lost or misplaced. Is that understood?"

"Yes Director. Clearly understood."


"Yes, Director?"

"Take a detail and look around the ninth level and be certain to bag any wands or other items that they may have left behind. Start in the Death Chamber and work your way back to the Hall of Prophecies. Catalog everything and bring anything that you find to my office. Don't let Fudge or his guard interfere. Is that understood?"

"Yes, Director."

She walked back over to there the adults were being treated. Master Auror (retired) Alastor Moody had a nasty cut on his arm that had recently been treated. She grimaced as he refitted his artificial eye back in place. Auror Tonks was being treated for a chest injury. She didn't look to be in very good condition. Senior Auror Shacklebolt was quietly talking to a man that she recognized as Remus Lupin who the Weasley girl had mentioned. Bones asked, "Senior Auror Shacklebolt, are you on duty?"

The large auror replied, "Not scheduled, Director. How can I help?"

"Were you involved with the fight down there?"

She saw him hesitate for only a moment before answering, "Yes, Director."

Bones considered her next question for a moment and asked, "Are you or Mr. Lupin badly injured?"

"No, Director."

Bones replied, "Good. I want to see both of you up in my conference room in ten minutes. Do not talk with anyone else in the meantime." She watched as the two men got up and made their way to the elevator. Shacklebolt appeared to be limping.

She made her way over to Moody and asked, "Moody, do I need to thank you or arrest you? What were you doing here?"

Moody replied, "Tonks and I were having a pint when we received word that there had been a break-in."

"Cut the crap, Moody. Dumbledore's not so secret Order that you are a part of went chasing after those six students. How did you happen to know that they were here, of all places?"

Moody quickly decided to give a bit more information and replied, "One of the teachers figured it out and must have told Dumbledore."

"Who is officially wanted for questioning and went missing for over a month. Merlin Moody, what happened?"

Moody decided to keep his pension and give out a bit more information. He replied, "The Potter kid went chasing after his godfather, Black and got himself caught in an ambush. We found them in the Death Chamber holding their own against twelve Death Eaters led by Lucius Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange. Malfoy was trying to get one of the prophecies from Potter and Frank Longbottom's kid. Lestrange had taken down Tonks and Black was dueling her."


Moody shook his head and said, "No. Black was fighting Lestrange. He came here to rescue Potter."

That didn't make sense but Amelia had long learned not to contradict a friendly witness. The Weasley girl had also told her that Potter and the other students were there to rescue Black. Bones asked, "Then what happened?"

Moody continued, "Lestrange hit Black with a stunner. Black tripped and fell through the arch. Potter chased after her. I tried to help Tonks. That was thirty minutes ago."

Bones considered her options. Arresting Moody wouldn't do anyone any good. She said, "Be back in my office at nine tomorrow and don't add any varnish to your story in the meanwhile."

She looked on as the team of mediwitches prepared to transport Tonks. One looked over to her and she nodded approval.

… -- …

Meanwhile Senior Investigator Hammer had just finished taking photographs in the Death Chamber. She had found five of the Death Eater masks and seen the owner's names written on the back of them. She had carefully taken two photographs of each of them and had her assistant Anna Daily place a yellow evidence ring around each of them. She had taken photographs of almost two dozen wands including one that had been smashed.

Hammer and Daily made their way through the different rooms. The time turner room was a sea of broken glass mixed in with large smears of blood. Apparently someone had smashed into one of the glass cabinets and seriously cut themselves.

The next room was in equal disarray. The floor was covered with hundreds of gallons of a smelly greenish liquid. There were four gray football-sized creatures writhing on the floor, looking like a cross between a large squid with three foot tentacles and a human brain. They saw several others floating in the other glass tanks. Disgusted, they left the room hoping to never see the nasty creatures again.

Entering the office, they saw a desk turned over and half a dozen scorch marks burned into the floor and walls. Obviously they were recent as there were several pieces of smoldering wood on the floor by one of the wooden desks. Hammer took photos of each of the spell marks as well as a wand found by the wood chips. As she took each photograph, Daily marked the time and location in her logbook.

The Hall of Prophecies was in complete chaos. Three of the shelves had been tipped over. Hundreds of the irreplaceable glass spheres were on the floor. Some were intact and others were cracked, but most were smashed. Hammer told Daily, "Be careful not to touch any of the glass balls."

Twenty-nine year old Daily didn't have to be told twice. She replied, "This place gives me the creeps." A moment later she said, "Look." She pointed next to one of the shelves. Next to it was another Death Eater mask.

"Mark it," replied Hammer.

Daily drew her wand around the area with the incantation Markus Lineus. She carefully turned the mask over so the inside was facing up. Etched in the forehead area were the letters LM. Hammer took several photographs and they continued their search.

Daily cast a portkey sensing spell over the area and found a length of cord on the floor. "Don't touch it," directed Hammer. "It's still active. It must have been a two-way portkey." She carefully marked the area around the rope as Hammer photographed the process.

Looking around, Hammer added, "I think that's it. Lets get these printed, copied and cataloged. We'll be lucky to be done by morning."

… -- …

At the Gringotts Trust Department sat a ledger book very similar to the wizarding birth notice book that was kept at Hogwarts. This book however was much more selective. The Goblins kept the names of their account holders in it. The magical ledger recorded the deaths of the account holders. The death of Sirius Orion Black was recorded in the death of a head of family chapter indicating that a titled major account holder had passed away. Next to his name was the notation 28 June - 9:59 p.m. – London.

The Gringotts account manager for the account would be notified. He would locate the newly deceased wizard's last will and execute the instructions that were documented. The process to locate and notify the heirs usually took no longer than a week.

… -- …

Meanwhile, at the scheduled rendezvous point, Voldemort grew increasingly angry. He had sent twelve of his best Death Eaters on what should have been a very simple mission. Not only was the prophecy destroyed, he was publicly spotted and bested by the old muggle-loving fool. Through a blinding headache caused by the Potter brat, he waited for the others to return.

… -- …

Hammer and Daily were methodical in their work. The auror evidence camera film had each frame numbered so there was no possibility of someone inserting or removing an image from a roll. Each of the evidence rolls held 250 images, so the vast majority of crime scenes could be photographed with a single roll, again to eliminate the opportunity for images to be inserted into the evidence chain.

Daily's logbook was equally secured. Each logbook covered a month of investigations and was signed for at the beginning and end of a shift. As they were nearing the end of a month, the earlier pages were each signed by the various shift supervisors that she had worked with. Daily had carefully recorded the location, time, frame number and circumstances for each of the photographs.

Fifty-five year old Hammer requested that the lab attendant make five copies of each of the photos. When he was done, they each signed the back of each of the images and had them stamped 'evidence' with the date and case number marked on each image. The lab attendant took the negatives and one set of the photographs as well as a copy of Daily's logbook pages and sealed them within an evidence box. Hammer and Daily watched as the attendant handed the evidence box to the property supervisor. Each of them signed their names on the form, and were given a copy. It was six a.m.

… -- …

Scrimgeour and investigator Wilson had followed a few minutes behind Hammer and Daily. They also searched for evidence, adding additional sets of eyes to the investigation. Scrimgeour was one of the first on the scene and had witnessed Dumbledore dueling with he who-must-not-be-named. He was amazed to see the Potter boy throw off the evil wizard and had been astonished to see the dark lord grab Lestrange and leave.

As head of the auror division of the magical law enforcement branch of the ministry, Scrimgeour reported directly to Bones. The separation between branches was such that Bones had a dotted line reporting relation to the Wizengamot head and the Minister of Magic. Specifically the department was funded through the MoM, but enforced the laws voted on by the Wizengamot.

Scrimgeour had been at Hogwarts the previous year watching his friend Amos Diggory cheer on his son for the final leg of the Triwizard Tournament. He watched as Fudge summarily dismissed Potter's story that he who-must-not-be-named had come back somehow, spirit reunited with his body. Apparently Potter had been telling a truth that no one wanted to hear.

Scrimgeour recognized that with the evening's revelation, Fudge's tenure as Minister of Magic had come to an end. Sensing and opportunity, he quickly made the decision to publicly back Dumbledore's return to head of the Wizengamot and position himself for a run at the minister position. He finished his walk through, noting the names on the masks and carefully counting the wands in his logbook. Hammer and Daily hadn't missed anything. He had Davis sign his logbook and went to see Bones.

He got out of the elevator on the second level at 4:15 and walked down the corridor to Bones' office. As he got there, Shacklebolt and another man that Scrimgeour didn't recognize were just leaving.

"Come in, Rufus," said Amelia. She looked like she was ready for business, dressed properly, unlike Fudge who had arrived wearing his bathrobe. "What did you find?"

Scrimgeour replied, "There was evidence scattered throughout the ninth floor. Hammer had identified six Death Eater masks either in the death chamber or the hall of prophecies. There was an active portkey in the hall of prophecies. Apparently they had portkeyed in there somehow despite our wards. Potter and his friends must have put up a pretty good fight. Malfoy's mask was nearby along with hundreds of smashed prophecies. The kids must have split up, as there were scorch marks from spells all over the department. The time turner room was a disaster. There was quite a bit of blood there.

Bones looked at her notes for a moment and replied, "Must have been from Jugson. He died in the secure holding cells two hours ago. He had a huge piece of glass embedded in his back. What else?"

"There were names marked on the inside of the Death Eater masks. The ones we found were marked with..." he checked his notes and continued, "Jugson, Crabbe, Antonin Dolohov, the initials AR, the initials LM and McNair."

"What else?"

"In different rooms we found eighteen wands. One of them was smashed apparently having been stepped on a time or two. The glass tanks in one of the other rooms had been smashed. There were some nasty looking creatures in them and on the floor." He changed the subject, asking, "Who was marking evidence in the lobby?"

Bones replied, "Straighthand, but the area was already contaminated. He did find a Death Eater mask marked Bella."

Just then there was a knock on her door. It was Wilson from the holding cells. "Excuse me, Director. Supervisor Legget asked me to give this to you." The gray haired witch accepted the sealed envelope and signed the receipt handing it back to the young Auror.

"Thank you, Wilson. Please return back to the holding cells and have Legget notify me if there are any changes."

As she was opening the envelope, Scrimgeour said, "We need to get Dumbledore renamed as head of the Wizengamot as soon as possible. The wizarding world is going to be counting on you to be strong as head of MLE, Director. Whatever I can do to help you, please let me know."

Bones looked at Scrimgeour for a moment, surprised at the sudden tangent, but agreed that the Wizengamot needed to be fully functional, and nodded.

A moment later she summarized what the other investigators had reported to her. "The package Connie delivered had photographs indicating that the other masks belonged to Nott, Rodolphus Lestrange, Rabastan Lestrange, Walden McNair, Avery and Mulciber. There were photos of eleven men, each with a dark mark burned into the inside of their left forearm."

She picked up the report that Wilson had delivered from the search of the Death Eaters that was performed at the holding cells and said, "Additionally, identical portkeys were found on the persons of Malfoy, McNair and Jugson. There was a hand drawn map of the department of mysteries found in the pocket of Malfoy's Death Eater robes and a spare wand. Nott had a similar map in his pocket."

The evidence was damning. Two of Fudge's current or former department heads as well as his closest advisor would be charged with multiple counts of attempted murder as well as being Death Eaters. She thanked Scrimgeour and asked that he meet with her again in the afternoon.

… -- …

While the investigators were out collecting evidence, Dumbledore had spent a half hour talking with Fudge.

"It was really him. I saw him. He was really here," muttered Fudge.

Dumbledore patiently replied, "Yes, Cornelius. It really was Voldemort and his Death Eaters in this very building. He really did return last year like Harry had told us. You need to tell the wizarding world, and the Death Eaters who were captured need to be placed on trial as soon as possible. It's imperative that they not be allowed to escape."

Fudge nodded in agreement as if in a daze, but then replied, "But Lucius… He must have been under the Imperius." The conviction of his most visible supporter would be his undoing.

Dumbledore shook his head saying, "No, Cornelius. Everyone was here tonight of their own free will. I'm certain of it. Harry and his friends were led into a trap believing that they would be able to rescue Harry's Godfather."

"Black?" sputtered Fudge. "He must have escaped again."

"No, Cornelius," replied Dumbledore. "Sirius Black was an innocent man who came here tonight in an attempt to rescue Harry."

"But where is he?" demanded Fudge.

"He was killed by Bellatrix Lestrange and fell through the veil."

"It can't be," wished Fudge out loud.

"There were at least a dozen reliable witnesses," replied Dumbledore. "When I found them, Lucius was attempting to kill Harry and Neville Longbottom. He's as involved in Voldemort's plans as any man can be."

"But…" sputtered Fudge. However he realized that he had nothing else to say. He had gambled on Potter's story of Voldemort's rebirth being a complete falsehood and the evidence that he'd been wrong was scattered all over the ministry atrium. He didn't completely agree with Dumbledore's theory about Lucius, but without any evidence in hand, all he possessed was wishful thinking.

Dumbledore stood and said, "I must leave now, Cornelius. I'll be back late in the afternoon. I must return to the school now. I trust that you will have me reinstated in my various positions and have Delores removed from the castle by noon." Fudge nodded blankly and Dumbledore went back to check on the other students before returning to the castle to talk with Harry.

… -- …

One floor below, as Scrimgeour closed the door behind him, Amelia recalled her conversation with Shacklebolt and Lupin. She had spoken with each of them for about ten minutes each. While not an official deposition, their stories matched with the exceptions of the canards that they each had told her regarding how they had come to be in the building in the first place.

Their stories were consistent with Moody's, again varying with the aspect of how they had come to be there in the first place. In reality, Bones was well aware of Dumbledore's group. While she couldn't officially condone it, they had achieved a stunning success. Eleven Death Eaters were off the streets and the only man lost was… She realized that that part would become quite sticky. If Black was fighting against the Death Eaters, then he must have come with Dumbledore as well as the Auror who had been working on the case to find him for the last three years. Setting that issue aside, then Potter's story that Pettigrew was alive must be true. She tried to rub the stress from her forehead and went to get another cup of tea. Pouring herself a large cup and squeezing a bit of lemon into it, she was tempted to recall Shacklebolt, but decided to wait until he had been treated by one of the mediwitches. It would be a very long day.

… -- …

Fudge made his way down to Amelia's office and walked in. Mustering as much of a business as usual face he asked, "Amelia, what have you found out?"

Bones replied, "There is sufficient evidence to charge each of the ten prisoners with multiple counts of attempted murder, assault, possession of Death Eater paraphernalia, membership in an illegal organization, and illegal entry into a restricted ministry area."

"Ten prisoners?" gulped Fudge. "I only saw Lestrange and he who-must-not-be-named."

Bones replied, "From what we know to be true, twelve Death Eaters lured those students to come here under the pretense of some sort of rescue mission. They were really trying to obtain a prophecy regarding the Potter boy and Voldemort. Malfoy and Bellatrix were leading the ambush. The kids tried to get away, capturing a few of the Death Eaters along the way and became trapped in the old death chamber. Dumbledore and some others found out that they were there, and led some sort of rescue-the-rescuer mission. The Potter boy chased after Bellatrix up into the atrium where he fought against both her and Voldemort until Dumbledore could come up and help. They were still fighting when some of the other Aurors began to arrive. Suddenly Voldemort decided to leave. He grabbed Lestrange and they left the building. The physical evidence against the Death Eaters is all over the Department of Mysteries. I had four Aurors photograph and catalog it."

The normally verbose Fudge had nothing to say. He squirmed in his chair for a minute.

There was a knock on the door and a mediwitch announced, "Excuse me Director. I wanted to let you know that the students have all been transported back to school. Auror Tonks was transported to St. Mungo's. Aurors Shacklebolt and Moody were treated and released. We'll be leaving now."

"Thank you, Renee," replied Bones.

After the mediwitch closed the door behind her, Fudge asked hopefully, "Has Lucius been released?"

Bones shook her head and replied, "None of them will be released. It appears that Malfoy and several of your department heads have been longtime Voldemort supporters."

"What about Black?" asked Fudge hoping to salvage some good news out of the evening. "I heard that he was here tonight."

Bones replied, "There is evidence to indicate that Black was an innocent man. Several witnesses saw him fighting the Death Eaters until he was killed by Bellatrix Lestrange."

Fudge saw an opportunity and said, "Maybe he was leading the raid and…"

"No," replied Bones with finality in her voice. "He arrived with the others to help the students. On that part we are certain." She didn't specifically say that he had arrived with Dumbledore.

Fudge replied, "I'll accept your theory about Black if you accept my theory about Lucius."

Bones shook her head and answered firmly, "No. Malfoy was clearly in the thick of it, and nothing that we can do now will help Black. You had best prepare your statement for the newspapers." She thought back to the article that had been published a few weeks back in the Quibbler. Apparently it was spot on.

Fudge stood up, looking ridiculous; wearing his bathrobe and holding his bowler hat. He nodded and replied, "Yes, I need to make an announcement."

… -- …

While Dumbledore was picking up his office after Harry, and Fudge was pondering his next moves, Scrimgeour was busy contacting various Wizengamot members. He urged them to reinstate Dumbledore as quickly as possible and fanned the fire to instigate a vote of no-confidence against Fudge. He eliminated a future rival by stressing the need to have an experienced person like Amelia as head of the DMLE.

By 8 a.m. he had contacted more than half of the members and set the wheels of change in motion. The remaining 45 members accepted department head Amos Diggory's submitted motion of no confidence seconded by Arthur Weasley.

… -- …

While Scrimgeour was finishing his lobbying efforts, Bones had concluded that Shacklebolt had intentionally botched the Black investigation for the last several years. She understood his reasoning, but was unwilling to forget the whole affair either. She wrote orders to reassign him to be an undercover guard in the guise of a personal secretary to the Prime Minister.

In the brief meeting that they held, Kingsley understood the spoken and unspoken message that she had given him. There was no official blotch on his record. He simply had been given a time-out penalty for looking the other way. His reassignment was effective immediately and would last at least a year.

… -- …

By the end of the day, Fudge was out of office. Nominations would be taken the next day for an interim Minister of Magic. Most likely that person would be handed the position on a permanent basis within a week.

… -- …

The evening before the last day of school, the six students were called out of their dormitories after dinner. Normally Scrimgeour would have handled the depositions himself, but he had been appointed interim minister of magic a few hours before and was in a transition meeting with Fudge and Dumbledore at the ministry.

… -- …

Minerva McGonagall was back at the castle. She was not at all well and was still recovering from being hit by all of those stunners. Leaning heavily on her walking stick and wearing a tartan shawl despite the late June temperature, she called through the portrait door into the common room, "Potter, Weasley, Weasley, Granger and Longbottom, come with me please."

In truth, Harry had been expecting this call since coming back to the castle. He put his wand in his pocket and led the others out the door. A wave of guilt overcame him as he imagined the various charges that would surely be leveled at him – unlawful use of underage magic, breaking and entering and destruction of ministry property. He fully expected to have his wand snapped and be in prison by the next morning.

"Follow me if you would. Mr. Longbottom, straighten your hair." They walked to McGonagall's classroom. "Sit," she told them imperiously. A moment later, McGonagall and the five Gryffindors were met by an older woman and Luna Lovegood. She showed them her auror badge and said, "Good evening. My name is Senior Auror Connie Hammer. I'm the lead investigator for the Ministry of Magic case which occurred on the evening of 28 June 1996."

A moment later Amelia walked into the room and closed the door behind her. She looked at each of the children and said, "Hello. My name is Amelia Bones. I work at the Ministry in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. I'm happy to see each of you up and about. Connie and I would like to ask each of you a few questions so we can better understand what happened that night. Is that okay?" She looked at each of the teens as they nodded at her.

Hammer said, "Professor, you're welcome to leave if you have other things to do."

Amelia said, "Professor, you're also welcome to stay if you would prefer. We'll be about an hour."

McGonagall looked at the obviously frightened children and replied, "If you don't mind Director, I'll sit quietly in the back."

Amelia nodded and said, "Splendid. Perhaps we can begin. May I have each of your names please?"

Harry was surprised. He was expecting to be asked to surrender his wand and led away.

Luna began, then the others gave their name as well. Hammer nodded, confirming that they were the teens who she had photographed a few nights earlier. When it was Harry's turn, Hammer asked, "Mr. Potter, may I see your wand please?"

Luna sniggered quietly as Harry took his wand out of his pocket and handed it to the older woman. Hammer went to a work table and cast a variation of the priori incantatum charm to examine the last twenty spells performed with the wand. As the last few days had been written exams, Harry had only performed two charms since that evening. Hammer wrote down the spells, noting that they were mostly defensive in nature except for a handful of stunners and one failed dark curse.

Meanwhile, Bones continued her questioning. With the occasional interruption from Hermione, Harry told her the story of seeing the visions of Sirius being tortured.

Hermione explained that they had tried to find one of the professors for help and how they had been continuously threatened by Umbridge throughout the year. Hermione said, "Harry, show her your hand."

Reluctantly Harry held out his left hand. Amelia blanched as she read the words 'I must not tell lies' clearly etched into the back of the teen's hand. She held his wrist and asked, "Harry, how did this happen?"

Harry explained the detentions that he had received and the reasons for receiving them. As Harry was explaining what had happened, a wave of guilt washed over McGonagall. She had failed to protect the students that she had been held responsible for. She recalled that Potter had been given almost constant detentions during the year, largely for nothing more than speaking the truth and standing up for his right to receive a proper education. He was far too willing to accept an unjust punishment rather than complain and she had done him a disservice by refusing to stand up for him.

Hammer showed them photos of each of the Death Eaters. The teens identified each of them except Goyle who had managed to keep his mask on the whole time. Hermione shuddered as she identified Dolohov as the Death Eater who had attempted to kill her. Harry, Neville, Luna, and Ginny described the duels in the Death Chamber in as much detail as they could.

When Harry got to the part of meeting Bellatrix in the atrium, Hammer stopped them for a moment and whispered to Bones, "There was an unidentified spell cast with his wand. It may have been a failed Cruciatus curse."

Bones maintained a neutral expression on her face and whispered, "Let's see what else he has to say."

A moment later she asked, "Harry, what happened when you got to the atrium?"

Harry said, "She threw several Cruciatus curses at me which I dodged and began mocking me about her killing Sirius. I tried to curse her back, but I couldn't. It didn't do anything when I hit her." Tears began streaming down his face. "A moment later she tried to get the prophecy from me, but it had already smashed. Then Voldemort came. He cast the killing curse at me but professor Dumbledore blocked it with part of a statue. They dueled for a few minutes then Voldemort tried to possess me. He got in my head for a few seconds, until I threw him out. The professor talked with Minister Fudge for a minute then he sent me back to the castle with a portkey. That's what happened."

Bones nodded, shocked at the clarity of the description that she had been given, amazed that the students had survived an attack by Voldemort's best Death Eaters, and marveled that they had managed to subdue some of them. She said, "My findings in the case are as follows – Miss Granger, Miss Lovegood, Miss Weasley, Mr. Weasley and Mr. Longbottom, there are no charges against you nor will there be any charges against you with regards to the events of 28 June. You were simply trying to help your friend the best that you could."

Harry sat rigid waiting for the hammer to fall. Director Bones said, "Mr. Potter, you demonstrated a remarkable level of thinking on your feet to lead your friends out of such a predicament. However, you are fined a thousand galleons for inappropriate use of spells. You have a week to pay the fine at which time no further action can be taken against you." She looked at his shabby clothing and asked, "Harry, do you have the means to pay the fine?" In reality, she would pay his fine herself if he even hinted that it would be a hardship.

Harry nodded and replied, "Yes. I can get to Gringotts the day after we get back. I'm sorry, Director."

Bones gave him a slight smile and said, "I'll need each of you to appear sometime in the next month or so as their trials are scheduled." She handed Harry his decree and added "Send this back as soon as you can. Thank you all for your help in bringing these men to justice." They nodded and she continued, "Harry, I'm sorry about your Godfather. Perhaps one day Pettigrew can be brought to justice and we'll at least get his name cleared once and for all."

Harry nodded and she added, "I may have a few more questions for you next week. I'll call you at your Aunt's home if I need to stop by. Okay?"

Harry nodded, a bit surprised that she would know about telephones. Recognizing his expression, she handed each of them her business card. Harry noticed that her cellular telephone number was neatly written on the bottom of the cards that she gave to him and Hermione.

… -- …

While walking them back to their common room, McGonagall stopped to rest for a moment and quietly told them, "I've never been as proud of five of my Gryffindors as I am right now. Thank you all."

… -- …

The leaving feast was a loud affair the next evening. The Daily Prophet had leaked the story that Voldemort had been sighted and it named the Death Eaters who had been captured. The talk throughout the school was that Potter and the other five had had something to do with their arrests, though the newspaper article hadn't mentioned how they had been captured.

Harry missed the feast, instead spent the time talking with nearly Headless Nick and Luna. Dumbledore had noticed his absence, but hadn't mentioned it. He'd been busy with the seventh years leaving ceremony after the feast, and wasn't able to say anything to Harry that evening.

It was with a heavy heart that Harry and the others boarded the train the next morning. A few hours into the ride, he accidentally knocked Susan Bones over coming out of the loo after being sick. She took his outstretched hand and he helped her up, mumbling, "Sorry, Susan."

She replied, "I'm okay Harry. Are you all right?"

He had his head down and walked back to his compartment.

As she was walking back to her own compartment, her friend Hannah asked, "What's up with him?"

She replied, "Nothing. I just think he's had a really rough week."

Susan and Hannah got off the train a while later and watched as a group of wizards and a younger witch with pink hair met with Harry's Uncle. While they weren't close enough the hear all of the words, it didn't sound like a pleasant conversation. Susan recognized Moody as he had been over to her Auntie's home in the past before he had retired.

The ride back home for Harry was the worst ever. Uncle Vernon looked like he was ready to pop a gasket at any moment, muttering, "The nerve of those effen freaks." From time to time Petunia nervously cast a few glances at Harry in the rear view mirror. Something had obviously happened to set those witches and wizards off at the station. Meanwhile Harry sat stone-faced, staring out the window as if in a daze.

As they pulled onto Privet drive Uncle Vernon shouted, "Take your stuff up to your room by yourself. I don't want to hear a word from you the rest of the evening, you little shite." When they got home and had parked, Vernon got out of the car and slammed the door in anger.

Harry brought Hedwig's cage up to his room and went back to get his trunk. As he set it down on the floor by his bed, Harry heard the door lock behind him. It would be a long summer.

… -- …

McGonagall looked up from her desk and said, "Welcome back, Mr. Crow. Thank you for reviewing all of those stories while you were away. Be certain to mention the works by Paffy and Fudi." The old scribe nodded and went back to his parchment. He reminded himself to thank the old wizards Tumshie and Kayemshi for their work in developing the spell checker spells. Perhaps a bottle of firewhisky would be in order.

… -- …