Harry Potter and Co. Belong to Rowling
Till Debt Do Us Part.
I've decided to remove the anonymous review option. I don't mind criticism, proof is that I've kept several reviews which state that I have disappointed them and will no longer be reading or reviewing. I write for myself and if others like what they read, great. If not, well there are pleanty of other stories around that might appeal to them. However, what I will not tolerate is just plain rude comments, which are signed Anonymous. If you have something to say, at least sign in and let me know who it is that's saying it or I will delete your review(like I've just done).
Everyone else, sorry for the inconvenience and the wait. I've started my chemotherapy up again and updates will be slow for a little longer. Bear with me please.
Chapter 26. Tying loose ends.
At the Ministry….
Madame Bones went over the evidence against the late Malfoy and found it deficient, to say the least.
So how in the world had the Wizard been convicted in the first place? Every charge he had been tried for had been because witnesses had stepped forward. The problem was that those witnesses couldn't be located anywhere. One lost witness she could understand but seventeen! With the meticulousness that characterized her, she went over the Wizard's arguments on his behalf and they seemed solid but for one thing. Although the Minister had not testified against him, he had made enough comments to incriminate his one time friend, ally and supporter. Funny how she had never noticed it, then again she had been wrapped up in her grief at the loss of one of her children and had come back to work a month after Lucius Malfoy had been sentenced. With the turn of every page, she became convinced that no one had been interested in giving Malfoy a fair trail. Merlin! The family had been stripped of everything! Young Malfoy hadn't even been allowed to keep his mother's house, which had been given to her as a wedding present by the Lord of Black. Everything had been confiscated by the Ministry and the orders had been signed by Minister Fudge, himself. And there lay another odd occurrence because while Malfoy was sentenced on the 18th the orders had been signed a week earlier. Fudge had known he would be condemned. Yes, Malfoy had probably been responsible for many things but the evidence was questionable and therefore not valid.
The Witch moved away from her desk to pace. The Minister had made plenty of mistakes during the war…his popularity had been at an all time low. That was until Malfoy had been tried and sentenced. Harry Potter had brought down Voldemort but the Minister had taken the credit for the Dark Lord's right hand. A heavy feeling came over the witch and she moved to her desk again, had the Minister pulled the strings to lock Malfoy up and keep his wealth? A wealth that had been useful in rebuilding Wizarding England or had it? On a hunch the witch firecalled her contacts at the Department of Ministry Finances. Several minutes later, three different deeds of sale were delivered. The sales had been authorized by the Minister to a Theodore Rhodeskatt, legal representative for Horace F. Mitt for the amounts of 20,000 galleons. That was outrageous; the land sold was well worth five times that much! What had happened? Taking all the papers and locking them up, Madame Bones left her office. It was time to find out who Horace F. Mitt was and why the properties had been sold at a fraction of the cost. If Malfoy had not been tried as stipulated by the law, Draco Malfoy would have a field day with Fudge and she couldn't wait to see it.
Then there was the Finnegan boy who said Lucius Malfoy had worked with the Dark Lord's enemies to bring the Wizard down. She needed to know more. If Malfoy and Fudge had been friends and allies, wouldn't logic state that the Minister had been aware of Lucius' help? The more she thought about it the more she knew she was right. Cornelius had used the laws and his authority to save his arse, to secure a re-election, and most probably to fill his pockets. He had sent Malfoy to Azkaban hoping the man would die. No wonder he had been so keen on getting Draco Malfoy as a ward of the Ministry! The man was an abomination to the office!
She was about to turn the corner when her name was called out. Wondering who besides her, was working so late she turned around and found the Minister looking at her anxiously.
"I was wondering if I could have a word." The Wizard began shifting slightly.
Although she could hardly stomach seeing him Madame Bones refrained from any outburst. "Sorry Minister, I'm on my way out." Se murmured and turned to be on her way.
"Working late?" the man asked walking after her.
"I have been busy yes." She said with a shrug.
"I see…" Had she found out anything?
The Witch stopped and looked at him directly. She actually saw him squirm. "My family expects me home in ten minutes. Is there anything you require?"
Fudge cleared his throat, "Yes, in fact there is. I was wondering if you had anything on Malfoy case?"
"No I haven't. Is there any reason why I should have?"
"Since you've been working so late."
"I haven't seen anything concrete." She said.
"You haven't !" Fudge almost sighed in relief.
"No, I haven't. Now if you'll excuse me I must leave." The witch announced before making her way home.
"Of course! Have a good night."
"Thank you." She wondered how the man had gotten away with so much for so long.
Fudge watched her go with a sim. She might have been lying about her family but he couldn't take a chance. He had worked too hard to get where he was. He would not lose everything now. It was time to tie up any loose ends. He had one more stop to make before the night was over.
Back at Hogwarts…
"You're a real git Malfoy!" The Grffindor shouted the moment the blonde walked in the door.
Draco stood his ground however and even took a few steps closer. "Shut up Potter or I'll show you how much of a git I can really be." His hands clenching in fury.
As angry as Harry was he wanted to know why Draco had done what he did. "What's wrong with you? I know we're not friends but why?"
"Why what? Embarrass you? News flash Potter, you embarrassed yourself!"
" You could've just said no if it was such a freaking torture to help me. You know what I think-" Harry began.
"No I don't know what you think," Draco shouted cutting in.
"You're still mad at me because-" Harry began.
"I don't care!" Draco shouted over the Gryffindor. "You're a fucking joke, trying to skate by just because you're his husband! Potter the hero! If it weren't for your mudblood friend-!"
"Call her that again and you'll be picking your teeth off the bloody floor." Harry closed the distance between him and the Draco. "At least I have friend's Malfoy. Where are yours?" the Gryffndor hissed in barely controlled anger.
Friends! Draco stopped,friends? The word echoed in his mind. Gods what did it mean? He looked around ignoring Harry's confused expression and tried to grasp the meaning before it slipped through his fingers. Not friends…friend! His mind shouted and Draco fought to understand the meaning behind the word.
"Draco?" Harry whispered unsure of hat had just happened. Malfoy had stopped in mid tirade and was looking at him as if he wasn't there. Carefully he took a step forward.
"Not friends Potter. Friend…" Draco closed his eyes and held onto the word but it did no good. The moment was gone.
"Are you ok?" Harry whispered touching the blonde lightly.
Draco felt the touch and almost jumped back. "Huh?"
"We were arguing …and you zoned out. Something wrong?" Harry asked confused. If Draco ended up in the infirmary because of their argument, he would not hear the end of it from Severus. The Wizard had been crystal clear any trouble between the two and they would regret it.
"Yes…no…I mean…" Draco looked at the dying embers in the fireplace. He had to think and sort things out. "I 'm going to bed." Was all he said and walked past an uncertain Harry.
The Gryffindor watched a very pale and very quiet Draco retreat to his bedroom. Harry bit his lip he needed to talk to Severus and let him know what had happened. Minutes later his still displeased husband strode in, and Harry sucked up his nervousness and began talking.
Severus mulled over the situation. He was still angry at the pair but this seemed more important for now. "I'm going to talk to him."
"Severus!" The youth called out before the wizard entered the hallway leading to Draco's room.
Snape turned and gave Harry his undivided attention. The youth tried not too squirm but didn't quite manage it.
Harry took a deep breath and rushed on. Better now and get it out of the way. "I'm sorry. I screwed up…and I won't do it again."
"For your sake, I hope you don't. It's late go to bed." Severus murmured moving away.
A relieved Harry made his way to their bedroom.
Severus knocked on his godson's door and waited. The door opened on its own and he stepped inside. Draco was sitting before the empty fireplace, his grey eyes held a far a way look. "Are you alright?"
Draco shrugged. "I think so. I'm thinking."
Glad that Draco didn't seem ill Severus asked, "about what?"
"Father's dying words Sir. 'He knew…' he kept saying. Do you remember?" Draco asked pushing the long blonde hair out of his eyes.
"Yes…" He had tried to forget his friend's death and had been foolish to think that Draco would do the same.
"He asked me to avenge him. To avenge the person who was responsible for his downfall and I will."
"And you think said person is Potter?" Severus asked.
"Potter brought down Voldemort not my father. He was smarter than that." Draco pointed out.
A proud Malfoy if there ever was one! "So why the prank?"
"Because I though it was Potter father was talking about." The blonde supplied coolly.
"A prank was your vengeance?" the Wizard asked in disbelief.
"Oh no Sir, that was just the beginning. " Draco answered honestly. "He practically walked into that one; I couldn't just let the chance slip through my fingers."
Snape wasn't really surprised by the youth's admission. Malfoys rarely did anything half way. That's why he had talked to him. He was relieved to know that Draco would be focusing his efforts on someone else. He really didn't want to battle his own Godson. "I see and your oath to me."
"That's what stopped me from killing him immediately. I actually didn't want to do it. He's all right most of the time, for a Gryffindor that is. " The blonde confessed much to Severus amazement. "That's over with though." The young man promised and turned back to the fireplace. " Sir? Who else besides you knew about my father's involvement with Voldemort?"
Severus thought long and hard but did not recall Lucius telling him anything. "That I know off he was suspected by everyone, but no one other than me knew or had proof of it."
Draco shook his head. "There had to be someone else."
"He said, 'He knew!' Someone knew my father was innocent, or at the very least that he had switched sides but when he was arrested that someone allowed him to be tried and locked up. I know he had enemies …but I think it was a friend…or an ally… that did it." Draco continued looking into the empty fireplace deep in thought.
Severus frowned and sat on the empty chair thoughtfully. Draco was defiantly onto something. After a few minutes he looked into his godson's silvery eyes. "It wasn't a friend or an ally Draco but someone who acted the part."
Draco inhaled sharply. "Fudge!"
Seamus Finnegan had been placed in a cell by himself. It was almost one and there was no one around when an off duty guard opened his door. Removing his wand from his robes, he pointed it at the sleeping boy's temple and whispered. "Ruptura." Seamus did not even flinch. His heart continued beating for several minutes before he stopped breathing.
The guard left the cell and moved through the corridors until he stepped outside and came to the boat. "Did you find what you were looking for?"
"No, too bad." The heavy set man answered as the boat took him back to the shore.
"Your limp is better." The hand observed.
Amos fidgeted slightly. A limp! "Sorry?" he asked in feigned confusion.
"Your limp is better." The man repeated off- handedly.
"Oh yeah, a bit." Amos answered as he quickly sat down.
The real Amos lay behind one of the many taverns in Dyegonely in drunken stupor
Back at Hogwarts…
It was hours later when Severus made it back to their bedroom to find Harry sleeping soundly. Careful not to waken him he showered, changed, and went back to the bedroom. Tomorrow would be a long day. It had taken all his persuasion to convince Draco not to run out and try to kill Fudge like he had wanted to. As he had explained a dead man would be of little use in regaining his family's name and wealth. Thank Merlin Draco was enough of a Malfoy to see the wisdom in waiting.
A tired Severus was in the process of lying down when Harry, opened his eyes blearily. "Draco ok?" he asked feeling a little warm.
"Yes." The Wizard answered deciding to wait until tomorrow to tell Harry the story.
"Severus…" Harry began.
The Potions Master waved Harry's words aside. "You've already apologized and I trust it won't happen again. So let's leave it at that."
"It wasn't that but thanks," Harry said with a nervous smile. He'd ask Hermione for help tomorrow. He had to make sure he passed all his exams to show Severus he was serious. "So you're not angry anymore." He whispered feeling his heart speed up.
"No I'm not angry." Severus murmured lying back on his pillows tiredly. He was so looking forward to a good night's sleep.
Harry watched him from under his lashes and felt a stirring in his stomach. "That's great," he said the warmth spreading through his body.
Severus yawned and closed his eyes, "Go to sleep Harry."
"Sleep? Don't you …?" Harry trailed off feeling light-headed.
Severus opened his eyes and noticed the younger man's flushed face. "Don't I, what?"
"Well you know…don't you want to…" the youth looked at his husband but Severus' face was unreadable. He licked his lips as the temperature in his body roared.
Severus rose on his elbows suspecting what was back. "Calm down, it's not good for the baby."
Harry threw the sheet off. "I want to have sex." he said looking at his husband's body hungrily.
"Harry..." Severus sputtered as the youth removed his sleeping clothes hastily and began pulling on the older Wizard's second.
"You heard me." Harry groaned in a strained voice. When their lips touched Severus knew he'd be getting no sleep tonight.
AN: Please read the above note.