Title: Only Mad Dogs and Englishmen
Chapter: 1. The Hero Falters
Keywords: Harry, Voldemort, amnesia, post-war.
Archive: Slytherin Serpent
Summary: In a high security ward at St. Mungo's sits Lord Voldemort, his magic sapped and his memory gone. His blank features light up as he sees on and only visitor, The Boy Who lived. The Wizengamot says Voldemort can rehabilitated but Harry thinks otherwise.
Disclaimer: All characters belong to Warner Bros. and or JK Rowling.
Story Dedicated to: Artemis Moonclaw, -glomp-, AchillesMonkey, Kruz, ParselmouthGirl and ShatteredxDreams who loved the Manipulator and inspired me to keep writing through the darkest times.
AN: Incidentally the title comes from a well known Indian Proverb "Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun". What that means is up to you…
The ridiculous part is that I acutally wanted to update the Manipulator today but couldn't because the upload docs bit isn't working. Anyway the next chapter is on my webpage for anyone who wants to read it.
If anyone wants to read the next couple of chapters for this story, they are on my homepage as well but be warned they are not beta-read.
"I killed Voldemort but he's still alive! And he's being cleared of all charges by the Wizengamot! THEY'RE GOING TO REHABILITATE THE DARK LORD! THEY WANT ME TO HELP!"
Harry's manic screams momentarily drowned out the voice of Weird Sisters singing a remix version of a muggle love song.
But I see your true colours
I see your true colours
That's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colours
True colours are beautiful,
Like a rainbow
With an angry fizzle the incessant noise coming from the wooden wireless disappeared leaving nothing but a ringing silence in the room, unfortunately interrupted by the sound of seven people gasping simultaneously.
"Harry!" Hermione's scandalized voice cut through the tension in the room as Mrs Weasley hurried over to the window sill to put out the small flames that had erupted from the Harry's well aimed hex.
"Normally I won't mind, mate, but we've only got one radio," muttered Ron breathlessly as he rubbed his long mane of red locks.
Harry slumped back in the armchair by the fire, no semblance of guilt crossed his features. There was too much anger, too much betrayal in his expression and his thoughts to warrant any apology.
"Perhaps its best if we all went to bed," said Mrs Weasley casually, as if Harry Potter, twice times saviour, of the wizarding world, had not just committed arson in her kitchen.
Hermione peered at the said hero from behind her chewed finger nails with an expression reserved only for war and exams.
"Harry," she said tentatively, as though he was an incendiary device left behind by the last score of Death Eaters destined for martyrdom. "You really have to understand this…"
Harry pressed his eyelids together and tilted his head back in a desperate attempt to control his temper or perhaps in bizarre stab at praying for an alternate reality to released upon his life and erase the nightmarish reality.
"Voldemort murdered my parents," hissed Harry as hate poisoned his voice, "and Cedric and Sirius and Dumbledore. He has taken everything from me. He deserves to rot in Hell!"
From somewhere in the room Tonk's soft cries could be heard and Harry knew that Remus would be comforting her in his gentle way.
"We have all suffered, Harry," whispered Hermione, her voice cracking under the emotional strain, "we loved Sirius and Dumbledore too,"
He wanted to cry that she had never depended as Sirius has he had and she had not seen Dumbledore's murder first hand but he held his breath.
"Harry, pull yourself together, boy," the gruff voice of Alastor Moody did nothing to calm his raging emotions. "The Wizengamot has decided, Hero or not, you can't do anything about it."
"Where's Snape?" demanded Harry so suddenly that Moody's glass eye spun sporadically in it socket like a crazed bee.
"What's that got to do with anything?" growled Moody tersely as he stilled his eye.
"Just wanted to know if he's been let off as well," replied Harry with an undeserving sarcasm.
"Now I'm having none of that, Potter," snapped McGonagall as she strolled purposely through the clutter of magical objects and people to get to him. "Everyone has and will be tried fairly…well, they'll be tried…"
"There must still be Voldemort's supporters in the Ministry, this is the only way he could possible be allowed to live!" snarled Harry, his feral rage taking hold of his mind and body.
"Tom Riddle has lost his memories and therefore he ceases to be He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. He remembers nothing of his past. How can we punish someone for crimes they did not commit?" demanded McGonagall, though she did not sound particularly convinced of her own line of reasoning.
"Harry, please listen to us," implored Hermione, "this is a dangerous time for you – No, not because Voldemort's taken over the ministry!" she snapped in exasperation, "The Ministry itself is having doubts about you, Harry, your mission has been fulfilled and they can't decide whether you're a threat or not…"
"Me, a threat?" laughed Harry but the it was so cold and humourless even to his ears.
"Harry, remember what Fudge and Umbridge did…the world isn't divided between good people and Death Eaters. You can't afford for the Wizengamot to see you as a potential rebel."
Hermione's words twisted his guts as painfully as Voldemort's crucio had just several weeks ago. It seemed that defeating Voldemort had only brought about a new and even more powerful enemy bent on controlling his every move.
"Harry," the gentle voice of Mrs Weasley reached out to him across what seemed like an great distance, "I can't say I understand what your going through, but it pains me to see you like this…"
She broke off as fat tear cascaded down her face like the rain splattering on the window behind the curtains. However her tears had the desired effect, Harry's rage was abating.
"Listen, Potter," growled Moody who saw the opportunity to get his words through, "You got no choice on this one…"
"And why's that, Alastor?" demanded Mr Weasley suddenly alarmed as seven sets of eyes riveted on the mottled face of the auror.
"I'm not supposed to say this but – Potter, they're discussing whether your actions during the war are really war crimes – No, boy, the Wizengamot hasn't been mass Imperioed by a bunch of manic unmarked Death Eaters," snarled Moody when he caught sight of Harry's face, "The Ministry is going to do its best to control you, Potter, you are simply too much of an independent element, as shown by your little stints during the war -,"
"I was destroying the Dark-,"
"- We know what you were doing, Potter, and the Ministry does too. However it stands that Ministry is disturbed by the magic you used. That crucio curse on Bellatrix was definitely not a good idea. You can't take it back now but you can improve your chances for the future. Surely you want a nice quiet life and a family at some point, but that all depends on your relation with Ministry."
Moody leaned towards him as if to emphasised his words,
"You-know-who was an outlaw, upsetting him you can handle, but, Boy, you are way out of your league against the Ministry!"
"I just can't believe -,"
"You'd better start believing it, boy, because your life and that of your friends and associates are on the line here. The Ministry doesn't use Avada Kedavra but who needs the killing curse when you've got Dementors, uh?"
Somewhere at the back of Harry's mind Mrs Weasley continued to cry.
"So I'm being blackmailed into spending an hour a day with Lord Voldemort…"
The chilling high pitch laughter that came out of Harry's mouth cut through his ears and caused his scar to twinge with pain.
AN: Reviews are the jewels of writers everywhere! Please review...or Harry will be embroiled in indecent relationship with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Loved. Or you can read the next chapter on my webpage and then review.