Chapter 5 – Prisoners and Pardons
"So what do you think Padfoot?" Remus asked as he and Sirius left the kitchen at the end of the Order meeting.
"I think you need to keep quiet Moony," replied Sirius. "At least until we get somewhere that we can talk properly. Marauder's rule number three."
Nodding in agreement, but with a thoughtful look on his face, Remus followed Sirius up the stairs to the master bedroom. As soon as they were both in, Sirius closed the door and waved his wand at it. The door glowed briefly followed by the four walls, floor and ceiling.
Remus opened his mouth to say something, but was silenced by a gesture from Sirius who waved his wand in a complicated motion first at Remus, and then over himself. Two brief flashes of light came from each of them, indicating that some sort of spell had just been removed.
"Were those listening charms?" Remus asked after getting a nod from his friend.
"Two of them," growled Sirius, "on each of us. Two had Dumbledore's signature, and the other two I recognized from Snivellus."
"What do they think we know?" Remus wondered aloud. "Probably want to see if we know anything about Harry or if we hear from him. But anyways, back to my original question Padfoot."
"What I think," began Sirius, "is that Dumbledore isn't telling us the truth. I think Harry has indeed left Privet drive, but I do not think he was kidnapped. The old man was far to calm when he arrived here."
"I think you're right Padfoot, but where would Harry have gone?" Remus asked. "My first thought would be the Weasley's, but since they're here and haven't said anything, I think we can count that out."
"What about that girl, the one who helped him save me back in his third year?" questioned Sirius. "She's muggleborn. Do you think he went there and is hiding out?"
"To Hermione's place," Remus muttered, "yes, that could be a possibility. We'll have to.."
Remus was interrupted by something tapping on the bedroom's main window. Looking over, the two men saw a large regal looking grey owl perched outside. Getting up from where he had flopped down into a chair, Sirius hurried over to open the window for the owl.
With the window open, the owl flew in and landed on the back of the chair that Sirius had just emptied. Observing the two men, the owl focused on Sirius and gave a short hoot. Sirius understood its meaning and made his way over to the owl where he untied the letter it was carrying. Opening the letter and starting to read, his eyes widened and his hands started to shake.
"What's wrong Padfoot?" asked a concerned Remus. "Who's the letter from and what does it say? Is it from Harry?"
"Close Moony," Sirius replied. "It's about Harry and myself too, and it's from a cousin."
"A cousin?" questioned Remus. "I really hope you don't mean the Malfoys or the Lestranges."
"No, not them, thank god," Sirius muttered. "It's from the Greengrass family. Well, their daughter to be specific. Here, you read it."
Sighing in relief, Remus took the letter from Sirius and began to read.
By now, you've probably found out that Harry Potter is missing from his home. I don't know what you've been told about it, but the facts are that after spending a fun day here with myself, a friend, and my parents, Harry used a portkey and returned home, where he was greeted by a lovingly administered beating. Somehow he incapacitated them and used the same portkey to return here where my mother cleaned him up and gave him healing potions. He is currently asleep in one of our guest rooms.
Also, an interesting observation about where Harry has been living. Did you know that there was a very weak unknown blood-based protective ward based on positive feelings and family around the house along with a keyed anti-apparition ward and incoming and outgoing mail redirection wards?
As for how I am your cousin, well.. my great grandmother through the maternal line was the sister of your grandfather through the paternal line. That should give you enough clues to figure things out.
On another note, if my family can arrange for you to talk directly to Madame Bones and prove to her that you are innocent as Harry says, would you take the opportunity? For Harry's sake, I would hope that you would immediately say yes. We're going to try and have her come over tomorrow morning. If you happened to show up around noon, I think she could be convinced to listen to what you have to say. The floo address is our family name's Manor.
Anything you wish to write back can be sent with Apollo.
"What do you think Padfoot?" asked Remus as he finished reading the letter. "About all of it?"
"I think," Sirius replied with a slight smirk, "that somehow Harry has made himself a very good friend. I also think that we need to keep this to ourselves. Now, help me write something suitable to send back with this most excellent owl."
"Wait Sirius," said Remus as he looked back down at the letter. "No one is supposed to know about the blood wards on Harry's home, or so Dumbledore says. How does your cousin's daughter know about them?"
"Well I would assume that my cousin Marie was the one who made the portkey for Harry," Sirius explained. "She works for the Ministry in the Department of Regulation and Control of Magical Transportation and is rather high up. I'm sure she'd be able to do a reading of a portkey to see what wards it's passed through."
"That makes sense," agreed Remus, "but there's still something that's bothering me after having the blood wards mentioned. Almost like a thought I'm not supposed to have.."
Remus let his words trail of as a look of confusion quickly followed by concern played upon his face.
"Something's not right Sirius," Remus practically growled. "I can't stay focused on that particular thought."
"Obliviation or some kind or perhaps a memory charm?" inquired an equally concerned Sirius. "But why about that specific thought? Unless.."
Now it was Sirius' turn to let his speech trail off into thought as his mind could only come to one conclusion. It just so happened that Remus reached the same conclusion for himself at the same time.
"Dumbledore!" they both spat at the same time.
"You know Moony, I'm rapidly losing what little faith I had remaining in that man," Sirius said in a quiet but menacing tone. "His treatment of the two of us and especially how he has handled Harry all these years. I'm starting to feel like there's some motive behind it all that we're not seeing or even supposed to see."
"I.. I.. want to.. agree," stammered Remus, almost fighting to get the words out. "It.. it feels like I can't though."
"What's wrong Moony?" Sirius asked in concern as he rushed to his friend's side.
"I can't think.. I can't think ill of the man Padfoot," said Remus, his eyes widening in realization. "My mind won't let the thoughts form."
Raising his wand, Sirius looked to Remus for permission. Receiving a nod, Sirius pointed the wand at his friend's head.
"Ostendo Memoria!" said Sirius quietly but firmly.
A thin grey beam shot out of the wand and connected with Remus. Holding the spell for almost a minute before ending it, Sirius finally lowered his wand and stared at his friend in concern.
"That was just a revealing spell Moony," Sirius again said quietly. "It told me that your memories have indeed been both altered and suppressed. Sadly, it doesn't tell me who did the spell work on you, but if you want me to try and reverse things, that might let you know who did it."
"I trust you Padfoot," said Remus as he moved to take a seat in one of the chairs in the room. "I know you had obliviator training while you were working with the Aurors. And who knows what else you've picked up since you started reading in the Black Library since you've been stuck here."
"As true as that is Moony, it's still been a long time since I've used those skills on anyone," Sirius pointed out, as he too took a seat in a chair and turned it to face Remus. "Now I know where to look in your mind because of that last spell, but this time, I'm going to have to put some power behind the spell. The spells on you were powerfully done and I'll have to break them. Keep your occlumency up but allow me in. And please keep your wolf under control as much as possible."
Remus nodded as he took a couple of deep calming breaths to prepare himself. Looking at Sirius, he nodded again to indicate he was ready.
"Novo Claro Fateor!" said Sirius forcefully as he pointed his wand again at his friend.
The tip of the wand flashed briefly, but other than that there was no visible sign that anything was happening. After a full minute of silence, both men began to shake slightly. At the two minute mark, Remus' hands were white from how tightly he was holding the arms of the chair. Sirius was shaking more noticeably and was now covered in sweat. Seconds later, both let out a gasp and both sank back into the chairs they occupied.
"Moony my friend," Sirius muttered quietly, "please try to not let that happen again. I love you like a brother, but the mind of a werewolf is a dangerous place to work."
Remus didn't reply. His death grip on the arms of the chair had relaxed and his eyes were closed. The expression on his face however, was one of barely restrained fury.
"It was him Sirius," growled Remus quietly. "Him and his pet snake."
"I know Moony. I saw it all too," Sirius said gently, trying to calm his friend. "Loyalty compulsions, changes to your memory of certain events and hiding of other memories. Perhaps worst of all was the changing and suppression of your personality and inner wolf."
"Why Padfoot?" asked Remus, although it too came out more like a growl. "Why did he have to do it? What did he have to gain?"
"Perhaps it wasn't a question of what he had to gain Moony," Sirius answered. "Perhaps it was a question of what he had to lose."
There was silence for the next few minutes as the two sat quietly thinking about the memories they had just seen. Eventually Sirius stood up and walked over to a desk near the window with the still waiting owl.
It was the noise that woke Harry up the next morning. He had been sleeping very comfortably in the bed that Marie had helped him into after his second arrival yesterday. The healing potions she had given him to drink also caused him to fall into a deep sleep which would help him recover faster.
But for the past hour or so, he had been hovering at the edge of wakefulness. Noise, or more specifically voices, had started his ascent to wakefulness. Now, as he lay there in bed, he could clearly hear voices that he recognized from his time at school.
Sitting up in bed with a groan, he looked around the room, but without his glasses on, everything was somewhat fuzzy. Thinking for a second, Harry snapped his fingers.
"Trixy," Harry called quietly, remembering the name of the house elf that had helped Marie last night.
"Yes friend of young mistress?" the house elf asked as she popped into the room.
"Could you bring me my clothes and my glasses please Trixy?" Harry asked politely.
"Of course friend of young mistress, Trixy can be doing," replied the small elf with a smile and a snap of her fingers.
Suddenly appearing there on the bed within arms reach was his clothing all clean and neatly folded in a pile with his glasses sitting on top. With a smile, Harry put on his glasses and nodded his thanks to the house elf.
"Thanks Trixy," Harry said as he grabbed his clothes and moved to get out of the bed. "I'll be down shortly."
The noise that woke Harry up was coming from the voices of people in the sitting room downstairs. Daphne, Tracy and Marie were there along with some friends that Daphne had invited over last night after hearing about Harry returning. Sitting comfortably in the room with them were Padma Patil, Neville Longbottom, Hannah Abbot, Susan Bones and Susan's aunt Amelia Bones.
They all now knew that Harry was there, and Amelia had been told that the reason she had been invited was because there was a good chance that Sirius Black would be joining them. After everyone's initial fearful reaction, Marie explained to them what Harry had said last night at dinner about Sirius being innocent. This calmed people down and Amelia did agree to hear them both out before reacting.
All conversation suddenly stopped as Harry stepped into the doorway, his expression one of surprise.
"Um, hi," said Harry lamely as he tried to take in everyone he saw in the room.
Springing up from where she was sitting, Daphne rushed over and hugged him tightly. Looks of shock and surprise appeared on the faces of the guests, except for Tracy and Marie, both of whom were smiling.
"Harry, how could you?" Neville moaned in a passable imitation of Ron. "She's a Slytherin!"
Everyone turned to look at Neville and could see the smirk on his face. Smiling, Daphne grabbed Harry's had and led him over to the sofa where she had been sitting with Tracy. Sitting down again in her former place at the one end, she pulled Harry down to sit beside her.
"It's good to see you up and awake this morning Harry," said Marie as she eyed her daughter and Harry. "I see that you're recovered from your ordeal last night."
"Thank you again for helping me Marie," Harry replied.
"Think nothing of it Harry," said Marie with a smile. "Now, you're probably wondering what everyone is doing here?"
"Not really. I figure Daphne had something to do with it," Harry answered. "She did mention that she had friends who weren't in Slytherin, and she also mentioned something about getting Susan's aunt over to help with Sirius. I'm guessing that's who's sitting there between Susan and Hannah."
"Indeed Mr. Potter," the middle aged witch sitting between the two girls replied. "I am Amelia Bones, head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement at the Ministry."
"It's a pleasure to meet you madam, and it's good to see all of you too," Harry said as he looked at everyone else in the room. "Although I must say I'm a bit surprised to see you here Neville."
"Daphne and I have known each other since we were little," explained Neville. "And we work together in Herbology a lot too."
"Neville, how could you," Harry mocked with a grin, also doing a passable imitation of Ron. "She's a Slytherin!"
"Alright you two, that's enough," said Daphne with a grin as she poked Harry in the ribs with her elbow.
"Indeed," Marie agreed. "Amelia is here in an official capacity this morning, and we don't want to waste her time."
"If what you've told me is true, it won't be wasted time," replied Amelia as she pulled a tiny box out of a pocket.
Placing the box on the table in front of her, Amelia flicked her wrist which caused her wand to appear in her hand. She then tapped the box twice, causing it to expand. With another flick of the wrist, her wand vanished.
"That's a neat trick Madam Bones," Harry said while watching the wand appear and then vanish. "A charmed wand holder on your forearm I'm guessing?"
"Good guess Mr. Potter," replied Amelia. "Special issue for DMLE employees only. But, as to why I'm here this morning, I'm told you witnessed events which could prove that Sirius Black is innocent."
"That's right Madam Bones," Harry agreed excitedly, sitting up straighter. "Ron, Hermione and I, as well as Professor Lupin all saw Peter Pettigrew that night in the Shrieking Shack. He admitted that he betrayed my parents to Voldemort and that he killed those innocent people and faked his own death."
"And why was this never reported to the DMLE?" asked Amelia as she began pulling items out of the enlarged box and placing them on the table in front of her.
"Professor Snape was there at the end and told the Minister that Sirius had Confunded us," Harry explained. "And Dumbledore told us that the words of a pair of thirteen year old students would not stand against the words of all the witnesses who swore they saw Sirius kill Pettigrew that night."
Looks of shock and amazement were on the faces of everyone in the room. The students had only ever heard rumors of what had happened at the end of their third year, and the adults had never heard anything.
"What I'm going to do Mr. Potter," a stern faced Amelia stated, "is have you take three drops of Veritaserum and then answer some questions I'll ask you. These questions and answers will be recorded on this charmed parchment, which will also indicate truthfulness or falsehoods by the color of the ink it uses. After that, I will have you recall any memories related to the events of that night and will assist you in placing them in this pensive. We will then view them and decide where to go from there."
"Alright, I'm ready," a determined Harry stated.
"Very good," Amelia said as she again drew her wand and tapped the parchment lying on the table in front of her. "Let us start the Veritaserum questioning of Mr. Harry James Potter about the events which happened during his third year at Hogwarts concerning the escaped Sirius Black. I am Madam Amelia Bones, Head of the DMLE, performing the questioning. Mr. Potter, do you agree to willingly take three drops of Veritaserum to ensure the truthfulness of your answers?"
"I do, Madam Bones," agreed Harry.
"I will now give Mr. Potter three drops of DMLE provided Veritaserum," Madam Bones stated as she unsealed a small vial and motioned for Harry to open his mouth.
Doing as instructed, Harry sat there and allowed three drops of the clear liquid to be given to him. Closing his mouth and sitting back, he felt a sense of calmness come over him almost immediately.
Noting his slightly glazed eyes, Madam Bones nodded and continued.
"Mr. Potter, can you tell me of all the times you encountered Sirius Black during your third year at Hogwarts?"
"The first time was right after I ran away from the Dursley's a few weeks before school started, although I didn't know it was him at the time," Harry answered in a flat tone of voice.
"Please explain that statement Mr. Potter," asked Madam Bones.
"Sirius was in his animagus form at the time and I only saw him for an instant before the Night Bus arrived," Harry replied, eyes widening a bit as he revealed that Sirius was an animagus.
"Very well, please continue Mr. Potter," Madam Bones said as she made a note on a separate sheet of parchment.
Harry then told them all of the happenings towards the end of the year when Ron was dragged into the tunnel under the whomping willow by the large black dog, the confrontation in the Shrieking Shack, the revelation that it was Peter Pettigrew who was the secret keeper for the Potters and that he had been alive but hiding out as the Weasley's pet rat Scabbers all those years he was thought dead.
Snape's arrival and disarming by Harry got laughs and cheers from the students in the room and smiles from Marie and Madam Bones.
Harry's frantic attempts to conjure a patronus to fight off the dementors drew shrieks from the girls. Snape's comments and the Minister's reactions drew scowls from the adults. When Harry revealed that he and Hermione had used a time turner to save Buckbeak and rescue Sirius, silence and shocked expressions were on everyone's faces.
"What was Dumbledore thinking, allowing a thirteen year old girl to use a time turner to attend extra classes. Those are Ministry restricted items. And that no student is allowed to take that many classes. It has never been allowed before, even though there have been students who have asked to," muttered Madam Bones as she furiously wrote her own notes down on the seemingly never ending sheet of parchment she had.
"Is there anything else that you believe the DMLE should know about Mr. Potter, before we examine the memories of the events you just told us?" Madam Bones asked as she readied the pensive for use.
"Not about Sirius Black, but there are some other things that should have been reported," replied Harry in a more normal voice, showing that the Veritaserum was wearing off.
"What other things, Mr. Potter," Madam Bones asked as she tapped the recording parchment with her wand to stop it.
"Well, there was the troll, the philosopher's stone and Professor Quirrel in my first year, the Chamber of Secrets, the basilisk and Tom Riddle's diary in my second year, and the Tri-Wizard Tournament and everything that happened at the end of it this past year," listed Harry as he ticked off items on his mental 'things to tell' list.
The eyes of the students in the room got wider and wider as they listened to Harry. They had all heard the rumors that went around the school, but now they were actually hearing about what happened right from the person who was at the center of it all.
"Very well Mr. Potter," Madam Bones nodded, "we'll go over each of those occurrences after we finish with your memories of Sirius Black. I've wanted questions about those answered, but Dumbledore has always brushed it off as no big deal."
The students all shook there heads in amazement. Even they knew that students getting injured and petrified was important.
"Now Mr. Potter, we will watch your memories of the events you just described. If there are things that only I should see, please let me know before we view them," stated Madam Bones as she got up and moved over to stand by Harry.
"What I need you to do is concentrate and think only of the memory you wish to have placed in the pensive. I will hold my wand to your forehead and it will draw a copy of the memory out which I will then place in the pensive," Madam Bones explained. "The pensive can hold many memories and will show them in the order in which they were deposited, so if you want, we can take all of the memories you wish to show and place them in all at once. You can also place memories in charmed glass containers to hold them until needed."
"Could I do it with my wand after you take the memories of Sirius?" asked Harry. "Can I place the memories in containers while you're watching the first one?"
"Indeed you could Mr. Potter. The process is the same no matter which wand is used. I assume that you wish to do it so that you can make sure all of the memories you want viewed are taken?" Madam Bones inquired as she began to remove small glass containers from a pocket on the inside of her robe and placed them on the table within easy reach of Harry.
Nodding in agreement, Harry closed his eyes so he could collect his thoughts. Opening them and nodding to Madam Bones to indicate he was ready, he felt a weird slithery sensation as his memory was withdrawn.
Allowing a small smile of satisfaction to appear on her face, Madam Bones placed the memory in the pensive and sat back down between Susan and Hannah. Just as she was about to tap the pensive with her wand to start the show, Trixie popped into the room in front of Marie.
"I is being sorry for interrupting you Mistress, but you is having two men arrive by floo," the little house elf exclaimed. "They is being Misters Sirius Black and Remus Lupin, and they is giving me their wands, all four of them, to be giving to you."
Nodding and taking the wands, Marie and Amelia got up and walked out of the room to greet their guests.
"Sirius Black here!" exclaimed Padma. "And with Professor Lupin too."
"You heard Harry when he was telling Auntie. They were friends from when they were in Hogwarts," Susan reminded the Ravenclaw.
"Are things always this exciting when you're involved Harry?" asked Hannah.
"You haven't seen anything yet," Neville muttered with a grin. "At least Hermione isn't here to freeze me again."
Everyone looked first at Neville in shock then turned to Harry for explanation.
"You'll see it when Madam Bones sees my memories from first year," laughed Harry. "She can be a bit scary at times, hey Neville?"
"You've got that right," Neville agreed with a small shudder, getting a laugh from everyone.
The laughter was stopped suddenly as Marie and Madam Bones came back into the room, and were immediately followed by Professor Lupin and the notorious Sirius Black.
Seeing his godfather, Harry jumped up and ran across the room where he proceeded to give Sirius the biggest hug he had ever received. Grinning and returning the hug, Sirius patted his godson on the back before holding him out at arms length and looking him over.
"Are you alright Harry?" asked Sirius. "Daphne's letter said you arrived back here after your relatives had hurt you. And that arrived right after Dumbledore had told everyone you had just been kidnapped."
That caused everyone there to gasp, and caused Madam Bones to pull her never ending parchment back out for some more note taking.
"Anyways, I'm glad to see that you're alright Harry, and that you seem to have made yourself a new friend. Is there anything you should be telling me Harry?" Sirius teased while he and Remus took the seats that Marie pointed to near Harry and Daphne.
Blushing and stuttering, Harry was pulled back down into the seat beside Daphne who flashed a big smile at Sirius.
"All in due time cousin," Daphne grinned. "First we need to clear your name."
"Indeed," agreed Madam Bones. "You arrived at a good time. We were just about to watch Harry's memories from the night of your capture and escape. Afterwards, I would like to question you under Veritaserum and view any memories you might have which will prove your innocence. I would also like to see the memory of Dumbledore saying that Harry was kidnapped."
Sirius nodded in agreement as everyone except Harry leaned forward to view the memory which had appeared over the pensive at a tap of Madam Bones' wand. Harry was busy concentrating and placing memories in the glass vials for them to view later.
Gasps and sounds of amazement sounded around the room, and Sirius watched with pride as Harry saved them from the dementors by casting his patronus. His smile grew as he watched Harry and Hermione free him from the tower and allow him to fly away on Buckbeak.
Remus looked ashamed at seeing himself almost hurt his longtime friend and students, but also watched Harry's patronus with pride.
When the memory was finished, everyone turned to look at Harry, but found him still busy filling vials with memories.
"It's your turn now Sirius," said Madam Bones as she withdrew another recording parchment and another vial of Veritaserum from the box on the table.
Tapping the parchment with her wand, Madam Bones repeated the explanation she had given Harry earlier, and then proceeded to dose Sirius with three drops of Veritaserum.
"Sirius Black." Madam Bones began, "were you the secret keeper for the Potters when they went into hiding in October 1981?"
"No I wasn't," answered Sirius. "At my suggestion, Peter Pettigrew was made the secret keeper, although we told people that I was going to be. Dumbledore quickly and eagerly agreed with the switch. He preformed the Fidelius charm which hid the Potters."
"What happened the night you were arrested for killing Peter Pettigrew and causing the explosion which killed all of those muggles?" Madam Bones continued.
"I chased after Peter and finally caught up with him in London," explained Sirius. "I confronted him and he yelled out that I was the traitor before he shot a Reducto at an exposed gas pipe. He changed into his animagus form immediately after he fired the spell and disappeared in the resulting commotion. The Aurors showed up seconds later and I was stunned. When I woke up, I was in a cell in Azkaban."
"I know you're telling the truth Mr. Black," Madam Bones said with a confused look upon her face, "but I remember your trial and the guilty verdict followed by you being sentenced to life in Azkaban. You were conscious and admitted your guilt."
"There's this thing called Polyjuice," muttered Harry as he continued to remove memories.
"How would you know about Polyjuice Potion?" Madam Bones asked. "That's not covered until NEWT level potions in your sixth year."
"Hermione brewed it in second year so we could try to find out who the heir of Slytherin was," a quiet Harry replied as he added his final memory to the small pile of vials on the table in front of him.
"No kidding she can be scary," Tracy muttered. "Brewing a NEWT level potion in second year. Did it work?"
With a small grin, Harry nodded.
"Back to the matter at hand please," said Madam Bones. "Can you explain what you mean Mr. Potter?"
"Well, we just heard Sirius, who is under the influence of Veritaserum, tell us that he was stunned and then woke up in Azkaban. How hard would it have been for someone to have been given Polyjuice so that he looked like Sirius, and then put that person on trial?" Harry explained. "The Imperius curse could have been used to make that person act however the caster wanted. We learned and experienced that in DADA just this year."
"You had the Imperius curse cast on you in class?" Sirius shouted, while being held down by Remus so that he wouldn't jump up. "What is Dumbledore thinking?"
"It didn't work on me Sirius, don't worry," said Harry quietly.
Everyone heard it though and the adults all looked shocked.
"You should also know that Sirius found and removed memory charms and compulsions from me last night after Dumbledore told us about Harry," Remus added. "Dumbledore and Snape had cast them on me to change my behavior and make me forget things I had seen, all of which involved him, Sirius, James, Lily, Peter and Harry. If he did it to me, who else has he done it to?"
"Indeed Mr. Lupin," replied Madam Bones. "But we are getting distracted. Mr. Black, I want to see those memories of what you just told us. Especially the ones of Dumbledore casting the Fidelius charm and your confrontation with Peter Pettigrew."
Calming, Sirius nodded and allowed Madam Bones to remove the memories she requested. The first to play showed Dumbledore at the Potter's place in Goderic's Hollow performing the Fidelius charm making Peter the secret keeper, who then told them all the secret. The second showed his confrontation with Peter in the busy London street, the explosion and the arrival of the Aurors. The third memory showed the meeting the previous night where Dumbledore had told the assembled Order of the Phoenix that Harry had been kidnapped, and then his discussion with Remus afterwards including the finding and removal of the memory charms.
Shaking her head and scribbling furiously on her never ending parchment, Madam Bones could be heard softly swearing, which was causing Susan and Hannah to giggle. Putting her parchment down, she withdrew another official parchment from the box on the table and began to write on it. After a minute, she signed her name with a flourish and proceeded to tap the bottom with her wand, causing a Ministry DMLE Seal to appear, signifying that the document was legal.
Standing up, she motioned for Sirius to stand as well.
"Sirius Black," began Madam Bones in a very official tone, "after listening to the evidence presented here today and viewing the supporting memories, I find that there has been a grave miscarriage of justice and that you are innocent of the crimes you had been accused of. As the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, it is my duty and pleasure to grant you this pardon for all crimes supposedly committed by you."
As she handed the signed pardon to Sirius, he began to shake and collapsed into his seat, overcome with emotion. Harry jumped up and again flew over to Sirius and joined Remus in hugging the now free man.
"I will make it official when I get back to the office later on today," Madam Bones said with a smile as she watched the scene in front of her. "Fudge won't like it, but I will make sure that everyone knows and that it is on the front page of the Prophet tomorrow."
"You're free Sirius!" exclaimed Harry as he hugged his godfather.
"Thank you Amelia," Sirius said as he looked up. "I've dreamed of this day, but never thought it would come."
"And thank you Marie. And you too Daphne," continued Sirius. "If it wasn't for you two helping Harry.."
"Think nothing of it Sirius," Marie said as she went over and hugged him. "You're family."
"So what's the next surprise Harry?" quipped Tracy. "Are you going to tell us that you and Daphne are going out?"
Laughter and chuckles greeted the matching blushes that comment caused.
Harry freed himself from Sirius and sat back down beside Daphne. Feeling bold, he wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her closer to his side, causing Daphne to blush even more.
"We have to save some excitement for next week," Harry replied with a grin, which drew more laughs from everyone.
Rolling his eyes at the antics happening around him, Remus pointed to the small pile of glass vials stacked in front of Harry.
"What are all of those memories Harry?" asked Remus.
Leaning forward a bit and rearranging the pile with his free hand, Harry pointed while he answered.
"Life at the Dursley's, first year, second year and fourth year." Harry said. "And if it's alright, I'd just like Madam Bones and Sirius to see the ones of life at the Dursley's. In there is also the memory of last night and what happened."
"Why do you only want them to see Harry?" asked Daphne quietly.
"Because it's not nice and I think that if Madam Bones and Sirius should see them, they'll be able to tell me if anything can be done," Harry replied just as quietly.
Giving a small nod in understanding, Daphne wrapped her arm around Harry's shoulders and hugged him, which got some smiles and grins out of their friends.
"Very well Mr. Potter," said Madam Bones as she motioned Sirius closer to the pensive. "We can touch the pensive and be drawn into it where we will view the memories. No one outside can see when we use it that way. Ready Mr. Black?"
Receiving a nod from Sirius, they touched their fingers to the pensive and seemed to flicker and then were drawn into it. It was quite a sight to see for the kids who had never seen it before.
Minutes later, Sirius and Madam Bones flowed back out of the pensive and both sat back down heavily in their seats. Madam Bones' face was white and she immediately picked up her never ending parchment and again began furiously scribbling things down on it. Sirius on the other hand, was red faced and swearing, causing everyone to look at them in surprise.
"Was it that bad Sirius?" Marie asked quietly. "I know what happened to Harry last night, but, for the two of you to react like this."
Getting his swearing under control, Sirius just looked at Marie with hard eyes and gave a short jerky nod.
"What happened Harry?" asked Neville. "I know you live with muggles and that they don't like you too much, but what happened?"
"They weren't nice people Neville," Harry answered quietly.
"They treated you worse than a Malfoy house elf!" exclaimed Sirius angrily. "Why didn't you tell anyone Harry? Didn't you go to muggle school? Couldn't they do something?"
"I did Sirius," Harry replied quietly, "and nothing was done. When I mentioned it again I was told to 'stop causing problems for those good people'. I heard that exact same line from everyone I told. Teachers, nurses, the school principal. I even went to the police once and was told that the very next day."
"The exact same words, Mr. Potter?" inquired Madam Bones after hearing what Harry said. "Every time? And from different people?"
His answering nod caused another flurry of writing.
"You're really earning your galleons today Auntie," Susan quipped with a sad smile.
"Hush Sue," mumbled Madam Bones. "We still have three years of memories to watch. These are alright for everyone to see Mr. Potter?"
Harry nodded in response and snuggled in closer to Daphne, who just smiled at his actions. Tracy looked over to Marie and caught her eye, then looked back at the pair and how close they were sitting. Marie just gave Tracy a grin in response then, along with everyone else there, watched the memories play out.
They watched Harry and Ron confront the troll in the girl's washroom when they went to warn Hermione. The discovery of Fluffy on the forbidden part of the third floor. Haggrid's baby dragon and it's removal by Charlie Weasley's friends. The traps guarding the philosopher's stone, the confrontation with Professor Quirrel and Voldemort. And finally Dumbledore's explanation at the end of the year.
Sirius, Remus and Marie were aghast that such things had happened to first year students at Hogwarts. Madam Bones was testing the limits of the never ending parchment with the volume of notes she was taking. And the students were all wide eyed in amazement that such things had happened while they were at school.
The memories from second year included Dobby's involvement with Harry. The revelation that he was a parslemouth. The Polyjuice incident and search for answers in the Slytherin's common room. Their discovery of the chamber of secrets and the tussle with Professor Lockheart. And finally the confrontation with the memory of Tom Riddle, the basilisk, and saving Ginny Weasley. Again at the end was Dumbledore's explanations.
Fourth Year's memories started with the Death Eaters at the quidditch world cup. Harry's selection as the fourth Tri-Wizard Champion and their conclusion that someone was trying to hurt him. The memories of the three tasks were next, followed by Professor Moody's lesson on the Unforgivable curses and his demonstrations. The memory of what happened at the graveyard, Cedric's death and Voldemort's return ended things off.
"Good God fucking damn Moony," breathed Sirius as he turned to grab his old friend's arm. "What in the hell was all of that?"
"I don't know Padfood," Remus replied, just as shocked as Sirius. "I really just don't know."
"Harry," began Madam Bones after she had finished writing, "why have you never told anyone about any of this?"
"Dumbledore knew everything," Harry answered quietly. "I told him everything that happened. I figured he would take care of telling anyone who needed to know. I mean, he is the Headmaster and it's his job to do that, isn't it?"
"It is Harry," said Marie, "but by the looks of things, he's not been doing his job."
"Indeed, he hasn't been," Madam Bones agreed. "Harry, may I have these memories you've shown us today? I will need to use these as evidence for what's looking to be a rather large case against quite a few prominent people."
"Go ahead Madam Bones," agreed Harry wearily, "and thank you for everything today."
Giving Daphne a brief squeeze, Harry stood up and went over to Sirius and gave him another hug before turning to Marie.
"I need to lie down Marie, can I use the room upstairs again?" Harry asked quietly.
"Certainly Harry," said Marie sadly as she looked at the boy who had just shown them things no one should ever have to see or go through. "Daphne, can you take Harry back upstairs?"
Daphne practically jumped up and took Harry's hand and started to tug him towards the stairs. Turning, Harry briefly met the eyes of the rest of the students there and mumbled a quiet 'thank you' before letting Daphne lead him out of the room. All eyes followed the pair out, tears glistening in all of them.
"What are you going to do Amelia?" Marie asked when the pair was gone. "After seeing all that, certainly something has to be done."
"Something does need to be done indeed Marie," Madam Bones agreed. "First I need to get this evidence back to my office, make copies of it and secure it, then I'll get started on making sure Sirius can walk down Diagon Alley a free man tomorrow. I'm sure that will cause all sorts of problems."
"Is there anything we can do to help?" questioned Marie.
"If you'll let Sirius stay here the night so I know he will be safe, that would be a start," Madam Bones said as she began packing things back into the now empty box. "I shall come back tomorrow morning and escort Sirius and Harry to the Ministry where they will have to be questioned again. Hopefully after that, the matter of Sirius Black will be finished."
My deepest apologies for taking such a ridiculously long time to getting back to work on this story and finally finishing and updating this chapter. Because it was such a long wait, this chapter is going to be longer (almost twice the length!) to hopefully make up for it a bit. My notebook I was using to write all of my ideas in was accidentally destroyed, but I do recall where I wanted this story to go and what I wanted to happen. I will try my best to get the next chapter out within a month (sorry, no weekly turn around), and it will likely be back to the approximately 4k words of the earlier chapters. I also will try to get working on my other two stories, with Sirius Repercussions being the one I want to get to next. Speaking of that story, if you want to read a more detailed description of Dumbledore casting the Fidelius charm and the confrontation with Peter, they can be found in chapter one there.
I should look into a trade mark for Never Ending Parchment, unless someone else has already beat me to it. –grin-
Marauder's Rule #1 – Deny, deny, deny!
Marauder's Rule #2 – When in doubt, see rule number one.
Marauder's Rule #3 – Never discuss anything when there is a chance of being overheard.
Ostendo Memoria! – (reveal, make plain; memory, recollection) A spell to show what memory or thoughts have been hidden.
Novo Claro Fateor! – (to make anew, refresh; make clear in the mind; reveal, make known) A spell to restore hidden/suppressed memories and to remove/reverse memory charms.
And here are some thoughts on things that could happen. Let me know what you think.
Regarding the memory charms on Remus:
"It's an almost unknown fact that a lycanthrope's inner wolf can remember things that happen around him or her, even if they've been rendered unconscious. It takes a lot more than a stunner to subdue the inner wolf."
"Which means what, exactly?"
"It means, that I can recall what happened to me after I was stunned and before the memory charms and compulsions were cast on me. More importantly, I know why they were cast on me!"
"So what are you waiting for Mooney, put the memory in the pensive so we can watch."
Regarding Harry and Daphne alone after they went upstairs:
"So Harry, what did you mean when you told Sirius that we had to save some excitement for next week?"
"Well, we've only really just met. And I do like you, and I think the same is true for you. I'd like to get to know you more before I'd ask you to be my girlfriend."
"You're already thinking of asking me to be your girlfriend?"
Regarding Amelia Bones telling Minister Fudge that Sirius is free:
"No! I won't have it Amelia. You can't just go making decisions like that without involving me. I'm the Minister for Magic!"
"And I'm the Director of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. The hunt for Sirius Black was run by my department, and we're in charge of prisoners and their status. I received new evidence, questioned a witness and Sirius Black himself with Veritaserum, and viewed pensive memories which all supported his innocence."
"You had Black in your custody and didn't call for the dementors immediately? I should have your job for that Amelia!"
"Try it Fudge. The Prophet has a copy of the interview along with copies of their memories and my own of when I interviewed them. Gringotts has a copy of the evidence with instructions to release it to international papers if the Prophet doesn't print the article. Over twenty people who work for the Ministry, and a similar number who don't have seen the memories and the evidence. If you do anything at all to me or try to prevent this from happening, you're going to go down hard."
"But, but.. I'm the Minister for Magic! You can't do that!"
"Have a good day Fudge. I know I will."