Just then they could all hear the outer doors crash open and shouts coming towards them. Madam Pomfrey was trying to hold back the intruders but they did not sound like they would be deterred.
"I'm sorry, all of you," The headmaster spoke again. Many people in the room were surprised by the angry tone to his voice. "The Minister insisted that what he had to say must be said tonight. I fear it took all that I could do to get you all here."
With that the doors to their inner room burst open. Striding in came a large man that Harry recognized as Minister Fudge and a few others, one of which was the elder Malfoy. All of them seemed to be angry and the government man was already shouting about the slight of being made to wait for common parents, muggle ones no less, and beside the point these children were all under arrest for helping a convicted man. They would be taken to the Ministry straight away, thank you, and would await punishment. All three would be facing expulsion from Hogwarts and their wands snapped.
Throughout the whole tirade the faces of all the parents were getting red with anger or, in the case of the two relatively helpless Granger parents, pale with fear for their children. Sirius' hands were balled into fists and his knuckles white with barley controlled rage. Before he could do anything, though, Albus Dumbledore turned to face the men and his aura flared dangerously. Feeling the static of power in the room Harry could easily tell how the man had gotten his reputation.
"Cornelius Fudge if you do not shut your trap I will do so for you!" The man did not roar or shout, he did not need to, but the power behind the words had the same effect. Fudge did shut up, momentarily looking like he was going to explode again but then seemed to realize whom he was yelling at. "You are in my school and until an official order has been reached for these children their fates at this school are still in my hands."
"If I may beg to differ, Headmaster," Malfoy interjected smoothly "this is not solely your decision to make. I am quite sure that the Board of Directors and the other parents of Hogwarts would like to express their opinion about letting three…cursed and possibly…dangerous children to be around others. It has been plain for all to see that your little…experiment with Lupin did not work out."
"That's another thing!" the Minister started back again "That man disappeared right under our noses! The Prophet will have a field day if they get wind of this. You were supposed to be the only one able to open those Wards Dumbledore! You must have set him free; I have a source that says that these three are also likely accomplices!"
"Now wait just a moment!" The Madam broke in at the accusation of the trio "These three have been in this room HEALING from their injures in QUIET which they should be STILL doing! I will not stand for this behavior!"
"You're accusing my daughter of doing WHAT?" Mr. Granger broke in, now suddenly furious. "Do you have a warrant for their arrest? Probable cause? I want to speak to a wizarding barrister!"
"That's right Minister! You will not take these children anywhere without parental permission! They are still minors!" Ron's dad added, quieter than the others but still quite loud. Frankly Harry had been starting to panic at the thought of never being able to use magic again, and his wand snapped but was glad to see adults that would stand up for his friends and himself.
"My Ronald would never-!" Molly Weasly was just getting started when Dumbledore called for silence again.
"Really now, this is not how this matter will be settled. Misters Weasly and Granger are quite right, you have to cause to accuse these children and they will not be leaving until they are cleared by a Healer. If you gentlemen would follow me," he spoke firmly now, leaving no room for argument as his power again crackled in the air. "And the parents of the children concerned will all come up to my office we can talk this over like adults."
Without so much as a look back he led the intruders out of the sick ward to leave very shaken families to recover their wits. Harry was surprised and proud that Sirius had said nothing and when the man was asked later reminded them that Remus needed him, and so did his godson. From this it was plain to see that the man was trying to be a bit more responsible about his actions. That didn't stop him from muttering comments about the men behind their backs ("Source my ass; that was pure Snape. You'd think the git would be more sympathetic now that he's in the same boat."). After reassurances and words from Madam Pomfrey the parents were convinced to leave their charges to rest more and walked up to meet the other party in the Headmaster's office in order to fight for their children's lives.
This left Ron, Hermione and Harry alone again for the first time after their return. None of them was calm enough to sleep and joined Harry on the middle bed to talk. Silence reigned for a moment as they were still stunned by what happened right in front of them.
"No kidding Ron, I've never seen Dumbledore that mad!" Harry shook his head in disbelief.
"Bloody scary that was." Ron agreed, and glared at their other friend for her disapproving look. "It's true! Good thing Mom never got started though or there wouldn't be a Minister left."
"I…I mean are we really going to be expelled?" Hermione finally spoke after a moment, her voice cracking as she tried not to cry at the thought. "A-and our wands snapped? They…they can't PROVE we did anything to get the professor. No one saw us and they wouldn't know that we used the time turner to go back that far safely."
"We'll be fine Hermione." Harry interrupted firmly before she could get herself more upset. "You're right that they can't prove it was us and Sirius will protect us and if we do have to leave Hogwarts well…you heard what they said."
"No one would let a brain like yours go to waste anyway," Ron interjected "and didn't you complain just a few days ago that classes were too big to really have time with a teacher?"
"Well yes but-" she tried to protest but neither boy was willing to let her drag herself into hysterics. Luckily they had figured out long ago how to distract the girl.
"Anyway isn't this a great opportunity for you?" Harry asked "We get to be some of the first werewolves ever to be in a pack very the very beginning."
"Oh!" He said quietly, then her eyes widened "That's right Harry! I read in Obscurica: Knowledge of Cursed Beasts by Linda Kural that the wolf side of a werewolf's mind is calmer when it can spend time around others like it around the time of the full moon and when transformed. Most people are turned are isolated and tied down when they transform though and so the wolf gets angry, causing the self-harm that can be so dangerous…"
Ron and Harry exchanged satisfied glances. If their friend could approach this from a learning perspective then she would just be fine. Neither of them admitted that they were just as worried as her deep down.
"Wonder if we'll get Wolfsbane," Harry thought out loud after they had lapsed into another silence. "I know between me and Sirius we have money…but not a lot of people brew it. Snape did for Lupin I know."
"He can't anymore," Hermione interrupted his musings. "Some of the most critical steps are done the night of the full moon. They aren't the hard ones but he will be transforming too."
"There are other Potions Masters in the country ya know," Ron said, feeling rebellious at the thought of relying on the hated teacher.
"Yes but that isn't the point," she replied, exasperated "the point is it will still be hard to come by."
There was silence again before Ron spoke in a small voice.
"I hope we can get it."
"Yeah," Harry agreed just as softly. "I hope we don't go to prison."
"Yeah," Ron replied this time, while Hermione was still thinking about the potion and the challenge it would be for them to get a hold of a supply for all of them every month.
"Maybe we can hire a potion's master to do only the Wolvesbane," the redheaded boy mused, thinking of the money that Harry mentioned before.
"Probably not Ron, most Masters like to work on new potions, not work on the same thing over and over again all the time," the young witch sitting next to him replied. "We would have to go to a Journeyman or a skilled Apprentice."
"Could they…er, be trusted not to…well, explode something?" Harry asked, only knowing his classmate's skills to judge by.
"Of course! Rank in the Wizarding world is judged by innovation mostly, especially in Potions." Hermione replied with her lecture tone in full swing. "An apprentice is expected to brew 90% of mainstream potions on the market, a Journeyman need to know all of them plus be able to think about making them better. Masters must create entirely new formulas to earn their rank and are expected to keep on creating."
"Oh…" Harry saw Ron nodding and realized this must be a fairly well-known fact to a wizard raised child. "Well we would need a skilled Journeyman then wouldn't we?"
"And someone we could trust not to poison us…" Hermione added then explained at the looks she got from her friends "I read in an old Prophet article about a serial killer who was selling batches of Wolvesbane that were purposely made incorrectly to kill those that took it. He wanted revenge on all werewolves from an attack on his family that killed his brother."
"Trust is definitely important then!" Ron stated and Harry nodded in agreement.
Just then Madam Pomfrey walked back in to usher them all to their respective beds and to sleep all with reassurances that their parents would be at the castle when they awoke.
"No use worrying about it now dears. Now take this, yes I know it tastes bad Mr. Weasley, no you cannot have a book to read Mrs. Granger. You all need your sleep to heal and you are going to do it now, understand?"
Um…yeah so…I got a job, and then school, and then I started reading fanfics again and…well here's this chapter that's been sitting on my computer waiting to be edited XD