I don't own Hary Potter. (Everyone bow toward JK Rowling.)
My muse has been on vacation. I will finish my stories, but I had started this a while ago and decided to finish this one now. The rest of my stories will be updated at SOME point.
Premise: Under what circumstances would Harry not learn his story until the end of first year? I also wondered what would happen if Amelia Bones got involved in first year. This is mostly from her viewpoint. Even Dumbledore's viewpoint is only reviewed briefly.
Im not certain if this should be a one shot or if I should add more. We'll see what the reviewers say.
Albus Dumbledore was confused. He, as with most of the staff, had been waiting for this year for a long while: The year that Harry Potter came to Hogwarts. However, quite unexpectedly, Harry Potter had not come up as a topic of discussion in any report of significance. He had missed the opening feast because of the accident where he had fallen and hit his head while getting out the boat during the traditional crossing of the Black Lake. As a result, his sorting into Hufflepuff had been quiet and unremarkable as it had come in the hospital wing that first evening. His housemates had been told, and he had come to breakfast the next morning having missed the "meet and greet" aspect of the normal first night at Hogwarts. He kept to himself and seemed to have made no effort whatsoever to do anything other than get his schedule and go to class.
There was no one that he sat with, and each meal he seemed to eat quickly and then disappear. When the Headmaster had inquired of the portraits, he found that young Harry either made his way to his next classroom or back to his common room. According to his staff, he sat in the back and quietly did his work. When assigned to work with another student, he made no comments outside of the work done and never seemed to become involved in the normal chatter that young pre-teens normally engaged in.
There had been some attempt by the Slytherin first years to taunt him, but he had not reacted and eventually even Draco Malfoy had begun to ignore him. He seemed to ignore attempts to socialize by students from other houses as well as his housemates.
In his conversation with the staff, several had mentioned that efforts to draw him out had failed repeatedly. No one had made any exceptional efforts, as he had acceptable work and had not been remarkably good or bad in any of his classes. He did his work, he followed the rules and he made no effort to make any waves. Severus Snape, who had lamented having another Potter in Hogwarts, had begun to not comment on him as there appeared to be nothing to comment about. This would bear further watching.
It was November 1st. The staff were in a meeting, talking about the events of the night before.
One of the first year Gryffindors, Hermione Granger, was in the Hospital Wing having been attacked the night before by a mountain troll that had gotten into the castle. During the investigation later that evening, it was found that she had been in the bathroom crying after another first year had made some uncomplimentary remarks. No one had noticed during the feast that the girl had been missing.
When her parents had been contacted, they had talked about removing her from the school, and Minerva McGonagall could not fault them their reasons. She blamed herself when she found out that the girl had felt so isolated because no one would be friends with her because she was so intelligent. She had taken off many points from Ron Weasley and informed the boy's parents of what had occurred. The staff could also not figure out how the troll had come into Hogwarts. The only other student who had been missing had been Harry Potter. When the count had been done, he had not been with the other students either. Upon investigation, he had been found in his dormitory having left the feast shortly after it had begun. No one had noticed because of his habit of sitting alone and leaving early. He was even more isolated than Hermione Granger, but at least he had not been in danger. She would have to work hard to get Ms. Granger more integrated with her other first year Gryffindors.
Severus Snape walked the halls, doing his patrols. It had been a quiet holiday season. There were few students who stayed over Christmas break and as a result he had many fewer dunderheads to worry about. He had been told by Albus that the Potter wretch might be out and about and to keep an eye out for him. However, he had seen no sign of the little dunderhead. It was a good thing, in his mind, as he could concentrate his attention on making sure no one got into that third door corridor. The only hope for punishing rule-breakers was apparently was the possibility of finding those twin menaces out and about and punishing them.
Rubeus Hagrid watched as Charlie Weasley's friend took Norbert off. After realizing his life-long dream of having gotten a dragon, he had found out that there was one thing he could not take into account: He lived in a wooden house. After a minor accident, Professor Dumbledore had found out that he had Norbert and convinced him to give him to Charlie. Dumbledore, great man that he was, had convinced the other staff to help keep it quiet. Even if he missed Norbert, at least the little guy would be happy in his new home.
He couldn't take any more time with it though. He had to plan out his trip into the forest. Something was attacking the unicorns and he had to go out and see what it was. Maybe he could get some help from some students if he asked Professor Dumbledore. There were always students who got detention. As long as he kept an eye on them, it should be okay. As he walked back to his hut, he mused on what little Harry Potter was doing. He had been told during the summer that he might be needed to show him around Diagon Alley, but apparently he had gotten to Diagon with no outside help needed. After the incident with the boat, he hadn't really had an opportunity to know him. He wondered what would have happened if he had had the chance to show young Harry about.
Pamona Sprout stood in the infirmary, checking in on one of her quietest Puffs. The night before, young Harry Potter had been attacked by a black cloud with an evil face according to the other first year Puffs in his dormitory. When she had come in response to a summons by the 7th-year prefect, he had been almost comatose.
Poppy Pomfrey had been called and, when she had done a diagnostic charm, young Harry had been found to have an almost depleted magical core. Once he had been moved to the infirmary, further scans had found many more problems. Long scars on his back were found, and he had signs of malnutrition. The Headmaster had asked her and Poppy to keep quiet about what had been found, but Pamona was a Puff. If one of her little badgers was being abused, nothing would stop her from doing something about it. She had politely acknowledged Dumbledore and had moved quickly to the owlery to send a message off to her old friend Amelia. It was only days to the Leaving Feast and she wanted no delay in correcting the problem. If she waited any longer, the boy would end up going back to wherever he lived without an investigation, and it could not be borne. She personally liked the boy. He was a lonely sort and had apparently not bonded with the other first years. He was a hard worker from what she could see and from what the other first years told her, but other than that he seemed to make no impact on anyone around him.
Maybe Amelia could also investigate Quirrell having died the night before as well. He had been found in the forbidden corridor having apparently had a seizure. She would have to bring it up to Amelia when she came.
Amelia Bones was furious. Amelia Bones was beyond furious.
Amelia had arrived early the next morning and had requested to speak to her niece. After pleasantries, she had asked Susan about young Harry Potter. She had listened to Susan tell her about a young boy who had no friends, who almost categorically refused to say anything about himself. She had heard about a young boy who had spent a year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and had not learned to talk to anyone. She had learned that Albus Dumbledore had forbade his fellow students from asking Harry Potter about his family or parents because it would cause too much emotional turmoil. As a result, the Hufflepuffs - loyal hard working children that they were - had not talked to young Harry Potter about his upbringing. Unfortunately, this meant that his fellow students didn't know to talk to the young boy. Coupled with his reclusive tendencies, none of his fellow students had made inroads in striking up a relationship with him. By the time anyone noticed, the habit had been ingrained already.
After asking Susan to keep quiet about their discussion, she had spoken briefly to Pamona and had returned to the Ministry of Magic to look over the files there. No information about Harry had come up other than a sealed will from the young boys parents and a notice from Albus Dumbledore about the placement of Harry Potter with his last living muggle relatives, the sister of Lily Potter. As the Wizengamot had a session that day, she had used the opportunity to unseal the will. Although the will had been sealed by the Chief Warlock, as he had been unavailable due to emergencies, a vote of the full body had the authority to overcome the sealing. She had extracted a magical oath to keep the move secret for three days in exchange for a promise to report her findings that very afternoon.
At 11:00 she found herself at Gringotts, with an order from the Wizengamot to unseal the will. Normal procedures would be for the beneficiaries to be the first to hear it, but as Harry Potter had not contacted Gringotts when he had turned 11 and had not replied to any notices from them, they were willing to part with the information as long as she agreed 1) to only share the information with her department and the Wizengamot until the primary beneficiary heard the will, and 2) to get Harry to Gringotts within seven days after the end of term.
Upon reading the will, she had apologized to the goblin who had helped her as she had lost her temper and begun swearing and making threats about different wizards, three in particular: Peter Pettigrew, Barty Crouch and Albus Bloody Dumbledore.
The goblin she had been dealing with had waved off the apology and mentioned two others complicit in hiding information: Cornelius Fudge and Dolores Umbridge. According the will, the boy had been supposed to live with Sirius Black, Frank and Alice Longbottom, Andromeda Tonks, or her brother and his wife. Even though most on the list were unavailable, Andromeda had been in a position to raise Harry as part of a family. Also mentioned was affidavits from the Potters about what had been happening when they went into hiding. These affidavits were supposed to have been delivered to her, the Longbottoms or the head of the DMLE if either were unavailable. As she was now the head of the DLME, she had requested the affidavits from the Potter vault according to the will. By 11:30, she had proof positive that Sirius Black had not been the guilty party. As she was at Gringotts already, she had requested information on the conviction of Sirius Black that had been forwarded to Gringotts to seal off his assets. She had been shocked when all that had appeared was an order from Bartemius Crouch, Head of the DMLE, witnessed by Cornelius Fudge, Senior Undersecretary and Dolores Umbridge, Junior Undersecretary, to seal the vaults as he had been convicted and sent to Azkaban. There was no actual evidence of the conviction as required by treaty and so the goblins had not sealed the vaults should Sirius Black attempt to access them. There was a record of Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy attempting to claim the vaults, but as there was no legal conviction this had been refused. Another order from Cornelius Fudge, now Minister, had also been ignored with the treaties being applicable cited in the response from Gringotts.
She had gone back to her office and quietly ordered Kingsley Shacklebolt and Hestia Jones to retrieve Black from Azkaban. The report to the Wizengamot would include a trial if she had any say in the matter.
She had then grabbed Arthur Weasley from the Muggle Relations section. He was the head of the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts department, but no other members of the Muggle Relations department were available and she trusted Arthur.
They had made their way to Number 4 Privet Drive after using a telephone book to locate the Dursley family. Only because the name had been listed in the will had she even known their names. Of course, the will had specifically disinherited them from any custodial rights. Why Harry Potter had been shipped off to them was a mystery that had to be solved. She could have summoned Albus Dumbledore, but his name was rapidly becoming mud with her.
Upon interviewing the muggles, she had been astounded at what she discovered. Vernon Dursley had wanted to refuse to send Harry Potter to Hogwarts but had been convinced by his wife that they would not take no for an answer. Having learned that if he didn't send him off that more freaks would show up, the boy had apparently been sent off to the magical world with 500 pounds and told that they had no interest in helping him at all; the money was all that he would get and he had better make it last. The fat muggle counted it as money well spent if it got the freak - his word - away from them most or all of the year. Harry Potter had been told that they would have nothing to do with his freakishness and to not allow anybody from that freakish place - once again, Vernon Dursley's words - to contact them for any reason short of him dying. Dursley had even expressed disappointment that no such word had been received.
Arthur Weasley had had to be held back from hexing the Dursley man. Amelia herself was sympathetic, but she could not allow it. She, however, was making plans in her head about reporting her findings to the muggle authorities and Arthur had calmed down once she explained it to him on their way back to the Ministry. After she had extracted an oath of secrecy for the next three days until everything was reported, she had taken Arthur to the Wizengamot hearing as a witness. THAT was a dog and pony show.
She began with Harry Potter's life in the muggle world. The Wizengamot was furious and there were calls for the muggles to face the Wizengamot. She headed that off with a promise to inform the muggle authorities. She also mentioned the torture child abusers faced from other prisoners in muggle prisons - there were a few things that one learned from being an Auror. There was call for immediate placement in a wizard home. Amelia had interrupted and asked that she be able to finish her report. She then reported what she had found in the wills. The name Sirius Black had caused a stir, but she still had more to report. She then entered the affidavits into evidence. The outrage was astounding. Fudge tried to quash it, but the Wizengamot was in full fury over a pureblood Heir being sent to Azkaban without a trial. Lucius Malfoy called for a trial in several days after the current business was over. He even suggested that he take the boy as his family was Sirius's closest living relatives and they boy could stay with family until he was free. She could almost see the plans forming in Malfoy's head. Amelia almost smirked when she said a wait would be unneeded. She called the Aurors to escort Black into the chamber.
The ensuing questions left no doubt in any of the members minds that Sirius Black was innocent of any wrongdoing outside of being an illegal animagus. The fine and imprisonment from such a charge was more than outweighed by the time served from his illegal incarceration. The damages he was awarded were significant. The scandal saw the fall of the Fudge regime when the facts of who was involved were gleaned from the documentation. When Aurors were being called to removed a violently protesting Senior Undersecretary Umbridge, Arthur Weasley had a quiet word with Amelia about some of the testimony that had been entered into evidence under Veritaserum by Sirius Black. When the Director of the DMLE heard the information, she immediately asked for a recess for an hour brunch or dinner to present further findings. Arthur and Amelia immediately used the Director of the DMLE's floo connection to contact Minerva McGonagall. Upon getting the request to have Arthur's youngest called to her office, both flooed to the office to await Ron Weasley's arrival. Amelia disillusioned herself. When Ron saw his father sitting with his Head of House, he became very nervous.
At first Arthur asked about his year. As Ron was somewhat lazy despite some tutoring from a fellow first year, his grades were very average. When Arthur commiserated briefly that he himself had a hard time getting started when he was younger, Ron relaxed. Arthur asked about his brothers and received some mildly interesting reports from Ron's viewpoint. He then asked how his pet was doing. Ron commented that it slept a lot and pulled out a sleeping rat from his robe pocket. Arthur offered to have the rat checked to make sure he was okay and Ron brightened immediately. Ron left his rat with his father and happily was sent back to spend time with his fellow students. Once the door closed as Ron was leaving, a red light came out of nowhere and hit the sleeping rat. Minerva McGonagall was confused as to what the whole thing had been about. She knew that Amelia had been in the room disillusioned but had no understanding why this was happening. She had allowed Arthur to talk to his son and had a nice parent-teacher conference. The Stupefy from Amelia, however, changed the whole complexion of what she thought this was about. Amelia asked her to perform the animagus reversal spell and she was shocked when the young boy's pet had changed into a short rat-like man that she had thought dead for over ten years. She took the oath of silence Amelia asked for still shell-shocked from the proceedings. Long after Amelia had called two more Aurors in and had taken the stunned man away, Minerva McGonagall had sat at her desk, trying to process what she had just learned. Amelia had promised full disclosure within the next few days and she had to accept that soon she would find out what the bloody hell was going on.
The hour-long recess of the Wizengamot had seen politicking from members, trying to take advantage of the power vacuum created from Cornelius Fudge being forced to resign and Dolores Umbridge being placed in a cell awaiting questioning. Amelia called the assembly to order. There was an immediate call from the floor to install a temporary Minister of Magic. Many had assumed that Amelia Bones would accept the nomination from the members from the lighter side but when she objected based on being very busy with the current investigation regarding the circumstances of the boy-who-lived, the members realized that her refusal was set in stone. In truth, Amelia Bones had no interest in playing politics with a bunch of pureblood politicians bent on their own power. However, she did recommend Amos Diggory as a department-head that would suit. However, the current unrest of the goblins over the current circumstances meant the Director of Magical Creatures department who had allowed such things was not acceptable to the body at large. Bartemius Crouch's mishandling of the Sirius Black case, adjudicated just hours before, made his unacceptable as well. When Lucius Malfoy recommended one of his cronies, the backlash against it left very little doubt that his earlier push to gain control of the boy-who-lived had cost him some political capital. As a result, he decided he would have to step back in to the shadows and allow his money machine to come into play before he tried again.
There were few Department Heads left to choose from and if an outsider was called in, it would be impossible to complete the installation of a temporary Minister that day. When Arthur's name came up, he declined until Amelia's report was finished because of something he had learned during the earlier session.
Having piqued the curiosity of the members, the discussion was tabled until Amelia finished her report. Finally, Amelia called for the trial of Peter Pettigrew. Astonishment rang in the chambers as Aurors dragged the now-sobbing man into the room. Amelia called Arthur to testify as to the capture of the traitor. After Arthur explained what he had realized, the members could understand his earlier refusal. The respect for the long-time ministry worker grew as the members saw his inherent honesty come into play. Amelia called for the truth serum and the full sordid details of the night that the Potters were betrayed came to light. The Wizengamot was outraged. When Amelia also brought up that the rat was in possession of the Dark Lord's wand, the group began calling for the Dementor's Kiss for the wretched fool. Without the calls from clemency normally heard from the Chief Warlock position, Pettigrew was quickly sentenced and taken away. Voldemort's wand was snapped immediately after a Prior Incantatum was performed to show the last several spells on the wand. When the wand showed that the last curse was a killing curse, it reminded the members that this all started as a report on Harry Potter. After the full report, Amelia once again promised full disclosure within two more days. The debate on a temporary Minister of Magic resumed until finally Amelia reluctantly agreed with the proviso that she could personally finish the current investigation. Wanting just to finish and go home, the members of the Wizengamot agreed and Amelia Bones was sworn in immediately. She then turned and ordered Arthur to take the Undersecretary position. Amelia reminded the members as to the oath of secrecy and it was agreed that the next session would come in two days at 2:00 in the afternoon. Amelia hoped to have the basics wrapped up by then.
That evening, Amelia contemplated what she had learned so far about the circumstances surrounding one Harry James Potter. That the system had failed him spectacularly was obvious with every single bit of information that she had learned. The savior of the Wizarding World had quietly arrived not with a shout but with a whisper. There was an obvious attempt from powerful forces to keep him ignorant of his heritage and his place in society. That he had been abused had been missed because abused children do not like to make waves and so problems which should have been discovered had been hidden. It looked like tomorrow was going to be just as long and arduous as today had been.
Arthur Weasley sat in his sitting room, contemplating the information that he had been privy to that day. That his family's life would change was obvious with his new position. He hadn't even explained to his wife yet, telling her that he could explain in the next two days what had occurred. Molly was not happy but had been placated when he mentioned an oath of secrecy was involved. As the news would come out before his children came home, he knew he would have to prepare them before it caused the major scene that he knew it would. Tomorrow he would have to get a replacement pet for his youngest son. The betrayal that would become news very shortly would cause pain for his son. His daughter, who sat snuggling against him, would be devastated when the news that her hero had been abused his whole life became known. He was not looking forward to the next few days.
Sirius Black, sitting in a private ward at St. Mungo's guarded by Aurors for privacy, contemplated his changed circumstances. No one had yet been informed of the fact that he had been released - Amy had been very thorough in keeping a cone of silence surrounding the goings on. One thing Sirius Black knew was that he would soon get to see his godson and it was this thought which began to pull him out of the mental fugue that Azkaban had caused him to suffer for the last ten years. Amelia had promised that Andi or herself would keep Harry safe until he could take his position as guardian. Sirius also wondered where his old friend Moony was.
Lucius Malfoy sat in his den contemplating what had transpired in the Ministry of Magic. That his political position had suffered was without doubt. His suggestions to the Wizengamot for his hastily thought out plan to see Black assassinated before any possible information could change the status quo had been soundly defeated by that hard-nosed bitch that now held the reigns of power. Even Albus Dumbledore, whom he had long thought of as his main opponent, could not have done more to destroy his position in such a short time. He would have to fan the flames of discord - just as soon as that damnable secrecy oath had expired in two days time. For the moment, however, there was little he could do other than make some plans to meet others that shared his ideologies to help prepare the way.
Albus Dumbledore was thoroughly frustrated. Aurors had taken up his whole day investigating the death of the latest DADA teacher. The investigation had then uncovered that something had been being hidden and that the teachers had been involved. All day he had had to run around attempting to calm the situation and prevent information that should not be known from being shared. The Aurors had been uncompromising in the gathering of information regardless of the facts and he had had to use all of his persuasive abilities to downplay the incident. He was very much not looking forward to speaking to Amelia Bones and the Wizengamot regarding the findings as had been implied by the investigators. He had even missed the Wizengamot meeting that had been called earlier that very day. Knowing that he had no calls from his supporters regarding what had been talked about, he decided that it was politics and unimportant politics at that as was common with that body. He also thought about the first year that was in the infirmary. Harry Potter had been attacked and he would have to discuss the facts and ramifications the next day with his Heads of House and Madam Pomfrey. He would have to get the Stone back to Nicolas to head off the scrutiny as to what exactly had been being guarded. That the protections had held so well was both a blessing and a curse. With no measurable negative incursions getting anywhere near the Stone, he would be hard pressed to justify destroying it as had been his original plan when he had decided to protect it here at Hogwarts. It would be a long day again tomorrow.
Early the next morning, Amelia Bones made her way with an Auror escort to the front gates of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. She had received word from Pamona that her first year had awakened after his incident and she wanted to interview the child before Albus Bloody Dumbledore interfered. She had extracted a promise from Pamona that Albus would be kept out until after breakfast which was in progress when she arrived. Amelia made her way with her escort to the infirmary and waited outside. She wanted to prevent Albus from entering herself. Even though she was acting Minister, she would be using her authority as Director of the DMLE to find out exactly what the hell was going on. She looked into the window and could see the lonely young Harry Potter eating breakfast while sitting up in bed. She watched as Madam Pomfrey took away the tray once he had finished and prepared herself to interview the young man. She had no clue as to what she would learn but she was preparing herself for the worst.
Once Dumbledore saw the gathering outside of the hospital wing, he attempted to twinkle his way into dealing with the situation himself. Amelia took great pleasure in slapping down the Hogwarts Headmaster. Albus Dumbledore realized that at that moment his day had taken a very serious downturn. Demanding that Harry's Head of House be present she waited until Pamona was retrieved before making her way into the hospital wing with Pamona and an Auror in tow to keep a record of what occurred. The two remaining Aurors in her escort stayed posted outside the door to ensure that no one disturbed the new Minister of Magic.
Two hours later, a tear-stained Amelia Bones made her way out of the hospital wing. Her Auror escort noticed that Professor Sprout also had tear tracks and the Auror with them had a stoic face. She asked one of the Aurors to summon Albus Dumbledore and Minerva McGonagall. When the two arrived, they were shocked by the expressions that met them outside of the infirmary.
Amelia informed them that Harry Potter was being moved to St. Mungo's for a full checkup. She neglected to inform them that the main reason she wanted Harry moved was to meet his godfather. When Dumbledore objected, Amelia reiterated her position. Dumbledore threatened to go to the Minister and the Wizengamot. Amelia pointed out that a) She was the acting Minister of Magic, b) she was acting with the full knowledge of the Wizengamot, and c) she was acting with the full authority of the wills of James and Lily Potter. Albus Dumbledore was completely nonplussed. He had had no warning from his allies on the Wizengamot that anything so momentous had taken place. Amelia then remonstrated him that this information was under a secrecy oath until the next meeting and that as Chief Warlock he was bound by that agreement.
At that moment, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore knew that he was totally outmaneuvered.
Amelia then ordered the senior staff to be convened directly after lunch so that she could speak to them. After Amelia reentered the infirmary, the Headmaster attempted to get information from Pamona about what had been learned. Pamona looked at Dumbledore with such loathing that he knew that avenue was closed to him.
Amelia made her way with her young charge towards the private ward that Sirius Black was being treated in. She had debated with herself whether this was the best choice, but had ultimately decided that both Sirius and Harry needed each other right now. Both needed some socialization and Harry had seemed enthusiastic to meet Sirius when she had explained who he was any why he hadn't been available to raise him. The conversation with Harry had produced many tears, some depression, and - finally - some hope in the lonely young man she had met in the Hogwarts infirmary. Amelia had explained over lunch with Harry that, although still recovering, Sirius would be his new guardian. She also explained that they would most likely be living with Sirius's cousin Andromeda or herself and Susan until both Harry and Sirius were totally recovered. Harry had smiled shyly at Amelia and expressed his happiness with the arrangements that she and Sirius had discussed the previous day.
The reunion between Harry Potter and his godfather Sirius Black left the observers in tears, but happy tears this time. Amelia explained what she had learned and Sirius was shocked and began comforting his godson. She left them to find lunch before making her way back to Hogwarts.
Amelia made her way to the office of the Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Pamona Sprout was waiting with the password so that the meeting could occur. Amelia and Pamona made their way up the moving staircase to the officer where the other Heads and the Headmaster were present. Albus Dumbledore attempted to take control of the meeting but Amelia Bones was having none of that. She forced them to take an oath of secrecy until the next day, explaining that the Wizengamot was under the same stricture.
Once she had this completed, she began her conversation.
"This meeting is regarding Harry Potter." Although most of the people had already guessed this, Filius Flitwick and Severus Snape had not been involved up to this point. Amelia noted the look of mild concern on Flitwick's face and a slight sneer on the part of Severus Snape. "Due to the massive mishandling on the part of Hogwarts' staff, I have intervened on the behalf of Harry Potter to rectify a number of things."
There were looks of shock on most faces, although Pamona Sprout looked guilty (as she was aware of what was found out). Severus Snape sneered disdainfully as he interjected, "It is not our place to feed the ego of our students. I am certain that whatever occurred would not concern the Ministry of Magic if the ... boy ... were not a celebrity." The reaction around the room were varied and immediate. Albus Dumbledore shook his head. Minerva McGonagall and Filius Flitwick were disapproving, although it appeared neither was surprised by the Potion Master's comment. Amelia was prepared to offer a scathing retort but Pamona Sprout was much quicker.
Severus Snape found the short witch's wand planted under his chin and irate Head of Hufflepuff looking at him with blazing anger. "Severus Snape. If you made one more comment about Harry Potter, you will find yourself a resident of the infirmary for a period of not less than two weeks." A look over to the Headmaster for backup but saw that Dumbledore was too distracted to intervene. A glance over at Amelia Bones showed him that there was no help from that quarter either. Finally he looked back into the face of an enraged Pamona Sprout. "Do you understand?"
Severus nodded curtly as he stepped back from his fellow Head. He also noticed that she did not put her wand away. He resolved to remain quiet unless asked a direct question; Slytherins were well known for survival instincts.
The rest of the room, sans Amelia, were shocked by the display. Hufflepuffs were known for their loyalty but Pamona was known for being unflappable. Amelia looked at Pamona and said, "Thank you." She looked over the rest and repeated, "As I said, Harry Potter has been severely mishandled and I have intervened on his behalf." She looked over at Dumbledore. "I understand you have a pensieve, is that correct?" Albus replied in the positive. "Rather than waste everyone's time attempting to explain, it would be better if you all viewed the interview I conducted earlier in the hospital wing." Albus retrieved the runic bowl and placed it on the desk in front of everyone. He removed the memories that were contained within and placed them in a few small vials and placed those in his robe pockets. He then indicated that it was ready.
Amelia Bones took her wand and removed the memory from her temple and placed it within the now clear water of the pensieve. She then asked everyone, save Pamona as she had been present for the interview, to put a finger in the bowl. They all moved to comply. Suddenly the staff found themselves in the Hogwarts hospital wing with a view of Harry Potter sitting on his bed. Amelia Bones was just sitting down on a chair next to him and began the interview.
"Hello, Mr. Potter. My name is Amelia Bones. I am here acting as the Director of Magical Law Enforcement for the Ministry of Magic. You know your Head of House Professor Sprout and Madame Pomfrey is the school healer." Harry nodded. "Also, this is Auror Proudfoot, acting as a witness." Harry looked confused for a moment but held in his question. "You had a question?"
"Um ... I'm sorry, but I don't know. What's an Auror?"
Amelia nodded. "An Auror is a field operative for the DMLE. They catch criminals and Dark Wizards." She paused a moment. "Although there is more involved, they are the equivalent of a muggle bobby, inspector and government intelligence agent rolled into one. Do you understand?" Harry nodded. "Do you know why I am here?"
Harry thought a moment. "The black cloud thing with the face?" He looked over toward Professor Sprout to see if she approved. Professor Sprout looked at him sadly, which was a little unnerving.
Amelia shook her head. "Although that is one reason I am here, that is not the main issue. After you were attacked, you were brought to the hospital wing. Once here a number of things were noticed." Harry began looking nervous. "It was noted that you had many old injuries which were apparently left untreated. What can you tell me about them?"
Harry looked terribly embarrassed. "Er ... childhood injuries. I'm very clumsy." He didn't want to look up and see an accusing face.
"Mr. Potter." Harry flinched. "Harry." He looked up a little surprised - no adult called him by his name. Most other students called him Potter, except a couple of other Hufflepuff first years. It was something that he was used to. "I'm sorry, but I know that's not quite right." Harry was getting more fearful by the minute. "The injuries to your back could not have been a 'normal childhood injury.' How did you get them?"
Harry stuttered through an answer. "Well, it happ .. happened one time. I made a b.. bad mistake and was p .. punished. It was only once a l.. long time ago."
"How old were you?" Amelia tried to maintain her calm. Harry was already skittish and becoming enraged would not help.
"I was eight years old .. I think."
Amelia nodded. "How were you punished?"
"Uncle Vernon's b.. belt."
What was your mistake?"
Harry looked embarrassed again. "I had accidentally dropped the pudding that my cousin Dudley was getting for passing school that year. The plate was hot and my hand was burning." If Harry had looked up he would have seen the look of outrage on the faces of the people present.
"Thank you. I know this is difficult, but I need to know these things." Harry nodded miserably. "Tell me about your home life."
With a bit of coaxing, Harry talked about his experiences growing up. Although physical punishments were rare outside of the one incident and a few swipes by his Aunt Petunia with a skillet, the emotional abuse and neglect was obvious. The fact that he grew up in a cupboard was shocking, but his blasé attitude about it was the most upsetting for those listening. When Harry finished explaining, he surprisingly felt a bit lighter that someone finally knew his experiences growing up. He didn't think any adult would be interested.
"Why did you never tell an adult?"
Harry looked surprised. "That's just normal life." Harry shrugged. "I learned a long time ago to not ask questions and to keep to myself."
Amelia was fighting to maintain control. "Do you think it's normal to grow up in a broom cupboard under the stairs?"
Harry shrugged. "I don't know. I never had any friends growing up because my cousin would beat up anybody who was nice to me. My letter was addressed to my cupboard - I assumed it wasn't that strange."
At that, everyone in the room lost some control. They were all visibly trying to maintain control in response to the casual attitude about the abuse suffered. Finally Professor Sprout gently inserted, "Harry. The letters are addressed magically and so we didn't know. It's really not normal and if I had found out earlier, I would have made certain something was done to correct it." Harry looked shocked at the tone of caring that his Professor expressed. He wasn't used to it and it was freaking him out a little.
After everyone had settled down, Amelia continued her interview. "How were you introduced to the Magical World?"
"Well, my relatives were getting ready to send me to Stonewall High. Then a weird letter came addressed to me. My Aunt and Uncle were a bit freaked out and refused to let me read it. The next day several more came. I was sent to Dudley's second bedroom. I was called down by my Aunt and she told me that apparently I was a freak like my parents were. They gave me the first letter and showed me the several others that had come. I didn't know what it meant by 'awaiting an owl' and my Aunt pointed out toward the back yard where several were waiting. She made me send a note accepting with one of them. Then my relatives took me to London and left me at the Leaky Cauldron. Apparently my Aunt knew where it was cause my mother had to go there too. My Uncle gave me 500 pounds, explained that was all I was getting and that they wanted nothing to do with my freakishness and told me that what I was given had to last and they wanted nothing to do with it. They didn't want anyone to interfere with their 'normal life' and told me that I would have to handle everything on my own.
"I went in to the pub and asked the barman about how to get the things on my letter. He acted really weird when he saw my scar, like I was famous or something. People have been staring at it. Tom at the bar call me 'the Boy Who Lived' but I didn't really understand why I was so famous for a scar gotten that way." The people in the room looked at each other in shock as Harry continued. "Anyway, as the bar wasn't going to be open for another hour when I got there, Tom explained about how Diagon Alley worked. I asked him the 500 pounds was enough for what I needed and he said yes. He exchanged most of the pounds for Wizard currency, telling me he gave me a bit better of a conversion rate than I would get at the bank. He explained how the money worked and told me how not to be cheated at the stores. He had someone cover for him while he took me out to get my supplies. He kept people from staring and haggled with some of the shop owners for better prices for me." Harry looked thoughtful for a moment. "He really helped me out. He explained that he wanted to make sure I was safe while getting my things. Everyone seemed weirded out when they found out who I was but he didn't let them get too weird. I think the fact that he had a place at Diagon Alley helped cause I saw how much better the prices were than what was posted on the signs. I really appreciated it. When I got my wand, Ollivander looked like he wanted to say something but we were interrupted by someone else coming in to the store. When Tom saw who it was, he hustled me out right quick. He explained that some people may not look favorably at me and he felt it was better safe than sorry."
"Do you know who it was?"
"Well, the kid with the person was a Slytherin in my year named Theodore Nott. The Slytherins never seemed to like me, so I've stayed away from them as much as possible." Harry shrugged. "Anyway, Tom explained about the Hogwarts Express and got me a ticket somehow. It was weird cause he used his fireplace. He let me stay in a room at no charge. He explained how to get on to the train and got me off on a train for Privet Drive when I explained that my relative expected me to handle my own travel. He made sure I had kept enough regular pounds to get around and gave me a coin purse he had which would allow me to hold my money safely. He also got me a trunk with wheels so I could move it without carrying it. When I got home, my relatives left me alone for the most part and I got up really early on September 1st so that I could be on time. I got to Kings Cross around 10:00 in the morning and got on the train. I pretty much slept the whole way cause I really hadn't had enough sleep. No one really bothered me - I made sure to cover my scar cause that's what seemed to make people weird."
Amelia thought over what she had been told and came to a shocking conclusion. She couldn't believe it, but it was possible that it was the case from what she had heard. "Harry, do you know why the Slytherins don't like you or why people act weird because of your scar?"
Harry shrugged. "Not really. The Slytherins call me scarhead and sneer about being the Boy-Who-Lived, but I don't really know why. I guessed that it was strange the way my parents died cause most people seemed in awe or something. I just don't know why it's so strange to survive something like that. I don't really like being a freak so I never really wanted to weird anyone out asking about it."
Amelia looked at Harry with growing horror. The expressions on the faces of everyone in the room were just as shocked as Amelia's. "Harry." Amelia seemed to struggle to talk for a moment. "Do you know how you got that scar?"
Harry was very confused. "I was always told that I got it in the car crash my parents died in. I always thought it was weird that witches and wizards find that so odd."
Suddenly, the memory ended and the 5 people viewing the memory were ejected from the pensieve. The faces around the room were all shocked at what had been learned in the interview. Amelia looked at all of the people in the room and said, "After one year of being in this school, I had to explain to Harry Potter why he was famous. I had to explain to the Boy-Who-Lived why his scar was famous. I had to tell an 11-year old boy that his parents did not die in a drunken crash caused by his father but that they were murdered by a Dark Wizard trying to kill his whole family. I had to tell an almost 12-year old orphan his whole name because he had never been told. I had to tell him his PARENTS names." Amelia was building herself into a rant. "Can anyone tell me why the most famous child in the magical world could spend an entire year in this school and not be told ONCE the circumstances? Why he couldn't make ONE FRIEND because the HEADMASTER TOLD THE OTHER STUDENTS NOT TO TALK TO HIM?"
Not waiting for a reply, she stood up. "Tomorrow at 2:00 in the afternoon, there will be a Wizengamot meeting. Headmaster, Deputy Headmistress, you will be expected to attend and possibly to testify. Pamona, I suggest you arrange to attend as well as the student is a member of your house and you were to one to alert me to the situation. I suggest you prepare because the backlash from this is going to be explosive." At that, she left the office before she began to hex Albus Dumbledore.
The next morning, Arthur Weasley made his way to Hogwarts. He knew that after the Wizengamot meeting later that day that rumors would be fast and furious. He had to let his sons know what to expect and to give Ron the new pet that he had bought to replace the rat that created so many problems. He had bought his son a scoop owl that his daughter Ginny had helped to pick out. He had also bought his daughter a black and white kitten so that she did not feel left out. His wife had become upset with the extra money spent but he explained that he had gotten a raise and it was necessary. Why it was necessary he would explain the evening after the Wizengamot session. Arthur knew that he would have to deal with a very upset wife and daughter when everything came out.
On the final day, before the Hogwarts Express took the students home, the student body as a whole was very curious. The staff had looked shook up since the afternoon two days earlier and no one could find out exactly what had happened that had created such a response. Rumors were wild as the information that Harry Potter had already left for the year was passed around. Outside of the Hufflepuffs, there were rumors that he had battled some great evil because of what had happened earlier in the week. The Hufflepuffs were concerned because one of their own was missing and all they knew was the Susan Bones had spoken to her Aunt but had promised not to divulge the conversation. All Pamona Sprout would say was that he was okay and that more would be told the day before term ended. Although this calmed the House down, it had fueled the rumors.
The Weasleys apparently knew something but they were mum about what was happening. There were rumors that Arthur Weasley was seen coming and having a meeting with his children and afterwards they Weasley children were all very quiet and serious.
During breakfast, the students were eating breakfast and preparing to get on the Express in two hours. The staff were all sitting at the head table. The tension was obvious. Finally huge number of owls came into the hall, apparently carrying the Daily Prophet. When students saw the expressions of those that received copies, there was a rush to gather around each copy and see what was so important. They headlines silences the room as the student body collectively took in the shocking information in the Daily Prophet.
BOY-WHO-LIVED IS BOY-WHO-NEVER-KNEW
SIRIUS BLACK INNOCENT, PETER PETTIGREW GIVEN DEMENTOR'S KISS
AMELIA BONES MINISTER OF MAGIC
HARRY POTTER ISOLATED BECAUSE OF ALBUS DUMBLEDORE
The editorials were just as shocking.
Savior of the Wizarding World Abused?
Does Hogwarts Teach Students Enough?
Are the Goblins Ready to Revolt?
What Should Have Happened?
The trip on the Hogwarts Express that day was subdued. The Gryffindors were incensed. The Ravenclaws were overloaded. The Slytherins were wondering how they could use this. And the Hufflepuffs were feeling guilty. The fallout from what was learned would be felt for a long time.
AN: Okay, should I continue this or is this enough of a story?