Hi, finally the next chapter of this story. Only one more for this part. I am keeping it to one story per book and am already working on the sequel. Now happy reading.
The next four weeks the students from all houses asked Harry about his father becoming Minister of Magic and Harry tried to answer their questions as well as he could, even if he was a bit annoyed with how impertinent some were. Thank Merlin for his friends who simply knew when he needed to get away from all the publicity and made up excuses for him. Most students were supportive of the new course the Ministry took. Sirius had made sure to announce his program for his reign through the Daily Prophet. Many witches and wizards were surprised how different this was from what they were used to by the Ministry. Sirius opted to increase the security levels by having all employees sign contracts that they wouldn't reveal Ministry secrets to anybody outside their respective working areas and the department heads. This was to ensure that in case there ever was another dark wizard trying to take over the country like Voldemort had done no vital information could be leaked out.
Next was setting up investigations how effective the departments of the Ministry were working. Each employee had to answer to their department heads and an independent investigative group. All members of that group had to swear oaths that they would judge as objectively as possible, looking out for certain things that had been deemed important beforehand. While that investigation caused a storm of fury within the incompetent and corrupt politicians, Sirius ignored it. This was necessary if they wanted to survive against Voldemort if he managed to come back before they managed to find and destroy all of the maniac's horcruxes. If he didn't and they got rid of all horcruxes it would still be a good precaution.
Rita was having field days airing out the dirty laundry of the corrupt politicians in bought or favoured positions. Everyone that had hidden crimes was put on trial and sentenced depending on the severity of the crime.
Harry had been informed about Dumbledore finding out about his high grades by Remus. The old headmaster had not been happy that all of his plans had been destroyed, but now there was nothing he could do anymore. With Sirius being Minister Harry had the best possible protection and Dumbledore had lost a lot of political clout over the mess of Sirius not getting a trial already. Harry would still have to be careful; the old man was still dangerous.
Vernon Dursley was sitting in his living room not understanding the world. He had been fired from his position at Grunnings. Then when he had arrived at home he had been surprised by the sight of a police car standing in front of his house. When he had asked what they were doing here he was handed a search warrant for his house to collect evidence regarding the treatment of his nephew Harry Potter at the hands of his relatives. It turned out that there was a case against him and Petunia and even Dudley was investigated for his behaviour against his cousin and other children both here in Little Whinging and at Smeltings. Though in Dudley's case there wouldn't be as harsh consequences if the investigation turned out positive. He was still a minor after all. Vernon and Petunia were facing much worse. How could this have happened just because of the freak? They should never have accepted the boy. He should have gone to an orphanage.
He saw that Petunia was horrified seeing the neighbours craning their necks at what was happening at Number Four. She was mortified that they would now think that they were the freaks and not their nephew. She wouldn't be able to show her face for ages. And if this was made public they would have to move.
Then the policemen read them their rights, arrested Vernon and Petunia and told them that a court date would be sent to them by post. Pending the results of the questioning they would either be kept in custody or allowed to return home waiting for the trial. In case of the latter they were forbidden to leave the country or face harsher penalties. The only thing left to do was hiring a good barrister that would tear apart the lies that the freak had thought up to get them into this mess. Vernon Dursley as always was unable to see that he himself was at fault for his current situation.
Dumbledore was seething in his office. He had just found out just how much of a change there had been in Harry's grades since the start of the year. Not only was he sure that all of his carefully placed blocks on Harry were gone, all of his plans of using the boy as his pawn and sacrificial lamb were done for. The boy excelled in all of his classes and was competing with Hermione Granger for the top spot of his year. Why didn't any of the other teachers mention this? When he had asked Hagrid why he didn't tell him about Harry's impressive performance Hagrid simply said he had thought that Dumbledore knew because he always knew the things that were going on around the castle and that Harry didn't like to boast about his abilities because he already got enough attention all the time. The others said that the performance of Harry wasn't Dumbledore's concern and as he never asked about any of the other students they didn't see the need to inform him about Harry as he would have seen the end-of-year results anyway and would have found out then.
How dared they? He was Albus Dumbledore, Leader of the Light, the most powerful wizard of them all. How dared they mock him like that? And he couldn't do anything to get the boy back under his thumb. Harry was a dual founder's heir and therefore the castle itself would stop him from harming the boy inside the walls and the grounds. He had no pawns that he could move to make Harry follow his leadership. The Weasleys were out of his reach. Arthur now earned a lot of money and as the JWT shop in Diagon Alley flourished he would be earning even more as he had been the one to modify the games that were a big seller. He had visited the store to find out if there was a way to sabotage the things they sold, but to his annoyance there was none.
The things were run by magic and therefore they worked really well in an environment like Hogwarts. And he suspected that Harry would ask the castle to stop him from interfering with the things the students got in that shop. He didn't make a secret of how much he liked the things JWT sold. From what he had heard from his sources the goods the shop offered were taken well by the people. It was new, it made their lives easier and the entertainment area was something that had been lying bare for decades without any improvement. And the advertisements in the Daily Prophet promised more things being ready for the start of the summer holidays.
Sirius sat in an armchair and watched Harry attempting the animagus transformation. His son had done his homework and really found out all there was to know about panthers, magical cats and predators in general. He had drawn pictures of a panther in many different situations to better imagine how his animagus form should look like. Now he only needed to learn the actual transformation. Harry had got the legs and the torso down by now. What he found difficult were the tail and the head. But he was close, Sirius knew it. He had after all done this himself as a student and knew that things like a tail and the head, which was always the last part of the transformation, were the hardest as they were the most different from your normal body.
Then Harry seemed to have got it as a tail sprouted from his back and his head began to shift. But just before Harry got the full transformation down he seemed to hesitate and shifted back. Harry was breathing hard and was sweating.
"You are really close now, Harry." Sirius complimented.
"Thanks, Pa, but I, it was like I was hitting a brick wall just before I shifted fully." Harry commented sounding disappointed.
"Don't worry, that's a normal complication. The last step is letting your animal take over your body, which is hard to do. You need to exchange your normal thoughts and instincts for the animal's. In the beginning that's a frightening thing. Take a break for ten minutes; then we will start your next lesson in History. Your magic needs to rest for a while before you can attempt a new transformation." Sirius told Harry. "I'm very proud with how far you have already come, Harry."
"As are we." James piped up from his portrait.
"Yes, Harry. It's incredible how far you have already come." Lily confirmed.
"Thanks, Mum and Dad." Harry said happily.
Harry went to stretch a bit while Sirius set up the pensieve. He chose the next memory and poured it inside. Today they would listen to a lecture about witch hunts. It was also part of the normal third year curriculum, but with Binns teaching it there wasn't much Harry would be able to get from the lessons even if he would have attempted to pay attention. Right now Harry did homework, read up on things he was interested in, played hangman with Ron or took a nap in that class. Sirius could understand him. Binns was dreadful.
The pensieve course was much better. If Sirius got his way and he was sure he would soon, Hogwarts would undergo an educational reform. He had used his influence that he had gained during the time as Orion de Jarjais to plant the seed of doubt in Dumbledore's decisions regarding the educational standards at Hogwarts, based on what Harry made sure to write in his letters. The official ones that could be shown around. He spoke about the lessons, how certain ones were useless right now and why it was the case. He expressed wishes for improvements and Sirius was using them as a starting point to discuss things with a team from the Department of Magical Education. They were the ones setting up the OWL and NEWT exams each year, so they knew where the best and worst results were achieved. As Sirius already knew those were Potions and History.
Once Harry returned to continue his studies, Sirius let Harry enter the pensieve to join the lesson while he continued going over some paperwork that he still had to deal with. Mostly it was from Gringotts, informing him about the development of his and Harry's investments.
Oliver Wood was as much maniacal about the upcoming Quidditch match against Ravenclaw as ever. While they had won the match against Slytherin with a good margin there was no reason to rest in his opinion. He was in his last year and he wanted to win the damned cup at least once in his Hogwarts career. The team had had the worst luck ever with how the two previous years had gone. First year Harry's unconsciousness in the last match and last year the cup being completely cancelled. But this year he would hold the cup. So his team was put through the paces. They trained different strategies to counter the Ravenclaws and Harry was told to not go soft on Cho Chang, the Ravenclaw seeker. Well, it wasn't as if he would hold back on his new firebolt. It had been his main Christmas present from his father. Sirius not only had felt the need to spoil Harry a bit, he also wanted to make up for the twelve years of birthdays and Christmases he had missed.
Oliver had been ecstatic to see Harry zoom around on the broom during training. He had come up with a whole bunch of new strategies for Harry to use. Harry was very tempted to pull a Wronski Feint on Malfoy, but sadly the game against Slytherin was already over. Well, next time. This time he would use his improved body build and flying skills to interact more in the game. When he had still been a scrawny little twit the best strategy had been to rely on speed and perceptiveness to catch the snitch before the other seeker did. Other strategies were a bit too dangerous for him then. Now he had more options. While he still needed to keep the other seeker from getting the snitch before him, he could interfere with the chasers by stealing the quaffle whenever he was close.
There was no rule that forbid other players than the chasers and the keeper to handle the quaffle, it just wasn't done very often because the player that did, with the seeker being the only viable option as the beaters were normally too busy attacking the opponent team or protecting their own team, had to still play his original position. But Harry had the skill to play that kind of seeker. And Chang had no chance of out-speeding a firebolt on her broom which added to the advantage of letting Harry play that version of seeker.
The one thing Professor McGonagall had forbidden Oliver to do was having his team train early in the morning. She wouldn't stand for them being too tired to work properly in class. Last year Harry had had problems coordinating the early morning training with his schoolwork, especially in bad weather. While he was working out in the mornings, he had mostly changed it to swimming in the Room of Requirement. He really liked swimming now that he had learned it. Thanks to the Hogwarts house elves whom Harry had asked where the Room of Requirement might be, with the intention to find the horcrux made of Ravenclaw's Diadem, he had found the room. Dobby had looked through the whole room of hidden things to find the diadem for days until he had managed to find it. Gringotts had taken care of transferring the soul piece into a worthless stone and then destroyed it.
They had got a masterpiece of goblin forging for their work. An ancient shield that had been gifted to one of Harry's ancestors had been gifted to them for the work. The diadem was an heirloom of Harry's and he wanted to keep it. The goblins gladly helped with the process.
After that Harry had used the room for his training. He swam an hour every morning as swimming was relaxing for him on the one hand and built up his muscles on the other. Since he had learned how to swim over the Christmas holidays he had taken a liking to the sport. He had decided to continue swimming and also learn Kung Fu. For now that would be enough. It would help his self-defence abilities and still be fun.
Sirius checked his big to-do-list, which was placed behind his desk in his office at the Ministry. He had put all points that needed to be taken care of on it to have everything done in time. He also had a training dummy that looked like Fudge placed in one corner to take out his frustration over the mess his predecessor left for him. The dummy had suffered massively from Sirius' attacks. Nobody commented on it though. Sirius' teams for the different areas could completely understand the need to vent frustrations. They had felt that urge for years and hadn't been able to do so. For now the first steps of cleaning up were done. He had set up the Triwizard commission, the education commission, the anti-corruption commission and the efficiency commission. The last two would point out the problems within the Ministry of Magic. While he knew most of what was going on from Amelia and the rebels, he wanted to be sure to not overlook anything.
Additionally it would give him the time to deal with the detected Death Eaters that had managed to hide. Arrest warrants for those that were found were issued immediately and it was mandatory to question them under veritaserum in presence of a barrister. The questions were standard ones and all above the five questions had to be okayed by the barrister. Those questions were:
1. Are you a Death Eater?
2. Did you join the Death Eaters voluntarily?
3. Have you helped the Dark Lord Voldemort willingly or would you do it if he returned?
4. Have you committed any crimes that could harm wizarding Britain?
5. Have you ever used an unforgivable curse on a human being?
Nobody could argue against these five questions as they concentrated on the worst crimes possible. For normal criminals after those questions the antidote to veritaserum would be given, Death Eaters would be questioned further to find out all information on Voldemort, possible plans and efforts made to destabilize the country. Sirius would do all he could to not give Voldemort any hold into their government. The Wizengamot had easily agreed on these questions.
Discussing important issues with those mostly old fools was taxing. They were so used to letting either bigots like Lucius Malfoy buy them or following a goody two-shoes like Dumbledore that it would need a lot of time to get them to do their duties properly again. The younger ones around his own age were a bit easier to handle as they wanted to ensure that their children wouldn't have to deal with all the trash that was left from Voldemort's war. Seeing in the trials of the discovered Death Eaters just how much damage had been allowed to happen just because scum like them had been allowed to buy themselves free of persecution made many sick to their stomachs.
Sirius would be damned if he let things be like they were now for Harry to deal with them. Many, including Dumbledore, seemed to believe that it was Harry's duty for some reason to be the one taking care of things. He was the Boy-Who-Lived after all. Sirius quickly stopped those ideas. His son was thirteen years old and was just learning about his position in the wizarding world thanks to Dumbledore's neglect. And Dumbledore with his ridiculous ideas of giving bastards a second chance had a big part in letting things get as bad as they were right now. But his time would come. Sirius was preparing cutting down the influence Dumbledore had without stepping on too many toes of Dumbledore's loyal dogs. The key would be making it look like consideration for Dumbledore's too large workload, meaning taking away some of Dumbledore's positions, starting with the ICW. It was simple to argue that Dumbledore was doing too much and therefore he neglected important parts of his duties.
Normally it should all get to a close in about six months. When Hogwarts hosted the Tournament Dumbledore would be too busy to really argue against him having to let go of one position. Later he would have to let go of another. When Sirius would rightly demand that a person in a position as important as the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot or the Supreme Mugwump of the ICW should concentrate all his effort in said positions, Dumbledore would have to choose. And he knew the old manipulator wouldn't give up his power over Hogwarts to keep a political position, no matter how important it was.
And as Hogwarts' heir Harry was safe inside the castle, even if Dumbledore was the headmaster. He no longer was Harry's magical guardian and therefore Harry wasn't obliged to follow the crazy plans of the old man. He was sure that Dumbledore would try to fight for his influence, but he would be too late. Sirius would ensure that his son could grow up without worrying about whatever insane scheme the old man had cooked up. He had found some very interesting journals in the Black Family Vault. His aunt Cassiopeia really had had dirt on everybody. And he wasn't above using it if it guaranteed his son's safety and happiness.
It was the day of the match against Ravenclaw and to Harry's delight his father was in the audience watching. He had asked Professor McGonagall if he could watch his son's match and she had readily agreed. Now Sirius and Remus sat in the Gryffindor stands, excited that they would see Harry play. Remus had missed the last game thanks to his condition and had only shown up in the hospital wing in the evening once he had overcome the fatigue that always followed the transformation, even with the wolfsbane potion. Sirius hadn't told Harry that he would come, it was a surprise. The press thankfully didn't know either. It would be big news that the Minister of Magic visited a Quidditch match at Hogwarts. But today he wasn't the Minister of Magic; today he was a father who wanted to see his son play Quidditch.
Finally the two teams came out of their locker rooms. Thankfully today the weather was much better than last time Harry had played. And there were no dementors around anymore. This would make things so much better. Madam Hooch let the bludgers and the snitch loose and then threw the quaffle up and the teams kicked off. The game was fast paced. Gryffindor secured the quaffle for themselves and the attack was on. Harry for now stayed above the action, looking out for the snitch while the Ravenclaw seeker, a pretty girl Sirius noticed, tried to distract his son. He wondered if she would succeed.
A look on his son's face told him she wouldn't. The smirk was so similar to his own it was startling. Harry had something planned, that much was obvious, but what? Then the Gryffindor chasers scored the first time and the spectators around them cheered and they followed. Ravenclaw now had the quaffle. Harry shot down through the throng of chasers, the other seeker trying to follow. The announcer complimented the abilities of Harry's firebolt. It was funny to hear McGonagall reprimanding the boy. It reminded him so much of how she had told off the marauders in their school time. When Harry passed the Ravenclaw chasers, he quickly hit the quaffle out of a male chaser's hands and over to his Gryffindor teammate. Then he continued his dive with the Ravenclaw girl still behind him, even if Sirius couldn't see the snitch at all.
So Harry was playing interfering seeker. Interesting. Well, one thing he could say without a doubt was that Harry was an even better flyer than James. The boy seemed to have been born to fly. Sirius continued following the moves that the two teams showed. The Ravenclaws seemed to get frustrated because Gryffindor was pulling away quickly. The chasers and Harry didn't let them into the Gryffindor half at all it seemed. Right now, after twenty minutes the score was already 60:0 for Gryffindor. And the Ravenclaw seeker didn't seem interested in finding the snitch herself, she was busy keeping Harry from finding it. Well, that would prove dangerous if he knew his son.
True to Sirius' suspicions Harry put the girl through the paces while still interfering with the Ravenclaw chasers. He had the faster broom and the greater skill in the air. It was a joy watching him fly. Finally Harry seemed to seriously go after the snitch. Well, the score right now was 140:0. If Harry got the snitch, they would win, if not, they would lose. Well, from what he saw the girl didn't have a chance to beat Harry. He had pulled away a good part and she seemed to know it from the look on her face. Harry caught the snitch just after the Gryffindor chasers scored their fifteenth goal. That was harsh on the Ravenclaws. Being defeated 300:0. But Harry had been incredible. He was so proud of his son right now.
The team landed and Harry was hugged by the girls who couldn't resist kissing him on the cheek, which he clearly hadn't expected judging by his beet-red face. Sirius could only laugh at that. He was so innocent still. He and Remus made their way down to the celebrating Gryffindors. It was time to congratulate his son. Once he had managed to get through the masses of students that had run towards the winner team, he put a hand on Harry's shoulder. Harry turned around and looked surprised.
"Pa, you're here? Did you see the match?" Harry asked smiling brightly.
"I did. You were great, Harry. Congratulations for the victory." Sirius said grinning.
"Thanks, Pa." Harry replied happily.
"That was a great match from all of you." Sirius addressed the Gryffindor team who beamed at the praise.
"Will you stay for a while?" Harry asked hopefully.
"Yes, until after dinner." Sirius confirmed.
"Great, let me take a quick shower, then we can talk." Harry said.
"Alright. I will keep Moony company until you are done. We will be in his office." Sirius said.
"I will be there soon." Harry said and went to the locker room to take a shower, the rest of the team following his example.
Harry had a fun day. After showering he spent the afternoon with his father and Moony. They talked about things the marauders had done at Hogwarts, Harry's adventures with his friends, like smuggling Norbert out of Hogwarts, and plans for the summer. Harry loved the descriptions of the villa in France where they would stay and couldn't wait to see it. Moony promised to visit sometimes. So far things looked very good for him at Hogwarts and if nothing unexpected happened he would be the first DADA professor to break the one year curse on the position. Harry told his father and surrogate uncle that he was on a good way to ace the exams at the end of the year and how even Ron was putting a lot more effort into his studies. The inter-house research groups were also now getting to a point where they would soon be able to present the results of their investigations. Harry was looking forward to it.
They went down to dinner together and there Sirius and Remus went to sit at the head table while Harry joined the Gryffindors who often clapped him on the back for his great performance earlier in the match. Harry knew that the real party would start after dinner, like it always did.
He wasn't disappointed when they all reached the common room. Music was playing, snacks were placed on the tables and crates of cold juice and butterbeer were placed all around. They all celebrated their victory late into the night until Professor McGonagall ended it at two in the morning. While she appeared annoyed most noticed the small smile threatening to show on her face. After all, it was a badly kept secret that she was the most fanatic Gryffindor fan.
That's it for this time. Hope you liked it.