Note (1): Not-So-Good-But-Not-Evil-Either Manipulator Dumbledore won the poll 29 to 27.
Note (2): I know it's short, but I planned for the chapter to be cut off where it is, and writing on my Fire is a pain. Also, if you see any mistakes, leave them in a review and I'll fix them. I caught a few of them, but I doubt I got all of them.
Word Count: 1,496
Amelia frowned at the thinness of the two files. Sirius Black's file was alarmingly thin; with such a dangerous criminal, there should be quarterly reports on what he's been saying and doing and how the Dementors affect him. An Auror should have been assigned to deal with that after the trial, but as Amelia was quickly coming to realize while reading the file, there hadn't been one.
It wasn't uncommon at the time for Death Eaters to not be put on trial. Before every trial, there was a meeting of three Wizengamot members and the accused and the Auror who investigated. The three members would then decide if there was enough evidence to go to court, or as was more likely, would accept a bribe for the Death Eater's release.
Corruption ran wild in the Wizengamot in those days - not that it had changed much. Ten times, laws that would allow the DMLE to investigate those suspected of corruption came before the Wizengamot, and ten times they were defeated, almost unanimously. Most of the members assumed they were the ones that the law was about, and so voted against it. Those who weren't corrupt themselves, were either in Dumbledore's block (and voted for it) or were scared the Death Eater's would come after them for making easy getaways impossible (and voted against it).
Sirius Black had been put before Barty Crouch, then Undersecretary Cornelius Fudge, and Byron Longbottom, Augusta's husband, who had been killed the night his son and daughter-in-law were tortured. According to the report, the meeting was held for five minutes with only those four men, and Black had been silenced throughout. Afterwards, Black was taken to Azkaban and that was it. There was nothing else in the file - no trial transcript, no prisoner reports, even the man's transfer to Azkaban was written on a small, barely legible piece of parchment.
Even worse than the thinness of Black's file, was the thinness of Potter's. It should have had the address updated (it still read Potter Cottage, Godric's Hollow), even if it only said classified. The magical guardian and their address (even though Potter lived with muggle relatives) should be listed, but it was still Sirius Black. There were no reports from Wizarding Child Services, even though there should have been biannual visits at the very least, as required by law when a magical child was placed with muggles. Harry Potter being who he was, there would have no doubt been many more, solely for the bragging rights of knowing the boy.
Amelia sighed - this was beginning to look worse and worse. She duplicated Black's file, and sent it to Narcissa, and then began looking over the financial reports of the Malfoy and Potter families, supplied by Ripjaw. The Malfoy's were nearly broke - or at least nearly broke compared to the vastness of the Malfoy Vaults when Lucius inherited them. There were only three million galleons left in Gringotts with the Malfoy name on them.
The Potter boy on the other hand, had seven billion waiting for him to turn seventeen. His trust vault alone had two million. Then there was the other six billion from families that had left their fortune to the Boy-Who-Lived and then passed on. There was another two billion that he'd get from another three families if they died out before changing their wills. And he was all set to inherit the Black's four hundred million. It must have looked irresistible to Lucius.
And then he found out the Potter's had high security protections on the vault. Amelia smiled at the thought of Lucius Malfoy in a goblin prison, forced to shovel dragon dung for the rest of his life. Her secretary's head poked through the door.
"Undersecretary Umbridge is here to see you, and she demands to be seen now rather than make an appointment. Would you like me to scare her away?"
"No, send her in. I'd rather deal with her now than give her time to simmer." The last of Amelia's smile faded away as she spoke. She idly wondered if Delores was related to Dementors, with the way she sucked all happiness out of the area around her.
Kingsley Shacklebolt knocked on the fifth door in thirty-six hours. He was leading the primary team to find the Potter boy. His team would make a cursory search of each property, and then call in another team to deal with whatever they found, and move on.
"Can Dobby be helping yous, sirs?" the elf that answered the door said. Then he saw Hestia Jones, and added, "and miss?"
"Are your masters here, elf?" Kingsley asked. His next question would be if he was the highest ranking elf on the property.
"Dobby is the only elf on the property, sirs and miss," Dobby answered, after telling them none of the Malfoy's were there. Elves could accept legal papers for their family, but only if they were the highest ranking elf on the property and the family they belonged to weren't in.
So far, each elf served had taken an unusual amount of glee in telling the Aurors of places they'd like to avoid, or wouldn't like to see. Each of the Aurors with elves at home made a mental note to treat their house elves even better than they did already.
"This is a warrant to search the property," Kingsley said, handing the elf a piece of paper. Dobby's eyes grew wide.
"The property, sirs and miss, or just the house?" he asked.
"The property," Kingsley said. "The whole property." Dobby's eyes grew even wider, and then he grinned, and motioned for them all to enter.
"Sirs and miss must come in at once. Sirs and miss wouldn't like to see what's in the room behind the third bookshelf from the left along the back wall of the library, or..." Dobby began listing off places as the other elves had done, finishing with, "and sirs and miss will find nothing of interest underneath the old shack just beyond the tree line there." Dobby pointed out a window, and Kingsley made note of the spot he pointed to - just at the beginning of a thick forest behind the property.
"I see. Well, thank you. Well take great care to avoid those places," Kingsley said, giving the elf a wink. Dobby gave him another grin and then disappeared with a snap of his fingers. "Alright, you heard him, start with the ground floor and go up, pay attention to the rooms he mentioned. Jones, you're with me. We're going to check out that shack he mentioned."
Jones nodded, and the rest of the Aurors began to move. Kingsley hoped they had more luck with this property than the others. There's no telling what condition the boy would be in when they found him.
"Really, Delores, I don't see how that's any of your business." The woman had come right in, and immediately demanded to know what the meeting with Narcissa was about.
"A private meeting with Lucius Malfoy's wife wouldn't look good right for you right now, Amelia," the toad-like woman said. "Especially if the press got wind of it."
"Hmm, you know, I have Lucius Malfoy's bank statements here. Here's a transfer of thirty thousand galleons on the first of last August, and another here of twenty-five thousand on the third of last July." Umbridge got paler and paler as Amelia spoke. "You know what, Delores? I think these were transfered to your account. Imagine if the press got wind of that. All you need to know is that she's helping us find what her husband did with Harry Potter. Now, please get out of my office!"
Umbridge practically flew out of her office, moving far quicker than she ever had before. Several people saw her, and by the end of the day, Amelia's already fearsome reputation had grown.
"Oh wow, look at this," Jones said. They had made it to the shack, and found the trapdoor that would lead them below, only to find massive wards surrounding it.
"Either Potter's here, or there's something else that can get Malfoy put away for a long time," Kingsley said. "How long to break the wards?" Jones was one of three ward specialists on his ten-man team.
"An hour or two tops. The wards are relatively simple, but they're all tangled together. I have to untangle them first, then dismantle them." Kingsley nodded.
"As quick as you can without rushing Jones." Even if Potter wasn't here, his team had one more property to look at, before another primary team took over so his could get some rest. Kingsley began searching the immediate area for anything else they could pin on Malfoy. Half an hour later, he got the scare of his life when Jones began cursing.
"Shit, shit! No, no, no, no, don't do that. Shack! If Potter's in there, we need to get him out, now!"