A/N: I know that Amelia Bones died in the summer of 1996 in canon, but let's just assume for my story's sake that she's still alive shall we?
Minerva turned her head and nearly groaned when she saw Harry motioning to her, once more just as she was about to enter her office, and opened the door before waving him inside. He took a seat of his own accord and she sat behind her desk before fixing him with her customary stern expression and waving her hand. "How may I help you Mister Potter?"
She noticed his eyes darken slightly before returning to normal, and he sent her a tense smile. "In more ways than you can possibly imagine. I would like to beg your patience for a moment however; I'm expecting another person for this meeting."
She raised an eyebrow but nodded her assent, and both sat back in silence until, a minute later, a tentative knock came echoed out in the room and Gabrielle poked her head in. McGonagall's eyebrows raised a fraction before waving the young woman in, but she couldn't help the slackening of her jaw when Harry waved his hand vaguely and transfigured his chair into the familiar black leather couch. "Mister Potter, Miss Delacour, I am afraid that you have me at a loss. What are you here to discuss with me today?"
Harry pulled out his wand, and after casting several very, very high powered privacy wards around them he relaxed slightly. "Professor, I wish it had never come to this – I really do, but it has. I cannot trust the Headmaster any more, and so I wanted to know if I could come to you."
"Of course you ca-"
"With full confidentiality."
She stared at him for several long moments before sitting back and giving him a suspicious look. "What had brought this suddenly on, Mister Potter?"
He pulled a sheet of paper from his pocket and handed it to her, and her eyebrows rose more than just a little this time. "That, among other things. He has manipulated me one time too many, and he knows that, but I need somebody here that I can trust Professor; somebody that has my best interests at heart. The reason I am asking this is because I know that you are in the Order, and I do not want to cause any conflict of interest."
"Mister Potter, I can assure you-"
"Just like you assured me that the Philosophers Stone was safe?" She froze, and he sighed as he rubbed the bridge of his nose, "Professor, some of the things I wish to trust you with could get me in a lot of danger if it was known to others. I need to know that I can trust you before I divulge any more than just my engagement to Gabby."
Silence reigned for several long moments. "Is any of this information illegal?"
Harry nodded without pause, "Most certainly."
"Then I cannot help you."
Harry was a little taken aback for several moments before nodding slightly. "I appreciate your honesty, although I cannot help but feel disappointed." He took the parchment back and put it back into his robes before giving her a civil nod, took Gabby's hand, banished the couch, and collapsed the wards. Three minutes later Gabrielle was looking at Harry worriedly, and he caught her look. He sighed. "I'm sorry Gabby, I just can't get over just how…corrupted this place is! She's always going on about how we should always help each other, and she didn't even ask whether or not the 'illegal' things were dangerous to her or the students." She squeezed his hand in understanding; his frustration flaring across their bond, and then paused for a second before pulling him up the stairs to a part of the castle he had never really been to before. After several minutes they came to a portrait depicting a starry sky.
He raised an eyebrow at her, and she nodded to him. "I think we can trust her, and we can ask for an oath as well. She could also be very useful for the darker aspects of our natures."
After several moments he nodded with a smile, "If you think that she can be trusted then I do to."
She smiled brilliantly as she knocked, and a moment later a voice begged them entry as the door swung inwards to admit them entrance into a cosy study. The dark-haired witch looked up from a stack of papers she was marking and smiled at Gabrielle. "Miss Delacour!" Her eyes then flicked to Harry and her expression turned slightly confused, "Mister Potter. How may I help you?"
Harry, not having ever met the woman before, decided to let Gabrielle take the lead on this one, and sat down in one of the offered seats before taking Gabby's hand once more when she sat down. "Harry and I need somebody to trust; somebody that will help us and guide us if we need it. We need somebody here in the school that we can talk to without fear of things being spread around, and somebody who knows runes and the darker sides to magic. Are you that person?"
A frown furrowed at Professor Vector's brow as she leant forwards. "Have you spoken to the Headmaster? Perhaps your head of house?"
Gabrielle nodded stiffly. "Yes, and both of them are not suited to what we need."
Vector's expression turned surprised, and slightly shocked, and Harry leant forwards. "The Headmaster, if he knew some of the things we wish to get advice on, would likely use it to blackmail us to do his bidding. We need a friend right now; not an authority figure, and most certainly not somebody who has their own agenda."
"A week ago he discovered that I was engaged in a romantic relationship with Gabby, and he threated to expose me as a paedophile unless I broke it off. You can see why we are less than trusting of the Headmaster."
A moments silence as that information sunk in, and then, "What about Professor McGonagall?"
"She told us that she could not be what we were asking for because she would not not share what we said with the Headmaster. Not in those words, but it was most certainly implied," answered Gabrielle, and the witch looked at the couple in front of her carefully.
There was a deep silence for nearly five minutes before the Professor sat back in her chair and spoke. "The things which you would be confiding in me… are they dangerous?"
Gabrielle nodded, "But only if they were spread around."
Another silence. "And what of the dark magic?"
Harry shook his head, "Not in the way you are thinking. We require advice and guidance, as our dilemmas involve them quite heavily. At the present time they are not a danger to anybody."
"At the present time?"
Harry nodded gravely, "Everything will turn dangerous when Voldemort gets involved." Vector paled noticeably, and Harry looked right at her. "We will need your guidance in things far outside the Hogwarts curriculum; possibly in some very illegal aspects of the Dark Arts. You don't need to teach us them, we will not force you to do anything but keep our confidence."
She looked them both over and then nodded slightly. "Fine, but if I refuse to do something or answer something then you will not push the issue. There are things that I would rather not talk of."
Her eyes snapped to Gabrielle's amused eyes and she frowned. "Among other things. I won't ask where you learned about that foul piece of magic."
There was a short, tense silence and Harry timidly leant forwards. "I mean no slight, but could we get an oath to protect our privacy? And could I check your Occlumency shields?"
Her eyebrows shot up at both questions, but she eventually nodded. After bantering over the oath for a few minutes so find the right wording Professor Vector swore the oath to Harry as Gabrielle witnessed, and then Harry tested her shields. He allowed the power behind his probe to build and build until it snapped through her barriers, and he immediately pulled out before he could make sense of anything. Vector gaped at him, and Gabrielle gave a small giggle at the expression. "How the hell did you do that?! Even Albus can't break through my shields!" An excited look entered her eyes and she leant forwards, "Can I test your shields?" Harry thought for a moment before nodding and closing his eyes, and he caught her small whine of, "No fair, I didn't get to prepare!"
He chuckled as he worked with his magic and when he opened his eyes he grinned, "I wasn't preparing; I was disabling several of my defences." She gave a quiet snort and Harry raised an amused eyebrow, "Or would you rather I put them back up and reduce you to projectile vomiting like I did with the Headmaster at the Opening Feast?"
"That was you?!"
She gaped at Harry, and he buffed his fingernails on his robes before muttering a 'sorry' to Gabrielle's teasing, "Arrogance is not becoming mon Amour."
"But…Albus is a Master Legilimens?"
Harry nodded with a small smile as Gabrielle leant over and rested her head on his shoulder. "He is, as is Snape. His slight visit to the Hospital wing yesterday morning was also my doing when he tried to invade my mind."
Vector looked rightly amazed, and then nodded. "I'll listen."
Harry smiled brightly, and then pressed a small kiss to Gabrielle's upturned lips before turning back to the woman and handing her the marriage contract. When the young Professor realized just what she held in her hands, and what it meant, she stared at the two in shock. Gabby smiled. "Yes, and that is the least shocking thing we'll be talking about. We became betrothed four weeks ago today."
"Least shocking?" she rubbed her eyes and then looked at them before muttering, "This should be good."
"Professor, what are your thoughts on Dark Creatures?"
She shot Gabrielle a look and then answered, "I think my actions speak for themselves in regards Gabrielle."
Harry shook his head, "I'm talking in general Professor."
She thought for a moment. "I suppose…I think they deserve the same rights as all of us, and should be punished just the same as we are for illegal actions."
Harry nodded, and then looked to Gabrielle for reassurance before continuing. She nodded, and he looked the older woman in the eyes before standing and moving into the darkened corner of the room before disappearing into the shadows. She stood up, her eyebrows furrowed in confusion, but then spun around, her eyes wide and her wand swinging around when she felt a tap on her shoulder. Harry easily snatched her wand from her fingertips, and then looked at her with a slightly amused expression. "You can't apparate in Hogwarts!"
Harry froze, and then broke into laughter as he handed her wand back and returned to his seat. "Not unless they expended a hell of a lot of energy to go through the wards. I did not apparate Professor; I travelled by a different method."
She frowned, information on the tip of her consciousness, and with an irritated huff she went over to her bookcase and pulled out a book before flicking wildly through it. The engaged couple just watched her with identical amused expressions, and watched her face pale when she came upon the entry she was looking for. Her eyes flickered from Harry to the page, and then back to Harry several times before she voiced her findings in a shocked whisper. "You're a Vampire?"
Harry shrugged, "Pretty much."
"But how- I've seen you walking outside during the day!"
Gabrielle smiled up at Harry, "He's not a normal Vampire Professor. He only needs blood once every so often; sunlight is a mere irritation; and his appearance hasn't changed as drastically as most Vampires."
Deciding that what she was hearing was merely the tip of the iceberg she sat back down, opened a drawer, pulled out a bottle of scotch, poured herself quite a measure and then slammed it back in one hit before saying, "Right, what's next?"
After nearly three hours the pair sat back and waited, and the Arithmancy Professor stared at them more than a little at a loss. After a minute to gather herself she took in a deep breath and rubbed her eyes tiredly. "So you're bonded to each other and are fighting your own war against Voldemort?" They nodded and she sat back with a sigh. "When you knocked I was not expecting this."
Harry snorted, "You think I expected to be part-turned at the beginning of the holidays?"
She had to give him that and nodded in agreement. After several more long moments she nodded to herself and then stood from her chair. "I'll help you, but for now I just need to think. Give me a few days and I'll get back to you."
The pair nodded and thanked her with smiles before walking out the door and heading back to their Common Room. "That went better than I anticipated," quipped Gabrielle, and Harry nodded slightly.
When they walked through the Gryffindor portrait however, it was to the glares of two angry females, and the rest of the house holding their breaths in anticipation of the inevitable showdown. Harry and Gabby didn't even give them the satisfaction, and breezed past the red-faced Hermione before heading to their respective dormitories with one last, lingering kiss at the top of the stairs.
When he entered his dormitory he froze, and then looked around suspiciously. His eyes snapped onto a spot in the corner, and his eyebrows raised a fraction. "Ron, next time you steal my invisibility cloak I will clock you one."
A second later Harry found himself facing an irate Weasley, but not one to be intimidated he leant on the doorframe and stared him down. Ron suddenly felt rather insignificant, but said what he had been intending to say all the same. "You're not dating Ginny!"
Harry rolled his eyes and walked over to his bed before getting changed. It was, in fact, the first night he had slept in his bed. Every other night he had stayed up talking to Gabrielle, and had awoken in the morning to find her curled comfortably up beside him. "Ron, I am not required to date your sister, nor am I required to put up with her petty jealousy." He saw the teen's ears pink, and knew that there was an impending blow up, and so decided to nip the issue in the bud. "How many boyfriends has your sister had in the past two years?"
Ron had to think about that for a moment before counting on his fingers, and several seconds later he answered with a frown. "Six, but-"
"And how many girls have I dated Ron?"
"I am clearly a male who prefers to have a meaningful relationship Ron. I do not need a fangirl who wants to show me off for my fame, or share in it. I do not want a woman who requires constant doting on, and I most certainly don't need a woman who goes behind my back and reports what I do to Dumbledore."
Ron frowned, "Mate, Ginny wouldn't do tha-"
"She did, just two days ago in fact. She went and told Dumbledore that I was dating Gabrielle, and in the holidays she busted me sneaking out at night and got Dumbledore involved. Why did you think he was in the hallway nursing a bruised shin at eleven at night Ron? He was there because I kicked him out of my room after he came at your sister's call." He sat down on the bed and sighed. "Look Ron, our friendship is pretty shaky at the moment. My friendship with Hermione no longer exists, and your sister is an annoyance. It's never going to be like it was a few months ago again. I have Gabby in my life now, and I'll be with her for as long as she wants me, okay?"
Ron sat on his bed and thought for several moments, and then nodded. A second later a voice came from behind the closed curtains of Neville's bed. "You'd better be nodding your bloody head Weasley or I'll come out there and thump you myself." Harry smirked, and a second later Neville's face appeared in the split of the fabric around his bed. He nodded to Harry and sent him a friendly smile. "If it's any consolation Harry, I've got your back. I've seen the way you and Gabrielle look at each other, and I couldn't think of a better person for such a good thing to happen to."
Harry beamed at the previously timid black-haired botanist and with a grin flicked him the marriage contract. A second later a shocked, "Well tickle me pink and call me Daisy!" came from behind the curtain.
His head poked back out and his expression was so unexpected that Harry burst into laughter, and the young wizard pinked when he realized that he had said that aloud. "Well tickle me pink and keep it a secret, yeah Nev?"
Neville nodded, lobbed him back the parchment, and then disappeared back into his bed with wide eyes muttering about 'never a dull bloody moment'. Ron looked confused, but Harry just shook his head and pulled his curtains around his bed before grabbing his wand and casting numerous wards around him for privacy, protection, and defence against any pranks or attacks. Suffice to say that if anybody tried anything they'd be getting their just deserts. As he lay on the silk sheets he had transfigured his mind whizzed along at a million miles an hour. Not only had tonight brought forth an adult potentially sympathetic to their cause, but he had found a newfound trust in the young Longbottom.
He had always known that the boy was loyal, but it hadn't been until the Department of Mysteries that he had truly seen just how different he was to the young, timid boy back in first year. He had grown into a fine young man that he was sure his parents would be proud of. After pondering over the day's events for nearly an hour he snuggled down into the covers and tried to fall into his meditative state that had taken over his normally-sleeping hours, but found himself twisting and turning this way and that trying to get comfortable. After nearly an entire hour he huffed in irritation and sat up with a muttered curse. He knew what the bloody problem was, but he-
His eyes widened, and a small grin of hope poked onto his face as his mind calculated the probabilities of success. Several minutes later he took in a deep breath and sunk himself into the shadows around him, and carefully reached out across his bond to Gabrielle so as not to alert her of his presence. He could feel her irritation clearer now that he was immersing himself in his magic, and smiled to himself as he wondered what her reaction would be in a moment's time. Getting a lock on her core he felt for the shadows that would be surrounding her and the huge space beaconed him. Taking another deep breath he allowed himself to slide into the other place, and several long and tense moments later he allowed his consciousness to resurface. His feet lightly touched down on her bed, and she jolted into a sitting position when she felt her mattress sink. He saw her wand appear in her hand and quickly sent a surge of reassurance across their connection before she could finish the rather nasty cutting hex. Her eyes widened, and she squinted at him; her own eyes not having the advantage in the night. «Harry?»
He sat down and crawled up to lay beside her and one of the biggest smiles he had ever seen on her face burst forth as she caught his pulsing eyes in the darkness. She buried herself almost immediately into his chest while hugging him tightly, and after transfiguring her sheets into the silk she had in her own bedroom in France he slipped underneath the covers with her and waited. Several moments later she smiled shyly up at him, and he couldn't help but smile back at just how pretty she looked. «Would you like to stay the night?»
He smiled just as she had smiled in the holidays when he had asked her the same question and nodded. «I would love to.»
She beamed back at him and then snuggled deep into his chest; her bare legs intertwining with his eliciting a small gasp from both of them at just how right and wonderful their skin felt against the other's. «Gabby…»
She nuzzled closer, making his breath hitch as she pressed a small kiss to his chest. «I know my Love, but this is just another step for us. I will be content to just sleep with you for quite some time.» He let out a breath of relief and she smirked up at him in the darkness, «One could get the impression that you do not want me in that way?»
He gaped and shook his head violently, blushing at the same time, and then averted his eyed from hers. «I do Gabby, you know that, but I- I just want to take this slow.»
She chuckled into his chest and nodded, «I know that mon amour, so do I. I was just teasing.»
He relaxed and she snuggled closer, but his eyebrows rose when he caught sight of some scratching in the wood above their heads. He looked closer in the darkness, and then a huge grin spread over his face. "Well call me mushroom."
She looked up at him in confusion, and with a muttered spell under his breath his fingertip lit up with a dull but comforting yellowish light. He stood up on her mattress, and she did the same before following his finger to the initials JP and SB etched into the wood followed by the dates 1975 and 1977 respectively. She turned to him, confused, and he muttered with a sad smile, "James Potter and Sirius Black."
He placed his hand over the etchings, and a moment later removed it to reveal 'HP – 1996 (not a sleezy prat like Prongs and Padfoot)'. Gabrielle smiled at him and then pressed a gentle kiss to his lips; knowing that what he had just done had made him feel a little bit closer to his father and his godfather. She pulled him back down after several minutes embracing, and then curled herself to him once more. He froze when, nearly an hour later as she wriggled around to get comfortable, his hand slipped under the back of her shirt and was in direct contact with the bare skin of her back. He couldn't deny how wonderful it felt to be touching skin that he knew hadn't been touched by another since she was a little girl, but felt slightly apprehensive about how she would feel about it. He carefully attempted to slip his hand back out, but froze again when she sleepily mumbled, «Don't you dare; I'm enjoying it as much as you are.»
And with that he closed his eyes and smiled as he drifted deep within himself; immersing his entire being in the emotions and feel of Gabby with him.
The entirety of Gryffindor house gaped at the completely shocking spectacle in front of them. The majority of the house had just been filing out of the portrait for breakfast when a yell had come from the dorms, and jaws slackened while eyes widened when, a moment later, Harry James Potter; saviour of the wizarding world; the Man-Who-Lived; the object of so many female affections, burst from one of the female dorm rooms in just his boxers and a t-shirt with a worried look on his face as he tore down the stairs quickly chased by Professor McGonagall glaring daggers at his rapidly retreating back. "POTTER!"
They watched as he looked frantically around, and then turned their heads upwards when another yell came from the top of the stairs. McGonagall paused for a moment to look at the noise, which gave Harry just enough time to catch the robes that Gabrielle threw to him and quickly translocate them onto his body before sprinting full tilt out the portrait with the Scotswoman hot on his heels. Pretty much everybody was gaping except Neville, who shrugged, gave a happy nod to Gabrielle, and then exited the room with a spring in his step as he meandered down to breakfast.
By the time Harry walked into the Great Hall the rumour mill had well and truly churned out the tale of the scandalous escapade, and everybody quietened as Harry sat down with a small blush on his face. Gabrielle snickered with her own blush, having been receiving shocked looks ever since she had entered, but both froze when the oh-so-familiar voice came yelling from the Slytherin table. "So Potter, managed to get your way into that little slut's pants eh? Too bad she dirtied herself with a half-blood like you; I could've shown her what a real man was like as I pounded into her over a desk like the dog she is."
You could have heard a pin drop. Many of the staff were too gobsmacked to do anything, and Snape had a look of triumph on his face as he sneered at Harry. Dumbledore had been called away that morning for an ICW meeting, and so Harry didn't bother with subtlety. Every single limiter he had ever imposed on his magic snapped like a taught string, and the darkness of his nature welled up inside of him. He snarled in complete and utter fury, and people began rapidly backing away when they saw his sharpened canines. Draco rapidly paled, realizing far, far too late that he had gone too far, and scrambled away from Harry as he quite literally stalked across the tables; walking easily over the thin air between them with only the blonde in his burning gaze.
An instant later Draco found himself slammed up against the stone wall; the unseen pressure on his chest making him wheeze desperately for breath. Harry was not inclined to allow him that liberty, and pressed harder; the pressure forcing the last vestiges of air from his lungs. His eyes held terror as he looked at Harry, and the young man himself stared deep into his eyes before pounding through his flimsy Occlumency barriers and plundering his mind. His darkness allowed him to view the repulsive, sadistic memories without succumbing to the feeling himself, and after he had ripped each and every bit of useful information from the youth's mind he allowed the Slytherin to drop to the floor in a lifeless heap.
His ears rang slightly from the screams that had been tearing themselves from Malfoy's throat as he none-to-gently ripped through his memories like a rabid werewolf, and after several moments he turned to Snape with a furious scowl. The smirk that had long since disappeared once again twisted onto his pale face, and as the man stood to loudly berate Harry the waves of power focussed solely on him. His face paled just like Draco's had, and the silence in the hall deepened as Harry strode towards him; his robes billowing out behind him in a way Snape could never achieve. The potion's master took a weary step backwards, fear on his face as he scrambled for his wand, but before either man could do anything a loud voice filled with power echoed out around the hall, "STOP!"
Harry's eyes never left Snape's as he halted mid-step. "Headmaster, so good of you to show up. Mister Malfoy has already received his punishment for insulting and upsetting Gabrielle, all by the law I assure you. In fact he is lucky that I merely reduced him to something akin to a vegetable." His eyes flashed as his hand twitched irritably. "Your Potions professor, however, has not received his due."
A tired sigh came from the bearded man as he strode down between the silent tables towards the two men, "Harry, we have already discussed this. I trust Professor Sna-"
"To be quite honest Headmaster, your opinion means precisely jack shit to me right at this moment." Gasps came from the student body, and Harry finally averted his eyes from the fearful ones of Snape so that he could turn his attention to Dumbledore's disappointed pale blue. "Your trusted Professor here instructed young Malfoy in the use of a dark ritual to force a Veela bond, and then provided him with Gabrielle's class schedule while advising him on the best place to catch her unawares." Dumbledore's widened in shock, and Harry smirked. "Interesting… I can see that your trusted friend here didn't inform you of his plans if I go by your expression. Foregoing the fact that she cannot be bonded now, and that I would know the moment she was in trouble, I could quite easily and legally remove Snivellus from the grounds and torture him till he was blubbering like an idiot before offing him after I had pillaged his mind of all his secrets."
"Mister Potter, we should move this discussion to my office."
"No," Harry replied simply, "because the moment this conversation becomes private then you will be able to threaten me without repercussion. I will not allow Snivellus to get away with what he has done to either myself or Gabrielle this time; he will get his just deserts."
Before anybody could move a four stunners had met their mark and blown Snape liberally off his feet, and Harry turned around in surprise to see Neville, Luna and Gabrielle standing from their seats; their wands still glowing at the tips with energy. His head snapped around at a loud crack, and he forced down a grin as he saw Professor Vector surreptitiously returning her foot to under the staff table after rearranging Snape's face quite nicely. After a moment he snapped his fingers; hoisting Snape into the air with a levitation spell, wrapped his arm comfortingly and lovingly around Gabrielle's still-shaking frame, and walking out of the hall with one last call of, "Anybody who wants to help or see Snape get taken away by the aurors, come with me!"
Watching the four students walk out of the hall Professor Vector scrambled over the table and sprinted to catch up, and then all hell broke loose as virtually every student in Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Gryffindor burst from their seats and tore full-tilt out the doors. It truly was a sight to behold. Over six hundred black-robed students filed excitedly after the arrow-head at the front, led by Harry Potter, Gabrielle, Neville, Luna and Professor Vector. Behind the huge expanse of students Dumbledore and the rest of the Professors trailed stiffly. When they reached the gates Harry turned to Gabby and nodded, whereupon another powerful stunner hit the man in the chest.
Harry let him drop bonelessly to the ground, and then quickly cast him in chains, ropes, and any other restrictive physical entity he could think of before banishing him against the inside Hogwarts walls without batting an eyelid. Turning his head to the gathered students he raised his wand to his throat. "Everybody please listen." The silence followed almost immediately, and Harry nodded with a small smile. "We've all suffered at the hands of this man. His conduct is criminal and unprofessional, and it's time for us to stand up and be heard." A huge cheer went up from the students, and Harry stepped outside the gates with one last squeeze of Gabby's hand. She smiled back at him, and he nodded to Professor Vector, the silent message of 'Make sure she's alright' clear in his eyes. "I beg your patience for a few minutes; I need to summon the Aurors."
With a tiny squeak like that of a mouse Harry apparated away from the ancient castle, and a moment later allowed himself to be funnelled directly to Diagon Alley's apparition point. As soon as his foot touched solid ground he was moving right towards the Daily Prophet, and people moved well out his way. Nobody recognized him of course; his changes were far too extreme for that, but that suited his purpose fine as he burst through the main doors, pushed his way past the spluttering secretary, and tracked down the familiar magical signature to an office door…which he quite liberally slammed open. Rita looked up from her desk in shock, and Harry leant against the doorway with a raised eyebrow. "Well?"
The reporter looked at him like he was mad. "Well what?! Who the hell are you?"
"I'm the bloke who's going to give you the scoop of the year, and I'm going to do it the moment you promise to always write about me in a positive light."
Rita's eyes narrowed, "What kind of scoop?"
Harry shrugged, "Oh, just the public arrest of Severus Snape, current Hogwarts Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor. Oh, and I think I should tell you that the entire student body sans Slytherin are backing the arrest and have all agreed to testify against him to stop his abuse of them." He smiled ferally. "All seven hundred and sixty three of them. Add to that the fact that Dumbledore tried to hush it up in front of all of those students, and tried to stop the Head of two Ancient and Noble houses from punishing the git for plotting the rape, unwilling enslavement, and torture of his fiancé…well I'd say that it's quite the scoop Miss Skeeter." Her eyes positively glowed with the fame she foresaw in her future, but Harry pushed forwards to burst her bubble, "Of course, my allowing you to witness this spectacle with your photographer is contingent on your promise to sign a legally binding contract to the effect that you will never slander me; my friends; my family; or my goals. You will also agree to, from the moment of the signing forth, publish at least one story per week about me in a very, very positive light. If you agree to that, you get your fame."
She narrowed her eyes at him. "That is a lot to give up."
Harry smiled at her, "Then perhaps we can come to a mutually beneficial agreement. How much are you paid per week Miss Skeeter?"
Deciding that the man in front of her must be very influential, she did embellish the figure slightly. "Two hundred and fifty galleons." Okay, she was embellishing a lot.
Harry shrugged easily, "Then I will hire you for three hundred, and you can continue working here while receiving your wage as well. You will work for me, writing the stories I tell you to write with the information I give you, with the side I wish you to portray." Her eyes boggled at the figure, and without even a moment's hesitation she signed the document he conjured on her desk with the quill he provided. When she felt the prickle on the back of her hand she paled. She had just signed a contract to an unknown man with her blood, and she hadn't even read it. His large smile did nothing to quell her fears. "Who are you?" she asked fearfully, and when he flicked his fringe up to reveal his scar she nearly fainted. "Harry Potter?!"
He nodded happily and duplicated the document twice, one for her, one for Gringotts, and the original for himself, before speaking. "Yes Rita, me. I wouldn't worry, I won't screw you over like you would me." He peered at his watch and clucked his tongue. "You should get a move on and head to Hogwarts. I want this story very much in favour of the student body and myself, minus the majority of Slytherin house. As for the Head of the two houses…well that's clearly me, and so Dumbledore will most likely tell you about my actions against one Draco Malfoy to discredit me. He is, by all counts, brain-dead. His mind is ruined beyond repair after I tore through it and discovered all – but that will all be explained at the Gates."
"Bu-but you said that that person had a fiancé!"
Harry nodded his head with a smirk, "I do, so there's another scoop for you. Perhaps you could paint it as a true love that has pushed past all barriers and obstacles?" Suddenly Rita didn't feel so ripped off, and a predatory grin spread across her face. "I also want you to paint the Ministry as being incompetent. Umbridge, their high inquisitor, who was headmistress for a time last year got along splendidly with Snape. I'm sure that you could interview a few students to get your sources. As for Dumbledore, I want him marginalized. Make it out that he has too much on his plate, and perhaps he should concentrate solely on being Headmaster instead of juggling all of his other titles at the same time. See you there!" and with that Harry turned on his heel and left the building before disappearing into a shadow and reappearing outside of the Ministry.
Breezing quickly through the signing in he made his way into the elevator positively dripping power. When he stepped out on the DMLE floor everybody froze, and he noticed with a small smile that several milling aurors were fingering their wands nervously. Taking advantage of the silence he called out, "I need to speak to Madam Bones immediately!"
A moment later a door at the end of the room opened and a stern-faced woman stepped out, also fingering her wand. "I'm here. Who are you and what do you want?"
Harry brushed his fringe aside and a few jaws dropped. He grinned, "And as for what I want, I want you and several of your best aurors to follow me to the gates of Hogwarts to arrest Severus Snape for conspiracy to rape a member of two Ancient and Noble houses, namely Black and Potter; the intent to Murder the Head of those same houses; teaching the Dark Arts to a student in an attempt to forcefully enslave a member of Potter and Black houses; and over ten thousand counts of abuse of minors…throw in the fact that he's a convicted Death Eater on top of that and you've got an airtight case against the bastard." There was dead silence for several moments before with a flurry of activity Harry found himself leading Amelia and a group of combat-ready Aurors to the Ministry's one-way apparition point. Amelia moved to side-along Harry, but with a roguish grin, a flash of his international Apparation licence, and a wink he disappeared ahead of her. He arrived to the scene of Dumbledore trying to get to Snape; Rita gleefully recording every threat against the students if they didn't get out of his way, and the photographer snapping away like mad. When the students saw him appear a hush spread across the crowd, and Rita's eyes widened at the spectacle before almost cackling in delight as she scribbled furiously away in her notebook.
When the five heavily armed people arrived behind Harry the perfect picture was taken, and for years afterwards would be shown as a symbol of the light. While the Aurors commanded a presence, and Amelia stood even above them, Harry was in a league entirely of his own. As he walked forwards the students that had overflown past the walls parted for him; not one of them without an expression of awe or respect, and is robes billowed out behind him as his eyes glowed with an unearthly fire. When he reached the Headmaster who had finally managed to get to Snape's side, he stopped and then waved his arm to activate the ridiculously powerful wards on Snape's bindings to prevent any attempt at escape. Dumbledore looked at him in disappointment, but the young man wasn't inclined to care.
The Aurors surrounded Snape, warily looking around at the crowd for any threats, and Harry smiled broadly when Gabrielle dove into his open arms as soon as he had finished what he had to do. Rita's jaw nearly hit the floor, Amelia looked like she was catching on quickly, and Neville was smirking. He stroked her hair lightly and she relaxed fully before smiling brightly up at him. He could still see the slight pain that Draco's words had brought forth deep within her expressive blue eyes, but the happiness at being in his arms far outshone the scars of hurt.
"Students of Hogwarts," he yelled with a wide grin, "yell 'aye' if you have been abused by this man!" Virtually everybody yelled out in favour, and Amelia's face paled when she saw her niece standing beside Neville Longbottom yelling as hard as she could. "Yell 'aye' if you have suffered more than once!" Once more everybody save a few Slytherins yelled out, and Harry turned to the Headmaster to meet his gaze as he yelled out once more, "How many of you have suffered bodily harm from this man?" Once more everybody yelled, and Harry held up his wand with his eyes burning with justice. "Then we will swear to it!" The aurors, the Head of the DMLE, the press, and the Headmaster; Grand Sorcerer; Supreme Mugwump; and Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot watched in mixed awe and shock as over seven hundred wands raised to the sky.
"I, Harry James Potter do so swear on my life and magic!" Everybody repeated after him, substituting their names for his, and the Photographer was almost peeing himself in excitement as he used a long-exposure film to capture the entire event. "That Severus Snape has abused me!" Everybody yelled out his words once more, and the lights at the ends of their wands brightened. "That Severus Snape has belittled me!" Again the lights brightened, matching even a lumos. "That Severus Snape has physically injured me!" This time the wands were positively pulsing with power as the latent magic in the air crackled and arched with power, "SO MOTE IT BE!"
With a yell that defied all imagination the entire area lit up with hundreds of blindingly bright lights, and several seconds later people finally opened their eyes again. Harry stood proud, and smiled at the assembled students before turning to Amelia with a slight scowl at the bound and unconscious Potions Master. He ignored Dumbledore's deathly pale face. Rita, however, did not. Neither did her photographer. "Madam Bones." She snapped her attention away from her niece's strong gaze, and fixed her eyes on Harry's. She found that she could not look away. "I, Harry James Potter, Head of the Ancient and Noble houses of Potter and Black, charge Severus Snape with the following: conspiracy to forcefully enslave my fiancé Gabrielle Delacour," gasps came from virtually everybody in the area, and both of the lovers fought down brilliant smiles; now wasn't the time. "Conspiracy to rape my fiancé; conspiracy to murder me; illegal use of Legilimency in an attempt to break into both my fiancé's and my own mind; slander on myself, fiancé, and family name; physical abuse; mind rape in my fifth year; threatening to use a Ministry controlled substance, in this case Veritaserum; indirect murder of my parents by betraying information to Voldemort," he ignored the shudders and squeals, "multiple threats on my person, and being an active Death Eater."
Amelia had her jaw agape by this point, and her Aurors had been casting stunners at the bound man for the latter half of Harry's seemingly endless list of accusations, but just as she was about to speak Harry continued with one last tirade. "I charge Draco Malfoy with the following charges; intent to rape and forcefully enslave my fiancé; use of Class One Dark Arts in a school duel; use of the Dark Arts in an attempt to maim or kill me in multiple counts; slander and threats against my family and self on multiple counts; and emotionally scarring my fiancé with a graphic depiction of raping her knowing full well how Veela react to threats upon themselves and their mates."
"I will make enquir-"
"As to the latest offence of Mister Malfoy however," Harry interrupted, "I took matters into my own hands. As the Head of an Ancient and Noble house, two in fact, I withhold the right to address threats and slights on my family with any force I deem necessary. Due to the graphic nature of the comments and threat, and the hurt it caused my Gabrielle, I have used that right to ensure that Mister Malfoy can never bring his sadistic dreams to fruition. He is in the Great Hall to the best of my knowledge; his mind torn into shreds. His other functions will fail in a matter of time, and he will die."
There was a deep silence in the large courtyard, and Harry was slightly disappointed to see some people looking at him distrustfully and with fear. Gabrielle saw their expressions as well, and Harry was certain that he saw passionfire flicker across her fingertips for a moment. "I am a Veela," she scowled, "Malfoy's comments are far more than just words to me. I support my fiancé in every single action he has done today."
"Harry, I noticed that you had fangs when you moved towards Mister Malfoy."
Mutters ran through the crowd at Dumbledore's words, and Harry's eyes darkened before he turned to Madam Bones. "I, Harry James Potter, charge Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore with aiding and abetting a criminal, a known Death Eater; obstructing justice when I moved to punish Severus Snape – a right which is legally mine; and endangering minors through inaction. He clearly saw the entire thing, as he saw my fangs – which were a mere charm by the way Headmaster, cast to intimidate – and yet he did not move to stop Draco's…just end. When I moved onto a known Death Eater however, he defended him."
"Severus Snape was cleared of all charges Mister Potter."
Harry nodded to Amelia, "I know that, but do you know of this?"
He leant over and whispered in the woman's ear, and after a minute everybody was shocked when the Head of the DMLE, the pinnacle of stoicism, flicked her wand into her hand and sent a banishing charm at Snape which ended with the liberally stunned man flying back into the school's walls and a series of cracks as various bones were broken. "Make sure he doesn't die," she snarled, and one of the aurors went over and cast a half-hearted bone mending spell. Harry watched it carefully and smirked as it set the bones wrongly; Snape was going to love re-breaking both of his arms and his left leg. "I've heard more than enough to easily get this man sentenced to the veil. The proof is all before me," she saw Dumbledore move to open his mouth, but interrupted him with a punctuated, "AND…Harry has assured me that he has proof of all of his other crimes; verified by the ICW. The investigation, interestingly enough, was led by Jean Delacour."
Dumbledore's face paled considerably at that small titbit of information; it was a well-known and accepted fact that when Jean Delacour investigated a case it was airtight, and that did not at all bode well for his spy in Voldemort's ranks. "Oh, Rita?" The blonde woman looked up at Harry, surprised he had addressed her, and he smiled slightly. "Be sure to mention that Snape is also a spy for Dumbledore. Publish that the Order of the Phoenix, that's his little group of vigilantes, knows about Voldemort's plans for veneficus bona." He spelt it out for Rita, ignoring the horrified expression on Dumbledore's face. "And write that it won't work for him because it can only be performed during the Summer Solstice…while at the same time having Jupiter, Neptune and Mercury aligned. You can quote me on this bit," he saw her eager expression and smirked, "terribly sorry Tom old chap, but that kind of thing only happens every six hundred and fifty six years! Terrible shame that the last one occurred ten years ago!"
There was dead silence after his statement. He was openly mocking and teasing the Dark Lord, and by all appearances wasn't overly concerned about that fact at all. More people turned distrusting and afraid looks at him, and he nodded to Rita with a small wink. She nodded her head at a million miles per hour and grinned wider than he had ever seen as she gave him the thumbs up; they would follow the press more than they would follow him, and if the press was in support of his actions… he would be trusted once more. With Rita in his pocket, he would always be trusted at this rate. "Harry, I must protest; you cannot simply throw Severus through the veil."
Harry didn't even have time to reply before Gabby interjected; and her face was a mask of fury. "You must protest?" she spat, "Your trusted Potion's Professor; your trusted spy, is so goddamn stupid that he tried to have me raped, and bonded against my will. I am the daughter of the French Minister of Magic, and you are willing to start a war between our countries because you trust him? Is me being raped part of your plan? Is Harry getting killed because you're too… idiotic to discover another way to get rid of Tom's insurance?" Dumbledore gaped at her knowledge of something he had attempted to keep hidden, but she tore on into him relentlessly; intent on making him see the errors of his ways. "You're the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot for Merlin's sake; the self-proclaimed leader of the light; the man who people turn to for guidance, and yet you do nothing!"
"Miss Delacour, you are mistaken; everything that I did was for the-"
"Greater good?" she interrupted with a scornful snarl, "Harry's told me all about your greater good. Your greater good saw Harry facing Voldemort in his first year; killing an ancient Basilisk and facing a shade of Voldemort in his second year; having an innocent man, his godfather, imprisoned for twelve years; entered into a tournament illegally in his fourth year where you could have declared the tournament a draw and then redrawn the names; fighting against a Death Eater posing as one of your best friends, and then the following year abandoning him to horrors such as torture through the use of blood quills from Umbridge; threats of the Cruciatus from the same person; possession by Voldemort, and his godfather's murder."
"Your 'greater good'" Harry calmly continued, "is not the greater good; it is a farce. You have delusions of adequacy. You are getting old, Headmaster, and you are losing your edge. Snape plays for both sides; you and Voldemort. I took it from his mind when he illegally performed Legilimency on me in your office."
Dumbledore looked as if he had just sucked on a lemon, and turned to Snape for an answer. After being subjected to over twenty stunners however, Snape was in no position whatsoever to answer the look, and so Dumbledore turned to Harry with a deep sigh. "What do you want Mister Potter?"
Harry nodded and wrapped his arms back around his betrothed, who smiled up at him and snuggled back into his embrace. "I want you to-"
At point blank range virtually every spell is unavoidable – even to a Vampire. Punches, just avoidable; attacks from brooms, likely a glancing blow, but a spell? Not likely. Screams came from all around as the spell burst against Harry's back unhindered, and he slumped to his knees as curses flew over his head – all of which impacted against the head of the House of Malfoy. Lucius also slumped to the ground a moment later; the victim of a piercing curse to the heart by one of the aurors, and everybody was silent as they looked at the lifeless figure of Harry James Potter being held up by Gabrielle who looked horrified. Dumbledore looked incredibly pale; his mouth agape at what had happened in front of his very eyes; what he had failed to prevent. "No…" Gabrielle whispered; her tears dripping onto the face of Harry whose head she cradled in her lap, "No, you can't be dead; I can still feel you! You can't leave me!"
Everybody watched as she leant her head down to bury her face into his shoulder, and not a word was spoken. Nobody dared breathe; it was almost as if they were hoping that their silence would delay the inevitable. And then it happened. Gabrielle burst away from Harry with a brilliant smile on her face, and Harry's hand rose with his wand clutched between his fingers, and he stabbed it into his chest before wheezing two words. "Levitas tactus!"
A bolt of electricity arched through his body; and his back bowed almost to snapping point as the energy coursed through his body. After several seconds he fell still, and then, to everybody's complete awe; complete and utter bewilderment, slowly sat up. Gabby immediately rushed back to him and engulfed him in an embrace, and people watched in complete silence when his arms raised and hugged her back as he buried his face into her shoulder. After several minutes he rose with the help of Gabrielle, and then faced the aurors tiredly. "Who's the one that killed that idiot," he motioned over his shoulder to the fallen Malfoy, and shakily one of the younger female aurors raised her hand. He smiled weakly and nodded. "Good job; he needed to be taken down a notch."
Still in complete silence he turned to face the crowd of completely incredulous students and rubbed the back of his head sheepishly. "Well I've done it once; didn't see why I couldn't do it again."
"YOU CAN'T SURVIVE THE KILLING CURSE!" yelled a vicious Pansy Parkinson from the back of the crowd, and Gabrielle helpfully cast a sonorous on him so that he wouldn't have to raise his voice to reply.
"Done it once, done it twice, not looking forward to doing it again in a hurry. Hurts like an absolute bitch, and I have to do some fancy magic which drains me that allows me to stay in this world long enough to perform Levitas tactus. Not pleasant, and I'm worn out." He turned to Dumbledore who was so pale it looked like he needed an urgent blood transfusion, and gave a crooked smile. "I am, to be quite frank, too tired from that to even consider what I want you to do. I will talk to you when I next manage to wake up – and I'll be commandeering the Gryffindor Married Quarters thank you." Dumbledore nodded mutely; his assent triggering the wards around said quarters and allowing Harry and Gabby access, and everybody parted as Harry limped slowly back towards the castle with Gabby supporting him.
There was only one thing to really say that captured everybody's thoughts accurately, and Amelia Bones was the one to voice it.
"Damn that kid is scary."