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Harry got back to the Tournament field in plain chaos. The victor just disappeared with the Cup while an Imperiused Champion attacked another. If not for the other Hogwarts' Champion, Victor Krum might very well have murdered Fleur Delacour.
Harry scanned the crowd, who was still oblivious to his return, searching for something specific. He saw Snape, the normally stoic potion master, grasping at his arm, a grimace on his face. Harry averted his eyes as the greasy teacher, sensing a stare on him, tried to lock stares. Finally, Harry found what he was looking for. He ignored the whole crowd and wordlessly went straight toward Alastor Moody who held his right arm down, a look of deep confusion on his face. Looking up and seeing a very alive Harry Potter walk purposefully toward him, he understood his cover was blown. He took out his wand but it was too late as Harry already had his own out.
"Expelliarmus," Harry cast swiftly, catching the teacher's wand as it flew to him.
Without it, he could not escape and the Quidditch field that was not exempt of Hogwarts' anti-apparition wards. The impostor jumped on the nearest witch to steal her wand but his leap was abruptly stopped by a wall of bricks that wasn't there a second before. If the circumstance wouldn't be so grave, Harry would have laughed at the sight of the semi-conscious teacher slowly sliding down to the ground. Albus knew better than to accuse Harry after the bizarre way Alastor behaved. He sent a spell and tied the man down with ropes.
"Harry, what is this all about?" could finally ask the old Headmaster.
"Either Alastor Moody is a Death Eater, or this is an impostor," said Harry with certitude.
From anyone else, this affirmation would have triggered row of protests and dispute but after Harry incapacitated a teacher so easily, so fast, and looking at his battered look, it gave them food for the thoughts. Severus Snape walked in his usual bellowing way, no traces left of his previous discomfort showing. He went immediately for the bound man's flask and opened it. Smelling the content, he grimaced.
"For once, Potter isn't bragging. This is polyjuice, meaning that this man isn't who he claims to be."
Harry welcomed the support, even the way it was delivered.
"I believe it is a rightful occasion to put one of your more special potions to use, Severus," said Albus gravely. "I think it would be best to wait for the Minister, though, as he might find what we will learn very...educational."
"Yes, Headmaster," answered the potion master.
"Professor McGonagall, please find a cozy, but not overly so, dungeon to hold our prisoner," ordered Dumbledore to his Deputy Headmistress.
"At once, Professor."
"Now, what about you, Harry? Are you hurt? We will need your presence, I am afraid. Are you in a right state for this?"
Seeing his friend near him, and Ginny looking at him, worried, Harry decided that a single 'I'm fine, thank you' would be even worse than the actual truth.
"I've been stabbed in the arm, and the wound is still losing a bit of blood. I have also been submitted to the Cruciatus a number of times. The rest are cuts and bruises that can wait to be treated."
Dumbledore's eyes shot toward his arm as he numbered his injuries but then lifted up to lock eyes with Harry as he mentioned the Cruciatus. Harry knew this led to very few possibilities and didn't try to shy away from the Headmaster's gaze. Finally, Dumbledore turned toward the people nearby and found the Charm teacher.
"Professor Flitwick, if you could send Madam Pomfrey to my office and inform her of Mister Potter's injuries, I would be very grateful."
The Headmaster then shielded Harry from the crowd with his own kind of magic, simply by putting an arm around his shoulder and leading him away to his office.
Harry sat on a conjured chair, feeling old and tired. He wanted nothing more than just drift off to sleep until the end of term. Fawkes sang a small trill, making him close his eyes and smile. He lost himself in pleasant memories of the Yule Ball. The moment ended when Dumbledore got back from the floo network. Harry noticed distractingly that the knife wound on his arm was closed, leaving brand new skin behind. The bird blinked at him and Harry sent a grateful smile.
"I see that my two favorite friends are still getting along! Thank you, old friend, I realize it's not as easy as it look," said Dumbledore, stroking the fiery feathers of his companion.
The birds' answer was akin to a waving off, but still enjoyed the petting.
"Now, Harry, I know it must be hard to re-live such hardships so soon after experiencing them but..."
"Voldemort came back," said Harry, uninterested in beating around the bush.
That shocked the Headmaster just long enough for Harry to organize the story in his head and deliver it in the shortest way possible.
"He used a ritual involving the bones of his father, the flesh of a servant and the blood of the enemy. Pettigrew took the bones directly from the grave and cut his hand over a cauldron. He took my blood and once he was brought back, Voldemort could touch me without any pain, for him anyway. He called on a full Death Eater meeting right after."
"I fear we are in for a very dark time," said Albus, shaking his head. He stopped and frowned when Harry couldn't stop a chuckle.
"Wait! It gets better! He challenged me to a duel! I managed to stall him a bit but one of his minion sent a spell passed one of my stone walls. I don't know why I can do it, but I managed to catch the spell with my wand and send it back!"
Albus Dumbledore's mouth stated gaping open long enough for a fly to come in, visit and leave, bothered by the strong lemon smell.
"The best is that Tom didn't even see it! Not until he threw a killing curse at me. Guess what? I caught it and sent it back with one of my own! It killed the body and destroyed the spirit that sprouted behind! While his followers were shouting and crying like little girls, grasping their arms, I summoned the Cup, that was a portkey all along, and voilà! I'm back!" said Harry a bit over-enthusiast.
Dumbledore slumped back on his seat, his mouth opening and closing a few times.
"Even more than before!" smiled Harry.
"This might change a few plans I had..."
"For the better, I hope," now smirked Harry.
The conversation stopped there as Professor McGonagall erupted in the office, closely followed by the Minister of Magic.
"This is not acceptable, Albus! To allow such a creature in the school! I could barely stand them near the borders last years!"
"I have the right to choose whatever bodyguard I see fit! I am the Minister of Magic, Miss McGonagall!"
Albus managed to calm them down enough to learn that the imposter's soul was now being digested by Fudge's bodyguard.
"What was that all about, anyway? Why would someone pose as a Hogwarts' teacher?" asked Fudge, ready to sweep the matter under the carpet as an accident.
"He worked for a group of Death Eaters that escaped the Aurors, Minister," said Harry, serious.
Albus sent a sharp glare toward his golden boy, unsure as to where he was going with this.
"Death Eaters?" asked the Minister fearfully.
"Yes, Minister," kept on Harry, nodding. "That man took the place of a teacher to change the trophy into a portkey. It got me in a cemetery where a Death Eater, who achieved total control over the dark mark, called for a Death Eater's meeting."
"Oh no! Do you think they will follow him?" asked the Minister, worried.
"It won't happen. As a symbol, he tried to kill me, but I'm the one who got him. I managed to flee before the others realized what happened."
The Minister's face visibly brightened.
"So the crisis is over even before it even started! Good job, Mister Potter! You are a double Champion today!"
Harry smiled before answering.
"Thank you, Minister. It still might be a good idea to look for those Death Eaters. They answered the call, after all. They probably would have been willing to start the war all over again. A secret investigation might be in order."
The Minister looked serious at once.
"You might be right. I will have to consult our Unspeakables. What are we going to tell the press, thought? These events are all highly suspicious."
Dumbledore chose that moment to step in the conversation.
"We might want to release that a lone Death Eater terrorism act was thwarted by Harry during the final Task of the TriWizard Tournament. He would have been trying to kill a foreign champion on our soil by possessing another."
"Very good, Albus!" stated Fudge, delighted. "It might not even be so far from the truth!"
It was amazing the speed with which the Minister could bury his head in the sand. Harry knew there would be no investigations.
There was a pompous awarding ceremony followed with great speeches about unity before it was all finally over. Harry told what actually happened to his close friends, and to the other Champions who came to him secretly to know what really happened in the maze. Why would he bother telling anyone else? It was over. The very spirit of Voldemort was destroyed.
The next day, Lucius Malfoy strode in the Ministry and asked for a private meeting with the Minister. The busy leader of Magical Britain conveniently had a free hour to allow such a meeting. Bad mouths would have whispered that he would have had a free hour any time of any day, so busy he was.
"Lucius! What a surprise! What's the occasion? Are you having trouble obtaining a license for one of your business?" asked Fudge, as helpful as ever.
"Not today, Cornelius," answered the elder Malfoy seriously. "I learned, through various sources, of the events surrounding young Harry Potter at the Tournament. I wondered why you left such matter unpunished!"
"I fear I do not follow you, Lucius," said Fudge nervously. "The boy made us a great service..."
"Minister! Potter killed a man, using an Unforgivable none-the-less! Did you even check his wand? My source assured me that this 'trap' wasn't what Potter tell it to be! A Death Eater meeting, really? And he would have been able to fool one of the most dangerous...group in Britain? The one I spoke to is now too afraid to speak the truth, fearing the alliance you and the boy so visibly made! That brat is disillusioned! Just ask Severus Snape. He's an attention seeker, a glory hound. What is he going to aim for next?" finished Malfoy, letting his question hang.
Fudge took the bait like the paranoid idiot he was.
"I've been a fool to even listen to that boy, Lucius! You are right! The more I think about it, the more it sounds like some cock-and-bull story he would stir up with Dumbledore to get my seat!"
"Indeed, it does. The question is: what are you going to do about it?" asked Lucius innocently.
"You are accused by this tribunal of making up a false statement to my person, the Minister of Magic, of using an Unforgivable with murderous intent and murder in the person of Vincent Crabbe senior," stated Cornelius Fudge in front of a full Wizengamot.
Fudge waited for Harry to leave the Hogwarts Express, at the end of the school year, to have him arrested by Aurors. Barely an hour later, he faced the whole court, without anyone to defend him.
"With the evidence that provided the examination of residual spells on your wand and the courageous testimony of Mister McNair, this court find you guilty on all charges and sentence you to a life sentence in Azkaban! What do you have to say for yourself?"
"What is this... parody of a trial, Minister?" asked Harry, chained to a chair and flanked by two dementors. It took everything he had for him not to faint but the dementors were not focusing on him at the moment either. "Where is professor Dumbledore?"
Lucius Malfoy, seated at the other end of the table facing Harry, answered with almost a purr of delight in his voice.
"The muggle-lover isn't here to sugar-talk you out of your latest... crisis, boy. In case you haven't noticed, I'm seated at the place of the Chief Warlock, now."
Harry panted a few times, looking at him, but turned his head back toward Fudge.
"What about 'not sending children to prison', Minister?"
"That was then, Mister Potter. This is now. Aurors, take him away."
Harry was tied up and brought to the shore leading to Azkaban. Word of the 'trial' must have slipped as Dumbledore and most of the Weasley family waited for them and rushed toward the guard party. Dumbledore's patronus was already pushing back the dementors keeping Harry, the dark creatures unable to face the light.
Ginny ran to Harry and threw herself on him, crying, holding desperately on to him. The guards had their wands pointed on the Weasley party but, most specially, on the Headmaster of Hogwarts that was marching angrily toward them.
"Don't even think on stopping us, Dumbledore!" yelled the leader of the Auror guards. "If you so much as take another step toward us, you, this whole bunch of red-head and everyone else who dare to side with you will be branded as outlaw! You'll end up all like scar-boy here, with a place on the cold floor of Azkaban! You want to take a shot for the boy's freedom: fine! Do it in court and follow the procedures!"
It took two guards to separate Ginny from Harry. Ron held on his crying sister as the boat, carrying her boyfriend on the scariest place on Earth, slid on the cold water.
"Did you managed to do it?" he whispered in her ear.
"Yes," she answered, sniffing. "It's up to him, now."
Harry kept his head lowered and his step heavy. He passed the checkpoints and soon, only one guard was left to lead him to his cell, with one dementor. Harry shook the unlocked chains he was hanging on since Ginny charmed them open, whispering the spell in his arms. Doing so, Ginny's wand, hidden in a sleeve, slid down in his right hand. He voicelessly summoned a cold stone wall that separated him from his guard, and, with another flick of his borrowed wand, made it slid backward, crushing the Auror against another wall.
The dementor glided toward him, hands forwards, but Harry was faster. His hand shot toward its unprotected throat and pulled him toward him, jamming his wand in its opened mouth.
"Expecto Patronum," he simply said, his eyes closed, as a scene where he laid in his bed, surrounded by all hid friends and holding Ginny's warm hand in his, knowing she was unharmed, flashed in his mind.
The corporeal construct of light ripped the soul-sucking monster apart as it shot from the wand. Many dementors, running to the site, witnessed the scene and shuddered. Harry dispelled his patronus, not caring about the monsters surrounding him.
"You...will follow me now," he told the monsters.
Fudge sat at his office when the screams started. He got up but stayed behind his desk, waiting for the Auror to escort him to safety if the need for it arose. When none came, and that the scream came closer and closer, a cold sweat made its way down his forehead. It froze there.
Fudge was a man of little action and even less actual magical power. When the door opened to let a dementor pass, his back was already pressed against the far wall of his office and helpless screams escaped his mouth. Harry Potter calmly strolled in, looking around at the furniture.
"Harry! Help me! Call your Patronus!" the man shouted, feeling the heat leave his body at an alarming rate.
"Help you? I can't! You took my wand, remember? Anyway, I'm under-aged. I just followed the dementors as they left Azkaban," he said, shrugging.
Without any further notice, the dementor jumped on Fudge, took his head between its hands and kissed him. The scream outside reduced themselves to whimpers, then, to quiet sobbing.
Harry went around the desk and tested the chair. It was comfy. He looked at the desk and searched for a call button to the Minister's secretary. All he found was an old fashion voice pipe of some sort.
"Hello? Hello? Whoever's hearing this, would you kindly step in the Minister's office?"
Harry opened a few drawers and guessed he would have a major clean-up to do there too. A middle-aged woman in high heels entered the office scared shitless, and took in the scene. Her hands went to her mouth, seeing the dead body of Fudge.
"I would like to have your attention, Miss," said Harry from behind his desk. "I have a question of the upmost importance that will shape your immediate future. Are you listening?"
The woman quickly turned toward him, as her own existence was in peril, and forgot everything about the corpse on the floor. She nodded vigorously.
"I would like to ask you: who's the actual Minister of Magic?" asked Harry, crossing his hand over his desk.
The woman feared, in the last war, that the Dark Lord would ask her that very question. She prepared her answer back then and saw it to be fitting today.
"You are, sir."
"Very good! I see we understand each other well. Now, we'll have to see about the funeral of the previous Minister, who had a sad dementor accident. We all know how he liked to have one as a bodyguard and that he couldn't even cast a Patronus himself. Being left alone in his office with one was a grave mistake."
"Yes sir, a tragedy," she answered, bowing her head.
"None-the-less, the government cannot be left a moment without a leader, so I will hold on the reins as Interim Minister of Magic until a permanent one is named by the Wizengamot. I hereby call for an emergency session of the Wizengamot. I will take care personally of informing them of the previous Minister's unfortunate fate and will ask you to pass the word that until I authorize it, none of the recent events can be mentioned by anyone. You may go."
As the secretary meant to leave the office, Harry called to her.
"I forgot: would you be so kind as to send me the Auror in charge of Potion making? Thank you."
With only the dementor having sealed Fudge's fate as a witness, Harry walked over the dead body.
"Time for some major cleansing."
Dumbledore sat in his own office at Hogwarts. He just saw the prophesied kid that saved them all being dragged in the place that could be considered as the closest to Hell on Earth, and he did nothing. His hands might have been tied back then, in order to prevent the Weasley from being branded as criminals, but he was inches from going back there, right now. How could they lock him up on such pretences and technical details? How could the Wizengamot let such a thing pass?
The Wizengamot...he was evicted from his status as Chief Warlock without too much ceremony, not even an article in the Prophet. If asked, they would say he stepped down. If only he would have been more suspicious, he might have figured they were up to no good! Still, there were a few people in there that would have stuck to their ideals, to do the right thing. The root of corruption must run deep to allow a majority of three quarter to send a soon-to-be fifteen years old boy in prison.
The official way, as it was now, would let the poor boy in there long enough to rip him off of all good there was. He could not sit and let it go. He would have to go there and free him, alone, tearing the place upside down if need be. Giving the boy a wand, they could handle the dementors. And then, then...
His great plans stopped there, as his mind, betraying him, drew blank. He didn't realize when he got up, ready to go. He noticed it when he turned toward the roaring fire, signalizing a floo call.
"Convocation for the Supreme Mugwump to an emergency assembly of the Wizengamot!" said a faceless voice in the fire. The call ended as abruptly as it came.
Dumbledore blinked twice, looking at the now dead fire. Did he just dream that? Turning toward his phoenix, that sent him the bird equivalent of a shrug, he guessed it was real. On auto-pilot, Dumbledore threw floo powder in the empty fireplace.
For an emergency meeting, they were in no hurry to let them in. They were led toward courtroom ten by Aurors that seemed to be everywhere. People looked grim, scared and oddly silent. When asked about it, the Auror guarding the entrance of the courtroom nervously admitted that the Ministry building was still on alert after an attack that happened less than an hour ago. They were forbidden to speak about it by the Minister himself and it was probably the reason of the meeting.
"Albus! What a surprise to see you here. This is a Wizengamot meeting, after all..." drawled an approaching Lucius Malfoy.
"Mister Malfoy," answered Dumbledore, finding the day to be less and less pleasant. "The surprise is mine alone since I, as the Supreme Mugwump, am entitled to be present. On the other hand, a friend of the Minister, even his honored guest, is asked to remain on the side, with the crowd."
"You haven't heard yet? How savory. I happen to be the one upon who the title of Chief Warlock was bestowed and I must say that the Minister's choice in the matter was a very obvious one. I took the liberty to make a few replacements amongst the other seats since we were under the wind of changes..."
Looking around, Albus noticed the absence of Amelia Bones and a few others that used to support him. Now, the people waiting to enter courtroom ten could all be closely linked on a family tree. No pureblood law would be denied now. Was that Goyle senior over there? Who signed his name on the Chart for him?
"I must say that no matter the money you possess, nothing compare to having the fate of someone in your hand during a trial. I led my first one just yesterday on the poor, deluded Harry Potter. I must say I found the taste of justice simply...addictive," he finished, his face the picture of corrupted madness.
Albus felt dirty only to stay in close presence of the man. Was that the young boy he taught how to shave when he was sixteen? How could anyone fall so low? The Aurors finally opened the door and let them in. To their surprise, they collected their wands, a new security measure due to the earlier attack and the imposter mess after the Third task of the Tournament.
Albus was last to be inspected and had a lot of trouble hiding his surprise when the Auror, after taking his wand, slipped it back in Albus' pocket, smiling and motioning him to go on.
"Help us," the Auror whispered, so low he could have imagined it.
Now totally alert, Albus entered the courtroom, taking his seat.
"Do not fall asleep, old man!" teased Lucius from his higher seat, at the end of the table.
Many members laughed at the bout, assured that the Supreme Mugwump would no longer be a threat to their pureblood ways. There was no need for an emergency meeting to demote him but the man was weakened by the lost of his golden boy.
Cornelius Fudge entered the courtroom from an adjacent door, flanked by two dementors who stopped a few paces from the table. A chill was felt, merely uncomfortable for most.
The wizards and witches present all got up at their leader's entrance, except for Dumbledore, who felt particularly rebellious. Malfoy couldn't stop a smirk.
"Please be seated, everyone. We will forego any... ceremonial today and move on to the subject at hand."
The standing members of the Wizengamot sat back down in silence, wondering what was so serious to have Fudge refrain from gloating. Were they really not here to destitute Dumbledore of what little remained of his political power? If so, they felt a bit worried to have mocked him so openly...so soon.
"An attack only an hour ago on the Ministry building made me wonder if we haven't made a mistake, if I haven't made a mistake. It came to me that the Potter boy's story might have held some form of truth."
More stunned silence. Did Fudge just admit having made a mistake?
"Have I done well to sentence Mister Potter to a life sentence? The evidence of the Unforgivable was there, I agree, but aren't the circumstances a bit hazy to condemn him so readily? It isn't too late yet. We can still call for an extra-ordinary session of the Wizengamot and put the boy under Veritaserum, as well as our sole witness. I want your genuine advice."
"Minister! You can't even be considering this! This is the last bout of constant law abusing from a muggle-raised glory-seeker!"
Dumbledore couldn't believe his ears. The ill will of Malfoy was nothing surprising, but the agreement of the rest of the Wizengamot was. What did the government turned into?
"I, for one, am glad that you doubt your decision, Minister. As you just said..." started the Headmaster before being cut off.
"Please, Headmaster, keep your scolding for school children," said Lucius Malfoy, waving his hand around, as if to throw the Headmaster's words to the wind.
"No, Lucius, let him talk. After all, he has a long...experience of such things," said Cornelius Fudge.
The Malfoy elder didn't know if this was a bout on his own lack of experience in the Wizengamot of one against the old age of Dumbledore. He decided to just lean back on his seat and let the old wizard dig his own grave.
"Thank you, Minister. I will have to admit that the boy is guilty of something. He lied on the gravity of the event at the TriWizard Tournament. Something much darker, and much more dangerous happened. Since he closed the matter with his own hand, he downplayed his actions. He feared not to be believed, and I see he was right."
"A menace greater that a Death Eater resurgence? Really? What proof did he gave to you?" asked the Minister.
"I believe his words," simply stated Dumbledore.
"You trust him that much?" asked Fudge softly.
"I would trust him with my life."
The Minister closed his eyes and crossed his hands before him.
"You just did. Now!"
The dementors, hearing their signal, rushed past the Minister and over the table. Panicked members of the Wizengamot ran away from Dumbledore, not wanting to be close to a feeding dementor. The surprise was whole as the dark creatures went past Dumbledore who had his wand raised now, but stared in surprise as the attackers targeted the retreating members of the Ministry court. More soul-sucking creatures dropped from the ceiling and threw themselves on their victims. Dumbledore got over his shock and raised his wand high, the powerful dementor-repelling spell on his lips.
"Don't, Professor. They deserve it more than anyone else."
The tone in the Minister's voice made Dumbledore turn his head around, the carnage momentarily forgotten. The features of the 'Minister's' face began to shift, starting by the bright eyes that shone of an internal green fire.
"Harry? How...What's the meaning of this?" asked Dumbledore, an eerie silence settling in, the dementors gliding away now that they were done.
Harry was about to say something but held himself. He got up and discarded the Minister's cloths, showing the ragged Hogwarts' robe he wore when he was captured the day before.
"What if I told you this is just a chain of coincidences? The dementors decided to kill the Minister and I couldn't really leave the Ministry without a leader. Isn't it the kind of story the government feed us daily? I decided to become the new Minister and my ethereal friends just wanted to help by handling the clean-up work."
Harry walked up to the Headmaster, visibly nervous, and slowly handed him his wand.
"Just...hold on to this until you hear me out. Please be careful with it, thought, as Ginny would never forgive me if I had her wand damaged. "
A new piece of the puzzle settled in. That was how he escaped! Well, honestly, it was only the possibility. How he managed to break out, without missing a few limbs, from the darkest prison in the world was still a mystery. Harry walked over Lucius Malfoy and raised his sleeve. It was no surprise to see the faded Dark Mark. It was no less a surprise to see it on Goyle's arm.
"What about the dementors? How did you managed to get them on your side?" asked Dumbledore, as Harry revealed yet another Dark Mark on another fallen politician's arm.
"They decided I was too dangerous to double-cross after I destroyed one before them. Look at this! Five in seven have a Dark Mark on their arm! How could the government even get so low..."
"What about Fudge? You said... he's dead now?"
"He was the first to fall. I declared myself Minister and forbid anyone to talk about it before I authorized it. I called for this meeting and the result is pretty much what I expected of it. Did you know that many of our Aurors can't even cast a proper Patronus? Pathetic."
"Isn't the prison left unprotected?" asked Dumbledore, worrying once more.
"For what's left to protect...The Death Eaters there are already dead. Believe me, the dementors are happy to have me as their new...friend."
"What? What if you killed an innocent?" almost yelled the Headmaster, getting worked up. Things were getting out of hand way too fast! A handful of politician corrupted to the core was one thing but to kill a possible innocent convict was something else! Didn't Harry learn anything from the situation with his godfather?
"Did you know that the dementors have the ability to read minds? They know if someone is guilty or now: they just don't care. They know, instinctively, if someone is bad or not. I promised them all the irrecoverable convicted and, in exchange, they stop bothering the innocents and the ones guilty of minor crimes. I guess we'll have a new round of trials for the remaining prisoners."
Albus calmed down some before looking left and right.
"Voldemort too, killed all who opposed him," Dumbledore said in a whisper.
"You seem to get things wrong, Professor," stated Harry, shaking his head. "The ones here were judged on the very same level as the prisoners in Azkaban. I would like to state that I never told them not to kill you."
Albus' eyes were round as saucer plates hearing that.
"You finally understood. They were judged to be guilty of much more than simple corruption. They were just never caught. I know that I am too young and that there is so many laws out there telling me why I can't do the right thing, but hey...We'll cross that bridge when we get there!"
Dumbledore sighed again. He could cry over spilled milk and stop Harry for countless murders in the span of less than a day. Harry was a move from his wand away from being tied in rope and half-way back toward Azkaban, but...
"You are right on one matter, Harry. You are way too young to shoulder this responsibility," said Dumbledore, shaking his head.
"This is why you will need an experienced advisor."
Harry's smile was the first true smile he had in more than a day.
"Well then, I'm lucky that's one of the new roles of the Supreme Mugwump, am I not?"
They left the courtroom, side by side, Harry having retrieved Ginny's wand before getting out. He would soon enough have his own back, as the Unspeakable were working frantically to repair it after it was snapped in half. The Auror looked in horror as their last hope was calmly discussing the next step of action, and their horror only grew when they looked inside courtroom ten.
"Do you think the real Alastor Moody would agree to come out of retirement?" asked Harry lightly. "We really have to do something about the Auror's battle skills."
"Harry! Don't be so quick to judge them on your own scale! They are not the ones able to take out a room full of wizard with barely an effort! I couldn't do a thing to stop you either..."
Harry laughed out loud and that was the sound of resignation for every Ministry employee over-hearing them. Harry was amazed how easily a Gryffindor like the Headmaster could get the rumor mill rolling.
"Come on! Try to be one with the universe, or something! I don't want my glass of water to freeze each time you enter the room! Control, control!"
The dementor simply let out a long breath, his cloak moving under some unreal wind.
"I don't care you never had to turn it off before! You will have to learn how now, and not only you! I don't want dementors making everyone uncomfortable! I gave you all enough people to suck up to have you powered for years! Don't argue! You don't need the extra juice!"
A light sway, another breath.
"What, you think madmen will stop popping up now and then? I told you! There are always the muggle prisons. They can't see you anyway!"
A bowed head and hovering up and down.
"Good boy. Now we'll have to work on a glamour charm so that you can act as my casual bodyguard. It will keep everyone to be distracted by your presence and would provide me with an ace up my sleeve. Get them down to the Department of Mystery for testing," said Harry, thinking about five particular dementors.
The dark creature facing Harry was the leader of all dementor, be them in Britain or elsewhere. He was truly amazed of the little one facing him. After only a month of working in close proximity with them, he managed not only to communicate but to distinguish them. They had no names, but he could send a mental picture of an individual dementor to them.
The door to the Minister's office opened on the sound of arguing. The dark creature turned toward it, took a breath and got out of the office through an air dock. Harry had the idea of having them travel in the hidden conducts, preventing people from always running into them, and had them act like an A/C in summer. Harry knew that if he just left, there was no danger coming.
The door closed on his secretary's nose, leaving him alone in his office with a very familiar blonde.
"Harry James Potter! How dare you?" asked Ginny, stomping around his desk to stare at him, towering over him.
"How dare I do what?" asked Harry, confused.
"A whole month! A whole month I have been waiting for you to call me and all I get is a messenger who gave me back my wand? A freaking courier?"
"Ginny, it was a very, very busy month!" he started before predictably being cut off.
"I know! You think I would have waited so long with no news at all? Dad told me you have barely got out of your office! Even then, it was to get to a meeting or another and barely eat once a day! You sleep in here! You have been cleaning your school robe, and yourself, with spells for the last four weeks for crying out loud! Are you trying to undo years of corruption in one summer before going back to Hogwarts?"
"Oh yeah, Hogwarts. I knew I was forgetting something," said Harry, snapping his finger. He would soon regret saying that.
Ginny grabbed him by the collar of his robe and pulled his face close to her.
"Don't tell me you would dare to skip the rest of your education at Hogwarts, Mister Potter..."
"I wouldn't dare! I'll just have to...errr...establish a few emergency protocols, schedule reunions and I should manage to drop some more responsibility on Heads of Departments," he quickly made up. He was always good at working under pressure.
Ginny looked at him suspiciously but let him go. She pushed him backward on his chair and sat sideway on his lap. She kissed him lightly before putting her head on his shoulder.
"I missed you, Harry," she whispered.
"I won't lie to you and say I thought only of you, but the last one I had before going to sleep, every night, went to you," replied Harry.
"This is going to be complicated, isn't it?" asked Ginny
"Yes, but you won't have to worry about a job after Hogwarts! I should be able to whip out a Department of Good Look or something to put you as the Head."
Ginny smirked and punched him lightly in the arm.
"Flatterer, but I'll hold you on that job offer. After all, your secretary will probably appreciate an early retirement. How is Sirius' trial coming up?"
"It's going to be ridiculously easy. As he was able to hide his thoughts from the dementors, he's going to be under veritaserum and declared free right after it."
"What does he plan to do after that?" asked Ginny, wondering what goal would be left to Sirius.
"I proposed him to follow the actual Auror course under the guidance of Alastor Moody and a place as Chief investigator in the search for the war criminal Peter Pettigrew. I heard he's getting a head start, working out to get back in shape at Grimmauld Place."
Ginny shook her head, sighing.
"It's never over, is it?"
"Over? Baby, it's just getting interesting!"