Title: Charlie does the Foxtrot or Damn the Torpedoes
Author: Lady FoxFire
Setting: Book 5
Category(s): Harry Potter
Summary: Fudge believed that everything was going according to his grand plan when Harry Potter was found guilty…. Oh Boy! Was he wrong!
Disclaimer: I do not own the Harry Potter series, if I did the last 3 books would have been a lot better
Bad Author Notes: I would write something here about all the people who through it was a good idea to leave penniless, friendless children in the hands of people like Fudge and Dumbledore instead of sending them to the Muggle world but I have a bad headache right now. Email me if you have a problem with them being sent to away so they have a fresh start.
"Do you think anyone else will show?" Fudge looked around the partially filled chamber used by the Wizengamot.
"I doubt it," Madam Bones replied calmly. A small smirk of satisfaction graced her lips as she took in the empty seats of Wizengamot members like the Malfoys and Notts.
"Hem, Hem," Umbridge made the annoying noise she always made when she wanted to draw attention to herself. "I'm sure they're just being delayed by something. After all Minister Fudge did call for a full Wizengamot, which means every member must attend."
"True," Bones admitted. "Unless they are no long able to hold their seat."
"The only reason they would not be able to hold their seat was if they were dead and their heir is under-age," Umbridge replied smugly.
"Or if they were no longer the Head of their line," Lady Longbottom stated from her seat among the Wizengamot. "And I believe that is exactly what happened, isn't it. Spoils of war and all that."
"Lucius was found innocent of all crimes," Fudge said in the defense of his greatest supporter.
A small smile graced Lady Longbottom's lips. "Yet he was marked. Just like a farmer brands his cattle."
"Yes… well…" Fudge sputtered.
"I'm more concerned with the boy claiming to be the Heir of the Founders and closing Hogwarts than the fate of some Death Eaters and their families," one of the younger members of the Wizengamot stated.
"He's right! My family is descended from both Lady Hufflepuff and Lady Ravenclaw and yet that boy took our title from family," an older wizard snarled.
"It's not like you're the only family descended from the Founders," a wizard with a neatly trimmed beard said. "Almost everyone in this room could claim to be descended from one of the founders."
"Yes… well… my family is one of the oldest in the wizard world," the wizard who claimed to be descended from two of the Founders said snottily.
"Before we continue this debate of who is more deserving of the title of Heir, perhaps we should start this session," Madam Bones commented. "It is my understanding that there is a representative from Gringotts here to explain the matter at hand."
"A goblin no doubt. Nasty little buggers," one Wizengamot member commented. "Don't see why they don't send a wizard like is proper, instead of forcing us to deal with them."
"I believe the only wizard who could explain this had his wand snapped," Lady Longbottom explained.
"Really and who was that?" Fudge demanded. "I don't remember anyone having their wand snapped expect for Potter."
A few members of the Wizengamot shook their heads sadly while the majority of them nodded in agreement.
Madam Bones sighed wearily. "I believe Lady Longbottom meant Harry Potter."
"And what does he have to do with this?" Fudge demanded. "He's not a wizard anymore."
Lady Longbottom shook her head in disbelief at how little Fudge and many members of the Wizengamot understood of wizard law and of magic.
"Why don't we allow the Gringotts' representative to explain everything," Madam Bones suggested, pinching the bridge of her nose.
"Very well," Fudge grumbled. "Show the goblin in," he ordered the guards who were stationed by the door.
The goblin who entered the room was not dressed the way most wizards were used to seeing a goblin. Instead of the usual suit and bow tie, this goblin was dressed in a black front laced poet shirt, a leather vest with pants and knee high boots. Tucked into the belt the goblins wore were two strange items that bore a faint resemblance to Muggle flintlock pistols.
"Greetings good ladies and wizards of the Wizengamot," the goblin said with a slight bow of his head and a small smirk on his lips.
"We want to know why Gringotts has kidnapped a number of important people," Fudge sputtered. "And how Potter was able to steal the title of Heir from the rightful families when he's not a wizard anymore."
The goblin looked at Fudge as if he was insignificant bug in a green pin striped suit.
Madam Bones sighed as she rubbed her forehead as if to ward off a headache. "Greetings good goblin. There are several matters that we are hoping that you could clarify for us. The first of which is the matter in which a number of witches and wizard have been declared to be slaves."
"What about Potter's theft of my family title to Heir to the Founders," the wizard who said he was descended from Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff shouted out.
"The matter at hand is the enslavement of a number of wizard families," Madam Bones snapped. "That is unless you want to ignore that fact that you too might share the same fate as the Malfoys or the Notts."
"No… you're quite right," the wizard said hurriedly. "We must deal with the important matter as quickly as possible."
Madam Bones shook her head. "Good goblin, would you kindly explain how a number of pureblood families became slaves?"
"There is not much to explain, by right of conquest Mr. Potter became owner of all properties and coinage of Tom Marvolo Riddle better known as Dark Lord Voldemort," the goblin explained.
"So by the wizard Act of 1522 anyone branded with… a symbol of ownership became property that can be sold, traded or won in combat," Madam Bones said. "And since the members of Wizengamot didn't include Pure-bloods in the Freeman Act, the collection of those marked along with their spouses, children and their properties is completely legal."
The goblin nodded his head. "Exactly."
"And what of those that have been sentenced to Azkaban?" Lady Longbottom asked. "Will they remain to serve out their sentence or be forced to do labor for the rest of their lives?
"Those in Azkaban have been questioned with Veritaserum and then euthanized," the goblin replied.
"Euthanized?" one of the member of Wizengamot asked.
"He means executed," another Wizengamot member explained.
"One can not execute an animal," the goblin countered.
"They were human beings, not animals," Dumbledore commented. "They didn't deserve to be treated in such a manner."
"Oh I would disagree with you on that Albus," Lady Longbottom said. "They were not humans but animals, sick and diseased animals and the world is better off with them dead." She then turned to the goblin. "If at all possible please inform Mr. Potter that the Longbottom line sends our thanks for dealing with a problem we have been unable to deal with."
The goblin nodded his head. "I will pass on your words to Mr. Potter. I know he was concerned that you might not take the death of your family's enemy death in a favorable light. That you might have preferred to have handled the matter yourself."
Lady Longbottom waved off Potter's concern. "While I might have preferred to witness their death, I am satisfied to know that they will never harm another soul. My family has been revenged."
"And what of those who were marked," Dumbledore growled, "are they destined to meet the same fate?"
"They were questioned under Veritaserum and based on their answers they were assigned to a job. I believe Lucius Malfoy is currently shoveling Hippogriff dung," the goblin replied with a smirk.
"Well Malfoy was always one to dig up shit on anyone if it was to his advantage. Now he's just deal with a different type of shit," someone commented.
"And those not marked? What will happen to them?" Madam Bones asked.
"The spouses were also questioned under Veritaserum and based on their answers they were assigned jobs," the goblin answered.
"And the children?" Dumbledore demanded. "Were they also questioned and assigned jobs too?"
A toothy grin appeared on the goblin's face. "The children have decided that it is in their best interest to have their magic bound and become wards of the Crown."
The members of the Wizengamot stared at the goblin in shock for a moment before Lady Longbottom started to snicker in a very un-lady like manner. Picking up the glass of water in front of her, she raised it in the air. "A toast to Mr. Potter for doing what we always wanted to do and never dared to do."
"What... what do you mean?" Fudge sputtered. "What did he do?"
"He took care of the worst threat to the wizard world," Lady Longbottom answered.
"What threat?" Fudge asked dumbly
"He removed those who threaten to expose us to the Muggle world," Longbottom answered.
"He removed the Muggle-born?" Fudge said in confusion.
"No. He removed the worst of the Pure-blood bigots who would attack Muggles at any time," Longbottom replied. "It's only luck and the use of memory charms that have prevented the Muggle world from discovering us before now. I for one would hate to be part of a modern day witch hunt."
"Oh Mr. Potter did more than just that, my Lady," the goblin practical purred.
The small smile that was on Madam Bones' face as a result of Lady Longbottom's words quickly disappeared. "And what exactly did Mr. Potter do?" she demanded.
A cruel smile appeared on the goblin's face. "He removed his entire fortune from this nation."
"What of it?" Fudge dismissed the matter.
"His entire fortune?" Lady Longbottom asked with dread. "Including the funds that were once owned by his chattel?"
The goblin simply nodded as his grin grew wider.
"And exactly how much is that?" Madam Bones asked.
"As you know employees of Gringotts can not speak about other account holders," the goblin replied.
"That would be a great deal of money," one of the Wizengamot member announced. "The Malfoy were one of the richest families in the Wizard World. The Potters were rumored to be almost as rich if not as rich as the Malfoys. And the other families… the removal of those funds… Mr. Potter could very well destroy our economy!"
"Hem, Hem," Umbridge pretended to cough daintily. "I'm sure you're over-reaching. I truly doubt that boy could destroy our economy."
"That's because you're stupid!" the Wizengamot member snapped
"Come now, there is no need for such insults," Dumbledore commented in a disapproving tone of voice.
"Says the man who is too blind to see the royal mess we're now in," the Wizengamot member who had insulted Umbridge commented.
"I don't understand," Fudge said. "What the problem with the boy taking his funds and leaving Britain? We're better off without him."
"Perhaps it would be best if I explain," the goblin volunteered.
"Please, good goblin," Madam Bones requested, pulling a headache potion out of her robes.
"It's quite simple, Minister Fudge and honored members of Wizengamot," the goblin said in a lecturing tone of voice. "In the wizard world there are a set number of Galleon, Sickle and Knuts and the amount of coins each nation has is based on the number of people and their wealth which allows them to buy and sell with other wizard nations. Now if we suddenly remove a large number of coins from one nation and give it to another we upset the delicate balance that allows the economy to flourish."
Fudge shook his head. "I still don't understand."
The goblin sighed. Alright let's say that you have 100 Bertie Botts beans, Madam Bones has 125 jelly beans and Dumbledore has 75."
"Why does Madam Bones have more Bertie Botts beans than me, after all I'm the Minister of Magic," Fudge grumbled.
"Because Madam Bones represents another wizard nation that has a larger pool of wealth while Dumbledore is a poorer nation. You, Minister Fudge represent Britain in this example," the goblin explained.
"Oh well… that's a good thing. Go on," Fudge said with a wave of his hand to indicate that the goblin should continue.
"Now nations will trade things among themselves for example Minister Fudge will give Madam Bones 75 Bertie Botts beans in exchange for some fresh fruit and vegetables which can't be grown here," the goblin explain. "And you will also give Dumbledore 25 Bertie Botts beans for potion ingredients."
"That leave me without any Bertie Botts beans," Fudge said with a pout.
"Yes and we'll get to that in a moment. Madam Bones will buy 50 beans worth of potion ingredients from Dumbledore. And then Dumbledore will buy 75 beans worth of brooms from Minister Fudge and Madam Bones will buy 25 beans worth. In the end after buying and selling you still have 100 beans, Minister Fudge while Madam Bones and Dumbledore have the same amount they started with too."
"Alright," Fudge said slowly as he tried to figure things out.
"So now Mr. Potter has come along and removed 45 beans from your pile, so you only have 55 beans left but you still need 100 Bertie Botts beans to buy everything you need," the goblin said.
Fudge brow was furrowed with thought. "So I have to by my fruits and vegetable first then after Madam Bones and Dumbledore buys their brooms, I can buy the potion ingredients," Fudge stated thoughtfully.
"Except Dumbledore won't buy your brooms until he has enough Bertie Botts beans from you purchasing the ingredients first," the goblin explained.
"So I buy from Dumbledore first then after he buy the brooms I buy the food," Fudge said.
"But Dumbledore still won't have enough beans since he also needs the ones he gets from Madam Bones which she gets from you when you buy the fruits and vegetables," the goblin explained as he can see that Fudge and Wizengamot member were finally getting it.
"So that mean we have to cut back the amount of food and potion ingredients," one of the members commented.
"Yes! Which mean Madam Bones and Dumbledore will buy less brooms from Minister Fudge which mean he has to lay off the people working for him," the goblin replied happily. "Which mean the people will be unhappy with Fudge since they're not making any money that they could spend on food, potion ingredients or on brooms."
"And we all know what happen when people have nothing to do, no money and no food in their stomachs," Lady Longbottom comment.
"We do?" one of the Wizengamot member sounded puzzled.
"They go after the ones that caused their problems," Lady Longbottom replied.
"They'll go after Potter?" Fudge said happily.
"No, Minister Fudge. They will go after you and the other members of the Wizengamot," the goblin replied.
"Oh… perhaps a recess is in order," Fudge said nervously.
"There is one thing else before you go on recess," the goblin said with an evil smirk. "All the accounted owned by Wizengamot are currently being audited and therefore you funds are frozen until we're done."
"How long will that be?" Fudge said with a squeak.
"Oh about 3, 4 maybe 6 weeks," the goblin replied
"6 weeks!" Fudge gasped.
"Maybe more," the goblin said happily.
America. Land of the free, home of the brave. The first nation… well they were colonies at that time to be brave enough or more likely stupid enough to tell the British government to fuck off and actually get away with it.
Of course it was the perfect place for Harry Potter to disappear in since he basically did the same thing to the British Wizard government. Now it might be argued that Canada or Australia would have been better choice but the truth of the matter was that both nations still had close ties to Queen and country; ties that could cause Harry problems later on.
So it was no surprise that when a representative of ICW, International Confederation of Wizards finally found Harry, he was enjoying a fish sandwich while watching people pass him by.
"Mr. Potter?" the representative said with a slight German accent as he sat down across the table.
"Maybe," Harry replied before taking another bite of his sandwich.
"Fredrich Grueber, Representative of International Confederation of Wizards," the wizard said in a slightly snotty tone of voice.
Harry swallowed his food and reached for his drink. "Really. That must be great for you."
"Yes… well…" Grueber stammered for a moment over the fact that Potter was less than impressed by his title. "I'm here to speak to you about your… chattel and the funds you appropriated from them."
Harry shrugged his shoulders as he took another bite of his sandwich.
"The ICW on behalf of the British Wizard government is asking you to free your… chattel and return the fund you had removed from their accounts," Grueber stated in a firm tone of voice as he looked down his nose at Harry.
Harry swallowed his mouthful of food. "No," he replied before taking a drink.
Grueber blinked a couple of times in surprise. "Mr. Potter I don't think you understand the exact nature of this request," he said in a harder, threatening tone. "The ICW would like you to free the witches and wizards you have in your possession and return the funs you stole from them."
Harry put down his sandwich and gave the ICW representative his full attention. "You seem to be laboring under some misinformation about what exactly the ICW is and what it is allowed to do, Mr. Grueber."
"And what is that, Mr. Potter," Grueber sneered.
"You're of the belief that the ICW has the power to tell me what I can and can not do," Harry replied as if he was explaining something to a child. "You see the International Confederation of Wizards is a collection of wizard governments who came together in order to unite the wizard world across the global, much like the Muggle United Nations. And like the UN, the ICW can sanction one of its members if the nation does something illegal or something that threatens the other member nations. But the ICW can not tell an individual what they can and can not do especially if what the individual is doing is legal."
"But slavery is not legal in the British Isles," Grueber countered.
"Actually it is, under the right circumstance," Harry stated with a grin. "Circumstances I took the full advantage of."
"And the spouses and children of those you enslaved?" Grueber said. "What about them?"
"All legal according to British law," Harry replied.
"That is until the British government changes the law and make it retroactive," Grueber replied.
Harry chuckled. "Ah but that won't happen for a very long time, not until my Heir has taken his or her spot as the head of the Potter line… in Britain at least."
Grueber's brow furrow as he tried to figure out what Harry meant. "Explain," he demanded.
"Oh your mean they did tell you?" Harry asked
"Tell me what?" Grueber demanded.
"That I control 17 seats in the Wizengamot," Harry answered. "Because the government of Wizarding British snapped my wand, I am consided to be a squib by them therefore I can not vote those seats. I can't even appoint a proxy, which means those seats will remain unoccupied until my heir has taken his or her rightful place as head of the Potter line."
Harry picked up his sandwich once again as Grueber mentally reviewed what Harry just said. Harry was finished his sandwich when Grueber blurted out, "But that means they can't convene!"
"Yeap," Harry said with a smirk. "They can't make any laws, agree to any treaty or raise any taxes. All they can do seat and judge those brought to court."
"But… but… they can't do anything," Grueber sputtered.
"And the British people will probably thank me since this would be the first time in history that a government actual worked correctly… of course that's ignoring the part in which I destroyed their economy," Harry said thoughtfully. "Of course they only have themselves to blame for that after all they elected Fudge to office."
Grueber opened his mouth to say something only to close it once again. "And what about the funds? Would you consent to having them transferred back to your account in the British branch of Gringotts?"
"Why?" Harry asked simply.
"To restart the British economy," Grueber answered. "When you removed the funds, the British economy collapsed."
Harry snorted, "Even if I did, it won't help the economy any," Harry replied. "After all you have to spend money to get an economy moving and since I'm in America, I won't be spending any money in Britain. Besides I couldn't do it anyways even if I wanted to since I don't have a knut to my name."
"You're broke!" Grueber exclaimed in shock.
"Nope," Harry answered with a smile that would make the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland green with envy. "Tell me do you know what the conversion rate is between the British pound and wizard money is?"
"Not for the British pound but the conversion rate for the German Deutschmark is around 2 Sickles," Grueber told him.
Harry nodded his head. "And do you know what the conversion from wizard money back to Muggle money is?"
Grueber looked at Harry in confusion. "From you question I would not say it's the same as it is from Muggle to Galleons."
Harry nodded his head. "To from British currency to Galleons, 1 pound is worth 3 Sickles and 11 Knuts but to go the other way… 2 Sickles are worth 1 pound."
A high pitch squeak came from Grueber. Clearing his throat, he said, "But why such a difference?"
"Profit. It's all about profit," Harry answered before finishing off his drink.
"But why exchange all your money? You'll probably lose more than what you made when you change it back," Grueber asked.
"Why would I exchange it back?" Harry asked innocently.
"Well… to buy things," Grueber replied.
Harry looked at Grueber with a thoughtful expression on his face before saying, "Look around Grueber, what do you see?"
Grueber looked at Harry for a moment before complying with the request. "Shops, Muggles, Muggle vehicles and in the distance I can see a bit of water and maybe a ship or two."
Harry smiled and nodded his head. "Normal everyday people with normal everyday jobs out buying normal everyday things."
Grueber blinked a couple of times in surprise. "You plan to go Muggle; to turn you back on magic!"
Harry snorted. "Of course not. I plan to turn my back on the wizard community. It's not that lot ever did anything good for anyone but themselves."
"But you can't use magic until you passed your O.W.L.s and you could never get a job without a good score on you N.E.," Grueber pointed out.
"First there is no laws again me hiring tutors so I can pass my O.W.L.s and second why would I want a job in the wizard community? From what I see the job market is limited to being a government employee or own a shop or working in one," Harry said with a snort.
"I can assure you, Mr. Potter that there are more to the wizard community than the few forms of employment that you mention," Grueber said in a snotty tone of voice
"Ah yes, there's teacher, dragon handler or curse breaker but to be honest, none of them interest me," Harry replied. "Besides there is one field of employment that the wizard world will never have but that Muggle world does."
"And what is that," Grueber growled at the idea that Muggle could do something that the wizards could never do
Harry pointed up.
Grueber looked up in confusion "Flying?" he guessed. "I'm sure you know that wizards know how to fly and that some actually make a career out of it."
"Space," Harry said simply
Grueber looked at Harry in confusion. "Space?"
"Do you know how many people have walked on the Moon, Mr. Grueber?" Harry asked.
Grueber shook his head. "None. No wizard could apparate such a distance nor would they know what they would find if they were able to."
"The answer is 12. The first two being Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin," Harry stated. "I want to go into space. Walk on the surface of the Moon. Be the first person to walk on Mars. If I stay in the wizard community and be a good little wizard, I could never do any of that."
Grueber looked at Harry with a sad expression on his face. "You're insane."
Harry snorted. "This from the representative of the people who think that stepping into a fire is a great way to transport themselves to other places or stick their heads into the same fire in order to talk to someone. Of course if you want to send someone a letter or a package you need to find an owl or some other type of bird to do that. I'm sorry but I'm pretty sure that the wizard world has cornered the market on being insane."
"Then I can assume that there is no chance of you freeing your chattels or returning the funds," Grueber said.
"None what so ever," Harry answered. "After all by that simple act, I defeat Voldemort. He has no army and no money; all the wizard world has to do is find him."
Grueber rose to his feet. "I'll take your reply back to International Confederation of Wizards but I can assure you that this won't be the last you'll hear from us."
Harry chuckled. "Why would I assume any differently? After all, as Dumbledore and the Wizengamot taught me, a wizard is always right even when he's wrong. I'm sure I'll see you or your replacement sometime soon."
And with that Grueber walked into the human traffic and disappeared from sight.
Harry sat at the table for about 5 minutes, watching as humanity passed him by. "What do you think they will do now?" he asked to a person who walked up next to him.
"Nothing for the time being," a short ugly old man who looked a lot like a goblin said as he sat down across from Harry, "but eventually they will try something. It is their way and they can not understand why someone would willingly give up their way for a different way."
Harry made some agreeing noises. "I wonder how many times it will take before they get the point."
"It depends on if you will allow us to implement the plan we suggested," the old man/goblin said.
"Not yet. Wait until they've pissed me off," Harry said with a smirk. "Beside we don't want to show our hand yet, we can only do it so many times before we run out of laws and treaties that we can manipulate."
"2,163 to be exact," the old man/goblin replied with a toothy grin.
Harry looked over at the old man/goblin with an impressed look on his face. "Got to love the wizard community when it comes to truth and justice, they really know how to screw someone or allow someone like me to screw them. Wonder who will be the ones to piss me off."
Harry and the old man/goblin looked at each other and simultaneously said, "The French."
"Really do love the Veelas. They don't know how to take 'No' or 'Not interested' for an answer," Harry commented