I finally managed to finish this chapter. It took me ages! First, I couldn't find a way to start the chapter. When I finally had an idea, I had to study for my finals of this block. When I finally had some time (no classes for a little more then a week before I've another final... so yeah, some time to write) I was too tired to get something logically on paper.
When I finally was motived I once again wasn't able to find a way to get it on paper.
So yeah... it took me a while.

To be positive: it is a rather long chapter!

Summary: When Sirius told Harry that all pure-blood families were interrelated, he wondered if he had other living family members, besides the Dursley's, who were close enough related to fall under the blood protection, hoping that once he found them that he could legally live with that family and leave the Dursley's forever. What he found changes everything, for both him and the war... Dark Fic.

Disclaimer: It's not my name that's written on the cover of the Harry Potter books, now is it?

Warnings: My weird fantasy and slight torture. It is also not checked because I wanted it out before I once again lacked to time to write (I've another final on the fourth of January... and it's after midnight and I'm kinda really tired...). So if you see a mistake: please tell me and I'll try to rectify it!

Pairings: TR/OC, HP/LL (no offense to anyone but I'm not going to change this pairing as you guys as readers actually chose this pairing!)

I want to thank everyone who has reviewed, it's appreciated.

I hope you guys enjoy this chapter and don't forget to leave a review once you've read it!

A Happy 2013 everyone!

Family ties

Chapter 26

Letters, books '…'
Spells, inside the memory …

Parseltongue ":…:"
"Mind talk"


He received the answers on his letters the next day during his breakfast slash 'visiting Dobby' time – which meant that he ate in the kitchens while spending time with Dobby.
Both parties wrote that he should agree with Slughorn's deal.
So he decided to take their advice – not really caring for the reasons as to why he should take it according to them – and made his way down for his first lesson of the day, which was luckily enough for him, potions.

Neville had been stung the day before by one of the many dangerous plants Sprout kept in the greenhouses while helping the chubby professor and was now residing in the Hospital Wing. Which meant that Harry had to walk towards the potions classroom alone.
Normally he wouldn't particularly care about that but with the way Malfoy kept targeting his friends he rather kept them in his sight. Especially as he knew that the blonde Slytherin, while spoiled, was quite skilled with his wand and sneaky enough to make sure that no one knew for certain that it had been sighed as reached the classroom and saw that the doors were still closed and no one was there. He cast a tempus, only to groan as he realized that he was fifteen minutes too early. Normally the Slytherins arrived ten minutes before the lessons started and the Gryffindors somewhere between five minutes before the lessons started and five minutes after the lessons should have started.
And now he was fifteen minutes too early, which meant that he would have to endure five minutes with the Slytherins before the Gryffindors would start to appear.

He sighed again and rested his head against the wall and closed his eyes. He might as well have some rest before he had to deal with the Slytherins.

Five minutes later on the dot he heard the sounds of feet and voices approaching him, the one he recognized as Malfoy the loudest of all.
He was once again bragging about something and Harry sighed softly in annoyance though he didn't bother with opening his eyes.

The feet stopped rather sudden and Harry wondered if the Slytherins were surprised to see him. It were moments like this that he missed having Ular with him. The snake was not only a brilliant companion but he was also a big help when it came to senses that he himself lacked. While humans could see colours and could hear better, snakes were capable of seeing in the dark and smell everything that happened around them. His little second familiar – because he was still convinced that Hedwig was his familiar, no matter what Voldemort told him – was also a very capable spy.

"Well, well, well," Malfoy's voice sounded, "if it isn't Potter, all alone."
"What are you doing here Potter?" another voice – female this time - spat out and it took some time before he realised that it belonged to Pansy Parkinson, Malfoy's possible girlfriend.
"The last time I checked," Harry said coolly, "this is the corridor before the potion's classroom. And we happen to have potions in about ten minutes."
He opened his eyes after that, more than aware how the Slytherins would take it even though he didn't outright insult them.
There were about ten off them and they all looked rather pissed off at seeing him there.

It was nothing new, really. It was no different than what he had expected but it still came as a surprise when they all whipped out their wand and trained it on him. Well, all except Malfoy. For some time it was completely silent as the Slytherins seized him up – wands still raised – while he just stared back warily, his wand still in its holster.

"You're far outnumbered," Malfoy gloated gleefully after a while, "nowhere to run now!"
"The last time I checked I was a Gryffindor," Harry muttered almost amused, "we don't run. Besides, like I mentioned potions start in about ten minutes. Which means that the first Gryffindors will arrive in about five."

Malfoy growled at that and he stalked forward until he was in Harry's space.
"I don't know what you did to the Dark Lord," he hissed sharply in his ear in a way he thought clearly intimidating, "but we all know that it should have been me who should be the heir. Not you!"
"But he chose me," Harry whispered back, "and you do know that suggesting that I 'did something to him' means you think him weak, right. Wonder what he would say if I told him that!"
"It doesn't matter," Malfoy snarled, "I will show him that I'm the better choice, that I'm far better than you could ever be."
"Keep dreaming, Malfoy," Harry said before he yawned, indicating that he was bored. It was a small trickVoldemort had taught him. Showing that you were bored with a conversation over power indicated that you believed the other to be too weak to be a threat to you. It also angered the other, which could be bad of you didn't have the situation under control.

Luckily, Harry knew that it was only a matter of seconds before the first Gryffindor would arrive as he had managed to glance at the Tempus one of the Slytherins had cast just before he had yawned.
"Why you-" Malfoy started only to be interrupted by a: "Get away from him you slimy Snake!" from Ron.

Malfoy pushed away from Harry with a dark glare and a whispered, "this isn't over."
Harry just yawned again as the blonde made his way back to his entourage.

"Where were you during breakfast Harry?" Hermione asked almost as soon as they were by his side.
"I wanted to talk to Dobby before lessons and I got a couple of letters so I had to leave early," Harry said slightly irritated, "not that it is any of yourbusiness if I decide to skip breakfast."

He knew that he was being unfair with them but he had just had it with their behaviour.
First they started to pull away until they were suddenly little more than acquaintances. Then, when he had needed them the most they had completely turned their backs on him because he did something his only parent figures told him. And, when he had found new friends and had finally managed to deal with all the mess – meaning both Umbridge and Voldemort – they had decided that they were best friends again.
It didn't work like that!
"But Harry, we are your best friends!" Ron almost whined, "we only worry about yo-"

And that was as far as he could get before Harry exploded.
"No, you were my best friend!" he hissed angrily, ignorant of the fact that the rest of the Gryffindor were starting to arrive.
"But Harry!" Ron protested.
"Just leave me!" Harry growled as he stepped away from them, "if you want to know why ask me when we don'thave lessons!"

Hermione looked as she was about to argue, but Slughorn opened the door at that exact moment and she was forced to keep silent and follow the rest of their classmates in.
Leaving Harry with a far worse mood than before.


It was at the end of the lesson that his mood finally turned back to 'slightly good'. He could finally tell the collect-crazy teacher that he would agree with his deal.
And that meant that he would finally learn about his mother.

It was true what Slughorn had mentioned, he didknow little about his mother. The only persons who seemed to know her well were either too grief struck to tell him about her or weren't willing to speak about her because of other reasons. Either way, he would love to learn more about her. Even if it was out of the mouth of a teacher who seemed to resemble a certain giant spider that lived in the Forbidden Forest.

Harry made his way over to the teacher's desk as soon as the lesson's end was called and the rest of the students made their way out of the classroom.
Slughorn hadn't moved away from said desk even once during the lesson, choosing instead to observe them from a distance and calling warnings to those that were about to ruin their potion badly.

"Sir, I've considered your offer," he started as soon as the teacher's attention was on him, "and I've decided that I would like to take this chance to learn about my mother."
Slughorn's eyes started to gleam in victory, "very good, my dear boy. Now, how about we hedge something out?"

Together they made an agreement: Harry would visit the potion's master one evening per week and in exchange he would attend one of Slughorn's club evenings per month.


It was that very same evening – and just after he had visited Neville with Luna – that Ron and Hermione dragged him out of the homey Common Room and into an unused classroom.
He didn't feel like having this conversation – more like fight – with them but knew that it was necessary. So he sat down upon one of the dusty desks and turned towards his once best friends.

"Now, tell us what you meant with: we 'were' your best friend," Hermione demanded.
"It is as I said," Harry said almost tiredly, "you guys were my best friends."
"Why do you think that, mate?" Ron said clearly confused, "we still are your best friend. Right?"
"No, Ron, you aren't," Harry sighed as he removed his glasses from his face and rubbed his eyes, "Neville and Luna are my best friends. On the moment you are barely my acquaintances."
Ron opened his mouth to react but Hermione shushed him with a look before she said sadly, "why do you say that? We were always there for you!"

"No, you weren't," Harry said as he replaced his glasses and looked back towards them, "this summer, when the two of you were together with the Order in Grimmauld Place, I had to deal with the Dursleys, their neglectful behaviour and the nightmares from the graveyard. And all my best friends sent me were letters with the message that I would be picked up soon."
So yeah, he was still bitter about it.

"And I was willing to forgive you for that," he almost spat, "and I was happy for the two of you when you got together, even though the two spent all your time together and I was let out. But I didn't care, because I was happyfor you!"

Hermione opened her mouth but Harry continued his rant, "but then I wrote that essay for DADA because Moony and Padfoot warned me against angering Umbridge. Because she could make my life a living hell, even worse than the Dursleys already managed to do every summer. And the two of you turned on me! Merlin, you turnedalmost the entire House against me. Nobody would listen to me when I tried to explain myself!"

He felt himself shake in rage and his words were almost spoken in Parseltongue as he spewed out everything that bothered him about the two in front of him. He tried to get a hold of his temper before he truly slipped in Parseltongue but he failed as Hermione opened her mouth.

"Do you know how hurt I was when almost all of the Gryffindors turned on me? Again, I must add," Harry hissed angrily, "do you know how I felt when I tried to explain it all to you, Hermione,? And all you told me was 'that you would talk to Ron and the rest of the Gryffindors'!"
He glared harshly at her.

"And then, when I needed the two of you the most you weren't there!" Harry snarled, "so no, you were not 'always there for me'!"

He panted as he finished his rant and sat back down on the desk he had claimed earlier, not even aware when exactly he had jumped up and had started to pace in front of the couple.

"That's why you are no longer my best friends," Harry finally said softly as the silence dragged on too long.
"We are sorry, Harry," Hermione whispered, tears in her eyes. Ron nodded as he wrapped her in his arms.
"We truly are," he said, before he added, "is there any way… anythingwe could do so we could at least be friends?"

Harry sighed, "just accept that I've more friends than just the two of you. Accept that Neville and Luna are now my best friends. Accept that I'll only tell you what I think you should know, and nothing more than that."
He breathed in deeply before he added softly, "Accept that I'm no longer your best friend."

The couple shared a look before they nodded, their heads bowed and tears in their eyes.
Harry rose from where he was seated and left the classroom, not even looking back at the two defeated friends.

When he made the track back towards the Common Room he thought back to their conversation, secretly glad that that was over and that it was clear that they were no longer his best friends. It made him feel lighter.


That night he wrote a letter towards Voldemort, describing everything that had transpired that day.
He knew that he had promised himself that he would never confide in that man but he was – on the moment – the only one that was truly there for him. Sure, he had Neville and Luna and they would have listened. But Voldemort was his only family – Sirius didn't really count as he had too much to deal with himself – and family meant everything to him.


He read the letter again and a sense of pleasure and victory erupted inside of him. The boy had finally started to trust him somewhat. And to a Gryffindor trust was equal to loyalty. At least, that used to be so when he had been in Hogwarts and he doubted that much had changed.

So he know held the boy's loyalty. Not all of it – he was quite sure that his child was more loyal to Black, Lupin and those friends of him – but he was above the boy's once best friends. And that was on the moment enough.
There would come a time when his heir would only turn to him for help, would only trust him, would be only his.

But that would take a while longer, he mussed as he turned back to the journals in front of him.
As much as he trusted his child's snowy owl, owl-post was an inconvenient way to write quick messages to others. It took at least a couple of hours before the owl finally found the person the letter was intended for – if that person wasn't behind wards that stopped owls. Besides that: owls could be attacked by humans to either steal the letters or to harm their owners.

This new way was not only saver – as only they would be able to read it – it was also more convenient. And he so hated inconvenience.


He got a reaction to his letter the very next day – again. It was short and to the point but it also told him that the man had read the letter.
And it was accompanied by a gift. It was just a journal but according to the small note inside of it, it was linked to another journal. Voldemort was the owner of thatjournal and what one of them wrote in their journal would show up in the journal of the other.

All in all, it was a nice way to write to each other as it meant that he could use Hedwig to write Sirius and Remus more often.


It was a couple of weeks later and he had just entered the library to finish his homework.
Malfoy had been a huge pain in the butt for the last couple of days. He would always sent harmless hexes towards Harry and his friends which made Harry seem like a complete moron. His bag would rip, he would trip, books would fall out of his hands and he would bump into everything and everyone. All thanks to Malfoy.
It served to humiliate Harry and it was horribly annoying, but it wasn't enough to go whining to his grandfather.

He sighed as he sat down and picked his bag up only to hiss in annoyance as he noticed that his journal glowed softly – indicating that Voldemort had written something in his journal – as he opened his bag to retrieve his homework for the day.
It had become a common occurrence for him to open his bag only to be greeted with the soft glowing book in the weeks since he had the book but to his relieve – and very, verysecretly (so secretly that he would never even admit to himself) slight disappointment – the man had been oddly silent the last couple of days.

He quickly looked around to see if anyone was paying attention to him – as the library was a public place and he had just sat down – and carefully extracted the book from his bag, mindful of the ink that had found its way into his bag courtesy of a certain white haired Slytherin.
He spelled some of the ink that had landed on it away and opened it to see what his grandfather wanted now.

Dolores Umbridge will ask you to come to her office soon. There you'll be greeted by the
charming lady herself, the bumbling oaf that is our current minister and myself. Make sure that neither your friends nor a certain headmaster finds out about this!
Your grandfather.'

Harry stared at the message in complete bewilderment as he reread the first sentence. Why would he be called? And why was Voldemort in Hogwarts? And how? His brows furrowed as he contemplated those questions. It wasn't that strange that Umbridge would call for him as she had done so before to talk about his latest – mostly horrifying – essays.
But why would she call him while she had guests? To brag about her accomplishment? To show him off? But if that were the case, why would Voldemort write him?

All he could do was wait until he was called, he decided as he closed the journal, placed it back in his bag and took his homework out. He quickly spelled ink away – still wondering how to get it actually out of his bag, as Malfoy had somehow spelled it to be resistant of all spells he had tried – and checked what he had to do.
He retrieved and opened the necessary books from the nearby bookcases and started writing.


It was after he had finally finished his transfiguration essay that a terrified second year brought him a note from Umbridge – pink and decorated with cats – with the message to come to her office as soon as he could, please.
He sighed and packed his stuff away – once again looking mournful at the mess that was his bag – before he collected the books he wanted to borrow, checked them out and left the library.

The road to the DADA classroom wasn't that long but Harry couldn't help but wish that it was shorter, as he spent most of the time needed coming up with ideas as to whyshe asked for him when she had guests. Again.

He knocked softly as soon as he reached the door and, after a shrill 'open', opened it and entered the classroom. It was still as pink as ever and the cats meowed as soon as he entered. It was easy to say that he didn't want to be in that classroom if he didn't have to.

"Good afternoon. You asked for me, professor?" he asked as soon as he had closed the door. He immediately noticed the two man seated next to her and greeted them with a short, "grandfather, minister."
"Good afternoon Harry," Umbridge simpered and Harry grimaced – internally of course, "why don't you sit down."
He did as he was asked and took the chair in front of the desk, only to be joined by Voldemort – who seemed to have donned the disguise of Tom Riddle once again – a couple of seconds later.

"Tea?" the toad-like teacher asked sweetly – Harry wondered if he should ask madam Pomfrey for a potion against cavities – as she waved towards the teapot strategically placed in the middle of the desk. He noticed that both Umbridge and Fudge had a cup in front of them while there was no cup in front of the spot Voldemort had sat before.
"No thank you," he answered politely.

"You are probably wondering why I asked you here," Umbridge said, suddenly serious – the fake sweetness had disappeared from her voice. Harry just nodded.
"Your grandfather remarked that we were… unfair in how we acted towards you regarding the incident of last year," Fudge took over, "he asked us to hear your side of the story."
Harry shot a quick glance at the Dark Lord seated next to him. He felt something stir inside of his mind but he ignored it.
"Ask for Veritaserum," a voice in his head whispered, "but make it seem like you need it!"
He lowered his eyes and twisted his hands in his lap.

"I… You… You'll have to understand that I don't really like talking about it," he said softly, "I… I still have nightmares about that night."
"We understand dear," Umbridge simpered and it was a good thing that Harry's face was still tilted downwards because he was sure that they would have seen him gag otherwise. All they saw now was him shaking slightly.

He closed his eyes briefly before he opened them again and looked up, determined, "can't you give me something? That way I won't be forced to relive my memories and you have my answers?"
Fudge and Umbridge shared a glance before Fudge asked, "have you ever heard of Veritaserum?"
"Yeah," Harry said nonplussed, "Snape used to threaten me with it. It's a truth potion right?"

"Smart, child, smart," the voice sounded again, "make them suggest it. We'll make a true Slytherin out of you yet!"
Harry grimaced internally but didn't react outwardly.

"It is," Voldemort said smoothly, "it is a lovely concoction, one drop is enough to let people spill their true feelings without even knowing. Three is enough to let them spill everything they believe to be true. If they are sensitive to the serum, of course."

"We don't have it on hand," Fudge said, conveniently ignoring the last part, "but luckily there is a potion master in this castle. Madam, if you would do the honour."
"Of course," Umbridge said sweetly – sickly so – as she batted her eye lashes at Fudge. Harry felt like gagging, again, but this time Voldemort seemed to agree with him if the slight sneer was to go by.

Umbridge stood from her pink chair and made her way over to the fire place, only to start grumbling as she noticed that she was out of floo powder.
"Damn creatures," she snarled softly but everyone in the room could hear her clearly – except maybe Fudge as he continued studying the room, "never do they listen."
She snapped her fingers and a small, thin house elf popped into the room.
"How can Mossy be helping youse?" it asked.
"Floo powder," Umbridge snapped angrily. The elf squeaked and popped out of the room, only to appear a couple of seconds later with the powder.
"Dismissed," she snapped and the elf popped out again. Umbridge turned back to them with a sickly sweet smile, "I'm sorry about that."

It didn't take long after that before she had floo-called Slughorn. The man appeared shortly after that with the requested potion.
Only to stop short as his eyes fell onto Voldemort.
"T-Tom?" he stuttered as his gaze shot from Voldemort, to Harry and to the minister and back.
"You know each other?" Umbridge asked surprised.
"He used to be my potions teacher," Voldemort said smoothly, "I admit that I'm surprised that he has started to teach again."
Harry wondered if it was possible to arrange a 'best-actor' award for the wizarding world. Because it was clear that Voldemort deserved one.

Fine pearls of sweat started to stream down the fat wizard's face and he quickly wiped them away with his sleeve.
"I-I haven't heard of or about you for so long!" the man continued in an attempt to make it seem as if he was truly curious about it. Sadly enough, the way his eyes shot from the door, to the window, to the fireplace and towards Voldemort gave the fact that he was nervous away.
"H-how are you?" Slughorn continued.
"Fine, just fine," Voldemort said and he shot him a shark like smirk, "I found out that I've a grandson a couple of months ago."
"A- a grandson? You?" Slughorn exclaimed only to stumble back as Voldemort gaze turned dark.
"Yes, a grandson," he told him emotionless, "and he is the reason why madam Umbridge called you here."

Slughorn's eyes widened in surprise before he turned towards Harry.
"He is your grandson?" he managed to sputter, his many chins wobbled frighteningly as he gaped at him before he closed his mouth again and muttered softly, "the two of you do look alike. And there are other similarities."
"The Veritaserum?" Umbridge interrupted before Slughorn could say something else.
"Ah, yes of course," the man muttered as he searched his pockets mechanically, still shocked by the news he just heard. He handed it to her a couple of seconds later.

"Are you aware of the rules that go with the usage of Veritaserum?" he asked her after he had finally snapped out of his daze.
"Of course," she almost snapped, "the Minister is here to give the permission, as is the boy's guardian. All we need is someone to question him, which will be my task, and someone to make sure that everything goes by the rules. Meaning: you."
"Al right," the man sighed before he turned towards Harry, "are you ready my dear boy?"
"As ready as I'll ever be," Harry said nervously, his hands twisted in his lap.

"Three drops?" Slughorn asked and, after a nod from both Voldemort and the Minister, made his way over to Harry and gestured that he should open his mouth.
Harry did as told and the man carefully dropped the three drops on his tongue.

His mind became almost immediately foggy and he felt himself lose control of his senses and his mind. He felt himself starting to panic.
"Relax, child. There is no danger here."The same voice as before crooned and Harry felt himself relax.

A very muffled, distant: "he is ready" sounded – as if his ears were filled with cottons – before a question pierced through the fog that was his hearing: "What is your name?"
"Harry James Potter," his voice replied completely emotionless without his consent and he started to panic again. The voice started to coo at him and he relaxed again.
"It works," another voice sounded, just as distant as the very first had, "if you will, ma'am."

"What happened after you and master Diggory touched the Triwizard Cup?" this question too pierced through the fog.
"We were transported away towards a graveyard," his voice replied, and it was only thanks to the soft cooing that he wasn't panicking for the third time.
"How?" another voice managed to pierce through the fog.
"The Cup was a portkey," his voice answered.

"What happened when you landed in the graveyard?" the first voice asked.
"I landed on my wounded leg and fell down, Cedric managed to land on his feet," his voice answered emotionless, no matter how badly he wanted to stop talking, "Cedric helped me up and suggested we pulled our wands. We looked around but all we could see was the Cup, the grave tombs and an old, decrepit house in the distance. In the middle of the graveyard stood a large, clearly heavy cauldron filled with some kind of potion on top of large fire. We made our way towards the cauldron."

"What happened next?" Another voice asked this question.
"As soon as we reached it a man stepped from behind one of the dark gravestones," his voice continued. Harry felt himself become confused, the way he told it now was not how it had happened.
"He pointed his wand towards us and began to tell us about how he was the most loyal follower Voldemort had ever had," Harry was now completely sure that something was not quite right and he started to fight against the fog.
"Stop fighting it, this will only help you."The voice in his min told him.

"Could you see who this man was?" came the question.
"No," he responded.

"What happened next?"
"He fired an Avada Kedavra towards Cedric. It hit him. I fired a Disarming Charm at the man but he ducked and shot a Cruciatus Curse towards me. I wasn't able to duck due to my wounds and it hit me. I fell down on the ground, screaming in pain. After a while he lifted it again and he turned back towards the now boiling cauldron."

"Could you see what was inside the cauldron?" Harry had the feeling that Slughorn had asked this question as the tone felt almost curious.
"No," he answered.

"What happened after the man turned back to the cauldron?" an impatient voice pierced through the fog.
"He began to ramble about how the potion would bring Voldemort back from the dead, all he needed was the bone of his father, the flesh of a loyal servant and the blood of an enemy.
After that he removed two things from the shadows from where he had appeared from and dropped it in the cauldron before he made his way over towards me. He threw another Crucio at me before he cut part of my sleeve away and cut my arm. He collected some of my blood before he walked back towards the cauldron and dropped the blood in it."

"Did the potion change colour?" the same voice that had asked about the potion before asked.
"Yes," he answered for the first time that night.
"What happened after that?" the impatient voice asked.

"The potion boiled and turned a dark, ugly brown before the potion started to boil over. Everywhere the potion landed it started to burn and it was not long thereafter that the man – who had been watching the potion anxiously and who had been chanting something under his voice the entire time – was hit by the potion. His cloths started to burn but he still kept chanting, even though he tried to extinguish the fire. In the end, the fire spread to the rest of his clothing and his hair and he had to stop chanting. He started to hop around to stop getting burned alive. He somehow managed to bump into the cauldron and more of the potion landed on him. He burned alive before my eyes but not before he managed to cast some kind of spell on me."

"What happened after he had… died?" a soft voice asked.
"I shakingly made my way over towards Cedric's body and my wand. I was dizzy and nauseous and the spell made me feel lightheaded. As soon as I had it I summoned the Cup and was whisked back towards Hogwarts."
"You shouted that Voldemort was back as soon as you landed. Why?" the impatient voice asked.
"I felt compelled to," his voice answered for him, "like I had no choice but to shout that out."
"It is clear that that last spell was to force him to tell us that," a soft voice sounded through the fog, "I believe that this is enough information Minister?"

"Yes, yes," the impatient voice sounded distantly through the fog, "give him the antidote."
His mouth was gently forced open and three drops were dripped upon his tongue. Almost immediately the fog retreated and he could control his own actions and mind.
"I don't have to tell you that it would be very foolish to tell them that you just lied while under the effects of Veritaserum."The voice in his mind spoke gently before it retreated. Harry felt empty almost immediately and it was then that he realised that it had been cooing at him the entire time.

"Thank you for your accord of what happened that evening, Harry," Umbridge simpered as soon as she noticed that he was back among the living, "and thank you for being so brave as to take the Veritaserum even though you still suffer from what happened!"
"You're welcome," Harry muttered.

"Now, I believe someone owns him an apology, don't you agree Minister?" Voldemort drawled from his side, "after all, my grandson was slandered because no one thought to ask him personally."
Fudge turned purple at the derogatory tone.

"After all, it wasn't his fault that no one asked him," Voldemort continued, dark amusement visible on his face, "but he was the one called crazy by the Daily Prophet and other papers. And he was the one who had to pay for the neglect of others."
Fudge had started to sputter.

"I want his honour restored," Voldemort said, suddenly coldly, "I want a formal apology from the Prophet and the Ministry – as everyone knows that the Ministry controls the Prophet – and I want compensation for every lowly comment made in the Prophet."
"What kind of compensation?" Fudge asked almost angrily.
"According to our laws someone who has been slandered has the right to demand that the Ministry chooses between two choices when it comes to compensation," Voldemort told him, a dark smirk on his face, "money or the shutdown of the one who did the slandering. In the Dark Ages it meant the death of the slanderer. But we no longer live in the Dark Ages, so the shutdown of the Prophet will have to do."

Fudge started to sputter.
"So, what will it be, Minister?" Voldemort asked as he leaned forward, "it's your choice."

And that was the end of this chapter. Well, I hope you guys enjoyed it!

I'll admit that part of it was written because I started to feel like I was bashing Ron and Hermione. That was not my intention at all... so I tried to rectify that. I hope I succeeded.

About the next chapter: some of the cannon drama will occur. Someone will probably die (someone from the list to be exact).
I'll warn you now: I've no idea when the next chapter will be out. I've a test on the fourth of January (the last of this block) after which I'll be busy practicing how to recognize archaeological material. After that I'll have to study for the retake of the finals I didn't pass (if I'm that unlucky to not pass them... I hope I passed them...). So yeah...

Anyway: don't hesitate to leave a review! I really like them XD They make my day, especially when I need to study...