Disclaimer: I do not own. Or make any money from this fic.
Harry took a deep breath as he stared at the telephone box in front of him, If any muggles passed they would probably think he was odd, staring at a telephone box as though it was about to attack him, but luckily there were no muggles in the street considering it was way too early to encourage the odd straggler taking a short cut. In his hands was a plain black file that Hermione had helped him put together over hours of painstaking work and research not to mention the three hour hunt through the Potter vaults that he, Hermione and Ron had performed. Luckily Ron seemed to have taken to heart his words about not wanting to lose his best friend and come to truly realise what meant the most to Harry as he hadn't even blinked at the amount of gold, jewels and wealth in the vaults and had even made more than a few cracks about how various items would suit Harry, including a rather loud tiara. There had also been tears in his eyes - though he would deny it – when Harry had given him and Hermione a piece of Potter heirloom jewellery, in all effects stating them as his family, Hermione had burst into tears and hugged him so hard he began to worry she would end up accidentally killing him. So now here he was, ready to take the next step in their plans and feeling as though he'd rather turn tail and run for the hills. Stepping into the phone box he hit the familiar numbers and trying to push back images of Sirius nearly falling through that damned veil he held his breath once he had collected his badge and went down. Making his way passed the security guard as Hermione had instructed him he slipped into the lift just as it was about to close.
"You're a new face around here, may I inquire your name?" a female voice from his right pulled him out his thoughts and he turned to see a round faced, pleasant looking woman with soft brown doe eyes. Catching the wizengamot symbol instead of the visitors badge he smiled politely and held out his hand.
"I'm Harry Potter-Black Madame, I'm here to collect my seats today," Harry informed her keeping his tone soft and polite as he had practiced.
"Mr Potter...Black, I apologise I did not recognise you. You have changed. I am Amelia Bones," The woman smiled slightly unsurely holding out her hand which Harry quickly took.
"I thought you looked familiar Madame Bones. Susan looks a lot like you," Harry nodded his head respectfully noticing Amelia's smile got a little wider and more honest. Clearly a good way to go.
"Please call me Amelia. Of course you will be in the same year as Susan, she spoke a lot about you this summer. You were teaching her last year I believe, she managed to get an O on her defence exam," Amelia said proudly.
"Yes, she and most of the others owled me to let me know how they did. She has a lot of talent, she did really well in the exam," Harry smiled, unable to hide the proud tone that usually came when one of the DA's achievements came up.
"But she couldn't have achieved it without your help or tutorial. I am grateful to you for that. Come I will introduce you to some of my friends. Gregory! Gregory, this is Harry Potter-Black he's here to claim his seats on the Wizengamot. Mr Potter-Black this is Gregory Boot a good friend of mine," Amelia made the introduction proudly.
"Mr Potter...Black? Oh, it's wonderful to meet you, my Grandson speaks highly of you," Gregory nodded holding out his hand.
"Please call me Harry, both of you. Your grandson would be Terry, correct?" Harry asked.
"Yes, yes that's him. You remember him? He is after all a year above you," Gregory looked surprised and pleased at the same time.
"Of course, Terry showed his support of me last year when very few people did. I value each one of those that stood forwards, it meant a lot. He is also very good with the patronus charm, he was one of the first to pick it up out of our...study group last year," Harry smiled.
"Oh, thank you for saying that Mr...Harry. Coming from you that means a lot," Gregory was now clearly brimming with pride.
"Terry was also a member of the group as well?" Amelia glanced between them.
"Yes they were both in the DA," Harry nodded.
"DA? What's that then?" a voice behind them asked. Turning Harry gulped slightly at the large, good looking black man standing behind him. All of Harry's brain functions short circuited at the sight of the well dressed, strong shouldered figure with unusual stormy grey eyes.
"A group Mr Harry Potter-Black here put together last year when that ridiculous bill about not actually practicing magic within Defence against the Dark arts lessons was passed. My Susan and Terry were members of it, Mr Potter-Black here led it. Harry this is Mikhail Zabini," Amelia said slightly tightly clearly angry at the bill that had been passed.
"Ah a pleasure to meet you Mr Potter-Black, you may call me Mikhail as you are clearly already on first name terms with Amelia and it takes a lot to impress her, Dumbledore still has to refer to her as Madame Bones," Mikhail flashed a wide smile at Harry as he held out his hand which Harry quickly accepted, the feeling of his hand being wrapped around by the bigger one catching his breath.
"Then please call me Harry," he managed to keep his tone steady and smile shyly back.
"Harry you must tell me, what did the DA stand for? Terry would never tell me and just smirk whenever it was brought up," Gregory pulled Harry away from wild grey eyes and brought a smile to Harry's face at the eager look. He had gone from aristocratic to almost childlike.
"It stood for Defence Association officially," Harry smiled.
"And unofficially?" Mikhail drawled squeezing Harry's hand lightly which he suddenly realised was still in the other man's grip.
"Well unofficially we found it rather amusing that Ex Minister Fudge believed the Headmaster was training us to up heave him, so we named ourselves Dumbledore's Army," Harry snickered.
"No wonder Susan looks amused every time I ask her, your own way of sticking two fingers up behind Umbridge's back," Amelia snickered.
"There wasn't a hell of a lot we could do so we took what we could, however small and petty it may have been," Harry nodded.
"I heard it was rather awful around the school, endless rules and regulations, not to mention to abysmal teaching of Defence against the Dark Arts, Blaise did private studying but only managed an A. Luckily Dumbledore allowed re-sits at the end of this year," Mikhail scowled.
"Ah, Harry's Defence Association did rather the trick. My Terry managed to get an O in his end of year exams, and I believe Susan managed the same in her OWL's?" Gregory glanced to Amelia who was nodding.
"A shame that Blaise couldn't have joined. Although I believe a few Slytherin's joined Umbridge which naturally would have made it impossible," Mikhail glanced at Harry clearly wanting his say in it.
"There were a select few Slytherin's who joined her 'inquisitorial squad' making it difficult for us to meet let alone gather many more members. As it was we were sold out by one of our original members. It was a shame though, there were only thirty two of us but it really got the three houses working together and seeing passed house affiliations, if we had been able to be fully in the open then it would have been nice to see if we could have gotten all the houses working together," Harry sighed.
"How did you manage to do that? The rivalry between Gryffindor and Slytherin is legendary, but there have always been clear lines between all the houses. One or two members from different houses seem to get on ok but once you get a group together..." Amelia shook her head.
"Amelia is right, even as adults you still see it. We are one of the few groups amongst the Wizengamot that have a mixed house friendship," Gregory nodded.
"We mainly ensured that everyone as split into a good house mix, not just working with friends and the like. There were some team duels and things like that which had you relying upon your team members and acknowledging everyone's plus and bad points as well as our own. They all soon realised that it's not a bad thing to be friends with someone who is different to you. Not to mention the fact that because we were hiding we lacked certain equipment at times," Harry chuckled.
"Oh? Do tell?" Mikhail requested, when Harry looked at him he truly looked curious.
"We didn't just work on learning spells and practicing them, we also looked at people's spell casting and control. Just because you know the words and can shoot the spell doesn't mean you can cast it well. With that in mind and teamwork we had small groups of students levitating one of their team. It worked for different reasons, one it encouraged concentration, if one person slipped then whoever was being levitated would fall. It encouraged team work, you had to be aware of how everyone else was doing and work together to lift and lower the person. It also helped with their concentration of spells and understand that they needed to properly control the spell and not just shoot it out. Naturally we had more than a few accidents and mucking around. If I remember rightly we had to unstick Dennis Creevy from the roof when he panicked after Terry's group were a little over eager with their levitation spells," Harry grinned as they all chuckled at the image.
"So Harry, why have you decided to claim your seats at such a young age, surely you should be concentrating on exams and school," Amelia smiled but Harry recognised the doubt in her eyes as she looked at him. Instead of becoming annoyed he merely smiled politely.
"A lot of it is actually because of what Umbridge did at the school last year. Decisions that directly affected our future were made and we had absolutely no say in them what so ever, we just suffered the consequences, my group of friends and myself more than others because we wouldn't be pushed down without a fight. Events took place at the school that I'm sure you aren't aware of but as children we had no way to stop them. When I realised I had my seats on the Wizengamot I decided to claim them so that through me we would have some form of say it what is decided for us to hopefully stop another event like last year from taking place," Harry said pleasantly but the bite was clearly there.
"You wouldn't be the reason that Madame Umbridge is currently in Azkaban and Ex Minister Fudge being investigated, would you?" Gregory asked softly.
"I most certainly would. I am not the average teenager and that woman upset me one time too far. Not to mention I have a particular dislike for her views on magical creatures," Harry smiled brightly.
"I believe I would much prefer to be your friend than your enemy Harry," Gregory said slowly eyeing Harry with new interest.
"There are a lot of people that would agree with you Gregory, if they could," Harry didn't drop his smile.
"I believe I do like you Harry! Much more than meets the eye. You will do well. Come though we're going in. Do sit with us!" Gregory pleaded.
"I'd like that thank you," Harry smiled honestly this time and allowed Gregory to lead him inside with a hand on his back, very much aware of Mikhail close behind them. When they sat down at the large round table Mikhail quickly claimed the seat of his left side while Gregory and Amelia were on his right. The tall man was eyeing him with unashamed curiosity.
"I open this Wizengamot meeting on the 17th of October 1996, are there any new members to claim their place?" Albus Dumbledore asked what was clearly only a mandatory question, he was opening his mouth to carry straight on when Harry stood.
"I am," immediately a buzz went around the room.
"Please state your name and the seat you wish to claim," Dumbledore requested looking Harry over curiously. Smirking Harry glanced to Mikhail and then Amelia and Gregory and saw dawning understanding of his new look that the Prophet hadn't reported yet and the reason behind it.
"My name is Harrison James Potter-Black and I am here to claim four seats. Potter, Black, Moran and Peverell," Harry stated clearly. Dumbledore's blue eyes flew to Harry when he stated his name and then widened as he listed the four houses.
"Impossible! Black, Moran and Peverell cannot be claimed by you, no matter who you think you are boy!" A sneering wizard managed to be heard over the others.
"I would suggest asking for proof before calling me a liar sir, Madame Umbridge did that and we all know where she is now," Harry said coolly meeting the man's eyes and allowing him to see the threat there. "As it is I can and am claiming all four seats, the proof is here in this file that I have legal claim to each of them," Harry said holding up the black file and allowing Dumbledore to summon it.
"The Black seat is definitely impossible. Narcissa Black is the holder of the seat and she disappeared when she was proved as a follower of the Dark Lord, she would not have signed it over to you!" someone else shouted over the crowd.
"Actually the proper holder of the Black title is Sirius Black. My Godfather signed over his seat and vaults to me several weeks ago for some reason in the Florida branch of Gringotts, I was called in to sign my acceptance of the title during the holidays. So I am legally the Head of the Black family," Harry corrected cheerfully.
"Sirius Black is a supporter of You-know-who, why would he sign everything over to you?" Another person spoke out.
"What my Godfather does and doesn't do isn't within my expertise," Harry shrugged lazily.
"These...these all seem in order...very organised Harry," Dumbledore said shakily.
"Mr Potter-Black. And thank you. I wanted to make sure everything went as smoothly and quickly as possible," Harry smiled sweetly meeting Dumbledore's eyes.
"How can you claim Moran?" a man from beside Amelia asked curiously.
"All the other Moran's are either in Azkaban, too young or abroad and under other magical citizenship making them exempt from being able to hold a British Wizengamot title. There is only one other that could claim the seat, Signus Moran but as he has not claimed his seat or voted in over forty years I am more than within my right to claim it myself as my paternal grandmother was a Moran," Harry explained.
"Well that sounds all in order. I'm Marcus Greengrass, nice to see a young face amongst us again," The old man grinned holding out his hand.
"Nice to meet you too sir," Harry smiled accepting it.
"Ah Mr Potter, are you sure you wouldn't like to wait a few years before claiming your seats, no one will think any less of you," Dumbledore smiled clearly pulling himself together.
"It's Potter-Black sir, and no thank you I would like to claim my seats now," Harry said firmly.
"He's too young!" someone shouted.
"There are no age limits to when a person can claim their seats if there are no other family members to sit in for them. As it is my Godfather also had me legally emancipated this summer, a copy of the forms are in the folder as well, so in accordance to code 605 I am allowed to claim my seats whenever I wish or elect someone to sit for me. I wish to claim them myself," Harry said smoothly while mentally thanking Hermione.
"And you have proof that you are from the Peverell line do you? Every pureblood claims that they have ties to that line!" a witch sneered.
"Actually I do, a very old family tree that I copied and placed in there. As it is I am the most direct magical descendent alive to claim the title," Harry smiled.
"Direct magical descendent?" Lucius Malfoy asked tightly.
"My mother it seems was descended from an old squib line, a line that went directly to the youngest Peverell brother's oldest child, which is why the line disappeared for so long," Harry explained.
"Mr Potter-Black is correct. He rightfully has claim to all four seats and is legally allowed to claim them. Welcome to the Wizengamot Mr Potter-Black," an official looking man sitting on Dumbledore's left nodded before sending the folder back to him while looking very smug.
"Congratulations Mr Potter-Black, not only have you managed to claim your seats and make yourself an imposing member already, you have also gained the appreciation and respect of Dante Flint, which is, notoriously difficult," the woman sitting next to Mikhail said with a smile as she leant forwards to speak to him.
"How did I manage that then Madame?" Harry asked amused at the obvious stir he had caused, no one was paying attention to the notices Dumbledore was stubbornly continuing to read out.
"You did it by getting one up on Dumbledore quite clearly and in front of the entire Wizengamot. He has been waiting nearly fifty years of sitting next to him listening to him prattle on about lemon drops and putting up with those robes for someone to do that," Mikhail explained with a smirk. "This is Nessa Goldstein," he added.
"Pleasure to meet you Mr Potter-Black, call me Nessa. I think we have all been waiting for someone to get one over on Dumbledore," She added with a snort. Harry accepted her hand and shook it.
"Then call me Harry. And believe me that was just the beginning," Harry smirked. They didn't find out what he meant by that until half way through the meeting though, the quill Hermione had charmed was faithful taking notes for him to take back to her while he sat listening.
"The use of veritiserum has been called into question, a bill is being put through to use it more sparingly and carefully during questioning. I for one am agreed to this," Dumbledore smiled benignly at the crowd. Harry quickly flicked the quill and had it list the names of people he suspected to be in Dumbledore's pocket from the faces he took in and also recognised Order member names who called theirs in.
"Surely the use of veritiserum can prevent detrimental mistakes from being made," Harry interrupted. The hall went silent as everyone turned to him curiously.
"It's within people's rights to not be forced to take the potion," Dumbledore said pleasantly.
"Just as it's within people's rights to ensure that the truth is heard and that they are believed. Someone wearing the Dark mark may not have taken it willingly but unless they are tested with veritiserum we won't know that. This is war, not a game. The use of veritiserum can work both ways, it stops the guilty getting free onto the street and stops innocent people like Stan Shunpike being sent to Azkaban. If you are innocent then surely clearing your name swiftly and in a foolproof manner will be no issue," Harry shrugged before sitting down. As expected the hall burst out into chatter and arguments.
"You sound like you are speaking from experience there Harry," Nessa said eyeing him curiously.
"I would really rather that people don't end up in the same position that my Godfather is in, that's all," Harry shrugged with a smile.
"Your saying that Sirius Black is innocent!" Amelia choked.
"Exactly what I'm saying. Why do you think he would sign over his title to me if he was Voldemort's side?" Harry asked.
"But...but it was proven!" Gregory stuttered.
"Actually it wasn't, Sirius received a sham of a trial and the Wizengamot locked away an innocent man for twelve years while the real culprit slept in the same dormitory as me for three years before escaping back to Voldemort and helping him kidnap me two years ago," Harry answered.
"The real culprit?" Marcus Greengrass asked leaning forwards.
"Peter Pettigrew. An illegal rat animagus who hid with the Weasley family for twelve years before running back to Voldemort when he was discovered. I have seen him very much alive, kicking and casting killing curses with my own eyes," Harry added firmly when Amelia opened her mouth to clearly argue. She clicked her mouth shut however and surveyed him.
"Your serious?" She finally asked.
"Deadly, it was Peter Petrigrew that cast the killing curse at Cedric Diggory. My godfather is an innocent man, just as Stan Shunpike and a whole list of other people that were sent to Azkaban this year in Scrimgeour's desperate attempt to look like he's doing something. I believe the use of veritiserum could help prevent mistakes like this being made, like I said we are at war," Harry shrugged and sat back.
"I back Mr Potter-Black's proposal for the use of veritiserum in all interviews!" Amelia called after a moment, stunning Harry slightly.
"I second!" Gregory nodded.
"I third!" Nessa called.
"I fourth, that is to the wide vote of the Wizengamot then. All those in favour of the use of veritiserum in all interviews raise your hands!" Dante Flint called. Harry and everyone he had been introduced to raised their hands along with a good number of the other witches and wizards.
"Those against!" Dumbledore called looking annoyed. Dante looked down at the parchment where the numbers had been written down.
"40:60 in favour of the use of veritiserum. The bill is passed!" Dante called with a small smirk. Marcus chuckled and clapped Harry on the back.
"Well done, you just won your very first argument. A fine one it was as well. I think that you are going to fit in just fine," He grinned.
"Yes...you'll fit in just fine," Mikhail drawled eyeing Harry with interest bringing a blush to his cheeks which seemed to amuse the older man. The rest of the meeting passed with only small things being decided here and there, Dumbledore cast frequent glances and stares up at Harry who met them calmly which seemed to amuse Dante Flint to no end.
When they were leaving the meeting hall, Gregory enquiring about the reasons behind Sirius's escape they found their way blocked by Lucius Malfoy.
"Lucius, a pleasure to see you again," Harry smiled sweetly, more than aware that Lucius was thinking of the last time they met.
"Indeed Mr Potter-Black, your little muggleborn pet seems to have taught you well," he sneered.
"She has hasn't she, although I would like to think that some of that was my own charm and not just what Hermione has managed to drill into my head," Harry shrugged pleasantly watching happily as a tick started to appear in Lucius's temple.
"I suppose you are happy with that Bill you had passed, having everyone doused in a potion whenever they are suspected of the smallest thing!" Lucius hissed.
"Of course, I really would like to prevent another case like Sirius's, I'm sure you would as well with Sirius being family and all. But also a good, upstanding citizen like yourself should want to ensure that Death Eater scum don't...wriggle out of being punished properly for their crimes, I mean any of them could be walking the street or...even standing amongst us right at this moment and we wouldn't know. This way, we do," Harry smiled all the way through but his eyes didn't leave Lucius's. He was aware of the silence of everyone listening around them raptly.
"You are taking away people's rights!" Lucius snapped.
"Yes well like I said in there this is war, if your innocent than you have nothing to hide anyway. Besides it seems that all we can rely upon veritiserum considering things like witness statements have managed to become merely circumstantial and so easily discarded," Harry sighed brushing away an imaginary piece of lint from his robes.
"This is going to turn into another witch hunt! Pureblood families are going to be hounded!" Lucius was clearly barely hanging on to his temper.
"That wasn't anything to do with the Bill that was passed today, just if you get caught doing something you shouldn't be, wearing certain robes, being somewhere you shouldn't or attacking six students...for example," Harry smiled brightly as Lucius twitched. "However if it does turn into a witch hunt for purebloods I guess that will include myself, the Weasley's, Longbottom's, Lovegood's, Patil's, all of whom I know are more than happy to take veritiserum to prove their innocence,"
"This isn't over Potter!" Lucius spat.
"That's Potter-Black, and of course not, though perhaps the next time I see you here at the ministry it will be happier than the last few times we met here," Harry grinned. Lucius snarled at him before turning and storming away.
"Was it wise making those insinuations Harry?" Dumbledore asked sadly stepping forwards.
"I don't believe I made any insinuations what so ever, myself and Lucius were merely discussing the pros and cons of the bill. If he wanted to take it as me making insinuations I am sorry for that, I was merely trying to be friendly," Harry said innocently.
"Come Harry we are going back to..."
"Ah not so fast there Dumbledore, before you whisk away our newest member!" Dante Flint called striding forwards. "Mr Potter-Black I would like to invite you to dinner with myself, Amelia, Mikhail, Gregory, Marcus and Nessa, a welcome to the Wizengamot if you like. You are more than welcome to bring a friend or partner," Dante asked.
"I don't think that's very..." Dumbledore frowned.
"I would love to, just tell me where and when," Harry interrupted.
"Wonderful, we meet on Saturdays after meetings. L'mour's seven o'clock," Gregory beamed.
"Then I shall see you all on Saturday. Thank you for your help today and making me feel welcome," Harry smiled nodding to them before striding to the fireplaces and flooing out leaving a stunned Headmaster behind and an amused group of new friends.