/insert standard disclaimer here
Mad Eye Moody is portrayed in the canon as a man of action who doesn't really give a shit about rules or regulations but does what is right instead of what is easy. And yet after spending a year captive in his trunk without his magic eye or his peg leg (that is, being truly and utterly helpless) he happily accepts his role as a guard at Privet Drive while known Death Eaters continue dominating the Wizengamot and bribing ministry officials left and right without any real opposition. Yeah right...
The Plan of Action
Alastor 'Mad Eye' Moody was pissed. He had just woken up in Hogwarts infirmary after having ingested nearly a gallon of different foul tasting potions to counteract malnutrition and withered muscles caused by nearly a year of captivity in his own trunk and passing out due to the amount of magic contained in the potions. That itself wasn't nearly enough to piss the old ex Master Auror off: if he'd have had his way as an instructor in Auror Academy, every recruit would have been subjected to prolonged periods of captivity and sensory deprivation to test their ability to survive in hands of merciless enemies. Those cowards in command just didn't want to see the importance of such a test, and so Moody was forced to give the idea a pass.
It wasn't even the fact that apparently Voldemort had managed to regain a body and immediately afterwards those so called 'imperioused' Death Eaters that Moody had captured with great personal risk during the last war had appeared to kiss the hem of their masters robes that pissed him off. Nor that his captor had played key role in preparing this necromantic resurrection ritual. Voldemort was a respectable opponent, and he was doing everything in his power to gain his goals. That kind of ruthlessness was something Mad Eye could relate to, as it was pretty much what he himself would have done, if his goals were the same. And Moody had always been sure that the Imperius-defence was a load of tripe, so the fact that he was proven right didn't really evoke much emotion in him.
No. What really pissed him of was the spineless maggots that called themselves leaders. The no-good politicians, and especially the one who called himself Minister of Magic: Cornelius Fudge.
The man in question was currently standing in his ludicrous lime green robes and trademark bowler hat three beds to the right from Mad Eye next to a messy haired boy that Moody had deduced was Harry Potter yelling at equally ridiculously dressed Albus Dumbledore, who was trying to insist the minister to see things his way while the nurse madam Pompfrey was trying to get both men to calm down or leave her infirmary to have the argument somewhere else. Professors Minerva McGonagall and Severus Snape were standing in the sidelines, Snape clutching his left arm with his right hand obviously in pain and Minerva glancing between Harry, the minister and Dumbledore with stern but worrying look on her face.
"That is ridiculous! I will not be remembered as the minister who brought an end to the thirteen year long period of peace and prosperity because of ramblings of a boy, even if the boy is the bloody boy-who-lived!"
'Aye, you'll be remembered as the minister who didn't have guts to do what you swore to do in your lovely acceptance ceremony, protect the country and the citizens' huffed Mad Eye in his mind.
"Don't you understand that increasing the funding of Auror corps would mean that I'd have to cancel the tax cuts that I presented to the Wizengamot just last session? I would lose all my support overnight. Not to mention that the boy just accused multiple most honourable members of the ancient and noble houses for treason!"
"I must insist you to reconsider your position in this matter, Minister, as it is of utmost importance that we act swiftly so that Voldemort doesn't have time to gain strength and allies. You should send emissaries to the werewolves and giants to..."
"ARE YOU MAD? Werewolves and giants? Those are just mindless beast, I will have nothing to do with them!"
"Don't say that name! I'm done in here!"
With that Fudge turned to leave the infirmary, stopping only briefly to toss a bag of coins, the winnings of the Triwizard tournament, to a bed next to the boy. After the doors were slammed shut behind the minister a pregnant silence lingered in the infirmary.
Dumbledore was first to speak.
"Well, that could have gone better. No matter, we will carry on on our own. Severus, you'll need to go immediately and return to your position as a spy. Minerva, contact the old crew. Sirius, if you could go to your family home in Grimmauld Place, that would work nicely as headquarters for the Order".
Snape and McGonagall left without a word, and a black dog that Moody hadn't noticed before transformed into a gruffly looking black haired man that Moody immediately recognised as Azkaban-escapee, notorious mass murderer Sirius Black. Without second thought Mad Eyes Auror training and years of paranoia reinforced by the lesson learned from the tiny mistake almost year ago that had left him in his current state kicked in as he grabbed his wand from the night stand and fired a stunner followed by a couple of nastier curses at the criminal. Dumbledore was faster, and simply shielded the spells before they managed to do any harm.
"Ah, good to see that you're back in shape Alastor", said Dumbledore with twinkle in his eyes. "But Sirius is actually a friend right now. I'll be sure to let you know the whole story, but right now we need to re-organize the Order, and I can't afford to spend time telling stories".
Moody continued to stare Sirius carefully, not lowering his wand until both men had disappeared through the doors of infirmary, Sirius complaining something about his mothers home and switching back to his dog form before anyone else managed to see him in the school. Pompfrey checked both of her patients and Moody fell to ever vigilant sleep his magical eye swirling lazily keeping watch.
One week later the Order had gathered in it's first meeting in the Black ancestral seat in number twelve, Grimmauld Place, London. Moody noted with pleasure that Dumbledore didn't mess with security and had brought the big guns straight into play: The Fidelius charm was the best thing there was to secure their place of operations, and the old man had apparently learned his lesson from the last war and was the secret keeper himself. What didn't impress Alastor were the people sitting around the huge table: only Kingsley Shacklebolt was someone Moody would voluntarily fight along, as he had trained the Senior Auror himself. The other Auror in the Order, Nymphadora 'Tonks' Tonks, was still a young girl and a rookie, and Moody didn't know if she was worth her badge. But at least she had some formal training. The werewolf Lupin had proved his worth in the end of the last war, but the paranoid ex Master Auror didn't really trust his kind. Sirius Black belonged to same group with Lupin: worthy fighter, not worthy of Moodys trust.
The Hogwarts Professors McGonagall and Flitwick were able fighters, but they were teachers and thus couldn't really be considered in the fighting force. Professor Snape was a Death Eater, and although Albus personally vouched for his loyalty, Moody didn't like the man. At all.
Dumbledore himself was a force to be reckoned with, but nobody had seen him let loose for a long time, and his goody goody ideals would be a liability in a real fight.
The rest were simple civilians. Arthur Weasley was a ministry official, his wife Molly Weasley was a mothering mother of the worst kind. Mundungus Fletcher was a thief and a drunk, and his only function in the Order was to relay rumours his more shady contacts had heard. In fact he seemed to eye the silverware in the kitchen with a bit too much interest to be considered healthy. Others were just old people too enamoured with Dumbledore and their own morals to understand that they really didn't have any reason to be in the Order in the first place. And to think that this group was all that was actively trying to oppose Voldemort was a sad thought indeed.
"So, now that we have spent the last two hours chatting and catching up what each of us has done and heard during the last ten years, does anyone have any ideas what we are going to actually do to solve this situation? Who we are going to recruit to do the fighting, where and how often we will train, equipment, targets, weapons, rules of engagement and the works?" Moody interrupted getting fed up with all these people acting important and pretending to be 'Champions of Light' but not really doing or saying anything that could be interpreted as useful in their quest to rid the world from Voldemort.
Dumbledore was first to catch Moodys question.
"First and foremost we will be making sure that Harry will stay safely in his house and not get in any danger. Then we will send people to make contact with different groups of so called 'Dark Creatures' to try to get them stay at least neutral in the upcoming war".
"So no action against the Death Eaters Potter and Snape have identified?" Asked Moody not really believing what he was hearing. As if giants would refuse Voldemorts offers of death and destruction, or werewolves would like to keep covering in their homes while the ministry was steadily taking away the rest of their rights. The new Senior Under-secretary Umbridge had certainly made great effort on that front while Alastor was being held captive in his own trunk.
"We can't do anything while the ministry is in denial" answered Dumbledore
"And you do understand that the minister currently listens to Lucius Malfoy who is one of the inner circle Death Eaters?" Moody pressed his point.
"Yes, but surely we can get him to see the wrongness in his ways"
"And how do you suppose that is going to happen?"
"We will continue to work through his son Draco when the school continues in September"
"As if that will ever happen, the boy is as bad as the father" scoffed Sirius.
"Aye, I must agree with Black in this. We should simply eliminate the bastards while they are still few in numbers and haven't had time to begin killing people yet. That should also put some deterrent to their recruitment process" Moody completed his argument, while the civilians in the order exclaimed at the casual mention of 'eliminating' opposition.
"We will not lower ourselves to their level. We fight for the Light, killing is not how we work. That is not negotiable" countered Dumbledore "This meeting is now over".
As Moody was starting to leave with other members of the Order, Sirius caught up with him and delayed him until they were alone.
"It seems that you aren't exactly happy with the way Dumbledore is running the show" Sirius said.
"It seems that you're right" replied Moody.
"Dumbledore seems determined to keep me holed up in this house 'for my own protection' while my Godson is kept in dark at his relatives for the same reason. I'd really like to make myself useful after thirteen years of imprisonment and running from the authorities. Being hold captive isn't exactly the reason why I escaped in the first place" Sirius explained. "And I'm not really afraid of getting my hands dirty, seeing that I've already served my time", he added with a grim smile.
Moody had been brought up to speed with Sirius' wrongful imprisonment, and simply nodded in understanding.
"Shall we continue our chat in more pleasant setting? The second floor study is one of the only rooms that are in usable condition right now. The house elf around here isn't really worth his keep, and ten years of grime and more sinister dark artefacts kept unchecked really adds up", Sirius continued. "The alcohol has only got better, though", he completed with a smile.
After the men had retired into second floor and Sirius had poured both of them a healthy amount of fifty year old single malt whiskey, leaving the bottle on the table in reach of both of them, Mad Eye and Sirius started their conversation.
"So, what is your take of this upcoming war?", started Moody after taking a sip from his tumbler, his magical eye looking around suspiciously and seeing more dark objects than he really liked. Black family really lived up to their name, or at least had lived in the past.
"First of all, I think Dumbledore has the whole meaning of the war wrong. This isn't about 'Light' and 'Dark', even though the opposition calls himself a Dark Lord. This is about freedom and oppression." Sirius started
"I mean, I had quite a lot of time to think in Azkaban, and came to conclusion that the 'Light side' isn't really that 'Light'. They were the ones that threw me in the prison in the first place". he continued.
"And the 'Dark side' wants to kill and rape and enslave everyone that doesn't fit in their twisted view of worthy" Sirius completed his thought while nursing his whiskey.
"What I'm trying to say is that there really isn't a light side in this war, simply the side that wants to live their lives in peace the way they want to, and as such we shouldn't limit our methods to some arbitrary ideal of 'Light' as Dumbledore seems to insist we do"
"Aye, I too had time to think things over last year, and I think we can agree on that" Moody replied. "I always thought that those bastards got away too easily last time, and Dumbledore himself was there as Supreme Mugwump preaching about how the killers and rapists deserved their second chances.
"The whole court system was and is fucked up. You, for example, didn't even get a trial, while the richest of Death Eaters got away with bribery. And Dumbledore was there all the time, the grand old man of magic, smiling and doing nothing."
Sirus saluted to that thought with his glass and finished it up. After that he proceed to pour more for both of them.
"So, now that we have established common ground, what was the real reason you wanted to talk to me?" Moody asked, focusing both eyes on the younger man.
"I think that we should do something instead of just talking bullshit in the meetings, and you seemed ready to take action"
"So you propose that we start fighting this war between the two of us?"
"No, I propose we convince the ministry to start fighting for us" Sirius replied with a michievous smile on his lips "And for that, we need Lucius Malfoy."
"Malfoy? Why would we need him?"
"Well, he is currently the 'Queen' on Voldemorts board. He represents the financial and political power of the bad guys, and is currently the biggest obstacle in getting Fudge to do anything against the Dark Lord." Sirius explained. "If we get rid of him, we can truly start to influence the minister"
"Hmm, that is a start of an idea, but I think we could do better than that..."
And so, as the level of liquid remaining in the bottle started to dwindle, the plan of action begun to take shape. A plan, that definitely wouldn't get the Dumbledore seal of approval, but would, if successful, take the war effort to a whole new level.
The annual fund raising party hosted by the minister of magic was the place to be. Everyone who was anyone in the Magical Britain was there. The sparkle of the diamonds decorating ladies from noble houses was blinding, food was exquisite and booze was plenty. The objective for the fund raising, twenty thousand galleons for erecting a statue of the current minister in the Diagon Alley, a project proposed by Lucius Malfoy himself, was met easily after Malfoys heartfelt opening speech.
"Cornelius Fudge has given us an era of unprecedented prosperity. His brilliant policies have given us peace so strong, that the need for Aurors is in an all time low, and we have been able to cut taxes to bolster our economy.
"Cornelius has also made great effort to make Britain the target of international envy. In last year alone Cornelius Fudge was able to host not one, but two high profile international events; the hugely successful Quiddich World Cup, and the traditional Triwizard Tournament that also showed the superiority of British education! The Bulgarians and French didn't have a chance against our great Champions. For all this, I present you our own minister Cornelius Fudge!"
While the crowd was cheering loudly for the minister and Lord Malfoy, two men were discussing in the mens restroom:
"Ouch! Tell me again why I agreed to the human to animal transfiguration as a way to get into this bloody party?" asked Sirius holding his head in pain.
"Because that was the only way to smuggle you in here, as the security is rather tight. Here, take this, it should help for the headache" replied Moody handing Sirius a vial of potion. "You still remember your part in this operation?"
"Yes yes. I wait outside the restrooms under your invisibility cloak, and when Malfoy appears I get in with him, dose him with Dreamless Sleep, take his hair for the Polyjuice, and transfigure him into a mouse and get the hell out of here with him in my pocket"
"No, you wait until Malfoy gets in and the sleeping potion I will dose him in the party kicks in, then you break in with that nifty knife of yours, dose him again, strip him before you transfigure him, drink the Polyjuice, get into his clothes and then go to the party and talk your way out of there. And don't forget Mrs Malfoy! She's as important as Lucius"
The security of the Ministry fund raising party was impressive. Antiapparition and antiportkey wards were airtight, incoming floo connection was timed and restricted to invited adresses only and the entry hall was filled with security personnel, scanners were used to detect poisons the guests might try to smuggle in, and any use of offensive magic would trigger an alarm and the area would be thick with Aurors in seconds. Luckily for our two conspirators, transfiguration was not listed in the alarm wards, as wizards and witches relied in it so much to enhance their appearances during parties like this.
Moody had used his connections in the DMLE to completely check the security plans for the party after he had received an invitation for his "heroic defence against a dark wizard impersonating as Alastor Moody", and no one had said a word, as it was filed under Moodys usual paranoia. The same check showed Moody that the poison scanner was woefully inadequate, and he would never have attended a party with this shoddy security, had it not been necessary for their plan. But it was all good, as it made their little operation that much easier, and as far as hostile environments go, this was definitely from the safest end of Mad Eyes vast experience.
The pre-mission briefing done, Mad Eye and Sirius left the restroom, Sirius under the Invisibility Cloak. Moody made his way towards the main ballroom, and quickly located Lucius Malfoy, who was currently talking with the minister and drinking wine from an impressive crystal goblet.
"Dumbledore and the Potter boy are getting annoying, we need to do something before they decide to act against us" said the minister in exasperated voice. "The boy is too popular, they could seriously endanger my position if he decides to start making political statements"
"I heard there was again a violation of the under-age laws, maybe that could be used against the boy?"
"Yes, apparently the boy decided to impress his friend with the Patronus charm"
"Patronus, you say?" Lucius replied raising his brow "That definitely is impressive for a fourteen year old".
"Yes, but it still shows just how much of a loose gun and arrogant attention seeker the boy is. Unfortunately Dumbledore will simply swipe it under the rug" the minister whined.
"What about you do something to ensure the old man isn't present in the hearing? Last minute change of time and location, perhaps..."
"Hmm... that idea does have some merit"
At this point Moody had already performed the switching spell (nobody around found nothing suspicious with Moody hovering his wand above his goblet) that deposited the combination laxative/slow acting sleep potion in Lucius' goblet and was making his way towards the buffet table full of different foods.
The potion was a standard issue Marauder weapon used in great effect to get various Slytherins in trouble for skipping classes. The effect was simple but devastatingly effective: the target would feel a sudden need to get to a toilet, and once there simply fall in sleep while no one could suspect anything. Mad Eye smiled as he looked with his magic eye as Lucius excused himself and headed towards the restrooms, where Sirius would be waiting. First part of the plan was executed successfully, and Moody could now excuse himself from the party as soon as he could without raising suspicion.
A few minutes later 'Lucius' was getting back to the party. Moody rolled his magical eye as he noticed the looks 'Lucius' was giving to ladies left and right. The damn playboy couldn't control himself even during mission. Luckily he seemed to get his act together as he approached Narcissa Malfoy. Getting the family out of country was necessary to keep the hoax consistent and to keep the lady from meddling in the plan. And it really wasn't necessary to leave Narcissa and the kid at the mercy of the Dark Lord after the plan was successfully executed. As Sirius had pointed out, Cissy wasn't really evil like her sister Bellatrix, she had just married the wrong man, and liked the perks of her position a bit too much.
Looks of disbelief and then worry in Narcissas face were enough to convince the old auror that the plan was working, and he made it towards the exit, his job done and yearly dose of ass-licking politicians and businessmen filled long ago.
Later on the same day Sirius and Moody gathered around a table in the kitchen of the small countryside hut they had prepared for this part of the operation. It was perfect: no neighbours, dark and damp cellar for the prisoner, and strong antiapparition wards that Moody had crafted to prevent escape. Simple repellent wards completed the set. Too much magic would have made it look suspicious, and they only really needed the place for this one job.
"So how did the Lady take the story?" asked Moody, while scratching his new wig made of transfigured donkey hair. He had magically removed all hair from his body; lets see how the next Death Eater who thinks it would be a good idea to impersonate Moody with polyjuice will like the not so well known side effects of using the potion with animal hair. Moody had proposed the same method for all Order members, but for some reason his idea hadn't had much support. Well, their loss, and he would use the identification questions in any case.
"She took it all in, hook line and sinker", replied Sirius. "The story about Lucius worrying about his position with Voldemort and Voldemort only wanting Malfoy monies and being angry about the 'imperius defence' thirteen years ago is a good one, and the elf I hired to take care of the hideout already reported in that Cissy and Draco have arrived".
"What about the prisoner?"
"Still sleeping. He will have a rough awakening when the time comes."
"Good. Lets get to work then."
The dark and damp cellar was just as good as the salesman had promised. "It will make for a good dungeon" he had joked, but his expression had fallen somewhat when the two customers dressed in black suits with remarkably unremarkable facial features had simply nodded in unison.
Right now Lucius Malfoy was sitting tied on a chair in the middle of the room blindfolded and with only his boxers on, sleeping. That was remedied by a bucketful of ice cold water thrown on his face.
"What is this? Where am I? Who are you?" Lucius spluttered suddenly wide awake.
"Those are not important questions. The important questions are those that we are going to ask, and before we are going to do that, we will have to ask you to take the customary three drops of Veritaserum. If you please, my Lord?" said Sirius in his best polite voice that was drilled into him during his childhood as the Heir of the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black.
"I'm not going to do such thing! You have no right to hold me here, the ministry will get your hide for this!"
"Ah, but we are not intrested in your dealings with the ministry, but with your other master, namely the Dark Lord." Sirius continued with sweet voice.
"What are you talking about? The Dark lord is long gone and I was under Imperius Curse! You should know this already!"
At this point Moody cut in, hit Lucius hard in stomach causing him to double over, except that he couldn't as he was still bound in the chair.
"Lets end this 'good cop bad cop' nonsense, you have read too much bad auror novels" Mad Eye said in gruff voice while yanking Lucius' head backwards and pouring the veritaserum in his mouth.
"But you have to admit it was fun while it lasted", complained Sirius.
"Yes yes. Lets get this interrogation going. What is your name?"
"Lucius Abraxeus Malfoy"
"Are you a Death Eater?"
"Have you killed?"
"I don't remember. Over fifty."
"Well, that settles the last moral issues about this mission. What are the Dark Lords plans at the moment?"
"He is laying low and gathering allies. The Potter boy wasn't supposed to live through the ritual, and now the Dark Lord is researching something that might give him insight as to why it happened"
"How much money you have at your disposal?"
"I have in my vaults over twenty eight million galleons. I'm working as the Dark Lords book keeper, and have access to the vaults of those death eaters currently in Azkaban, they have approximately ten million galleons"
"Well that's definitely convenient. What do you say, Jones, do you have any more questions?" Moody asked from Sirius.
"No, lets move on to the next part" Sirius replied. Aliases 'Smith' and 'Jones' had been his idea, and Moody had agreed that there was no reason to reveal your identity to the prisoner, even though there was no way he would live to use that information against them.
Moody administered the antidote for the veritasarum while Sirius conjured a table in front of Lucius and pulled three parchments from his pocket and made final adjustments in them.
"Now, we want you to sign these three contracts. The first is a transfer of twenty seven point five million galleons from your personal vaults to a number account in Switzerland, the second is a transfer of ten million from the other Death Eater vaults under your command to another account in there and the third is for transfer of all your Wizengamot votes to Albus Dumbledore"
There had been a lot of debate about the Malfoy votes between the two conspirators. Malfoy family had managed to consolidate a significant amount of votes during its history either by buying them or through marriages and killings of other family members. Some people called that "the Malfoy method": buy a marriage contract with a daughter of a family with a seat in wizengamot, produce an heir with said woman and arrange the rest of the family members to mysteriously meet early demise. The Malfoys had collected at least thirteen votes that way, and with the votes they had simply bought they were the biggest voting block held by single person in the Wizengamot. The votes held too much power to not to use, but giving them to anyone else than Dumbledore would raise too much suspicion among 'the good guys', and a division between the allies would be detrimental for the war effort. And Dumbledore would probably use the votes for good in the legislative process even though he wasn't really fit for the executive positions of power.
The money aspect had been easier to agree on: most of the money would be used to create the 'Phoenix Foundation' that would help in the recovery from the last war and the upcoming one, help orphans and widows, give cheap loans for rebuilding homes and businesses. The rest would form an another foundation, the 'Griffin Foundation', which would take active role in financing the actual fighting by giving donations to DMLE and maybe even to the Order if the ministry couldn't get its act together. The monies would be routed via Switzerland to make the Malfoy disappearance story more believable (no one would believe that Malfoy would simply give his monies away, no matter how dirty they were).
Lucius was looking at the contracts and the black Blood Quill with calculating look on his face.
"You do understand that the Blood Quill has charms in it that prevents its use in conjunct with any mind altering magics, and it also detects residue from torture curses? I will not sign those contracts".
"Ah, we were hoping you would say something like that" Sirius said with a smile. "Luckily, there are other ways of encouraging certain actions that don't include any magic at all. Mr. Smith, if you please"
During last few hundred years Wizards and Witches have become so enamoured with their magic that they have completely forgotten about perfectly good ways of doing things without it, in addition to completely missing all the advances in non-magical ways of doing things since then. Of course there are things that simply cannot be done without magic, and others where magic greatly enhances the results, but more often than not the purely magical ways of doing things are simply inferior.
An example of this fact is the art of torture: the purely magical methods like the Cruciatus Curse or lesser pain curses are effective, but pure agonizing pain only goes that far. And prolonged exposure to Cruciatus simply shuts the brain down, and the torturer is left with only a body unable to do much more than breathe.
Thus, when Moody started to systematically break the bones in Malfoys left hand (the right hand was still needed for writing) with pliers while Sirius kept using bone knitting charms without any kind of pain relief at all, Lucius fainted from the pain rather rapidly. A quick ennervate later the devious duo continued their gruesome work, stopping only to force blood replenishing potions down Malfoys throat.
After a few hours of fainting and waking up for more pain Malfoy finally broke down and surrendered, took the Blood Quill and signed the contracts.
"Now that the ugly part of the night is over, lets get to the last part of the days entertainment. Mr. Smith?"
Lucius' face contorted as he tried to fight Moodys Imperius Curse, but soon his face fell into an impassive mask signifying that he had completely succumbed into Mad Eyes will. 'Hmm, maybe there was some truth in the imperius-defence after all, this one surely has a weak mind' Moody mused as Lucius started to write the letters that would completely turn the course of Magical Britain.
Two days later the Order of the Phoenix was gathered in an emergency meeting at Grimmauld Place. Dumbledore had received a letter from Lucius Malfoy, rumor had it that the ministry had received similar letters, and Snape had only just returned from Dark Lords own emergency meeting.
"I call this emergency meeting of the Order of the Phoenix to order" Dumbledore intoned from his place at the head of the table.
"The reason for this meeting is a letter I received this morning from none other than Lucius Malfoy himself. In this letter he announced his repentance for his Death Eater activities, asked me to take care of Narcissa and Draco Malfoy in case he didn't survive the backlash of his sudden change of allegiance and gave me all his Wizengamot votes because obviously he would be in too much danger to personally attend the Wizengamot meetings.
"I've also heard of similar letters being delivered to madam Bones, the head of the DMLE and the minister. I have also heard from my contacts with the goblins that massive amounts of gold have been transferred from Malfoy and other Death Eater vaults to nameless number accounts in Switzerland. In addition to this, both Narcissa and Draco Malfoy have gone missing from Malfoy manor, but I have yet to use the contact method described in the letter I received.
"Now, Severus, do you have any information from Voldemorts camp?"
"The Dark Lord is most annoyed at Malfoys stunt. His return has become public a lot earlier than he would have liked, he has lost his politically and financially most powerful Death Eater and of the remaining Death Eaters the most valuable ones are afraid that Lucius might have given them away. The Dark Lord also issued a bounty of one million galleons on Malfoys head."
Moody and Sirius looked at each other at that last comment. They had already decided that Malfoy would die for his crimes and to cover their tracks, but previously their plan had included sending his head to the ministry in name of Voldemort to give some extra incentive to start taking the war seriously. But now it seemed that also the Dark Lord had bought their hoax and truly believed that Malfoy had defected. And million galleons more could certainly help the Griffin Foundation, and the exchange of million galleons for a Death Eater that was in all practical purposes already dead was a fair one.
"How about the ministry?" asked Dumbledore, directing the question to Mr Weasley and Aurors Shacklebolt and Tonks.
Arthur was first to answer: "The rumour mill has been working overtime for the whole day, the minister has been holed in his office trying to understand what it means to him politically that his number one supporter has admitted of being a Death Eater and that the his number one financial supporter has gone missing with all his monies. There have been a lot of worrying faces for the return of You-Know-Who, and Diggory left early after the news hit him."
"Amelia also got a letter from Lucius, and has been organizing the troops accordingly. The security around that is amazing and I can't say anything about it, but you can surely deduct what it means." said Kingsley.
"So the director got a list of names and is using oaths to keep her troops in line. I've always known that Amelia got brains" Moody offered his explanation.
Moody of course knew exactly what each letter had said, as he was the one who dictated them to Lucius trough the Imperius Curse. But it was nice to hear that there were still people in the force who took security seriously.
"It seems that we have had an incredible luck with Lucius' defect. Lets enjoy this little bit of luck, and remember that even in the darkest of souls there always is a little bit of light that can shine through, and hold this example of redemption in mind in the future battles. As I told in the first meeting, everybody deserves a second chance".
With these words Dumbledore closed the meeting.
Once again Moody and Sirius got together after the meeting in the second floor study. Once again they had a bottle of whiskey between them.
"So, what do you think of the results of our little operation?" asked Sirius.
"Obviously we met our primary objectives. Voldemort lost his most important player, huge amount of money, time to regroup his forces and practically all of his men in ministry" Moody replied twirling the whiskey around in his glass. "It's still too early to say if the minister will get his act together, but at least the general public will know about the return of Voldemort when tomorrows Prophet hits breakfast tables. Also Amelia seems to take the threat seriously, and the Griffin Foundation can hit her with money and supplies even if the minister fails to act".
Both men sat in silence for a while pondering different outcomes for the future.
"Dumbledore is now even more certain that his goody goody ideals work, and has more power in Wizengamot than before, but that was always a risk that had to be taken", Moody continued.
"What about Harry? He still has the hearing to go to, and the minister probably now sees him as even greater danger to his personal position" Sirius asked from the retired Auror "And you heard the minister plotting with Lucius about some kind of foul play for the hearing".
"We need to take that carefully. The hearing shouldn't be much of a problem, seeing that Harrys story about the resurrection ritual has now been confirmed. Harry is a hero, and Fudge can't do much against him.
"We could use Harrys political capital to defuse the hearing before it happens, but I think that is not important enough. We might need to oust the minister in some point of the future, and Harry could be all we need to gather enough public support for a new candidate".
"Yeah, that sounds good enough. Of course we could send some kind of reminder to the minister that he can't win against Harry and shouldn't even try" Sirius agreed "The hearing could create all sorts of ugly mess if Fudge decides to push with all his might".
"Aye, but I would be very careful when blackmailing the minister. Maybe we should try to contact Amelia and warn her that Fudge might try to make a political spectacle out of a simple hearing" replied Moody.
And once again new plans of action were formed while the bottle became steadily emptier.
The summer was nearing an end, and Moody was sitting on a corner table of a café at Diagon Alley sipping coffee and reading the Daily Prophet, while keeping an eye on all other customers and people walking by on the street. The ministry had finally managed to get it's act together, and Moody was happy. That didn't lover his state of vigilance one iota.
The minister had got the message that during wartime a strong will was necessary, and that the people loved strong leaders. And while the Prophet had questioned his denial after the triwizard tournament, Fudge had managed to dodge most of the flak like a slippery politician he was.
He also understood that he really wasn't able to lead the war effort so he learned to really listen those around him that were. That was when he elevated Amelia Bones to a new position as an 'Under-secretary of Defence', and under her were the old (and reinforced) DMLE and newly formed reserve force that could be called in duty if the Auror force needed help, and that worked as local rapid response force to keep Death Eaters at bay while waiting for the Aurors to appear. Amelia Bones had gotten the monies she had required, and the Griffin Foundation had helped her to buy armor, invisibility cloaks, broomsticks and medical supplies for her troops.
The former Senior Under-secretary Umbridge was given her two weeks notice, as her pink cardigan simply didn't work with the ministers new and stronger image. Also the lime-green robes and the stupid hat had had to go, and they were replaced with sharp grayscale wardrobe with Auror-red highlights picked by the ministers new fashion consultant.
All in all minister Fudge was still the same spineless ass-licking maggot he had been in the beginning of the summer, but at least he licked the asses of right people and hid his spinelessness behind his staff.
The overall security in the Ministry building and other public places had been enhanced, and Mundungus Fletcher had been caught in his guard duty in Department of Mysteries. That had launched an investigation of the hall of prophesies, and Harry Potter had been called in to retrieve the prophesy concerning him and Voldemort.
To say the boy was upset about the new and enhanced responsibility was an understatement, but Amelia Bones was a practical woman who didn't believe much in divination or prophesies. "We will hit him with all we've got, and if he refuses to die we can then call you in to finish the job when we have him unarmed and properly restrained" was her immediate answer.
She recognised Harry's need to be able to defend himself, though, and the potential propaganda value of Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, the Chosen One, the Triwizard Champion participating in combat training with the reserve forces didn't go unnoticed by the minister. The fact that he was able to demonstrate his corporeal Patronus in the hearing was just icing on the cake.
The Death Eaters caught after Lucius' list was released were tried, and the amount of information the interrogators got out of them using Veritaserum was so huge, that interrogation under Veritaserum was ruled as the standard practice when the charges were big enough. This, and the inclusion of Peter Pettigrews name on Lucius' list enabled Moody to 'arrest' Sirius and bring him to court. Once again notes were passed under the table and Fudge understood that standing for justice even when it meant admitting past mistakes was a good policy, and once again the people were happy with their 'strong' leader.
Dumbledore continued to preach his 'second chance' ideology, and the fact that he was a rabid supporter of the 'innocent until proven otherwise' theory was a giant leap forward to a more balanced judical system, and the more hideous miscarriages of justice were eliminated.
The security of Azkaban prison was re-evaluated after the escape of the Lestranges, and a new prison was built. The new prison used Fidelius charm to hide the individual cells as well as the location of the facility itself, and was considered at least as inescapable as Azkaban, and a lot more unreachable. The use of dementors were recognized as a cruel punishment in case of innocent people were imprisoned, and the fact that they had sided with Voldemort in the last war (and apparently in this one too, proven by the two that had attacked Harry) resulted in an extensive research project in the Department of Mysteries to find a way to completely destroy those foul creatures. And once again the people were happy with their leader.
Sirius and Moody had sent Lucius Malfoys head to Voldemort and gotten their million galleon bounty, wich went to further finance the Griffin Foundation. Voldemort had promptly forwarded the head to ministry with a note that was surprisingly similar to the one Sirius and Moody had drafted before.
Narcissa and Draco continued to live in their secret hideout in France, completely unaware that they had been utterly and thoroughly pranked. The rumour was that Draco would start the next year of his schooling in Beauxbatons Academy, and the future Hogwarts fifth years were all happy and thought that he would fit there better than in Hogwarts, at least if you judged by the amount of hair care products Draco seemed to use. Narcissa had started correspondence with Sirius after his name had been cleared, and it seemed that he had been right: Cissy wasn't a bad person, and hopefully could reverse the conditioning Lucius had forced on the boy.
So Moody really had a reason to smile. He had been called in to continue as an instructor in Auror Academy and in the new Reserve Force training facility, and he was once again doing what he did best: fighting against bastards who thought it was their right to whatever they felt like.
A/N Thank you for reading, this was my first text of this length in English, and as a non-native English user I'm sorry for any blatant mistakes in spelling or grammar. Obviously also my first take in writing fanfiction, although I have created a rather unhealthy addiction for reading it during this year.