Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
Harry Potter and the Master of Time
Chapter 17: The Dog Days of Summer
Harry was getting tired of waiting, what was supposed to be a relatively straight forward session of the Wizengamot had quickly gone off course. At Harry's prompting Amelia had informed the assembled members, including Minister Fudge, that due to the circumstances under which Sirius Black had been arrested the ministry had no legal right to arrest without new charges being drawn up. Before Fudge could demand that charges be brought against Sirius many members of the Wizengamot began questioning how the order to "kiss on sight" had been given to the dementors when the ministry couldn't legally arrest Sirius, let alone execute him. Many of Fudge's political opponents saw this as an opportunity to call into question many of Fudge's actions as Minister. Harry quickly came to the conclusion that Fudge had never made a good decision in his life, his political strategy was apparently to take the largest bribe on offer to make a decision, and then use the money he had received to purchase as many votes as he needed when the inevitable vote of no confidence came around.
Harry was sitting in his assigned place as Lord Potter, despite the fact that he could not vote in the body he was still allowed to take his seat. Next to him was Hermione in the seat generally reserved for the Lady Potter. Strictly speaking Hermione should not have been allowed to sit there, but the seat's designation was purely traditional and could technically be given to anyone who was a member of the family, and as his betrothed she qualified. Normally she would be seated on Harry's other side in the adviser's seat due to her status as Harry's chief of staff, but that seat was currently being used by Sirius, who was hiding under Harry's invisibility cloak.
Finally after an hour of people attacking Fudge's character and job performance a vote of no confidence was called for. The vote was taken immediately and Fudge won by a margin of seven votes. Fudge then called for charges to be brought against Sirius Black and the vote passed by a significant margin. Fudge then demanded that Sirius be tried in absentia immediately, this was exactly what Harry had been waiting for.
"Objection!" Harry called, standing from his seat.
"Mister Potter, you do not have the right to raise an objection in this assembly." Dumbledore said calmly from his seat as the Chief Warlock.
"It's Lord Potter, Chief Warlock, and I have every right to raise an objection, while I may not be able to cast my votes as long as I hold votes I have every right object and to take the floor. I am appalled that the Minister could even consider trying a suspect in absentia before an arrest warrant is even issued." Harry responded staring directly at Dumbledore.
"Very well, I call for a vote to issue a warrant for the arrest of Sirius Black on thirteen charges of murder." Fudge continued looking a little dejected. The vote carried easily.
"I believe it is still the policy for the Ministry to offer a reward of 50,000 galleons for information on the whereabouts of wanted criminals?" Harry asked and was informed that this was accurate. "Very well then, I have information on the whereabouts of Sirius Black, he is sitting right here." Harry pulled the invisibility cloak off of Sirius with a flourish.
"Aurors arrest that man!" Fudge nearly screamed, as soon as aurors had placed cuffs on Sirius Fudge started barking out orders for Sirius to be taken for questioning.
"Minister, you were willing to hold the trial today not five minutes ago, so if Mister Black is willing we should hold the trial immediately, after all the Ministry has had a dozen years to put its case together." Someone called from among the assembled members. Harry breathed a sigh of relief, there had been no guarantee that anyone would force the issue to make Fudge look even worse, and the alternative would have been for Amelia to push for the trial to be held immediately, and that would have stunk of collusion.
"I have no problem with that, in fact I will gladly submit to questioning under veritaserum." Sirius called from where he was being manhandled toward the door by two angry looking aurors. And there was the clincher, Fudge couldn't back out now with a fully cooperative defendant, and there was no legal basis for denying veritaserum questioning.
"Very well let's just get this over with!" Fudge barked. The trial went quickly after that. It immediately became apparent that the Ministry had not bothered to collect any evidence and had in fact obliviated every witness before even taking official statements. It came out that Fudge had been in charge of the crime scene and had used the notoriety of the case to push himself forward in the Ministry, and apparently he had been the one to make most of the serious errors in handling the case. When Sirius took the stand he was given a dose of veritaserum and asked a long series of control questions to make sure the truth serum was working before they began asking him about the events that had lead to his arrest.
"As all available evidence has been presented it is now time for us to come to a verdict." Dumbledore finally called out. The votes were cast and Sirius was cleared by an almost unanimous vote. Sirius was immediately released and quickly made his way to the official seat of Lord Black. Over the next few minutes the Wizengamot voted to bring charges against Peter Petigrew and an arrest warrant was issued. "I believe that is all the business for today so..."
"Actually Chief Warlock I would like to take this opportunity to officially take my seat as Lord Black." Sirius called out from across the room, cutting off Dumbledore's attempt to close the meeting before things could get further out of hand.
"Of course, the Wizengamot officially recognizes the right of Sirius Orion Black to take the seat of Lord of the Ancient and Noble House of Black." Dumbledore stated solemnly. "Now as there is..." Sirius cleared his throat loudly "Yes Lord Black?"
"Based on facts that have come to light today House Black calls for an investigation in to the past actions of Minister Cornelius Fudge to begin immediately. It is clear that Minister Fudge has made a habit of cutting corners and blatantly ignoring the law, and I for one find it hard to believe that these two events are isolated incidents."
As Sirius finished his statement Harry stood from his seat "House Potter seconds the motion, and grants proxy on this vote to Lord Black." It had turned out after extensive research that the only difference between Harry and every other member of the Wizengamot was that he could not be the one to cast the votes held by his House, every other right held along with those votes was completely t his disposal. Fudge's face was frozen in a mask of terror, with the addition of the four votes held by House Potter and the two held by House Black, assuming the voting went the same way as for the vote of no confidence he would only win by a single vote, if even one member had been swayed by the evidence of the trial, or had been unwilling to commit to ousting the Minister, but had serious doubts about his actions, he would be doomed.
"The motion has been seconded, all those in favor" Dumbledore said with a resigned look on his face. The vote came down against Fudge by a margin of twelve votes, better by far than Harry had hoped for. "Madame Bones as head of the Department for Magical Law Enforcement you are hereby mandated to begin a full investigation into the past actions of Cornelius Oswald Fudge, and to present all findings of said investigation before this body at the earliest possible time."
The rest of the summer passed quickly after Sirius was cleared. There were only three weeks left of summer not much to do, Harry and Hermione continued their fencing lessons, which they now supplemented with practice sessions with the swords they would be carrying with them everywhere. With Sirius's help they were actually able to fence using their swords by putting a temporary shield that was accompanied by a mild stinging charm along the blades. Sirius also disillusioned the swords so they could carry them all the time to get used to the weight.
Two days after Sirius had been cleared a letter arrived for Sirius from Remus Lupin, "Apparently he wants to talk, apologize for believing that I was a traitor. He also wants to know if I'd like to join him in a rat hunt as soon as he's available." Sirius said looking up from the letter he was reading at the Granger breakfast table. Sirius had been staying at the Granger home since the trial in order to put off returning to 12 Grimauld Place. Since Harry was taking up what had once been the guest room Sirius had to take the couch, though he had jokingly suggested that Harry could move into Hermione's room, too which neither teen had raised an objection.
"Is he still going to be teaching Defense this year?" Harry asked.
"Yeah, says he's doing it as a favor to Dumbledore. Seems Dumbledore asked him the day I escaped so that he would be able to keep you safe from me. Says he wishes he could get out of it, but it's already to late for him to back out." Sirius said looking through the letter.
"About as much as we suspected." Hermione said noncommittally. Remus had been a touchy subject between Harry, Hermione, and Sirius. Sirius wanted to bring his old friend in, while Hermione had been concerned that Remus's loyalty to Dumbledore would leave him conflicted and easily manipulated, and Harry was concerned that Remus's fatalistic attitude would only be reinforced by being left in the dark. In the end they compromised and agreed to feel Remus out and, if everyone was agreed, tell him everything, otherwise they would spend the year trying to bring him around.
"Might as well invite him over though, get everyone introduced. Who knows, we might get a better idea of where he stands." Harry finally said after a few moments of contemplation. With everyone's agreement Sirius sent a letter to Remus inviting him over to the Granger house the next day.
When Remus arrived the next day he was introduced to Harry and Hermione, and was shocked to discover that Harry and Hermione were betrothed. He was even more shocked to find out why they had become betrothed. "How could Dumbledore do something like that? He's done so much good, how could he go and try something so despicable." Remus asked as he flopped down into a chair.
"Dumbledore has done a lot of questionable things when it comes to Harry. First he leaves Harry with the Dursleys," Hermione started calmly, but Remus's face still paled at the mention of Harry growing up with the Dursleys "then he apparently made a habit of protecting the Dursleys from investigation, and when they were finally tried he pulled every string to keep them safe from the Wizengamot. Then when Harry finally comes to Hogwarts he puts a fake Philosopher's Stone to draw Voldemort to the school. Even after being called out on that he still tries to control Harry and force him back to the Dursleys. Then he tries to use our friends to screw up Harry's life, whatever good he may have done he has completely used up as far as I'm concerned." Hermione was almost shouting by the time she had finished listing Dumbledore's wrong-doings.
"Merlin," Remus finally muttered to himself, his face having gone far paler than was probably healthy "How could he do that, all these years he told me you were safe Harry, and all this time he's been lying to me and playing god with your life. If there is anything I can do to make up for all the years I let Dumbledore ruin your life I will do it."
Harry shared a significant glance with Hermione and Sirius, both nodded to him. "Remus, we have some things we need to tell you."
Remus took the news of Harry's knowledge of future events rather well, the news of what those events included he took slightly less well. The full story made Remus even more furious with Dumbledore, and further determined to help Harry however he could. They spent the rest of the afternoon talking about Harry and Hermione's experiences and friends at Hogwarts and then was introduced to Jean and David before they all went out to a local restaurant for dinner.
As Remus was leaving for the evening Harry called out to him "Remus, there's one last thing I need to tell you. No matter what others might want you to think, being a werewolf doesn't mean you don't deserve to be happy. So go out, find some nice girl who doesn't care that you're a werewolf, and have loads of kids."
Harry and Hermione didn't get a chance to talk to Susan again during the summer, but from the letters they had exchanged with her she made sure they knew that she understood why she hadn't been told everything, and that she would always be their friend. They got a few letters from the Weasley twins in Egypt, and in one they mentioned that Scabbers had run off and that Ron thought that the twins were responsible for the disappearance of his pet. The general thought was that since Petigrew had made a run for it in Egypt he wouldn't bother to return to England before seeking out Voldemort in Romania.
Sirius ended up staying the whole summer at the Granger house. Hermione was very interested to hear what Sirius had to say about the new classes they would be taking beginning in September. Harry could tell her what to expect from Care of Magical Creatures, but he had no real knowledge of Arithmancy or Ancient Runes. Sirius had taken Ancient Runes and told Harry and Hermione all about the applications for the class, from warding to enchanting. Unfortunately he had never taken Arithmancy and could only really tell them what Remus and Lily had to say about it, for the most part the first few months of Arithmancy were spent learning how to do the advanced mathematics involved, which were apparently equivalent to mid-level algebra, then they would learn how to analyze spell formulas to understand how they worked, and eventually they would begin to write spell formulas of their own.
Toward the end of August they made the trip to Diagon Alley to pick up their school supplies. For the most part they only needed to purchase new books, including one copy of the Monster Book of Monsters as Hagrid had again sent Harry a copy for his birthday, though the book was much easier to handle knowing how to get it to stop biting. They also needed to pick up some basic rune carving kits along with replenishing their potion supplies. The last stop they made was to the magical pet shop where Harry reintroduced Hermione to an old friend.
"Hermione, meet Crookshanks." Harry said handing the ginger half-kneazle to Hermione. Crookshanks had been surprisingly docile when Harry bought him from the pet shop, and Harry suspected it was because Ron was not there. Hermione and Crookshanks got along just like they always had and Harry was glad he had taken the time to get Crookshanks. Hermione also made sure to tell Harry how thankful she was.
Eventually September first came around and Harry and Hermione boarded the Hogwarts Express and found an empty compartment. As eleven o'clock approached they were joined by Susan, and then later the Twins and Lee Jordan. A half hour into the train ride they were joined by Neville and Luna. The conversation in the cabin ranged from stories about their summers to the upcoming school year. Luna was evasive about answering any questions pertaining to school and after much coaxing by everyone in the compartment she had admitted to the fact that her housemates regularly tormented her. Everyone agreed that they would need to teach the Ravenclaws a lesson which really surprised Luna. When they neared Hogsmead Station they all changed into their robes, but Harry and Hermione put on their Potter robes rather than their black Hogwarts robes and made sure their swords were clearly visible before getting off of the train.
A/N: Hope you all enjoyed, Third year will probably be only one or two chapters at most but it might take me a little while to get it written.