Chapter Sixty-Six


Harry woke blearily at first to a very sterile looking room that reminded Harry of the Infirmary at Hogwarts. His father, Lucius and Draco were seated around his bed. Harry tried to remember what had happened to put him in the hospital. But the last thing he could remember was Sirius in Padfoot form leaping up on him.

'Harry,' Tom said softly.

'Father,' murmured Harry.

'How are you feeling?' Tom asked softly.

'Exhausted,' Harry admitted. 'What happened?'

'Two of Dumbledore's men tried to kill you,' the Dark Lord said fury coating every syllable. 'Your godfather knocked you out of the way before the Killing Curse could hit you. I believe he and the Morant twins took them out leaving them unconscious,' the Dark Lord's smirk was nothing but vicious.

Harry groaned as he lay down on his pillows. His father was never going to let him out again. Not after what happened the first time he tried to go out in public. But hopefully this attack would be enough for Bones to finally arrest Dumbledore.

'Why can't I remember anything?' asked Harry.

'You fell unconscious,' Harry's father said darkly. 'Probably due to the shock but possibly due to your magic trying to respond to protect you which with how energy intensive a male pregnancy is left you with magical exhaustion.'

Then Harry had a terrible idea, 'the baby?'

'Harry, keep calm – stress will not help you in the slightest,' Tom said sounding worried. 'The Healers do not believe that the baby is in any danger – the heartbeat sounds strong. But they will be giving you a scan – just as a precaution.'

Harry blinked he had to admit he had been looking forward to seeing a picture of the baby. But not like this because as much as his father was trying to comfort him the fact that he needed one was a risk. Lucius, however, seemed as worried as Harry was but was at least trying to hide his worries.

'A precaution?' Harry felt sick.

'Just a precaution,' agreed Harry's father kindly.

Harry bit his lip, 'and what happened to Dumbledore's people.'

'They've been arrested,' the Dark Lord said as though he felt that wasn't nearly enough.

'And Sirius?' asked Harry.

There was a deadly silence.

'The Aurors arrested him too,' Harry's father admitted. 'Amelia is handling it.'

Harry breathed a sigh of relief – he didn't know what he would do if he found out that Sirius had been given the Kiss because of Dumbledore's bloody frame job. But Harry had found Amelia to be a fair arbitrator of justice. Surely, Sirius would be released before too long.

'Especially as many of the others there stood up in his defence,' Draco said.

'As they should after Mr Black saved them from Dumbledore's radicals,' his father said.

'How long was I out?' asked Harry softly.

'Four hours,' Lucius said sounding worried. 'Where is that Healer? Hasn't their spells told them that Harry's awake?'

'Well, why don't one of you three go and see what's happening?' demanded Harry.

'I'll go,' Draco said.

'Thank you, Draco,' Harry said as the other boy left. 'Merlin, bonding with Draco couldn't have gone worse.'

'It was fun before the attack,' Draco said. 'Your Gryffindors aren't that that bad,' Draco said as though it physically pained him.

Harry laughed, 'was that painful, Draco?'

Harry saw Draco's neck flushed pink as he left.

'I take it this won't be repeated,' Harry said.

'No, it won't,' the Dark Lord said darkly.

'I suppose you have a point,' Harry admitted.

'At least until Dumbledore is finished,' Lucius said flashing Harry's father a look.

At that point Draco arrived followed by a small woman wearing a white Healer's robe. She looked a little frazzled, but she smiled when she saw Harry up and talking. Harry liked that she seemed to treat Harry completely normally.

'Hello, Harry,' smiled the Healer. 'Glad to see you're awake. Okay, how are you feeling?'

'A little tired,' Harry admitted.

'That's to be expected,' the Healer said. 'I am going to see how your magic recovery was going – you were severely depleted.'

Harry nodded, 'okay.'

'Magia Ostende,' enchanted the Healer.

A mauve light glowed around him.

The Healer smiled, 'your magic seems to be recovering nicely – it was a lot paler a few hours ago. It is still a little bit lower than Healer Whitehead's records of you but not worrying low. I will advise you not to use any magic for the next couple of weeks. I will advise your personal Healer to keep an eye on your magic levels as male pregnancy is intensively magically draining. It may be beneficial to cut down on your magic until the baby is born. Now, let's have a look at the baby.'

Harry nodded, 'okay.'

'Perventris,' the Healer cast.

A picture of a small foetus appeared above Harry's stomach.

'Everything seems normal,' the Healer said. 'I would like to keep you in overnight for observation just until your magic is back to normal.'

'No,' Harry's father said resolutely. 'Hadrian will be being discharged into Healer Whitehead's care and will be continued to care for at home.'

'I wouldn't advise,' the Healer began.

'Why? Hadrian and his baby are stable. You just want to observe him for complications which are Healer can do safe behind our Wards at home,' Tom said. 'Can you really assure that Albus Dumbledore has no supporters within St. Mungo's or the Aurors guarding him? Hadrian will be far safer at home then he is here!'

'I will have to speak to my boss and Healer Whitehead will have to be present when we are releasing him,' the Healer said sounding unhappy.

'That will be arranged,' Harry's father said.

About fifteen minutes later Harry was being discharged from hospital and into his father and Healer Whitehead's care. Then he was Portkeyed back home where he had a quick meal. Then went back to sleep still feeling drained and exhausted.

Narcissa was in her flat in London that Lucius had so gracefully allowed her to keep in their divorce settlements despite the prenup agreement that between her ending the divorce and her affair should have come into effect. Yes, it was mainly for Draco's welfare, but it was also because over the years the two had become friends. The fact that Lucius hadn't thrown her out on the streets, taken everything she had including and most importantly Draco showed what a good man he was.

Narcissa just hoped Lucius and the young Slytherin Heir figured everything out. Not just for the child they were bringing into the world. But for themselves who after everything they had suffered through deserved something good as their relationship was.

Narcissa was waiting for her son to Floo her from the Dark Lord's castle after he finished his trip with the young Slytherin Heir. Narcissa knew that Draco was very confused over the divorce, Lucius' relationship with Hadrian Slytherin and the baby brother who might possibly usurp him in Lucius' affections – not that that could ever happen. But it made Narcissa very pleased that both Hadrian Slytherin and Lucius were making sure to include Draco in everything.

Narcissa knew that Hadrian had invited Draco to the first scan in three weeks' time. Eryx and she had decided to take a small break in England with Draco and Eryx' three children. Of course the teenagers didn't want to go to England but that was most likely the children not liking that Narcissa seemed to be replacing their mother. Narcissa prayed they never found out that Narcissa and Eryx had been lovers for years before their mother's untimely death.

That was when the Floo Narcissa went with a smile expecting it to be Draco. To her surprise it was Lucius who looked worried. That was all Narcissa needed to know something bad had happened. Was this the reason Draco had taken so long to contact her. Narcissa had just thought it to be a long match – sometimes Quidditch matches could last for days!

'What's happened?' Narcissa asked harsher than she meant.

'Harry and Draco were attacked at The Three Chasers,' Lucius said voice serious.

'Is Draco okay?' demanded Narcissa desperately.

'He's fine – isn't injured at all,' assured Lucius. 'He's been checked out by Healers anyway. He's back at home now.'

'And Heir Slytherin?' asked Narcissa.

Lucius breathed, 'uninjured … but the incident caused magical expenditure and stress causing him to faint. He's awoken and Healer Whitehead is observing him just in case.'

Narcissa nodded, 'are you okay?'

Lucius sighed, 'I've never seen Harry look so fragile … not even when the truth came out. He's always been the strongest wizard I've ever known. But looking at him pale and unconscious. I thought I was going to lose Harry and my sons!'

Narcissa looked sadly, 'Draco's fine, and Heir Slytherin is with one of the best Healers in the world. I'm going to come over and you are going back to Heir Slytherin.'

'Thank you, Narcissa,' Lucius said. 'You really are the best friend I could have asked for.'

'Of course, I am,' Narcissa smiled. 'As are you.'

Out of all of the husbands she could have gotten getting Lucius Malfoy who cared little for her looks but still treated her with respect and kindness. Lucius who didn't demand fidelity whilst sleeping around himself. Lucius who held her as she sobbed holding her dead baby in her arms. Never hiding the tears, he himself felt but putting her first. Not blaming her and when she walked away didn't make her stay. Lucius who she could always trust and rely on whether it was talking about their lovers, friends or Draco.

Not many arranged marriages went as well as this. Narcissa knew more than one friend who ended up being abused physically and sexually by their husbands. Narcissa had helped "deal" with a lot of those husbands. So, when Lucius had said they were not going to arrange a marriage for Draco Narcissa was only too happy to comply.

Sirius awoke with a groan finding himself on a familiar prison bed. The last time he had been there had been just after James and Lily had died. Just before he was shipped off to Azkaban without anyone speaking a word against it.

What was he doing back here? Last thing he remembered was Podmore and Diggle attacking Harry. Sirius had defended his godson and the other Quidditch fans. Then the Aurors came in – that was the last thing Sirius remembered.

Sirius groaned he could see now exactly what had happened. The Aurors would have been alerted by the wards to their being an Unforgivable being used on the premises. They would have come and seen the "convicted" mass-murderer and Death Eater wielding a wand whilst the crowds trembled in fear. They would have assumed the opposite of what was going on.

Sirius would just have to hope that Voldemort would get him out of here. Sirius groaned – putting his life in the hands of the bloody Dark wanker was not something Sirius ever thought he would be doing and wanted to do it even less. But Sirius knew that was what his life was after the Light had been proven to be a lot more insidious than the Dark ever was.

'Easy there, Mr Black,' a dark-haired man said calmly. 'You're safe.'

'Where's my godson? Where's Podmore and Diggle? Are the rest of the kids alright? Have I been arrested?' demanded Sirius.

'Your godson is at St. Mungo's, Podmore and Diggle have been arrested and are still unconscious,' the man Sirius know recognised as wearing Healer robes.

'Good,' Sirius said maliciously.

'I am not sure what kids you're referring to and no you have not been arrested,' assured the Healer. 'Madam Bones thought that it would be best for you to have treated her to try and keep the public from discovering everything before we're ready.'

Sirius snorted, 'I think that hippogriff has flown.'

The Healer nodded, 'now you are stable you are being released into Lord Slytherin's care. Just go easy you took enough stunners to take down a dragon! I wasn't expecting you to be up for another day at least!'

'How long was I out for?' asked Sirius.

'Twelve hours,' the Healer replied. 'Now how are you feeling?'

'Fine, worried about my godson,' Sirius hissed.

'Any pain?' asked the Healer.

Sirius scowled, 'it doesn't matter.'

'You can't help your godson if you collapse from pain,' the Healer said in a no-nonsense voice. 'Are you in any pain?'

'A little,' admitted Sirius.

'Where?' asked the Healer.

'My chest mainly,' muttered Sirius.

The Healer nodded, 'that was where you were hit. Okay, breathe in and out – okay well your breathing is normal as is your heart. I would suggest you go to your Healer – he'll be able to prescribe you painkillers.'

Sirius nodded, 'okay.'

'I'm going to get Amelia and let her know you are up and about,' the Healer said.

Sirius lay back and waited for the Healer and Bones to come back. Ten minutes later Amelia Bones arrived back in the little cell. The woman looked very frazzled which made Sirius think that there likely hadn't been that much chaos since the last war.

'Mr Black,' greeted Bones. 'How are feeling?'

'Fine,' Sirius said shortly.

'Are you up to answering a few questions?' asked Bones.

Sirius nodded, 'yes.'

'Okay, so what were you and Heir Slytherin doing in The Three Chasers?' asked Bones.

'Harry has been bugging his father to let him and Draco to go and see the Quidditch game for a while,' Sirius admitted. 'Finally, t-his father agreed to let him go if I went with him just in case Dumbledore tried something.'

Bones nodded, 'that seems in line with what Lord Slytherin and Heir Malfoy said. What happened at the Three Chasers?'

'Well Harry and his friends were chatting and laughing I can't remember about what. Then I heard the Killing Curse be uttered. I pushed Harry out of the way. I recognised the two as Order members and knew that they were there for my godson, so I fought them,' Sirius concluded. 'The Morant twins jumped in and helped me subdue them. They thought they had killed them, so I made sure that they were stable enough to make it. The Morants didn't need that on their conscience no matter what Diggle and Podmore deserved! Then your Aurors turned up and cursed me.'

'They were met with quiet a bit of opposition from those you protected,' Bones admitted.

'Well that would be a first,' snorted Sirius. 'I take it the whole world knows now?'

'Well, there was nothing about it in the Evening Prophet,' Bones said. 'I suspect they want to break the news in the morning edition where they are likely to get the most coverage.'

'That sounds like Barnabas Cuffe,' agreed Sirius.

Bones nodded, 'now let's get you out of here. Can you walk?'

Sirius managed to get himself up and with a bit of help from the Healer managed to make it outside where Voldemort stood. Voldemort was looking at him critically and worriedly. Sirius wondered how much of that was an act.

'Sirius how are you feeling?' asked the Dark Lord.

'Oh, just dandy,' Sirius said sarcastically. 'How's Harry?'

'Hadrian woke up last night,' the Dark Lord said. 'The Healers released him into my and Healer Whitehead's care before Dumbledore could try anything on him at St. Mungo's. He is safe and ate before going back to sleep. Healer Whitehead and Lord Malfoy are keeping an eye on him.'

Sirius scowled at the mention of Lucius bloody Malfoy but didn't say anything in front of present company. He was Portkeyed back to Le Fay Castle where the Dark Lord of all people helped him to bed. Then Healer Whitehead attended to him.

'Okay, I want you on bed rest of the next forty-eight hours to allow yourself to heal,' Whitehead said in a voice that brooked now arguments.

'I want to see my godson!' Sirius said angrily.

'It is two in the morning!' Voldemort said sharply. 'He's asleep and will remain so. He will want to come and see you tomorrow – he's not on bedrest!'

'Ma'am, Sturgis Podmore is awake,' Senior Auror Perkins said. 'Coote's cleared him for being interviewed.'

Amelia made her way down to the interview room to where the disgraced Auror sat opposite them. There was not a trace of guilt on the man's face. Amelia wasn't expecting there to be – there never was with radicals whether with You Know Who's or Dumbledore's followers.

'Interview with Sturgis Alexander Podmore, beginning at seven fifty-one on the 2nd of August 1995. Interview conducted by the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement Amelia Susan Bones and Senior Auror Gregory Emil Perkins,' Amelia said watching the Quick Quotes Quill recording the interview. 'Do you wish to have a lawyer present?'

'No,' Podmore said. 'I attempted to murder Hadrian Slytherin and am proud of it! I confess to everything – and I did it alone!'

'Do you consent to Veritserum?' asked Amelia.

'No,' Podmore said.

Amelia hadn't expected anything else from the suspect. Not when Veritserum could compel him to betray his compatriots in the Order of the Phoenix. After the interview Amelia would decide whether to try to get a court order to use Veritserum.

Amelia nodded, 'you are aware that depending on the outcome of this investigation we may choose to go the Wizengamot to get a court order to question you using Veritserum.'

'I have been an Auror for twenty-four years – I know how it works,' Podmore said sharply.

'You are charged with two counts of murder, two counts of manslaughter, a count of terrorism, the use of an Unforgivable on a human being and one attempted murder,' Perkins said. 'Do you confess to all of that?'

'Murder? I succeeded,' Podmore seemed flushed with success.

Perkins snorted, 'Heir Slytherin survived but from using Priori Incantum on both your and Diggle's wands we know that both of you cast a Killing curse resulting in the deaths of Yolanda Scabior and Evaristus Herbert,' Perkins continued darkly.

'That wasn't my fault! If Black hadn't got involved nobody would have died!' Podmore said. 'You have to see that the brat isn't as innocent as he pretends hanging around with Death Eater spawn, mass-murdering Death Eaters and traitors!'

'Heir Slytherin and Lord Black are not being interviewed,' Amelia said sharply. 'As we cannot tell who killed who all we can do is charge each of you with both their murders alongside the manslaughter for those who died during your attack! However, if you agree to tell us who put you up to the attack, we would be willing to lower the charge to four counts of manslaughter which would take the Kiss off of the table!'

Podmore glared at them, 'nobody put us up to it. We decided it was for the good of the Wizarding World to get rid of the Dark Lord's son when we heard he was out in the open and unprotected! Away from his father!'

'You chose to throw your career, your life, your family away on your own?' demanded Perkins.

'Yes,' Podmore said resolutely.

'Then how did you know that Heir Slytherin was at The Three Chasers?' asked Perkins quietly.

'We got lucky,' Podmore said quickly eyes darting around. 'Were just going out for lunch for old times sake when we saw him and knew we had to act when nobody in the Ministry would do anything!'

'Oh, you just got lucky?' asked Amelia pretending to believe him.

Podmore nodded eagerly, 'yes, exactly, boss.'

'That's not what your colleagues say,' Perkins said carefully. 'Apparently, you were about to check into your shift at Azkaban after already when you got an unknown Owl – you claimed there was a family emergency and left. Twelve minutes later you and Mr Diggle arrived at The Three Chasers and attacked Heir Slytherin. Now, your family had no knowledge of any emergency – so who was it who told you that Heir Slytherin was present in The Three Chasers?'

'No one,' repeated Podmore.

'You sticking to that story?' asked Perkins.

'It's the truth,' Podmore said stubbornly.

'You were stationed at Azkaban – you've seen the Kiss being performed. Is anyone really worth having your soul destroyed for?' asked Perkins.

'I acted in the best of interest for the Wizarding World,' Podmore said. 'Whether dead or alive. One day I will be remembered as a hero!'

Amelia had sudden flashbacks to the Trial of Bellatrix Lestrange. Amelia knew then that there was going to be no deals. Radicals like Lestrange and Podmore would not be reasoned with! Sturgis Podmore would happily die to protect Albus Dumbldore.

'Interview terminated at seven fifty-eight,' Amelia declared.