32. The Ministry of Magic
At two Harry found himself waiting outside the Ministry of Magic with Remus and Sirius in dog form naturally although not so much for Scalby who believed them well was being paid to believe them at any rate. Scalby was running late. Harry could only guess that his last appointment was running over time.
In the end Scalby was only a few minutes late. Scalby apologized for being late but Harry waved it off understanding that he was working and wasn't the only client. Harry did understand with the prestige that came with his family name both the heir of Godric Gryffindor and Myrdinn Ambrose and being the Boy Who Lived being his lawyer wasn't something that Dimitri Scalby was going to pass up without a fight.
'I'll leave you here,' Remus said.
Harry nodded trying not to say anything so he didn't sound like a nervous kid in front of his lawyer. Harry knew from the Dursleys all about making a good impression unfortunately and according to Sirius pure-blood politics was just as bad if not worse. It meant that Harry had to act like everything was fine when he would be far happier with something to fight.
Harry and Scalby were going by the visitors' entrance which sounded far nicer than the entrance for those who did not have a Flu connection to the Ministry of Magic which for security reasons was only the head of departments. Harry and Scalby entered the small phone booth which seemed to expand to fit them both in. Harry guessed it had magic similar to the tents at the Quidditch World Cup last year.
Dimitri pressed the buttons of the apparently broken phone. Harry assumed that it was like tapping the wall in the Leaky Cauldron to get into Diagon Alley. The fact that it was broken made perfect sense considering that they didn't want Muggles trying to use it and ending up clogging up the guest entrance or accidentally pressing the rice numbers and ending up in the heart of the magical world.
'Welcome to the Ministry of Magic. Please state your name and business,' a cool female voice sounded.
'Dimitri Scalby and Harry Potter here to level charges,' Scalby said.
'Thank you, visitors, please take your badges and attach it to the front of your robes,' the woman's voice said.
The phone box spat out two badges one saying Harry Potter and the other saying Dimitri Scalby. Both said Level Charges. Harry frowned. It seemed ridiculously easy to get into the Ministry of Magic even if they did watch who and what was being printed on the badges the person at the phone booth could lie.
Harry was only glad that Sirius had advised him to wear robes to both the lawyer's office and the Ministry of Magic in order to make a good impression although in Hogwarts the majority of Hogwarts students wore Muggle clothes when not in uniform. In the Ministry of Magic nobody wore Muggle clothes. Harry saw it similar to how Muggle children wore jeans and casual clothes whilst most adult jobs would be only acceptable in a suit.
Harry was wearing his school robes except Sirius had transfigured off his Gryffindor crest so it looked like he had more robes than his school robes. It was a complete lie but oh well. Harry knew that when he could walk around freely without Dumbledore's interference he'd have to buy a whole new wardrobe so he could fit in with the posh bastards at the Wizengamot.
It might be true that now Harry was emancipated Dumbledore had no control over Harry anymore. However, the fact was that Dumbledore was conniving. If the old man found out that Harry was no longer loyal to him and was levelling serious charges the man was sure to have a backup plan that Harry didn't want to see.
'Visitors to the Ministry, you are required to submit to a search and present your wand for registration at the security desk, which is located at the far end of the Atrium,' the voice sounded again.
Harry and Scalby had begun sinking through the floor. Harry realised that like the most secure vaults at Gringotts, which included both the Ambrose and Gryffindor vaults but not the Potter vaults, the Ministry of Magic was located deep under the earth. It never ceased to amaze Harry how the Wizarding world had hid itself just outside the site of the Muggle world.
Harry knew that just above them Muggles would be walking around most likely never to know that there was anything more to there world than science and maths. Harry wondered what it would be like to be ignorant of the Wizarding World. As much as the Wizarding World could treat Harry like crap Harry didn't know how he could cope with life of never knowing the truth about magic even if he was a Muggle he would like to simply see the wonders of magic.
Harry could never understand how Muggles could hate and fear magic just because it was different, because they didn't understand it. Harry bet that they didn't understand everything that scientists said but they didn't hate and fear them like they did Harry. Of course, Vernon thought that scientists were a load of Nancy boy geeks but that was Vernon.
'The Ministry of Magic wishes you a pleasant day,' the voice said as they reached the atrium.
Harry followed Scalby to a desk at the side where a badly shaven wizard looking very attentive as he was sitting bored and reading the Daily Prophet causing Harry's ire to rise. Luckily Harry from painful lessons learnt at the Dursley held his tongue. Harry was in no way a coward but he picked his battles carefully and this was not a battle he was going to win or even any point in joining if the man wanted to believe that rag then who was he to stop him.
He'd see. They all would. One day the whole world would know that Harry was telling the truth despite the Ministry and the Daily Prophet campaigning against him. Hopefully if everything went to plan it would be soon.
'We would like to present our wands as visitors at the Ministry of Magic,' Scalby said coolly.
'Step over here,' the bored wizard said.
The way he spoke the man had said the same thing a million times today alone. Harry swore to himself that no matter what happened he'd never end up with a dead end job like this man. True Harry could just make a living out of the businesses his family owned but Harry wanted to do something more worthwhile than that like his father had been an Auror according to Remus and Sirius.
Harry followed Scalby as the man waved a thin golden rod over the red haired man and then proceeded to do the same to Harry. Both of them naturally came up clean as they weren't caring any other weapons than their wands which were more an all purpose tool that could be used as a weapon than an actual weapon only when people used it as weapon it became deadly. Harry hated that people could corrupt magic to make something so good into something twisted and horrible but that was the human race all over.
'Wand,' the wizard grunted.
Scalby handed his wand as though this was completely normal. Harry didn't know how he did it. Harry always felt vulnerable without his wand. Harry was sure it was the beginnings of Moody-like paranoia forming thanks to all the murder attempts Harry had survived.
The wizard placed it on a strange brass scale sort of instrument. The instrument began to vibrate straight away and produced parchment. The wizard grabbed the parchment and began to read it before turning to Scalby.
'Nine inches, dragon heart string core, been in use thirty-five years, registered to Dimitri Scalby which is consistent with previous visits,' the man nodded. 'I keep this.'
Harry watched as the man impaled the parchment on a brass pike. Harry's first thought was that the man was insane, angry, hated his job which was probably true, or had no idea how to file things. Then Harry realised there was probably some complicated magic going on.
'You get this back!' the man said.
Harry watched as the man thrust Scalby's wand back at Scalby none to gently. And he wanted Harry to trust his wand with him? Honestly the man seemed more likely to snap his wand accidentally; the wand that had saved his life from Voldemort barely a month ago.
'Eleven inches, phoenix core, been in use four years, registered to Harry Potter,' the man said.
The man suddenly became a lot more attentive eyes zipping from Harry's scar to the badge on his chest. Harry scowled. Harry really hated his fame but he couldn't do anything when the man had his wand.
'Thank you,' Scalby said pointedly.
The man must have realised he still had Harry's wand and hurriedly gave it back to a scowling Harry. Harry quickly stowed it away in his pocket before anyone else could steal his wand from him. Okay maybe Harry was being slightly paranoid.
Harry and Scalby moved through the crowds at a quick pace to an elevator. Harry found this a very Muggle form of transport and grasped at the normality of it. Until he saw Mr Weasley in the elevator Harry quickly moved to the other side of a big man with a fire breathing chicken.
Harry heard the same voice Harry had heard in the phone box. Harry was quiet as he tried to avoid the father of his first friend. It wasn't easy considering that they were confined in a small metal box but somehow he managed it.
The two of them got off on Level Two. Harry had to be careful to avoid being spotted on the way. There was nothing now either Mr Weasley or Albus Dumbledore could do but Harry wanted to save the hassle of having Dumbledore know what he was doing.
Harry followed Scalby to the end of the corridor past the Auror office to another corridor which proclaimed on a golden plaque that it was the Department for Child Welfare. Harry entered the reception room of the Office where children and adults were waiting. Some looking frightened others looking angry.
Scalby made his way over to the black haired receptionist. His red hair standing out in the room made out of neutral colours. Harry followed behind him as Scalby began to speak to the young woman.
'I would like to speak to Aniketos Nicola,' Scalby said.
'Have you got an appointment?' asked the receptionist.
'Naturally,' Scalby said. 'It should be booked for Scalby at half two.'
The receptionist scanned her wand down a file before she nodded. The girl then wrote a quick note and charmed it into an aeroplane sending it to Aniketos Nicola. A few minutes later and it came back to the girl.
'Follow me,' the receptionist said.
Harry and Scalby followed the receptionist to an office out back where they were let in. Harry wasn't sure who they were seeing but knew it was someone in child welfare. Harry was feeling increasingly nervous.
Harry had too many experiences of various adults in position to help him letting him down. Harry now knew that it was most likely Dumbledore's fault and they hadn't realised that they had let Harry fall through the cracks but it didn't mean Harry had forgotten. It meant that Harry had every reason to be nervous.
The man at the plain wooden desk was short and thin much like Harry himself was. Harry wondered if the man had a childhood anything like Harry. It would make sense considering what the man had chosen to do with his life.
Nicola was dark of hair and skin betraying is Greek heritage with piercing dark eyes that were almost as dark as Snape's. Nicola had hardness to his eyes that Harry felt was from seeing abused child after child coming through these doors but unlike Snape he had smile lines around his eyes making Harry think he was a kind man. If only Harry could trust him to finally punish the Durselsy as they should have been many years ago.
'Mister Scalby,' nodded Nicola.
'Mister Nicola,' Scalby responded in kind. 'My client Duke Ambrose-Gryffindor Potter is here to lay charges against Vernon Dursley for neglect, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, and Petunia Dursley for neglect, emotional and physical abuse. As well as your department as a squib neighbour of Duke Ambrose-Gryffindor-Potter submitted a report of the abuse which was never followed up.'
Nicola's dark eyes went nearly black when he heard what had happened to the young boy sitting opposite him. Harry was pleased when the man didn't react either negatively or positively to his name. It made Harry slightly more willing to talk to him.
The next hour was spent providing memories and accounts of what had happened. It was painful but it had to be done. Nicola promised to contact them when they had more information on who had let Harry remain at the Dursleys despite the abuse and dates of the Dursleys trial.
Harry and Scalby headed to the Department of Magical Law Enforcement next which was on the same level. Harry guessed that Scalby would have booked an appointment with Madam Bones as well but wasn't sure considering that they hadn't known when they would finish in the Department of Child Welfare. Harry wasn't sure how long a meeting like that would usually take.
Again they were greeted by yet another receptionist considering that they were speaking to the Head of the DMLE. Usually she wouldn't get involved but considering who Harry was and who Voldemort was it was the Minister himself who was going be tried then they couldn't exactly have one of the run of the mill aurors investigate Harry's claim. That meant going right to the top.
The young blonde receptionist sneered at Harry when she saw who it was. Harry wasn't surprised considering the hate campaign that the Minister of Magic was currently employing against him. Harry tried not to say anything despite the fact that he hated being sneered or glared at and thanks to the Dursleys he reflexively flinched away from the hateful woman.
'Dimitri Scalby I believe Amelia Bones is expecting us,' Scalby said with a sharp look at the blonde bimbo.
'Go on in Mister Scalby,' the blonde bitch said looking like she wanted to say something to Harry.
Luckily nothing was said and Harry and Scalby had got away from the bitch. Amelia Bones was waiting for them as Harry took his seat and Scalby began talking. Harry was pleased he didn't have to.
'You are aware that Cedric Diggory died in suspicious circumstances,' Scalby said, 'yet there has been absolutely no investigation into Cedric Diggory's death.'
'We have,' sighed Amelia, 'but as Professor Dumbledore employed his right as Harry Potter's magical guardian to prevent us from speaking to your client we could go no further than to prove that Cedric Diggory was murdered on the twenty-fifth of June at nine o'clock after being portkeyed out of Hogwarts with Harry James Potter. I made sure that our findings were not released as the investigation is not finished,' Bone said.
What Amelia didn't say was that she didn't want to let onto You Know Who that she was aware he was back. Amelia had gotten permission from Fudge to begin more heavy recruitment although the bumbling idiot believed it was in case Dumbledore tried to take over the Ministry. If Dumbledore had wanted the Ministry he could have easily of accepted it in 1990 when he was last asked to become the Minister.
She couldn't trust her own department who seemed to believe that Harry Potter had gone mad and killed his school mate. It didn't help when they couldn't speak to Harry Potter thanks to Dumbledore but seeing the rings on the hand and the expensive lawyer Amelia knew that the boy had taken advantage of his fifteenth birthday and emancipated himself. It certainly made things a lot easier to deal with.
'Harry Potter is willing to provide memories of Cedric Diggory's death and Minister Fudge's refusal to have his claim subsequently investigated,' Scalby said.
Amelia practically jumped at the opportunity for real solid evidence of Voldemort's return. If she saw the memories come out there would be no way it could be refuted. Amelia hated to see what had gone on that night but it would make it so much easier to prepare for You Know Who's return now that they had evidence.
'I take it you are going to be suing Minister Fudge for his misconduct?' asked Amelia.
'Naturally,' Scalby said, 'as well as take Headmaster Dumbledore, Rita Skeeter, the Daily Prophet, Vernon and Petunia Dursley to court.'
Amelia could understand Fudge, Rita Skeeter, and the Prophet but not Albus Dumbledore. As far as she was aware Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter got on well enough. She didn't know who the Dursley couple were.
'These are the late Duke and Duchess Ambrose-Gryffindor-Potter wills,' Scalby said.
Amelia looked through the wills and realised that the young Duke wanted to sue his own aunt and uncle but if Lily Evans had been so against Harry being left in care to her sister and brother in law then it made sense that the boy hadn't had a happy childhood. That explained why he wanted to take his family to court and Dumbledore as it was Dumbledore who had sent him there expressly ignoring the Duchess' will. Dumbledore at the very least would be removed as Headmaster of Hogwarts but depending on how much he knew about Harry Potter's childhood and how bad the boy's childhood was he could go to prison for anything up to life depending on the severity and Dumbledore's personal involvement.
Then there was Sirius Black being innocent of selling out the boy's parents. It at least brought into question Sirius Black's guilt. After all if you were found innocent of one crime you had been convicted of it made it likely but no definitely that other crimes you had committed may not of been committed by you especially as Black had been framed by Pettigrew at least once and Pettigrew was still working for You Know Who even now as had been shown on the night of You Know Who's return.
'Am I right in presuming that Sirius Black is innocent in the murders of the twelve muggles on the morning of the first of November 1981?' questioned Amelia.
The boy's response was to pull another memory out of his head. Amelia saw it once again and was shocked that both Albus Dumbledore, the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, and Cornelius Fudge, the current Minister for Magic although for how much longer after the boy who lived took him to court was uncertain, had been informed that Sirius Black was innocent and had done nothing. Amelia wrote more notes about what was going to happen.
'So both Minister Fudge and Chief Warlock Dumbledore knew?' asked Amelia.
'Yes,' Harry said.
'A re-trial-'began Amelia.
'Actually, Madam Bones, a trial not a retrial has to be rearranged,' Scalby said. 'Sirius Orion Black never had a trial.'
'Ailean,' Amelia called.
'Ma'am?' asked the blonde girl with a Scottish accent very much like Minerva's.
'Bring me the files on Sirius Black,' she ordered the girl.
'Yes ma'am,' the girl said throwing a suspicious look at Harry.
A couple minutes later the Scottish blonde girl, Ailean, who looked only a few years older than Harry himself was came back with a thick bunch of files that she placed on Bones' desk. Amelia thanked the blonde and sent her on her way before she went through the paperwork with her wand. Harry could see fury in those blue-grey orbs.
'It seems that you are correct your grace,' Amelia said grimly, 'which means that Sirius Black is not a convict and legally we cannot pursue him until such a time he has been convicted of his crimes.'
Amelia could not for the life of her understand why Dumbledore had done such a thing. Sirius Black now had many seats and was a staunch ally of Dumbledore. Why would he throw that all away by illegally banishing an innocent man to Azkaban?
'We believe that Headmaster Dumbledore made sure that Sirius Black was left in prison to keep control of Harry Potter,' the lawyer said as though reading her mind.
In a twisted way that made sense. Dumbledore had ignored a duke and duchess' wills and made himself magical guardian of the boy who lived and then sent the boy to live with horrifically abusive Muggles despite their being plenty of better options for the boy to grow up safe and happy. Why Dumbledore had chosen to do this Amelia didn't want to understand.
However, if Sirius Black, the sole heir to the House of Black and the boy who lived's godfather was found innocent he would be made magical guardian with almost no fight. It would mean that Dumbledore's plans for the boy and the Dursleys would go out the window. It seemed Dumbledore had chosen to keep an innocent locked up and on the run to keep a child in an abusive situation.
'We also believe that Duke and Duchess Longbottom's incapacitation was very convenient for Dumbledore considering Harry Potter's godmother Duchess Longbottom was very close to gaining custody of Harry Potter at the time,' Scalby said.
Amelia frowned but knew that the man was right. She had been on the Longbottoms' auror team and in Frank's year at school. Alice had been very eager to adopt her best friend's son and according to her she had been told by her lawyer ironically Dimitri Scalby's younger brother, that the chances of her not getting the young Potter heir's custody were less than zero.
'First things first, let's start with your home life,' Amelia bones said,
'Duke Ambrose-Gryffindor-Potter would prefer to submit memories of the offences committed against him via Misters Vernon and Dudley Dursley as well as Mrs Petunia Evans Dursley,' Scalby said.
'Of course,' Amelia said.
Memories could not be fabricated; at least not at a level that saw them still looking accurate. As Amelia submerged herself in the horrors of Potters first thirteen years of life she was horrified at what the Wizarding World had missed on their boy hero. And this horrifically abused child was the same boy her colleagues were currently tearing into.
It was only the years on the Auror force and playing politics with the likes of Fudge, Dumbledore and Malfoy that allowed Amelia to keep a straight face considering she had just seen a twelve year old boy violated by his uncle. Amelia seriously hoped that Dumbledore did not know. It was bad enough that Dumbledore had made sure the boy was physically abused.
'There do not seem to be any memories after your twelfth birthday your grace,' Amelia said.
'My client ran away rather than return to his abuser,' Scalby said.
Amelia didn't blame the boy in the slightest. Amelia was glad that it was only the summers that he had to rough it out although she was sure that after meeting Duke Black that Potter would have had a home with him. Amelia was glad that the boy had someone to turn to.
'How much did Headmaster Albus Dumbledore know?' asked Amelia.
'Everything,' the Potter child said.
Once again she was handed memories where the Potter boy came right out and told him that he had been raped. Dumbledore hadn't even shown surprise only insistence that he stayed at his aunt and uncle's. It was no wonder that the boy had run rather than stay.
Bringing down Dumbledore was not going to be easy considering the fact that he had years of recruiting and indoctrinating his students. Many of which now held seats in the Wizagamont. However, these last few weeks proved that the public could turn against Dumbledore if they were frightened of something and considering how many of the peerage had children in Hogwarts if Amelia played the right spin as though Dumbledore was pro-paedophile she might just convince them to chuck Dumbledore in Azkaban.
The Dursleys were Muggles and the evidence and prejudice was completely against them. They would be arrested and charged immediately although as Dudley dursley was underage and although a bully had not committed any crime he would be sent to a Muggle orphanage and Obliviated soon of all knowledge of the Wizarding World as soon as he had testified at his parents' trial. Then as soon as the evidence had been built up they would be on trial.
The memories and Potter's testimony would allow Cedric Diggory's murder to be solved hopefully finding some peace of mind for Amos and Sara even if they already knew. The Diggory case would reveal via memories that Voldemort had returned. Then Amelia could try Lucius Malfoy, Gabriel Goyle, Aurelius Avery and Caesar Crabbe for being accessory to the murder of Cedric Diggory, the torture and attempted murder of Harry Potter, and the kidnap of both boys.
The trial would also bring to light Sirius Black's innocence. A trial would have to be done which would from Harry Potter's testimony show that both Dumbledore and Fudge had known. It was unlikely that Fudge would still be in power at this point as he had allowed Voldemort to return unnoticed.
These next few months would shake the Wizarding World with what they revealed. Amelia couldn't help but wonder what might happen in the next few months. Amelia could only hope that they all survived the oncoming storm that was brewing with Voldemort's return.