Hi everybody. Here is chapter eleven. Enjoy.
Pulling Wool over Eyes
Harry and Malfoy's beaten body reappeared at Hogwarts and Harry gave a good show of being exhausted. All the people in the near proximity came running towards them.
"Harry!" He heard several shouts.
Then he saw Professor Dumbledore coming towards him and he knew the show had begun. He waited until the old wizard had reached him. Harry held out Malfoy's wand for Dumbledore to take.
"He was behind it, Professor. He was the mastermind behind getting me in the Tournament. He had an accomplice here at the castle. Professor Moody isn't really Professor Moody; he is a fake, somebody under polyjuice." Harry reported.
"What, preposterous!" Fudge, who had also arrived, shouted.
"It's the complete truth, Minister. I'd swear an oath on that. At the moment I'm too exhausted though. I'd like to postpone that until later. From what he told me while he prepared a dark ritual, he was under the delusion that he could bring Voldemort back to life with it"
Here several people shouted out in fear. The prospect of Voldemort returning was terrifying.
"Let me finish. It didn't work like he hoped. Either he botched the ritual up or it wasn't working from the beginning. But still, after he took some of my blood for the ritual, no need to fall all over me, I already healed the cut on my arm…" Harry stopped many from inspecting him for major injuries "…well, I managed to free myself with a hidden knife I had on me for the third task. Then in the confusion I got some good hits on him until he began fighting back. We duelled for some time, but my early hits and the spells I learned for the Tournament enabled me to outlast him and finally stunning him." Harry reported.
"You mean no others were there?" Dumbledore asked.
"No, he was the only Death Eater I saw there. And I thought for a moment to see a ghostly image of Voldemort, but that soon disappeared. He probably was too far away."
Dumbledore looked sceptical.
"How did he get the silver hand?" He asked.
"Well, the ritual had three main components. It was a potion. He performed it in a cemetery. He used bone of Voldemort's father, unknowingly given, flesh of the servant willingly given and blood of the enemy forcefully taken; well the blood was the part he needed me for and the flesh was his hand. He first stopped his bleeding and then he somehow put that hand in the place of the old one. I didn't get that spell, Professor Dumbledore. I had just woken up from the stunner he shot at me."
"I understand. We need to get the fake Professor Moody before he escapes. Minerva, Severus." He called the two to do the job.
"Headmaster, that won't be necessary." Aurora Sinistra called out being followed by Steven Carter, levitating the stunned fake Moody towards them.
"I saw him behaving suspect and casting spells into the maze. So Steven and I used a moment he concentrated on the maze to stun him. I found his flask filled with polyjuice potion. He should transform back soon." She reported.
"Excellent work, Aurora, Mr Carter. This solves one major problem. Now we just need to find the real Moody." Dumbledore said pleased.
"Dumbledore, you can't just decide to take over this. We need to call the aurors and a dementor to protect me." Fudge said.
"If I even see one glimpse of a dementor on the school grounds." Harry began growling, making the Minister shut up immediately.
This boy was too dangerous to aggravate. He had just caught his main advisor trying to resurrect the Dark Lord, duelled him and survived it. And he managed to return to school to tell the story.
"How did you get back here, Mr Potter?" Fudge asked.
"I summoned the Triwizard Cup that had worked as a portkey to take me to that cemetery. I hoped it would be working two ways and I was lucky. Otherwise it would have been really difficult to come back, Minister." Harry reported truthfully.
"Alright, but I'll summon the aurors." He said.
"That I'll completely support." Harry said. "And make sure to interrogate them under veritaserum." He added.
The Minister flinched. Interrogating Malfoy under veritaserum would reveal the bribes he had taken for passing laws Malfoy wanted passed or blocking those Malfoy wanted blocked. With him already being under scrutiny, this would be the end of his career as Minister of Magic.
The next day after breakfast Dumbledore called Harry into his office.
"Please sit down, Harry. Do you want a lemon drop?" He asked.
Harry sat down in the chair in front of Dumbledore's desk.
"No, thank you, Professor."
"Harry, I want to tell you how sorry I'm for what you had to go through yesterday. I never even suspected Alastor to be the one getting you into the Tournament. I originally hired him for the Defence against the Dark Arts post to have additional protection at the school. I was wary of Professor Karkaroff, who has been a Death Eater in the past. And it was Alastor Moody who caught him back then before the Ministry made a deal with him to decrease his sentence for information on other Death Eaters. So I thought he would be perfect to help increase security. I never found anything strange about his behaviour during the year. We found out after questioning him that he had imprisoned Alastor in his own trunk for the whole year to have a supply of hair for the potion and to learn his habits to fool everybody."
"Your intention was good in that case. As he was the headmaster of Durmstrang, you couldn't refuse letting Karkaroff coming to Hogwarts. I read the Tournament rules early in the year to know what was going on for me and found that rule. And I can't hold you responsible for getting the one man known to be able to deal with him, if he was dangerous, for the DADA spot. I already told you my opinion about the measure to prevent underage students from participating." Harry said evenly.
"Yes, you did. I wanted to ask you about the things that really happened yesterday. I know that Voldemort has come back. The Dark Mark has reappeared at Karkaroff's arm." Dumbledore looked firmly into Harry's eyes with Harry returning the look without backing down.
"Professor Snape told you his mark was back you mean." Harry calmly countered the point.
"How do you know Professor Snape was a Death Eater once?" Dumbledore asked without showing surprise.
"Reports on Death Eater trials. Very interesting reading material. Did you know that my godfather Sirius Black never had a trial? Yet he was thrown into Azkaban."
"The evidence was absolutely clear." Dumbledore said.
"No, it wasn't. You know, I have a nice contact in the Ministry who got me the report on the investigation on the crime scene after the thirteen muggles were killed. The officials on site messed up. They never checked Sirius' wand with priori incantatem. They never even thought about the simple impossibility that an explosion from a blasting hex in combination with a gas line couldn't completely vanish a body leaving only a finger. After all the corpses of the muggles were left there and they were closer to the gas line. Any blasting hex, even at point blank, leaves more remains, like pools of blood at the least, some flesh remains, bone splinters and so on. I single cleanly cut finger is not possible to be the single remaining part of a body. That would have needed a completely different spell that disintegrated Pettigrew's whole body from the inside out and that would have left nothing but the clean robes. That leaves only one conclusion: Pettigrew escaped from there. I have been interested in this; I think you can understand the reason. So I decided to write Sirius a letter asking for answers. As he was thought to be the one responsible for my parent's death by betraying their location to Voldemort I had a right to some answers. And nobody ever really answers my questions fully." This was a clear jab at Dumbledore's policy of keeping too many secrets.
"His response was very interesting. He was completely innocent. He and Pettigrew changed positions the last moment, building the perfect bluff. Sirius played decoy to fool Voldemort and his followers, Peter was safe and therefore keeping us safe. Sadly Peter was a Death Eater and betrayed us. Sirius hunted him down after Hagrid refused to hand me over after getting me out of my parents' house. When he cornered him, Peter blamed everything on him; that is the reason the muggles who were questioned gave those answers, blasted up the street behind him, transformed into a rat and disappeared into the gutters. The letter was ended with an oath that it was the truth."
"He can't be an animagus. We would know it." Dumbledore interrupted Harry.
"You can ask Professor Lupin. He will confirm this. All of the marauders learned to become animagi to keep Professor Lupin company during the nights of the full moon. They couldn't do it as humans, but they were safe while being animals. My father was a stag, Sirius a dog and Peter a rat."
Harry knew if he gave Dumbledore something to think about he would forget about other questions he had. Harry needed to keep Dumbledore on certain paths for now.
"I'll look into this, Harry. But I can't promise anything. Now back to my question, what did really happen at the cemetery?"
"I told you already what happened. Malfoy had a potion in a really big cauldron at the place. I think he didn't really await me that early and I managed to hit him once before he stunned me. I woke up bound to a gravestone with the name Tom Riddle on it. Malfoy used the three parts I already told you about. Bones, flesh and my blood. He put everything into the cauldron and told me Voldemort would return and they would conquer wizarding Britain."
"Harry, it's important to tell me if Voldemort is back. We need to warn to public to have them prepare." Dumbledore tried to argue.
"That is why you're a better teacher than war general, Professor." Harry stopped Dumbledore, shocking him with this argument. "And even as a teacher you haven't done your best. Well, I have to specify that part, as headmaster you didn't, as Transfiguration teacher I heard you were great."
"What makes you think that?" Dumbledore asked taken aback.
"Easy. To be the best headmaster you could be you would have had to concentrate on that job. But you're also the head of the Wizengamot and the Supreme Mugwump of the ICW. That's three high-ranking and time-intensive jobs. With you not investing all your time into the betterment of Hogwarts, the Board had it easy to manipulate affairs to their liking. How often did Madam Hooch complain about the state of the school brooms, but the Board always denies the funds for new ones? Why has the method of teaching Potions been changed dramatically after you took over the post of headmaster? Before the subject was changed to the current method, students learned the basics in the first year like how to properly prepare ingredients, how certain ways of stirring influenced the potions and which ingredients reacted harshly with which others.
"Now Snape just tells us the instructions are on the board, to get the ingredients and get started brewing. The man may be a genius at Potions but he is a terrible teacher. In my opinion, you should have employed him for researching potions for the betterment of the wizarding world and to keep the hospital wing stocked and not as Potions teacher. That man can't teach, he is biased towards Slytherin, bullies all other students especially Gryffindors and Hufflepuffs and makes those already unsure of their abilities even more nervous so they mess up things.
"If you don't believe me, I can show you my memories from all my Potions classes since first year. I have noticed you have a pensieve in your office; that would do to prove my point."
Dumbledore was shocked into silence. He hadn't expected the talk turning in that direction.
"Following my original argument, you're mainly a teacher who has taken up too many political posts. In the muggle world, having one political post excludes you from having another to prevent corruption, neglect of duty and misuse of power. In your case it's mainly neglect of duty. I can understand that many people looked up to you for guidance after you defeated Grindelwald. But your reluctance to duel him earlier than 1945 and to kill him, shows that you're not meant to be a leader in war." Harry gave Dumbledore a few seconds to digest that hammer blow then he pressed on.
"Let me ask you, how familiar are you with the Nuremberg Trials?"
Dumbledore didn't know why Harry wanted to know this but decided to answer what he knew about them.
"They were the trials the winners of the muggle World War II held to punish the culprits of the war." He answered.
"Do you know what the punishments were?"
"Not really. The trials for the followers of Grindelwald were held at the same time, so we were just concerned for them being punished."
"Most of them died by hanging. The victors of the war knew that they were too dangerous to be left alive. They were too guilty to be left alive. They were responsible for the death of millions of people, just because they were easy scapegoats. They based their doctrine on racism. Don't you recognize the similarities? Hitler, Grindelwald and Riddle were racists. They played on an existing superstition. They used the despised part of the population, old insecurities of those with money or jealousy of those without it to get as far as they did.
"While killing just for killing someone is wrong, letting people who killed for fun getting away with it is the worst sin you can commit as the leader in a war. You spit on the victims, you spit on their sacrifices and you spit on the survivors for letting those who took their loved ones away get away to do it again. You can't win a war with stunning your enemies; you have to make sure they stay down. It's really easy to enervate a stunned person. But healing a broken leg or two or stopping intense bleeding before the fight is over is a lot harder." Harry pointed out.
"So you would condone killing the Death Eaters, I had thought better of you, Harry." Dumbledore said.
"Guilt tripping me doesn't work, Professor, and neither does putting your head in the sand and refusing to see realities. If you wanted someone who would never hurt a fly, you shouldn't have left me at the Dursleys. You can be glad I didn't turn dark like Voldemort. That could easily have happened. Abused children tend to retaliate. I just have a really pragmatic outlook on life." Harry brushed Dumbledore's words away.
Dumbledore cringed at the mention of Harry being abused by his relatives.
"My opinion is that the protection of innocents is a lot more important than the rights the culprits have. You can't turn a person who killed for pleasure. That person has to either be killed or shut away without any chance of return. And from what Azkaban is like, killing them is more merciful. Most die either way after some time there. You could stop their suffering by pushing them through the veil like it was done in ancient times. You just have to make sure that you're one hundred per cent sure of them being guilty. But as we have veritaserum and the possibility to review memories, that should be easy to arrange.
"If you want to have the wizarding world stay in the middle ages, then you have to use the middle aged punishments. You say you want to protect muggleborns, but you disadvantage them at school by cutting lessons they really need to get used to their new lives. You have them use damaged brooms while the pureblood children learn to fly at home at proper brooms. For halfbloods it depends on which family they belong to and what connections the family is willing to use to have them succeed in life. But back to muggleborns." Harry knew this was hard for the headmaster to hear, but it was high time that he lost his rose-coloured glasses.
"You allow the bigots to call them mudblood without really punishing them. The house-point system is so abused I wonder how other houses than Slytherin manage to win the Cup. Oh yeah, I remember, Gryffindor won the last three years because somehow my friends and I got a lot of last minute points, except for third year, where the Quidditch Cup was the deciding factor. Why don't you separate the Quidditch Cup from the House Cup? Why are the Professors allowed to give or take points for ridiculous events? I can prove Snape took points away for breathing too loudly when he was in a foul mood.
"Why are students allowed to bully others and get away with it? Luna Lovegood is bullied by her own house because she is different. And the Slytherins happily join the bullying. Do you want them to become Death Eaters? Because that will happen if they are allowed to get away with things. You have the opportunity to prevent it. Hell, they spend three quarters of the year at Hogwarts. The behaviour they learn here will reflect their future behaviour. Slytherin should be about ambition and cunning, but it's only about bulling those weaker than them and getting others in trouble now. If you want to deny that opinion, go into the Great Hall and ask the first Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff you meet for their opinion of Slytherin house and Snape. It will confirm my complaints."
Now Albus was cornered. He knew Severus' teaching wasn't optimal but he didn't think he abused the point system like Harry described it.
"I see you don't believe me; disillusion yourself and visit a lesson in Potions with Gryffindor or Hufflepuff students. Then you'll see what I mean. If you want to help our world, as I think you do, start preventing new Death Eaters growing up at Hogwarts. Voldemort may have been really powerful, but the near downfall of wizarding Britain had other reasons, he was just the leader and the symbol. The problem goes deeper. And I have decided to cut the problem at the root. You may have noticed several older Slytherins and the occasional Ravenclaw being found in humiliating positions throughout this and last year. That is my way to show them what it's like to be bullied. I don't hurt them physically, but I'll always show them the humiliation. I'm sick of everything going down because those who should act responsibly are not doing their jobs properly." Harry pressed on.
The next shock. The teachers had believed the Weasley twins had been behind those incidents. The ways the ones being pranked were found were only embarrassing, not really hurtful and with Minerva, Filius and Pomona tending to agree that the victims did deserve it, nothing really had happened. Was he really allowing Death Eaters to grow?
"I think I gave you a lot to think about. You're in the position to better the society in Britain. Hogwarts is the location where most of the young witches and wizards learn magic. Use it wisely. Protecting them from attacks from outside isn't enough. You have to prevent violence at the inside. Bullying and name calling is the start. If you don't stop it there, it will develop to pranks, then to harmful pranks and then to violence. I have seen it with Dudley. My aunt and uncle never punished him, he got away with everything. By now he beats up the younger children in the neighbourhood and sells drugs to students at his school. It could have been prevented if the teachers at school and his parents had done something. Killers are not born; they are made and allowed to be made. Good day, headmaster." Harry said, standing up and leaving the room.
When the door had closed behind the boy, Albus sank into his chair and looked at Fawkes sadly.
"Did I really fail that badly? Did I overlook the obvious problems by looking at the bigger picture my friend?"
Fawkes trilled confirming. Albus head drooped. He had to do something. It was time for something to change if a fourteen year old boy had to point it out to him that something was wrong in the castle Hogwarts.
That evening the Great Hall was decorated splendidly. They had a good reason to celebrate. One of their own was the new Triwizard Champion. In front of the head table a pedestal had been placed for the ceremony of congratulating to take place. Minister Fudge wanted to use the opportunity to get some good publicity. He just didn't know when to quit.
"Dear students of Hogwarts, Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. It's my honour and pleasure, even if this was planned for yesterday evening, to officially announce the Winner of the Triwizard Tournament. The Tournament was characterized by great ambition, plenty of courage and magic in all variations. Our champions faced dragons, the secrets in the deep waters of the Black Lake and a maze with several obstacles to overcome. In the end only one could win. Eternal glory for him and his school is said to be given to the winner together with a prize of one thousand galleons.
"You all know him; he has been praised for several great deeds, this time we honour him for proving himself against those more experienced than him, coming from a position of disadvantage he grew tremendously this year. I call forward the Triwizard Champion, from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry James Potter." Fudge ended his speech and tumultuous applause rose from all places in the Great Hall, even the Slytherins knew better than to disturb this event.
Harry clothed in his dress robes from the Yule ball walked into the hall through the doors. He had been told that he had to wait until he was announced. While he normally shied attention, this time he wanted to take it in. He had done something great. He had won the Tournament fair and square, without cheating in one of the tasks. Even the other champions applauded politely. He reached the pedestal and stood next to Fudge. He would let the man have one last highlight in his career.
"Mr Potter, congratulations to your victory. You'll be put in the book of victory as the winner of this tournament. Take the prize money, you have earned it."
"Thank you for your kind words, Minister Fudge. I can only say that I'm surprised how well I did in the Tournament, I was terrified in the beginning when my name came out of the Goblet of Fire. But thanks to the help of my great friends, who stood beside me all the time and helped me with research and training for the tasks, I managed to get through this. They also put up with my moods." He admitted, getting many to laugh.
"Don't we know it?" The Weasley twins chorused.
"I have learned a lot this year, which I doubt I'd have had without the motivation of being the underdog and the others having had three years of magical education on me. The history of champions having died in the Tournament didn't help to calm me down in the beginning either. I'm just glad that everything worked out so well. Thank you all for your support during the tasks. I also hope this isn't the last time I have seen the champions from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. Throughout the Tournament I have got to know both Viktor and Fleur better and would like to stay in contact."
With that Harry ended his speech. He knew this was enough for now. The real battles would be fought elsewhere. He would continue with his training as a secret agent. He would finish his education at Hogwarts in the three remaining years. Now he could show off some more advanced spells and abilities. He would encourage the magical youth to follow his example. And then he would go out into the world to protect the innocent. Nobody would know about his accomplishments. That was the fate of a secret agent, but the reward was worth the sacrifice.
So, that concludes fourth year. But it is just a step in Harry's career as a secret agent. There will be many more chapters ;)
And currently I am working on this story again to write more chapters to be able to keep updating every two weeks.